Wolf Totem (2015) - News Poster

(2015)

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Cannes: ‘Skyfire,’ China’s First Big-Budget Disaster Movie, Shopped by Meridian Ent. (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Chinese-based companies Meridian Entertainment and Base FX are shopping “Skyfire” at Cannes, China’s first big-budget disaster movie, about a volcanic eruption. The film is directed by British helmer Simon West and stars Britain’s Jason Isaacs, Wang Xueqi (“Iron Man 3”), Shawn Dou (“Wolf Totem”) and Hannah Quinlivan (“Skyscraper”).

“Just as ‘The Wandering Earth’ was the breakout film for the sci-fi genre, we hope ‘Skyfire’ can do the same for the disaster genre,” Meridian’s CEO Jennifer Dong told Variety. “The China market is finally sufficiently large that it can support the making of a big-budget special effects film like this one just for the local market, yet this kind of VFX-heavy film is also something that viewers worldwide can understand and appreciate. We hope we’ve shot a Chinese film for a global audience.”

The film tells the story of people at a tropical resort who get caught up in a volcanic explosion.
See full article at Variety »

John Collee’s advice to emerging screenwriters

John Collee (l) with Anthony Maras.

John Collee is not only among Australia’s most successful screenwriters, his strike rate of scripts-to-screen is the envy of most of his peers.

The co-creator of Happy Feet, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Tanna and Hotel Mumbai, Collee estimates that one in every three or four feature scripts he’s written has been produced.

He’s not boasting but his batting average compares well to that of Guillermo del Toro. The writer-director of The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth and The Hobbit trilogy recently revealed on social media he had spent years developing 10 films which did not get made.

“Sometimes projects can be taken off you and written by someone else and your name is taken off then, but to have involvement in one of three films I’ve written is a pretty good record,” Collee tells If.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Jean-Jacques Annaud on Experimentation, Moving into Television Series

  • Variety
Jean-Jacques Annaud on Experimentation, Moving into Television Series
Jean-Jacques Annaud – recipient of this year’s EnergaCamerimage Director Duo Award along with his collaborator, Dp Jean-Marie Dreujou – always knew he wanted to be a filmmaker. Born during World War II, the future director got his first Brownie camera at age 7, and his first 35mm still camera at 10. By the time he turned 11, he was shooting 8mm films. “I didn’t want to play with my friends when I got home from school,” he recalls. “I immediately went to edit my films.”

After receiving diplomas from France’s two top film schools – now known as the Louis Lumiere school and La Femis – his teachers offered him up as an assistant to commercial producers, launching him into a career as director of more than 400 TV spots – after which he segued into feature films.

His collaborations with Dreujou include “Two Brothers” (2002), a poignant tale of two tigers struggling against captivity and human
See full article at Variety »

Roman Polanski Joins EnergaCamerimage’s Emotional Tribute to Lenser Witold Sobocinski

  • Variety
Roman Polanski Joins EnergaCamerimage’s Emotional Tribute to Lenser Witold Sobocinski
Europe’s mainstay fest for cinematography, newly rechristened EnergaCamerimage, launched its 26th edition and a week of 241 film screenings in the Polish town of Bydgoszcz on Saturday with a guest appearance by Roman Polanski.

The controversial but seminal director of classics such as “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown” took the stage to honor a longtime colleague, cinematographer Witold Sobocinski, with a lifetime achievement award for his luminous lensing. The pair, who shared stories from film school in Poland under the former communist regime, worked together in 1988 on “Frantic,” the Paris-set thriller starring Emmanuelle Seigner, now Polanski’s wife.

The master lenser also filmed “The Wedding” and the Oscar-nommed “The Promised Land,” both directed by Andrzej Wajda.

Fest director Marek Zydowicz credited Sobocinski with influencing a generation of cinematographers, noting he continues to teach at the Lodz film school that has set dozens of future directors and camera people on their professional paths.
See full article at Variety »

Film Review: ‘Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings’

  • Variety
Film Review: ‘Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings’
Sorcery and delusions of power are the dominant themes of “Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings,” the third and most spectacular of the Chinese franchise about a real-life sleuth of the Tang dynasty. This time the hero uncovers a court conspiracy in which conjurers of illusions play a deadly role, a pretext for director Tsui Hark to run amok with visual effects while slipping in his usual political innuendoes about Machiavellianism and mind-control. On the level of pure popcorn entertainment, there’s not a thing one can fault the 3D megabuster for, and it should steamroll other domestic competition in the summer domestic market while satisfying Tsui’s longtime followers.

At 68, the Hong Kong genre maestro’s childlike imagination and technical inventiveness seems inexhaustible. The script, co-written by Tsui with Chang Chialu, who also teamed up for the last two chapters of the franchise (“Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom
See full article at Variety »

Edko Films to sell 'Everybody's Fine' at Efm

  • ScreenDaily
Edko Films to sell 'Everybody's Fine' at Efm
Exclusive: Zhang Meng’s remake of Guiseppe Tornatore’s Stanno Tutti Bene stars Zhang Guoli.

Hong Kong’s Edko Films has added Zhang Meng’s Everybody’s Fine, a remake of Guiseppe Tornatore’s Stanno Tutti Bene, to its Berlin slate.

Zhang Guoli (Back To 1942) stars as a widower who embarks on a road trip to reconnect with his four adult children and discovers that their lives are far from perfect. The children are played by Chen He (Running Man), Yao Chen (Monster Hunt), Shawn Dou (Wolf Totem) and Ye Qianyun.

Scripted by Liu Ya and Song Xiao, the film is a more commercial turn for Zhang Meng, who is known for arthouse fare such as The Piano In A Factory.

Tornatore’s 1990 original starred Marcello Mastroianni and a 2009 Hollywood remake featured Robert De Niro as the concerned patriarch.

Edko is also launching sales on romantic comedy Finding Mr Right 2, which reteams director Xue Xiaolu and actors
See full article at ScreenDaily »

The 10 most important Asian films of 2015

2015, once again confirmed the continuous progress of Asian cinema, and particularly of the countries of South-East Asia that seem to be the most influential from the continent in the global scene. Here are the ten most influential of them, though not solely due to their quality as films, but for other reasons as well.

Monster hunt

Though not of so much quality as a masterpiece, this particular film entailed elements that echoed the tastes of the majority of the Chinese movie fans, including video games, kung fu, comedy, musical a little drama and much action. Thus, “Moster Hunt” is currently the most commercially successful film of all times in China, having income that surpass $370 million.

Spl 2: A time of consequence

The long awaited sequel of the initial movie that had made quite an impression with its action scenes and totally unexpected finale, was a sequel just in name. The
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Past Winners and Nominees Back in Contention: 88th Academy Awards' Best Score

'The Peanuts Movie': 2016 Best Original Score Oscar contender along with 111 other titles. Oscar 2016: Best Original Score contenders range from 'Mad Max: Fury Road' to 'The Peanuts Movie' Earlier this month (Dec. '15), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made public the list of 112 film scores eligible for the 2016 Oscar in the Best Original Score category. As found in the Academy's press release, “a Reminder List of works submitted in the Original Score category will be made available with a nominations ballot to all members of the Music Branch, who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.” The release adds that “to be eligible, the original score must be a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring, and must
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

112 Original Scores Advance In The 88th Oscar Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 112 scores from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2015 are in contention for nominations in the Original Score category for the 88th Academy Awards.

The eligible scores along with their composers are listed below, in alphabetical order by film title:

Adult Beginners,” Marcelo Zarvos, composer

The Age of Adaline,” Rob Simonsen, composer

Altered Minds,” Edmund Choi, composer

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” Mark Mothersbaugh, composer

Anomalisa,” Carter Burwell, composer

Ant-Man,” Christophe Beck, composer

Beasts of No Nation,” Dan Romer, composer

The Big Short,” Nicholas Britell, composer

Black Mass,” Tom Holkenborg, composer

Bridge of Spies,” Thomas Newman, composer

Brooklyn,” Michael Brook, composer

Burnt,” Rob Simonsen, composer

By the Sea,” Gabriel Yared, composer

Carol,” Carter Burwell, composer

Cartel Land,” H. Scott Salinas and Jackson Greenberg, composers

Chi-Raq,” Terence Blanchard, composer

Cinderella,” Patrick Doyle, composer

Coming Home,” Qigang Chen, composer

Concussion,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

2015 Ajyal Youth Film Festival Brings Inspiring Films to Qatar

The third annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival presented by the Doha Film Institute (November 29 to December 5) showcases feature films from 20 countries and a series of short film programs in Katara, Qatar.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Festival Director and CEO of the Doha Film Institute, says: “By providing young people with access to international cinema, filmmakers from around the world, and the space to discuss their ideas and develop critical thinking, Ajyal empowers the youngest members of our community and develops their understanding of the world around them.”

Academy Award nominated director, Hany Abu-Assad and Arab Idol champion Mohammed Assaf, whose life story "The Idol" is based on, will attend the Opening Night and will participate in a special ‘In Conversation’ session about bringing Assaf’s life story to the big screen and highlight the power of combining music and cinema and the challenges facing Arab artists today.

Read more about "The Idol" and an interview with Hany Abu-Assad at its debut at Tiff 2015.

Aside from the daily public screenings of local and international films other events are the popular "Made in Qatar"; Sony Cinema Under the Stars; Family Weekend; the Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit ; special events and exhibitions; the Sandbox interactive digital playground; school screenings; and the Ajyal Competition, where hundreds of young jurors between the ages of 8 and 21 will watch and discuss shorts and features and decide on the winning films. competition line-up.

The popular "Made in Qatar" section features 17 films -- nine narrative shorts and eight documentaries by local talent.

More than 500 young people from the ages of 8 to 21 make up the Ajyal Competition Jury which will watch and analyze a dynamic program of films in three competitive sections followed by discussions and events including panels, workshops and Q&A sessions with filmmakers.

Each of the three Ajyal Juries are made of 24 international jurors from 12 countries including Australia, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Serbia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. The jury awards a Best Film prize to their favorite short and feature-length film, for a total of six awards. The directors of the winning films are awarded funding toward their next film, so jurors are empowered to support and promote future content that is relevant and important to them in a proactive way.

Mohaq means ‘New Moon’ in Arabic, and these are Ajyal’s youngest jurors, aged 8 to 12. These jurors will watch one program of short films and four feature-length films, marking the first year that competitive feature films are included in this category. They are: "Celestial Camel" (Russia) by Yury Feting about a young sheepherder living in the desolate Kalmyk Steppe, who sets off on an epic journey after his father is forced to sell the family’s beloved camel calf; "The Greatest House in the World" (Guatemala, Mexico) by Ana V. Bojórquez and Lucía Carreras - a film about the never-ending circle of life told through the story of a young girl in the isolated highlands of Guatemala; "Paper Planes"(Australia) by Robert Connolly - a tale of friendship, creativity and the bonds of family which centers around an 11-year-old boy with an exceptional talent for creating paper airplanes; and "Phantom Boy" by Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol (France, Belgium) an animated film about an 11-year-old boy whose illness allows him to have out-of-body experiences and mysterious powers.

Ajyal’s jurors aged 13 to 17 are the Hilal jury – the term means ‘Crescent Moon’ in Arabic. Five feature films and a program of shorts make up this jury’s film selection. The feature films competing in this section are: "Lamb" (France, Ethiopia, Germany, Norway, Qatar) by Yared Zeleke, a portrait of a young Ethiopian boy trying to find his way in the world; "Landfill Harmonic" (U.S.) directed by Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley and recent audience award winning documentary at Napa Valley Film Festival, that tracks the astounding rise of a Paraguayan youth orchestra whose members live next to one of South America's largest landfills and make their instruments from recycled materials; "Mina Walking" (Canada, Afghanistan), a multiple award winning documentary by Yosef Baraki, a powerful tale of a 12-year-old girl in war-torn Afghanistan struggling to make ends meet for her family; "Scarecrow " (The Philippines) by Zig Madamba Dulay which explores the complicated relationship of social injustice and familial expectations through the story of a young mother in a rural town; and " Wolf Totem" (China, France) by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Set against the backdrop of the Chinese Cultural Revolution 1967, it is the story of a two young Chinese students who are sent on a research assignment with the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Mongolia and become fascinated by the wolves that roam the plains.

The most mature of Ajyal’s juries, Bader (Arabic for ‘Full Moon’) jurors are aged 18 to 21 and will select their favorite films from five features and two programs of short films. The feature films vying for top honors in this section are: "An" (Japan, France, Germany) by Naomi Kawase is a drama about a lonely baker whose life is reinvigorated when he hires an elderly woman with a special culinary skill; "The Second Mother " (Brazil's submission for Oscar nomination) by Anna Muylaert which is an exploration of the bond between mothers and their children told through the story of a housekeeper in Sao Paulo (Read review and interview with director Anna Muylaert here); "Taxi" (Iran), winner of Fipresci and Golden Bear Awards in Berlin 2015, by Jafar Panahi in which the celebrated Iranian director places himself in the driver’s seat of a cab, taking fares to their destinations in a wonderful portrait of contemporary Iran; "Very Big Shot" (Lebanon, Qatar), a bold and insightful dark comedy by Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya that skewers political corruption and the media circus that goes with it; and "Walls" (Spain) - a documentary by Pablo Iraburu and Migueltxo Molina that follows several subjects on both sides of three contemporary international borders, demonstrating that the people on each side of the barriers are not as different as they may believe.

In addition to the three competitive sections, the Festival’s youngest audiences under the age of 8 years will also vote for their favorite film with the help of their parents who will determine the Parents’ Choice Award in the Bariq program. Bariq films are selected to satisfy the excitement and curiosity of young children and are suitable for the whole family. This year’s program features a collection of eight short films and will also include a special outdoor cine-concert on the Katara esplanade by the Festival Tout-Petits Cinéma from Paris, with four films accompanied by live music by pianist Anthony Boulc’h and saxophonist Fanch Minous.

A senior jury of three eminent figures from the local and regional industry will determine the winners of the competitive section comprising feature films from 20 countries and a series of short film program with two awards being presented for Best Short Narrative Film and Best Short Documentary Film. The 2015 jury members are film producer Bassam Al Ibrahim (Qatar), who is the CEO of Innovation Films and co-founder of ILoveQatar.net; film actress, director and producer, Ahd (Saudi Arabia), internationally renowned for her performance in Haifaa al-Mansour’s " Wadjda;" and respected veteran journalist and media personality, Marcel Ghanem (Lebanon).

Fatma Al Remaihi said: “It has been another productive and inspiring year for filmmaking in Qatar and this year’s Made in Qatar selection indicates the rapid growth and diversity that we are witnessing in the Qatari film industry."

The films in the 2015 Ajyal Youth Film Festival Made in Qatar section are:

Made in Qatar Program 1, Wednesday 2nd December

"To My Mother" by Amina Al Bloshi

"Light Sounds" by Karem Kamel

"Her Majlis" by Najla Al Khulaifi, Dana Al Mesnad and Nayla Al Thani

"The Palm Tree" by Jassim Al-Rumaihi

"Yellow Nights" by Abdulla al Mulla

"If They Only Knew" by Sana Al-Ansari

"Heart of the House" by Gabrielle Sol

"The Notebook" by Amna Albinali

Made in Qatar Program 2, Friday 4th December

"Charlie" by Ali Ali

"Immortalizing Memories" by Mostafa Sheshtawy

"Asfoora" by Mayar Hamdan

"Good as New" by Jaser Alagha

"I Choose Islam" by Noor Al-Tamimi, Silma Suba and Zac J. Hollo

"Mariam" by Zainab Ayon

"Time" by Yassine Ouahrani

"Man of the House" by Khalifa AlMarri

"Veganize It!" by Khalid Salim

Closing night will be the world premiere of animated feature film "Bilal" (UAE/2015), a new animated feature film made with funding from the Doha Film Institute and produced by Dubai-based Barajoun Studios. Involving creative talents from 22 countries, "Bilal " by Directors Ayman Jamal and Khurram Alavi is an inspiring adventure story of faith, hope and self-discovery. Inspired by the real-life story of Bilal Bin Rabah, the film's cutting edge animation technology, impeccable research and high production values will resonate with audiences across generations. The cast and crew of the film will be in attendance for the premiere including the directors of the film and cast members Andre Robinson ("Despicable Me 2") and Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje ("Lost", "The Bourne Identity", "Game of Thrones") who voice the young and adult Bilal respectively.

The Ajyal Family Weekend will feature the regional premiere of Marking the Un International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Ajyal 2015 will present in a regional first, an inclusive cinema experience specially ‘transadapted’ to suit audiences with different abilities, a special screening of Al Rayyan Productions animated short "Hero and the Message" (Qatar/2012). Guests will be able to view the film through sound alone, with special subtitles for people who have difficulty understanding speech. This inclusive version of the film has been developed with the support of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and is the result of a collaboration between the Doha Film Institute and the Translation and Interpreting Institute at Hamad Bin Khalifa University who are spearheading the development of transadapted content in the Gulf region.

Fatma Al Remaihi, “Since our first edition, animated films have formed a core part of the Ajyal program and I am delighted that this year, we will premiere three incredibly diverse examples of the artform... from three corners of the globe.”

"Bilal" (UAE/2015) In a dreamlike vision, mysterious dark riders mounted on demonic black horses bear down upon a village. Nearby, little Bilal dreams of being a great warrior as he gallops along on his hobbyhorse. The riders come closer – are they real? Or are they just a figment of the youngster’s extraordinary imagination? Suddenly, Bilal’s dream becomes a nightmare. The men on horseback kill his mother and take him captive along with Ghufaira, his sister, and they are soon sold as slaves to Umayya, the wealthiest merchant in all of Arabia. Bilal never forgets this terrible day, which haunts his sleep for years to come. But the echoes of his mother’s gentle voice stay with him, a constant reminder that to break free of the chains that enslave him, he must forge his own destiny.

"The Good Dinosaur" (USA/2015), the latest feature from the award-winning Pixar Animation Studios and the team behind beloved Pixar classics "Finding Nemo" and "Inside Out" and will feature a special ‘kids red carpet’ for all families and young people from the community to participate and to be transported to a world where dinosaurs walk the Earth. Directed by Peter Sohn, the film screens on December 4th and presents an alternate history where the asteroids that wiped out these ancient reptiles never hit our planet.

"Hero and the Message" (Qatar/2012) tells the fantastic tale of a Qatari brother and sister who travel back in time to witness the founding events of the State of Qatar. Produced by Al Rayyan Productions, the top-notch animated short directed by Pawel Borowski was created to celebrate Qatar’s National Day in 2012, and screens on December 3rd.

"When Marnie Was There" (Japan/2014), screening on December 4 is one of the final anime sensations from Ghibli Studios and is based on the novel When Marnie Was There by Joan G. Robinson. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the film is about a young girl Anna who explores a long- abandoned villa and meets a mysterious blonde girl only she can see.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

China's Le Vision acquires Lionsgate's 'Gods Of Egypt'; unveils 10-film slate

  • ScreenDaily
The head of Le Vision Pictures announced to a high-powered Beverly Hills crowd on Monday a deal to distribute Gods Of Egypt in China and unveiled the inaugural 10-strong slate from Los Angeles-based off-shoot Le Vision Pictures USA.

It is the latest splashy show of cross-cultural intent from China in less than a week after Bona Film Group’s $235m investment in the Fox slate and Bruno Wu’s $1.6bn film and TV fund.

Le Vision Pictures CEO Zhang Zhao, who also serves as vice-chairman of parent tech company Letv, outlined a self-styled ‘G2’ philosophy he said was founded on openness and connectivity.

According to insiders Zhao is expected to reveal further deals on Lionsgate titles in due course. Le Vision released Expendables 2 and 3 in China.

However he used Monday night at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills to tell a high-powered crowd including Zhang Yimou (pictued at right with Zhao at a previous event) about the 10 titles
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Le Vision forges Hollywood ties

  • ScreenDaily
The head of Le Vision Pictures announced to a high-powered Beverly Hills crowd on Monday a deal to distribute Gods Of Egypt in China and unveiled the inaugural 10-strong slate from Los Angeles-based off-shoot Le Vision Pictures USA.

It is the latest splashy show of cross-cultural intent from China in less than a week after Bona Film Group’s $235m investment in the Fox slate and Bruno Wu’s $1.6bn film and TV fund.

Le Vision Pictures CEO Zhang Zhao, who also serves as vice-chairman of parent tech company Letv, outlined a self-styled ‘G2’ philosophy he said was founded on openness and connectivity.

According to insiders Zhao is expected to reveal further deals on Lionsgate titles in due course. Le Vision released Expendables 2 and 3 in China.

However he used Monday night at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills to tell a high-powered crowd including Zhang Yimou (pictued at right with Zhao at a previous event) about the 10 titles
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Le Vision unveils Hollywood pacts

  • ScreenDaily
The head of Le Vision Pictures announced to a high-powered Beverly Hills crowd on Monday a deal to distribute Gods Of Egypt in China and unveiled the inaugural 10-strong slate from Los Angeles-based off-shoot Le Vision Pictures USA.

It is the latest splashy show of cross-cultural intent from China in less than a week after Bona Film Group’s $235m investment in the Fox slate and Bruno Wu’s $1.6bn film and TV fund.

Le Vision Pictures CEO Zhang Zhao, who also serves as vice-chairman of parent tech company Letv, outlined a self-styled ‘G2’ philosophy he said was founded on openness and connectivity.

According to insiders Zhao is expected to reveal further deals on Lionsgate titles in due course. Le Vision released Expendables 2 and 3 in China.

However he used Monday night at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills to tell a high-powered crowd including Zhang Yimou about the 10 titles on the initial slate and recap two announcements
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Le Vision Pictures USA strikes Dark Horse, Rob Minkoff pacts

  • ScreenDaily
Ahead of the official company launch in Los Angeles on Monday the fledgling Us branch of China’s Le Vision Pictures has unveiled two major partnerships.

Los Angeles-based Le Vision Pictures USA is teaming up with Dark Horse Comics to adapt and develop slate of six original Chinese graphic novels.

The partners will adapt the Chinese-language titles into English-language versions and line up feature adaptations on: The Path To Immortality, The Descendants Of Straw Mountain, Gods Of China, The Naughty Queen, Magical Days and P.A.I.U. - Paranormal Activity Investigation Unit.

Le Vision Pictures USA also unveiled a two-film deal with The Lion King director Rob Minkoff (pictured) and producing partner Pietro Ventani of Flying Tigers Entertainment to co-develop and produce the live-action comedy Silkworms and animation Wolf Totem.

Silkworms tells of two bumbling monks sent to ancient China by the Holy Roman Emperor to steal the closely guarded secret of Chinese silk production. [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Le Vision Pictures USA Inks Two-Picture Deal With Rob Minkoff’s Flying Tigers

Le Vision Pictures USA Inks Two-Picture Deal With Rob Minkoff’s Flying Tigers
Le Vision Pictures USA has inked a deal with director Rob Minkoff and his producing partner Pietro Ventani to co-develop and produce a pair of features under their Flying Tigers Entertainment. The two-picture pact covers the live-action comedy Silkworms and the animated feature Wolf Totem. Silkworms revolves around two bumbling monks sent to ancient China by the Holy Roman Emperor to steal the closely guarded secret of Chinese silk production. Based on Lü Jiamin's novel, W…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Ajyal Youth fest unveils competition line-up

  • ScreenDaily
Ajyal Youth fest unveils competition line-up
Titles in competition include animation Phantom Boy [pictured], Ethiopian drama Lamb, Brazilian Oscar submission The Second Mother and Jafar Panahi’s Berlinale winner Taxi Tehran.

The Doha Film Institute has announced the competition line-up for the third edition of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival (Nov 29 - Dec 5), comprising feature films from 20 countries as well as a series of short film programmes.

The jury will be made up of more than 500 young people, aged 8-21, who will watch a programme of films under three competitive sections - Mohaq, Hilal, and Bader - followed by discussions and events including panels, workshops and Q&A sessions with filmmakers.

Each of the three Ajyal Juries will award a Best Film prize to their favourite short and feature-length films, for a total of six awards. The directors of the winning films are awarded funding toward their next film.

The jury includes 24 international jurors who will travel to Doha for the event from 12 countries
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Afm: Wild Bunch finds 'Faith' in Cuba with Banderas

Exclusive: Company will also launch new films from Lee Tamahori, Bouli Lanners and Sylvie Verheyde at Afm.Wild Bunch has boarded Cuban director Alejandro Brugues’s Antonio Banderas-starring New Faith about an American couple whose marriage-saving trip to Cuba lands them in a web of lies, violence, sexual intrigue and deadly double-crossings. “In reality both partners have separate hidden agendas, the dream trip quickly degenerates and the film tips into a genre movie in the vein No Country for Old Men and Blood Simple,” said Wild Bunch co-head Vincent Maraval. Banderas has signed to play a shady American expat fixer who crosses the couple’s path. Casting of the couple is expected to be announced during the Afm this week. It is a second feature for Brugues, whose debut political zombie thriller Juan of the Dead put him on the map as a talent to watch and won several including Spain’s Goya Award for Best
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Mad Max', 'Room' in Camerimage competition

  • ScreenDaily
'Mad Max', 'Room' in Camerimage competition
Carol, Suffragette and Rams also among 15 titles in competition at cinematography festival.

The titles in the running for the main competition at the 23rd Camerimage (Nov 14-21), the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, have been revealed.

A total of 15 films will vie for the Golden Frog, Silver Frog and Bronze Frog awards, to be awarded to those titles representing the greatest achievements in cinematography at the festival, held in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz.

13 Minutes (Ger)

dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel, cin. Judith Kaufmann

The 33 (Chile)

dir. Patricia Riggen, cin. Checco Varese

Brooklyn (Can-uk-Ire)

dir. John Crowley, cin. Yves Belanger

Carol (UK-us)

dir. Todd Haynes, cin. Ed Lachman

I Saw The Light (Us)

Marc Abraham, cin. Dante Spinotti

Mad Max: Fury Road (Aus)

dir. George Miller, cin. John Seale

The Midwife (Fin)

dir. Antti J. Jokinen’, cin. Rauno Ronkainen

Rams (Den-Ice)

dir. Grímur Hákonarson, cin. Sturla Brandth Grøvlen

The Red Spider (Cze-Slo-Pol)

dir. Marcin Koszałka
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Foreign Oscar Submissions Reveal a Complex Co-Production World (Trailers)

Foreign Oscar Submissions Reveal a Complex Co-Production World (Trailers)
While the Academy has accepted 81 submissions for the foreign language Oscar, it rejected the initial would-be entry for China.  The country's first swing was for China Film Co's big-budget Mongolian wilderness adventure "Wolf Totem" (Columbia Pictures, September 11), the 13th feature from French director Jean-Jacques Annaud ("Quest for Fire"), who shot in Mandarin and Mongolian. In 1976, Annaud won the foreign Oscar for France for Africa-set "Black and White in Color," which brought him as a young man to Cameroon, so he understood "Wolf Totem," which is based on a 2004 bestseller by Jiang Rong, about city dwellers discovering a strange landscape. In the film two young Beijing students are sent to live among the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Mongolia.  Read More: How Jean-Jacques Annaud Made Mongolian Survival Tale 'Wolf Totem' (Exclusive Video) China had reason to be confident in their choice, which...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

China’s ‘Go Away Mr Tumor’ Subs For Disqualified ‘Wolf Totem’ In Foreign Language Oscar Race Switcheroo

China’s ‘Go Away Mr Tumor’ Subs For Disqualified ‘Wolf Totem’ In Foreign Language Oscar Race Switcheroo
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed its final list of 81 submissions for the Foreign Language Oscar race at the end of last week with at least one surprise in the mix that I’ve now gotten to the bottom of. China had been expected to submit Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Wolf Totem as its entry, and indeed it did. But the film was quietly disqualified under Academy Awards rules Section II, E: "The submitting country must certify that creative control of the…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »
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