Bing Liu Drops in at SBIFF for Q & A!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

First-time Director, Bing Liu, popped into Santa Barbara this afternoon and participated in a Q & A hosted by Santa Barbara International Film Festival Program Director Michael Albright after a screening of Bing’s award-winning work, Minding the Gap.

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Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) Programming Director, Michael Albright, left, poses a thought-provoking question during a Q & A to Director/Cinematographer Bing Liu after an afternoon screening of Bing’s award-winning film, Minding the Gap, January 14, 2019, at Lynda & Bruce’s Riviera Theatre in the hills above downtown Santa Barbara, Calif. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

Bing’s film is a documentary that tracks the lives of the individuals in his home-town of Rockford, Illinois who frequent a skateboard park as well as his own journey in coming to terms with life in a city marred by spousal abuse and outright flight after the community was dealt a strong economic blow from the 2008 financial crisis.

Utilizing a steady-cam, archival footage and some highly-polished cinematography, Bing strings together a fluid, self-reflexive narrative that is both emotionally rewarding and aesthetically appealing.

Minding the Gap premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and has garnered numerous awards this past year on the festival circuit including the Top Audience pick at the Toronto International Film Festival. In addition, Minding the Gap is short-listed for this year’s Oscar in the Documentary Film Category and is part of the SBIFF Documentary Spotlight Series featuring all fifteen short-listed films.

Until next time I’ll See you at the cinema!

Eight Indigenous-Made Films to See at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

This year, eight Indigenous-made films from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States will be premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The Native American and Indigenous Film Program has a global focus and through its work strengthens Indigenous cinema.

Filmmakers supported over the years include Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Muskogee), Taika Waititi (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui), Billy Luther (Diné/Hopi/Laguna Pueblo), Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Iñupiaq), Aurora Guerrero (Xicana), Sydney Freeland (Diné), Ciara Leina’ala Lacy (Kanaka Maoli), Lyle Mitchell Corbine, Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga), and Shaandiin Tome (Diné).

Following President and Founder Robert Redford’s original vision, Sundance Institute has remained committed to supporting Native American artists throughout the Institute’s history. This support has established a rich legacy of work and has supported more than 300 filmmakers through labs, grants, mentorships, public programs, and the platform of the Sundance Film Festival.

FEATURE FILMS

PREMIERES


Top End Wedding / Australia (Director: Wayne Blair (Batjala Mununjali Wakkawakka), Screenwriters: Joshua Tyler, Miranda Tapsell (Larrakia Nation), Producers: Rosemary Blight, Kylie du Fresne, Kate Croser) — Lauren and Ned are engaged, they are in love, and they have just ten days to find Lauren’s mother who has gone AWOL somewhere in the remote far north of Australia, reunite her parents and pull off their dream wedding. Cast: Miranda Tapsell, Gwilym Lee, Kerry Fox, Huw Higginson, Ursula Yovich, Shari Sebbens. World Premiere

DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES


MERATA: How Mum Decolonised The Screen / New Zealand (Director and screenwriter: Hepi Mita (Ngati Pikiao/Ngai te Rangi), Producer: Chelsea Winstanley) — An intimate portrayal of pioneering filmmaker Merata Mita, told through the eyes of her children. Using hours of archive footage, some never before seen, her youngest child discovers the filmmaker he never knew and shares with the world the mother he lost. International Premiere

Words from a Bear / U.S.A. (Director: Jeffrey Palmer (Kiowa), Producer: Jeffrey Palmer (Kiowa) — A visual journey into the mind and soul of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Navarro Scott Momaday, relating each written line to his unique Native American experience representing ancestry, place and oral history. World Premiere

SHORT FILMS

U.S. NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS


Fainting Spells / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño) — Told through recollections of youth, learning, lore, and departure, this is an imagined myth for the Indian Pipe Plant, used by the Ho-Chunk to revive those who have fainted. Premiere

Shinaab, Part II / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lyle Corbine Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa Indians) — A look at Ojibwe ideas surrounding the death process, as a young man strives to honor his late father. U.S. Premiere

DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS

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FAST HORSE / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Alexandra Lazarowich (Cree) — The Blackfoot bareback horse-racing tradition returns in the astonishingly dangerous Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles with second-hand horses and a new jockey on his way to challenge the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy. U.S. Premiere

Throat Singing in Kangirsuk / Canada (Directors: Eva Kaukai (Inuit), Manon Chamberland (Inuit), Screenwriters: Emilie Baillargeon and Clark Ferguson) — Eva and Manon practice the art of throat singing in their native Arctic land, in the small village of Kangirsuk. World Premiere

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS


Birds in the Earth / Finland (Director and screenwriter: Marja Helander, Sámi) — Examining the deeper questions of the ownership of Sámi land through the ballet performances of two young dancers.

FELLOWS

Native Filmmaker Lab Fellows

Two Fellows participated in the Native Filmmakers Lab with their projects in May 2018 and will end their year-long Fellowship at the Festival with ongoing support, screenings, guided film discussions, and networking events. At the Lab, the Fellows worked with a cast and crew to practice shooting scenes from their short films under the expert creative mentorship of Program alumni, Creative Advisors and Program staff. This Fellowship encourages Native filmmakers to hone their storytelling and technical skills in a hands-on and supportive environment. Following the Lab, Fellows receive a year-round continuum of support.

Erica Tremblay

Erica (Seneca-Cayuga/Wyandotte Nations) is an award-winning filmmaker and digital strategist. Her projects have screened at more than 60 film festivals and her work has been featured on PBS, CNN and IFC. Erica was recently named a 40 Under 40 Native American and she is currently studying her Indigenous language on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve in Ontario.

Little Chief

The lives of a Native woman and nine-year-old boy intersect over the course of a school day on a reservation in Oklahoma.

MorningStar Angeline Wilson

MorningStar Angeline (Navajo, Blackfeet, Chippewa Cree, Latina) was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She began acting in theatre as a child and continued studying acting through college. She has been honored by the American Indian Film Festival and the New Mexico Film and Television Hall of Fame for her achievements in film. She is one of 2018 Native Lab recipients and her short film, Ahéhee’ Shizhé’é, completed production in August.

Ahéhee’ Shizhé’é (Thank you, Father)

A young woman struggles to come to terms with the legacy left to her after her father passes away from an unknown virus in a post-apocalyptic world. Through a series of dreams, she finds the strength to carry the traditions and medicine that was left to her.

Indigenous Film Fellows

Danis Goulet (Cree/Métis)

Award-winning filmmaker Danis Goulet’s films have screened at festivals around the world including Sundance, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and the Berlinale. She is an alumnus of the National Screen Institute and the TIFF Talent lab and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her feature script Night Raiders has received development support from the Sundance Institute and was selected for the International Financing Forum at TIFF.

Night Raiders

The near future. A military occupation controls disenfranchised cities in post-war North America. Children are property of the State. Niska, a Cree mother, is on the run with her daughter Waseece to keep her from being sent to the State’s education camps, known as the Academies. When they are forced to leave their home, Niska makes the painstaking decision to send Waseece to Academies, only to later realize she has made a terrible mistake. Niska finds an underground band of Cree vigilantes who raid the Academies at night. She joins the raiders, determined to find and get her daughter back.

Miciana Hutcherson (Tlingit)

Miciana Hutcherson, whose Tlingit name is Aak’w Tu Shaa, is Raven Dog Salmon, with family from Angoon, Alaska. She was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska where she was a member of the All Nations Children Dance Group and graduated from Juneau Douglas High School. Miciana is a graduate of Haskell Indian Nations University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Indigenous and American Indian Studies. Currently, she’s pursuing a second degree in Film and Media Studies from Arizona State University. She has interned with various media companies and organizations ranging from the Native American Journalists Association, to the BET Awards with Jessie Collins Entertainment, to the Sundance Institute. She also served as Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska 2016-2017 Executive Council Emerging Leader where she attended various tribal leadership conferences and the peaceful protests at Standing Rock.

Marked By Milestones

In this life a woman’s biggest challenges are the love she chooses to accept, the tough love her mother offers, and the lack of love a father leaves behind. Mia will have to face them all to find herself.

Art of Nonfiction Fellow

The Art of Nonfiction Fellowship supports artists with a distinct voice and vision and provides them with an unrestricted grant and year-long fellowship track tailored to their creative aspirations and challenges. Art of Nonfiction is made possible by funding support from Cinereach. Generous additional support is provided by Genuine Article Pictures and Nion McEvoy & Leslie Berriman.

Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño)

Sky Hopinka was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, California, Portland, Oregon, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is currently based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture, and the play between the known and the unknowable. His work has played at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sundance, Antimatter, Chicago Underground Film Festival, FLEXfest, and Projections. His work was a part of the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial and the 2017 Whitney Biennial. He is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Talent Forum

For the first time, this year’s Festival will include a Forum for exciting talent from the Institute’s signature artist development Labs and programs to present new work to industry attendees, alongside a special artist-only program of keynotes, screenings, gatherings, and seminars. From Tuesday, January 29, through Thursday, January 31, the Sundance Institute Talent Forum will feature some of the most promising storytellers from across the Institute’s various disciplines ready for the next step with their careers or projects. This new, highly curated, invitation-only program aims to create a signature experience for artists and industry alike.

Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr., Writer/Director (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians)

Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. is a filmmaker whose short film Shinaab played at the Sundance Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and AFI Fest. His follow-up short, Shinaab: Part II, premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and will screen at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. He was supported at the 2018 Sundance Institute Screenwriters and Directors Labs and has been awarded grants and fellowships from Cinereach, the McKnight Foundation and the Time Warner Foundation.

Blake Pickens, Producer (Chickasaw)

Blake Pickens is an Emmy Award-winning Chickasaw filmmaker. Pickens began his career writing satire for National Lampoon. He was selected for the Sundance Institute Indigenous Producers Fellowship and the Sundance Institute Creative Producing Fellowship. His film The Land premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically by IFC Films. His commercials have won multiple Grands Prix at Cannes Lions, and he also won an MTV VMA for his work on the music video for John Legend’s “Surefire.”

Merata Mita Fellowship

On Monday, January 28, Sundance Institute will announce the recipient of an annual fellowship named in honor of the late Māori filmmaker Merata Mita, New Zealand’s first Indigenous female filmmaker. In addition to being a global advocate for Indigenous voices, Merata was a trusted creative advisor and artistic director at the Native Lab, and a dear friend to the Institute. Each year Sundance Institute identifies a Native or Indigenous filmmaker from a global pool of nominees to award a cash grant and provide a year-long continuum of support with activities including a trip to the Sundance Film Festival, access to strategic and creative services offered by Sundance Institute artist programs, and mentorship opportunities. The Merata Mita Fellowship is supported by the Consulate General of Canada, Indigenous Media Initiatives, Anonymous, Fenton Bailey and Billy Luther, and Sarah Luther.

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(Source: Sundance.org)

American Film Institute bestows its 2018 AFI Awards

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Yesterday at a luncheon at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., the American Film Institute (AFI) honored the most outstanding achievements in the art of the moving image for 2018 with 10 films and 10 television programs deemed culturally and artistically significant.

The AFI AWARDS honorees were selected based on works that “advance the art of the moving image, enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form, inspire audiences and artists alike and make a mark on American society.”

In addition to the 20 honorees, AFI also recognized ROMA with an AFI Special Award, designated for a work of excellence outside the Institute’s criteria for American film.

 

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New Hollywood Director Steven Spielberg, right, shakes Actor Timothee Chalamet’s hand at the American Film Institute’s 2018 AFI Awards, January 4th, 2019, held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo courtesy of AFI Productions)

 

 

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Left to right; Greta Gerwig, Patty Jenkins and Reese Witherspoon share a moment at the American Film Insitute’s 2018 AFI Awards, held January 4, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, Calif.  (Photo courtesy of AFI Productions)

 

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AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR

BLACK PANTHER
BLACKKKLANSMAN
EIGHTH GRADE
THE FAVOURITE
FIRST REFORMED
GREEN BOOK
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
A QUIET PLACE
A STAR IS BORN

AFI TV PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR

THE AMERICANS
THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
ATLANTA
BARRY
BETTER CALL SAUL
THE KOMINSKY METHOD
THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL
POSE

The American Film Institute (AFI) was founded by a 1965 presidential mandate announced in the Rose Garden of the White House by Lyndon B. Johnson to establish a national arts organization to preserve the legacy of American Film heritage, educate the next generation of filmmakers, and honor the artists and their work.

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Long-time sponsor and co-collaborator Audi has supported AFI and its programs, including this year’s AFI Awards 2018 luncheon, for the past 15 years. Thank you, Audi!

 

FLY LOUNGE ROLLS OUT RED CARPET FOR SUNDANCE OPENING WEEKEND

Posted by Larry Gleeson

IMAGINE EVENTS’  FLY LOUNGE

Park City, UT January 16, 2019 – For the festival opening weekend in Park City, Utah, veteran special events producer Imagine Events and its sponsor partners led by Airthereum will turn two locations—the former Rock & Reilly’s and parts of Park City Live at 427 Main Street—into two of the hottest destinations in Park City as they host the wildly ambitious inaugural “Fly Lounge” film, technology, wellness and finance programs.

By day, The Fly Lounge, owned and produced by Imagine Events, is a pop-up hospitality haven with an expansive program of panels, technology demos, workshops, experiences and gifting programmed inside and adjacent to the sprawling Park City Live Complex on Main Street. By night, the venues are transformed to accommodate private screenings, celebrity-studded events, film premiere parties, and live performances for official festival selections.

“We’re delighted to return to Park City to support independent film,” says Imagine Events’ Amanda Pool, whose team has a collective 26+ years experience hosting branded events in Park City. “This year’s Park City ventures combine our production, filmmaker, talent, health and wellness, and technology brand partners to bring a world-class event experience to a world-class resort city. We thank our key sponsors for supporting the program and making the events possible.”

The daytime program unfolds each day at two venues at 427 Main:

LA’s hottest beauty boutique and nationally recognized brand GBY Beauty (www.gbybeauty.com) will offer their exclusive Active Lash lash extension treatment and Swarovski “Tooth Gems”; yes, guests can actually bedazzle their teeth at Fly Lounge. Hip hop brand Rich and Ruthless will be sampling VIP guests with gear (http://richandruthless.com). Guests can also enjoy a full-service smoothie, fresh juice and vegan Bloody Mary bar, while Crater Lake Spirits will be sampling Crater Lake Whiskey and other adult beverages (https://www.craterlakespirits.com).

TRIPP will provide guests demos of their immersive VR technology for health and wellness (www.tripp.com). Feeling low? If guests have the nerve, they can even get an IV recharge to prepare them for the night.

  • Nearby, The Fly Lounge Technology Center is equipped with the cutting-edge immersive technology experiences in AR, VR, AI, blockchain and more. The Fly Lounge Tech Center pairs experiential education in multiple technology media, daytime panels and a hosted brunch, daily. The venue’s demo room provides nonstop experiences showcasing the newest content in 360 VR and AR that demonstrates how filmmakers can use the technology to enhance their storytelling. The Wild Immersion, endorsed by Jane Goodall, will reveal the world’s first “virtual reserve,” which uses VR to share an unrivaled 360-degree journey into nature’s majestic territories. It’s presented in conjunction with the Blue Mind Fund, a non-profit starting a global conversation about the intersection between wild waters and the human brain. Other firms taking part including AR Wall (http://arwall.com); The VR games Beat Saber (http://beatsaber.com); and blockchain provider Nasgo (https://nasgo.com). Fly Lounge will also present THE MESSY TRUTH VR Experience, a virtual reality series created by CNN”s Van Jones and Elijah Allan-Blitz. The goal of the experience is to put the viewer in the shoes of someone else, with the first episode starring Winston Duke from BLACK PANTHER. The viewer looks through the eyes of a twelve year-old African American boy in the car with his dad as they’re pulled over by the police.

In evening hours, Imagine and sponsors will co-host the annual ChefDance cocktail hour and private dinner services presented for the films, sponsors and talent participating in the program and the festivals. This legendary supper club and lounge has been a part of Park City’s festival scene for the last seventeen years and each ChefDance pairs a different theme with a world-class chef to make the festival food experience match the film experience (www.chefdance.com); Friday’s chef, presented by Rich and Ruthless, is Chef Casey Lane of Viale Di Romani in West Hollywood, CA. Other chefs TBA.

Fly Lounge’s evening program also includes screenings as well as hosted receptions and performances for four official Sundance premieres, including: Justin Chon’s US Dramatic Competition Selection MS. PURPLE; Tayarisha Poe’s NEXT Selection SELAH AND THE SPADES; Sophie Hyde’s Sundance Premiere ANIMALS; and an exclusive live performance by the Wu-Tang Clan in celebration of their Sundance Indie Episodic selection, OF MICS AND MEN.

Fly Lounge will also screen three films: SLASHER PARTY with Danny Trejo, Ray J, Princess, Vitaly; Ray J’s visual Album RAYDEMPTION, featuring Snoop Dogg, Too Short, Princess Love, Jackie Long, and Brandy; and two-time Academy Award-winner Malcolm Clarke’s documentary BETTER ANGELS, which examines the US-China relationship on the 40th anniversary of Jimmy Carter’s landmark normalization of relations with China.

Finally, Fly Lounge wraps each night with an after-hours lineup with special film and musical talent such as the Legacy Tour with Lil Easy E and E-3.

In summary, The Fly Lounge stands to make a tremendous impression on its first outing in Park City. “It’s the most comprehensive guest experience and entertainment program we’ve ever presented,” concludes Pool. “We’re looking forward to welcoming the industry to Park City in a substantial and impactful way.”

About Fly by Airthereum

The “Fly” app by Airthereum (https://airthereum.com) provides AI-powered concierge jet travel in minutes. Airthereum designed Fly with blockchain technology to make access to private travel faster by placing the power in the hands of app users.

Fly incorporates voice-activated jet reservations, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology to provide on-demand pricing from multiple leading private aviation carriers, increasing efficiencies and reducing the reliance on middlemen. Additionally, Fly can process many forms of payment including over 50 cryptocurrencies. Fly champions a faster, cheaper and smarter solution than its competitors to the $20 billion-dollar private aviation ecosystem.

Airtherium CEO Stuart Bullard combined his app programming expertise with his extensive background in various aircraft technologies to provide a vision for the trajectory of Fly. He’s also a multi type-rated commercial pilot, and has served as a music producer, notably to Dr. Dre.

About NUGL

 Headquartered in Chino Hills, CA, NUGL Inc. (OTC: NUGL) is an unbiased search engine and online directory for the marijuana industry that adjusts rankings based on community input. NUGL database includes listings for dispensaries, strains, doctors, lawyers, service professionals, vape shops, hydro stores and brands. The company focuses on leading the evolution in business relations, development and organic data in the cannabis industry with metasearch technology. Additionally, with the brand-centric search engine software, consumers can very easily find stores offering their favorite products while various brands can promote their offerings for sales and distribution.

About Imagine Events

Imagine Events’ experienced team of internationally recognized producers have created events and interactive experiences at film festivals across the world. Imagine events by the numbers include events for:

  • Actors, writers & directors who have won 85 Oscarsâ, 72 BAFTAsâ, 50 Emmysâ, and 115 Golden Globesâ.
  • The premieres of films which have gone on to win 37 Oscars (3 Best Picture), 29 BAFTAs and 15 Globes.
  • Over 30 live concerts including performances by Ice Cube, Warren G, Martina McBride, the Meat Puppets, Dierks Bentley, Snoop Dogg and Will.I.Am.
  • Celebrity chefs and culinary partners from the top kitchens around the world.
  • Over 10,000+ influencers and VIPs at Park City over the years including influencers such as Spike Lee, Idris Elba, The Black-Eyed Peas, Sandra Bullock, and Paul Oakenfold, among others.

See you at the movies!

(Source: Press release provided by Alexa Oliphant, Platform Media Group)

 

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Katharine Ross will perform with The Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra on Opening Night at San Luis Obispo Int’l Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

San Luis Obispo, CA (January 17, 2019) The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival screen shot 2019-01-18 at 5.04.01 pm(March 12-17) has announced that Katharine Ross will perform with The Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra on Opening Night to launch the 25th Anniversary edition of the popular film festival. Ross will tell the exciting true story of “Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express,” with the orchestra, prior to participating in a discussion on film and her award-winning career, and introducing a special 50th Anniversary screening of the 1969 classic, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID.  

SLO Film Fest also announced the creation of the Movie Newbie Pass, designed to serve as a convenient and cost-effective way for the first time film festival audience member to enjoy the films. They will soon open an exciting new indoor Festival Lounge to better serve as the growing film festival’s epicenter and meeting place for filmmakers and passholders to enjoy SLO’s daily events, panels, and parties.  

“An Evening with Katharine Ross” will take place on Tuesday, March 12, 2019at theFremont Theatre, in San Luis Obispo, CA. Presented by BHE Renewables, and sponsored by Justin Vineyards & Winery, New Times, Luna Red, The Krush 92.5, KJUG 98.1, KVEC News Talk 920am, the event was originally scheduled for the fall of 2018 but postponed due to devastating fires in Malibu, CA. SLO Film Fest Director Wendy Eidson, said, “One of the universally beloved film actors from her signature roles in classics like THE GRADUATE, it will be a thrill and a delight to have Katharine Ross kick off our 25th Anniversary film festival in style with a rare live performance and special introduction to another one of our favorites, BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID. We’re beyond fortunate that we could reschedule this event after its postponement last Fall, and now it will begin this year’s film festival on a very high note.” 

The acclaimed five-piece Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra will accompany Ross as she recounts the true story from Margaret K Wetterer’s “Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express,” of Kate Shelley, a fifteen-year-old Iowa teenager who helped avert a train disaster in 1881 and went on to become a national heroine. Based on Mary Kay Shanley’s spoken short story, it was originally written for the Wonder of Words Festival in Des Moines, Iowa. This new version will feature Ross as the story-teller and composer Maria Newman’s original music. The performance will be the orchestra’s fourth visit to San Luis Obispo after impressing audiences at past Festival fundraising events, including Daddy Long Legs and last year’s Silent Shorts event at the Madonna Inn. 

After a short intermission, Ross will join composer Maria Newman and Festival Directorscreen shot 2019-01-18 at 5.08.19 pm Wendy Eidson on the Fremont Theatre stage for a conversation about her career and her role in BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID, prior to a screening of the digitally restored version of the “Best Picture” Oscar winner that is still considered one of the best Westerns of all time. This timeless classic stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford as the true-life outlaws in the early 1900’s, and Katharine Ross as the lovely free spirit whose charm bewitched the outlaws…as well as audiences then and now.  

VIP ticket holders will also have an opportunity to meet Katharine Ross at an Opening Night reception before the event at Luna Red, located next to the Mission in downtown San Luis Obispo. Luna Red will serve appetizers, wine, and beer, with live music indoors and on the patio (weather permitting) from 5:00-6:30PM. The performance and movie event begins at 7:00PM. 

 ABOUT KATHARINE ROSS

Katharine Rossis an acclaimed, award-winning American film and stage actress who is renowned for her performances in two of the most popular films of the late 1960’s. Ross was cemented forever in the hearts and minds of film fans and from her iconic role of “Elaine Robinson” in Mike Nichols’ groundbreaking film, THE GRADUATE (1967),for which she won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for an Academy Award. Ross also made a significant mark as “Etta Place” in George Roy Hill’s BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969),for which she won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress. Additional signature films include; Bryan Forbes’ THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975), Stuart Rosenberg’s VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED (1976), for which she won a second Golden Globe award, and Richard Kelly’s cult classic DONNIE DARKO (2001). 

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 In 1984, Katharine Ross married actor Sam Elliott. They met in London on Richard Marquand’s horror classic THE LEGACY (1978),and have worked together on several projects since that fateful meeting. They co-wrote and starred in Louis L’Amour’s CONAGHER,  co-starred in THE SHADOW RIDERS, MURDER IN TEXASand most recently in Brett Haley’s THE HERO, released in 2017. 

Tickets are available for the party and movie event for $50, as well as individual movie event tickets for $25 ($15 for students). Movie Mogul passes will be accepted for both the party and movie events. Tickets are on sale now at slofilmfest.org 

As plans are made for this year’s edition of the SLO Film Fest, one addition is the introduction of a new Festival Pass for first-time festival goers –  The Movie Newbie Pass. It will allow one person to use the pass for four regular festival screenings at the Rock at SLO Brew or the Fremont Theatre. The Movie Newbie Pass can also be used by four people for one screening or any combination that totals four uses. The pass is $40 and is on sale now at slofilmfest.org. 

The Movie Newbie Pass is the ideal way for a first-timer to enjoy the festival without making a large time or cash commitment. There are four other festival pass options available, but this is the only pass that can be used by more than two people and is ideal for a movie-going group. Pass holders will be limited to movie choices at the Rock and Fremont Theatres and the pass does not include Red Carpet Events at the Fremont Theatre.  

 

Once again, the Festival will operate a Festival Hospitality Lounge during the Festival week. Located conveniently in the SLO Collection Court Street shopping area in downtown San Luis Obispo (1040 Court Street), the location will be a true epicenter for SLO, as it will also be the home of the Festival Headquarters, which functions as a box office and information outlet, and will be mere blocks from three Festival theatres – the Palm Theatre, Downtown Cinemas and Fremont Theatre.  

ABOUT SAN LUIS OBISPO FILM FESTIVAL 

Located half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo’s laid-back vibe and serene natural beauty is the perfect setting for this highly regarded annual film celebration. Filmmakers rave about the warmth and attentiveness that is so much a part of the SLO Film Fest experience, as does the swelling tide of industry pros and film critics who are fast discovering the Festival’s thoughtful audiences and unique programming sensibility. At the SLO Film Fest, “Movies Matter!” 

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(Source: Press release provided by SLOFilmFest.org)

 

 

DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON Opens tonight!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON

Directed by BRUCE THIERRY CHEUNG

**Winner – Special Jury Award in Directing, Los Angeles Film Festival**

**Winner- James Lyons Award for Best Editing, Woodstock Film Festival**

**Winner – Best Narrative Feature, Southampton Film Festival**

**Winner – Best Cinematography, Southampton Film Festival**

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DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON starring James Franco, Rashida Jones, Jeff Wahlberg, Robert Scott Crane, Jeremiah Noe and Cheyenne Haynes,  is a story of abandonment, when all the men in a remote California desert town walk away from their families, one by one. They leave their angry, frustrated sons and daughters behind – kids who act out, engage in acts of petty burglary and vandalism, and look for love and family connection in the aftermath of their abandonment, all the while trying to understand why their fathers have “gone to the moon,” leaving them to traverse the difficult path to adulthood alone.

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DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON Director, Bruce Thierry Cheung, makes his feature film debut from an adaptation of Dean Bakopoulos’ celebrated first novel, Please Don’t Come Back from the MoonCheung and Bakopoulos co-wrote the screenplay.

The film opens tonight in Los Angeles, New York, select theatres and VOD on January 18th.

Alfonso Cuaron’s ROMA evoking Oscar and more

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Alfonso Cuaron’s latest diatribe of Mexican life, Roma, winner of the 74th Venice International Film Festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion, and favorite of the Chicago Film Critics Association, is on display at a theatre near you. While it is streaming on Netflix, its full flavor is best enjoyed in a theatrical experience where sounds abound, camera movements mesmerize, performances loom large and the mise-en-scene transports. I had the good fortune to view the cinematic treat at the new home of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), the Riviera Theatre, recently renamed the Lynda and Bruce’s Rivera Theatre in honor of SBIFF philanthropic benefactors, Lynda Weinman and husband, Bruce Heavin.

 

 

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Set in Mexico City during the politically turbulent time of the 1970’s, Roma follows the life of a young servant, Celo, portrayed by first-time actress, Yalitza Aparicio. In homage to classical Italian Neo-Realism, Cuaron infuses Roma with elemental characteristics of Neo-Realism with his choice of a first-time, non-professional actress, a seemingly realistic setting and exhibits the film in black and white.

 

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Yet, Roma, is a highly crafted, highly orchestrated work of art. Cuaron makes every shot count, every moment a well-conceived and executed thought brought to fruition enticing the viewer to suspend disbelief. Cuaron then, and only then, deftly adds a shot to remind the viewer that Roma is a film. That’s how masterful Cuaron has become with his filmmaking craft.

 

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Photo courtesy of Netflix

 

And, that’s not to take anything away from the film’s narrative. Highly autobiographical, Cuaron draws scenes from his memory and manages to wrap them around his central character, Celo, then slowly allows the layers to melt away leaving the viewer with an exaltation that must be seen and experienced to be believed. Highly recommended on a cinematic screen!

One of the year’s best films….if not the very best.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

 

 

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