15 items from 2017
Although there’s no shortage of regional film festivals throughout the year, few — if any — are better curated than the Maryland Film Festival. With a slate organized by Director of Programming Eric Allen Hatch, the downtown Baltimore festival, which takes place from May 3-7, offers the finest in independent and international cinema of the past year, as well as some of our most-anticipated world premieres.
Now in its 19th year, we’re pleased to debut the full line-up for the 6-screen festival, and can exclusively reveal that Brett Haley‘s The Hero (one of our favorite films from Sundance) will be the Closing Night film. World premiering at the festival is Stephen Cone‘s Princess Cyd, his follow-up to one of last year’s finest films, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party, along with Josh Crockett‘s Dr. Brinks & Dr. Brinks.
We can also exclusively reveal the Opening Night Shorts — 5 short »
- Jordan Raup
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
– Exclusive: The 12th Annual Sunscreen Film Festival announced its official selections for the 2017 event featuring films with Alec Baldwin, Dylan McDermott, John Cleese, Daphne Zuniga and more. Opening night will feature Michael Mailer’s newest film, “Blind,” a romantic-drama, starring Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore and Dylan McDermott. Closing night will wrap up the festival with “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion,” a family fantasy adventure, starring John Cleese, Debra Messing, Jennifer Morrison and Stephen Dorff.
Retrospective Screenings will include Daphne Zuniga appearance at the festival honoring the 30th anniversary of “Spaceballs.” Also in this category will be “The Greatest Show on Earth,” from 1952 directed by Cecile B. DeMille, which won the Oscar for Best Pictures and Best Writing in 1953. The screening will honor the closing of the Ringling Bros. »
- Kate Erbland
Exclusive: Ryan Kampe and his team have closed multiple territories on a raft of recent festival picks.
Shanghai Jushi Films has acquired Chinese rights to Sundance and Rotterdam selection Columbus, Sundance and Berlinale selection Dayveon, SXSW and Rotterdam documentary Rat Film, Rotterdam and Toronto selection X500, and Tribeca award winner Kicks.
Kogonda’s comedy Columbus starring John Cho, Parker Posey, and Haley Lu Richardson, has also gone to Front Row for the Middle East, while FilmRise has picked up North American rights to Amman Abbasi’s Arkansas-set rites-of-passage drama Dayveon.
Binci / Lemon Tree Media has acquired Chinese rights to a slew of titles, including Sundance and Rotterdam selection Family Life directed by Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez, and SXSW and Champs-Élysées award winner From Nowhere by Matthew Newton.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Doctv, a centerpiece financing system for documentary production in Latin America, will sink $1.3 million into 18 documentaries for its sixth and soon-to-launch edition.
The announcement was made at this week’s Guadalajara Festival in Mexico by Ibermedia, the regional film-tv fund for Latin America, Spain and Portugal, Caci, an Ibero-America film and TV agency umbrella, and heads of two Latin America public broadcasters.
Submissions are open to country members of Caci. The call for applications for the 6th Doctv will begin on March 30, running through May 30.
This new edition of Doctv will be devoted to documentaries on music. “Through music, we can connect societies and cultures,” said Emile Vandoorne, Peru’s Director of Audiovisual at its Culture Ministry, adding that the initiative “aims to boost a cooperative spirit and increase mutual knowledge of all our countries.” The Dominican Republic will oversee the organization of the sixth edition, with Tanya Valette its co-ordinator. »
- Emilio Mayorga
The Miami International Film Festival announced the winners of its 34th edition on Saturday. Cristian Jimenez and Alicia Scherson’s “Family Life” took the Knight Competition grand jury prize and Nely Reguera’s “Maria (And Everybody Else)” won the HBO Ibero-American feature film prize.
The 2017 festival took place from March 3 through 12, and is the only major film festival to be produced by a college or university.
View the complete list of winners below:
Best Director: Daniel Hendler for “The Candidate”
(Jury: Michel Franco, Bahia Ramos and Grainne Humphreys)
HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Competition:
Best Film: “Maria (And Everybody Else)” directed by Nely Reguera
Jordan Ressler Screenwriting Competition:
Best Screenplay: Tomas Alzamora for “Little White Lie »
- Variety Staff
Guadalajara, Mexico — Chilean Patricio Guzman’s “Cordillera,” Dolores Fonzi-starrer “The White Devil” and “Nudo Mixteco,” a women’s drama produced by Lucia Carreras, are among projects to be pitched at an expanded 13th Guadalajara Co-Production Meeting, which runs March 12-14 at the Mexican Festival.
Produced by Chile’s Alexandra Galvis and Renate Sachse in Paris and directed by Guzman, the doyen of Latin American documentary filmmakers, “Cordillera” marks the final part of a documentary trilogy begun by 2010’s “Nostalgia For the Light” and continued with “The Pearl Button,” a best screenplay winner at the 2015 Berlin Festival.
In it, Guzman sets out to explore the Andes, a “wall which separates us [Chileans] from the world” and a mountain range which “contains the history of all mankind,” Guzman has said.
A fiction feature, “Nudo Mixteco” turns on immigration and, above all three indigenous women’s doubts and fears as they battle for »
- John Hopewell
What a surprising city Rotterdam is and the Festival and Cinemart are full of surprises too.
Being in The Netherlands is like a homecoming for me. My first major job in the film industry was with 20th Century Fox International and City Fox Films in Amsterdam in 1975 which is when I first attended the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, three years after its founding by Huub Bals. It was much smaller then. Iffr’s logo is a tiger, loosely based on the M.G.M. lion as an alternative. From the beginning, the festival has profiled itself as a promoter of alternative, innovative and non-commercial films, with an emphasis on the Far East and developing countries. It has become one of the most important events in the film world, an integral part of the winter circuit of Sundance, Rotterdam and Berlin Film Festivals.
Except for my »
- Sydney Levine
Why Sundance Goers, and Audiences at Every Festival, Should Embrace World Cinema Over Popular Main-Slate Titles“God’s Own Country”
Eager to brave the extreme amounts of snow piling on every sidewalk and road in Park City, scores of freezing, malnourished, and often overworked film journalists and industry professionals line up hours in advance in order to secure a satisfying seat to that star-studded, Oscar-friendly, English-language stunner people have been raving about at every party or bus top around town. It’s understandable, they are desperate to become conquerors and be the first to plant their flag on the year’s big discovery. Trendsetting is a currency that in film criticism, like in many other occupations, is vital to acquire a certain level of recognition and validation.
However, even though being able to predict the future and to see the merits of a film before the crowd has sunk their »
- Carlos Aguilar
Kevin Ford, Smriti Keshari, and Eric Schlosser’s Berlinale Special selection documentary the bomb screens on Friday and explores the power and fascination of nuclear weapons. the bomb premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year as a multimedia installation.
Amman Abbasi’s feature directorial debut Dayveon premiered at Sundance last month and screens in Forum on Friday. Newcomer Devin Blackmon plays the eponymous 13-year-old grieving the loss of his older brother who falls in with a local gang. FilmRise acquired North American rights after the premiere in Park City.
Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez’s Family Life premiered at Sundance before going to the Rotterdam Film Festival. Jorge Becker, Gabriela Arancibia, Blanca Lewin and Cristián Carvajal star in the story of a lonely fabulist who concocts a tale »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Films and projects travel from Sundance to Rotterdam and Rotterdam’s love affair with Latin America becomes apparent.
Making their way from Sundance to Rotterdam, “Lemon” was Opening Night in the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Sloan Prize Winner “Marjorie Prime” played in Voices while director Michael Almereyda was on the Jury of the Hivos Tiger Competition. His documentary, “Escapes” also played in the Regained section of the festival.
“The Wound” by John Trengove has even longer legs, reaching from Sundance World »
- Sydney Levine
There is a recognizable tradition of arthouse home invasion movies, one that includes Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Theorem” or more recently, 2013 Cannes Competition entry “Borgman.” Chilean helmers Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez collaborate in their riff on this sub-genre with the beguiling “Family Life,” part of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Continue reading ‘Family Life’ Is A Strange, Caustic & Funny Chilean Cinema Discovery [Sundance Review] at The Playlist. »
- Bradley Warren
20 January 2017 3:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Abandoning the relatively large scale of earlier outings, festival-friendly Chilean directors Alicia Scherson and Cristian Jimenez return to the smaller canvas with Family Life, a witty and poignant drama about an emotionally damaged man who tries to set up a virtual family life in another family’s home. Rippling playfully into themes of solitude, love, companionship and the multiple dangers of male insecurity, this is quietly intriguing fare that rolls up wryness, poignancy and intimacy into a minor-key but memorable whole. Its high concept and universal themes suggest that as with helmers' previous work, happy future cohabitation with the festival circuit is »
- Jonathan Holland
Now based in Chile, Alicia Scherson has studied, worked, and lived in Cuba, Spain, and the U.S. Her feature films “Play,” “Turistas,” and “Il Futuro” have been shown in theaters internationally and have received several awards at film festivals. Scherson is also a scriptwriter and consultant for films and series, and her recent credits include “Rara” and “Karadima.” She is an associate professor at the Universidad de Chile.
W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.
As: It’s an adaptation of a short story by Alejandro Zambra. It’s about a family, a house, a lonely man, a single mother, and a cat.
Martin, the lonely man, is in charge of the family house and the cat while the family is away. They are all around 40 but very different, mainly because Martin is not a family guy at all. But then he meets Pachi, a single mother, and her little son, and all of the sudden he starts wishing that house, that family life, was his own. And his wish comes true — at least for a while.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
As: My first daughter was nine months old, and I was beginning to wonder how was I going to go back to filmmaking. I was still breastfeeding and spent a lot of time at home in my first family house. My last movie, “Il Futuro,” had been a great experience but quite a complicated one: a four-country co-production with international crew and cast that took us many years to complete. I didn’t want to start [another] project like that in such a moment of my life.
So, I was talking to my good friend Cristián Jiménez, who had just finished his third movie, “Voice Over,” about these fears, and we started thinking of making something together — something lighter, just with friends. I said we could shoot inside my house, a small, old house but with a lot of mysterious camera angles. We could make a domestic film.
Some weeks later, I read the short story by Alejandro, who is also a friend of ours, and everything magically fell into place.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
As: I would like them to think it was a comedy and then decide maybe it was not — or the other way around. To tell a friend the movie is clearly against families, and then tell another friend it is really about being 40 and looking for happiness.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
As: The fact that the shooting was in my house and my baby was on set made the whole shooting style very different from other movies. The crew had to adapt to the baby’s schedule, and I had to learn to let go, trust my co-director, and be able to feed the baby while he prepared a shot.
My partner and I lived for three weeks in the movie set — our same house but with different props — so we shared our house not only with a film crew but also with a fictional family. That was crazy.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
As: This particular movie was thought of as a collective small budget project from the beginning. We created a production company, Peso Pluma (Feather Weight), along with the other director, the writer, and the producers, so we were all partners.
We signed special deals with the cast and crew, deferring part of the payment depending on the sales. For the shoot, we got some small public funding and a couple of private investors. To finish, we made agreements with the color and sound post-production facilities. After we had a first cut, we were able to get local distribution funds and close a pre-sales agreement with our sales agent, Visit Films.
W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Sundance?
As: We always thought of “Family Life” as a Sundance movie, and we were right. The programmers at Sundance have a very contemporary global vision; they don’t look for films that necessarily fit a particular label or genre. Being a woman and Chilean, some labels can be very heavy to wear.
To screen at Sundance means that the movie can be read in a more open way, letting it breathe at its own rhythm.
W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?
As: Best advice: I was an Mfa student at Chicago, and a teacher ask me to completely re-shoot a short film. I was devastated. She was a painter, and she didn’t understand what the big deal was — she had thrown away and re-painted many times. So I did it, and it was great. That short, “Crying Underwater,” was my real beginning as a filmmaker.
The worst advice was to use my own car as a production car for shooting my second film, “Turistas.” It was destroyed.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
As: To try to create a work method of their own, an ideal of an artist that is their own, which is so difficult because the role models are mainly men, and those images are not very useful.
It’s okay if you write while cooking and the scripts have pesto stains. It’s okay if you don’t write every day. It’s okay if you feel it’s more important to teach, party, have a baby, or read a book than to make another film in a particular moment. There is no such thing as a career. It’s just art.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
As: Agnes Varda’s “Cléo from 5 to 7.” She is a smart and fun director who started in a time of smart and fun men. And she was always herself. All of her films are clever and beautiful. And you can tell she enjoys making them.
W&H: Have you seen opportunities for women filmmakers increase over the last year due to the increased attention paid to the issue? If someone asked you what you thought needed to be done to get women more opportunities to direct, what would be your answer?
As: I have seen a big change in numbers! When I started in 2005, I was literally the only active woman director in Chile doing feature-length films — there have always been more women in documentaries, short films, and TV. It was not an honor to be alone — it was boring. Now, we are many.
The problem is that this change in numbers goes just until the first movie. From the second movie on, women filmmakers have a much harder time consolidating their work.
I think we need more women as programmers, directors of festivals, members of juries, studio executives, etc. That will be a great way to balance. As in many other areas of life, the controlling elite exists, and it’s usually white and male.
Sundance 2017 Women Directors: Meet Alicia Scherson — “Family Life” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Kelsey Moore
Families bring together people from different backgrounds, with different stories, all forming into a cohesive unit. But what happens when one person has built their new life around a series of lies? That’s the basis of the Chilean film “Family Life,” which heads to the Sundance Film Festival for its World Premiere.
Directed by Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez, and starring Jorge Becker, Gabriela Arancibia, Cristián Carvajal, and Blanca Lewin, the story revolves around the aimless Martin, who is asked to housesit for his cousin who is taking his family to France for a few months.
Continue reading Sundance Exclusive: Domestic Bliss Gets Complicated In Trailer For ‘Family Life’ at The Playlist. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Understanding the potential consequences of careless words is an adult skill, one that the 12-year-old protagonist of “Rara” has yet to learn — but she’ll get some harsh instruction on the matter before this insightful, low-key Chilean drama is over. An accomplished first feature, director/co-scenarist Pepa San Martin’s finely observed tale finds that loose lips can still sink ships, as the pubescent heroine’s casual fibbing to divorced parents endangers the existence of the “two mommies” home she inhabits with her mother and a lesbian partner. There’s no melodramatic hand-wringing or even overt homophobia here, just a vivid depiction of how half-truths can incite the fearful imagination, which in turn can exploit the legal process and social biases to break up entire households.
- Dennis Harvey
15 items from 2017
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