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10 items from 2017

Berlin Film Review: ‘Vazante’

20 February 2017 10:04 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

An arrestingly upsetting, though lyrically shot opening sets the tone, if not the pace, of “Vazante,” the solo feature directorial debut from Walter Salles collaborator Daniela Thomas (who co-directed “Foreign Land,” Midnight,” and the Cannes-awarded “Linha de Passe”). In fragmented and impressionistic close ups — a white hand grasping a sheet, a slave’s black face falling in and out of focus as she exhorts her mistress to push — Thomas begins her film with a scene of childbirth that is also a scene of death, and it is not the last time these two concepts will appear inextricably intertwined in her darkly mysterious period fable.

Mining life in Brazil in the early 1800s is, according to her envisioning, haughty and brutal, where man’s inability to wholly tame nature gives rise to the inarticulate rage of white landowning men who oppress women and slaves alike in a futile attempt to master their destinies. »

- Jessica Kiang

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Brazil’s Karim Aïnouz Moves Forward on Five Feature Slate (Exclusive)

20 February 2017 2:25 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Berlin-based director Karim Aïnouz, a driving force in Brazil’s cinema build, has set a slate of projects to be produced, among others, by director Walter Salles (“The Motorcycle Diaries”) and Brazil’s two most prominent producers, Rodrigo Teixeira (“Call Me By Your Name,” “Patti Cake$”) and Fabiano Gullane (“The Second Mother”).

Director of 2014 Berlin competition player “Futuro Beach,” Aïnouz is also planning also to co-direct a movie with Marcelo Gomes, whose “Joaquim” world premiered in Berlin competition last week. Aïnouz is already in production on a documentary for Arte.

Though totally disparate in film type, the five movies show a common preoccupation: To map out the revolutionary forces, for good and bad, shaping Aïnouz and forging the contemporary world.

Reuniting Aïnouz and Gomes, “Clandestinos” underscores a sense of urgency running through most of Aïnouz’s projects. The directors’ prior film together, 2009’s “I Travel Because I Have To, I »

- John Hopewell

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Berlinale: FiGa Films Boards Julia Solomonoff’s ‘Nobody’s Watching’(Exclusive)

14 February 2017 10:29 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Berlin—Partnering on an anticipated title from a distinguished Latin American woman director which offers an original take on Latin-America-u.S. emigration, Sandro  Fiorin’s Miami-based FiGa Films has boarded Julia Solomonoff’s upcoming “Nobody’s Watching.”

One of the foremost sales companies of Latin American films, FiGa Films will handle international sales on this singular Latin American/U.S production.

Largely set in New York, and spoken in English and Spanish, “Nobody’s Watching” marks Solomonoff’s follow-up to “Sisters,” backed by Walter Salles, and “The Summer of la Boyita,” co-produced by Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s El Deseo. Solomonoff produced Julia Murat’s “Pendular,” which plays in this year’s Berlinale Panorama section.

“A film about immigration but not about a man searching for a green card,” in Solomonoff words, “Nobody’s Watching” stars Argentine actor Guillermo Pfening (“The German Doctor,” “Boyita”). Pfening plays Nico, an attractive Argentinean »

- John Hopewell

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Brazil Makes Great Strides at This Year’s Berlinale

9 February 2017 11:00 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Will early 2017, and Berlin in particular, be seen in retrospect as a golden age for modern Brazilian cinema, cut short in its prime?

Brazil’s presence at the festival is at an all-time high this year even as producers fear public film funding at Brazilian federal film-tv fund Ancine will plunge. Ten completed movies, led by Marcelo Gomes’ competition player “Joaquim,” will play in different sections of the fest: “Vazante,” from Daniela Thomas, who directed three movies with Walter Salles, opens Panorama; Sundance sensation “Call Me by Your Name,” produced out of Brazil by Rodrigo Teixeira’s Rt Features, also plays in Panorama.

That bounty represents a big increase from the not-too-distant past. Up to 2014, with occasional exceptions, Brazil averaged just three to five films a year at Berlin, including shorts. Only Germany, U.S., France, and Canada boast more movies selected for this year’s Berlinale than Brazil.

On top of that, »

- John Hopewell

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Brazilian Bounty Awaits Berlin Fest Crowd

9 February 2017 11:00 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »



Director: Marcelo Gomes

Rec Productores (Recife), Ukbar Filmes

Sales Agent: Films Boutique

The first Golden Bear tilt for Gomes (“Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures”) after “The Man in the Crowd” played Panorama three years back is an anti-colonial drama and fictional poetry about Tiradentes, Brazil’s most famous independence fighter who rose up in 1789 against the Portuguese crown.



Director: Daniela Thomas

Dezenove (Sao Paulo)/Nos Outros Prods.

Sales Agent: Films Boutique

Co-opening Panorama, Thomas’ solo debut after directing three movies with Walter Salles, is a drama, set in 1821 on a benighted farmhouse, where a young wife is left to her own devices with her estate’s slaves.

Call Me by Your Name

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Rt Features, Frenesy Film Co., La Cinéfacture

Sales Agent: Memento Films Intl.

The 2017 Sundance sensation, co-produced and financed by Rodrigo Teixeira’s Sao Paulo-based Rt Features, is a first love tale that »

- John Hopewell and Emilio Mayorga

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Berlin Exclusive: Captivating Clip From Daniela Thomas’ Historical Drama ‘Vazante’

9 February 2017 5:03 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Brazilian filmmaker Daniela Thomas is steadily earning an increasingly bigger profile on the world cinema stage. Best known for co-directing 2008’s “Linha de Passe” with Walter Salles, she also helmed the “Loin du 16e” segment in the omnibus “Paris, je t’aime” and was behind the camera for the Opening Ceremonies at the Rio Olympic Games. Now she’s headed to the Berlin Film Festival to open the Panorama Special section with “Vazante,” which will also be part of the Reclaiming Black History program at the fest.

Continue reading Berlin Exclusive: Captivating Clip From Daniela Thomas’ Historical Drama ‘Vazante’ at The Playlist. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Berlinale: Films Boutique To Introduce Daniela Thomas’ ‘Vazante’ at European Film Market (Exclusive)

1 February 2017 12:06 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Paris — Continuing its select acquisition of sometimes strikingly singular Latin American films, Films Boutique has acquired international sales rights to Daniela Thomas’ “Vazante,” which world premieres at the Berlinale next week, opening its Panorama Specials section.

The first solo feature from Thomas, co-director of the TV broadcast of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and who directed three movies with Walter Salles, “Vazante” is set in a Brazilian backland in 1821, its making marking an act of compassion for the solitude and suffering of the people there as it charts, in a thought-through manner, the makings of modern Brazil.

Long in its crafting, “Vazante” is produced by Sara Silveira at Dezenove Som e Imagem, a producer of edgier established names and multiple first features, and Beto Amaral, at (Cisma Produções, in co-production with Ukbar Filmes in Portugal.

Written by Thomas and Amaral, who also produced the Thomas co-directed “Sunstroke,” “Vazante »

- John Hopewell

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Translating ideas by Anne-Katrin Titze

20 January 2017 9:33 AM, PST | | See recent news »

Stefan Zweig (Josef Hader) - "He was considered one of the greatest travelers, the big European mastermind of the European Union."

In 2000, Max Färberböck's Aimée & Jaguar star Maria Schrader was on the Berlin Film Festival jury with Andrzej Wajda, Gong Li, Walter Salles, and Marisa Paredes when Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia won the Golden Bear and the number of translators had an impact on her. In New York, the director of Stefan Zweig: Farewell To Europe and I discussed her creative team, including co-writer Jan Schomburg, cinematographer Wolfgang Thaler, and editor Hansjörg Weißbrich. We followed a Zweig trail from Terence Davies on Max Ophüls' Letter From An Unknown Woman to George Prochnik's influence on Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel to Varian Fry, Lion Feuchtwanger and Defying The Nazis: The Sharp's War, directed by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky.

Maria Schrader: "I dedicated the movie to Denis Poncet. »

- Anne-Katrin Titze

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Our 20 Most-Anticipated Films at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

16 January 2017 9:31 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Comprising a considerable amount of our top 50 films of last year, Sundance Film Festival has proven to yield the first genuine look at what the year in cinema will bring. Now in its 39th iteration, we’ll be heading back to Park City this week, but before we do, it’s time to highlight the films we’re most looking forward to, including documentaries and narrative features from all around the world.

While much of the joy found in the festival comes from surprises throughout the event, below one will find our 20 most-anticipated titles. Check out everything below and for updates straight from the festival, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@TheFilmStage, @jpraup, @djmecca and @FinkJohnJ), and stay tuned to all of our coverage here.

20. Come Swim (Kristen Stewart)

With her pair of career-best performances under the direction of Olivier Assayas, as well as working with Kelly Reichardt, Woody Allen, »

- Jordan Raup

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10 Directors to Watch: Kleber Mendonça Filho Cast Brazilian Legend Sônia Braga in ‘Aquarius’

3 January 2017 9:47 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Though controversial for his politics back home, Brazilian writer-director Mendonça has made his country proud by being invited to premiere his sophomore feature, Sônia Braga starrer “Aquarius,” at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. A former critic and avid cinephile, Mendonça also serves as the artistic director for his hometown Janela Intl. de Cinema do Recife, an international festival in his hometown.

Mendonça’s knowledge of film history is vast and his taste refreshingly catholic. He jokes, “As much as I remember ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ as an amazing filmgoing experience at 13, films like ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ or ‘Small Change’ or ‘After Hours’ actually made me want to make films.”

Like his critically acclaimed debut, “Neighboring Sounds,” “Aquarius” astutely observes how society works and how people interact based on unwritten social rules and unspoken tensions. Though both films were inexpensively made near his home in Recife, Mendonça isn »

- Alissa Simon

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