Michael Rowe (VII) - News Poster


Michael Rowe Scores Los Cabos Double Win With ‘Alicia’

Michael Rowe Scores Los Cabos Double Win With ‘Alicia’
Mexico-based Michael Rowe, who leapt to notice winning the Cannes Festival’s Camera d’Or for his debut, “Leap Year,” scored double this weekend with his new feature, “Alicia,” winning a development award and Ctt Exp & Rentals Award from the festival’s Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund.

“Alicia,” Rowe’s fourth feature, was one of only two titles, with Julio Hernandez Cordon’s “Comprame un Revolver,” which won more than a single plaudit from the fund, which mixes straight cash with awards in services from Mexican companies.

Written by Rowe and Montserrat Varela, “Alicia” turns on a 14-year-old girl who lives with her grandmother and estranged mom and suffers from severe sexual repression. Then, one day in the subway, a casual sexual encounter acts like it releases a genie in a bottle, initiating Alicia’s exploration of her identity and a plunge into extreme sexuality, Rowe told Variety.

Alexander de Graaf,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Bali Festival Awards Prizes to ‘Eddie the Eagle,’ ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’

Bali Festival Awards Prizes to ‘Eddie the Eagle,’ ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’
Dexter Fletcher’s “Eddie the Eagle” was named as the best international feature by audiences at the 10th edition of the Bali International Film Festival in Indonesia. Better known as the “Balinale,” the festival wrapped up on Friday (Sept. 30.)

New Zealand drama “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” by Taika Waititi was picked as the best overall film and “indie Movies,” a feature length omnibus film was picked as the best Indonesian film.

“Daughters of the Forest” by U.S. director Samantha Grant was named as the best documentary. And a juried selection gave a further prize to Michael Rowe’s “Early Winter.”

The festival, organized under the principles of “no boundaries, no limits to creativity or the means of expression,” screened 20 features, 13 documentaries and 69 short films.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Early Winter set for theatrical release in October

  • IF.com.au
Early Winter.

Michael Rowe.s Early Winter will have an Australian theatrical run beginning October 13, thanks to Rialto Entertainment. . Early Winter, an Australian-Canadian co-production, follows the middle-aged David, (Paul Doucet) who works as a janitor in a retirement home, as he begins to suspect his younger wife Maya (Suzanne Clement) of having an affair. . Though Early Winter is set in Quebec, writer-director Rowe is said to have drawn on experiences from his former life in Ballarat for the film, particularly scenes depicting life in aged care facilities. Early Winter won the Venice Days Award at the Venice Film Festival last year and is currently in competition for the upcoming Aacta Awards. Rowe, who now calls Mexico home, also won the prestigious Caméra d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 for his film Leap Year. .Both Early Winter and Leap Year are exemplars of Michael Rowe.s filmmaking philosophy using his
See full article at IF.com.au »

Ventana Sur: Latin American cinema on the march

  • ScreenDaily
Ventana Sur: Latin American cinema on the march
Previewing the annual Latin American sales jamboree

Glance at the current profile of foreign-language Oscar contenders and the winners’ roster at major international festivals this year and the march of Latin American cinema in 2015 is clear for all to see.

César Augusto Acevedo’s Land And Shade and Ciro Guerra’s The Embrace Of The Serpent, the newly minted Indie Spirit nominee, earned four awards in Cannes, while Jayro Bustamante’s Guatemala-France drama Ixcanul took honours in Berlin.

Add to that list El Clan, the Argentinian thriller that earned Pablo Trapero a Silver Lion in Venice, and producers, sale agents and festival programmers heading to Buenos Aires for Ventana Sur (November 30-December 4) have reason to be cheerful.

“What we have seen is more and more attention for Latin American films,” says Jerome Paillard, executive co-director of Ventana Sur, a collaboration between Argentina’s Incaa film promotion body and Cannes (Paillard also serves as executive director of the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Venice prizes for two Oz films

Two Australian-produced films with very different takes on romance have won prizes at the Venice Film Festival and the parallel Venice Days.

Tanna, Bentley Dean and Martin Butler.s saga of forbidden love, was voted best film in the Critics Week section, where it also took the award for Dean.s cinematography.

Michael Rowe.s relationships drama Early Winter won the Venice Days Award, the top prize in Venice.s independently run section, given by a jury of 28 young European buffs, presided by French director Laurent Cantet.

The €20,000 ($A32,000) Venice Days award is shared by Rowe and the international distributor, Eric Lagesse.s Pyramide, who is selling the film at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Early Winter producer Trish Lake tells If, .Eric is confident about some good sales to come on the strength of interest so far, heightened by the Venice Days win.. It is a much needed prize
See full article at IF.com.au »

Michael Rowe-Directed Drama ‘Early Winter’ Wins Venice Days Award

Michael Rowe-Directed Drama ‘Early Winter’ Wins Venice Days Award
Venice- Australian-born, Mexico-based auteur Michael Rowe’s relationship drama “Early Winter” has scooped the Venice Days Award, the top nod in Venice’s independently run section, given by a jury of twenty-eight young European buffs, presided by French director Laurent Cantet. In “Winter” the middle-aged David (Paul Doucet) works as a janitor in a retirement home, while his younger wife, Maya (Suzanne Clement) is wrapped in a world of technology that he cannot understand. Pic is being sold internationally by France’s Pyramide International. Rowe is know for “Leap Year,” which won the 2010 Camera d’Or award in Cannes. The Venice Days award includes a cash prize of Euros 20,000 to be split equally between the filmmaker and the film’s international distributor who agrees to use the sum received to promote the winning film internationally.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Early Winter' wins Venice Days top prize

'Early Winter' wins Venice Days top prize
Venice Days winners also include As I Open My Eyes, Lolo and Arianna.

Venice Days, the independently run strand of Venice Film Festival, has revealed its winners for 2015, with Michael Rowe’s Early Winter taking the top prize, the Venice Days Award, which comes with a $22,500 (€20,000) prize.

Early Winter, an Australian-Canadian co-production, stars Paul Doucet and Suzanne Clément as a couple in the throes of martrimonial disharmony.

Others winners announced in Venice today include Leyla Bouzid’s As I Open My Eyes (A Peine J’Ouvre Les Yeux), which won the Best European Film award, selected by a jury of European exhibitors, and will now go on to receive promotional support from Europa Cinemas and an EU financial incentive for network cinemas to include it in programming. The film also won the Bnl people’s choice award.

The Fedora prizes, selected by a jury of European film critics headed by Dubravka Lakic, was awarded
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Michael Rowe's Early Winter to premiere in Venice

  • IF.com.au
Australian director, Michael Rowe's new film Early Winter will have its world premiere today at the Venice Film Festival.

The film.s Australian producer Trish Lake is in Venice with Rowe and the two lead actors, Suzanne Clément (winner of the Un Certain Regard . Best Actress award at Cannes in 2012 for her role in Xavier Dolan.s Laurence Anyways) and Canadian actor Paul Doucet.

Lake said to be in Venice with such an international co-production between Canada and Australia at Venice Days was very exciting..

"There is already strong word of mouth on the film - a real buzz about it in the festival," she said..

"There were more than a hundred 100 media representatives who attended the first day.s press screening and, from what I understand, that is something of a record number for the first day of a Venice Days press screening.

.The fact that we have an Australian writer-director,
See full article at IF.com.au »

15 Films That Could Become Mexico's Oscar Entry

Countries around the world have slowly begun announcing their official submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award or shortlists of films that are being considered for the distinction. In the case of Mexico there is no clear candidate for the Mexican Academy to select this year, which leaves an open field of diverse films from the art house and commercial realms.

Undoubtedly, the best Mexican film audiences around the world, and in Mexico itself, have had the chance to see in 2015 is Alonso Ruiz PalaciosGüeros,” and some have even speculated that the black-and-white love letter to Mexico City could become the country’s Oscar candidate and even be among the favorites. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t qualify because it was considered to become the official entry last year, when it lost the opportunity to represent Mexico to the financially successful biopic “Cantinflas.” Ruiz Palacios' film would go on to win five Ariel Awards (Mexican Academy Awards) including Best Film and Best Director. It’s in fact the best choice, yet it simply can’t be anymore.

Each year the Mexican Academy sends out a call for entries for filmmakers and producers to submit their films. The organization will only consider those films that are entered by their respective creators, which means that even if a film qualifies if it’s not submitted it won’t be considered. The submission period is over now and the Mexican Academy will announce a list of films competing to represent the nation at the Oscars and the Spanish Goya’s in the upcoming days. Even without a gem like “Güeros” there are still other likely choices and many others that don’t stand a chance against the world-class works that will be send from across the globe. Commercial successes like “A la Mala,” “Tiempos Felices” or “Visitantes” will have a hard time finding support, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are entered to be in the running anyway.

After looking carefully at release dates, festivals, last year’s films in competition, and having seen several of them, here is a list of 15 films that look like reasonable choices to represent the Mexican film industry at Hollywood’s most prestigious award show. Let’s see how many of these are actually on the official list.

"600 Millas" (600 Miles)

Dir. Gabriel Ripstein

Winner of the Best First Feature at this year’s Berlinale and starring Tim Roth, Gabriel Ripstein’s gun trafficking drama is a gritty and powerful statement about one of the numerous complex issues afflicting both Mexico and the U.S. However, giving the duality it deals with, the film is partially in English, which could become a tricky problem when deciding if it can compete as a foreign language work or not. Furthermore, “600 Miles” hasn’t had a theatrical release in Mexico yet, something that AMPAS requires for a film to qualify. If selected a one-week qualifying run would be mandatory.

"Alicia en el País de Maria" (Alice in Marialand)

Dir. Jesús Magaña Vázquez

Starring Stephanie Sigman ("Spectre") and Uruguayan-born actress Barbara Mori, this highly stylized romantic fantasy follows a love triangle between reality and a strange dreamland. This is Magaña Vázquez highest profile film to date and premiered at the Guadalajara International Film Festival earlier this year. It’s non-linear narrative and the fact that it hasn’t screen much outside its homeland might play against it, but it’s still appears to be an interesting choice. The film opens August 28 in Mexico.

"Carmín Tropical"

Dir. Rigoberto Pérezcano

A personal favorite from what I’ve seen and one of the strongest candidates on this list, “Carmin Tropical” tells the story of Mabel, a “muxe” or physical male who lives as a woman, who returns to her hometown to investigate the death of her estranged best friend, also a "muxe." After winning the highest award at the Morelia International Film Festival, the film has gone to screen in festivals around the world including Outfest Los Angeles and the Sarajevo Film Festival. Added to this, Pérezcano’s work earned him the Ariel Award for Best Original Screenplay at this year’s ceremony. Its relevant ideas regarding gender identity and hate crimes could give it some traction.

"Club Sandwich"

Dir. Fernando Eimbcke

While Fernando Eimbcke’s most recent indie has been around since 2013 in the festival circuit, the film was not considered last year to become the country’s entry as it only open theatrically in Mexico last November. Given these facts this delightful comedy technically qualifies, though it’s hard to say if the filmmaker will pursue the candidacy. “Club Sandwich” uses deadpan charm to explore the relationship between a teenage boy and his mother while on vacation yo a beachside town. The film screened during last year’s Los Angeles Film Festival.

"Las Elegidas" (The Chosen Ones)

Dir. David Pablos

This is the obvious heavyweight at least on paper. In recent years Mexican films that were selected to participate in the Cannes Film Festival have become ideal selections for Oscar consideration. Carlos ReygadasSilent Light,” Gerardo Naranjo’s “Miss Bala,” Michel Franco’s “After Lucia,” and Amat Escalante’s “Heli,” represented the country in their respective years. Despite being highly regarded internationally, these type of hyperrealist art house films have failed to garner a nomination from AMPAS, which could mean the Mexican Academy might want to look towards more commercial projects like they did last year. Pablos' film is similar to some of the aforementioned titles in terms of the crude realities they depict. Reviews were mostly positive and the film could definitely continue with the Cannes-to-Oscar pattern, but might prove another hard sale for Academy voters. “Las Elegidas” still hasn’t open theatrically in Mexico.

"Elvira, Te Dariá Mi Vida Pero La Estoy Usando" (Elvira, I'd Give You My Life But I'm Using It)

Dir. Manolo Caro

A sophisticated romantic dramedy starring two of Mexico’s most prolific actors Cecilia Suarez and Luis Gerardo Mendez (Netflix’ “Club de Cuervos”), the film represents a departure for filmmaker Manolo Caro from the more conventional romantic comedies he’s done in the past. When Elvira’s husband goes missing she embarks on a search to find him, even if the outcome of her quest is not what she expects her devotion is unwavering. The film had its U.S. premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June and it’s opening in Mexico this weekend.

"Estrellas Solitarias" (Lonely Stars)

Dir. Fernando Urdapilleta

By far the most unconventional choice, this irreverent comedy about dreams of stardom focuses on a pair of transvestites hoping to get their big break while working in a dingy and unglamorous bar. Music plays a big role in Fernando Urdapilleta’s sophomore feature, which shines a light on characters rarely seen in Mexican cinema. Produced by the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica the film has screened around the country and competed for the Maguey Award to Lgbt films at the 30th edition of Guadalajara International Film Festival (Ficg).


Dir. Christian Keller

Working from a screenplay by Sabina Berman, Swiss filmmaker Christian Keller crafted a searing biopic about one of Mexico’s most iconic pop stars, Gloria Trevi, and her tumultuous career. The film took audiences and critics by surprise mainly because of the authenticity brought to it by the young actress Sofia Espinosa, who truly embodied Trevi’s outrageous personality and commanding stage presence. “Gloria” opened in Mexico back in February and it screened at SXSW in Austin last March. It’s also the only film in the list that has already had a U.S. theatrical release, which has handled by Picturehouse. This would definitely be a divisive selection given that Gloria is not widely known in the English-speaking world.

"La Guerra de Manuela Jankovic" (Manuela Jankovic's War)

Dir. Diana Cardozo

Nominated for 3 Ariel Awards including Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress this year, this peculiar drama opened late last year and hasn’t travel much internationally. Set in the early 90s the film deals with Manuela, a middle-aged woman who must take care of her bitter Serbian grandmother who escaped to Mexico during World War II. Beautifully executed and acted the film is a sleeper that could actually be an ideal choice given its unique premise and approach. Stories about the Eastern European community in Mexico have rarely been explored in film.


Dir. Andres Clariond

Dealing with classicism within Mexican society, this Audience Award-winning film at the last Morelia Film Festival paints a disturbing picture about the divide between the elite and the working class. Starring Veronica Langer as Mrs. Le Marchand, a wealthy woman depressed due to her unfulfilled ambitions, the film is a psychological drama with darkly comedic undertones. When Hilda (Adriana Paz) a new housemaid is hired, Le Marchand’s obsessive behavior unravels. Andres Clariond’s debut feature is based on a French play by Marie Ndiaye, the filmmaker certainly found parallels between the playwright’s work and his homeland. “Hilda” will open in Mexico in early September.

"Las Horas Contigo" (The Hours With You)

Dir. Catalina Aguilar Mastretta

This endearing dram about a young woman coming to terms with her grandmother’s imminent death has been a quiet success since it’s premiere at the 2014 Ficg where it won the Best Director award for debutant Catalina Aguilar Mastretta. “Las Horas Contigo” was nominated for three Ariel Awards winning the Best Supporting Actress statuette for veteran thespian Isela Vega. The film’s U.S. premiere took place during the 4th edition of Ficg in La and was also part of the Latin Cinema section at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. It’s a well-made film that offers a handful of moving moments that could resonate with voters, though in my opinion it’s a bit slight.

"Manto Acuífero" ( The Well)

Dir. Michael Rowe

Australian filmmaker Michael Rowe, who has made a career working in Mexico, received great acclaim and accolades for his debut feature “Año Bisiesto,” including the Camera d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival. “Manto Acuífero,” his sophomore effort, premiered at the Rome Film Festival in 2013 and was produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna’s Canana. Centered on a young girl dealing with troubling situations at home, the film also screened at the Morelia Film Festival. Its theatrical release didn’t happen until November of last year, which based on AMPAS rules qualifies it for consideration. “Manto Acuífero” was not considered last year.

"El Más Buscasdo" (Mexican Gangster)

Dir. José Manuel Cravioto

By far the most commercial and most expensive-looking film on the list, this action tale revolves around a bank robber whose alter ego is a mysterious masked singer. Jose Manuel Cravioto’s narrative debut stars Tenoch Huerta (“Güeros”) as skillful criminal Alfredo Rios Galeana and as al El Charro Misterioso, the elusive and talented performer. Set in the 1980s “El Más Buscado” showcases costumes, production design, and music from that period in a Robin Hood-like story of a unique antihero. The film screened in L.A. as part of the Hola Mexico Film Festival back in May but other than that lacks noticeable international presence.

"Las Oscuras Primaveras" (The Obscure Spring)

Dir. Ernesto Contreras

Moody and darkly sensual, this intense drama from director Ernesto Contreras won the Knight Competition Grand Jury Prize as well as the Best Performance Grand Jury Prize and the Miami International Film Festival. Cecilia Suarez and Jose Maria Yazpik star as a childless married couple whose relationship is threaten when he starts having a steamy affair with a lonely single mother in need of companionship. “Las Oscuras Primaveras” also received three Ariel Awards at the most recent ceremony for Best Editing, Best Sound, and Best Original Score.

"La Tirisia" (Perpetual Sadness)

Dir. Jorge Pérez Solano

Last but definitely not least, the one film that, in this writer’s opinion, is the best opinion from the pack. Jose Perez Solano’s poetic feature follows two women in a remote community who have to choose between their children and their partner in a chauvinist society. The beauty and authenticity of “La Tirisia” have connected with audiences and juries from diverse backgrounds. Karlovy Vary, Palm Springs, Thessaloniki, Chicago, and Guadalajara were a few of the festivals that screened the film where it often was awarded prizes for its director and cast. Actress Adriana Paz (“Hilda”) won the Ariel Award for Best Actress for her work in the film, while Noé Hernandez took home the award for Best Supporting Actor. It’s art house roots and segmented narrative might work against it, but if voters at the Mexican Academy can look past that, this might be the one to bet on.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Venice premieres for three Oz films

Michael Rowe.s Early Winter, Simon Stone.s The Daughter and Bentley Dean and Martin Butler.s Tanna will be launched internationally at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival in September.

A Canadian/Australian co-production starring Paul Doucet and Suzanne Clément, Early Winter (formerly Rest Home) will have its world premiere in the Venice Days sidebar.

The first English-language film from Mexican-based writer-director Rowe (Leap Year; The Well), the Montreal-shot psychological drama follows a janitor in a retirement home whose life spirals out of control when he catches his wife with a lover, pushing him to the brink of insanity.

Pyramide International is handling international sales and releasing in France, Rialto will distribute in Australia/New Zealand and Mongrel Media/Film Option in Canada.

.Pyramide will be selling in Venice and then at Toronto,. Freshwater Pictures. Trish Lake, who produced with Serge Noël.s Possibles Média, tells If. .There are
See full article at IF.com.au »

Momentum builds for Oz Transparency Project

Support is growing among producers, state agencies and sales agents for a proposal to create a scheme to share information on local films. global revenues modelled on the Sundance Transparency Project.

The scheme would enable Australian filmmakers to compare their work to similar films, identify all potential revenue streams and the distribution costs involved, and gauge how B.O. grosses co-relate to VOD and other online platforms.

However some advocates say commercial confidentiality and the reluctance of producers to share data on under-performing films may be stumbling blocks.

.The proposal has merits and Screen Producers Australia is supportive in principle, but obviously the supply of any commercially sensitive data is clearly a matter for individual businesses to consider," Spa CEO Matthew Deaner tells If. Screen industry consultant Julie Marlow said, .I think in principle it's a great idea, but we'd have to factor in the variables particular to our industry - working with government money,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Call for greater transparency in screen industry

The Australian screen industry should set up a scheme to share information on local films. global revenues modelled on the Sundance Transparency Project.

The scheme would enable Australian filmmakers to compare their work to similar films, identify all potential revenue streams and the distribution costs involved, and to guage how B.O. grosses co-relate to VOD and other online platforms.

The proposal has been floated by David Court, founding head of the Aftrs Centre for Screen Business, and producer Andrea Buck, a recent Aftrs Masters graduate.

The idea is being received enthusiastically by producers, directors,. distributors and federal and state agencies polled by If, with some caveats.

In the Us nearly 100 films, all budgeted below $US7 million and released from 2012 onwards, have submitted data to the Transparency Project website, a non-profit unit which launched in January.

.Filmmakers have few past films to guide them and limited capacity to gather the
See full article at IF.com.au »

Latin Beat: Netflix Award Helps Mexican Cinema

Netflix is constantly growing in Latin America, and while in Mexico the catalog is still nowhere as big as the North American one, several hotly anticipated TV series, such as Better Call Saul and House of Cards, are greatly helping in order to have more Mexican users. Now Netflix has launched a contest to support Mexican independent cinema, offering a one-year contract to two films to be available on the platform internationally. There are 10 Mexican films competing to become one of the two lucky ones that will be part of Netflix for a full year, reaching audiences that otherwise they wouldn't. The ten films are the following: 12 Segundos by Nenneth Müller Año Bisiesto by Michael Rowe Diente por Diente by Miguel Bonilla El...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2015: #59. Michael Rowe’s Rest Home

Rest Home

Director: Michael Rowe// Writer: Michael Rowe

We’ve been a champion of Michael Rowe, an Australian filmmaker living in Mexico, since his 2010 debut Leap Year, which snagged him the Camera D’or at Cannes. Since then, his 2013 sophomore effort, The Well, premiered at the Rome Film Festival and is currently without Us distribution. His latest project, Rest Home, was long supposed to star Melissa George, who has since dropped out and was recently replaced by Xavier Dolan muse Suzanne Clement. The psychological drama, which follows a security guard in a retirement home whose life spirals out of control when he catches his wife with a lover, pushing him to the brink of insanity.

Cast: Suzanne Clement, Paul Doucet

Producers: Freshwater PicturesTrish Lake, Possibles Media’s Serge Noel

U.S. Distributor: Rights available

Release Date: Filming began in Montreal this November, so we’re hoping to see this
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Home, Not So Sweet, Home; Dolan Muse Suzanne Clément Toplines Michael Rowe’s “Rest Home”

Australian-Mexican helmer Michael Rowe has selected the city of Montreal as the backdrop and has chosen Xavier Dolan muse Suzanne Clément to share the lead in his third feature film. A Cannes Film Fest type reunion for the director and actress (both won awards with films that played in Cannes), Rest Home will be both Rowe and Clément’s debut in the English language. She shares the screen with fellow Quebecois thesp Paul Doucet. Lensing began last week. Possibles Média and Fresh Water Pictures are producing.

Gist: David (Doucet) works days and nights as a guard in a retirement home. He dotes on his children, his wife (Clément) lives a care-free existence and keeps the wheels of his life turning with painkillers. But when he catches her with a lover, his life spirals out of control, taking him to the brink of insanity.

Worth Noting: Xavier Dolan’s Mommy (where
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Michael Rowe's Rest Home rolls in Montreal

Cannes Film Festival best actress winner Suzanne Clément and Canadian Paul Doucet are starring in Rest Home, Australian filmmaker Michael Rowe.s first English-language film.

The psychological drama, which follows a security guard in a retirement home whose life spirals out of control when he catches his wife with a lover, pushing him to the brink of insanity, is shooting in Montreal.

It.s a Canadian-Australian co-production between Serge Noël.s Possibles Média and Trish Lake.s Freshwater Pictures, with investment from Screen Australia and Quebec.s Sodec fund.

Rowe has lived in Mexico City since he landed there 20 years ago when he was 23 with $76 in his wallet, motivated by what he drily terms as a mixture of .youth and stupidity..

Año Bisiesto (Leap Year), his zero-budget drama shot entirely in a shabby apartment in Mexico City in 17 days, won the Caméra d'Or prize for best first feature at the 2010 Cannes festival.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Four-year funding pledged for Miff Premiere Fund

Victoria's Napthine Coalition Government has agreed to invest $3.8 million in the Melbourne International Film Festival.s (Miff) Premiere Fund over the next four years.

The announcement in the lead-up to the state election this Saturday has been widely welcomed by filmmakers and distributors.

.I strongly believe our industry in Victoria and Miff is elevated by the significant opportunities the Miff Premiere Fund provides," said Seph McKenna, head of Australian Production at Roadshow Films, which released the fund-supported Bran Nue Dae, These Final Hours and the upcoming Paper Planes.

Lizzette Atkins, who produced Sue Brooks. Looking for Grace starring Richard Roxburgh and Radha Mitchell with the fund.s assistance, said, .It is imperative for the state of filmmaking in Victoria that both the Miff Premiere Fund and Miff 37ºSouth Market continue to thrive..

Since taking office in December 2010, the Coalition Government has committed more than $9.5 million to Miff for the festival,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Screen Aus simplifies co-pro guidelines

Screen Australia has responded to industry concerns that the rules for official co-productions are overly complex and inflexible.

CEO Graeme Mason has unveiled revised Australian International Co-production Program guidelines which he described as simpler and more streamlined.

And Mason signalled he will initiate discussions at next month.s Screen Forever Conference Open Policy Forum to make further improvements to the guidelines, including the best way for the agency to assess Australian creative contribution.

At present those elements are measured in two ways: a points test of Australian personnel, and by calculating the Australian spends. Mason said, .We are exploring ways to do this better, but changing our approach to assessing creative contribution will have many implications so we will need to take more time and consult with industry about the options..

Among the major revisions, the application requirements for provisional approval have been relaxed, enabling projects to be submitted for
See full article at IF.com.au »

RioFest unveils Focus Mexico

  • ScreenDaily
RioFest unveils Focus Mexico
Top brass at the festival, set to run from September 24-October 8, have announced the selections in Focus Mexico.

The films are as follows:

Focus Mexico

The Obscure Spring (Las Oscuras Primaveras)

Ernesto Contreras

Manuela Jankovic’s War (La Guerra De Manuela Jankovic)

Diana Cardozo


Christian Díaz Pardo


Marcelo Tobar

The Absent (Los Ausentes)

Nicolás Pereda


Gabriel Nuncio

We Are Mari Pepa (Somos Mari Pepa)

Samuel Kishi

The Well (Manto Acuífero)

Michael Rowe


Alonso Ruizpalacios


Sebastian del Amo

Los Angeles

Damian John Harper

The Amazing Catfish (Los Insólitos Peces Gato)

Claudia Sainte-Luce

The Empty Hours (Las Horas Muertas)

Aaron Fernandez.

Panorama section

Words With Gods (Palabras Con Dioses)

Guillermo Arriaga, Héctor Babenco, Warwick Thornton, Mira Nair, Hideo Nakata, Amos Gitai, Álex de la Iglesia, Emir Kusturica, Bahman Ghobadi

Short Plays

Daniel Gruener, Carlos Reygadas, Fernando Eimbcke, Felipe Gómez, Alejandro Valle, Karim Aïnouz, Marcelo Gomes, Pablo Fendrik, Pablo Stoll, [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Producers urged to avoid the middle ground

Go big or go small- just avoid the middle ground in Australian film budgets.

That approach is being advocated by some industry executives and producers in response to the global trend which sees many mid-level films being marginalised.

.In light of the recent flight of the indie audiences in Australia and worldwide and the fact that indie films are struggling in the cinematic marketplace, there will be an increasing bifurcation of the production landscape,. predicts Safc CEO Richard Harris.

.There has long been a discussion about what has been dubbed the .dead zone. for feature films, somewhere between $5m-$15m.

.Some Australian producers will continue to see cinema as the main game for their film and therefore they will think about their budget in terms of competing in what is an increasingly difficult theatrical space.

.Others, however, will be . or in many cases already are . thinking about making their film
See full article at IF.com.au »
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