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- 06/23/14--00:40: _Get Ready for the 1...
- 06/24/14--06:47: _Cinema at the Edge ...
- 06/25/14--07:16: _New York: Open Road...
- 06/25/14--15:57: _The Wave Film Festi...
- 06/26/14--07:38: _3rd Kolkata Shorts ...
- 06/27/14--02:39: _One World - Festiva...
- 06/27/14--12:35: _10 Ways to Make Dis...
- 06/29/14--11:16: _New York: KINO! 201...
- 06/30/14--01:52: _Ischia Film Festiva...
- 07/01/14--02:54: _Stockholm Internati...
- 07/01/14--05:05: _Way to Freedom prog...
- 07/01/14--11:13: _Highlights the four...
- 07/02/14--04:47: _Edinburgh Internati...
- 07/02/14--12:54: _Revelation Perth In...
- 07/02/14--14:42: _Partner Film Festiv...
- 07/02/14--15:57: _Présentation du Fes...
- 07/04/14--03:40: _Durban Fest 2014 to...
- 07/04/14--07:09: _Early Bird Deadline...
- 07/06/14--18:44: _New York: 2014 Huma...
- 07/08/14--09:04: _14th T-Mobile New H...
- 06/23/14--00:40: Get Ready for the 10th Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival
- 06/25/14--07:16: New York: Open Roads – New Italian Cinema, 2014
- 06/25/14--15:57: The Wave Film Festival” announces its highly anticipated line up
- 06/26/14--07:38: 3rd Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival-14, India
- 06/27/14--02:39: One World - Festival that is not just about films
- 06/29/14--11:16: New York: KINO! 2014, New Films from Germany
- 06/30/14--01:52: Ischia Film Festival 2014 kicked off
- 07/01/14--05:05: Way to Freedom programme and forgotten masterpieces at OIFF 2014
- 07/01/14--11:13: Highlights the fourth annual FabulousIndependent Film Festival
- 07/02/14--04:47: Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) broke 46,000 admissions
- 07/02/14--14:42: Partner Film Festivals calling. Fast-approaching deadlines
- 07/04/14--07:09: Early Bird Deadline Approaches for Cellar Door Film Festival!
- 07/06/14--18:44: New York: 2014 Human Rights Watch Film Festival
- 07/08/14--09:04: 14th T-Mobile New Horizons IFF announced the programme
Once again it's time for genre film fans and fine wine lovers to gather in the idyllic town of Ljutomer, the birthplace of Slovenian cinema,for the jubilee 10th edition of Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival, recently voted one of the "Top 5 Coolest Horror/Sci-Fi Festivals in the World" by the readers of MovieMaker magazine. The festival will take place from the 15th to the 19th of July 2014.
Over the course of five days, Grossmann Festival brings the most exciting recent fantastic films, as well as a special selection of genre classics, along with master classes and Q&A sessions with our film guests from all around the world. Screenings take place at four locations, including the Open Air Cinema at Ljutomer's historical main square, where the first meters of Slovenian film were shot in 1905 by Dr. Karol Grossmann. Since the festival takes place in the middle of a famous winegrowing region, cinematic delights are complemented by numerous wine tasting events. Rich accompanying program features art exhibitions, live concerts, book presentations, lectures and workshops, with the world's first Zombie Quadrille taking place on the last day of the festival.
The festival will show around 30 feature and 40 short films from all around the world. Apart from the main award, Vicious Cat for best feature film, and the Vicious Cat Wine Champion for the best wine, Grossmann gives out the following awards: Slak's Vicious Cat for best short film (named after the late Slovenian film director Franci Slak, great supporter of the festival and Slovenian independent film scene in general), Noisy Cat for best music documentary (the only Slovenian film festival with such an award), and Honorary Vicious Cat for lifetime achievement. European fantastic short films also compete for the Melies d'Argent award, given by the European Fantastic Film Festival Federation. The winner is nominated for the prestigious Melies d'Or, award for the best European fantastic short film.
Besides the films in competition programs, Grossmann also features the traditional Grossmann Grindhouse section, containing the most fierce and irreverent new genre titles, retrospectives section showing various cult classics, and the always popular Torture Garden, B-marathon of weirdness, guts and laughs.
Our Little Workshop of Horrors will once again have guerrilla film crews trying to make their genre shorts in two days and one night, upcoming actors will perfect their skills in acting workshops, while our brand new Little Workshop of Animation will reveal the secrets of making an animated film.
Highlights of this year's music program include live appearances by Slovenian punk legends Niet, US psychobilly trio Koffin Kats and Ljutomer's own hardcore veterans Odpisani. Art gallery in the Ljutomer Cinema will host exhibitions by Serbian artist Arpad Slančik and legendary Slovenian comic book artist Zoran Smiljanić.
The astounding graphic design for the 10th Grossmann was done by brilliant illustrator Blaž Porenta, currently one of most prominent young Slovenian artists, whose works received numerous international awards and were also noticed by Marvel Comics.
Since 2010, Grossmann Festival is an adherent member of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation, world's largest genre film festival network, currently uniting 22 festivals from 14 countries with a global attendance of over 450 000 visitors.
Detailed information on program, schedule, guests and much more coming soon!
During the past 9 editions, Grossmann Festival was visited by more than 80 film guests from around the world, such as Sir Christopher Lee, Franco Nero, Roger Corman, Menahem Golan, Ruggero Deodato, Enzo G. Castellari, Jose Mojica Marins, Lloyd Kaufman, Brian Yuzna, Joerg Buttgereit, Jaume Balaguero, Alex Chandon, Uwe Boll, Krsto Papić, Slobodan Šijan, Goran Marković, Jane Kavčič, Franci Slak, Tom Six, Carlos Areces, Lee Hardcastle and many others.
Those Happy Years
The Film Society of Lincoln Center presented the 2014 edition of Open Roads from June 5-12 including 16 productions of which 13 were U.S. Premieres. Compared to past Open Roads programs, the festival offered more documentaries and features embracing a documentary approach. It carried Gianfranco Rossi’s Sacro GRA, the first documentary receiving the Golden Lion for best film at Venice and Alberto Fasulo’s crossover TIR, a feature documenting everyday life of a foreign truck driver in Italy which received first price at the last Rome film festival.
Open Roads has establishes itself over the last 13 tears as the most important U.S. showcase of Italian cinema, programming the best recent Italian productions not shown here before. Most of its films drew a large audience in sold out performances. Undoubtedly New York’s demographics help since close to 700,000 New Yorkers are of Italian origin, constituting the largest white ethnic group. Further, a large number of discounted tickets are sold through the Film Society of Lincoln Center which has thousands of members, probably the largest film society in the United States.
There were numerous significant selections. In A STREET IN PALERMO by Emma Dante, a well-known theater director, two cars get stuck heading down a run-down narrow street in a slummy Palermo neighborhood. Dante provides an outstanding portrait of the passengers and the residents of the community where the immobile cars are. We have a lesbian couple beset by their own conflicts in one car and an aged widow grandmother Samira with her family in the other. She is told by her son that pride does not allow them to budge. An ensuing traffic jam adds to the atmosphere as does the local petty mafia criminals betting on the winner of the impasse and the colorful depiction of family members and residents. The stage of the alley provides the setting for the night long standoff which ends only when family members discover that Samira had died behind the wheel. In SACRO GRA, filmed over several years, Gianfranco Rosi succeeds in faithfully reflecting in this semi-ethnographic documentary the diversity and fragments of the lives of the people living on the margins of the superhighway Grande Raccordo Anulare which encircles Rome. Chance encounters result in unobtrusive compelling portraits including people from all walks of life such as an ambulance driver, a fisherman, an eccentric millionaire, tenants of a housing projects and an engineer turned botanist tracking the demise of palm trees attacked by bugs without being able to find a remedy. For Rosi, who is considered to be one of Italy’s most important documentary filmmakers, this gradual destruction serves as a metaphor for the demise of communities next to the SACRO; yet he admires the strong sense of identity of the people he encountered there.
Rosi Fasulo explores in the Italian Croatian co-production TIR (Transit International Routier) the everyday existence and problems of migrant labor in Europe as reflected by long distance truck drivers coming from Eastern Europe. In this fiction feature written and filmed by Fasulo there is only one professional actor, Branko Zavrsan, in the role of the former Bosnian teacher Branko who has become a tractor trailer driver because he cannot support his family as a teacher. The script is based on exhaustive research Fasulo had carried out on the European trucking industry and Marko’s work and problems are based on an actual driver’s story. Through the documentary-style reflection of Marko’s life the audience is educated about the strains and dehumanizing impact of migrant labor, one of Fasulo’s goals. The drivers have no control over their work, are disconnected from their families, work in utter isolation, and have neither connection to communities nor bonds to the countries they work in. I think that the TIR production is an excellent expression of documentary neo-realism.
Vincenso Marra offers with THE ADMINISTRATOR a charming and compelling portrait of the Naples building administrator Umberto and his extraordinary ability to resolve or dampen conflicts he encounters with and among the residents of the buildings he is responsible for, ranging from the very poor to the rich. He combines his management acumen with psychotherapeutic skills and believes that the mentality shared by people in Naples is amenable to problem solving compromises. Marra introduces the audience to the everyday lives of the residents, to their foibles and obsessions overriding the impact of the Italian economic crisis. The administrator’s upbeat message is that no matter what happens we will manage to survive.
A different take on the background crises is offered by the feature I CAN QUIT WHENEVER by Sydney Sibilla which was a commercial and critical hit in Italy due to its fast moving plot, great professional cast and satiric approach to middle class living. We receive insights into academic corruption, the Italian drug trade, prostitution, impotence of the police forces with a colorful storyline tracking the rise into wealth and luxury living and decline into poverty and prison by several brilliant academics who cannot make a living at the university. The chemist among them develops a drug and the others use their skills to market and sell it. Since this new drug is not illicit, they are successful beyond belief and embrace the high life....until the law catches up with them.
Based on interviews with gay Italians and archival material Gianni Amelio offers in HAPPY TO BE DIFFERENT an oral history project presenting the life of members of that community over a forty year period through the early 80’s. Because these are highly individuated accounts the documentary stays on the personal level and does not offer a systemic or contextual analysis of the factors driving Italian homophobia during that period. Still, the production is an important chronicle since it shares otherwise inaccessible reflections by prominent Italian gays and intriguing archival footage.
As in past editions Open Roads introduces the best of contemporary Italian Cinema to a discerning New York audience, though it remains to be seen if these films will be successful in other venues.
SBIFF’s brand new summer film showcase “The Wave Film Festival” announces its highly anticipated line up for the inaugural year. This first edition will focus solely on an eclectic mix of eleven brand new French films, sure to delight the hungry cinephiles of Santa Barbara. The five day festival begins Wednesday July 16 and continues through Sunday, July 20, 2014 at the Riviera Theatre.
Said SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling, “It's fitting that as we approach the 30th anniversary SBIFF expands its programming and have more of a year round presence with the Wave Film Festival. In the future we hope to have several editions -- or 'waves' -- throughout the year, allowing for longevity and continued growth for SBIFF as well as the Santa Barbara community.”
The official schedule is available at www.sbiff.org. SBIFF will announce the final two films for The Wave Film Festival during the first week of July.
Playing Dead (Je fais le mort)
Directed by Jean-Paul Salomé
Jean, a forty-year-old struggling out-of-work actor has hit rock bottom. Although open to any kind of work, he can't get a break. At the unemployment office, his counselor has a rather odd proposal: he can get a job helping the police reconstruct crime scenes by standing in for the dead victim. Jean's obsession for detail impresses the detectives, allowing him to take a leading role in a sensitive investigation in Megève ski resort, after a series of murders.
Not My Type (Pas son genre)
Directed by Lucas Belvaux
Clement, a young Parisian philosophy professor is transferred to Arras for a year. Far from Paris and its nightlife, he doesn’t quite know what to do with his free time. Then he meets Jennifer, a pretty hairdresser who becomes his lover. While Clement’s life revolves around Kant and Proust, Jennifer’s is punctuated with chick lit, tabloids and karaoke evenings with her girlfriends. Free love and free hearts, they could live a beautiful romance together; but is it enough to bridge the gaping social and cultural divide between them?
Brotherhood of Tears (La confrérie des larmes)
Directed by Jean-Baptiste Andréa
Gabriel, in his thirties, lives in Paris where he raises his daughter, Juliette, alone. An ex-cop retired from the force after a personal tragedy, he has difficulty making ends meet. One day, a former acquaintance offers him an extremely high-paying job. If he accepts, Gabriel will have to travel around the world delivering briefcases to anonymous associates. The terms of the contract are very clear: Never, under any circumstances, should he ask any questions about the contents of the briefcases; nor should he ever try to open them. Intrigued by this offer and convinced that the job will free him from his financial struggles, Gabriel embarks on the adventure. It doesn’t take long before money starts flowing in. But when his daughter starts complaining she misses her ever-absent father, he has no way of stopping this machinery that increasingly suffocates and engulfs him.
Directed by Katell Quillévéré
Like the titular song by Leonard Cohen, Suzanne is ultimately about a state of mind, a study in finding a sliver of grace amongst the heaps of garbage life can throw at you. Suzanne is close to her family, but between her widower father and her quiet sister, she is the troublemaker of the bunch. Restless and quixotic, her forgiving family endlessly endures the consequences of her dreams, her whims, and her bad choices. Largely set in 1990s Marseilles, the story elliptically pogo-dances through 25 years of Suzanne’s turbulent life: childhood, early pregnancy, single parenting, and above all, her driving love for an aspiring bad boy. The episodic structure perfectly mirrors Suzanne’s mercurial temperament, and Sara Forestier’s touching, contained performance holds it all together.
Weekends in Normandy (Week-ends)
Directed by Anne Villacèque
Sometimes it doesn't take much to ruin a weekend in the country. A simple misunderstanding in a supermarket parking lot, one wrong reaction and suddenly everything goes off track. Nothing seems to be going right for Christine. Jean is leaving her, Sylvette and Ulrich, her oldest friends, are a little less friendly these days. Everything’s falling apart. But life is always full of surprises.
9 Month Stretch (9 mois ferme)
Directed by Albert Dupontel
Ariane Felder is pregnant. Since she’s a young judge with strict morals and a hardened single woman, it’s more than a surprise. And even more surprising is that after paternity tests; the father of the unborn child is revealed as Bob Nolan, a criminal who’s being pursued for a monstrous crime. Ariane, who can’t remember a thing, -even less having slept with him-, tries to understand what could possibly have happened and what lies ahead. She becomes desperate and when she tries to make an end to her life Bob saves her. She starts to doubt his culpability. Little by little these two characters will find themselves intertwined in this legal affective ‘imbroglio’ where after the worst, they’ll find the best.
We Love You, You Bastard (Salaud, on t'aime)
Directed by Claude Lelouch
French rock icon Johnny Hallyday plays Jacques, a retired war photographer attempting to live a peaceful life in the Alps. With a new girlfriend, Nathalie, he appears content; but his old friend Frédéric, played by another singing idol, Eddy Mitchell, knows better. There is a little matter of four daughters, each one from a different conquest; each one estranged from him; and each leaving their shadow on Jacques’ emotional life. Realizing that reconciliation is the thing Jacques craves most, Frédéric, a doctor, concocts a little lie to convince the daughters to visit their absentee father. Well, not so little. In fact, it’s a really big lie, and as the family gathers, and accounts are settled through tears and laughter, the lie gets harder and harder to retract.
Directed by Sylvain Chomet
Paul, thirty or so, lives in a Paris apartment with his aunts, two old aristocrats who have raised him since he was two and who dream of seeing him become a virtuoso pianist. His life is made up of the same daily routine, between the grand piano in the living room and his aunts’ dance class where he works as their accompanist. Cut off from the outside world, Paul has aged without ever having lived… Until the day he meets Madame Proust, his neighbor from the fourth floor. This eccentric woman has the recipe for an herb tea that, with the help of music, is able to conjure up the most deeply buried memories. With her, Paul will discover his past and find the key to live his life at last…
Directed by Agnès Obadia
Josephine hates her job, her big ass, her married boyfriend, her job and can no longer stand the pressure from her parents and perfect sister, who all think that it’s high time she found a suitable husband. When her sister announces her own engagement, Josephine, in a spontaneous moment of desperation, blurts out that she too is engaged to a Brazilian millionaire. But the consequences of her (little) white lie soon come crashing down as she loses her job, her flat and must live undercover in Paris. Barely scraping through a series of completely wacky adventures, Josephine at least gains a chance at finding true love, at last…
This project is funded in part by Cultural Promotion Funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.
Passes and tickets for The Wave Film Festival are available now. To purchase or for more information, log onto www.sbfilmfestival.org or call 805-963-0023.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema, with an emphasis on films that consider the human condition, the environment and the diverse cultures of the world. In addition to presenting films, SBIFF engages the community through seminars, educational programs, and forums for exploring new technology.
3rd Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival-14, India
Call for Entries:
Shorts Films | Animation | Documentary | Music Videos
Submission deadline: 20 July 2014
Festival date: 09 Aug 2014
100,000 VIEWERS: One World festival, organised by People in Need, has become the biggest human rights film festival in the world. In recent years, more than 100,000 visitorsattended screenings and debates. Our approach to human rights issues is very open; attendees may be surprised by the variety of documentaries included in our programme. Every year, we offer over 100 films on politics and totalitarian regimes, development issues, social topics, environment, modern life style and much more.
ONE WORLD IN THE REGIONS: The festival does not only take place in the capital; after screenings in Prague, it moves on to 33 other Bohemian and Moravian cities and towns.
DISCUSSIONS AND DEBATES: Festival screenings are followed by Q&As with filmmakers, international guests or Czech experts. A panel debate organised each evening in the Institut Francais explores one of the most urgent issues of today’s world.
THE FESTIVAL IN THE CLASSROOM: In the morning hours, screenings for schools are held in each festival town.
HOMO HOMINI: Every year, One World is opened by the Homo Homini Award ceremony. The only Czech international human rights award goes to an individual or group that has made a significant contribution to the promotion of human rights. Homo Homini prize 2014 to go to Dagestan lawyer Sapijat Magomedova.
INSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM: Three years ago, the festival began addressing film professionals. Organised by the Institute of Documentary Film, the East Doc Platform aims to support the production and distribution of East European documentary films.
ONE WORLD IN THE WORLD: The festival long ago transcended the borders of the Czech Republic, and human rights festivals today take place around the world. Meanwhile, One World in Brussels. Within a few years, One World has managed to expand to a number of smaller human rights oriented festivals in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe. We also published a handbook Setting Up a Human Rights Film Festival: A Handbook for Festival Organizers (pdf, 5 MB).
RIGHT TO KNOW: Regular film & debate evenings titled “Right To Know” are organised in Prague throughout the year, giving the public the opportunity to learn about the broader context of local and international human rights issues frequently overlooked by the Czech media. These events take place in Langhans – People in Need Center.
GET YOUR AUDIENCE! Things do not come to an end when the festival is over. The documentaries enjoyed the most by audiences then enter the Get Your Audience! Programme, where any person in the Czech Republic can borrow and screen titles. The aim of the programme is to bring high quality documentaries to parts of the country where One World is not available.
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10 Ways to Make Distributors Totally Hate Your Guts
by Elliot Grove
Here are 10 ways to really annoy distributors.
1) Make it nearly impossible for a distributor to see your film
Let’s say a potential film buyer misses the one and only screening of your film at a film festival. Don’t offer to send them an online link to the film. I know these areeasy to set up on Vimeo with passwords, but why make it easy? Insist that they attend your next festival screening on another continent later in the year.
If you do cave in and send a DVD make really sure the DVD can’t play on a computer, and only on the DVD player in the distributor’s boardroom. That way yourpotential client won’t be able to watch it while travelling or at home on the weekend.
2) Clog up their email really good
If a distributor expresses interest in your film make sure you send them updates on the progress of your film. Two to three daily updates will guarantee to annoy.Make sure you let them know every time you have a new Twitter follower, Facebook message and so on.
3) Send totally irrelevant emails
Go a step further with your email campaign. Reference news stories like Neil Armstrong’s death, Lance Armstrong’s doping allegations, aboriginal plights withExxon in the Alberta oil sands project – in short, anything that you think of - especially if it has actually no relevance to your film.
4) Consider silence as a sign to try even harder
If a distributor doesn’t respond to your telephone messages or repeated emails, view it as a sign of interest in your film. You know the adage: No news is goodnews. Try even harder to get through.
5) Take things really slowly
Once a distributor has made the decision to buy your film, go super slow. Invent mentors and crew members you need to consult before you sign off. Let them knowthat the deal doesn’t feel quite right yet. Don’t worry that they might take all this money and give it to a film made by a competitor – just hang in there, one step at atime. Ask about world premiere status and so on. Super slow is a guaranteed way to disgust and annoy distributors.
6) Follow-up at your pace
Just because a distributor calls or emails at 5:05pm just as you are going home doesn’t mean you should break your routine and respond right away – respondwhen you get home (after they have left their office) or better yet – the next day. If someone is expecting a screener – mail it at the end of the week – when it suitsyou.
7) Follow up like an insane person
Wow! This one will get you noticed and for all the wrong reasons. Send gifts of chocolates, wine and flowers. Write insane blog postings about the distributioncompany. Set up auto-Tweets every 15 seconds. Pepper the receptionist with hang-up calls. You get the picture. You will soon be despised along with the worst ofyour competitors.
8) What do you mean music rights?
Stick Beatles songs, Astrid Gilberto singing ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ liberally throughout your movie and then put the disclaimer ‘Guide Music Only’. Then show acomplete ignorance of the music clearance process.
9) Negotiate like a sleaseball
Agree a price, sign it and then start demanding extras, like shipping, postage, telephone call charges, pension contributions, holiday pay and meeting fees. Themore outlandish your claims the more they will hate you.
10) Hold your film hostage
Agree, in principal to a fee for your film, but insist you’ll only accept it if they agree to take your next film. Conversely, sell your first film to one distributor, andthen take your second to a competitor after the first company has invested a lot of time and effort into launching your career.
I’m sure there are many other ways to make distributors really hate your guts. What have I forgotten?
Yours in filmmaking,
KINO! has been the longest running showcase for German Films in the United States at the Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, featuring for 35 years many award winning selections from major international film festivals such as the Berlinale. The programs have always offered a survey of themes and styles of the latest creative film making in Germany, frequently surpassing the boundaries of traditional cinematography. KINO! has programmed numerous films and plays an important role in promoting German language films in the United States for theatrical distribution and other venues. This has included, but is not limited to ALLES AUF ZUCKER (Dani Levy), SOPHIE SCHOLL (Marc Rothemund), HANAMI (Doris Doerri), THE WHITE RIBBON (Michael Haneke), SOUL KITCHEN (Fatih Akin), VISION (Margarethe von Trotta), THREE (Tom Twyker), YOUNG GOETHE IN LOVE (Philipp Stroelzl) and from the 2013 KINO! edition OH BOY [A Coffee in Berlin] (Jan Ole Gerstner) and the noted documentary FORGET ME NOT (David Sieveking). Two films from the 2014 selection were picked up, the dramatic feature WEST by Christian Schwochow and the reggae documentary JOURNEY TO JAH by Noel Dernesh and Moritz Springer.
KINO! was founded by MOMA’s Laurence Kardish and held there until 2013. Since MOMA decided last year to discontinue programs focusing on national cinemas KINO! relocated in 2014 to the lower Manhattan Quad Cinema venue. It presented from June 13-19 13 features, documentaries and award winning shorts. KINO! 2014 was programmed by New York industry professionals and organized by the publicly funded German Films Service agency. WEST was the center piece for the June 12 opening gala at the Museum of Moving Image in Queens.
Among the outstanding films were the following: WHISPERS BEHIND THE WALL by Grzegorz Muskala, a well scripted and directed superb thriller about Martin, a young law student moving into a run-down flat and getting involved with the seductive landlady Simone living next door in an apartment linked to his. Their relationship becomes obsessive and turns violent with a climax of Simone being killed by Martin. He had become suspicious of Simone’s intentions. A previous tenant Robert had disappeared leaving a creepy sex diary behind and Martin finds clues to the possible murder of Sebastian, Simone’s boyfriend in one of her art works. Most of the action takes place in the apartment. Its well-designed, moody and surreal set, including Martin’s creepy flat, reinforce the dark unsettling plot. The unpredictable Sebastian and a disheveled superintendent who had shown Martin’s picture to Simone for approval, as well as an apparently unhinged neighbor, Mrs. Schaffrat, who insists that Marin is Robert, complete the bizarre scenario, perfectly supporting the plot.
Christian Schwochow focuses in WEST on the rarely presented fate of refugees from East Germany once they enter the “golden” west. If identified by the German secret service (BND) and other Western intelligence agencies as important sources of information they are subjected to pressure and discrimination unless they cooperate. Set in 1978 in a run-down West Berlin refugee camp, WEST covers convincingly the story of Nelly and her son Aleksej who were granted permission to leave East Germany. In the DDR she was involved for several years with Wassili, a Russian scientist suspected to work as a spy who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Nelly is advised that he may be alive and is interrogated for several months by intelligence agencies. She experiences now the same questioning she had received before by the east German intelligence agency STASI, one of the reasons she left the DDR. Schwochow shows the bleak nature of the camp and the pervasive suspicion by the refugees of being spied on and develops convincing portraits of the people stuck there unless they get the necessary papers. Nelly is growing increasingly frustrated since she does not know whom to trust and cannot find out what really happened to Wassilij. Though WEST ends on a positive note with Nelly finding employment, her own apartment and a partner, the film offers a sobering view of the refugees’ experience of the west. Their passage was difficult and frequently met with ignorance and hostility by many West Germans.
In the documentary NAN GOLDIN – I REMEMBER YOUR FACE Sabine Lidle tracks the career of this extraordinary American photographer whose controversial work exerted great influence on her generation. Following her development through Goldin’s travels and life in New York, Berlin, Paris and the numerous art shows celebrating her photographic work, Lidle introduces us to Goldin’s wide ranging themes from exploration of subcultural topics to sexual encounters and moving imagery to name but a few. Interviews with close associates about her work and friendships give additional insights. Maximilian Erlenwein directed STEREO which was one of the two KINO!’s surprise films. As distinct from the more linear and traditional program features A PACT (Denis Dercourt) and BANKLADY (Christian Alwart) STEREO is a demanding, superbly executed psychothriller, with standout performances by the lead actors Moritz Bleibtreu and Juergen Vogel. Based on a rather original concept the story evolves around the former violent gangster, Eric, who has taken up a quiet harmonious life style but suffers from apparent amnesia about his past. His life is interrupted when the strange character of Henry suddenly appears. Invisible to anyone but Eric, Henry is constantly harassing him, offering guidance to Eric in all situations, yet demeaning the ‘lie’ of Eric’s new peaceful life. Henry is Eric’s long suppressed criminal alter ego and forces him back into the past after numerous criminal characters show up requesting that Eric kill a crime overlord.
FINSTERWORLD directed by Frauke Finsterwalder is indeed as the German half of the title ‘finster’ suggests an ominous and dark portrait of contemporary Germany as observed through the relations of a diverse set of characters. In Finsterwalder’s first feature film, the different strands of the story are loosely connected. Contradictory characters inhabit the tale and their secret lives and desires run counter to being ‘normal’. There is pedicurist who collects skin shavings from the foot of Mrs. Sandberg, a handicapped old lady he loves, and uses it for cookies he bakes for her. Starved of emotions and abandoned by her family she decides to live with him. Her son and his wife are wealthy and engage in few verbal bickering surface exchanges though refuse to rent a Nazi cars for a travel to Paris. Their spoilt son Maximilian attends a preppy high school and bullies his class mates, specifically the brighter ones, such as the close friends Dominick and Natalie. A policeman Tom is most at ease in the costume of a bear frolicking with similarly furry clad friends but is afraid of sharing his obsession with his girlfriend, a frustrated documentary film maker. Not knowing what to document she leaves for Africa disgusted by Tom’s desires. On a class trip to a concentration camp Dominick departs midway. At the concentration camp Maximilian locks Natalie in an oven and frames the instructor for it, who is imprisoned. Dominick is picked up by the Sandbergs after being beaten savagely by Mr. Sandberg for having watched his wife urinating. In the car Dominick engages the Sandbergs in a discussion deploring the absence of role models and observing that precarious Germany is branded by the Nazi period. A hermit living peacefully with a pet raven in a forest returns to his vandalized cabin. In a rage he grabs a rifle and shoots at the first car he sees on the highway hitting Dominick. In the final scenes Natalie has become the admiring girlfriend of Maximilian. Whoever is depicted seems disconnected from the community and lacks the ability of openly emoting and expressing the self. Silence rather than meaningful communication prevails. Characters shown do not seem to have a strong sense of identity, a dilemma that may be applicable not just to Germany but to other postindustrial societies too.
As a documentary filmmaker Frauke Finsterwalder has a finely tuned mind for details and non-linear storytelling, nothing in Finsterworld seems superfluous and everything has its intellectually stimulating place. Discontinuities force the alert viewer to engage in reflection, including the stark contrast between the exemplary cinematography of a beautiful landscape and the somber content of this dark tale. To date the film has garnered numerous awards. As in many other outstanding European films, Arte is a co-producer.
Hopefully KINO! will continue on its long successful path with challenging productions and must see films.
From June 28th to July 5th 2014, the 12th edition of the Ischia Film Festival will take place at the Aragonese Castle in Ischia. Created and directed by Michelangelo Messina, the festival is organised under the patronage of the European Parliament, with the support of the President of the Italian Republic Hon. Giorgio Napolitano and the contribution of the Cinema General Directorate of the MiBAC (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities) and of the Department of Culture of the Region Campania.
Every evening starting at 9 p.m., there will be open-air screenings, tributes and meetings with international guests. Eight days filled with feature films, documentaries and short films coming from over 30 different countries. 107 selected works, among which 7 world premieres and 28 national premieres. These films and documentaries have been able to promote and enhance the traditions, the historical reality, the landscapes and the peculiarities of the territories chosen as set for film narration. “Let’s talk about cinema” are meetings under the stars with directors and actors in the wonderful historical setting of the Aragonese Castle.
Among the participants Oscar-winning Bille August, Italian director Pupi Avati, president of this edition, director Amos Gitai, one of the major exponents of Israeli cinema, actor Mattia Sbragia, who will present his first directing effort, directors Ugo Gregoretti, Davide Ferrario, Alessandro Rossetto, Fabio Mollo, Edoardo Winspeare, Angelo Longoni and American actor Sean Kanan, famous for starring as Dicon in the series “Beautiful”.
The jury proclaiming the winners of this edition is composed of the director of photography Arnaldo Catinari, documentarian Roland Sejko, actor Giovanni Esposito and the scenographer of French origin Jean Manuel Martinez.
The festival also includes a market section with the “International Stock Market of Locations and Movietourism, a chance for the worlds of tourism and cinema to meet, and the “International Convention on Movietourism”, in which the major representatives of the world of cinema related to territorial marketing will participate. The photographic exhibition“Vacations and Holidays in the Italian Cinema (1949-2011)” by Antonio Maraldi completes this rich programme.
Xavier Dolan’s Mommy
The Stockholm Film Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and is proud to present the first five entries to screen at the festival in november.
Xavier Dolan’s Mommy stars Anne Dorval as a widowed mother, overwhelmed by the difficulty of raising her troubled, somtimes violent son alone. Filmed mostly in a narrow aspect ratio in the shape of a cellphone video shot, the film was awarded the jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
Daniel Wolfe’s feature film debut Catch Me Daddy - a thriller about Laila, a girl on the run with her drifter boyfriend Aaron. When her brother arrives in town with a gang of thugs in tow, she is forced to flee for her life and faces her darkest night.
Camp X-Ray, the feature debut of writer-director Peter Sattler, starring Kristen Stewart as a young guard at a notorious detention center. She begins a tenuous reletionship with one of the detainees, played by ”A Separation” star Payman Maadi.
Mr Leos caraX, a fascinating documentary about the mythical director Leos Carax (Boy Meets Girl, Holy Motors) an acclaimed and sought after festival favorite. Director Tessa Louise-Salomé lays a puzzel with film clips and interviews with some of his biggest fans – several of them renowned colleages –that dives deep in to the mystery of Leos Carax.
Blowfly Park is set in the harsh Swedish hockey landscape where systematic locker room bullying is normality. Kristian’s life is a delicate balancing act between his tender side as pre-school teacher and his suppressed aggression. When his friend Alex goes missing after a party night together, Kristian’s reality crumbles. Sverrir Gudnason, Malin Buska and Peter Andersson are starring in Jens Östberg´s psychological drama feature debut where the boundaries between victim and perpetrator are blurred.
The 25th Stockholm International Film Festival November 5-16 2014.
The Stockholm International Film Festival started in 1990 and is today one of the leading competitive film festivals in Northern Europe. The festival takes place every year in November with more than 180 films from more than 50 countries. More than a festival: we organize exclusive screenings and the popular Summer Cinema – an outdor mini-festival. Every year in spring the Stockholm International Film Festival Junior brings the latest films to youngsters between 6 and 19 years of age. WE LOVE FILM!
OIFF LAUNCHES SPECIAL DOCUMENTARY PROGRAMME “WAY TO FREEDOM” //
UKRAINIAN RETROSPECTIVE OF “FORGOTTEN MASTERPIECES”
Kiew, Ukraine, July 1, 2014: The Odessa International Film Festival (July 11 - 19, 2014) presents a programme of seven films documenting current changes and upheavals in civil societies. Inspired by the political situation in Ukraine, the programme not only shows the latest documentary works produced in the country, but also risks glances across borders to Romania, Russia, Czech Republic and Egypt. The retrospective this year features five films of different epochs of Ukrainian film history. Even though the films are considered as masterpieces, they are hardly known internationally.
All films shown in the WAY TO FREEDOM programme are accompanied by a Q&A session afterwards, with filmmakers and protagonists present. Julia Sinkevych, Executive Producer of the Festival, explains why the Festival introduces this new section: “Our Festival is a major cultural event and cinema is a powerful tool. We had to reflect the recent events in Ukraine and have therefore chosen to show films about the role of civil society in difficult political situations. The selection features films describing real events taking place in different countries, mostly countries that have much in common with Ukraine. Films from Egypt, Romania, Czech Republic and Russia show the people's desire to live in democratic and liberal societies with a high respect of human rights. Of course the film MAIDAN by Sergey Loznitsa is the most anticipated by Ukrainian audiences and we're happy to present it in the framework of the programme.”
The selected films:
BLACK BOOK OF MAIDAN directed by Anastasiya Lysenko, Asya Khmeleva, Yuri Katyn, Hanna Holtsberg, Anna Korzh, Antin Syomin, Anna Lysun, Victoria Zhukova, Alyona Kosinova, Anastasia Krysko, Vladislav Rohalevsky, Anna Borisova, Alina Chernobay, Ukraine 2014
I AM FEMEN directed by Alain Margot, Switzerland, Ukraine 2014
MAIDAN directed by Sergei Loznitsa, Ukraine, 2014
PUSSY VS PUTIN directed by Gogol's Wives, Russia, 2013, 63 min
THE SQUARE directed by Jehane Noujaim, Egypt, United States, 2013
VELVET TERRORISTS directed by Pavol Pekarčík, Ivan Ostrochovský, Peter Kerekes, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, 2013
WHERE ARE YOU BUCHAREST? directed by Vlad Petri, Romania 2013
Ukrainian masterpieces rediscovered
Since its first edition, the Odessa International Film Festival presented a retrospective devoted to Ukrainian cinema, featuring a vast retrospective with works by director Sergei Parajanov last year. On the occasion of the fifth anniversary edition of the Festival, five Ukrainian film experts have proposed five Ukrainian films they believed to be real masterpieces, but, at the same time, are mostly not acknowledged as such by international film critics and film historians.
Alik Shpilyuk, OIFF programme director, says. “Summing these lists up we've got the final selection of the five ‚Forgotten Masterpieces’ in the time range of 1927-1993. It has turned out that those five films in fact represent all stages of Ukrainian film industry development and, also, both Ukrainian film capitals: Odessa and Kiev. The five films also reflect the work of almost all film studios existing in Ukraine at that time. We are sure that this is an interesting selection for both international and local guests and participants.“
The selected films:
TWO DAYS directed by Georgiy Stabovy, USSR 1927
A STRICT YOUNG MAN directed by Abram Room, USSR 1936
AT GREAT COST directed by Mark Donskoy, USSR 1957
FROM SHEER BOREDOM directed by Artur Voytetsky, USSR 1967
WILD LOVE directed by Villen Novak, USSR 1993
Burns Court Cinemas, Friday, August 22, Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24, 2014.
Scheduled to be held at Burns Court Cinemas in downtown Sarasota, the fourth annual Fabulous Independent Film Festival is celebrating diversity with 3 days of the best of LGBT cinema, with feature length films as well as short films. In association with and benefitting the Harvey Milk Festival, a non-profit organization, the festival is organized by broken rules productions.
The Fabulous IFF makes its film selections from the greatest LGBT film festivals in the US, Canada and Europe.
Tickets will be available at www.fabulousiff.com on Monday, July 28, 2014. Tickets will also be available at the Burns Court Cinemas each day of the festival.
The Sarasota Film Society’s Burns Court Cinemas is the venue sponsor. Watermark Media, Janice & John Shelton, RC Moore Construction, Embracing Our Differences, and the Huisking Family Advised Fund are among our wonderful sponsors helping make this event a reality. The opening night party will be hosted by M.A.D.E, on Friday, August 22, 2014.
The Fabulous IFF is welcoming sponsors at all levels.
Burns Court Cinemas - 506 Burns Lane, Sarasota, 34236 – Venue Sponsor
M.A.D.E. - 1990 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 – Opening Night Party Sponsor
In addition over 12,000 attend Film In The City outdoor screenings
The 68th edition of Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) drew to a close on Sunday having screened 121 new features over the 12 day Festival. More than 46,000 admissions represents a four per cent increase on 2013.
The Festival sold tickets for its venues across the city, which included the EIFF’s home at Filmhouse, its venue partner at Cineworld Fountain Park, and at Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Traverse Theatre, Dominion Cinema, Odeon Lothian Road, Cameo, Royal Lyceum Theatre and Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen.
Ken Hay, CEO Edinburgh International Film Festival, commented; “We are delighted to see that audiences have again supported the Festival this year despite football fever and the glorious June sunshine! An increase in our admissions is a testament to the strength and depth of the programme.”
This year, the Festival also collaborated with This is Edinburgh and Essential Edinburgh on Film in the City; a series of outdoor screenings and events across the city. Over 12,000 people enjoyed the delights of “dance along” screenings of musical favourites such as GREASE and STRICTLY BALLROOM in the Grassmarket and JAWS, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and JUNO amongst the cinematic gems in St. Andrew Square. Festival Square also hosted a series of movie inspired workshops, Q&A’s and animation sessions.
Winning films this year included the world premiere of Joanna Coates’s HIDE AND SEEK, which picked up The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film. The Award for Best Film in the International Competition was presented to Midi Z’s ICE POISON and The Audience Award went to TONY BENN: WILL & TESTAMENT, which also received its world premiere at the Festival.
For further information, please contact:
EIFF Press Team, Organic Publicity: EIFFPRteam@organic-publicity.co.uk / 020 3372 0970
To download publicity materials, please visit: www.edfilmfest.org.uk/press
About Edinburgh International Film Festival:
Established in 1947, Edinburgh International Film Festival is renowned around the world for discovering and promoting the very best in international cinema - and for heralding and debating changes in global filmmaking. Intimate in its scale, ambitious in its scope, and fuelled by pure passion for cinema in all its manifestations, EIFF seeks to spotlight the most exciting and innovative new film talent, in a setting steeped in history.
Notable films premiered in recent years have included: FRANCES HA, WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS, THE IMPOSTER, BRAVE, TABU, THE HURT LOCKER, MOON, FISH TANK, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, MAN ON WIRE, CONTROL, KNOCKED UP, RATATOUILLE, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, TSOTSI and BILLY ELLIOT.
EIFF is supported by Creative Scotland, the BFI, the Scottish Government through the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, the City of Edinburgh Council, and EventScotland.
The Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) was founded in 2010 with a mission to be at the forefront of the development of film and the moving image in Scotland. The CMI currently comprises EIFF, Filmhouse in Edinburgh and the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival Limited is a company registered in Scotland No: SC132453. It is a subsidiary of the Centre for the Moving Image (CMI) which is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status with Scottish Charity No. SC006793.
Revelation Perth International Film Festival kicks off its seventeenth season tonight at the Luna Cinema in Leederville, Perth, Western Australia and runs until 13 July 2013.
The annual Festival opens tonight with the breathtaking sci-fi film Under The Skin featuring Scarlett Johansson. Special guests of the festival will include Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Australian actor Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road, Water Rats, City Homicide) alongside national and international filmmakers, musicians, screen artists, academics and distributors.
Revelation has established itself as an international film festival like no other with its thoughtful and provocative program which boasts 116 film screenings with over 35 Australian premieres, making it fertile ground for independent filmmakers, distributors and discerning audiences.
"Rev has come a long way over the years" says festival founder and director Richard Sowada "and after the huge amount of work that has been put in over that time it’s enormously gratifying to see the event cement its place as the key annual screen culture event in WA"
Revelation is proudly supported by the Australian and West Australian governments through ScreenWest, TourismWA and Screen Australia.
The complete program is now online and tickets are on sale now from the Revelation website at www.revelationfilmfest.org
Dear filmmakers friends do not miss this festival in focus.
Earlier is better! (And cheaper.) Send in your entries to the 2015 VFF before the Earlybird deadline of July 9th.
Additional Deadlines are:
Regular postmark deadline: August 7th, 2014
Late postmark deadline: September 11th, 2014
Extended Deadline: September 17th, 2014
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The ever-expanding African film industry will once more be represented at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) 2014 although South African film retains the festival’s key focus, with 40 feature-length films and 38 short films – most of them receiving their world premieres on Durban screens, and collectively representing by far the largest number of South African films in the festival’s 35 year history.
This year’s opening night film on July 17 see the world premiere of Hard To Get, the electrifying feature debut from South African filmmaker Zee Ntuli, who has already received critical acclaim for his short films. The story of the mercurial relationship between a handsome young womaniser and a beautiful, reckless petty criminal, Hard To Get is fuelled by a bewitching visual poetry. Other high-profile South African films being showcased include the engaging thriller Cold Harbour, Between Friends, which recounts a reunion between old varsity friends, Hear Me Move, a locally flavoured dance movie, and Love the One You Love, which explores a constellation of relationships between young South Africans.
Then there’s the Tyler Perry-flavoured Two Choices, as well as The Two of Us, which tells of a relationship between two siblings. Icehorse is a surreal mystery drama set in the Netherlands and directed by South African Elan Gamaker. Young Ones is a dystopian down-beat sci-fi flick directed by Jake Paltrow, produced by Spier Films and shot in South Africa, while the French/South African co-production Zulu explores the unhealed wounds of the new South Africa. DIFF is very proud to present the 1978 film Joe Bullet, the first work to benefit from the Gravel Road legacy project, which aims to restore films lost in the dusty archives of apartheid.
This year’s programme also features an expanded South African documentary programme in response to the large number of high quality doccies currently being produced in the country. DIFF 2014 includes a rich slate of films which explore and interrogate 20 years of freedom and democracy in South Africa, including Khalo Matabane’s Nelson Mandela: The Myth and Me, and Miners Shot Down, Rehad Desai’s devastating account of Marikana. They are joined by many other films that chronicle lesser known but no less significant stories behind the end of apartheid and the rebirth of South Africa into a new country.
The rich programme of films from elsewhere on the continent includes a number of artistically and politically brave directorial voices that are unafraid to experiment with form or content. The bewitching and highly experimental Bloody Beans recounts the Algerian revolution using a band of young children as its medium of expression, while the utterly charming and super-low-budget Beti and Amare is an Ethiopian vampire film with a difference.
DIFF 2014 also acknowledges the political reality of contemporary Africa with films such as Timbuktu from Malian master Abderrahmane Sissako, whichs recounts Timbuktu’s brief occupation by militant Islamic rebels. The mockumentary hybrid They Are the Dogs is set in Morocco in the aftermath of the Arab Spring while the engagingly authentic, semi-autographical film Die Welt is set in Tunisia shortly after the recent Jasmine Revolution. Imbabazi: The Pardon explores the possibilities of reconciliation in the wake of the Rwandan genocide, and Difret examines the potentially destructive role of patriarchal traditions in contemporary Ethiopia.
Set in Tanzania, the disturbing but visually powerful White Shadow tells the story of a young albino boy named Alias who is targeted for body parts by muti traders. Veve, the latest film from the producers of the award-winning crime drama Nairobi Half Life, documents the double-crossing lives of those trading in khat or ‘veve’, a mildly narcotic local crop. From Moroccan director Abdellah Taia comes Salvation Army, an unflinchingly poetic study of a young Arab man grappling with notions of family and sexuality. Then there’s the highly anticipated film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, set against the difficulties of post-independence Nigeria.
Coz Ov Moni 2: FOKN Revenge, billed as ‘the world’s second first pidgin musical’ is a Ghanaian hop-hop opera from rap duo the FOKN Bois, while B for Boy tells the story of how a Nigerian woman’s life is corrupted by the forces of patriarchy and tradition.
The Durban International Film Festival takes place from 17 – 27 July 2014. The festival includes more than 200 theatrical screenings and a full seminar and workshop programme, as well as the Wavescape Film Festival, Wild Talk Africa Film Festival and various industry initiatives, including the 7th Talents Durban (in cooperation with the Berlinale Talents) and the 5th Durban FilmMart co-production market (in partnership with the Durban Film Office). For more information go to www.durbanfilmfest.co.za
o The 35th Durban International Film Festival is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (a special project of the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Humanities, Cheryl Potgieter) with support from the National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development & Tourism, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, City of Durban, German Embassy, Goethe Institut, Industrial Development Corporation, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture and a range of other valued partners.
Early Bird Deadline Approaches for Cellar Door Film Festival!
The Cellar Door Film Festival (CDFF) wants to remind filmmakers that the early bird deadline to submit for the inaugural edition of the festival is July 15th. 2014 promises to be a strong year for Ottawa's first festival of speculative cinema. The CDFF team is very excited by the range of local, national, and international films that have been submitted thus far, so it encourages prospective filmmakers to submit and be a part of an impressive first year. The early bird deadline allows filmmakers to submit a short film for only $15 and features for only $25, while Ottawa filmmakers may also submit a short film for free before this date. Regular submissions will still be accepted during the final month of the submission window, which ends August 15th.
CDFF invites filmmakers to submit speculative films of both short and feature length, which include, but are not limited to, films made within the genres of: horror, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, avant-garde, experimental, the supernatural, alternative history, mystery, grindhouse cinema, and everything else in between.
In order to facilitate as many submissions as possible CDFF offers two submission methods: 1) upload your film online via Festhome or 2) submit a hardcopy by mail.
For full details regarding deadlines, entry forms, requirements, and fees, please visit our submissions page.
We hope to open the Cellar Door and see your film at our festival in Fall 2014.
About CDFF: Cellar Door Film Festival (CDFF) aims to be Ottawa’s first showcase of speculative cinema while celebrating the creativity of the Ottawa film scene and spotlighting the city as a setting for the sinister and supernatural.
Human Rights Watch is one of the largest and most influential independent international human rights organizations. It has been carrying out global research on virtually all violations of human rights and published empirically based and verified reports about these violations. A most recent example is Human Rights Watch identification through photos and satellite images of war crimes committed by Jihadists in the rogue ‘Islamic State’. These reports have been influencing decision making processes and often been relied on in proceeding of international bodies. One of the most important avenues of reaching the general opinion shaping public has been the human rights watch film festival which was started 25 years ago in New York City and is now being held in numerous other places. The global Human Rights Film Network now includes 38 festivals devoted to the promotion of human rights with the New York Human Rights Watch Film Festival probably as the most prominent one.
Roger Ebert suggested that cinema generates empathy and understanding of other cultures. The New York Human Rights Watch Film Festival follows this path using documentaries and features which provide evidence of abuses, draw attention to new violations, affirm the audience commitment to human rights and convince more people to get involved in the human rights struggle. More importantly, the festival has featured productions which had a direct impact on judicial proceedings and decision making procedures, an impact few documentaries can claim. Among documentaries with a significant impact shown in past years are productions like ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE (Thet Sambath and Rob Lemkin), GRANITO (Pamela Yates), THE INVISIBLE WAR (Dick Kirby), and the HBO production WARTORN 1861 – 2010 by John Alpert.
The 2014 edition of the HRW film festival was held from June 12-22 and co-presented with the film society of Lincoln center. Presenting twenty documentaries and two fiction films it included 19 New York premieres with 16 productions directed by women. Given the large number of independent documentaries now produced, the role of the HRW film festival in New York as a curatorial gate keeper has become more important. As in past editions of the festival, many productions selected this year were outstanding with respect to relevant issues selected, production values and narrative approaches. They frequently seem well funded with the French-German ‘arte’ consortium and other European sources often credited as were some established film festivals. Five themes were prominent: Armed Conflict and the Arab Spring; Human Rights Defenders, Icons and Villains; LGBT Rights; Migrants’ Rights, and Women’s and Children’s Rights. The Sundance award winning E-TEAM by Katy Chevigny and Ross Kaufman elucidates the Human Rights Watch investigative approach documenting the first responder approach of four Human Rights Watch workers researching violations in Syria and Libya. The production was picked up by Netflix which will stream it during the fall of 2014, but also show E-Team in select theaters to qualify for an Oscar nomination.
DANGEROUS ACTS STARRING THE UNSTABLE ELEMENTS OF BELARUS by Madeleine Sackler, which will be shown this July on HBO records the articulation of human rights violations by the Belarus Free Theater actors in underground performances, for which they are victimized by the police of Belarus’ soviet-style dictator Alexander Lukashenko. Some members of the group were forced into exile in the US and England where they continue to perform. In SCHEHERAZADE’S DIARY Zeina Daccache uses theatrical performances by inmates in the women’s Baabda prison of Beirut to enhance their emancipation process. She documents through a 10-month drama therapy project, prisoners revealing past traumas, suffering, or unjust incarceration. They hold up a mirror of Lebanese society’s oppressive treatment of women which makes it easier for the inmates to come to terms with their own lives. In PRIVATE VIOLENCE, Cynthia Hill demonstrates that for American women the most dangerous place is at home where most of the abuse by partners occurs. In the US four women are murdered every day by their partners. Hill explores this complex and disturbing phenomenon through case studies of two women, a mother seeking justice for crimes against her by the estranged husband and an advocate for women’s rights. She also elucidates why it is so difficult for women to escape abusive and violent relations be it economic dependency, fear of retributions, an unresponsive judicial system, isolation, self-blame and guilt as well as the illusion that the spouse’s abuse will cease. Yet the resources for shelters and an alternative life are still too limited. Richie Mehta’s feature film SIDDARTH is a touching and subtle exploration of a poor Indian family’s response to the abduction of their son Siddharth who was sent to work in a distant city’s factory to supplement their income. In India, child labor is rather common but also the disappearance of children, about 44,000 are reported missing each year with many victimized in the sex trade. Based on an excellent script, Mehta reports in a detached but convincing manner the father, Mehandra’s, failing search for his son. The success of the film is also due to the acting performance of the leads. Unfortunately an overbearing melodramatic score distracts from the compelling story. In India the socio-economic and cultural context generates the abuse of children from the underclass and low castes.
Self-serving political expediency deprived Nicaragua women of a right which they had enjoyed for many decades. A QUIET INQUISITION (Alessandra Zeka and Holen Sabrfina Kahn is based on the conflicts Dr. Carla Cerrato, a gynecologist, faces in her work as the senior medical staff member at the local hospital. There, medical ethics, the right of intervention when the life of a pregnant woman is at stake contravene the restrictive law preventing any abortions at any point for any reason, be it incest and rape or sound medical grounds. Former president Ortega who had been out of office since 1990, converted in 2006 to Catholicism. With the blessing of the cardinal he was elected president in November 2006, an office he has held ever since. In 2007 the anti-abortion law was passed. The courage of Dr. Cerrato using medical ethics as the basis for her life saving decisions and openly discussing her work is amazing. Some of her colleagues fear the authorities and deny medication to a pregnant woman suffering from cancer since it might terminate the pregnancy. Iva Radivojevic offers in her sensitive and visually stunning EVAPORATING BORDERS a five part documentary essay about the fate of migrants in Cyprus. Her outstanding cinematography cements a thoughtful and reflexive approach to the issues migrants face in Cyprus, the powerful right-wing xenophobic reaction to their presence, and the failure of authorities to cope with the obvious problems systemic obstacles to integration pose. Her story highlights the experience of the immigrants through their own interpretation. There is no blame placed on any party. The mostly dreadful and fearful life most immigrants have remains entrenched in our memory as are their precarious uprooted identities. Because the director is a Cyprus immigrant herself she is ideally suited to tune into the contradictory world faced by the refugees. In WATCHERS OF THE SKY Edet Belzberg presents through pointed interviews, much archival footage, and animated sequences a comprehensive analytic survey of the attempt to prosecute crimes against humanity exemplified by ethnic cleansing and political extermination. The documentary spans a period from the Second World War to contemporary conditions and is noteworthy for its masterful editing of complex material based on 800 hours of original footage and archival material. Raphael Lemkin’s fight for international binding safeguards and laws against extermination and genocide, the term he created, provides the bracket for the film. In depth interviews with Emmanuel Uwurukundo, a Rwanda survivor, Ben Ferencz, a Nuremberg U.S. prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and Samantha Power, current U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and author of A Problem From Hell establish a compelling context. Supportive footage from the holocaust, Rwanda, Serbia, Darfur and other venues of mass murder offer grim and discouraging evidence of the failure of the international community to intervene and prevent genocide and ethnic cleansing. Certainly there have been some convictions for crimes against humanity emanating from the enabling legal framework Raphael Lemkin helped to establish. Yet today impotence seems to prevail in preventing such crimes as the current massacres in Syria, Iraq, the ‘Islamic State’ Nigeria and Central Africa demonstrate.
The 2014 edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festivals delivered on the promise of providing outstanding productions about problem areas requiring our undivided attention and remains essential for up-to-date coverage of human rights violations.
The 14th T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival, the biggest film-related event in Poland, will take place in Wroclaw from July 24 through August 3, 2014. 365 films will be screened at the event, including 199 full-length features.
The opening films will be Damián Szifron's Argentinean satire Wild Tales, which took part in this year's main competition in Cannes, a Palme d'Or winner - Winter Sleep by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, and acclaimed Clouds of Sils Maria, by one of the most fascinating contemporary directors Olivier Assayas, with Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart in the lead roles. During the awards gala the festival will show the Italian film The Wonders, by Alice Rohrwacher, which won the Grand Prix at this year's Festival in Cannes.
New Horizons International Competition, the most important part of the festival, consists of 13 uncompromising, innovative and original movies: Parasite by Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal, How to Disappear Completely by Przemyslaw Wojcieszek (world premiere), Calling by Marcin Dudziak (world premiere), White Shadow by Noaz Deshe, Canopy by Aaron Wilson, Cherry Pie by Lorenz Merz, The Distance by Sergio Caballero, History of Fear by Benjamín Naishtat, Butter on the Latch by Josephine Decker, My Blind Heart by Peter Brunner, The Sheep by Gilles Deroo & Marianne Pistone, Falling Star by Luis Miñarro, A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness by Ben Rivers, Ben Russell.
This year's program will include the latest films of masters of international cinema by Aleksey German (Hard to Be a God), Naomi Kawase (Still the Water), Bertrand Tavernier (The French Minister), Ki-duk Kim (Moebius), Claude Lanzmann (The Last of the Unjust), Tsai Ming-liang (Stray Dogs and Journey to the West), Jean Luc-Godard (Goodbye to Language 3D), Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Amos Gitai (Ana Arabia), Lukas Moodysson (We Are the Best!), Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan), György Pálfi (Free Fall), Kornel Mundruczó (White God), Bruno Dumont (L'il Quinquin), Lisandro Alonso (Jauja), Hayao Miyazaki (The Wind Rises), and Reha Erdem (Singing Women). The Festival's program includes 20 films from the official selections at this year's Festival in Cannes.
Legendary British filmmaker Ken Russell will be the subject of a retrospective that will feature rarely seen documentaries made for the BBC, cult musical films and some of the director's best-known works. One of the highlights of the festival will be an overview of one of the most interesting contemporary film movements, New Greek Cinema. The section Post New Wave: a tribute to "Cahiers du Cinéma" will screen works by some of the masters of French cinema of the 1970s and 1980s that have rarely been shown in Poland, including by Jean Eustache, Philippe Garrel, Jacques Doillon, and Maurice Pialat. The programme will also include an overview of Basque Documentaries. More about the festival programme and screening schedule on www.nowehoryzonty.pl.