Friday, March 27, 2015

FIPRESCI 90th Anniversary

Ninety years ago, in 1925, some film journalists from Paris and Brussels founded a Professional Association of the Film Press, which only in a bit more than a year became the International Federation of Film Press during the Congress of Cinema held in Paris from September 27 to October 3, 1926. But was until June 1930 that the Federation as we know it was founded. Still the idea of a worldwide film press has 90 years and FIPRESCI is celebrating its anniversary with some activities.

Perhaps the most interesting is the one that has eight (8) master classes by renown filmmakers. Here is the info from a FIPRESCI press release.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

9th Asian Film Awards Winners

The 9th Asian Film Awards (AFA) ceremony was held at The Venetian Macao last night, commemorating another year of excellence in Asian cinema. The 9th AFA was jointly organized by the Asian Film Awards Academy (AFAA), and its constituent partners – Busan Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival and Hong Kong Film Festival.

Hong Kong pop star, and breakout actress Ivana Wong opened the 9th AFA ceremony with a heartfelt singing performance. Later, South Korean band Infinite entertained guests with an energetic musical set, which was then followed by loud applause from their dedicated fans.

Overall, Mainland China’s films stole the show, winning awards in 10 categories out of 14, including 3 out of the 4 major accolades. This year’s coveted Best Film Award went to Blind Massage. Other major winners this year include Ann Hui who took home the Best Director award for The Golden Era. Liao Fan beat out other nominees for the Best Actor Award for his role in Black Coal, Thin Ice. However, it was South Korean Bae Doo-na who was awarded Best Actress for her stunning performance in A Girl At My Door.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

47th Quinzaine des Réalisateurs News

The Poster

Today la Quinzaine unveiled their 2015 poster with a theme that according to Edouard Waintrop, revolves around the turbulent times and celebrates women bold enough to confront this space (the ocean) so immense and turbulent... Below you will find the complete reason why to the poster in French; the complete message suggests to me that this year there will be at least half female directors in the selection. It is like if la Quinzaine will celebrate female directors. Still it is just a spontaneous first impression that I hope becomes truth when the selection is presented next month. Sigh.

Le cinéma est un océan et, en ces temps tumultueux, il n'est pas étonnant qu'il soit bouillonnant…
Il n'est pas plus surprenant que par cette image nous célébrions ces femmes suffisamment audacieuses ou téméraires pour affronter cet espace immense et turbulent…
Dans une Quinzaine où la moitié du ciel assurera sa présence comme protagoniste dans les films certes mais également comme réalisatrice, ces femmes sont à leur place, puisqu'elles se sont jetées à l'eau.  Que cette Quinzaine, aussi tourbillonnante soit-elle, vous soit favorable… Et régénérante.

Edouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of Directors' Fortnight

Monday, March 23, 2015

68th Festival de Cannes Poster

The 68th Festival de Cannes (13-24 May 2015) has chosen to pay tribute to Ingrid Bergman with this year’s poster, following on from Marcello Mastroianni in 2014.

Hollywood star Ingrid Bergman was a modern icon, an emancipated woman, an intrepid actress, and a figurehead for the new realism. She changed roles and adoptive countries as the mood took her, but never lost sight of her quintessential grace and simplicity.

This year’s poster captures the actress, who worked with Alfred Hitchcock, Roberto Rossellini and Ingmar Bergman, and starred opposite Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart and Gregory Peck, in all her beauty, her face lit up by a calm serenity that seems to herald a promising future.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2015 Cannes Film Festival Wish List - Part 1: France and Italy

By mid-April Thierry Fremaux and the new festival president, Pierre Lescure, will announce the 2015 Cannes Official Selection and a few days after the parallel sections Quinzaine and La Semaine de la Critique will do the same. All this will happen in less than a month, but today I'm sharing my wish list with films that I hope will make Cannes not only in the official selection but in any of the parallel sections or activities.

The more we get close to the official selection announcement, the more buzz about the selection appears in several languages. Perhaps the most interesting from the latest news are the ones that speculate about the opening film. Many were speculating about Tomorrowland or Mad Max: Fury Road as the most likely options. In paper both look appealing as the first means George Clooney will be on opening day activities, the second means Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron doing the same; consequently, both assure wide world press coverage. But buzz about release date has changed the perspective as first has a USA release date of May 22 (France May 20), second has USA release date of May 15 (and multiple country release date of May 13, including France).

Monday, March 16, 2015

2015 The Carrosse d'Or (Golden Coach)

The Carrosse d’Or Prize has been awarded since 2002 by the filmmakers of the Société des réalisateurs de films (SRF) to honor one of their own during Cannes Film Festival.  The Carrosse d'Or is a bronze statuette inspired by the figures of the Comedia dell'Arte and Jean Renoir's film of the same name – it was created by painter-sculptor Lili Legouvello.  The recipient is chosen from the international filmmaking community for the innovative qualities, courage and independent-mindedness of his or her work.

Since its creation in 2002, this prize has been given to Jacques Rozier, Clint Eastwood, Nanni Moretti, Sembene Ousmane, David Cronenberg, Alain Cavalier, Jim Jarmusch, Naomie Kawasé, Agnès Varda, Jafar Panahi, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Jane Campion and Alain Resnais.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

2015 Swiss Film Awards Winners

Docufiction The Circle was the big winner of the night as won four Quartz trophies out of the five nominations it had. Another multiple winner is documentary Electroboy that picked two awards.

Jean-Luc Godard was the recipient of the 2015 Honorary Award in recognition of his outstanding body of work. For health reasons, he was not able to collect the award in person. However, the director sent a video message greeting the guests. Federal Councilor, Alain Berset, paid tribute to the contribution that the internationally acclaimed director has made during his career: “Your films blend genres and forms. They transform the banal into poetry. They are deftly suffused with a knowing amateurism, with cheerless folly and joyous pessimism. They are sometimes sociological, sometimes political. They are the melody of phrases, the grammar of sound. Your work is to cinema what jazz is to music.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

2015 Cannes Possible Films - The Buzz

This is NOT my wish list but a compendium of possible films that could make it to Cannes this year. List is made from several Cannes articles plus some lists with most anticipated films of 2015 and what I know from my daily readings.

As one Le Monde article says: "It is no secret, Cannes begins in Berlin" and it does, not in red carpet but in the industry market. Consequently it's no surprise that in the last days of the Berlinale press articles (see my pinterest here) started to appear with possible films that surely are fast running to reach La Croisette on time.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

2015 Cannes Cinéfondation News

Last month was announced that Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako was named President of the Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury. Next April we will learn the jurors that will accompany Sissako in their task to find the best projects and short films.

Today the Festival de Cannes organizers announced the Cinéfondation Atelier projects for its eleventh edition. Here are all the news available up to this moment.

Post will be updated constantly with relevant Cinéfondation news until becomes final when the 2015 Book of Projects is released.

9th Gopo Awards Nominations

Today the Romanian Film Promotion Association announced the nominations for the annual event that honors the best Romanian contemporary filmmakers, as well as pays tribute to domestic film industry legends.

There were 81 Romanian films released in cinemas or festivals during 2014 and all were considered for the nominations.

Q.E.D. (Quod Erat Demonstrandum) by Andrei Gruszniczki leads the pack with a record seventeen (17) nominations followed by the international production (Romania, USA, Italy, Poland and France) Closer to the Moon by Nae Caranfil with 12, Poarta Albăcu with 6 and O poveste de dragoste, Lindenfeld with 5.

Monday, March 02, 2015

17th Polskich Nagród Filmowych Orły (Eagle Awards) Winners

Gods by Łukasz Palkowski was the big winner in last night awards ceremony as won seven (7) awards from the 12 nominations it got. Palkowski's film was a Polish box office success so is no surprise that film also won the Audience Award.

The second film in the award winners ranking is Warsaw '44 with 3 awards. Although nominated in 11 categories, Jack Strong only collected one, Best Actress for Maja Ostaszewska.

Winners are in *BLUE.  To check winners in all categories go official site here, available only in Polish; for English go here.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

68th Bodil Awards Winners

Big winner in last night awards ceremony was Silent Heart by Billie August that won Best Film, Best Actress and Supporting Actor. In photo the Silent Heart winners: Danica Curcic, Billie August and Pilou Asbæk.

Viggo Mortensen was honored with this year's Honorary Bodil, Niels Thatum received the Best Cinematography award for his work in visually outstanding When Animals Dream, editor Molly Malene Stensgaard received a Special Bodil for her work in Nymphomaniac, production designer Rie Lykke got the Henning Bahs award for Speed Walking and the new award for Best Screenplay went to Christian Thorpe for his Silent Heart script.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

9th Asian Film Awards Nominations

Recently the Asian Film Awards Academy announced the 74 nominations of 42 films from eight (8) countries. Winners will be selected by a jury that comprises 14 film industry professionals and critics; the awards ceremony will be held on March 25 at The Venetian Theatre in Macao.

Inaugurated in 2007, the Asian Film Awards celebrates excellence in Asian cinema through the annual presentation of awards to the many diverse talents and films that make up the dynamic film industries of the region. Founded by the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival in late 2013, the AFA Academy aims to promote, develop and enrich Asian cinema, its talents and audiences by organizing the AFA and a diversity of other programs across Asia through working closely with film, arts and culture partners from around the world. This year AFA received over a thousand films from 34 countries across Asia.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

87th Academy Awards Winners

The American Awards season is over BUT we know that the World Award Season continues with more awards to come from all over the world. Good.

Can't say that enjoyed the TV Show (but really enjoyed Twitter while the awards ceremony was on) and well, by now, I accept that no matter who won what in most major categories, this was going to be a "B" year for the Oscars and it was, sigh.

The industry honored Birdman over Boyhood or Budapest, a result that again shows how far away are those that do movies from those that review movies and watch movies. But fact is that all the eight Best Picture nominees got at least one award and that's about the only positive thing I could say about this year Oscars.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Czech Lion Awards Winners

Yesterday the Czech Film and Television Academy had the annual ceremony where according to Czech news dispatches many were surprised as front runner with unprecedented 14 nominations, Fair Play by Andrea Sedláčková, was Czech Republic submission to Oscar, got snubbed. Still seems audiences enjoyed film more than industry as film collected the Audience Viewers' Choice award.

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