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Busan: Korea’s ‘After My Death,’ Iran’s ‘Blockage’ Win Competition

Busan: Korea’s ‘After My Death,’ Iran’s ‘Blockage’ Win Competition
Films from South Korea and Iran were announced Saturday as joint winners of the Busan Film Festival’s main competition section.

Kim Ui-seok’s “After My Death” and Mohsen Gharaei’s “Blockage” won the New Currents competition which focuses on first and second features by filmmakers from Asia.

“My Death” is critique of the world where reason and tolerance have no sway and is the story of a girl who is suspected of having goaded another schoolgirl into killing herself. “Blockage” reflects the current economic condition of Iran by depicting the overwhelming chaos that happens to a vicious, despicable temporary worker.

The jury was headed by American filmmaker Oliver Stone, and included Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi, French cinematographer Agnes Godard, Philippines’ Lav Diaz and South Korea’s Jang Sun-woo. The jury said that “both films are tightly scripted, and display vivid detail and excellent craftsmanship.”

The first Kim Ji-seok Award, a newly prize
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oliver Stone to head Busan Film Festival New Currents jury

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Oliver Stone to head Busan Film Festival New Currents jury
Jury also includes Bahman Ghobadi, Agnès Godard, Lav Diaz and Jang Sun-woo.

Award-winning Us filmmaker Oliver Stone is set to head the 22nd Busan International Film Festival (Biff)’s jury for New Currents, the competition section for up-and-coming Asian directors.

The winner of Oscars, Golden Globes and a Berlinale Silver Bear for directing films such as Platoon and Born On The Fourth of July, Stone was recently at the Sarajevo film festival to receive an honorary award and screen a showcase including his latest documentary, The Putin Interviews.

Speaking with Screen there, he expressed concerns about the Us stance on North Korea and the possibility of doing a project focused on the hermetic country.

Stone will be joined on the Biff jury by Kurdish-Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi, whose films include Cannes Camera d’or winner A Time For Drunken Horses and No One Knows About Persian Cats, which won the Cannes Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Oliver Stone to Head Jury of Troubled Busan Film Festival

Oliver Stone to Head Jury of Troubled Busan Film Festival
Director Oliver Stone will lead the jury of the upcoming Busan International Film Festival's main competition, New Currents, organizers of the South Korean event announced Monday. The 22nd edition of the festival is set to run Oct. 12-21 in the port city of Busan.

New Currents is a competition that is designed to introduce up-and-coming Asian directors. Other members of this year's jury include Bahman Ghobadi, the Iranian filmmaker known for Cannes-winning No One Knows About Persian Cats, among others; Agnes Godard, the French cinematographer who has long collaborated with filmmakers such as Claire Denis and Wim Wenders; Lav Diaz,...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Oliver Stone to Head Jury at Busan International Film Festival

Oliver Stone to Head Jury at Busan International Film Festival
Oliver Stone, the ever-controversial American-French director, has been named president of the competition jury for the upcoming Busan International Film Festival, itself no stranger to controversy.

Stone heads an impressive panel including Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi (“A Time for Drunken Horses”), French cinematographer Agnes Godard (“The Dreamlife of Angels”), Philippines director Lav Diaz (“From What Is Before,” “The Woman Who Left”), and South Korean director Jang Sun-woo (“Lies”). They will judge a selection of Asian films in the New Currents section that represents the festival’s cornerstone.

Stone, who has credits including “Wall Street,” “JFK” and “Snowden,” has often criticized governments, greed, collusion and corruption. That matches the Busan festival’s stance.

The festival is still in turmoil nearly three years after it stood up to political interference from city authorities who acted as proxies for a nationalist and now disgraced right-wing South Korean government. The aftermath of the festival’s decision to screen a controversial documentary
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Alfonso Cuarón Is the Best Director of the 21st Century, According to Metacritic — See the Top 25

Alfonso Cuarón Is the Best Director of the 21st Century, According to Metacritic — See the Top 25
Using the proprietary powers of the Metascore, everyone’s favorite review aggregator (sorry, Rotten Tomatoes) has ranked the 25 best directors of the 21st century. The results were found by averaging the reviews of filmmakers who have released at least four movies since January 1, 2000, and thus represent more of a number crunch than a subjective list.

Read MoreThe 25 Best Documentaries of the 21st Century, from ‘Amy’ to ‘The Act of Killing

As the two lowest-ranked auteurs are tied with an average Metascore of 78.4, essentially anyone who’s released at least one movie that received middling reviews didn’t make the cut — meaning that everyone from Quentin Tarantino and Terrence Malick to Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson won’t be found here.

Topping the list is Alfonso Cuarón, whose average score of 87.5 comes from four highly acclaimed movies: “Gravity” (96), “Y Tu Mamá También” (88), “Children of Men” (84), and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Y Tu Mama Tambien’ Producer Jorge Vergara Boards ‘Bonded’ from Lucas Akoskin’s Aliwen Entertainment (Exclusive)

‘Y Tu Mama Tambien’ Producer Jorge Vergara Boards ‘Bonded’ from Lucas Akoskin’s Aliwen Entertainment (Exclusive)
Y Tu Mama tambien” producer Jorge Vergara, who co-founded Anhelo Prods. with Alfonso Cuaron, is boarding the drama “Bonded” from Aliwen Entertainment, the new Santa Monica-based shingle founded by Lucas Akoskin (“Nightingale,” “Captive,” “Desierto”) last year.

“Bonded” marks the return to film producing of Vergara who last backed the 2004 crime drama “The Assassination of Richard Nixon.”

Shooting this fall in Guadalajara, Mexico City and Los Angeles, “Bonded” is based on true events about the sweatshops of Los Angeles. Casting is underway for the mostly English-language drama about a Mexican teenager whose dreams of becoming a soccer star are disrupted when his mother dies. He’s smuggled across the border with the promise of a better life but is instead sold to a sweatshop in downtown La.

With a budget projected for under $5 million, “Bonded” is the directorial debut of producer-scribe Mohit Ramchandani. Project was previously set up at Irish Dreamtime,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Matisyahu feature in the works at Aliwen Entertainment

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Matisyahu feature in the works at Aliwen Entertainment
Exclusive: Lucas Akoskin’s new venture lines up story of Hasidic musician superstar.

Santa Monica-based Aliwen Entertainment has signed Holy Rollers director Kevin Asch to King Without A Crown, based on the story of the Jewish American reggae singer, rapper and beatbox performer Matisyahu.

Aliwen Entertainment founder Lukas Akoskin is producing with Bonnie Timmerman and Jonathan Gray. The project is a collaboration between Aliwen, Bonnie Timmerman Productions and Big Jack Productions.

Tommy Swerdlow, whose screenplay credits include Cool Runnings, wrote the script that recounts key episodes in the life of Matisyahu from the ages of 17 to 27.

The film will chronicle Matisyahu’s remarkable transformation from his secular origins as Matthew Miller to becoming a rabbi and Hasidic Jewish rock star. Matisyahu himself is creatively and musically involved in the project.

The producers anticipate an autumn start in New York and Israel and are out to casting for a star capable of portraying a “spiritually transformative one-of-a-kind
See full article at ScreenDaily »

An Open Letter to President Trump: Watch Some Iranian Movies, They’re Good For You

An Open Letter to President Trump: Watch Some Iranian Movies, They’re Good For You
Dear President Trump,

On a recent Saturday, as you were watching your first movie in the White House, an unprecedented wave of protests swept across the country in opposition to your decision to impose a ban on visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

I am not going to focus on the striking irony of foreign travelers being detained in the U.S. airports as you were enjoying Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” the story of a migrant fish detained in this country and aided by aquatic friends of different colors to find her parents.

Instead, I would like to bring to your attention an event of a smaller scale that was eclipsed by the news of the national uproar over your travel ban: the limited opening of an Iranian film, “The Salesman,” inspired by an American play to rave reviews and strong box office numbers.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong
See full article at Indiewire »

Strong female presence at Busan's Asian Project Market

  • ScreenDaily
Strong female presence at Busan's Asian Project Market
The Busan film fest’s Asian Project Market (Apm) has highlighted a “strong presence” of women filmmakers in this year’s line-up.

A total of 27 titles from 16 countries have been selected including projects from names including Yim Soon-rye, Tan Chui Mui and Laila Pakalnina.

In its 19th year, the Apm (formerly called the Pusan Promotion Plan or Ppp) said it tried to go back to its original mission of discovering up-and-coming talent with a selection that includes Pavle Vuckovic - who debuted last year in Cannes with Panama - bringing his Serbian thriller Mountain Eyes and Lei Lei with her debut feature animation Ningdu,which has Isabelle Glachant attached as a producer.

Apm stated it saw “an increased interest and more submissions by female directors and producers” this year. Yim is bringing Project Lee Jung-Seob, based on the legendary Korean artist’s life, while Tan has Malaysian coming-of-age drama All About Yuyu and Pakalnina has Latvia-Estonia
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Munich Filmfest wrap: Florian Eichinger named best director

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Munich Filmfest wrap: Florian Eichinger named best director
Eichinger’s Hands Of A Mother won three prizes at the German Cinema New Talent Awards.

Florian Eichinger’s third feature Hands Of A Mother (Die Hände meiner Mutter) was the big winner at this year’s German Cinema New Talent Awards held during the 34th edition of Filmfest München (23 June - 2 July) which ended at the weekend with the international premiere of Matt RossCaptain Fantastic.

Eichinger received the £33k (€30k) award for Best Direction, while his lead actor Andreas Döhler was named Best Actor for his performance as a man who breaks his self-denial to recall having been sexually abused as a child by his mother.

The co-production by Kinescope Film and Bergfilm with Zdf’s Das kleine Fernsehspiel unit, which is the final part of Eichinger’s trilogy about violence within the family after 2008’s Bergfest and 2013’s Nordstrand, will be released theatrically in German cinemas by Farbfilm Verleih on 1 December. International sales are
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Munich Film Festival Spotlights Best of German, World Cinema

Munich Film Festival Spotlights Best of German, World Cinema
The Munich Film Festival kicks off June 23 with some 180 feature films, documentaries and TV movies, including Maren Ade’s Cannes competition title “Toni Erdmann,” which opens this year’s event. Festival closes July 2. Germany’s second-biggest film fest offers an ideal summer platform for world cinema, cutting-edge German films, and new discoveries while also showcasing young talents. “We have a fantastic line-up with well-known directors, but also discoveries from countries like Vanuatu or Nepal, which are in our program for the first time,” says festival director Diana Iljine. Matt Ross’ “Captain Fantastic” closes the event.

Screenings

The Spotlight sidebar is known for presenting lavish productions, big-name filmmakers, and major stars. This year is no different. The lineup includes: Paul Schrader’s “Dog Eat Dog,” starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe; Jason Batemen’s “The Family Fang,” with Nicole Kidman and Christopher Walken; Werner Herzog’s documentary “Lo and Behold, Reveries
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes hit 'Toni Erdmann' to open Munich festival

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Cannes hit 'Toni Erdmann' to open Munich festival
The event will host 19 world premieres in its New German Cinema strand.

This year’s Filmfest München (June 23 - July 2) will open with Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann, the Cannes Competition title that topped Screen’s Jury Grid last month.

The event will also stage a retrospective of films by German director Christian Petzold.

Titles by Dani Levy, Sven Taddicken, Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu and Oliver Rihs are among 19 world premieres being presented in the festival’s New German Cinema sidebar.

Swiss-born director Levy will be coming to Munich with Wunderlich’s World, starring Katharina Schüttler, Hannelore Elsner and Toni Erdmann’s Peter Simonischek, while Taddicken’s adaptation of A.L. Kennedy’s novel Original Bliss will be shown in the Bavarian capital before having its international premiere in Karlovy Vary’s official competition a week later.

This year’s line-up also includes a number of co-productions such as Moldovan filmmaker Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu’s Anishoara, a second
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Toni Erdmann' to open Munich festival

  • ScreenDaily
'Toni Erdmann' to open Munich festival
The event will host 19 world premieres in its New German Cinema strand.

This year’s Filmfest München (June 23 - July 2) will open with Maren Ade’s Cannes competition title Toni Erdmann.

The event will also stage a retrospective of films by German director Christian Petzold.

Titles by Dani Levy, Sven Taddicken, Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu and Oliver Rihs are among 19 world premieres being presented in the festival’s New German Cinema sidebar.

Swiss-born director Levy will be coming to Munich with Wunderlich’s World, starring Katharina Schüttler, Hannelore Elsner and Toni Erdmann’s Peter Simonischek, while Taddicken’s adaptation of A.L. Kennedy’s novel Original Bliss will be shown in the Bavarian capital before having its international premiere in Karlovy Vary’s official competition a week later.

This year’s line-up also includes a number of co-productions such as Moldovan filmmaker Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu’s Anishoara, a second collaboration with Germany’s Wiedemann Bros., Romanian-born [link=nm
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Tales from Refugee Camp: ‘Life on the Border’ Offers a Kids-Eye View

March 30, 2016 Tales from Refugee Camp: ‘Life on the Border’ Offers a Kids-Eye View

This year's Berlin International Film Festival presented a special screening of Life on the Border, a gripping project initiated and produced by Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi. Over the past years Ghobadi has tirelessly narrated stories of the Kurds, the largest ethnic group without a state; their population spans from southeastern Turkey to northwestern Iran, northern Iraq and northern Syria.

Read more
See full article at International Documentary Association »

Miami: Monica Bellucci on ‘Ville-Marie,’ Kusturica’s Latest and Defying Ageism

Miami: Monica Bellucci on ‘Ville-Marie,’ Kusturica’s Latest and Defying Ageism
The timing may be coincidental, but it feels apt that I interviewed Monica Bellucci on International Women’s Day, March 8. One of the most restlessly globe-trotting stars in world cinema, the Italian model-turned-actor refuses to let her filmography be dictated either by national borders or imagined age brackets: Now in her fifties and defying the industry’s oft-decried shutout of women over 40, she has recently worked with Iranian auteur Bahman Ghobadi on “Rhino Season,” lent otherworldly luster to fellow Italian Alice Rohrwacher’s rural fable “The Wonders” and struck sparks with Daniel Craig in last year’s 007 outing “Spectre.” She’ll be hitting TV screens, too, with a role in Neil Jordan’s French-set crime series “Riviera,” which starts rolling in June.

Fresh from shooting a lead role in “On the Milky Road,” the long-awaited — and Cannes-tipped — new feature from two-time Palme d’Or winner Emir Kusturica, Bellucci arrived at
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Rotterdam festival supports beleaguered Busan

Staff and industry attending the CineMart co-production market sent a public message of support to the beleaguered Busan International Film Festival (Biff)

Joining in a worldwide photo campaign, International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr) festival director Bero Beyer, programmer Gerwin Tamsma (who oversees the selection of Korean titles) and scores of industry professionals posed on the steps of Iffr festival hub de Doelen for a group photo, holding banners proclaiming “We Support Busan”.

Lee Yong-Kwan has come under unrelenting pressure to step down as Biff director from Busan City Council officials angered by his decision to screen controversial ferry-sinking documentary The Truth Shall Not Sink With Sewol in 2014, against their wishes.

He has thus far refused to leave, but is gearing up to fight charges filed against him by the city, accusing him of mismanagement of festival sponsorship fees, on the basis of an audit of Biff’s books carried out last year following the documentary dispute.

“There
See full article at ScreenDaily »

[Sundance Review] A Flag Without a Country

A Flag Without a Country comes across less as a documentary than a based-on-a-true-story movie in which everyone plays themselves. Indeed, protagonists Nariman Anwar and Helly Luv are credited as “cast.” Watching Anwar walk up to an apartment building to call upon an inhabitant and getting into an argument with an old woman is shot in (and bears “the feel of”) an independent drama. And then there are the obvious reenactments, such as when Anwar or Luv recount their youths. The so-called line between fact and fiction isn’t blurred — it’s gently set aside because director Bahman Ghobadi has no need for it.

Anwar and Luv are both Kurds on a mission to recruit children. Anwar, a pilot, needs students for his flying school. Luv, a singer, needs actors for a music video she’s putting together. Both of them find what they need in the population of Syrian
See full article at The Film Stage »

'The Diary Of Anne Frank', Bahman Ghobadi title join Berlin strand

'The Diary Of Anne Frank', Bahman Ghobadi title join Berlin strand
Bahman Ghobadi’s Life On The Border, Hans Steinbichler’s The Diary Of Anne Frank join Generation special screenings.

Hans Steinbichler’s The Diary Of Anne Frank is among two special screenings added to the Berlin Film Festival’s (Feb 11-21) Generation strand, aimed at teenagers and children.

The film, which will be distributed by co-producers Universal Pictures International in Germany and gets its world premiere in the strand, stars Lea van Acken (Heil) as Anne Frank, alongside Martina Gedeck (The Lives Of Others) and Ulrich Noethen (Downfall).

The latest project from Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi (Turtles Can Fly) will have its European premiere in the strand.

The documentary, produced by Ghobadi, sees eight children from Syrian refugee camps handed cameras and given the encouragement to tell their personal stories.

The juries for the Generation programme’s two sections - Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus – have also been revealed.

The Generation 14plus International Jury - which presents
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sundance 2016. Lineup

  • MUBI
Kate Plays ChristineThe lineup for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, taking place between January 21 -31, has been announced.U.S. Dramatic COMPETITIONAs You Are (Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, USA): As You Are is the telling and retelling of a relationship between three teenagers as it traces the course of their friendship through a construction of disparate memories prompted by a police investigation. Cast: Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, Amandla Stenberg, John Scurti, Scott Cohen, Mary Stuart Masterson. World Premiere The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, USA): Set against the antebellum South, this story follows Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner, accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. After witnessing countless atrocities against fellow slaves, Nat devises a plan to lead his people to freedom. Cast: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, Mark Boone Jr. World PremiereChristine (Antonio Campos,
See full article at MUBI »

Sundance ’16: Kevin Macdonald, Bahman Ghobadi, Robert Cannan & Ross Adam Inserted in World Cinema Docu Comp

In 2015 it was Chad Gracia’s The Russian Woodpecker that walked away with the top World Cinema honors landing the coveted World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary. In this year’s twelve pack we have Turtles Can Fly director Bahman Ghobadi making a more docu carbon footprint with A Flag Without a Country, we have The Last King of Scotland‘s Kevin Macdonald and his fiction-non-fiction balancing act continue with Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang) and finally a Sundance Lab participant we have the crazy kidnapping/escape story of The Lovers and the Despot by docu-helmers Robert Cannan and Ross Adam. Here is the eleven of the future dozen.

All These Sleepless Nights / Poland (Director: Michal Marczak) — What does it mean to be truly awake in a world that seems satisfied to be asleep? Kris and Michal push their experiences of life and love to a breaking point
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »
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