Go See “Khodorkovsky” in Theaters this weekend

Go See “Khodorkovsky” in Theaters this weekend

by Francesca Mccaffery Cyril Tuschi’s riveting new documentary “Khodorkovsky” focuses on the 2003 imprisonment of Russian oligarch, the billionaire, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who at the time of his arrest at forty-two years old was the richest man in Russia. Brought to “court” on charges clearly trumped up and false (tax embezzlement and fraud), in a case that had the world watching and the proceedings of which even had then President George Bush deem wrongful and misguided, […]

RESTLESS CITY and the Winners of 8th Bahamas International Film Festival

RESTLESS CITY and the Winners of 8th Bahamas International Film Festival

The 8th Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) awarded the film RESTLESS CITY with the New Visions prize, but the audience voted the Jamaican film BETTER MUS’ COME the Best Film at the now wrapped festival. Restless City, an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of an Africa immigrant surviving on the fringes of New York City where music is his passion, life is a hustle, and falling in love is […]

Cinema Eye Honors to Honor Frederick Wiseman’s Documentary 1967 documentary, Titicut Follies

Cinema Eye Honors to Honor Frederick Wiseman’s Documentary 1967 documentary, Titicut Follies

The Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking will present the 2012 Legacy Award to the landmark 1967 documentary, Titicut Follies, a stark and graphic portrayal of the conditions that existed at the State Prison for the Criminally Insane at Bridgewater, Massachusetts.  Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman will accept the award on behalf of the film at this year’s Cinema Eye ceremony. “It’s hard for me to believe that Titicut Follies was shot forty-six years ago,” said Wiseman.  […]

2012 San Joaquin International Film Festival unveils Official Selections

2012 San Joaquin International Film Festival unveils Official Selections

 

The 5th San Joaquin International Film Festival (SJIFF) annouced its official selections. The Festival will run in Stockton, California from January 12th-14th at the Stockton Empire Theatre (1825 Pacific Avenue), and January 15th at the Janet Leigh Theatre (3601 Pacific Avenue) on the campus of University of the Pacific. The Festival will launch on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 with the original Swiss comedy “The Sandman” with Director Peter Luisi in person, and will wrap on Sunday, January 15th with the American biographical documentary “Carol Channing: Larger than Life.”

– From Founder-Director Sophoan Sorn: “Selections for 2012 come from master directors, auteurs and new talents of 16 countries, including winners from the European Film Awards, Festival de Cannes, the Goyas (Spain), the Ophirs (Israel) and the Student Academy Awards; while several films are running for the 2012 Oscars. We feel so proud to be a gateway and a unique opportunity for the people of San Joaquin to experience some of the best of recent World Cinema. Now in its fifth year, the San Joaquin International Film Festival has become an annual tradition for the community.”

– From SJ Film Society Chairman Shane Williamson: “This year’s festival is filled with impressive films from across the globe which were carefully hand picked. The line-up showcases not only diverse subjects for broad audiences but impeccable award winning quality and films with relevant topics of our world today.”

FEATURES

“Amigo” – A village mayor caught in the murderous crossfire of the Philippine-American War, in a powerful drama of friendship, betrayal, romance and heartbreaking violence. Director John Sayles, The Philippines/USA, 124min.

“Chico & Rita” – Havana, 1948. A passionate love story between a young jazz pianist called Chico and Rita, a singer with a bewitching voice. Directors Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, Tono Errando, Spain/UK, 94min. Valley Premiere.

“Le Havre” – When an African boy arrives by cargo ship in the French port city of Le Havre, an aging shoe shiner takes pity on the child and welcomes him into his home. Director Aki Kaurismäki, Finland/France, 93min. Centerpiece Film.

 

“My Wedding and Other Secrets” – A romantic comedy based on a true story of a New Zealand-born Chinese woman convincing her traditional Hong Kong parents to let her marry her Caucasian boyfriend. Director Roseanne Liang, New Zealand, 88min.

“Remembrance” (“Die verlorene Zeit”) – A remarkable love story that blossomed amidst the terror of a German concentration camp in 1944 Poland. Director Anna Justice, Germany/Poland, 108min. Valley Premiere.

“Restoration” (“Boker tov adon Fidelman”) – A triangle of fatherhood ties, a triangle of love. A drama about a family’s effort to save their antique restoration business. Director Yossi Madmony, Israel, 105min. Valley Premiere.

“The Sandman” (“Der Sandmann”) – One fine morning, Benno finds sand in his bed. While he tries to ignore this at first, he soon must realize that he himself is loosing the sand… Director Peter Luisi (In Person), Switzerland, 88min. Opening Night Film. Valley Premiere.

“Winter’s Daughter” (“Wintertochter”) A heartwarming film for the family about a young Polish girl who searches for her Russian sailor father. Director Johannes Schmid, Germany/Poland, 93min. Valley Premiere.

DOCUMENTARIES

“Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” – The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet – the heart and soul of Elmo – Kevin Clash. Director Constance Marks, USA, 80min. Centerpiece film.

“Carol Channing: Larger than Life” – The story of legendary performer Carol Channing’s life is as colorful as the lipstick on her big, bright smile. Feel the magic and vivacity of the 90-year-old icon – both onstage and off…past and present. Director Dori Berinstein, USA, 84min. Closing Night film.

“Rice Field of Dreams” – The journey of Cambodia’s first national baseball team. Director Daron Ker, Cambodia/USA, 75min. {jathumbnail off}

 

IFC Films to Release PEACE, LOVE & MISUNDERSTANDING starring Jane Fonda

IFC Films to Release PEACE, LOVE & MISUNDERSTANDING starring Jane Fonda

IFC Films will release director Bruce Beresford’s dramatic comedy Peace, Love & Misunderstanding. The film boasts an all-star cast headlined by Academy Award® winner Jane Fonda, two-time Academy Award® nominee Catherine Keener, Kyle MacLachlan, Elizabeth Olsen, Chace Crawford, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Rosanna Arquette and Nat Wolff. Fonda makes her return to the screen working with Australian film veteran Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Tender Mercies, Mao’s Last Dancer). Together with a wonderful cast, they deliver a […]

Washington DC Critics Pick The Artist as Best Film of 2011

Washington DC Critics Pick The Artist as Best Film of 2011

The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) this morning announced their 2011 winners, and the winner of Best Film went to the black-and-white, silent film homage “The Artist.” Splitting Best Film and Best Director, Martin Scorsese won top directing honors for “Hugo.”

Best Actor and Best Actress went to two former television stars, George Clooney (for his role as a grieving husband in “The Descendants”) and Michelle Williams (for channeling film icon Marilyn Monroe in “My Week with Marilyn”), respectively. Albert Brooks won Best Supporting Actor for his role as a cutthroat mobster in “Drive,” and Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress for her role as an outspoken maid in “The Help.” The Best Acting Ensemble award went to the cast of the ribald comedy, “Bridesmaids.”

“The Descendants,” about a man who discovers his comatose wife had been cheating on him, also won Best Adapted Screenplay, while “50/50,” about a young man’s challenge to overcome cancer, secured Best Original Screenplay.

Best Animated Feature went to special effects juggernaut Industrial Light and Magic’s first animated film, “Rango;” Best Documentary went to Werner Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” about the discovery of 30,000-year-old cave paintings in France; and Pedro Almod—var’s “The Skin I Live In” took home Best Foreign Language Film.

Best Art Direction went to Production Designer icon Dante Ferretti and Set Decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo for “Hugo.” Emmanuel Lubezki won Best Cinematography for his work on Terrence Malick’s contemplative “The Tree of Life.” Ludovic Bource won Best Score for his omnipresent work in “The Artist.”

The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association is comprised of 43 DC-VA-MD-based film critics from television, radio, print and the Internet. Voting was conducted from December 2-4, 2011.

THE 2011 WAFCA AWARD WINNERS:  {jathumbnail off}

Toronto International Film Festival unveils its 2011 top 10 Films

Toronto International Film Festival unveils its 2011 top 10 Films

Toronto International Film Festival unveiled the top 10 best features and top 10 best short films of 2011.  Canada’s Top Ten films are chosen from features, shorts, documentaries, animation and experimental films. Each film must have premiered at a major film festival or obtained a commercial theatrical release in Canada in 2011. The filmmaker must be a Canadian citizen or resident, and have a history of working in Canada or on Canadian-financed films. Monsieur Lazhar, […]

Morgan Spurlock’s fanboy documentary COMIC-CON to be released

Morgan Spurlock’s fanboy documentary COMIC-CON to be released

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s fanboy documentary COMIC-CON EPISODE IV – A FAN’S HOPE will be released theatrically in Spring 2012 in conjunction with a multi-city tour of the film by a partnership bewteen Wrekin Hill Entertainment and National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA), a movie merchandising company. COMIC-CON EPISODE IV – A FAN’S HOPE takes a behind-the-scenes look at this amazing cultural phenomenon where fans gather by the tens of thousands annually to attend the […]

Chico & Rita, Tintin Among Annie Nominees for Best Animated Films of 2011

Chico & Rita, Tintin Among Annie Nominees for Best Animated Films of 2011

The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood announced the nominations and award recipients for the 39th Annual Annie Awards. Chico & Rita will compete along with A Cat in Paris, Arrugas,  Arthur Christmas, Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss In Boots, Rango, Rio, and Tintin for Best Animated Feature Film of 2011. Awards will be handed out at the 39th Annual Annie Awards scheduled for Saturday, February 4, 2012 at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles, California. {jathumbnail off}

Monsieur Lazhar Wins Audience Award at 11th Whistler Film Festival

Monsieur Lazhar Wins Audience Award at 11th Whistler Film Festival

Quebec director Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, starring Fellag, Marie-Ève Beauregard, Marie Charlebois and Evelyne de la Chenelière, took home the Audience Award at the eleventh annual Whistler Film Festival (WFF), which wrapped on Sunday night. Winner of Best Canadian Film At TIFF and Canada’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, Monsieur Lazhar follows Bachir Lazhar, a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, who goes to a Montreal elementary school to offer his services as a […]

64 Short Films Selected for 2012 Sundance Film Festival

64 Short Films Selected for 2012 Sundance Film Festival

64 short films have been selected to screen as part of the Short Film program at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The Festival will be January 19 through 29 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

The Short Film program at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival is presented by Yahoo!. As part of its sponsorship, a special selection of short films from the Festival will be featured on Yahoo! Screen, Yahoo’s premium video destination, where an audience of millions will be able to vote for their favorite. The winning filmmaker will be presented with the Yahoo! Audience Award at the end of the Festival. {jathumbnail off}

2012 Sundance Film Festival Announces Films in Star Studded Premieres and Documentary Premieres Sections

2012 Sundance Film Festival Announces Films in Star Studded Premieres and Documentary Premieres Sections

The Sundance Film Festival revealed the films selected to screen in the out-of-competition Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections of the 2012 festival. The Festival will be held January 19 through 29 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

The star studded lineup includes films directed by rapper/actor Ice-T, James Marsh, Rory Kennedy and Spike Lee.

PREMIERES
A showcase of some of the most highly anticipated dramatic films of the coming year from new and established directors. Presented by Entertainment Weekly. Each is a world premiere.

2 Days in New York / France (Director: Julie Delpy, Screenwriters: Julie Delpy, Alexia Landeau) — Marion has broken up with Jack and now lives in New York with their child. A visit from her family, the different cultural background of her new boyfriend, her sister’s ex-boyfriend, and her upcoming photo exhibition make for an explosive mix. Cast: Julie Delpy, Chris Rock, Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau, Alex Nahon. {jathumbnail off}

Melancholia But No Lars von Trier Wins at European Film Awards

Melancholia But No Lars von Trier Wins at European Film Awards

Melancholia

Melancholia was awarded the Best Film Prize at the 24th European Film Awards. The film also picked up the Carlo Di Palma European Cinematographer Award and the European Production Designer.  Director Lars von Trier did not attend but his wife Bente Froge accepted the award on his behalf.  He has taken a “vow of silence” after his Nazi remarks controversy at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Many of the films from last year’s Oscar continued their winning streak, including Susanne Bier which won Best Foreign film at last  year’s Oscars won best director for “In a Better World,” and “The King’s Speech,” which won the Oscar for Best Film picked up the Best Actor prize for Colin Firth. Tilda Swinton received the Best Actress prize for her performance in“We Need to Talk About Kevin.” {jathumbnail off}

Tyrannosaur is The Big Winner at 14th Moët British Independent Film Awards

Tyrannosaur is The Big Winner at 14th Moët British Independent Film Awards

The winners of the 14th Moët British Independent Film Awards were announced at the star-studded ceremony, held at Old Billingsgate in London, which was hosted by actor and comedian Chris O’Dowd.

Best British Independent Film was won by Tyrannosaur with Lynne Ramsay picking up Best Director for We Need to Talk About Kevin, Olivia Colman Best Actress for Tyrannosaur and Michael Fassbender Best Actor for Shame. Vanessa Redgrave won Best Supporting Actress for Coriolanus and Michael Smiley Best Supporting Actor for Kill List

Tyrannosaur won the most awards on the night, picking up three trophies for Best British Independent Film, Best Actress and Paddy Considine was awarded The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director. Weekend won two awards for Best Achievement in Production and Most Promising Newcomer for Tom Cullen

The Moët British Independent Film Awards winners for 2011:{jathumbnail off}

Keyhole Beats Canada Official Entry to Oscar to Take Top Prize at 2011 Whistler Film Festival

Keyhole Beats Canada Official Entry to Oscar to Take Top Prize at 2011 Whistler Film Festival

KEYHOLE, directed by Guy Maddin, beat Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, Canada’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, to win the $15,000 Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature Film, at the eleventh annual Whistler Film Festival.

KEYHOLE, which had its Western Canadian premiere at the festival, stars Jason Patric, Isabella Rossellini and Udo Kier.

It is a rousing 1930s gangster picture set in a haunted house in which dream and waking life are seamlessly blended to isolate and expose universal feelings. The Jury says “Yahtzee!” and awarded KEYHOLE the Borsos award “for its inventiveness, audacity and humour.”

The other 2011 Borsos Competition finalists were 388 ARLETTA AVENUE, dir: Randall Cole, (ON – Western Canadian Premiere); CAFÉ DE FLORE,dir: Jean Marc Vallee (QC, Western Canadian Premiere); DOPPELGANGER PAUL, dir: Dylan Akio Smith, Kris Elgstrand (BC, Western Canadian Premiere); MARILYN, dir: Christopher Petry (BC – World Premiere); and MONSIEUR LAZHAR, dir: Philippe Falardeau, (QC, British Columbia Premiere) – Winner of Best Canadian Film At TIFF and Canada’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. {jathumbnail off}

Bollywood actor Dev Anand Dies In London After Heart Attack

Bollywood actor Dev Anand Dies In London After Heart Attack

Legendary Bollywood actor Dev Anand, the ‘Evergreen Romantic Superstar’ of Indian cinema, died after a heart attack in a London hotel on Saturday night. He was 88. Dev Anand, who was reportedly not feeling well, was in London for a medical checkup. His son Sunil was with him when he passed away. “It is with great sadness that the family of Mr Dev Anand announces his death,” his British representative Kenny Muir said in a […]

Columbian film Porfirio Wins The Best Film at 2011 International Film Festival of India

Columbian film Porfirio Wins The Best Film at 2011 International Film Festival of India

The 42nd International Film Festival of India 2011 closed today with the screening of  ‘The Lady’ directed by acclaimed French Director Luc Besson, starring Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis. At the closing ceremony, a one minute silence was observed to pay tribute to the Brazilian Director, Oscar Maron Filho, who passed away during the festival. The Colombian film ‘Porfirio’ directed by Alejandro Landes and produced by Franciso Aljure won the coveted Golden Peacock Award for […]

Nostalgia for the Light and Poster Girl Win at 2011 International Documentary Association Documentary Awards

Nostalgia for the Light and Poster Girl Win at 2011 International Documentary Association Documentary Awards

Nostalgia for the Light was awarded the Best Feature and Poster Girl won the Best Short at the 27th annual International Documentary Association Documentary Awards.

In Nostalgia for the Light, Chilean director Patricio Guzman travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest desert on earth. Here, the sky is described as being so translucent that it allows astronomers to see the boundaries of our universe. Yet the Atacama Desert climate also keeps human remains intact: pre-Columbian mummies; explorers and miners; and the remains of disappeared political prisoners.

In Poster Girl directed by Sara Nesson and Mitchell W. Block, former cheerleader and Army Magazine cover subject Robynn Murray deals with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder following her return from Iraq.

2011 IDA Documentary Awards {jathumbnail off}

Peruvian film Octubre Wins Best Film of the Year at 2nd Cinema Tropical Awards

Peruvian film Octubre Wins Best Film of the Year at 2nd Cinema Tropical Awards

The Peruvian film Octubre / October by Daniel and Diego Vega was the winner of the award for Best Feature Film of the Year, whilst Chilean film Nostalgia de la luz / Nostalgia for the Light by Patricio Guzmán was named Best Documentary Film at the 2nd Cinema Tropical Awards, which celebrates the best of the Latin American film production. October, the Vega brother’s debut feature film was the Jury Prize winner at the Un […]

War Horse and Drive Lead Satellite Awards nominations

War Horse and Drive Lead Satellite Awards nominations

Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” and Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” led the Satellite Awards nominations with seven nods each, including Best Picture and Best Director. The nominations included many small budget and independent studio releases, accounting for 6 of the 10 Best Picture nominations. Actress in a Motion PictureVera Farmiga     Higher Ground     Sony Pictures ClassicsMichelle WIlliams     My Week with Marilyn     The Weinstein CompanyEmily Watson     Oranges and Sunshine     Cohen Media GroupCharlize […]

Kinyarwanda, Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Audience Award Winner, In Theaters Today

Kinyarwanda, Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Audience Award Winner, In Theaters Today

Kinyarwanda, winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Audience Award opens in theaters today. During the Rwandan genocide, when neighbors killed neighbors and friends betrayed friends, some crossed lines of hatred to protect each other. At the time of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Mufti of Rwanda, the most respected Muslim leader in the country, issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from participating in the killing of the Tutsi. As the country became a […]

Five Documentaries to Compete for Producers Guild of America Award

Five Documentaries to Compete for Producers Guild of America Award

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today the Documentary Theatrical Motion Picture nominees that will advance in the voting process for the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards. The nominated films, listed below in alphabetical order, are: BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST   Television series nominations for the 2012 Producers Guild Awards will be announced December 7, 2011. All other nominations for the 2012 Producers Guild Award categories will […]

Happy-Go-Lucky Director Mike Leigh to be Jury President of the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival

Happy-Go-Lucky Director Mike Leigh to be Jury President of the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival

British film director Mike Leigh of Happy-Go-Lucky fame will be the Jury President of the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival. Leigh who has directed more than 20 films, made his directorial debut in 1972 with Bleak Moments, which went on to win the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. In Cannes he won the Best Director Award in 1993 for Naked, and the Palme d’Or in 1996 for Secrets and Lies, which in itself […]

Drafthouse Films to release documentary on The Wild Untold Stories of Cannon Films

Drafthouse Films to release documentary on The Wild Untold Stories of Cannon Films

Drafthouse Films will release Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story Of Cannon Films in the U.S. From acclaimed cult film documentarian Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed), the film centers on the story of two Israeli-born, movie-obsessed cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who in pursuit of the “American dream” launched an indie studio that would produce over 120 exploitation films from 1979-1989 turning a renegade outfit into the proclaimed “seventh Hollywood major.” […]