News

Daily | Venice, Telluride + Toronto 2015 | Evgeny Afineevsky’s Winter On Fire

"The Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity by now has been the subject matter of a slew of movies, each dramatically different from the other," begins Boris Nelepo, writing for Cinema Scope. "There was Sergei Loznitsa’s auteur project Maidan; the reportage Kiev/Moscow by Alexander Rastorguev and Pavel Kostomarov; and the chronicle Stronger Than Arms by the #Babylon’13 collective. Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom by Evgeniy Afineevsky (director of the 2009 comedy Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!) attempts to document the unrest in minute detail, day after day, thus purporting to relate the story 'as it really happened.' Made for Netflix, this account is geared, first and foremost, toward American and European audiences who haven’t the foggiest notion of what actually transpired on Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev." We have more reviews and the trailer. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Daily | Venice, Telluride + Toronto 2015 | Evgeny Afineevsky’s Winter On Fire

"The Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity by now has been the subject matter of a slew of movies, each dramatically different from the other," begins Boris Nelepo, writing for Cinema Scope. "There was Sergei Loznitsa’s auteur project Maidan; the reportage Kiev/Moscow by Alexander Rastorguev and Pavel Kostomarov; and the chronicle Stronger Than Arms by the #Babylon’13 collective. Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom by Evgeniy Afineevsky (director of the 2009 comedy Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!) attempts to document the unrest in minute detail, day after day, thus purporting to relate the story 'as it really happened.' Made for Netflix, this account is geared, first and foremost, toward American and European audiences who haven’t the foggiest notion of what actually transpired on Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev." We have more reviews and the trailer. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Oleg Sentsov's detention extended

  • ScreenDaily
Oleg Sentsov's detention extended
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov’s detention in Russia’s Lefortovo prison has been extended once again - this time until May 11 after a decision by the regional court judge Elena Kaneva.

This latest extension will mean that Sentsov has been held in custody for a year since being arrested by the Russian Fsb secret service in the Crimean peninsula in May 2014.

Speaking at the hearing in the courtroom Sentsov said defiantly that he could not agree with the decision to extend his custody since there hadn’t been any evidence presented of his alleged participation in or organisation of terrorist activities in Crimea last year.

After making reference to the testimonies obtained from fellow defendants Gennady Afanasyev and Oleksiy Chyrny , which the Russian Fsb security authorities claim to incriminate him as a supporter of such activities, he added: ¨I am confident that the brave investigators will prove everything because the Federal Service of Chaos in your country
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Moscow film festival to make major cuts

  • ScreenDaily
Moscow film festival to make major cuts
Two days cut from festival, competition titles reduced and line-up almost halved in the face of tough economic circumstances.

Russia’s crumbling economy has forced the organisers of this year’s Moscow International Film Festival (Miff) to make swingeing cuts to the number of films shown and the festival’s duration.

Speaking to Russian daily newspaper Izvestiya, Miff programme director Kirill Razlogov revealed that the 37th edition will run from June 19-26, two days shorter than in 2014.

While Miff will retain its three competition sections for feature films, shorts and documentaries, the number of titles in the main international competition is likely to be reduced from 16 to 12, although the Free Spirit documentary competition will still have seven films in its line-up.

Razlogov suggested that the number of films invited to screen in Miff’s programme outside of the three competitive sections will be slashed by almost half - from 2014’s 250 to 150 at best.

Although the global
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Pasanen named Dok Leipzig director

  • ScreenDaily
Finnish documentary expert Leena Pasanen has been appointed as the first non-German in the almost 60-year history of Dok Leipzig to succeed Claas Danielsen as its festival director.

Pasanen previously worked in documentary programming at public broadcaster Yle and as the director of the European Documentary Network in Copenhagen, among others.

She will take up her post on January 1, 2015 with an initial five-year contract .

Claas Danielsen, who has headed Dok Leipzig as festival director for the past ten years, will open his swansong edition on Oct 27 with Citizenfour, the final part of Laura Poitras’ 9/11 trilogy, centred on Nsa whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Sergei Loznitsa’s Maidan and Ulrich Seidl’s Im Keller are among 12 titles selected for the International Competition for Feature Documentaries to compete for the €10,000 Golden Dove.

Other films in this competitive section include Fernand Melgar’s The Shelter, which premiered at Locarno in August; Zuzanna Solakiewicz’s 15 Corners Of The World; Giovanni Donfrancesco’s [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Karlovy Vary unveils competition line-up

  • ScreenDaily
Karlovy Vary unveils competition line-up
Seven world premieres and five international premieres include an animated movie for the first time in competition; Us drama Low Down starring John Hawkes and Elle Fanning; and Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson’s follow-up to Either Way.

The 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July 4-12) has revealed the line-ups for its Official Selection Competition, East of the West Competition, Documentary Films Competition and Forum of Independents Competition.

Kv artistic director Karel Och said: “This year’s selection of competing films offers an exciting mixture of outstanding films whose completion has been eagerly anticipated.

“Many of the filmmakers, who explore less frequently trodden paths of cinematic expression, come from the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, which the Kviff has long focused on.”

In the main festival section, renowned Georgian filmmaker George Ovashvili (The Other Bank) will introduce his long-anticipated film Corn Island, a psychological drama that uses captivating imagery and visuals to present a highly topical subject
See full article at ScreenDaily »

The Geographer wins at Odessa

  • ScreenDaily
Russian director Alexander Velidinsky’s The Geographer Drank His Globe Away was the big winner at the 4th Odessa International Film Festival (Oiff).

The tragi-comedy picked up the Grand Prix Golden Duke, voted for by the festival audience, and the International Jury’s Golden Duke for Best Film

The $4m production, which had screened to an enthusiastic capacity audience of over 1,200 in Odessa’s Festival Palace on Thursday evening, is being handled internationally by fledgling Russian sales outfit Antipode Film Sales & Distribution and will be released theatrically in Russia on 400 prints on November 7.

Last month, Velidinsky’s film won the Grand Prix and three other awards at the Kinotavr Open Russian Film Festival in Sochi.

The prize for Best Acting went to the female leads Lika Babluani and Mariam Bokeria of Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross’s In Bloom, which won the main prize at Voices in Vologda two weeks ago. The Odessa
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Berberian Sound Studio' Tops 15th Bafici

'Berberian Sound Studio' Tops 15th Bafici
Buenos Aires – Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio topped the international competition of the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival, which closes this weekend. The film also received a Best Cinematography Award for Nic Knowland, given by Adf, the local cinematographer’s association. The announcement was made at noon today by fest director Marcelo Panozzo. The Best Director Award went to Matt Porterfield for I Used to be Darker, while Antoine Cattin and Pavel Kostomarov’s Playback received a Special Mention. Jazmin Lopez’s Lions won the Special Prize from the jury, composed of Veronika Franz, Chinlin Hsieh, Marie-Pierre Macia, Peter Mettler, and Argentine filmmaker and

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Richard Lormand, Publicist's Best Films

Richard Lormand's films are always a key to the best films at the festivals of Berlin, Venice and Cannes.  If he reps them, you want to see them.  And here they are:

Boris Khlebnikov's A Long And Happy Life: (Isa:Films Boutique) It takes conviction to decide to make a movie like this one, and that conviction permeates throughout, highlighting a strong, convincing performance by leading actor Alexander Yatsenko. Good script and skillful filmmaking also make this powerful tale of the little guy fighting the system all the more watchable. The idyllic beauty of the seaside village location and its surroundings becomes even more intriguing thanks to cinematographer Pavel Kostomarov (a Berlinale winner for Outstanding Artistic Achievement for his work in How I Ended This Summer).

Thomas Arslan's Gold: (Isa:The Match Factory) I'll be as guilty as anyone else who simply refers to this great movie as "the German western". Yet it's so much more in terms of every single aspect of filmmaking - script, direction, acting, cinematography, art direction, etc. (from the same production team as Christian Petzold's Barbara)... Yes, as an American, I get a real kick out of this adventurous western journey being mostly in German (authentically as it's about a group of Germans). But that alone would never have been enough to keep me glued to the screen in anticipation... And if you aren't a Nina Hoss fan yet, this one will convert you. To carry a film like this, it takes more than being one of the most accomplished actresses around - it takes a star.  

Felix Van Groeningen's The Broken Circle Breakdown: (Isa:The Match Factory) The country and western motif continues with this Flemish gem and its sidebar nod to bluegrass music. Yes, bluegrass, and it rocks, especially when sung by leading actors Johan Heldenbergh and Veerle Baetens. Their performances are nothing less than incredible, and this is, without a doubt, one of the most heartbreaking films I've seen in a long time. Just thinking about it can bring a lump to my throat. The saddest feel-good movie I've ever seen. Felix van Groeningen is definitely a director to watch out for.

Sebastien Lifshitz's Bambi: (Isa:Doc & Film International) Only months since he debuted the groundbreaking doc Les Invisibles in Cannes, Sebastien Liftshitz offers us the inspirational Bambi, an affectionate portrait of French transsexual Marie-Pierre Pruvot. Sebastien has a probing eye of rare sensitivity which he has used in all of his films, such as the Teddy Award-winning fiction feature Wild Side. I was deeply moved by what Bambi's story represents today, and this is due just as much to sharp directorial skill as to the fascinating human subject.

Jacques Doillon's Love Battles (Mes Seances De Lutte): (Isa:Doc&Film International) This film can literally boast kick-ass performances by leading couple Sara Forestier and James Thierree. You gotta see it to believe it. I didn't see this one coming and I still can't quite figure out where it came from. Intense, moving, captivating... Jacques Doillon remains on the up, already sharing this new feature since recently premiering You Me And Us (Un Enfant De Toi) at November's Rome Film Festival. He proves once again that he is a master at dissecting the dramatic intricacies of the couple. 

Danis Tanovic's An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker: (Isa:The Match Factory) There's so much injustice around and I love it when a director makes it his or her passion to say something about it. In this case, it's Oscar-winner Danis Tanovic, this time showing us life in a different kind of wartime - the struggles of daily life for the underprivileged and discriminated against. It takes a natural born filmmaker to pick up a Canon and start making a movie because he's mad as hell about a real event that happened in his own backyard.

David Gordon Green's Prince Avalanche: (Isa: Cinetic International) Let's welcome David Gordon Green back to the Berlinale - he hasn't shown a film here since his debut George Washington. Since then, he's had an eclectic career from sensitive indies to mainstream comedies. Prince Avalanche offers the best of both of those worlds and highlights two uber-talented American actors - Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

How I Ended This Summer – review

An award-winning tale of two meteorologists isolated on a remote Arctic island is a tense allegory about modern Russia

Last Sunday's film of the week, Kelly Reichardt's bleak American independent movie, Meek's Cutoff, centred on nine people losing their way while attempting to cross an arid, inhospitable part of remote Oregon in 1845. This week, in Alexei Popogrebsky's How I Ended This Summer, we have an equally harsh story with a cast of two, set on an Arctic island in Chukotka, at the extreme north-eastern tip of Russia. It is like a gulag designed for two, stuck on the edge of the world and, like Meek's Cutoff, it has a pared down quality that invites, indeed virtually compels, the viewer to see it as some kind of allegory.

The film's title suggests an essay a boy might write after an adventurous holiday in some colourful spot, and indeed one of
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Time Indefinite: A Talk with Sergei Loznitsa

  • MUBI
I wanted to talk to Sergei Loznitsa about time because My Joy (which Daniel Kasman wrote about in this year's Cannes coverage) begins with a body being thrown into a concrete mixer and then there's a truck driver lost in a Russian backwater and then a prostitute and then a scene set over half a century earlier and none of these changes represent detours or dovetails, but a continuous forward movement through a "time" (cinematic / historical / narrative) that is folding in on itself. My Joy is an anti-psychological film in the sense that, instead of portraying time the way its characters see it, it portrays its characters as they are seen by time: as echoes. But of course there were other questions as well—about his background as a documentary filmmaker, about his next feature, about the presence of a couple of prominent Romanian New Wave figures in his film—which the erudite Loznitsa,
See full article at MUBI »

Kaplanoglu's 'Honey' Claims Golden Bear

What do Central Station (1998), The Thin Red Line (1999) and Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (2000) all have in common? They were awarded the top honor at the Berlin Film Festival and you can add Honey, the final leg in Semih Kaplanoglu's trilogy which commenced with Egg and last year's Milk, to that grouping. - What do Central Station (1998), The Thin Red Line (1999) and Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (2000) all have in common? They were awarded the top honor at the Berlin Film Festival and you can add Honey, the final leg in Semih Kaplanoglu's trilogy which commenced with Egg and last year's Milk, to that grouping. Florin Serban's If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle, which won Alfred Bauer Prize, also claimed 2nd place prize in the Silver Bear - The Jury Grand Prize - thus continuing the wave of film festival winning Romanian cinema.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Helena Trestikova's René wins Euro Film Academy's Docu of the Year Award

  • Last week The European Film Academy announced the ten finalists for the category of european documentary film of the year (see complete list below) and today they've announced that the big winner is Helena TrestíkováHelena Trestikova
[/link]'s RENÉ. The docu receives the 2008 Documentary Prix Arte award discerned by the Academy. The jury statement reads as follows: This is a film which tells a powerful story – filmed over 20 years – about an extraordinary character on the edge of society. It is a longitual documentary of outstanding quality. The jury found its examination of the relationship between subject and filmmakerfascinating and thought-provoking. Known for shooting her subjects for long periods of time, Trestikova began shooting her subject in 1989 at a youth correctional facility in Libkovice. René has been in prison since he was 16. While in custody, he and several others attempted a riot, which extended his sentence. History repeats itself in and out
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Political docus in the running for Prix Arte

Political docus in the running for Prix Arte
Cologne, Germany -- Politics, big and small, are the themes running through this year's nominees for the Prix Arte -- the European Film Academy's best documentary award.

Political films of all stripes will be in the running for Europe's top docu prize, from resurgent Russian nationalism in Mikhail Morozov's "Durakovo -- Village of Fools" to African dictatorship in Klaarte Quirijns' "The Dictator Hunter"; from a private look at the former Czech president in Pavel Kotecky and Miroslav Janek's "Citizen Havel" to "Shadow of the Holy Book," Arto Halonen's comic criticism of crony capitalism.

Other nominees include "Children. As Times Flies," Thomas Heise's picture of social deprivation in eastern Germany; "Rene," a 20 years-in-the-making portrait of a petty criminal from Czech director Helena Trestikova; and "The Mother," Antoine Cattin and Pavel Kostomarov's look at a woman raising her family on a Russian farm away from her violent husband.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

See also

Credited With | External Sites