Taylor Swift and legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber have collaborated on a new, original song written for Universal Pictures’ film Cats.

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The song, “Beautiful Ghosts,” is performed by Francesca Hayward

in the film, and by Swift in the film’s end credits.

OCTOBER 24, 2019, Los Angeles, CA – Today, Universal Pictures announced that global music icon Taylor Swift and legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber have collaborated on a new, original song written for Universal Pictures’ film Cats, based on Lloyd Webber’s record-shattering stage musical. The song, “Beautiful Ghosts,” will feature in both the film and in the end credits.

Featuring Lloyd Webber’s iconic music and a world-class cast of dancers under the guidance of Tony-winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, In the Heights), the film re-imagines the musical for a new generation with spectacular production design, state-of-the-art technology, and dance styles ranging from classical ballet to contemporary, hip-hop to jazz, street dance to tap.

Cats, in theaters December 20, is directed by Oscar®-winning filmmaker Tom Hooper (Les Misérables, The King’s Speech), and stars Swift, James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson and Royal Ballet principal dancer Francesca Hayward.

In the film, the song is performed by Hayward, who stars in the role of Victoria. The version of the song performed by Swift, who plays Bombalurina in the film, will play over the end titles.

As part of the announcement, Universal today also released an exclusive, behind-the-scenes video documenting the creation and recording of the song and including an interview with Swift, Lloyd Webber and Hooper.

One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, the stage musical “Cats” includes some of Lloyd Webber’s most indelible songs, including “Memory.” Lloyd Webber, Swift and the filmmakers were excited at the idea of introducing a new song for the film adaptation.

Lloyd Webber saw an opportunity to create a new signature song for Victoria, whose character has been expanded for the film. “When I first read the screenplay, the first thing I said was, ‘We have to have a song for Victoria,’” Lloyd Webber says. “Beautiful Ghosts,” he says, is now, “an incredibly important and central part of the whole film.”

For director Tom Hooper, the song exceeded even his high expectations. “What I couldn’t believe was the extraordinary beauty of these lyrics that Taylor had written,” Hooper says. “It was as if someone had come into the film I was in the middle of making and … had reflected back to me a profound understanding of what we are trying to do with the movie. It was utterly thrilling.”

In Theaters December 20,2019

Genre:
Epic Musical 
Cast: 
James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, and introducing Francesca Hayward
Director: 
Tom Hooper
Screenplay by: 
Lee Hall, Tom Hooper
Based on: 
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot, the musical “Cats” by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Producers: 
Debra Hayward, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Tom Hooper
Executive Producers: 
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Steven Spielberg, Angela Morrison, Jo Burn 
CATS
(Source: Universal press release)

AFI FEST 2019 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES AFI SUMMIT PROGRAM

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Eva Longoria to discuss the lack of representation of Latinx individuals in film

Awkwafina, Sterling K. Brown, Jon Hamm, Kerry Washington and Alfre Woodward Among “Indie Contenders” to Be Spotlighted 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE— October 24, 2019, Los Angeles, CA — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the program for the inaugural AFI Summit that will take place at AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi. The lineup includes a conversation with producer, director, actress, and activist Eva Longoria and founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative Dr. Stacy Smith to discuss the latest findings from the Initiative about the alarming lack of representation of Latinx individuals in film; an in-depth and wide-ranging conversation between Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix; The Hollywood Reporter’s Indie Contenders Roundtable moderated by Scott Feinberg; the Los Angeles Times’ Doc Roundtable moderated by Amy Kaufman; a panel led by Brickson Diamond, Chairman of Blackhouse, with three pairs of entertainment executives of color discussing diversifying the film industry; and Shoot the Book where film rights managers pitch their projects.

DOC ROUNDTABLE 

Join AFI and Amy Kaufman of the Los Angeles Times as we bring together the leading directors behind some of the most talked-about and acclaimed documentaries of the year including Alex Gibney (CITIZEN K), Eva Orner (BIKRAM: YOGI, GURU, PREDATOR), Steven Bognar (AMERICAN FACTORY), Roger Ross Williams (THE APOLLO), Feras Fayyad (THE CAVE), Waad Al-Kateab (FOR SAMA), Lauren Greenfield (THE KINGMAKER) and Nanfu Wang (ONE CHILD NATION).

EVA LONGORIA AND DR. STACY SMITH ON THE ERASURE OF LATINX IN FILM

Founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative Dr. Stacy Smith and producer, director, actress, and activist Eva Longoria delve into the latest findings from the Initiative that show an alarming lack of representation of Latinx individuals in film, both behind and in front of the camera — and address a solutions-driven path forward.

EXECUTIVES OF THE CULTURE: SENIOR AND EMERGING ENTERTAINMENT EXECS OF COLOR ON HOLLYWOOD

Brickson Diamond, Chairman of Blackhouse, discusses the status of diversifying the film industry with three pairs of senior and junior executives who are serving in key roles in Hollywood.

INDIE CONTENDERS ROUNDTABLE

Hear from a diverse panel of artists who have done standout work in independent film this year. Presented by The Hollywood Reporter and moderated by columnist and blogger Scott Feinberg, the panel will feature a discussion with the artists about their careers and influences, as well as the challenges and rewards of working on indies. Panelists include Awkwafina (THE FAREWELL), Sterling K. Brown (WAVES), Cynthia Erivo (HARRIET), Jimmie Fails (THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO), Jon Hamm (THE REPORT), Florence Pugh (FIGHT WITH MY FAMILY and MIDSOMMAR), Kerry Washington (AMERICAN SON) and Alfre Woodard (CLEMENCY).

SHOOT THE BOOK

Organized by the French Embassy’s Cultural Services and the Institut Français, the panel moderated by Variety’s Steven Gaydos, features international publishers presenting their latest thriller and crime novels that are available for independent producers and filmmakers to option.

TED SARANDOS WITH SUSAN RUSKIN

Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory, sits down for an in-depth and wide-ranging conversation with Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix.  This is a Private AFI Conservatory Session for AFI Fellows.

Dates and times for all AFI FEST screenings and events will be available at AFI.com.

AS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED

AFI FEST 2019 takes place November 14-21, 2019, at historic theaters in Los Angeles. Screenings, Galas, and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Hollywood Roosevelt and will open with the World Premiere of AFI Conservatory alumna Melina Matsoukas’s QUEEN & SLIM. The festival will close with the World Premiere of Apple’s THE BANKER. Additional announcements including Galas, Documentaries, Special Screenings, Tribute and World Cinema can be found here. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled later this month.

Audi returns for the 16th year as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor of AFI FEST, enabling the festival to host the very best of world cinema. Audi and their visionary support reflect a continuing commitment to create opportunities for equality in film and television. Audi also supports AFI through the Audi Fellowship for Women, a full-tuition scholarship created in 2017 to support promising female directors entering the AFI Conservatory. This Fellowship is part of the Audi commitment to drive progress and a landmark investment in the future of the storytelling community.

Audi is the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2019. Additional top sponsors include AT&T and American Airlines, the official airline of AFI.

Passes are available at AFI.com/AFIFESTand Individual tickets will be available for purchase for AFI members beginning October 29 and for the general public on October 30.

About the American Film Institute (AFI)

Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present, and future of the moving image. AFI’s pioneering programs include filmmaker training at the AFI Conservatory; year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and at AFI Festivals across the nation; workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community; honoring today’s masters through the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI AWARDS; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films that uphold film history for future generations.  Read about all of these programs and more at AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstituteyoutube.com/AFItwitter.com/American Film and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.

About AFI FEST presented by Audi
Now in its 33rdyear, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a world-class event, showcasing the best films from across the globe to captivated audiences in Los Angeles. With a diverse and innovative slate of programming, the eight-day festival presents screenings, panels and conversations, featuring both master filmmakers and new voices. World premieres, Galas and other special events take place at iconic LA locations, such as the historic TCL Chinese Theatre and the glamorous Hollywood Roosevelt. This year’s edition takes place on November 14-21, 2019. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at AFI.com/AFIFEST. Connect with AFI FEST at facebook.com/AFIFESTtwitter.com/AFIFESTand youtube.com/AFI.

About Audi 

Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands, delivering about 1.812 million vehicles globally in 2018. In the U.S., Audi of America sold nearly 224,000 vehicles in 2018. 2019 marks 50 years for the brand in the U.S. Visit audiusa.com or media.audiusa.com for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

Screen Shot 2019-10-15 at 7.37.31 PM

(Source: AFI press release)

 

Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Re-Release’ This Friday!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Brad Pitt

Quentin Tarantino’s second-highest-grossing film will now have four more scenes to his ninth movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The additional scene will add 10 minutes to the already lengthy two hours and forty-one-minute run-time. Most audience members will welcome the additional scenes. Sony is planning a re-release in approximately 1,500 theaters this Friday, October 25th, 2019, in what many Hollywood insiders are calling ‘a push’ for the upcoming awards season.

Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 9.01.26 PM
Adrian Smith, Sony Pictures

“Audiences have shown tremendous support for this movie, and we look forward to offering them another opportunity to see the film as it’s meant to be seen – in theaters on the big screen – with more sights and sounds of the sixties from Quentin Tarantino as an added treat,” said Adrian Smith, President of Domestic Distribution, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group.

Tarantino has come under fire by the Bruce Lee Estate for his Once Upon A Time in Hollywood portrayal of the martial arts legend and leading man of the early 1970’s fight films, Fist of Fury and Way of the Dragon. Nevertheless, Tarantino remains true to his artistic vision despite repeated attempts at censorship from third parties, including the massive number of Chinese film exhibition screens popping up across the Communist country.

Look for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Re-Release starting this Friday at a theatre near you.

See you at the movies!

 

 

Viva Pedro – An Almodóvar Retrospective #SBIFF

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is hosting a celebration of Pedro Almodovar’s work with 8 of the celebrated auteur’s greatest films.
The films are screening the week of October 25 – 31 at Lynda and Bruce’s Riviera Theatre, the new Cinema Art House of SBIFF. The renovated theatre has larger, plush seats, along with a new projector and sound system (one of 26 theatres across the country and the only non-profit).

Viva Pedro! is a retrospective leading up to Almodovar’s November 1st release of his newest film, PAIN AND GLORY, where Almodovar reflects on his life and his filmmaking career. See below for a list of films with showtimes. This retrospective is sure to be a good time.

See you at the movies!

Passes and Tickets are Available Here

Patron Pass ~ $110
• Reserved Seating
• Access to ALL Film Screenings
• 10% OFF Popcorn and Soda
• Recognition on-screen before each film
• A portion of this purchase may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by lawCinephile Pass ~ $56
• Access to ONE screening of each Film (8 films total)Individual Tickets
• General Admission $10
• Senior/Student $8
• Member $6

Law of Desire
Law of Desire – La ley del deseo (1987)

When porn director Pablo reluctantly breaks up with his boyfriend, Juan, he encourages him to stay in touch. Juan moves away to live in a lighthouse and eventually writes his ex, but in the interim Pablo has taken up with a psychotic new lover, Antonio. Antonio intercepts their correspondence and flies into a towering rage, terrifying Pablo, but also inspiring him creatively as he works on a play about his transsexual sister.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Eusebio Poncela, Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas, Miguel Molina
Country: Spain
102 minutes
Subtitled

SHOWING:
Friday 10/25 – 5:00pm
Monday 10/28 – 5:00pm

Women on the Verge

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – Mujeres al borde de un ataque de “nervios” (1988)
Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film

When Pepa Marcos’ lover Ivan suddenly leaves her without any explanation, she embarks on a strange journey to discover why. On the way she meets a variety of eccentric characters, including Ivan’s son from a previous relationship, his fiancee Marissa and a Shiite terrorist cell who have been secretly holding her best friend Candela hostage. It’s a film noir take on the romantic comedy.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas, Julieta Serrano, Rossy de Palma, María Barranco
Country: Spain
88 minutes
Subtitled

SHOWING:
Friday 10/25 – 7:30pm
Monday 10/28 – 7:30pm

All About Mother

All About My Mother – Todo sobre mi madre (1999)

Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language Film

A Greek saying states that only women who have washed their eyes with tears can see clearly. This saying does not hold true for Manuela. The night a car ran over her son Esteban, Manuela cried until her eyes ran completely dry. Far from seeing clearly, the present and the future become mixed up in darkness. She begins looking for his father who has become a transvestite.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Penélope Cruz, Candela Peña, Antonia San Juan, Rosa Maria Sardà, Fernando Fernán Gómez, Fernando Guillén, Toni Cantó, Eloy Azorin, Carlos Lozano
Country: Spain, France
101 minutes
Subtitled

SHOWING:
Saturday 10/26 – 2:30pm
Tuesday 10/29 – 5:00pm

Talk to Her

Talk To Her – Hable con ella (2002)

Academy Award Winner for Best Writing, Original Screenplay
Academy Award Nominee for Best Director

Male nurse Benigno becomes infatuated with a complete stranger when he watches dancer Alicia practicing from the anonymity of his apartment. After being injured in a car accident, Alicia is brought to a nearby hospital, where Benigno serendipitously happens to be her caregiver. When wounded bullfighter Lydia is brought into the same ward, her companion, writer Marco, begins to bond with Benigno.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin, Rosario Flores
Country: Spain
112 minutes
Subtitled

SHOWING:
Saturday 10/26 – 5:00pm
Tuesday 10/29 – 7:30pm

Bad Education

Bad Education – La mala educación (2004)

When an old friend brings filmmaker Enrique Goded a semi-autobiographical script chronicling their adolescence, Enrique is forced to relive his youth spent at a Catholic boarding school. Weaving through past and present, the script follows a transvestite performer who reconnects with a grade school sweetheart. Spurred on by this chance encounter, the character reflects on her childhood sexual victimization and the trauma of closeting her sexual orientation.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Fele Martinez, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Javier Cámara, Petra Martínez, Leonor Watling
Country: Spain
106 minutes
Subtitled

SHOWING:
Saturday 10/26 – 7:30pm
Wednesday 10/30 – 5:00pm

Director:  Pedro Almodóvar

Volver (2006)

Academy Award Nominee for Penelope Cruz for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Raimunda works and lives Madrid with her husband Paco and daughter Paula. Her sister Sole lives nearby and they both miss their mother Irene, who died several years ago in a house fire along with their father. A former neighbor from their hometown reports that she has seen the ghost of Irene and both daughters do not believe her. After a murder and a family tragedy, Irene’s spirit materializes around her daughters to help comfort them.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo, Chus Lampreave
Country: Spain
121 minutes
Subtitled

SHOWING:
Sunday 10/27 – 2:30pm
Wednesday 10/30 – 7:30pm

Broken Embraces

Broken Embraces – Los abrazos rotos (2009)

The death of Ernesto Martel sets off a chain of events that forces one man to come to terms with his past. Before he went blind, Harry Caine was Mateo Blanco, a film director who often worked with Ernesto. Ten years ago, Ernesto and Mateo’s friendship became a battle for Lena, Ernesto’s mistress and Mateo’s secret object of affection. When the former recruits his son to spy on the latter, things quickly spiral out of control.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Penélope Cruz, Blanca Portillo, Lluís Homar, Lola Dueñas, Ángela Molina, Rossy de Palma
Country: Spain
127 minutes
Subtitled

SHOWING:
Sunday 10/27 – 5:00pm
Thursday 10/31 – 5:00pm

Julietta

Julieta (2016)

After a chance meeting, middle-aged Julieta learns that her long-lost daughter has resurfaced in Madrid. This begins a painful reflection by Julieta into her checkered past, flashing back to the moments of pain that defined her current life.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Writer: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Emma Suárez, Adriana Ugarte
Country: Spain
99 minutes
Subtitled

SHOWING:
Sunday 10/27 – 7:30pm
Thursday 10/31 – 7:30pm

Viva Pedro

 

What’s happening at the American Film Market

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Screen Shot 2019-10-15 at 10.36.59 AM

The American Film Market is the most efficient film acquisition, development, and networking event in the world. Unlike a festival, AFM is a marketplace where production and distribution deals are closed. More than US$1 billion in deals are sealed every year — on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production.

AFM Cocktails

Over 7,000 industry professionals from more than 70 countries converge in Santa Monica every November. They include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.

AFM RES

At AFM, participants can discover the entire global catalog of available films and projects, attend 50+ world-class conferences, roundtables and presentations, and connect with the independent film community’s decision-makers, all in one convenient location without the distraction of a film festival.

AFM Atrium

 

The American Film Market is comprised of:

The Market — The core of the AFM is the market. Over 400 production/distribution/sales companies have offices at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel where they meet with territorial (national) buyers from 70+ countries to acquire films, both completed and those in every stage of development and production. Many companies are also there to meet with producers who are seeking representation or production partners.

Screenings — AFM screens more than 300 feature films — the majority world or U.S. premieres. Screenings run simultaneously in 29 theatres over the first five or six days.

LocationEXPO — Film Commissions, facilities and government agencies from around the world participate at LocationEXPO, a four-day event held inside the AFM.

Conferences — Six, half-day Conferences give attendees knowledge and insight, and an opportunity to hear from industry thought leaders, decision-makers and experts.

Immersive Summit — A collaborative and educational event for Extended Reality (XR), the Immersive Summit addresses all stages of bringing XR content to market.

Roundtables — AFM Roundtables are open-ended discussions that explore specialized topics and timely issues in an intimate setting.

Writers Workshop — During the Writers Workshop, participants learn how to shape their screenplay into a compelling narrative that will resonate with studios, investors and a global audience.

Spotlight Events — Organization and companies from around the world create unique opportunities to connect and learn as part of AFM’s Spotlight Events.

Networking Receptions — For those involved in production and services, AFM hosts four evening Carrousel Cocktails at the historic Merry-Go-Round on the Santa Monica Pier.

The Film CatalogueTheFilmCatalogue.com contains over 10,000 films and projects that are available from AFM sales companies.

Buyers Lounge — Located on the 5th Floor of the Loews Hotel, the Buyers Lounge is exclusively for Buyers and IFTA Members. The Lounge offers morning coffee & tea, evening refreshments, and workstations.

Filmmakers Lounge — Located on the lobby level of Loews Hotel, the Filmmakers Lounge provides a convenient meeting location for all participants.

MyAFM — With AFM’s online community, MyAFM.org, participants can search the AFM attendee directory, set up meetings and share their profile with other attendees.

AFM Screenings On Demand — All participants can screen their films privately before, during and after the market with AFM Screenings On Demand. It is used by sales companies to reach territorial buyers, and by producers who are seeking worldwide sales representation.
AFM 2018 Show Directory

When

November 6 – November 13, 2019
November 4 – November 11, 2020
November 3 – November 10, 2021
November 2 – November 9, 2022
November 1 – November 8, 2023
November 6 – November 13, 2024
November 5 – November 12, 2025
November 4 – November 11, 2026
Where

Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica AFM

The American Film Market is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance, www.ifta-online.org. (Sourced from AmericanFilmMarket.com)

 

 

28th Annual Heartland International Film Festival announces Filmmaker Award winners

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Bora Kim’s HOUSE OF THE HUMMINGBIRD
wins $15,000 Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature

Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ FOR SAMA wins twice,
taking $15,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature and the
Richard D. Propes Social Impact Documentary Award with an additional $2000

The Richard D. Propes Social Impact Narrative Feature Award (and $2000), which went to Flavio Alves’ THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND.

Brett Fallentine’s FIRE ON THE HILL receives the Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award and $5000
and Matt Ratner doubles up with the Humor and Humanity Award and
FIPRESCI’s Best Directorial Debut for USA Narrative Film

Audience Choice Awards were led by Destin Daniel Cretton’s JUST MERCY,
winning both Special Presentation and Overall

Heartland Winners

Heartland International Film Festival 2019 award winners: Abo Anthony, John Rotondo (THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND), Matt Ratner (STANDNG UP, FALLING DOWN), Flavio Alves (THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND), Gordon Strain (THE MISEDUCATION OF BINDU), Ashton Gleckman (WE SHALL NOT DIE NOW), Brett Fallentine (FIRE ON THE HILL), Edward Watts (FOR SAMA), Seung Yun-Lee (HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD), Calvin Gray, William Bias, Ghuan Featherstone (FIRE ON THE HILL), Julie Sokolow (BAREFOOT: THE MARK BAUMER STORY) (Photo by Whitney Walker)

Indianapolis, IN (October 21, 2019) – The Heartland International Film Festival announced the filmmaker award winners for the film festival’s 28th edition during an Awards Brunch held at The Montage (8580 Allison Pointe Blvd.) on Saturday, October 19. The Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature (and a cash prize of $15,000) went to Bora Kim’s HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD, with one of the film’s stars, Seung-Yun Lee on hand to accept the award, with Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ FOR SAMA taking home two awards, including the $15,000 Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature, as well as the Richard D. Propes Social Impact Documentary Award and the $2000 that came with that award. Watts accepted the awards on behalf of the film. In addition to the Social Impact Documentary Award, Indiana film critic Richard D. Propes was on hand to also present the other award in his name, the Richard D. Propes Social Impact Narrative Feature Award (and $2000), which went to Flavio Alves’ THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND. Each of the finalists in the Narrative and Documentary competition categories received a $1000 cash prize.

Fire On The HillsJimmy Steward Legacy Award winners, left to right: FIRE ON THE HILLS’ William Bias (Subject), Brett Fallentine (DIR), Calvin Gray (Subject), Ghuan Featherstone (Subject)  (Photo by Whitney Walker)
Among the other awards, Brett Fallentine’s documentary about the horse riding community in South Central L.A., FIRE ON THE HILL received the film festival’s Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award and $5000. Three of the film’s subjects attended the ceremony with Fallentine, and as they accepted the award, one of the subjects, Ghuan Featherstone, said, “This film is about perceptions and changing those perceptions. Here we are in the Midwest and our lives relate to you.”

Matt Ratner was the festival’s other two-time winner, as his film, STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN received the festival’s Humor and Humanity Award and $1000, and he received the FIPRESCI nod for Best Directorial Debut for USA Narrative Film. As he accepted his second award, Ratner, said, “Places like Heartland are so meaningful. There is a space in a crowded marketplace for films about people struggling with their humanity.”

“From South Central LA cowboys to South Korea, our award winners truly demonstrated the international scope of Heartland,” said Craig Prater, Heartland Film President, following the awards presentation.

HummingbirdHOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD star Seung-Yun Lee (Photo by Whitney Walker)

“This was a banner year for us programming-wise, as we were able to screen so many of our top choices from the film festival circuit, films that are in major consideration for the Oscars® and top critics awards right now,” Greg Sorvig, Heartland Film Artistic Director, added. “Audiences are filling our theaters because they have realized that the Heartland International Film Festival is quickly becoming a true awards tastemaker film festival. With that combined enthusiasm we enjoyed from both our film fans and our filmmakers, it’s great to then cap it by rewarding the wonderful films and filmmakers that won this year. They really deserved it.”

Earlier this year Heartland Film signed the 5050×2020 Parity Pledge guaranteeing that at least half of its festival programming will be directed by women by its 2020 Indy Shorts and HIFF events. In total, 43% of this year’s official selection lineup was were directed or co-directed by women and 63% of the overall $60,000 prize purse ($38,000) went to titles directed or co-directed by female filmmakers, led by Kim’s HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD and al-Kateab and Watts’ FOR SAMA.

BarefootBest Premiere Documentary Award winner Julie Sokolow (BAREFOOT:
THE MARK BAUMER STORY) (Photo by Whitney Walker)

HIFF’s Best Premiere Awards (along with the corresponding cash prizes of $2000) were presented to Julie Sokolow’s BAREFOOT: THE MARK BAUMER STORY (Best Premiere Documentary) and Nora Fingscheidt’s SYSTEMSPRENGER (SYSTEM CRASHER) (Best Premiere Narrative). The film festival’s Best International Feature Film Oscar® Contender (which came with a $2000 cash prize) went to Pedro Almodóvar’s PAIN AND GLORY (Dolor y gloria).

The Garden Left BehindTHE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND team (cast member Abo Anthony, director Flavio Alves, and Screenwriter John Rotondo, with Richard D. Propes (Photo by Whitney Walker)

In addition to the Social Impact Documentary Award, Indiana film critic Richard D. Propes was on hand to also present the other award in his name, the Richard D. Propes Social Impact Narrative Feature Award (and $2000), which went to Flavio Alves’ THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND. The Indiana Spotlight Award (and $2000) went to Prarthana Mohan’s THE MISEDUCATION OF BINDU, with the Indiana Spotlight Audience Choice Award (and $1000) going to Ashton Gleckman’s WE SHALL NOT DIE NOW.

Destin Daniel Cretton’s JUST MERCY received two Audience Choice Awards for both Special Presentation, as well as Overall. Robert Tinnell’s FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES received the nod (and a $1000 cash prize for Narrative Feature, and Jacob Hamilton’s JUMP SHOT received the nod (and $1000 cash prize) for Documentary Feature. 19-year-old Ashton Gleckman’s debut WE SHALL NOT DIE NOW won the Audience Choice Award (and $1000) in the Indiana Spotlight category.

We Shall Not Die NowAshton Gleckman (Director, WE SHALL NOT DIE NOW) (Photo by Whitney Walker)

Alex Holmes’ MAIDEN was the Audience Choice in the Awards Season Spotlight category, and Greece’s Official Academy Award entry, WHEN TOMATOES MET WAGNER, directed by Marianna Economou got the nod in the Best International Feature Film OSCARⓇ Contenders section. Michael Herbig’s BALLOON won the Audience Choice Award for HIFF’s Cultural Journey: Germany sidebar.

The 28th edition of the Heartland International Film Festival, which wrapped up on October 20 with Cretton’s JUST MERCY and other screenings, was marked by buzz-worthy titles that the film festival’s fans filled theater after theater to see. Gala titles like Marielle Heller’s A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, Noah Baumbach’s MARRIAGE STORY, and Fernando Meirelles’ THE TWO POPES, along with screenings of hot ticket films like Bong Joon Ho’s PARASITE, Nadav Lapid’s SYNONYMS, Trey Edwards Shults’ WAVES, Chinonye Chukwu’s CLEMENCY, and Taika Waititi’s JOJO RABBIT, among others, took HIFF to another level this year.

Among other highlights, Brendan Fraser returned to Indianapolis to receive not one, but two standing ovations both prior to, and after, a special 20th Anniversary screening of his box office smash hit, THE MUMMY.  Life Achievement Award honoree Michael Apted received a warm reception at a screening of his latest, 63 UP, and Dennis Christopher was welcomed enthusiastically at a 40th Anniversary screening of Peter Yates’ beloved Indiana-based classic, BREAKING AWAY

The 2019 Heartland International Film Festival Award Winners:

Grand Prize for Best Narrative Feature – $15,000
HOUSE OF THE HUMMINGBIRD
Director: Bora Kim

Grand Prize for Best Documentary Feature – $15,000
FOR SAMA
Directors: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Richard D. Propes Social Impact Award Narrative Feature – $2000
THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND
Director: Flavio Alves

Richard D. Propes Social Impact Award Documentary Feature – $2000
FOR SAMA
Directors: Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

The Jimmy Stewart Legacy Award Winner – $5000
FIRE ON THE HILL
Director: Brett Fallentine

Indiana Spotlight Award – $2000
THE MISEDUCATION OF BINDU
Director: Prarthana Mohan

Humor and Humanity Award – $1000
STANDING UP, FALLLING DOWN
Director: Matt Ratner

Best Premiere Award Documentary – $2000
BAREFOOT: THE MARK BAUMER STORY
Director: Julie Sokolow

Best Premiere Award Narrative – $2000
SYSTEMSPRENGER (SYSTEM CRASHER)
Director: Nora Fingscheidt

Best International Feature Film Oscar® Contender – $2000
PAIN AND GLORY (Dolor y Gloria)
Director: Pedro Almodóvar

FIPRESCI Best Directorial Debut for USA Narrative Film (no cash prize)
STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN
Director: Matt Ratner

Overall Audience Choice Award Winner
JUST MERCY
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Audience Choice – Special Presentation
JUST MERCY
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Audience Choice – Narrative Feature ($1000 cash prize)
FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES
Director: Robert Tinnell

Audience Choice – Documentary Feature ($1000 cash prize)
JUMP SHOT
Director: Jacob Hamilton

Audience Choice – Indiana Spotlight ($1000 cash prize)
WE SHALL NOT DIE NOW
Director: Ashton Gleckman

Audience Choice – Awards Season Spotlight
MAIDEN
Director: Alex Holmes

Audience Choice – Best International Feature Film OSCAR Contenders
WHEN TOMATOES MET WAGNER
Country: Greece
Director: Marianna Economou

Audience Choice – Cultural Journey: Germany
BALLOON
Director: Michael Herbig

About Heartland Film, Inc. 
Heartland Film is a nonprofit arts organization founded in 1991 with the mission to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. Heartland Film presents the annual Heartland International Film Festival, Academy Award®-qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival, the Heartland Film Roadshow, and bestows the Truly Moving Picture Award industry honor to major film releases throughout the year. For more information, visit heartlandfilm.org.

Heartland Film

(Source: Press release courtest of WildWorks PR)

Disney, FilmNation, NEON, Picturestart, Wattpad + More Join AFM Speaker Lineup

Posted by Larry Gleeson

EXECUTIVES FROM ALAMO DRAFT HOUSE, DISNEY, FILMNATION, HISTORY CHANNEL, INTEL, LIFETIME, NEON, PICTURESTART, VERIZON MEDIA, WATTPAD AND MORE JOIN AMERICAN FILM MARKET® SPEAKER LINEUP

 

Los Angeles, CA – October 21, 2019 – The American Film Market (AFM®) announced today more confirmed speakers for this year’s Conferences and programming which runs alongside the AFM’s marketplace and industry screenings. Over six days, more than 150 thought leaders, decision-makers and experts will discuss topics and issues most relevant to global filmmakers across three dedicated stages. This year’s market takes place November 6 – 13 in Santa Monica and marks its 40th edition.

American Film Market Sign

 

The AFM Conferences will kick off on Friday, November 8 on the AFM main stage at the Fairmont Hotel.  Highlights include:

The opening Conference will feature Breaking the Mold: The Innovators bringing together Erik Feig, CEO, Picturestart, Tim League, Founder, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, and Aron Levitz, Head of Wattpad Studios, and Tom Quinn, Founder & CEO, NEON.

As part of its new Television Conference, network executives including Disney’s VP of Original Programming, Lauren Kisilevsky, the History Channel’s VP of Development and Programming, Mike Stiller, and Lifetime Original Movie’s Vice President of Programming, Tia Maggini will take the stage to present their feature-length programming needs and priorities.

Television Alliance

The Producing for the International Pre-sales Marketplace panel featuring Miranda Bailey, CEO, Cold Iron Pictures, Sherryl Clark, President, Production, The H Collective, Mark Gooder, Co-President, Cornerstone Films and Nat McCormick, EVP, Worldwide Distribution, The Exchange.

Producer Effie Brown will join AFM’s popular Pitch Conference as a panelist and advisor.

New speakers for the Immersive Summit presented by Winston Baker include Rick Hack, Head of Media & Entertainment Partnerships, Intel Studios, Laura Hertzfeld, Director of XR Partnerships, Verizon Media’s Yahoo! News, Randal Kleiser, Film Director, and Lauren Xandra, Director of Strategic Initiatives, National Research Group.

Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 3.17.22 PM

In addition, the AFM’s Palisades Stage at the Loews Hotel will host Roundtables and Presentations exploring specialized and timely issues. Highlights include:

  • Audiences Want More: Bringing Diverse Projects to the Marketplace – presented in partnership with ReFrame and featuring Glen Basner, CEO, FilmNation, Producers Zanne Devine and Cassian Elwes, and Monica Levinson, President of Production, ShivHans Pictures.
  • Seizing the Moment: Producing LGBTQ Content in a Time of Unprecedented Visibility – presented in partnership with Outfest and featuring River Gallo, Writer/Director/Star, Ponyboi, Stephen Kelliher, Director, Sales & Marketing, Bankside Films, Keya Khayatian, Partner, United Talent Agency, LaShawn McGhee, Co-Founder & CPO, Revry, and Valerie Stadler Big Swing Productions & Outfest Board of Directors.
  • Distributing & Monetizing Feature Documentaries with Josh Braun, Co-President, Submarine Entertainment, Alexandra Johnes, Producer, Very Special Projects, Melanie Miller, Co-Founder/Producer, Fishbowl Films, and Evan Saxon, Head of West Coast Acquisitions and Business Development, Abramorama.
  • Respecting the Genre: Why Some Horror Films Work While Others Don’t with Roxanne Benjamin, Producer, V/H/S, Southbound, Patrick Ewald, CEOEpic Pictures, and Natalie Metzger, VP, Development & Production, Vanishing Angle.
  • Shooting Intimate Scenes – with Amanda Blumenthal, Intimacy Coordinator, Euphoria, The L Word: Generation Q, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels and Founder of Intimacy Professionals Association.

 

The full list of 2019 speakers announced to date are:

Adam Lewinson, Tubi TV

Alexandra Jones, Very Special Projects

Alex Ferrari, Indie Film Hustle

Alysa Nahmias, Ajna Films

Amanda Blumenthal, Intimacy Professionals Association

Amanda Marshall, Cold Iron Pictures

Anthony Layser, Xumo

Arjun Mendhi, MTonomy

Baba Uppal, Secret Location

Barbara Mudge, Worldwide Film Entertainment

Benjamin Wiessner, Producer

Brad Krevoy, Motion Picture Corporation of America

Bruce Eisen, Digital Advisors

Cassian Elwes, Producer

Clay Epstein, Film Mode Entertainment

Colin McCormack, SAGIndie

Cynthia Tollett, DGA

Darren Ehlers, Entertainment Partners

David Offenberg, Loyola Marymount

David White, SHIFT72

Denise Denson, MTonomy

Dr. Patrice Poujol, Lumiere

Effie Brown, Producer

Emmanuel Itier, The Wonderland Group

Erik Feig, Picturestart

Eunice Shin, PROPHET

Evan Saxon, Abramorama

Floris Bauer, Gunpowder & Sky

George Campanellas, Invest Cyprus

Glen Basner, FilmNation

Gregg Schwenk, Newport Beach Film Festival

Heather Rae, Iron Circles Pictures

Illya Szilak, Cloudred

Ivo Felt, Allfilm

Jānis Kalējs, Producer

Jason M. Berman, Mandalay Pictures

Jeff Shultz, Chief Business Officer, Pluto TV

Jennifer Chavarria, Kite & Lightning

Joanelle Romero, Red Nation Celebration Institute

John Hadity, EP Financial Solutions

John Zois, Anton

Jordana Mollick, Semi-Formal Productions

Josh Braun, Submarine Entertainment

Joy Ganes, Producer

Julian Franco, Vudu

Karen Robson, Pryor Cashman LLP

Katherine MacDonald, Paramount Pictures

Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO

Kayvan Mashayekh, Producers Without Borders

Keya Khayatian, United Talent Agency

LaShawn McGhee, Revry

Laura Hertzfeld, Verizon Media’s Yahoo! News

Lauren Kisilevsky, The Disney Channel

Lauren Xandra, National Research Group

Lee Jessup, lessjessup.com

Linda Nelson, IndieRights

Lise Anderson, WGAW

Manuel Badel, Badel Media

Mark Gooder, Cornerstone Films

Marko Post, VFX Specialist

Megan Gilbride, Producer

Melanie Miller, Fishbowl Films

Michalis P. Michael, Invest Cyprus

Mike Stiller, History Channel

Miranda Bailey, Cold Iron Pictures

Monica Levinson, ShivHans Pictures

Myfa Cirinna, Entertainment Partners

Nat McCormick, The Exchange

Natalie Metzger, Vanishing Angle

Patrick Ewald, Epic Pictures

Paul Audley, FilmLA

Paul Bales, The Asylum

Paul Hertzberg, CineTel Films, Inc.

Pierre David, ReelOne/Lance Entertainment

Pilar Alessandra, On the Page

Randal Kleiser, Randal Kleiser Productions

Randi Feldman, Cinema Workshops

Richard Botto, Stage 32

Rick Hack, Intel Studios  

River Gallo, Ponyboi

Roxanne Benjamin, Producer

Russell Schwartz, Pandemic Marketing Group

Ryan Koo, No Film School

Shaked Berenson, Wood Entertainment

Sherryl Clark, The H Collective

Sr. Rose Pacatte, Pauline Center for Media Studies

Stephen Kelliher, Bankside Films

Steve Nicholaides, Producer

Steven Wolfson, UCLA

Suzy Sammons, The Giving Company

Tanel Toom, Director

Ted Schilowitz, Paramount Pictures

Tia Maggini, Lifetime Network

Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse

Tobin Armbrust, Virgin Produced

Tom Quinn, NEON

Tony Vassiliadis, MarVista Entertainment

Trevor Crafts, Macrocosm

Valerie Stadler, Big Swing Productions / Outfest

William Bibbiani, Bloody Disgusting

Zanne Devine, Producer

View the full programming lineup for AFM 2019. For badge and ticket information, please visit the AFM website.

Screen Shot 2019-10-15 at 10.30.58 AM

About the American Film Market®

The American Film Market is the most efficient film acquisition, development and networking event in the world. Unlike a festival, AFM is a marketplace where production and distribution deals are closed. More than US$1 billion in deals are sealed every year – on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production.

Over 7,000 industry professionals from more than 70 countries converge in Santa Monica every November. They include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.

At AFM, participants can discover the entire global catalogue of available films and projects, attend 50+ best-in-class class conferences, summits, roundtables and presentations, and connect with the independent film community’s decision makers, all in one convenient location without the distraction of a film festival.

 

About the Independent Film & Television Alliance®

The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA®) is the global trade association of the independent motion picture and television programming industry. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IFTA represents and provides significant entertainment industry services to more than 140 Member companies in 23 countries, consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents, and financial institutions engaged in production finance. Collectively, IFTA Members produce more than 500 independent films and countless hours of television programming each year, generating more than $5 billion in sales revenues annually. For more information on IFTA, please visit www.IFTA-online.org.

 

About Winston Baker:
Co-Founded by Katherine Winston and Amy Baker, Winston Baker is the leading producer of entertainment conferences worldwide addressing finance, innovation and growth. Winston Baker has been successfully organizing educational events globally since 2008 in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Menlo Park, Cannes, Zurich, Shanghai, Beijing, Los Cabos, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Moscow and Singapore. Winston Baker’s conference series includes the CONFLUENCE SUMMIT, FILM FINANCE FORUM, IMMERSIVE SUMMIT, and MUSIC FINANCE FORUM. For more information, visit www.WinstonBaker.com.

Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 3.17.22 PM(Source: Press release from Independent Film & Television Alliance)

News from AFI FEST 2019 – Galas, Special Screenings and Tribute

 

Posted by Larry Gleeson

AFI FEST 2019 PRESENTED BY AUDI 

ANNOUNCES 

GALAS, TRIBUTE AND SPECIAL SCREENINGS

AFI FEST

THE AERONAUTS, THE TWO POPES 

ROUND OUT THE GALA SECTION

Special Screenings Include CLEMENCY and a Conversation with Alfe Woodard,

JUST MERCY and BLACKBIRD

Tribute to Alan J. Pakula Added to Festival Line-Up

October 21, 2019, Los Angeles, CA — Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced the two Gala titles that complete the Gala line-up at AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi. Netflix’s THE TWO POPES starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Prycewill screen on Monday, November 18 and Amazon Studios’ THE AERONAUTS starring Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne will screen on Tuesday, November 19. All Galas will take place at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.

This year’s Tribute honors famed producer and director Alan J. Pakula.Academy Award®-nominated Pakula will be celebrated with a screening of the new documentary ALAN PAKULA: GOING FOR THE TRUTH (DIR Matthew Miele),along with screenings of three of his classic films, KLUTE, SOPHIE’S CHOICE and THE STERILE CUCKOO.

The Special Screenings section showcases some of the most acclaimed titles of the season highlighting both international auteurs and emerging talents and features unparalleled and unforgettable stories, characters and performances. This year’s Special Screenings include ATLANTICS (ATLANTIQUE) (DIR Mati Diop), BLACKBIRD (DIR Roger Michell), CLEMENCY (DIR Chinonye Chukwu) followed by an extended conversation with Alfre Woodard, THE FRIEND (DIR Gabriela Cowperthwaite), JUST MERCY (DIR Destin Daniel Cretton), PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU) (DIR Céline Sciamma), THE SONG OF NAMES (DIR François Girard) and TROOP ZERO (Bert & Bertie).

GALAS

AERONAUTS

THE AERONAUTS

In 1862, daredevil balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) teams up with pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) to advance human knowledge of the weather and fly higher than anyone in history.While breaking records and furthering scientific discovery, their voyage to the very edge of existence helps the unlikely pair find their place in the world they have left far below them.But they face physical and emotional challenges in the thin air, as the ascent becomes a fight for survival. DIR Tom Harper. SCR Jack Thorne. CAST Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Tom Courtenay, Himesh Patel.

_PMP6901.ARW

THE TWO POPES 

A dramatic transition of power unfolds in Vatican City, where the future of the Catholic Church hinges on two very different men finding common ground. From master filmmaker Fernando Meirelles (CITY OF GOD) comes this riveting exploration of faith and power. DIR Fernando Meirelles. SCR Anthony McCarten. CAST Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce, Juan Minujín.

TRIBUTE 

ALAN J. PAKULA

ALAN PAKULA_ GOING FOR TRUTH

ALAN PAKULA: GOING FOR TRUTH

Producer/director/writer Alan J. Pakula created some of the most emotionally penetrating, culturally significant and artistically brilliant films of the 60s, 70s and 80s. This insightful documentary portrait includes interviews with Jane Fonda, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. DIR Matthew Miele. SCRMatthew Miele. FEATURING Jane Fonda, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Steven Soderbergh, Meryl Streep, Harrison Ford.

KLUTE

KLUTE

The inaugural film in Alan J. Pakula’s “paranoia trilogy,” KLUTE follows small-town private investigator John Klute (Donald Sutherland) who is led to Manhattan sex worker Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda in an Academy Award®-winning performance) while searching for a missing person. As Bree becomes embroiled in the investigation, they realize that she is being followed. DIR Alan J. Pakula. SCR Andy Lewis, David Lewis. CAST Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi, Roy Scheider.

SOPHIE'S CHOICE Photo credit Courtesy of Universal Pictures

SOPHIE’S CHOICE

Alan J. Pakula’s SOPHIE’S CHOICE stars Meryl Streep in an Academy Award®- winning performance as Sophie, a Polish immigrant and Holocaust survivor living in a post-war Brooklyn boardinghouse. Her romantic relationship with Nathan (Kevin Kline) is seen through the perspective of friend and aspiring writer, Stingo as he begins to discover their secrets. DIR Alan J. Pakula. SCR Alan J. Pakula. CAST Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter Macnicol, Karlheinz Hackl, Gunter Maria Halmer, Rita Karin, Eugene Lipinski, Josh Mostel.

THE STERILE CUCKOO

THE STERILE CUCKOO

Pookie (Liza Minelli) is an eccentric, neurotic, and positively adorable college student determined to make reserved entomologist Jerry (Wendell Burton) fall madly in love with her. Alan J. Pakula’s 1969 feature debut is tender and profound, a contained story of first love whose impact resounds even 50 years later. DIR Alan J. Pakula. SCR Alvin Sargent. CAST Liza Minelli, Wendell Burton, Tim McIntire.

 

SPECIAL SCREENINGS 

ATLANTICS

ATLANTICS

After a group of unpaid construction workers disappear at sea one night In serach of a better life abroad, the women they have left behind in Dakar are overwhelmed with a mysterious fever. Ada, 17, secretly grieves for her love Souleiman, one of the departed workers, but she has been promised to another man. After a fire breaks out on her wedding night, a young policeman is sent to investigate the crime. Little does he know that the aggrieved workers have come back as haunting, possessive spirits. While many of them seek vengeance for their unpaid labor, Souleiman has come back for a different purpose — to be with his Ada one last time.  Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, ATLANTICS marks the feature narrative debut of director Mati Diop.  DIR Mati Diop. SCR Mati Diop, Olivier Demangel. CAST Mama Sané, Amadou Mbow, Ibrahima Traoré.

BLACKBIRD

BLACKBIRD

Battling a terminal illness, Lily has decided to end her life on her own terms and requests her loved ones spend a final weekend together. Lily’s daughters arrive with their own families and emotional baggage in tow and what begins as a peaceful gathering unravels as secrets are exposed. With a stellar ensemble cast, BLACKBIRD is a thoughtful and elegant portrait of life, death and family. DIR Roger Michell. SCR Christian Torpe. CAST Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska, Sam Neill, Rainn Wilson, Lindsay Duncan, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Anson Boon.

CLEMENCY

CLEMENCY

Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard), a stoic death row prison warden, navigates the physiological complexities and consequences of her profession. With the next execution looming, Bernadine detaches emotionally from her husband and colleagues. Awarded the US Narrative Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, CLEMENCY showcases the collateral damage of flawed justice. DIR Chinonye Chukwu. SCR Chinonye Chukwu. CAST Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Richard Schiff, Wendell Pierce, Richard Gunn, Danielle Brooks.

THE FRIEND

THE FRIEND

Based on the National Magazine Award winning article that went viral moving millions, THE FRIEND tells the extraordinary true story of Nicole (Dakota Johnson) and Matthew Teague (Casey Affleck) who, after learning that Nicole has only six months to live, receive the unexpected support of the couple’s best friend Dane (Jason Segel) who puts his life on hold and moves into their family’s home. Infused with heart, humor, and ultimately hope, THE FRIEND is a moving and entertaining depiction of the power of friendship, unconditional love and how one person can make a difference in the world.  DIR Gabriela Cowperthwaite. SCR Brad Ingelsby. CAST Jason Segel, Dakota Johnson, Casey Affleck.

JUST MERCY

JUST MERCY

JUST MERCY is the true story of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his history-making battles for justice in Alabama. Stevenson refuses to back down as he fights a legal system without mercy stacked against him and his clients at every turn. One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), a man whose clear innocence means nothing to the corrupt and compassionless forces Stevenson doggedly takes on. DIR Destin Daniel Cretton. SCR Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham. CAST Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, Rafe Spall, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Karan Kendrick.

PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU)

At a French villa, Marianne is charged with secretly painting Héloïse, a woman fresh from a convent and betrothed to a strange man. Spending days as Héloïse’s walking companion, Marianne paints her by memory at night. Filmmaker Céline Sciamma delivers a bold cinematic masterpiece about self-discovery, memory and freedom. DIR Céline Sciamma. SCR Céline Sciamma. CAST Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami, Valeria Golino.

SON_DAY_26-0384.RAF

THE SONG OF NAMES

Director François Girard orchestrates a stellar ensemble as its players in this potent film about two boys connected by World War II and music.  Spanning generations — as boys, Jewish violin prodigy Dovidl and non-Jewish Martin come together in London and remain close for years until Dovidl’s mysterious disappearance.  Decades later the adult Martin (Tim Roth) embarks on a transcontinental journey in search of his beloved friend (Clive Owen).  DIR François Girard. SCR Jeffrey Caine.  CAST Tim Roth, Clive Owen, Catherine McCormack, Jonah Hauer-King, Gerran Howell, Luke Doyle, Misha Handley.

TROUPE ZERO

TROOP ZERO

In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl dreams of making contact with outer space. When a national competition offers her a chance at her dream, to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime and beyond. DIR Bert & Bertie. SCR Lucy Alibar.  CAST Viola Davis, Mckenna Grace, Jim Gaffigan, Mike Epps, Charlie Shotwell, Allison Janney.

ABOUT AFI FEST

AFI FEST 2019 takes place November 14-21, 2019, at historic theaters in Los Angeles.  Screenings, Galas, and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Hollywood Roosevelt and will open on Thursday, November 14 with the World Premiere of AFI Conservatory alumna Melina Matsoukas’s QUEEN & SLIM.  Academy Award®nominee Peter Morgan will be honored with a Tribute of his career and a Gala screening of the third season of THE CROWN on Saturday, November 16, Academy Award®winner Clint Eastwood’s RICHARD JEWELL will have its World Premiere as a Gala screening on Wednesday, November 20 and the festival will close with the World Premiere of George Nolfi’s THE BANKER on Thursday, November 21. The World Cinema and Documentary sections can be found here. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled later this month.

Audi returns for the 16th year as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor of AFI FEST, enabling the festival to host the very best of world cinema. Audi and their visionary support reflect a continuing commitment to create opportunities for equality in film and television. Audi also supports AFI through the Audi Fellowship for Women, a full-tuition scholarship created in 2017 to support promising female directors entering the AFI Conservatory. This Fellowship is part of the Audi commitment to drive progress and a landmark investment in the future of the storytelling community.

Audi is the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2019. Additional top sponsors include AT&T and American Airlines, the official airline of AFI.

Passes are available at AFI.com/AFIFEST and individual tickets will be available for purchase for AFI members beginning October 29 and for the general public on October 30.

About the American Film Institute (AFI)

Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present and future of the moving image. AFI’s pioneering programs include filmmaker training at the AFI Conservatory; year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and at AFI Festivals across the nation; workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community; honoring today’s masters through the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI AWARDS; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films that uphold film history for future generations.  Read about all of these programs and more at AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstituteyoutube.com/AFItwitter.com/American Filmand Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.

About AFI FEST presented by Audi

Now in its 33rdyear, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a world-class event, showcasing the best films from across the globe to captivated audiences in Los Angeles. With a diverse and innovative slate of programming, the eight-day festival presents screenings, panels and conversations, featuring both master filmmakers and new voices. World premieres, Galas and other special events take place at iconic LA locations, such as the historic TCL Chinese Theatre and the glamorous Hollywood Roosevelt. This year’s edition takes place November 14-21, 2019. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at AFI.com/AFIFEST.

About Audi 

Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands, delivering about 1.812 million vehicles globally in 2018. In the U.S., Audi of America sold nearly 224,000 vehicles in 2018. 2019 marks 50 years for the brand in the U.S. Visit audiusa.comor media.audiusa.comfor more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

Screen Shot 2019-10-15 at 7.37.31 PM

(Source: AFI FEST Press Release)

2019 STUDENT ACADEMY AWARD® WINNERS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted 16 students as winners of the 46th Student Academy Awards® competition.  This year, the Student Academy Awards competition received a total of 1,615 entries from 255 domestic and 105 international colleges and universities, which were voted upon by a record number of Academy members.  The 2019 winners join the ranks of such past Student Academy Award winners as Patricia Cardoso, Pete Docter, Cary Fukunaga, Spike Lee, Trey Parker, Patricia Riggen and Robert Zemeckis.

Screen Shot 2019-10-20 at 4.29.30 PM

The winners are (listed alphabetically by film title):

Alternative/Experimental (Domestic and International Film Schools)
Georden West, “Patron Saint,” Emerson College

Animation (Domestic Film Schools)
Aviv Mano, “Game Changer,” Ringling College of Art and Design
Kalee McCollaum, “Grendel,” Brigham Young University
Emre Okten, “Two,” University of Southern California

Animation (International Film Schools)
Daria Kashcheeva, “Daughter,” Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts, Prague (Czech Republic)

Documentary (Domestic Film Schools)
Eva Rendle, “All That Remains,” University of California, Berkeley
Princess Garrett, “Sankofa,” Villanova University
Abby Lieberman and Joshua Lucas, “Something to Say,” Columbia University

Documentary (International Film Schools)
Yifan Sun, “Family,” The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School, Lodz (Poland)

Narrative (Domestic Film Schools)
Asher Jelinsky, “Miller & Son,” American Film Institute
Hao Zheng, “The Chef,” American Film Institute
Omer Ben-Shachar, “Tree #3,” American Film Institute

Narrative (International Film Schools)
Zoel Aeschbacher, “Bonobo,” Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL) (Switzerland)
Rikke Gregersen, “Dog Eat Dog,” Westerdals Kristiania University College (Norway)
Charlie Manton, “November 1st,” National Film and Television School (United Kingdom)

First-time honors go to Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL) in Switzerland, Westerdals Kristiania University College in Norway and Villanova University.

All Student Academy Award-winning films are eligible to compete for 2019 Oscars® in the Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film or Documentary Short Subject category.  Past winners have gone on to receive 62 Oscar nominations and have won or shared 12 awards.  Students arrived in Los Angeles for a week of industry activities culminating in the awards ceremony held on Thursday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m., the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

The Student Academy Awards were established in 1972 to provide a platform for emerging global talent by creating opportunities within the industry to showcase their work.

The Student Academy Awards

(Source: The Academy news release)

Clint Eastwood’s RICHARD JEWELL to Premiere at AFI FEST 2019

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Eastwood’s new film stars Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde and Paul Walter Hauser

AFI announced that the World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ RICHARD JEWELL, directed and produced by AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Clint Eastwood, will bow at a Gala at AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi. Written by Academy Award® nominee Billy Ray, the film stars Academy Award® winners Sam Rockwell and Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, and Paul Walter Hauser as Richard Jewell. The Gala will take place on Wednesday, November 20 at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.

BUY A PASS TO AFI FEST 2019

Bob Gazzale“Clint Eastwood is an American icon,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “It is an honor for AFI to premiere this next chapter in his storied career – one that continues to enrich the nation’s cultural legacy with undeniable impact.”

Based on true events, RICHARD JEWELL is a story of what happens when what is reported as fact obscures the truth. “There is a bomb in Centennial Park. You have thirty minutes.” The world is first introduced to Richard Jewell (Hauser) as the security guard who reports finding the device at the 1996 Atlanta bombing – his report making him a hero who swift actions save countless lives. But within days, the law enforcement wannabe becomes the FBI’s number one suspect, vilified by press and public alike, his life ripped apart. Reaching out to independent, anti-establishment attorney Watson Bryant (Rockwell), Jewell staunchly professes his innocence. But Bryant finds he is out of his depth as he fights the combined powers of the FBI, GBI and APD to clear his client’s name, while keeping Richard from trusting the very people trying to destroy him.

Based on the Vanity Fair article “American Nightmare—The Ballad of Richard Jewell” by Marie Brenner, RICHARD JEWELL is produced by Eastwood under his Malpaso banner, alongside Tim Moore, Jessica Meier, Kevin Misher, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson and Jonah Hill. Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a Malpaso Production, an Appian Way/Misher Films/75 Year Plan Production, RICHARD JEWELL. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.

RICHARD JEWELL will be released in theaters on December 13, 2019.

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AFI FEST 2019 takes place November 14-21, 2019, at historic theaters in Los Angeles. Screenings, Galas, and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Hollywood Roosevelt and will open on Thursday, November 14 with the World Premiere of AFI Conservatory alumna Melina Matsoukas’s QUEEN & SLIM and will close with the World Premiere of George Nolfi’s THE BANKER on Thursday, November 21. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled later this month.

Passes are available at AFI.com/AFIFEST and individual tickets will be available for purchase for AFI members beginning October 29 and for the general public on October 30.

Watch the RICHARD JEWELL trailer here:

(Source: AFI.com/Blog)