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Cannes Film Review: ‘Out’

Cannes Film Review: ‘Out’
Like an Eastern European Candide, a downsized Slovak power-plant engineer leaves for Latvia, pursuing a dream of a better job and good fishing in the absurdist picaresque “Out,” from feature debutant György Kristóf, who like his protagonist is an ethnic Hungarian Slovak. Although a tad lacking in dramatic oomph, the smartly stylized episodic tale is crammed full of oddball characters and boasts a deeply sympathetic turn from Hungarian actor Sándor Terhes as the protagonist, who sets out on his odyssey with barely more than schoolboy Russian and a vintage fishing pole. Fests most definitely should bite; sales agent Cercamon is closing on several Asian territories and following up on interest from European distributors.

Embracing the opportunity to go out into the world, naïve, fiftysomething Ágoston (Terhes, who has a minor role in competition title “Jupiter’s Moon”) leaves his stoic wife (Éva Bandor) and university student daughter (Judit Bárdos) for
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Toronto Film:"American Gods", "Flatliners", "Taken"

  • SneakPeek
Thanks to TorontoFilm.Net here is the Toronto Film Production Update for September 2016, including "American Gods", "Flatliners", "Taken" and a whole lot more:

Click Here To Register With A Toronto Extras Agent

Alias Grace

Mini Series

Halfire Entertainment

Prod.: Sarah Polley, DJ Carson

Dir.: Mary Harron

Aug 15 - Nov 15/16

American Gods

TV Series

Fremantle / Starz Network

Exec. Prod.: Bryan Fuller,

Michael Green, Neil Gaiman

Dir.: David Slade & Various

Anon

Feature

Anon Film Prods. Canada Inc.

Prod.: Dan Bekerman

Dir.: Andrew Niccol

Jul 11 - Aug 26/16

Baroness Von Sketch Show

Season 2

TV Series

Bvss 2 Productions Ontario Inc. / Frantic Films

Prod.: Graham Ludlow, Jeff Peeler

Exec.Prod.: Jamie Brown, Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne, Jennifer Whalen

Dir.: Yael Staav

Sep 12 - Oct 28/16

Bruno & Boots II And III

TV Movie (2)

Aircraft Pictures

Prod.: Anthony Leo, Andrew Rosen

Dir.: Vivieno Caldinelli

Jul 22 -
See full article at SneakPeek »

Toronto Film: "Taken", "Flatliners", "People Of Earth"

Thanks to TorontoFilm.Net here is the Toronto Film Production Update for August 2016, including "Taken", "Flatliners", "People Of Earth" and a whole lot more:

Click Here To List With A Toronto Agent

Alias Grace

Mini Series

Halfire Entertainment

Prod.: Sarah Polley, DJ Carson

Dir.: Mary Harron

Aug 15 - Nov 15/16

American Gods

TV Series

Fremantle / Starz Network

Exec. Prod.: Bryan Fuller,

Michael Green, Neil Gaiman

Dir.: David Slade & Various

Mar. 14 – Sep 30/16

Anon

Feature

Anon Film Prods. Canada Inc.

Prod.: Dan Bekerman

Dir.: Andrew Niccol

Backstage

Season 2

TV Series

Fresh TV

Prod.: Brian Campbell

Exec. Prod.: Brian Irving,

Lara Azzopardi

Dir.: Mario Azzopardi,

Wendy Morgan, Director X, Rt!,

Warren P. Sonoda, Lara Azzopardi

Jul 5 - Aug 19/16

Bruno & Boots II And III

TV Movie (2)

Aircraft Pictures

Prod.: Anthony Leo, Andrew Rosen

Dir.: Vivieno Caldinelli

Jul 22 - Sep 2

Buckout Road

Feature

Buckout Productions Ltd

Prod.
See full article at SneakPeek »

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016: #52. György Pálfi’s Mindörökké (For Ever)

Mindörökké

Director: György Pálfi

Writer: György Pálfi, Zsofia Ruttkay

We’ve been waiting a long time for Hungarian auteur György Pálfi‘s ambitious project The Voice to transpire, but as that develops, he continues to work on other features. Though he’s perhaps still best known for his 2006 sophomore feature, Taxidermia, he won Best Director at Karlovy Vary in 2014 for the equally bizarre Free Fall (which we hopes picks up Us distribution someday). In mid-2015, Palfi opened an Indiegogo for post-production of his latest, Mindörökké (For Ever), based on a novel by Sandor Tar about a post-apocalyptic Hungarian-Ukrainian village. Knowing Pálfi’s particular visual flair and frequency of bizarre narratives, we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.

Cast: Julia Ubrankovics, Tamas Polgar, Attila Menszator-Heresz

Production Co.: Kmh Film, Sunpunks Entertainment

U.S. Distributor: Rights available Tbd (domestic/international)

Release Date: Palfi has yet to present in Berlin,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Crowdfund This: Taxidermia Director Finishes New Project, Needs Some Pushing

Hungarian award-winning cult director György Pálfi is preparing a new feature, For Ever, and needs some financial backing for the post-production phase. Principal photography is mainly over and the footage will be soon hurled into the editing room. Pálfi is asking for a reasonable amount of $40,000, which is destined for editing, CGI, color grading, sound editing, foley and music rights. For Ever is about a post-apocalyptic Hungarian village where everything is rotten and only alcohol moves people around. No money, no electricity: only barter. In this wasteland Ocsenas is the one who helps out. The only living hero is trying to survive savages and war inside a romantric triangle that defines his days to come.Now, the fact that a cult director has turned to crowdfunding has...

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

György Palfi's New Film, 'For Ever,' is Looking for Help on Indiegogo

"For Ever" is the new film by acclaimed director György Pálfi and it's being produced by Kmh Film and Sunpunks Entertainment.

The story is based on the Hungarian novel ‘Our Street’ by Sandor Tar and the script was written by Zsófia Ruttkay and György Palfi. "For Ever" stars Tamás Polgár, ("Delta") Julia Ubrankovics, ("Virtually a Virgin") Attila Menszátor-héresz ("Freefall") and Mercédesz Érsek-Obádovics.

The films deals with a post-apocalyptic Hungarian-Ukranian village where everything is rotten, only alcohol moves people around, and planes randomly crash. In this wasteland Ocsenas is the one who helps everyone out. He is only living hero trying to survive against savages and war while inside a love triangle that will defines his future.

The shooting is almost over and now the filmmakers have started crowdfunding campaigns to raise enough funds for post-production. You can take a look at the Indiegogo campaign Here.

György Palfi's Filmography

-2002. "Hukkle"

(Cottbus, San Sebastian, Tiff, European Film Awards)

-2006. "Taxidermy"

(Cannes - Un Certain Regard,Cottbus, Sitges)

-2009." I am not your friend"

(Karlovy Vary)

-2012. "Final Cut: Ladies And Gentleman"

(Cannes Classics Closing Film)

-2014. "Freefall"

(Karlovy Vary – Best Director Award, Chicago Iff)
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Les Arcs roundup: Palfi wins development prize

Les Arcs roundup: Palfi wins development prize
Works In Progress winner is Nataliya Kudryashova for Pioneer Heroes.

The Les Arcs Film Festival’s CoProduction Village wrapped its sixth edition on December 15, including the Works-In-Progress, Projects in Development, Low Budget Film Forum and for the first year, the Music Village Pro.

The Voice by György Pálfi was chosen as the prize winner for the Projects in Development, earning the Hungarian filmmaker €4,000 as part of a first time prize-fund sponsored by Arte.

The film centers around a young boy in search of his father who went missing in Stockholm thirty years ago. Pálfi, a Les Arcs regular, attributes much of his success to the CoProduction Village. “I am very supportive of this festival, it has benefitted me immensely over the years. But never did I think I would win this award.”

For the second year, Digimage Classics offered a €6000 prize in post-production services for the Works-In-Progress section, this year given to first-time feature director Nataliya Kudryashova
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Corrections Class wins four at Cottbus

  • ScreenDaily
Corrections Class wins four at Cottbus
Russia big winner at FilmFestival Cottbus for second consecutive year.

Russia was the big winner for the second year in a row at the FilmFestival Cottbus with Ivan I. Tverdovsky’s Corrections Class picking up four awards at the weekend.

The feature debut received the International Jury’s main prize ¨for its unsentimental and unpretentious presentation of a powerful social theme presented through the prism of an excellent ensemble performance¨, thereby qualifying for the Connecting Cottbus Special Pitch Award, which will allow Tverdovsky and his producers to pitch a new project at the East-West co-production market in a year’s time.

Tverdovsky’s Russian-German co-production, which won the Best Debut prize at Kinotavr in Sochi and the East of the West Award in Karlovy Vary, also picked up the prizes from the Fipresci and Interfilm juries in Cottbus.

Last year, the main prize at Cottbus went to Russian director Alexander Veledinsky’s The Geographer Drank His Globe
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Preview: First Weekend of 50th Chicago International Film Festival

Chicago – The 2014 edition, the 50th Chicago International Film Festival, kicks off tonight on October 9th. The premiere film will be “Miss Julie,” an adaptation of the August Strindberg play adapted and directed by Liv Ullmann. The first weekend promises a scintillating variety of cinema indulgences.

HollywoodChicago.com contributors Nick Allen and Patrick McDonald have been sampling the festival offerings, and provide this preview to cover the first four days of the event. The depth and breadth of the films is a reminder to participate in the variety of the Festival, especially if interested in a particular country, for their cinema is a glimpse into their culture. Each capsule is designated with Na (Nick Allen) or Pm (Patrick McDonald), to indicate the author.

Opening NightMiss Julie

Jessica Chastain in ‘Miss Julie

Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival

Liv Ullmann, the legendary Swedish actress – and muse to director Ingmar Bergman – directs her fifth feature film,
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Viff 2014: Free Fall Falls Flat [Review]

The concept for György Pálfi Free Fall holds so much promise: a woman climbs the stairs of an apartment building and we get a glimpse of what's going on behind the doors of an apartment on each floor. It's a great set-up for an anthology film though here, Pálfi and collaborating directors Gergely Pohárnok and Zsófia Ruttkay take on all seven stories and the result is exactly what most other anthology films deliver: a mixed bag.

The set-up is interesting enough; the aforementioned old lady climbs the stairs of her apartment building to the roof, jumps off and lands on the road with a splat. Minutes later she stands up, brushes herself off and goes back into the building where's she's forced to walk up the stairs because the elevator is being servic [Continued ...]
See full article at QuietEarth »

The Dinner wins Europa Cinemas Venice Label

  • ScreenDaily
Ivano de Matteo’s Italian film to receive promotional support from Europa Cinemas.

Italian film The Dinner (i Nostri Ragazzi), directed by Ivano de Matteo has won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European Film in the Venice Days section of the Venice Film Festival (Aug 27 - Sept 6). The jury comprised four exhibitors from the network.

The Dinner will now benefit from promotional support from Europa Cinemas and better exhibition due to a financial incentive for network cinemas to include it in their programme schedule.

The drama, about a family dinner going horribly wrong, is inspired by Herman Koch’s worldwide bestselling novel of the same name, which was previously adapted as a Dutch-language film by Menno Meyjes and is also slated for an adaptation starring Cate Blanchett.

The jury said: “Ivano de Matteo’s film is a confident, beautifully written and extremely well constructed drama. It manages to articulate many powerful themes – alienation between children and their
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Fury’, ‘Foxcatcher’, ‘Mr. Turner’ headline BFI 58th London Film Festival 2014

Fury (David Ayer)

[via the BFI]

The programme for the 58th BFI London Film Festival launched today, with Festival Director Clare Stewart presenting this year’s rich and diverse selection of films and events. The lineup includes highly anticipated fall titles including David Ayer’s Fury, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, the Sundance smash Whiplash, Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language 3D, The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Jason Reitman’s Men, Women and Children and Jean-Marc Vallee’s Wild.

As Britain’s leading film event and one of the world’s oldest film festivals, it introduces the finest new British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience, offering a compelling combination of red carpet glamour, engaged audiences and vibrant exchange. The Festival provides an essential profiling opportunity for films seeking global success at the start of the Awards season, promotes the careers of British and
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1

Early predictions have emerged for most Academy Award categories. As the studios reveal their hopeful offers to be released in the final months of the year, the speculation increases. But despite all the information available on the centerpiece awards, other more obscure races remain a complete mystery at this point. Among these, the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is almost certainly the most complex to prognosticate. The lengthy process that precedes the announcement of the final nominees makes for a competition that begins months in advance in nations around the globe.Having the opportunity to submit only one film, each country must carry out its own selection process. Once these decisions have been made, their chosen works will compete to make it to the nine-film shortlist, and eventually into the final five slots. Although this procedure allows for a certain degree of democracy, it also excludes all those other films that were left behind in their homelands. This, in turn, gives us a narrow view of what is being produced abroad.

Therefore, after lots of research and arduous educated guessing to put it together, the list below offers a more insightful look at this race before the actual individual selections are announced. For the sake of time, the amount of films is limited to five per country, but in some cases the choices are scarcer and less films are listed. While trying to speculate is always an uncertain endeavor, the factors taken into account to determine which are some of this year’s most important films in each country and their prospects of being chosen as their representative at the Academy Awards, were varied. Festival exposure, release date, the country’s previous submissions, and even the thematic elements of a few of them were considered to create this piece.

Clearly nothing is definitive at this point, but at the very least, this compilation will provide a sense of what the film industries in these territories are putting out and sharing with the world.

Read More: Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas

Here is the first part of the list on Europe (Albania -Lithuania)

Albania

Last year the Balkan state had one of its strongest contenders in recent history, Robert Budina’s “Agon,” a powerful drama dealing with the ethnic identity of the region. This time around, there are three films that qualify to be selected. The front-runner is “ Amsterdam Express, ” which has the highest international profile of the three being a co-production between Albania, U.K The Netherlands and Germany. The film explores the sociopolitical situation of the country through the eyes of an Albanian man who immigrates to Dutch territory illegally. Following along are two other dramas, “The Last Wish” (Amaneti) and “Ada.” Having three clearly viable options, it is almost certain that Albania will compete once again this year.

1. "Amsterdam Express" PC: F&Me

2. "The Last Wish" (Amaneti) PC: Media Vision

3. "Ada" PC: Concordia Pictures

Armenia

Having submitted only four times as an independent nation, it is difficult to predict whether Armenia will decide to participate this year. However, they do have a few films that could represent them at the Academy Awards. Even though the country’s film industry is still precarious and struggling, they have their own annual awards and consistently complete feature length works. Since many of them don’t fulfill the quality standards of major festivals, few of their offers ever get passed their border. The most feasible candidate this year is “Tevanik,” a film about the Karabakh war that screened at the Cannes film market and that has also screened theatrically in its home country. Another possible selection is dark comedy “The Romanticists,” which won the Best Screenplay award at the Hayak National Cinema Awards and had some international exposure. Drama “From Two Worlds as a Keepsake, ” could also be a good candidate as it premiered last year at the World Film Festival in Montreal. Less likely are comedy “The Heart in the House ,” a Russian co-production, and Hayak Best Film nominee “Caucho,” which might be a bit too avant-garde to be chosen.

1. "Tevanik" PC: Fish Eye Art

2. "The Romanticists" (Rromantiknery) PC: Aysor-Plus Film Productions

3. "From Two Worlds as a Keepsake" (Yerku ashkharhic i hishatak) PC: National Film Centr of Armenia

4. "The Heart in the House" (Domik v serdtse) PC: Berg Sound

5. "Caucho"

Austria

Since Austrian productions are heavily influenced by the German film industry and often intertwined with it, it is no surprise that the major winner at the German Film Awards was the co-production “The Dark Valley.” But given that the director Andreas Prochaska is Austrian, as well as most of the creative control and resources, the Germans couldn’t claim it as their own. This, and the fact that Sam Riley is in it, make it an ideal, high profile candidate to be Austria’s Oscar submission. Nominated for five awards in the past Austrian Film Awards, “October November” is also a descent candidate. A close third followed is “The Last Dance” the latest film by Houchang Allahyari, whose film “I Love Vienna” represented the country a couple decades ago. Then we have “ Soldier Jane,” which also nominated for Best Film at the National Awards. Lastly, “The Silent Mountain, “ an epic period piece about World War I is not entirely far fetched. Other films that have had positive receptions at festivals such as “Macondo,” or “Amour Fou” will be released closer to the end of the year.

1. "The Dark Valley" (Das Fisntere Tal) Isa: Films Distribution

2. "October November" (Oktober November) Isa: The Match Factory

3. "The Last Dance" (Der letzte Tanz) PC: Allahyari Filmproduktion

4. "Soldier Jane" (Soldate Jeannette) Isa: Premium Films

5. "The Silent Mountain" ( Der Stille Berg) Isa: Premiere Entertainment Group

Azerbaijan

It's always great to see a country like Azerbaijan submitting a film and making an attempt at getting exposure for their filmmakers and industry. Their films rarely make it to the world stage of glamorous festivals, thus they remain mostly obscure and inaccessible outside their homeland. Nevertheless, this year an Azerbaijani film, “Nabat,” could change that as it will screen at the Venice Film festival. This war film has already screened in the country at least at a special event, it is difficult to know if it will qualify this time around. If it does, it is their best bet. Should they decide to save it for next year, the country has another option of mild prestige. “Chameleon,” a small drama set in a remote village, screened last year at Locarno and that alone could help its chances. Lastly, there is “Down by the River,” which was part of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival selection. It will almost certainly be released until past the deadline, but might be a strong contender in the future. Two other dramas, one of epic proportions and a biopic could get in the mix but there is hardly any information available besides the fact that they have been screened in the capital city of Baku.

1. "Nabat" Isa: Dreamlab Films

2. "Chameleon" (Buqälämun) PC: Arizona Productions

3. "Down the River" (Axinla ashagi) PC: Azerbaijanfilm

Belarus

The small ex-Soviet state has been mostly producing documentaries for local viewing. Their output of material that can be successful abroad is minimal, and even when they have been presented with a great opportunity to participate at the Academy Awards, they simply don’t. This was the case of Sergey Loznitsa's “In the Fog” a couple years back, which could have represented them but was not entered. In fact, they have only participated on two occasions, the last one being in 1996. Although it is unlikely they will show interest, the country has a couple of promising choices. Belarus’ best bet would be the international coproduction “ The Role,” a solemn period piece that was nominated for five Nika Awards (the Russian Oscars) and actually won for Best Screenplay. Highly improbable, but given their small number of contenders, the country could also choose to send “BaBu,” an Azerbaijani coproduction about the kidnapping of a businessman’s daughter.

1. "The Role" (Rol) Isa: Reflexion Films

2. "BaBu"

Belgium

With the return to Cannes of the country’s most iconic filmmakers, the Dardenne Brothers, Belgium has an easy decision to make. Starring Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night” looks like the obvious favorite. Nevertheless, the Dardennes have been overlooked before, as it was the case two years ago when the Belgians decided to send “Bullhead” over the duo’s “The Kid with a Bike.” The only real threat could be “Marina” by Stijn Coninx, who was nominated for an Oscar in this category back in 1992 with “Daens.“ His latest work is a period piece about Rocco Granata’s life, an Italian singer who lived in Belgium in his youth. A more audacious decision, but not entirely impossible, would be to select the beautifully nightmarish “The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears,” which has had noticeable international presence. Two other titles, “ The Verdict” and “The Treatment” have been well received at home but since they are facing works by revered filmmakers, their chances are slight.

1. "Two Days, One Night" (Deux jours, une nuit) Isa: Wild Bunch

2. "Marina" Isa: Media Luna New Films

3. "The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears" (L'étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps) Isa: Bac Films International

4. "The Verdict" (Het Vonnis) Isa: Media Luna New Films

5. "The Treatment" (De Behandeling) Isa: Be for Films

Bosnia & Herzegovina

The last film by the poster child for Bosnian cinema, Danis Tanovic, managed to make it to the 9-film shortlist last December. This year, the country doesn’t have such a prominent candidate. Based on release date, festival exposure, and language, their safest selection would be the family drama “ With Mom.” Another title that could qualify is “Krivina,” which is technically a 2012 film, but did not premier in Bosnia until late last year. If eligible, it would definitively be a great runner-up. In third place is the incredibly small local film “ Krajina: Life or Death,” and it’s in that position simply because it meets all the minimum requirements to qualify - language included. The last two films mentioned here are longer shots not due to lack of quality, but because of their production details. One, “Bridges of Sarajevo,” is an anthology film created by over a dozen filmmakers from around the world. Even though one of the filmmakers is Bosnian and all sections are in a language other than English, it will be hard to consider it an actual Bosnian film. The other, “For Those Who Can Tell No Tales,” is a Bosnian production directed by Jasmila Zbanic, but the dialogue seems to be mostly in English, which would make it ineligible.

1. "With Mom" (Sa Mamom) PC: Scca/Pro.BA

2. "Krivina" Isa: Princ Films

3. "Krajina: Life and Death" (Ja sam iz Krajine, zemlje kestena) PC: Depo Production

4. "Bridges of Sarajevo" (Les Ponts de Sarajevo) Isa: Indie Sales

5."For Those Who Can Tell No Tales" (Za one koji ne mogu da govore) PC: Mpm

Bulgaria

In recent years the country has decided to send films that have won or have been nominated for their local film awards. This year the winner of the top award for Best Film was “Alienation,” seemingly making it the favorite to be submitted. This might actually not be the case. Premiering at Sundance earlier this year, “Viktoria,” an epic drama about a peculiar mother-daughter relationship, might actually be the frontrunner. The film has been rightfully hailed as the most important Bulgarian film of 2014 as it has been praised at several international festivals. The only concern was its release date, but that has been put to rest since the filmmakers have announced a one-week theatrical run of the film in Sofia this September. This might imply they are seriously considering the possibility of being chosen. Other less likely options are “Roseville,” another Best Film nominee at the local film awards, “Rat Poison,” which won Best Screenplay at those same awards, and the comedy “ Living Legends.” “The Judgement,” another important Bulgarian film that opened the Sofia International Film Festival in March, won’t opened theatrically until after the deadline.

1. "Viktoria" PC: Viktoria Films

2. "Alienation" PC: Red Carpet/ Bnt

3."Roseville" Isa: Wide

4. "Rat Poison" PC: Bulfilm Nfc

5. "Living Legends" PC: Euro Dialogue Productions

Croatia

Dominating last year’s Pula Film Festival with seven Golden Arena awards and presented at other international festivals, the drama “ A Stranger” is by far the most qualified choice. Bobo Jelcic’s film follows a man who returns to his hometown only to attend a funeral, but is forced to deal with several other issues from his past while there. Closely following is complex family drama “Hush…,” which also won several awards at the same festival. Other films that could come into play include “Vis-à-Vis,” a story about a film director and on his actor trying to write a screenplay, crime thriller “Not All About the Money, ”and the comedy “Handymen” by Dalibor Matanic, whose film “Fine Dead Girls” represented Croatia in 2002. It is important to note that three other relevant Croatian films, “The Bridge at the of the World,” "Number 55” and “The Reaper,” will probably be released in the next few months and will be in the running next year.

1. "A Stranger"(Obrana i zastita) Isa: Rendez-vous Pictures

2. "Hush..." (Šuti) PC: Kinorama

3. "Vis-a-Vis" PC: Copycat Production House

4. "Not All About the Money" (Nije sve u lovi) PC: Interfilm

5. "Handymen" (Majstori) PC: Hrvatska Radiotelevizija

Cyprus

As one of the few countries in Europe that has never submitted a film, it is likely they will continue on that path once again. Yet, if they decide otherwise, there is a film that could represent them. Crime drama “Stratos” directed by Cyprus-born Yannis Economides and produced with support from the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture could actually be the island nation’s lucky charm. Another Cypriot production, the romantic comedy “ Committed,” would be listed here as a possibility if it wasn’t for the fact that it is entirely in English.

1. "Stratos" (To Mikro Psari) Isa: The Match Factory

Czech Republic

Last year was rough for the Czechs. The ambitious historical courtroom drama “Burning Bush” by acclaimed filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, was disqualified as their submission because it was originally conceived as a TV miniseries. They were forced to select another film “The Don Juans,” which that didn’t do much them. This time around things are looking up with a wide array of films to choose from. Playing at Karlovy Vary recently and opening theatrically just in time to qualify is “Fair Play,” a sports drama about a sprinter attempting to make it to the Olympic Games in 1980. Then there is “Clownwise, ” a quirky dramedy that was nominated for Best Film and won Best Supporting actor at the local Czech Lion Awards. In the third spot is “Hany,” a film conformed of a single continuous shot depicting the madness occurring during a night out in the city. “The Way Out, ” a drama that screened in the Acid sidebar at Cannes, could also be picked based on that notable international exposure. Lastly, “Delight,” another Czech Lion Best Film nominee, could be the surprise selection, but it will probably prove to be a tad too abstract for voters.

1. "Fair Play" Isa: Intramovies

2. "Clownwise" (Klauni) Isa: Latido

3. "Hany" PC: Barletta

4. "The Way Out" (Cesta Ven) Isa: Premium Films

5. "Delight" (Rozkos) PC: Cineart TV Prague

Denmark

These days Denmark is a powerhouse in this category. After almost tasting glory once again with Vinterberg’s “The Hunt, ” the Danish will return to seek their third consecutive nomination. In order to continue their great streak, they need to choose wisely. “Someone in Love,” about a musician in crisis, has garnered praise from critics internationally, and will seem like the obvious choice. On the other hand, there is the mystery flick “ The Keeper of Lost Causes,” which opened in Denmark late last yearand was nominated for 4 Bodil Awards. Then there is “Sorrow and Joy” another powerful drama from Nils Malmros, whose film “Barbara” represented Denmark in 1992. Unique coming-of-age tale ”Speed Walking” could also be a contender. On the final slot there is the romantic drama “The Miracle,” a film that did well at the Montreal World Film Festival, unlikely but not impossible. Whichever it is, it will certainly be something to watch out for throughout the race.

1. "Someone You Love" (En du elsker) Isa: TrustNordisk

2. "The Keeper of Lost Causes" (Kvinden i buret) Isa: TrustNordisk

3. "Sorrow and Joy" (Sorg og glæde) PC: Nordisk Film Production

4. "Speed Walking" (Kapgang) PC: Nordisk Film Production

5. "The Miracle" (Miraklet) PC: Film i Vast

Estonia

This Baltic country’s film industry has increasingly become more consistent at delivering interesting films. Winning awards across festivals, their absolute frontrunner is “Tangerines, ” a Georgian coproduction about a Estonian man caught up in the middle of a war. Its biggest competition is the black and white historical film “In the Crosswind,” “which is a viable choice given that it deals with a painful episode in the region's history: the mass deportation of Baltic people to Siberia by Russia. Though it looks beautifully done, its particular visual aesthetic might seem to unconventional to some voters. It is still really possible they decide to send it regardless. Finally there is “ Kertu” a romantic drama about an unlikely relationship.

1. "Tangerines" (Mandariinid) Isa: Cinemavault

2. "In the Crosswind" (Risttuules) PC: Allfilm

3. "Kertu, Love is Blind" (Kertu) Isa: Paul Thiltges Distribution Sarl

Finland

Despite the countries long filmmaking tradition, the Finnish have only been nominated once for Aki Kaurismäki's “The Man Without a Past” in 2002. Fortunately for them, they have several great eligible films that will make for a difficult decision. Black and white philosophical drama “ Concrete Night” from Pirjo Honkasalo earned 6 Jussi Awards, given by Finland’s film professionals. Such overwhelming recognition will make it hard to ignore despite the serious competition. The film also had a great festival run. Right behind it are two films by prolific Dome Karukoski, who has represented his country at the Oscar previously. The first one is “The Grump,” a comedy based on the character created by Tuomas Kyro. It will screen at Tiff and will open locally just in time to qualify. Karukoski’s other film “Heart of a Lion,” tells a more serious story about a Neo-Nazi who reconsiders his views after falling in love. Either one of them could be picked as a way to honor the consistently great work this filmmaker puts out. Yet another interesting possibility is “Korso,” about a young man with big basketball dreams. The film was partially produced by the same company that created last year’s Oscar nominated short “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?” There are several other plausible films, but from all those, the one that seems to have the best prospects is the historical comedy “August Fools.”

1. "Concrete Night" (Betoniyö) Isa: Film Republic

2. "The Grump" (Mielensäpahoittaja) Isa: The Yellow Affair

3. "Heart of a Lion" (Leijonasydän) Isa: The Yellow Affair

4. "Korso" PC: Bufo/Tuffi Films

5. "August Fools" (Mieletön elokuu) Isa: Insomnia World Sales

France

Narrowing down France’s possible selection to five titles is by far one of the must uncertain and difficult tasks. The French film industry releases a vast number of films every year in a variety of genres and sizes. This gives them endless possibilities. Yet, there are some indicators that provide insight to what they might end up choosing. First off, the Cesar Awards. This year’s big winner was Guillaume Gallienne's “Me, Myself and Mum, ” which is a delightfully funny film that shines with originality. It was released last November and could definitely be their selected entry. On the other hand, they could choose to honor legendary filmmaker Alain Resnais- who past away earlier this year - by submitting his last film “Life of Riley.” The film received mixed reactions, but won the Fipresci Prize and the Alfred Bauer Award in Berlin. If they want to go with some fresh young talent, there is Cannes Directors' Fortnight Winner “Love at First Sight, ” the debut feature by Thomas Cailley. Another award winner that qualifies is Katell Quillévéré’s “Suzanne” about a woman that loses it all for the love a deviant man. Last but not least, Mathieu Amalric’s latest directorial effort “The Blue Room” could be a surprise player given the actor’s prestige and talent both in front and behind the camera. It is still up in the air.

1. "Me, Myself and Mum" (Les Garçons et Guillaume, à table!) Isa: Gaumont

2. "Life of Riley" (Aimer, boire et chanter) PC: F Comme Film

3. "Love at First Sight" (Les Conbattants) PC: Nord-Ouest Productions

4. "Suzanne" Isa: Films Distribution

5. "The Blue Room" (La Chambre Bleue) Isa: Alfama Films

Georgia

Impressively on the rise, the Georgian film industry keeps on delivering great works that often make waves across international festivals. Last year’s submission “In Bloom,” was a great success and managed to get U.S. distribution for a small theatrical release. On this occasion, they have three films that have done well internationally. Out of the batch, the most successful has been Levan Koguashvili’s “Blind Dates, ” a charming story of a unique quest for love. A second strong competitor is “Brides,” a drama that screened both at the Berlinale and Tribeca this year. Then, just fresh from winning at Karlovy Vary, there is “Corn Island,” a poetic vision of life from the perspective of rural Georgia. It appears like all three titles will release at home in time to qualify. If that’s the case, Georgia has a tough decision to make

1. "Blind Dates" (Shemtkhveviti paemnebi) Isa: Films Boutique

2. "Brides" (Patardzlebi) Isa: Rezo

3. "Corn Island" (Simindis kundzuli) PC: Arizona Productions

Germany

After releasing a 15-film shortlist, Germany’s prospects look clearer. There are several titles on the list that won’t merit a nomination, but the prominent film that remain will make for a competitive final selection. Winning two prizes in Berlin, “Stations of the Cross,” a look at fundamentalist Catholicism, sounds like a front-runner. However, its subject matter might play against it. Feo Aladag’s latest film “Inbetween Worlds,” about a German soldier in Afghanistan, seems to be a powerful drama on the vein of Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World.” On the third slot is “West,” a moving film about a woman and her son escaping socialist East Germany to discover the other side also has its darkness. Then there is “Beloved Sisters,” a costume drama that seems like a safer choice. It might be too familiar to be selected, but not at all improbable. Lastly, “Home from Home,” which won several national awards. It'ss possible, but its narrative style and extensive running time (225 min.) might make it a much more harder sell.

1. "Stations of the Cross" (Kreuzweg) Isa: Beta Cinema

2. "Inbetween Worlds" (Zwischen Welten) Isa: The Match Factory

3. "West" (Westen) Isa: Picture Tree International

4. "Beloved Sisters" (Die geliebten Schwestern) PC: Bavaria Film

5. "Home from Home - Chronicle of a Vision" (Die andere Heimat - Chronik einer Sehnsucht) Isa: Arri Worldsales

Greece

Even though it not an absolute rule, the Greeks tend to select the Hellenic Awards Best Film winner as their submission. Taking that into account, the clear favorite and almost certain choice is “Little England,” a period piece that won big locally. It’s biggest flaw; however, is the lack of international exposure. If for some reason they wanted to make a bold move and reward an impressive festival run, then Alexandros Avranas’s marvelously perverse “Miss Violence” would be ideal. Another great festival darling is Elina Psikou‘s feature debut “The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas,” a sardonic exploration on fame and identity. On the fourth spot, there is “ The Enemy Within,” a tense crime drama about a family in the aftermath of a home invasion. The film was also honored at the Hellenic Awards. Finally, “Standing Aside, Watching,” about corruption, sexism, and intimidation in a small village, could also be a great entry. Un Certain Regard film “Xenia” by Panos H. Koutras, won’t open in Greece until October, but will be a possible option next year.

1. "Little England" (Mikra Anglia) PC: Black Orange

2."Miss Violence" Isa: Elle Driver

3."The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas" (I Aionia Epistrofi tou Antoni Paraskeva) Isa: M-Appeal World Sales

4."The Enemy Within" (O Ehthros Mou) Isa: Patra Spanou

5. "Standing Aside, Watching" (Na kathesai kai na koitas) Isa: Patra Spanou

Hungary

Hungary’s last submission “The Notebook” managed to make it into the highly competitive 9-film shortlist. This year they have even brighter hopes with a slate of titles that have done very well around the world. Un Certain Regard winner “White God” is undoubtedly the one to beat. It is a rare occasion for the country to win such a high profile prize, thus making it almost impossible to ignore. Nevertheless, if that is not enough to convince the selection committee, “Free Fall” the latest film György Pálfi - whose films “ Hukkie” and “Taxidermia” have represented Hungary in the past - would be the next best choice. It also won several awards recently at Karlovy Vary, which could be of help. Less likely is Virág Zomborácz‘s “Afterlife” another drama that screened at the renowned Czech festival. Other possible titles include Lgbt romantic drama “Land of Storms, “ which screened in Berlin, and dark “ “Heavenly Shift,” which descent international presence.

1. "White God" (Fehér isten) Isa: The Match Factory

2. "Free Fall" (Szabadesés) PC: Jiff Project

3. "Afterlife" (Utóélet) Isa: Hungarian National Film Fund

4. "Land of Storms" (Viharsarok) Isa: M-Appeal World Sales

5. "Heavenly Shift" (Isteni müszak) Isa: Hungarian National Film Fund

Iceland

This small Scandinavian nation seems to have a very easy decision to make. The film “Life in a Fishbowl” has been dubbed by local critics as “the best Icelandic” film ever made” and it has also been an absolute box-office hit in its homeland. The multi-narrative film is by far the most likely to be submitted. However, its closest competitor is Ragnar Bragason‘s “ Metalhead,” a drama about a girl coping with her brother’s death. It was released late last year and won several Edda Awards. With far less possibilities given the two frontrunners is the dramedy “Paris of the North, ” which screened at Karlovy Vary, and comedy “ The Grandad,” which lacks exposure and buzz.

1. "Life in a Fishbowl" (Vonarstræti) Isa: Films Boutique

2. "Metalhead" (Málmhaus) Isa: Picture Tree International

3. "Paris of the North" (París Norðursins) PC: Arizona Productions

4. "The Grandad" (Afinn) PC: Thorsson Productions

Ireland

Since most of country’s releases are in English rather than in the Irish language, most years the country doesn’t have any candidates for this category. Ireland has only submitted to films for consideration as foreign language films. It is unlikely they’ll enter the race this year, but if it manages to be released in time, Irish director Johnny O'Reilly‘s Russian-language film “Moscow Never Sleeps” could be their selected candidate. The film was produced with the help of the Irish Film Funs, a fact that could help claim it as an Irish production. Another film in the Irish language, “An Bronntanas” (The Gift), would be a great choice, but it seems to be originally envisioned for TV as a five part miniseries. It’s hard to know if it will manage to qualify.

1. "Moscow Never Sleeps" (Москва никогда не спит) PC: Snapshot Films

Italy

Returning as current champion, Italy - which is the most successful nation ever in this category – has two main contenders and a couple other minor players. At the top of the list is “Human Capital,” which beat out “The Great Beauty” at the local David di Donatello Awards. Added to that, the film has won almost every award at home and several others abroad. It would be shocking to see the film be ignored. The biggest threat to its flawless run is Cannes Competition film “The Wonders.” It received mixed reviews but the Cannes pedigree could play a big role. Local success “The Mafia Only Kills in Summer” is less likely to have a chance. However, it also received tons of praise at home, so it shouldn’t be entirely disqualified. “Misunderstood,” by Asia Argento, played in the Un Certain Regard section but faces tough competition. Rounding up these five possibilities is “Those Happy Years, ” a personal film by Daniele Luchetti, which received very positive reviews internationally.

1. "Human Capital" (Il capitale umano) PC: Indiana Production Company

2. "The Wonders" (Le meraviglie) Isa: The Match Factory

3. "The Mafia Only Kills in Summer" (La mafia uccide solo d'estate) Isa: Rai Com

4. "Misunderstood" (Incompresa) Isa: Other Angle Pictures

5. "Those Happy Years" (Anni felici) Isa: Celluloid Dreams/Nightmares

Kosovo

The surprise submission could come from the recently independent, war-torn Balkan state. They have a promising feature film by Isa Qosja's “Three Windows and a Hanging,” which has been called “the best film from Kosovo to date.” Dealing with the forced silence and shame rape victims experience in a small village ruled by patriarchal norms, the film seems to be a perfect candidate to be their first submission. It recently premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival, so its biggest challenge would be qualifying based on its unknown release date at home.

1. "Three Windows and a Hanging"

Latvia

Unfortunately for Latvia, their possibilities are extremely limited this year. There are only two films that seem as possible candidates. One is the slasher horror film “The Man in the Orange Jacket.” It sports a great production value and might be an interesting offer, but it is hard to see it get far in the race. Nonetheless, it is still their best chance. The other film "Escaping Riga" is a documentary on historical figures Sergei Eisenstein and Sir Isaiah Berlin. Given its subject matter it wouldn’t be surprising if they chose to with this. Hopefully next year their output gives them more to pick from.

1. "The Man in the Orange Jacket" (M.O.Zh.) Isa: Wide

2. "Escaping Riga" PC: Mistrus Media

Lithuania

Opposite to its Baltic neighbor mentioned above, Lithuania has several notable films that could represent them. After winning the top prizes at the Lithuanian Silver Crane’ awards, “The Gambler” became the clear favorite. However, it is important to mention that despite having narrative features to choose from, Lithuania decided to send a small documentary to represent them last year. This curious fact could play in favor of “ Cenotaphs,” a doc focusing on the search for the remains of dead soldiers from World War II. The film won Best Documentary and was nominated in other categories at the local awards. Then there are three other Silver Crane nominated films. Coming-of-age flick “ Non-Present Time,” family drama “Santa,” and crime thriller “Name in the Dark.” The winner of several of these awards, “The Excursionist” was released too early last year to be considered this time around. Local financial success “Redirected” is mostly in English, thus ineligible.

1. "The Gambler" (Losejas) Isa: Wide

2. "Cenotaph" (Kenotafas) PC: Studio Uljana Kim

3. "Non-Present Time" (Nesamasis laikas) PC: Just a Moment

4. "Santa" PC: Artbox

5. "Name in the Dark" (Vardas tamsoje) PC: Fralita Films
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Second Wave of Fantastic Fest 2014 Films + Closing Night Film

We are three weeks away until Fantastic Fest. Kind of amazing to think about. This year, I am blessed to bring Mike Hassler with me. We will be seeing as many films as our eyeballs will see and writing as many reviews as our fingers will allow us. Take a look at the second wave announcement below and don’t forget to look at the first wave and my predictions of what might play at the fest (I didn’t fare well with the Second Wave). As before, I have included the trailers for all the films, if available, announced in this wave.

From the Press Release

Austin, TX – Wednesday, August 27, 2014 – Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Fantastic Fest is excited to announce the second wave of events, special guests and film programming. Fantastic Fest 2014 takes place September 18-25th in Austin, Texas at the newly reopened Alamo South Lamar and Highball.
See full article at Destroy the Brain »

Fantastic Fest Second Wave Of Films Announced, Nightcrawler To Close

As I will be attending my very first Fantastic Fest in but a few weeks, I now feel, more than ever, that it is my duty to present news on the fest (not that I wasn't willing to before). So, today we have for you their second wave of films, which includes Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler as the closing night offering. But since that one is getting a general release very, very soon, more importantly there's the North American premiere of Taxidermia director György Pálfi's much acclaimed absurdest parable Free Fall (reviewed here), new work from Toad Road director Jason Banker in Felt, the world premiere of Chilean actioner Redeemer, as well as the Us premieres of Sono Sion's Tokyo Tribe, Justin Benson & Aaron Moorehead's...

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

Fantastic Fest 2014 Second Wave Announcement Includes Purgatory, Redeemer, Necrophobia 3D, Over Your Dead Body, and More; New Stills

Fantastic Fest 2014 kicks off September 18, and the second wave of films has been announced. Purgatory, Redeemer, Whispers Behind the Wall, Necrophobia 3D, Over Your Dead Body, and more are on the menu!

From the Press Release:

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Fantastic Fest is excited to announce the second wave of events, special guests, and film programming. Fantastic Fest 2014 takes place September 18-25th in Austin, Texas, at the newly reopened Alamo South Lamar and Highball.

Get ready to be blown away by Lionsgate's latest action-packed thriller, John Wick starring Keanu Reeves, with a red carpet gala screening with Reeves and directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski in attendance. John Wick is the story of a former ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. With New York City as his bullet-riddled playground, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a fresh and stylized take on the "assassin genre.
See full article at Dread Central »

Fantastic Fest 2014: Second Wave of Films, Events

Be sure to check out MovieBS.com for reviews and commentary from the best film festival known to man. Here is the news release of the second wave of films and events.

Austin, TX – Wednesday, August 27, 2014 – Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Fantastic Fest is excited to announce the second wave of events, special guests and film programming. Fantastic Fest 2014 takes place September 18-25th in Austin, Texas at the newly reopened Alamo South Lamar and Highball.

Get ready to be blown away by Lionsgate’s latest action-packed thriller, John Wick starring Keanu Reeves, with a red carpet gala screening with Reeves and directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski in attendance. John Wick is the story of a former ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. With New York City as his bullet-riddled playground, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a fresh and stylized take on the “assassin genre.
See full article at Scorecard Review »

Fantastic Fest: Second wave of film lineup announced

The lineup for the second wave of films at 2014′s 10th Annual Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas has arrived, and with it a potential Oscar contender, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. The film, a pulpy crime film about an embedded journalist (Jake Gyllenhaal), will make its U.S. premiere at the festival with Director and Writer Gilroy in attendance.

Fantastic Fest has also released a lineup that includes John Wick, an action/thriller starring Keanu Reeves (Reeves will be in attendance), Takashi Miike’s latest Over Your Dead Body and the Studio Ghibli film The Tale of Princess Kaguya. This announcement comes on the heels of the first wave of films, including Sundance horror film The Babadook.

Fantastic Fest takes place September 18-25 in Austin. View the first lineup of films here. And view the full lineup of films and descriptions from this second wave below via a press release.

****

The Absent One

Denmark,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘Nightcrawler’ To Close Fantastic Fest 2014; ‘John Wick’ Joins Lineup

‘Nightcrawler’ To Close Fantastic Fest 2014; ‘John Wick’ Joins Lineup
Open Road’s Jake Gyllenhaal starrer Nightcrawler will close the 10th annual Fantastic Fest in its U.S. premiere and Keanu Reeves will drop by for a gala screening of Lionsgate’s John Wick, organizers announced today. The rising genre film fest held September 18-25 in Austin, TX will open with the previously announced Tusk from Kevin Smith.

Also unveiled today along with a second wave of programming is a centerpiece bout in the Fantastic Debates, in which filmmakers, critics, and celebs engage in discourse at a podium before taking it to the boxing ring to determine the ultimate winner. This year, BitTorrent’s Chief Content Officer Matt Mason will take on a challenger to duke it out over whether the file sharing platform is a valuable tool or an enabler of piracy.

Related: Kevin Smith’s Horror-Comedy ‘Tusk’ To Open Fantastic Fest 2014

This year’s festival marks the grand
See full article at Deadline Movie News »
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