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Festival Circuit

SXSW: The Austin Film Barbeque

 Tuesday, February 5-------------On Super Tuesday, with 22 Presidential primaries unfolding on the same day, the Presidential nominees will be in place and the hint of a new chapter will be in the air. SXSW, the South By Southwest Conference and FilmFestival, decided to unveil its program on what could be a significant date in current American discourse and affairs. The Festival, based in the libertarian outpost in Texas (Austin), the Festival has seen its reputation rise rapidly in the past de...

Pack Up Your Bags And Head East......To Berlin

 Tuesday, February 5---------In the non-stop romp that is the international film festival circuit, the travelling nomads of the film industry, who have just unpacked their bags from stints in Palm Springs, Park City and Santa Barbara, are turning eastward towards the Berlin Film Festival, which opens on Thursday evening. After a tame Sundance and an Oscar season that ignored some of world cinema's best achievements (what, no 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 2 DAYS or PERSPEPOLIS or THE ORPHANAGE or THE EDGE...

Palm Springs FF: A Kinder, Gentler Sundance

 Tuesday, January 15---------The Palm Springs International Film Festival, which just ended its run on Sunday, has the distinction of being the first festival event of the New Year. The Festival, now in its 19th year, prides itself on its international scope and its diverse programming strands. The Festival screens nearly all of the international films up for Academy Award consideration in the Best Foreign Language race, along with choice indie gems and some heavy hitter studio projects. In man...

Berlin Film Festival Begins Announcements

 Friday, December 7---------The Berlin Film Festival, which will be held in February 2008, has begun to make announcements that are just now beginning to shape the flavour of one of the world's most important film showcases. News comes from the press office that Constantin Costa-Gavras, the celebrated Greek-born director of such films as Z and MISSING, will head the Competition Jury. The director, known for his ouevre of political and social message films, has won virtually every major film pri...

IDFA Celebrates The World Of Documentary Film

 Tuesday, December 4--------IDFA, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, concluded its 10-day marathon of films this past weekend with the announcement of its major awards. The Festival, which celebrated its twentienth anniversary this year amid an explosion of film attendance and a major change in screening venues, has emerged as one of the hallmark events on the documentary film calendar. Films from all over the world not only get screened at IDFA, but sales are made and developme...

IN BRUGES To Open 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Tuesday, November 20---------------If it's Thanksgiving, then it must be time for the Sundance Film Festival to begin announcing the fims for its 2008 edition, which runs from January 17 to 27th in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. IN BRUGES, the directorial debut of Irish playwright Martin McDonagh will open the Festival on January 17th. The film, which stars Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson is, according to the Festival release, "a twisted tale of two L...

Bawdy Brits A Hit At FLIFF

 Monday, November 12---------If you like your humor British and bawdy (and who doesn't?), then the feature film MAGICIANS is right up your alley. The film had its US Premiere on Saturday evening at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, and was an instant hit with the capacity crowds at the back-to-back screenings at the Cinema Paradiso.  Starring the comedy team of David Mitchell and Robert Webb, whose Channel Four series PEEP SHOW has been an award-winning megahit in the UK, MAGICI...

American Indies On Tap This Weekend At Fort Lauderdale FF

 Friday, November 2----------The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival has always had a commitment to showcasing the best of the new American independent cinema, and this weekend it offers a diverse and diverting group of films from new American indie talents. For those interested in the technical and thematic innovations that these filmmakers are bringing to the medium, get to the Maniaci Center or Cinema Paradiso for a taste of the new American autuers.On Saturday, the Festival will pre...

THE DARJEELING LIMITED Closes 51st London Film Festival

 Thursday, November 1---------Hopping from its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival to its Opening Night Gala last month at the New York Film Festival, the Wes Anderson film THE DARJEELING LIMITED closes the Times BFI 51st London Film Festival tonight.  The film will open theatrically in the UK on November 23rd via distributor Twentienth Century Fox. THE DARJEELING LIMITED presents the fractured fable of three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year, who set o...

Arrivederci Roma

 Tuesday, October 30---------The second edition of the Cinema: Rome Filmfest was, by all accounts, a smashing success. Not only was there a ferocious public response but the industry gave the event a thumbs up as well. Those who stood on the sidelines and wondered if a film festival would be accepted by the Rome public and if the industry needed yet another film event on the busy Fall film calendar, were in agreement that the Festival delivered.Yes, there were the inevitable glitches.....a few ...

Controversial Films Premiere At London Film Festival

 Saturday, October 27----------The London Film Festival is not necessarily against the idea of premiering controversial fact, they generate good press and audience interest. But two such films had their premieres just hours apart on Friday, making it a red-hot day for the press and opinionmakers. Locally, it was BRICK LANE, the adaption of the best selling novel by local author Monica Ali, that generated the most media buzz. The film had its world premiere last evening and was the...

Winners Announced At Inaugural Middle East International Film Festival

 Monday, October 21--------The Middle East International Film Festival – Abu Dhabi (MEIFF) announced the winners of the Black Pearl Awards at the Closing Night Ceremony held at the Emirates Palace  on Saturday evening. The Black Pearl trophy (designed by Mohammed Gomaa) is a handmade sculpture representing the beautiful and rare black pearl originally discovered in the pristine waters of the Abu Dhabi coastline, and a symbol that is an integral part of Abu Dhabi history and culture. The Bla...

World Premiere of LIONS FOR LAMBS At London FF

 Thursday, October 25---------It was quite a coup for the London Film Festival to snag the World Premiere of the hotly anticipated LIONS FOR LAMBS, the latest directorial (and acting) effort of the Sundance Kid himself, Robert Redford. Heading an all-star cast that includes Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep, the highly topical drama is Redford's pointed commentary on the zeitgeist of wartime America, the complicity of politicians and the press, and the indifference of the general public who are not b...

Industry Screenings At The London Film Festival

 Wednesday, October 24--------Although it is not on the radar of the public attending the London Film Festival this week, there has been a low key parallel event that has unspooled at the Curzon Soho Theater, where film sellers had the opportunity to showcase their newest films for industry buyers and programmers. The Industry Screenings is one of several resources available to industry delegates at the Festival, which combine with the excitement of the public screenings to highlight films look...

A Taste of Italy at the London Film Festival

 Tuesday, October 23--------Having just been in Italy for the past 12 days (a week of vacation in Venice, mainly seeing art and sampling the food and wine, and 5 days in Rome to attend the Rome Film Festival), I've got Italy on the brain these days. Well, coming to London, there is still lots of Italian to appreciate, especially here at the London Film Festival. While it is not exactly an official section of the Festival, there are a good number of superb Italian films to be seen, mainly in the...

FLIFF Opening Night Gala: THE GRAND

Friday, October 19--------Although it began screenings this week at its year-round theater Cinema Paradiso, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival officially kicks off this evening with the screening of THE GRAND, a laughter roundelay set around the world of competitive poker. The film, directed by Zak Penn , includes an all-star cast including Woody Harrelson,  Dennis Farina, Richard Kind, Michael McKean, Ray Romano, Cheryl Hines and Jason Alexander. Two of the film's stars, Dennis F...

Celebrating Sophia At The Rome Film Festival

 Friday, October 19----------Even though Queen Elizabeth is in town (not the real royal but the one played by Cate Blanchett in ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE), and despite the fact that such industry heavyweights as Francis Ford Coppolla, Sidney Lumet and Tom Cruise are somewhere here in the Eternal City for screenings of their films this weekend, all eyes will be on Sophia tonight.....Sophia Loren that is. The iconic actress will walk the Red Carpet in advance of the screening of a new documentary...

A Conversation With Naomi Watts at the London Film Festival

 Thursday, October 18----------Naomi Watts, whose film career is suddenly on fire, will appear as a special guest at the TCM Screen Talk tomorrow evening at the London Film Festival. Watts was one of the stars at last night's Opening Night Gala screening of EASTERN PROMISES, the new film from Canadian auteur David Cronenberg, which stars her opposite Viggo Mortenson and Vincent Cassel. The prolific actress also toplines the English-language remake of Austrian director Michael Haneke's FUNNY G...

Rome Film Fest: A Great City Deserves A Great Film Festival

 Wednesday, October 17-------------Rome is a great city, and it deserves a great film festival. And in only its second edition, CINEMA: Rome Film Fest is presenting just that......a sprawling event filled with movie stars, international auteurs, hot new directors and an impressive roster of professional events. The second edition of CINEMA. Festa Internazionale di Roma - RomeFilmFest will be held from the 18th to the 27th of October 2007 in the Rome Auditorium, along with screenings at movie...

Interview With London Film Festival Artistic Director Sandra Hebron

Wednesday, October 17---------With the London Film Festival beginning its two week marathon of film premieres, special events, industry gatherings and, of course, parties, Festival Circuit Editor Sandy Mandelberger sat down with London Film Festival Artistic Director Sandra Hebron to get the scoop on this year's festivities. Hebron is the Artistic Director of bfi Film Festivals, responsible for both The Times bfi London Film Festival and the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. She began ...

FLIFF Begins Month-Long Movie Marathon

 Monday, October 15---------The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (affectionately referred to as FLIFF) hangs its reputation on its eclectic mix of films, and the uncommon loyalty of its audiences. As FLIFF heads into its 22nd annual edition (October 11 - November 14), the Festival will unveil 175 films from 26 countries, including 17 World Premieres, 8 U.S Premieres, 4 East Coast Premieres, 36 Southeast Premieres and 33 Florida Premieres.  In all, the event will showcase 70 Featur...

Mockumentary Of Legendary Funny Man Kicks Off Fort Lauderdale Fest

Friday, October 12-------The 22nd annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, known as the "longest film event in the world", will launch its month-long marathon of film screenings, receptions and special events on October 15th, with the premiere of a comic documentary on legendary funny man Jonathan Winters.CERTIFIABLY JONATHAN is a “dadamentary” directed by James Pasternak, that weaves in and out of the bi-polar world of Jonathan Winters, the film and television comic kno...

Abu Dhabi Hosts Inaugural Middle East International Film Festival

 Tuesday, October 8--------Launching a major international film festival in less than six months time is, among other things, a major crap shoot (can one get the films, the celebrtities and the industry movers and shakers on board?). When the announcements began coming out on the inaugural Middle East International Film Festival, there were skeptics in the roving band of film festival circuit wanderers who openly questioned whether an event of magnitude could be pulled off in such a short peri...

Film and Foliage On Long Island's East End

Friday, October 5--------As the Hamptons, the celebrated resort area on the eastern end of Long Island, moves into arguably its most beautiful season, the 15th edition of the Hamptons International Film Festival will bring a mix of film and glamour to complement the burnt orange and reddish hues of the Fall. The Festival begins on October 17th and runs through October 21st. This is a pivotal year for the event. Its longtime Festival Director Denise Kassel departed after being at the helm for the...

The Spirit of the Sixties Lives On At Woodstock Film Festival

Tuesday, October 2--------For those who actually attended the famous Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in 1969 (or just claim to) or have visited it in their dreams, the word "Woodstock" evokes a fabled time of flower power, sexual revolution, drug-fueled ectasy and a time when youth culture subsumed the status quo. It is becoming increasingly harder to find that spirit of the Sixties in contemporary America (where we have our own Vietnam, but nary a student protest), but that freewhee...


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