2020/2021 Key Dates
Film Critics Post Update: Today, January 20: Winners from HoustonFCS.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

72nd Berlin Film Festival Lineup - In Progress

Please Note: On February 1, 2022 organizers will give access to the public program of the festival and will list films by festival-section in the respective web-section of the festival. When lists become available will include link to each section of those without the films listed here. So, post remains In Progress until all necessary data is included.

As Carlo Chatrian said: "we have learned to live in a state of undefined uncertainty" and fortunately film festivals are finding new ways to face uncertainty which are (finally) changing too-old ways to do things in the worldwide film industry.

There are still many more changes that should be done for the industry to thrive when the new normal becomes a reality and we can only hope they happen fast. One of those changes will come when first industry accepts that streaming is here to stay; required acceptance is quite similar to television first days when everyone thought cinema will die and nothing further from those beliefs and not only television came to stay and cinema evolved as a consolidated in scale that goes from pure entertainment into a form of art.

Believe cinemas will not disappear but their weight in the industry will be less and less to stay in the place where it belongs since a long-time-ago. Nowadays audiences participation in the film cycle is becoming more and more important and finally is taking the place it deserves since a long time ago. Well, there is much to be done yet but film festivals should start to understand that now they can have GLOBAL audiences and there is always huge benefits when films are watched by huge audiences. Not saying ALL festival films should become available to world audiences but selected films should be. Most noticeable is the effort of Sundance Film Festival with their Experience Ticket open to WORLD audiences; it's a beginning even when worldwide audiences have access to more "obscure" sections of the festival.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

#Oscars2022 International Feature Film Shortlist

Yesterday, December 21, 2021 the Academy released the infamous shortlists for several Oscars categories and IF you wish to check the other than International Film Feature Film category go official site here.

The shortlist of 15 international feature films from same number of countries has advanced the most expected films with nomination as well as others that have to watch to really understand the reason why are on the shortlist as belong to non-traditional great cinema history or trayectory.

From the critics' awards we find a possible problem as there are two major contenders for this award that are also winning critics accolades in other categories; I'm refering to submissions from Denmark and Japan. Perhaps the most fragmented is Flee, Denmark's entry, as critics have given awards in International Feature Film category, Feature Documentary category and even Animated Feature Film category. I'm affraid that IF Flee gets a nomination in two or more categories Academy members vote could be fragmented and chances of winning in any category will dissapear.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

2021 Film Critics Awards

Another unusual year with critics' groups announcing nominations and winners so early that perhaps is one of those years when someone wants to be first and makes the start critics awards race early.

So, here goes another year with some data from what critics like and links to see all nominations and winners for each group.   As we all know, film critics' winners data is different to what audiences like and nowadays less and less similar  to what AMPAS members like.

Estimate dates have been added. Some dates come from group announcements at their official site, others from Industry sources. Dates can change as season advances and will try to keep them updated. Nevertheless, their nominations and winners is what matters for this post.

Friday, September 10, 2021

78th Venice Film Festival Award Winners

Many times we tend to forget that festival awards are given by juries who (mostly) are not exposed to media during the fest duration and/or to audience reactions to films in competition. So, if you follow fest via social media there was not a consensus on what awards should go to which film, actors, directors or screenplayers. Still, there were strong buzz generated to certain actress who finally didn't got the Copa Volpi nor film got recognition from festival or Italian industry members, those who give the collateral awards. Sigh.

Awards ceremony went smoothly directly to give awards, which is highly appreciated and yes, as they started to come I suspected that those leaders among the collateral awards were going to get top recognition. Last observation is true but also helped those that were called back to Venice and walked the red carpet (lol). To the point, awards ceremony was not boring which is a huge achievement.

No doubt 2021 will be remembered as the year the three major cinema festivals in the world gave top awards to "unconventional" movies as there is NO doubt Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn by Radu Jude (Berlinale winner), Titane by Julia Ducournau (Cannes winner) and Happening by Audrey Diwan (Venice winner) are not representatives of main stream cinema and even, according to many film critics, belong to not one specific clear genre.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

94th Academy Awards International Feature Film Submissions

Update #1: Finally yesterday AMPAS released the list of films eligible for consideration in the International Feature Film category and there are ninety-three countries that have submitted films.

The Academy mentions there are some films which have not yet had their required qualifying release and must fulfill that requirement and comply with all the category’s other qualifying rules to advance in the voting process; so, there could be films that will not be considered for the shortlist of 15 that will be announced on December 21, 2021.

Also according to The Academy rules "An international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (more than 40 minutes) produced outside the United States with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue track". They also highlight the fact that Somalia is a first-time entrant.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

15th Queer Lion Award Lineup

As the official announcement reads: "The line-up of the tiles competing for the Queer Lion Award is possible thanks to the direct and precious collaboration of the different selection committees of the Venice International Film Festival. All films with a duration of 30 minutes or more, with relevant LGBT themes and characters, are eligible for the Queer Lion Award competition." Therefore the Biennale Cinema of Venice officially recognizes Queer Lion as collateral award of the Venice International Film Festival, and actively cooperates every year, granting the organization of the award direct access to the structures and facilities of the Festival, as well as inserting the prize in its official list of collateral awards.

For the 2021 line-up, special thanks go to Alberto Barbera, Angela Savoldi, Paolo Bertolin (for all the sections of the official program, and in particular Venezia 78, Fuori Concorso, Orizzonti, Biennale College); Michel Reilhac, Federico Anselmi, Liz Rosenthal, Mariachiara Manci (Venice VR Expanded); Gaia Furrer, Renata Santoro, Luca Di Leonardo, Francesco Bonerba (Giornate degli Autori); Beatrice Fiorentino (International Critics’ Week).

Saturday, July 31, 2021

18th Giornate degli Autori Lineup

The 18th edition of Giornate degli Autori will unspool during the Venice Film Festival, from September 1st to the 11th, with a pre-opening event on August 31st, thanks to a collaboration with BookCiak, Azione!, SNGCI and Isola Edipo.

This independent sidebar created by the Italian filmmakers' associations (ANAC and 100autori), under Giornate president Andrea Purgatori, will feature a competition lineup of 10 feature films and 6 special events selected by Artistic Director Gaia Furrer and screened in the Sala Perla at the Casinò of Venice, in an accord with the Venice Film Festival. It also offers a showcase of independent films made in Italy in the section Venetian Nights.

Giornate is also returning to the center of Venice for a day-long event at the Teatro Goldoni, organized jointly with Isola Edipo and featuring the world premieres of three journeys into the Self (Fellini e l'ombra, by Catherine McGilvray), the Fairy Tale (I nostri fantasmi, by Alessandro Capitani), and Bearing Witness, which will culminate in a talk with five spokespeople for inclusion, the directors behind the anthology film Isolation; Italy's Michele Placido, Germany's Julia von Heinz, Belgium's Jaco Van Dormael, France's Oliver Guerpillon, and England's Michael Winterbottom.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

78th Venice International Film Festival Lineup

Another festival that pretends there is no pandemic and even claims will have less COVID19 rules and regulations than Cannes. Let's hope that all this joyful climate will not end in something we cinema fans will absolutedly hate as much as when a young director or actor dies. Sigh.

Alberto Barbera said: "We aren't so confident anymore, even though we are bolstered by great faith in science and humankind's ability to react to even the worst adversities. Hence, our decision to hold the next Film Festival of the Biennale di Venezia in the presence of the public and with even greater conviction than during the preceding annus horribilis, formulating the 78th edition that comes just one year before we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Festival's birth, when it was launched in August 1932." Perhaps most hopeful than what happened in the past is what's going to happen next year when the festival will reach an incredible milestone.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

36th Venice International Film Critics' Week Lineup

La Settimana Internationale della Critica is an independent and parallel section organized by the National Union of Italian Film Critics (SNCCI) during the Venice International Film Festival. The program includes a selection of seven (7) debut films in competition and two (2) special events out of competition, all presented as world premieres.

The selection was curated by the General Delegate of Venice Critics' Week Beatrice Florentino together with the members of the selection committee: Enrico Azzano, Paola Casella, Simone Emiliani and Roberto Manassero.

There are several prizes for feature and short films in La Settimana but most important is the fact that the seven feature films also compete for Lion of the Future - Luigi De Laurentiis Venice Award for a debut film.

The 2021 jury members for the main Competition are Claudio Cupellini, Vanja Kaludjercic and Sandrine Marques. Further more the films in competition are eligible for the following prizes: Verona Film Club Award, bestowed by a jury composed of the under-35 members of the Verona Film Club and awarded to the most innovative film in the section; and Mario Serandrei - Hotel Saturnia Award for Best Technical Contribution conferred by a committee of experts.

Friday, July 16, 2021

74th Festival de Cannes Award Winners

Without a doubt, this was one of the best award ceremonies I have seen ever as made me laugh loud with a river of tears coming out of my eyes, (LOL). So funny!!!

Yes, Spike Lee announced the Palm d'or winner right away before any other major awards!!! Some how made me recall the infamous Oscar moment when Waren Beatty announced the wrong Best Picture; but, Cannes is France and gee, felt so funny instead of embarrasing. Even the mistress of ceremonies lost control afterwards making the show even more fun to watch. Wish awards ceremonies were more like this one that those boring shows reading one award after another.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

60th Semaine de la Critique Award Winners

Will not deny that having the festival during a summer month is kind of strange as on top, there are many cinema-related events going on at the same time due to the pandemia; so, it's not easy to concentrate on only one thing no matter how big or important that thing could be.  Nevertheless time flies and amazingly yesterday took place the first awards ceremony of the 2021 Cannes festival.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

2021 Queer Palm Selection

After a year of waiting, the Queer Palm, Cannes Film Festival LGBT+ award, is looking forward to celebrating its 10th anniversary next July on the Croisette. Created in 2010 by the French journalist Franck Finance-Madureira, the Queer Palm awards each year in Cannes a film dealing with LGBT+, queer or feminist themed movies among all the Cannes sections.

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.

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