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Read More: Attention, Screenwriters: 5 Lessons from the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab Film Independent has announced the screenwriters selected for its 17th annual Screenwriting Lab. The Lab is an intensive four-week program designed to help writers improve their craft and take their current scripts to the next level in a creative environment. During the Lab, Fellows participate in individualized story sessions, are advised on the craft and business of screenwriting and are introduced to established screenwriters, producers and film professionals who serve as guest speakers and creative advisors. This year's creative advisors include Maya Forbes ("Infinitely Polar Bear"), Ligiah Villalobos ("Under the Same Moon") and David N. Weiss ("Shrek 2"). Guest speakers include past Fellows Ana Lily Amirpour ("A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night") and Siân Heder ("Orange is the New Black"). Past Screenwriting Lab projects include »
- Zack Sharf
The intensive four-week program allows participants to take their scripts to the next level through story sessions and meetings with established screenwriters, producers and film professionals. This year's creative advisors are Maya Forbes ("Infinitely Polar Bear"), Ligiah Villalobos ("Under the Same Moon") and David N. Weiss ("Shrek 2"). Guest speakers include past Film Independent fellows Ana Lily Amirpour ("A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night") and Siân Heder ("Orange is the New Black"). For the fourth year, Film Independent will also be presenting the Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television Screenwriting Fellowship, which this year goes to Tom Huang, who will be awarded a $10,000 grant to develop his script, "Dealing with Dad," through the Screenwriting Lab. The 2015 Screenwriting Lab participants and their projects are: Title: "Dealing with Dad " »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Tom Huang will be awarded the Loyola Marymount University School Of Film And Television Screenwriting Fellowship, granting him $10,000 to develop his script for the Screenwriting Lab.
The Lmu Film and Television alumnus, among seven writers and six projects selected, is one of the chosen participants for Film Independent’s 17th annual Screenwriting Lab.
This is the fourth year Film Independent will present the Lmu School of Film and Television Screenwriting Fellowship.
The workshop is a four-week programme designed to help writers by providing individualised story sessions and connecting them with industry professionals. This year’s creative advisors include Maya Forbes from Infinitely Polar Bear, Ligiah Villalobos for Under The Same Moon and David N Weiss from Shrek 2.
2015 Screenwriting Lab participants and their projects are: Thomas Huang for Dealing With Dad; Linda Yvette Chavez for Fieras, Puja Maewal for Jaya; Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs for The Midwestern; Q. Terah Jackson for Rustin; and Ani Simon-Kennedy for The »
The 35th Cambridge Film Festival (Sept 3-13) has revealed its full line-up for this year, including titles from over 30 different countries.
Star*Men, a documentary from debut director Alison E. Rose will open the festival. The film follows four UK astronomers, Donald Lynden-Bell Frs and Roger Griffin of the University of Cambridge, and Wal Sargent Frs and Neville Woolf of Manchester University, on a road trip to the United States.
The festival’s closing night gala will be the UK premiere of Palio, Cosima Spender’s documentary about the world’s oldest horse race, which debuted at Tribeca in April before playing at Karlovy Vary in July.
The main programme will feature the UK premiere of Robert Redford’s political thriller The Company You Keep, which he directrs and stars in. The festival will also screen the Redford-starring A Walk In The Woods, from »
In the movies we’ve seen countless tales told through the eyes of (usually now grown-up) children all about the wild, wacky adventures they experienced with their unconventional, non-conformist parents or caregivers such as Mame, Gypsy, even the inventor pop of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But what if they were more than zany, and didn’t break into song. The father of this new autobiographical film is unlike the lovable eccentrics embraced in past films. He’s has a real diagnosed, clinical disorder. How would children really deal with that? This film’s title comes from the younger daughter’s interpretation of her beloved poppa’s condition. Instead of saying that he’s bi-polar or manic-depressive, she says that her daddy is an Infinitely Polar Bear.
This story’s focus is the unconventional Stuart family. Well, unconventional for the late sixties and early seventies. Cameron “Cam” Stuart (Mark Ruffalo) comes »
- Jim Batts
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
Opening in theaters last week was the new comedic drama Infinitely Polar Bear, which was written and directed by Maya Forbes (The Rocker). The film follows Cameron (Mark Ruffalo), a manic-depressive father trying to win back his wife (Zoe Saldana) by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young daughters living in New England in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Our very own Jordan Adler reviewed the film back when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and had the following to say about it:
“Crowd-pleaser” and “manic depression drama” often don’t go together. However, Infinitely Polar Bear is a different beast, rooted in truth and featuring superb performances.
It’s a sentiment I agree with, too, as the entire cast gives it their all, resulting in a heartfelt indie film that definitely deserves to be seen.
Last week at the Los Angeles press day for Infinitely Polar Bear, »
- Jami Philbrick
Maya Forbes’ big-screen memoir, Infinitely Polar Bear, is a movie about family that is also sweet enough to be a family film. Dedicated to the writer/director’s parents, it is one of the more accessible titles available that deals with manic depression and mental illness. However, that should not be a slight against it. An outstanding cast, led by a superb Mark Ruffalo and scene-stealing turns from the two newcomers who play his stubborn-headed daughters, elevate the film’s somewhat digestible portrait of bipolar disorder.
Ruffalo plays Cameron Stuart, a free-spirited kid raised with a silver spoon who was later kicked out of Harvard. On campus in the late 1960s, he met the bohemian Maggie (Zoe Saldana), with whom he soon started a family. Their two daughters, Amelia (Imogene Wolodarsky) and Faith (Ashley Aufderheide), have learned how to react to a manic-depressive dad. They do not mind when Cameron »
- Jordan Adler
In this business you can easily watch up to 200 films in a single year. It's therefore no surprise that it's already hard for this pundit to remember all the films I caught at the Cannes Film Festival, which was less than one month ago. Of course, that doesn't mean some films don't stick with you. One film that made a lasting impression with me over the past 18 months was Maya Forbes' "Infinitely Polar Bear." The autobiographical drama debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and is finally making its way to theaters this week. Inspired by Forbes' relationship with her own bipolar father, the film centers on Cameron (Mark Ruffalo), a man trying to control his behavior after he unexpectedly becomes a de facto single parent to his two young daughters. Ruffalo has delivered many great performances over a storied career, but his work here is unlike anything he's ever done before. »
- Gregory Ellwood
One Flew Over the Housing Project: Forbes Relates Childhood Memories in Debut
Screenwriter Maya Forbes makes her directorial debut with Infinitely Polar Bear, an exploration of a specific and potentially tumultuous period from her youth. Potentially because she paints these memories over with a glossy lamination, and despite some seriously committed performances, the end result feels a bit too removed from reality to feel as emotionally potent or resonant as one would hope.
In 1978 Cambridge, Massachusetts, Amelia (Imogene Wolodarsky) and her younger sister Faith (Ashley Aufderheide) have grown up with caring parents under problematic circumstances. Manic depressive father, Cameron (Mark Ruffalo) is unable to hold down a job, leaving mother Maggie (Zoe Saldana) to take care of most things on her own. Following a nervous breakdown and brief institutionalization, Cameron and Maggie separate. However, Maggie’s inability to find a decent job leads her to desperate measures so she can »
- Nicholas Bell
Proof that fine actors giving strong performances are not always enough to save a movie, Maya Forbes' Infinitely Polar Bear seems too preoccupied with its 70s period setting and zany family antics to pay more than vague lip service to its central theme of manic depression. As a result, Infinitely Polar Bear is a frivolous and slight affair, not without its charms, but devoid of any real purpose.Apparently based at least in part on writer-director Maya Forbes' own experiences, Infinitely Polar Bear is the story of an unconventional American family in 1970s Massachusetts. Cameron Stuart (Mark Ruffalo) comes from a wealthy New England family, but was diagnosed in the late 60s with manic depression. His African-American girlfriend Maggie (Zoe Saldana) married him regardless, and fast...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Screenwriter Maya Forbes (“The Larry Sanders Show,” “Monsters vs. Aliens,” “The Rocker”) decided to make her directing debut to ensure that this semi-fictionalized account of her late-‘70s childhood in Cambridge — with a high-strung blue-blood father who can’t hold a job and a driven African-American mother (Zoe Saldana) — would capture the spirit of their unconventional life together. There are many humorous moments to enjoy, given that Ruffalo’s manic-depressive Cam is as likely to make a perfect crepe or sew a fabulous last-minute flamenco dress for a school talent show as he is to forget to pick up the girls from school or refuse to buy a new sponge to replace the one rotting on the sink. But most compelling is how the mood swings caused by his mental state, not helped by the fact that Cam rarely takes his meds and prefers alcohol to calm his demons, are both harrowing and entertaining. »
- Susan Wloszczyna
With its based-on-the-director’s-life pedigree and stars Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana, "Infinitely Polar Bear" — horrible title aside — sounds like many Sundance films past and present: a family struggles with mental illness, trying to keep one person whole while also keeping — or failing to keep — the family together. And after writing such good-to-indifferent Hollywood product like "The Rocker," "Monsters vs. Aliens," and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days," you can hardly fault writer-director Maya Forbes for trying to create something a little more substantive and a little less glib. And yet, even based on her experiences, "Infinitely Polar Bear" is so phony that you can imagine the production budget being made up of three-dollar bills; it treats severe mental illness as a series of quirky, fun-sy tics; the circumstances of its characters are tortuously contrived; and every child character seems not like a real, living child, but »
- James Rocchi
Read More: Hollywood Feminist of the Day: Mark Ruffalo Mark Ruffalo has got to be one of the most agreeable male actors working in film today. The 47-year-old actor and father to three showed up an hour late to his interview with Indiewire, which was pegged to his latest release "Infinitely Polar Bear," but immediately won us over with an apology and hilarious explanation for his tardiness that involved a broken food truck and terrible traffic. When he said "sorry," you could tell that he meant it. A huge part of Ruffalo's appeal has to do with that sincerity. It's apparent in all of his onscreen work and in his day-to-day life. He doesn't use his Twitter and Tumblr page to solely tout his upcoming releases, but rather to discuss topics that are close to his heart -- feminism, environmental activism and Lgbt issues. "Infinitely Polar Bear," from writer-director Maya Forbes »
- Nigel M Smith
Infinitely Polar Bear Sony Pictures Classics Reviewed by: Harvey Karten for Shockya. Databased on Rotten Tomatoes. Grade: B Director: Maya Forbes Screenwriter: Maya Forbes Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarky, Ashley Aufderheide Screened at: Sony, NYC, 3/12/15 Opens: June 19, 2015 It may sound condescending to suggest that you could consider yourself lucky to be brought up by a father who is bi-polar to such an extent that he had to spend some time in an institution and is likely to be unemployed for quite a while if not a lifetime. Perhaps this is because dad is so exuberant, so frequently in a manic stage, that he turns out [ Read More ]
The post Infinitely Polar Bear Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Harvey Karten
Parenting and mental illness collide in the upcoming dramedy "Infinitely Polar Bear," a very personal story for the film's writer/director Maya Forbes, who based it on her own life. And in addition to nabbing two strong actors for the movie, with Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana leading the story about a manic depressive man trying to raise his children and maintain his relationship with his wife, Forbes has also put together a soundtrack to match the moods and emotions conjured in her film. And one call she made was to her sister China Forbes, frontperson for Pink Martini. “I wrote ‘The Northern Line’ in a London hotel room on my son's toy ukulele,” Forbes said of her contribution of an exclusive track. “Maya asked me to write a song about a train. I had just taken the Northern Line of the tube to see my cousin and I have »
- Edward Davis
"With a new programming team and revitalized sense of purpose, the Los Angeles Film Festival launches its 21st edition Wednesday with a reinvigorated mission," begins Mark Olsen in the Los Angeles Times. The paper's a sponsor, so you'll find a lot of coverage there. Preview some of the titles lined up in the Buzz section for L.A. premieres: Marielle Heller's The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Maya Forbes's Infinitely Polar Bear, Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall, Patrick Brice's The Overnight and Sebastian Schipper's Victoria, the one-shot wonder that's opening tomorrow in the city where it was filmed and then premiered, Berlin. » - David Hudson »
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