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Asia-Euro Producer finalists revealed

  • ScreenDaily
Asia-Euro Producer finalists revealed
Finalists include five from Asia and five from Europe.

The 6th Ties That Bind: Asia - Europe Producers Workshop has announced ten finalists for this year – five from Asia and five from Europe.

The producers will work together on developing their projects over two events.

The first will take place during the Udine Far East Film Festival in Italy, April 29-May 3. The second, during the Busan International Film Festival (Oct 2-11).

Here are the finalists (further details below):

Karim Aitouna (France)

Women of the Weeping River, Hautlesmains Productions

Dir: Sheron Dayoc

Joenathann Alandy (Philippines)

Hypothalamus, Outpost Visual Frontier

Dir: Dwein Baltazar

Valérie Bournonville (Belgium)

Walkers, Tarantula

Dir: Olivier Meys

Weronika Czołnowska (Poland)

Baby, EasyBusyProductions

Dir: Kei Ishikawa

Antonin Dedet (France)

Black Stones, Neon Productions

Dir: Gyeong Tae Roh

Justin Deimen (Singapore)

Lanun, Silver Media Group

Dir: Chua Jingdu

Julius Ponten (Netherlands)

Fatu Adil, Habbekrats

Dir: Jim Taihuttu

Alina Yan Qui (China)

Mazu, Guardian of the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Asia-Euro Producers Workshop unveils finalists

  • ScreenDaily
Asia-Euro Producers Workshop unveils finalists
Finalists include five from Asia and five from Europe.

The 6th Ties That Bind: Asia - Europe Producers Workshop has announced ten finalists for this year – five from Asia and five from Europe.

The producers will work together on developing their projects over two events.

The first will take place during the Udine Far East Film Festival in Italy, April 29-May 3. The second, during the Busan International Film Festival (Oct 2-11).

Here are the finalists (further details below):

Karim Aitouna (France)

Women of the Weeping River, Hautlesmains Productions

Dir: Sheron Dayoc

Joenathann Alandy (Philippines)

Hypothalamus, Outpost Visual Frontier

Dir: Dwein Baltazar

Valérie Bournonville (Belgium)

Walkers, Tarantula

Dir: Olivier Meys

Weronika Czołnowska (Poland)

Baby, EasyBusyProductions

Dir: Kei Ishikawa

Antonin Dedet (France)

Black Stones, Neon Productions

Dir: Gyeong Tae Roh

Justin Deimen (Singapore)

Lanun, Silver Media Group

Dir: Chua Jingdu

Julius Ponten (Netherlands)

Fatu Adil, Habbekrats

Dir: Jim Taihuttu

Alina Yan Qui (China)

Mazu, Guardian of the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

LatinoBuzz: Mexico's Young Filmmakers Are Breaking Records and Pushing Boundaries

Mexico’s film industry broke records last year. Box office attendance reached an all-time high and due in part to increased public funding, local productions rose to more than 70 feature films. Yet, as is true in all of Latin America, Hollywood blockbusters edged out national films. Less than 10% of ticket sales were from Mexican movies. Still, there is much to be optimistic about. The amount of female filmmakers is on the rise along with increased budget allocations for state film financing. The vast majority of Mexican cinema is government funded (about 80%) and with more money comes greater opportunities for emerging artists to breakthrough. As part of this recent revival in Mexican cinematic production a new generation of directors have emerged, pushing boundaries, challenging stereotypes, and raising the international profile of Mexican films.

Carlos Reygadas

He didn’t start making films until he was in his thirties and remarkably his three feature films Japón, Batalla en el Cielo, and Luz Silenciosa (Silent Light) (Isa:Bac Films) all premiered at Cannes. His films deal with serious topics like love, spirituality, and death. And in the face of criticism, continues to defend his choice of depicting explicit sex scenes in Batalla en el Cielo and animal cruelty in Japón. His most recent feature is the much blogged about Post Tenebras Lux, an official selection at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Natalia Almada

She makes haunting, poetic, hypnotic and pensive documentaries. Her films have reached top-tier festivals like Sundance, Cannes, New Directors/New Films and have played at MoMA, The Guggenheim Museum and The Whitney Biennial. All Water Has a Perfect Memory, Al Otro Lado, El General, and her most recent film El Velador (The Night Watchman) are infused with her unique perspective. Coming from a bicultural family--she was born in Mexico to a Mexican father and American mother--she is able to highlight contradictions in both worlds using striking imagery and meditative silences.

Nicolás Pereda

Since 2007, he has proven to be a prolific artist, having directed five feature-length films: ¿Dónde están sus historias? (Where Are Their Stories?) (Isa:FIGa Films), Juntos (Together) (Isa:FIGa Films), Perpetuum Mobile (Isa:Ondamax Films), Todo en fin el silencio lo ocupaba (All Things Were Now Overtaken by Silence) (FIGa Films), and Verano de Goliat (Summer of Goliath) (Isa: FIGa FIlms). Pereda uses many of the same actors and characters in his films, including Gabino Rodriguez and Teresa Sanchez, who are not professional actors. He mixes fiction with documentary in fractured narratives that depict the absurdity that occurs in everyday life. Though only in his twenties he has had at least ten retrospectives of his films at cinemas and archives around the world. In 2010 his film Verano de Goliat (Summer of Goliath) was awarded the Orizzonti award for best film at the Venice Film Festival.

Jonás Cuarón

Son of the Academy Award nominated director Alfonso Cuarón, (Children of Men, Y tu mamá también) Jonás Cuarón stepped out of his father’s shadow and burst onto the scene with Año Uña (Year of the Nail).The film takes a year’s worth of photos Cuarón took of spontaneous everyday events, that he later assembled to create a fictional narrative. Using only still photos and the original subjects’ narration of events, the dialogue switches between English and Spanish, and the film between reality and fiction. The film’s opening explains that though the story is fictional, the people and the moments frozen in time by the photographs are very real.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Tartan's De Casto adds U.S. to portfolio

LONDON -- Tartan Films and Tartan USA owner and chairman Hamish McAlpine said Friday that Tartan Films managing director Laura De Casto will add oversight of Tartan USA to her current responsibilities here. De Casto will be managing director of Tartan's U.S. theatrical and home entertainment distribution outfit effective immediately and will primarily oversee the L.A. operation from the Tartan offices in London. Set up in July 2004, Tartan USA's releases to date include Oldboy, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu and Battle in Heaven.

Sundance Journal: Day 3

  • Star Gazing They are everywhere. In hotel lobbies, at the screenings and walking around the streets….it’s a little different when red carpets are replaced with tuqs, serpentine scarfs and boots that are knee high. Michel Gondry’s The Science of Sleep Read review here. Carlos ReygadasCarlos Reygadas
[/link]' Battle in Heaven (Batalla En El Cielo)Read review here. Nathaniel Hornblower’s Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That Read review here. ...
See full article at ioncinema »

Lee, Clooney on new list for non-Euro noms

Lee, Clooney on new list for non-Euro noms
COLOGNE -- Ang Lee's cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain and George Clooney's '50s era political drama Good Night, And Good Luck are among the nominees disclosed Tuesday for Best Non-European Film at the European Film Awards. The European Film Academy also announced nominations for Jim Jarmusch's sardonic comedy Broken Flowers and Paul Higgis' Crash, an unblinking look at race relations in Los Angeles. Other nominees include Fernando Meirelles' adaptation of John le Carre's The Constant Gardener; Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee's coming-of-age feature C.R.A.Z.Y.; Sarah Watt's Aussie drama Look Both Ways; Gavin Hood's Tsotsi, an expose of South African gang life; and Carlos Reygadas' sexually explicit Cannes competition entry Battle In Heaven.

'Broken Flowers' in San Sebastian sidebar

'Broken Flowers' in San Sebastian sidebar
MADRID -- The 53rd annual San Sebastian International Film Festival announced Friday that it has brought together 12 favorites of the past festival season for its Zabaltegi-Festival Top sidebar. The section includes Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers and Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know. Other films included are: Woody Allen's Match Point, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato's Inside Deep Throat, Hany Abu-Assad's Paradise Now and Carlos Reygadas' Batalla en el Cielo. Abel Ferrara's Mary will open the event.

Battle in Heaven (Batalla en el Cielo)

Battle in Heaven (Batalla en el Cielo)
Carlos Reygades' Batalla en el Cielo was one of the highly touted Competition film as the Festival de Cannes got under way, but it proves to be a disappointing turn-off. The film deliberately works against most cinematic expectations.

Actors -- or to be accurate, nonactors -- do not even try to communicate any meaning. Scenes are drained of emotions. The cityscape of modern-day Mexico City is observed with documentarylike scrutiny but without any particular point of view.

Batalla en el Cielo -- or Battle in Heaven -- may win more festival dates, but despite the inclusion of graphic though unerotic sex scenes it will be tough to find an audience for a film so determined to puzzle and annoy but not to enlighten.

The movie opens with a scene of fellatio involving a young, attractive woman and an overweight, older and unattractive man. We later learn that Marcos (Marcos Hernandez) works for Ana's father and has been her chauffeur since she was in grade school. Ana (Anapola Mushkadiz) works in a brothel, less for the money, which she clearly does not need, than for the need or thrill of prostituting herself.

Marcos and his doltish wife (Berta Ruiz) have apparently kidnapped the baby of a friend for ransom but the infant has accidentally died. Marcos confesses this to Ana, which he says makes him feel better. Hard to tell though since Reygadas has actors deliver lines in monotones while posed compositionally in awkward and unrealistic postures. The exception is Mushkadiz, who is allowed to act naturally.

The scenes between Marcos and his wife are the stiffest in the film. Their lovemaking scene challenges us not to feel sorry for the actors.

Diego Martinez Vignatti's camera often holds a single static angle for awhile, yet other times indulges in hey-look-at-me tracking shots and one 360-degree panorama of the city. Reygadas ratchets up ambient sounds sometimes to ear-splitting noise levels. Source music ranging from pop to liturgical is often designed to clash with a particular scene.

The strongest character is Mexico City itself. Shot on gray days or with overexposure, the city comes off as soulless as the other personalities in the movie only its congestion, pollution and noise seem to induce a zombielike insanity in the characters.

Catholic and Christian symbols and paintings are everywhere, but religion seems to have no impact on the amoral fools that populate this film.

The act of violence that serves as a climax is as senseless as everything that has gone before it. The movie ends where it began with a final shot of the fellatio artist doing what she does best.

BATALLA EN EL CIELO

BAC Films

Credits: Writer/director: Carlos Reygadas; Producers: Philippe Bober, Carlos Reygadas, Jaime Romandia, Susanne Marian; Director of photography: Diego Martinez Vignatti; Editors: Benjamin Mirguet, Adoracion G. Elipe, Nicolas Schmerkin. Cast: Marcos: Marcos Hernandez; Ana: Anapola Mushkadiz; Marcos' wife: Berta Ruiz; David: David Bornstein; Viky: Rosalinda Ramirez.

No MPAA rating, running time 98 minutes.

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