Category: Film Festivals and Awards
Pedro Almodovar’s “Julieta,” which recently world premiered in competition at Cannes, will open the 33rd Jerusalem Film Festival.
“We are happy to open this year’s festival with a film by one of the world’s most beloved and acclaimed filmmakers in recent decades, Pedro Almodóvar. Julieta is a cinematic celebration – a colorful, exciting, fun and thought-provoking film,” said Noa Regev, topper of Jerusalem Cinematheque and exec director of Jerusalem fest. “The aesthetic experience offered by the film will no doubt be even greater when shown on the giant screen at the Sultan’s Pool. Like most of Almodóvar’s works, it is focused on female protagonist and deals with women’s power.”
Based on a trio of short stories by Pulitzer-winning Canadian author Alice Munro, “Julieta” stars Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte in the title role, at different ages. Rossy de Palma also toplines. Pic will be released by Lev Cinemas in Israel on July 8, a day after its festival opening.
Jerusalem fest, which previously opened with Almodovar’s “All About my Mother” and “Talk to Her,” will kick off with “Julieta” in “commemoration of two inspirational female figures of Israeli Cinema who are no longer with us – Lia van Leer, founder of the festival, and filmmaker Ronit Elkabetz,” said Regev, who works with artistic director Elad Samorzik.
Jerusalem fest will indeed host a tribute to Elkabetz, the actress and filmmaker who died of cancer in April and has been mourned by the Israeli and international film communities.
The tribute to Elkabetz will include the special screening of her feature debut “To Take a Wife,” in which she also stars. “To Take a Wife” was the first film of a trilogy penned and directed by Elkabetz and her brother, Shlomi Elkabetz. The trilogy was completed by “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” a Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight player that marked Ronit Elkabetz’s last film. On top of earning critical acclaim, “Gett” shed light of women who are faced with unfair, archaic divorce laws in Israel and prompted a heated debate at home and beyond.
The festival will also bow an international competition lineup which will be fully announced in the next few days. So far, Rúnar Rúnarsson’s Icelandic coming-of-age drama “Sparrows” and Danish helmer Tobias Lindholm’s Oscar-nominated “A War” have been selected to compete as part of the new international section that’s being backed by New Jersey-based Wilf Family Foundation.
Seven additions made to Official Selection, including Blood Father starring Mel Gibson, the new feature from Starred Up director David Mackenzie and a Joseph Kony documentary.
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi is to compete for the Palme d’Or with his latest feature, The Salesman, following several additions to Cannes Film Festival’s Official Selection.
The addition of the Farsi-language project, which racked up sales for Memento Films International at Berlin in February, takes the total number of films in Competition to 21.
The Salesman revolves around a couple whose relationship turns violent due to societal pressures. Long-time Farhadi collaborators Taraneh Alidoosti, who played the epnymous role in About Elly, and Shahab Hosseini, who appeared in Farhadi’s Golden Bear and Oscar-winning A Separation, co-star as the central couple.
Farhadi was last in Competition at Cannes in 2013 with his previous film, The Past, which won the Ecumenical Jury prize.
Un Certain Regard
Cannes also announced that extremist drama Clash, from Egyptian director Mohamed Diab, would open the section.
Set against the backdrop of violent demonstrations in Cairo that erupted at the end of former president Mohamed Morsi’s reign, Diab explores extremism through an intense drama in which two groups of opposing protestors find themselves in the same police van as fighting rages around them. It is Diab’s second feature after 678. Pyramide International is selling.
A further addition to the strand is Hell Or High Water, from David Mackenzie, the British director of prison drama Starred Up.
The film, starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges, was written by Taylor Sheridan, who previously wrote Denis Villeneuve’s Cannes 2015 Competition title Sicario.
The story centres on a divorced father and his ex-con brother who resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family farm in Texas. The film, formerly titled Comancheria, is sold by Sierra/Affinity with CBS Films handling US release.
Midnight / Special Screenings
Mel Gibson may return to the Croisette to accompany his starring role in Blood Father, which has been added to the Midnight Screening strand.
Directed by Mesrine filmmaker Jean-François Richet, Gibson stars as an ex-con who reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her.
The festival has also added a hat-trick of titles to its Special Screenings strand. Wrong Elements is Jonathan Littell’s documentary about Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda, while Chouf is a Marseille-set drug cartel drama from Tunisian-born French director Karim Dridi, who won Cannes’ Youth Award back in 1995 with Bye-Bye.
Multiple Cesar Award-nominated actor Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet makes his feature directorial debut with romantic drama Fool Moon (La Foret de Quinconces), in which he also stars.
Cannes Film Festival 2016
The Salesman, Asghar Farhadi (Iran)
Un Certain Regard
Clash (Eshtebak), Mohamed Diab (Egypt) opening film
Hell Or High Water, David Mackenzie (UK)
Blood Father, Jean-François Richet (France)
Wrong Elements, Jonathan Littell (US)
Fool Moon (La Foret de Quinconces), Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet (France)
Chouf, Karim Dridi (France / Tunisia)
With a huge push into virtual reality and a major focus on television and digital, the Tribeca Film Festival offers a wide-lens snapshot of contemporary content creation. But, festival director Genna Terranova tells Jeremy Kay, “Film is the bedrock.”
Terranova and Loren Hammonds, programmer, film & interactive, talk big picture and sample a selection of offerings at this year festival, based at the Spring Studios hub.
Other highlights include the inaugural Digital Creators Market, and the Hacked programme, curated by Def Con and Mr. Robot. The Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 13-24.
How do you feel as Tribeca gets underway?
Genna Terranova: It’s a really fun year. We had a really good time putting together the programme this year. We’ve seen it change a lot over the years and for the first time people have been coming to us saying, ‘We want to play in Tribeca, that’s what we thought about from the beginning.’ It was good to hear from the industry that their movies sold last year and we really took care of them. It makes our jobs a little bit easier when we know they’re satisfied with what they’re coming and getting. We work really hard to make it the best possible experience because it’s New York and it can be overwhelming and they need to feel they’re part of something special.
The film roster is lively and kicks off a little differently this year…
Genna Terranova: We’ve done opening night with each section. We divided out the US competition narrative from the international films and felt this was incredibly freeing. We were able to select a group of American films we feel are our discoveries. We wanted to give each film their own platform.
There are so many we’re proud of. Look out for [US Narrative Competition opening film] Kicks, The Fixer, Elvis & Nixon, [Viewpoints opening film] Nerdland, good acquisitions titles like [Spotlight opening film] Devil And The Deep Blue Sea. We have Adult Life Skills, [Guadalajara winner] El Charro De Toluquilla, The Phenom, Wolves, [International Narrative Competition opening film] Madly, El Clasico, The Tenth Man from Berlin, Adult Life Skills, Califórnia, Reset.
In documentaries we have All This Panic, Betting On Zero, The Return, South West Of Salem, Solitary, Night School, National Bird, Keep Quiet, Tickling Giants.
You seem excited by Command And Control in the Spotlight programme…
Genna Terranova: Command And Control by Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser is based on Eric’s book about nuclear weapons and how we’re reaching a crisis point. Eric and his producer wanted to create an installation on a grand scale. It’s at Gotham Hall and they’ve worked with British Company United Artists who are masters at creating these immersive experiences. They’ve created a silo and this British band The Acid will be playing.
They’ve created a movie about nuclear weapons and it works backwards and shows you how it all came to be and… focuses on how this is a crisis and brings a lot of new imagery to get people aware of this crisis. There is a whole generation lost on this and they’re building these weapons and there’s no awareness. No-one cares that we have 16,000 of these weapons.
Eric is very passionate about it. Command And Control is based on an incident mentioned in the book. They’re intent on taking it around the world and it’s backed by the MacArthur Foundation. It will play several times on the last weekend and Michael Douglas, who is a huge anti-nuclear advocate, will do a talk too. It’s cool to see that intersection of music, film and theatre in one event.
The festival is covering a wide range of content and platforms now, besides film…
Genna Terranova: We’re trying to be a little bit more platform-agnostic. Obviously film is most important to us. We haven’t change the programme. We’re still supporting the same number of films – that’s the focus and it’s where we give $175,000 worth of awards. And last year 80% of our films sold for distribution. But we also need to be very aware of where things are evolving and begin these new initiatives small. Three years ago we started highlighting [digital creators] and who knew that three years later there would be billboards and one has an HBO show.
So how do we service that community more, because they will transition, they are making feature films, it’s already happening, but we want to support the artist in whatever direction they go in and that’s one of the reasons we have an amazing Directors series this year. We have JJ Abrams, Joss Whedon, Andrea Arnold, Jodie Foster, Baz Luhrmann, Alfonso Cuaron – these are the icons [among] film directors right now and they will have brilliant conversations.
But we felt like since we are expanding what that notion is to be a storyteller we wanted to include more voices in those conversations, so that’s why we added Tina Fey, Tom Hanks, who’s a director-producer. People are doing a lot of different things… it’s not the old studio system where people just make films. They’re moving in a lot of different directions.
Tell us a bit about the TV offerings…
Genna Terranova: We’re very proud of it. Animal Kingdom [TNT premiere] was not only a great pilot but has a great DNA as a Sundance film. Every premiere we do is coupled with an extensive talk because we want to educate the public about process… and help people understand a little bit more who the credits are.
Our identity has evolved. Storytelling has taken on a bigger focus. That’s the advantage we have. We’ve been supporting storytellers in different mediums, not only film. Film is the bedrock of the festival but on the transmedia side and telling stories outside the screen – that’s been a big priority for us for many years.
Genna Terranova: We have Roots, we have Greenleaf, [OWN], which is being produced by Oprah and for fun, Time Traveling Bong [Comedy Central], and Broad City [Comedy Central]. Roots shows how The History Channel is moving into original content, which is exciting. Chef’s Table is another one [Netflix Season 2], Grace And Frankie is a fun show on Netflix with a conversation between Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin afterwards.
We have some great conversations: The Catastrophe [Amazon] writers are British. Full Frontal [TBS]. We have The Good Wife’s farewell. It’s been a huge hit for CBS and a New York institution. We’re having Alan Ball come and do director’s commentary for the final episode of Six Feet Under. We’ll show O.J.: Made In America.[ESPN Films]. We feel the TV section represents a great cross-section of where television is today.
A lot of artists are crossing over and TV had become a stronger medium and there’s been sharing [of] a lot of the talent and servicing both communities and our industry and our business, so anything that’s providing more business for our business is a good thing, so being able to support across those platforms is important to us.
We’ve also been able to keep our curatorial voice with TV. There’s a lot of TV coming out, but there’s enough great TV that we can pick and choose a creative programme.
Genna Terranova: More and more TV companies and networks are thinking about festivals to launch their shows just as studios have thought about festivals for their films. There’s so much to see out there that whatever can give that extra visibility and attention is [important]… If you think of it in terms of venn diagrams, you have film that has come closer to television and television had had a lot of success using talent from film as in True Detective and taking the medium and getting deeply into characters. As far as prestige goes [film] has been the focus for many years and [now] you see them coming together and the talent crossing over. You see the business models [coalesce] and the same companies are investing in TV as in film.
What can people expect from the Digital Creators Market on April 21?
Genna Terranova: What’s new this year is the digital creator world, which are people who work on YouTube and Vimeo. [They] know they might not make their first film but might make a web series or to-camera personal stories, and we’re interested in how they come into the mix and [how] that talent is getting more exposure. You can see it on the billboards here.
There’s a big wave that’s happening and traditional media are curious. They need the development just like any other creators… so one initiative we’re launching this year is the Digital Creators Market and Special Screenings. That is going to be about 30 digital creators that are going to come and we’re facilitating meetings with industry in the traditional media and digital media, so it’s a whole day. We wanted to create an event for them because they don’t have a Sundance or a Tribeca on their calenda… to encourage their films to grow. Creating those environments for people to meet in New York is important to us.
We’ll have Josh Hutcherson there talking about the work he’s doing with The Black List and Indigenous. They’re producing shorts on unproduced scripts that are meant for online consumption. We’ll have YouTube original series with a new series called Sing It. You’ll get more involved in this world and know these guys – we’re all being pushed in that direction in some way.
There is an aging-out that happens when the audience that follows a lot of these creators, when they hit a certain age the creator has trouble continuing or transitioning. It’s like when Justin Timberlake was on Disney and was an actor-singer – or Britney Spears – and then they had to pivot and transition their careers. What we’re interested in is the pivot, where these kids have had a lot of training in Hollywood. They’re very knowledgeable, but how to do they transition into bigger stuff because it is essentially a talent pool that’s really been untested in the more traditional sense.
We’re thinking of it as an incubator and putting them in a room and talking about the things they’re creating. It’s really exciting. We have a film in our US Narrative comptetition called Women Who Kill from Ingrid Jungermann who was a web sieres creator and now she’s making her feature film debut and it’s a brilliant, witty film. This is a unique voice that came from a unique place. We have Francis For Coppola in Storytellers and he’s speaking not just about film but about food and wine. It’s remarkable that we’ve gotten to build this out of the Directors Series and got people to get excited to speak with us. They’re calling us and asking how they can get involved. It’s a great position.
Virtual reality crops up in the Storyscapes section and you also have a dedicated programme...
Genna Terranova: This year we’ve created the Virtual Arcade, It’s a bigger VR platform. It’s more of a populist programme where we’re trying to show the breadth of work that VR creators are doing. We have Invasion!, an experience by Eric Darnell [and Maureen Fan] from Baobab Studios. He’s the director of Madagascar and has created this animated VR experience about bunnies fighting aliens and and it’s really entertaining.
There’s another one called Allumette from Penrose Studios created by Eugene Chung, who was at Pixar. It’s beautifully animated and it based on The Little Match Girl… We’ll have multiple stations for Allumette where people can go in. It’s a 10 by 10 stall, you put the headset on, you’re tethered to a computer and you get to wander around this beautiful Venetian-inspired world.
Genna Terranova: You have serious VC’s money backing these companies out of San Francisco who are pushing technology forward every day; literally every day they’re coming up with new things to solve issues and have created these worlds… Animators in particular are creating worlds around us so you can move inside them and look at things. Maureen [Fan] is playing with the idea of the sense of touch so when you’re immersed she introduces something sensory outside your field of vision and how that makes the viewer react.
Felix + Paul are our artists in residence and have Imagination Day, when there will be 500 people with headsets experiencing a piece.
Genna Terranova: Virtual reality is an isolated experience and we’re trying to make it communal. Augmented reality will evolve, but right now we’re having a lot of fun supporting the earlier stage. The leaps and bounds they’ve come since last year is amazing.
Mister Smith Entertainment will launch international sales on the crime thriller “Mean Dreams” that has its world premiere in Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. UTA Independent Film Group is handling U.S. rights.
Golden Globe nominee Bill Paxton (Training Day, Big Love, Nightcrawler) stars alongside newcomers Josh Wiggins and Sophie Nélisse, with Colm Feore. The pic is directed by Nathan Morlando (Citizen Gangster), written by Kevin Coughlin and Ryan Grassby, and produced by Woods Entertainment’s William Woods and euclid431 pictures’ Allison Black (Citizen Gangster).
The editor is Ronald Sanders (Eastern Promises, A History of Violence, A Dangerous Method, a long-time collaborator of David Cronenberg. The music is by composer/recording artist Son Lux, a.k.a. Ryan Lott, who has worked with artists including Lorde and Sufjan Stevens.
Elevation Pictures will distribute the film theatrically in Canada.
“Mean Dreams” is a tense and electrifying coming-of-age drama about a 15-year-old boy who steals a bag of drug money and runs away with the girl he loves while her violent and corrupt cop father hunts them down, embarking on a journey that will change their lives forever.
Local farm boy Jonas (Wiggins) meets the new girl next door, Casey (Nélisse), and is immediately taken with her. As young love blossoms between the two teenagers, Jonas also discovers that Casey’s abusive home life has reached a new level of danger. Jonas takes the lead in their escape by stealing a bag full of drug money from Casey’s corrupt father — local cop Wayne Caraway (Paxton). With the stolen cash as their only means to a better life, Casey flees with Jonas and together, under relentless pursuit from her father, they learn the hard truth of what it will take in order to survive. In the end, Casey and Jonas are forced to make a life-altering choice from which there will be no turning back.
Mister Smith Entertainment’s CEO David Garrett commented: “This is a movie we are proud to be representing in the Quinzaine. It is an exquisite piece of filmmaking, reminiscent of early Malick movies. Not to be missed.”
The Cannes Film Market will showcase a wide-range of upcoming titles by directors from the Arab world, including prominent Egyptian auteur Yousry Nasrallah’s bucolic “Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces,” about a family of cooks who cater for weddings in the Egyptian countryside.
The Marche du Film is set to host a Dubai Film Market presents selection of works-in-progress and also a Liban Cinema presents selection. Both are screening at the mart on Monday, May 16.
The work-in-progress of Nasrallah’s “Brooks,” his followup to post-Arab Spring drama “After the Battle,” which competed in Cannes in 2012, is in the Dubai section. That section also includes Syrian director Maisa Safadi’s “4 Seasons, 2 Brothers and a Border,” produced by U.S. producer Soloman Goodman’s Railroad Films. Pic is about the impact of the 1967 Arab-Isreali Six-Day War on the life of a Syrian village.
The Lebanese selection includes “Fallen From The Sky,” the feature film debut of Beirut-based documaker Wissam Charaf, who is an alumni of the Sundance Institute’s Rawi Screenwriters Lab in Jordan. It’s about two brothers, one of whom resurfaces after being presumed dead.
This is shaping up to be a pretty good year for Arab movies in Cannes. Egyptian director Mohamed Diab’s hotly anticipated Islamic fundamentalism-themed “Clash” has the honor of opening the fest’s Un Certain Section, marking the first film from turbulent Egypt bowing at Cannes since Nasrallah’s “Battle.”
“Clash” is set entirely inside an overcrowded police truck packed with pro and anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators from all social classes after a massive protest following the events of July 3, 2013, as crowds celebrated the ouster of prexy Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member. Diab is known internationally for bold sex harassment pic “Cairo 678.”
A Complete list of Arab works-in-progress unspooling at the Cannes Market in the Dubai and Lebanon Goes to Cannes Showcases
Dubai Goes to Cannes:
“4 Seasons, 2 Brothers and a Border,” Maisa Safadi
“Fish Killed Twice,” Fawzi Saleh
“Munich: A Palestinian Story,” Nasri Hajjaj
“Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces,” Yousry Nasrallah
Lebanon Goes to Cannes
“Beirut Terminus,” Elie Kamal
“Room for a Man,” Anthony Chidiac
“Feminitude,” Soula Saad
“One of These Days,” Nadim Tabet
“Fallen From The Sky,” Wissam Charaf
The Cannes Film Festival is paying tribute to Marilyn Monroe by selecting her the icon of the 2012 festival, festival organizers said Tuesday.
The festival is featuring the late star on its new poster. “The festival poster captures Marilyn by surprise in an intimate moment where myth meets reality — a moving tribute to the anniversary of her passing, which coincides with the festival anniversary,” according to a festival statement. “She enchants us with this promising gesture: a seductively blown kiss.”
According to festival orgnaizers, “the festival is a temple of glamour and Marilyn is its perfect incarnation. Their coming together symbolizes the ideal of simplicity and grace.”
Monroe died 50 years ago. This will be the festival’s 65th anniversary.
The Nielsen Co. says Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony was seen by 16.8 million TV viewers. It beat all network competition in its time period but dipped slightly from last year’s audience for the film and TV awards show.
According to time zone-adjusted Nielsen “fast national” figures released Monday, the Globes finished within 1 percent of the 17 million viewers who tuned in to the 2011 broadcast.
Carried by NBC from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time, the program aired live in every time zone. Some western markets also carried an encore telecast immediately following the live coverage.
British comedian-actor Ricky Gervais returned for his third go as host, lampooning many of the nominees, presenters and even the sponsoring Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Journalists and photographers from all over the world have gathered in Venice for the annual film festival to see the movies of tomorrow. But for one star in attendance, her recent holiday may prove a far more interesting story than some of the film plotlines. Kate Winslet made her first public appearance since escaping the fire on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island at the Venice Film Festival.
Winslet had been holidaying on the private Caribbean hideaway when lightning struck it during a tropical hurricane. In the ensuing chaos, the Oscar winner managed to rescue Branson’s elderly mother Eve, 90, as well as her own children Mia and Joe.
But after her heroic behaviour two weeks ago, it was back to the day job for Winslet as she promoted her new film Carnage. Dressed in a fitted black dress and beige blazer, Winslet joined co-star John C Reilly and the film’s scriptwriter Yasmina Reza at the lunchtime photocall. Later she dressed up in designer couture for the film’s premiere.
The film, directed by controversial director Roman Polanski, tells the story of two sets of parents who meet up to discuss their children who have been fighting at school.
The Brit’s appearance at the festival is the first time she’s been set since she was photographed hugging Eve against the backdrop of ruined Necker.
Winslet had been holidaying with her children and model boyfriend Louis Dowler when the inferno broke out. The actress said last week: ‘‘I’m just so glad that everyone is safe. And this very easily could not have been the case. will never forget Richard placing his arms around both my children as we were watching the flames, and saying, “At the end of the day, what you realise is that all that matters is the people that you love. Everything else is just stuff. And none of that stuff matters.”‘
Suddenly everything is coming up Natalie Portman, who is. First, she won an Oscar for “Black Swan”. Then she teamed with Oscar-nominated and Oscar disastrous host James Franco in a bid to appear very strange, “Your Highness”. Note the last word in the title because this sword and sorcery film is very high on something other than a queen or princess.
Of course, the real meat of the matter Portman is the accusation against him by Sarah Lane. The advertising campaign and pushing for Portman Oscar, you will recall, was based largely on the fact that Portman has learned to dance ballet, so it is rarely needed to be doubled to end the illusion that she was a ballerina prima donna. The problem is that it is looking increasingly like that is less and less a reality. Shortly after Portman accepted her gold Oscar for Best Actress, Lane came forward to announce that it has up to 95% of dance credited Portman in “Black Swan”.
In the wake of “Your Highness” to be released in theaters, Portman has finally made a public comment on the controversy. The meat of the question, Portman has not directly responded to Lane’s remarks, but said she will always be the proud owner of the work she did in “Black Swan” without nasty gossip going around. In other words, Portman has failed to clarify the issue.
Another quote from “Your Highness” seems much more interesting compared to the whole controversy ballerina. Portman announced that it has been a big fan of stoner movies, including “Your Highness” is certainly one of the strangest representatives. But it’s not the interesting quote. What is interesting is Portman admitted to smoking marijuana at university, but assures her fans that she is too old and matronly to engage in such foolishness now.
Portman has until the controversial “Black Swan” dance managed to maintain a rather creaky clean, free from any form of intrusion of the ugly reality ala Mel Gibson. Thus, it seems rather strange that she choose this moment in time to announce it just sorta had acted a little less squeaky clean. Some Portman fan club members are probably surprised by this admission, while others are probably much more suspicious of the assertion that his days smoking weed are everywhere.
Certainly, assuming that you smoked marijuana in the university is not enough to get you busted ala Robert Mitchum these days and hardly fair with public collapses experienced by Gibson and, more recently, Charlie Sheen. But the fact remains that the controllers movie stars tend to derive their right to hair of their head to comments like those made by Portman.
Unless, of course, these observations were designed for the express purpose of taking attention away from Natalie’s company much more unpleasant to prove she was not involved in the bald face lied when she been on the press junket for “Black Swan” and investigators say it does much more than just 5% of the dance itself. At the very least, one would think that Portman degree in psychology would have been enough to alert her to the fact that Sarah Lane is a recognition of the daily demand for its efforts.