Independent icon Seymour Cassel lends his name to new festival award.
There is hardly an actor who better embodies the passion and love for independent cinema than American performer Seymour Cassel. For more than 50 years he has been working in front of the camera and is revered for his work with John Cassavetes while being THE face of independent cinema. Sam Peckinpah, Don Siege, Kenn Russell and Alender Rockwell or Wes Anderson have used his luminous qualities. For his performance in Cassavetes’ “Faces” Cassel was nominated for an Oscar.
The festival is honored to have such a great actor lend his name to the new award for best acting performance. Seymour Cassel will be attending the festival to present his award for the first time in person at the 19th Oldenburg International Film Festival. The winner will be selected from all the actors from the films nominated for the German Independence Award: Best German Film and will be decided upon by the international jury. The German Independence Award was introduced in 2004 and now features four categories. In the nine years of its existence it has become a major award for young and independent filmmaking of international recognition.
The first films of this year’s festival edition once again prove that Oldenburg is an important showcase for independent cinema. At the center of interest are the actors – this year they feature in front as well as behind the camera.
Sean Baker’s Starlet features ex-model Dree Hemingway in an intense performance, which cements her status as upcoming-talent in US cinema. The film has its international premier in Locarno and will see its German premier in Oldenburg. With the international premier of Fat Kid Rules the World Hollywood star Matthew Lillard presents his directorial debut. Lillard stays true to his punk-ethos as the film draws its strength from the authentic “take me as I am or leave it”- attitude of its protagonists.
Marshall Lewy’s California Solo offers a unique chance for Robert Carlyle to display his unique talents and add a sensitive role to an already impressive career. Carlyle excels as a forgotten Brit-Pop star, who lives as a recluse in California hoping that the world has forgotten about him and his former glory.
Pursuit of Loneliness is a unique project, for which Lawrence Thrush received much recognition at this year’s Sundance Festival. Using an intense imagery he presents themes that are usually avoided: Preparing to die and the bureaucratic aftermath of death.
Producer Eddy Moretti brought three great outsiders of international cinema together in The Fourth Dimension. Harmony Korine, Aleksei Fedorchenko and Jan Kwiecinski offer a remarkable triptych of short films, dealing with motivational speakers, time travel and post-apocalyptical hipsters. Val Kilmer plays the part of his life – as Val Kilmer himself.
A dark satire about morals, ethics and the worth of life is the theme of former comedy actor Bobcat Goldtwaith’s new film God Bless America. An odd couple starts a killing spree, following their very own rules and logic. Geoffrey Fletcher received an Oscar for the screenplay for “Precious”. For his directing debut he turned to a completely different genre: Violet & Daisy is a fascinating mix of surreal arthouse cinema, comedy and action-drama about the fate of two young female assassins. Girls agains Boys by Austin Chick employs a female perspective as well to seemingly tell a tale of revenge. What the film does instead is nothing less than present a playful and clever variation of genres, which leaves the audience questioning its expectations and perceptions. Both films are released in Germany by Capelight Pictures.