7 items from 2017
Raven's Home just keeps getting better and better.
"I'm Raven and this is my home. These are my twin babies, Booker and Mia, and things have gotten even crazier since my best friend, Chelsea, and her kid, Levi, moved in," Raven (Raven-Symone) narrates in the trailer, which features Anneliese Van der Pol, Isaac Ryan Brown, Navia Robinson, Jason Maybaum and Sky Katz. "Then there's Tess. She lives next door, but that doesn't stop her from acting like she owns the place."
"Day by day, drama by drama, dance party by dance party, we're doing our best to get by and get along. Sure, I can see the future, but I never »
“The Desert Bride”
Cecilia Atan’s documentary series “Madres de Plaza de Mayo, la Historia” was nominated for the International Emmy Awards. “The Sea,” her first short film, screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner in 2012. “The Desert Bride” is her first fiction feature film.
Valeria Pivato has worked as an assistant director, script supervisor, and casting director. In 2013, she won the Patagonik International Screenwriters Competition for “Before and After… and After Again.” “The Desert Bride” is also her first fiction feature film.
“The Desert Bride” (“La Novia del desierto”) will premiere at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival on May 25.
W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.
CA&VP: “The Desert Bride” is the story of Teresa, a 54-year-old woman who has worked for decades as a live-in maid in Buenos Aires. When the family sells the house, she is forced to take a job in the distant town of San Juan. Although uncomfortable with traveling, she embarks on a journey through the desert.
During her first stop, in the land of the miraculous Saint Correa, she loses her bag with all her belongings. This unexpected incident leads her to cross paths with El Gringo, a traveling salesman and the only one who can help Teresa find her bag. What seemed like the end of her world will ultimately prove her salvation.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
CA&VP: “The Desert Bride’s” script was born about five years ago. We wanted to explore the feminine world from a particular perspective: a woman whose life changes suddenly, at an age when reinventing herself does not seem possible in the world of today.
Live-in maids in Latin America work decades for families, but they are certainly not part of them. Teresa, our protagonist, is a woman who has dedicated her life to caring for a family and has not taken care of herself. She spent years refugee in her routine and in everything that is known to her.
The abrupt change of circumstances forces her to take a leap that she wouldn’t otherwise; this is the beginning of a new life.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
CA&VP: We hope that the audience jumps into the story and makes this journey with Teresa, and that they apply the transformation of the character to their own lives. We want them to forget about the real world for a while and return to it at the end of the film with an inspired smile.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
CA&VP: The film’s production model was not easy. Some creative aspirations weren’t exactly real possibilities, but every circumstance that seemed an obstacle slowly became a fortress.
A film is a living work, and transforming limitation into value is an important key of all creative processes. Each experience is unique, and we imagine that the next one will offer new obstacles that will become new strengths.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
CA&VP: Because “The Desert Bride” was our first movie, it was not easy to get financing. We worked almost five years to complete the budget.
In 2015, we won the First Feature Film Fund from Incaa (The Argentinian National Institute of Cinema). Because our project is an organic co-production, as [Chilean actress] Paulina García is our main character, we also applied for and received support from the Chilean National Fund. Then, closer to the shooting, we received a very important push by the government of San Juan province, Argentina, where we shot 80 percent of the film.
But, it is important for us to note that our film is not only the result of official funds from Argentina and Chile. It was possible thanks to a lot of people who helped us make our dream come true.
W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Cannes?
CA&VP: Being in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes marks the beginning of a new stage. We see it as a beautiful privilege and a projection of our future directorial careers.
W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?
CA&VP: The best advice came when we were discussing the film’s budget: “The worst movie is the one you haven’t made at all.”
We didn’t receive any terrible advice. From the beginning, we both tried to be as connected to the day-to-day process as possible. We wanted to make our own experience and learn lessons from inevitable obstacles.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
CA&VP: The advice we would give a female director is the same that we would give a male director: Despite the bustle of making a movie, try to be true to yourself and never lose sight of the heart of your story.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
CA&VP: One of the films that really touched us a couple of decades ago was Jane Campion’s “The Piano.” We were surprised by the relationship between the two main characters, how they meet each other and become closer in spite of their language and different cultures. All filmic elements — framing, light, art, costume, and music — gather to work as a perfect setting for this fine and subtle story.
We are very excited that she will be part of this year’s festival.
W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.
CA&VP: The participation of women at Cannes this year is a clear example of the progress of women in the film industry. We are optimistic about it.
Day by day, roles that women occupy, both in front of and behind the camera, increase thanks to their tireless struggle.
Cannes 2017 Women Directors: Meet Cecilia Atan and Valeria Pivato — “The Desert Bride” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Kelsey Moore
Broadway and film composer Stephen Schwartz received the Founders Award of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (Ascap) at its annual Screen Music Awards Tuesday night at Los Angeles’ historic Wiltern Theatre.
The “Wicked” and “Prince of Egypt” songwriter was praised as “a genius” by fellow songwriter Paul Williams, president and board chairman of the performing-rights organization, citing such classic songs as “Day by Day” from “Godspell” and “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas.”
Schwartz was serenaded by an eight-person chorus of younger Broadway songwriters who had been mentored by Schwartz over the years; they sang “For Good” from “Wicked.” Schwartz has served as artistic director for Ascap’s Musical Theatre workshop in New York and Los Angeles for more than 20 years.
Schwartz said Ascap “has always had my back as a songwriter, and has »
- Jon Burlingame
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Day by day, we’re beginning to form a clearer picture of Justice League, Zack Snyder’s long-awaited ensemble movie that’s due to cap off Warner’s superhero offerings for 2017 – after Wonder Woman makes her bow in June, of course.
With the finish line now firmly in sight, practically all of the film’s VFX shots have been completed – hence why the Powers That Be were able to cram in so many eye-popping action shots in the most recent Justice League trailer – just don’t hold your breath for Zack Snyder and Co. to announce the official runtime. One of the more complex elements of the superhero tentpole is Steppenwolf, the galactic menace to be played by Game of Thrones alum Ciarán Hinds. First teased at the tail-end of Batman V Superman, where Jesse Eisenberg »
- Michael Briers
Day by day, we’re beginning to get a better sense of what to expect from Stranger Things season 2. There’s the Eggos, the ’80s references, along with a whole new breed of supernatural horror, which together form part of Matt and Ross Duffer’s strategy of balancing the old with the new.
Yes, as much as the Duffer Brothers and executive producer Shawn Levy would like to keep a lid on things, excitement for the show’s Halloween return has spread like wildfire since the unveiling of Sunday’s Super Bowl trailer, and already we’ve caught wind of some of the weird and wonderful fan theories to appear online. Behind the scenes, Levy and the Duffer Brothers will leverage directing duties between them, but that doesn’t mean the show’s creative trio can’t call on help from other filmmakers. Per EW, Rebecca Thomas (Electrick Children) has »
- Michael Briers
Day by day, we’re beginning to get a closer look at DC’s finest as they’ll appear in November’s Justice League movie. First we had the action shots of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman rising from the depths, before director Zack Snyder shifted the focus over to Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader, with 3D renders and a conspicuous photo teasing the minor changes being made to that iconic Batsuit.
Next up, it’s the Flash’s turn to be placed under the spotlight – or, more specifically, the bustling metropolis he calls home. A seemingly innocuous Facebook post from the British Society of Cinematographers has confirmed that Central City, Barry Allen’s long-time stomping ground, will feature in Justice League after all.
First spotted by Comic Book, the image showcases cinematographer Fabian Wagner on set, and though a camera rig obscures the sign in the backdrop, it clearly reads Central City. »
- Michael Briers
Day by day, fans are beginning to get a better understanding of Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther solo movie. Of course, as the standalone pic makes its formative steps into production, much of the attention has been trained on the casting process – and rightly so, given the caliber of talent Marvel has been able to attract – but a new report from East Bay Times suggests that Coogler’s spinoff will harken back to T’Challa’s time in American education.
Citing a source within the California-based AC Transit public transportation agency, which has seemingly given Marvel Studios permission to use its old-school logo, Ebt claims that Black Panther will feature a flashback scene to 1990s America where Chadwick Boseman’s would-be king is attending Saint Mary’s College High School. All of this is yet to be confirmed, but given Coogler’s feature film is currently lensing in parts of Atlanta, »
- Michael Briers
7 items from 2017
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