All posts by HollywoodGlee

I’m a veteran of several film festivals including the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, the American Film Institute's AFIFest Hollywood and AFI DOCS, the famed Venice International Film Festival, the San Luis Obispo SLO Film Fest, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's family of festivals including the SBIFF, the SBIFF Wave Festivals and the SBIFF Showcase Film Series. To date I’ve written and published over 100 film reviews and have work posted on four sites including, I have also been published in Classic Film Images magazine. In addition to writing reviews and covering film festivals, I am currently seeking distribution for new films. I have contacts in several major markets including Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, and Cannes, France. So when you’re looking for your film to get noticed, remember HollywoodGlee can help. We have professional marketers, respected critics and the most knowledgeable contacts on what film festival and/or distribution channel is right for you and your film. See you at the movies!

That’s A Wrap: AFI FEST 2015

AFI FEST Film Festival 2015 Wrap-up

by Larry Gleeson

Closing down this year’s American Film Institute Festival on Thursday, it’s hard not to imagine what might have been. The closing night film, The Big Short, drew an at-capacity crowd as Director Adam McKey took a few moments to introduce his star-studded cast. True to form, McKay bantered playfully with Ryan Gossling by saying how nice it was to finally meet him. Afterwards the audience was treated to a real big-screen viewing in the historic Hollywood TLC Grauman’s Chinese Theater.


The night before The Big Short, gala goers were treated to a Tribute to Brits, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay: followed by a screening of Andrew Haigh’s “45 Years.”


Award winners for this years AFI FEST include:
New Auteurs Grand Jury Award:  LAND AND SHADE (Director César Augusto Acevedo) for its visual eloquence and its observations of environmental degradation and economic exloitation.

Special Jury Mention for Screenplay: DESDE ALLÁ (Director/writer Lorenzo Vigas) for its keen insights into the alienation, social divides and overriding need for control that allows love to flourish and die.

World Cinema Audience Award: LANDFILL HARMONIC (Directors Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley, Juliana Penaranda-Loftus)

New Auteurs Audience Award: MUSTANG (Director Deniz Gamze Ergüven)

American Independents Audience Award: JAMES WHITE (Director Josh Mond)

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 10.31.37 PM
(Photo courtesy of AFI FEST 2015)

Other films I found interesting all came from the World Cinema category and included: “Dheepan,” a story of a Sri Lankan man who with an unknown woman and child, flees to France to start a new life. “Dheepan,” was directed by Jacques Audiard, known for his prison drama, “The Prophet,” and “Rust and Bone,” a melodrama; “The Clan,” an Argentinian film based on the real life events of the Puccio family during the early 1980’s is Argentina’s Official entry to The Academy’s Best Foreign Language Film category; and “The Gulls,” a cinematic treat from an otherwise barren region.

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




Grace Tame with “45 Years” Charlotte Rampling


Grace Lauren Tame (pictured above) came out Wednesday evening, November 11, 2015 on the Red Carpet at TCL Grauman’s historic Hollywood Chinese Theater. Here is a live clip of Grace with lead actress Charlotte Rampling from the film “45 Years.” (Review) AFI FEST 2015 TRIBUTE: Grace Lauren Tame Live with Charlotte Rampling: 


Son Of Saul

(From right to left, Actor Geza Rohrig, Director Lazlo Nemes, and Santa Barbara International Film Festival Executive Director, Roger Durling immediately following the screening of Son of Saul, at the Riviera Theater in Santa Barbara, Calif. Photo by William Conlin. Courtesy of Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

After missing Son of Saul during the American Film Institute’s 2015 AFI FEST film festival, I viewed a screening with the Santa Barbara Cinema Society. Here is a clip from the American Film Institute with Son of Saul Director Lazlo Nemes and actor Geza Rohrig on the film:

New Kalmykia Cinema


I had the distinct pleasure to sit down with Ella Manzheeva, writer and director of the Kalmykic film, “Chaiki,” or as it is often referred to “The Gulls.” The film is the story of Elsa, played by the exquisite Evgeniya Mandzhieva, as a fisherman’s wife, in a seaside town in Kalmykia, a remote republic in Russia.

Interestingly, Kalmykia was settled four centuries ago as Mongolians began migrating due to civil strife. With a population around 150,000, according to Manzheeva, the region has a strong belief system steeped in the Buddhist tradition with a touch of local folklore. However, after the Stalin regime took hold of Russia, celebrating the traditions became stifled.

Unfortunately, this carries over to today. “Chaiki,” is a return to Kalmykia traditions and celebratory beliefs as they intertwine in everyday life. Drawing on personal experiences and her own encounters from living in Kalmykia, Manzheeva penned the story in a mere five days driven by her passion and love for her Kalmykia. Accordingly, one of Manzheeva’s hopes is to keep alive the unique customs and language system. She’s been on the festival circuit for over a year beginning with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July of 2014 bringing her vision to the outside world.

Her message is finding an audience as Kalmykian ex-patriots are flocking to see “The Gulls,” to get a glimpse of the homeland. Cinemas in Russia have started screening the film. Critics have taken note as this once barren cinematic region has awakened, taken root and sprouted through the Russian consciousness.

Manzheeva couldn’t be happier and has a follow-up work in pre-production slated for the next Berlinale, Berlin’s International Film Festival. See my review of “Chaiki,” here on IMDB:

To learn more and/or for more information about this emerging regional cinema please contact:

Telesco Film at Mosfilm Film Studio

Moscow, Mosfilmovskaya 1
Phone: +7 (499) 143-94-8


The Gulls(6)

“The Gulls,” first full-length feature film from the remote region of Kalmykia in the Republic of Russia, had its US premiere at the 2015 AFI FEST film festival. Pictured above left to right, HollywoodGlee and starring actress/model, Evgeniya Mandzhieva. It was Mandzhieva’s first big-screen appearance. Read the “The Gulls,” here:


The fans came out in force to see Brad Pitt and wife Angelina Jolie at the TCL Chinese Theatre for the 2015 AFI Fest Opening Night Gala world premiere of BY THE SEA on November 5, 2015 in Hollywood, California. Jolie received both writer and director credits in addition to starring with husband Brad. After the screening, ticket holders celebrated at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Opening Night

(Photos courtesy of AFI FEST 2015)

Benicio Del Toro Coming to AFI Fest


“AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi has added the special event On Acting: A Conversation with Benicio Del Toro to this year’s program.

Academy Award®-winning actor Benicio Del Toro will come to the festival on Saturday, November 7 at 11:00 a.m. for a conversation about his extensive career — which includes the films CHE (2008), 21 GRAMS (2003), TRAFFIC (2000), SNATCH (2000), FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998) and THE USUAL SUSPECTS (1995) — and his acclaimed performance in this year’s SICARIO at the Egyptian Theatre. The Q&A will be moderated by Variety Deputy Awards and Features Editor Jenelle Riley.

Del Toro joins a prestigious group of previously announced actors and filmmakers appearing in conversation at AFI FEST, including Michael Caine, Paolo Sorrentino, Ridley Scott, SUFFRAGETTE director Sarah Gavron and writer Abi Morgan, as well as 45 YEARS stars and AFI FEST Tribute recipients Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay.”

For more details click here:

AFI Fest 2015

American Film Institute presents the 2015 AFI Fest, November 5-12, 2015 in Hollywood, Calif.
American Film Institute presents the 2015 AFI Fest, November 5-12, 2015 in Hollywood, Calif.


“A program of the American Film Institute, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a celebration of global cinema and today’s Hollywood — a showcase for the best festival films of the year and an opportunity for master filmmakers and emerging artists to come together with audiences in the movie capital of the world.”

This is a favorite film festival of all types of film goers taking place in the heart of Hollywood!

Venues include the historic Hollywood Egyptian Theater. (


And the world famous Chinese Theater!


Here is a link for additional information: http://www.afi.comafifest/freetickets.aspx

Looking forward to seeing you there!