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Nine movies in Bangkok's BIFF 2009 competition

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THERE are nine movies in the main competition of the Bangkok International Film Festival 2009: Across the River (Iran); Adrift (Vietnam); Altiplano (Belgium); Breathless (South Korea); Everyone Else (Germany); Huacho (Chile/ France/ Germany); I Killed My Mother (Canada); Inland (Algeria / France), and The Search (China). Across the River, by the prolific US-based Iranian director Abbas A. Motlagh, has barely been shown outside Iran, but is bound to attract attention here. In the wake of a majo...

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 Premieres Creating Advance Buzz

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  George Clooney in UP IN THE AIR by Sandy Mandelberger, Festivals Dailies Editor Premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival always get hearts racing, among industry professionals looking to snag distribution deals and among the notoriously cinephile audiences in Canada’s most diverse metropolis. This year’s Festival is unveiling a good number of such films that are among the festival’s most anticipated (and hard to get into) film screenings. ...

Critics Vote for "The White Ribbon" as Best Film of the Year

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At the opening ceremony of the San Sebastián International Film Festival, Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band) will receive the FIPRESCI Grand Prix 2009 for the Best Film of the Year. Although the film has barely been screened apart from the Cannes Film Festival (where it won both the FIPRESCI Award and the Golden Palm), The White Ribbon was chosen the Best Film of the Year by the 223 critics throughout the world that took part in the poll for Grand Prix. The award will be handed...

Young Turkish cinema at 17th Filmfest Hamburg

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From 24th September to 3rd October 2009 the 17th Filmfest Hamburg will be presenting film enthusiasts and professionals with young Turkish cinema. The eight author-directors come from different Turkish cities and regions, bringing with them intense and explosive tales of Turkish and Kurdish life. Festival Director Albert Wiederspiel is impressed "by the cinematic poetry of these stories as well as by the filmmakers' courage. The imagery used in all of these films relies on serene tranquillity, m...

Film Independent announces participants for screenwriters lab

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Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and Los Angeles Film Festival, has announced the screenwriters and film projects selected for its 10th annual Screenwriters Lab, sponsored by the Writers Guild of America, West. Taking place in Los Angeles from August 17 until September 16, the Screenwriters Lab is an intensive five-week incubator designed to help writers improve their craft, and take their current scripts to the next level in a nurturing, yet ch...

Broken Embraces

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Premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, Almodóvar’s "Broken Embraces" is also taking place on www.sff.ba Sarajevo Film Festival. Some might say that the film is homage to Bergman, one of the key film directors of today or that“Broken Embraces uses simplicity of Rossellini’s “Voyage to Italy” to show the effect on Lena of the discovery of the couple burned to death in Pompeii”. But in order to reflect the great Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar in his maturity, I find that h...

A Neglected Film Noir Masterpiece Chosen By Pedro Almodovar

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  by  Sandy Mandelberger, Online Dailies Editor  “Night And The City” (1950) is a neglected film noir masterpiece by the American-born director Jules Dassin. The film, a cult favorite among cinephiles but largely unknown by the public, has taken on renewed currency as the inspiration for “Broken Embraces”, the latest film from Spanish superstar director Pedro Almodóvar, which screened at the ERA New Horizons International Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland. Almodovar himself...

Meet The Jurors of the ERA New Horizons International Film Festival

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  Sebastian Lelio (Chilean director) by Sandy Mandelberger, Online Dailies Editor The hardest working band of professionals at this year’s ERA New Horizons International Film Festival, which closes today in Wroclaw, Poland, are undoubtedly the juries that have been viewing films from all over the world in the main Festival competitions. As the Festival headed into its final days, the juries moved from viewing and evaluating the films into the rigors of that favorite bl...

Contemplating Krzysztof Zanussi

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Online Dailies Editor  One cannot contemplate the accomplishments of Polish cinema without acknowledging the singular contribution of Krzysztof Zanussi, who is the subject of a retrospective tribute at the ERA New Horizons International Film Festival, taking place in Wroclaw, Poland this week. Not only will the master director’s best-known films be screened, but the Festival programmers have unearthed early short films and television works that have not been seen i...

Contemplating Krzysztof Zanussi

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Dailies Editor One cannot contemplate the accomplishments of Polish cinema without acknowledging the singular contribution of Krzysztof Zanussi, who is the subject of a retrospective tribute at the ERA New Horizons International Film Festival, taking place in Wroclaw, Poland this week. Not only will the master director’s best-known films be screened, but the Festival programmers have unearthed early short films and television works that have not been seen in decades. Zanussi was born in Wars...

“Hunger” will kick-off the KunstFilmbiennale

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“Hunger” by Steve McQueen is the kick-off screening for the KunstFilmbiennale 2009Retrospective with rarities by the jury chairman, Gus Van Sant, in Cologne Cologne, 22 July 2009 – On September 18 at 8 p.m., the complete programme of the KunstFilmBiennale 2009 will be publicly presented at the Filmforum in Museum Ludwig in Cologne.To set the mood for an exceptional festival line-up, there will be a screening of “HUNGER”, the first movie of Steve McQueen, the Turner Prize winning star o...

Michael Haneke: Cinema's Dark Poet

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by Sandy Mandelberger, Online Dailies Editor   Michael Haneke relishes his reputation as one of the controversial directors working in the film arts. He is a provocateur with a mission to shock audiences out of their complacency and contemplate the good, bad and ugly of modern society. “My films are an appeal for a cinema of insistent questions instead of false answers……for provocation and dialogue instead of consumption and consensus”, he stated in a recent inter...

Lydia Lunch Launches Music Series

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Online Dailies Editor The avant-gardist Lydia Lunch, whose varied career has ranged from punk music to indie film acting, will kick off the music events of the Festival at a special concert following the Opening Night Gala screening of THE WHITE RIBBON, the Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner by Austrian auteur Michael Haneke.   Lunch has been called “one of the most influential performers of the age” by the Boston Phoenix newspaper....

The white ribbon to open ERA New Horizons Fest

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THE WHITE RIBBON, the celebrated Austrian film by auteur Michael Haneke, which recently won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, will open the 9th edition of the ERA NEW HORIZONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, to be held in the city of Wroclaw, Poland from 23 July to 2 August. The film, which also won the prestigious FIPRESCI International Critics Prize in Cannes, is set in a small town in northern Germany just before World War I, and refers to the origins of the totalitarian systems that...

Cannes Palme d'Or Winner To Open ERA New Horizons International Film Festival

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor THE WHITE RIBBON, the celebrated Austrian film by auteur Michael Haneke, which recently won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, will open the 9th edition of the ERA NEW HORIZONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, to be held in the city of Wroclaw, Poland from 23 July to 2 August. The film, which also won the prestigious FIPRESCI International Critics Prize in Cannes, is set in a small town in northern Germany just before World War...

The Misfortunates, will open the Ghent Film Festival

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The latest film by Felix van Groeningen, The Misfortunates, opens the 36th edition of the Ghent Film Festival on 6 October. A première of the film will be shown simultaneously in four of the cinemas in the Kinepolis complex and in the Vooruit arts centre. The Misfortunates (De helaasheid der dingen), named after the book by Dimitri Verhulst, is about 13-year-old Gunther Strobbe who lives with his father and his three uncles in his grandmother’s home in a totally slovenly place in Reetveerdege...

"Brüno" overshadows Jacko's Star - From Los Angeles by Stephanie Ronnet

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Sometimes Hollywood lives up to its legend. Years ago, I was producing 2 entertainment weekly shows in L.A, and multi-talented French icon Thierry Lhermitte, was promoting "An Indian in the City" -- which went through an "extreme (re)make-over" by Disney later on... As we asked him if he pictured himself pursuing a career in Hollywood, he replied "No way, it's like the Cannes Film Festival 365 days a year!".However, recently, the recession hit, and what reached an a...

Brüno's Premiere overshadows Jacko's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Sometimes Hollywood lives up to its legend. Years ago, I was producing 2 entertainment weekly shows in L.A, and multi-talented French icon Thierry Lhermitte, was promoting "An Indian in the City" -- which went through an "extreme (re)make-over" by Disney later on... As we asked him if he pictured himself pursuing a career in Hollywood, he replied "No way, it's like the Cannes Film Festival 365 days a year!".However, recently, the recession hit, and what reached an all time high in Hollywood, was...

The Jury from Karlovy Vary

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Grand JuryThe Grand Jury is presenting the Awards including the Grand Prix - Crystal Globe in the Official Selection - CompetitionClaudie Ossard, President of the Grand JuryThe career of this distinguished film producer and leading figure of French film began in advertising. As producer, she introduced the likes of Martin Scorsese and Emir Kusturica to the realm of advertising. In 1986 she gave her successful debut as a film producer with Jean-Jacques Beineix's Betty Blue, which brought her an O...

French producer Claudie Ossard will preside the Karlovy VaryThe Grand Jury

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The Grand Jury is presenting the Awards including the Grand Prix - Crystal Globe in the Official Selection - Competition Claudie Ossard, President of the Grand Jury The career of this distinguished film producer and leading figure of French film began in advertising. As producer, she introduced the likes of Martin Scorsese and Emir Kusturica to the realm of advertising. In 1986 she gave her successful debut as a film producer with Jean-Jacques Beineix's Betty Blue, which brought her an Oscar nom...

Lost Songs of Anatolia

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Presented in part at the Turkish Pavillion reception at the Cannes Film Festival, THE LOST SONGS OF ANATOLIA, on a background of clips of peasant musicians from Eastern Turkey featured a modern rock quartet accompanying beautiful authentic shots taken on the spot. The effect was surrealistic and highly original. A musical voyage among exotic places and people of Anatolia, unique host of ancient civilizations, empires as well as mythologies and glory of 10 millennia. The fruit...

Hrithik Roshan to play Christ? (sure --why not?)

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Not since Mel Gibson cast James Caviezel as Jesus in his 2004 film The Passion of The Christ , has there been any comparison between an actor and the Lord. But now several Latin American distributors, who saw the international version of Rakesh Roshan's Kites , are stunned by Hrithik's resemblance to Jesus Christ in the film. It's been two weeks since the Bollywood film was showcased at the Cannes Film Festival, but the buzz around it still continues at the French Riviera. And, another t...

Hrithik Roshan to play Christ? (sure --why not?)

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Not since Mel Gibson cast James Caviezel as Jesus in his 2004 film The Passion of The Christ , has there been any comparison between an actor and the Lord. But now several Latin American distributors, who saw the international version of Rakesh Roshan’s Kites , are stunned by Hrithik’s resemblance to Jesus Christ in the film. It’s been two weeks since the Bollywood film was showcased at the Cannes Film Festival, but the buzz around it still continues at the French Riviera. And, another thi...

In competition: "Face" by Tsai Ming-Liang

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About the film: Winding up the Competition, the Cannes Film Festival welcomes a Taiwanese filmmaker, Tsai Ming-Liang, with the presentation of his latest film, Face, starring three French actors: Fanny Ardant – whose directorial debut film Ashes and Blood is up for a Caméra d’Or, Laetitia Casta and Jean-Pierre Léaud. This film project developed at the bidding of the Louvre museum, which incited Tsai Ming-Liang to set the mythical story of Salome to film, including ...
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