7 items from 2015
A potent look at civil war in Sudan, “Madina’s Dream” provides eyewitness reportage of an ongoing, lesser-sung African regional/ethnic conflict. This latest documentary from Andrew Berends (“Delta Boys,” “The Blood of My Brother”) looks at refugee camps as well as life in the Nuba Mountains war zones where government forces are trying to annihilate rebel forces, as well as unfortunate locals caught in the crossfire. Programmers interested in global politics and human rights issues will want to check out this well-crafted memo from the frontlines.
The titular figure is an 11-year-old girl who, like myriad others, has fled her battle-torn native region for refugee camps in South Sudan (which won independence in 2011), where she has a better shot at survival — meaning food, water, shelter, even an education. When her mother dies, however, Madina must quit school to care for her younger siblings full-time.
But the focus here isn »
- Dennis Harvey
"Madina's Dream" (the fifth documentary feature from Andrew Berends) takes viewers all the way out to the Nuba Mountains in Sudan. The decades-long civil war between Sudan and South Sudan may have ended back in 2011, but inside the country, the battle still rages on. Berend's film follows the inhabitants of the Nuba Mountains, who are under a constant barrage of attacks from the Sudanese government (the instruments of war are so commonplace, that the children even mold toy models of RPGs and machine gun-mounted tanks out of clay). This unflinching look at a war-torn group of people focuses on Madina and her fervent dream to return home -- if only a pair of ruby slippers could do some magic here. What's your film about in 140 characters or less? "Madina's Dream" -- an unflinching, poetic glimpse into a forgotten war where refugees and rebels struggle to survive in Sudan's Nuba Mountains. »
- Rosie Narasaki
Now that the busy winter fest schedule of Sundance, Rotterdam and the Berlinale has concluded, we’ve now got our eyes on the likes of True/False and SXSW. While, True/False does not specialize in attention grabbing world premieres, it does provide a late winter haven for cream of the crop non-fiction fare from all the previously mentioned fests and a selection of overlooked genre blending films presented in a down home setting. This year will mark my first trip to the Columbia, Missouri based fest, where I hope to catch a little of everything, from their hush-hush secret screenings, to selections from their Neither/Nor series, this year featuring chimeric Polish cinema of decades past, to a spotlight of Adam Curtis’s incisive oeuvre. But truth be told, it is SXSW, with its slew of high profile world premieres being announced, such as Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs »
- Jordan M. Smith
Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in TrainwreckPhoto: Universal Pictures With Sundance just wrapping up and Berlin starting up in a few days, we are now immersed in the year-long barrage of film festivals. One such festival in South By Southwest. A few weeks back they announced the first seven films of their program, including the opening night film Brand: A Second Coming. Today, they have revealed the rest of the features to be shown in March (except for the midnight program), and some of it has me very excited. The bigger titles announced do not do much for me. Paul Feig's Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy, and the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart starrer Get Hard leave a lot to be desired in terms of anticipation, as does a work in progress cut of Judd Apatow's latest film Trainwreck. I'm guessing an Apatow work in progress is probably around three and a half hours. »
- Mike Shutt
South by Southwest, the multi-faceted film, music and technology festival held annually in Austin, TX will feature such upcoming films as Paul Feig’s Spy, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, and Ondi Timoner’s Russell Brand profile Brand: A Second Coming as headliners in this year’s film festival lineup.
SXSW runs from March 13 to 21 in Austin and is now in its 22nd year. Variety has details of the 145 films and 100 world premieres bowing at this year’s festival. Brand, as previously reported, will be the festival’s opening night film.
Other notable titles on the list are the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, a rough cut of Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, the directorial debut of 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland, Ex Machina, and a new comedy by Michael Showalter, Hello, My Name is Doris.
On the small screen, »
- Brian Welk
Top brass at the 22nd South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival have announced the feature line-up for the upcoming festival, set to run from March 13-21 in Austin, Texas.
SXSW will showcase 145 features. The line-up includes 60 films from first-time film-makers and comprises 100 world premieres, 13 North American premieres and 11 Us premieres.
Head of film Janet Pierson and her team of programmers culled selections from a record 2,385 feature-length submissions composed of 1,614 Us and 771 international features. The record of 7,335 total submissions marks a 13% gain on 2014.
For the first time the number of films in the juried Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature selections have risen from eight to ten. The complete Conference line-up and schedule will be released on February 17.
Besides the Narrative Feature Competition and Documentary Feature Competition selections listed below, feature entries include Judd Apatow’s work-in-progress comedy Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer in Special Events, music film 808 (pictured) in 24 Beats Per Second and Alex Garland’s sci-fi »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
South by Southwest will host gala premieres next month of Melissa McCarthy’s “Spy,” Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart starrer “Get Hard,” Brian Wilson biopic “Love and Mercy” and Alex Gibney’s documentary “Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine.”
SXSW, now in its 22nd year in Austin, Texas, unveiled its features lineup Tuesday with 145 films to be shown between March 13 and 21, including 100 world premieres, 13 North American premieres and 11 U.S. premieres. The festival announced last month that the Russell Brand documentary “Brand: A Second Coming” would be the opening night title.
Other notable titles include Jamie Babbit’s “Fresno,” Shannon Sun-Higginson’s “Gtfo: Get The F% Out,” Larry Charles’ documentary “The Comedians,” Alex Winter’s “Deep Web,” Ryan Gosling’s “Lost River, »
- Dave McNary
7 items from 2015
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