Saturday, October 19, 2019

#Oscars2020 International Feature Fillm Entries Comments


Next Oscars show is on February 9, 2020 and one of the most interesting categories for me is the one that used to have the name "Foreign Language Film" and now has a more hybrid name, "International Feature Film".

My interest comes because truly love World Cinema and usually this Oscars category lists the best of the best in cinema from each country; also is a list that undoubtedly helps to identify films that skipped anybody's radar.

Not every year have time or energy to dissect the list but seems this year have time to spare so will explore some fun facts from the list that can be found here.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

76th Venice Film Festival Award Winners




16th Giornate degli Autori Award Winners


Yesterday the 28 Times Cinemas jury voted for the GdA top award between three finalists, La LLorona by Jayro Bustamante, Only the Animals by Dominik Moll and Corpus Christi by Jan Komasa.

According to the event live video, the race was between La LLorona and Corpus Christi.  At the end it was La LLorona the one that got more votes and became the Venice Festival parallel section top winner.  The following is organizers statement about the winning film.

Bustamante, one of Latin American cinema's most unique voices, weaves a portrait of Guatemala's tragic history and its open wounds inspired by the legendary folk-tale of the same name. The combination of poetics and politics forges a haunting and acute fable not only about the past but of the present. La Llorona is an intimate ghost story told through a vivid female figure. It expends on the themes of loss, denial and acceptance. As the song 'La Llorona' says: Dicen que no tengo duelo, Llorona, porque no me ven llorar. Hay muertos que no hacen ruido, Llorona !Y es mas grande su penar! May the weeps of sadness but also of strength be felt across the world."

Friday, September 06, 2019

34th Venice International Film Critics Week Award Winners



Today, Friday September 6, the Venice International Film Critics' Week, the independent and parallel section organized by the National Union of Italian Film Critics (SNCCI) during the 76th Venice International Film Festival conferred the awards for its thirty-fourth edition.

The BIG winner is All This Victory by Ahmad Ghossein as film collected not only the Grand Prize but also the Audience Award plus the Best Technical Contribution award a trifecta that suggest film is appreciated by the industry and audiences plus seems will also have high production values.  Not bad at all.

There is one more feature films award Verona Film Club Award that went to Scales by Shahad Ameen.  Also there are three awards for short films.

13th Queer Lion Award Winner


The 2019 Queer Lion Award goes to Chile in a co production with Argentina and Belgium, a movie by Sebastián Muñoz that premiered in the always "strange" section of the Venice Film Festival, Settimana Internazionale della Critica.  El Príncipe (The Prince) wins with the following motivation from the jurors.

"El Príncipe is a passionate portrait of life in a Chilean prison on the eve of Allende’s rise to power in 1970. The savage brutality of prison life is contrasted by intensely emotional relationships between prisoners. Led by a towering Alfredo Castro, the excellent ensemble cast give stirring performances of a powerful script which conveys the paradoxical acceptance of gay attachments in prison at a time when it was not socially acceptable. Sebastián Muñoz’s directorial debut is a bold and erotically charged exploration of recent history which reveals an unexpected tenderness at its heart."

Awards ceremony will be tonight at 6:00pm at the Sala Tropicana in the Italian Pavilion of Hotel Excelsior.

Friday, July 26, 2019

76th Venice International Film Festival Lineup


Somehow was able to enjoy yesterday's press conference as even if rhythm was on the slower side, eventually the end was near and finally were able to learn the films in La Mostra competition. My very-spontaneous reaction was feeling this year fest will be as exciting as last year and yes, more interesting than Cannes. This is great but you know me, I'm crazy about French cinema, so wish the French festival will pickup the past glory, leave controversies behind to become more "independent", sigh. Well, but for now, is all about the Italian festival with great movies from around the world becoming not only the Oscars predictor but the one to be consider as the leading force in world cinema

Before getting into post matter, wish to share an extraordinary and outstanding fact about a country with no cinema continuous-trajectory that suddenly is catapulting into remarkable milestones. As far as was able to check from historic info, this is the first time Guatemala has one movie in each of the three major film festivals in the world in the same year. First was Berlinale in Panorama Section with Temblores by Jayro Bustamante, then Cannes Semaine de la Critique and Camera d'Or winner, Nuestras Madres by Cesar Diaz and now is Jayro Bustamante's La Llorona in Venice Days. Remarkable!!!

Because I find it rather inspiring here is an excerpt from Alberto Barbera, Director of the Venice International Film Festival, introduction the fest and his part of his opening remarks at yesterday's press conference.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

92nd Academy Awards International Feature Film Submissions


November 12 Update

Seems yesterday Monday, November 11, the Academy notified the Austrian selection committee their verdict regarding the Austrian submission, Joy by Sudabeh Mortezai and it's bad news as AMPAS claims film dialogue is only 33% non-English.

So it's the second disqualification and perhaps there could be more as news mention AMPAS is currently in the process of reviewing all the films submitted for current edition.

With this disqualification tally goes down to ninety-one (91), one below the record established two years ago.

Just noticed from the list below that there are 3 films strikethrough, two are disqualifications and one was not in AMPAS published list, but what's remarkable is that all three films are directed by female directors! I'm sure is just a coincidence but can't help from imagining the worst scenario, lol.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

2019 L’Œil d’Or Winners


In an unexpected finale the jury decided two top winners for this award that is too young to be giving ex-æquo awards.

"The two films we have rewarded deal with love, exile, resistance and the you of disobeying together"  declared the jury.

First L’Œil goes to a very strong and courageous debut film by a young woman.  A shock, terrifying violence of the images.  The story of a great love between a man and a woman, an open love letter to their child, the everyday life of a young heroic surgeon and his team in the hell of Syrian war.  For Sama by Waad Al Kateab.

The second goes to a filmmaker who has been in exile for almost 50 years.  He has restlessly celebrated, through his body of work, the passionate momentum of Chilians in pursuit of liberty and social Justice. La Cordillera de los Sueños by Patricio Guzmán.

2019 Queer Palm Winners


After all the highly positive noise and buzz generated by Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady On Fire is no surprise film won the LGBT award but deep inside me I was worry as usually top festival LGBT awards do not recognize lesbian interest film nor films made by a female director.

So the big surprise is not that Queer Palm is honoring a lesbian interest film BUT that film is by a female director!!! It's the first time in Cannes and well, it hasn't happened that often in other top film festivals.  There is always an exception and, of course, it is the award from the Berlinale as the Teddy has gone several times to a female director telling lesbian interest stories but also, gay interest stories, sigh.

The following is the jury statement in the original language it was said, French.

Le film que nous avons choisi de récompenser pour cette 10 ème édition de la Queer Palm n’est pas seulement une histoire lesbienne mais, avant tout, un grand film de cinéma. Le jury a été frappé par la maîtrise artistique dont fait preuve la cinéaste et touché par le regard qu’elle porte sur la création artistique, cœur brûlant de ce film. Nous avons été également ému par la sororité qui habite cette œuvre: de la destinée des personnages au travail avec les actrices et jusque dans l’équipe technique et artistique. Nous sommes également très fiers de remettre pour la première fois la Queer Palm à une femme.

2019 Cannes Soundtrack Award Winners


This year organizers gave the top award to none other than three times Oscar nominated Alberto Iglesias for the soundtrack of Dolor y Gloria by Pedro Almodovar.

A special mention is given to Jean-Michel Blais for making the original music of Matthias and Maxime by Xavier Dolan.

Winners are below in *BLUE.  To check news at official site go here, but wait a while for them to update.  Meantime check news at official facebook here.

Here is the top winner and the award.


Thursday, May 23, 2019

72nd Festival de Cannes Award Winners


Will not deny that winners were a true downer as was hoping for a major award for a female-directed film BUT well, got an award but not the one probably deserves.

Anyway, today July 10th finally write the winners (LOL!)

Saturday, May 04, 2019

72nd Festival de Cannes Official Selection


Second Update on May 4th, 2019.  In the past couple of weeks organizers announced diffrent juries members, new films in the official selection plus the Cannes Classics films.  As expected it's official, Cannes has enough Hollywood clout and will shine attracting international press more than well, before Tarantino's film was announced as part of the selection.  On a more local shinning no doubt Kechiche's latest trilogy installment becomes news in France.  Sigh.

As the competition films become all known have to agree with those saying that's been a long time since fest had such a strong lineup.  Yes, it's a strong lineup with films by master-filmmakers from Europe, America and Asia; unfortunately there is not even one film from Latin American filmmakers but well, they're present in other sections.  Worth mentioning that lineup strength comes not only from well-established great filmmakers but also from directors from a younger generation that in the past have shown their potential, in the present their films suggest to be top quality and I'm sure have a very bright future.  

Thursday, April 25, 2019

27th L'ACID Selection


ACID (Association for the Distribution of Independent Cinema) is a film directors association that has been promoting the distribution of independent cinema in movie theaters since 1992.  Their founding principle: the support brought by filmmakers to other filmmakers, French or foreign.

ACID filmmakers follow their love for film and wish to give visibility to directors whose work is scarcely distributed,  in order to facilitate a theatrical release.

The ACID program at Cannes International Film Festival was created in 1993. Films are chosen by fifteen or so filmmakers, members of the association.   The following are the filmmakers who chose the current selection.

Sylvie Ballyot, Aurélia Barbet, Marta Bergman, Michaël Dacheux, Marina Déak, Delphine Deloget, Jean-Louis Gonnet, Diego Governatori, Hanna Ladoul, Marco La Via, Vladimir Perišić, Clément Schneider, Idir Serghine, Christian Sonderegger, Laure Vermeersch.

The ACID program is shown at Palais des festivals and Les Arcades, Studio 13, Alexandre III, movie theaters in Cannes.  The screeners, open to professionals and also to the public, are all followed by Q&As with films' crew and ACID filmmakers who support the films.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

51st Quinzaine des Réalisateurs Selection


Yesterday organizers announced the selection to the pleasant surprise of many as includes many of the 2019 most expected films by extraordinary master filmmakers.  Great.

Before getting into the list, a few words about the poster.  Both naturalistic and transfigured, photographer Robert Schlaug's picture evokes a road to travel as well as an acceleration, an eye movement.  Between realism and digital artifact, the artist's intervention disrupts codes and questions our perception, recalling the spirit of the films presented over the last 50 years bye de Directors' Fortnight.

There are three Virtual Reality installations by Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang: called Go Where You Look! Falling Off Snow Mountain; the installation has three pieces Aloft, Chalkroom and To The Moon.  Both Aloft and Chalkroom are currently installed in MASS MoCA in North Adams Massachusetts. Under its Italian title “La Camera Insabbiata” it won the award for “Best VR Experience” at the Venice Film Festival. To the Moon was commissioned by Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark. Presenting these installations together in the Cannes Film Festival provides a unique opportunity to see new relationships between the them as well as a chance to see these works in the context of a film festival that promotes mainstream as well as experimental and high cinema.  To read more about the special event go official site here.

Monday, April 22, 2019

58th Semaine de la Critique Selection


A few minutes ago organizers announced via social media the Festival de Cannes parallel section that always has unconventional films to say the least.  As of this moment the info is available only in French but imagine soon will be available in English. Update: all info is available in English too!

The Poster

Before diving into the selection will share info about the magnificent poster showcasing Félix Maritaud - winner of the Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award - in a photo by Aurélie Lamachère in collaboration with les bons faiseurs agency.

Shot during the blue hour, the actor is one with the disturbing love-hungry character he embodies in Sauvage, Camille Vidal-Naquet’s first feature, which competed in the 2018 edition of La Semaine de la Critique.  Félix Maritaud plays Léo with candid animalistic energy; almost graceful, he’s an angel haunted by his demons.

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