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In Oscar Documentary Race, First Time Can Be the Charm

In Oscar Documentary Race, First Time Can Be the Charm
It’s never easy being green, but if you’re a documentary filmmaker it can have its advantages. Especially come Oscar season.

In the past two decades, 12 directors have taken home the Academy Award for their very first documentary theatrical feature. They include Ezra Edelman (“O.J.: Made in America”), Louie Psihoyos (“The Cove”) and Malik Bendjelloul (“Searching for Sugarman”). Those films beat out docus made by veteran nonfiction helmers like Kirby Dick (“The Invisible War”), Wim Wenders (“Pina”) and Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams (“Life Animated”).

When it comes to receiving a nomination in the documentary feature category, the odds are even better. In the last decade more than 20 first time feature docu helmers have nabbed an Oscar nod. They include Ellen Kuras (“The Betrayal — Nerakhoon”), Sebastian Junger and the late Tim Hetherington (“Restrepo”), Charles Ferguson (“No End in Sight”) and John Maloof and Charlie Siskel (“Finding Vivian Maier”).

Comparatively, in the last 10 years,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Trump’s Visa Ban to Reportedly Keep Oscar-Nominated Director Asghar Farhadi From Attending 2017 Awards

Trump’s Visa Ban to Reportedly Keep Oscar-Nominated Director Asghar Farhadi From Attending 2017 Awards
Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who wrote and directed the 2017 Oscar-nominated foreign language film “The Salesman,” would not be able to enter the U.S. for the awards under President Donald Trump’s recently enacted travel ban, according to reports on Saturday.

Trump signed the executive order on Friday afternoon to suspend entry of refugees to the U.S. for 120 days, and imposed an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria. A 90-day ban was also placed on citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The 2017 Oscars will take place on Feb. 26.

Farhadi’s film “A Separation” won an Academy Award for best foreign film in 2012. “The Salesman” — the title a reference to Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” — tells the story of a young couple who play the lead roles in the play.

“For the moment we don’t know anything yet. It’s total chaos.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Say What You Will About the Academy - But Some Cool International Names Among 2015 New Member Invitees

Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oscar News: 322 Invited To Join; The Academy Museum Receives Approval

©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.

“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”

“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Hart, Emma Stone and 319 others invited to vote for Oscar

  • Hitfix
Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Hart, Emma Stone and 319 others invited to vote for Oscar
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club.
See full article at Hitfix »

Academy Invites Record 322 New Members in Push for More Oscar Diversity

Academy Invites Record 322 New Members in Push for More Oscar Diversity
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.

Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.

Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Stream a Human Rights Film Festival from Home, With Werner Herzog, Laura Poitras and More

Stream a Human Rights Film Festival from Home, With Werner Herzog, Laura Poitras and More
SundanceNow Doc Club partners with the Human Rights Watch Film Festival (June 11-21) to present eight acclaimed documentaries, all focused on worldwide human issues, that subscribers can stream beginning today, June 10. You can access the program here. The VOD program include films from Oscar nominees and winners such as Werner Herzog, Laura Poitras and Kirby Dick. Here's the full list: 5 Broken Cameras Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary, Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s critically-acclaimed 5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal, first-hand account of life and non-violent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village surrounded by Israeli settlements. As the years pass in front of the camera of a Palestinian farmer, we witness his son grow from a newborn baby into a young boy who observes the world unfolding around him with the astute powers of perception that only children possess. Afghan Star In Afghanistan a group of brave
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Filmmakers Call Israeli Film Funder’s Loyalty Oath Troubling

Filmmakers Call Israeli Film Funder’s Loyalty Oath Troubling
Director Suha Arraf is an Arab who considers herself Palestinian, like 20% of Israel’s citizens. She pays Israeli taxes, and carries an Israeli identity card. Her directorial debut, “Villa Touma,” was partially financed by the Israel Film Fund. Her sector of the Israeli population is routinely touted as an example of Israel’s democratic nature and progressive society.

So when Arraf, one of Variety’s 2014 Screenwriters to Watch, took the picture to the Venice Film Fest and listed it as a Palestinian film, she set off a firestorm. The Israeli government — which helps bankroll the fund — demanded it repay its 1.4 million shekel ($356,000) grant.

Late last month Israel’s Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts took steps to avoid the occurrence of a similar fallout, amending the contract it requires all fund recipients to sign to include a declaration that they represent themselves as Israeli on those projects.

“We asked our
See full article at Variety - Film News »

White Shadow wins at Eeff

  • ScreenDaily
White Shadow wins at Eeff
East End Film Festival has unveiled its 2014 award winners, bringing 13th edition to a close.

White Shadow has won the Best Feature award at this year’s East End Film Festival (Eeff).

Noaz Deshe’s debut feature is set in Tanzania and, focusing on a young albino, is an exploration of folk religion.

The film was chosen by a jury comprising of Eeff’s director-in-residence Sebastian Hofmann, Screen International chief film critic Mark Adams, BFI director of partnerships Eddie Berg, English photographer and video artist Gillian Wearing and screenwriter Peter Straughan.

Deshe will be invited to the festival in 2015 as director-in-residence.

In addition, Tom Berninger’s Mistaken for Strangers was named Best Documentary by a jury comprising British film-makers Iain Forsythe and Jane Pollard, director Emad Burnat, documentary film-maker Tristan Anderson and BBC Storyville’s Shanida Scotland.

The inaugural Accession Award, championing the art of cinematography, was judged by Barry Ackroyd and awarded to Jonathan Fairburn’s [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014: We Are Many Review

  • HeyUGuys
Perhaps fittingly, Amir Amirani’s new documentary We Are Many characterises not only the notion of mass public protest, but the rise of the political documentary itself. In it, we travel back to 9/11, what many commentators have since referred to as The End of History regarding national security and privacy, which gave birth to a protest movement that has manifested itself in countless ways over the last thirteen years. Equally so it has given thousands of hours’ worth of material for filmmakers and activists to reach a bulk audience with.

The attacks on the Twin Towers were a prelude to the Iraq War, the main focus of Amirani’s film, and he invites academics (including perpetual talking head Noam Chomsky), as well as politicians from Clare Short to David Blunkett, to speak about the social, political and moral implications of the 2003 global protest against the decision to invade. It’s
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Human Rights Watch Film Festival on Mubi

  • MUBI
Mubi is excited and proud to announce a partnership with the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, whose London festival begins today and runs through March 28. To celebrate the 2014 festival, Mubi is mounting a retrospective of highlights from the festival's past. The following films—all shown at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival—will be given 30-day runs on Mubi in an extensive range of countries around the world beginning today.

Moloch Tropical (Raoul Peck, 2009)

The Red Chapel (Mads Brügger, 2009)

! Women Art Revolution (Lynn Hershmann-Leeson, 2010)

5 Broken Cameras (Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi, 2011)

Brother Number One (Annie Goldson, Peter Gilbert, 2011)

99% - The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (Aaron Aites, Audrey Ewell, Nina Krstic, Lucian Read, 2013)

Alias Ruby Blade: A Story of Love and Revolution (Alex Meillier, 2013)

Tall as the Baobab Tree (Jeremy Teicher, 2013)

The festival will continue its on-the-ground events throughout the year, including its other central film festival in New York in June.
See full article at MUBI »

Fleifel to kick off Oscar bid on Aflamnah

Fleifel to kick off Oscar bid on Aflamnah
Danish-Palestinian filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel is set to launch a crowd-funding campaign on Dubai-based platform Aflamnah this January to finance a 2015 Oscar race bid with his award-winning documentary A World Not Ours.

The documentary, a humorous account of life in the Ein el-Helweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, has won a slew of awards since premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012.

It is not eligible, however, for Oscar consideration because it has not been released in New York and Los Angeles as per the regulations of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

“The big question is, can a Palestinian film win an Oscar?” said Fleifel.

“My film has suffered a lot because people keep saying we’ve just had 5 Broken Cameras,” he continued, referring to Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s work which was Oscar short-listed last year.

“My film is the antithesis of that film. I really
See full article at ScreenDaily »

John Oliver Hosts International Emmy Awards Honoring J.J. Abrams

John Oliver Hosts International Emmy Awards Honoring J.J. Abrams
French drama “Les Revenants” and British comedy “Moone Boy” were among the top winners Monday at the 41st annual International Emmy Awards.

Host John Oliver warmed up the multi-lingual crowd at the New York Hilton with the kind of wry cultural observances that made him a star on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and landed him his own topical series on HBO starting next year.

“Welcome to the Emmys’ most prestigious television awards show that television can’t be bothered to televise,” he joked, noting how many British and Israeli formats are hits on U.S. nets these days.

Oliver continued to play to the crowd: “This had been the single most pathetic time in American history. The American political system has given us so much amazing TV that I’m surprised that they are not they are not nominated tonight,” he said.

Thesp Sean Bean
See full article at Variety - TV News »

5 Best Bets on TV This Week: Keanu Reeves Talks Digital Cinema While the 'Detropia' Filmmakers Explore Sex and the Female Athlete

  • Indiewire
5 Best Bets on TV This Week: Keanu Reeves Talks Digital Cinema While the 'Detropia' Filmmakers Explore Sex and the Female Athlete
Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV, including "Breaking Bad," "The Newsroom," "Low Winter Sun," "Dexter," "Ray Donovan" and more, but what to watch the rest of the time? Every Monday, we bring you five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of the week. "Pov": "5 Broken Cameras" Monday, August 25 at 10pm on PBS Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi's Oscar-nominated documentary about protests in a West Bank village comes to PBS this week. Writing to Indiewire about the film, which offers a personal, small scale look at an aspect of the contested region, ahead of its Sundance Us premiere last year, Davidi explained "I think when watching a film that deals with such a painful controversy, people tend to shut down. Most people divide the world into right and wrong, good and bad, Palestinians and Israelis."  "Nine for IX": "Branded" Tuesday, August 27 at 8pm on
See full article at Indiewire »

Screening of “5 Broken Cameras” at blueFROG in Mumbai

Screening of “5 Broken Cameras” at blueFROG in Mumbai
What: Screening of “5 Broken Cameras” at blueFROG in Mumbai

Organizers: White Crane Arts & Media Trust, in association with blueFROG & The Root Reel

Program: Special screenings from the 1st Dharamshala International Film Festival (held in November, 2012) on the ­1st Sunday of every month until October.

5 Broken Cameras by Guy Davidi & Emad Burnat

Nominated for Academy Awards, 2013 in Best Documentary Feature category

Won Best Direction in World Cinema-Documentary category at Sundance Film Festival 2012

A documentary on a Palestinian farmer’s chronicle of his nonviolent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army.

Duration: 90 minutes

Venue: blueFROG, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Date: Sunday, August 4, 2013

Time: 8 pm

Entry: Free/Open to all

Contact: 022 6158 6158
See full article at DearCinema.com »

Film-maker David Koff on his radical documentary Occupied Palestine

David Koff's documentary Occupied Palestine caused a storm in the 1980s. What will today's audiences make of it? The film-maker relives a life of controversy

David Koff is remembering what happened at the premiere of his film Occupied Palestine in San Francisco in 1981. "There were probably 1,000 people in the audience," he recalls. "Ten minutes after the film started, there was an announcement: 'There's been a bomb threat – please evacuate the building.' The police and fire department were called. There was a remarkable atmosphere in the cinema when the film finally went ahead."

Koff, now 73, is an American documentary film-maker, writer, union organiser and activist. He grew up in California, graduated in political science from Stanford University, then worked in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and London before returning to the Us. His documentary-making career has never lacked controversy. In the early 1970s, with the assistance of colleague Anthony Howarth
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

At Cpac, Republicans Rev Up Conservative Cinema

The winner of the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature was Searching for Sugar Man, directed by Malik Bendjelloul and produced by Simon Chinn. Released in July 2012, it grossed $3,536,058 in box office sales. By year-end 2012, the other four finalists took in a total of $1,724,657. This breaks down as follows: The Gatekeepers, director Dror Moreh and produced by Philippa Kowarsky and Estelle Fialon ($1,418,694); How to Survive a Plague, directed by David France and produced by Howard Gertler ($132,055); 5 Broken Cameras, co-directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi ($101,940); and The Invisible War, directed by Kirby …
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

'5 Broken Cameras' Director Responds To Israeli Slander Claims Against Film: 'Disturbing'

'5 Broken Cameras' Director Responds To Israeli Slander Claims Against Film: 'Disturbing'
Guy Davidi, the Israeli co-director of Oscar-nominated documentary "5 Broken Cameras" joined HuffPost Live Thursday to speak out against claims that he and his Palestinian co-director Emad Burnat should be charged with slander because their film was critical of the Israeli occupation.

Israeli nonprofit Consensus has petitioned the Attorney General claiming that Davidi and Burnat — whose film traces the story of Burnat and his village's nonviolent response as Israel's settlements expanded into Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank — should be charged with slander and prosecuted for "incitement."

"The media in Israel is quite nourishing this story and supporting it," Davidi told HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin Thursday. "Obviously Israeli audiences are supporting this kind of lawsuit that will probably limit filmmakers in the future to create films that criticize the Israeli occupation."

Israel's outgoing Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat encouraged Israeli filmmakers to practice "self-censorship" and noted that she
See full article at Huffington Post »

Michael Moore, '5 Broken Cameras' Director Hit Back at BuzzFeed Lax Story (Updated)

  • The Wrap
Michael Moore, '5 Broken Cameras' Director Hit Back at BuzzFeed Lax Story (Updated)
Michael Moore and Palestinian director Emad Burnat are hitting back at a recent BuzzFeed story that questioned their accounts of an incident with U.S. Customs and Border Protection last week at Los Angeles International Airport. Last week, Burnat, the Oscar-nominated director of "5 Broken Cameras," said he was detained by officials and threatened with deportation when he could not produce proof that he had been invited to the Academy Awards. Moore said he intervened on Burnat's behalf and enlisted lawyers from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to help
See full article at The Wrap »

Michael Moore's War With BuzzFeed Continues

Michael Moore's War With BuzzFeed Continues
The war between Michael Moore and Buzzfeed continued on Tuesday.

Moore angrily pushed back at the website after it published an article on Monday night that accused him of overhyping the Los Angeles airport detention of Emad Burnat, the Oscar-nominated Palestinian filmmaker.

Moore accused BuzzFeed of lying about the circumstances and of being "snookered" by the anonymous Lax official who told the site that Burnat was merely asked to provide routine documentation and was quickly released — a far cry from what Burnat said were threats that he would be deported back to Palestine. The initial headline on the BuzzFeed piece also wondered if the whole thing had just been a "publicity stunt."

Other media figures pilloried BuzzFeed, and the site did issue a correction about the number of sources it had for the allegations. Later on Tuesday, though, things took another twist, when BuzzFeed posted a second story about Burnat's detention.
See full article at Huffington Post »
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