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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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MEET YOUR EDITOR Bruno Chatelin, Board Member of many filmfestivals and regular partner of a few key film events such as Cannes Market, AFM, Venice Production Bridge, Tallinn Industry and Festival...Check our recent partners.  

The news in French I English This content and related intellectual property cannot be reproduced without prior consent.


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AFI day 6 and the male camel story

Last night, AFI FEST was bursting at the seams with masterful films, enlightening Q & A's, controversy and other memorable pleasures.

The evening began with a dramatic announcement that talented French director Siegfried, whose film SANSA screened at 9:00 p.m., had been detained at LAX and the INS was barring him from entering the U.S. due to visa problems. When AFI FEST tried to reach the INS the following morning, they refused to comment on his detention, saying only that AFI FEST should discuss the matter directly with Siegfried (wherever he is).

Luckily, the INS was kinder to Italian directors Spiro Scimone and Francesco Sframeli, allowing them to join AFI FEST and introduce their film TWO FRIENDS. Scimone and Sfameli, who are also the writers and stars of the film, discussed how it began as a play that ran for many years in Rome, before acclaimed Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore encouraged them to adapt it for the screen.

Meanwhile, Richard Berman could be found discussing his film FIRE WITHIN, which examines a program that brings 10 Israeli Jews, 10 Israeli Arabs and 10 American Jews together every summer in Spain. At the end of the extended Q & A following the film, the theater managers literally had to kick the directors and audience out. "This is peace on a grass roots level," said Berman about the program. "And a work of passion."

Then, Omar Sharif arrived. Talk about passion. The Egyptian star regaled an enthusiastic crowd with anecdotes about his celebrated career and life, as part of the 2003 AFI FEST Tribute, moderated by Variety's Peter Bart. "I am over 70, I have a different philosophy on life now. I don't have any regrets," said Sharif. "You should stay as young as you possibly can within the limitations of nature. And you know what I mean."

Sharif also thrilled the crowd with colorful stories about the making of many of his most memorable films, including FUNNY GIRL, with Barbra Streisand. "When I first met Streisand, I said, 'I can't do this, I can't say I love you to this girl.' She was not pretty," said Sharif. "Then we started rehearsing and every day she became more beautiful. She was so talented, until I was desperately in love with her." (Last night, Sharif received a note from Streisand congratulating him on the Tribute)

Perhaps his funniest anecdote, however, was about making LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. Apparently, at one point during the filming, director David Lean barred women from visiting the actors. "Fortunately, I had a female camel," said Sharif. "Peter O'Toole had a male camel. He was unlucky."

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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