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Interview with director ANDREI KONCHALOVSKY

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Director ANDREI KONCHALOVSKY, director of the Golden Globe winning film ‘RUNAWAY TRAIN’ (1986), held a master class on May 21st in Cannes. Read below interview with the director during the 65th Cannes Film Festival.     Q: Was it easier to make your second film?   Andrei: Easy? Nothing is easy. To make films is difficult anyway, even to make bad films. As a matter of fact, to make bad films its as difficult to make as good. The difference is very little and it&r...

AIFF 2011: Spotlight on How to Die in Oregon

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How to Die in Oregon is, in the simplest terms, about the ability to choose your own fate.  The state of Oregon is one of the few places in the world that allow you to literally do so, by granting the terminally ill the right to select their moment of death through assisted suicide.  However, that simple concept is not so simple in practice.  How a society deals with the end of life reveals much about what it values in itself.  This film gives us the opportunity to think about that topic for...

The BUFF Blog (December 2011)

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In keeping with the tradition of listening to a rather powerful woman just before you’re about to embark on what’s really important – or maybe you’ve already squashed Christmas lunch by the time your attention is perhaps swayed by a certain Elizabeth Windsor – its’ time we took note of another Christmas message – the one being brought to you by another powerful woman (Sheila Nortley) who is fast becoming a regular fixture on the urban independent film circuit. And before we hear ...

ÉCU Alumni: Interview with James McAleer

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1. Your film is about insects in a post-apocalyptic world – where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration usually starts from character or history, something visually striking or profound, and I build a story from there, but in the case of ‘Invertebrate’, it was a flash of inspiration under pressure… I was in a pitch meeting with the local branch of the now defunct UK Film council (Northern Film & Media- thankfully NFM are still here) where I had been as...

Io Sono Li, interview with Andrea Segre

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                photo from Venice poster at La Biennale, 68.This past week I attended the 8th annual Reykjavik Film Festival (RIFF) after going nonstop from Venice La Biennale, then to TIFF and then to RIFF. I was tired of course but so anxious to catch up on the films that I had missed at the former festivals that appeared also in Iceland. One of these films was one that had received a great buzz in Venice, a lyrica...

Io Sono Li, interview with Andrea Segre

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                photo from Venice poster at La Biennale, 68.This past week I attended the 8th annual Reykjavik Film Festival (RIFF) after going nonstop from Venice La Biennale, then to TIFF and then to RIFF. I was tired of course but so anxious to catch up on the films that I had missed at the former festivals that appeared also in Iceland. One of these films was one that had received a great buzz in Venice, a lyrica...

IO SONO LI, interview with Andrea Segre

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                                photo from Venice poster at La Biennale, 68. This past week I attended the 8th annual Reykjavik Film Festival (RIFF) after going nonstop from Venice La Biennale, then to TIFF and then to RIFF. I was tired of course but so anxious to catch up on the films that I had missed at the former festiv...

OUR GRAND DESPAIR at SFF 2011

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The Turkish film OUR GRAND DESPAIR (2011) screened in the IN FOCUS section in Sarajevo during the SFF 2011. Directed by Seyfi Teoman, The film saw its open at the 2011 Berlinale and this lyrical tribute to love and life's little ironies continues to make its way to festivals around the world.  **Read an in depth interview with the film's award winning DOP, Birgit Gudjonsdottir, here: On April 17th, during the closing ceremony of the 30th Istanbul Film Festival (IFF), the award for the...

Birgit Gudjonsdottir and 'Our Grand Despair'

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 On April 17th, during the closing ceremony of the 30th Istanbul Film Festival (IFF), the award for the best DOP went to Birgit Gudjonsdottir for her work in the Turkish film, OUR GRAND DESPAIR (2011). Recently, I conducted an interview with the award-winning and highly accomplished DOP/Producer. Aside from working on widely known films such as THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (2004) and GOODBYE LENIN! (2003), she has worked as DOP on a number of documentaries, most recently including IN THE BEGINNING ...

From Cannes 2011 Film Market... Birgit Gudjonsdottir and 'Our Grand Despair'

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 On April 17th, during the closing ceremony of the 30th Istanbul Film Festival (IFF), the award for the best DOP went to Birgit Gudjonsdottir for her work in the Turkish film, OUR GRAND DESPAIR (2011). Recently, I conducted an interview with the award-winning and highly accomplished DOP. Aside from working on widely known films such as THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (2004) and GOODBYE LENIN! (2003), she has worked as DOP on a number of documentaries, most recently including IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS...

Birgit Gudjonsdottir and 'Our Grand Despair'

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On April 17th, during the closing ceremony of the 30th Istanbul Film Festival (IFF), the award for the best DOP went to Birgit Gudjonsdottir for her work in the Turkish film, OUR GRAND DESPAIR (2011). Recently, I conducted an interview with the award-winning and highly accomplished DOP/Producer. Aside from working on widely known films such as THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (2004) and GOODBYE LENIN! (2003), she has worked as DOP on a number of documentaries, most recently including IN THE BEGINNING TH...

Habana Eva, interview with Prakriti Maduro

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  Radiant Venezuelan actress Prakriti Maduro appeared at the second annual Aruba International Film Festival (AIFF) for the screening of the Venezuelan/Cuban film HABANA EVA (2010). The morning after seeing the film, I spoke at length with Prakriti about her film with its many layers and her active acting career in general. We met at the Hyatt Grand, Aruba overlooking the stunning Edenic beaches below. ME: So, how are you today? Are you enjoying the Aruba Film Festival? PRA: ...

Habana Eva, interview with Prakriti Maduro

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 Radiant Venezuelan actress Prakriti Maduro appeared at the second annual Aruba International Film Festival (AIFF) for the screening of the Venezuelan/Cuban film HABANA EVA (2010). The morning after seeing the film, I spoke at length with Prakriti about her film with its many layers and her active acting career in general. We met at the Hyatt Grand, Aruba overlooking the stunning Edenic beaches below. ME: So, how are you today? Are you enjoying the Aruba Film Festival? PRA: Yes, I love it...

Johannes Stjärne Nilsson and Ola Simonsson, Sound of Noise (2010)

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INTERVIEW with director Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, SOUND OF NOISE (2010)   THE SOUND OF NOISE (Sweden, 2010) screened at the 2011 Copenhagen Film Festival. Co-directed by directors Johannes Starne Nilsson and Ola Simonsson, this film is a one of a kind experiment of music on film. Many have compared the lively inventive percussionists in the film to the traveling band STOMP but as Johannes explained, ‘well, maybe it’s a bit similar but our band will make music out of...

Robert De Niro chats with Brian Williams at Tribeca

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Brian Williams, declined from being a juror at Tribeca Film Festival this year because he will be covering the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. BW: “How are you towards people if they recognize you in a Walgreen’s upstate, for example?” RD: “I don’t mind, sometimes people are very respectful, and they don’t recognize you. I usually just wave. If people see me on the street and say, “Hi Bob”, I usually just wave. I’m an introvert is someways, and in other ways, I am not.” BW: ...

Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, Sound of Noise (2010)

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INTERVIEW with director Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, SOUND OF NOISE (2010)   THE SOUND OF NOISE (Sweden, 2010) screened in competition at the 30th Istanbul Film Festival IFF. Co-directed by directors Johannes Starne Nilsson and Ola Simonsson, this film is a one of a kind experiment of music on film. Many have compared the lively inventive percussionists in the film to the traveling band STOMP but as Johannes explained, ‘well, maybe it’s a bit similar but our band will ...

Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, Interview from Istanbul Fest!

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INTERVIEW with director Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, SOUND OF NOISE (2010)   THE SOUND OF NOISE (Sweden, 2010) screened in competition at the 30th Istanbul Film Festival IFF. Co-directed by directors Johannes Starne Nilsson and Ola Simonsson, this film is a one of a kind experiment of music on film. Many have compared the lively inventive percussionists in the film to the traveling band STOMP but as Johannes explained, ‘well, maybe it’s a bit similar but our band will ...

THE TILLMAN STORY- Q and A.

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THE TILLMAN STORY- Q and A.   THE TILLMAN STORY (USA, 2010) by director Amir Bar-Lev is a documentary about the football player Pat Tillman who gave up a multimillion dollar career in professional American football to go to war with the Army Rangers in 2002. He sacrificed personal success to fight alongside his brothers in war, a decision which for him was deeply personal. While in Iraq, Pat was tragically killed by ‘friendly fire’ (his own men). After his death he b...

THE TILLMAN STORY- Q and A.

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THE TILLMAN STORY- Q and A.   THE TILLMAN STORY (USA, 2010) by director Amir Bar-Lev is a documentary about the football player Pat Tillman who gave up a multimillion dollar career in professional American football to go to war with the Army Rangers in 2002. He sacrificed personal success to fight alongside his brothers in war, a decision which for him was deeply personal. While in Iraq, Pat was tragically killed by ‘friendly fire’ (his own men). After his death he b...

The Happy Accident

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From Sebrina Siegel, our leading lady on REMAINDERED...I once had a friend ask me what a “happy accident” was, and I explained the term (which I had learned as a photography student and frequently used) as best I could. I so wish I had had the filming of today’s final scene for REMAINDERED to give as an example....We’re at the Sureway in Henderson, Kentucky, surrounded by about 20-30 crew members, extras, and local observers, and we’re filming our last scene…which is actually the f...

Bill Mechanic: don't ignore the warning signs!

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Bill Mechanic, President/CEO of Pandemonium LLC and former Chairman/CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, (my boss when I was running Fox distribution in France)delivered the keynote speech at the annual Independent Film & Television Alliance Production Conference in Santa Monica. here below is a transcript ofhis keynotesHe addressed the current state and the future of the independent film business and offered a number of observations about his experiences at FOX and Disney."I was asked to address yo...

In competition: "Two Lovers" by James Gray

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The film: Premiering in Competition, Two Lovers by James Gray is the third film the American director has brought to Cannes, eight years after The Yards and one year after We Own the Night. Set in Brooklyn, it stars Joaquin Phoenix, a frequent presence in Gray's films, playing a man named Leonard Kraditor who has returned to live with his family after a traumatic romantic disappointment. There, he meets two women: Michelle, the new neighbor, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sandra, the daughte...

Interview with Anton Corbijn - Control

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The 70s UK band, Joy Division, was responsible for two life changing moments, photographer and Control director Anton Corbijn tells Jimmy Thomson when talking about his biopic of Joy Division’s ill-fated lead singer Ian Curtis.Photographer and rock music video director Anton Corbijn can credit British post-punk band Joy Division with two life-changing moments. The first was his decision to leave his native Holland to live and work in the UK, the second was as the subject of his first and highl...

We lost Jack Valenti

Jack Valenti, the former head of the Motion Picture Assn. of America for almost four decades and the prime mover behind the movie ratings system, died Thursday. He was 85. Valenti had checked out of Johns Hopkins University Medical Center on Wednesday where he was hospitalized after suffering a stroke. We loved his strong tenure, relentless battle against piracy, strong advocate of american cinema from majors and independents...I had the priviledge of dining a few times with his family and celeb...

Interview With Alan Berliner---Part Two

Wednesday, November 29----Alan Berliner, the American documentarian who is the Special Guest of the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA), will be giving a Master Class on his approach to filmmaking today. In honor of Berliner's presence in Amsterdam, here is part two of an Interview conducted last week by Online Festival Dailies Editor Sandy Mandelberger with the man himself. Sandy Mandelberger (SM): In your newest film WIDE AWAKE, which is screening at IDFA, you deal very...
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