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Iranian director Shirin Neshat to also receive support from German fund.
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (Mbb) has allocated $3.7m (€3.3m) production support to 20 new projects ranging from Gore Verbinski’s horror film A Cure For Wellness to Iranian-born video artist Shirin Neshat’s Looking For Oum Kulthum.
Verbinski’s film, which was shooting at locations in Baden-Württemberg and at the Babelsberg Studios in the summer, received the highest single amount - $560,000 (€500,000) – at this funding session.
Neshat’s homage to the legendary Egyptian singer and musician Kulthum – a co-production between Berlin-based Razor Filmproduktion, Austria’s Coop 99, France’s Arsam International and Egypt’s Film Clinic Cairo - received $168,439 (€150,000) production backing.
Other projects supported by Mbb include:
Wim Wenders’ The Beautiful Days Of Aranjuez, which marks his fifth collaboration with the Austrian dramatist Peter Handke and is now his second fiction feature film to be made in 3D after Every Thing Will be Fine.
Roger Spottiswoode’s TV movie »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Martin Blaney)
In the nine consecutive years I’ve attended the Toronto International Film Festival, it remains an elusive monstrosity of an event. With its hundreds of offerings, it’s a gluttonous buffet for the committed cineaste, a playground of auteurs mixed with unknown quantities. Even after having attended Sundance and Cannes, navigating the selections still somehow feels like ‘catching up’ with entries from Berlin, Locarno, and the concurrent Venice. And, therefore, everyone’s Toronto experience is bound to seem a bit different, even as streamlined as the festival is as it remains one of the most press and public friendly film festivals in existence.
Of course, there’s always complaints (or questions) as to what doesn’t make an appearance at the festival, and we’re always subject to the tastes of various programmers. For instance, why exactly room could not have been made for Polish master Andrzej Zulawski’s first »
- Nicholas Bell
For A 1000 Lives
San Sebastian International Film Festival director José Luis Rebordinos has announced the festival's backing for the For A Thousand Lives: Be Human campaign, which was launched September 2. The campaign calls for people fleeing war, terror, or political persecution to be provided with legal means of receiving protection from the EU. It calls on EU countries to work in solidarity, repealing the Dublin convention that says refugees mus seek asylum in the first country they reach, and ensure better distribution of those in need between different nations. The emphasis mus be on showing respect and giving people the chance to work, study and rebuild their lives, it argues.
The campaign already has the support of over 5,000 film industry professionals, including Brits Daniel Craig, Jonathan Pryce, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh. Other big names involved include Isabella Rossellini, Michael Haneke, Bertrand Tavernier, Agnieszka Holland, Thomas Vinterberg and Michel Hazanavicius. »
- Jennie Kermode
A big congrats to Lenny Abrahamson's "Room" for winning the Grolsch's People's Choice Awards at the recently concluded 40th Toronto International Film Festival! It's safe to say that "Room" will see a future at the Academy Awards. Previous winners that went on to grab the Best Picture Oscar were "Slumdog Millionaire," "The King's Speech," and "12 Years A Slave."
Here's the complete winners and press release from Tiff:
The Toronto International Film Festival® today announced award winners from the 40th Festival, which wraps up this evening. See a free screening of Room, the winner of the Grolsch People's Choice Award, Sunday, September 20 at 8pm.
The short film awards below were selected by a jury comprised of the head of the shorts program and creations unit at Canal+ France, Pascale Faure, film writer John Anderson (The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times), and actor Rizwan Manji (Outsourced, The Wolf of Wall Street »
While Tiff festival programmers naturally like to boast, and some in the biz certainly consider the fest’s People’s Choice Award as a good luck charm for Best Picture Oscar winner gold, the top ticket stub collecting nod certainly augments the prospects of a given film title and the A24 folks must be feeling pretty good about the title they invested in on early. With terrific buzz coming out from Telluride, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room appears to be covered in magic fairy dust. The Brie Larson starring imprisonment family drama would have not been crowned with the top Tiff Award if it weren’t for a last minute screening addition to replace the canceled public screening of Mathew Cullen’s London Fields. That Friday night showing cemented the win over Pan Nalin’s Indian film Angry Indian Goddesses (First Runner Up) and Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight (Second Runner Up).
In other Tiff award news, »
- Eric Lavallee
Alan Zweig's documentary Hurt has won the Toronto International Film Festival's first Platform Prize. Jurors Claire Denis, Agnieszka Holland and Jia Zhangke say the decision's unanimous. Honorable mentions go to Gabriel Mascaro’s Neon Bull, He Ping’s The Promised Land and Pablo Trapero’s The Clan. More awards: Lenny Abrahamson's Room wins the People's Choice Award. Audiences have also voted for best documentary (Evgeny Afineevsky's Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom) and the best film in the Midnight Madness program (Ilya Naishuller's Hardcore). We've got the complete list of winners—and the trailer for Hurt. » - David Hudson »
Polish auteur Krzysztof Kieslowski’s fascination with allegorical intersections took full flight with his 1987 title Blind Chance, a three tiered narrative metaphor for Poland’s options following the accession of Communist Party suppression in 1981. Filmed in 1982, the film was censored and withheld from release by Polish authorities for five years, premiering in January of 1987 shortly before it appeared at Cannes that year in Un Certain Regard. Denied the same reputation as the titles from the auteur’s notable period working in French cinema, such as 1991’s The Double Life of Veronique and the Three Colours Trilogy: Blue, White, Red, it’s a fascinating exploration of the psychological and experimental cinematic techniques Kieslowski would go on to develop. Though significantly informed by the political climate of Poland, it’s also a unique narrative from Kieslowski in that it remains in the perspective of a central male character.
Witek (Boguslaw Linda) is »
- Nicholas Bell
Throughout its 40 years, the Toronto Intl. Film Festival has billed itself as a non-competitive, audience-skewing festival — and been championed as such by filmmakers and industryites — with its People’s Choice award the marquee prize.
But on Thursday at the Elgin Theatre, festival CEO and director Piers Handling and artistic director Cameron Bailey introduced a brand new concept: Platform, a competitive program of 12 international films by emerging or mid-career directors. Handling also introduced the inaugural international jury of filmmakers that will award the Platform Prize of Can$25,000 ($18,000) on Sept 20.
Acclaimed filmmakers Jia Zhang-ke, Claire Denis, and Agnieszka Holland, who comprise this year’s jury, are old friends of the festival, which has screened most, if not all, of their feature pics over the years.
On Thursday, after a red-carpet walk and onstage intro, they watched the world preem of Platform opener “Land of Mine” (Martin Zandvliet’s fact-based story about »
- Jennie Punter
KIEŚLOWSKI’S Alternate Universes
The late Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski often dramatized the theme of one’s destiny—whether it be determined by fate or by random coincidences. His most well known work, the Three Colors trilogy (Blue, White, and Red), certainly deals with the subject of chance, as do several episodes of his celebrated television miniseries, The Decalogue.
Made in 1981 during the Solidarity movement and a time of political upheaval in Soviet-occupied Poland, Blind Chance explores the question of “what if?” If you did something as insignificant as bumping into another person, would that change the course of your life?
The film offers three alternate “lives” of a medical student named Witek (superbly played by Boguslaw Linda). The first five minutes provide us with brief glances of Witek as a child, a teenager, and then a young adult. After the death of his father, Witek decides »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
This week sees the red carpet rolling into the centre of the Ontario capital for the fortieth edition of the Toronto Film Festival. Giving a headache to keen festival-goers everywhere the anniversary line-up boasts a staggering 289 feature titles including a whopping 132 world premières. Bookending the festival will be Jean-Marc Vallée's Demolition, which kicks things off on Thursday 10 September, and Paco Cabezas' Mr. Right, which draws proceedings to a close ten days later. The latter is a murderous rom-com starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell, the former stars Jack Gyllenhaal, grief-stricken and prone to random acts of destruction. But with such an enormous roster of films to choose from, it doesn't all hinge on the star-studded awards vehicles that may or not make their bow.
- CineVue UK
There will be cake
With a tweaked logo, new programs and extra extracurriculars, the festival’s 40th is a clear focal point for celebration. Free screenings light up public parks. Tiff Cinematheque unspools restorations of modern classics, including “The Mask (Eyes of Hell),” the first Canadian horror feature (in 3D!). An archival photo exhibition at the Lightbox includes festival red-carpet and party pics from 1976 to 1999.
Opening-night ignites with “Demolition” (Fox Searchlight), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts and helmed by Canadian Jean-Marc Vallee (“Wild”), whose diverse ouevre has delighted fest auds since his Best Canadian Feature-winning “C.R.A.Z.Y.” (2005).
Excitement is building around new competish Platform, fashioned a la Palme d’Or, and with an eye to rising international auteurs. Named after the 2000 film by Chinese auteur Jia Zhang-ke (serving on the inaugural jury, alongside Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland), Platform sees 12 pics vie for a Can$25,000 prize. »
- Jennie Punter
In her long and celebrated career, Polish writer-director Agnieszka Holland has written films for legendary helmers such as Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Kieslowski, and garnered Oscar and Emmy nominations for films like “Europa, Europa” as well as series such as “Treme.” This year, Holland earned raves for directing episodes of “House of Cards.” But it was her work on the Polish omnibus film “Pictures of Life” in 1976 that brought her first mention in Variety.
Your section in “Pictures of Life” is one of nine short films. Was it a big step in your career?
In 1976 Andrzej Wajda was the most talented director working in Poland, and he became head of a creative group that he called “X.” After 1970, there was a liberalization, so he had a large degree of freedom of development, but (the shorts) still had to pass through official censorship and communist party censorship. Most of Wajda’s »
- Steven Gaydos
Oleg Sentsov, the Ukranian film director behind Gámer, was today sentenced to 20 years in prison after a military court in Rostov-on-Don convicted him of plotting to commit terrorist acts in Crimea. He has already served over a year in Lefortovo prison after being detained following a protest against the Russian presence in the region.
Sentsov's arrest prompted an international campaign spearheaded by filmmakers like Mike Leigh, Pedro Almodóvar, Agnieszka Holland and Stephen Daldry, who were convinced that it was politically motivated. The Ukrainian government has argued that he is being punished for his pro-Ukraine views. Setsove himself has refused to recognise the authority of the court and has alleged that he was beaten and threatened with rape in an attempt to make him confess to a plot to bomb war memorials and set fire to government buildings.
The official convictions were for terrorism, organising a terrorist group and arms trafficking. »
- Jennie Kermode
After being arrested in May 2014 by the Russian Federal Security Service on suspicion of terrorist plotting and entanglement in a Ukrainian paramilitary group, Oleg Sentsov could be sentenced to 23 more years in prison Tuesday. So in the face of this week's verdict, which would exile the Ukrainian filmmaker to a high-security penal colony, the European Film Academy has gathered over 1,000 signatures calling for his release from Russia, whose accusations remain shadowy after the retraction of a key witness testimony last month. Petitioning supporters (listed here) come from all over Europe, including film academies in Poland, Germany, Austria and Czech Republic, and the Union of Russian Filmmakers—who aren't strangers to censorship. Filmmakers on the list include: Stephen Daldry, Mike Leigh, Mike Downey, Agnieszka Holland, Dariusz Jablonski, Aki Kaurismäki, Ken Loach, Wojciech Marczewski, Béla Tarr, Bertrand Tavernier, Andrzej Wajda and Wim Wenders. Read More: »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Sarajevo, Bosnia — A group of prominent European filmmakers, including Wim Wenders, Stephen Daldry, Agnieszka Holland and Mike Leigh, has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to order the release of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, whose trial resumes in Russia today.
Sentsov, who is accused of having committed “crimes of a terrorist nature,” faces up to 20 years in prison. The prosecution’s main witness has retracted his statement, but the trial continues nonetheless.
The letter states that the filmmakers have been “deeply worried” since Sentsov was arrested by Russia’s Federal Security Service (Fsb), the successor to the Kgb, in his house in Simferopol, Crimea, on May 11, 2014. It adds: “Having observed the trial and especially the fact that the key witness for the prosecution has retracted his testimony as ‘given under pressure and duress,’ we are shocked that the accusation of Oleg Sentsov having committed ‘crimes of a terrorist nature’ is still being upheld. »
- Leo Barraclough
Ukrainian director faces 20 years in jail despite retraction of key witness testimony.
European filmmakers including Mike Leigh, Agnieszka Holland, Stephen Daldry and Wim Wenders have penned a new letter to Russian authorities calling for the immediate and unconditional release of detained Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov.
The letter also asks for the safety of Sentsov to be assured and for an investigation to be launched into circumstances surrounding the acquisition of witness testimony.
On July 31, crucial prosecution witness Hennady Afanasyev retracted his statement, claiming: “All testimony was given under pressure and duress”.
Despite this development, the charges are being upheld and the trial is set to continue.
The European Film Academy (Efa) board previously penned a letter to authorities fourteen months ago.
Sentsov, originally arrested in May 2014, is accused of plotting terrorist acts in Crimea. »
Sue Brooks. Looking for Grace will screen in Platform, a new competitive section of the Toronto International Film Festival which showcases films that have a strong directorial vision. The road movie starring Richard Roxburgh, Radha Mitchell, Odessa Young and Terry Norris is the only Australian title in the running for the $C25,000 prize determined by the jury of filmmakers Jia Zhang-ke, Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland. That strengthens Australia.s profile at the event which runs September 10-20. Jocelyn Moorhouse.s The Dressmaker will have its world premiere in Gala Presentations,. Simon Stone.s The Daughter will have its North American premiere in Special Presentations and Jennifer Peedom.s Sherpa and Gillian Armstrong.s Women He.s Undressed will compete in Tiff Docs.
Young, who also stars in The Daughter, plays 16-year-old Grace, who has run away from home. Her exasperated parents head to the West Australian wheat belt »
- Don Groves
The Tiff folks have unveiled their slated dozen features for their spanking brand new competitive section and they’ve managed to lasso some high profile world preems that will compete alongside Int. and Na premieres. Claire Denis, Agnieszka Holland and Jia Zhang-ke for which the name of the programme section is named after (Tiff referenced his 2000 film), will see a class comprised of the likes Joachim Lafosse and his piping hot The White Knights, David Verbeek (Full Contact starring Grégoire Colin – see pic above), Fabienne Berthaud and yet again actress Diane Kruger with Sky and Ben Wheatley‘s highly anticipated High Rise. Also included in the comp we find Pablo Trapero‘s Venice-bound The Clan, Eva Husson‘s hotly tipped directorial debut Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) and a docu entry that sounds absolutely brutal true story from Alan Zweig in Hurt. The winner will be announced on »
- Eric Lavallee
In an effort to boost worthy acquisitions titles that might otherwise pale amid Toronto's higher-profile, awards-courting titles, the festival this year added the Platform sidebar, to be juried by auteurs Zhang-ke, Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland. Read More: Why the Toronto Film Festival is Adding 'Platform' Competition Sidebar "We want to provide a platform for special world cinema with strong voices and strong visions," Tiff Artistic Director Cameron Bailey told us in an interview. "This is a way to give a significantly higher profile to strong films that come to us without big red carpet hoopla." Thus, the festival launches its slate of 12 competition titles, below, including Ben Wheatley's highly anticipated "High-Rise" starring Tom Hiddleston and based on a novel by J.G. Ballard. One film will receive the Toronto Platform Prize of $25,000 in this lineup intended to offer a sort of North American analogue to the Cannes Palme d'Or. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
The Toronto International Film Festival has, through its run, divided the films into numerous programmes to better identify and group together like-minded features. One of the new additions to the programme in 2015 will be the Platform selection, which will showcase films with a strong directorial vision. What is unique about this programme is that the selected films, twelve in total, will be judged by a three-person jury during the event, with the top film taking home a $25,000 prize. The first ever group of judges at the 2015 event will be comprised of filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke, whose 2000 film Platform was cited as the inspiration for the programme, alongside filmmakers Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland. The lineup for the Platform was announced today, and can be seen below, alongside their official synopses.
Biarritz. Sixteen-year-old George, a beautiful high-school student, falls in love with Alex. »
- Deepayan Sengupta
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