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Sarajevo Film Festival unveils 2019 competition line-up

Sarajevo Film Festival unveils 2019 competition line-up
Nine films will participate in the feature film competition including ‘Heidi’.

Sarajevo Film Festival has unveiled the line-up for its 25th edition, with nine feature world premieres playing in the two main competitive sections.

Scroll down for the full list of titles

These include Romanian filmmaker Cătălin Mitulescu’s fourth film Heidi in the feature competition, about an ageing police officer tasked with finding two prostitutes who he needs to testify in an organised crime case.

Mitulescu debuted with The Way I Spent The End Of The World which won Dorotheea Petre the best actress prize in Un Certain Regard
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Turkey's Meetings on the Bridge unveils 2019 project selection

Mohamed Siam, Emre Akay and Myriam El Hajj will be among the filmmakers heading to Turkey.

Mohamed Siam, Emre Akay and Myriam El Hajj will be among the filmmakers heading to Turkey for the 14th edition of the Meetings on the Bridge project meeting, running April 11-12 within the framework of the 38th Istanbul Film Festival (April 5-16).

Egyptian documentarian Mohamed Siam, whose last feature Amal opened the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (Idfa) in 2017, will present his first fiction feature project, Blood And Honey (Carnaval).

Siam describes it as comedy mixing ingredients from Amal – which followed a young female revolutionary
See full article at ScreenDaily »

​Women directed 23.3% of French features in 2017

New Cnc report provides lowdown on budgets, pay and box office for female-directed films in France.

Female directors accounted for 23.3% of feature films shot in France in 2017, according to a new report by the Cnc looking at every aspect of female representation in the country’s film and TV industry between 2008 and 2017.

The comprehensive 122-page study, released to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8, is a joint study between France’s National Cinema Centre and Audiens, the body which manages compulsory social security payments for film and TV professionals

The study showedt between 2008 to 2017, the number of films
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San Sebastian presents prestigious Films in Progress award to 'Los Tiburones'

The Uruguay-Argentina project is being directed by Lucia Garibaldi

Lucía Garibaldi’s Uruguay-Argentina co-production Los Tiburones (The Sharks) won the Films in Progress 32 Industry Award in San Sebastián, presented on September 26.

The works in progress initiative is run jointly by the San Sebastián Film Festival and Cinélatino-Rencontres de Toulouse, designed to help films in post-production and international distribution.

Les Tiburones also received the Film Factory award in which the Spainsh sales outfit Film Factory pre-bought worldwide distribution rights and presented the lead producer with €40,000.

Ignas Jonynas’ Nematoma (Invisible), a Lithuania-Latvia-Ukraine co-production, won the Glocal in Progress award for projects being
See full article at ScreenDaily »

San Sebastian: ‘A Simple Man,’ ‘Queen Lear,’ ‘Invisible’ To Feature at Glocal in Progress

  • Variety
San Sebastian: ‘A Simple Man,’ ‘Queen Lear,’ ‘Invisible’ To Feature at Glocal in Progress
Barcelona— Tasos Gerakinis’ “A Simple Man,” Pelin Esmer’s “Queen Lear” and Ignas Jonynas’ “Invisible” compose the pix-in-post selection for the upcoming Glocal in Progress sidebar at September’s San Sebastián Film Festival.

Greek director Tasos Gerakinis will attend with his feature debut, a Greece-France co-production following a convict who flees prison and manages to arrive in the neighbor country where he holds up at a farm, taking a winegrower hostage. The relationship between the winegrower, his daughter and the convict will evolve in divergent directions.

Turkish director Pelin Esmer has previously participated in San Sebastián’s main competition with “10 to 11,” a Special Jury Prize winner in Istanbul festival in 2009. She was also part of the Zabaltegi-New Directors section with her feature debut “The Play,” turning on three women aiming to stage a play in a small village. That feature earned kudos at Tribeca in 2006. “Queen Lear” is a follow-up to “The Play,
See full article at Variety »

San Sebastian announces Glocal projects by Amber Wilkinson - 2018-08-13 13:18:07

A Simple Man Photo: Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival The second edition of San Sebastian Film Festival's Glocal in Progress - focusing on European productions in non-hegemonic languages - will screen the latest works by Turkish director Pelin Esmer, Lithuanian filmmaker Ignas Jonynas and Greek director Tassos Gerakinis to distributors, producers, sales agents and programmers.

The three films are at the post-production stage and will be screened to an audience of producers, distributors, sales agents and programmers, among other professionals, in order that they may contribute to their conclusion and international distribution.

Esmer's Queen Lear ( Kraliçe Lear) she continues the tale of the women who starred in her second film The Play (Oyun), as they perform their version of Shakespeare’s work in remote mountain villages.

Jonynas, who previously brought The Gambler (Losejas) to the New Directors section of the festival, will attend with Lithuanian, Latvian and Ukrainian co-production
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Istanbul unveils line-up amid charged atmosphere, Ian McKellen to attend

Istanbul unveils line-up amid charged atmosphere, Ian McKellen to attend
Istanbul Film Festival unveils line-up and Meetings On The Bridge details.

The İstanbul Film Festival (April 5-15) has unveiled the programme for its 36th edition.

Scroll down for lineups

Despite intensive political campaigning ahead of the Turkish constitutional referendum on April 16 and an ongoing state of emergency in the country following last year’s July putsch, festival director Kerem Ayan revealed the line-up at a relatively relaxed press conference in Istanbul.

The festival will host a total of 203 films in 21 categories from 61 countries in nine venues on both sides of the Bosphorous. Among those are 13 Turkish features getting their world premieres.

Among films to compete in the international competition are Toronto hit Lady Macbeth and French immigration drama This is Our Land.

While the number of international guests set to attend the festival is expected to be down on previous years due to a series of terror attacks in the city, notable guests
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Istanbul unveils lineup amid charged atmosphere, Ian McKellen to attend

Istanbul unveils lineup amid charged atmosphere, Ian McKellen to attend
Istanbul Film Festival unveils line-up and Meetings On The Bridge details.

The İstanbul Film Festival (April 5-15) has unveiled the programme for its 36th edition.

Scroll down for lineups

Despite intensive political campaigning ahead of the Turkish constitutional referendum on April 16 and an ongoing state of emergency in the country following last year’s July putsch, festival director Kerem Ayan revealed the line-up at a relatively relaxed press conference in Istanbul.

The festival will host a total of 203 films in 21 categories from 61 countries in nine venues on both sides of the Bosphorous. Among those are 13 Turkish features getting their world premieres.

Among films to compete in the international competition are Toronto hit Lady Macbeth and French immigration drama This is Our Land.

While the number of international guests set to attend the festival is expected to be down on previous years due to a series of terror attacks in the city, notable guests
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Hubert Bals Fund Announces Spring 2015 and Nff+Hbf Selections

The Hubert Bals Fund (Hbf) of the Rotterdam International Film Festival (Iffr) has selected eight film projects from seven countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to receive script and project development grants totaling €80,000.

Two film projects from Turkey and Nepal, produced by Topkapi Films and Waterland Film have been selected for the first round of The Netherlands Film Fund + Hubert Bals Fund Coproduction Scheme 2015.

Hubert Bals Fund Spring 2015 selection

In its Spring 2015 selection round, the Hbf supports eight outstanding film projects with a contribution towards their script and project development, among which four projects from first-time feature filmmakers (Alice Furtado, Maya Da-Rin, Hugo Gimenez and Kaouther Ben Hania) and four projects directed by women: "Sick Sick Sick," "The Fever," "Beauty and the Dogs" and "Barzagh."

Other highlights include a new project by Santiago Loza: "Brief Story from the Green Planet."Loza’s debut film "Extraño" (2003) was supported by Hbf and won a Tiger Award at Iffr 2003. In 2006 he returned to Iffr with "4 Mujeres Descalzas," which was also supported by Hbf and presented at CineMart in 2004.

"Three Missing Policemen" is the new film by Chinese director Ju Anqi, whose film "Poet on a Business Trip" had its world premiere at Iffr 2015, winning the Netpac Award. Following the events in the lives of three policemen, the film shows the rapid changes in Chinese society within the last three decades.

Alice Furtado’s short "Duel Before Nightfall" was shown at Iffr in 2012. Now the Hbf supports her first feature "Sick Sick Sick," a physical and heartbreaking genre defying love story between two teenagers.

Two international co-productions supported by Hbf+Nff

Two film projects, coproduced by Topkapi Films and Waterland Film, have been selected for the first round of the Nff+Hbf Coproduction Scheme 2015. The projects will receive production grants of € 50.000, provided by the Netherlands Film Fund. Topkapi Films coproduces "Something Useful" by Pelin Esmer (Turkey), Waterland Film coproduces "White Sun" by Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal).

"Something Useful is Pelin Esmer’s third feature film. The project received Hbf Script & Project Development support in 2014. Her previous films "10 to 11" and "Watchtower" both screened at Iffr.

"Something Useful" is produced by Mars Prodüksiyon (Turkey) and coproduced by SinefilM (Turkey), Les Films de L'Après-Midi (France) and Topkapi Films (The Netherlands).

"White Sun," Nepali director Deepak Rauniyar’s second feature film, was supported by Hbf for Script & Project Development in 2013 and was subsequently selected for the Boost! coaching trajectory, a joint initiative of Iffr’s Hubert Bals Fund, CineMart, the Binger Filmlab and the National Film Development Corporation of India.

"White Sun" is produced by Aadi Production (Nepal), Louverture Films (USA) and is coproduced by Waterland Film (The Netherlands).

Hbf Script & Project Development Spring 2015 Selection

"Barzagh" – Saodat Ismailova, Uzbekistan

"Beauty and the Dogs" – Kaouther Ben Hania, Tunisia

"Brief Story from the Green Planet" – Santiago Loza, Argentina

"The Fever" – Maya Da-Rin, Brazil

"Killing the Dead" – Hugo Gimenez, Paraguay

"Sick Sick Sick" – Alice Furtado, Brazil

"Tehran: City of Love" – Ali Jaberansari, Iran

"The Three Missing Policemen" - Ju Anqi, China

A script and project development grant can be used for the further development of the script or presentation of the project to financiers or other potential partners at (international) co-production meetings or film festivals.

Projects selected for The Netherlands Film Fund + Hubert Bals Fund Coproduction Scheme:

"White Sun" - Deepak Rauniyar, Nepal

"Something Useful" - Pelin Esmer, Turkey
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Hfm to present 21 projects

  • ScreenDaily
Hfm to present 21 projects
Selected film projects will be presented at the 2014 event, which takes place during the Netherlands Film Festival from Sept 25-28.

21 projects from 15 different European countries will participate in this year’s Holland Film Market (Hfm) Co-Production Platform.

Run during the Netherlands Film Festival from Sept 25-28 in Utrecht, the selected film projects will be presented to co-producers, distributors, sales agents and financies to encourage co-productions between European countries.

This year will also see the second edition of the Hfm Work-in-Progress Session on Sept 26, where five projects previously pitched at the Hfm will present rushes and rough cuts of their film to international sales agents, festival representatives, distributors and funding partners.

The prize-winning projects of both the co-production platform and the Work-in-Progress Session will be announced during the Hfm closing ceremony on Sept 27.

Hfm Co-Production Platform 2014 projects

International projects:

Dew by Denijal Hasanovic – production company: Skorpion Arte (Poland)Female Falling Down by Therese Ahlbeck – eyefeed (Sweden)Game Over
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Rotterdam's Hbf backs 11 projects

  • ScreenDaily
Each project will receive contributions from Iffr’s fund towards script and project development.

International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund (Hbf) has selected 11 projects in its spring selection round.

From 11 different countries, each project will receive contributions towards script and project development. Overall, the fund will grant contributions totalling €110,000 ($150,000), with the selection made from 270 applications received.

Five of the projects are debuts, including Arab Abu Nasser and Tarzan Abu Nasser’s Dégradé, and Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch.

Iranian film-maker Mohammad Shirvani’s third feature The Unwelcomed Whirling Wind in Our Stomach will also receive support from the Hbf.

The other projects backed are:

Another Trip to the Moon (Ismail Basbeth, Indonesia)The Calm (Song Fang, China)La Omisión (Sebastián Schjaer, Argentina)Something Useful (Pelin Esmer, Turkey)The Boyfriend (Ashim Ahluwalia, India)The Winds Know That I’m Coming Back Home (José Luis Torres Leiva, Chile)The Wound
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Hbf backs 11 projects

  • ScreenDaily
Each project will receive contributions from Iffr’s fund towards script and project development.

International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund (Hbf) has selected 11 projects in its spring selection round.

From eleven different countries, each project will receive contributions towards script and project development. Overall, the fund will grant contributions totalling €110,000, with the selection made from 270 applications received.

Five of the projects are debuts, include Arab Abu Nasser & Tarzan Abu Nasser’s Dégradé and Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch.

Iranian film-maker Mohammad Shirvani’s third feature The Unwelcomed Whirling Wind in Our Stomach will also receive support from the Hbf.

The other projects backed are:

Another Trip to the Moon (Ismail Basbeth, Indonesia)The Calm (Song Fang, China)La Omisión (Sebastián Schjaer, Argentina)Something Useful (Pelin Esmer, Turkey)The Boyfriend (Ashim Ahluwalia, India)The Winds Know That I’m Coming Back Home (José Luis Torres Leiva, Chile)The Wound
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Paris Copro Village unveils line-up

Inaugural edition of the new co-production market will run June 12-13.Scroll down for full list of projects

Pia Marais, Andrea Segre and Brillante Mendoza [pictured] are among the directors who will be presenting their new projects at the inaugural Paris Coproduction Village in June.

Organised by the same team that runs Les Arcs European Film Festival, in association with the Champs-Elysees Film Festival, the event will take place off Paris’ most famous boulevard on June 12 and 13.

The event was launched in March to replace the respected Paris Project co-production market, which folded after losing its city hall funding.

“We pulled together the line-up in an incredibly short space of time,” said Vanja Kaludjercic, who spearheads the new event alongside Les Arcs CEO Pierre-Emmanuel Fleurantin.

“We were very proactive in terms of chasing projects we knew were coming together. Everyone did their bit and got on the phone. We’re pretty pleased with the resulting selection.”

Fleurantin said: “It
See full article at ScreenDaily »

PR Awardees at the Dortmund | Cologne Iwff 2014

Recently, after six days of program, this year’s Dortmund|Cologne International Women's Film Festival came to a close in Cologne’s Odeon Cinema with a presentation ceremony totalling four awards and €16,000 worth of prize money. Spanish director Neus Ballús won the €10,000 debut feature film competition, in which eight debuts were to be seen. In her film La Plaga (The Plague), she portrays five fascinating characters on the outskirts of Barcelona against the backdrop of rural Catalonia. It's a scorching hot summer and a plague of insects has ruined the harvest. Ms Ballús meticulously stages the daily routines of a cast played by non-professional actors, creating in the process an impressive piece of fiction which ultimately tells us a lot about Spain and Europe. Neus Ballús was present in Cologne to receive the prize personally.

Withotu a doubt, La Plaga succeeded in convincing the jury which consisted of Kim Yutani, curator of the Sundance Film Festival, Pelin Esmer, the Turkish director (10 to 11, Watchtover ) and Julia Hummer, the German actress (Ghosts, The State I Am In). The jury said: “ The film takes a profound philosophical approach and explores the cycle of life of five individuals you’ll never forget. Confidently and sensitively, the film-maker (...) directs the team of amateur actors while presenting a screenplay that weaves together the stories of the protagonist with subtle realism.”

Sponsored by Choices magazine, the €1,000 Audience Award Prize 2014 was awarded to Farewell, Herr Schwarz directed by Yael Reuveny. The film portrays two families in Israel and Germany who knew nothing of each other for years. Eligible here were all movies shown at the festival with a length of more than 60 minutes.

The winners of the National Competition for (Next Generation) Women Directors of Photography were announced in the run-up to the festival. The awards of €2,500 each were conferred Sunday evening to DoP Christiane Schmidt for her documentary The Forest Is Like The Mountains and DoP Bine Jankowski for her movie Rebecca. This jury comprised DoPs Sophie Maintigneux, Anne Misselwitz and Julia Daschner.

Festival Director Silke J. Räbiger was more than satisfied with the response to the festival programme. This year, in addition to the unique spectrum of films on offer, it featured a wide range of panel discussions, workshops and workshop discussions – all in high demand by festivalgoers. “The close collaboration with partners such as medica mondiale, Ladoc and Turkish Film Festival Ruhr has again proved a wonderful success. Together, we were able to put on a very impressive programme and reach a broad and highly interested audience."

The Country Focus: Turkey section shed new light on the Turkish film industry in particular and the current political situation in general and thus inspired much discussion among the audiences. The festival also notched up a huge success with its offerings for Cologne and Dortmund schools. Around 1,500 students attended the performances.

The next main festival programme is to be held in Dortmund in April 2015.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Dortmund|Cologne International Women's Film Festival

Taking place from April 8-13, the 31st edition of the Dortmund | Cologne International Women’s Film Festival will have it’s main program in the city of Cologne. A small selection will be seen in Dortmund as well. A total of 106 films from 37 countries will be screened and about 60 international filmmakers are going to be guests in Cologne. The festival will also be putting on a number of events that go beyond what a normal visit to the cinema has to offer. Events intended to spark a critical response to the medium of film via a number of formats – panel discussions, talks and workshops for cinema aficinados and film-makers alike.

Five Germany Premieres Compete for €10,000 Prize

A total of eight exceptional debut feature films will be screened in Cologne, having been short-listed from the 120 international film debuts of the last two years. Of that eight, the festival will present five of them as firsts for Germany – including, as the opening film, the award-winning tragicomedy The Amazing Catfish from Mexico. The other nominees are: Talea (Austria), The Magnetic Tree (Chile), Sense of Humor (France), Matei Child Miner (Romania), Marussia (Russia/France), Under the Starry Sky (Senegal/France) – and The Plague (Spain). Mostly seen against the backdrop of the global economic crisis, shot with stunning visuals and told with surprising concision, these are stories of childhood, family, identity and belonging.

The Jury for this edition will be formed by Kim Yutani, programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, Turkish director Pelin Esmer ( 10 to 11, Watchtower) and German actress Julia Hummer (Gespenster, Top Girl)

Focus: Turkey

At the Cologne location of the Dortmund|Cologne International Women's Film Festival, the spotlight is always on the cinematic oeuvre of a particular region or country. This year, the encounter is with Turkey and its women filmmakers.

The Country Focus zooms in on the ongoing demonstrations and protest movements organized by Turkish citizens since the end of May 2013 against the authoritarian policies of the governing party in Turkey. The program thus sets out to analyze the concepts and definitions of home and identity and to examine to what extent current protests had already been anticipated there in the films of recent years.

Divided into ten programs the festival will present feature films, documentaries and short films from 2004 to 2013 as well as the historic feature film Dönüs (The Return 1972) by and with the great Turkish actress Türkan Soray.

Filmmakers and experts like Deniz Akçay, Pelin Esmer, Serpil Turhan, Rüya Arzu Köksal Kudu, Aysun Bademsoy, Lale Akgün, Mely Kiyak, Can Erdogan, Emel Celebi, Sedef Özge and Güliz Saglam will also be guests. Two panel discussions, a master class with Yeşim Ustaoğlu and the photo exhibition "Tarlabasi - On the Edge of Transformation"round off the programme as a whole.

Let Your Light Shine - The Panorama section

Beyonce, Vulva 3.0 and other top-rate film discoveries. Panorama showcases 45 new, challenging and entertaining films from 28 countries.

Fiction, documentary, essay, avant-garde, experimental films and all the shorter formats: there are no formal restrictions on the Panorama Section and all lengths of movie are welcome. This year, 13 long films and 32 short to medium-length films are on view, including a good few premieres for Germany.

In the course of the selection process, it is the attitude of the women film-makers, the way they represent people in their films and the effect so generated that play an important role. Yet even though the Panorama section attempts to do full justice to the variety of artistic forms of expression, documentary and experimental films are given some priority. Among these are films like Perfect Garden by Mara Mattuschka, Touch by Shelly Silver, Noor by Cagla Zencirci, My Love Awaits Me By The Sea by Mais Darwazah and Rock the Casbah by Laïla Marrakchi and a film program & live performance by Jodie Mack, just to mention a few
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

2013 Sliff Film Awards Announced

The 2013 St. Louis International Film Festival concluded Sunday night with a party at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. Sliff announced the audience-choice and juried-competition awards.

Now in its 22nd year, the Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival is one of the largest international film festivals in the Midwest. This year’s festival was held Nov. 14-24, 2013.

2013 Sliff Film Awards

Best of Fest Audience Choice Awards

Best Documentary Feature: “Harlem Street Singer” directed by Simeon Hutner

Best International Narrative Feature: “Philomena” directed by Stephen Frears

Best Narrative Feature: “One Chance” directed by David Frankel

New Filmmakers Forum Award

This Is Where We Live” directed by Marc Menchaca and Josh Barrett ($500 cash prize)

St. Louis Film Critics Association Joe Pollack Awards Best Documentary Feature: “Blood Brother” directed by Steve Hoover Special Jury Mention, Documentary Feature: “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step” directed by David Lewis

Best Narrative Feature: “Key
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

All Along the… Film Movement Find Companionship with Pelin Esmer’s Watchtower

Turkish filmmaker Pelin Esmer made her narrative feature debut in 2009 with 10 to 11, a meditative drama about a man and his collections, which was well received in the festival circuit earning several awards. Esmer returns with her sophomore effort Watchtower, the film premiered at the Tiff and has now been picked up for North American distribution by Film Movement. Just recently shown at Rotterdam, a small New York City release is expected along with the traditionally VOD route.

Gist: An unlikely relationship is formed when Nihat, a man haunted by his past, seeks isolation in an observation tower in rural Turkey only to find companionship in Seher, a young woman with an equally sketchy record. Judging by the trailer, the film feels evocative and mysterious, all of it wrapped up in a series of beautiful landscapes, and perfect tablous.

Worth Noting: Director Pelin Esmer got started as an Ad for documentaries
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Body Counts and Best of Show in the Rotterdam Film Festival Tiger Awards Competition

The Hivos Tiger Awards Competition takes center stage at Rotterdam, a high-stakes showcase of sixteen breakout filmmakers, many of whose projects are funded by the festival’s Hubert Bals Fund. Each year’s lineup offers a revealing cross-section of prevailing trends in art cinema, sometimes to the point of unintentional parody (in-theater drinking games could be instituted over excessive long takes, in-your-face displays of sexual bad behavior, or awkward line readings by amateur actors in “realist” films). There’s a corporeal undercurrent among this year’s contenders, initiated in the opening night film "Resurrection of a Bastard," by Guido van Driel, where gangsters use a vacuum cleaner to suck a man’s eye from its socket. In "Watchtower," by Turkish director Pelin Esmer, a woman sneaks into a basement to self-deliver her illegitimate child, heaving herself from wall to wall in what has to be the most...
See full article at Indiewire »

Toronto International Film Festival: The Female Factor

This year’s Toronto was competing in my psyche with the recent loss of my mother. My focus was less on finding the greatest of films this year. I hear from others that the festival offered a good mix, if not the most outstanding, selection of films. Personally, I am discovering that a new community has opened its arms to me and the films that are standing out most for me are by women and about women. My community, those women who have lost their mothers, is sharing a unique and profound rite of passage whose meaning continuously unfolds.

In Toronto I was hyper aware of the women and their position in this corner of the world I inhabit. Canadian women, Helga Stephenson, Director Emerita of the Toronto Film Festival, predecessor to Piers Handling; Michele Maheux, Executive Director and COO of Tiff ever since I've known her which has been a long time; Linda Beath who headed United Artists when I was beginning my career and who has since moved to Europe where she teaches at Eave (European Audio Visual Entrepreneurs), Kay Armitrage, programmer of the festival for 24 years and professor at University of Toronto, are all women to helped me envisage myself as a professional in the film business, and they are still as vibrant and active as when we met more than 25 years ago. Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada’s Executive Director continues Canada’s female lineage as does Karen Thorne-Stone, the President and CEO of Ontario Media Development Corporation.

18 films currently are in a large part attributable to Omdc; they include Nisha Pahuja’s doc The World Before Her (contact Cinetic) (Best Doc Feature of 2012 Tribeca Ff), Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz (Isa: TF1), Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children (Isa: FilmNation), Anita Doron’s The Lesser Blessed, (Isa: EOne) Ruba Nadda’s Inescapable (Isa: Myriad), Alison Rose’s doc, Following the Wise Men.

Tiff’s new program for year-round support of mid-level Canadian filmmakers, Studio, under the directorship of Hayet Benkara is bringing industry mentorship to 16 filmmakers with experience, shorts in the festival circuit, features in development. Exactly half of these filmmakers are women. This was a conscious move on Hayet’s part. She said there is always such a predominance of males without thinking about it that she decided to bring balance.

Then a look at some more of the Canadian talent here brings me to the Birks Diamonds celebration of seven Canadian women: Anais Barbeau-Lavalette, Manon Briand, Anita Doron, Deepa Mehta (Midnight’s Children), Kate Melville, and Ruba Nadda which honored each with a Birks diamond pendant in a reception hosted by Shangri-La Hotel and Telefilm Canada where 300 guests mingled and caught up with each other. The pre-eminence of women was again made so apparent to me.

Talking to publicist Jim Dobson at Indie PR at the reception of Jordanian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir whose film When I Saw You was so evocative of the 60s, a time of worldwide freedom and even optimism among the fedayeem in Jordan looking to resist the Expulsion of the Palestinians from Palestine; he said that all five of his clients here are women directors, “I had When I Saw You, (Isa: The Match Factory), Satellite Boy (Isa: Celluloid Dreams/ Nightmare), Hannah Arendt (The Match Factory), Inch'allah (Isa: eOne), English Vinglish (Isa: Eros Int')."

Of the 289 features here at Tiff, Melissa Silverstein at Women and Hollywood is trying to zero in on the women directors, so watch her blogs More Women-Directed Films Nab Deals out of Tiff, Tiff Preview: Women Directors to Watch and Tiff Preview: The Female Directing Masters Playing at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival.

Add to this the upcoming Sundance initiative on women directors that Keri Putnam is heading up (more on that later!) and I am feeling heartened by the consciousness of women, directors and otherwise, out there. That is saying a lot since last season in Cannes with the pathetic number of women directors showing up in the festival and sidebars this past spring.

Here is the Female Factor for Tiff 12 which scores an A in my book:

Gala Presentations - 6 out of 20 = c. 30% which is way above the usual 13% which has been the average up until Cannes upended that with its paltry 2%..2 of these were opening night films.

Mira Nair The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Also showed in Venice. Isa: K5. Picked up for U.S. and Canada by IFC. Shola Lynch Free Angela & All Political Prisoners. Isa: Elle Driver Deepa Mehta Midnight’s Children. Isa: FilmNation already sold to Roadshow for Australia/ N.Z., Unikorea for So. Korea, DeaPlaneta for Spain. Ruba Nadda Inescapable. Isa: Myriad. Canada: Alliance. Liz Garbus Love, Marilyn. Isa: StudioCanal. HBO picked up No. American TV rights. Madman has Australia. Gauri Shinde English Vinglish. Isa: Eros International.

Masters – 0 – Could we say that women directors have not been around that long or shown such longevity as the men? Lina Wertmiller was a long time ago. I don’t even know if she is still alive. Ida Lupino was an anomaly. Who else was there in those early days? Alice Guy-Blaché ?

Special Presentations - 13 out of 70 = 19%

Everybody Has A Plan - Argentina/ Germany/ Spain - Ana Piterbarg - Isa: Twentieth Century Fox International - U.S.: Ld Entertainment, U.K.: Metrodome Lines Of Wellington - Also in Venice, San Sebastian Ff - Portugal - Valeria Sarmiento - Isa: Alfama Films. Germany: Ksm Cloud Atlas--Germany - Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski - Isa: Focus Int'l. - U.S. and Canada: Warner Bros. , Brazil - Imagem, Finland - Future Film, Eastern Europe - Eeap, Germany X Verleih, Greece - Odeon, Iceland - Sensa, India - PVR, So. Korea - Bloomage, Benelux - Benelux Film Distributors, Inspire, Slovenia - Cenemania, Sweden - Noble, Switzerland - Ascot Elite, Taiwan - Long Shong, Turkey - Chantier Inch'allah – Canada - Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette - Isa and Canada: Entertainment One Films Hannah Arendt – Germany – Margarethe von Trotta – Isa: The Match Factory Imogine – U.S. – Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini - Isa: Voltage. U.S.: Lionsgate/ Roadside Attractions acquired from UTA, Netherlands: Independent Ginger and Rosa – U.K. – Sally Potter – Isa: The Match Factory. U.S. contact Cinetic Love is All You Need – Also played in Venice) Denmark – Susanne Bier – Isa: TrustNordisk - U.S. : Sony Pictures Classics, Canada: Mongrel, Australia - Madman, Brazil - Art Films, Bulgaria - Pro Films, Colombia - Babilla Cine, Czech Republic - Aerofilms, Finland - Matila Rohr Nordisk, Germany - Prokino, Hungary - Cirko, Italy - Teodora, Japan - Longride, Poland - Gutek, Portugal - Pepperview Lore – Australia/ Germany/ U.K. – Cate Shortland – Isa: Memento. U.S.: Music Box, France: Memento, Germany - Piffl, Hong Hong - Encore Inlight, So. Korea - Line Tree, Benelux - ABC/ Cinemien, U.K., Artificial Eye Dreams for Sale – Japan – Miwa Nishkawa – Isa: Asmik Ace Stories We Tell – Canada – Sarah Polley - Isa: Nfb. U.K.: Artificial Eye Liverpool – Canada – Marion Briand - Isa: Max Films. Canada: Remstar Venus and Serena – U.S./ U.K. – Michelle Major, Maikin Baird. Producer's Rep: Cinetic

Mavericks - 3 out of 7 “Conversations With” were with women (43%)

Discovery 11 out of 27 = 40% which includes The-Hottest-Public Ticket for the Israeli Film directly below (a Major Buzz Film Among its Public)

Fill the Void by Rama Burshtein, a first-time-ever Hasidic woman director Kate Melville’s Picture Day Alice Winocour Augustine - Isa: Kinology 7 Cajas by Tana Schembori from Paraguay - Isa: Shoreline Gabriela Pichler’s Eat Sleep Die from Sweden, Serbia and Croatia - Isa: Yellow Affair Oy Rola Nashef’s Detroit Unleaded France’s Sylive Michel’s Our Little Differences Contact producer Pallas Film Russian censored film Clip from Serbia by Maja Milos - Isa: Wide sold to Kmbo for France, Maywin for Sweden, Artspoitation for U.S. Satellite Boy by Australian Catriona McKenzie - Isa: Celluloid Dreams/ Nightmares Ramaa Mosley’s The Brass Teapot - Isa: TF1 sold to Magnolia for U.S., Intercontinental for Hong Kong, Cien for Mexico, Vendetta for New Zealand Veteran Korean-American Grace Lee’s Janeane from Des Moines.

Tiff Docs 7 out of 29 = 24% - Women traditionally have directed a greater portion of docs

Christine Cynn (codirector ) The Act of Killing - Isa: Cinephil Janet Tobias No Place on Earth - Isa: Global Screen Sarah Burns (codirector) The Central Park Five Isa: PBS sold to Sundance Select for U.S. Treva Wurmfeld Shepard & Dark - Contact Tangerine Entertainment Nina Davenport First Comes Love - Contact producer Marina Zenovich Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out - Isa: Films Distribution Halla Alabdalla As If We Were Catching a Cobra (Comme si nous attraptions un cobra) about the art of caricature in Egypt and Syria! Halla is Syrian herself, studied science and sociology in Syria and Paris - Isa: Wide

Contemporary World Cinema 11 out of 61 = 18%

Children of Sarajevo by Aida Begic, Sarajevo - Isa: Pyramide Baby Blues by Katarzyna Rostaniec, Poland. Contact producer The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky by Yuki Tanada, Japan - Isa: Toei Comrade Kim Goes Flying by Anja Daelemans (co-director), Belgium/ No. Korea. The first western financed film out of No. Korea Three Worlds by Catherine Corsini, France - Isa: Pyramide sold to Lumiere for Benelux, Pathe for Switzerland Middle of Nowhere by Ava DuVernay, U.S. - Contact Paradigm Talent Agency The Lesser Blessed by Anita Doron, Canada - Isa: eOne Watchtower by Pelin Esmer, Turkey/ France/ Germany- Isa: Visit Films Jackie by Antoinette Beumer, Netherlands - Isa: Media Luna When I Saw You by Annemarie Jacir, Palestine,/ Jordan/ Greece All that Matters is Past by Sara Johnsen, Norway- Isa: TrustNordisk

Tiff Kids 0 out of 5. Any meaning to this???

City To City – Mumbai 0 Out Of 10 Any meaning to this???

Vanguard 2 out of 15 = 13% (the average for most festivals)

90 Minutes– Norway – Eva Sorhaug - Isa: Level K Peaches Does Herself – Germany - Peaches. Contact producer. See Indiewire review.

Midnight Madness 0 out of 9 which is fine with me, thank you. This is a boy's genre or a date-night genre for girls and boys with a plan for the night.
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Tiff Capsule Review: 'Watchtower'

  • Indiewire
The two central characters in this modest but effective drama by Turkish director Pelin Esmer want nothing more to be left alone. And until circumstances force them into each other’s lives in Watchtower’s later stages, they are largely able to achieve this goal. That said, it’s an easier task for Nihat (Olgun Simsek), a grief-stricken man who has taken a job as a fire warden keeping watch over the wilderness from his perch in a mountainside tower. A sullen young woman who works at a nearby bus station, Seher (Nilay Erdonmez) has abandoned her university studies for reasons that remain opaque until an angry confrontation with her parents. Though few in number, such outbursts make a considerable impact in Esmer’s study in suffering, which portrays emotional repression not so much as a personal plight for two tormented souls but as a prevailing societal condition that creates
See full article at Indiewire »
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