DIVINES, one of the most critically acclaimed and talked-about films at this year’s Cannes film festival and recent awards winner at the American Film Institute’s AFIFEST 2016 presented by Audi, will be available to Netflix subscribers exclusively today, November 18th. Get a first look below!
The funny, suspenseful and often emotional drama tells the story of Dounia, a tough, but naive teenager who sees getting rich or dying trying as her most viable option in life. Set in a ghetto near Paris where drugs and religion reign supreme, Dounia is hungry for her share of power and success. Enlisting the help of her best friend she decides to follow the footsteps of a respected and successful neighborhood dealer. But when Dounia meets a strong-willed and sensual dancer, her life takes a surprising turn.
Houda Benyamina’s energetic directorial debut was awarded the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for the best first feature film presented in one of the event’s selections. Most recently, the film received multiple accolades yesterday AFIFEST. Benyamina, Oulaya Amamra, and Divines were winners of the New Auteurs Audience Award, Breakthrough Audience Award and the Special Jury Mention for Acting.
British comedy actress Alice Lowe makes her feature directorial debut with this pitch-black comedic tale of a pregnant woman whose fetus has a lust for killing. Seven months pregnant, Ruth receives murderous instructions from her misanthropic unborn baby, who has a vendetta against society for leaving her fatherless. Coached by the fetus, Ruth lures in unsuspecting victims by using her pregnancy as a cloak of innocence. Who would suspect a mother-to-be of homicide? Commanding a supporting cast of fantastic British actors, Lowe, a triple threat here in the roles of director, writer and actor, shines as Ruth. Lowe even lent some real life inspiration to the part, as she herself was pregnant during the film’s shoot. PREVENGE is a macabre comedy and entertaining revenge that could have only come from the hormone-influenced mind of a pregnant woman.
AFI talked to Lowe about the film, screening as part of AFI FEST 2016’s Midnight section.
AFI: You wrote, directed and acted in the film while you were pregnant. That must have been quite an experience.
Alice Lowe: I actually was incredibly lucky that I had a very healthy, happy pregnancy. I think I may have exorcised any fears I had through making the film. I had huge amounts of energy, which I think was hormonal. I only got very weary by the time we had finished filming, right at the end of the pregnancy. During the shoot, I felt very calm and relaxed. I just felt ecstatic that I was getting to have my cake and eat it — have a baby and direct a film. Every day was a joy. I think any filmmaker itching to make a film for many years feels that way when they actually get to shoot. It’s a relief and cathartic. A bit like giving birth. All this stuff bursting to come out of you finally gets release!
In terms of the work, it felt very familiar to me. Low-budget film is my métier and has been for many years. I felt very at home. Sometimes I forgot I was pregnant and it would be the other actors or crew who would remind me. I think it was weirder for them to be doing stunts or nudity or kissing scenes with a pregnant director/actor than it was for me.
AFI: Were there any major surprises throughout shooting as a first-time feature director?
AL: Post-production was the biggest learning curve for me. Because that’s the side I see least of as an actress. By this time, I had a tiny baby in tow, too. What I really learned was the process you go through in carving out, dismantling and rebuilding the film. It’s really like you are getting to know the film and what it is. In some ways, the film has its own unique personality and you are just discovering it. It’s an exciting process. A bit like being someone who carves wood or cuts gems. You find which way the grain goes and what the best outcome of that grain will be; it tells you which way to go.
Sometimes, the footage is rough and wild and you’re trying to tame it. So you’re finding these lovely surprises and gems within the footage, and surprising ways it affects your emotion as the film plays out. I guess the thing that most surprised me was the audience liking the film. You have a weird idea for a film that is dark and perverse and personal and strange. And more people than you think actually get it. And laugh. And other reactions! I suppose that’s the joy of being a filmmaker, that something that was in your head has managed to be communicated to other people.
AFI: How did the premise of the screenplay come to you?
AL: I thought pregnancy was going to prevent me from working. I was actually really worried about it. But then I thought, “This is a perfect way of combatting that.”
I’d been thinking about revenge structures and themes for a while. I was never going to make a story about a pregnant woman who has a minor emotional dilemma about what color to paint the nursery. My bugbear as an actress is characters that are women first, and characters later. I was really sick of reading characters that are cut-and-paste mother characters. They’re always so bloody kind and self-sacrificial. What about their personalities and goals? Have they just disappeared when they’ve become mothers? Not on my watch, anyway.
AFI: Pregnancy and evil children often figure into horror films — but the tone isn’t usually comedic.Were you inspired by any films while making this one?
AL: I’m a big fan of horror that deals with human transgressional boundaries. Films like THE SHINING, DON’T LOOK NOW, CARRIE and ROSEMARY’S BABY all deal with very human drama, and that’s where the horror comes from. The supernatural is an invisible threat, but the human threat is real and tangible — parents trying to kill their children, bullying, husbands betraying their wives. And many of these films deal with liminal rites of passage — becoming a teenager, a parent.
So yes, I definitely wanted to make a film about becoming a mother, but perhaps from more of an insider’s view, a female viewpoint, too. For me, the comedy goes without saying, as I can’t help it. I think life is kind of a mixture of hilarity and horror anyway. It was important to have warmth and humor for you to get into Ruth’s interior. She is a real human with flaws who is in this absurd predicament. Otherwise she’s just a victim, or a heartless perpetrator. I think the humor helps you to feel for her. Perhaps even feel like her. I haven’t exactly made KNOCKED UP. The humor is pretty pitch black. I’d love to have just answered with, “yes, I was inspired by LOOK WHO’S TALKING TOO,” and just have left it at that. That would have put a cat amongst the pigeons.
Free tickets for PREVENGE will be available on AFI.com beginning November 1.
Sonia Bergamasco will open the 73rd Venice Film Festival on the evening of Wednesday August 31st, on the stage of the Sala Grande (Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido) for the opening ceremony, and on September 10th the actress will host the closing ceremony during which the winners of the Lions and the other official awards of the 73rd Venice Film Festival will be announced.
The 73rd Venice Film Festival will be held on the Lido from August 31st to September 10th 2016, directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by the Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta.
Sonia Bergamasco is one of Italy’s most versatile actresses. She was born in Milan, where she graduated in piano from the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi, and in acting from the Scuola del Piccolo Teatro. She made her debut in Arlecchino servitore di due padroni with Giorgio Strehler, and was the Blue Fairy in Carmelo Bene’s last version of Pinocchio for theatre and television. In theatre, she has also worked with Theodoros Terzopoulos, Massimo Castri and Glauco Mauri. Since 2001 she has starred in or directed productions in which the experience of music is more deeply entwined with the theatre. Winner of the Premio Duse 2014 for her work as an actress, in 2015 she directed and starred in the production Il ballo (from the short story by Irène Nemirovsky).
She made her cinema debut in 2001 in L’amore probabilmente by Giuseppe Bertolucci, presented at the Venice Film Festival. Winner of the Nastro d’argento 2004 for Best Actress in La meglio gioventù by Marco Tullio Giordana, she also worked with Bernardo Bertolucci in Io e te (2012), with Giuseppe Piccioni in Giulia non esce la sera (2009), with Silvio Soldini in the short film D’estate (1994), with Franco Battiato in Musikanten (2006). She won the Premio Flaiano award as best actress in the film for television De Gasperi, l’uomo della speranza (2005) by Liliana Cavani; also in television, she won great acclaim for the hit series Tutti pazzi per amore (2008-2010) and Una grande famiglia (2012-2015) by Riccardo Milani.
Her most recent accomplishments include her roles in the film Quo vado? with Checco Zalone, directed by Gennaro Nunziante, for which she won the Alida Valli Prize at the Bari Film Festival, and the new episodes of Commissario Montalbano, with Luca Zingaretti.
“Actress Moon So Ri has been named as one of the jurors for the 73rd annual Venice International Film Festival!
On July 24, her agency, C-JeS Entertainment, announced that the actor had been selected as one of the jurors for the Orizzonti section.
The festival is the oldest of its kind in the world and one of the most prestigious alongside the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival. The Orizzonti section is a sub-section of the festival with its own awards categories.
She is the first Korean actor to be appointed as juror for the Venice Film Festival. In 2006 director Park Chan Wook was one of the jurors for the official competition, and in 2009 director Kim Jin Ah was one of the jurors for the Orizzonti section.
Moon So Ri has previously won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Emerging Actor or Actress at the 59th Venice International Film Festival for her 2002 film “Oasis.” Her films “Hill of Freedom” and “A Good Lawyer’s Wife” have also been shown at previous festivals.
A source from the festival said, “Moon So Ri is a brilliant actress who represents the Korean film industry. She has accomplished several milestones in Korean film and it is an honor to have her as juror following her 2002 award.”
Moon So Ri herself made a statement saying, “It’s always difficult to compare films and give them scores. But nothing compares to the experience of meeting filmmakers all around the world and watching films together. I have many good memories of the Venice International Film Festival and I hope to make even more this year.”
Moon So Ri has also been the juror for the Busan International Film Festival, Jeonju International Film Festival, Festival del film Locarno, and the Tokyo International Film Festival.
The 73rd International Film Festival will be held from August 31 to September 10. Meanwhile, Moon So Ri is currently filming the movie “Special Citizen.”
(Source: Post by notclaira on Soompi.com, July 24, 2016)
Co-directors Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack present a lovingly crafted and comprehensive portrait of the esteemed Dr. Maya Angelou. The story is told by Angelou herself, along with a cast of contemporaries from her careers as actress, writer, poet and activist. In chronicling Angelou’s life from her youth in the Depression-era South through her rise to international prominence, the film is a vital document about the importance of grace, dignity and the quest for peace. — Chad Eberle
This clip from MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE features footage from Maya Angelou’s days as a calypso singer/dancer and interviews with Diahann Carroll and Don Martin.
The film screens as part of AFI DOCS June 22-26, 2016 in Washington, DC. Get Tickets Here.
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