It is the summers when the film festivals are organized. The 10th annual AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival is being scheduled from June 18-24. It is going to be held in downtown Silver Spring, in the Maryland at the AFI Silver Theater. AFI Silver Theater is known to be one of the best art deco theaters in the country and it is also recognized as a top art house cinema in the region. AFI Silver Theater has a capacity of more than 27,000 attendees. People from all over the world visit this place for documentary films.
I have an experience of this place once when I moved there in 1994. The downtown area where the Silver Spring was situated was a dark and unsafe place. The Silver Theater was shut and the buildings near was decaying, and the deco doors were taken off. Then the Triple Five developers along with the County Executive and City Council came up with an idea of the American Dream Mall in Downtown Silver Spring. They made a wave pool, touted themed rooms and a huge retail center. The city with a densely population from before, turned in to a more densely populated area. Now, the bus loads started moving everyday with shoppers.
They made a huge infrastructure, which was not able to bear the pressure of their predictions which included malls and heavy traffics. The people of those areas were trying to avoid this pressure of new infrastructure. People were trying to avoid another big mall buses and cars because the road was so congested that it seemed difficult to travel Washington, DC through the same road. The County Executive and City Council listened and understood the behavior of the people and thought for an alternate way. Then these official departments made a deal with Discovery Communications in order to build their World Headquarters in downtown Silver Spring. The American Film Institute (AFI) bought this place and made it a magnificent theater to organize film festival. The present idea to bring the arts to downtown Silver Spring worked.
After that the first Silverdocs Documentary Film Festival was introduced in June, 2003. Today, about 27000 filmmakers and film festival lovers go to this Silver Docs Theater from all over the world. Some of the famous organizations that participate in this film festival are Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, BBC, CPB,TLC, The Ford Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, PBS, HBO, Miramax, National Geographic, Sundance Institute, etcetera.
This year’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) starts on 19th July. The festival will open with Ntshavheni wa Luruli’s Elelwani. One of the oldest film festivals of the world, the DIFF is also the largest in South Africa. Screening of over 250 films will take place at this festival. This mega event will continue for 11 days and conclude on 29th July.
Activities at the Durban International Film Festival
The film Elelwani sheds light on the issue of cultural transition in the lives of South African women. The process of moving away from the cultural past is depicted in the film. However, in the process, they realize the value and importance of this past. The realization that the past is important from the point of dealing with the present-day life is one of the highlights of the film. The clashes between traditionalism and modernity observed in the South African society are very well presented in this film. Just like every year, this year’s film festival has a great variety of films in store for the audience. The main focus however, will be on South African films. It is not just the films but many other related activities that are incorporated in the festival. Workshops for filmmakers, discussion forums, seminars, etc. are amongst these activities. Such activities act as stimulants for people to participate in filmmaking. The noteworthy initiatives for this year’s film festival include the events like Durban FilmMart and Talent Campus Durban. The Talent Campus Durban was started in the year 2008; it has traditionally been organized in associated with the Berlin Film Festival. The Durban FilmMart on the other hand was started in the year 2010. The ‘City of Durban’s Durban Film Office’ has been the associate of Durban FilmMart; it is basically a co-production finance forum. For this year’s Durban FilmMart, 12 documentaries and same number of fiction projects have been selected. All in all, this year’s event is going to be action-packed and full of a variety of activities.
All these activities make the Durban International Film Festival a great event that can be enjoyed by film aficionados. They would learn how to make the most of film festivals through such events. Also, the focus on South African films creates a favorable atmosphere for the local artists to exhibit their talent. Finally, we can say that, through festivals like these, you can enjoy high quality films.
The 65th Cannes Film Festival, one of the most important film festivals of the calendar year, is looking to attract the best movies from around the world for screening. Which is why this online film blog cannot afford to give this event a miss.
Despite the gloom of the Eurozone crisis looming over this year’s event, those associated with the Cannes Film Festival are upbeat about the success of this event. This year’s Cannes Film Festival will open with Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” and Sacha Baron Cohen’s promotional stunt for his upcoming film, “The Dictator”.
The Movie Extravaganza at the 65th Cannes Film Festival
David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis” will be one of the major attractions this year. Earlier in 1996, Cronenberg’s “Crash” had won the special jury award. This year, he will be also joined by his 32 year old son, Brandon whose film, “Antiviral” is placed in the Un Certain Regard series.
The absence of female directors from the main competition lineup has raised few eyebrows. The organizers of Cannes Film Festival have defended their position by saying that it won’t be appropriate to include female directors just for the sake of it. It is interesting to note that the media has not been critical of these developments. However, reports about a group of female directors complaining about the male-dominated event have surfaced in recent times.
The Star Studded Gathering at the 65th Cannes Film Festival
The actor, Matthew McConaughey, known for his roles in romantic comedy films is set to appear in the Cannes Film Festival through his films, “Mud” and “The Paperboy”. “Mud”, which is directed by Jeff Nichols, is a story about two kids who come across a man chased by bounty hunters. The Mississippi village is used as a setting for this movie. The other movie, “The Paperboy” is about two men trying to find the hidden truth about death row inmates. This film is based on Peter Dexter’s novel of the same name. It is directed by Lee Daniel and the role of the convict is played by John Cusack.
This year, the French directors who would be representing their country in the Cannes Film Festival include Alain Resnais (Vous n’avez encore rien vu), Jacques Audiard (De Rouille et d’os), Claude Miller (Therese Desqueyroux) and Leos Carax (Holy Motors).
The 65th Cannes Film Festival will be a special event for Aishwarya Rai. Apart from her regular campaigning for the brand L’Oreal Paris, the gorgeous Indian actress will also participate in a fund-raising campaign for fighting the menace of AIDS. Aishwarya Rai who has graced the red-carpet event at Cannes for past few years will be taking part in an event organized by L’Oreal Paris – amfAR (The American Foundation for AIDS Research) on 24th and 25th May. This event will be followed by a dinner party to be attended by celebrities like Milla Jovovich, Gwen Stefani, Liya Kebede, Aimee Mullins, Natasha Poly, Doutzen Kroes, Diana Keaton and Julianna Margulies.
This year’s festival brings in a wide variety of quality films from across the world. All in all, the 65th Cannes Film Festival is all set to dazzle movie aficionados once again. Keep watching this online film blog for more Cannes updates, and information on the world of films.
The Cleveland Film festival was started in the year 1977 and in the first ever event, 8 films were exhibited. In the course of time, the festival has grown by leaps and bounds. This year, 165 feature films were exhibited during the entire festival. The number of short films shown at the event were 156. The films for this event were selected from over 60 countries of the world. As many as 85,018 people attended the festival. It has been the highest number of attendees in the history of the event. The Cleveland Film Festival is considered as one of the most prestigious events in USA. It is said that this festival gives us an idea as to which films will make it big in the Academy Awards.
Award Winning Films of the Festival
The film “Under African Skies” won the Roxanne T. Mueller Audience Choice Award. The award for best animated film was given to “Dripped”. The prestigious Nesnadny and Schwartz Documentary Film Competition was won by Neil Berkeley’s “Beauty is Embarrassing”; this film is based on the life of an American artist, Wayne White. “I am Eleven” a film by the Australian director Genevieve Bailey made its international premiere at the Cleveland Festival. Bailey has shot this film across different locations in 15 countries. The interviews of 11-year-olds conducted through this film is its specialty. The Legacy Award was given to George Gund III, the founding trustee of this festival.
A short performance delivered for the audience by Paul Williams was the highlight of the event. His performance of “The Rainbow Connection” was appreciated by the audience. All in all, the 36th Cleveland Film Festival was a great success.
If you’re planning on attending a film festival this year, then it is advisable to be prepared. Though we’ve never let on this fact on this online film blog, film festivals can be extremely hectic places, and you’ll want to have done some planning in advance in order to get the most out of your experience.
Firstly, you will need to prioritize. There will be far more films showing that you can realistically hope to watch, so decide what it is that you really want to see. Whilst some festival-goers don’t want to read up to much on the films which are showing before going to see them, this can be a useful way to decide what it is that you really want to see. That said, festivals are also a great time to branch out, so make sure you’re open minded and aim to attend a few screenings of film’s which you might not ordinarily watch at the cinema.
You should also make sure that you are prepared to wait in line, especially for the most popular films at a festival. Whether you pack a good book, or decide to keep your laptop handy for a quick game on partycasino.com, you will want to have plenty of ways to amuse yourself while you’re waiting for the next screening to begin. That said, don’t be afraid to make conversation with the other film fans that you are more than likely to meet along the way. Festivals are a great place to network, and you’re sure to have plenty to say to those that you meet.
Lastly, make notes! You will be likely to watch a huge number of films in a relatively short space of time, so it can be difficult to remember everything that you’ve seen. If you want to make sure that you really get the most out of the festival, then you will want to make sure that you’ve got a pen and paper on you at all times.
Documentary on Fukushima town screened at Berlin film festival
BERLIN (Kyodo) — A documentary film featuring residents forced to evacuate their town, home to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, was screened Sunday at the Berlin International Film Festival.
“I hope nobody in the world will have such an experience like ours again,” Katsutaka Idogawa, mayor of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, said in a video message shown after the screening of the tentatively titled “Nuclear Nation” by director Atsushi Funahashi.
“We had attracted the nuclear power plant to promote our town. But I changed my mind because of the accident. While a final disposal site for nuclear waste is not set, it is quite dangerous that many nuclear power plants are built in the world,” the mayor said.
The documentary depicts residents taking shelter at a former school building in Saitama Prefecture and scenes of Futaba town, which was evacuated due to a nuclear crisis following the March 2011 quake and tsunami.
The film director said after the screening, “I hope many people in the world will look at the current situation of people from Futaba. I will continue keeping a record until they find a permanent dwelling place.”
Musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, who composed piano music used in the documentary, also attended the screening.
Sakamoto said he plans to produce an album under the theme of Fukushima this summer and stage a performance with fellow musicians.
SE Asian Film Festival returns in March
SINGAPORE: The Southeast Asian Film Festival returns next month with its largest offering of cinematic works from the region.
It will showcase 20 challenging works by filmmakers from the region produced in the past two years.
Nineteen are Singapore premieres, while Myanmar will be part of the festival for the first time.
Many of the 20 films are also being shown outside their home country for the first time.
Organised by Singapore Art Museum (SAM), the films reflect and bring to the forefront a range of pertinent issues facing the region.
Director of SAM, Mr Tan Boon Hui, said: “Cinema, as a moving image medium, becomes a distinct and dynamic contemporary visual art form that examines the social and cultural transformations of today.
“Like many major contemporary art institutions around the world where films are a part of their regular programming, SAM is committed to extend the reach of our exhibitions by creating opportunities for visitors to experience the most contemporary visual art and cultural expressions of the Southeast Asian region and deliver new perspectives, through the powerful medium of cinema.”
The festival will offer the public greater insight into film-making and the Southeast Asian wave.
There will be a directors’ panel on 3 March, as well as 12 post-screening discussions with directors, producers and actors.
To provide an avenue for the works of local film makers to be presented to a wider audience, the festival will feature four Singapore films.
They include “The Legend of the Impacts” by Jeevan Nathan, “Water Hands” by Serbian-born Singapore-based director Vladimir Todorovic, as well as an animated feature film “Tatsumi” by Eric Khoo which debuted at Cannes and is Singapore’s official entry for the 2012 Academy Awards.
The festival will run from March 2-31 at the Moving Image Gallery at SAM at 8Q.
Based on the early days of the French revolution, Farewell My Queen is set to have its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, starting 9th February, according to the news media tracking the latest film festival reviews. The backdrop is France in those days of turmoil as soon through the eyes of the Versailles staff and stars Diane Kruger of Troyfame as Queen Marie Antoinette. The French-language period film is one of the 18 flicks in the main competition, and hundreds of more would showcased in venues across Berlin over the next ten days.
The French-language period drama, starring Diane Kruger as Marie Antoinette, is one of 18 films in the main competition, and hundreds more films will be showcased in cinemas across the city over the next 10 days.
Members of the Management Look to Add Glitz to Film Festival
The freezing cold in Berlin may prove to be a deterrent to viewership, but the film festival director Dieter Kosslick is hoping that the A-list actors set to saunter down the red carpet may counter that, helping the film festival generate the required buzz.
Another crucial matter would be the health of the film market that has grown up around the festival, attracting movie executives from the world over looking to buy and sell titles.
If critics are to be believed, the annual film festival is looking to add cutting edge to its selection this year by featuring several promising (and as yet unproven) directors in the main lineup.
It will also seek to build on the success of 2011, when Iranian divorce drama A Separation won the Golden Bear for best movie and went on to scoop a Golden Globe and two Oscar nominations.
Film Festival Jury Hoping for Hidden Gems
The jury at this year’s festival, led by British director Mike Leigh and including US actor Jake Gyllenhaal, will be looking to discover another hidden gem of world cinema.
Kosslick believes that this would once again underline Berlin’s reputation for championing films that would otherwise struggle to find an international audience.
This could be Africa’s year, as three films, Tey, War Witch and and Tabu promise to present viewers with poignant images from contemporary Africa.
Hard Hitting Films Hoping to Make a Mark at Berlin Film Festival
As ever this year, hard-hitting movies tackling difficult themes are looking to make a mark at this film festival.
Coming Home is about a girl who is locked up for eight years, and was inspired by the real-life case of abducted Austrian schoolgirl Natascha Kampusch.
White Deer Plain, which is more than three hours long, chronicles the often violent social turmoil in China throughout the 20th century.
And Just The Wind reconstructs the murder of a Roma family in Hungary and is also based on a true story.
On the lighter side, the hottest ticket in town is to see Iron Sky, a futuristic story about Nazis who had escaped to the moon in 1945 and have now launched a “meteor Blitzkrieg” on Earth.
Stalwarts of Conventional Cinema to Grace Film Festival Venue
Among the Hollywood superstars expected in 2012 is Meryl Streep, who will receive an honorary Golden Bear on February 14 when her latest movie The Iron Lady will be screened, with her portraying Margaret Thatcher. The film itself has failed to excite critics, but Street is supposed to be in the running for a ‘Best Actress’ award at the Oscars.
Angelina Jolie is due in Berlin with Bosnian war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey, while the cast of star-filled productions such as Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Haywire should add to the celebrity count at the film festival.
For more film festival reviews and news, keep watching this space.
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) film program is primarily composed of world premieres of narrative, documentary and short films. As such, it is the leading film festival in the world for African American and urban content. Since its inception, the ABFF has showcased more than 600 films, rewarding and redefining artistic excellence in independent filmmaking.
ABFF marks the celebration of Black and urban-inspired independent films. Its mission is to promote the work of independent filmmakers to diverse communities while cultivating a theatrical market for independent Black cinema nationwide.
The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is held each year in South Beach Miami, and attracts close to 3,000 film enthusiasts with a unique mix of celebrities, industry executives, sponsors, and artists. In addition to its film showcases, the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) facilitates networking and is committed to nurturing artists by offering symposiums and educational workshops for actors, filmmakers and writers.
Each year, the ABFF attracts approx 5,000 artists, executives and film fans, providing a strategic vehicle for companies to reach this trendsetting and influential audience. Top-tier corporations have engaged in partnerships with the festival to promote their products, services, multicultural initiatives and branded entertainment content. This support fuels the growth of the festival and furthers the evolution of the Black independent film community. HBO is the festival’s founding sponsor.
History of ABFF
The first American Black Film Festival (originally called the Acapulco Black Film Festival, or ABFF, until the name was changed in 2002) was held in June 1997. The aim of its founders, Jeff Friday, Byron E. Lewis and Warrington Hudlin, was to create a venue at which members of “Black Hollywood” could meet, network, collaborate, and celebrate Black cinema.
Influence of ABFF
The ABFF has been acclaimed for its positive effect on the Black filmmaking community. The festival has through its various programs helped the careers of countless actors, writers and directors. Numerous Hollywood insiders, including director Antoine Fuqua (Director of ‘’Training Day’’ and Charlie Jordan Brookins of MTV Films have endorsed the festival, as well as rapper/actor Common who has stated that, “It’s a good vehicle to get out great art that we want the world to see.
The 16th American Black Film Festival is schedule for June 20th – 23rd 2012 at Miami. Traditionally held in July, the event moves to June in 2012 offering participants an opportunity to showcase films on the leading pay network and gain revenue from award prizes. A new mobile entertainment section will launch at the 16th ABFF, to showcase quality short form content ideal for distribution via the internet and mobile devices.
Keep checking this online film blog for updates on the latest industry goings-on and film festival news.
As reported by several film festival news publications, the 25th edition of the Braunschweig International Film Festival shall honor noted French actress Isabelle Huppert with the European Actors Award, also known as “The Europa”. The awards committee of the Braunschweig International Film Festival has chosen Huppert for the honor in recognition of her lifetime achievements in the field of cinema and her outstanding role in the development of European film culture. Huppert will receive this award during the Braunschweig International Film Festival Awards ceremony which shall be held in Braunschweig’s State Theatre. Volkswagen Financial Services AG, which is also the primary sponsor for the 25th Braunschweig International Film Festival, shall also be sponsoring this particular award.
Online Film Blog: Isabella Huppert’s Iconic Stature in European Cinema
“Isabelle Huppert is an icon of contemporary auteur cinema“, says festival director Volker Kufahl, “We are proud and happy to welcome this exceptional actress, who gives every role her distinctive expression.”
Huppert is considered as one of the greatest actresses in world cinema. To this day she has played in more than 80 films, 16 of which were selcted for the official competition in Cannes – a record. She is the only Frenchwoman to have been awarded the Golden Palm of Cannes twice: in 1978 for the Claude Chabrol directed “Violette Nozière”, who she worked with in seven films, and 2001 for ”The Piano Teacher” by Michael Haneke, for which she also received the European Film Award.
The list of directors she has collaborated pretty much resembles a who’s who of European arthouse cinema: André Techiné, Jean-Luc Godard, Andrzej Wajda, Marco Ferreri, the Taviani brothers and many more. The Paris-born actress became famous for her role in in Claude Goretta’s “The Lacemaker” which earned her a César and a BAFTA Award.
Hupperts Films being Screened at The Braunschweig International Film Festival
The Braunschweig International Film Festival will show Goretta’s drama as part of a retrospective with “The Piano Teacher” (director: Michael Haneke, A/F/D 2001), “8 Women” (François Ozon, 2002), “Comedy of Power” (Claude Chabrol, F/D 2006), “White material” (Claire Denis, F/Kamerun 2009), ”Villa Amalia“ (Benoît Jacquot, F/CH 2009) and “Copacabana” (F 2010) by Marc Fitoussi, where she co-stars with her daughter Lolita Chammah.
History of the Europa Award at the Braunschweig International Film Festival
Since 2007 the Braunschweig International Film Festival has awarded the “European Actors Award”, aka the Europa. Former prize winners include noted thespians such as Bruno Ganz, Stellan Skarsgård, Hanna Schygulla and John Hurt. Isabelle Huppert has already worked together with the latter two: in Marco Ferreri’s “Storia di Piera” she is Hanna Schygulla’s daughter (first Europa winner 2007), and in Michael Cimino’s late western ”Heaven’s Gate” she plays a business savvy prostitute next to John Hurt (Europa winner 2009).
For regular updates on the world of film festivals, and film festival reviews and news, including more on the Braunschweig International Film Festival, keep reading our online film blog.
Spike Lee, born Shelton Jackson Lee in Atlanta Georgia and brought up primarily in New York (Brooklyn), needs no introduction. We have already provided a brief snapshot of Spike Lee’s career and of this body of work. Speaking of which, here’s the lowdown on the films we judged to be seven of his best.
Best of Spike Lee: The Top 7
Do The Right Thing (1989): This comic drama tells the story of a day in Brooklyn, when interracial tensions flare up during the hottest day of the year. Race relations would continue to be a recurring theme or backdrop in Lee’s works throughout his career. This film stars Spike Lee in the lead role, with Danny Aiello and John Turturro in key-roles.
Mo Better Blues (1990): Denzel Washington stars in one of his best roles to date as fictional jazz trumpeteer Bleek Gilliam. The film follows Gilliam’s life through a phase where he makes all the wrong decisions in his musical career as well as his personal relationships, focusing on the themes of friendship, honesty, consequences and ultimately coming-of-age.
Malcolm X (1992): Spike Lee’s somewhat controversial biopic showcases the life and times of Malcolm X. Starting from his boyhood to his rise as perhaps the most chrismatic spokesperson for the Civil Rights movement, this movie doesn’t hesitate to starkly portray the racial attitudes in mid-20th Century America.
Jungle Fever (1991): The narrative weaves itself around a poignant and ill-fated interracial love story between an African American man and an Italian-American woman. Starring Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra in lead roles.
Crooklyn (1994) is a semi-autobiographical film co-written and directed by Spike Lee. The film takes place in Brooklyn, where Lee grew up, particularly the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant during the summer of 1973. The plot is built around a young girl, Troy ( Zelda Harris), and her family. As the film progresses, Troy learns life lessons through her four brothers, her loving but stern mother (Alfre Woodard), and her father (Delroy Lindo).
Girl 6 (1996): A movie about the life of a young aspiring actress (Theresa Randle) who prefers working as a phone sex operator in order to make ends meet, rather than give in to the infamous casting couch. Guest starring Quentin Tarantino as himself.
25th Hour (2002): This Spike Lee film depicts the last 24 hours in the life of a New York drug dealer (played by Edward Norton) before his 7 year jail term begins.
Spike Lee has made several other films, and seeing as he’s yet to retire from the business, it is perhaps safe to say that we haven’t yet seen the best of Spike Lee. Keep checking this online film blog for updates on the latest industry goings-on and and film festival news.