15 items from 2015
London — A leading member of the newly elected Conservative Party government in the U.K. has thrown his support behind a campaign to free a Ukrainian film director held in a Russian jail as campaigners redoubled efforts to secure his release.
U.K. secretary of state for culture John Whittingdale has sent a message pledging to push for the freeing of Oleg Sentsov, who has been imprisoned in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo jail for over a year on what he claims are trumped up terrorism charges. Whittingdale’s message is one of his first public statements since he was elevated to culture secretary in Prime Minister David Cameron’s post-election cabinet reshuffle.
Whittingdale said: “Freedom of media and artistic expression are vital elements of an open, democratic society. I remain deeply concerned by the continuing detention without trial of filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who has been imprisoned in Russia for over a year, »
- Variety Staff
Acquisitions include Cannes Classics title Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words.
NonStop Entertainment has secured Nordic rights to documentary Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words, playing in Cannes Classics, and Scandinavian rights to Three Generations from Im Global, starring Susan Sarandon, Naomi Watts and Elle Fanning.
Three Generations was recently sold to The Weinstein Company for $6m for North America.
It also has Scandinavia, Iceland and Baltics rights to Josh Mond’s Sundance-selected debut James White from Memento Film Sales and the opener to this year’s Un Certain Regard section, Naomi Kawase´s An, from MK2.
Stig Björkman’s Cannes Classics selected Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words from producer Mantaray Film, distributed by NonStop Entertainment in Scandinavia, Iceland, Baltics is set for an August 28 release in the territory, the day before Bergman’s centennial.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
With a dizzying number of film fests operating throughout the year and more launching all the time, navigating the optimal path to success abroad is a greater challenge than ever, as the Polish Film Institute’s Izabela Kiszka-Hoflik knows well.
Charged with the org’s substantial foreign fest support role, she oversees the investment of some $2.8 million annually to support the promotion of Polish films internationally, sending local pics and filmmakers around the world.
Kiszka-Hoflik also coordinates campaigns for the major worldwide awards, including top international festivals, and in the races for the Oscars, the European Film Awards and the U.K.’s Bafta.
Help for fund-challenged Polish producers, who are often short-handed or short of experience with international marketing campaigns, covers everything from travel expenses, translation and creating film prints and DCPs, to posters, Web design and appointing press agents.
The process proved its merits during the 2014 Oscar campaign »
- Will Tizard
Agnieszka Odorowicz has been general director of the Polish Film Institute since it was set up 10 years ago. She talks with Variety’s Leo Barraclough about the aspirations and achievements of the Institute.
How would you describe the state of the Polish film industry in 2005? Was it in good health?
It was in poor health. The production level was about 20 films per year. Now, it’s twice as many. But the film industry was united; we all wanted to implement the new cinema law as we knew that strength lies in a solid financing structure. The new cinema law put a tax on distributors, television and cable TV operators, saying that 1.5% of their income should be devoted to the Polish Film Institute. Every year we have about $44 million to spend, mostly for production but also for promotion, both national and international, and educational programs.
Ten years later, what would you »
- Leo Barraclough
The European Film Academy’s (Efa) chairwoman Agnieszka Holland has spoken of a ¨crisis of content¨ in European cinema and called on the continent’s broadcasters to invest more in ambitious TV series.
Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily, the Polish director and Efa chair said: ¨The real crisis of European cinema is one of content.
¨We always have some good movies, but not enough. We have to make better ones, ones that are not just artistic and self-involved, but are searching for an audience.
¨Something which doesn’t help is the weakness of European television in terms of the production of ambitious TV series. We don’t have European stars, but nowadays they can be made by European television and that can be later reflected in the cinema.
“If you have this element [from television], it is then much easier to promote the films in the cinemas.¨
Holland also touched on the issue of EU audiovisual policy ahead of the »
- email@example.com (Martin Blaney)
The Centerpiece Presentation of this year's Japan Cuts in New York will be the North American premieres of Shingo Wakagi's Asleep and Masaharu Take’s 100 Yen Love. The star of both films, Sakura Ando, is also this year’s honored recipient of the Cut Above Award for Outstanding Performance in Film. More goings on: Joel McCrea and Bruce Labruce in New York, Iranian cinema in Los Angeles, Gus Van Sant and Nicholas Ray in Portland, Allan Dwan in Melbourne, Polish cinema in London, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy throughout the UK, Agnieszka Holland in Berlin and Gregory J. Markopoulos in Basel. » - David Hudson »
Kinoteka Polish Film Festival, BFI Southbank and Filmhouse Edinburgh are collaborating on a national UK tour of Polish cinema.
Martin Scorsese Presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema brings together 24 films chosen by Scorsese, all restored and digitally remastered to 2K resolution, as well as a series of contextual workshops, talks, exhibitions and special guests, all with the aim of exploring Polish film culture.
Scorsese commented: “These are films that have great emotional and visual power – they’re ‘serious’ films that, with their depth, stand up to repeated viewings. There are many revelations in the season and whether you’re familiar with some of these films or not, it’s an incredible opportunity to discover for yourself the great power of Polish Cinema, on the big screen.”
The season includes films from the likes of Andrzej Wajda, [link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Ian Sandwell)
London — The Polish Film Academy has added its voice to the campaign calling for the release of Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, who is being held in jail in Russia on terrorism charges.
At the ceremony for the academy’s Eagle Awards this week, Dariusz Jablonski, academy president, led a protest designed to draw attention to the plight of Sentsov, who was initially detained in his native Crimea, following its annexation by Russia. At Jablonski’s request, guests raised signs reading “I am Oleg Sentsov” as an act of solidarity with the filmmaker.
Olena Leonenko, a Polish artist born in Kiev, told Sentsov’s story to the ceremony’s guests and the TV audience watching at home. Sentsov had protested against the annexation of Crimea. Arrested and taken to Moscow, he has been held in the Lefortovo prison without trial for more than nine months. He faces 17 years in prison for alleged acts of terrorism. »
- Leo Barraclough
The Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov first came to the attention of the international film world in 2012 with “Gamer,” which screened to great acclaim at the Rotterdam Film Festival. Inspired by a computer and videogaming club for kids that Sentsov had founded, “Gamer” was shown in the Bright Future section of the festival for talented newcomers.
Today the “bright future” that Sentsov is looking at is 20 years in a Russian prison, accused of being a terrorist.
Sentsov was arrested in his home town of Simferopol, Crimea, in May 2014. Since then he has been tortured, locked up on false charges in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison and refused access to representatives of the Ukrainian government.
A campaign by the European Film Academy for Sentsov’s release, »
- Mike Downey
The film, which was co-financed by the Pfi, is the first Polish movie to win an Academy Award in the foreign-language film category. The victory coincides with the Pfi’s 10th anniversary.
“The Academy recognized the strength and the originality of Polish cinema. I am very happy tonight, and I would like to extend my most heartfelt congratulations to the filmmakers,” Odorowicz said. “The fact that a Polish film received this Academy Award also serves as a beautiful and symbolic crowning of 10 years of Polish Film Institute activity in supporting Polish cinema.”
“Ida” was co-produced by »
- Leo Barraclough
The Paris Film Office was set up in 2002 as part of the Mission Cinema project launched the same year. Both are integrated within the city council, the Mairie de Paris. Their goal is to provide a one-stop shop for French and foreign professionals that will handle all logistical aspects required for shooting in the French capital — which is not only one of the world’s most highly filmed cities but also one of the busiest, meaning that shooting there requires careful preparation. Two permits are required for filming in Paris: one issued by the Paris Film Office and one by the Préfecture de Police, the city’s police authority.
Since its launch, the Paris Film Office has inked agreements to improve filming conditions in the capital and set up a bilingual website to help French and international productions to prepare shoots. The site provides images of key locations and information »
- Martin Dale
The Museum Of Modern Art and the Film Society Of Lincoln Center announced the first nine films in the long-lived showcase for new work. They include Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s winner of the Critics’ Week grand prize at Cannes, which is set in a Ukrainian school for deaf and mute coeds and is told entirely in sign language, with no subtitles. The Tribe is one of four films that will make their way to Manhattan from Park City, Utah, where they’re also on the Sundance roster: Charles Poekel’s Christmas, Again, about a heartbroken Christmas-tree salesman; Rick Alverson’s Entertainment, a follow-up to The Comedy, about a broken-down comedian doing stand-up across the Mojave Desert and Kornél Mundruczó’s White God, winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes about a dog’s journey back to its owner after being abandoned in the city.
Representing 11 countries from around the world, »
- The Deadline Team
Recent Czech cinema has been gaining a reputation when it comes to revisiting history. Hefty award festooned mini-series-cum feature film The Burning Bush directed by renowned filmmaker Agnieszka Holland and Andrea Sedláčková´s sports drama Fair Play shaped moral heroes against an oppressive communist backdrop, elevating them on a pedestal to times not yet forsaken. As that goes Czech filmmakers don´t always paint life under dictatorship in such grey colours as Jiří Vejdělek proved in his maudlin yearning for adolescence in Tender Waves. Slovak director (and actor) Juraj Nvota adds his two cents with Hostage, which nods towards Vejdělek´s venture. Nvota has already laid a critical eye on communist times in two films: his thriller The Confidant (set in 68´ Czechoslovakia), and the domestic drama Music,...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Six women have been elected onto the board of the European Film Academy (Efa).
Each board member is elected for a two-year term, with eight of the board up for re-election this time. Re-elected were two female members, Dagmar Jacobsen and Rebecca O’Brien. The six new board members are:
Tilde Corsi, Italy, producerIra von Gienanth, Germany, producer/distributorAngeles Gonzáles-Sinde, Spain, screenwriterVanessa Henneman, Netherlands, talent agentAgnès Jaoui, France, director/screenwriter/actressEwa Puszczynska, Poland, producer
Agnieszka Holland, Poland, director
Mike Downey, UK, producer
Antonio Saura, Spain, producer
Roberto Cicutto, Italy, producer
Tilde Corsi, Italy, producer
Helena Danielsson, Sweden, producer
Ira von Gienanth, Germany, producer/distributor
Ilann Girard, France, producer
Angeles Gonzáles-Sinde, Spain, screenwriter
Vanessa Henneman, Netherlands, talent agent
Dagmar Jacobsen, Germany, producer »
Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead
After working heavily in television since her last celebrated film, 2011’s In Darkness (which received an Oscar nod for Best Foreign Language Film), Polish auteur Agnieszka Holland finally looks to be readying a new feature after a year that saw her revamp ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ as a tv mini-series, as well as her more notable project, Burning Bush. Based on the novel by Olga Tokarczuk, one of the most famous figures in contemporary Polish literature, adapting the novel for the screen has been a labor of love for Holland who has been wanting to make the project for some time. Last summer it as announced that filming would begin at the end of the year and casting was underway, while Holland’s DoP from In Darkness, Jolanta Dylewska, was on board. We’re hoping it’s still underway, »
- Nicholas Bell
15 items from 2015
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