Tag Archives: Awards

THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES SPONSORS FOR AFI DOCS 2021

THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES
SPONSORS FOR AFI DOCS 2021

Support Comes From Wide Range of Art and Cultural Institutions, Media Partners and Corporations

Apple Original Films Joins AFI DOCS as a Premium Sponsor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 18, 2021, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the sponsors for AFI DOCS 2021. Support for the festival comes from both local organizations based in the DC-metro area and major corporations across the nation. The 19th edition of AFI DOCS will run June 22–27, with films available to view on DOCS.AFI.com as well as in-person screenings at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD.

“AFI DOCS reaches a nationwide audience with the support of our sponsors,” said Sarah Harris, AFI Festivals Director of Programming. “It is their generosity that amplifies the voices of today’s most vital storytellers, and we thank them on behalf of all who find inspiration in the arts.” 

In addition to supporting AFI DOCS film programming and events, sponsors provide services and exclusive experiences to filmmakers and audiences throughout the festival. Sponsor participation includes sponsoring specific film screenings, panels and events as well as national and local promotion of the festival.  

This year, AFI is proud to have Apple Original Films support AFI DOCS for the first time as a Premium Sponsor. Top festival sponsors will give audiences sneak peeks at exclusive upcoming trailers and content on the festival’s streaming platform and in the AFI DOCS Festival Hub. Media partners will also provide DOCS audiences with access to their digital issues during the week of the festival via a virtual newsstand.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) returns as Official Sponsor of the festival. CPB is Official Sponsor of the AFI DOCS Industry Forum and the Spotlight on the Hindsight Project, a special selection of short filmsthat chronicle the experiences of BIPOC communities in the American South and U.S. Territories during the unprecedented events of 2020.  

NBC News’ Meet the Press with Chuck Todd and The Washington Post return this year as Primary Media Partners. Meet the Press and The Washington Post, in conjunction with the Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership, will provide moderators for a number of films in this year’s festival. Highlights include Meet the Press Moderator and NBC Political Director Chuck Todd moderating LFG and NBC News Correspondent Morgan Radford moderating the discussion following the Opening Night World Premiere of NAOMI OSAKA. In addition to supporting post-screening discussions, Washington Post Live, The Post’s live journalism platform, will host a conversation with ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN filmmaker Morgan Neville. Post Managing Editor for Diversity and Inclusion Krissah Thompson will also moderate the World Premiere of WE THE PEOPLE in the inaugural DOCS Talks program.

Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are this year’s Official Media Partners. This year, Variety sponsors the Charles Guggenheim Symposium, which will feature a conversation between the 2021 Guggenheim honoree Dawn Porter and Variety’s Clayton Davis, and The Hollywood Reporter will be a media partner for the screening of SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED). 

The Wrap joins AFI DOCS as an Affiliate Media Partner this year and is a media partner for the screening of TOM PETTY: SOMEWHERE YOU FEEL FREE.

Screen Sponsors are SHOWTIME® Documentary Films, Netflix, WarnerMedia and HBO Documentary Films. SHOWTIME® Documentary Films will once again host a networking event for filmmakers and industry, adjusted to be virtual instead of the in-person event they have hosted in the past. SHOWTIME® willalso send a special, customized gift to the festival filmmakers as they celebrate AFI DOCS from home.

Participant returns as a Major Sponsor, along with new sponsors National Geographic and Eventive. 

This year’s Contributing Sponsors are ESPN, the National Endowment for the Arts and the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME). 

Supporting Sponsors include the Maryland Film Office, Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and Rev. 

The Embassy of Denmark in Washington, DC, and the Farhang Foundation are this year’s Cultural Sponsors. 

Generous individual support comes from Stephanie and Hunter Hunt.

About AFI DOCS 

AFI DOCS is the American Film Institute’s annual documentary festival historically held in Washington, DC.  Presenting the year’s best documentaries, AFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S. dedicated to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers and policy leaders in the heart of our nation’s government. The AFI DOCS advisory board includes Ken Burns, Davis Guggenheim, Chris Hegedus, Werner Herzog, Rory Kennedy, Barbara Kopple, Spike Lee, Errol Morris, Stanley Nelson and Frederick Wiseman. Now in its 19th year, the festival will be held June 22-27, 2021. Visit DOCS.AFI.comand connect on Twitter.com/AFIDOCS,Facebook.com/AFIDOCSYouTube.com/AFI andInstagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute

About the American Film Institute (AFI)
Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s nonprofit 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 atFacebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute,YouTube.com/AFI, Twitter.com/AmericanFilm andInstagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting  

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia,Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe for email updates. 

About The Washington Post and Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership  

The Washington Post is an award-winning news leader whose mission is to connect, inform and enlighten local, national and global readers with trustworthy reporting, in-depth analysis and engaging opinions. It combines world-class journalism with the latest technology and tools so readers can interact with The Post anytime, anywhere.  

The Press Freedom Partnership is a public service initiative from The Washington Post to promote press freedom and raise awareness of the rights of journalists who are in pursuit of the truth. Learn more at www.wapo.st/pressfreedom

About Meet the Press with Chuck Todd 

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd is where newsmakers come to make news — setting the political agenda and spotlighting the impact Washington decision-making has on Americans across the country. It is the #1 most-watched Sunday public affairs show for the 2019-2020 season, reaching more than three million viewers every Sunday and millions more through social, digital and on-demand platforms. Meet the Press brings its authority and influencer interviews to MSNBC with MTP Daily weekdays at 1 p.m. ET, to the ongoing weekly podcast, The Chuck ToddCast, and to Meet the Press Reports, a 30-minute program on NBC News NOW and Peacock, focusing on a single topic explored through the Meet the Press lens. It’s the longest-running show in television history, recently expanding its brand to also include a political short-documentary film festival in collaboration with the American Film Institute. Chuck Todd is the political director of NBC News and the moderator of Meet the Press; John Reiss is the executive producer. 

CONTACT: 

Elizabeth Ward, AFI DOCS PR,elizabeth@prcollaborative.com 

American Film Institute: Stacy Adamski, 323.856.7759,SAdamski@AFI.com

‘La La Land’ Leads Critics’ Choice Awards Nominations

Posted by Larry Gleeson

“La La Land,” the musical “dramedy” following a jazz musician’s romance with an aspiring actress, takes a  whopping 12 nominations heading into tonight’s presentation of the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s 22nd annual Critics’ Choice Awards, formally kicking off the Hollywood awards season.

These prizes bestowed by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. (BFCA) are renowned as one of the best barometers for predicting the Oscars. Over their 21-year history, these awards have previewed 13 Best Picture Oscar winners as well as 16 Best Director, 14 Best Actor, 12 Best Actress, 11 Supporting Actor and 14 Supporting Actress champs.

The complete list of winners from tonight’s awards are as follows:

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Amy Adams as Louise Banks in ARRIVAL by Paramount Pictures

The sci-fi adventure “Arrival” and the coming-of-age drama “Moonlight” each have 10 nominations.

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“La La Land,” which reunites Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as romantic interests, is nominated for best picture, actor, actress, director, original screenplay, cinematography, production design, editing, costume design, score and two best song nods.

The best picture nominees are “Arrival,” “Fences,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “La La Land,” “Lion,” “Loving,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Moonlight” and “Sully.”

Denzel Washington is one of several double-nominees heading into the ceremony, for his work as an actor and as the director of the best picture nominee “Fences.”

Competing with Washington for best actor will be Casey Affleck for “Manchester by the Sea,” Joel Edgerton for “Loving,” Andrew Garfield for “Hacksaw Ridge,” Gosling for “La La Land” and Tom Hanks for “Sully.”

Nominated for best actress are Amy Adams for “Arrival,” Annette Bening for “20th Century Women,” Isabelle Huppert for “Elle,” Ruth Negga for “Loving,” Natalie Portman for “Jackie” and Stone for “La La Land.”

On the television side of the awards, FX’s miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson” has a leading six nominations, while HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” AMC’s “The Night Manager” and Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” have five each.

Netflix’s “House of Cards,” History’s “Roots” and HBO’s “All the Way” and “Veep” all have four nominations in the television categories.

Nominated for best drama series are “Better Call Saul,” `”Game of Thrones,” “Mr. Robot,” “Stranger Things,” “The Crown,” “This is Us” and “Westworld.”

Competing for best comedy will be “Atlanta,” “Black-ish,” “Fleabag,” “Modern Family,” “Silicon Valley,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Veep.”

The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica and televised by A&E.

(Source:www.nbclosangeles.com)

Full Lineup: QCinema Film Festival 2016

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Vernise L. Tantuco

Here are all the films in competition at the 2016 QCinema Film Festival

Aside from the films in competition, there are also special screenings, including its opening film, Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden, which was nominated for a Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

In celebration of the 20th death anniversary of the Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski, his films Blue (1993), White (1994), and Red (1994) will be screened at the festival.

For the Screen International section will screen films that have been lauded in the international film festival circuit, while RainbowQC will show movies that depict the experiences of the LGBTQ community.

Digitally restored films will be shown for Back Throwback, movies from across the country will be shown for Cinema Rehiyon, and Pinoy Spotlight features Blanka by Kohki Hasei and Area by Louie Ignacio.

See QCinema’s full schedule here.

For the films in competition, an awards night will be held on October 19.

Here’s the full lineup of movies in competition in QCinema 2016.

Circle Competition

  • Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B by Prime Cruz
  • Baboy Halas by Bagane Fiola
  • Best. Partee. Ever. by Howard “HF” Yambao
  • Hinulid by Kristian Sendon Cordero
  • Patay Na Si Hesus by Victor Kaiba Villanueva
  • Purgatoryo by Roderick Cabrido
  • Women of the Weeping River by Sheron Dayoc

 

#QCShorts

  • Hondo by Aedrian Araojo
  • If You Leave by Eduardo “Dodo” Dayao
  • Kung Saan May Naiwan by Joshua Joven and Kaj Palanca
  • Nang Lumipad ang Batang Agila by Mihk Vergara
  • Padating by Gabrielle Tayag
  • Papa’s Shadow by Inshallah Montero
  • Sayaw sa Butal by Victor Nierva
  • Viva viva Escolta by Janus Victoria

Asian Next Wave

  • By The Time It Gets Dark by Anocha Suwichakornpong (Thailand)
  • Old Stone by Johnny Ma (Chinese-Canadian)
  • Singing in Graveyards by Bradley Liew (Filipino-Malaysian)
  • Solo, Solitude by Yosep Anggi Noen (Indonesian)
  • Apprentice by Boo Junfeng (Singapore)
  • Woven Wings of Our Children by Anton Juan (Philippines)

(Source: http://www.rappler.com)

Catch the Spirit! Taos Shortz Film Fest 11th Edition Open for Submissions

Be part of the Taos Shortz Film Fest!

The Taos Shortz Film Fest prides itself on innovative, creative programming and many opportunities for networking…2017 is no exception.

The Taos Shortz Film Fest is looking for films that surpass the normal standard. Exceptional storytelling, films that transport cinemites to an alternative world and culture, creative camera shots and impeccable production. We strive to bring our audience the best of short filmmaking.

  • Documentaries, animations and experimental films are encouraged.
  • Films directed and produced by Native Americans are encouraged.
  • One shot films are encouraged.
  • Films with a TRT of between 3 and 15 minutes are ideal.

We invite you to bring your adventure of creativity to the mountains and mesas of Taos, New Mexico. Submit your film now!

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Screening over 80 global short films to a captive and enthusiastic audience.
  • A hands on “Drones in Cinema Workshop” with Aerocus Aerials and other qualified UAV technicians.
  • A Native American shorts program with introduction by Chris Eyer ( director of Smoke Signals).
  • 4:20 mix and meet / filmmakers and public invited.
  • Socials and parties every night with drink specials.

Submit your film today for your chance to win and join Taos Shortz Film Fest! Regular deadline ends Nov 11.

Hope to see you there!

(Source:www.filmfestivallife.com)

Which movies are in the running for the 2017 Oscars?

 

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La La Land with Ryan Gossling and Emma Stone is already a favorite to win the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture. (Photo courtesy of SND)

LOS ANGELES, Sept 25 ― What were the films and who were the actors who stood out at the latest film festivals? In the wake of the Venice, Toronto and Telluride festivals, here is an update on the movies and players potentially in the running for the 2017 Oscars.

In the period from September to December, the pace of superhero epic and action blockbuster releases slows down to make way for potential Oscar-winning works. This year is no exception with studios and distributors preparing to launch the movies they feel stand the best chance in the 89th Academy Awards at a time when they will still be fresh in the minds of the 2017 jury. What are the movies that will benefit from this Hollywood marketing strategy?

Top favourite ‘La La Land’

Having won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, La La Land is now a serious contender for the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture. The Canadian accolade should not be overlooked. In fact it is a more than reliable indicator for the likely winner of a much-coveted gold statuette, having been awarded to such previous Oscar winners as Twelve Years a Slave, The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire and American Beauty.

But it would be unwise to bet on the musical comedy which features Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling without evaluating the chances of some of the other movies that have come to light in the latest festivals: notably Manchester by the Sea, which is buoyed by a remarkable performance by Casey Affleck, Jeff Nichols’ Loving, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, Nocturnal Animals by Tom Ford, which won the Silver Lion at the 73rd Venice Mostra, and the biopic of Jackie Kennedy, Jackie, which could harvest a second Oscar for Natalie Portman.

However, competition for Best Actress in a Leading Role looks set to be fierce this year. Having garnered an award in Venice, Emma Stone has every chance of gaining a nomination. Ruth Negga (Loving), Amy Adams (Arrival), Viola Davis (Fences) and Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures) are other likely contenders, as is French actress Isabelle Huppert for her much-noted performance in Paul Verhoeven’s Elle. As for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Joel Edgerton (Loving), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals), Denzel Washington (Fences), Dev Patel (Lion) and Tom Hanks (Sully) could all be in the running.

A more diverse Oscars?

Several films that stand to be selected could also turn the page on the controversy surrounding the 2016 Oscars which was judged to be too “white.” Even if The Birth of a Nation does not currently look to be a competitor, the film which tells the story of a slave revolt may nonetheless be nominated. Other films that look likely to garner nominations include Moonlight, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. The story of an African-American growing up in a Miami neighbourhood has already been hailed as major work of independent cinema.

Hidden Figures which casts Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson as mathematicians who, in spite of being overshadowed by their male colleagues, contributed to the success of the Apollo space program, and Denzel Washington’s Fences, which features Viola Davis, have also been tipped for Oscar nominations.

However, we will still have to wait close to five months to see which way the jury votes in the 2017 Academy Awards which will be held on February 26 in Los Angeles. The nominations for the Oscars will be announced on January 24. ― AFP-Relaxnews

(Source: http://www.themalaymailonline.com)

FILM REVIEW: Nocturnal Animals (Ford, 2016): USA

Viewed by Larry Gleeson at Venice Film Festival.

 

Fashion Designer and Film Director Tom premiered his new film, Nocturnal Animals, at the Sala Grande Theater during the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. Nocturnal Animals received the Silver Lion – Grand Jury Prize (generally considered runner-up to the Golden Lion – Best Film). This was Ford’s second feature film. His first film was the critically acclaimed, A Single Man (2009) starring Colin Firth. Firth receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his efforts.

 

Nocturnal Animals, is a tale of redemption, revenge, love and cruelty. Ford opens the film with a strong musical score to reveal rotund, morbidly obese girls dancing topless upon pedestals seemingly pretending to be debutantes. Adding to the fanfare special effect confetti drops down and through the frame. All-American girls showcasing their goods and talents. Bordering on the macabre, the tone for the film has been set.

 

Hollywood, A-lister Amy Adams plays a real-life West Texas debutante, Susan Morrow, who lives an unfulfilling life of daunting privilege with her handsome husband, Hutton Morrow, played by Armie Hammer. As Hutton prepares for yet another last-minute weekend high-finance business meeting in New York relationship fissures widen. A pensive Susan reflects on the state of her union with Hutton after a ‘not-so-discreet’ phone conversation from Hutton’s elevator arriving at a penthouse suite amid feminine gaiety as she opens a plain, white, mail shipping box. Susan opens the box to a black and white manuscript titled, “Nocturnal Animals,” by Edward Sheffield, Susan’s former husband and first true love.

 

In dramatic fashion, Ford begins a journey into the past yet grounded in the present as the manuscript opens up a world fictional, yet etched within Susan’s consciousness. Using parallel storylines, present and fictional coupled with flashbacks to when Edward and Susan first met and the ensuing courtship and short-lived marriage. Laura Linney, plays Susan’s West Texas Republican mother, and delivers some of the film’s more memorable lines during a martini lunch where she unleashes her verbal diatribe lambasting Susan for even considering a marriage to “weak’ Edward. Notwithstanding, however, the real storytelling takes place within the pages of the manuscript. Self-reflective and dramatic the narrative is full of conflict and escalating tensions as a husband and wife, Tony and Laura Hastings, played respectively by Jake Gyllenhaal and Isla Fisher, travel at night across rural West Texas with their teenage daughter, India, played by Ellie Bamber. Without even as much as a lit billboard, out of a pitch dark blackness a vehicle approaches the family’s suburban mid-sized car at a high-rate of speed. The car is driven erratically and its occupants are behaving wildly as they pass. Not too much to worry about until they decide to force the Hastings car off the road. Mayhem ensues as the hellions carjack the Hastings vehicle with the women inside leaving Tony on the side of the road in the dark by his lonesome. Soon a vehicle returns to pick up Tony. He’s informed he gang leader wants to make amends and that Laura and India want Tony brought to where they are being held hostage. Fearing the worst Tony manages to escape and eventually makes his way to a law enforcement office to make an abduction/missing persons report to lawman Bobby Andes, played by Michael Shannon. Susan is shocked and awed at the power of Edward’s writing and the visceral strength of Edward’s character, Tony. By the end of the manuscript, Susan’s life perspective has shifted as she and Edward make plans to meet.

Unquestionably, Ford delivers an emotional and psychological thriller with Nocturnal Animals. Superb acting, exquisite production values and strong storytelling are the film’s hallmarks. Shane Valentino (Straight Outta Compton) handled the film’s production design. Seamus McGarvey (Godzilla, Atonement, The Avengers) provided the cinematography. Costuming was assembled by Arianne Phillips (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Walk The Line, 3:10 To Yuma). Abel Korzeniowski (A Single Man, We) orchestrated the music. Along with directing Ford takes a screenplay writing credit along with Austin Wright, the author of “Tony and Susan,”  for writing the novel the film is based on. Nevertheless, the Casting Director, Francine Maisler (The Revenant, Birdman, The Big Short, 12 Years a Slave) and performances by the actors are above and beyond. This is a Don’t Miss film waiting for Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences nominations. The Oscars.

FILM REVIEW: Paradise (Konchalovsky, 2016): Russia

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Russian Director Andrei Konchalovsky premiered his latest work, Paradise, at the Sala Grande Theater during the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.

 

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Olga and Helmut enjoying a summer moment before the atrocities of war interrupt their passionate relationship in Andrei Konchalovsky’s Paradise. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema di Venezia)

Paradise tells the story of three individuals, Olga, Helmut and Jules as their paths cross amidst the trials and tribulations of WWII during the Hitler regime. Olga, played by Yulia Vysotskaya the real-life wife of Director Konchalovsky, is an aristocratic Russian woman and a member of the French Resistance arrested for hiding Jewish children during a surprise Nazi police raid. As part of her punishment she is sent to jail where her path crosses with Jules, a French-Nazi investigator, played by Phillipe Duquesne, who has been assigned to investigate her case. Olga pumps up her feminine wiles with what appears to be some success to get Jules to lighten her punishment. However, events take an unexpected turn and Olga is sent off to a dark, dirty hellish concentration camp. While managing to survive and stay alive, Olga catches the eye of Helmut, played by Christian Clauss, a high-ranking German SS officer, played by Christian Clauss, who oversees the camp’s operations with an auditor’s acumen. Helmut had previously fallen madly in love with the upper-class Olga and still felt the yearnings of love. Slowly and with the utmost care initially, the two embark on a tumultuous and destructive relationship leading to a conscious break in Olga’s mental state of what constitutes Paradise with the impending Nazi defeat looming.

 

Konchalovsky takes the viewer on a compelling journey into the past utilizing what appears to be archival footage and documentary style interviews from the three main characters. He sets the film in 1942 early with the use of a text overlay during the film’s prologue and quickly introduces the audience to the world of Olga as a high-class, fashion editor for Vogue magazine. With the blink of an eye, the tone of the film is changed irrevocably as Olga is shown being grilled all night long about why she would hide Jewish children and lie to the police about it. And, Konchalovsky doesn’t stop there. He enters into power relationships via sexual manipulation, eavesdropping, concentration camp internment and the visceral art of kapo survival.

In the end the paradise unveiled falls into a similar vein to the spiritual realities of war and the fight for what is right displayed in Laszlo Nemes’ Academy Award nominated Son Of Saul. Also, like Son Of Saul, Konchalovsky’s Paradise has gotten the nod to be Russia’s entry for Best Foreign Language film. This comes on the heels of Konchalovsky garnering a Silver Lion for Best Director at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.

 

Along the way Konchalovsky pays tribute to Russian cinema history with Paradise, shown in black and white with reflexive characteristics of film reels unwinding on the big screen harkening back to the days of Dziga Vertov’s Man With the Movie Camera. Paradise editor Ekaterina Vesheva poured through scores of newsreels in search of the film’s soul while keeping an authenticity to resonate within documentary sensibilities.

In line with achieving further authenticity, Konchalovsky wanted unknown actors audiences wouldn’t recognize from well-known projects. Not an easy task for a casting director to find three actors with Russian, German and French language abilities who could carry out the characters monologues with maximum believability. Consequently, casting was carried out simultaneously in three countries with Elina Ternyaeva as the Russian Casting Director, Uwe Bunker was in Germany and Constance Demontoy worked in France.

Such attention to detail continued with copious research into character development and environmental factors of female camp internment. Purportedly, Konchalovsky handed a compulsory list of 40 books for Clauss to read in preparation for his role as Helmut. A triangle of trust was being created between director, actor and audience. Julia Vysotskaya, a prominent television presenter and stage actress shaved her head, lost significant body weight and endured the rigors of the film’s highly intense, emotional scene work. Furthering the look and feel of the 1940’s war era with authentic costuming and set objects were Costume Designer, Dmitry Andreev, and Production Designer, Irina Ochina.

 

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Yulia Yvotskaya and Philippe Duquesne square off as Olga and Jules in sexually charged scene from Andrei Konchalovsky’s Paradise. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema di Venezia)

While the list of Holocaust films continues to grow, Konchalovsky submits a rare twist with an exquisite aura and an emotional delicacy.  Artistic, informative and transcendent, Paradise, permeates more than one metaphysical level. Highly recommended.

 

 

 

Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World to be Canada’s Oscar foreign-language film submission

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Jessica Wong, CBC News

3rd time 27-year-old filmmaker tapped as Canada’s Oscars pick

Canada is pinning Oscar hopes on Xavier Dolan’s latest film, It’s Only the End of the World.

The drama, about a terminally ill man returning home to his estranged family, will be Canada’s official submission to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — the group behind the Oscars — for consideration in the best foreign-language film category at the upcoming awards.

The announcement was made Friday in Montreal, with 27-year-old Dolan chosen by a 23-member Telefilm Canada committee comprising government and film industry representatives from across the country.

“The film has already been a very rich experience,” Dolan told media gathered in Montreal. “It’s a gift.”

This is the third time Dolan has been tapped as Canada’s Oscar pick: he was earlier selected as the foreign-language film submission in 2009 for his startling debut I Killed My Mother and again in 2014 for Mommy.

“Back when Mommy was selected two years ago, we had the opportunity to talk about the film in many places and communities. It was such a journey and we’re ready to embark on that again,” Dolan said.

“There’s no doubt [this film] will move members of the academy as it has engaged thousands of movie-lovers to date,” Telefilm executive director Carolle Brabant said in a statement.

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Marion Cotillard and Vincent Cassel play a marreied couple in Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only The End of the World (Photo credit: eOne)

Known in French as Juste la fin du monde, Dolan’s drama is based on a play of the same name by the late French writer Jean-Luc Lagarce and features a star-studded cast of French actors, including Gaspard Ulliel, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel, Nathalie Baye and Marion Cotillard.

The selection of Dolan is further vindication for the young filmmaker and the movie, which was panned by a host of American critics upon its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May.  

However, It’s the End of the World closed Cannes by winning two awards — the prestigious Grand Prix and a prize from Cannes Ecumenical Jury — and earned a spot at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.

“I don’t think today is an appropriate day to cry over spilled milk,” Dolan said Friday about past criticism.

“This is about what is next. Not what is gone already.”

Canada’s tradition of Francophone picks

Oscar organizers limit the foreign-language film category to non-American productions that primarily feature dialogue in languages other than English.

Hence, Canada’s choices have overwhelmingly been French, although we’ve also submitted Kim Nguyen’s French- and Lingala-language child-solder tale War Witch, Deepa Mehta’s Hindi-language romantic tragedy Water as well as Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner and The Necessities of Life, both starring main characters speaking Inuktituk.

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Canadian directors whose movies have been Canada’s official picks for Oscar best foreign-language film consideration include, from left, Denis Villeneuve, Xavier Dolan, Deepa Mehta, Zacharias Kunuk and im Nguyen (Canadian Press)

Canada’s past three submissions for Oscar consideration were:

  • Félix et Meira, Maxime Giroux’s French and Yiddish-language drama about an unlikely romance
  • Mommy, Dolan’s celebrated French-language mother-son drama
  • Gabrielle, Louise Archambault’s French-language coming-of-age tale about a developmentally challenged woman.

Over the years, Canada has made the foreign-language film Oscar short list seven times, most recently in 2013 for Nguyen’s War Witch. Past contenders have also included Monsieur Lazhar (directed by Philippe Falardeau), Incendies (directed by Denis Villeneuve) and Mehta’s Water.

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Quebec filmmaker Denys Arcand is Canada’s lone foreign-language film Oscar-winner. He picked up the prize in 2004 for his film The Barbarian Invasions, which was his third movie nominated in the category. (Photo from Getty Images

The country’s lone foreign-language Oscar winner, however, is Denys Arcand, who triumphed with 2003’s The Barbarian Invasions after having previously been a contender for his films The Decline of the American Empire and Jesus of Montreal.

Nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 24, 2017, with the awards gala to follow on Feb. 26.

(Source: http://www.cbc.ca)

4 questions about Konchalovsky’s ‘Paradise’

What is the film about?

The action takes place in France during World War II. Russian émigré and Resistance member Olga Kamenskaya is detained by the police for trying to save two Jewish children. Jules, a French policeman and a Nazi collaborator, is willing to make concessions for her, but Olga winds up in a concentration camp where she meets S.S. officer Helmut, a Chekhov admirer who joined the S.S. in hopes of creating a paradise on Earth.

The scenes in the film alternate with interviews with the protagonists in which each talks about his or her childhood, family life, profession and the reasons they chose to support one side or the other.

Who stars in the film?

Olga is played by actress Yulia Vysotskaya, who is also director Konchalovsky’s wife. Helmut is portrayed by Christian Claus, and Jules, by Philippe Duquesne. Other actors include: Jakob Diehl, Peter Kurth, Viktor Sukhorukov and Vera Voronkova.

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Olga, played by actress Yulia Vyotskaya, who is also director Konchalovsky’s wife, plays up her feminine wiles with Jules, played by Phillip Duquesne, a French-Nazi collaborator assigned to investigate her case. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema di Venezia)

Which awards has the film received?

The film premiered on Sept. 8, 2016 at the Venice Film Festival and won the Silver Lion for Best Director.

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In the last 10 years, Russian films and directors had received five prizes in Venice: Nikita Mikhalkov (Special Lion, 2007), Alexei German, Jr. (Silver Lion for the film The Paper Soldier, 2008), Mikhail Krichman (Golden Osella for Best Cinematography for Silent Souls, 2010), Alexander Sokurov (Golden Lion for Faust, 2011) and Konchalovsky himself (Silver Lion for The Postman’s White Nights, 2014).

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Rooftop scene from Andrei Konchalovsky’s Paradise. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema di Venezia)

*Featured image: Paradise director Andrei Konchalovsky . Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema di Venezia.

(Source: http://www.rbth.com)

Andrei Konchalovsky’s Paradise nominated as Russia’s Oscar candidate

Andrei Konchalovsky’s film Paradise has been selected as Russia’s entry for Best Foreign Film at the 89th Academy Awards. The Russian Oscar Committee, chaired by actor and director Vladimir Menshov, made the decision on Sept. 19, the Committee’s TASS correspondent reported.

The film had its premiere on Sept. 8 at the Venice Film Festival, where it won a Silver Lion. Source: Kinopoisk.Ru

“Well, colleagues, thank you, it has somehow all passed me by – well, alright, I had better agree with you,” said Konchalovsky, expressing his gratitude to the Committee for their decision.

Paradise weaves together the fate of three people during World War II: Russian émigré Olga, an aristocrat and member of the Resistance; Jules, a French policeman and Nazi collaborator; and Helmut, a high-ranking officer in the S.S. Actress Yulia Vysotskaya, Konchalovsky’s wife, stars as Olga, alongside Viktor Sukhorukhov, Philippe Duquesne, Christian Clauss, and Peter Kurth.

The Russian Oscar Committee, chaired by actor and director Vladimir Menshov, made the decision on Sept. 19. Source: Kinopoisk.Ru

 

The film had its premiere on Sept. 8 at the Venice Film Festival, where it won a Silver Lion.

The 89th Academy Awards are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, 2017.

(Sources: http://www.rbth.com, http://www.tass.ru.com)