Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Announces Official Selections for 2012 Festival

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Announces Official Selections for 2012 Festival

Marina Abramovic The Artist is Present

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival has announced the official selections for their ninth annual event to be held in Missoula, Montana February 17-26, 2012, at the Historic Wilma Theatre.  The 144 film program, culled from nearly 1000 entries from all over the world will feature a free opening night screening of Matthew Akers’s new film Marina Abramovi  The Artist is Present .

The Festival will feature three venues this year – two screens at the Wilma and a third at the Crystal Theater, 515 South Higgins on the Hip Strip.  “This is going to be an incredibly exciting year,” said Festival Director, Mike Steinberg. “The energy and joy inherent in this year’s line-up is a reflection of the enormous support we have seen from our community and our national and local sponsors”.

The Official Selections for the 2012 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival:

OPENING NIGHT FILM
Marina Abramovic The Artist is Present (Director: Matthew Akers)
Free Screening sponsored by HBO Documentary Films
(Filmmakers in Attendance)

CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Under African Skies    (Director: Joe Berlinger)

FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
Andrew Bird: Fever Year (Director: Xan Aranda)
Battle For Brooklyn (Directors: Suki Hawley & Michael Galinsky)
Calvet (Director: Dominic Allan)
The Carrier (Director: Margaret Betts)
Chasing Ice (Director: Jeff Orlowski)
Faceless (Director: Jason Lapeyre)
Laura (Director: Fillipe Gamarona Barbosa) {jathumbnail off}

Pink Ribbons Exposes Breast Cancer Fundraising Marketing Gimmicks

Pink Ribbons Exposes Breast Cancer Fundraising Marketing Gimmicks

Pink Ribbons, Inc., which had its world premiere in September 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival and its European premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, opens theatrically on over 30 screens in cities across Canada, beginning February 3, 2012. In the documentary film Pink Ribbons, Inc.  director Léa Pool talks to women with breast cancer, experts, authors, activists and medical researchers, as well as the leading players in breast cancer fundraising and […]

Inaugural Montclair Film Festival Hires Festival Director

Inaugural Montclair Film Festival Hires Festival Director

The inaugural Montclair Film Festival has hired the festival director duo of Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen to organize and program the 2012 Festival. Thom and Raphaela started New York’s documentary film festival DOC NYC as well as the IFC Center’s documentary series Stranger than Fiction.  Thom is also a programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival. The board of directors includes Colbert and his wife Evelyn McGee-Colbert. The Montclair Film Festival will take place May […]

Call For Entries for the inaugural edition of the Montclair Film Festival

Call For Entries for the inaugural edition of the Montclair Film Festival

Submissions are now open for the inaugural edition of the Montclair Film Festival.  MFF will be accepting feature films (55 min. or longer) for the following program strands: COMEDY COMPETITION – These films showcase a wide range of comedic expression including independent, international, documentary, and animation. They are eligible for a jury prize. FICTION SHOWCASE – Films surveying outstanding achievements in American and International fiction. DOCUMENTARY SHOWCASE – Films surveying outstanding achievements in contemporary documentary […]

New York International Film Festival Accepting Entries for 2012 LA

New York International Film Festival Accepting Entries for 2012 LA

  The New York International Film Festival (NYIFF) in Los Angeles 2012 is now open and accepting entries (features, shorts, documentaries, music videos, animations, webisodes, TV pilots, screenplays, etc.) for the 2012 LA Festival. Festival dates: April 12th-19th, 2012. Festival screenings will take place exclusively at Raleigh Studios located at 5300 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038. The Deadline for entering is January 21st, 2012. If you are mailing your submission, it must be POSTMARKED by […]

41st International Film Festival Rotterdam announces full line-up Tiger Awards Competitions

41st International Film Festival Rotterdam announces full line-up Tiger Awards Competitions

Fifteen films have been selected for IFFR’s Tiger Awards Competition 2012. The complete lineup, comprising first or second feature films concurring for three equal Hivos Tiger Awards of each 15,000 euro, includes eight world premieres. Five competing films have received support from Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund.

The Rotterdam Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films 2012 comprises twenty-one films, ranging in length from five to fifty-six minutes. Nine short films in competition will see their world premieres in Rotterdam.

Jury Tiger Awards Competition 2012
The Jury of the seventeenth Tiger Awards Competition comprises actress and film maker Helena Ignez from Brazil, star of Rogerio Sganzerla’s THE RED LIGHT BANDIT, and co-founder of legendary production company Belair; Ludmila Cvikova, Head of International Programming of the Doha Film Institute, Qatar and former programmer of the International Film Festival Rotterdam; Tine Fischer, director of CPH:DOX, the international documentary film festival in Copenhagen, Denmark; film maker Eric Khoo from Singapore, who’s animated feature film TATSUMI screens in the festival; film maker Samuel Maoz from Israel, who’s first feature film LEBANON was launched as a project at CineMart and went on to win the Golden Lion in Venice. The winners of the Hivos Tiger Awards will be announced on Friday 3 February.

Jury Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films 2012
For the Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films’ Jury the IFFR welcomes film maker and film producer Rania Stephan from Lebanon who’s first feature-length documentary film THE THREE DISAPPEARANCES OF SOAD HOSNI screens in the festival; film curator and writer Andréa Picard from Canada, who worked for the Cinematheque Ontario and curated the Wavelengths section of the Toronto International Film Festival; and film critic and screenwriter Dana Linssen from The Netherlands, editor-in-chief of de Filmkrant and contributor to NRC Handelsblad. The jury will hand out the three equal Tiger Awards for Short Film (3,000 Euros) to the winning filmmakers on Monday January 30.

Tiger Awards Competition for first and second feature films 2012

DE JUEVES A DOMINGO/THURSDAY TILL SUNDAY, Dominga Sotomayor, Chile/Netherlands, 2012, 96’, World premiere, Hubert Bals Fund-supported film
Sotomayor’s feature film début, expertly shot by Barbara Alvarez, is a Chilean road movie set in and around the car belonging to a middle-class family. Seen through eyes of the kids in the back, they embark on a four day holiday trip to the north, while the marriage is falling apart. Dominga Sotomayor’s short film VIDEOJUEGO was screened in Rotterdam in 2010. DE JUEVES A DOMINGO was selected for the Cannes Cinéfondation Résidence 2010.

BABAMIN SESI/VOICE OF MY FATHER, Orhan Eskiköy & Zeynel Dogan, Turkey, Germany, 2011, 87’, World premiere, Hubert Bals Fund-supported film
VOICE OF MY FATHER is a powerful meditation on identity and family ties, and a profound portrait of a country in transition. Co-director Zeynel Dogan plays a character called Zeynel who lives with his pregnant wife in Diyarbakir, while his mother lives alone in the old family house in a nearly deserted village. Eskiköy and Dogan co-directed documentary short films and the feature length documentary ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL. VOICE OF MY FATHER is a fiction, based on Zeynel Dogan’s family history.

O SOM AO REDOR/NEIGHBOURING SOUNDS, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil, 2012, 100’, World premiere, Hubert Bals Fund-supported film
For his gripping. slow burning feature film début Kleber Mendonça Filho expanded on a theme from one of his short films, ELETRODOMÉSTICA. In the middle class street where a rich family owns much of the real estate, life takes an unexpected turn when a private security outfit offers its services to the inhabitants. The presence of the guards brings a feeling of security but also adds good deal of anxiety to a culture that runs on fear. In 2007, IFFR presented five short films by Kleber Mendonça Filho as a ‘Profile’ in the short films section.

ZHIT/LIVING, Vasily Sigarev, Russia, 2012, 119’, World premiere
Vasily Sigarev’s second feature, after his acclaimed WOLFY, is a grim portrait of existence in a wintry Russian town, showing some characters living through their own ordeal. A mother wants to reunite with her twin daughters; after a wedding ceremony, a young couples’ love is tested in the most brutal way; a boy wants to see his estranged father, despite his mother’s protests. Celebrated young playwright and director offers an unsentimental, sincere and personal film on the complexity of life – and death.

JIDAN HE SHITOU/EGG AND STONE, Huang Ji, China, 2012, 97’, World premiere
In the Hunan province village where she was born, Huang Ji shot her first elegant feature, a quietly disturbing drama about 14-year-old Honggui, who lives with her aunt and uncle in the countryside. It seems she is not very wanted. Her parents intended to farm her out to family for only two years so they could work in the big city, but in the meantime, seven years have passed. In 2009, she presented her mid-length fiction THE WARMTH OF ORANGE PEEL at the Berlinale.

KLIP/CLIP, Maja Milos, Serbia, 2012, 100’, World premiere
Maja Miloš’s first feature film is a dynamic, disturbing portrait of contemporary youth. Jasna, played fearlessly by Isidora Simijonovic, is a pretty girl in her mid-teens. With a terminally ill father and dispirited mother at home, she is disillusioned by her unglamorous life in a remote Serbian town. Opposing everyone, including herself, she goes experimenting with sex, drugs and partying.

SIN MAYSAR FON TOK MA PROI PROI /IN APRIL THE FOLLOWING YEAR, THERE WAS A FIRE, Wichanon Somumjarn, Thailand, 2012, 76’, World premiere, Hubert Bals Fund-supported film
At first sight, an atmospheric, suitably languid portrait of a young man returning to his home town in North Eastern Thailand from his job in Bangkok to attend a friends’ wedding in the hottest month of the year, Wichanon Somumjarn’s first feature turns into a semi-autobiography, and a journey into the labyrinth of the real and the imagined, the past and the present, the personal and the political.

SVARTUR Á LEIK/BLACK’S GAME, Óskar Thor Axelsson, Iceland, 2012, 100’, World premiere
Reykjavik, April 1999: Iceland’s crime scene is in violent flux and young Stebbi suddenly finds himself in a world of tough guys, drugs dealers, stunning blondes, drugs, robberies and slaughter. The feature début by Óskar Thor Axelsson is based on the bestselling Icelandic gangster story Black Curse by Stefán Máni and was executive produced by Nicolas Winding Refn (PUSHER, DRIVE).

Z DALEKA WIDOK JEST PIEKNY/IT LOOKS PRETTY FROM A DISTANCE, Anka Sasnal & Wilhelm Sasnal, Poland, USA, 2011, 77’, International premiere
The feature film début by visual artists Anka & Wilhelm Sasnal focuses on a small Polish community during a hot summer. Everyone is either about to explode or come to a complete halt. Hidden aggression, hatred, discrimination, as well as fears, longings and emotional crises are on the edge of breaking through the surface. Using a precise and austere style, the Sasnals create a physical portrait of a micro society that turns into a viscous swamp, unresistingly absorbing any kind of violence.

RO-MEN-SEU JO/ROMANCE JOE, Lee Kwang-Kuk, South Korea, 2011, 115’, International premiere
Lee Kwang-Kuk, former assistant director to Hong Sang-Soo, plays the storytelling game with unmistakable pleasure in this elegantly shot first feature. In a web of intertwined stories, a film maker seeks inspiration and finds it with an energetic waitress who in return for some payment is willing to tell him about, for instance, the time she met a suicidal guy called Romance Joe.

MULGOGI/A FISH, Park Hong-Min, South Korea, 2011, 105’, International premiere
Park Hong-Min’s feature debut A FISH is the first 3-D film in the Rotterdam Tiger Awards Competition. Little by little, the filmmaker reveals where this unfortunate road movie is taking its characters. In a roadside restaurant, the protagonist, Professor Lee, picks up the detective who says he has found Lee’s missing wife on an island off the coast. The men head for the sea, but that night, the professor has a curious dream.

GUI LAI DE REN/RETURN TO BURMA, Midi Z, Taiwan, Myanmar, 2011, 84’, European premiere
RETURN TO BURMA, first feature by Midi Z, offers a unique, authentic story from Burma (Myanmar). Xing-hong, a Burmese guest-worker in Taiwan, has the duty of returning the ashes of a friend to their native country. At home, there’s the joy of seeing friends and family. Young people still sing romantic songs and dream of working aborad, like his younger brother. Xing-hong starts to look around for local business opportunities.

SUDOESTE/SOUTHWEST, Eduardo Nunes, Brazil, 2011, 128’, European premiere, Hubert Bals Fund-supported film
SUDOESTE, a tale of fantasy and mystery shot in stunning black-and-white, is Eduardo Nunes’ fiction feature début, after several successful short films, three of which were screened at IFFR. Situated in a sleepy Brazilian coastal village, a baby, a girl and a woman named Clarice seem to live their (or is it her?) life in one single day.

L, Babis Makridis, Greece, 2012, 86’, European premiere
The protagonist in L, a man aged 40, is a more than dedicated driver. His work is his life, and his car is more than a means of transport. He lives in his car, receiving his family at fixed times. His employer is a rich narcoleptic who can’t drive himself. But The Man loses his job and decides to go looking for another means of transport. A unique combination of abstract comedy and existential drama, Makridis debut feature is filled with singular dialogue, a stuttering Mondscheinsonate and a great song about bears.

TOKYO PLAYBOY CLUB, Okuda Yosuke, Japan, 2011, 97’, European premiere
In 2010, young film maker Okuda Yosuke made a name for himself with his low-budget gangster comedy HOT AS HELL: THE DEADBEAT MARCH. This year, he returns with his first commercially made film, a dry-humorous crime story set in the fringes of Japanese society. A gangster drama that focuses on people who primarily live by instinct, which results in reckless behaviour, bad decisions, and violence.
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International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012 will pay tribute to Peter von Bagh by presenting a selection of his films

International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012 will pay tribute to Peter von Bagh by presenting a selection of his films

The International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012 will pay tribute to Peter von Bagh by presenting a selection of his films, as well as showing three rare classics from Finnish cinema history that have been essential in his oeuvre. The tribute program, with Peter von Bagh in attendance, will be part of IFFR’s main Signals section.

With over fifty film titles under his belt, Peter von Bagh may still be the better known in his other persona: as writer of more than twenty books, as television presenter, as artistic director of the Midnight Sun Festival in Sodankyla, which he co-founded in 1986 with the Kaurismäki brothers and as well Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna, since 2001. He also is editor-in-chief, since 1971, of the ‘Filmihullu’ magazine, and a professor of film history in the Helsinki University of Arts.

Never simple history lessons, his films usually draw on Finnish history. IFFR will present eleven feature length films and four short films by Peter von Bagh, including KREIVI (THE COUNT, 1971), his first feature film – and his only fictional work to date – and his latest work, LASTUJA – TAITEILIJASUVUN VUOSISATA (SPLINTERS – A CENTURY OF AN ARTISTIC FAMILY, 2011) that shows a family like a nation. Finland’s painful path to independence, its development from a poor rural backwater to a prime example of progress and liberalism as seen through three generations of the Ahos family consisting of pioneering artist in cinema, literature, painting and more.

The selection also includes the other production that Von Bagh finshed this year, being MIKKO NISKANEN – OHJAAJA MATKALLA IHMISEKSI (THE STORY OF MIKKO NISKANEN, 2010), his portrait of the legendary Finnish filmmaker, a too-little-known master of world cinema and a sketch of a typical 20th century person’s struggles and doubts.

IFFR is also very glad to present in this context, the international premiere of the original version of Mikko Niskanen’s masterpiece KAHDEKSAN SURMANLUOTIA (EIGHT DEADLY SHOTS, 1972), originally produced as a TV series, based on a certain Tauno Veikko Pasanen who shot four police officers, in which Niskanen himself plays the main role.

The program Signals: Peter von Bagh has been curated by Olaf Möller.

The IFFR’s festival program consists of three main sections: Bright Future – idiosyncratic and adventurous new work by novice makers, including the Tiger Awards Competitions -, Spectrum – new and recent work by experienced film makers and artists who provide, in the opinion of the IFFR, an essential contribution to international film culture -, and Signals, a series of thematic programs and retrospectives offering insight in topical as well as timeless ideas within cinema.

Signals: Peter von Bagh, line-up of films:

Feature films

LASTUJA – TAITEILIJASUVUN VUOSISATA (SPLINTERS – A CENTURY OF AN ARTISTIC FAMILY)
Finland, 2011, 74’
A century of development, starting in the era of Finland’s nascent nationalism, when the country still belonged to Tsarist Russia, ending in the heydays of post-WWII liberalism, when it was hip to be Scandinavian among the moderate Euro-left. A meditation on memory and heritage.

MIKKO NISKANEN – OHJAAJA MATKALLA IHMISEKSI (THE STORY OF MIKKO NISKANEN)
Finland, 2010, 178’
Portrait of a genius as a troubled human being trying his best to find a way through life. A documentary about a too- little- known master of world cinema; an epic sketch of the typical 20th century person’s struggles and doubts. Within Signals:Peter von Bagh, IFFR screens Niskanen’s EIGHT DEADLY SHOTS.

SODANKYLÄ IKUISESTI. ELOKUVAN VUOSISATA (SODANKYLÄ FOREVER: THE CENTURY OF CINEMA)
Finland, 2010, 90’
Since 1969, masters of cinema have shown their films at the legendary Midnight Sun Film Festival and talked about their art. With choice moments from several hundred hours of these talks, Von Bagh created a heavenly symposium on cinema as the most decent way to walk the earth.

HELSINKI, IKUISESTI (HELSINKI FOREVER)
Finland, 2008, 74’
Helsinki vu par Peter von Bagh: a vision of Finland’s capital through the ages, created with pictures and sounds from myriads of films, newsreels and songs. A stunning achievement – an epic of time regained and lost again.

MIES VARJOSSA (MAN IN THE SHADOWS)
Co-Directors: Elina Katainen & Iikka Vehkalahti)
Finland, 1994, 165’
Otto Wille Kuusinen – communist, traitor, political survivor, is one of the most disputed characters of Finnish history. Von Bagh’s most journalistic work: a study of common corruption, the smashing of one human being’s soul.

VUOSI 1939 (THE YEAR 1939)
Finland, 1993, 107’
In 1939, Finland was preparing for a 1940 Helsinki Olympics that wouldn’t happen, as well as for a war that indeed would. A collage of a moment in time filled with nothing but extremes. A profound meditation on doubt, sorrow and hope against all odds.

VIIMEINEN KESÄ 1944 (LAST SUMMER 1944)
Finland, 1992, 105’
A plunge into the last months of Finland’s WWII in all its tired gruesomeness. A fugue of dour, sad, doubt-ridden, sorrow-filled faces, confessions and oratorical detours, an in memoriam of a time and people gone by. A masterpiece of AV oral history.

VUOSI 1952 (THE YEAR 1952)
Finland, 1980, 120’
In 1952, Helsinki finally hosted the Summer Olympics, which marked the beginning of the nation’s postwar regeneration. It was a good year for many things. A masterpiece of cinematic collage, with a surprising flow and cheerfulness.

SINITAIVAS – MATKA MUISTOJEN MAISEMAAN (BLUE SKY – JOURNEY INTO THE LAND OF MEMORIES)
Finland, 1978, 71’
The dance pavilion considered as the centre of social life, with the Finnish tango as the key to the collective unconscious – the dream life of the nation. One of the few honest monuments to popular culture. Simply lovely, and genuinely moving.

PAAVO NURMI – MIES JA AIKA (PAAVO NURMI – THE MAN AND HIS TIMES)
Co-Director: Markku Koski
Finland, 1978, 61’
Paavo Nurmi is a sports legend, a name people know to this day. For Finland, Nurmi was an ideal, an axiom of the nation’s spirit – which includes his failings as well. A rigorously composed high mass for an icon maudit.

KREIVI (THE COUNT)
Finland, 1971, 92’
Portrait of a real-life swindler – played by himself! Von Bagh’s feature debut: a weird ‘n wild mix of fact and fiction, documentary scenes and exuberant reconstructions of purportedly true-life events, full of lewd humour and driven by a good-natured humanism. A true discovery! {jathumbnail off}

Jury Announced for 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Jury Announced for 2012 Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival announced today the 22 members of the six juries awarding prizes at the 2012 festival, as well as the host of the Awards Ceremony on January 28. The Festival takes place January 19 through 29 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

Actress and writer Parker Posey will serve as the host of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony, set to take place January 28 at 7:00 p.m. Posey has appeared in more than a dozen films at the Sundance Film Festival, including Party Girl (1995), House of Yes (1997) and Broken English (2007). Posey also appears in Price Check in the out-of-competition Premieres section at this year’s Festival.

Awards for short films will also be announced at a separate ceremony on January 24.

U.S. DOCUMENTARY JURY  {jathumbnail off}

Five DJ’s Turn The Tables on Music in New Documentary ReGeneration Music Project Set For Feb 16 Release

Five DJ’s Turn The Tables on Music in New Documentary ReGeneration Music Project Set For Feb 16 Release

  Re:Generation Music Project, a new documentary directed by award-winning documentarian, Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story, My Kid Could Paint That), follows five electronic DJs/producers as they re-imagine music collaborating with influential artists from each genre. In the film, The Crystal Method, DJ Premier, Pretty Lights, Mark Ronson, and Skrillex use technology to mix musical styles and generations for the creation of five original tracks. Re:Generation Music Project will enjoy a unique nationwide, one-night only […]

Indie filmmaker Jonathan Parisen Charged in NY Train Incident

Indie filmmaker Jonathan Parisen Charged in NY Train Incident

Indie filmmaker Jonathan M. Parisen, 40, of East Orange, NJ, who wrote, produced and directed “Stairwell: Trapped in the World Trade Center” was charged Monday with trespassing and endangerment in New York City. According to published reports, an intoxicated Parisen jumped onto the Staten Island Railway tracks early Sunday to retrieve a lost shoe. When he struggled to get back up, good Samaritan Steven Santiago jumped on the tracks to help and was struck in […]

Lineup for Perspektive Deutsches Kino section at 2012 Berlinale is Complete

Lineup for Perspektive Deutsches Kino section at 2012 Berlinale is Complete

With 13 films, including three full-length documentaries and four full-length fictional films as well two sets of three medium-long films each, the programme of the 2012 Perspektive Deutsches Kino is complete . Section director Linda Söffker sums up the selection: “The GDR was colourful, adolescents are critical and good films end in our minds.” West Berliner Michael Schöbel and East Berliner Ronald Vietz launched Wildfremd Productions in 2011 so as to make a film such […]

Ten More World Premieres Added to 2012 Berlinale

Ten More World Premieres Added to 2012 Berlinale

An additional ten world premieres will be screening in the Competition programme of the Berlinale 2012. Directors Billy Bob Thornton, Christian Petzold, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Benedek Fliegauf, Hans-Christian Schmid, Matthias Glasner, Miguel Gomes, Alain Gomis, Ursula Meier and Spiros Stathoulopoulos will all be competing for this year’s Berlinale Bears. On the first weekend of the Festival, Angelina Jolie will be presenting her directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, in the Haus […]