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1-20 of 73 items from 2016   « Prev | Next »


Comic-Con 2016: Watch the Fear The Walking Dead Panel

24 July 2016 11:03 AM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

The cast and crew of Fear The Walking Dead were recently at Comic-Con to tease what awaits viewers when Season 2 returns in August, and if you weren’t in Hall H to witness their intriguing discussions, you can watch their panel online right now.

The Mid-Season 2 premiere of Fear The Walking Dead will air on AMC on August 21st at 9:00pm Est. The second half of the season will consist of eight episodes and take the survivors on separate journeys within Robert Kirkman’s apocalyptic world:

“As “Fear The Walking Dead” embarks on the second half of season two, the Clark, Manawa and Salazar families fracture. The events that took place at the Abigail compound have set all of our heroes adrift. Now they must forge their own paths to survive. “Fear the Walking Dead” is executive produced by showrunner Dave Erickson, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero »

- Derek Anderson

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Fear the Walking Dead: New Trailer Released for Season Two Return

23 July 2016 6:46 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

"Death is not to be feared, but it shouldn't be pursued." AMC released a new trailer for the season two return of Fear the Walking Dead at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.The Walking Dead spin-off explores the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. The cast includes Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lorenzo James Henrie, Rubén Blades, Mercedes Mason, and Colman Domingo.Read More… »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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Comic-Con 2016: New Trailer for Fear The Walking Dead Season 2’s Second Half

22 July 2016 12:18 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

“This is a test. We will outlast death.” After the fiery mid-season finale of Fear The Walking Dead Season 2, the survivors have an uncertain and dangerous journey ahead of them. At the show’s Comic-Con Hall H panel, AMC released a new trailer for the second half of Season 2, and we have it for Daily Dead readers to watch right now.

The Mid-Season 2 premiere of Fear The Walking Dead will air on AMC on August 21st at 9:00pm Est. Viewers can look forward to eight more new episodes in the second half of Season 2.

The new trailer shows the aftermath of the group splitting up in three different directions after leaving Celia’s compound. The footage hints at a lot to look forward to in the back half of Season 2. Showrunner Dave Erickson and company will continue to explore different cultures and settings that Walking Dead fans haven’t seen onscreen yet. »

- Derek Anderson

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Roberto Duran biopic Hands of Stone gets a new trailer

21 July 2016 12:15 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

The Weinstein Company has released a new trailer for next month’s Roberto Duran biopic Hands of Stone. Written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, the film stars Edgar Ramirez as the boxing great alongside Robert De Niro, Usher Raymond, Ruben Blades, Ellen Barkin, John Turturro, Reg E. Cathey, Oscar Jaenada and Ana de Armas; watch it below after the official synopsis…

Hands Of Stone follows the life of Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez), the Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16 year‐old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond) to capture the Wbc welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words “no mas” (no more.)

Hands of Stone is set for release on August 26th in the States.

»

- Amie Cranswick

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Edgar Ramirez Has Hands Of Stone And Nerves Of Steel In New Trailer For Boxing Flick

20 July 2016 2:44 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Last year, it was Southpaw and the rather excellent Creed that enthralled the moviegoing masses, but 2016 is cooking up a one-two punch of its own. Before Miles Teller learns to Bleed For This in November, it is Edgar Ramirez who will step into the ring for Hands of Stone, The Weinstein Company’s starry biopic that finds Robert De Niro in the role of accomplished trainer, Ray Arcel.

De Niro, who so brilliantly captured the imagination of a generation in Raging Bull, will find himself on the other side of the ropes in Jonathan Jakubowicz’s feature. It’s one he wrote and directed, too, chronicling the inspired journey of Panamanian boxer, Roberto Durån.

Celebrated as one of the finest fighters the sport has ever produced, Edgar Ramirez will don the boxing gloves in TWC’s feature film, as it charts Durån’s rise and rise to the tip-top of the boxing hierarchy, »

- Michael Briers

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‘Hands Of Stone’ Trailer: Edgar Ramirez & Robert De Niro In Fighting Shape

20 July 2016 2:07 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

The Weinstein Company is gearing up for the August 26 bow of Hands of Stone, the Roberto Duran boxing biopic starring Edgar Ramirez and Robert De Niro that the company scooped up during Cannes 2015. Usher co-stars as Duran’s rival Sugar Ray Leonard, and Ellen Barkin, Ruben Blades and Ana de Armas co-star. Duran became an hero in his native Panama as he rose through the ranks behind trainer Ray Arcel (De Niro), winning titles in four different weight classes. But it was… »

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First Look At The Return Of ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Hints At Terror To Come

12 July 2016 2:39 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Fear The Walking Dead,” a companion series and prequel to the widely popular zombie series “The Walking Dead,” debuted in August of last year to general acclaim and high ratings. The series follows a dysfunctional makeshift family at the onset of a zombie apocalypse. Struggling to remain alive, the group must band together in order to save each other amidst such a physical threat. The series stars Kim Dickens (“Treme”), Cliff Curtis (“Whale Rider”), Frank Dillane (“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”), Alycia Debnam-Carey (“The 100”), Elizabeth Rodriguez (“Orange Is the New Black”), Mercedes Mason (“Chuck”), Lorenzo James HenrieRubén Blades (“The Counselor”), Colman Domingo (“Selma”), and Michelle Ang (“Underemployed”). In time for Comic-Con International: San Diego, check out some photos from the first episode back and a brand-new poster below, courtesy of AMC.

Read More: Review: ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Season 2…They’re On a Boat!

The Walking Dead »

- Vikram Murthi

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First Look At The Return Of ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Hints At Terror To Come

12 July 2016 2:39 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Fear The Walking Dead,” a companion series and prequel to the widely popular zombie series “The Walking Dead,” debuted in August of last year to general acclaim and high ratings. The series follows a dysfunctional makeshift family at the onset of a zombie apocalypse. Struggling to remain alive, the group must band together in order to save each other amidst such a physical threat. The series stars Kim Dickens (“Treme”), Cliff Curtis (“Whale Rider”), Frank Dillane (“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”), Alycia Debnam-Carey (“The 100”), Elizabeth Rodriguez (“Orange Is the New Black”), Mercedes Mason (“Chuck”), Lorenzo James HenrieRubén Blades (“The Counselor”), Colman Domingo (“Selma”), and Michelle Ang (“Underemployed”). In time for Comic-Con International: San Diego, check out some photos from the first episode back and a brand-new poster below, courtesy of AMC.

Read More: Review: ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Season 2…They’re On a Boat!

The Walking Dead »

- Vikram Murthi

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Bam Showcases Colombia’s Post-Conflict Cinema

11 July 2016 6:50 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

On June 30, the same day as Brexit, Colombia’s government and Farc rebels signed a cease-fire. Fruit of four years of negotiations, which president Juan Manuel Santos once compared to “swallowing toads,” it ends 50 years of bloodbath that killed 220,000 people, displacing several million more.

This is a momentous moment for Colombia. It is also a defining event for its cinema. From July 11, 46 projects, nearly all Colombian, will be presented at the 7th Bogota Audiovisual Market (Bam). Another 15 movies screen, either in post-production or as completed films.

National cinemas, especially as they mature, normally range widely in subjects. At 2016’s Bam, in contrast, nearly half the films presented, some 27 titles, work through the country’s huge sweep of post-conflict traumas, questions and debates on how Colombia should move forward.

In the last few years, the peace process has become part of Colombia’s “collective mentality,” said Colombian producer Diego Ramirez, at Bogota and Cali-based 64a Films. »

- John Hopewell

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Comic-Con 2016: AMC Announces Hall H Panels for The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, Preacher

30 June 2016 12:57 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Rick Grimes, Madison Clark, Jesse Custer, and more are coming to Comic-Con, as AMC has announced Hall H panels for The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Preacher, and Kevin Smith's upcoming talk show, Geeking Out.

Press Release: The cast and producers of AMC’s hit scripted series “The Walking Dead,” “Fear the Walking Dead” and “Preacher” and upcoming late-night talk show “Geeking Out” will descend on this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, CA.

In addition to official series panels, AMC will host fan activations throughout the weekend, including a “The Walking Dead”-themed booth (#4237) in the Convention Center, where fans can stop by to take photos of themselves among Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) infamous “lineup” from the season six finale, as well as a “Fear the Walking Dead” yacht, at the Fifth Avenue Pier behind the Convention Center, where fans can experience life aboard the Abigail. »

- Derek Anderson

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Listen to Fear The Walking Dead Radio Transmissions

30 May 2016 10:27 AM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

The radio is a key form of communication in a world succumbing to the living dead infection, and if you can’t wait until August 21st for the return of Fear The Walking Dead, AMC has released several radio transmissions to help hold you over, including one that mentions Jack (Daniel Zovatto).

From the Press Release: “AMC’s fan favorite original series “Fear the Walking Dead” will return for the second half of season two on Sunday, August 21st at 9:00 p.m. Et/Pt, as announced during last night’s “Talking Dead” following the mid-season finale. The second half will consist of eight episodes.

As “Fear The Walking Dead” embarks on the second half of season two, the Clark, Manawa and Salazar families fracture. The events that took place at the Abigail compound have set all of our heroes adrift. Now they must forge their own paths to survive. »

- Derek Anderson

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Exclusive: Fear The Walking Dead Showrunner Dave Erickson Talks Mid-Season 2 Finale, Teases Second Half

24 May 2016 5:01 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

The first half of Fear The Walking Dead Season 2 ended on an intriguing and explosive note this week, capping off a stellar seven-episode run and leaving fans with a lot to talk about at the water cooler until the show returns on August 21st. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to speak with showrunner/executive producer/writer Dave Erickson, who discussed the potential future of a character many might have presumed to be dead, what to expect in the back half of Season 2, whether or not there is a connection between this show and The Whisperers from The Walking Dead comic book series, and much more. *Spoiler Warning*

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today and congratulations on an an amazing first half of Season 2. On this show, if you don’t see someone die, there is always the possibility that they could still be alive. Even »

- Derek Anderson

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Fear the Walking Dead: Season 2B Premieres in August

23 May 2016 6:43 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

[caption id="attachment_49575" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Fear the Walking Dead TV series on AMC. Pictured: Rubén Blades as Daniel Salazar. Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC.[/caption]

The second season mid-season finale of the Fear the Walking Dead TV show just aired last night. AMC doesn't want you to think the zombie drama spin-off has been cancelled. The network has announced season 2B premieres Sunday, August 21, 2016, at 9:00pm Et/Pt.

Fear the Walking Dead stars: Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Rubén Blades, Mercedes Mason, Lorenzo James Henrie, and Colman Domingo.

Read More… »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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Fear The Walking Dead Mid-Season 2 Premiere to Air on August 21st on AMC

23 May 2016 6:56 AM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Get ready to mark your calendars. AMC has announced that the Fear the Walking Dead Mid-Season 2 premiere will air on Sunday, August 21st at 9:00 pm Est:

Press Release: New York, NY – May 23, 2016 – AMC’s fan favorite original series “Fear the Walking Dead” will return for the second half of season two on Sunday, August 21st at 9:00 p.m. Et/Pt, as announced during last night’s “Talking Dead” following the mid-season finale. The second half will consist of eight episodes. The season two opener delivered 8.8 million viewers including 5.7 million adults 25-54 and 5.3 million adults 18-49 in live+3 ratings, solidifying “Fear the Walking Dead” as the #2 show on cable (behind only “The Walking Dead”) and the #7 show in all of television – cable and broadcast – among adults 18-49 this television season. Critics are raving about season two, including David Sims of TheAtlantic.com, who said, “Fear the Walking Dead’s »

- Derek Anderson

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Hands of Stone’

16 May 2016 6:19 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Roberto Duran remains the greatest lightweight boxer in history, and one of the most celebrated fighters, period. But unlike such legends of the ring as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, or Mike Tyson, he never had a very idiosyncratic boxing style. He didn’t dance, or rope-a-dope, or use his fists like a Mack truck. He was a paragon of classic quickness and power, a bruiser who wasted no time going in for the kill.

Hands of Stone,” a Duran biopic that lifts its title from his fists-of-fury nickname, has a tone that very much mirrors Duran’s mode of fighting. Directed by the Venezuelan-born Jonathan Jakubowicz, who also wrote the script, the film punches ahead in a conventional, aggressive, no-frills way. At this point, of course, the bar for boxing films has been set rather staggeringly high. “Raging Bull” turned the pugilistic melodrama into Shakespearean blood opera (it also »

- Owen Gleiberman

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Women to Watch: Producer Gema Juarez Allen

25 April 2016 5:58 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

I caught up with Argentine producer Gema Juarez Allen at the Panama Film Festival. Since seeing (and falling in love with) the Argentine road movie “Road to La Paz”/ “Camino a La Paz in Guadalajara and interviewing its director, Francisco Varone, I was interested in meeting her as well, even more so because her other film, the Colombian drama “Oscuro Animal” which premiered in Rotterdam and won four prizes at Mexico’s Guadalajara International Film Festival in March 2016, for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Cinematography and has been sold to seven territories. “Oscuro Animal” is about three women fleeing armed conflict in Colombia. It was directed by Colombia’s Felipe Guerrero, an editor on “La Playa DC,” “Perro come perro” and “El Paramo”. It received funding from the Hubert Bals Fund and World Cinema Fund. 

In Panama Gema was quite busy, not only with “Road to La Paz” but participating on the panel, Your Project in Motion: Coproduction and Financing along with Panamanian producers and directors, Delfina Vidal (“Caja 25”), Annie Canavaggio (“Breaking the Wave”) and Abner Benaim (“Invasion”) who also happens to be Gema’s partner.

As one of Latin America’s most active producers, Gema’s extensive experience international coproduction was invaluable and she shared it freely at the panel. Her participation in workshops in Europe, such as the Eave Producers Workshop and Eurodoc, has played a key role in establishing her international connections. While at Eave, she met Greek Boo Productions and Germany’s Ingmar Trost of Sutor Kolonko who came on board to coproduce “Oscuro Animal”.

“Road to La Paz” director, Francisco Varone said,

"In 2012 we submitted the project to Visions Sud Est in Switzerland. I was almost working by myself on the film at this time and then started working with a larger Argentinean production company, Concreto Films, owned by Juan Taratuto, a big film director who was directing TV commercials and said he’d help. They had a tough time finding investors so he introduced me to Gema Juarez Allen (whose recent film “Invasion” is the story of the U.S. invasion of Panama in the 1980s). She is a well-known documentary producer with experience in coproductions who knows how to find money and understands the value of going to festivals. She said she would do it as her first fiction film and went to San Sebastian Film Festival’s Foro de Coproduccion in 2013. There she had lots of one-on-one meetings and met Julius Ponten our Dutch coproducer who got funding from the Netherlands Film Fonds and Gunter Hanfgarn (“Bad Hair”) who applied to Ezef, an Evangelistic Fund for films from the south (one of the backers of “Timbuktu”). “

Read more on “Road to La Paz” here.

Gema continued this story when we spoke:

Juan liked the project but it was not in his domain so he sought me out. I read the script about two men and one car and thought, “This is easy”. But of course it was not. A road movie is the most difficult of all genres, and with animals, and covering two countries! Working with Pancho (Francisco Varone), he is the kind of director I like. I find the shooting is usually more important than the people, but with Pancho, the crew is important and he balanced the people and the shoot, so after all, it was ‘easy’.

The film is being sold internationally by FiGa. It is doing well in Argentina with 35,000 admissions, 20 copies and now in its fourth month in the cinemas. It is a ‘word of mouth’ film.

Sl: What are you working on now?

Gema Juarez Allen: I am now filming “Mapa Mudo”/ “Silent Map”.

A doc project by Felipe Guerrero, Nicolás Rincón and Jorge Caballero, based on video letters of three Colombian filmmakers who left their home country in the late 90s.

And I am developing a new project with the directors of our breakthough film from 2011, “Revenge of the Antipodes”/ “¡Vivan las antípodas!“ which screened in Venice. It’s called “Cro-goo-fant” and is a documentary for children, a funny story about animals. The director, Victor Kossokovsky, did a short doc for kids before.

I am also working with Andres di Tella, the most important documentary filmmaker and founder of Bafici in Argentina. It’s a very personal story about the avant garde art Institute lead by his father, the Instituto Di Tella.

And I am working on “Veterans” about the Falkland Islands War. Bertha Fund is backing it. Lola Arias is directing this documentary feature about the unexpected consequences of war on its protagonists, about the way memory is turned into fiction. I am looking for coproducers now. It is a different look at United Kingdom and Argentina vets that is at the same time both serious and humorous. We are creating a film around a theater play which will open in London this May. It began with the London International Theater Festival along with the Royal Court House Theater. It is not filmic; Lola Arias’ language is so refreshing; she is from the theater.

A winner of the 2015 Berlinale Co-production Market Pitch, Abner Benaim’s “Plaza catedral,” is also in the works. It is a tangled false friendship drama with thriller elements, set against the background of Panama’s social divide.

And I am currently producing Benaim’s doc, “My Name is Not Ruben Blades” with Ruben Blades.

Also in the works: the next film from Manuel Abramovich (“La Reina”), a Mar del Plata 2014 Works in Progress winner for “Solar” – a small but remarkable heart-warming doc-feature whose power struggle between director and subject adds unusually honest depths to a bio-portrait of someone who claims to come from the sun.

Sl: You are so prolific! How did you get started in this?

I studied anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires and the University of Rio de Janeiro but didn’t like academia and so I studied film at the National Film School and thought I would combine the two. In England I studied Visual Anthropology and worked as a P.A. and as a researcher for the BBC for a “Discovery Channel” type of channel and then I returned to Argentina. 

Between 2003 to 2008 I worked at Cine Ojo the oldest doc company in Argentina and at Habitación 1520 Producciones (“Imagen Final”, “Criada”, “Los Jóvenes Muertos”, “Dulce Espera”) before creating my own company Gema Films in 2009. 

Sl: You were coordinator of DocBuenos Aires until 2003, a training initiative as well.

Gema Juarez Allen: I have produced 17 films with lots of help.

I was a Sundance Documentary Fund grantee on two films. My projects have been supported by Visions Sud Est, Tribeca Film Institute, Hubert Bals Fund, Idfa Fund, Cinereach, Fondo Nacional de las Artes, DocStation Berlin, et al. I received the Arte/Bal Award in 2008 for Upcoming Producers at Bafici.

I coproduce with Wg Film (Sweden), Majade FilmProduktion (Germany), Gebrüder Beetz (Germany), Lemming Film (Netherlands) and Producciones Aplaplac (Chile).

I have received awards at Berlinale, Bafici, Roma, Guadalajara, Silverdocs, among many others. Gema is part of EuroDoc since 2010 and is a member of the Board of Adn, the Argentinean Documentary Filmmakers Network.

Sl: What advice do you have for young filmmakers?

Gema Juarez Allen: First find a good project. It is very competitive and you must have an original perspective on the subject. There are so many ideas everywhere, it must be good.

Producers should be highly-organized. Be sure to fully develop projects before presenting them to partners and funding decision makers. The key elements to present when the project is fully conceived are an overview, a synopsis, a director’s statement, a brief treatment, a financial plan, a budget, a production timetable and bio-filmographies.

Find a producer with experience. I’m always interested in new directors and new voices.

The best opportunities to find partners are at festivals, markets and above all workshops. These are good places to find colleagues and mentors to give you great feedback. Diana Elbaum is my mentor from Eave and she is always looking at what I’m doing. And most of my coproduction partners came from the Eave and Eurodoc workshops.

Beyond Eave and Eurodoc, which are very open to Latin American projects, other good workshops are Docmontevideo, Guadalajara, Typa, Cinergia Lab, Idfa Summer Academy, Chiledoc, Berlin Talent Campus, Documentary Campus, Morelia Lab among others.

Good international funding sources are Ibermedia and also the “Plus” schemes associated to funds such as Creative Europe, World Cinema Fund, Hubert Bals Fund and the Idfa Bertha fund. Other funds are Fonds d’Aide aux Cinémas du Monde, the Sundance documentary fund, Visions Sud Est, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Doha Film Institute and Sorfond, for co-productions with Norway.

In terms of leading international markets, Cannes, Rotterdam’s Cinemart, Berlin’s European Film Market, Ventana Sur and Guadalajara – and for documentaries – starting with Idfa Forum and Hotdocs, followed by Meetmarket Sheffield and Docmontevideo.

It is also important to choose the right festival to premiere a project since it’s virtually impossible to premiere a picture in a small festival and then get a larger fest to screen the film. It’s also important to explore the work-in-progress sidebars that now exist at most Latin American festivals, including Iff Panama’s Primera Mirada competition.

State funding sources in Latin America include Dicine, in Panama, Incaa in Argentina, Proimagenes in Colombia, Brazil’s Fundo Setorial do Audiovisual, the Fondo Audiovisual in Chile, and Imcine in Mexico. The selection criteria used by these national funds varies considerably. Proimagenes in Colombia, which only finances around 14 films per year last year had three pictures at Cannes.

Over the last three or four years many national funds have created specific lines of funding for co-productions, through bilateral agreements, such as that between Brazil’s Ancine and Argentina’s Incaa, which grants $250,000 per pic supported. As a result of such bilateral agreements Brazil, for example, is now a key partner for all of Latin America.

“I’d like to make the second or third films of my directors. They’ve all been such good experience. We’ve grown together,” Juarez Allen told Variety at the Mar del Plata Festival. »

- Sydney Levine

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Iff Panama 2016 Winners People’s Choice: Interview with the Makers of “Salsipuedes”

22 April 2016 10:18 AM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

The International Film Festival of Panama offers audiences the chance to vote for their favorite films.

The audience at the Panama Film Festival is very engaged, interested and enthusiastic. The questions during the Q&A are unique.  Not once did I hear that old chestnut, ”What was the budget of the film?”  They care about the subject, the characters and the filmmakers themselves and often add to-the-point personal comments rather than simply ask questions.

The multiplex Cineopolis is in the largest, most upscale mall I have ever seen.  The four screening rooms given over to the festival all week long were frequently sold out.  Lines went around the corner at the stand-alone 1,000-seat Teatro Balboa where the red carpet events were held. Built by the Panama Canal Company in 1950 to provide entertainment to the residents of so-called Canal Zone of Panama City (only Americans, no Panamanians), this theater is proof that Panama’s movie culture is not old.  In fact, Panama as a nation is not old. With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, allowing the Panama Canal to be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, the Torrijos-Carter Treaty was signed for the total transfer of the Canal from the United States to Panama by the end of the 20th century, which culminated on 31 December 31, 2000.

People here definitely have the movie going bug and they supported the grand total of six Panamanian films in the festival, two of which won the Audience Award, one for Best Central American Film and the other for Best Documentary.

It is not surprising that the winner of the People's Choice Copa Airlines Award for Best Latin American Fiction Film was the debuting Venezuelan feature, “From Afar”/ “Desde Allá” from Venezuelan writer-director Lorenzo Vigas.  Set in Caracas’ chaotic lower class communities. Vigas’ turbulent story reveals the complex bond between two men worlds apart.

This Venezuelan-Mexican coproduction premiered at the Venice Film Festival 2015 where it won the Golden Lion for Best Film.  It went on to play at Tiff 2015.  Celluloid Dreams has sold it extensively to U.S. (Strand), Austria (Filmladen), Brazil (Imovision), Czech Republic (Film Europe), Denmark (Reel Pictures), Germany (Weltkino), Greece (Seven Films), Mexico (Canibal), Spain (Caramel), Switzerland (Filmcoopi) and Taiwan (Cineplex).

More interesting is the fact that the two other Peoples Choice Awards went to Panamanian films. 

The People's Choice MasterCard Award for Best Film from Central America and the Caribbean went to the 100% Panamanian fiction feature,
”Salsipuedes”, about a young boy who is sent to the United States to be kept away from the bad influence of his father, a boxer.  When he returns ten years later for his beloved grandfather’s funeral, he meets his criminal father and becomes ensnared in his troubled legacy.

This was the feature directorial debut of Ricardo Aguilar Navarro and Manolito Rodríguez and of the producer Sixta Diaz C. whom I interviewed here:

Sl: What were you doing before you made this debut feature?

Sixta:  My husband Ricardo and Manolito are not inexperienced in the audiovisual world.  Ricardo Aguilar Navarro is a Panamanian filmmaker who used to work as Production Manager for one of the principal TV stations in Panama, Medcom. During that time he also produced major events in Panama and produced the television series “Vivimos un secreto” and the Teleplay ¨Marea Roja”.

Nowadays he runs the Audio Visual Department of the Panama Canal Authority producing videos, documentaries and educational movies for different publics and for the TV channel of the Panama Canal.

On the other side, my production expertise comes from my Industrial Engineering background and from a diversity of projects in which I´ve participated and sometimes led during my career at the Panama Canal.  But what helped me the most to understand what I was supposed to do as the “Salsipuedes” Executive Producer was my experience as Electrical Supervisor at one of the Locks of the Panama Canal. It was there where I learned to work well and quickly, under pressure, making good use of the resources and to understand the importance of planning and teamwork. There, I learned to work with passion and to give myself completely to achieve the objectives. Everything I learned through my career in the Panama Canal I put into practice with the film and at the end I am very proud of my contribution.

Manolito (Manuel Rodríguez):  I am a Cuban filmmaker. I studied theater at the Instituto Superior de Arte de la Habana (Isa) and film at the International School of Film and Television in San Antonio de los Baños (Eictv). 

I have written many screenplays.  Many were coproductions with other countries.I wrote “Viva Cuba”, “Calle de la Muerte” in Brazil, “El Ultimo Comandante” and “Panama Canal Stories”. .Director and writer of short fiction “Ah, la Primavera”. Best Film Award of the V Festival of Young Cinema of Havana, 1991. -Prize best unpublished script in the Xvii Festival of New Latin American Cinema, Havana, for “Cerrado por Reformas”, 1994.

Writer of “Madagascar”, Fernando Perez. Fiction. 1994. Best Latin American film at the Sundance Film Festival. Caligari Award Berlin International Film Festival. Grand Prix Film Festival, Fribourg, Switzerland. Grand Prix Film Festival Troia, Portugal. Special Jury Prize at the XVI Festival of New Latin American Cinema, Havana .. Award of the Union of Film Circles. Special Mention of the Fipresci and mention (ex aequo) of the Ocic. Caracol screenwriting award from Uneac. 

Co-screenwriter ”Killing Cat”, screenwriting finalist at the Sundance Institute, 1996.

Writer of “Nada”, feature film by Juan Carlos Cremata. 2001. Selected for the Directors' Fortnight, International Cannes Film Festival, France. Nominated for Goya Award of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, Spain. Opera Prima Coral Prize (ex aequo), Film Critics Award and Award of the Cultural Circle of the Cuban Press, in 23 Latin American Film Festival. Caracol screenwriting award from Uneac. Tatu Opera Prima Award Iberoamerican Film Festival, Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Awards Vesuvius, Naples, Italy. Award Prison Key Award, Huelva, Spain. Best Film, Festival of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Nights of Constantinople”, feature film by Orlando Rojas. 2001 Audience Award, Latino Film Festival New York, United States.

Read more about “Panama Canal Stories”.

Manolito explained that his connection with Ricardo is extremely open and good. They are more than friends, they are brothers, like the Taviani Brothers. Their ideas are intertwined and each of them respects the other`s decision. They imposed a method of realization wherein Ricardo cared more about the image display and Manolito about the performance with alternate interventions from one and other in complete harmony.

Sl: What was the origin of “Salsipuedes”?

It started as a TV series idea when Ricardo was the Production Manager at the TV station.  We spoke with the Panamanian actor Rubén Blades to make a tv series in 30 episodes about "Maestra Vida", the song he is known for singing.

Time went by and then we changed the idea to a story of three generations in the barrio which is like the one Blades also lived in and sings about.

Sl: How did you fund the film? 

Sixta: Panama became a member of Ibermedia in 2007-2008 and this movie was submitted and won the project development funds.  It was also a winner in the first contest held for funds from the newly established Panama Film Fund.

We are very happy to be among the pioneers of the Panama film industry and have made the movie for Panamanians to identify with as there have never been role models in films for them previously. 

Ricardo: Panama has a theater culture. It does not have a culture of cinema. It was not easy to find a lot of trained movie crew members in Panama, like set designers, costumers, DPs, casting directors, etc.  But we were fortunate to find them and work with a very good crew that did their best to make "Salsipuedes" a great movie.

Sl: How did you find your cast?

Casting was big for Panama.  We looked at more than 400 people.

We used Alina Rodriguez, a Cuban actress, to assist in casting and to coach the actors.  She worked with the children and also acted as the neighbor of the grandfather who was played by the internationally known Panamanian actor Lucho Gotti.

Alina liked the father, Jaime Newball

When looking for the main character Andrés, Elmis Castillo, we hired a young actor that has been working as a tv comedian and is just beginning his acting career.  He had the look we were seeking, not black or white, but a real Panamanian mix.  This is his first important role.

Sixta and Alina went to some schools in the neighborhood and found three of the boys that performed like experienced actors. Also cast the little girl and the drummer who cried…he even cried in the audition.

Other actors were selected because we had seen them in roles before.

Sl: Was this a big production for Panama?

Casting was big. 

And we shot in more than 40 locations, also a lot for Panama.

It was a five week shoot, going from 5 am to 7 or 8 pm every day.  We were lucky it did not rain much.  In pre-production we had lots of storyboarding and planning of scenes with the Dp, in order to accomplish our plans.

Sl: What about distribution?

We have distribution in Panama.  The film will go out in 20 theaters.

Sl: And international sales?

We have been speaking with one sales agent and were approached by another.  We’ll be in Cannes screening the film for international sales in May 17th, Gray 3 room at 12:00.

Sl: What other plans do you have for future films?

We plan to make a documentary stemming from our involvement with the Danilo Pérez Foundation and the children this foundation is working with.  Danilo Pérez, the Panamanian Grammy Award winning pianist is currently Artistic Director at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute and founded the Danilo Pérez Foundation’s to give young musicians opportunities and future, and also to train youth from the impacted and underserved barrios of Panama. His goal is that most of these musicians attend the Berklee School of Music. The students then return to Panama and teach the next generation. 

We can show you the Foundation as it is just across the Plaza Herrera from the Festival HQ at the American Trade Hall where we are interviewing now and where many guests were staying.

 The soundtrack will be by Billy Herron of Berklee School who wrote the score for “Salsipuedes”.

We hope this doc about children and music will be ready by the next festival.

After that we will do a fiction feature again.  Of course we have to find the money.

Until then, we will continue to work with the Panama Canal, writing and directing for Canal TV Channel 126 an educational station.

People's Choice Revista K Award for Best Documentary went to 
”Time to Love. A Backstage Tale”.

“Time to Love, A Backstage Tale”/ "Es la hora de enamorarse", a documentary directed by Guido Bilbao, is the true story of a group of young actors with Down Syndrome who courageously mount the classic Panamanian play “La Cucarachita Mandinga”, without any previous experience on stage. Many thought it unlikely that they would manage to memorize lines, learn choreography or capture the attention of the public. The artistic process is unveiled as Bilbao shows the intimate world of these young aspiring actors, along with their fears, hopes, and daily struggles. 

The red carpet event was a loving and lively event and the audience applauded and laughed and even cried while watching the film.  The pride everyone felt truly filled the room. »

- Sydney Levine

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First trailer for Roberto Duran biopic Hands of Stone

20 April 2016 2:55 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

The Weinstein Company has released the first teaser trailer the upcoming Roberto Duran biopic Hands of Stone which stars Edgar Ramirez as legendary Panamanian boxer alongside Robert De Niro, Usher Raymond, Ruben Blades, Ellen Barkin, John Turturro, Reg E. Cathey, Oscar Jaenada and Ana de Armas; take a look below after the official synopsis…

Hands Of Stone follows the life of Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez), the Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16 year‐old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond) to capture the Wbc welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words “no mas” (no more.)

Hands of Stone is set for release on August 26th in the States.

»

- Amie Cranswick

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Roberto Duran Boxing Fans! 'Hands Of Stone' Teaser Trailer is Here!!

19 April 2016 9:53 AM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

The Weinstein Company released the teaser trailer for director Jonathan Jakubowicz's boxing drama, Hands Of Stone. The film is based on the true story of boxer Robert Duran who grew up on the streets of Panama only to grow up and become one of the greatest boxers in the world. 

Duran was nicknamed 'Hands of Stone' for his 103 wins in 119 fights in his boxing career.

As I kid my Dad use to always take me to these big event fights were we use to go the theaters to watch these big fights live and till this date I remember my old man taking me to see Duran vs Sugar Ray, now those were awesome fights and to see this on the big screen is pretty cool.

Duran was known to have a competitive rivalry with boxer Sugar Ray Leonard as the two faced each other many times in the ring. »

- Kellvin Chavez

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‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Renewed for Season 3

15 April 2016 9:38 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

AMC has renewed “Fear the Walking Dead” for a third season, just a week after its second season premiere. The “Walking Dead” spinoff stars Kim Dickens, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Frank Dillane, Rubén Blades, Mercedes Mason, Colman Domingo and Cliff Curtis. Robert Kirkman, the writer of the comic book on which “The Walking Dead” is based and an executive producer of the original show, also serves as executive producer on “Fear the Walking Dead,” along with executive producers Greg Nicotero, Gale Ann Hurd and David Alpert. Also Read: 'Fear the Walking Dead' Star Alycia Debnam-Carey on Alicia's 'Realization of Foolishness' Dave Erickson is the showrunner. »

- Linda Ge

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