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Laura Blum


Laura is a festival correspondent covering films and the festival circuit for filmfestivals.com. She also publishes on Thalo

 


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Thieves by Law Steals Kudos at Tribeca

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"Was it dangerous to make a documentary about the Russian mob?" Alexander Gentelev was asked after his Thieves by Law premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival (April 22 to May 2, 2010). "We will find out after the protagonists see the movie," he deadpanned. The heroes Gentelev was referring to are three retired godfathers of Russia’s underworld who muse about their colorful exploits on camera. As he explained, "A lot of criminal kingpins were willing to mout...

Tribeca Film Festival - Here Come the Neighborhoods

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"Modoki" is the Japanese word for "similar, yet different." Take for example the Tribeca Film Festival (April 21 to May 2, 2010), and October's New York Film Festival. Both are Manhattan cinema extravaganzas — whose overlaps end there. Populist Tribeca plays teriyaki to artsy NYFF's sashimi.    Nearly four decades the Lincoln Center event's junior, Tribeca was founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff as a goad to downtown development in th...

Havana Film Festival – New York: April 16-23

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Entering its second decade the most important US film festival with a focus on Cuban film making has expanded its programs and venues including links with some of the most prestigious New York art institutions. As a member of the group which established the Havana Film Festival in New York in 2001 I was fortunate to secure some funding from the Ford Foundation for bringing Cuba film makers to the festival, a practice which was continued in the following years contingent on funding and the vaga...

Havana Film Festival New York Ready to Rumble

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Jointly presented with Havana, Cuba's International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, the Havana Film Festival New York is close, but no cigar. Subways and skyscrapers just can't match that fallen Habanero elegance as a habitat for Latino cinema. But if Cuba isn't on your itinerary and Manhattan is, you could do worse than to savor a week of Big Apple screenings from and about Latin America and the Caribbean, and about Latinos in the U.S. Opening Night w...

If You're Going to San Francisco ... International Film Festival

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Four thousand film festivals populate the globe. But more than many, the San Francisco International Film Festival may satisfy a collective hunch of what such a gathering should be. Perhaps age has something to do with it; at 53 years old, SFIFF, held this year from April 22 to May 6, 2010, is the oldest film festival in the Americas. Then there's the topography of San Francisco, which rises, falls and yields vistas that themselves cop filmic metaphors. Or maybe it's because San Francisc...

Nashville Film Festival Is Music to the Eyes

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The Nashville Film Festival turned 40 last year, and while "41" doesn't cut the same dash, the South's oldest film festival should keep crowds plenty fortified over its eight days. Running April 15-22 at Regal Green Hills Cinemas, NaFF 2010 has a lineup of 230 films. Adrien Grenier Naturally, music themes bloom brightly among these. Titles in the popular "Music Films/Music City" competition include several non-fiction films. There's The Bass Player, N...

"The Syrian Bride": Eran Riklis's Global Honeymoon

    With The Syrian Bride, Israeli director Eran Riklis sturdies his reputation as a filmmaker who can tell a local story with universal appeal -- Israeli audiences included. It's the sort of breakthrough that resonates with the self-proclaimed maker of "obscure Chinese or European films" who spent part of his boyhood in the U.S. and loves American movies. Says Rilis, "In terms of genre, The Syrian Bride is a little bit of a Western...
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