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Susan Tavernetti

Cinequest 18 Wraps

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Discovery isn’t always a good thing. A pair of American indie films—the world premiere of Paul Leuer’s EDEN COURT and the San Francisco Bay Area debut of Charles Oliver’s TAKE—served as weak bookends for the 18th edition of the Cinequest Film Festival. Fortunately, there was much to celebrate between opening and closing nights during the festival’s 12-day run in downtown San Jose, California.According to Cinequest executive director and co-founder Halfdan Hussey, approximately 80,000...

Cinequest 18 Awards Announced

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Sunday, March 9, 2008 -- The 2008 Cinequest Juries selected winners from over 150 films from 34 countries. Cinequest Executive Director and Co-founder Halfdan Hussey read the following statement: “They discovered myriad worlds that challenged, excited and surprised. Their job to find the top films was not an easy one, and reaching a unanimous vote was nearly impossible because the films truly affected them in many ways and heated debates were sparked because of the passion each felt for the st...

Bobby Moresco: From Hell’s Kitchen to Cinequest Maverick

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Academy Award-winning writer Bobby Moresco received the Cinequest Maverick Spirit Award, the festival’s highest honor. The straight-talking screenwriter/producer of CRASH (2004) and co-producer of MILLION DOLLAR BABY (2004) was joined on the San Jose Repertory Theatre stage by producing partner Mark Harris (CRASH, THE BLACK DONNELLYS). The lively Q&A with moderator Robert G. Phelps and an audience sprinkled with aspiring writers was part of the Film and Technology Forum titled "Sigh...

Cinequest 18 Opens A Door to Discovery

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“I guarantee the next 12 days and nights of Cinequest will be a cabaret,” Cinequest Co-founder and Executive Director Halfdan Hussey promised upon greeting the opening night crowd. Hussey urged festival-goers to connect with each other—and to discover films and forums that matter, Maverick legends and fun. “A whole lot of fun, because we need that, too, as we’re stimulating our minds and our souls,” Hussey added. More than 1,000 people flocked to the world premiere of Paul Leuer’s ...

The San Francisco International Film Festival Turns Golden

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Opening on April 26 with Emanuele Crialese’s GOLDEN DOOR, the San Francisco International Film Festival continues to celebrate its 15-day golden anniversary in high style. The 50th edition of the longest-running film festival in the Americas boasts an ambitious program of films and special events in the City by the Bay until the curtains close on May 10 with Olivier Dahan’s biopic of Edith Piaf, LA VIE EN ROSE. “It’s quite an auspicious moment for us,” announced Graham Leggat, Executiv...

The San Francisco International Film Festival Turns Golden

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Opening on April 26 with Emanuele Crialese’s GOLDEN DOOR, the San Francisco International Film Festival continues to celebrate its 15-day golden anniversary in high style. The 50th edition of the longest-running film festival in the Americas boasts an ambitious program of films and special events in the City by the Bay until the curtains close on May 10 with Olivier Dahan’s biopic of Edith Piaf, LA VIE EN ROSE. “It’s quite an auspicious moment for us,” announced Graham Leggat, Executiv...

Cinequest 17 Awards

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Sunday, March 11—Cinequest Co-founder Kathleen Powell presented the awards on the closing night of the festival.(Descriptions excerpted from the Cinequest program guide.)Director's AwardsGLOBAL VISION AWARD: to the filmmaker who defies convention and exhibits work of universal vision, making bold use of storytelling to create evocative cinema of the future.FRESH AIR/FRISS LEVEGÕ (Hungary)From its wry opening in a Hungarian Lonely Hearts ballroom dance to its daring ending, Ágnes Kocsis...

Stewart Copeland Cops Cinequest Maverick Spirit Award

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Stewart Copeland makes his entrance with a bang. Whether bounding onto the California Theatre stage before a packed house of 1,100 people or striding into a small room for a press conference, the founder of the newly reunited The Police radiates high energy. He flings his arms in the air, and his voice booms all the way to the last row of the balcony and back. Never has anyone been so enthusiastic about receiving a Cinequest Maverick Spirit Award. Just a 50-year-old suburban dad? So he says.The ...

Interview with Alan Berliner (wide awake)

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During the San Francisco International Film Festival, Susan Tavernetti spoke with Alan Berliner about his intriguing new documentary, WIDE AWAKE. The first-person film offers an understanding of insomnia in cinematic terms, inventively tossing and turning through the sleepless nights and bleary days of Berliner’s world while he ruminates on the topic. Nominated for the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, the multi-layered work is a delightful collage of interviews, dream interpretation, quirky arcs of ...

Glimpses from the Closing Night at SFIFF

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If you think the only San Francisco love fest took place during the summer of 1967, think again. No one was wearing flowers in their hair at the Castro Theatre on the May 4th Closing Night of the San Francisco International Film Festival, but a special feeling was certainly in the air. Graham Leggat, the executive director of the San Francisco Film Society (SFFS), took the stage to applause and hoots and whistles, stating, “G’d evening, guys. No festival from Alaska to Argentina has done so...

The revolution, now playing: one of San Francisco panels

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The revolution may not be televised by the major networks or covered by the mainstream press, but it’s certainly playing on screens large and small somewhere near you. On Saturday afternoon at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Susan Gerhard, the editor/bureau chief of the newly launched web film magazine SF360 (www.SF360.org), moderated a panel tagged “The Revolution Now Playing: Film as a Tool for Social and Political Change.” Activist filmmakers Jeff Zimbalist (FAVELA RISING...

San Francisco surprises and cherry blossoms

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Surprises aren’t always a good thing in San Francisco. Exhaustive media coverage of the centennial of the 1906 great earthquake and fire—the defining event of the city’s history and biggest natural disaster in America until Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast last year—recently shook Bay Area residents with constant reminders that this is shake-rattle-and-roll country. On Saturday morning, Talk Cinema founder and former Film Comment editor Harlan Jacobson admitted to being a “n...

Cinequest San Jose Fest opening

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14th Annual Cinequest San Jose Film Festival (March 3 - March 14) Outside the temperature was 61°, slightly chilly for California. But inside the San Jose Repertory Theatre, Cinequest 14 sizzled on opening night. “We’re hip, we’re hot, we’re here!” exclaimed Jens Michael Hussey, Director of Public Relations, as he kicked off the festival that runs from March 3-14. Hussey announced the winner of Cinequest’s first screenwriting competition, which drew 271 entries. A three-ju...
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