Thursday, June 17, 2021

60th Semaine de la Critique Selection

A few days back organizers announced via video on social media the Festival de Cannes parallel section that always has unconventional films to say the least. As this year waited a while the English version of this year events are all available; so, let's start with the graphic identity.

The Poster

As we recall, la Semaine de la Critique is dedicated to dicovering new talents and has been exploring filmmakers' work from around the world for 60 years. It conveys here both its passion for arthouse films and new kinds of genre films; and, focused on first and second features from the beginning, is always thirlled to enter directors' deliciously radical works.

On the poster of the 60th edition of La Semaine de la Critique, It Follows, David Robert Mitchell's second feature film, presented at the 2014 edition This. picture by photographer François Fontaine is a tribute to the energy La Semaine de la Critique, as it is celebrating its 60th anniversary, puts into discovering short films and features alike, looking for the future of cinema.

Poster was cone with the collaboration of Les Bons Faiseurs agency and particurlarly shows the characters dashing towards their destiny. Genre films are full of parallel worlds that reflect their generation, playful yet unbelievably sharp harbingers of the times to come.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

2021 L'ACID Selection

A few days ago organizers announced the selection for 2021, but before listing them let's recall what this event is all about.

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.

Aurélia Barbet, Diane Sara Bouzgarrou, Michaël Dacheux, Philippe Fernandez, Jean-Louis Gonnet, Pascale Hannoyer, Thomas Jenkoe, Naruna Kaplan de Macedo, Ombline Ley, Nora Martirosyan, Jessé Miceli, Ina Seghezzi, Idir Serghine, Jean-Robert Vialle

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

53rd Quinzaine des Réalisateurs Selection

Yesterday Paolo Moretti, artistic director, and his selection committee unveiled the selection of Directors' Fortnight's 2021 edition with 24 feature films, 1 special screening, 9 short films and 1 feature by 2021 Carrosse d'Or filmmaker.

Before doing the list a few words about current edition poster. The image by photographer and filmmaker Daniel Mercadante, is part of his series "The Enchanted Forest" and was created through a process that combines long exposure photography, light projection and juxtaposition. The artist "paints" the trees with coloured light of handheld flashlights and using long exposure techniques, explores the temporal dimension that photography shares with cinema. The wide spectrum of colours reflects the richness and diversity of contemporary cinema which is, once again, the heart of the Director's selection.

Very well-known documentarian Frederick Wiseman will be given the 2021 Carrosse d'Or handed out by the French Directors' Association (SRF) at the opening ceremony ot the Quinzaine. Intended to reward a filmmaker chosen for pioneering qualities of their films, their boldness, and the rigor of their direction and production, the Carrosse d'Or was first handed out in 2002 to Jaques Rozier and since then many master filmmakers were honored with this recognition.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

74th Festival de Cannes Official Selection - In Progress

Update June 16, 2021: Short Films and Cinéfondation Selections plus the Jury for both short films sections of the festival. Also today French press announced Doria Tillier as the maîtresse des cérémonies for the opening and closing ceremonies.

Update June 15, 2021: Un Certain Regard announces the jury and the opening film.

Update June 11, 2021 Additions to the Official Selection

As announced during the press conference on June 3rd, and as is the tradition -there were 9 additional films in 2019-, here are the 9 films that will be added to the Official Selection.

There is one film by Ari Folman in Out of Competition, one in Cannes Premiere by Gaspar Noé, one in Un Certain Regard by Yohan Manca, two in Midnight Screenings by Arnaud and Jean-Maie Larrieu and another by Audrey Estrougo, and four in Special Screenings by Andrew Muscato, Noémie Merlant, Maxime Roy, and Wen Shipei.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

71st Berlin International Film Festival Award Winners Final

Update June 21, 2021: Audience Awards were the last prizes to be announced. Berlinale 2021 is over see you next year for Berlinale 2022. Auf Wiedersehen!

Update May 27, 2021: Generation Awards, prizes from the Younger Audience jurors.

As was very clear stated the festival this year will have two dates, first for industry during March and second for audiences in summer time. What was unexpected was that industry event included film press watching films and publishing reviews; but, most of all, awards were given to films! At least, some awards and that's when my confusion started to become chaotic.

With time some clarity came and now believe I understand better what's going on. For starters this post will be In Progress until after the summer event when awards not listed below will be given, like for example Panorama section awards, Teddy Awards, etc.

Monday, February 22, 2021

35th Teddy Awards Lineup

May 30, 2021 Update: some films have been eliminated from the selection and today post is updated to final selection.

Most interesting news come from the TEDDY Foundation as will present the Special Teddy Award for outstanding achievement and long-term service to Jenni Olson, a figure from the creative industries whose work has made an exceptional contribution to a wide-scale public perception and reception of queer perspectives in art, culture and media. For more than a decade I have been following the work of Jenni Olson and believe if someone deserves recognition for his unparallel body of work is her as an outstanding film curator, archivist, filmmaker, writer and LGBT film historian. Congrats.

The Teddy Jury 2021 was also announced with three filmmakers and festival organizers.
Sylvie Cachinis, film director, Switzerland
Samuel Girma, curator of film and art, Sweden
Esma Akyelis, transfeminist activist, festival organizer, Turkey

Sunday, February 21, 2021

71st Berlin Film Festival Lineup

Still missing past fest director Dieter Kosslick's black humor.  Maybe all the lockdowns doesn't facilitate new directors couple to shine as they should but 2021 could be their moment. Sigh.

Festival will run in two stages; first, the Industry Event from March 1 to 5, 2021 and second, the Summer Special from June 9 to 20, 2021. It's in the Summer Special when Berllinale audiences will be able to see the majority of the films selected by all the sections.

Worth mentioning that Berlinale Talents offers a host of familiar events featuring top-class guests, which can be attended virtually between March 1 to 5, live and cost free.

The Berlinale being one of the first festivals in the year, this line-up is mainly made up of films that either during the shooting or editing and post-production have endured the pandemic.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

#Oscars2021 International Feature Film Shortlist

Yesterday, February 9, 2021 as promised AMPAS released on time the infamous shortlists for several Oscars categories. Must admit had fun with all silly memmes from those waiting all day for the announcement and the Academy taking its time, they even released a "sarcastic" meme with Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs. Playing time for the academics, isn't nice. Well, the result is that for me and so many others from around the world it was February 10 and yes, I was still awake waiting to see if certain movie and certain short film made it to the list. Good news: they did!!! So, went to sleep and woke up late. Sigh, too-much info!

Know is not the post category name BUT will share the good news, Pedro Almodovar's The Human Voice made it to the Live Action Short Film shortlist! Bravo!

Monday, December 14, 2020

2020 Film Critics Awards

Been wondering if this post makes sense when everything about film awards is so upside down when what critics are reviewing will not be seen by audiences in theaters and what film critics do not like to review, mainly anything streaming, is what for the first time EVER audiences are watching not in the thousands but in the millions.  So, I'm afraid critics will honor with their awards films that we have no -or very little- idea of its existence.

But trying to make something positive out of all the sea of negativity, here is the post that will be a work in progress until the last critics group announces their winners which usually happens by early February but now probably will be early April as some groups seems decided to follow the Oscars schedule instead of the regular calendar year.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

77th Venice Film Festival Award Winners

Most talk about what many agree,  festival deserves big kudos for daring to gather people in cinemas and events like press conferences and hopefully Not spreading the virus ... sigh. But when considering cinema only, undoubtedly was a "strange" festival as yes, in a regular year many of those participating in official and collateral sections would not have had the chance at all. As a consequence there where actors on Venice that are well-known for their B-movies rather that for great cinema participation. Sigh.

But well, these are special times and most of all, uncertain times so let's be positive and congratulate organizers for this festival and let's hope that next year festival will go back more to be what it deserves to be.

Post will be in progress until after tonight's Awards Ceremony at 7:00pm local time.

Monday, August 10, 2020

93rd Academy Awards International Feature Film Submissions

Update: January 29th, 2021. Finally AMPAS released the much-awaited official list and to my surprise was not the list of accepted films but is the list of submitted films. As a matter of fact now AMPAS calls it "films that are eligible for consideration"; so, we can assume that indeed is the list of accepted films. Sigh.

There are ninety-three (93) eligible films being considered for the International Feature Film category and yes, those 93 countries/films are the same as the list that leaked a few weeks later. It's a milestone as establishes a new submissions record as previous one was 92 entries in 2018. Not bad for a year where everyone was expecting very low film related activity; but, as I suspected, 2020 entries were going to be high and will be next year when probably submissions could go to an unexpected low.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

34th Teddy Awards Award Winners

This edition top award winner goes to Futur Drei by Faraz Shariat, Jury Award to Rizi by Tsai Ming-Lang, documentary award to Si c’était de l’amour by Patric China and Best Short Film to Playback. Ensayo de una Despedida by Agustina Comedi.  Futur Drei also won the Readers' Award and Welcome to Chechnya by David France the Activist Award.

70th Berlin Film Festival Award Winners

Yes, this year's festival was different, as a summary let me share enthusiasm does not compensate for lack of substance and even do there were some really great films, most were not.  After checking what was going on for a couple of days, gave up and stopped trying to get exciting about a film festival that used to be one of the three greatest in the world. Sigh.

In any case, there were exceptions but none as remarkable as the press conference for the documentary Hillary which strongly suggest you watch if you haven't seen it yet.  It's amazing how an educated person can clearly state thoughts and go to the point, especially when you compare him/her to actors, directors and filmmakers (lol).  Seriously, Hillary Clinton clearly and straight forwardly said very interesting things and doc became must be seen for me, immediately.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

92nd Academy Awards Winners

Now I live across land and a pond to where the Oscars take place so IF wanted to watch show LIVE had to wake up at 1:00am and do not sleep from then on.  My purpose was to do exactly that even when had to miss the red carpet.  That's exactly what I did and gee, I'm so glad was able to do it as Cinema History was written and was able to watch it live!

Much is already written about the irrelevance of the show as did little to honor films and much to honor music -in films-; believe show was more like a music magazine for adults, which is not bad as there are too many shows and awards shows with music to celebrate youth (who are the one that purchase music the most!).  Nevertheless music/songs clips montage was quite emotional for me as recognized almost all films with only hearing the first notes ... and then came the first true surprise: Eminem!  It was kind of weird but yes, it worked as it's always nice to be moved by music to afterwards get shocked by music! (lol)

Thursday, January 30, 2020

70th Berlin Film Festival Lineup

Yes, I am (or was?) a huge fan of this festival and highly enjoyed Dieter Kosslick's black humor and many of his official selections during the many years he was the festival's director.  This is the first festival without Dieter Kosslick and under the Executive Direction of Mariette Rissenbeek and the Artistic Direction of Carlo Chatrian.  My first spontaneous reaction is that festival looks and feels different as Competition lineup (which always is the main festival event) seems different perhaps less festival particular and more like other festivals.

Time will say if my first impression is real or just my reaction to change.  Change does not come only at top levels as almost all sections have new heads.  So, no doubt the festival has gone a major overhaul.  Hope finds its own and different to the other 2 major film festivals niche as if not, will risk to go outside the major 3 and film festivals will have only 2 major participants until another grows to become the third one.

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