October (2010) - News Poster

(2010)

News

International Newswire: Peru Rises

International Newswire: Peru Rises
In today’s International Newswire, Peru wins at Ventana Sur, and organizes an industry front; Europe’s answer to the Annies lifts off in Lille; Germany’s ProSieben creates a new content hub; Brazil falters and Denmark has a new agency head and growing problems.

Peru Rises

Watch Perú. Set in Peru’s grey-skied El Callao port, “We Are All Sailors,” Miguel Angel’s Moulet’s first feature, proved one of the most singular participants at Ventana Sur Primer Corte, winning two post-production prizes for the movie infused by the soulfulness of its protagonist, a Russian sailor, his dreams of a happy domesticity. Two more titles – castle battle videogame “Stage 3: Azaria” from Unforgiven, and “The Adventures of Ugo and Serena the Whale,” a dinky 2D pre-school series, co-produced by Red Animation Peru, also scored plaudits at the market.

Perú, of course, already has relatively recently emerging auteurs: Javier Fuentes Leon (“Undertow,” “The White Elephant
See full article at Variety - Film News »

6 Things We Learned About Telefonica’s Movistar Plus Series

San Sebastian — Movistar Plus, the pay-tv arm of Spain’s Telefonica, one of Europe’s biggest telcos, held a round table Saturday at the San Sebastian festival to present its first six original TV series.

Six things we learned about the series, which confirm Movistar Plus as one of the key drivers, with Sky and France’s Canal Plus, of higher-end premium drama production in Europe:

1. Netflix, HBO Et Al…Beware

Netflix, HBO or any other digital platform which launches in Spain looks set to face formidable opposition. At the round table, Domingo Corral, Movistar Plus’ original production director, confirmed that the company has 20 series in development. They will begin to be made available on Movistar Plus’ linear Series channel and Yomvi catch-up/pay-per-view service from September 2017, kicking off with “La Zona,” by brothers Jorge and Alberto Sanchez-Cabezudo.

Luis Miguel Gilperez, president of Telefonica España, recently announced that Telefonica
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Peru’s Diego and Daniel Vega Prepping Canada-set Pic ‘La Bronca’ (Exclusive)

Lima – Peru’s Daniel and Diego Vega, the filmmaking brothers behind hits “October” and “El Mudo” are shooting their next pic “La Bronca” entirely in Canada. Canada’s Nicolas Comeau of 1976 Productions, Colombia’s Daniel Garcia of Dia-Fragma and Miguel Valladares of Tondero Films in Peru are co-producing the family drama along with the Vega brothers’ Maretazo Cine.

Diego and Daniel Vega are also tapping coin valued at some $170,000 that they received last year from the Peruvian Ministry of Culture’s audiovisual division, which administers a $3 million annual fund.

Loosely based on Daniel Vega’s past experience, “La Bronca” (provisionally translated to “The Clash”) takes place during six months when a son visits his estranged father in Canada. Story is set in 1992, a time of political upheaval in Peru when its then president Alberto Fujimori staged an ‘auto-coup,’ dissolving the national congress and judiciary in order to assume full legislative and judicial powers.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Outsider Pictures Takes North America on Los Cabos winner ‘All of Me’ (Exclusive)

Outsider Pictures Takes North America on Los Cabos winner ‘All of Me’ (Exclusive)
Madrid – Adding to its Latin treasure trove, Paul Hudson’s Outsider Pictures has acquired North American rights to “Llevate mis amores” (All of Me), first-time Mexican director Arturo Gonzalez Villasenor’s Los Cabos Fest winner.

The latest from Nicolas Celis’ burgeoning Mexican production house La Pimienta, last October “All of Me” scooped Los Cabos’ top plaudit in its Mexico First section, reserved for first and second features, despite considerable opposition from, for example, Isaac Ezban’s “The Incident” and Marcelo Tobar’s “Asteroid.”

Outsider Pictures’ Latin label, Todo Cine Latino (Tcl), will look to build word of mouth via festivals, and is working on plans for a limited theatrical release in the U.S. in the late-summer, said Outsider CEO Hudson.

Produced by Indira Canto for Acanto Films, the label Gonzalez Villaseñor created with his production team — and co-produced by Pimienta Films and Mexican university Uam-Xochimilco — “All of Me” will
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cuba Film and TV School Feels Heat in Wake of Diplomatic Thaw

Cuba Film and TV School Feels Heat in Wake of Diplomatic Thaw
Freedom of expression remains under siege in Cuba despite the reopening of diplomatic relations announced in December. The fallout from performance artist Tania Bruguera’s attempt to hold an art event at Havana’s Revolution Plaza and subsequent arrests has impacted Cuba’s erstwhile autonomous film and TV school Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television (Eictv).

Eictv Humanities coordinator Boris Gonzalez Arenas was fired Jan. 5 after he was arrested and incarcerated for three days for trying to participate in Bruguera’s thwarted free speech event on Dec. 30.

After his release, the prestigious school — co-founded in 1986 by the late Colombian Nobel Laureate writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez — opted to fire Gonzalez Arenas for his alleged “lack of trustworthiness.”

A committee led by Eictv head Jeronimo Labrada accused Gonzalez Arenas, one of many bloggers who have begun to flourish in Cuba despite limited Internet access, of publishing articles critical of “the Cuban state
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Cuba Film and TV School Feels Heat in Wake of Diplomatic Thaw

Cuba Film and TV School Feels Heat in Wake of Diplomatic Thaw
Freedom of expression remains under siege in Cuba despite the reopening of diplomatic relations announced in December. The fallout from performance artist Tania Bruguera’s attempt to hold an art event at Havana’s Revolution Plaza and subsequent arrests has impacted Cuba’s erstwhile autonomous film and TV school Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television (Eictv).

Eictv Humanities coordinator Boris Gonzalez Arenas was fired Jan. 5 after he was arrested and incarcerated for three days for trying to participate in Bruguera’s thwarted free speech event on Dec. 30.

After his release, the prestigious school — co-founded in 1986 by the late Colombian Nobel Laureate writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez — opted to fire Gonzalez Arenas for his alleged “lack of trustworthiness.”

A committee led by Eictv head Jeronimo Labrada accused Gonzalez Arenas, one of many bloggers who have begun to flourish in Cuba despite limited Internet access, of publishing articles critical of “the Cuban state
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Outsider Takes Udi Trio, ‘Voiceover’ (Exclusive)

Outsider Takes Udi Trio, ‘Voiceover’ (Exclusive)
Buenos Aires – Paul Hudson’s L.A-based Outsider Pictures, both a U.S. distribution and international sales house, has acquired North American distribution rights to a trio of Latin American titles from Udi – “Natural Sciences,” “El Mudo” and “Roa” – plus “Voiceover,” from its Chilean producer, Jirafa Films.

Adding to Outsider’s pick-up on David Trueba’s “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed,” Spain’s Oscar entry, the most recent Outsider distribution pick-ups confirm Outsider as one of the most consistent buyers of Spanish-language films for the U.S. market.

Ventana Sur’s 2013 Primer Corte winner, which was picked up by Udi at the Buenos Aires market last year, Matias Lucchesi’s “Natural Sciences” – a deft mix of a road movie and character-driven drama, turning on a daughter’s search for her estranged father – went on to world premiere at Berlin’s Generation, racking up multiple territory sales.

El Mudo,” Daniel
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas

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.

It is important to note that several of the films mentioned below are being handled by Mundial, a joint venture between Im Gobal and Canana, including "Gueros," "A Wolf at the Door," and "The Liberator."

Here is the first list dedicated to the Americas

Argentina

With four films presented at Cannes and several others receiving praise in festivals around the world, Argentina has several interesting options this year. Unfortunately, Lisandro Alonso’s period piece “Jauja” will almost certainly be ineligible due to its November release date, unless a qualifying one-week run is scheduled. That scenario seems unlikely. Screening in the Directors’ Forthnight, Diego Lerman’s “Refugee” (Refugiado) will open on October 3rd, also a few days after the deadline. That leaves the Almodovar-produced “Wild Tales” as the undisputed favorite. Acclaimed films such as “Natural Sciences," “The Third Side of the River”, “El Ardor“ (staring Gael Garcia Bernal), and “La Paz” are longer shots but still viable choices.

1. "Wild Tales" (Relatos Salvajes)

2. "Natural Sciences" (Ciencias Naturales)

3."The Ardor" (El Ardor)

4."The Third Side of the River" (La Tercera Orilla)

5."La Paz"

Bolivia

The last time the landlocked country submitted a film was back in 2009. However, this year offers several possibilities for the Bolivian film industry. Given its production value and historical theme, it is likely that - if they choose to send a film - it will be Mexican director Carlos Bolado’s “Forgotten” (Olvidados), which deals with the 70s Operation Condor. Another likely choice is “Yvy Maraey,” which highlights the mysticism of the country’s indigenous people and is the latest work by Juan Carlos Valdivia, whose films have represented Bolivia in 3 out of the 6 occasions they’ve participated. A long delayed road trip flick (“Once Upon a Time in Bolivia”) and a unique documentary (“Apricot”) round up the list of contenders.

1. "Forgotten" (Olvidados)

2. "Yvy Maraey: Land Without Evil" (Yvy Maraey: Tierra Sin Mal)

3. "Once Upon a Time in Bolivia" (Erase una vez en Bolivia)

4. "Apricot" (Durazno)

Brazil

Producing an impressive amount of films per year, the Brazilian film industry is seeing incredible progress recently. Particularly this year, the quality of works was exceptional across the board. Having such an overflow of great material could make it difficult to select just one. However, there are a few films that standout amongst the crowd. Fernando Coimbra’s debut feature “A Wolf at the Door” is undoubtedly the one to beat after receiving rave reviews and touring some of the most important international festivals. Its biggest competitors are the quiet character study “The Man of the Crowd” and the adorable coming-of-age tale “The Way He Looks.” Rounding up the top five are locally acclaimed “Runriver” and powerful Lgbt drama “Futuro Beach.”

1. "A Wolf at the Door" (O Lobo atrás da Porta)

2. "The Man of the Crowd" (O Homem das Multidões)

3. "The Way He Looks" (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho)

4. "Riverrun" (Riocorrente)

5. "Futuro Beach" (Praia do Futuro)

Canada

This definitely seems like Xavier Dolan’s year. After sharing an award with New Wave patriarch Jean-Luc Godard in Cannes, the 25-year-old prodigy is almost a safe bet having two films that could represent his country. While “Mommy” is the clear favorite, it will have to go against “An Eye for Beauty, ” the latest film from Oscar-winner Denys Arcand. Both films will screen at Tiff in the upcoming weeks, just as time runs out for Canada to nominate a film by the end of September. Less probable but still great options are Dolan’s own “Tom at the Farm,” quirky black-and-white dramedy “Tu Dors Nicole,” and the well-received rural family drama “The Auction. ”

1. "Mommy"

2. "An Eye for Beauty" (Le Règne de la Beauté)

3. "Tom at the Farm" (Tom à la ferme)

4. "You's Sleeping Nicole" (Tu Dors Nicole)

5. "The Auction" (Le démantèlement)

Chile

Here is one of the few countries in the region with a very clear choice, but which sadly might decide to miss that opportunity. Alejandro Fernández Almendras ‘“To Kill a Man” won at Sundance, Rotterdam, Berlin, Cartagena amongst several other festivals and has received extremely positive reactions from critics and audiences. Yet, its opening date in its homeland (October 16th) might prevent it from being selected, which would be a regrettable mistake. A one-week run or an earlier release date would be a worthwhile investment. If they decide to leave it behind for next year, this great film would definitely miss its chance. If that is the case, the South American nation, which in recent years has garnered incredible success with films like “No” and “Gloria,” might decide to go with “The Dance of Reality,” the first film in over 20 years by veteran auteur Alejandro Jodorowsky. Other plausible candidates include “Illiterate” (starring Paulina Garcia), Marcela Said’s remarkable “The Summer of Flying Fish,” and historical biopic “Neruda.”

1. "To Kill a Man" (Matar a un Hombre)

2. "The Dance of Reality" (La Danza de la Realidad)

3. "Illiterate" (Las Analfabetas)

4. "The Summer of Flying Fish" (El Verano de los Peces Voladores)

5. "Neruda"

Colombia

Being forced to resort to mainstream cartel-themed fare in past occasions, this year has fortunately seen a fantastic reemergence of auteur-driven works in the country. Cartagena winner “Dust on the Tongue” is by far the most promising Colombian offer of the year with a thought-provoking premise. Next in line is “Mateo” about a young man struggling to pursue his passion for theater while living in a crime-ridden community. Other films include the touching “Catching Fireflies,” apocalyptic comedy “Chronicle of the End of the World,” and music-infused romance “Ciudad Delirio.” Franco Lolli’s award-winning “Gente de Bien” doesn’t have a release date yet, but will probably be in the running next year.

1. "Dust on the Tongue" (Tierra en la Lengua)

2. "Mateo"

3. "Chasing Fireflies" (Cazando Luciernagas)

4. "Chronicle of the End of the World" (Crónica del Fin del Mundo)

5. "Ciudad Delirio"

Costa Rica

Having three great films eligible for consideration, Costa Rica will likely enter the Oscar race for what would be only the third time in its history. Without a doubt, the country is spearheading Central America in terms of increased film production. Lauded throughout multiple festivals, “Red Princesses,” about a girl growing up in the Sandinista-era, is the most notable work. “Port Father,” a coming-of-age drama set in a coastal town and the comedy “All About the Feathers” are the other two that could be picked. Regardless of which one is selected, they all serve as an encouraging sign of growth for the Costa Rican industry.

1. "Red Princesses" (Princesas Rojas)

2. "Port Father" (Puerto Padre)

3. "All About the Feathers" (Por las Plumas)

Cuba

Hosting the Havana International Film Festival and its consistent investment in local talent make Cuba a unique place for film in the Caribbean. In spite of this, only a few national productions have reached cinemas this year. The three notable titles revolve around personal stories of survival and the struggles associated with living on the island. Winner of several international awards, “Behavior” is the clear favorite. “Melaza,” another local drama dealing with the economic challenges Cubans face and the gay love story “The Last Match,” complete the trio.

1. "Behavior" (Conducta)

2."Melaza"

3. "The Last Match" (La Partida)

Dominican Republic

For its size, this island nation has an impressive working industry that steadily produces films in diverse genres. The Dominican Republic will almost certainly participate again with one of the works by its homegrown talent. Screening in Toronto last year, crime romance “Cristo Rey” has the highest probability of being chosen. In second place is the documentary “The Mountain,” which centers on a unique expedition to Mount Everest by a Dominican team. Passionate road trip story “To the South of Innocence” and psychological thriller “Despertar ” conform the list of options.

1. "Cristo Rey"

2. "The Mountain"(La Montaña)

3. "To the South of Innocence" (Al Sur de la Inocencia)

4. "Despertar"

Ecuador

Seemingly dormant for many decades, the Ecuadorian film industry has recently exploded. Even though they have only submitted three times in the past, it appears they plan to make their presence more consistent moving forward. What is even more surprising, are the numerous alternatives they have to make their selection. At the top of the list is “Holiday,” which premiered in Berlin and has received considerable praise. Two other art house offers, “Silence in Dreamland” and “Saudade,” could be serious contenders. “Girl Without Fear,” a gritty crime film and “The Facilitator,” a politically charged work, have less chances but are still interesting offers.

1. "Holiday" (Feriado)

2. "Silence in Dreamland" (El Silencio en la Tierra de los Sueños)

3. "Saudade"

4. "Girl With No Fear" (Ciudad Sin Sombra)

5. "The Facilitator" (El Facilitador)

El Salvador

Sporadically producing feature length works due to the lack of initiatives that facilitate their funding, El Salvador has never entered the race. Nevertheless, there are three films that could potentially be submitted: Supernatural horror film "The Supreme Book," romantic comedy "The Re-Search," and the more viable choice, " The Four Cardinal Points," a documentary about the diverse lifestyles throughout the tiny country. The latter was exhibited commercially as part of Ambulante El Salvador for about a week, which could possibly make it eligible. But in all honesty, it is hard to think they’ll feel so inclined as to participate.

1. "El Salvador: The Four Cardinal Points" (El Salvador: Cuatro Puntos Cardinales)

2. "The Re-Search" (La ReBusqueda)

3. "The Supreme Book" (El Libro Supremo)

Guatemala

With only one submission under their belt back in 1994 and several missed opportunities in recent years, Guatemala might opt to remain out of the spotlight once again. If, however, they change their mind, there are three films that qualify to be entered. Focusing on the indigenous Maya‘s beliefs and legends, “Where the Sun is Born” is surely the most authentic and visually powerful of these films. Then there is “Pol,” a story about two teenage friends and their mishaps. Lastly, there is “12 Seconds,” a sort of slasher flick set in the countryside. It’s been 20 years since their last try, it wouldn’t hurt to see them make the effort once again.

1. "Where the Sun is Born" (Donde Nace el Sol)

2. "Pol"

3. "12 Seconds" (12 Segundos)

Honduras

Although they have never submitted an entry, the Central American country is showing signs of progress in terms of its film industry. With only two local, low budget films released this year, it is highly unlikely they will enter. Nevertheless, they do have an eligible film “11 Cipotes,” a sports comedy about a soccer team in a small town. The other film, “The Zwickys,” is surprisingly ineligible because it is mostly in English.

1. "11 Kids" (11 Cipotes)

Mexico

Now that the Mexican Academy has announced their shortlist - which strangely and inexplicably includes titles that have no scheduled release dates or that will be released after AMPAS' deadline (September 30th, 2014) - the landscape has dramatically changed. Three of the original selections mentioned here (“The Empty Hours,” “Potosi,” and “ Club Sandwich”) are not included among the finalists. It is important to note that films need to be submitted by the filmmakers in order to be considered by the Mexican Academy. One can assume that these films, though they qualify, decided not to participate. The 21 films listed include several documentaries such as “Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border,” “Disrupted” (Quebranto), “Eufrosina’s Revolution” (La Revolución de los Alcatraces), and “H2Omx" among others. But even if many of these are outstanding films, it is highly unlikely that the Academy will decide to go with a documentary over a narrative given their track record and the other options available. Comedic offers like the charming “Paraíso” by Mariana Chenillo, "Flying Low" (Volando Bajo), and "The Last Call" (Tercera Llamada) also made it in. Just like last year with “Instructions Not Included,” most people could assume that the film with the most commercial prospects would make for a good candidate for Oscar consideration, in this case that would be the biopic “Cantinflas," which was also listed. Fortunately, however, the selection committee often prefers to bet on films honored internationally regardless of their controversial content (“Heli,” “After Lucia,” “Silent Light,” “The Crime of Father Amaro”).

With the new additions, the possibilities have shifted. On the top spot is Alonso Ruiz Palacios’ black and white debut “Güeros,” which won in Berlin and Tribeca, and screened at Karlovy Vary. The festival pedigree will definitely help this unique road trip film set in Mexico City during the late 90s. The runner up is Luis Urquiza’s “Perfect Obedience,” though it did not have any festival exposure or a highly profitable theatrical run, the local critics praised the compelling portrayal of a depraved Catholic priest with satirical undertones. It would definitely make for a great contender if the Academy were willing to run the risk given its controversial subject matter. At number three we have Christian Diaz Pardo’s “Gonzalez,” an intriguing drama about a man looking to change his destiny by joining a for profit evangelical church. Dark comedy “ Workers,” by Salvadoran filmmaker Jose Luis Valle, comes in at number four. Lastly, there is Luis Estrada’s long awaited new film “The Perfect Dictatorship,” which made the cut despite having an October 16th release date. The film could definitely come into play; however, voters should consider the fact that its premise and humor might be too specific to the Mexican political idiosyncrasies to connect with foreign voters. Two other films that might be in the race next year are “Perpetual Sadness” (La Tirisia) and “ The Well” (Manto Acuifero)

1."Güeros"

2. "Perfect Obedience" (Obediencia Perfecta)

3. "Gonzalez"

4. "Workers"

5. "The Perfect Dictatorship" (La Dictadura Perfecta)

Nicaragua

With three submissions in over 30 years (1982, 1988, 2010), Nicaragua is the Central American nation with the most attempts at Oscar glory. More astonishing perhaps, is the fact that their first ever entry, “Alsino and the Condor,” earned them a nomination. These days production is almost non-existent. Still, the country’s most prolific filmmaker Florence Jaugey, responsible for their last submission “La Yuma,” made a small documentary titled “Class Days." It is just over 50 minutes long but actually had a theatrical run. Though eligible, it’s probable they’ll decide to skip this year. On the other hand, Jaugey has just finished a new narrative new feature, “The Naked Screen” (La Pantalla Desnuda), which will surely be part of the conversation next year.

1. "Class Days" (Dias de Clase)

Panama

An unprecedented amount of national productions were scheduled to premier in Panama during 2014. All of those four films - which by the country’s standards is an exceptional number - are documentaries. However, only two of them will be eligible given their set release dates. Out of those two, the top choice would certainly be Abner Benaim’s “Invasion” which uses reenactments in lieu of archive footage to revisit the American military intervention in the Central American country in 1989. The runner-up, “Majesty,” deals with the more lighthearted subject of carnival queens. In any case, should Panama decide to submit a film, this would be their first ever appearance.

1. "Invasion"

2. "Majesty" (Reinas)

Paraguay

Disappointed after missing the chance to submit last year's surprise hit “7 Boxes”due to the lack of a selection committee, Paraguayan authorities have stressed their wish to send a film to compete this time around. Unfortunately, it appears that their two best options might be scheduled to open theatrically past the Academy’s deadline. The documentary “Cloudy Times,” a Swiss co-production, has garnered positive reactions internationally and would be their best shot. A second choice could be the crime flick “Filthy Luck,” which sports a decent production value. But if neither of them manages to qualify, then the country’s only other option is yet another crime film “End of the Line.” In any case, hopefully they follow through with their intentions and participate for the first time.

1. "Cloudy Times" (El Tiempo Nublado)

2. "Filthy Luck" (Luna de Cigarras)

3. "End of the Line" (Fin de Linea)

Peru

The eclectic collection of Peruvian films released this year speaks of the great development the medium is experiencing in that country. The five films mentioned here represent the array of genres and stories coming out of Peru today. Given its incredible reception abroad, dark comedy “The Mute” by Daniel Vega Vidal & Diego Vega Vidal is undoubtedly the frontrunner. Behind it comes the intriguing thriller “Guard Dog” starring Peruvian star Carlos Alcántara, multi-narrative drama “The Gospel of the Flesh,” romantic tearjerker “Trip to Timbuktu,” and “Old Friends” about a group of elderly men on a mission. Definitely a though decision needs to be made.

1. "The Mute" (El Mudo)

2. "Guard Dog" (Perro Guardian)

3. "The Gospel of the Flesh" (El Evangelio de la Carne)

4. "Trip to Timbuktu" (Viaje a Tombuctu)

5. "Old Friends" (Viejos Amigos)

Uruguay

Last year the country decided to take a chance and submit the adorable animated film “Anina,” which despite not getting a nomination has become a great success. This time they have “The Militant,” a serious contender about a man retuning to his late father’s hometown. Empowered by a positive festival run, this seems to be their most ideal option. “23 Seconds,” a drama about an unlikely connection between two people and “Mr. Kaplan,” a buddy comedy by Álvaro Brechner - whose previous film “A Bad Day to Go Fishing” was selected a few years back - are the next best choices. The remaining film “At 60 km/h” is a documentary about a unique journey around the world.

1. "The Militant" (El Lugar del Hijo)

2. "23 Seconds" (23 Segundos)

3. "Mr. Kaplan"

4. "At 60 Km/h" (A 60 Km/h)

Venezuela

Dubbed as “the most expensive film ever made in Latin America” and focusing on the accomplishments of the country’s most important historical figure, selecting “The Liberator” is simply a no-brainer. Added to those qualities, the film is actually an elegantly achieved period piece that really showcases the sizable budget and director Alberto Arvelo’s talent. Two of his previous films have also represented his country in the past. On the other hand, this has been a monumental year for Venezuelan films. Festival darling “Bad Hair” would be the perfect choice if it weren’t going against the imposing major production. Other important films that could figure in the mix but have much less prospects are the emotional road-trip film “The Longest Distance,” the women-centered drama “Liz in September,” and the acclaimed thriller “Solo.”

1. "The Liberator" (El Libertador)

2. "Bad Hair" (Pelo Malo)

3. "The Longest Distance" (La Distnacia Mas Larga)

4. "Liz in September" (Liz en Septiembre)

5. "Solo"
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Paradise of a Different Sort: Cartagena, Colombia Part I: The City and The Winners of Ficci

Today I am writing from Cartagena, Colombia where I attended Ficci, the Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias.

This former colonial jewel in the crown of Spain offers a huge array of delights, film-wise, art-wise, food-wise and people-wise. Gorgeous arts and gorgeous people, sweet, polite and proud. As much as I love Havana, Cartagena is how Havana should look.

And as much as I loved Careyes where I was last week, the art and artisanal scope here is so wide; from the Colombian painter and sculptor, Botero to indigenous palm weaving – décor for homes (not cheap!), bags, designer clothing, linen and rubies.

Aside from films, my big discoveries of the day are Ruby Rumie, a Colombian artist who spends much of her time here in her studio in the Getsemaní section of town and in Chile. Coincidentally (again) Gary Meyer (Telluride Film Festival) and his wife Cathy who are here with Gary on the Documentary Competition Jury (I just left them in Careyas!) also just discovered her as well. The other artist, Olga Amaral, works in indigenous styles of weaving and textile production and now is favoring gold leaf displays of woven wall tapestries. Stunning. Both are available at the Nh Gallery, a place I just happened to wander into as I was walking from the theater to my equally stunning hotel Casa Pestagua.

The courteous and helpful people here are a proud mix of white, brown and black. They say the blacks will never follow the orders of a white. They say the blood of slaves is embedded in the wall fortifications of the city. The Inquisition here was very powerful, and they say the Jews (Conversos) coming in the conquistadors’ ships went to settle Medellín and the Catholics to Bogotá. Cartagena was the last city to be free of the Spanish crown and as such, it was extremely conservative.

It would take days to visit all the museums throughout the city. The Art Biennale is now in many of them (free entry) including the Museum of the Inquisition with its torture machines. The Museum of Gold with pre-Colombian gold artworks is astounding. All the gold of Latin America (and emeralds, diamonds and silver) went from here in the Spanish galleons back to Spain until the city declared its independence in 1811. We in the North know this history but from a different perspective. Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America and Gonzalo Arijon’s documentary Eyes Wide Open, an update of Galeano’s ideas are good starting points for understanding this part of the world. Eye opening indeed!

The beauty of the city and its people is matched by the food. There is great food here here and some very haute cuisine restaurants. Ceviches of many kinds, new sweet fruits like the pitaya and the drink mixing limeade and coconut milk delight the palate. The festival invites enough but not too many industry folks so it can host lunches and dinners in wonderful venues along with cocktail hours where we can all meet and talk. Talk among us is of food and film, film and food…even of food film festivals that are cropping up from Berlin, San Sebastian, here and in Northern California…stay tuned.

The Colombian government is aware of the need for the public to rediscover their own stories and to this end all the festival screenings are free, and all are packed Sro. The government also supports filmmakers with a deliberate, well-planned and well executed strategy to increase production and create an infrastructure.

Colombian films’ biggest challenge is to increase their share of their rapidly growing domestic market, worth $182.3 million in box office in 2012. One way forward is international co-production, where Bam (Bogotá Audiovisual Market) July 14-18, 2014 plays a large role. There is a mini version of this here (Encuentros Cartagena), centering on French and Colombian co-production, but not limited to that, with guests like George Goldenstern from Cinefondation (Cannes), producer/ international sales agent Marie-Pierre Masia and and the ever present Thierry Lenouvel of Cine-Sud whose film Tierra en la lengua aka Dust on the Tongue won the Best Picture Award in Competition. Vincenzo Bugno of World Cinema Fund of the Berlinale is always here too as is Jose Maria Riba on the Jury of the Competition and programmer for San Sebastian and Directors Fortnight. Also on the jury are Wendy Mitchel and Pawel Pawlikowski whose film Ida (Isa: Portobello Film Sales) is playing (outside of the Competition). A look at the winning competition films shows the strength of co-productions today.

Best Picture: Dust on the Tongue of Ruben Mendoza (Colombia) Colombia Film of $15,000. Special Jury Prize: The Third Side of the River (La tercera orilla) which premiered in Competition at the Berlinale, by Celina Murga (Argentina, Netherlands, Germany) (Isa: The Match Factory) Best Director: Alejandro Fernández Almendras for To kill a man (Matar a un hombre) which premiered in Sundance (Chile, France). Film Factory is selling international rights and Film Movement has U.S. It also won the Fipresci or International Critics’ Award. Best Actor: Fernando Bacilio by El Mudo (Peru, Mexico, France), Urban Distribution International is the sales agent.

Cinema in Colombia continues its steep ascent in the international production world. The reasons, according to Bugno, lie in “new political decisions, funding structures, and the developing of a new producing environment that also has to do with new emerging young talent.”

A visit to the festival headquarters proves the point of the extensive government support of film not only for its own sake, but for the sake of all the people, dispossessed, abused, Lgbt, children and women. It is a beautiful sight to see such support, and the people seem to reciprocate; I hear more praise than complaints about the government and everyone seems cautiously optimistic, aware of its current position vis à vis what has thankfully become recent history with the guerillas who had been waging war with the government for the past 40 years and the current elections and competing points of view between the former President Uribe and the current President Juan Manuel Santos.

Aecid , Association Espagnola de Cooperacon Internacional para el Desarrollo (The Spanish Association for International Cooperation for Development), a festival sponsor supports social cohesion, equality of genders, construction of peace, respect for cultural diversity and the reduction of poverty.

Currently in Colombia, national cinema holds a 10% share of the Colombian market and 8% of the box office. In 2012, 213 films were produced in Colombia, a huge increase since 2009 when 19 were produced according to Ocal, the Observotario del Cine f nCl [sic]. In 2012, 23 of the 213 domestic films were released theatrically, a tremendous increase from the 6 Colombian films released in the year 2000. [1],[2] This number surpasses every record in Colombia’s film history

This 10 day spectacular film festival gives free entry to all at 8 theaters and, proving the point that people love the movies, every single screening is packed solid, Sro. More than 135 films come from 27 countries. 48 daily screenings include 14 open air screenings in great locations. There are 40 world premieres and 26 Latin American premieres.

150 invited guests included Abbas Kiarostami, Clive Owen, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, Pavel Pawlikowsky with his film Ida, John Sayles with whom I had an interesting talk about U.S. current distribution and of Return of Seacaucus Seven and Sunshine State. The screening of his film Go For Sisters has received an enthusiastic response from the audiences.

Since 2013, coproductions between the U.S. and Colombia with variations on the theme are on the rise. With its 40% cash rebate, Colombia is proving to be a great place to make movies.

Colombians such as Simon Brand are making English language genre films such as this year’s festival debuting Default (Isa: Wild Bunch). For budgets under Us$1 million, action, thrillers and horror genres can cross borders, and can recoup costs and even profit.

The reverse is also notable. Four films screening here are Colombian films made by Americans. The winner to three prizes here for Best Director, Best Documentary and the Audience Prize, Marmato by Marc Grieco was workshopped twice at Sundance where it premiered this January 2014. It is represented internationally by Ro*co and its U.S. representative is Ben Weiss at Paradigm. The other three remarkable debut films are Mambo Cool by Chris Gude,Manos Sucias by Josef Wladyka (a Japanese-Polish American) and Parador Hungaro by Patrick Alexander and Aseneth Suarez Ruiz. Look for upcoming interviews with these four directors who came to Colombia and, because of their experiences here, decided to make these exceptional movies. My next blog will be interviews with each of these films’ directors.

Secundaria , the first film I saw here was not shot here although it too was directed by an American who made 21 trips to Cuba to make it. Documenting the high school ballet training and competitions held by Cuba’s world famous National Ballet School -- Watch the trailer here -- it was not only beautiful but it magically captured the ever-present economic issues of Cuba. I can’t wait to see Primaria about the grade school of the Nbs.

Director and coproducer Mary Jane Doherty has been an Associate Professor of Film at Boston University since 1990. Proud of her lineage as a student of iconic documentarian Ricky Leacock, she developed B.U.’s Narrative Documentary Program: a novel approach to non-fiction storytelling using the building blocks of fiction film. Lyda Kuth , the coproducer, is founding board member and executive director of the Lef Foundation, which supports independent filmmakers through the Lef Moving Image Fund. In 2005, she established Nadita Productions and was producer/director on her first feature documentary, Love and Other Anxieties.

A cocktail party is given daily at the festival where we can all meet up. It was there I met Gail Gendler VP of Acquisitions for AMC/ Sundance Channel Global (international not domestic) and Gus

Dinner one night was with the jury for Nuevos Creadores (New Creators). Cynthia Garcia Calvo, Editor in Chief of LatamCinema.com, a Latino equivalent to Indiewire.com out of Chile and Argentina and I spoke of possible ways to cooperate. The third member of the jury, Javier Mejia, director of Colombia’s best film of 2008 Apocalypsur also has a documentary here, Duni, about a Chilean filmmaker who left Chile during the dictatorship and came to Colombia where he made political films in Medellin but never discussed his reasons for coming or even his Chilean roots. How happy I was that I had seen and enjoyed the films of the third jury member, Daniel Vega, who with his brother Diego made The Mute aka El Mudo (Isa: Urban Media) which played in Toronto and San Sebastian and his earlier film October, both dark comedies or perhaps dramadies dealing with subjective realities in unique environs of Peru we have never seen. He promised to help me with the Peru chapter of my upcoming book. Peru is in the lower middle of countries which support filmmaking. Their film fund is a rather laid back affair administered by the Ministry of Culture who receives money from the Ministry of Finance when they “get around to it”.

Jury for New Creators: Javier Mejía, Cynthia García Calvo and Diego Vega,displaying the winner for the Best Short Film: Alen Natalia Imery (Universidad del Valle) who won a Sony video camera, 2,000, 000 pesos of in kind services from Shock Magazin, and a scholarship for graduate Project Management and Film Production at the Autonomous University of Bucaramanga

Second prize went to The murmur of the earth Alejandro Daza (National University) - Win a Sony camera, and a Fellowship for Graduate Record Audio and Sound Design of the Autonomous University of Bucaramanga.

Other winners are:

Official Colombian Film Competition

Jurors: David Melo - Alissa Simon - Daniela Michel

Best Film: Marmato by Mark Grieco (Colombia, USA) Winner of the I.Sat Award for $30K and the Cinecolor Award for $11k in deliveries

Special Jury Prize: Mateo by María Gamboa

Best Director: Rubén Mendoza for Dust on the Tongue (Tierra en la lengua). Winner of Hangar Films Award for $30K in film equipment to produce his next film.

Additional Awards

Audience Award Colombia: Marmato by Mark Grieco (Colombia, USA). Winner of $15K

Official Documentary Competition

Jurors: Gary Meyer- Luis Ospina - Laurie Collyer

Best Film: Marmato by Mark Grieco (Colombia, USA). Winner of the Cinecolor Award for $13Kin post-production services.

Special Jury Prize: What Now? Remind Me (E Agora? Lembra-me) by Joaquim Pinto (Portugal)

Best Director: Justin Webster for I Will Be Murdered (Seré asesinado) (Spain, Denmark, U.K.)

Official Short Film Competition

JurorsOswaldo Osorio -Pacho Bottia - Denis de la Roca

Best Short Film: Statues (Estatuas) by Roberto Fiesco (Mexico). Winner of a professional Sony camera and $3K from Cinecolor in post-production services for his next project.

Special Jury Prize: About a Month (Pouco Mais de um Mês) by André Novais Oliveira (Brazil)

Best Director: Manuel Camacho Bustillo for Blackout chapter 4 "A Call to Neverland" (Blackout capítulo 4 "Una llamada a Neverland") (Mexico). Winner of a Sony photographic camera.

Gems

Jurors: Mauricio Reina - Manuel Kalmanowitz - Sofia Gomez Gonzalez

Best Film: Like Father, Like Son by Hirokazu Koreeda (Japan). Winner of the Rcn Award for $50 to promote the release of the film in Colombia.

Special Jury Prize: Ilo Ilo by Anthony Chen (Singapore)

[1] http://www.cinelatinoamericano.org/ocal/cifras.aspx

[2] http://www.mincultura.gov.co/areas/cinematografia/estadisticas-del-sector/Documents/Anuario%202012.p...
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Film Review: ‘The Mute’

Film Review: ‘The Mute’
An over-honest judge is made voiceless after a drive-by shooting he’s convinced isn’t accidental in Daniel and Diego Vega’s largely deadpan black comedy, “The Mute.” The brothers’ follow-up to their debut, “October,” has a similarly restrained style but delivers more of a bite, with a damning portrait of a society where corruption is endemic and betrayal so common it barely rates a raised eyebrow. While there are moments of power, the pic’s metaphor of enforced silence — the one person wanting to shout against the system is muted — renders the concept overly obvious. Fest chatter will be more vocal.

Lead Fernando Bacilio’s win in Locarno as best actor, notwithstanding his deliberately one-note perf, should boost the film’s profile, along with Carlos Reygadas’ attachment as one of the co-producers. It also helps that Peruvian cinema is riding the wave of interest in Latin America, which means
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Albert Serra Film Wins Locarno Top Prize

Albert Serra Film Wins Locarno Top Prize
“Story of My Death,” Catalan director Albert Serra’s imagined meeting of two oft-filmed historical figures—Casanova and Dracula—won the Golden Leopard Saturday night at the 66th Locarno Film Festival, the first edition under the stewardship of festival director Carlo Chatrian.

The international competition jury headed by Filipino helmer Lav Diaz awarded the second-place Special Jury Prize to Portugal’s Joaquim Pinto for “What Now? Remind Me,” a widely admired diary film documenting the filmmaker’s battle against his combined HIV and Hepatitis C infections. Pic also nabbed the top prize of the Fipresci international film critics association.

The prolific Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo copped the best director Leopard for “Our Sunhi,” his second new film to premiere this year, following Berlin competition entry “Nobody’s Daughter Haewon.”

A double winner earlier this year at SXSW, Destin Cretton’s “Short Term 12” added another two prizes to its festival tally,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tiff 2013′s Cwc Includes Latest from Spielmann, Eimbcke, Rasoulof, Seidl & Corneliu Porumboiu

Final batch of Tiff titles were announced today and among the international hodgepodge of items trickling we find Berlin (Golden Bear winner Child’s Pose), Cannes (The Selfish Giant – Europa Cinemas Label winner and Stranger by the Lake by Alain Guiraudie), Karlovy Vary (Crystal Globe winner Le Grand Cahier ) and Locarno (Corneliu Porumboiu’s When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism) Film Fest items added to the Toronto Int. Film Festival’s Contemporary World Cinema lineup. Alongside those that have already premiered elsewhere, the titles that have got our attention are world premiere offerings from the likes of award-winning Icelandic helmer Ragnar Bragason (Metalhead), Revanche‘s Götz Spielmann (October November – see pic above) and Mexican filmmaker Fernando Eimbcke’s Club Sandwich. Here’s the added titles to the section which already includes: Catherine Martin’s A Journey (Une Jeune Fille), Ingrid Veninger’s The Animal Project, Terry MilesCinemanovels, Bruce Sweeney
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

2013 Toronto Festival: 90 New Titles Added Including New Miyazaki, Turturro, Durkin, Gibney, MacDonald and Wheatley

The titles just keep coming as we are now just over three weeks away from the start of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and they have gone and added 90 new feature length titles to the program and it's not as if they are titles you haven't heard of. New to the Galas selection is Guillaume Canet's Blood Ties which premiered at Cannes earlier this year (read my review here) and Words and Pictures starring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche. In the Special Presentations selection you find the bulk of the more noted titles including Alex Gibney's new documentary The Armstrong Lie about cyclist Lance Armstrong, Johnnie To's Blind Detective which also premiered at Cannes, James Franco's Child of God based on the Cormac McCarthy novel, John Turturro's Fading Gigolo which features Woody Allen in one of the roles, Kevin Macdonald's How I Live Now
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Toronto adds 75+ titles to line-up

  • ScreenDaily
Toronto adds 75+ titles to line-up
World premieres of Kevin Macdonald’s How I Live Now, Fred Schepisi’s Words And Pictures and John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo are among the Tiff line-up of galas and special presentations.

The Contemporary World Cinema strand includes first views of Jan Hrebejk’s Honeymoon, Donovan Marsh’s iNumber Number and Fernando Coimbra’s A Wolf At The Door.

The Toronto International Film Festival is scheduled to run from Sept 5-15.

Wp = World premiere

IP = International premiere

Np = North American premiere

Cp = Canadian premiere

Tp = Toronto premiere

GALASBlood Ties Guillaume Canet (France-us) NAPBright Days Ahead (Les Beaux Jours) Marion Vernoux (France) NAPWords & Pictures Fred Schepisi (Us) Wpspecial Presentationsa Promise (Une Promesse) Patrice Leconte (Belgium-France) NAPThe Armstrong Lie Alex Gibney (Us) NAPBlind Detective Johnnie To (Hong Kong) NAPChild Of God James Franco (Us) NAPThe Face Of Love Arie Posin (Us) WPFading Gigolo John Turturro (Us) WPThe Finishers Nils Tavernier (Belgium-France) WPHow I Live Now Kevin Macdonald (UK) WPThe
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Toronto unveils gala, special and world line-ups

  • ScreenDaily
Toronto unveils gala, special and world line-ups
World premieres of Kevin Macdonald’s How I Live Now, Fred Schepisi’s Words And Pictures and John Turturro’s Fading Gigolo are among the TIFF line-up of galas and special presentations announced on Tuesday [13].

The Contemporary World Cinema strand includes first views of Jan Hrebejk’s Honeymoon, Donovan Marsh’s iNumber Number and Fernando Coimbra’s A Wolf At The Door.

The Toronto International Film Festival is scheduled to run from Sept 5-15.

Wp = World premiere

IP = International premiere

Np = North American premiere

Cp = Canadian premiere

Tp = Toronto premiere

GALASBlood Ties Guillaume Canet (France-us) NAPBright Days Ahead (Les Beaux Jours) Marion Vernoux (France) NAPWords & Pictures Fred Schepisi (Us) Wpspecial Presentationsa Promise (Une Promesse) Patrice Leconte (Belgium-France) NAPThe Armstrong Lie Alex Gibney (Us) NAPBlind Detective Johnnie To (Hong Kong) NAPChild Of God James Franco (Us) NAPThe Face Of Love Arie Posin (Us) WPFading Gigolo John Turturro (Us) WPThe Finishers Nils Tavernier (Belgium-France) WPHow I Live Now [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Vivan Los Vegas: ‘Mudo’ Shows Way Forward for Peru

Locarno — Over 2009/10, Peru broke out, thanks to Claudia Llosa’s Berlin Golden Bear winner “The Milk of Sorrow,” Javier Fuentes-Leon’s “Undertow,” which took Sundance’s World Cinema Audience Award, and Daniel and Diego Vega’s “October,” which walked off at 2010’s Cannes with its Un Certain Regard Jury Prize.

Finally, a New Peruvian Cinema was born.

Three years later, there are few more anticipated Latin American second features than the Vega brothers’ “El mudo” which screens in competition Wednesday at Locarno.

“El mudo” underscores the filmmakers’ counter-establishment courage to make a putdown of a seemingly corruption-sodden modern-day Peru at a time that the country has become the darling of the financial world.

But the dramedy-thriller also says a lot about the paths top-end Latin American movies are now exploring.

“Sorrow” and Hector Galvez’s “Paradise,” which played Venice Horizons in 2009, were both set in Lima’s marginalized, humble outer-burbs.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Life Of A Judge: Trailer For El Mudo, A Sly, Dark Comedy

Sibling directors Daniel and Diego Vega have become two of the most promising filmmakers in modern Peruvian cinema, and all with just one film under their belts. 2010's October was a drama with comedic elements about a Scrooge-like loner forced to take care of an orphaned baby. It was well-received by critics and audiences and went on to win the Un Certain Regard Prize at that year's Cannes Film Festival.The Vega Bros. (sadly, no relation to a Tarantino film) are back with sophomore feature El Mudo, another dark comedy about a judge who, after a series of unexpected happenings, turns paranoid with the fear that someone is out to murder him. With the Peruvian justice system being regularly accused of corruption and judges being seen as...

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

2013 Cannes Film Festival Predictions: Daniel & Diego Vega’s El Mudo

#88. Daniel & Diego Vega’s El Mudo

Gist: Among the hodge-podge of Peruvian government officials, there is a man named Constantino Zegarra. He doesn’t fit anywhere and looks down on his colleagues because he has never succumbed to an act of corruption and, every time he has had the opportunity to do so, he has made an effort to impede it. Over his two decades as a government official he has cultivated purity – the fuel for his soul.

Prediction: Un Certain Regard. In 2010 the Daniel and Diego Vega were included in the exact same section with Octubre and walked away with the Jury Prize. El Mudo was an 2011 Atelier supported project and was recently selected to participate in Films in Progress 23 in Toulouse as part of the Rencontres Cinémas d’Amérique Latine. This potentially means that the Peru, France, Mexico co-production is either deep into the beginning or towards the end of editing phase.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

63 Countries Fight for Best Foreign Language Oscar Nomination

From Albania to Vietnam, 63 countries are hoping that their film entry will get picked to fill one of the five slots for Best Foreign Language Film for the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

Five slots, 63 countries, the competition is fierce! Is your country of choice one of the 63 hopefuls?

I'm happy that my home country, the Philippines, has an entry, the dramedy "The Woman in the Septic Tank" from director Marlon N. Rivera. Released in the Philippines on August 3rd, the film became the highest grossing independent movie in my country's cinema history. So keeping my fingers crossed for this movie!

The shortlist will be released in January and then it will be whittled down to five contenders when the nominations are announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2012. The winner will be announced on Oscar night on Sunday, February 26, 2012.

Take a look at the complete list of Best Foreign Language hopefuls:

Albania, "Amnesty,
See full article at Manny the Movie Guy »

63 Countries Submit Films for Final List of 2012 Foreign Language Oscar Contenders

Yesterday the Academy finally released the full list of 2012 Foreign Language Oscar contenders adding four films I did not have on my previous list from the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, United Kingdom and a mysterious title I can't find anything about from Kazakhstan and now that the short list has been announced and everyone has posted the Academy's press release it's like searching for a needle in a haystack if you go looking for more information on it. That said, if anyone has a link to any information on Egor Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky's Returning to the 'A' I would love to share it as I have links and information for all other 62 films submitted for consideration. As I said in my last post addressing the category, I haven't seen any of these films, a rarity for me, but based on buzz the top contenders would seem to include Zhang Yimou's The War of Flowers,
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »
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