Director Paris Barclay Elected First African American President of the Directors Guild of America

Director Paris Barclay Elected First African American President of the Directors Guild of America

Paris Barclay

Director Paris Barclay was elected President of the Directors Guild of America by acclamation at the Guild’s National Biennial Convention held over the weekend at DGA National Headquarters in Los Angeles.

“I am profoundly honored to be elected President of the DGA,” said Barclay to the assembled delegates after the vote. “The DGA has worked for more than three-quarters of a century to advance the creative and economic rights of directors and their teams and I look forward to continuing this strong tradition of service. As the son of a glass blower and a tile maker from Chicago, I am extremely humbled to have the honor to serve in the footsteps of the legendary leaders of the DGA like Frank Capra, Robert Wise and Gil Cates.”

2013 LA Film Festival Winners; MOTHER, I LOVE YOU and CODE BLACK Win Top Awards

2013 LA Film Festival Winners; MOTHER, I LOVE YOU and CODE BLACK Win Top Awards

MOTHER, I LOVE YOUMOTHER, I LOVE YOU

The Los Angeles Film Festival announced the jury and audience award winners for the 2013 Festival;  the top awards –  the DIRECTV Narrative Award went to Janis Nords for MOTHER, I LOVE YOU, which made its United States premiere at the Festival; and the DIRECTV Documentary Award went to Ryan McGarry for CODE BLACK, which made its world premiere at the Festival.

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to SHORT TERM 12 directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature went to AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS, directed by Grace Lee. Wadjda, a Sony Pictures Classics release directed by Haifaa Al Mansour won the Audience Award for Best International Feature.

REVIEW: Unfinished Song

REVIEW: Unfinished Song

Unfinished Song (Song for Marion)

Thank goodness UNFINISHED SONG (titled “Song for Marion” overseas) was made by an English filmmaker. I say that because Hollywood would have completely destroyed this wonderful story by overfilling it with cheesy, contrived moments. Hollywood doesn’t have the guts to make this kind of film without a “star.” Instead of the wonderful performances from Terrence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave we’d likely get Steve Martin in one of his less-than-great performances and Cher.

11 Artists and Filmmakers Selected for 2013 Sundance Institute | Time Warner Foundation Fellowship Program

11 Artists and Filmmakers Selected for 2013 Sundance Institute | Time Warner Foundation Fellowship Program

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11 artists and filmmakers have been selected for the 2013 Sundance Institute | Time Warner Foundation Fellowship Program. The Fellowship program promotes cultural, socio-economic and gender diversity as well as artistic collaboration and innovation among emerging film and theatre storytellers, documentary filmmakers and film composers.  Each Fellow was identified by one of the following core programs of the Institute: Documentary Film Program, Feature Film Program, Film Music Program, Native American & Indigenous Film Program and Theatre Program.  Time Warner Foundation has supported the Institute since 2007, enabling direct support of 37 film and theatre artists, including Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), Aurora Guerrero (Mosquita y Mari) and Annie Baker (Circle Mirror Transformation).

Sundance Institute Selects 22 Fellows Representing 9 Documentary Films for 2013 Documentary Edit and Story Labs

Sundance Institute Selects 22 Fellows Representing 9 Documentary Films for 2013 Documentary Edit and Story Labs

 sundance-institute

22 Fellows representing nine documentary film projects have been selected to participate in the Sundance Institute 2013 Documentary Edit and Story Labs, June 21-29 and July 5-13 at Sundance Resort in Sundance, Utah.

Built upon the immersive Lab model launched in 1981 by Sundance Institute President & Founder Robert Redford, each session of the Documentary Edit and Story Labs brings together director and editor teams with world-renowned documentary filmmakers and Sundance Institute staff to support creative risk-taking around issues of story, dramatic structure and character development.

WATCH Trailer for Award Winning Indie Film “FULL CIRCLE”

WATCH Trailer for Award Winning Indie Film “FULL CIRCLE”

full circle

See the trailer for FULL CIRCLE, directed by Olli Koivula and Solvan Naim, and winner of the Award for Best New York Feature Film at the 2013 New York City International Film Festival (NYCIFF). FULL CIRCLE also features Solvan Niam (aka Slick the Misfit) the 23-year-old Algerian-American rapper and music video director from Bushwick in Brooklyn, New York, in the lead starring role as young pizza delivery boy, Anthoni, who faces a life-changing crisis when his curiosity pulls him away from his delivery order into an adjacent apartment’s open door.

FULL CIRCLE, THE TALE OF AN PHUC HOUSE and SPENCER Among Winning Films at 2013 New York City International Film Festival

FULL CIRCLE, THE TALE OF AN PHUC HOUSE and SPENCER Among Winning Films at 2013 New York City International Film Festival

FULL CIRCLE won the Award for Best New York Feature Film at New York International Film FestivalFULL CIRCLE won the Award for Best New York Feature Film at New York International Film Festival

The Vietnamese documentary film “THE TALE OF AN PHUC HOUSE”  directed by Ivan Tankushev won the Award for Best feature Documentary Film at the 2013 New York City International Film Festival (NYCIFF).  “THE TALE OF AN PHUC HOUSE” follows the everyday lives of twenty disabled children – third generation victims of the Agent Orange warfare that occurred during the Vietnam War ( 1963-1973). JIHAD IN AMERICA: THE GRAND DECEPTION, a 70-minute documentary film exploring the Muslim Brotherhood in America, and directed by Investigative Project on Terrorism Executive Director Steven Emerson won an honorary award. 

FULL CIRCLE won the Award for Best New York Feature Film, SPENCER won the Award for Best U.S.A. Feature Film and the South African film, LITTLE ONE won the Award for Best International Feature Film. FULL CIRCLE directed by Olli Koivula and Solvan Naim is about a young pizza delivery boy, Anthoni, who faces a life-changing crisis when his curiosity pulls him away from his delivery order into an adjacent apartment’s open door.  SPENCER, written by, starring, and directed by Geoff Lerer, follows the travails of Spencer Berg, an aspiring filmmaker trying to make his first movie in Brooklyn.  LITTLE ONE directed by Darrell Roodt and South Africa’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, is the story about a six-year-old girl found left for dead outside a township in Johannesburg.

WORLD WAR Z starring Brad Pitt Opens 35th Moscow International Film Festival

WORLD WAR Z starring Brad Pitt Opens 35th Moscow International Film Festival

Brad Pitt attends the "World War Z" Screening during the Moscow International Film Festival at Pushkinsky Cinema on June 20, 2013 in Moscow, Russia.Brad Pitt attends the “World War Z” Screening during the Moscow International Film Festival at Pushkinsky Cinema on June 20, 2013 in Moscow, Russia.

The 35th Moscow International Film Festival kicked off on Thursday, June 20, 2013 with the opening gala premiere of Marc Forster’s WORLD WAR Z starring Brad Pitt. The film revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop a pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.

TaorminaFilmFest Pays Tribute to James Gandolfini

TaorminaFilmFest Pays Tribute to James Gandolfini

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TaorminaFilmFest released a statement today on behalf of actor James Gandolfini, who died of a heart attack yesteday in Italy.  Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th TaorminaFilmFest. In a statement on it’s website, the festival said that Gandolfini had been confirmed to attend the TaorminaFilmFest on June 22 to preside over a TaoClass that the festival dedicated to what it calls “the great interpreters of film and television” and to receive the Taormina City Prize.

First Time Feature Directors Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck and Robert Machoian Indie Film FORTY YEARS FROM YESTERDAY

First Time Feature Directors Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck and Robert Machoian Indie Film FORTY YEARS FROM YESTERDAY

Forty Years From Yesterday 

Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck and Robert Machoian’s feature film debut FORTY YEARS FROM YESTERDAY premiered on Sunday at the 203 Los Angeles Film Festival.  Starring Bruce Graham, Suzette Graham, Robert Eddington, Wyatt Eddington, Matt Valdez, Chelsea Word, Elizabeth Overton and Rebekah Mott, the film follows Bruce, a quietly spiritual man with three grown daughters, returns home from his morning jog to discover Suzette, his beloved wife of forty years, has passed away. The film then goes on to capture moments with each family member as they grieve. FORTY YEARS FROM YESTERDAY screens again on Saturday at the festival.

Karl Jacob Talks About Writing, Producing, Starring in and Directing His New Indie Film “POLLYWOGS”

Karl Jacob Talks About Writing, Producing, Starring in and Directing His New Indie Film “POLLYWOGS”

pollywogs

The new indepedent film POLLYWOGS premiered just recently at the still running 2013 LA Film Festival where it was described as offering an equally amusing and insightful look at directionless thirty-somethings lurching towards adulthood. The film is directed by first-time feature director Karl Jacob (who also wrote the screenplay, produced and starred) and T. Arthur Cottam. In the film Dylan–who’s played by Karl Jacob–retreats to Minnesota for a family reunion featuring firearms, heavy metal and unwelcome questions. Amongst the throng of relatives, he discovers Sarah, the childhood crush he hasn’t seen since her family decamped to a religious compound. Could she prove to be the perpetually heartbroken Dylan’s salvation or will their emotional scars fail to align?

Durban International Film Festival Announces 2013 Film Lineup incl Focus on African Films, American Indies and Films About Sexual Identity

Durban International Film Festival Announces 2013 Film Lineup incl Focus on African Films, American Indies and Films About Sexual Identity

Free AngelaClosing Night Film – Free Angela

From July 18 to 28, 2013, Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) in South Africa, will feature over 250 screenings, including 72 feature films, 48 documentaries and 45 short films. As part of its African Focus this year’s festival will open with ‘ground-breaking African-noir work’ Of Good Report by filmmaker-on-the-rise Jahmil XT Qubeka. Telling the story of a serial killer obsessed with beautiful young girls, the film expands the language of African cinema. The festival’s closing film acknowledges Angela Davis, an important figure in the African diaspora, with the film Free Angela – and all political prisoners, directed by Shola Lynch.

THE ACT OF KILLING and PARTICLE FEVER Among Award Winners at 2013 Sheffield Doc/Fest

THE ACT OF KILLING and PARTICLE FEVER Among Award Winners at 2013 Sheffield Doc/Fest

THE ACT OF KILLING directed by Joshua OppenheimerTHE ACT OF KILLING directed by Joshua Oppenheimer

THE ACT OF KILLING directed by Joshua Oppenheimer won the Special Jury Award, and shared the 2013 Audience Award for Best Feature with PARTICLE FEVER directed by Mark Levinson at the 2013 Sheffield Doc/Fest. In the documentary THE ACT OF KILLING, produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, the unrepentant former members of Indonesian death squads are challenged to re-enact some of their many murders in the style of the American movies they love.  PARTICLE FEVER follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation.

The Complete 2013 SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST AWARD WINNERS RECAP

RIP: Actor James Gandolfini Suffers Heart Attack, Dead at 51

RIP: Actor James Gandolfini Suffers Heart Attack, Dead at 51

Actor James Gandolfini, best known for playing New Jersey mob boss Tony Sopranos on the HBO series “The Sopranos,”  died of a heart attack earlier today in Italy. He was 51. Gandolfini was reportedly scheduled to appear in conversation with director Gabriele Muccino at the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily.

Interview with Tamar Halpern and Chris Quilty, Documentary LLYN FOULKES ONE MAN BAND to Premiere at LA Film Festival

Interview with Tamar Halpern and Chris Quilty, Documentary LLYN FOULKES ONE MAN BAND to Premiere at LA Film Festival

 LLYN FOULKES ONE MAN BAND

LLYN FOULKES ONE MAN BAND, a feature documentary about artist and one-man-band musician Llyn Foulkes, will have its World Premiere at the 2013 LA Film Festival on Thursday, June 20. Directed and produced by first-time documentary filmmakers, Tamar Halpern and Chris Quilty, the documentary chronicles 7 years of Llyn Foulkes’s life from ages 70 to 77. During the seven years chronicled in the film, artist and musician Llyn Foulkes creates, destroys, and recreates a pair of large-scale, three-dimensional paintings, one that costs him his marriage, while trying to keep afloat in the fickle art market. 

Molly Green and James Leffler Talk About Their New Indie Romantic Comedy “FOREV” at LA Film Festival

Molly Green and James Leffler Talk About Their New Indie Romantic Comedy “FOREV” at LA Film Festival

forev

The new indie romantic comedy “FOREV” co-written and co-directed by Molly Green and James Leffler is already receiving earning critics praises after the world premiere on Saturday night at the 2013 LA Film Festival.  The film is described as a romantic comedy about impulsive marriages.  In the film, Pete and Sophie are somewhere on the edge of the desert when he works up the nerve to propose. The hitch being: Their whirlwind road trip from L.A. to Phoenix is the closest these neighbors have ever come to going on a date. Nevertheless, fueled by their respective fears of intimacy and low-grade self-loathing, they run with the idea, much to the annoyance of Pete’s sister Jess, who’s along for the latter half of the ride.

Nine Documentary Films Win Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund Grant Awards

Nine Documentary Films Win Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund Grant Awards

WHAT TOMORROW BRINGSBeth Murphy’s WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS

The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and Gucci announced the nine documentary film projects selected as the 2013 recipients of the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund grant awards, totalling $150,000 to be administered by the Tribeca Film Institute. The Fund provides production and finishing finances, year-round support and guidance to domestic and international documentary filmmakers with feature-length films highlighting and humanizing critical issues of social significance from around the world.

Interview with Director Aaron Douglas Johnston on His New Indie Film “MY SISTER’S QUINCEANERA”

Interview with Director Aaron Douglas Johnston on His New Indie Film “MY SISTER’S QUINCEANERA”

My Sisters Quinceanera

The independent film “MY SISTER’S QUINCEANERA” about a Latino family in Iowa, is playing at the LA Film Festival where it had its North American premiere on Saturday night. Starring Silas Garcia, Samantha Rae Garcia, Becky Garcia, Tanner McCulley, Nicole Streat, Elizabeth Agapito and Josefina Garcia, MY SISTER’S QUINCEANERA follows teenage Silas who is considered the man of the house, but he wears that responsibility lightly, searching for more from his life than the small town mischief he gets into with his best friend., The film is written, produced and directed by Aaron Douglas Johnston who is also from the Midwest but now resides in Netherlands. We got the chance to catch up with Aaron Douglas Johnston at the LA Film Festival to find out more about his new film.

Documentary “MISS YOU CAN DO IT” To Premiere on HBO on June 24th

Documentary “MISS YOU CAN DO IT” To Premiere on HBO on June 24th

MISS YOU CAN DO IT Documentary

MISS YOU CAN DO IT directed by award-winning documentary director Ron Davis will premeire on HBO on June 24th. MISS YOU CAN DO IT chronicles Abbey Curran, Miss Iowa USA 2008 and the first woman with a disability to compete at the Miss USA Pageant, and eight girls with various physical and intellectual disabilities as the girls participate in Abbey’s Miss You Can Do It Pageant. Abbey founded the annual Miss You Can Do It Pageant in 2004 and girls and their families travel from all around the country to participate in this one night where their inner beauty and abilities reign.

USTA calls fault against VENUS AND SERENA Documentary

USTA calls fault against VENUS AND SERENA Documentary

Venus and Serena Documentary

The filmmakers of a documentary about Venus and Serena Williams face a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Tennis Association. In the lawsuit filed Friday, the USTA claims copyright infringement after the filmmakers of VENUS AND SERENA allegedly used unlicensed video footage from the U.S. Open without permission.

ONLY GOD FORGIVES Starring Ryan Gosling Wins Sydney Film Prize at Sydney Film Festival

ONLY GOD FORGIVES Starring Ryan Gosling Wins Sydney Film Prize at Sydney Film Festival

ONLY GOD FORGIVESONLY GOD FORGIVES

ONLY GOD FORGIVES, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn won the Sydney Film Festival‘s prestigious Sydney Film Prize. Starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas and Vithaya Pansringarm, ONLY GOD FORGIVES is described as a brutal and stylish story of betrayal, rage and redemption set in the Thai underworld.  This is the second time Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn has won the Sydney Prize, previously winning it in 2009 with the British prison thriller Bronson.

13 Filmmaker Finalists for 2013 San Francisco Film Society Documentary Film Fund

13 Filmmaker Finalists for 2013 San Francisco Film Society Documentary Film Fund

San Francisco Film Society

The San Francisco Film Society today announced the 13 finalists for the 2013 SFFS Documentary Film Fund awards totaling $100,000, which support feature-length documentaries in postproduction. The SFFS Documentary Film Fund was created to support singular nonfiction film work that is distinguished by compelling stories, intriguing characters and an innovative visual approach. Finalists were selected from more than 200 applications, and winners will be announced in late July.

Previous DFF winners include Shaul Schwarz’s Narco Cultura, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s American Promise, which also premiered at Sundance and won the festival’s Special Jury Prize in the documentary category; and Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie and the Boxer, which won Sundance’s Directing Award for documentary, has played at film festivals worldwide and will be distributed theatrically by Radius-TWC.