News

Across The Croisette: A Brief History of the Directors' Fortnight

Last year, the three-part, six-hours-and-twenty-two minutes long epic Arabian Nights by Portuguese director Miguel Gomes rejected a slot in the Cannes Film Festival’s second-rung Un Certain Regard section, opting instead to be premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs ), taking place in the same French Riviera city at the same time. Why wasn’t Arabian Nights in Cannes’ official competition? Gomes’ previous film, Tabu, won two prizes at the Berlin International Film Festival, finished 2nd Sight & Sound’s and Cinema Scope’s polls of the best films of 2012, 10th in the Village Voice’s, and 11th in both Film Comment’s and Indiewire’s; he was exactly the kind of rising art-house star who should have been competing in the most prominent part of the official festival. But organizers balked at the idea of offering such a lengthy film a slot in competition where two or three others could be chosen,
See full article at MUBI »

Metrograph, New York City’s Newest Indie Theater, Unveils Impressive First Slate of Programming

Each weekend we highlight the best repertory programming that New York City has to offer, and it’s about to get even better. Opening on February 19th at 7 Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side is Metrograph, the city’s newest indie movie theater. Sporting two screens, they’ve announced their first slate, which includes retrospectives for Fassbinder, Wiseman, Eustache, and more, special programs such as an ode to the moviegoing experience, and new independent features that we’ve admired on the festival circuit (including Afternoon, Office 3D, and Measure of a Man).

Artistic and Programming Director Jacob Perlin says in a press release, “Jean Eustache in a Rocky t-shirt. This is the image we had in mind while making this first calendar. Great cinema is there, wherever you can find it. The dismissed film now recognized as a classic, the forgotten box-office hit newly resurrected, the high and the low,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Artistic Director Cameron Bailey on 25 Years With Toronto Film Festival

Artistic Director Cameron Bailey on 25 Years With Toronto Film Festival
Since 2012, Toronto Film Festival artistic director Cameron Bailey has overseen the selection process for the sprawling fest that serves as an essential, if unofficial, market for U.S. indies and foreign-language cinema. Bailey’s Toronto roots are deep, and the Barbados-raised film maven was first noted in Variety when he joined the Toronto team as a programmer for the Perspectives Canada sidebar in 1990 — a time when the almost simultaneous fests in Toronto, Telluride and Venice didn’t necessarily kick awards season into high gear.

Did you imagine when you joined Toronto in 1990 that you’d stay on for 25 years?

Actually, I was approached by (Toronto Fest director/CEO) Piers Handling in 1989 and he asked me then to come aboard as a programmer and I said, “ No, I’m too young.” Bizarrely, he came by a year later and I’d wised up a little.

Handling saw something that you weren’t seeing?
See full article at Variety - Film News »

NYC: Week-Long Theatrical Run for Mati Diop’s 'Thousand Suns' & Uncle Djbril Diop Mambéty’s 'Touki Bouki'

In what will be a special week-long theatrical run at MoMA in NYC - for which the filmmaker, Mati Diop, will be present - two of her films ("Atlantiques" (2009) and "A Thousand Suns" (2013)) will be paired, along with the seminal 1972 film, "Touki Bouki," made by her uncle, the late Senegalese auteur, Djibril Diop Mambety. The week-long (January 20–27, 2015) run is a collaboration between MoMA and UniFrance Films, whose new initiative, Young French Cinema, promotes emerging French filmmakers in North America in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. "Touki Bouki" will also be shown 3 times over the course of...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Daily | Goings On | Andrews, Sallitt, Doillon

In today's roundup of goings on here and there: Films by and about Giuseppe Andrews plus Djibril Diop Mambety's Touki Bouki (1973) and Mati Diop’s A Thousand Suns (2013) in New York, a John Waters exhibition and a Kenji Mizoguchi retrospective in Los Angeles, films by Dan Sallitt, Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Doillon in Chicago, a Billy Wilder retrospective in Berkeley, Noir City in San Francisco, shorts in London, a Vittorio De Sica retrospective in Vienna and a documentary festival in Tokyo. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

An Appreciation for Classic Turkish Melodrama: Metin Erksan’s ‘Dry Summer’

Dry Summer

Written by Metin Erksan, Kemal Inci, and Ismet Soydan

Directed by Metin Erksan

Turkey, 1964

In 2013, the Criterion Collection released a Blu-Ray/DVD box-set entitled ‘Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project’. The box set consists of six films from various parts of the world that have received high-quality restorations, thanks to the assistance of Martin Scorsese and The Film Foundation. And yet, it has to be said that some of the films Scorsese had commissioned for restoration and home video release leave a lot to be desired: Djibril Diop Mambety’s The Journey of the Hyena (1973; Wolof title: Touki Bouki) is a Senegalese-made bore of a chore to sit thru as it imitates the horrid French New Wave works of Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard; The Wave (1936; Spanish title: Redes), an American-Mexican co-production between directors Fred Zinnemann and Emilio Gomez Muriel and photographer Paul Strand, which is a short
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Week-Long Theatrical Run for Mati Diop’s 'A Thousand Suns' & Uncle Djbril Diop Mambéty’s 'Touki Bouki'

In what will be a special week-long theatrical run at MoMA in NYC - for which the filmmaker, Mati Diop, will be present - two of her films ("Atlantiques" (2009) and "A Thousand Suns" (2013)) will be paired, along with the seminal 1972 film, "Touki Bouki," made by her uncle, the late Senegalese auteur, Djibril Diop Mambety.  The weeklong run is a collaboration between MoMA and UniFrance Films, whose new initiative, Young French Cinema, promotes emerging French filmmakers in North America in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. "Touki Bouki" will also be shown 3 times over the course of the week-long theatrical...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Chicago Screening of Mati Diop’s 'A Thousand Suns' with Filmmaker in Person, Nov. 13

Mati Diop's highly acclaimed film, "A Thousand Suns" ("Mille Soleils"), which made its world premiere at the 24th annual Marseilles International Film Festival, where it also won the grand prize for the international competition, will make its Chicago premiere for one night only next month. And even more special is that the filmmaker herself, Mati Diop, will be in person for the screening, for an audience discussion and Q & A afterwards. The documentary explores the legacy of the groundbreaking classic 1972 film, "Touki Bouki," made by Ms. Diop’s, the late Senegalese auteur, Djibril Diop Mambety, which the filmmakers says...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Ciné Sud Promotion: Two Films in Toronto, One in Venice, One in Locarno

Ciné-Sud has two films selected for Toronto: the Iranian feature “ Red Rose” (handled internationally by Udi – Urban Distribution International) and the Vietnam-France-Norway-Germany co-production “Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere” by Nguyen Hoang Diep which will premiere September 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Venice/ Critics Week before moving to Toronto And with no international sales agent to date.

In Locarno, "Los ausentes" (“The Absent Ones) by Nicolas Pereda, a Mèxico-Spain-France coproduction is screening out of competition on August 11! The international sales agent is Caravan Pass, a former production company formed in 2005 in Paris by Natalie Dana. In 2014 founder Natalie and industry celeb-acquisitions persona, Elizabeth Dreyer, turned the company to international sales as well. They are actively seeking completed/ unlaunched films and projects at the financing stage.

Natalie Dana worked in sales at some of the industry’s most recognizable sales agencies, including Mercure and Celluloid Dreams. She also headed distribution for various film distributors and selected films for the prestigious Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival for five years. Under her guidance, Caravan Pass has produced or co-produced four feature films and two documentaries, partnering with notable production companies in several countries including Brazil and Italy.

Elizabeth Dreyer began her career in acquisitions, acquiring completed films and projects for North America for Miramax Films and Focus Features. As an independent consultant she has since sourced and sold remakes to international producers, advised renowned distributors around the world on pre-buys and completed film pickups, and developed feature films for proven French film producers looking to access the international market. She most recently handled sales and acquisitions for Celluloid Dreams.

Ciné-Sud Promotion itself started in 1993 as a company designed to promote art house films (Rachid Bouchareb, Wang Chao, Guillermo Del Toro, Raymond Depardon, Djibril Diop Mambety, Julio Medem, Jafar Panahi, Manuel Poirier, Arturo Ripstein, Paulo Rocha, Carlos Saura, Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, Jean-Philippe Toussaint… amongst others). There is still the press promotion department which is now under the leadership of Claire Viroulaud, publicist for many art house movies.

In 2001 Thierry Lenouvel, the founder, created a production arm and has thus far produced or co-produced 30 films which have won more 150 international awards.

The mission remains constant: Quality, without frontiers, without constraints of form, style or genre, researching emerging talents and supporting already acclaimed directors with projects whch deliver a singular and important message for and about humanity and our society utilizing strong cinematic forms.

This is only a part of all Thierry has created. Read on, dear reader, read on.

Amiens International Film Festival

Although many festivals now have competitions for cash prizes and forums for pitching and co-production meetings, Amiens stands out with its Fund for Aid for the Development of Feature Film Script and its ties to its creator, Ciné Sud, that privately owned feature film production company transformed by prolific producer Thierry Lenouvel created the Fund in 1996.

The Screenplay Development Fund (Fonds d'aide au développment du scénario or Fads) is awarded during the Amiens Film Festival to a project at one of the most critical stages in the life of a movie, that is at script stage. In its 19 years of existence it has supported 79 feature film scripts of which 39 were completed, 9 are shooting now, 21 are in development. More than 632,600 Euros have been granted. Cnac, the Venezuelan film organization has given a grant of 10,000 € for the past five years.

Fads partners: National Film Centre and Moving • International Organization of la Francophonie • Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs • Moroccan National Center for Cinema (Ccm) • Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema • Regional Council of Picardy • Central Fund for Social Activities picture • Independent National Film Centre (Cnac - Venezuela)

In 2014, four scholarships of € 10,000 each were granted to directors of the following projects:

Family Gustavo Cordova Rondon (Venezuela) which has also won:

Cnac Script Development Fund (Venezuela)

Amiens Script Development Fund 2013

Ibermedia Development Fund 2013

And it has been selected to participate at:

Produire Au Sud Andean Workshop 2013

Ibermedia Project Development Workshop 2013

Oaxaca Screenwriters Lab 2014

Berlinale Talent Project Market 2014

The Court Of My Mother Idriss Diabaté (Côte d'Ivoire)

My Favorite Fabric Gaya Jiji (Syria)

Territoria Nora Martirosyan (Armenia)

And an additional grant of € 7,000 was awarded to the French project Dance Silent of Pradeepan Raveendran.

The rules and the application form of the next Script Fund of Amiens (due August 18!) that he created is available online or on request…from Thierry or even from me!

And, last but not least, Thierry brings "Cinema in Motion" from San Sebastian (who decided to stop the program in 2013) to Venice where it's now called " Final Cut in Venice", a workshop to help six works in progress from Africa and Arabic World toward completion with the support of French and Italian technical industries.

For more information contact:

Thierry Lenouvel

thierry [At] cinesudpromotion.com

Some films produced by Ciné-Sud:

Tirana. Year Zero by Fatmir Koci (France/Albania/ Belgium), Competition/Venice 2001, Golden Alexander/Thessaloniki

Rachida by Yamina Bachir Chouikh (France/Algeria), Official Selection/Cannes 2002

Fuse ! (Gori Vatra) by Pjer Zalica (Bosnia/Austria/Turkey/France), Silver Leopard/Locarno 2003

Wall by Simone Bitton (France/Israel), Directors Fortnight/Cannes 2004, Special Jury Prize/Sundance, Grand Prix/Marseille, Pesaro, Montreal, Jerusalem

Moolaade by Sembene Ousmane (Sénégal/France/Burkina/Maroc), Grand Prix Un Certain Regard/Cannes 2004, Best Foreign Film/American Critics Awards

Falafel by Michel Kammoun (Lebanon/France), Bayard d’Or/Namur 2006, Silver Muhr/Dubai, Bronze Palm/Valencia

Pomegranates And Myrrh by Najwa Najjar (Palestine/Germany/France), Competition/Sundance 2009, Rotterdam, 1st price in Doha

Rachel by Simone Bitton (France/Belgium), Forum/Berlin 2009, Competition/Cinema du Réel 2009

Every Day Is A Holliday by Dima El Horr (France/Lebanon/Germany),Toronto 2009, Roma, Dubai, Rotterdam, New York 2010

Mothers by Milcho Manchevski (Macedonia/Bulgaria/France),Toronto 2010, Berlin (Panorama) 2011

The Stoplight Society by Ruben Mendoza (Colombia/France/Spain/ Germany), best Colombian film of the year/Cartagena 2011, Best Director/Amiens 2010, Best 1st film/Huelva 2010

El Campo by Hernan Belon (Argentina/Italy/France) – Venice 2011/Critics Week

Fat, Bald, Short Man (Colombia/France) – more than 20 selections in 2011/2012

La Playa by Juan Andres Arango (Colombia/Brazil/France) – Cannes 2012/Official Selection, Un Certain Regard

Villegas by Gonzalo Tobal (Argentina/France) – Cannes 2012/Official Selection

La Sirga by William Vega (Colombia/Mexico/France) – Cannes 2012/Directors Fortnight

Qissa by Anup Singh (India/Germany/France/Holland) – Toronto 2013/Netpac award, Rotterdam 2014/Audience Award

Dust On The Tongue by Ruben Mendoza (Columbia/France) – Cartagena 2014/Best film, best director

Mateo by Maria Gamboa (Colombia/France) – Cartagena 2014/Jury Special award

Run, Boy, Run by Pepe Danquart (Germany/France) – Cannes Junior 2014

In post-production :

Red Rose by Sepideh Farsi (Iran/France/Grèce)

Los Ausentes by Nicolas Pereda (Mexico/Spain/France)

Ausencia by Chico Teixeira (Brazil/France)

Flapping In The Middle Of Nowhere by Nguyen Hiang Diep (Vietnam/France/Norvège/Allemagne)

In development :

Kill Two Birds With One Stone by Fejria Deliba (France)

Embrace Of The Serpent by Ciro Guerra (Colombie/Vénézuela/France)

Mantra, Song Of Scorpions by Anup Singh (Inde/Suisse/France)

Sal by William Vega (Colombie/Allemagne/France)

Parable Of A Blind Christ (Chili/France)

Land And Shade by Cesar Acevedo (Colombie/France)

D’Une Rive L’Autre by Sepideh Farsi (France)
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Notebook's 6th Writers Poll: Fantasy Double Features of 2013

  • MUBI
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2013—in theaters or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2013 to create a unique double feature.

All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2013 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch in that perfect world we know doesn't exist but can keep dreaming of every time we go to the movies.

How
See full article at MUBI »

New on Video – Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project, Part 1

Redes

Written by Agustin Velásquez Chávez and Paul Strand

Directed by Emilio Gómez Muriel and Fred Zinnemann

Mexico, 1936

A River Called Titas

Written and directed by Ritwik Ghatak

Bangladesh, 1973

Touki bouki

Written and directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty

Senegal, 1973

The Criterion Collection set assembling films rediscovered through the efforts of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project is one of the company’s premier achievements. Bringing together six diverse titles from six different regions of the globe, the collection is a treasure trove for those seeking obscure, rare, and fascinating works that extend well beyond film history’s conventional canon. As stated by Criterion itself, “Each is a cinematic revelation, depicting a culture not often seen by outsiders on-screen.” The set also emphasizes, through its calling attention to the efforts of the Wcp initiative, just how necessary and beneficial film preservation and restoration can be. The films included here are only
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Cinema of West Africa at Home in L.A : An Interview with Mahamat Saleh Haroun

Growing up in Culver City, I always saw the MGM studio near us as a place of make-believe where I could collect autographs of famous movie stars. I knew they made the movies there that I watched every weekend. But it was home, and home was a place of safe daydreams without ambitious goals associated with it.

When I became a teenager and saw Un Chien Andalou, I began to see Movie Mecca as New York and Paris, but now I see they have nothing on us.

Los Angeles this past month had so many events that I could see the world without leaving town. Just a sampling here: German Film Currents,Polish Film Festival, So. African Arts Fest, Satyajit Ray Restored, Pure and Impure: The films of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Gabriel Figueroa Retrospective and The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema which this weekend showed Roberto Gavaldon’s Macario an Oscar-nominated 1959 surrealist Mexican fable. Also showing this weekend alone were A Century of Chinese Cinema at UCLA, the Cambodian documentaryA River Changes Course, Ida’s free documentary series, sci-fi Beyond Fest at the Egyptian Theater, Henri-George Couzot’s La Verite at Red Cat, not to mention Classics from the Cohen Film Colletion: The Rohauer Collection and finally, the early press screenings for the Foreign Language Submissions for the Academy Awards.

Today I write about Africa, West Africa in particular, but even more so Chad, because that is where Mahamat-Saleh Haroun and his film Grigris (Isa: Les Films du Losange, No. America: Film Movement) originate. Grigris premiered in the Cannes Film Festival this year. Haroun also wrote and directed The Screaming Man (Isa: Pyramide, No. America: Film Movement) which won The Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Grigris is playing as part of the Cameras d’Afrique Series at Lacma which I blogged about earlier Here. This showcase of world-changing films is an initiative of Loyola Marymount University Film School, Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Film Program and Film Independent.

The films offer a unique view of Africa in the comfort of our own town. This series includes the 1963 film Borom Sarret by Ousmane Sembene from Senegal, the first film directed by an African to focus on an African filmmaker’s own people. We all know the name of Ousmane Sembene, but rarely have the chance to see his films, though I will never forget the experience of seeing Black Girl in 1966 at the height of our own Civil Rights struggles. It enlightened me about the rest of the world’s own warped (i.e., colonial) view of the Africans in diaspora, a subject being revived in so many films of today.

My most current education on Africa comes from the annual course I teach about the international film business to festival directors from Africa, Asia and Latin America at the Deutsche Welle Akademie in Berlin. I learn about the problems and issues facing a diverse range of festival directors, many of whom are also filmmakers. For example, in a country with no theaters, the film festival is held in the bush and promoted via cel phones which everyone possesses. I was also made alert to the fact that many Africans themselves find European-funded films showing dusty, poverty-stricken but cute kids in torn t-shirts and running barefoot in dirty streets and men wearing the boubou and women balancing baskets on their heads condescending and imbalanced depictions of Africa today.

Mama Kéïta was present to talk about L’Absence and Gaston Kaboré was there with Buud Yam (followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker). Other program highlights included the L.A. premiere of Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns), Djibril Diop Mambéty’s 1973 French New Wave–inspired Touki Bouki, Idrissa Ouédraogo’s 1990 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix winner Tilaï (The Law), and the 2013 Fespaco Golden Stallion winner Tey (Today), followed by a Q&A with director Alain Gomis and star Saul Williams.

Seeing these films gave me a feeling of wholeness, from L’Absence, the tail of a prodigal son, returning too long after he was granted an education in France by his fellow countrymen and family who had expected him to return and contribute to his own country’s wellbeing but instead stayed in France where he basically lost his soul, to Buud Yam, a classic hero’s journey by a young man seeking a healer for his sister. The audience and the filmmakers along with their films had a great opportunity to unveil an Africa about which we know too little

Planning to interview Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, I looked up Chad in Wikipedia and read it is what is called a “failed country”. My spirits dropped. But on seeing Grisgris and meeting Haroun and hearing all he had to say, my spirits soared.

Do you know for a fact that a film can change the world? I believe it can, does and is changing the world. So many of my colleagues in the film world are in film because of the same ideal.

The African directors at the series spoke of their films and their passion and they too make films to change the world. Haroun was not the only one who spoke at the African film series, but my conversation with him proved it to me. We spent a good hour discussing his films and his thoughts and development which I will try to summarize here.

It has been a long road for Haroun. When he first returned to Chad from France and made Bye Bye Africa, he was inexperienced and afraid of nothing. You see his chutzpah making Bye Bye Africa as he shoots film of everyone, offending some who believed he was stealing their spirits. He meets his past star who played a woman dying of AIDS whose life has been ruined because the people believe the film was real.

For Haroun, acting is like cooking. You do it for someone you love. Chad was such a difficult country for filming his first film, so he could make mistakes. If you fall down, you just get up and keep going. He had no doubts. It’s a question of love. You feel it; you act it. His non-professional actors do their best and their passion carries them through.

Making his second film was different. There was pressure, especially for him as an actor, to make it good. After A Screaming Man he got a call from Brad Pitt who wanted him as an actor in World War Z and who wanted the lead, but not speaking English put an end to that.

Chad is landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. Because the French colonized it in the 1920s, it is now a “Francophone” country and has more in common with its neighbors in the West and so is considered West African.

Chad had free elections in 2008 and elected President Idriss Déby. The country defeated the Sudanese rebels there. The nation sent troops into Mali and killed Moktar Belmoktar, the Algerian terrorist behind the deadly attack on a natural gas plant in Algeria and withdrew its troops in April of this year saying they were not prepared to fight guerilla warfare. That means money that went to the military can be redirected toward peaceful endeavors. Today they are rebuilding the country which is based on an oil economy which gives it a window of rich opportunity.

Cinema in Chad changed greatly and became a new focal point for the newly elected government when Haroun won the Jury Prize in Cannes for A Screaming Man in 2010 When his debut film Bye Bye Africa (1999), showed the wreck of the country revisited by long-time French exile, he saw theaters which the long civil war and instability had destroyed. He spoke to a woman who swore she would renovate her theater, the Normandie. Bye Bye Africa was a drama but it took place in a documentary setting which looks at the poor state of cinema in the country. After Haroun won the Grand Jury Prize of Cannes, the government allocated $1 million to restore the theater which stands today as a testament to the power of film. It shows 35mm, is digitized and can use satellite transmission. It can buy Hollywood films using digital coding although film distribution rights are still difficult to negotiate. However, the distributor of Django in France arranged for Django to show day and date in Paris and Chad’s capitol city N’Djamena for a minimum guarantee. This was a major event for a country that has gone 30 years without cinema.

The government of Chad began to receive compliments for winning the Jury Prize in Cannes, which is perceived to be as important as the Olympics themselves (It is, in fact, the 2nd largest press event in the world after the Olympics). The world’s perception of Chad and its own perception of itself shifted from being one of the poorest, war-torn and corrupt nations of Africa to one of high stature culturally. And its current Prime Minister Djimrangar Dadnadji, and his government has now allocated $10 million into building a film school which should be finished by 2015. It will be one of the rare film schools in all of Africa and will be the finest in the north, east or west of the entire continent.

The film school is a part of rebuilding the country today. It is also trying to become part of the U.N. Security Council. It is the leading country in Central and West Africa. It is part of the Central African Economic Council (Ceeac).

What these changes mean for Haroun is that he can continue to use film for himself as a platform, the means to objectify and philosophize about conscience and consciousness. As Aimee Caesar was quoted in Bye Bye Africa, Africa needs to articulate its storytelling tradition in new ways and to be visible beyond its own borders. Film shows diversity. Differing points of view and discussions mean the nation can start to play a role on a grander world stage. With the building of a film school, the parliament also voted into law at tax of $.01 per telephone call to go toward artistic activities. This will make a huge difference to the next generation.

When Haroun began making movies he wanted to stop talking about the state of cinema, so he put it into his film, memorialized it and then closed the door on the subject.

You can see Haroun’s own evolution in regards to his treatment of women in Bye Bye Africa to his depiction of them in Grigris. It was not a very flattering portrayal; even in Grigris, the hero does not stand up for the woman he loves when his boss degrades her. However, the film gives a special place to the women in the village as if they were a in a classical Greek Choir. The women change the Story and the two artists’ destiny is changed because of the women.

Grigris is the portrait of a young African artist, but even with talent, the milieu is so difficult and as the eldest, he has to take care of others. This is The Responsibility that kills dreams. Grigris is a cruel portrayal of the young artist. It is a modern story, extending the tradition of oral storytelling.

Although he is not acting in it, it is still an impressionistic self-portrait, as was Bye Bye Africa which was shot in two weeks and won Best First Feature in Venice in 1999. His growth intellectually and emotionally can be measured by watching the two films.

After being selected and awarded at the 66th Festival de Cannes for the remarkable quality of its photography, the film Grigris, by Mahamat Saleh Haroun, supported by the Acp Cultures + Programme, won the Bayard d'Or for best photography at the 28th Festival International Film Francophone de Namur (Fiff) in Belgium. (Read the full list of 28th Fiff Awards : click here.)

Haroun explains that he has many women around him – his mother, his sisters, cousins. In Africa, a man’s role does not include cooking. Cooking is love. But in France he enjoys cooking. Cooking shows trust in those who partake in the making and eating of the meal. No one burns the steak when cooking for one’s mother. Food is essential to Haroun. “If you cook, you can share, you open your doors.”

He told me how he got into movies.

I was 9 years old when I saw my first movie. It was a Bollywood movie and a beautiful lady in it was smiling at the camera. I thought she was smiling at me. The love and happiness I felt watching this made me love cinema.

My dream of cinema was a big ambition. It was not to make small films. I dreamt of expressing an important philosophy of life and of my country in cinema. I did not want to stick just to tradition which is disappearing. But to the eternal which remains. Tradition is not the essential; culture is. For example, in Western society, the meaning of seat number 13 on a plane is not culture, but it is a tradition.

Haroun is leading his generation. In 1965 the civil war was raging in the North. It came to the capital in 1979 and he went to Paris to study cinema in 1981/82. His country was ruled by a dictator who is now in prison to be judged in court for the 40,000 lives taken during the 8 years of war. Reid Brady of the Human Rights Watch and Haroun are now making a documentary about this. Today Haroun travels between France and Chad 5 to 6 times a year. Interestingly, there is not yet a film festival in Chad.

When I asked what was next :

Next is about Indian fashion. Also a young artist. It is based on a true story of a young man in N’Djemena who used to watch Bollywood dvds and has seen more than 1,500 Bollywood films and speaks Hindu as a result. He gets a job at an Indian factory and translates to French and to his African language. He spends eight years there but dreams of becoming an actor in Bollywood. The story brings him to Bombay. That is a good base for a film; a film built on truth and documentary.

I am also making a film in France called A Life in France. I have lived there for 30 years. The film is from the point of view of an immigrant as I am.

Hamoud and I so enjoyed our talk that we are now looking forward to meeting again when he returns here in December! Wouldn’t it be great if his film is one of those shortlisted for the Nomination, or if it actually received the Nomination? Or if it won? How might that then change the world? We will have to wait and see.

About Lmu Sftv

Movie industry moguls helped establish Loyola Marymount University’s (Lmu) current campus on the bluffs above west Los Angeles in the 1920s. By 1964, Lmu was formally teaching film and television curriculum, and in 2001, the School of Film and Television (Sftv) was established as its own entity. Today, Sftv offers students a comprehensive education where mastering technical skills and story is equally important to educating the whole person, including the formation of character and values, meaning and purpose. Sftv offers undergraduate degrees in animation, production, screenwriting, film and television studies and recording arts; and graduate degrees in production, screenwriting and writing and producing for television. The school is one of the few film programs providing students with a completely tapeless model of production and post-production, and Sftv’s animation program is one of the few worldwide that teaches virtual cinematography. Selected alumni include John Bailey, Bob Beemer, Francie Calfo, Brian Helgeland, Francis Lawrence, Lauren Montgomery, Jack Orman, Van Partible and James Wong, among others. Get more information at sftv.lmu.edu or facebook.com/lmusftv.

About Film Independent at Lacma

Film Independent at Lacma is a film series produced by Film Independent—the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival—and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) with presenting sponsor The New York Times and premier sponsor Ovation. The Film Independent at Lacma Film Series is curated by Elvis Mitchell and assistant curator Bernardo Rondeau. The program features classic and contemporary narrative and documentary films; emerging auteurs; international showcases; special guest-curated programs, such as Jason Reitman's acclaimed Live Read series; and conversations with artists, filmmakers, and other special guests. For more information, go to filmindependent.org/lacma or lacma.org.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Dec. 10, 2013

Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $124.95

Studio: Criterion

Established by filmmaker Martin Scorsese in 2007, Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project expands the horizons of moviegoers everywhere. The mission of the Wcp is to preserve and present marginalized and infrequently screened films from regions of the world ill equipped to provide funding for major restorations. This collector’s set brings together six superb films from various countries, including Bangladesh/India (A River Called Titas), Mexico (Redes), Morocco (Trances), Senegal (Touki bouki), South Korea (The Housemaid), and Turkey (Dry Summer); each is a cinematic revelation, depicting a culture not often seen by outsiders.

Here’s a breakdown of all six:

Touki Bouki (1973)

Touki Bouki (1973, In Wolof with English subtitles)

With a stunning mix of the surreal and the naturalistic, Djibril Diop Mambéty paints a vivid, fractured portrait of Senegal in the early 1970s. In this French New Wave–influenced fantasy-drama,
See full article at Disc Dish »

Caméras d’Afrique: The Films of West Africa

Rarely do American audiences get to experience the cinematic diversity from the African continent; however, this October thanks to Film Independent and the Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television, audiences in Los Angeles will be able to be part of a month-long series showcasing the best of modern cinema from West Africa. Curated by Film Independent and Lacma curator Ellvis Mitchell, Cameras d'Afrique: The Films of West Africa runs from October 3-28, 2013 at Lacma. The event will feature an array of 21 film, both narrative and documentary, many of which have never been screened in the U.S, most screenings will also include Q&As with the talented African filmmakers.

The event begins Thursday October 3rd with a double feature celebrating the films of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. Bye Bye Africa, and his latest effort Grigris will be screened followed by Q&A with the director. Grigris was screened at this year's Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim, and it will see its U.S Premiere here.

The program continues on Saturday October 5th with Mama Kéïta’s L’Absence and Gaston Kaboré’s Buud Yam, each film will be followed by Q&A's with the filmmakers, and then a panel discussion moderated by the Mitchell dealing with the current state of West African cinema, the challenges, and the stories from this often unseen region of the world. Other program highlights include the L.A. premiere of Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns), Djibril Diop Mambéty’s 1973 French New Wave–inspired Touki Bouki, Idrissa Ouédraogo’s 1990 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix winner Tilaï (The Law), and the 2013 Fespaco Golden Stallion winner Tey (Today), followed by a Q&A with director Alain Gomis and star Saul Williams.

“This series brings me such joy,” said film curator Elvis Mitchell. “Primarily because there's nothing more exhilarating to me than to expose people to exciting new filmmakers and films, let alone bring attention to the art of an area that deserves more attention than it's received in America. The works we're playing demonstrate that film at its best, like any other art form, is idiosyncratic and universal.”

Screenings will be held throughout October at Lacma’s Bing Theater on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free community screenings and select Q&As moderated by Mitchell will take place on the Loyola Marymount University campus every Monday night.

“We are thrilled to be able to present Caméras d’Afrique: The Films of West Africa. Patrons will have the rare opportunity to see the latest films that have received accolades from the top European and African film festivals as well as classics from the past 50 years," said Lmu Sftv Dean Stephen Ujlaki, adding, “Connecting our students to the rich filmography of West Africa, long a Francophone region, will expose them to different forms of storytelling, inspiring their own unique visions.”

Film Independent, Lacma Film Club, and The New York Times Film Club members can purchase tickets to films for $5 Here

Lacma Members, students with valid ID, and seniors can get tickets for $7, and $10 for general public Here

To make a reservation for the community screenings at the Loyola Marymount University click Here

About Lmu Sftv

Movie industry moguls helped establish Loyola Marymount University’s (Lmu) current campus on the bluffs above west Los Angeles in the 1920s. By 1964, Lmu was formally teaching film and television curriculum, and in 2001, the School of Film and Television (Sftv) was established as its own entity. Today, Sftv offers students a comprehensive education where mastering technical skills and story is equally important to educating the whole person, including the formation of character and values, meaning and purpose. Sftv offers undergraduate degrees in animation, production, screenwriting, film and television studies and recording arts; and graduate degrees in production, screenwriting and writing and producing for television. The school is one of the few film programs providing students with a completely tapeless model of production and post-production, and Sftv’s animation program is one of the few worldwide that teaches virtual cinematography. Selected alumni include John Bailey, Bob Beemer, Francie Calfo, Brian Helgeland, Francis Lawrence, Lauren Montgomery, Jack Orman, Van Partible and James Wong, among others. Get more information at sftv.lmu.edu or facebook.com/lmusftv.

About Film Independent at Lacma

Film Independent at Lacma is a film series produced by Film Independent—the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival—and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) with presenting sponsor The New York Times and premier sponsor Ovation. The Film Independent at Lacma Film Series is curated by Elvis Mitchell and assistant curator Bernardo Rondeau. The program features classic and contemporary narrative and documentary films; emerging auteurs; international showcases; special guest-curated programs, such as Jason Reitman's acclaimed Live Read series; and conversations with artists, filmmakers, and other special guests. For more information, go to filmindependent.org/lacma or lacma.org.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Mati Diop's 'Mille Soleils' ('A Thousand Suns') Wins Grand Prize At Iff Marseille + An Analysis

Mati Diop's next film, Mille soleils (A Thousand Suns), made its world premiere at the 24th edition of the International Film Festival - Marseille, over the weekend, where it won the grand prize for the international competition. The documentary explores the legacy of the seminal 1972 film, Touki Bouki, made by her uncle, the late Senegalese auteur, Djibril Diop Mambety.  In the film, Diop journeys in search of her origins through the footprints left by her uncle's film, and along the way gets to know Touki Bouki's two main actors, thirty five years later. As I said before, color me definitely intrigued. Based on his own story and script, Djibril Diop Mambéty...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Mati Diop's 'Mille Soleils' ('A Thousand Suns') To Premiere At International Film Fest - Marseille

Courtesy of the African Women In Cinema blog, Mati Diop's next film, Mille soleils (A Thousand Suns), will make its world premiere at the 24th edition of the International Film Festival - Marseille, which runs from July 2-8, 2013. The documentary explores the legacy the seminal 1972 film, Touki Bouki, made by her uncle, the late Senegalese auteur, Djibril Diop Mambety.  In the film, Diop journeys in search of her origins through the footprints left by film, and along the way gets to know Touki Bouki's two main actors, thirty five years later. Color me definitely intrigued  Based on his own story and script, Djibril Diop Mambéty reportedly made Touki Bouki with a...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Amitabh Bachchan Retrospective at Kolkata International Film Festival 2012

Amitabh Bachchan Retrospective at Kolkata International Film Festival 2012
Amitabh Bachchan

The 18th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival will host a special section in the honour of Amitabh Bachchan. The festival will be inaugurated by Bachchan along with Shahrukh Khan.

Six of Bachchan starrer films: Saath Hindustani, Abhiman, Saudagar, Deewar, Black, and Cheeni Kum will be screened under the special section “Big Story” (Amitabh Bachchan).

The festival will run from 10th to 17th November, 2012. The eight day festival will host 170 films from 62 countries.

This year the festival will hold various special sections. Some of them are:

Centenary Tribute

This section will screen 13 films of Michelangelo Antonioni.

The Adventure (1960)

The Night (1961)

The Eclipse (1962)

The Red Desert (1964)

Identification of a Woman (1982)

People of the Po Valley (1947)

Lies of Love (1949)

Superstitions (1949)

Dustmen (1948)

Kumbha Mela (1989)

Roma 90 (1990)

Sicilia (1997)

Michelangelo Eye to Eye (2004)

200 Years Birth Anniversary Charles Dickens

Nicholas Nickleby by Douglas McGrath

The Pickwick Papers by Noel Langley

100 Years Of Indian Cinema

Raja Harishchandra by D.
See full article at DearCinema.com »

African cinema: ten of the best

To celebrate Africa Express rolling out across the UK, here's a guide to 10 classic films to have come from the continent

Africa played no part in the invention of cinema. For decades, in Tarzan movies, it was the subject of fake Hollywood fantasies. And yet, when Africans made films about themselves, the results were astonishing. There are scores of great African movies. Here are 10 of the best:

Cairo Station (Egypt, 1958)

If Alfred Hitchcock had been Egyptian and bisexual, and had himself played Norman Bates, Psycho might have been something like this. Sweaty, musical, melodramatic and political, Cairo Station stars ballsy writer-director Youssef Chahine as a homicidal newspaper seller in Cairo's vast railway station. In the 1950s, movies such as Rebel without a Cause and All That Heaven Allows were about repression as a ticking time bomb, but Chahine's film about sexual desire with no outlet was one of the biggest cinematic bombs of the decade.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

African Film Series Launches In Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pa ‐‐‐ Cinémathèque Internationale of Philadelphia (www.cinemathequip.com) has launched a new film series in collaboration with the African American Museum of Philadelphia (http://aampmuseum.org/). Beginning in July 2012, Cinémathèque will present one film every third Thursday of the month to be screened at the museum, located at 701 Arch St. Philadelphia, Pa 19106. The first series begins with Ousmane Sembene’s seminal Black Girl from 1966. August will bring Moustapha Diop’s The Doctor from Gafire (1986). Jean‐Marie Téno’s 1993 political documentary Africa, I Will Fleece You!, Djibril Diop Mambéty’s surreal...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Lolas, "Brand X," Sembène, Renwick, Vigo

  • MUBI
"Ralf Huettner's sleeper hit Vincent Wants to Sea was the surprise best picture winner at the 61st German Film Awards, Germany's version of the Oscars." Scott Roxborough from Berlin for the Hollywood Reporter: "Florian David Fitz, who's better known as a TV performer here, won best actor for his starring performance in Vincent as a Tourette's sufferer who, once in his life, wants to see the ocean."

The Lolas, as these awards are called, have three categories for Best Film: Gold, which has gone to Vincent; Silver, which goes this year to Yasemin Samdereli's immigration comedy Almanya, also picking up the screenplay award (which Samdereli shares with her sister, Nesrin); and Bronze, presented to If Not Us, Who?, Andres Veiel's retelling of the love story between Gudrun Ensslin and Bernward Vesper and their breakup when Ensslin enters into her fateful relationship with Andreas Baader.

Tom Tykwer wins Best Director for Three,
See full article at MUBI »
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