BEN GURION, EPILOGUE will have its US premiere at the Santa Barbara Int’l Film Festival

Source: BEN GURION, EPILOGUE will have its US premiere at the Santa Barbara Int’l Film Festival


Posted by Larry Gleeson


In 2017 the Berlin International Film Festival will again work towards furthering the integration of refugees. The Festival has always made a point of fostering understanding, tolerance, and acceptance, as well as responding to current events in society – not only with its film program, but also with many other activities.

The Berlinale will renew its collaboration with KulturLeben Berlin in order to promote the participation of the socially disadvantaged in the cultural life of the city. Tickets for vacant seats will again be available to people with low incomes at a 50 percent discount.

Last year several concrete projects were launched to support refugees. Due to the very positive feedback of the participants and the desire to achieve longer-lasting integration, these projects will be continued and expanded.

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-2-16-06-pmA call for donations

The Berlinale would like to urge Festival guests and visitors to make donations to the children and youth department of Zentrum ÜBERLEBEN (formerly called the Behandlungszentrum für Folteropfer e. V.). This Berlin-based centre provides psychological, social, and integrative support to children and adolescents who have been traumatized by torture, flight, and/or persecution. In addition to individual therapeutic care, group activities are an important feature of the centre’s work. The money collected last year enabled adolescents who have experienced flight and trauma to attend a film camp. There they were able to try out different positions in front of and behind the camera, and creatively explore topics of their choice, some of which were autobiographical.

Donations may be paid into an account (banking details are at the bottom of this press release) or made at 17 donation boxes distributed around the Festival grounds.


Movie mentors for refugees
Within the scope of a “movie mentoring”-project, volunteers from Berlin’s non-profit refugee aid organizations are asked to register as mentors and accompany refugees to Berlinale screenings.
With this project the Berlinale wants to show its appreciation to volunteers for their engagement and strengthen existing relationships, as well as promote cultural exchange.

LOLA at the Berlinale
Within the scope of a collaboration with the Berliner Volkshochschulen (VHS: schools for adult education), the Berlinale is offering 160 free tickets to VHS “integration classes” and their instructors. They will be able to select from eight German films screening in the LOLA series of the Berlinale at the Zoo Palast.

Guest trainees
During the Berlinale around 20 guest trainees who came to Germany as refugees will be given the chance to take a look at various fields behind the scenes of the Festival in collaboration with the Beratungs- und Betreuungszentrum für junge Flüchtlinge und Migrant*innen (BBZ/ KommMit e.V.).

Generation: School projects for “welcome classes”
For eleven years now, the Generation section has offered pupils the opportunity to participate within the framework of a school project in the Berlinale. With educational staff that is well versed in cinema, these pupils may see and discuss films, as well as work on assignments about them afterwards.
Since last year, the Berlinale’s school program has been extended to include “welcome classes” (introductory German language classes for refugees). This year ten “welcome classes” are to participate in the program.

Banking details for donations:

Bank für Sozialwirtschaft
IBAN: DE82 1002 0500 0001 5048 00
Reason for transfer: “Berlinale helps 2017”


(Source: Berlinale press Office)



SBIFF Announces New App

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced its long-awaited festival app. The app had been in beta for several months leading up to the announcement, is fully functional and can be updated easily to reflect last-minute additions to the festival’s programming.

sbiff_app_menu“With the app, not only can you view the schedule and info on all films and events, you can add reminders to your device’s calendar and join in discussions about each film through a Facebook login,” according to the festival.

Utilizing an extensive drop-down menu, the new app’s design packs a powerful punch of information to keep festival goers up-to-date on films and events. Included is an interactive map for routes to the various venues, a complete schedule of films with an option to set reminders, a link for passes and tickets and detailed information on each event under the Discover tab.

Other tabs available are the Information & Social, My Profile and My Favorites. These tabs require some engagement. The payoff is a one-stop-shop for social media and up-to-date festival information. All-in-all, the SBIFF app is a comprehensive app and a most welcomed addition to the festival experience. Highly recommended!

The app is available for download on iOS and Android platforms.




Posted by Larry Gleeson

berlinale_kamera_neu_img_175xvarSince 1986 the Berlin International Film Festival has presented the Berlinale Camera to film personalities or institutions to which it feels particularly indebted and wishes to express its thanks.

At the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, three personalities will be awarded the Berlinale Camera: film producer and distributor Nansun Shi (Hong Kong, China), actor Geoffrey Rush (Australia), and film critic and author Samir Farid (Egypt).


Nansun Shi is one of the most important and influential producers and distributors of the international film world. In the 1970s, following her studies in statistics and computer science in London, and before starting her career as a film producer, she was engaged in the field of television in Hong Kong.

In 1984, after working as executive director for Cinema City Studios for a number of years, Nansun Shi and renowned director Tsui Hark, founded Film Workshop, their own production company. It wasn’t long before its name was equated with hits at the box office. Their biggest international successes in this period include A Better Tomorrow (1986) by John Woo; Once Upon a Time in China (1991) with Jet Li, and Seven Swords (2005), both of which were directed by Tsui Hark. Produced in 2002, the multiple prize-winning thriller Infernal Affairs was the film on which Martin Scorsese based The Departed (2006).

In addition, as co-founder of Distribution Workshop, she was committed to her role as distributor of Chinese-language films. She was also the Vice Chairman of the Media Asia Group, one of the largest Asian film studios. In 2011 she served on the jury of the International Film Festival in Cannes, and in 2014 she received the Best Independent Producer Award in Locarno. In 2013 the French government honored Nansun with the title of Officier de I’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres; in 2015 the Udine Far East Film Festival, with the Golden Mulberry Life Time Achievement Award.

She has close ties with the Berlinale: in 2007 she was a member of the International Jury, and since then has been a regular guest at the Festival. In 2011 she presented Late Autumn (dir: Kim Tae-Yong) in the Forum; and in 2012 Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (dir: Tsui Hark) in the Competition section, where it screened out of competition. Most recently, she produced The Taking of Tiger Mountain, which was a big hit in China.

Nansun Shi will be awarded the Berlinale Camera in the cinema at the Martin-Gropius-Bau at 12.30 pm on Friday, February 10, 2017. Fred Tsui will give a speech in her honor. First awarded in 2016, this prestigious prize will now be presented annually to an outstanding producer.


For over 40 years, Geoffrey Rush has been recognized as one of the world’s most remarkable character actors. He is equally at home on stage and screen. The Australian is among the few to have ever won the “Triple Crown of Acting”: the Emmy, Oscar, and Tony – as well as countless other awards for his performances. He has starred in eight films presented at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Rush made his stage debut when he was just 20. In the following years, he developed an extraordinary repertoire of classical theatre roles. He first performed on screen in 1981. For his tour-de-force portrayal of the highly dysfunctional but brilliant pianist David Helfgott in Shine (dir: Scott Hicks, 1996), he won an Academy Award. He also received Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for two period dramas, Shakespeare in Love (dir: John Madden) and Quills (dir: Philip Kaufman), and participated with them in the Berlinale Competition in 1999 and 2001 respectively. Rush starred in The Tailor of Panama (dir: John Boorman), which was also screened in the 2001 Competition. In 2003, he portrayed Captain Hector Barbossa, one of the villains in Pirates of the Caribbean (dir: Gore Verbinski), for the first time. The huge international success of this adventure film led to three sequels – in all of them Rush plays the roguish Captain.
In 2006, Rush returned to the Berlinale Competition, appearing in the drug film Candy (dir: Neil Armfield). In 2011, he could be seen in the Berlinale Special, in Tom Hooper’s touching drama The King’s Speech. Among many other prizes, he received the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor for this film. Rush’s most recent appearance at the Festival was in 2013 when he presented the thriller The Best Offer by Giuseppe Tornatore in the Berlinale Special.

In this year’s Competition program he is playing the lead in Stanley Tucci’s Final Portrait (out of competition). Geoffrey Rush will be awarded the Berlinale Camera at the Berlinale Palast at 7.00 pm on Saturday, February 11, 2017.


Samir Farid is one of the most eminent film critics and authors of the Arab world. As an expert on cinema, his advice and opinions are in demand worldwide. As a film critic he has accompanied the Berlinale for decades.
He first trained his sharp eye for film during his studies at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts at the Academy of Arts in Cairo. In 1965 he began his career as a critic at the Egyptian daily Al-Gomhoreya, where he worked for 38 years. During this period, he co-founded the National Festival of Short and Documentary Films (1970), the National Festival of Feature Films (1971), as well as the Egyptian Film Critics Association (1972). Since the early 1970s, Farid has also been a member of the FIPRESCI, the international federation of film critics. Over the course of his long career, he has used his extensive knowledge while serving as a jury member at many world-renowned film festivals.

For a few years during the 1980s, he was also a correspondent for the trade magazine Variety. In 2004 he began working for the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm. Farid is the author and translator of more than 60 books on Arab and world cinema. For his achievements and contributions to the discourse on cinema, he received the Cannes Film Festival Gold Medal in both 1997 and 2000, as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Osian’s-Cinefan Festival in New Delhi in 2012 and at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2013.

Samir Farid will be awarded the Berlinale Camera at the Berlinale Lunch Club at 12.30 pm on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Journalist and FIPRESCI Secretary General Klaus Eder will give a speech in his honour.

Modelled on a real camera, the Berlinale Camera has 128 finely crafted components made by Dusseldorf-based goldsmith Georg Hornemann.


(Source: Berlinale Press Office)


2017 SBIFF Outstanding Directors Award

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Outstanding Directors of the Year Award
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
and Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 @ 8:00pm
Arlington Theatre


Click Here To Attend

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor this year’s Outstanding Directors at the Arlington Theatre, Tuesday, February 7, 2017, at 8 PM in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Pictured left to right; Damien Chazelle, Barry Jenkins, Kenneth Lonergan and Denis Villeneuve. Photo courtesy of


Barry Jenkins, Damien Chazelle, Denis Villeneuve, and Kenneth Lonergan will receive the 2017 Outstanding Directors of the Year Award. They will each be celebrated individually for their films Moonlight, La La Land, Arrival, and Manchester by the Sea respectively.  The individual honors will be followed by a joint conversation between the directors on their craft and the landscape of modern day filmmaking.  The ceremony will take place on Tuesday, February 7th at the historic Arlington Theatre.


SBIFF Executive Director, Roger Durling (Photo via SBIndependent)

“These directors are true visionaries, with a body of work that exemplifies excellence in filmmaking,” said SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.  “We are thrilled to honor this group for their indelible contributions to cinema.”


The Outstanding Directors of the Year Award is given to directors that push the boundaries of cinema with their innovative approach. They are master storytellers, bringing their vision to life on screen.

Past recipients include:

2016 – Lenny Abrahamson (ROOM), Alejandro G. Iñárritu (THE REVENANT), Tom McCarthy (SPOTLIGHT), Adam McKay (THE BIG SHORT), and George Miller (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD)

2015 – Damien Chazelle (WHIPLASH), Richard Linklater (BOYHOOD), Bennett Miller (FOXCATCHER), Laura Poitras (CITIZENFOUR), and Morten Tyldum (THE IMITATION GAME)

2014 – David O. Russell (AMERICAN HUSTLE)
2010 – Kathryn Bigelow (THE HURT LOCKER)
2009 – Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE)



Hyun Bin film ‘Confidential Assignment’

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Riddhiman Mukhopadhyay

South Korean star Hyun Bin’s latest action movie called ‘Confidential Assignment’ is expected to be distributed to an impressive 42 countries. This is indeed great news for fans of the ‘Secret Garden’ actor.


As reported by website Soompi, on January 27, CJ Entertainment, the company that is in charge of distributing the film, announced that ‘Confidential Assignment,’ also known as ‘Cooperation,’ would be released in many countries across the globe. Currently, the distribution company has set its eyes on the United States, Australia, and New Zealand on February 9, Hong Kong and Macau on February 16, Taiwan on February 17, and Vietnam on March 3.

As per a statement released by CJ Entertainment, they have already sold the film to several countries, including India, countries in the Middle East, Mongolia and Philippines. They also mentioned that Hyun Bin is quite popular in countries apart from South Korea, which is what drawing the crowd to the movie.

“Hyun Bin is highly popular overseas due to his drama roles,” CJ Entertainment said.

However, the movie has a topical element as well: tensions between North and South Korea. But to what extent this political and social issue is addressed in the film remains to be seen. The movie seems to be mostly a Die Hard-esque action thriller with Hyun Bin as the titular handsome but tough good guy, playing a North Korean special investigator. His comic sidekick is played by Yoo Hae-jin, who is a South Korean detective.

The trailer for the film looks good, and promises two hours of escapist fun at the least. The movie also features popular actors Kim Joo-hyuk and Girls’ Generation‘s Im Yoona in supporting roles.

Hyun Bin has often been in the limelight for his relationship and marriage plans with girlfriend Kang So-ra. He recently said he is busy with his work and will think about going out on a date with her later. During an interview for ‘Cooperation‘ Hyun Bin also gave his two cents regarding the responsibility of an actor towards society.

“An actor isn’t someone who is voted in by the people, but just someone who is famous. I don’t think we need to be perfect and take responsibility for our actions, but since there are young people who look at us and follow us, I don’t think we can just say that we have no responsibilities, either,” Hyun Bin said, as quoted by Soompi.



Posted by Larry Gleeson


On its 15th anniversary, Berlinale Talents once again offers the public and its 250 Talents a diverse program of events, and proves that it’s still young enough to keep reinventing itself.

Berlinale Talents Program Manager, Florian Weghorn (Photo via

“This year’s theme, ‘Courage: Against All Odds,’ couldn’t feel timelier. While segregation is on the rise elsewhere, we stand in solidarity with those who believe in respect and the diversity of culture. Every year, our audiences, guests and Talents prove with their courage and love of cinema that together we’re stronger and more creative,” comments program manager Florian Weghorn.

The everyday bravery of today’s film professionals takes centre stage at the 25 public events at HAU Hebbel am Ufer from February 11 to 16, 2017. In addition, Berlinale Talents presents five public screenings of outstanding alumni films from this year’s Berlinale festival program. All in all, Berlinale Talents can once again boast impressive results in its talent development: 93 films, made with the contributions of 131 alumni, are screening at the Berlinale this year.

Completing the Circle – Alumni Return as Experts and Friends

The constantly growing network of successful alumni also contributes towards the Berlinale Talents program itself. Alumna Ana Lily Amirpour, who came to international prominence with her debut feature A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, shares her creative process with the audience in a brainstorming session drawing on influences ranging from Bruce Lee to Back to the Future. The Mexican cinematographer Diego Garciá, who participated at Berlinale Talents in 2014, returns as an expert at the “Camera Studio” after recently shooting with Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Carlos Reygadas and Paul Dano, as well as lensing the visually stunning indie film Boi Neon.


Courage Is a Good Idea – Movers and Shakers of the Summit

Exploring the risks and strategies of the profession, the guests of Berlinale Talents take the audience on a journey through personal, creative and cinematic moments of courage. On the opening panel, the president of the International Jury, Paul Verhoeven, returns to Berlinale Talents to discuss his most recent film, Elle. In “No Longer There: The Art of Disappearance,” artist Christo highlights the role courage plays in creating temporary artworks which are then deliberately allowed to vanish again.

Berlinale Talents amplifies the trends and voices of the film program in the festival. Taking a break from his two film premieres, Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck visits Berlinale Talents for a talk with the expressive title “Shock of the Real: History as Provocation.” And tracing the impact of past revolutions and revolutionaries on today, the documentary filmmakers Andres Veiel and João Moreira Salles delve into archival material from their two festival films.

In “post-truth” times, cinematic storytellers are faced with the challenge of having to redefine their roles as purveyors of truths – both as critics and as activists – while at the same time maintaining their own attitudes and humor. The summit addresses this by hosting advocates of free-spirited cinema from Europe and beyond, including Polish director Agnieszka Holland. Isabel Coixet presents her new short film, It’s Not That Cold Siberia, a journey to the origins of inspiration, followed by an in-depth conversation on stage. And Sally Potter provides insights into how she transforms the film set into a safe haven in which her actors can allow intimacy and personal truthfulness to unfold freely.

Core Mission: Cultural Exchange

Hosting participants from over 70 countries makes cultural exchange an important element of Berlinale Talents. The panel “Doc Different: Co-Producing Culture” assembles bloggers, curators and filmmakers to discuss how new technologies enable us to rethink joint documentary production as a continuous process of democratic exchange. Against the backdrop of political developments in Turkey, the panel “Between the Lines: Film, Critique” gathers Turkish filmmakers and journalists who explain how independent platforms and films can offer and preserve a space for critical voices. And to promote courageous filmmakers in the Arab world, Berlinale Talents once again hosts the award ceremony of the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation Germany / Arab World.

Together We’re Strong – Brave Collectives

More than ever, the public programme of Berlinale Talents allows audiences to experience new collective forms of collaboration. Production designer Alex McDowell (Minority Report, Fight Club) and a team of interdisciplinary experts engage the audience in an onstage world-building session to visualize the future of cities caught between surveillance and spectacle. Members of the much loved Berlin-based performance art collective Gob Squad take the audience on an even more immersive journey. Their emphasis has always been on free interaction and open narrations with multiple outcomes; at Berlinale Talents they playfully transfer their approach to the current hype surrounding Virtual Reality. And animation “wunderkind” David OReilly philosophizes with Maike Mia Hoehne also about the new roles of the viewer, as exemplified in his new computer game Everything which has its world premiere at Berlinale Shorts.

As part of the “Drama Series Days” and supported by ARRI and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the case study “On Location: Berlin Station” provides a multidisciplinary tour of the production processes and digital workflow behind the hit espionage series Berlin Station, which was just recently shot in the German capital. On the subject of film production, three panels during the “Producers Day” put courageous producers and funders in the spotlight. They take on topics such as gender equality in the field of production, successful relations between co-producers and how to systematically support filmmakers who are willing to take financial and narrative risks.

The complete program of Berlinale Talents will follow shortly.


(Source: Berlinale Press Office)


World Premiere: DREAM BOAT documentary to screen at Berlin Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

World Premiere of DREAM BOAT

by Tristan Ferland Milewski

Official Selection – Section Panorama Dokumente Berlinale 2017



A cruise ship and 3,000 men – it is a universe without heteros and women that usually remains a mystery to the outside world. Once a year the DREAM BOAT sets sail for a cruise exclusively for gay men where most passengers are united by the wish to live life dreamboat_berlinauthentically as themselves in a protected place: Dipankar from India escaped an arranged marriage and now throws himself into the action to find his dream man. But the gay community‘s ideal of masculinity increasingly becomes a tight corset for him. Ramzi from Palestine was persecuted by the police in his home country, Palestine, for being gay and had to start a new life in Europe with nothing. The Frenchman Philippe was let down by his family when he was bound to a wheelchair. The more important is his long-term relationship with his partner, and his gay substitute family. Martin from Austria enjoys the hedonism and abundant choice of men to the full and gives perspectives on how to deal with HIV today. Marek from Poland, has everything he needs to stand out on the men’s market, thanks to his trained body. However, he feels lonely in the crowd. Now the countdown is on for seven days of hunting for freedom, love, and happiness – but on board are also their personal stories, their doubts and uncertainties…



Tristan Ferland Milewski has directed numerous documentary portraits about top pop acts like Madonna, among others and was responsible for the script and direction of the documentary series MAKE LOVE – ONE CAN LEARN HOW TO MAKE LOVE (nominated for the German Television Prize 2017). DREAM BOAT is his first feature-length documentary for theatrical release.

Dream Boat Director , Tristan Ferland Milewski (Photo courtesy of Koelner Filmpresse)

The film has been produced by the award winning production company gebrueder beetz filmproduktion (Sundance, IDFA, SXSW).



Deutschland  2017

92 Min. / OmU



(Source: Press release courtesy of Koelner Filmpresse)