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Festival Dailies

Sci-Fi Romantic Comedy Opens FLIFF

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  What if a clock could count down to the moment you meet your soul mate, would you want to know? That is the provocative question at the heart of TiMER, a quirky and arresting sci-fi romance that will open this year's edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival on Friday evening. The American indie film, written and directed by talented newcomer Jac Schaeffer, is set in the near future, when technology has taken the guesswork out of love and commitment. Most people...

A Celebration of Sunshine And Celluloid

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  After several weeks of miserably rainy and too-cold-for-October weather in New York City, a jaunt to the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival in sunny South Florida is exactly what the doctor ordered. The Festival, which is celebrating its 24th year, is one of the most respected regional events on the festival circuit, with an ambitious slate of film premieres, celebrity tributes and chic after-parties. Festivities begin this Friday and run through November 8. Affectionate...

Timer a Sci-Fi Romantic Comedy opens FLIFF

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What if a clock could count down to the moment you meet your soul mate, would you want to know? That is the provocative question at the heart of TiMER, a quirky and arresting sci-fi romance that will open this year's edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival on Friday evening. The American indie film, written and directed by talented newcomer Jac Schaeffer, is set in the near future, when technology has taken the guesswork out of love and commitment. Most people make the decisio...

New York Film Festival Masterworks

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  BRIDGE (Wang Bin, 1949)  This year's Masterworks series at the New York Film Festival draw on repertory collections of films that highlight (mainly) unknown aspects of global cinema. The first program is (RE)INVENTING CHINA: A New Cinema for a New Society, focusing on Chinese films made during the height of the Maoist revolution from 1949 to 1966. The series brings together twenty rarely seen works from the crucial early years of the People's Republic of China. Fol...

The French Invasion of New York

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  BLUEBEARD (Catherine Breillat)  With French film master Alain Resnais kicking off the 47th edition of the New York Film Festival last evening with his Cannes Film Festival winner WILD GRASS, this year's event is another example of the New York audience love affair with French cinema. With French filmmakers and actors in town for the Festival, the premieres this week of Cedric Klapisch's PARIS and Anne Fontaine's COCO BEFORE CHANEL (starring Audrey Tautou), not to mention the on...

The New York Film Fest kicks off today with Alain Resnais

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With French film master Alain Resnais kicking off the 47th edition of the New York Film Festival last evening with his Cannes Film Festival winner WILD GRASS, this year's event is another example of the New York audience love affair with French cinema. For the French, it is almost a semi-invasion of Manhattan island. Other Gallic giants in this year's fest include: HADEWIJCH, directed by Bruno Dumont. The director has directed more than 450 commercials, shorts and documentaries. He is the direct...

Alain Resnais at NY Fest: 87 master walks among us

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There are not too many film masters whose works have influenced the length and the breadth of the "seventh art" who are still walking among us. However, today in New York, a true living legend not only is in our midst, but is presenting his latest film, which opens the prestigious New York Film Festival later this evening. Alain Resnais, 87 years young, is the iconic French film director who began his vaulted career in the 1950s and has continued ever since, is in New York for the premiere of W...

A Master Walks Among Us

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  There are not too many film masters whose works have influenced the length and the breadth of the "seventh art" who are still walking among us. However, today in New York, a true living legend not only is in our midst, but is presenting his latest film, which opens the prestigious New York Film Festival later this evening. Alain Resnais, 87 years young, is the iconic French film director who began his vaulted career in the 1950s and has continued ever since,  is in ...

The Return of Todd Solondz

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It's been nearly five years since Todd Solondz, one of American independent cinema's most respected (and controversial) auteurs, has been seen at a film festival. His last film PALINDROMES (2004) premiered at the Venice Film Festival but was roundly hissed by most film critics and its subsequent release was very anemic. After his earlier successes, including his debut WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE (1995), the heartfelt and uncomfortably intimate HAPPINESS (1998) and the less well received STORYTELLIN...

Toronto FF ends with awards

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Although the Toronto International Film Festival does not have a official Competition Section (which distinguishes it from events in Cannes, Berlin, Venice and San Sebastian), there are a few awards announcements to close out the 12 day event. CADILLAC PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS The Cadillac People's Choice Award is voted on by Festival audiences. This year’s award went to Lee Daniels's Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire. Director Lee Daniels' Sundance Film Festival winner is a v...

Toronto FF Ends With Awards

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Although the Toronto International Film Festival does not have a official Competition Section (which distinguishes it from events in Cannes, Berlin, Venice and San Sebastian), there are a few awards announcements to close out the 12 day event. CADILLAC PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS The Cadillac People's Choice Award is voted on by Festival audiences. This year’s award went to Lee Daniels's Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire. Director Lee Daniels' Sundance Film Festival winner is a v...

Toronto FF Ends With Awards

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Although the Toronto International Film Festival does not have a official Competition Section (which distinguishes it from events in Cannes, Berlin, Venice and San Sebastian), there are a few awards announcements to close out the 12 day event. CADILLAC PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS The Cadillac People's Choice Award is voted on by Festival audiences. This year’s award went to Lee Daniels's Precious: Based on the Novel “Push...

The Return of Todd Solondz

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor It's been nearly five years since Todd Solondz, one of American independent cinema's most respected (and controversial) auteurs, has been seen at a film festival. His last film PALINDROMES (2004) premiered at the Venice Film Festival but was roundly hissed by most film critics and its subsequent release was very anemic. After his earlier successes, including his debut WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE (1995), the heartfelt and uncomf...

Support For European Cinema

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SAME BUT DIFFERENT (Detlev Buck, Germany)  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor With nearly a third of the films on offer in Toronto coming from the European continent, the Festival is a very important launching pad for both established and emerging talents to make an impression in North America. That is why the support of the European Film Promotion organization, a conglomeration of the governmental promotion offices from across the continent, is so vital ...

Double dose of George Clooney in Toronto, what else!

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Those attending the Toronto International Film Festival can be excused for a bout with double vision when it comes to a doubleheader of films by the Festival's most papparazzi-friendly presence, George Clooney. The fair-haired actor is the star of two high profile films that made their debuts here earlier this week. In THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, directed by Grant Heslov, a reporter (played by Ewan McGregor) tries to lose himself in the romance of war after his marriage fails, but gets more than...

Double Dose of George Clooney

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  George Clooney in Jason Reitman's UP IN THE AIR by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Those attending the Toronto International Film Festival can be excused for a bout with double vision when it comes to a doubleheader of films by the Festival's most papparazzi-friendly presence, George Clooney. The fair-haired actor is the star of two high profile films that made their debuts here earlier this week. In THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, directed by Grant Heslov...

Women Directors Rule At TIFF

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Female directors have been the toast of town in Toronto this week, with films that have been embraced by the industry, film critics and audiences. Although women directors still make up an anemically small percentage of the ranks of film directors everywhere around the world, their special spins on a number of high profile films here are worth noting. No film premiere generated as much excitement as the red carpet gala of JEN...

FESTROIA 2009 Winners Announced

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  THE WORLD IS BIG AND SALVATION LURKS AROUND THE CORNER (Bulgaria) by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor    FORBIDDEN FRUIT, a comedic-drama about two religious girls who flaut their strict Christian fundamentalist community rules forbidding the pleasures of television, music, drinking and dancing, won the Gold Dolphin Award as Best Film at this year’s FESTROIA Official Competition. The Finnish film, written by Aleksei Bardy...

ENTRE NOS Wins North American Independents Competition

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor    ENTRE NOS, a hard-hitting and emotionally involving drama about the struggles of an illegal immigrant to make a life for herself and her children on the mean streets of New York City, was chosen as the Best Film in the North American Independents Competition of the 25th edition of FESTROIA: The Troia International Film Festival. The Festival, the oldest and largest in Portugal, ran from September 4 to 1...

A Focus On The Environment

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  THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (Canada) by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor FESTROIA is set in the beautiful coastal city of Setubal, surrounded by water and mountains in the Sado region of Portugal. Its idyllic setting makes it a natural environment for a meditation of ecological issues and the Festival expresses its interest in a competition section entitled Man And His Environment.   This theme is expressed in the section in a combination of featur...

Festroia Tribute to Actor Michael Madsen

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In its 25 year history, FESTROIA has welcomed such luminaries as Lauren Bacall, Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Jane Russell, Ben Gazarra and Mickey Rooney. This year, career achievement honors go to American actor Michael Madsen, who will be in Portugal to receive his prize. He is also being represented on the big screen in two films: STRENGTH AND HONOUR by debut Irish director Mark Mahon, where he gives a superlative performance as a washed-up boxer who must en...

Director Dialogues In Toronto

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  Director Joe Dante  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor The Toronto International Film Festival has announced four presentations in Dialogues: Talking with Pictures, the Festival’s critically acclaimed film series curated by renowned directors or film artists. This year, Ted Kotcheff, Neil Jordan, Joe Dante and Sook- Yin Lee will present films that have inspired them or have marked a significant period in their careers. Ted Kotcheff’s Wake in Frigh...

Toronto FF Opens With World Premiere Of Chloe, Historical BioPic

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor The 34th Toronto International Film Festival opens September 10 with the world premiere Gala Presentation of CREATION, directed by Jon Amiel (The Core, Entrapment, The Man Who Knew Too Little). Produced by Jeremy Thomas, the film tells the life story of Charles Darwin, a still controversial figure who championed the idea of evolution and the descent of man (something that still makes the religious fundamentalists crazy). Th...

Interview: Henry Bernadet

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  Henry Bernadet (WEST OF PLUTO)  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Quebec City-based filmmakers Henry Bernadet and Myriam Verreault have known each other since high school, so after making a series of short films, they decided that their first feature project together would be a film that took a realistic look at the lives of teenagers who attended the very same high school in the suburbs that they graduated from ten years ago. WEST OF PLUTO is a semi-...

FESTROIA Debut Directors

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  STRENGTH AND HONOUR (Ireland)  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor  One of the three prestigious film competitions at FESTROIA, the Portugese festival which is nearing its mid-point, is the Primerias Obras/First Works section. This has always been a program that has attracted interested from the attending industry and public, because it points to stellar talents at the beginning of their careers. Of the eleven films in competition, ten are from Europe and ...

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