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Curtains to come down on Iffk on Friday

Iffk 2017Fourteen films including four from India, will compete for the prestigious Golden Crown Pheasant Award.Tnm Staff iffk two.jpgIt has been almost a week and Thiruvananthapuram has been witnessing a rush of film buffs. The 22nd edition of the prestigious International Film Festival of Kerala (Iffk) will come to a close on Friday. Known as people’s fest, delegate participation for Iffk has been increasing over the years, with serpentine queues visible outside several theatres. As many as 10,000 delegates and filmmakers from across the globe have been attending the fest. The week-long fest has screened 190 movies from 65 countries. While last year’s edition was embroiled in a controversy after 11 people were arrested for not standing up for the national anthem before the screening, the row this year was over not inviting National Award-winning actor Surabhi Lakshmi to the fest. She was, however, eventually given an official invite following the row. A poll to decide the audience prize for best film was opened on Thursday. The Golden Crow Pheasant Award with a cash prize of Rs 15 lakhs for the best film will also be presented at the Nishagandhi open-air auditorium on Friday. Fourteen films including four from India, will compete for the prestigious Golden Crown Pheasant Award. Among these, two are Malayalam films Randu Per (Two Persons) and Aden (Garden of Desire). The winner of the Golden Crown Pheasant Award will be screened at the closing ceremony. The fest had 465 screenings and most of them ran to packed audiences. Director and film critic Marco Muller is chairperson of the jury, while noted Malayalm director TV Chandran, Columbian actor Marlon Moreno, film editor Mary Stephen and Carelton University professor Aboubakcer Sanogo are jury members. The focus of the fest was Identity and Space while the country in focus was Brazil. This year’s edition will, however, not see cultural programmes as a mark of respect for the victims for Cyclone Ockhi. Enanble Notification: NoTNM Marquee: No
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Macao Festival Targets Growth With Lively Program Including ‘Paddington 2’

Macao Festival Targets Growth With Lively Program Including ‘Paddington 2’
Opening a film festival with a movie as broad as “Paddington 2” is bold move and, in the case of the Intl. Film Festival & Awards Macao, was a carefully calculated decision. It suggests that commercial films can have artistic merit, and signals that Macao, in its second year of existence and first under a new director, intends to be audience friendly as well as smart.

“It is a delightful, five-star film for audiences of all ages. It makes for a playful opening that says: ‘Let’s have some fun before we get down to the serious business,’” says Mike Goodridge, who was appointed as the festival’s artistic director over the summer. “Unlike Hong Kong, just across the river, Macau doesn’t have a strong arthouse tradition. We are going to have to build audiences.”

To that end, Goodridge, who officially took up his position only in September, has been busily pounding the pavements in Macau and meeting
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Suleiman Mountain’ Wins Top Prize at Debut Pingyao Festival

‘Suleiman Mountain’ Wins Top Prize at Debut Pingyao Festival
The Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival closed its first edition Saturday with prizes for winners of its international and Chinese sections. The festival ran from Oct. 28 to Nov. 4 in the historic town of Pingyao, in China’s Shanxi Province.

Suleiman Mountain,” directed by Elizaveta Stishova, collected the Roberto Rossellini prize worth $10,000 for the director’s next film. The jury praised the picture for its “incredible” female characters.

Festival favorite “The Rider” earned Chinese director Chloe Zhao the prize for best director and a $5,000 advance against her next film.

Vivian Qu’s “Angels Wear White” collected $4,500 (RMB30,000) as the best film in the Fei Mu section for Chinese titles. Liu Jian earned the best director award for his adult-oriented animation “Have a Nice Day,” which bowed in competition at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Audience awards went to “Suleiman Mountain,” Ficarra & Picone’s “L’Ora Legale” (Italy), Aida Begic’s “Never Leave Me” (Bosnia
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival Prepares for Inaugural Edition

Created by the filmmaker Jia Zhang-ke (A Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart) with former Venice festival head Marco Muller serving as the artistic director, Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival (Pyiff) is being described as "the first boutique Chinese film festival“. The inaugural edition of the festival kicks off October 28, and will be held in Pingyao Ancient City. Located between Beijing and Xi´an, Pingyao is listed on the World Cultural Heritage map. A major tourist destination, the city was chosen to embrace the dialogue between non-Western and Western film communities with its 2700 years of history. The festival was established with an intention to bridge together the Chinese film industry with those of emerging countries. Named after Ang Lee´s film, the...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
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Inaugural Pingyao Festival in China Makes Last-Minute Date Switch

Inaugural Pingyao Festival in China Makes Last-Minute Date Switch
The Pingyao Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon International Film Festival, a new event pioneered by Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke and renowned festival programmer Marco Mueller, has shifted the dates of its inaugural edition.

The festival will now be held from Oct. 28 to Nov. 4 in the historic northern Chinese town of Pingyao, where a 1,500-seat open air venue is being constructed. The Pyiff was previously announced as taking place Oct. 19-26. No explanation was offered for the date switch.

Jia said the Pyiff would bring more possibilities to the creative community and be a stimulus for the Chinese film industry. He unveiled a new logo for the festival and announced that Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing would be the festival ambassador.

“Pyiff aims to be an innovative and beneficial balancing act that will introduce international filmmakers and film genres to young Chinese audiences and new Chinese films and filmmakers to the world,” said Mueller, the
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Vr at Venice: Tsai Ming-liang Tests Story and Technology in ‘The Deserted’

Vr at Venice: Tsai Ming-liang Tests Story and Technology in ‘The Deserted’
Tsai Ming-liang, iconoclastic art house darling and purveyor of tough-love cinema, admits to being baffled why so many parties approached him to make a virtual reality movie. After all, his brand is about painstaking slow shots and minimal action, not flashy cinematography or hyper-kinetic editing.

Those who prodded him into action include former Venice festival boss Marco Mueller and Htc, the tech giant based, like Tsai, in Taiwan.

Tsai said that his initial contacts with the new medium were head spinning. But not in a good way. The image quality was “unbearably digital and unrealistic (and) the headset was heavy and clumsy to use,” Tsai told Variety. But after another industry contact presented Tsai with a gloriously detailed, static image, Tsai was prepared to reconsider. The result, “The Deserted,” renews the Venice connection and plays this week through the festival.

Made on a budget of $1.6 million, it was produced by Tsai’s own company, and
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Macau Festival Hires Mike Goodridge, Sets Young Film Competition (Exclusive)

The International Film Festival & Awards Macao has appointed former Protagonist Pictures CEO Mike Goodridge as its artistic director. The second edition of the festival is scheduled to be held December 8-14 in and around the former Portuguese colony of Macau, which is best known for a casino industry bigger than Las Vegas’.

In a rethink following an ambitious launch last year, the festival has reset its competition section to focus on first- and second-time feature directors. It will now offer a $60,000 prize to the best feature.

The festival began last year with the hiring of high-profile festival selector and China expert Marco Mueller. But in a dramatic turn of events, Mueller quit in September, just one day before his selections were announced. No reasons were given for his resignation, though speculation centered on disagreements between Mueller and the festival management.

The first edition went ahead with a caretaker team spearheaded
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Great Wall’ Director Zhang Yimou Starts ‘Shadow’

‘Great Wall’ Director Zhang Yimou Starts ‘Shadow’
Yimou Zhang , the Chinese director whose recent “The Great Wall” has grossed $328 million worldwide, has begun production of his next movie, “Shadow.”

The film is a co-venture between Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and Le Vision Pictures, for which Zhang is retained as an artistic consultant.

The producers have revealed little about the project, though Chinese media report it as a historical picture set in the Three Kingdoms era.

The cast confirmed to date for “Shadow” includes Deng Chao, Zheng Kai, Wang Qianyuan, Hu Jun, Guan Xiaotong, Wu Lei and Wang Jingchun. Others are expected to join the picture.

Zhang is one of China’s foremost directors of drama, pithy comedy and large-scale historical action. Many of his films have played at major festivals and been China’s foreign-language Oscar contender. His venture into the mainstream with “The Great Wall,” a VFX-heavy historical fantasy actioner shot largely in English and starring Matt Damon,
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‘Beauty and the Beast’ Opens Strong in China With ‘Gay Moment’ Intact

‘Beauty and the Beast’ Opens Strong in China With ‘Gay Moment’ Intact
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” which has ruffled feathers in some conservative countries because of a “gay moment” in the film, opened Friday in China uncut and on top of the box office.

Opening day-and-date with its North American release, “Beauty and the Beast” grossed $11.8 million (RMB81.2 million) by 9:00 p.m. Friday in China, according to ticketing service Wepiao. That took the cumulative gross, including previews, to an early milestone of RMB100 million, or $14.5 million.

The brief “gay moment” (as director Bill Condon calls it) involving the character Le Fou at the end of the movie left China’s sometimes testy censors unflustered. That was in contrast to the situation in neighboring Asian country Malaysia, where censors asked for the scene to be cut.

The film has not been released in Malaysian theaters after Disney refused to make the change. “The film has not been and will not be cut for Malaysia,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

SXSW Film Review: ‘68 Kill’

SXSW Film Review: ‘68 Kill’
Stepping just slightly outside the horror terrain he’s inhabited since an early run of Troma gigs (as actor, writer and producer), Trent Haaga’s second directorial feature “68 Kill” is much like his first, 2011’s “Chop” — as well as E.L. Katz’s 2013 “Cheap Thrills,” which he co-wrote — in that it’s a zesty black comedy whose nebbish hero gets subjected to a prolonged ordeal of painful misfortunes. This particular variation on that theme is based on Bryan Smith’s novel, yet the sadistic song remains much the same. Not everyone will enjoy this slide down a narrative garbage chute lined with thorns. But viewers and programmers with a taste for midnight-movie outrageousness will cotton to its mix of sleaze, quease and bad-taste absurdism.

Dp Neeham B. Smith’s opening shot is of a fly stuck in honey — just as protagonist Chip (Mathew Gray Gubler) is hopelessly stuck on girlfriend Liza
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Jia Zhangke Launching International Film Festival in China to Spotlight Non-Western Cinema

Jia Zhangke Launching International Film Festival in China to Spotlight Non-Western Cinema
One of the most prominent Chinese filmmakers working today is about to take on a huge new project: Starting a film festival. Jia Zhangke confirmed during a press conference at the China Film Directors Center in Beijing the launch of the Pingyao Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon International Film Festival, which is being described by China Film Insider as the nation’s first “boutique film festival.”

Read More: How ‘Mountains May Depart’ Director Jia Zhangke Juggled Past, Present and Future in His Latest Epic

The inaugural edition will take place October 19-26 in the Culture and Art District of Pingyao, Shanxi, which is located about four hours from Beijing. Jia grew up in Shanxi and rose to prominence making “underground” independent films in the province. His mission with this new film festival is to spotlight non-Western cinema and bring awareness to more local Chinese filmmakers. Jia also wants to give Chinese
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Director Jia Zhangke to Launch International Film Festival in Northern China

Director Jia Zhangke to Launch International Film Festival in Northern China
Chinese director and Cannes favorite Jia Zhangke is launching a new film festival in his hometown in Northern China.

Announced at the China Film Directors Centre in Beijing on Thursday, the inaugural Pingyao "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" International Film Festival will take place in Pingyao Ancient City, a Uncesco World Heritage site, in China's Shanxi Province on Oct. 19-26. 

Film festival veteran Marco Muller, who has headed the international festivals in Venice, Rome, Beijing and Macao, will serve as the event's artistic director.

The festival's title is a hat tip to Ang Lee's poetic martial arts classic from...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Jia Zhangke, Marco Mueller Launch Pingyao Film Festival

Jia Zhangke, Marco Mueller Launch Pingyao Film Festival
China’s leading auteur film director Jia Zhangke has teamed with former Venice festival head Marco Mueller to launch the Pingyao International Film Festival. To be held in Pingyao Ancient City, in China’s Shanxi Province, the first edition of the festival will run October 19-26, 2017.

With the ambition of embracing dialog between non-Western and Western films, the festival will have a competitive section, named Crouching Tiger, focused on new directors. A sidebar on genre cinema will be named Hidden Dragon.

The festival is co-founded by Jia Zhang-ke, with Wang Huaiyu, CEO Liang Jiayan and Cco Wan Jiahuan. Mueller, who has also had roles at the Locarno, Rotterdam, Rome, Pesaro, Beijing, Silk Road and Macao festivals, is set as artistic director.

Backing comes from the Pingyao Film Festival Co. and with support from the Pingyao municipal government. Details were announced at an event Thursday in Beijing.

In its first edition,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Jia Zhangke, Marco Mueller launch Pingyao film festival

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Jia Zhangke, Marco Mueller launch Pingyao film festival
Acclaimed director is launching October event in the ancient Chinese city of Pingyao, with Marco Mueller as artistic director.

Chinese director Jia Zhangke is launching a film festival in the ancient Chinese city of Pingyao this October, with Marco Mueller serving as artistic director.

The Pingyao International Film Festival will be held October 19-26, 2017, in the culture and arts district of Pingyao, Shanxi province. Located between Beijing and Xi’an, Pingyao is a Unesco world cultural heritage site that attracted more than 10 million tourists in 2016.

The new event, supported by the Pingyao government, aims to bring together the Chinese film industry with the film industries of emerging countries. It also plans to develop an industry component. A Touch Of Sin director Jia is launching the festival with co-founder Wang Huaiyu, CEO Liang Jiayan and Cco Wan Jiahuan.

In a nod to Ang Lee’s classic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a competitive section for new directors will be
See full article at ScreenDaily »

China’s Oriental DreamWorks Looks Set to Restructure (Exclusive)

China’s Oriental DreamWorks Looks Set to Restructure (Exclusive)
Oriental DreamWorks, the production joint venture between DreamWorks Animation and Chinese partners, may be restructured, according to well-placed sources in China.

The sources say that Comcast is in talks with Oriental DreamWorks’ Chinese backers, including China Media Capital and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd., about possibly giving up Dwa’s 45% stake in the venture. If that happens, it would mark the end of one of the highest-profile linkups between Hollywood and China.

The potential restructuring comes as Oriental DreamWorks struggles to maintain a foothold in the competitive animated-feature marketplace. Its last outing, “Kung Fu Panda 3,” failed to perform as well as expected at the box office, and its only film currently slated for release, the Himalayan tale “Everest,” is not due out until September 2019. Last week, the company laid off some 40 animators at its Shanghai base.

At the same time, Glendale-based Dwa has been re-evaluating the projects in its own pipeline,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

FilMart: Ambitious Starry Entertainment Launch Defies China Slowdown

FilMart: Ambitious Starry Entertainment Launch Defies China Slowdown
A whopping 19 projects spanning across films, TV series, animations, Vr and more are in the pipeline for Starry Entertainment, a newly established Chinese studio with a startup capital of $29 million (RMB200 million) and a financial capacity of $100 million.

Highest profile among the 19 is the $30 million “Hero’s Journey to the West,” an animated version of the classic Chinese tale “Journey to the West” featuring the famous Monkey King character. Starry has enlisted former Disney animator Chris Bradley as director and Marvel Studio character designer Walter A. McDaniel as the art director. A-list Hollywood stars are being scouted as voice talent for the English version of the film, scheduled for release during the Lunar New Year of 2019.

Starry also recently acquired McDaniel’s Beijing-based media company Red Dragon, according to Jon Chiew, former head of global business at Huace Films and now Starry’s COO and Hong Kong branch CEO.

Headquartered
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'The Winter', 'Trespass Against Us' triumph at inaugural Macau fest

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Emiliano Torres’ The Winter [pictured] was named best film at the first edition of the International Film Festival and Awards Macao (Iffam).

Emiliano Torres’ The Winter [pictured] was named best film at the first edition of the International Film Festival and Awards Macao (Iffam), while Saint George (Sao Jorge) won best director for Marco Martins and best actor for Nuno Lopes.

British film Trespass Against Us also received two awards, best actress for Lyndsey Marshal and a jury prize.

Jennifer Yu won best newcomer for Macanese director Tracy Choi’s debut feature Sisterhood, which also received the Macao Audience Choice Award.

Best screenplay went to UK director Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump for Free Fire, while Brazilian drama Elon Doesn’t Believe In Death received the best technical contribution award for its original music and sound design.

The new festival was co-organised by the Macao Government Tourism Office (Mgto) and Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture Association (Mftpa).

“First
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Iffam: ‘Winter’ is Winner in Macao Festival’s Glitzy Finale

Iffam: ‘Winter’ is Winner in Macao Festival’s Glitzy Finale
The first edition of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao wrapped up with a snappy and well-drilled prize ceremony. The competition section was won by Argentinian film “The Winter” (aka “El Ivierno”) directed by Emiliano Torres.

The best director award went to Marco Martins for “Saint George” about an unemployed boxer. “Saint George” also claimed the best actor prize for Nuno Lopes.

The ceremony was held at the casino town’s cultural center Tuesday night. Notable film folk in attendance included Jon Chu, Gianni Nunnuri, Chin Han, John Penotti, Ludi Lin, the BFI’s Sandra Hebron and Ann Hui. Career achievement awards were accepted in person by top Chinese director Feng Xiaogang and producer-financier Yu Dong of Bona Film Group.

The competition section jury also included Shekhar Kapur, Giovanna Fulvi and Japanese actress Makiko Watanabe.

The festival was hatched with the idea of adding to the former Portuguese colony’s
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Once Again, Buddhagram scoop Facebook awards

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Once Again, Buddhagram scoop Facebook awards
Film Bazaar: Kanwal Sethi’s drama Once Again and creative documentary Buddhagram won the inaugural Facebook Awards at the close of this year’s Film Bazaar (November 20-24).

Once Again, which screened in Film Bazaar’s Work-in-Progress (Wip) Lab, stars Neeraj Kabi and Shefali Shah in the story of a romance between a widow and an ageing star.

Kabir Mehta’s Buddhagram, which was selected for the Film Bazaar Recommends section, is a mixed media verite style of documentary about flamboyant Goan cricketer Buddhadev Mangaldas. The two Facebook awards came with $10,000 of vouchers for Facebook advertising.

India’s Prasad Labs also gave out two awards, which cover the costs of each project for digital intermediate. Ridham Janve’s The Gold-Laden Sheep And The Sacred Mountain, which was filmed in the rare Pahari language, won the Prasad award for a Wip Lab project, while Sanalkumar Sasidharan’s Sexy Durga won the Prasad award in Film Bazaar Recommends.

Sexy
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