The nominations were announced this morning for the 2015 Spirit Awards, and Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) lead the list with 6 nods including Best Feature, and Best Director for Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Other nominees for Best Feature included Boyhood,Love is Strange, Selma and Whiplash. Inherent Vice was selected to receive the Robert Altman Award, which is bestowed upon one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast. Film Independent also awarded a Special Distinction Award to Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher for its uniqueness of vision, honesty of direction and screenwriting, superb acting and achievement on every level of filmmaking.
Antonio Morabito's The Medicine Seller (Il venditore di medicine) was selected as the winner of the NICE City of Florence Award at San Francisco Film Society's New Italian Cinema. The five-day New Italian Cinema festival is dedicated to celebrating the rich cinematic tradition of Italy and bringing the country's newest directors and films to audiences in San Francisco. The NICE City of Florence Award was decided by audience ballots from San Francisco screenings of films in competition.
The documentary films AMERICAN PROMISE, directed by Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster, BLACKFISH, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR, directed by Pamela Yates, THE HOUSE I LIVE IN, directed by Eugene Jarecki and NO FIRE ZONE, directed by Callum Macrae have been selected as the winners of the 4th BRITDOC Impact Award. The BRITDOC Impact Award celebrates the documentary films that have made the greatest impact on society. Each film receives $15,000 to reward their extraordinary commitment, passion and achievements in using storytelling to provoke change.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 10 live action short films will advance in the voting process for the 87th Academy Awards®. One hundred forty-one pictures had originally qualified in the category.
The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies:
What We Do in the Shadows was voted by 28th Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF28) audiences as overall favorite and X+Y, starring Asa Butterfield and Sally Hawkins, came second. In What We Do in the Shadows, Viago, Deacon, Vladislav and Peter are four vampires sharing a house in Wellington, trying to balance being undead with everyday problems like whose turn it is to wash up, where to find virgin blood and how to dress for a night out when you don’t have a reflection. As a documentary film crew follows them round we learn about each of their histories and what it means to be hundreds of years old in the 21st century. Co-written and starring Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords, What We Do in the Shadows balances comedy, horror and social commentary perfectly in this hilarious film.
Here is the the official poster and trailer for LAP DANCE, directed by Greg Carter and starring Carmen Electra, Mariel Hemingway, James Remar and Stacey Dash. The film is based on the true story of director Greg Carter and his girlfriend, actress Junie Hoang prior to their move to Los Angeles in 2005. Struggling to pay her bills, Monica takes a job as an exotic dancer and is instantly captivated by the provocative world of sex, drugs and money. But once she gets a taste of the enchanting lifestyle, she has no desire to turn back. Suddenly, Monica’s life quickly spirals out of control as betrayals and power struggles emerge. This once seductive reality now threatens everything Monica cares about. LAP DANCE will be in theaters in NY, LA and Houston on December 5, 2014 and VOD December 9, 2014
Despite pop culture relentlessly promoting the idea of individuality, there is little in our current culture that actually is independent and free. Even “indie” music and film aren’t what they used to be as major corporations commandeer what once was independent and use “indie” as a marketing buzzword. In that sense, the Jersey City radio station WFMU should not exist in the 21st century – it is a commercial-free, all-volunteer, 100% listener-supported radio station sitting on the edge of the largest media market in the United States.
The closing gala and awards ceremony of the 59th Cork Film Festival took place on Sunday night and the Gradam Spiorad na Féile (Spirit of the Festival Award), which was inaugurated at the Festival this year, was won by The Tribe, by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy (Ukraine). The Tribe is a powerful dramatic thriller, entirely in Ukrainian Sign Language, with no subtitles, yet made for a hearing audience.
Here is an an exclusive clip from the upcoming film Delusions of Guinevere, directed by Joanna Bowzer (producer, co-writer), and starring Ariana Bernstein (producer, co-writer). In the clip, former child star, Guinevere James, who now at 29, is washed up, overweight, attempting numerous times to make a YouTube video for her "fans." Delusions of Guinevere opens theatrically in Los Angeles on November 14th at the Arena Cinemas and in New York on December 5th at the Cinema Village.
The full program line-up is released for this year’s 17th Annual African-American Women In Cinema Film Festival taking place November 19th to 22nd in New York City. The Opening Night selection is the New York premiere of Princess Monique’s SEASONS OF LOVE. Starring Gladys Knight, Taraji P. Henson, Method Man and LeToya Luckett, the film follows one couple’s romantic ups and downs, as they struggle to determine the things that matter most in life. The film also features Ana Isabella, a rising star from Puerto Rico. The film is a Lifetime Studios production and will premiere on Lifetime on November 23rd. The festival will close with an awards VIP reception that will take place at the United Nations and the Nigerian Embassy, respectively.
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