Thursday, September 10, 2009

53rd London Film Festival Lineup

The fest will run from October 14 to 29 and today they announced the complete program that will screen 191 features and 113 shorts. There are many changes in the fest this year and all are for the better. For the first time they will have an Awards ceremony on the night of October 28 and they will present an enhanced range of awards.

Here are some of the awards they will be presenting.

Best Film
This new Award will celebrate creative, original, imaginative, intelligent and distinctive filmmaking in the Festival.
An initial shortlist will be drawn up by the Artistic Director and the programming team, and will then be judged by an international jury of high profile directors, writers, producers and actors.

BFI Fellowship
The British Film Institute Fellowship is awarded to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television culture.
Initiated in 1983, the BFI Fellowships have been given to a host of outstanding actors and film & programme-makers from around the world, including Robert Altman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Sir Michael Caine, Bernardo Bertolucci, Bette Davis, Gérard Depardieu, Graham Greene, Sir Alec Guinness, Deborah Kerr CBE, Akira Kurosawa, Sir David Lean, Jeanne Moreau, Martin Scorsese, Dame Maggie Smith.
This year's recipients will be recognised for their significant achievements in the field of acting and directing.

Best British Newcomer Award
The Best British Newcomer Award will celebrate new and emerging British film talent and recognise the achievements of a new writer, producer or director who has demonstrated real creative flair and imagination with their first feature.
This year's judges include Lenny Crooks, who heads the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund which encourages new, distinctive voices in British Cinema, Michael Hayden, Festival programmer, Sandra Hebron, Artistic Director of the Festival, Christine Langan, Creative Director of BBC Films whose producer credits include In The Loop, The Queen, The Deal, Cold Feet, and Dirty Filthy Love, Tanya Seghatchian, Head of the UK Film Council's Development Fund & Executive Producer of the hugely successful Harry Potter franchise and Tessa Ross, Controller of Film4 and Drama,
Channel 4.

The Sutherland Trophy
For the most original and imaginative first feature at this year's festival.
This award, presented for the first time by the BFI in 1958, has a long and distinguished history and has been awarded to a remarkable spread of filmmakers including Yasujiro Ozu, Souleymane Cissé, Bernardo Bertolucci and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Some of the films recognised in recent years include Asif Kapadia's The Warrior, Kenneth Lonergan's You Can Count On Me, Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher, Andrea Arnold's Red Road. Last year, Sergey Dvortsevoy's Tulpan, the disarmingly sweet comedy about a desperate Khasak sheep-herder and his attempt to find a wife, was chosen as the worthy recipient. This year's Sutherland Trophy winner will again be selected by an invited jury of filmmakers, actors, writers, critics, producers and artists.

Shortlist 2009
Ajami, Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, Israel and Germany
Bunny And The Bull, Paul King, UK
Cold Souls, Sophie Barthes, USA
Eyes Wide Open, Haim Tabakman, Israel
Lebanon, Samuel Maoz, Israel
Metropia, Tarik Saleh, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway (animation but looks fantastic!)
Samson & Delilah, Warick Thornton, Australia
Shirley Adams, Oliver Hermanus, South Africa, USA, and UK
Wah Do Dem, Sam Fleischner and Ben Chace, USA and Jamaica
Wolfy, Vassily Sigarev, Russia

The Times BFI London Film Festival Grierson Award
For the best feature-length documentary at this year's Festival.
This award is given by the Grierson Trust, which commemorates the pioneering Scottish documentary-maker John Grierson (1898-1972), famous for Drifters and Night Mail and the man widely regarded as the grandfather of British documentary. The Grierson Trust, through its own annual awards - The British Documentary Awards - has a long-standing tradition of recognising outstanding films that demonstrate integrity, originality and technical excellence and social or cultural significance. Last year's Festival winner was Victoire Terminus, the powerful and gripping documentary about contemporary life in a Congo ghetto as seen through the eyes of four female boxers.

These are the first and last films in the fest.

Opening Film: Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson, UK (Another animated film opening a festival… hmm! With the voices of Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Bill Murray and more)
Closing Film: Nowhere Boy, Sam Taylor-Wood, UK (with Kristin Scott Thomas! And yes, is about John Lennon.)

To read the announcement with many movies and direct links to read about each movie go here.

As always the fest has the following Film Strands. Each strand name is a direct link to check the films in the strand and read info, see photos, synopsis, etc.

Galas and Special Screenings . Here they will screen Chloe, the Cannes winner and many other films.

Films on the Square. Here they will screen one of my most awaited films, Cracks by Jordan Scott (yes is Ridley Scott daughter). Finally! Many more excellent fims.

New British Cinema

French Revolutions. The best movies in the fest are in this section (lol!). In particular: Leaving, Catherine Corsini, France with Kristin Scott Thomas; and the great French films from Venice fest.

Cinema Europa . The second best place to find excellent movies.

World Cinema . Many must be seen films.

Experimenta. Old and new films that go from Hitchcock to Portugal’s The Portuguese Nun and Argentina’s They All Lie.

Treasures from the Archives will screen Venezuelan Margot Benacerraf’s visually stunning Araya (wow!)and many more.

Short Cuts & Animation

Unlike Toronto’s fest official site this year, the BFI site is a true pleasure to browse all the strands and read about the movies. I’ll be checking the news to find the films competing for the Best Film award. Also seems that the site will be more open to include videos from the fest, so I’ll be checking to find what they upload. Today they have trailers up for Fantastic Mr. Fox, Bright Star, and The Informant.

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