The 17th annual Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) is set for April 21st through April 28th, 2016. While the 8 day long festival featuring over 350 films and attracting over 55,000 visitors to Orange County may seem a little ways off, not so for filmmakers wanting to make a submission. The deadline is tomorrow, Friday, December 18, 2015 for Film Submissions.
Founded in 1999, NBFF prides itself on its lifestyle films and focuses on bringing the best local, national, international and critically acclaimed films to the Newport Beach community.
The program for this year includes:
Features Community Cinema
Shorts Environmental Film Series
Documentaries Family Film Series
Action Sports Series Music
Art, Architecture, and Design Series Music Video
Collegiate Showcase Youth Film Showcase
NBFF strives to bring the best in contemporary and classical filmmaking from around the world. In addition, the Festival stimulates interest and passion in film goers of all ages and backgrounds through its integration of local community and educational institutions to foster and develop an appreciation in the art of film.
Source: AFI AWARDS 2015
The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced its recipients of The AFI Awards 2015: Honoring A Year Of Excellence.
Movies of the Year TV Programs of the Year
The Big Short The Americans
Bridge of Spies Better Call Saul
Inside Out Empire
Mad Max: Fury Road Fargo
The Martian Game of Thrones
Spotlight Master of None
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Mr. Robot
Straight Outta Compton Unreal
AFI SPECIAL AWARD
The award is the only national honor for each creative team as a whole documenting the year’s most artistically and culturally significant films and television programming. AFI recognizes and celebrates the collaborative nature of the art form with its AFI Awards.
This year the iconic TV series, Mad Men, receives recognition for its contributions to America’s cultural legacy with an AFI Special Award.
Sundance Institute has announced its feature film lineup for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival with its highly anticipated film narratives in conjunction with its Event Premieres, Documentary Premieres, Spotlight, Sundance Kids and Special Events sections.
Sundance Film Festival was founded in 1985 and is showcasing a selection of 200 feature-length and short films out of over 12,500 submissions from 120 countries. In addition, the festival also presents panels, musical programming and exhibitions for emerging media.
Several notable independent filmmakers got their big break at Sundance including Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell, Steven Soderbergh, and Darren Aronofsky.
Executive Director Keri Putnam invites audiences from all over the world to witness and discover the works and voices of highly original filmmakers and to join the festival dedicated to independent storytelling.
The Festival is scheduled for January 21-31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Sundance and Ogden, Utah. For more information click here on this year’s film lineup click here: Festival Program
Actress Rooney Mara is set to receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) prestigious Cinema Vanguard Award. The diminutive Rooney will join a notable group of honorees including last year’s recipients Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. Other recipients include Amy Adams, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, Ryan Gossling and Stanley Tucci.
The award was created to recognize “actors who have forged their own path – taking artistic risks while making a significant and unique contribution to film.”
In 2012 Mara was nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her work in The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo (2011).
SBIFF is recognizing Mara for her work in the recently released film Carol, a melodrama from acclaimed director Todd Haynes. Mara will receive the award from her co-star, Cate Blanchett, February 12, 2016 at the historic Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA. For information on attending click here: Tickets
Source: Review: THE PEARL BUTTON
“The Pearl Button,” viewed as part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Showcase Series, is the follow up work by renowned Chilean writer/director and documentarian, Patricio Guzman. Much like his mesmerizing 2010 documentary, “Nostalgia for the Light,” “The Pearl Button,” starts out showcasing the brilliance and natural beauty of the Chilean night sky. Only this time Guzman juxtaposes it against the cool, sensual freshness of the land’s natural, cascading waterways. Gently, Guzman shifts gears and slips in interviews with the indigenous Chileans and learns of a cosmic edifying way of life through the eyes of the elder Kawesqars, the ancient water nomads of Patogonia. Romantic stories of 600 mile journeys along the coastal seascape in miniature paddle boats were relived as if they emanated from another time and space that couldn’t exist today. And for all intents and purposes, it doesn’t, except in the minds and lore of the elder Kawesqars. Due to modern shipping lanes and commercial fishing rights, the boat people are no longer allowed to freely travel. Many younger members would hardly know how. It seems the modern generation is so busy surviving that they have forgotten how to live.
The film comes in at a fast moving eight-two minutes. It is shot in color with minimal color correction that deftly enhances the strong cinematography provided by Katell Djian. Unsurprisingly, the look and feel of the shooting is similar to Nostalgia for the Light, as Djian worked both. Yet, there is more to both films than gorgeous night sky spectacles and rich, ripe waterways or vast, barren deserts. Both films call attention to the brutality of the Pinochet regime. Nostalgia for the Light, provides a beautiful segue into the search for disappeared bodies much like the Chilean government searches the sky for disappeared stars. In “The Pearl Button,” Guzman connects the cosmos and the essence of life to water calling to mind that humans ultimately evolved from aquatic life forms. And, the aquatic life forms sprang forth from a cosmic impulse detonated from a massive energetic collision resulting in the first precursor of life, water, entering into the planetary environment. Water is the essence of life. And it remembers.
However, as colonialism began to encroach, a new way of life emerged that was far different that the life the cosmos had revealed. Here Guzman indulges himself in a little Chilean lore of the legend of Jemmy Button. Jemmy Button was the representation of an ordinary indigenous Chilean. He was taken under the protection of a British naval officer in exchange for a fancy pearl button. The officer took Jemmy back to Britain and learned Jemmy the ways of a British gentlemen. Jemmy attended the finest school and was dressed accordingly and even given a respectable haircut. After a year Jemmy was returned to his family and community. He never fit in again and lived the rest of his days as an outsider.
Much can be made of the plight of Jemmy Button as Guzman uncovers and delivers another horrifying example of Pinochet’s brutal attack on dissidents. Unnervingly and in a manner akin to a medical coroner, a recreation of how a body, not necessarily a corpse, would be disposed of seemingly without a trace. True to most crimes, however, an error occurred in the process and a body washed a shore eventually revealing another episodic disappearance of dissidents. Most estimates agree that somewhere between 12,000 to 14,000 bodies were disposed into these once life giving waters. Nevertheless, Guzman finds optimism and hope for the future. During reclamation efforts, one of the instruments used to hasten the drowning and to keep the body submerged, was recovered without the typical barnacles attached. It was recovered with a pearl button attached.
Guzman, once again, proves himself a gifted, master storyteller with both earthly and cosmic sensibilities. Highly recommended.