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Vanessa McMahon

Interview with SHERIF MANDOUR, on cinema in Revolutionary Egypt.

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  SHERIF MANDOUR, A Revolutionary Filmmaker in Revolutionary Egypt.   In the ancient land and rapidly transforming lifestyle of modern Egypt, producer Sherif Mandour is a man of his time. Apart from achieving worldwide acclaim, his last three films produced were predicting the revolution, a revolution from without and within. Through his longtime career in cinema, Mandour had worn many hats as an actor, director, distributor, commercial voiceover, producer and most...

'INTO THE ABYSS: A TALE OF DEATH, A TALE OF LIFE' (2011) at 14th TDF

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              Film still from Into The Abyss (2011)  One of the most talked about documentaries of the year, Werner Herzog’s film INTO THE ABYSS: A TALE OF DEATH, A TALE OF LIFE (2011) screened at this year’s Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival. The film focuses on two prisoners in the USA who (during the filming) await death row. In the film, Herzog intervi...

‘Stavroula’ (2011) at TDF

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            The Greek documentary film ‘Stavroula’ (2011) screened at the 14th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival. 21 year-old filmmaker Ira Dika’s debut proves a delightfully insightful and soulful film about an elderly Greek woman, Stavroula, seen through the eyes of the filmmaker herself, Ira, a young woman. In the film, Stavroula says to Ira: “Everything flows and nothing...

Middle East presence in Hong Kong during the 2012 HAF

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  Middle East presence in Hong Kong during the 2012 HAF. Alongside this year’s FILMART, Hong Kong’s key international TV and film market, HAF (Asia Film Financing Forum) Hong Kong took place from 19-21 March. HAF is an annual event where filmmakers from around the world are awarded prizes of up to HK$350K in development funds. This year eight awards were given to filmmakers for select projects that showed exceptional merit; these won prizes in money and an impetus for the advan...

14th TDF with “Stories From Lakka Beach” (2011)

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Danish director Daan Veldhuizen attended the 14th TDF this year with his stunningly shot film “Stories From Lakka Beach” (2011). The film focuses on today’s Sierra Leone and the struggle of everyday life on the serene edenic Lakka beach village where today all of its people appear to live in harmony alongside each other. But this peace wasn’t always so and perhaps it wont always be. In a land that has seen the ever advancing onslaught of u...

LOOKING BACK, Cinema's greatest moments... BLADERUNNER (1985)

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Bladerunner at Fantasporto, 2012 What better film to be honored at a 'Fantastic' film festival than the classic Sci-Fi film Bladerunner (1982)! At the 32nd International Film Festival of Porto (Fantasporto), which took place February 20 to March 3, 2012, the film was screened as an homage to cinemas of the future. Directed by Ridley Scott, the canonical film was based on the novel by Sci-Fi writer Philip K. Dick called: "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" about...

DESERT RIDERS (2011) with Noemi Weis at 14th TDF

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The film DESERT RIDERS (2011) screened at the 14th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival. Writer/Producer Noemi Weis attended the festival in support of the film.   DESERT RIDERS is about the trafficking of poor children to Middle Eastern countries who are forced into slavery as camel jockeys for the extremely lucrative business of camel racing. Many of the children have died during the races or suffered from malnutrition and are scarred for life. Due to pressure from me...

DESERT RIDERS (2011) at 14th Thessaloniki Doc Festival

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The film DESERT RIDERS (2011) screened at the 14th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival. Writer/Producer Noemi Weis attended the festival in support of the film.   DESERT RIDERS is about the trafficking of poor children to Middle Eastern countries who are forced into slavery as camel jockeys for the extremely lucrative business of camel racing. Many of the children have died during the races or suffered from malnutrition and are scarred for life. Due to pressure from me...

Bladerunner at Fantasporto, 2012

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Bladerunner at Fantasporto, 2012 What better film to be honored at a 'Fantastic' film festival than the classic Sci-Fi film Bladerunner (1982)! At the 32nd International Film Festival of Porto (Fantasporto) the film was screened as an homage to cinemas of the future. Directed by Ridley Scott, the canonical film was based on the novel by Sci-Fi writer Philip K. Dick called: "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" about a time in the future where androids (who look like h...

Fantasporto in Oporto

Oporto is situated near the Douro River in Porto, Portugal. It is widely know around the world for its sweet Porto wines and its unique beauty. The Douro river flows into the Atlantic Ocean providing the city with some of the country's best seafood and spectacular views. photo by Vanessa McMahon

14th TDF Press Conference

14th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Press Conference on March 11, 2012 with directors Natalie Johanna Halla (Gaelle), Daan Veldhuizen (Stories from Lakka Beach), and writer/producer Noemi Weis (Desert Riders). photo by Vanessa McMahon (iphone)

14th TDF Press Conference

14th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Press Conference on March 11, 2012 with directors Natalie Johanna Halla (Gaelle), Daan Veldhuizen (Stories from Lakka Beach), and writer/producer Noemi Weis (Desert Riders). photo by Vanessa McMahon (iphone)

West of Memphis at SBIFF 2012

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  The cast and crew of the documentary film WEST OF MEMPHIS (2012) made a splash at the Santa Barbara International FIlm Festival (SBIFF) on February, 3rd, 2012. The film had its world premier just weeks before in Sundance. Following the screening, director Amy Berg, Damien Echols, and Lorri Davis attended a Q and A. Read a summary of the film here: SUMMARY by Sundance Film Festival- "For many people, the case of the West Memphis Three has become synonymous with wrongful...

Fantasporto 2012

Douro River in Porto, Portugal during Fantasporto festival, 2012 photo by Vanessa McMahon 

Fantasporto 2012

Image of the Douro River in Porto, Portugal during Fantasporto festival, 2012 photo by Vanessa McMahon 

GUILTY OF ROMANCE (2011) by Sono Shion, at Fantasporto 2012

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  One of the most eccentric films I have seen of late was the Japanese film GUILTY OF ROMANCE (恋の罪 Koi no Tsumi?, 2011) by auteur director Sono Shion. Reflecting the genre Japanese ‘pink cinema’, the film is about three women who find sexual freedom in unconventional ways through pink paint balloon tossing, prostitution and poetry. From the director of the films COLD FISH (2010) and HIMIZU (2011), Shion is not only a prolific director but one who shocks and pushes the envelope...

GUILTY OF ROMANCE (2011) by Sono Shion at Fantasporto 2012

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  One of the most eccentric films I have seen of late was the Japanese film GUILTY OF ROMANCE (恋の罪 Koi no Tsumi?, 2011) by auteur director Sono Shion. Reflecting the genre Japanese ‘pink cinema’, the film is about three women who find sexual freedom in unconventional ways through pink paint balloon tossing, prostitution and poetry. From the director of the films COLD FISH (2010) and HIMIZU (2011), Shion is not only a prolific director but one who shocks and pushes the envelope ...

Homage to Ed Wood at Fantasporto 2012

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Fantasporto 2012 (20 February - 04 March) paid homage to a series of Ed Wood films. The Ed Wood films that screened at the festival were: "Bride of the Monster" (1955), "Night of the Ghouls" (1959), "Plan 9 From Out of Space" (1959), "Glen or Glenda" (1953). In the 1950's Ed Wood was as independent as they come, having made numerous black and white low budget indie films with his signature star actor Bela Lugosi. A screenwriter, director, prod...

LOOKING BACK, Cinema's greatest moments... OUT OF AFRICA (1985)

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  As another Oscar season has passed us by and three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep has won yet another Academy Award for Best Actress, I think it's time to mention one of my favorite films of all time, one I must admit I watch once a month- OUT OF AFRICA (1985). Why people so often refer to it as a ‘chick flick’ is beyond me when it is a Sydney Pollack film and one of Hollywood’s greatest canonic triumphs. Universal’s “Out of Africa”, which won the Oscar for B...

A MIGHTY FINE interview with cast of 'MIGHTY FINE' (2011)!

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  photo still from MIGHTY FINE (2011). Andie MacDowell and Chazz Palminteri   A few weeks ago during the 27th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) I had the pleasure of sitting with the cast from Debbie Goodstein’s film MIGHTY FINE (2011) where the film held its North American premier. What started as an interview turned into a fascinating discussion about rage from the microcosm of American domestic life to the macrocosm of rage in the world at large. Her...

A MIGHTY FINE interview with cast of 'MIGHTY FINE' (2011)!

A few weeks ago during the 27th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) I had the pleasure of sitting with the cast from Debbie Goodstein’s film MIGHTY FINE (2011) where the film held its North American premier. Here is director Debbie Goodstein, Chazz Palminteri, Jodelle Ferland and Rainey Qualley.   Photo by Vanessa McMahon 

A MIGHTY FINE interview with cast of 'MIGHTY FINE' (2011)!

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  photo still from MIGHTY FINE (2011). Andie MacDowell and Chazz Palminteri   A few weeks ago during the 27th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) I had the pleasure of sitting with the cast from Debbie Goodstein’s film MIGHTY FINE (2011) where the film held its North American premier. What started as an interview turned into a fascinating discussion about rage from the microcosm of American domestic life to the macrocosm of rage in the world at large. Here...

Interview with EFM's Beki Probst

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Beki Probst is the head of the EFM, European Film Market, for Berlinale since 1988. Before this position, she worked for the Berlinale as the film festival’s delegate for Turkey and Greece for seven years. Beki was born in Istanbul, Turkey where as a student she studied law and journalism and wrote for Turkish newspapers ‘Tercuman’ and ‘Hayat’. It was when she moved in Switzerland in 1960 that her career in cinema began where she managed the Probst-Kinobetriebe. ...

Jean Dujardin speaking

Jean Dujardin speaking about his lifetime career in The Arlington Theater at SBIFF photo by Vanessa McMahon

Jean Dujardin speaking

Jean Dujardin speaking about his lifetime career in The Arlington Theater at SBIFF photo by Vanessa McMahon

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