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Vanessa McMahon's blog


Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)


Read her bio on: www.vanessamcmahon.com

Vanessa in Aruba: AIFFVanessa in Aruba: AIFF


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Interview with producer Gabe Cowan

New Artists Alliance's partners Gabe Cowan and John Suits are two of the most prolific producers of indie filmmaking today. While most industry players will attest to how hard it is to even finish one film in today's uber competitive climate, this indie powerhouse team is cranking out 5-6 new films a year and going on strong. When asked how they do it, Gabe just replies with a solar smile: “We don't sleep”. Most recent on the NAA slate are two debut films at the 2014...

'The Trials of Muhammad Ali' (2013). Interview with Bill Siegel

  Only a hand full of people in the world can say they spent 23 years involved in the telling of Muhammad Ali's life story, and American director Bill Siegel is one. To Siegel, Ali is not only a world renown international athlete and hero, but a mirror into which any person can see a piece of themselves. In his latest film about Ali, 'The Trials of Muhammad Ali' (2013), Bill tells a three part story of the man who went from Olympic winning athlete to spiritual leader for t...

NAKED OPERA (2013). A Review.

What would you do if you had a lot of money, exquisite taste and a talent for taking pictures of nude men? Well, in Angela Christlieb's film NAKED OPERA (2013), she offers us a peak inside the world of someone who lives just so. Meet Marc. He is a unique and very wealthy man from Luxembourg who believes himself to be a real life Don Giovanni. Marc spends all his money and time in the effort to create his existence modeled after the opera while traveling all over the world to see Don Giovanni...

SONOMA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS ANNOUNCED

SONOMA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS ANNOUNCED   Sonoma, CA (April 6, 2014) - The Sonoma International Film Festival’s 17th edition came to a rousing close Sunday night following five spectacular days that featured capacity audiences for a wide variety of films from around the world, infused with gourmet food and phenomenal wine, serving up a bountiful cinematic feast.   “This has been an extraordinary year,” said SIFF Executive Director Kevin McNeely. &ld...

On the Edge of the World (2013). Interview with Claus Drexel

Ah, beautiful Paris! City of lights, city of love, city of des Beaux-Arts and grand history...city of great poverty and a rising homeless population. Meet Jeni, Wenceslas, Christine, Pascal and many others who live on the streets all year long in Paris during freezing winters, hot summers and wet shoulder seasons. While they struggle to subsist under the bridges, in alleyways and in the metros in plain sight, they endure a near invisible existence. In his visually stunning and touching documen...

BASTARDS (2014). Interview with Deborah Perkin.

BASTARDS (2014) at 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival. 'Bastards' by British director Deborah Perkin focuses on the troubled fate of illegitimate children in Morocco. The film opens with the official English definition of the word 'Bastard': “1) a person born of parents not married to each other and 2) an unpleasant or despicable person”. Just after we are reminded of what the word truly means, multiple images of innocent children grace the screen. Adorabl...

'The Phantasmagoria of Defeat' (2013) @ 16th TDF.

Anastasia Christoforidou's short film doc 'The Phantasmagoria of Defeat' (2013) screened at the 16th annual Thessaloniki Doc Fest. “Fuck Picasso!” That's what this cutting edge Greek pop artist says. Yorgos Tzinoudis is rapidly building a reputation for himself as the Andy Warhol of Greece who spends all his time creating art and making wine. During the 16th annual Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, filmmakers took one of Yorgos' wine tours of the wine m...

The Manor (2013). A Review

Canadian director Shawney Cohen's film The Manor (2013) screened at the 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival last week. This award winning doc depicts the modern American family at its best, and worst. This is the story of Shawney Cohen's paradoxically functional family in all its dis-function. Shawney is a struggling filmmaker balancing between the world of film and his family run strip club. He is the designated manager of a strip club his father bought thirty years ago when he...

Images from 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival 14-23 March

STAY TUNED for multiple interviews and film reviews coming soon! Images from 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival 14-23 March For festival news, visit the blog at: http://www.filmfestivals.com/blog/thessaloniki ...

16th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival Closing Ceremony

The curtain fell on the 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival - Images of the 21st Century with the closing ceremony that took place on Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 at the Olympion theater. The awards of the festival’ s 16th edition were bestowed during the ceremony. The ceremony was presented by journalist Maya Tsokli, who made special reference to the recently deceased, dear friend of the Festival, Peter Wintonick. The 16th TDF paid tribute to the acclaimed Canadian documentary filmmak...

The 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century (March 14 - 23, 2014) AWARDS

The 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century (March 14 - 23, 2014) AWARDS AUDIENCE AWARDS - The Peter Wintonick Audience Award for a film over 45’ in the International Selection goes to: FOUR LETTERS APART – CHILDREN IN THE AGE OF ADHD by Erlend E. Mo, Denmark, 2013             The Audience Award for a film under 45’ in the International Selection goes to: BEACH BOY by Emil Langballe, UK 2013  ...

Petra Costa's film ELENA (2012) @ 16th Thessaloniki Doc Fest

Brazilian director Petra Costa's film ELENA (2012) screened this week at the 16th Thessaloniki International Film Festival. Petra Costa Edited down from 200 hours of footage to 83 minutes, the film is visually stunning with every shot edited to create cinematic poetry. ELENA is told through the eyes of Petra Costa from her years as a seven year-old looking up to her then teen actress sister, Elena Andrade, to her own years as a young adult in search of her sister's lost soul. W...

OPENING CEREMONY of the 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century

Photo by Vanessa McMahon ** For daily 16th TDF press coverage visit: http://www.filmfestivals.com/blog/thessaloniki OPENING CEREMONY of the 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival – Images of the 21st Century. 14-23 March 2014 The curtain rose on the 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival - Images of the 21st Century with a discrete opening ceremony held on Friday, March 14, 2014, at a packed Olympion theater. Nastia Tarasova’s documentary Linar, which chronicles the touching adve...

16th THESSALONIKI DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL - Opening Film

    'Linar' (2013) by Nastia Tarasova, Russia.  16th THESSALONIKI DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL - Images of the 21st Century. March 14 – 23, 2014 OPENING FILM Linar by Nastia Tarasova, Russia, 2013 A young boy with a wise heart leads the way for the 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival opening night. Linar by Nastia Tarasova follows the odyssey of Linar, a Russian boy who travels to Italy to receive a heart transplant. Tarasova narrates with sensitivity and r...

16th THESSALONIKI DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL - Images of the 21st Century. March 14 – 23, 2014

16th THESSALONIKI DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL - Images of the 21st Century. March 14 – 23, 2014 16th TDF FILM LINE-UP, FIPRESCI JURY & SIDEBAR EVENTS The 16th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival - Images of the 21st Century, part of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, presents approximately 185 films (shorts and features) by directors from all over the world, as well as a full parallel events program.   FILM PREMIERES The 16th TDF presents 3 world, 12 international, 8 Euro...

Sundance 2014 Winners!

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    Sundance 2014 Winners! Park City, UT — Sundance Institute this evening announced the Jury, Audience and other special awards of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival at the feature film Awards Ceremony, hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, in Park City, Utah. Video of the ceremony in its entirety is available at www.sundance.org/live. The U.S. Grand JuryPrize: Documentary was pres...

"RETURN TO HOMS" Grand Jury Prize Winner for World Cinema Documentary @ Sundance 2014

"RETURN TO HOMS" Grand Jury Prize Winner for World Cinema Documentary @ Sundance 2014 RETURN TO HOMS, the powerful and timely documentary from Syrian filmmakers director Talal Derki and producer Orwa Nyrabia, had its North American premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2014 in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. At the Sundance awards ceremony, where the film won the Grand Jury Prize, the jury said: "We wanted to choose a film that really deeply captured our hearts. From on...

True Stories: PLOT FOR PEACE (2013)

"Playing with cards is like life itself. You don't play with the cards you wish you had, but with the hand you're dealt." Jean-Yves Ollivier (October 8, 1944). The film PLOT FOR PEACE (2013) tells the story of Algerian born Jean-Yves Ollivier and his work as a French unofficial diplomat between Europe and Africa in the 1980’s. He has worked as a well-connected businessman for underdeveloped growing markets for over 40 years and was a personal advisor to Jacques Chirac....

RETURN TO HOMS opens @ Sundance Film Festival 2014

  RETURN TO HOMS, the powerful and timely documentary from Syrian filmmakers director Talal Derki and producer Orwa Nyrabia, will have its North American premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2014 in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. The film recently had its world premiere at the highly respected International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), where it was the opening night film and received acclaim from audiences and critics. Sundance programmer Caroline Libresco had t...

The Broken Circle Breakdown nominated for Foreign-language Oscar

The Broken Circle Breakdown nominated for Foreign-language Oscar BEVERLY HILLS/BRUSSELS, 16 January 2014. Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown, which is representing Belgium at the Academy Awards, is among the five films nominated for this year’s Best Foreign-language Oscar, it was announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) today. The film is Belgium’s seventh nomination in this category. The winners of the 86th Academy Awards will be ...

Looking Back! Cinema’s Greatest Moments: PHILADELPHIA (1993)

Looking Back! Cinema’s Greatest Moments: PHILADELPHIA (1993) Philadelphia (1993) was the first film of its kind, a Hollywood blockbuster addressing the issues of HIV/AIDS and homosexuality. While the Oscar winning film was inspired by the lawsuit against Baker & McKenzie in 1987 by attorneys Geoffrey Bowers and Clarence B Cain Bowers for AIDS discrimination the film was a mélange of inspirations by its storytellers, screenwriter Ron Nyswaner and Oscar winning direct...

WINNERS OF 71st GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS

-WINNERS OF 71st GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS- Best Motion Picture - Drama WINNER: "12 Years a Slave"  Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture -- Comedy or Musical WINNER: Amy Adams - "American Hustle" Best Animated Feature Film WINNER: "Frozen"  Best Director -- Motion Picture WINNER: Alfonso Cuaron - "Gravity" Best Foreign Language Film WINNER: "The Great Beauty" Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television...

25th ANNUAL PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SCREENS FOREIGN LANGUAGE OSCAR® SHORTLIST

25th ANNUAL PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SCREENS FOREIGN LANGUAGE OSCAR® SHORTLIST The 25th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will screen all nine films selected to advance in the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 86th Academy Awards®. The Festival, held from January 3-13, 2014, will screen 46 of the 76 films that had originally qualified in this category. The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are: &mid...

MERYL STREEP TO RECEIVE THE ICON AWARD AT THE 25th ANNUAL PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS GALA

Streep at the 56th San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2008 The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Academy Award® winning actress Meryl Streep with the Icon Award at its annual Awards Gala. The Icon Award honors a creative talent who, through the course of his or her career, has created a body of work which symbolizes the highest level of achievement in the motion picture art form. The Gala will also present awards to previously annou...

AMERICAN HUSTLE TO RECEIVE ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE AWARD AT 25th ANNUAL PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

AMERICAN HUSTLE TO RECEIVE ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE AWARD AT 25th ANNUAL PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS GALA   The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will award its Ensemble Performance Award to the film American Hustle. The award will honor the film’s cast, which includes Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Sandra Bullock, Bruce Der...
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