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    THE BOARD

     
    Susan Johnston — Founder/Director– Award Winning Producer & New Media Expert

     

    David Kleiler — Artistic Director– PhD NYU Cinema Studies. Advisor, Founder & Programmer of many festivals. Saved Coolidge Corner Theatre & worked on JFK campaign.

    Brian Callahan — Advisory Board– Managing Director of Markwood Capital for over 20 years. Involved in mergers, acquisitions & equity capital.

    Ron Proulx — Advisory Board– CEO The Rights Company and Arpix Media 2 X Gemini Winner – Canadian Oscars

    Randy Bellous — Advisory Board– 11-X Award Winning TV Producer. President & Executive Producer of Register 9 Productions LLC.

    Erin Gray — Advisory Board– Award Winning Actress known for Buck Rogers & the 25th Century, Silver Spoons, Dreams Awakw

    Dan Stoloff — Advisory Board– Award Winning Cinematographer known for Tumbleweeds, Miracle & Victoria Secrets Commercials

    William Jarblum — Advisory Board– CEO of Jarblum Entertainment Group. A former attorney who has segued into a successful movie producer.

    Peter Crosman — Advisory Board– Award Winning Visual Effects Designer & 2nd Unit Director with diverse credits such as Across the Universe, Scooby Doo,  Idlewild & more.

    Michael Lent — Advisory Board– Writer:-On Thin Ice (Disney/Hyperion) based on Ice Road Truckers, Marvel Graphic Novel-Prey. Co-Wrote the graphic novel bios Keith Richards: Uncensored & Stephen King: Master of Horror

     

    2014 Festival Support Team

     
    team

     

    Steven Brun, Ricky , Lana Bergen, Bryan Martin, Antonia Roman, Tina Hoffman, Susan Johnston, Marianne Steinberg, Lucille Taquet

     

    Social Media Strategy

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    Joy & Trish

    Click here for a custom Social Media Strategy for your project / comp

     


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    Manos Sucias is a film about the port of Buenaventura-the most dangerous city in Colombia- where three men embark on a journey over the dark murky waters of the Pacific. A set of mysterious coordinates is their guide, a fishing net is their cover, and a narco-torpedo filled with 100kg of cocaine is their cargo. Following estranged brothers as they risk everything for a chance at a better life, Manos Sucias takes a close look at life at the bottom of the food chain in the international drug trade.

    Executive produced by Spike Lee.

    As part of the Spotlight selections at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, we sat down with film director Josef Wladyka, who spoke about directing his first full-length feature, process of filmmaking in Columbia, the nature and future of “Manos Sucias”, and more.

    Where did the central idea of Manos Sucias come from?

    It initially sparked when I was in South America, Ecuador, back in 2006, with a close friend of mine. We were going along the Pacific coast and we would come across towns completely abandoned and under sieged by a lot of different things, such as contraband, narco trafficking. A  lot of fishermen we were receiving rides from, would tell us various stories of people who would get inside these home made narco submarines, built in jungles that later would traffic drugs and how a lot of people would be extorted in this line of work, often times not have any other choice. I thought that was an interesting idea for a film. This was the summer right before I graduated from the film program at NYU. Over the next 3 years, when I could, I would travel back and research more with a friend, Kelly Morales that is native from the area, whose family is originally from Tumaco. With her I was able to do more in-depth research, go to these specific areas around Buenaventura, and Tumaco and I also got permission from the Columbian government to go the Malaga naval base where they captured narco submarines and torpedo’s to see in first hand.

    Can you tell us more about the casting process?

    The majority of the cast are theater students, they study at the Universidad del Valle Sede Pacifico, in Buenaventura. It is a serious acting program and I was connected with one of their teachers. The school has 60 to 80 students each year going, through this acting program. When I met Cristian (Dello) the younger character, he was a student at the time and when I first auditioned him, I thought he was incredible. The script was quite different, me and my co-writer (Alan Blanco) decided to change it, inspired by his energy and personality. They aren’t completely non-actors, but very talented and serious drama students, they just have never been in a film before. A lot of our pre-production and rehearsal process was preparing them for the film and getting very intimately close, so they could share a lot of personal things and get the performances we needed in the film. Once I cast them, we changed the dialogue to get the colloquial language spoken in Buenaventura. Certain scenes were real life stories that happened in their lives. It was a very intimate process with the best actors I have ever worked with.

    This is your first feature film. How was the transition, coming from directing commercials, and short films?

    It’s all sort of a preparation, but nothing can really prepare you for how large of an endeavor it is to make a feature film. Specially this specific film, we didn’t shoot in New York, this was an extremely difficult place to shoot with stressful conditions. A huge jump, very difficult physically and mentally for me, but we managed to get through it. I don’t think there is something that can really prepare you for a narrative. I have crewed on narrative films. Alan and me were the sound team on one of Spike Lee’s recent films “Red Hook Summer”, I have been a PA on feature films, so I understood the hours and what it feels like, but as a director, it’s very different. 

    When reading the synopsis, you would expect the cliché of another drug trade film in Columbia, but Manos Sucias is not, what made you decide to go beyond that common theme?

    I lived in Bogota for 3 months just practicing my Spanish. In Colombia my teachers didn’t realize that I was making this film. When I mentioned I was a filmmaker they thought “…not another film about drugs”. To me it’s not about that, you don’t even see drugs in the film, it’s about a place that’s under sieged,  historically forgotten by a lot of people, so I believe the film can bring a light to a place where people don’t really have a voice.

    Why did you choose Manus Sucias as the title?

    In English it translates to dirty hands, which is not a good title in English. It’s a metaphor for when you get involved in this kind of world you will have to get your hands dirty. It’s the journey for the younger brother because it’s the lost of his innocence. At the beginning of the film he is this bright eyed kid, dancing, having fun, not really realizing what he is getting into. At the end of the film , after killing a man, his essence is lost, he is kind of killing himself. Again for me it’s the lost of innocence. We used a lot of imagery of hands in the film, for example when Cris is holding his kid. It’s a dominant poetic image of the film. The fisherman in these areas they use coffee grounds to clean their hands, get rid of the smell of fish, but at some point you can’t get rid of the smell. We did have a beautiful voice-over in the opening to reflect this, but even though we didn’t use it, the essence is still there.

    What are the expectations of this film?

    We had the premiere at the Cartagena film festival in Columbia, before Tribeca last month and it was a very emotional experience for all of us. The actors hadn’t seen the film before. We brought 3 actors from Buenaventura to Cartagena. The audience reaction was very different than in NY, very emotive it strikes a cord with Columbia, they don’t want to face this particular region that is kind of dismissed. While we were in Cartagena for the film screening, there was news coming from Buenaventura, about the violence and many protests to stop the violence, so the journalists were very interested in the film. In Columbia we already have distribution, by Cine Columbia. A lot of things on the horizon in the US at the moment, with very positive reactions.

    I consider this film to have a universal message. Although it’s about such a specific place, if you look at our filmmaking team, we are from all around the world and it deals with a bigger issue. Looking at something so specific under a microscope can start a dialogue for a macro idea of what’s going on with narco trafficking.

    Are you working on future film projects?

    My co-writer and me are starting to develop new ideas, nothing concrete but definitely another feature.

     

    Tribeca Film Festival 2014

    by Lia Fietz



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    Filmfestivals.com Bruno Chatelin is looking forward to inviting all attending festival Directors in Cannes to our annual event.

    Tradition has it that each festival brings a bottle of a local wine or beverage. The other tradition is ...only FUN, only Festival directors (we insist: the event is reserved for festival organizers)

    Are you with us? Let's toast

     


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    By Maria Esteves – April 26, 2014
    Multimedia artist One9 directorial debut music documentary TIME IS ILLMATIC premiered during the 13th Tribeca Film Festival to a full house audience at the AMC Loews Village, New York, Friday, April 25, 2014. The post premiere Q&A session immediately followed with director One9 and writer Erik Parker, moderated by director of sales & operations Loren Hammonds, Tribeca Film Festival. Questions posed to One9 and Parker by Hammonds and the audience included: How long did it take to conceptualize and get it done? What about your graffiti writing? What do you say about music you can visualize?


    TFF 2014 Premiere of Time Is Illmatic Q&A Session, director One9, left, and writer Erik Parker.

     


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    By Maria Esteves – April 27, 2014

    The 13th Tribeca Film Festival Premiere Music Documentary KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON, directed by Alan Hicks was held at BMCC, New York, Saturday, April 19, 2014, 5:30PM. The premiere red carpet arrivals included producer Quincy Jones, award-winning musician Herbie Hancock, Academy Award winning actress Whoopi Goldberg, jazz singer Dianne Reeves, jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, cast members jazz pianist Justin Kauflin and Gwen Terry (Clark Terry's wife).

    Live performances immediately followed the premiere documentary about the great jazz trumpeter Clark Terry with singer Dianne Reeves, Roy Hargrove on trumpet, Herbie Hancock and Justin Kauflin on piano. KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON is winner of TFF 2014 Best New Documentary Director ALAN HICKS and the Heineken Audience Award for Best Documentary.


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    By Maria Esteves – April 28, 2014
    The 13th Tribeca Film Festival Closing Night Premiere ofBEGIN AGAIN, directed by John Carney commenced Saturday, April 26, 2014 at BMCC, New York. Carney’s musical comedy film BEGIN AGAIN red carpet arrivals included TFF co-founder Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower, TFF co-founder Jane Rosenthal, director John Carney, cast members singer/songwriter/musician Adam Levine, actress Hailee Steinfeld, and actress Keira Knightley. BEGIN AGAIN, in select theaters July 4, 2014. Watch Trailer


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    April 22-25, Stuttgart, Germany

    Europe's most influential conference on digital entertainment for the makers of the industrywas concluded with a very strong program this Friday, drawing attendees to the Haus der Wirtschaft well into the evening hours. In 2014, FMX is once again able to draw a very positive summary: 3000 attendees came to the Haus der Wirtschaft each day, among them a very high number of renowned personalities from the industry. This year's conference took place under the slogan "A Realtime Experience," assembling Art, Technology and Business for four days of presentations, discussions and Workshops. The undoubted highlight of this year's FMX was the keynote speech given by the world's first and foremost performance capture pioneer Andy Serkis, who presented yet unseen footage from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and shared his insights with the audience that filled the König-Karl-Halle to capacity.

    Serkis commented on this year's FMX:

    It's just a great melting pot of talent, but everyone is speaking the same language.

    Further renowned speakers included the highly successful President of Animation, Digital Production and Visual Effects at Warner Bros. Pictures, Chris DeFaria, who talked about his experience of producing seven-time Oscar winner Gravity as well as Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning producer Jon Landau (Avatar, Titanic), who presented an exclusive glimpse of the R&D for the next Avatar movies. Both industry veterans were part of the impressive line-up of the Virtual Production track that included five presentations on Gravity and further VFX gems. Moreover, the program offered presentations on Frozen, the most successful animation feature of all time, the upcoming DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon 2, Transmedia highlights of the likes of 5D Institute: Pipe Dreams and gaming hits such as Ryse: Son of Rome. This year's focus on Disruption and its challenges and opportunities was a huge success, especially the "Disruptive Education" sessions hosted by Marilyn Friedman, former Head of Outreach at DreamWorks Animation. The Forum brought together companies and R&D projects from around the world, showcasing a yet unseen level of diversity. Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart (AMCRS), Autodesk, Backstage and Beijing Film Animation Association were FMX Main Partners this year.

    ArrowFacts and figures: FMX speakers and attendees

    FMX is getting even more international: 260 speakers from 25 countries - one fourth from Germany and another fourth from the USA - offered approx. 260 presentations, workshops and masterclasses and curated tracks. Approximately 3000 daily visitors flocked to the Haus der Wirtschaft. This slight decrease in visitor numbers is accounted for by the reduction of venues: the FMX program was only showcased at the Haus der Wirtschaft and the Gloria cinema as the Gewerkschaftshaus is currently under construction. Nearly two thirds of all attendees were professionals. Approximately one third of all attendees were students. More than one third of all participants came from abroad. This slight increase again emphasizes the trend of internationalization. Most non-German attendees were from the UK, followed by the USA, Austria and Switzerland. The number of female attendees increased even further, underlining the growing presence of women in the industry: 32% of all attendees were female; the percentage of female participation among students reached 38%. 140 journalists were on-site to deliver press coverage on FMX this year.

    ArrowFacts and figures: Marketplace, Recruiting Hub and more

    More than 100 companies, media schools and R&D departments from as far away as New Zealand contributed to the Forum this year. The Marketplace, which was more than well-filled during all the days of FMX, displayed an increase in diversity and the number of R&D projects reached a new peak: 36 companies and R&D projects populated the Marketplace with their products, services and innovations. These innovations included a camera robot from Bot & Dolly and the augmented reality game The Gaudy Woods. Cut&Paste's design contest Alter Ego invited creative attendees to compose 2D characters. 24 companies including global players including Walt Disney Animation Studios, Framestore and MPC scouted talent on the Recruiting Hub, among them many companies from the region such as the internationally successful LUXX Studios. The School Campus was fully booked this year with 21 schools from nine countries. Those schools also presented their best projects in no more than five minutes as part of the popular "Fast Forward Education" track. Industry leaders of the likes of Adobe and Autodesk offered 35 insightful Workshops; Autodesk, Beijing Film Animation Association and Side Effects provided Company Suites. In Ed Hook's famous Masterclass "Acting for Animators" there were no more seats to be had. The "Meet the Speakers" sessions, which took place for the very first time at the heart of the School Campus, was very well received. The sessions invited speakers and attendees - among them companies such as Walt Disney Animation and DreamWorks - to engage in free-flowing, informal communication. The exhibition Moving Pictures in the Haus der Wirtschaft Foyer provided insights into six different interactive graphic novel projects. In addition, two student media installations were showcased: Sprout the Word and DIS:LOCATE.

    ArrowAndy Serkis enriched the FMX program

    FMX 2014 is proud that it was able to welcome Andy Serkis, the world-famous and foremost "performance-capture" pioneer and actor, to Stuttgart. His presentation was one of this year's highlight keynotes at FMX 2014, drawing extensive queues of attendees to the König-Karl-Halle. Serkis, who isbest-known for his motion capture acting and voice work for CG characters such as Gollum in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, provided an "Early Look at Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." Dave Gougé, Head of Marketing at Weta Digital, introduced the acclaimed actor who shared exclusive footage with the audience. Serkis furthermore illuminated the opportunities of performance capture, underlining the authorship of the respective performance as provided by the actors behind the creatures on-screen and, furthermore, painting a picture of the future of motion capture where an actor can even embody quadrupeds.

    ArrowVirtual Production: Gravity and further VFX-heavy highlights

    The Virtual Production track, which took place for the third time, was a huge success. Curated by David Morin (Autodesk) and Sebastian Sylwan (Creative Technologist, former Weta Digital), this series of presentations brought together five presentations from high-quality professionals such as Chris DeFaria, the renowned President of Animation, Digital Production and Visual Effects at Warner Bros. Pictures, or Tim Webber, VFX Supervisor at Framestore, who provided production insights into seven-time Oscar winner Gravity covering a broad range of subjects from production challenges to the use of programmable lighting and camera robots from robotics company Bot & Dolly.Moreover, the Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning producer Jon Landau (Avatar, Titanic) presented an exclusive glimpse of the R&D for the next Avatar movies currently in production. Further Virtual Production talks encompassed blockbusters such as Captain America: Winter Soldier, World War Z, White House Down, 300: Rise of an Empire and the television series Cosmos.

    ArrowBusiness: Disruption and Entrepreneurship

    FMX heeded the impact of globalization and the paradigm shift on the industry with several different formats that focused on disruption and entrepreneurship. There were several renowned speakers that looked at Germany as an international location for the production of internationally successful media - including Nico Hofmann who shed light on the successful European project The Physician, and Henrik Fett, Gabriel Sanchez (both from LOOK Effects) and Simon Weisse, who discussed their experience shooting Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel and creating the visual effects in Germany. Other talks demonstrated the opportunities and challenges of producing in France (Jacques Bled, Illumination Mac Guff, Despicable Me 2) and even China (Tore Blystad). The day-long series of sessions on "Disruptive Education," curated by Marilyn Friedman (former DreamWorks Animation), complemented this FMX focus. The demand for alternative approaches to bridge the divide between industry and education was so great that additional live streams had to be made available so that attendees were able to experience the different discussions. Two exclusive panels highlighted the trend to professionalization: The FMX and VES CEO Summit brought together decision makers from different sectors for the second time in a row, and the "Games Education South West" round table gathered 40 professionals from Baden-Württemberg and Switzerland to exchange insights and curricula.

    ArrowThe Art of Visual Effects: VES Specials, Creatures, Concept Art and Commercials

    The Virtual Production track was complemented by further VFX highlights. The long list of extraordinary presentations was led by the VES Special The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that was dissected by David Smith (Sony Pictures Imageworks). Creatures were prominent guests at this year's FMX. Curated by Dave Gougé (Weta Digital), a respective series of talks made room for prolific VFX veteran John Knoll who shared ILM's effects work on Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim with the audience. Sven Martin (Pixomondo) added his very insightful and entertaining perspective on the difficulties of dragon upbringing for Game of Thrones  - including unseen footage - and Dan Zelcs (MPC) put the fighting Oni Demon for 47 Ronin on the FMX stage. Further VFX presentations on Rush, Thor: The Dark World, Commercials and Concept Art enriched the elaborate VFX program.

    ArrowAnimation: Popular favorites and independent players

    The animation section included highlights such as presentations on "The Art of Animation" as well as exclusive insights into films that have not as yet been officially released. ScottPeterson (DreamWorks Animation) introduced footage and discussed visual effects from the long-awaited sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 more than two months before it hits the cinemas. Moreover, a track on the "Art of Animation" delivered a homage to the much-loved medium. Frozen, which recently became the no.1 animated film of all time, continued its success story as a huge crowd-pleaser at FMX: Michael Giaimo's (Walt Disney Animation Studios) revelations of the artistic choices and visual challenges were accompanied by two further tech talks on the creation of the Oscar-winning animation delight. Blue Sky's Rio 2 was met with enthusiastic attendance, as was The LEGO Movie - Animal Logic's Damien Gray delivered a detailed presentation on the realization of the film that brought the immobile toy figurines to life. In addition, curator Andreas Hykade returned with his highly popular "Wild 'n Strange" track that spotlighted independent animation.

    ArrowGames: Gaming favorites and Games 4 Change

    Acclaimed favorites were as much part of this year's gaming section as games for social impact. Kenneth McDonald and Teppei Takehana (both from Quantic Dream) shed light on the successful action-adventure game Beyond: Two Souls for Playstation 3, whilst Dan Calvert and Alex Zapata (Guerrilla Games) introduced their upcoming Next Gen AAA Asset Production Killzone: Shadow Fall. Game tracks delved into the new developments in "Mobile Games" or "Interfaces & Immersion" and zoomed in on "High-End Graphics for new Game Platforms;" speakers included, among others, Jon Peddie, who spoke about the future of gaming from handhelds to AR games. What's more, the Virtual Production track offered two presentations on Ryse: Son of Rome and gaming favorite Battlefield 4. In addition, the "Games for Change Europe" track - that was part of the FMX section Transmedia Experiences - focused on aesthetic aspects of transformational game design, introducing leading industry professionals and researchers like Noah Falstein (Chief Games Designer at Google) and Ken Perlin (NYU Media Research Lab), who showcased inspiring insights into the aesthetic challenges that come with new technologies.

    ArrowTransmedia Experiences: 5D Institute: Pipe Dreams and new immersive experiences

    A day-long series of discussions called "5D Institute: Pipe Dreams" - hosted by Alex McDowell (5D World Building Institute at USC School of Cinematic Arts) and Sarah Smith (Locksmith Animation) - was the undoubted Transmedia Experiences highlight this year. Several panels dedicated their time to collaboratively dream up the ultimate blueprint for tomorrow's animated feature studio. The panelists concluded that such a studio allows for artistic creativity as an immersive, intuitive process that is focused on storytelling rather than software-related problem-solving. Immersion was at the center of attention of three dedicated tracks; further emphasis was put on subjects such as 3D Printing, Interactive Novels and the regional characteristics of Ibero-America. In addition, Don Levy presented three sessions on "Visual Communication" ever since the origination of the book. Games were also part of the 2014 Transmedia experiences: Dennis Lenart (Telltale Games) walked the audience through the success of the award-winning game and Transmedia project The Walking Dead as part of the Serial Storytelling track.

    FMX 2015 takes place May 5 to 8 in Stuttgart, Germany.


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    Last night in Stuttgart the eighth Animation Production Day, the coproduction and cofinancing market for German and international animation projects hosted by FMX 2014 and ITFS 2014, came to an end. On Friday around 100 participants from ten different countries discussed the 33 projects selected to take part in this year's APD. The total production value of these projects lies in the region of 100 million Euros.

     

    Individually organised one-to-one meetings are at the heart of APD. In around 400 specially tailored meetings, producers, coproduction partners, broadcasters, distributors and investors entered into very detailed discussions about potential collaborations and financing models for the projects. 19 German and 14 international projects from Denmark, Sweden, France, Russia, Poland, Italy and Spain were showcased, of which 14 had transmedia or crossmedia concepts. APD was curated once again this year by Christophe Erbès and Dominique Neudecker.

     

    Thomas Haegele, FMX Conference Chair and co-host of APD said: "APD's high proportion of transmedia and crossmedia projects demonstrates how the event's openness to different formats has matched developments in the market and that we have been on the right track with this from the start."

     

    With its move to Stuttgart's L-Bank, APD responded to the continuing growth in its number of participants and for the first time enjoyed its own separate location within ITFS and FMX.

    Orion Ross, Vice President of Content Animation & Digital at the Walt Disney Company said: "This is my first time at APD and it is a really great event. It has a very focused and creative environment and I've met a lot of great people. Compared to other markets, APD has a very structured approach with plenty of time to talk. I’m really happy to be here."

    Ulrich Wegenast, Managing Director Programm International Festival of Animated Film and co-host of APD, said: "I'm particularly pleased that we could further integrate APD and the Animation Festival via the 'Stories and Series in the New Castle' event where the German Animation Screenplay Award and the Award for Best Children's Animated Series were presented!"

    Dittmar Lumpp, Managing Director Organisation and Finances at ITFS, added: "We've sensed a really positive spirit of optimism this year and we'd like to foster the development of the German industry even further in the future in cooperation with all those involved."  

    APD opened on Thursday in the Haus der Wirtschaft with the APD conference, entitled this year"Changing Markets – Who Wants What?". In the conference's first section the keynote speakers cast a glance into the future of the media industry and made striking presentations about the new techniques of 'Worldbuildings', ideas for the transmedial conception of projects and for the distribution of content on new media platforms.

    The keynote speakers were:
    Alex McDowell, Creative Director, USC 5D Institute; Founder & Creative Director, 5D Global Studio
    Liz Rosenthal, CEO & Founder, Power to the Pixel
    Jan Bonath, Managing Director, My Animation TV
    Andy Green, COO & Co-Founder von Distrify
    Damien Tromel, Acquisitions and Creative, DreamWorks Animation

    In the second section of the conference, German and international broadcasters discussed their animation programming needs, revealing which formats and content for which target groups they are seeking for their channels.

    The content briefing sessions were presented by:
    Sebastian Debertin, Head of Fiction, Acquisition & Co-Production, KiKA – Der Kinderkanal von ARD und ZDF
    Jean-Baptiste Lamotte, Kids 6/12 Animation Manager, France Télévisions
    Brigitta Mühlenbeck, Head of Children’s and Family TV, Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (WDR)
    Sarah Muller, Head of Acquisitions & Drama Development, CBBC
    Karen Mitrega, Head of Children’s Content, SUPER RTL / RTL Disney Television
    Orion Ross, Vice President Content Animation & Digital, The Walt Disney Company Ltd
    Janine Weigold, Vice President Acquisitions & Development, Nickelodeon Northern Europe
    Dr Irene Wellershoff, Head of Fiction, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)

    www.animationproductionday.de
     


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    news2

     

    As suggested in earlier articles, in order to survive the growing festival scene in major metropolitan areas niche festivals need to have an unmistakable profile offering a program others do not have. These fests’ niche must be  successfully branded, offering more than just a marginal differentiation from other fests.  In New York the international Latino Film Festival announced its demise. As the founder Calixto Chinchilla explained the fest cannot meet the economic challenge of taking place in New York City though the former co-director Elizabeth Gardner disputes that claim.  The closure took place even though the fest has a 13 year acclaimed track record, maxed out at an audience  of  25 000 and enjoyed the corporate sponsorship of HB0. This leaves the growing New York Latino audience interested in Latin Americana films with fewer options.  As alternatives  serve the LATINBEAT program, a yearly survey offered by the Film Society of Lincoln Center which had 18 titles in its 2013 edition and  The Iberoamerican Images program of the Museum of Modern Art which presents  in May 2014 in its  fourth biannual  edition  eleven features from nine Latin American countries.

    The yearly Havana Film Festival of New York, HFFNY, remains now the most comprehensive venue for an accessible over view of recent development of the Latino cinema scene.  It showcases Cuban productions as well as films from Latin American countries selected for the annual Havana Film Festival and other often award winning productions.  Founded in 2000 under the umbrella of the New York based American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, AFLFC, it offered in its first edition in 2000 at the   Anthology theatre 40 Cuban productions reflecting   Cuban film making.  From April 3 - 11 2014 the Havana Film Festival of New York celebrated under the steward ship of its co-founder Carole Rosenberg its 15th anniversary.  With a broad program of 45 Latin American Films, including 24 from Cuba it offered feature length films, documentaries and shorts.  Having outgrown the Anthology there are now nine New York City venues where the HFFNY presents its program.  The focus on Cuba remains but the screening of significant productions from other Latin American countries has become an essential part of the program.  Given  the expansion of the film program, the addition  of sidebars, the increase of venues,  the growing audience,  the  involvement  of  27 cultural and educational  US and New York based  Institutions with its program, the Havana Film Festival of New York   has become a success story.  

     Because  of the close working relation with  ICAIC, the Cuban Institute of  Art and Film Industry  since its founding HFFNY  has benefitted from privileged access to quality Cuban and Latin American productions.  For other festivals   continued access to noteworthy recent film productions is frequently problematic. What also help the HFFNY are the changing climate in US – Cuban relations and the growing interest in Latin America.  After all the festival and related exchange programs had a clear mission from the very beginnings “the development of cultural bridges between the United States and Cuba within a Latin American context”  according to  Ines Aslant the executive director of the AFLFC   and overcoming prevailing misconception about Latin America.

    Among the noteworthy features of the HFFNY 2014 edition  were four screening sessions and seminars open to the public at no charge  covering New Cuban Cinema: 55 Years of a Shared Dream,  New Horizons on Contemporary Cuban Cinema  and  International Film Markets  and  Theatrical Distribution in the United State.,  the tribute to  Cuban filmmaker Daniel Diaz Torres who passed away in 2013, the inclusion of  three productions by  Latino filmmakers based in the United States, and the incorporation of restored films. A brief review of some selections reflects the thematic range and depth of the 2014 HFFNY edition.

    SE VENDE, For Sale   Jorge Perugonia, Cuba: In this dark comedy laughter and ingenuity are used as a metaphor for overcoming difficult times. Having learned survival skills from her dead mother our protagonist, the close to impoverished Nacar, decides with support from her boyfriend to dig up the bodies of her parents in the cemetery.  After boiling whatever remained from the corpses they sell the bones to people involved with rituals requiring bones.  Their endeavor is a smashing success, but her father is completely mummified and his bones cannot be retrieved. His body is stiff, and with an uncanny resemblance to Lenin, is placed upright and appears to be watching over them.

    WAKOLDA – EL DOCTOR  ALEMAN  The  German Doctor, Lucia Penza, Argentine:  This dramatic narrative  provides  an account of Josef   Mengele’s  stay 1960  in Argentine’s  Bariloche an isolated settlement in Patagonia.  He   joins an Argentinian family running a lodge and collaborates with a neighboring small German colony driven by Nazi conceptions. The family does not know the identity of their impeccably dressed and gentleman like guest.  Unbeknown to them Mengele continues his concentration camp experiments on their daughter and the wife pregnant with twins.  Shot against a stunning scenery Lucia Prinza offers a subdued yet most convincing and unsettling portrait of the war criminal who succeeded to escape, though already tracked by the Israeli secret service.

    ANGELES Y POLVO, Angels and Dusts, Hector Herrera, Panama/Spain:  Based on a true story, an alleged drug trafficking man and his wife are arrested in Panama and await trial. His brother comes to rescue their child while the jailed parents embrace religion and music to improve prison life.  Herrera selects a close to documentary approach in his portrayal of the brother, warring gangs, the drug scene, the gay subculture, and incessant murder and violence. The director has an uncanny ability to penetrate and film the criminal and legal scene made possible by his prior long term experience in Panama with the drug culture and a corrupt judicial system.  Given his focus on personal relations and realistic representation of the context his film is rather convincing.

    LA GORGONA, Historias Fugadas – Gorgona Stories on the Run, Camilo Notero, Columbia: This is a skill fully produced outstanding documentary reconstructing conditions of a remote former prison island in the Columbian Pacific. La Gorgona was one of the best productions in the HFFNY program. The prison was built in 1960 as a facility for 900 inmates using German concentration camps as a model and closed in 1985 to become a nature preserve.  Using black and white archival material, animated footage, a narration based on extensive audio  interviews with former prison  officials and inmates and close up scenes of the setting  Notero applies a most unique and persuasive concept for the documentary. The history of the complex and the interview material is presented through voice over or l subtitles while the imagery shown reflects extraordinary footage of the flora and fauna of island. While we hear or read reports of the daily life of the prisoners we see close up footage of insects, small animals, plants and the decaying prison structures, leaving a significant impact. This juxtaposition of nature shots and texts tampers the prison violence conveyed but reinforces the story presented.

    CONDUCTA Behavior, Ernesto Daranas, Cuba: A box office success in Cuba and Spain, this touching story depicts the bonding between a sixth grade teacher and a troubled young boy overcoming the obstacles of a rigid educational system.  Given the convincing presentation of their relationship and educational issues and its broad appeal CONDUCTA received the HIFFNY award as the best feature.

    JAULA DE ORO The Golden Dream, Diego Quemada-Diez, Mexico/Spain: Travelling frequently alone a growing number of children and teenagers try to enter the United States in search of a better future. They come mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.  About half of those currently detained in the U.S. for illegal entry are minors.  Their journey on cargo trains confronts them with extortion, robbery, beatings, murder, abductions, sexual assaults, as well as forced prostitution and drug smuggling frequently imposed by cartels operating in Mexico.  The Golden Dream accurately reflects these conditions as they are experienced by three teenagers from Guatemala. Only one survives the journey and rounds up working in a slaughter house in the United States. Quemada-Diez offers a realistic unsentimental but moving presentation in this superbly filmed feature with outstanding acting performances and documentary overtones.

    Given its profile and program the Havana Film Festival of New York is well positioned to continue its broad appeal and success.

     

    Claus Mueller, filmexchange@gmail.com

     


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    The second annual intercollegiate South Asian Arts Festival (SAAF) broke new ground this Saturday by presenting an informative, inspiring, invigorating discussion on what it means to tread off the beaten path for many Indian-Americans and pursue careers in film, media and journalism.  The speakers were well known in their own right: actor Omi Vaidya who catapulted to fame for his performance as Chatur Ramalingam or ‘The Silencer’ in the 2009 Bollywood blockbuster, ‘3 Idiots’; and Dr. Indira Somani, Assistant Professor in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film at Howard University, an award-winning independent producer and director of documentaries.   Both speakers were refreshingly candid and struck a chord with the audience comprised mainly of undergraduate students at American University where the event was held on a picture-perfect Spring afternoon.   Vaidya, who graduated with honors from New York University film school, admitted, “I am doing something that is a risk, is different, is not a traditional field and that takes a lot of courage, not only for me, but for everybody that supports me as well”! Fortunately for him, his family has always been “very supportive”, he said. “I don’t think that I would have been able to achieve what I have achieved so far without their help”.   Vaidya’s mother aspired to be a Bollywood actress, but could not pursue a career in acting due to family pressure. She has realized her dreams through her son who dotes on her! Vaidya’s father and brother are both doctors, a profession well favored by Indian-Americans.   “Family support was really critical”, the actor underscored. “I’m doing it on my own now and it’s not easy”, he said. Encouragement from his family also meant he never had to deal with social pressure from the Indian community for choosing a career in acting. “That was there”, he recalled. “But, I was oblivious to it. I thought, my family is fine with it. I was proud of what I was doing, and I still am. I have so many more relations now than before”, he quipped.  For Somani, family support came much later, when she was in her mid twenties and working as a television news producer for CNBC and WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Washington, DC. “In the initial years, I did feel that I have to prove myself”, she told the audience. “My Mom tells me that my Dad wasn’t speaking to me for a long time when I pursued my Masters in Journalism. I don’t remember much about our non-speaking days. But, I do know that I had to apply on my own, get financial aid on my own. I had absolutely no assistance from my parents”.  Somani grew up in a small town in Springfield, Illinois. She always had a penchant for writing and began her career by covering the Indian Diaspora. “My first job in this industry was for $17,000 a year and I had student loans to repay”, she recalled. “It was the reality of what they had told us in Journalism School - to start out in a small market, make your mistakes in a small market and work your way up. By the time you get to a place like DC or New York, you don’t want to be making mistakes in a market that size”.  It is noteworthy that the driving forces behind the Festival were all undergraduate students at American University - Madhavi Reddi, Anuj Gupta, Brad Korten and Palak Bhatnagar. It goes to their credit that they managed to juxtapose two interesting fields - film and journalism - in a heady discussion which kept the audience engrossed.  Vaidya recounted, “When I was in film school, they didn’t teach us that you’re not going to get jobs or have to work free forever. That was really disturbing, a shock. A lot of my friends left film, became lawyers and doctors. They couldn’t deal with it and maybe didn’t have the support. I did have the support and I was versatile in my skills. You know me as an actor. But, I am a very seasoned editor”, he told the audience.  In the initial stages of his career, Vaidya used his Indian connections to act in crossover films. “You will never see any of those films. They were terrible”, he said, with a refreshing candor. “But, I kept saying yes. I was open to anything. I just wanted to be there and do it. In some ways, I still am. I am always willing. If there is something to explore that I haven’t seen, let’s give it a try. I think a lot of it is attitude. It’s very easy to get discouraged. Sometimes, a break will come when you least expect it. Keep pushing, keep trying. You never know when opportunity knocks. It may not be the door you want to get in, but it could lead to that other door”.  For Vaidya, “attitude is really important. That really gets you through life, not just your career”, he told the young listeners. “There will be a lot of curve balls thrown at you at work and in your personal life - family members fall ill, relationships end. The way that you approach every single day will lead you”, he said. “You could be a failure, but if your attitude is amazing, your life will be enjoyable. That’s really more important than everything else. We always try to pursue happiness from exterior things like a job, a girlfriend, marriage. We should really be pursuing meaning because it lasts throughout your life”.  Somani emphasized, “I think you really have to want to be in this whether it is journalism or film or any media arts. You have to really want it because it is tough to break into”. Pointing out that there is more support for such fields now than 20 years ago, she referred to the efforts of the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) which serves as a networking and resource forum for journalists of South Asian origin all across the US.  Somani reflected, “I look at the opportunities that came my way and that keeps me inspired and motivated”. It is important, she said, “to always be grateful and thankful for the opportunities that do come your way”.  During the course of the event, short clips were shown from Somani’s documentary, ‘Crossing Lines’, and Vaidya’s roles in ‘3 Idiots’ and a documentary, ‘Big in Bollywood’, made by his friends which chronicles his fairy-tale success following the release of ‘3 Idiots’.   ‘Crossing Lines’ is a biopic. It is a personal account of Somani’s ties to her father, who died in 2002, and through him to her relatives in India. About the storyline, she said, “For many of us who are born here in the US, our connection to India is through our parents for all intents and purposes. We have extended family there, but our first connection would be through our parents”. The film examines “what happens to that connection after one of them passes away”, she said. “How do you resolve the relationship you have with your extended family there”.  Somani co-produced the documentary with Leena Jayaswal, Professor of Film and Media Arts at American University. The 30-minute documentary took about four years to complete and is now screened at film festivals around the country for discerning viewers.  On a lighter note, Omi told the audience how he bagged the role in ‘3 Idiots’. He was in India pitching a film he had written when someone suggested that he audition for the Aamir Khan starrer.  “I went just for the experience, with no expectation”, he recalled, and since “I had no expectation, my ability to perform was much better because I didn’t care”. Vaidya actually believed he would never get the role. “I went for failure”, he said, evoking laughter from the listeners. “That confidence was something that other people didn’t have because they wanted it, they wanted to be in an Aamir Khan film with Rajkumar Hirani as the director. I was just having fun. That is the philosophy behind how I have continued to work and look for new opportunities”.  The fact that he wasn’t fluent in Hindi, coupled with a flair for humor, worked in his favor and he landed a role that was just tailor-made for him. 


    Vaidya recently starred in Washington-based filmmaker Manan Singh Katohora’s short film, ‘Public Relations’, shot here in the national capital region. We queried the actor about his involvement in the project. “Manan came up with this story where a CEO is homophobic about gays, only to be saved by people who are homosexual”, he told us. “That changes his perspective and shows him that they are not to be feared. They are just normal people like everyone else”, he said. 

    Vaidya added, “That was a really nice thing that Manan wanted to show. He approached me and I was available during that time. I came here and we shot the film over one night”, he said, in a restaurant, American Bistro, located in Owings Mill, MD, owned by Tejash Natali. 

    In a short span of six minutes, ‘Public Relations’ conveys a profound message! And it goes to the credit of actors like Vaidya who contribute to making this happen. “I travel all around the country and I’m always open to doing small films”, he said. 

    Vaidya asked us if we saw ‘Public Relations’ and was pleased when we replied in the affirmative. “The community is really responding to them”, he noted. “These people (filmmakers like Manan Singh) know the whole community, so these messages can get out. Maybe, more Indian people will be open to their son or daughter being gay (or lesbian) because they saw this film. It’s a butterfly effect. We don’t really know the effect of these things. But, just that we are putting an effort into (conveying) this message is enough. These sort of films, these sort of events have a far-reaching impact. I am connected to them; their successes are mine”, he said.

     

     

     

    Article Link :: http://thecapitalpost.com/arts-festival-celebrates-indianamericans-film-media-p-30674.html

    Author        :: Geeta Goindi

    Short Film  :: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXe_Hn0KuX4


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    Elisabeth Moss & Mark Duplass in "The One I Love" to Close Fest

    Quincy Jones to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

    Director Richard Linklater to attend screening of "Boyhood"

    44 World, 30 North American, and 14 US premieres Films in competition announced

     

    Seattle International Film Festival, the largest and most highly attended festival in the United States, announced today the complete lineup of films and events for the 40th annual Festival (May 15 - June 8, 2014).

     

    This year, SIFF will screen 440 films: 198 features (plus 4 secret films), 60 documentaries, 14 archival films, and 168 shorts, representing 83 countries. The films include 44 World premieres (20 features, 24 shorts), 30 North American premieres (22 features, 8 shorts), and 14 US premieres (8 features, 6 shorts). The Festival will open with the previously announced screening of JIMI: All Is By My Side, the Hendrix biopic starring Outkast's André Benjamin from John Ridley, Oscar®-winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave, and close with Charlie McDowell's twisted romantic comedy The One I Love, produced by Seattle's Mel Eslyn and starring Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass. In addition, legendary producer and Seattle native Quincy Jones will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the screening of doc Keep on Keepin' On. The 2014 Seattle International Film Festival is presented by SIFF, the non-profits arts organization that reaches more than 250,000 annually through SIFF Cinema, SIFF Education, and the annual flagship Festival.

     

    "Film is more than entertainment. The life-changing nature of the collective experience of cinema and the stories moving pictures can tell are SIFF's inspiration and mission every year as we put together the Festival," says Carl Spence, SIFF's Artistic Director. "This year, SIFF continues to be a festival of discovery, with more than 100 new directors making their debut. Richard Linklater was one of those filmmakers back in 1990 with the premiere of Slacker; it's fitting to have him return for our anniversary with his masterwork Boyhood - unlike any other film I've seen. I am thrilled to share these films with the world and welcome the hundreds of talented guests expected to attend - from those you've heard of to the many who will be making their debut at the Festival."

     

    In addition to the gala screenings, this year's premieres and special presentations feature a star-studded lineup including Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Laura Dern in The Fault in Our Stars, Richard Linklater's Boyhood with Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke; Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock in Keep On Keepin' On; Kim Basinger, Richard Jenkins and Cam Gigandet in 4 Minute Mile; Trent Reznor and Billy Corgan in Beautiful Noise; Nia Vardalos in Helicopter Mom; Vincent Kartheiser and Olivia Thirlby in Red Knot; Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Miranda Otto, and Mia Wasikowska in The Turning; the voices of Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, and Jay Baruchel in How To Train Your Dragon 2; Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey in I Origins,and Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler in They Came Together.

     

    Mary Bacarella, SIFF's Managing Director, says, "This year's Festival is an incredibly meaningful milestone for SIFF. We're all so excited to bring this outstanding lineup of films, guests, forums, and events to our wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic audiences. We've created a program this year with moments that will fondly revisit our history and moments that will take us into the future of SIFF. I can't wait for the fun to begin!"

     

    Festival box office opens May 1 online at SIFF.net, by phone at 206.324.9996, and in person at various locations. View the full public program here

     

     

     

     

    GALAS

     

    Opening Night Gala

    JIMI: All Is By My Side

    Director, writer and executive producer John Ridley scheduled to attend

     

    Novelist and Oscar®-winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) tracks Jimi Hendrix (Outkast's André "3000" Benjamin) over the course of two years in mid-1960s London and his relationship with Vogue model Linda Keith, taking him from talented guitarist to irrefutable legend. (d: John Ridley c: André Benjamin, Hayley Atwell, Imogen Poots, Ruth Negga, Adrian Lester, United Kingdom/Ireland 2013, 118 min) Please click here for full press release.

     

    Centerpiece Gala

    Boyhood

    Director Richard Linklater scheduled to attend

     

    Richard Linklater (Slacker, Before Sunrise trilogy) makes a triumphant return to his independent roots with this dazzling micro-epic, shot over the course of 12 years, that tracks the evolution of a single American family through the eyes of young Mason. (d: Richard Linklater c: Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, USA 2014, 164 min)

     

    Closing Night Gala

    The One I Love

    Actors Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass and director Charlie McDowell scheduled to attend

     

    On the recommendation of their therapist, a married couple spends a weekend away at a vacation home, where their romantic rekindling takes a turn for the surreal. This sophisticated blend of relationship drama and "Twilight Zone" twists features outstanding performances from Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed) and Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men"). (d: Charlie McDowell c: Elisabeth Moss, Mark Duplass, Ted Danson, USA 2014, 91 min)

     

     

     

    FEATURE FILM PREMIERES

     

    World (20)

     

    4 Minute Mile (d: Charles-Olivier Michaud c: Kelly Blatz, Richard Jenkins, Kim Basinger, Cam Gigandet, Analeigh Tipton, USA 2014, 96 min)

     

    Another (d: Jason Bognacki c: Paulie Rojas, Nancy Wolfe, Maria Olsen, Michael St. Michaels, David Landry, Lillian Pennypacker, USA 2014, 80 min)

     

    Awake: the Life of Yogananda (d: Paola di Florio, Lisa Leeman, USA 2014, 84 min)

     

    Beautiful Noise (d: Eric Green f: Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, Robert Smith, Wayne Coyne, USA 2014, 87 min)

     

    Bound: Africans versus African Americans (d: Peres Owino, USA 2014, 90 min)

     

    Desert Cathedral (d: Travis Gutiérrez Senger c: Lee Tergesen, Chaske Spencer, Petra Wright, Tony Doupe, Russell Hodgkinson, Aron Michael Thompson, USA 2014, 90 min)

     

    Helicopter Mom(d: Salomé Breziner c: Nia Vardalos, Jason Dolley, Mark Boone Junior, Scott Shilstone, Skyler Samuels, USA 2014, 100 min)

     

    Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women In Jazz (d: Kay D. Ray Narrated by: Patrice Rushen, USA 2014, 80 min)

     

    Layover(d: Joshua Caldwell c: Nathalie Fay, Karl E. Landler, Bella Dayne, Hal Ozsan, USA 2014, 83 min)

     

    Leading Lady (d: Henk Pretorius c: Gil Bellows, Katie McGrath, Brumilda van Rensburg, Bok van Blerk, Eduan van Jaarsveldt, South Africa 2014, 96 min)

     

    My Last Year With the Nuns (d: Bret Fetzer c: Matt Smith, USA 2014, 77 min)

     

    Obama Mama (d: Vivian Norris, USA/Poland/France 2014, 83 min)

     

    Oil & Water (d: Laurel Spellman Smith, Francine Strickwerda, USA 2014, 78 min)

     

    Razing the Bar (d: Ryan Worsley f: Brian Foss, Joetta Velasquez, Bill Bullock, Chris Chambers, Jake Stratton, Rachel Ratner, USA 2014, 83 min)

     

    Red Knot (d: Scott Cohen c: Vincent Kartheiser, Olivia Thirlby, Billy Campbell, Lisa Harrow, Roger Payne, USA/Argentina/Antarctica 2014, 82 min)

     

    Sam & Amira (d: Sean Mullin c: Martin Starr, Dina Shihabi, Paul Wesley, Laith Nakli, David Rasche, USA 2014, 92 min)

     

    Shake the Dust (d: Adam Sjöberg, USA 2014, 108 min)

     

    Song of the New Earth (d: Ward Serrill f: Tom Kenyon, USA 2014, 89 min)

     

    Strictly Sacred: The Story of Girl Trouble (d: Isaac Olsen f: Kurt Kendall, Bill Henderson, Bon Henderson, Dale Phillips, Neko Case, USA 2014, 95 min)

     

    You Must Be Joking (d: Jake Wilson c: Sas Goldberg, Jake Wilson, Margaret Colin, Hannibal Buress, James Wolk, USA 2014, 91 min)

     

    North American (22)

     

    The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (d: Felix Herngren c: Robert Gustafsson, Iwar Wiklander, Mia Skäringer, Alan Ford, David Wiberg, Sweden 2013, 114 min)

     

    40 Days of Silence (d: Saodat Ismailova c: Rukhshona Sattarova, Barohat Shukurova, Saodat Rahimova, Farida Olimova, Uzbekistan/Tajikistan/Netherlands/Germany/France 2014, 88 min)

     

    The Airstrip - Decampment of Modernism, Part III (d: Heinz Emigholz, Germany 2014, 108 min)

     

    #ChicagoGirl - The Social Network Takes on a Dictator (d: Joe Piscatella, USA/Syria 2013, 74 min)

     

    Fasten Your Seatbelts (d: Ferzan Ozpetek c: Kasia Smutniak, Francesco Arca, Filippo Scicchitano, Francesco Scianna, Carolina Crescentini, Italy 2014, 110 min)

     

    Four Corners (d: Ian Gabriel c: Brendon Daniels, Irshaad Ally, Jezriel Skei, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Abduragman Adams, South Africa 2014, 119 min)

     

    Free Range: Ballad on Approving of the World (d: Veiko Ounpuu c: Lauri Lagle, Jaanika Arum, Laura Peteson, Denis Lavant, Peeter Volkonski, Estonia 2014, 104 min)

     

    Garden Lovers (d: Virpi Suutari, Finland 2014, 72 min)

     

    Gold (d: Niall Heery c: James Nesbitt, David Wilmot, Kerry Condon, Maisie Williams, Ireland 2014, 90 min)

     

    Hard to Be a God (d: Aleksei German c: Leonid Yarmolnik, Aleksandr Chutko, Yuriy Tsurilo, Evgeniy Gerchakov, Russia 2013, 170 min)

     

    Healing (d: Craig Monahan c: Hugo Weaving, Don Hany, Xavier Samuel, Jane Menelaus, Laura Brent, Australia 2014, 119 min)

     

    La Mia Classe (d: Daniele Gaglianone c: Valerio Mastandrea, Bassirou Ballde, Mamon Bhuiyan, Gregorio Cabral, Jessica Canahuire Laura, Italy 2013, 93 min)

     

    Land of Storms (d: Àdám Császi c: András Sütő, Ádám Varga, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Enikő Börcsök, Ottó Lajos Horváth, Hungary/Germany 2014, 105 min)

     

    Leninland (d: Askold Kurov, Russia/Germany/Netherlands 2013, 52 min)

     

    Macondo (d: Sudabeh Mortezai c: Ramasan Minkailov, Aslan Elbiev, Kheda Gazieva, Rosa Minkailova, Iman Nasuhanova, Austria 2014, 98 min)

     

    The Midnight After (d: Fruit Chan c: Wong You-nam, Simon Yam, Kara Hui, Janice Man, Suet Lam, Hong Kong/China 2014, 124 min)

     

    Pierrot Lunaire (d: Bruce LaBruce c: Susanne Sachsse, Paulina Bachmann, Germany/Canada 2014, 51 min)

     

    Shame (d: Yusup Razykov c: Maria Semenova, Elena Korobeynikova, Helga Filipova, Seseg Hapsasova, Russia 2013, 90 min)

     

    The Sunfish (d: Søren Balle c: Henrik Birch, Susanne Storm, Lars Topp Thomsen, Jacob Hauberg Lohmann, Mikkel Vadsholt, Denmark 2014, 100 min)

     

    Time Lapse (d: Bradley King c: Danielle Panabaker, Matt O'Leary, George Finn, Amin Joseph, Jason Spisak, USA 2014, 103 min)

     

    The Turning (d: Marieka Walsh, Warwick Thornton, Jub Clerc, Robert Connolly, Anthony Lucas, Rhys Graham, Ashlee Page, Tony Ayres, Claire McCarthy, Stephen Page, Shaun Gladwell, Mia Wasikowska, Simon Stone, David Wenham, Jonathan auf der Heide, Justin Kurzel, Yaron Lifschitz, Ian Meadows c: Rose Byrne, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Miranda Otto, Richard Roxburgh, Australia 2013, 180 min)

     

    Two Raging Grannies (d: Håvard Bustnes, Norway/Denmark/Italy 2014, 78 min)

     

    US (8)

     

    Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus (d: Madeleine Sackler, United Kingdom/USA/Belarus 2013, 76 min)

     

    Fly Colt Fly: The Legend of The Barefoot Bandit (d: Adam Gray, Andrew Gray, Canada 2013, 82 min)

     

    From Neurons to Nirvana: The Great Medicines (d: Oliver Hockenhull, Canada/United Kingdom 2013, 108 min)

     

    Futuro Beach (d: Karim Aïnouz c: Wagner Moura, Clemens Schick, Jesuita Barbosa, Brazil/Germany 2014, 106 min)

     

    Land of the Bears 3D (d: Guillaume Vincent Narrated by: Marion Cotillard, France 2014, 90 min)

     

    A Masque of Madness (d: Norbert Pfaffenbichler c: Boris Karloff, Austria 2013, 80 min)

     

    Rhymes for Young Ghouls (d: Jeff Barnaby c: Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, Glen Gould, Brandon Oakes, Mark Antony Krupa, Roseanne Supernault, Canada (Québec) 2013, 85 min)

     

    West (d: Christian Schwochow c: Jördis Triebel, Tristan Göbel, Alexander Scheer, Jacky Ido, Germany 2013, 98 min)

     

     

     

    SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

     

    The Fault In Our Stars

    Playing as part of the Laura Dern Tribute Presentation

     

    Oblivion may be inevitable, but love is more than a shout into the void for Hazel and Gus, in this twinkling adaptation of the bestselling John Green novel. (d: Josh Boone c: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Mike Birbiglia, Willem Dafoe, USA 2014, 107 min)

     

    Keep On Keepin' On

    Playing as part of the Quincy Jones Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation

    The Justin Kauflin Trio will perform at the Triple Door on June 5 - with introduction by Quincy Jones

     

    This tribute to jazz legend Clark Terry, who taught Quincy Jones and Miles Davis, shows his passionate commitment to mentorship. Now in his 90s, Terry helps blind pianist Justin Kauflin (today a prodigious working artist) realize his dream. (d: Alan Hicks f: Clark Terry, Justin Kauflin, Quincy Jones, Gwen Terry, Herbie Hancock, USA 2014, 84 min)

     

    How To Train Your Dragon 2

    Five years after the events that brought awkward Viking teen Hiccup and injured dragon Toothless together, the two inseparable friends must fight for the peace and safety of their land when they encounter the mysterious Dragon Rider and a new army of dragons. (d: Dean DeBlois v: Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, USA 2014, 105 min)

     

     

     

    COMPETITIONS

     

    New Directors Competition

    Festival programmers select 12 films remarkable for their original concept, striking style and overall excellence. To be eligible, films must be a director's first or second feature and without U.S. distribution at the time of their selection. Winners receive a $2,500 cash prize.

     

    2014 Entries:

    10,000KM (d: Carlos Marques-Marcet, Spain/USA 2014)

    40 Days of Silence (d: Saodat Ismailova, Uzbekistan/Tajikistan/Netherlands/Germany/

    France 2014, North American Premiere)

    B For Boy (d: Chika Anadu, Nigeria 2013)

    Eastern Boys (d: Robin Campillo, France 2013)

    History of Fear (d: Benjamín Naishtat, Argentina/Uruguay/France/Germany 2013)

    Life Feels Good (d: Maciej Pieprzyca, Poland 2013)

    Macondo (d: Sudabeh Mortezai, Austria 2014, North American Premiere)

    Me, Myself and Mum (d: Guillaume Gallienne, Belgium/France/Spain 2013)

    Remote Control (d: Byamba Sakhya, Mongolia/Germany/USA 2013)

    Rhymes for Young Ghouls (d: Jeff Barnaby, Canada (Québec) 2013, US Premiere)

    Standing Aside, Watching (d: Yorgos Servetas, Greece 2013)

    Viktoria (d: Maya Vitkova, Bulgaria/Romania 2014)

     

    New American Cinema Competition

    Festival programmers select 12 films without U.S. distribution that are sure to delight audiences looking to explore the exciting vanguard of New American Cinema and compete for the FIPRESCI Award for Best New American Film. Jury is comprised of 3 members from the International Federation of Film Critics.

     

    2014 Entries:

    Alex of Venice (d: Chris Messina, USA 2014)

    Another (d: Jason Bognacki, USA 2014, World Premiere)

    Five Star (d: Keith Miller, USA 2014)

    Kinderwald (d: Lise Raven, USA 2013)

    Layover (d: Joshua Caldwell, USA 2014, World Premiere)

    Little Accidents (d: Sara Colangelo, USA 2014)

    Medeas (d: Andrea Pallaoro, USA/Italy/Mexico 2013)

    Red Knot (d: Scott Cohen, USA/Argentina/Antarctica 2014, World Premiere)

    Sam & Amira (d: Sean Mullin, USA 2014, World Premiere)

    The Sleepwalker (d: Mona Fastvold, USA/Norway 2014)

    Time Lapse (d: Bradley King, USA 2014, North American Premiere)

    X/Y (d: Ryan Piers Williams, USA 2014)

     

    Documentary Competition

    Unscripted and uncut, the world is a resource of unexpected, informative, and altogether exciting storytelling. Documentary filmmakers have, for years, brought these untold stories to life and introduced us to a vast number of fascinating topics we may have never known existed-let alone known were so fascinating. Winners receive a $2,500 cash prize.

     

    2014 Entries:

    Ballet 422 (d: Jody Lee Lipes, USA 2014)

    #ChicagoGirl - The Social Network Takes on a Dictator (d: Joe Piscatella, USA/Syria 2013, North American Premiere)

    Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus (d: Madeleine Sackler, United Kingdom/USA/Belarus 2013, US Premiere)

    Dior and I (d: Frédéric Tcheng, France 2014, 89 min)

    Garden Lovers (d: Virpi Suutari, Finland 2014, US Premiere)

    I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (d: Dave LaMattina, USA 2014)

    Leninland (d: Askold Kurov, Russia/Germany/Netherlands 2013, North American Premiere)

    Marmato (d: Mark Grieco, Colombia/USA 2014)

    Obama Mama (d: Vivian Norris, USA/Poland/France 2014, World Premiere)

    Shake the Dust (d: Adam Sjöberg, USA 2014, World Premiere)

    Song of the New Earth (d: Ward Serrill, USA 2014, World Premiere)

    Two Raging Grannies (d: Håvard Bustnes, Norway/Denmark/Italy 2014,

    North American Premiere)

     

    Shorts Competition

    All short films shown at the Festival are eligible for both the Golden Space Needle Audience Award and Jury Award. Jurors will choose winners in the Narrative, Animation, and Documentary categories. Each jury winner will receive $1,000 and winners in any of the three categories may also qualify to enter their respective films in the Short Film category of the Academy Awards®.

     

    Golden Space Needle Awards

    For the past 29 years, SIFF has celebrated its most popular films and filmmakers with the Golden Space Needle Audience Award. Awards by Festival audiences are given in five categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Short Film

     

     

     

    40TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENINGS

     

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show

    The longest running theatrical release in history, which premiered at the 1976 Seattle International Film Festival, returns for a special interactive celebration that includes goodie bags, subtitled lyrics, and more. Don't dream it, be it. (d: Jim Sharman c: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Meat Loaf, United Kingdom/USA 1975, 100 min)

     

    The Stunt Man

    Director Richard Rush scheduled to attend

    Peter O'Toole plays an erratic director who agrees to hire a runaway convict as a stunt man for his World War I epic. As the fugitive takes over the identity of the film's previous stunt man, it becomes clear that no one's intentions are what they seem. This bizarre, clever film that was nominated for multiple Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, closed SIFF in 1980 and went on to a legendary 43-week run at the Guild 45th. (d: Richard Rush c: Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsbeck, Barbara Hershey, Allan Goorwitz, Alex Rocco, USA 1980, 131 min)

     

    The Whole Wide World

    Director Dan Ireland scheduled to attend

    The true story of the 1930s turbulent courtship between aspiring author Novalyne and "Conan the Barbarian" pulp fiction writer Robert E. Howard resonates in Dan Ireland's classic romance. (d: Dan Ireland c: Vincent D'Onofrio, Renee Zellweger, USA 1996, 111 min). Preceded by the World Premiere of Dan Ireland's short Hate From A Distance produced in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act (July 2, 1964) abolishing segregation.

     

     

     

    TRIBUTE GUESTS

     

    LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

    Quincy Jones

    Featuring Keep on Keepin' On, The Pawnbroker, and An Evening with the Justin Kauflin Trio

     

    Our lives have been touched by the work of Seattle native Quincy Jones in countless ways-from his work on seminal albums like "Sinatra at the Sands," "Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux," and Michael Jackson's "Thriller," to his 33 film scores including Sidney Lumet's The Pawnbroker and Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple, which he also co-produced, to his TV production, music management, and humanitarian work in the world and in the arts.

     

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ACTING AWARDS

    Laura Dern

    Featuring The Fault in Our Stars and Wild at Heart

     

    Coming from a family of major cinematic talent, Laura Dern has gone from girl next door (Blue Velvet) to paleontologist (Jurassic Park), from love-crazed bad girl (Wild at Heart) to woman reinvented (HBO's "Enlightened"), and everywhere in between. An award-winning actress, producer, director, and activist, Dern's unique blend of candor and magnetism, as well as her penchant for gutsy roles, has brought her to the forefront of American cinema and television.

     

    Chiwetel Ejiofor

    Featuring Half of a Yellow Sun, short Columbite Tantalite, and late-night screening of Serenity.


    From his first film role in Steven Spielberg's Amistad at the age of 19 and his colorful performance in Kinky Boots to his extraordinary Oscar®-nominated portrayal of Solomon Northup in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor has infused his roles with an exquisite brand of introspective, quiet intensity. His performances are elegant and impassioned, stoic and strong, and infinitely memorable - a master of the craft.

     

     

     

    SATURDAY FILMS & PARTIES

     

    Dior and I

    Party at PNK at Pacific Place

    Director Frédéric Tcheng scheduled to attend

     

    J'adore Dior! This elegant glimpse into artistic director Raf Simons' entry into the House of Christian Dior, and into the creation of his first haute couture collection, sparkles as an homage to the iconic house.  (d: Frédéric Tcheng f: Raf Simons, Anna Wintour, Sidney Toledano, Pieter Mulier, France 2014, 89 min)

     

    I Origins

    Party at Kaspar's

     

    An existential, metaphysical science fiction drama about a molecular biologist studying human eye evolution, his first-year lab partner, and his mysterious, free-spirited lover. A bold followup to the stunning 2012 film Another Earth. (d: Mike Cahill c: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Steven Yeun, Archie Panjabi, USA 2014, 113 min)

     

    They Came Together

    Industry Party at W Hotel Seattle

    Director David Wain scheduled to attend

     

    Comedy titans Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler lampoon rom-com conventions in this snappy sendup of boy-meets-girl, also starring New York City. Overly sincere and saccharine clichés are spoofed with gut-busting gags and irreverent laughs. (d: David Wain c: Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Michael Shannon, Cobie Smulders, Melanie Lynskey, Christopher Meloni, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Ed Helms, USA 2014, 83 min)

     

     

     

    FACE THE MUSIC

     

    Seattle is a music-obsessed city, so it's only fitting that the Festival features films that showcase the many ways in which music affects our lives, ranging from biopics and documentaries to concert films and live events. This year's Live Performance Event features Keep on Keepin' On subject and Quincy Jones-signed artist Justin Kauflin live with his trio at the Triple Door.

     

    20,000 Days on Earth (d: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard f: Nick Cave, United Kingdom 2014, 95 min)

     

    Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory (d: Michael Rossato-Bennett, USA 2014, 74 min)

     

    Beautiful Noise (d: Eric Green f: Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, Robert Smith, Wayne Coyne, USA 2014, 87 min)

     

    Big in Japan (d: John Jeffcoat c: David Drury, Philip A. Peterson, Sean Lowry, Alex Vincent, Adam Powers, USA/Japan 2014, 100 min)

     

    Electro Chaabi (d: Hind Meddeb, Egypt/France 2013, 77 min)

     

    Finding Fela (d: Alex Gibney, USA 2014, 120 min)

     

    God Help the Girl (d: Stuart Murdoch c: Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray, Cora Bissett, Pierre Boulanger, United Kingdom 2014, 111 min)

     

    Keep On Keepin' On (d: Alan Hicks f: Clark Terry, Justin Kauflin, Quincy Jones, Gwen Terry, Herbie Hancock, USA 2014, 84 min)

     

    Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women In Jazz (d: Kay D. Ray Narrated by: Patrice Rushen, USA 2014, 80 min)

     

    Razing the Bar (d: Ryan Worsley f: Brian Foss, Joetta Velasquez, Bill Bullock, Chris Chambers, Jake Stratton, Rachel Ratner, USA 2014, 83 min)

     

    Song of the New Earth (d: Ward Serrill f: Tom Kenyon, USA 2014, 89 min)

     

    Strictly Sacred: The Story of Girl Trouble (d: Isaac Olsen f: Kurt Kendall, Bill Henderson, Bon Henderson, Dale Phillips, Neko Case, USA 2014, 95 min)

     

     

     

    NORTHWEST CONNECTIONS

     

    Seattleites see more films per capita than the residents of any other American city. This year's lineup of films with their roots in the Pacific Northwest reveals a filmmaking region officially on the map. Every year, SIFF honors the many ways in which the Puget Sound region contributes to the world of cinema, whether it's as an evocative location for outside filmmakers or inspiration for local filmmakers on the rise.

     

    4 Minute Mile (d: Charles-Olivier Michaud c: Kelly Blatz, Richard Jenkins, Kim Basinger, Cam Gigandet, Analeigh Tipton, USA 2014, 96 min)

     

    BFE (d: Shawn Telford c: Wally Dalton, Kelsey Packwood, Aleksander Greenleaf, Ian Lerch, Abby Dylan, USA 2014, 98 min)

     

    Big in Japan (d: John Jeffcoat c: David Drury, Philip A. Peterson, Sean Lowry, Alex Vincent, Adam Powers, USA/Japan 2014, 100 min)

     

    The Breach (d: Mark Titus Narrated by: Kate O'Toole, USA 2014, 85 min)

     

    Burkholder (d: Taylor Guterson c: Bob Burkholder, Britton Crosley, David VanderWal, Sean MacLean, James Molyball, USA 2014, 81 min)

     

    DamNation (d: Ben Knight, Travis Rummel, USA 2014, 92 min)

     

    Desert Cathedral (d: Travis Gutiérrez Senger c: Lee Tergesen, Chaske Spencer, Petra Wright, Tony Doupe, Russell Hodgkinson, Aron Michael Thompson, USA 2014, 90 min)

     

    Fly Colt Fly: The Legend of The Barefoot Bandit (d: Adam Gray, Andrew Gray, Canada 2013, 82 min)

     

    Lucky Them (d: Megan Griffiths c: Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church, Oliver Platt,  Ahna O'Reilly, USA 2013, 96 min)

     

    My Last Year With the Nuns (d: Bret Fetzer c: Matt Smith, USA 2014, 77 min)

     

    Oil & Water (d: Laurel Spellman Smith, Francine Strickwerda, USA 2014, 78 min)

     

    Razing the Bar (d: Ryan Worsley f: Brian Foss, Joetta Velasquez, Bill Bullock, Chris Chambers, Jake Stratton, Rachel Ratner, USA 2014, 83 min)

     

    Sold (d: Jeffrey Brown c: Niyar Saikia, Gillian Anderson, David Arquette, USA/India, Nepal, United Kingdom 2014, 97 min)

     

    Song of the New Earth (d: Ward Serrill f: Tom Kenyon, USA 2014, 89 min)

     

    Strictly Sacred: The Story of Girl Trouble (d: Isaac Olsen f: Kurt Kendall, Bill Henderson, Bon Henderson, Dale Phillips, Neko Case, USA 2014, 95 min)

     

    Two Raging Grannies (d: Håvard Bustnes, Norway/Denmark, Italy 2014, 78 min)

     

     

     

    AFRICAN PICTURES

     

    Now in its second year, this program once again presents an impressive and diverse selection of films from and about Africa. Supported by a generous multi-year grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, African Pictures brings the best in cinema to audiences in Seattle and the broader Northwest. Featured selections include indigenous films, films by African filmmakers working outside the continent, and films on topics relating to Africa's changing contemporary political and social landscape.

     

    African Metropolis (d: Marie Ka, Philippe Lacote, Ahmed Ghoneimy, Vincent Moloi, Folsakin Iwajomo, Jim Chuchu, Kenya/Ivory Coast/Egypt/Senegal/Nigeria/South Africa 2013, 92 min)

     

    B For Boy (d: Chika Anadu c: Uche Nwadili, Nonso Odogwu, Ngozi Amarikwa, Frances Okeke, Iheoma Opara, Nigeria 2013, 118 min)

     

    Bound: Africans versus African Americans (d: Peres Owino, USA 2014, 90 min)

     

    Difret (d: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari c: Meron Getnet, Tizita Hagere, Ethiopia 2014, 99 min)

     

    Electro Chaabi (d: Hind Meddeb, Egypt/France 2013, 77 min)

     

    Finding Fela (d: Alex Gibney, USA 2014, 120 min)

     

    Four Corners (d: Ian Gabriel c: Brendon Daniels, Irshaad Ally, Jezriel Skei, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Abduragman Adams, South Africa 2014, 119 min)

     

    Half of a Yellow Sun (d: Biyi Bandele c: Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Boyega, Anika Noni Rose, Joseph Mawle, Nigeria/United Kingdom 2013, 106 min)

     

    Leading Lady (d: Henk Pretorius c: Gil Bellows, Katie McGrath, Brumilda van Rensburg, Bok van Blerk, Eduan van Jaarsveldt, South Africa 2014, 96 min)

     

    Rags and Tatters (d: Ahmad Abdalla c: Asser Yassin, Atef Yousef, Amr Abed, Yara Gubran, Mohamed Mamdouh, Egypt 2013, 87 min)

     

    The Rooftops (d: Merzak Allouache c: Adila Bendimerad, Nassima Belmihoub, Ahcene Benzerari, Aïssa Chouat, Mourad Khen, Algeria/France 2013, 92 min)

     

    Salvation Army (d: Abdellah Taïa c: Saïd Mrini, Karim Ait M'Hand, Amine Ennaji, Malika El Hamaoui, Frederic Landenberg, Morocco/France 2013, 82 min)

     

    Under the Starry Sky (d: Dyana Gaye c: Marème Demba Ly, Ralph Amoussou, France/Senegal 2013, 86 min)

     

    White Shadow (d: Noaz Deshe c: Hamisi Bazili, James Gayo, Glory Mbayuwayu, Salum Abdallah, Germany/Italy/Tanzania 2013, 115 min)

     

     

     

    SHORTSFEST


    With 168 shorts this year, SIFF's annual celebration of short film remains one of the hot tickets at the Festival. Taking place during Memorial Day weekend, this mini-fest is packed with talented, up-and-coming filmmakers from around the world. Take advantage of the opportunity to experience the best short films from the past year - many will also play before feature films throughout the Festival.

     

     

     

    MOODS

     

    "What sort of film do I feel like seeing tonight?" With our handy Moods groupings, we've made it easy for everyone to find the type of cinematic experience you're in the mood for. Instead of using traditional categories, which require a bit of work to figure out, we've aimed to connect films with you - the audience - by organizing them into 10 areas that match your mood.

     

    LOVE...

    The Coast of Passion

    Romance and love in all its forms, pleasures, and idiosyncrasies.

     

    MAKE ME LAUGH

    The Bay of Merriment

    Films that make you chuckle and tickle your funny bone.

     

    OPEN MY EYES

    Plains of Truth

    Revealing films and documentaries revolving around history, politics, and contemporary events from around the world.

     

    THRILL ME

    The Adrenaline Forest

    Suspense, thrills, and action. Films with a faster pace that might also surprise you when you least expect it!

     

    PROVOKE ME

    Thought Trails

    Mesmerizing dramas and documentaries that explore thought-provoking questions, realities, and topics.

     

    SHOW ME THE WORLD

    Unknown Territory

    Prepare to be taken to another place-from exotic, far-off lands to vibrant experiences outside of everyday life.

     

    SCI-FI AND FACT

    Ocean of Knowledge

    Science, technology, environment, the future, and beyond!

     

    TO THE EXTREME

    Cape of Outer Limits

    Explore the outer limits with films that go beyond the edge.

     

    CREATIVE STREAK

    Originality Oasis

    The exploration of artistic endeavors from all disciplines: literature, film, art, dance,

    and performance.

     

    FACE THE MUSIC

    The Melodic Sea

    Films that intersect the world of music on all fronts: from biopics and concert films,

    to musicals and live events.

     

     

     

    FLY FILMMAKING CHALLENGE

     

    This year, SIFF challenged five local production companies to create a love letter to Seattle in a compilation affectionately titled, "Seattle, I Love You." Production companies featured are B47 Studios, Digital Kitchen, ForeignAmerican Pictures, We Are Royale, and World Famous.

     

     

     

    SIFF EDUCATION

     

    SIFF offers three programs during Festival: FutureWave & Films4Families, Forums, and SuperFly.

     

    FUTUREWAVE AND FILM4FAMILIES

    SIFF has programs curated to make the Festival more accessible to younger audiences. FutureWave features are a great place for our cinema-savvy teen audience to find their love of world cinema and Films4Families is the perfect way for younger children (and the young at heart) to have a fabulous experience at SIFF. Both programs also have Youth Juries comprised of youth from their age bracket to watch all the films and present the Youth Jury Award in their respective categories.

     

    FORUMS & PANELS

    Where audiences and filmmakers come together to learn about and experience making movies. Unless otherwise noted, Festival forums and panels are held at SIFF Film Center.

     

    ·         The Editor's Toolkit

    ·         Inside LAIKA Animation

    ·         The Changing Face of Documentary Filmmaking

    ·         The Alchemy of Film Scoring

    ·         Get Animated: Animation Workshop for Kids (ages 8-14)

    ·         How To Make a Living Creating Media

    ·         Short Filmmakers Happy Hour & Panel: Making the Most of Any Festival

    ·         Crash Cinema @ Folklife

    ·         Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: The Hammersmith App and Other New Teaching Tools

    ·         SIFF Catalyst Panels - a full day of public panels & dynamic, thought-provoking discussions around the dual themes of co-creation and community in the new digital space.

    o    Produce Smarter: How to Finance Your Short Film Without Using Your Credit Card

    Keynote by Emily Best (Seed&Spark)

    o    Catalyst Filmmaker Panel

    o    Successful Genre Filmmaking

    o    Catalyst Happy Hour

    ·         The Emergence of Native Filmmaking

    ·         TheFilmSchool: How to Correctly Pitch Your Project

    ·         Filmmaking Across the African Diaspora

    ·         TheFilmSchool: How to Prepare for the Investor Conversation

    ·         The Future of Film Criticism

    ·         TheFilmSchool: Protecting your IP & Negotiating the Deal

    ·         The Future of Distribution

     

    SUPERFLY 2014

    For its ninth year, the SuperFly Filmmaking Experience, created by Longhouse Media and presented by SIFF, brings 50 youth from across the country to Seattle to participate in an immersion into filmmaking and tribal culture. The young filmmakers will produce five short documentary films in 36 hours at the Suquamish Tribal Community. The films will be completed just hours before their World Premiere at the SuperFly and Native Shorts Showcase on May 31 (4:00pm, Harvard Exit).

     

     

     

    SIFF - SEATTLE

    Venues: SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Film Center, McCaw Hall, Egyptian Theatre, Harvard Exit, AMC Pacific Place 11, Cinerama, SIFF Lounge at Triumph Bar, The Triple Door

     

    SIFF  - RENTON

    Venue: IKEA Renton Performing Arts Center

     

    SIFF  - KIRKLAND

    Venue: Kirkland Performance Center

     

    SIFF  - BELLEVUE

    Venue: Lincoln Square Cinemas

     

     

     

    SIFF 2014 BY THE NUMBERS

     

    440 Films

    83 Countries

    198 Feature films (+4 Secret Films)

    60 Documentary features

    14 Archival films

    168 Short films

    44 World premieres (20 features, 24 shorts)

    30 North American premieres (22 features, 8 shorts)

    14 US premieres (8 features, 6 shorts)

     

     

      

      

     

     

     
     
     

     


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    In 2013, the Directors’ Assembly becomes the exceptional platform of worldwide filmmakers, where they exchange with professionals and share with the public their experiences and their ideas.


     

     

     

     
     


    Last year, many of us, from different backgrounds, came together for cultural diversity, demanding the exclusion of audiovisual and film services from the commercial agreements between the European Union and the United States. One of the interesting timing coincidences of 2014 is the European elections taking place directly following the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, which gives a unique opportunity to directors to discuss their expectations from the future European Commission and Members of Parliament.

     


    With the support of the directors
    Clio Barnard, David Cronenberg, Joe Dante, Amat Escalante, Emmanuel Finkiel, Stephen Frears, Matteo Garrone, Costa Gavras, Valeria Golino, Anurag Kashyap, Naomi Kawase, Agnes Kocsis, Joachim Lafosse, Pablo Larraín, Ken Loach, Sergei Loznitsa, Mahamat Saleh Haroun, Cristian Mungiu, Yousry Nasrallah, Raoul Peck, Christian Petzold, Nicolas Philibert, Javier Rebollo, Walter Salles, Andrea Segre, Silvio Soldini, Bertrand Tavernier, Pablo Trapero, Joachim Trier, Felix Van Groeningen, Andreï Zviaguintsev

     

     


     

     

    The Assembly will be held Sunday, May 18 - 5 PM Fnac Cannes (83 rue d'Antibes)  and is Open to all

     
    The 2014 edition in Cannes of the Assembly is co-organized by the Directors’ Fortnight, the Film Directors’ Guild and the Federation of European Film Directors.
    Avec le soutien de / Supported by le CNC, le Parlement européen, la Fnac et Cineuropa.

     Follow the Assembly on
    www.quinzaine-realisateurs.com

     

     


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  • 05/05/14--13:43: Keynote Speaker
  • We are excited to announce our keynote speaker - Jon Lewis who is the Department Chair for Film Studies at Oregon State University! Professor Lewis is a wonderful speaker so you don't want to miss out. Professor Lewis is a professor in the English Department at Oregon State University where he has taught film and cultural studies since 1983. He has published eight books: The Road to Romance and Ruin: Teen Films and Youth Culture, which won a Choice Magazine Academic Book of the Year Award; Whom God Wishes to Destroy … Francis Coppola and the New Hollywood; The New American Cinema; Hollywood v. Hard Core: How the Struggle over Censorship Saved the Modern Film Industry, a New York Times New and Noteworthy paperback; The End of Cinema as We Know It: American Film in the Nineties, American Film: A History, Looking Past the Screen: Case Studies in American Film History and for the British Film Institute’s Film Classics series, The Godfather. Professor Lewis has appeared in two theatrically released documentaries on film censorship: Inside Deep Throat (Fenton Bailey, 2005) and This Film is Not Yet Rated (Kirby Dick, 2006). Between 2002 and 2007, Professor Lewis was editor of Cinema Journal and had a seat on the Executive Council of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

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    New York City Independent Film Festival urges filmmakers not to wait until the last minute as the 2014 deadline is on May 31st.

     

    New York, NY– The 5th NYC Indie Film Fest just confirmed that the regular deadline for submissions is on May 31st. “With the deadline approaching, we are receiving more submissions than we expected. That’s why we recommend that filmmakers not to wait until the last minute”, said Dennis Cieri, Executive Director of the festival.

    Cieri reported that the festival has received submissions from over thirty-five countries and every continent so far. “We are excited about the quality of the films being submitted. The submission committee has been working hard to select the films.”

    Filmmakers can submit films in the following categories: feature-length, documentary, short, super-short, music video and art video. In addition to screening the selected indie films, the festival offers Awards for the best films and prizes in some categories. A board of movie professionals will select the winners. Mark of Distinction Award is offered to the audience’s choice.

    Filmmakers can visit the website www.nycindieff.com to learn more about the festival and also for submissions. Past years selected films are also listed on the website. News about deadlines and submissions are regularly updated on Twitter @NYCIndieFF and Facebook facebook.com/nycindieff.


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    Film Festival 2014

    Sponsored by the Sikh Art & Film Foundation, the Sikh International Film Festival was held in New York City for the tenth time on May 2 – 3. As reflected in the selection, the foundation’s mission is to use films to make Sikh culture and values accessible to a larger public; with the goal of overcoming preconceptions and prejudice which the Sikh community has been experiencing.  The festival also serves to raise awareness about the issues and problems the Sikhs face here and in India and to provide a platform for productions investigating Sikh history.  Since September 2011 an estimated 700 hate crimes had the Sikhs as their target in the United States, including six Sikhs killed at their temple in August 2012. In India, wide scale violence against the Sikhs erupted in 1984 in response to Indira Ghandi’s killing by two Sikh body guards. Thousands were slain in New Delhi and throughout India with virtually no legal action taken. Politicians and police officials just let it happen. The depiction of the 1984 events and their aftermath were topics of several productions in this year’s festival; as were issue oriented shorts and documentaries ranging from the problems the elderly faced when living without family support to impoverished farming.  

    The Punjab drug problem, as depicted in the closing feature Empty Inside, bookended the opening documentary Dilip Singh Saund. This well researched documentary presents the biography of the first foreign born Congressman from Asia. He came to the United States when he was twenty and was elected to Congress in 1957, serving three terms. As a Sikh he overcame many obstacles in his illustrious life. The production provides a wealth of information about the systematic discrimination of Asians in the United States lasting until the late nineteen forties.

    The Last Killing, directed by Satinder Kauer, is a documentary produced by ENCAAF, an international human rights non-profit organization. After the killing of Indira Gandhi in 1984 the Indian parliament enacted in 1985 the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities act which granted extraordinary powers to the police to arrest and persecute while suspending existing legal safeguards.  This act was aimed at alleged Sikh terrorism and opened the ‘Decade of Disappearance” in which thousands of Sikhs were killed or disappeared. The police and other Indian security forces routinely staged encounters with alleged Sikh terrorists in order to kill them.  The film tracks over a twenty year period the attempt to bring policemen to justice.  Manak, who served in a special police unit, was an eyewitness to his section carrying out the murder of dozens of Sikhs. He left the police force to report the crime but no investigation was initiated even though the law required it.  Two decades have passed and the opening of the investigation was recently denied by an Indian high court.  Manak, as well as close relatives, was tortured by the police on suspicion of being close to the alleged terrorists.  With the help of ENCAAF he continues to pursue the case, but prospects of success are slim because the police have been able to delay the case and the judicial system appears dormant. Further, the possible election of a conservative prime mister with strong Hindu leanings does not give cause for optimism, though the Supreme Court is independent and includes some liberal members.  The Last Killing received the SIFF award for best documentary.

    Raw Conversations is a segment from the currently produced documentary Farmicide which addresses the problems of Indian farmers. Working on small plots, in the last decade they have experienced increases in the cost of productions and dramatic decline of their real income resulting in heavy debt load and several hundred thousand suicides. As the commentary of the segment screened shows, primary beneficiaries of this policy driven development are money lenders, politicians, middlemen and large corporations providing seeds and fertilizers. Impoverished farmers lose their land and become day laborers. The segment received a special mention at the festival.  Raw Conversation is impressive because its focus is an impoverished farmer who clearly articulates the insurmountable problems he and all the villagers in his situation are facing.

    In addition to the Emmy for best student drama, Kush, by Shubashish Bhutiami, was the only Indian film at the 2013 Venice film festival that received there the award of best short film. At SIFF it was also judged the best short film, given its superb finely tuned but unsentimental   narrative.  A school teacher saves the life of a young Sikh boy when returning on a bus from a school trip. An enraged mob, killing Sikhs, attacks the bus and the boy cuts his hair to save his class mates and teacher. When the boy arrives at home he finds his parents slaughtered. 

    In Punjab, drug problems are rampant and about 75% of the youth is addicted to drugs.  The drug problem is a principal concern of the Sikh community constituting about 60% of that state’s population. There are a few publicly run drug rehabilitation facilities and private ones are driven by profit considerations.  Few observers expect an improvement since drugs shipped in from Pakistan are readily available and synthetic ones are manufactured locally. Law enforcement agencies appear impotent.  Most drug use among the young is prompted by poverty, unemployment and lack of education.  Since addicts are isolated from their families, they cannot count on the crucial support of family if they enter rehabilitation at all. Further, they return to the very setting which prompted drug abuse.  The feature, Empty Inside, directed by   Satdeep Singh and produced by an Australian organization concluded the festival. It graphically depicts the descent into drug addiction of a young student from an upscale urban Sikh family. He is ejected from his home because he tarnished the family name and eventually recuperates under the guidance of a religious man.  In the end his parents embrace him again and allow his return. The feature suggests that an inner void prompts addiction and that a solution for the drug problem is parental love and the Sikh faith.

     

    The number of films produced by Sikhs in India or from the diaspora or made by others on Sikh themes is small and the selection follows an educational route. That being said, the 2014 edition of the festival assembled sufficient material for an impressive two day program.  With a greater outreach effort to film makers and the audience over the next year should produce a larger fest in 2015.

     

    Claus Mueller, filmexchange@gmail.com


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  • 05/09/14--01:32: 41st Film Fest Gent previews
  • First program options

    Film Fest Gent focuses for its 41st edition (14 until 25 October 2014) on France, organizes a major exhibition of the Italian maestro Federico Fellini in Caermersklooster and a concert of Fellini’s composer Nino Rota in The Bijloke. The American film composer Cliff Martinez is the main guest on the annual WSA concert at t’Kuipke. French film icon Catherine Deneuve shines on the official festival poster with an intriguing image from Belle de jour.

    FOCUS ON FRENCH CINEMA
    The 41st edition of Film Fest Gent is focusing on French cinema. The annually recurring sections will be complemented by a separate one-off section dedicated to recent French films (as was the case last year with American Independent Cinema). However, this doesn’t mean that French films won’t also feature in the other festival sections (Competition, Galas & Previews, Classics, Out of the Box and Artists on Film). French directors and actors have been invited to present their latest films to the festival audience. The programme also includes debates, Q&As, director talks and meetings with French film professionals. We are collaborating closely with UniFrance and, of course, with Belgian distributors for the development of the programme and the invitation of talented French film professionals.

    CLIFF MARTINEZ CONCERT AT THE 14TH EDITION OF THE WORLD SOUNDTRACK AWARDS
    Film Fest Gent proudly welcomes Cliff Martinez, American composer and former drummer of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, to the traditional film music concert during the second part of the World Soundtrack Awards Ceremony & Concert. Tickets are now on sale at www.filmfestival.be

    EXPO FELLINI
    After Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman, Jacques Tati and Martin Scorsese, Film Fest Gent now presents a large-scale exhibition about the work of Italy’s most renowned filmmaker Federico Fellini, in collaboration with the Caermersklooster Provincial Cultural Centre.

    CONCERT NINO ROTA
    ​In conjunction with a major exhibition at the Caermersklooster Provincial Cultural Centre, the 41st edition of Film Fest Gent is shining the spotlight on the world of Federico Fellini with various events. On Thursday 23 October, De Bijloke Music Centre is hosting the concert Rota/Fellini with symphonic music from the director of La Dolce Vita and La Strada, performed by the Brussels Philharmonic conducted by Dirk Brossé.

    More info:
    www.filmfestival.be

     

     


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    The opening of DOK.fest 2014!

    The prelude to a week of exciting films, discussions and events will take place for the second time at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München.

    After a welcome from our Festival Director, Daniel Sponsel, City Councillor, Klaus-Peter Rupp and the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Media, Energy and Technology, Franz-Josef Pschierer, there will be a screening of our opening film, SEE NO EVIL. After this we will be hosting a reception in the foyer of HFF.

     

     

    DOK.fest 2014 meeting places

    At three venues we will be offering the opportunity for people to get together, compare notes, meet filmmakers and experience the festival atmosphere. We warmly invite you to join us at one of our our meeting places:

    Festival Centre and café: 10:00-20:00 every day (in the foyer of the Jewish Museum, St.-Jakobs-Platz 16)

    DOK.forum Bar: 09:30-22:00 every day (HFF, Bernd-Eichinger-Platz 1)

    Festival Lounge: 14:30-01:00 every day (Filmwirtschaft, Sonnenstr. 12)

    Forum Essay 2014

    On 8th May the “All lies!? About Documentarism” event will be held at BR’s Broadcasting Centre. For one day experts will examine various themes relevant to documentary film in lectures and audience discussions. This will be followed by a screening of the film LA MAISON DE LA RADIO.

    Thurs 8th May. From 10:00 at BR Funkhaus (entrance is free).

    Programme outline >>

    LA MAISON DE LA RADIO, Nicolas Philibert

    DOK.fest goes Cultureclubbing

    In collaboration with Munich’s Students’ Union the film AMMA & APPA will be screened for the very first time at City Kino 1. Then it’s time to party at Harry Klein! The Bavarian uplands have their say in the electronic dance music scene. OHNE WORTE, a nine-man collaboration of live musicians, DJs and a VJ will fill the dance floor all night long.

    DJs: David Castillo, Chris Suttner, Urban by Choice, Tigerkid. VJ: Maxi BeckerD

    Thurs 8th May, 21:30 at City 1 / Harry Klein

    Premiere Party: BEFORE THE LAST CURTAIN FALLS

    After the German premiere of Thomas Wallner’s film BEFORE THE LAST CURTAIN FALLS, there will be a party at Glam Club. The director and others who worked on the film will be present and the party is open to all. The first guests and VIPs will receive free drinks.

    Music: DJ Miss Delicious (www.missdelicious.de)

    Film: Thurs 8th May, 20:30 at Rio 1

    Followed by a party at Glam Club (Theklastr. 1)

    (http://www.hanoi-bar.de/location)

    Film Recommendations 

    STOP THE POUNDING HEART

    Teenage life in the American Bible belt. Sara grew up on a goat farm in Texas. Like many other girls, the 14-year-old is gearing herself up for her future roles as a housewife and a mother. But her encounter with the young rodeo rider, Colby, turns her world upside down. – Belgium, Italy, USA – Director: Roberto Minervini – Original Language: English
    Thur 05/08/14, 19:30, City 3 and Sat 05/10/14, 15:30, Atelier 1

     

    STRIPLIFE

    The people who live in the Gaza Strip have to deal with extreme situations and significant constraints every day. This film however shows that their lives consist of much more than this and gives us an insight into their day-to-day experiences. – Italy, Palestinian Occupied Territory 2013 – Directors: Nicola Grignani, Alberto Mussolini, Luca Scaffidi, Valeria Testagrossa, Andrea Zambelli – Original Language: Arabic – Subtitles: English
    Thur 05/08/14, 19:30, Rio 2 and Sun 05/11/14, 16:00, Rio 2

     

    20,000 DAYS ON EARTH

    A fictitious day in the life of a post-punk indie rock icon – the twenty-thousandth. The Australian musician Nick Cave cruises through his hometown of Brighton and reflects on life, family, fame, drugs, his childhood and the weather. An exotic, highly musical docu-fiction biopic. UK 2013 – Directors: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard – Original Language: English
    Fri, 05/09/14, 22:00, ARRI Kino and Wed 05/14/14, 19:30, ARRI Kino


    20,000 DAYS ON EARTH, Ian Forsyth, Jane Pollard

     

     


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    2014 Program

    SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 4-15 JUNE  

     

     

    The 61st Sydney Film Festival program was officially launched today by the NSW Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant.

     

    “The New South Wales Government, through Screen NSW and Destination NSW, is very pleased to be again supporting Sydney Film Festival which is also part of Vivid Ideas 2014­. Sydney Film Festival is a highlight of the city’s rich arts calendar and an important part of our cultural fabric. The Festival underpins Sydney’s recognition as a UNESCO City of Film, and I look forward to experiencing the Festival this June,” Mr Grant said.

     

    “Sydney Film Festival has gone from strength to strength over recent years, with attendances increasing over 23% since 2011 to 143,000,” said SFF Festival Director Nashen Moodley. “SFF not only presents the best films from across the country and around the world, but we also open up dialogue between the creators and audiences and curators and critics alike, in every direction and combination. Together in a crowded theatre, comedies are funnier, horror films are scarier and tender moments bring tears more readily; everything we feel is amplified by the power of the shared experience.”

     

    Direct from its world premiere screening at the Cannes Film Festival, SFF and Vivid Ideas are proud to present the Australian Premiere of the highly anticipated futuristic thriller The Rover and host the director David Michôd and key talent Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson at the State Theatre on Saturday 7 June. The Rover screens as part of the SFF Official Competition. David Michôd, Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson and producer Liz Watts will also give a talk as part of Vivid Ideas, further details to be announced in the coming weeks.

     

    In 2014, SFF features the most Australian films ever to compete for the prestigious Sydney Film Prize: in addition to The Rover; the 12 film selection includes the World Premiere of Kasimir BurgessFell, and Amiel Courtin-Wilson and Michael Cody’s Ruin. The internationally recognised SFF Official Competition, now in its seventh year, awards a $60,000 cash prize in recognition of courageous, audacious and cutting-edge cinema. The previous Sydney Film Prize winners are: Only God Forgives (2013), Alps (2012); A Separation (2011), which went on to win an Academy Award; Heartbeats (2010); Bronson (2009); and Hunger (2008).

     

    The 61st Sydney Film Festival consists of 183 titles from 47 countries and includes 15 World Premieres (including 6 World Premiere short films), 122 Australian Premieres (including 14 Australian Premiere short films) and 6 International Premieres (including 1 International Premiere short film).

     

    SFF will screen in even more venues this year including the State Theatre, Event Cinemas GeorgeStreet, Dendy Opera Quays, the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Cremorne, Art Gallery of NSW and, new in 2014, the Skyline Drive-In Blacktown, with a special 40th anniversary screening of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on Friday The 13th June. The Apple Store Sydney hosts a selection of free public talks and SFFTV @ Martin Place returns for its fourth year with a big screen at Martin Place Amphitheatre, giving you a multi-layered look at all things SFF, with an ever changing mix of trailers, red-carpet coverage, short films and more. This year we present a special program of innovative animated shorts, Big Window on a Big Screen, curated by guest programmer Malcolm Turner, director of animation festivals in London, New Zealand and Australia. What’s more, in 2014 for the first time Martin Place becomes an integral part of Vivid Sydney, with spectacular light installations and other attractions illuminating the night along with SFF’s big screen.

                                                                                                                                           

    This year SFF presents the Australian Premiere of 20,000 Days on Earth featuring Nick Cave as the Opening Night Film on Wednesday 4 June and the Australian Premiere of New Zealand vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows as the Closing Night film on Sunday 15 June.

     

    Also in 2014, The Hub returns to Town Hall for a third year with a packed program of talks, exhibitions, live performances and over 25 free events. Open until midnight for 11 days only from 5-15 June, this Festival pop-up bar is the beating heart of SFF. Situated within a short stroll of most Festival venues, the Hub is the perfect meeting place for film lovers to relax, mingle and be entertained.

     

    This year The Hub features a Festival Bar and Herman Miller and Living Edge Lounge, a Discount Ticket Booth, savvy Program Gurus,  a delicious Gelato Messina cart, a TITLE Pop-Up Store, a vintage Foxtel Movies photo and video Booth, an informal daily Film Club, an exclusive collection of iconic American Eames furniture, the Hugh Hamilton Rosebud photographic exhibition, a not-to-be-missed Viewmaster Experience by artist Vladimir, a series of Illustrated Talks and Panels as well as a Girl Rock Riot dance party, Cinema Burlesque and much more. The full up-to-date schedule of events at Festival Hub is now available at sff.org.au

     

    SFF will screen 10 films direct from the 2014 Cannes Official Selection, Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week, including: The Rover in Cannes Official Selection; Two Days, One Night,The Captivein competition; How To Train Your Dragon 2 out of competition; Cold in July, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, You’re Sleeping Nicole and National Gallery in Directors Fortnight; The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as a special screening in Directors Fortnight; and Life Itself in Cannes Classics.

     

    The Opening Night Gala features the Australian Premiere of 20,000 Days on Earth, an innovative film about international cultural icon Nick Cave directed by visual artists Iain Forsyth& Jane Pollard, who will be in attendance. The Opening Night Film screens at the State Theatre on Wednesday 4 June at 7:30pm and is followed by an afterparty at Bungalow 8, Kings Street Wharf with beverages supplied by Eden Road, Little Creatures and Yarrabank. Opening Night is presented by Audi.

     

    The Closing Night Gala features the Australian Premiere of the vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, the new film from Taika Waititi (who directed Boy, which won the Audience Award at SFF 2010) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) at the State Theatre on Sunday 15 June at 8pm. The Closing Night Gala which also includes the announcements of all the SFF awards for 2014, including the $60,000 Sydney Film Prize (see Official Competition below). Taika Waititi will attend the Festival and introduce the screening.

    The 61st Sydney Film Festival runs 4-15 June and brings a packed program of screenings and special events to even more venues across Sydney. For tickets and full up-to-date program information visit sff.org.au


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    New Name, Same Great Festival:

    27th Connecticut LGBT Film Festival, May 30 – June 7

     

    HARTFORD, Conn.– May 5, 2014 – Out Film CT celebrates the 27th season of its flagship film festival by changing the name from the Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Film Festival to the more inclusive Connecticut LGBT Film Festival.

     

    “We have always aimed to have programming that’s fully inclusive of the entire LGBT community but our name hasn’t communicated that,” said Festival Co-Director Shane Engstrom. “Our new name reflects the diversity of our community and the diversity of the Festival.”

     

    The Festival opens May 30 with Boy Meets Girl, a fun and romantic coming-of-age comedy featuring the beautiful, fashion-forward transgender woman Ricky and her best childhood friend Robby, who stands by her no matter what. “This heart-warming, affirming tale will appeal to a broad audience and is a wonderful way to open the Festival,” said Festival Co-Director Laura Williams. “With interesting plot twists and two endearing lead characters, this is a feel-good movie that will put the audience in the right mood for the opening night party.”

     

    The Festival runs through June 7 in Hartford. Most screenings will take place at Cinestudio on the campus of Trinity College, but there will be several “off campus” screenings, including a closing night extravaganza in Downtown Hartford, with simultaneous screenings at Spotlight Theatres at Front Street and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. The closing night party follows at the Wadsworth.

     

    “Two years ago we celebrated our 25th season with a closing night party at the Wadsworth Atheneum and we’re thrilled to be returning,” Williams said. “Our friends at the Wadsworth really rolled out the red carpet for us, and we had many comments from our guests about what a great place it was for a party.”

     

    Williams also noted that last year the Festival presented a full evening of women’s short films for the first time. “That was such a big hit that we’re doing it again. We were very fortunate to have so many excellent women’s short films to choose from this year. It’s going to be another great program that all audiences can enjoy, with a little bit of something for everyone,” Williams said. Women’s shorts night is Tuesday, June 3.

     

    This year’s Centerpiece film, presented midway through the Festival, is Burning Blue, a searing military drama set during the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell era that tells the story of a forbidden love and the tragic consequences of a modern day witch hunt. There will be a reception prior to the film sponsored by Pratt & Whitney, and Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman is expected to make opening remarks to introduce the film. The Centerpiece program is Wednesday, June 4.

     

    This year’s festival has many premieres, including the U.S. premiere of the poignant lesbian drama Of Girls and Horses, the international premiere of the madcap Queen of Amsterdam (closing night), and the U.S., North American and world premieres of several short films.

     

    Each year the Festival includes appearances by directors, producers and actors who answer questions from the audience and visit with festival guests after the program. Engstrom said that tradition will continue this year, with special visitors flying in from as far away as Europe.

     

    In addition to opening and closing night parties, another Festival mainstay that’s returning is the always popular silent auction. “Our film fans are also big silent auction fans,” Engstrom said. “We always have a great selection of items that can be had at bargain prices. The competitive bidding is always spirited and really energizes the Festival.”

     

    LGBT Film Festival Dates:

    Opens Friday, May 30, Cinestudio, Trinity College campus

    Closes Saturday, June 7, Spotlight Theatres at Front Street and Wadsworth Atheneum

     

    Ticket Prices:

     

    Opening Night/Closing Night, includes party (each night priced separately)

    General Admission, $20
    Student/Senior, $15

     
    Other shows

    General Admission, $10
    Student/Senior, $7

     
    Festipass

    All shows plus opening night and closing night parties, $75
     

    3-Show Pass
    Any three shows except opening and closing nights, $25

     

    Complete LGBT Film Festival information available at:www.OutFilmCT.org.

     

    Out Film CT, which organizes the Festival, is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to presenting outstanding LGBT cinema and other theatrical events throughout the year, culminating in the nine-day Connecticut LGBT Film Festival. Connecticut's longest-running film festival holds a special place in our state’s cultural landscape, bringing the community together to introduce, celebrate and rediscover the ideas and values that make the LGBT community unique. Out Film CT also presents the EROS Film Festival each fall, and the First Thursdays Cinema series, with screenings at Cinestudio on the first Thursday of most months.

     

    Here’s the lineup of feature films and documentaries for the 27th Connecticut LGBT Film Festival:

     

    Friday, May 30 – 7:30 p.m.

    Cinestudio

    Boy Meets Girl

    Directed by Eric Schaeffer

    2014, USA, 95 min

    This fun and romantic coming-of-age comedy features the beautiful, fashion-forward transgender woman Ricky and her best childhood friend Robby (Michael Welch, Twilight). Lamenting the lack of eligible bachelors, Ricky considers dating a girl. In walks the sexy Francesca. Has Ricky found true love?

     

    Saturday, May 31 – 2:30 p.m.

    Cinestudio

    To Be Takei

    Directed by Jennifer M. Kroot

    2014, USA, 93 min

    Oh, my! This isn’t your average documentary because George Takei isn’t your ordinary guy. This entertaining portrait of the legendary actor and activist follows Takei’s trek for life, liberty and love from his early years in a World War II internment camp for Japanese Americans, to the helm of the Starship Enterprise, to the daily news feeds of five million Facebook fans.

     

    Saturday, May 31 – 5 p.m.

    Spotlight Theatres

    Girltrash: All Night Long

    Directed by Alexandra Kondracke

    2013, USA, 86 min

    In the tradition of Go and Superbad, Girltrash: All Night Long is the story of five girls and one epic night. Daisy and Tyler are two hapless rockers trying to make it to a Battle of the Bands on time. They are waylaid by Daisy’s sister, Colby, who has her sights set on hooking up with Misty, the girl of her dreams As the night spirals out of control, the girls will find love, lust, girl-fights, rock and roll, and a whole lot of stoned sorority girls. Oh, yeah, did we mention it’s a musical?

     

    Saturday, May 31 – 7:30 p.m.

    Cinestudio

    The Way He Looks (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho)

    Directed by Daniel Ribeiro

    2014, Brazil, 95 min, in Portuguese with English subtitles

    A full-length feature based on last year’s Jury Award-winning short, I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone. Leonardo is a blind teenager yearning for independence, but he depends a lot on his best friend Giovana. When the handsome and sexy Gabriel arrives on the scene, Leo’s life changes forever.

     

    Saturday, May 31 – 9:30 p.m.

    Cinestudio

    Tom at the Farm (Tom à la Ferme)

    Directed by Xavier Dolan

    2013, Canada, 95 min, in French with English subtitles

    Following the untimely death of his boyfriend, Tom travels to the boyfriend’s family farm in the sparse Quebec countryside. Upon arriving, Tom is greeted with unexpected apprehension by the grieving mother, and downright hostility by older brother, Francis. Everyone has secrets and Tom finds himself involved in a dangerous game of deception, governed by the unpredictable and volatile Francis. This thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat.

     

    Sunday, June 1 – 2:30 p.m.

    Cinestudio

    Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia

    Directed by Nicholas D. Wrathall

    2013, USA/Italy, 83 min

    This retrospective documentary examines the life and work of the iconic, trailblazing and controversial American writer Gore Vidal. With never-before-seen interviews and candid footage of Vidal in his final years, the film explores his enduring global impact on art, politics, and everything in between. With commentary and appearances by Christopher Hitchens, Mikhail Gorbachev, Burr Steers, Stephen Fry, Tom Ford, Sting, David Mamet, William F. Buckley, Norman Mailer and Dick Cavett.

     

    Sunday, June 1 – 7:30 p.m.

    Cinestudio

    Double Feature:

    A Self-Made Man

    Directed by Lori Petchers

    2013, USA, 57 min

    This feature-length documentary takes a candid look at what it means to be transgender, told through an intimate portrait of trans youth advocate and Connecticut native Tony Ferraiolo. Gender identity first appears in childhood, and some kids feel that they were born in the wrong body. It is a scary time for children and parents alike as they make the transition journey from one gender to the other. This is a film about someone who helps them get there safely.

     

    Followed by:

    Open Up To Me

    Directed by Simo Halinen

    2013, Finland/Sweden, 95 min, in Finnish with English subtitles

    Maarit is a beautiful, intelligent and sexy woman – who used to be a man. Struck by the oddity of gender change, she is estranged from the daughter she fathered and from her previous life. When she meets and falls in love with Sami, she finally feels like she can ‘fit in’ somewhere. But Sami is soon put to the test and is forced to confront his own deeply hidden prejudices. With or without Sami, Maarit has to step into a brave new world where only she can determine her sense of belonging.

     

    Monday, June 2 – 7:30 p.m.

    Cinestudio

    The 10 Year Plan

    Directed by JC Calciano

    2014, USA, 90 min

    This classic romantic comedy tells the story of Myles and Brody – two best friends who are complete opposites when it comes to taste in men. Myles, a successful lawyer and hopeless romantic, wants nothing more than to find the man of his dreams. Brody, a handsome Los Angeles police officer, sleeps with every man he meets in order to avoid feeling unloved. One night they make a pact to be together if neither finds love in ten years. Tick tock, it’s now two months shy of their deadline and neither has met his perfect match. What happens next?

     

    Tuesday, June 3 – 7:30 p.m.

    Cinestudio

    Women’s Shorts Night!

    103 min

    This full evening of women’s short films has something for every taste, with stories about new love, lost love, friendship, motherhood, adventure seeking, self-discovery, heartbreak, revenge and much more.

     

    Wednesday, June 4 – 7:30 p.m.

    Cinestudio

    Centerpiece Film

    Burning Blue

    Directed by D.M.W. Greer

    2013, USA, 96 min

    Think Top Gun, but gay. Third generation navy fighter pilot Dan Lynch has it all until an unexpected night on the town turns his world upside down. Set during the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell era, this is the story of a forbidden love and the tragic consequences of a modern day witch hunt. Co-written by University of Connecticut Drama Professor Helene Kvale.

     

    Thursday, June 5 – 7:30 p.m.

    Cinestudio

    Of Girls and Horses

    Directed by Monika Treut - U.S. Premiere!

    2014, Germany, 82 min, in German with English subtitles

    Alex is a 16-year-old misfit and school dropout who’s been using drugs and cutting herself. Her adoptive mother sends her off to a farm to work with horses. There she meets Nina, a 30-something lesbian and horse lover who shows Alex the ropes, literally, and Alex soon connects with the horses. An upper-class girl, Kathy, arrives for a vacation with her own beautiful horse and the girls slowly form a friendship. One weekend they’re alone at the farm and things get out of control. When vacation is over, will they part, or will they ride off together into the sunset?

     

    Friday, June 6 – 7:30 p.m.

    Cinestudio

    Heterosexual Jill

    Directed by Michelle Ehlen

    2013, USA, 80 min

    Unable to make progress with her ex-lesbian conversion, a neurotic “All American” Jill tracks down her butch ex-girlfriend Jamie to prove to herself that she is no longer attracted to women. Strung along by guilt and desire, Jamie agrees to the preposterous plan of “dating” Jill so that Jill can close this chapter of her life and move forward with men.

     

    Friday, June 6 – 8:30 p.m.

    Spotlight Theatres

    Lilting

    Directed by Hong Khaou

    2014, UK, 91 min

    The sudden death of a young London man named Kai leaves his headstrong Chinese-Cambodian mother, Junn, and his boyfriend, Richard, each in a personal and profound state of grief. Feeling a strong sense of responsibility toward Kai's only family member, Richard reaches out to Junn, who has been biding time in an assisted-living home. Though Junn speaks little English, her dislike of Richard is plain, and she meets him with stony resistance. Since they share no common language, Richard hires a translator to facilitate communication, and the two improbable relatives attempt to reach across a chasm of misunderstanding through their memories of Kai.

     

    Saturday, June 7 – 2:30 p.m.

    Wadsworth Atheneum

    The Dog

    Directed by Allison Berg & François Keraudren

    2013, USA, 100 min

    John Wojtowicz’s attempt to rob a Brooklyn bank to pay for his lover’s sex change operation was immortalized in Sidney Lumet’s 1975 classic film, Dog Day Afternoon, starring Al Pacino. However, the true story of John Wojtowicz remains all but unknown. The Dog captures John, for the first time, telling his story in his own unique, offensive, hilarious and heartbreaking way.

     

    CLOSING NIGHT, SIMULTANEOUS PROGRAMS

    Closing night party follows at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

     

    Saturday, June 7 – 7:30 p.m.

    Spotlight Theatres

    Queen of Amsterdam (Chez Nous)

    Directed by Tim Oliehoek - International Premiere!
    2013, Netherlands, 90 min, in Dutch with English subtitles

    A gay drag club, threatened with bankruptcy, is destined to become the property of the neighboring night-time entertainment magnate. To save the club, a close-knit group of regulars at the club plan to commit a Mission Impossible-style heist during Amsterdam’s Gay Pride festivities. They want to steal a pink diamond necklace worth millions from the Royal Museum and save their favorite hangout. But can they succeed?

     

    Saturday, June 7 – 7:30 p.m.

    Wadsworth Atheneum

    Tru Love

    Directed by Kate Johnston & Shauna MacDonald
    2013, Canada, 94 min

    A sparkling and evocative love story about the intersecting lives of three women. Alice, 60, has recently lost her husband and decides to visit her daughter Suzanne in the big city. Tru, 37, is a serial bed-hopping lesbian who can’t commit to a relationship or a job for long. When Suzanne witnesses a tender moment between mother and friend, her subsequent actions stress their relationships and lead to an unexpected climax.

     

     


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    2014 Selection

    Feature films (17)

    Alleluia
    1h35 (2014)
    Fabrice Du Welz

    At li layla
    Next to Her
    1h30 (2014)
    Asaf Korman

    Bande de filles
    Girlhood
    1h52 (2014)
    Céline Sciamma

    Catch Me Daddy
    1h47 (2014)
    Daniel Wolfe

    Cold in July
    Juillet de sang
    1h40 (2014)
    Jim Mickle

    Gett
    Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
    1h55 (2014)
    Ronit Elkabetz
    Shlomi Elkabetz

    Kaguya-hime no monogatari
    Le Conte de la Princesse Kaguya
    2h17 (2014)
    Isao Takahata

    Kkeut-kka-ji-gan-da
    A Hard Day
    1h51 (2014)
    Seong-hun Kim

    Les Combattants
    Love At First Fight
    1h40 (2014)
    Thomas Cailley

    Mange tes morts
    Eat Your Bones
    1h38 (2014)
    Jean-Charles Hue

    National Gallery
    3h (2014)
    Frederick Wiseman

    Pride
    Pride
    1h57 (2014)
    Matthew Warchus

    Queen and Country
    1h54 (2014)
    John Boorman

    Refugiado
    Refugiado
    1h35 (2014)
    Diego Lerman

    These Final Hours
    1h26 (2014)
    Zak Hilditch

    Tu dors Nicole
    1h33 (2014)
    Stéphane Lafleur

    Whiplash
    Whiplash
    1h45 (2014)
    Damien Chazelle

    Short films (12)

    4 Avril 1968
    April 4th, 1968
    20 min (2014)
    Myriam Gharbi

    8 balles
    8 Bullets
    13 min (2014)
    Frank Ternier

    A caça revoluções
    The Revolution Hunter
    11 min (2014)
    Margarida Rêgo

    Cambodia 2099
    Cambodia 2099
    21 min (2014)
    Davy Chou

    En août
    In August
    9 min (2014)
    Jenna Hasse

    Fragmenty
    Fragments
    26 min (2014)
    Aga Woszczyńska

    Guy Moquet
    32 min (2014)
    Demis Herenger

    Jutra
    Jutra
    13 min (2014)
    Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre

    Man on the Chair
    Man on the Chair
    7 min (2014)
    Dahee Jeong

    Sem Coração
    Heartless
    25 min (2014)
    Nara Normande
    Tião

    Torn
    22 min (2014)
    Elmar Imanov
    Engin Kundag

    Trece si prin perete
    It can pass through the wall
    17 min (2014)
    Radu Jude

    Special screenings (2)

    P'tit Quinquin
    Li'l Quinquin
    3h20 (2014)
    Bruno Dumont

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    Massacre A La Tronçonneuse
    U.S.A. - 1h30 (2014)
    Tobe Hooper

     

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