AFI FEST 2021: LGBTQ Films

Posted by Larry Gleeson

AFI FEST 2021: LGBTQ Films

Pride comes in many forms. And there’s a lot to be proud of with AFI FEST films exploring people along the queer spectrum! The AFI FEST 2021 lineup has no shortage of incredible films that are sure to pique interest. These films touch on history and activism, uncovering fascinating and inspiring stories alongside personal and emotional ones, celebrating unsung personalities and shedding light on beautiful subcultures. See stories in the concert hall, in the Puerto Rican jungle, a German prison, a small Italian apartment, and the many other places explored within this section. This diverse collection of features and shorts is a veritable rainbow of offerings that are not to be missed.


For the better part of the 20th century, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein was a household name due to his music in WEST SIDE STORY (for which he won an Academy Award®), his role as Musical Director of the New York Philharmonic and his work on television making classical music accessible to the general public. This documentary follows the life of this extraordinary first-generation son of Ukrainian-Jewish parents, from his early life in New England, to the many “firsts” he claimed during his early orchestral career and his constant advocacy of worthy causes. The narration uses Bernstein’s own words, harvested from his many recorded appearances on the radio, television and in-person interviews, which offers a strikingly intimate perspective. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 12, 3:15 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)



The coded advertisements of legendary early-20th century gay illustrator J.C. Leyendecker quietly, but directly, acknowledged a community that was forced to live in the closet. Screens as part of Meet The Press Shorts 1. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 11, 8:30 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)



Finland Official International Feature Film Oscar® Submission

A young Finnish woman escapes an enigmatic love affair in Moscow by boarding a train to the arctic port of Murmansk. Forced to share the long ride and a tiny sleeping car with a larger-than-life Russian miner, the unexpected encounter leads the occupants of Compartment No. 6 to face major truths about human connection. COMPARTMENT NO. 6 shared the Grand Prix award at Cannes in 2021 and has been selected as Finland’s official entry for the 94th Academy Awards®. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person | November 11, 10:00 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)


A warehouse worker at a fast fashion company forms an attachment to a piece of damaged inventory.  Screens as part of SHORTS PROGRAM 2. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 12, 6:00 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)



Austria Official International Feature Film Oscar® Submission

Winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for the Queer Palm, Franz Rogowski [who starred in the AFI FEST films HAPPY END (2017) and I WAS AT HOME, BUT…(2019)] captivates as the lovesick Hans in Sebastian Meise’s second narrative feature 10 years following his debut (STILL LIFE). Incessantly imprisoned for breaking Germany’s “Paragraph 175” – a law that makes homosexuality a crime – Hans’ life unfolds in postwar Germany over three periods of time and with three distinct relationships. He has a brief but passionate connection with Leo, a soft-spoken schoolteacher, and a longer, more serious romance with Oskar. But Hans’ most complex and profound relationship is with Viktor, his homophobic cellmate, who after 20 years grows to be his closest confidante. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person | November 14, 4:00 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)



After not being invited to her sister’s wedding, Aya, a transwoman, shows up by surprise on a Shabbat night at the Orthodox Jewish community where her family lives. Screens as part of  Shorts Program 2. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 12, 6:00 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)



A grandfather harbors his runaway grandson after fleeing the constraints of home. Screens as part of Shorts Program 4. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 13, 2:15 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)



Adapted from Adrian Tomine’s acclaimed graphic novel, PARIS, 13TH DISTRICT weaves a breezy tapestry of modern love stories. Beautifully realized in crisp black-and-white cinematography, the electrifying, multicultural 13th arrondissement sets the stage for a panoramic tale of four young lovers. Lucie Zhang delivers a breakout performance as free-spirited Émilie, who begins a casual relationship with new roommate Camille (Makita Samba). Noémie Merlant (PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE) plays wide-eyed student Nora, whose new life in Paris is complicated when she is accidentally mistaken for cam girl Amber Sweet (Jehnny Beth). Stepping away from his usual genre fare, Jacques Audiard, along with script collaborators Céline Sciamma and Léa Mysius, brings to life the sprawling dreams of desire and human connection in the city of love. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 11, 8:15 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)



North American Premiere

A mother wants to play with her son. A boy wants to find out what his friend is giving a girl. A cat has disappeared. But these are only games.  Screens as part of Shorts Program 5. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 13, 4:45 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)



An aspiring writer finalizes stories for “Pride,” a student-run newspaper. Over a hectic two days in the early 1990s, she puts the finishing touches on the upcoming issue. Screens as part of Shorts Program 4. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 13, 2:15 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)



On the day of Tina’s birthday, she is ready to give up on everything until an extraordinary encounter changes her life. Screens as part of Shorts Program 1. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person | November 12, 3:00 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)


tick, tick…BOOM!

Opening Night / World Premiere 

Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his feature directorial debut with tick, tick…BOOM!, an adaptation of the autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, who revolutionized theater as the creator of “Rent.”

Jon is a young theater composer who’s waiting tables at a New York City diner in 1990 while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical. Days before he’s due to showcase his work in a make-or-break performance, Jon is feeling the pressure from everywhere: from his girlfriend Susan, who dreams of an artistic life beyond New York City; from his friend Michael, who has moved on from his dream to a life of financial security; amidst an artistic community ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. With the clock ticking, Jon is at a crossroads and faces the question everyone must reckon with: What are we meant to do with the time we have? Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 10, 7:30 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)




US Premiere

The road of life can be difficult as Link, an indigenous Mi’kmaw teen, certainly knows. Fortunately, he has his younger half-brother, Travis, by his side. When their abusive father is discovered to be hiding an unimaginable secret about Link’s long-lost mother, the brothers begin a challenging and revelatory. Following the breadcrumbs of information along the way, the brothers begin a journey in search of her. During their quest, they are joined by Pasmay, also two-spirit and Mi’kmaw, known in the community for his dancing. Link soon discovers that Pasmay’s kindness and generosity are infectious. What starts as a bleak story of despair for Link, turns into a charming trek of self-discovery and young love. Writer/director Bretten Hannam’s second feature is overflowing with visual and emotional beauty. Learn more about the film. 

Screening in-person |  November 13, 4:00 p.m.  | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)


With health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated.  Learn more about AFI’s annual film festival celebrating the best in global cinema at

Individual tickets and passes to AFI FEST 2021 are currently available on AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the festival. To become an AFI member, visit

(Sourced from AFI FEST news)

AFI FEST 2021: Scary Good Films

Posted by Larry Gleeson

With Halloween or Hallowe’en, also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, this weekend the AFI FEST delivers with this selection of shorts and features sure to satisfy all the thrill-seekers and horror lovers. Imagine yourself in a candy-colored nightmare, trapped in a dark, Romanian forest or in shark-infested waters with these scary good films!


South African auteur and AFI FEST alum Jenna Cato Bass (HIGH FANTASY) delivers a haunting, psychological thriller steeped in remnants of postcolonialism and apartheid. Tsidi (Chumisa Cosa) and her daughter must move in with her estranged mother, Mavis (Nosipho Mtebe), a domestic housekeeper who has worked for her “Madam” Diane since Tsidi was a young girl. While living in Diane’s large and foreboding house, Tsidi is appalled with her mother’s extreme dedication and servitude even after all these years. Gradually, Tsidi’s daughter and then Tsidi herself become submissive to the whims of the rarely seen Madam. Co-written and produced with collaborator Babalwa Baartman, Bass employs stylish imagery and an ominous tone to bring this chilling narrative to life. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 13, 5:00 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)


North American Premiere

Largely keeping to themselves after their mother is forced to leave Athens and return to the Philippines, Emy and Teresa live a simple, quiet life centered around attending mass, working in a fish market and avoiding the locals. But soon the outside world encroaches as Teresa begins seeing a Greek co-worker and Mrs. Christina, their mother’s former boss, lures Emy into working as a caregiver, a ruse to tap into Emy’s very unique, and very ancient, gifts. When Teresa’s boyfriend sees Emy crying tears of blood, she runs the risk of her abilities being exposed, sending her on a shocking trajectory in this whip-smart feature debut – a potent and visceral tale of race, class and tradition filtered through body and social horror – from filmmaker Araceli Lemos. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 14, 7:30 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)


Radu Muntean’s latest could potentially be described as a critique of altruism under capitalism, but all of that seems momentarily less urgent than the larger concern as to whether our three characters will survive the night trapped in the bitter cold wilderness. Romanian New Wave filmmakers are masters at illustrating that people doing their best is simply not good enough when the system has been poisoned. All of that is here, entrancing and brimming with dark humor and wit. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person |  November 14, 7:45 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)


MEDUSA is Anita Rocha da Silveira’s vibrant homage to classic horror-satire and Argento-esque, supernatural giallo films. Mariana (played with verve by Mari Oliveira) is part of a virtuous Christian girl gang in Brazil that is hellbent on publicly shaming sinful women and posting humiliating videos of their repentance to social media. Deeply seeded carnal desires bubble to the surface and topple over in this cathartic narrative which fuses the darkly morbid with the sublimely feminine. With lush performances and an infectious score, MEDUSA is a fierce and pointed critique of evangelical fanaticism as well as the ways in which society at large crucifies brazen, liberated women. Witnessing the devout slowly shed their saintly conduct and become their most primal selves is certainly worth the watch. Perhaps there’s a snake-haired sinner hiding in all of us… Learn more about the film. 

Screening in-person |  November 13, 8:30 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)


SHARK follows the continuing adventures of Jack, who loves to prank. But in his latest relationship he may have finally met his match. Screens as part of Shorts Program 4. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 4 |  November 13, 2:15 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)


North American Premiere

In Singapore, where even vapes are illegal, three rebellious schoolgirls are caught smoking by the principal. Their revenge prank takes a sinister turn. Screens as part of Shorts Program 4. Learn more about the film.

Screening in-person as part of Shorts Program 4 |  November 13, 2:15 p.m. | Buy In-Person Ticket(s)

Virtual screening available beginning November 11, 12:00 p.m. PST | Buy Virtual Ticket(s)

With health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated.  Learn more about AFI’s annual film festival celebrating the best in global cinema at

Individual tickets and passes to AFI FEST 2021 are currently available on AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the festival. To become an AFI member, visit

)Sourced from AFI News)


Posted by Larry Gleeson

Honorees Announced December 8

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Los Angeles, CA – The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced that AFI AWARDS 2021, celebrating the year’s most outstanding achievements in film and television, will take place on Friday, January 7, 2022, in Los Angeles. Honorees will be announced on Wednesday, December 8, 2021.

Immediately following the honoree-only event in Los Angeles, AFI will also launch a 20-day tribute to each honoree with new and exclusive content for the daily global audience in AFI Movie Club.


“AFI AWARDS is honored to celebrate a year of extraordinary storytelling that has inspired us to see the horizon beyond troubled times,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “This is an event with hugs and handshakes at its heart – and we look forward to gathering our honorees again, along with global audiences via AFI Movie Club, to shine a proper light upon the role art plays in advancing our culture in positive and profound ways.”


AFI AWARDS was created in 2000 to recognize the films and television programs that contribute to our collective cultural legacy. Official selections are made through AFI’s unique jury process – in which scholars, artists, critics, and AFI Trustees determine the most outstanding achievements of the year. Honorees are selected based on works that advance the art of the moving image, inspire audiences and artists alike, and enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form. When placed in a historical context, these stories provide a complex, rich, visual record of our modern world. 

With health and safety being a top priority, AFI AWARDS 2021 will follow all COVID precautions and require all in-person attendees to be fully vaccinated.

About the American Film Institute (AFI)

The American Film Institute (AFI) is a nonprofit organization with a mandate to champion the moving image as an art form. Established in 1967, AFI launched the first comprehensive history of American film and sparked the movement for film preservation in the United States. In 1969, AFI opened the doors of the AFI Conservatory, a graduate-level program to train narrative filmmakers. AFI’s enduring traditions include the AFI Life Achievement Award, which honors the masters for work that has stood the test of time; AFI AWARDS, which celebrates the creative ensembles of the most outstanding screen stories of the year; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive that preserve film history for future generations. AFI exhibition programs include AFI FESTAFI DOCS, and a year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Maryland. Other pioneering programs include workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community, including the AFI Directing Workshop for Women and the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women. AFI’s newest program is AFI Movie Club, a daily global engagement for those who love the movies. Read about all of these programs and more at and follow us on social media at,,, and

(Source: AFI Press Release)

House Of Gucci is Coming!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Over fifteen years in the making, House of Gucci, directed by Ridley Scott and based on the 2001 Sara Gay Forden novel,  The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed, is coming!

Lady Gaga stars as Patrizia Reggiani in Ridley Scott’s
A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film
Photo credit: Fabio Lovino
© 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Featuring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, and Al Pacino, House of Gucci’s world premiere is scheduled for the new Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Museum in Los Angeles, Calif., followed by a theatrical release beginning November 24th.

The film is inspired by the shocking true story of the family empire behind the Italian fashion house of Gucci. Spanning three decades of love, betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately murder, we see what a name means, what it’s worth, and how far a family will go for control.

Stay tuned!


Posted by Larry Gleeson


Full Programming Lineup Unveiled Highlighting Such Topics as VOD, Production Insurance, Documentaries, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Film

New Speakers Added from BRON, Campfire Studios, DogWoof, GLAAD, IFC Films, Lionsgate, Millennium Media, NAACP, NEON, Quiver, Warner Bros., and More

Market’s Soft Opening Kicked Off Today with the On Demand Theatre, Industry Offices, LocationEXPO,  and MyAFM Now Open 

Los Angeles, CA – October 27, 2021 – The American Film Market (AFM®) today announced new speakers and sessions along with its full programming lineup set for AFM 2021 Online, which will run for five days, November 1 to November 5.

AFM 2021 Online will commence with the opening session – The Independent Film Ecosphere – Present and Future, featuring Liesl Copland, EVP, Content and Platform Strategy, Participant, Jonathan Kier,

Co-President, Upgrade Productions, Brian O’Shea, CEO, The Exchange, Julia Weber, Head of International Sales & Acquisitions, Global Screen – A TELEPOOL Brand, and moderated by Stephen Galloway, Dean of Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. The first Finance Conference of the market, Bridging the Production Insurance Gap, will follow with speakers Steve Hays, Founder and Managing Member, 120dB Films, Peter A. Marshall, Managing Principal, Media Insurance, Epic Insurance Brokers, Nick Spicer, Partner, XYZ Films, and moderator Jill Goldsmith, Co-Business Editor, Deadline.

While the AFM doesn’t officially start until Monday, November 1, four buildings on the AFM Campus – the On Demand TheatreIndustry OfficesLocationEXPO, and MyAFM – are now open for pre-market screenings, project previews and scheduling meetings.

AFM will feature over 150 speakers and again taking advantage of its online market to showcase voices from around the world that can’t always be present in Santa Monica. Additional sessions and speakers joining AFM’s two online stages and previously announced conferences, panels, workshops, podcasts and presentations, include:

  • AFM’s Pitch Conference featuring Producer & Agent, Cassian Elwes (MudboundDallas Buyers Club), Elevated Film Sales, Jeffrey Greenstein, President, Millennium Media, Monica Levinson, Independent Producer, (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Captain Fantastic, Brian Banks, Wander Darkly), and Lee Jessup, Screenwriting Career Consultant & Coach
  • Black Filmmakers at the Crossroads to Success (presented in partnership with AAFCA) featuring Cassandra Butcher, CMO and Co-Creative Director, BRON Studios, Anikah McLaren, EVP, Narrative Film, Participant, Samantha Racanelli, SVP, Film Development & Production, Endeavor Content, and Gil L. Robertson IV, Co-Founder, African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)
  • Changing the Narrative: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Film (presented in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media Studies) with Iram Parveen Bilal, Filmmaker, Madeline Di Nonno, President & CEO, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Christopher Kahunahana, Producer, Writer, Director, and Alysia Reiner, Actor, Creator, Producer
  • Demystifying the SPLATAM Market (presented in partnership with NALIP) featuring Liliana Espinoza, Projects Director, NALIP, Sonia Gambaro, Vice President of Television, 3Pas Studios, Georgina Gonzalez, Director of Development in the SPLATAM team, Gaumont Television, and Frida Torresblanco, Braven Films 
  • Global Streaming & the Future of Entertainment in Asia with Rick Ambros, International Media and Entertainment Consultant & Producer, Rohit Jain, Managing Director South Asia & Networks – Emerging Markets Asia, Lionsgate, Sameer Nair, CEO, Applause Entertainment India, William Pfeiffer, Executive Chairman, Globalgate Entertainment
  • How Streamers Approach Independent Content with Adam Koehler, Manager of Acquisitions, IFC Films, Brent Lang, Executive Editor Film & Media, New York Bureau Chief, Variety, Berry Meyerowitz, President, Quiver, Brian Stevenson, CEO and Founder, The Chromata Consulting Group, and Jennifer Vaux, Head of Content Acquisition, Roku
  • How to Profit with Micro-Budget Features featuring Tim Molloy, Editor-in-Chief, MovieMaker Magazine, Matt Grady, Founder, Factory 25, Matt Miller, President, Vanishing Angle, and Deon Taylor, Founder, Hidden Empire Film Group
  • In the Market for Authentic Transgender Films (presented in partnership with GLAAD) with Alex Schmider, Associate Director of Transgender Representation, GLAAD and Tre’vell Anderson, Journalist
  • International Film Market: Consumption of Black Culture, Rejection of Black Stories (presented in partnership with the NAACP) featuring Mo Abudu, CEO, EbonyLife Group, Kyle Bowser, SVP Hollywood Bureau, NAACP, Dr. Darnell Hunt, Dean of the Division of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, UCLA, Johnny Jones, Executive Director of Worldwide Marketing Content, Warner Bros. Pictures, Gabriel Lerman, Board Member, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and Tirrell Whittley, CEO, Liquid Soul
  • Limited Budget Features with Huge Profit Potential featuring Brian Beckmann, CFO, Arclight Films, Luane Gauer, Head of Acquisitions, Protagonist Pictures, Michael Heimler, Head of Production and Finance, Black Bear Pictures, Jeremy Kay, Americas Editor, Screen Daily, and Kent Sanderson, Acquisitions and Ancillary Distribution, Bleecker Street
  • New Perspectives on Horror featuring Darren Lynn Bousman, Director, (Spiral, Death of Me, Saw II/III/IV), Patrick Ewald, CEO, Epic Pictures, Jordan Fields, Vice President of Acquisitions, Shout! Factory, Jasmine Johnson, SVP, Development, Crypt TV, and Annick Mahnert, Manager, Acquisitions, Raven Banner Entertainment
  • Producing Movies for Networks and Platforms featuring Charles Cooper, President/Producer, Front Street Pictures, Gene George, President, Tesera Entertainment, Larry Grimaldi, SVP, Development and Production, MarVista Entertainment, Brad Krevoy, CEO, Motion Picture Corporation of America, and Chevonne O’Shaughnessy, President, American Cinema International
  • Producing Standout Documentary Features featuring Kevin Iwashina, Head of Documentary, Endeavor Content, Anna Godas, CEO, DogWoof, Ross Dinerstein, Founder and CEO, Campfire Studios, Dan O’Meara, EVP of Nonfiction, NEON and Co-Head, Super LTD, and Helen Huang, Acquisitions Consultant
  • The Casting Effect: How Talent Choices Impact Every Phase of Production featuring Milan Chakraborty, Head of Film, Marginal MediaWorks, Jennifer Kawaja, President, English Scripted, Sienna Films – a Sphere Media Company, Nat McCormick, EVP, Worldwide Distribution, The Exchange, Renee Tab, Founder and President, Sentient Entertainment, and Richard Botto, Founder and CEO, Stage 32
  • The Export Success of Black Cast Films from Africa featuring Pascal Schmitz, Head of Development, AAA Entertainment, Tracey-Lee Rainers, Story Consultant, Stiletto Entertainment, Sunni Faba, Script Writer, Nnegest Likké, Writer/Director, Mayenzeke Baza, Head of Distribution, AAA Entertainment*The full lineup and schedule of sessions to date can be found at

    AFM is the annual fund-raiser for the Independent Film & Television Alliance. On August 26th, IFTA announced the AFM’s move to online for 2021 due to travel regulations, increased concerns about coronavirus variants around the world, and government restrictions on the ground.  The pivot to online would allow for all stakeholders around the world to participate in the market. 

    About the American Film Market® (AFM®)
    The AFM is the most efficient film acquisition, development and networking event in the world. More than US$1 billion in production and distribution deals are closed every year — on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production. Over five days in November, 7,000+ professionals from 70+ countries access the entire global catalog of available films and projects, attend world-class conferences, and connect with decision-makers. The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance®.

    About the Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®)
    IFTA is the global trade association for independent film and television production, finance, distribution, and sales companies. The organization represents the independent sector before governments and international bodies and provides significant entertainment industry services to independent companies from 22 countries. 

***Media Contact:
Jennifer Garnick | VP, Communications | 1+310.446.1006

Telluride Film Festival 2021 – Part II

Posted by Larry Gleeson

A Special Tribute to powerhouse actor, Peter Dinklage, generated massive buzz before his world-premiere in the new film musical, Cyrano. Dinklage is a four-time Emmy Award-winner for his work as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones and has turned in several strong performances on the big screen in Station Agent, Elf, and I Care A Lot.

In Cyrano Dinklage solidly carries the weight of the lead as Cyrano, a man who feels undeserving of romantic love. The film is breathtakingly beautiful with lavish costuming, epic battles, and spirited musical numbers. Numerous pundits are mouthing Dinklage’s performance as Oscar-caliber – the question being is it enough for this record-setting Emmy recipient to become an Oscar recipient? Cyrano is coming out for the holidays. A “don’t miss” viewing.



Benedict Cumberbatch was in the house at the Werner Herzog Theatre for a screening of the Jane Campion written, The Power of the Dog, based on a 1967 novel of the same name by Thomas Savage. Campion seems to be a shoo-in to receive her second Oscar for screenwriting for The Power of the Dog. The screenplay might not be the only Oscar talk as Cumberbatch, always a strong screen performer, delves deeply into the soul of his character, Phil Burbank, delivering a dark presence un-before seen from Benedict.


Actor Benedict Cumberbatch addresses the audience at the Werner Herzog Theatre before the screening of The Power of the Dog at the 48th Telluride Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado, September 5, 2021. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)



Last but certainly not to be thought of as the least, is the new Wes Anderson love letter to journalists at an American newspaper outpost in a fictional French city, The French Dispatch. The film brings to life a series of short stories that had appeared in the magazine, “The French Dispatch Magazine.” The ensemble cast includes Timothy Chalamet, Bill Murray, Leas Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, Lyna Khoudri, Steve Park, Matthieu Almaric, Henry Winkler, and Frances McDormand. Sharply written and oh….what a cast!

The Telluride Film Festival has become known as a launch for numerous award season campaign debuts. And this year was no exception. Stay tuned for Part III!


Writer/Director, Kenneth Branagh introduces his latest work, Belfast, at the Werner Herzog Theatre during the 48th Telluride Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado, September 5, 2021. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)


Telluride Film Festival 2021 – Part I

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Spending my birthday at the 48th Telluride Film Festival proved a remarkably pleasant experience. Receiving a warm hug from a lovely young woman who had dressed herself on Halloween as Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, I engaged Marcel the Shell with Shoes On lead, director, writer/creator Jenny Slate in a polite and deeply poignant conversation on the Telluride Film Festival and her latest work with long-time collaborator Dean Fleischer-Camp.

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (2021), is a feature-length mockumentary on the scruffy mollusk and  life as it is known. Sharp writing and a creative narrative, and spot-on stop-motion animation made Marcel the Shell With Shoes On ) an audience favorite. According to news reports negotiations for the film’s distribution and exhibition are ongoing. Slate and Fleischer-Camp are adamant Marcel gets its due. I couldn’t agree more. Highly recommended!

Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast is an impeccable work based on Branagh’s own upbringing in Belfast in the late 1960’s. The soundtrack features a plethora of Van Morrison’s greatest hits adding joy and optimism to the challenging circumstances a young couple is facing with their young children.. Beautiful actors and a compelling storyline deliver what appears to be an early favorite for the year’s best film.

Sean Baker ( Tangerine, and The Florida Project) and A24’s Red Rocket, featuring Simon Rex, a standout media personality, Brenda Deiss, and Bree Elrod, tells the tail of a Mikey Saber, a washed-up porn star who returns to his small Texas hometown and attempts to make a fresh start. Rex turns in a tour de force performance as Mikey Saber. Baker’s strongest work to date. Not for the faint of heart. Earthy.

Telluride has become known as a launch for numerous award season campaign debuts. And this year was no exception. Stay tuned for Part II.

(***Above media by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee featuring the 2021 Telluride Film Festival Opening Night Art Sculpture)


The Twenty-Second Annual Ojai Film Festival Expands Its Reach to the World of YouTube.

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The Twenty-Second Annual Ojai Film Festival expands its reach from independent films to the world of YouTube. A panel discussing and exploring the free-flowing creativity of the worldwide YouTube phenomenon takes place on Friday, November 5 at 7 p.m.. The premiere recipient of the Outstanding YouTube Filmmaker Award will accept the honor at the Festival’s Awards Brunch on Sunday, November 7 at 11 a.m..

John Branagan, Festival Board Member and filmmaker, spearheaded the development of this award. Branagan sports over 200 films and television shows on his resume and continues to work as a stuntman/stunt coordinator. Some of his latest credits include the feature film “Searching,” starring Jon Chu, the ninth season of the FX show “American Horror Stories,” and a miniseries for Hulu titled “Pam & Tommy.”

“These filmmakers not only supply their YouTube channel with compelling content,” Branagan said. “They shoot, edit and do the post work from remote locations under not so ideal conditions.”

Criteria for the award involves presentation of real stories documenting life, travel and adventures highlighted by challenging settings. Trials faced while shooting also add to consideration. The winning filmmaker must exhibit professionally produced video, sound, and post-production.

Branagan recently announced the five finalists for the 2021 Outstanding YouTube Filmmaker Award:

Jon Lambert

The 2021 award focuses on the world of motorcycle adventure and travel. Festival President Jon Lambert said, “Ojai is one of the top ‘go to’ destinations for motorcyclists in California so this focus is a ‘natural.’”

Tickets are on sale and available here!

(Source: Ojai Film Festival News)



New Mini-Festival Focuses on Diversity

Posted by Larry Geeson

The Ojai Film Festival will present its 22nd consecutive event celebrating independent films from around the world LIVE in Ojai, November 5-8, 2021. A new mini-festival within the umbrella of the 22nd Annual Ojai Film Festival reflects the theme “Enriching the Human Spirit through Film.” This inaugural “Diversity and Inclusion for Social Impact and Vision” program explores the breadth of “diversity.” At the same time it examines “intersectionality,” aspects of a person’s identity that may cause conflict yet create an opportunity for understanding marginalized communities.

“Intersectionality” observes overlapping factors, such as ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientations, that cause discrimination. It also establishes ways to show sensitivity to shared social hardships. “Diversity” encompasses acceptance and understanding by recognizing our individual differences. Together these promote learning about one another to move beyond simple tolerance, and to embrace the rich dimensions of diversity contained within everybody.

This mini-festival consists of thirteen films sprinkled throughout the Festival, plus a dynamic two-part panel. The first panel focuses on Women in Filmmaking, highlighting career gains. The second panel centers on LGBTQ+ Representation, where filmmakers discuss the growth of queer visibility on Film & TV. announced soon.

Films competing in the 2021 Diversity category:

  • Streets of Lagos by Dom West (Documentary Short) gives a rare insight into the lives of Nigeria’s first generation of rollerbladers.

  • At the Ready by Maisie Crow (Documentary Feature). For most teenagers, the sound of gunshots ringing through hallways is their worst nightmare, but for criminal justice students at Horizon High, it’s the first step toward achieving their American Dream. At The Ready follows three Mexican-American students as they embark on a career path to become police officers and Border Patrol agents.

  • Missing in Brooks County by Lisa Molomot & Jeff Bemiss (Documentary Feature) families search for their missing loved ones in the vast ranch lands of Brooks County, Texas, the site of more migrant deaths than anywhere else in the country.

  • Jasmine Road by Warren Sulatucky (Narrative Feature) a widowed conservative cowboy takes in a Syrian refugee family of Arabic ice cream makers.

  • Storm Lake by Jery Risius & Beth Levison (Documentary Feature) Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Art Cullen and his family fight to unite and inform their rural Iowan farming community through their biweekly newspaper.

  • The Recess by Navid Nikkhah Azad (Narrative Short) Sahar is determined to attend an AFC Champions League football match in spite of the national ban on women to enter football stadiums in Iran. Sahar disguises herself as a boy with the help of her friends. Things take a tragic turn when Sahar’s disguise is uncovered. Inspired by true events, The Recess explores gender oppression in Iranian society.


  • Voice Above Water by Dana Frankoff (Documentary Short) Wayan uses his fishing boat and net to pull trash from the water in hopes of being able to fish again.

  • FreeBird by Michael Joseph McDonald & Joe Bluhm (Animation)A boy with Down’s Syndrome grows to adulthood under the loving care of his mother. Although the boy experiences his share of challenges—including an absent father and a classroom bully—he finds love and acceptance thanks to his mother’s support. Years later, roles are reversed when the boy, now an adult, returns home to care for his aging mother.

  • Mommy or Daddy by John H. LaDue Jr. & Jennifer Ladue (Documentary Feature) a Filipino-Japanese mother finds she is not alone on her journey to be reunited with her son.

  • SFUMATO by Amirali Mirderikvand (Documentary Short) in Iran the eldest child a rural family helps them a lot in life, but continues to face difficulties and obstacles.

  • All the World is Sleeping by Ryan Lacen (Narrative Feature) a mother sinks in her addiction while struggling to surface for her daughter.

  • The Forgotten Place by Oscar Rene Lozoya (Narrative Short) Eric wants to find a friend but doesn’t know how.

Not to miss! On Sunday, November 7th, the Ojai Film Festival will present its first Social Impact and Vision Award, sponsored by Panavision.

Tickets and packages are available here.

Trained actor-director, producer-writer Eshaana Sheth at the 19th Annual Ojai Film Festival. Sheth screened her film The Butter Knife to rave reviews. (Photo Credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

(Source: Ojai Film News)

The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival Will Be In-person

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 10 to 20, 2022 as an in-person event. The European Film Market (February 10-17, 2022), the Berlinale Co-Production Market (February 12-16, 2022), Berlinale Talents (February 12-17, 2022) and the World Cinema Fund will focus on on-site offerings.


“We’re very pleased to bring the festival back to the big screen in February: with a multifaceted program, the red carpet, stars and the amazing Berlinale audiences,” commented the directors of the Berlinale, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian. “The need for a physical festival experience and face-to-face encounters is strongly evident in both the industry and the public. The experiences of the last months have shown that on-location events can take place safely and successfully, and how important they are for dialogue and exchange.”


Festival Directors Chatrian and Rissenbeek. (Photo by Alexander Janetzko, courtesy of Berlin International Film Festival)

The health of all guests and the festival staff is at the center of planning. The hygiene measures at the festival and EFM are designed to ensure the safe participation of all guests. More information on the Covid regulations and on the online ticketing process will be announced in the first half of November.

The main festival venue will once again be the Berlinale Palast at Potsdamer Platz, where also the Press Centre, service facilities and other festival cinemas are located. As in past years, the Berlinale will present films at numerous cinemas city-wide, and Berlinale Goes Kiez will also be bringing the 2022 festival to various local neighborhood cinemas in Berlin.

The size of the film program will be roughly similarly to the pre-Covid, 2020 festival edition. Therefore, short films will be included in the 2022 Generation program again.

The European Film Market will take place from February 10 to 17, once again with its exhibition venues Gropius Bau and the Marriott Hotel, this year under the motto ‘It all (re)starts here’. Besides serving as a platform for licensing commerce, including numerous market screenings at the nearby cinemas and online on the EFM website, as usual, the market will be an arena for innovation and change in the age of digital transformation in the film and media industries. With its own special location at Potsdamer Platz and a multitude of hybrid individual events on the current status quo and industry trends, the 2022 “EFM Industry Sessions” will also provide opportunities for personal networking. In addition, the “Berlinale Series Market” (February 14 to 16) will host a selection of market screenings and a high-calibre conference program on the subject ‘High-End Series’.


The 2022 Berlinale Co-Production Market will expand its on-location events to include digital access, enabling participants who don’t make the trip to Berlin to follow the bulk of the program. The one-on-one meetings in Berlin will be supplemented with additional online ones.

For its 20th edition, Berlinale Talents is planning a program of talks and discussions open to the public at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer theatres, supplemented by live streams and interactive formats. The 200 invited talents will primarily be participating on-site, with the mentor programs in project and script development also taking place online during the run-up.

The annual WCF Day is the think tank of the World Cinema Fund, which successfully supports film production in regions with fragile film infrastructures, year round, with its increasingly differentiated funding program (WCF, WCF Europe, WCF Africa, WCF ACP). The WCF Day (date TBC) is planned as a hybrid event during the 2022 festival.