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VOLCANO (ELDFJALL, Iceland, 2011)

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 Few films can boast such raw and gritty realism as VOLCANO (ELDFJALL, Iceland, 2011). While the film is set in its native Iceland, it is a far cry from the expansive Nordic Eden we have been exposed to after Eastwood's FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS (2006) and TOMB RAIDER (2001), with VOLCANO exposing the more tangible truth of everyday life in Iceland of a fisherman (Hannes) and his wife and the driest peak in their lives, where everything they once knew is about to erupt and explode into an even tough...

Cucalorus Film Festival released its official schedule of films and events

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Cucalorus Film Festival released its official schedule of films and events this week from their headquarters at Jengo's Playhouse in downtown Wilmington. The festival screens over 150 films from 23 different countries. Last minute additions include the Norwegian comedy Turn Me On Dammit!, which won best screenplay award at the Tribeca Film Festival. Cucalorus director Dan Brawley commented, "Cucalorus always uncovers a few gems from the festival circuit ...

Between the Comic and the Tragic: An Interview With Director Kenji Yamauchi

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In his feature film debut “Being Mitsuko” which had its world premiere on October 13 at the Warsaw Film Festival, Japanese director Kenji Yamauchi walks a fine genre line between the comic and the tragic. And it works. Imbued with a strong dose of black humor and absurdist elements, Yamauchi has crafted an intricate narrative that revolves around the lives of Mitsuko and Emi Shinozaki, two 20-something sisters living in their family house in suburban Tokyo.  But there is hardly...

VOLCANO at RIFF 2011

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  Few films can boast such raw and gritty realism as VOLCANO (ELDFJALL, Iceland, 2011). While the film is set in its native Iceland, it is a far cry from the expansive Nordic Eden we have been exposed to after Eastwood's FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS (2006) and TOMB RAIDER (2001), with VOLCANO exposing the more tangible truth of everyday life in Iceland of a fisherman (Hannes) and his wife and the driest peak in their lives, where everything they once knew is about to erupt and explode into an ev...

Taking Bulgarian Cinema on the Road: An Interview With Director Konstantin Bojanov

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Walking around New York, London or Paris, if you offered someone 100 dollars, pounds or euros to name just one Bulgarian film or director, you'd likely still have the money in your pocket after an hour of trying. Of course, this fact has nothing to do with a lack of productivity or talent in contemporary Bulgarian cinema.And with “Avé”, the feature film debut by director Konstantin Bojanov, Bulgarian cinema's profile is likely to be raised higher, as audiences discover a deeply personal and...

Conclusion of the Slovenian Film Retrospective in Los Angeles

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The last week of the Slovenian Film Retrospective at the Hammer Museum in September was as memorable as the first, which I wrote about in two previous blog posts.   I was unfortunately not able to see the next two films in the series, Dance in the Rain, an enigmatic love story that (to quote the program) “masterfully weighs whether life’s plateaus are cause for disillusion or hope,” and Sand Castle, a “tour-de-force of absurdist, physical comedy [that] subtly ...

TWILIGHT PORTRAIT: A Review!

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Olga Dykhovichnaya (Marina) Sergei Borisov (Andrei)This was indeed the welcome surprise of the Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF) this year. Newcomer Director/Writer/Producer Angelina Nikonova and Writer/Producer/Actress Olga Dykhovichnaya (Marina) graced the festival with their presence in its final days to attend the Q and A screening of their film TWILIGHT PORTRAIT (‘Portret V Sumerkakh’, 2011) and the award ceremony at the end. Little did these passionate Russian Indie filmmak...

The Turin Horse Q and A with Bela Tarr at RIFF

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still from the film THE TURIN HORSE (2011) THE TURIN HORSE (2011), the last film by celebrated Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr, screened in Reykjavik tonight at the 8th Reykjavik Film Festival (RIFF). The film is 2 ½ hours long but despite its hard subject matter and rough arthouse style, it holds onto its full audience from beginning to end. At the end of the screening the master filmmaker himself attended a Q and A for inquiring indie film buffs. This is a difficult film to work through and wh...

TWILIGHT PORTRAIT: A Review!

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Olga Dykhovichnaya (Marina) Sergei Borisov (Andrei)TWILIGHT PORTRAIT (2011) held its world premier at 68th La Biennale in Venice, North American premier at TIFF in Toronto, Nordic premier in Reykjavik at RIFF and now travels next to BFI London. This was indeed the welcome surprise of the Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF) this year. Newcomer Director/Writer/Producer Angelina Nikonova and Writer/Producer/Actress Olga Dykhovichnaya (Marina) graced the festival with their presence in it...

TWILIGHT PORTRAIT: A Review!

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Olga Dykhovichnaya (Marina)  Sergei Borisov (Andrei)This was indeed the welcome surprise of the Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF) this year. Newcomer Director/Writer/Producer Angelina Nikonova and Writer/Producer/Actress Olga Dykhovichnaya (Marina) graced the festival with their presence in its final days to attend the Q and A screening of their film TWILIGHT PORTRAIT (‘Portret V Sumerkakh’, 2011) and the award ceremony at the end. Little did these passionate Russian Indie filmm...

THE TURIN HORSE and BELA TARR

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 still from the film THE TURIN HORSE (2011) THE TURIN HORSE (2011), the last film by celebrated Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr, screened in Reykjavik tonight at the 8th Reykjavik Film Festival (RIFF). The film is 2 ½ hours long but despite its hard subject matter and rough arthouse style, it holds onto its full audience from beginning to end. At the end of the screening the master filmmaker himself attended a Q and A for inquiring indie film buffs. This is a difficult film to work through and ...

Sokurov's FAUST, RIFF review!

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film still of 'Faust' (2011) Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov's FAUST (2011) held its world premier in Venice at the 68th Venice Film Festival this year taking the coveted Golden Lion prize for best picture. It then went on to screen its North American premier at TIFF in Toronto and has now continued its round to Iceland at the Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF). Based on the German myth of the same name, this unusual masterpiece film proves that it is not star power ...

Sokurov's FAUST, a new look at an old myth

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film still of 'Faust' (2011)Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov's FAUST (2011) held its world premier in Venice at the 68th Venice Film Festival this year taking the coveted Golden Lion prize for best picture. It then went on to screen its North American premier at TIFF in Toronto and has now continued its round to Iceland at the Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF). Based on the German myth of the same name, this unusual masterpiece film proves that it is not star power names of actors...

Sokurov's FAUST, a new look at an old myth.

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film still of 'Faust' (2011)Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov's FAUST (2011) held its world premier in Venice at the 68th Venice Film Festival this year taking the coveted Golden Lion prize for best picture. It then went on to screen its North American premier at TIFF in Toronto and has now continued its round to Iceland at the Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF). Based on the German myth of the same name, this unusual masterpiece film proves that it is not star power names of actors...

Sokurov's FAUST, a new take on an old myth

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 film still of 'Faust' (2011)Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov's FAUST (2011) held its world premier in Venice at the 68th Venice Film Festival this year taking the coveted Golden Lion prize for best picture. It then went on to screen its North American premier at TIFF in Toronto and has now continued its round to Iceland at the Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF).  Based on the German myth of the same name, this unusual masterpiece film proves that it is not star power names of act...

The 2012 Derby City Film Festival now open for submissions

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The Derby City Film Festival is now accepting submissions for it’s fourth annual edition. More than 1000 attendees watched 60+ independent films from five countries over three days during the third DCFF which was held in February of this year. Films can be submitted by either downloading the submission form from the DCFF website or through withoutabox.com (WAB). This is the first year the festival is using withoutabox.com for submissions. WAB streamlines the submission process fo...

Nevada City Film Festival kicks off

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The 11th Annual Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF) presented by AJA Video Systems, kicks off Thursday, August 18 and runs through Sunday, August 21, 2011. This year, over 60 films – both short and full length independent dramas, comedies, documentaries and animation films from around the world – will screen in three beautiful art house theatres and charming historic buildings in downtown Nevada City, CA. Since 2001, NCFF has brought top independent cinema to the foothills of Northern Californ...

Interview with Sean Stone and his journey to Iran

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Oliver Stone has done a fabulous job rearing his son, Princeton graduate, Sean Stone. Sean's wings have been strengthening as he has been working, interning, and meeting world leaders along side of his brilliant filmmaker father, and is demonstrating to the world that he, too, can soar. With a recent journey to Iran, with film as the primary focus, and his first feature film, "Graystone", nearing completion, this 26 year old has seen and done things most of us only read about.Q: SHARON ABELLA:...

Standing Silent

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Director: Scott Rosenfelt .
Breaking the silence. Ostracized by a cover up and despite terrible personal repercussions, journalist, Phil Jacobs, goes against his own community’s wishes as he uncovers and reports on a web of deceit and sexual abuse. Phil Jacobs, editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times, has begun writing and publishing a series of articles about sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community. He has found what he believes to be clear evidence that several respected rabbis have been able to avoid arrest and recrimination due to the control they wield over the community. Fear blankets the orthodox community, creating an impenetrable wall of silence impossible to break through. Until now. Phil Jacobs' bravery not only exposes the perpetrators, but allows the survivors to find a voice which, until now, has been silent. Jacobs recognizes that his actions will lead to recriminations, but he believes that his community will support him in his effort to expose and bring to justice people who use their moral authority within the community to molest children. He couldn't be more wrong. What happens surprises Jacobs; within a few months his own community ostracizes him, including his family receiving numerous death threats. But instead of quitting, Jacobs is determined to bring the story to light. Jacobs fights the orthodox establishment to bring to light the pain and suffering of hundreds of survivors. At the same time he reveals a deep, personal truth that takes the story to a remarkable climax.

TIFF - The 3rd Inigo Film Festival Awards

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TIFF - The 3rd Inigo Film Festival Awards took place August 16 - 19, 2011 in Madrid during WYD Sponsored by the Conference of European Provincials of the Jesuits www.tiffestival.org Congratulations to the Winners 2011! from left: Fidel Goetz Emerging Film Maker Award Winner Indrajith Mahawaduge (for Shalini Tharmalingam ); María Beguiristain (assistant director); First Prize Winner Piotr Zlotorowicz, Adrian Marbacher, S.J. (assistant director); Third Prize Winner Conor...

TIFF - The 3rd Inigo Film Festival awards

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TIFF - The 3rd Inigo Film Festival Awards took place August 16 - 19, 2011 in Madrid during WYD Sponsored by the Conference of European Provincials of the Jesuits www.tiffestival.orgThe Jesuits proudly present the finest selection of short films from all over the world. Again, we focused on young filmmakers who grapple with the spiritual dimension of life. We honor films which reflect the spiritual yearnings and experiences of young people today, which show the presence and/or absence of God in o...

The Urbanworld Film Festival announces 2011 slate

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The Urbanworld Film Festival Presented by BET Networks Announces 2011 Festival Slate & Celebrates 15th Anniversary The 15th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival (www.urbanworld.org), presented by BET Networks, announced today that the world premiere of Diane Paragas' and Nelson George's Brooklyn Boheme (Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Branford Marsalis, Rosie Perez, Saul Williams) will serve as Opening Night selection for the festival, which will take place September 14-18, 2011 in midtown ...

TERENCE MALLICK'S THE TREE OF LIFE - MOVIE REVIEW

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*The Tree of Life* Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Cole Cockburn, Will Wallace Director: Terrence Malick     The bookends of the Bible, Genesis and Revelation,  tell us about the Tree of Life. In the garden of Eden,there was only one such tree; the Book of Revelation assures us there will be many such in the Holy City. For the writer(s) of Proverbs  the Tree symbolised four wonderful truths: Wisdom, ri...

ÉCU in Colombia

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“Handmade” is the slogan of Villa Leyva 5th International Film Festival, ÉCU’s new partner in Latin America. A festival that thinks about every detail to attract, collect, impact, generate reflection, dialogue and meeting points.  It’s a festival that makes a difference for their careful planning, conservatorship, team, strong partnerships and faithful followers. An event in the industry consolidated as a space for project development ...

The Boston Jewish Film Festival announces “Luminaries and Legends”

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The Boston Jewish Film Festival announces “Luminaries and Legends,” its major fall fundraiser. Three Luminaries will be honored for their leadership in film in New England on Oct. 22 – Judy Ganz, Lisa Gossels and Kaj Wilson.   Judy Ganz, Festival architect and visionary. Judy has been at the heart of the Festival since its inception, serving as Board Chair from 2002 - 2009. During her tenure, the Festival enjoyed exponential growth in attendance and stature. Judy is an indefatigable l...
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