Monday, August 12, 2019

13th Queer Lion Award Lineup - In Progress

Post will be in progress until August 26 and will be updated regularly as official site does its update.

Also to consider what is written at award's official site:  "The list of the movies competing for the award might be updated with new titles, until the day of the jury's deliberation".  Seems award organizers haven't found yet a reliable procedure to identify films that can an can't compete for the award, it has happened in previous years and unfortunately still happens.  Wish organizers could contact Berlinale Teddy Award to learn from their experience.  Sigh.

Nevertheless, there are some films that seem could be interesting like the latest by Oliver Hermanus.

Wish to share a brief award history as tells about how difficult is to create, organize and maintain awards like this one in large film festivals.

The idea of a Queer Lion sparked in 2003 from an interview for the monthly magazine Venezia News, made by journalist and fim critic Daniel N. Casagrande to the director of the Venice Film Festival Moritz De Hadeln. Casagrande asked De Hadeln if he would have allowed the creation of a specific award for queer cinema in Venice, the same way he had endorsed, 20 years before, the creation of Teddy Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

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 24, 2019

16th Venice Days Lineup

Yesterday organizers had their press conference where the announcement of this edition lineup was released to press.  Directed by Giorgio Gosetti, with Andrea Purgatori as President for the first time this year, Giornate features 11 films in competition and 8 special events, including the Miu Miu Women's Tales; the closing film Les chevaux voyageurs, about the "King of Horses" by the multi-faceted, engrossing Bartabas; and 8 Venetian Nights at the Villa degli Autori, along with a program of talks, tributes and special projects under the aegis of the two Italian filmmakers' associations ANAC and 100autori.

The films on the lineup come from 12 different countries. Along with Italy and the United States, the slate ranges from Africa and Asia to South America and Europe, with 6 first films in competition and four women filmmakers at the helm, and attests to a certain rigorousness Giornate has sought to exercise in its choice of titles, favoring a free-wheeling, independent creativity in filmmaking the world over. If any common thread is to be found in this assortment, you could say it's the clash of cultures that reveals just how fragile the contemporary world is, torn as it is between a desire for uniformity and conformity and the vitality of ancestral roots, unbowed by mass culture.

34th Venice International Film Critics Week

Next Thursday is the Biennale Cinema Official Selection press conference but a few days back organizers for the 2019 Settimana Internazionale della Critica announced this edition lineup with the usual seven (7) films in competition plus a few more out of competition and as special event.

As we know la Settimana is an independent section of the festival exclusively dedicated to first-time directors' full-lenght films. Worth mentioning that the selection is curated by the General Delegate of the Venice Critics’ Week Giona A. Nazzaro together with the members of the selection committee Paola Casella, Simone Emiliani, Beatrice Fiorentino and Roberto Manassero.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

92nd Academy Awards International Feature Film Submissions

Today is a very good day to start my favorite annual post with all country submissions to what used to be Foreign Language Film category as the Academy decided to change category name to a more politically correct name that says not much except that films are international therefore not national (!).  With time will get use to this new name as this year is still confusing for me.

What follows is the official press release with all the changes that includes the traditional short list of 9 now becoming short list of 10 with 7 chosen by the regular committee and 3 by Executive Committee.

The Foreign Language Film category name has been changed to International Feature Film.

“We have noted that the reference to ‘Foreign’ is outdated within the global filmmaking community,” commented Larry Karaszewski and Diane Weyermann, co-chairs of the International Feature Film Committee. “We believe that International Feature Film better represents this category, and promotes a positive and inclusive view of filmmaking, and the art of film as a universal experience.”

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.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

#Cannes2019 Press Conference

In about 30 minutes the much-awaited Festival de Cannes press conference will take place and finally all gossip/buzz will be put to sleep when the Official Selection lineup becomes known.  There are many great films that hope will make it to the competition as will give the festival the glitz that much needs after last year's Biennale stole much of it by allowing ALL films to compete and giving top award to a film that highly deserved to be seen by the whole world and not only a few cinephiles.  Sigh.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

2019 La Fabrique Cinéma de l'Institut Français

A few days back organizers announced that none other than Mira Nair will be the patron of the 2019 edition.  The following is what she said.

I was at Cannes for the world premiere of my film Salaam Bombay! [in 1988] - we won the Audience Award and the Golden Camera Award. I remember so many things about that film, but most of all that it was a life-and-death situation. It was almost impossible to make; we had no money. We would shoot all day and for every shot, we would have at least a thousand people watching the shoot. I would come home tired, to my flat, which I shared with several cast and crew members who also didn’t have a place to go at night. It was like a railway station. I would be up all night, on the phone with financiers and producers trying to raise money, sometimes for the next day of shooting.

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