Tag Archives: cinematography

Berlinale FILM CAPSULE: Joaquim (Gomes, 2017) Brazil

Posted by Larry Gleeson.

Wanda Films and Writer/Director Marcelo Gomes bring forth Joaquim, a loosely based account of Brazilian henchman turned revolutionary, Joaquim de Silva Xavier, at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in Competition. Set in eighteenth century Brazil, Joaquim, seemingly, is a dichotomy between historical realism for mise-en-scene and a North American hit job to seal its commitment to the past and to a revolutionary future. Utilizing a hand-held, point-of-view frame, Gomez adeptly draws in the viewer to this world out of time (and world out of place with its diagetic sounds) to achieve his objective.

Surprisingly, he portrays the film’s protagonist, Joaquim, as weak, uninspiring and without a backbone. He positions Joaquim as a whiny, Second Lieutenant who is seen lusting after a beautiful, black, female slave, Preta, portrayed very well by Isabél Zuaa. Unable to have her for himself, he stands by while the regional Administrator fornicates with her. As the grunts and groans grow louder, Joaquim stomps off and is shown finding relief by galloping hard upon his horse.

Julio Machado, portrays Joaquim. Director of Photography, Pierre de Kerchove, illustrates the film’s characters with a plethora of tightly framed shots inundating the viewer with intimate and personal details of the characters costuming and facial features. Rô Nascimento created semi-realistic costuming with an accent on the luxurious – probably not the quality of clothing adorned by slaves, low-ranking military officers and peasants. Anna Van Steen and Evelyn Barbieri are credited with Make-up.

After introducing the film’s main characters and establishing its theme, Gomes moves the film’s narrative into the outback. With a growing fear among the colony’s corrupt Portuguese officials that gold production is declining, Joaquim is sent off to find gold having made a name for himself earlier as a hunter of gold smugglers – an unusual change of duty assignment for a military officer.

For his expedition, Joaquim picks a known prospector and another purported soldier along with a few natives to comprise a team. Off they go into the rugged territory where Joaquim believes the gold is waiting. Here, the character, Joaquim seems a little confused as he believes finding gold will give him Preta. Using Chinese-wok shaped sifters (without any sifting capacity). the men scoop stones and dump them on nearby rocks sorting through the worthless rocks with bare hands. The men grow weary and tell Joaquim they are leaving. Joaquim watches them go with hardly an utterance.

Only after Joaquim is captured by  looting, indigenous black bandits does he show emotion – seemingly because one of the bandits’ members was his former black girlfriend and she thwarts his new advances. Rejected, Joaquim is shown meeting and feasting with another group of corrupt, well-to-do officials representing the religious sector under the guise of revolution as the film closes..

In my opinion, the film never quite finds its feet. Overt attempts to create an artistic portrait of Joaquim  de Silva Xavier would have apparently been better served creating a figure the Brazilians could understand, emulate or identify with. Instead, Gomes and Wanda films hand them a useless tidbit full of innuendo and disparaging satire. Not recommended.

*Featured photo credit: © REC Produtores & Ukbar Filmes/Berlinale.de



La La Land leads 2017 Oscar Noms with a record-tying 14

Posted by Larry Gleeson

La La Land continues its strong showing on the awards circuit with a whopping 14 Oscar nominations tying the all-time nominations record 0f 14 set by All About Eve (1950) and tied first by Titanic (1997).


With over 336 feature films in contention for best picture, the list is now nine;  Arrival,  Fences, Hell or Highwater, Hidden Figures, Hacksaw Ridge,  La La Land, Lion,  Manchester By The Sea, and Moonlight. In addition,


Meryl Streep receives a record-breaking 2oth Oscar nmination for her role in Florence Foster Jenkins (Photo via imdb)

Legendary Hollywood actress, Meryl Streep, received a record-breaking 20th Oscar nomination for her role as a deluded singer in Florence Foster Jenkins. Ms. Streep breaks her own record of 19 nominations.


O.J.: Made in America, a Documentary Feature nominee, is the longest film ever nominated for an Academy Award with a run time of 7 hours and 47 minutes.
La La Land is the first musical with original music and story to receive a Best Picture nomination since All That Jazz (1979) and the second since Anchors Aweigh (1945).
Denzel Washington is the seventh individual to receive Acting and Best Picture nominations for the same film, joining Warren Beatty, Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper.
With his Best Picture nomination for Manchester by the Sea, Matt Damon becomes only the third individual to be nominated in the Acting, Writing and Best Picture categories. The others are Warren Beatty and George Clooney.
With their Best Picture nominations for Moonlight, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner become the first individual producers to have nominations in the Best Picture category in four consecutive years.

In the acting categories, seven individuals are first-time nominees (Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Lucas Hedges, Dev Patel, Isabelle Huppert, Ruth Negga and Naomie Harris). Six of the nominees are previous acting winners (Denzel Washington, Jeff Bridges,Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Octavia Spencer).

A comprehensive 89th Oscars fact sheet is available, in addition to the brief history of the Oscars previously posted.


The 89th Academy Awards will be announced in the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center, Sunday, February 26, 2017. Jimmy Kimmel is scheduled to host and the program will air on ABC at 7PM EST. Without further ado,

The Nominees are:

Actor in a Leading Role


Casey Affleck

Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield

Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling

La La Land

Viggo Mortensen

Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington


Actor in a Supporting Role


Mahershala Ali


Jeff Bridges

Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges

Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel


Michael Shannon

Nocturnal Animals

Actress in a Leading Role


Isabelle Huppert


Ruth Negga


Natalie Portman


Emma Stone

La La Land

Meryl Streep

Florence Foster Jenkins

Actress in a Supporting Role


Viola Davis


Naomie Harris


Nicole Kidman


Octavia Spencer

Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams

Manchester by the Sea

Animated Feature Film


Kubo and the Two Strings

Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner


John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer

My Life as a Zucchini

Claude Barras and Max Karli

The Red Turtle

Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki


Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer




Bradford Young

La La Land

Linus Sandgren


Greig Fraser


James Laxton


Rodrigo Prieto

Costume Design



Joanna Johnston

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Colleen Atwood

Florence Foster Jenkins

Consolata Boyle


Madeline Fontaine

La La Land

Mary Zophres




Denis Villeneuve

Hacksaw Ridge

Mel Gibson

La La Land

Damien Chazelle

Manchester by the Sea

Kenneth Lonergan


Barry Jenkins

Documentary (Feature)


Fire at Sea

Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo

I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck

Life, Animated

Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman

O.J.: Made in America

Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow


Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish

Documentary (Short Subject)



Dan Krauss

4.1 Miles

Daphne Matziaraki

Joe’s Violin

Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen

Watani: My Homeland

Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis

The White Helmets

Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Film Editing



Joe Walker

Hacksaw Ridge

John Gilbert

Hell or High Water

Jake Roberts

La La Land

Tom Cross


Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

Foreign Language Film


Land of Mine


A Man Called Ove


The Salesman




Toni Erdmann


Makeup and Hairstyling


A Man Called Ove

Eva von Bahr and Love Larson

Star Trek Beyond

Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo

Suicide Squad

Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Music (Original Score)



Mica Levi

La La Land

Justin Hurwitz


Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka


Nicholas Britell


Thomas Newman

Music (Original Song)


Audition (The Fools Who Dream)

from La La Land; Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Can’t Stop The Feeling

from Trolls; Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster

City of Stars

from La La Land; Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

The Empty Chair

from Jim: The James Foley Story; Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting

How Far I’ll Go

from Moana; Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best Picture



Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers


Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers

Hacksaw Ridge

Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers

Hell or High Water

Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers

Hidden Figures

Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers

La La Land

Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers


Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers

Manchester by the Sea

Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers


Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers

Production Design



Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

Hail, Caesar!

Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

La La Land

Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco


Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena

Short Film (Animated)


Blind Vaysha

Theodore Ushev

Borrowed Time

Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj

Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Robert Valley and Cara Speller


Patrick Osborne


Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Short Film (Live Action)


Ennemis Intérieurs

Sélim Azzazi

La Femme et le TGV

Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff

Silent Nights

Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson


Kristof Deák and Anna Udvardy


Juanjo Giménez

Sound Editing



Sylvain Bellemare

Deepwater Horizon

Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli

Hacksaw Ridge

Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright

La La Land

Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan


Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Sound Mixing



Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye

Hacksaw Ridge

Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace

La La Land

Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

Visual Effects


Deepwater Horizon

Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton

Doctor Strange

Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould

The Jungle Book

Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon

Kubo and the Two Strings

Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)



Screenplay by Eric Heisserer


Screenplay by August Wilson

Hidden Figures

Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi


Screenplay by Luke Davies


Screenplay by Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Writing (Original Screenplay)


Hell or High Water

Written by Taylor Sheridan

La La Land

Written by Damien Chazelle

The Lobster

Written by Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou

Manchester by the Sea

Written by Kenneth Lonergan

20th Century Women

Written by Mike Mills
Thank you to Oscars Producers Jennifer Todd and Mike DeLuca!
Pictured left to right, Oscars Producers Jennifer Todd and Mike DeLuca. (Photo courtesy of Oscars.org)
(Source: oscars.org)


Posted by Larry Gleeson


Alumni of the AFI Conservatory belong to an elite and special family – they are the storytellers that entertain, educate and inspire audiences around the world.


Their talents and accomplishments are the reason the AFI Conservatory is consistently named one of the top film schools in the world.

AFI invites alumni to stay connected with their artistic family and to preserve the legacy they have helped to create.

AFI continues to be a resource for alumni after graduation through the following benefits and privileges:

  • Alumni receive the AFI Alumni Connection, the official monthly AFI alumni e-newsletter, special offers, invitations to exclusive alumni events and are given opportunities to join and participate in seminars and groups.
  • Alumni receive access to the AFI Backlot, an online resource for personal and professional networking and an easy way to stay connected.
  • Alumni receive advance notice for tickets to screenings and galas for AFI FEST presented by Audi, as well as discounts on festival passes and packages.
  • Alumni receive application fee waivers when submitting a film for consideration to AFI FEST and AFI DOCS.
  • Alumni receive discounted rates for the Ted Ashley and Mark Goodson Screening Rooms on the AFI Campus.
  • Alumni are extended borrowing privileges from the Louis B. Mayer Library.

Be sure we have your current contact information on file to receive these benefits, updates and invitations. For more information, email alumni@AFI.com.

*Alumni benefits are subject to change without advance notice.

In addition to official AFI events, there are other ways to connect with fellow alumni to network, find and post jobs, reconnect and meet friends:

  • The AFI Backlot is an online platform exclusive to the AFI community. Sign up at AFI.com/Backlot and put your AFI network to work for you!
  • Be a part of the AFI Alumni Facebook community at facebook.com/AFIalumni
  • Update your contact information and set your sharing preferences through the AFI Alumni Directory at support.AFI.com/AlumniDirectory.
  • Join or form a Writers Group at bit.ly/AFIWritersGroups.
  • AFI Alumni Google Group is an email listserve moderated by alumni. To join, contact nameebaijal@gmail.com.
  • Reel Grit is a weekly genre movie screening on the AFI Campus. Hosted on Sunday nights, the event is open to alumni and special guests. To be added to the mailing list, contact alumni@AFI.com.


Do you want a deeper connection to AFI and have some time and resources to commit? Consider involvement in the following programs:

Created by alumni, the program matches Fellows with alumni to gain the benefit of advice — professional and personal — as they look toward graduation and beyond. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or receiving information regarding the Alumni Mentor Program, please contact alumni@AFI.com.



AFI Conservatory Fellows look for internships during fall, spring and summer terms. As alumni, you know first-hand the drive and work ethic of AFI Fellows. If you or someone in your company or production office can use the creative support of talented Fellows, please contact alumni@AFI.com with your internship opportunities.

Alumni volunteers serve as leaders in effecting the continued growth and development of AFI programs and initiatives. Volunteer opportunities include participation in applicant outreach and recruitment, script reading and evaluation, workshops, regional networks, committees and special campaigns.

A nonprofit organization, AFI relies on financial contributions from its alumni to support the ongoing work of the Conservatory. Gifts to the Alumni Fund provide financial aid, support faculty positions, renovate facilities and upgrade equipment. All gifts count toward participation, an important expression of alumni commitment to today’s Fellows.


(Source: AFI.com)

What Filmmakers Need To Know About Marketing In Digital Space

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Charmalne Lim

The 27th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) kicked off on 23rd November and we delve into the exploration of digital space.

Watching TV used to be a communal activity with the family, and movie theatres were exciting places to hang out with friends as we stuff our faces with popcorn, but now, technology gives us a push and we fall backwards into a couch at home, streaming movies and dramas online with a subscription fee of about $12 a month.

We find out from three SGIFF forum speakers, Missy Laney, Lionel Chok, and Scott Kaplan, via email interviews, on whether Virtual Reality can be a game changer, and how the Internet is a boon and a bane for filmmakers.

Choose The Right Platform, Not Any Platform

The challenge of the new-age behavioral phenomenon is not only finding the platforms to host your show, but also adopting various marketing strategies to promote it.

It boils down to the basics of marketing: Knowing what you really want to achieve.

Scott Kaplan, SVP in Global Sales at Gunpowder & Sky Distribution, points out that film distribution in digital space is a reaction to macro-shifts in human behavior.

“People want to watch WHAT they want to watch, WHERE they feel like it, and WHEN they feel like it.” – Scott Kaplan


Kaplan outlines the rigmarole of choosing a distributing platform, “Viewership?  Revenue? Awards-recognition?  It comes to knowing how the platforms respond to creatively, what they will pay, what territories, rights and terms they need, [and if] they need exclusivity etc.”


The Right Audience, Not A Large Audience

“Social media is a tool, not a solution. It can be used to elevate a film or degrade a film. It allows us to measure our audience, dissect our audience demographically, and ultimately communicate with our audience.” – Missy Laney

It’s easy to mistake online marketing as mindless updates, which can dilute your film’s branding.

Missy Laney, Film Strategist and Director of Creative Initiatives at BitTorrent, believes it has been easier than ever to reach your audience, but keeping their attention is tough.

She drops a strategic tip like a giant hotcake:

“To stand out on social media, you have to have a strategy customised for each platform.  Your Twitter strategy should not be the same as your Facebook strategy. Study how your audience engages, learn their language, and build a timeline of when and how you plan to cultivate and activate your fan base.”

Laney raises an issue with most strategies, “The biggest missed opportunity is slowing down once their film has been released.  Once the final release rolls around, they are either too burnt out or funds are too tight to further engage an agency. Make a post release strategy and stick to it for one or two months following the release. The release is just the beginning.”

Money As The Cause Of Frustration & Motivation

A monthly subscription doesn’t really justify the money pumped into physical production. Film creators are losing money and are desperately trying to work the digital space towards their advantage.

Kaplan says, “The decline in box office for independent films and the collapse of the DVD market can’t be replaced by a monthly Netflix subscription. But there is a ton of new money being injected into the film-ecosphere as new platforms launch, and filmmakers are getting smarter and better at making great films for less money.”

Additionally, fans can also interact with films now as funders and backers using crowd funding so that’s another big shift in the relationship we have with movies now,” says Missy Laney.

“I believe the success of each film is measured by one question, ‘Did it find an audience?’”

Virtual Reality As Our New Reality?


The entire scope of cinematography is now changed. We have to change the environment to suit the 360 capture and delivered through a headset. So you cannot just capture it and then watch it on YouTube after.” – Lionel Chok

Lionel Chok is a Singapore filmmaker, director, and many other titles under his belt. From how he sees it, Lionel thinks the digital trend and VR technology are two great things amalgamated.

“This is something very powerful. We are currently developing apps for VR content to be published in an online store. As the cost of app development has reduced, this is definitely going to impact filmmakers, as the Play Store or the iOS store will now become a method of distribution. The platforms are also evolving and content can be priced across different stores for all demographics,” says Lionel.

While the local movie scene in Singapore is still quite dry, VR is a new direction for aspiring local filmmakers. Having a passion in Augmented and Virtual Reality, Lionel is excited about its future.

He says, “The cameras are becoming more affordable with prices matching up to $2000 ~ $4000. In time to come, I see more VR stories that are going to be curated and delivered via apps, headsets and who knows, maybe even communal VR spaces in open spaces.”

Future of Cinema Forum – Independent Film: Navigating the Digital Space, as part of the Singapore International Film Festival, will be held on 26 November 2016, 1pm at *SCAPE.

More information can be found at sgiff.com.

Feature Image Credit: onespacemedia.com



Dil Raju acquires distribution rights of Nanna Nenu Naa Boyfriends

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Express Web Desk

Tollywood’s ace producer and distributor acquired film rights of Nanna Nenu Naa Boyfriends in both the Telugu speaking states. The romantic comedy feature Kumari 21 fame Hebba Patel, Rao Ramesh, Noel Sean, Parvateesam and Ashwin playing lead roles.


Under the direction of Bandi Bhaskar, former assistant of VV Vinakaya, the movie is slated for release in November this year. The digital poster and the song of the film were also launched this Wednesday.

The movie is bankrolled by Tata Birla Madhyao Lila fame producer Bekkam Venugopal (Gopi) under Lucky Media banners. “We have been working with the Nanna Nenu Naa Boyfriends’ script for the past one year. This story is a youthful love family entertainer. We are also introducing director V V Vinayak’s former assistant Bhaskar Badi, who is directing the movie. We narrated the story to Dil Raju he asked us to make minor changes and we made the film including all of them. Dil Raju saw the first copy of the movie and appreciated our work. Raju liked our previous movie Cinemachoopista Mama and acquired the Nizam distribution rights for the movie, now the producer loved this script and bought the entire distribution rights of the film. We will release the audio and the film soon,” said Venugopal in a statement.

The movie also stars Krishn Bhagavaan, Dhan Raj and Shakalaka Shankar. Music director Shekhar Chandra is rendering audio for the film. B Sai Krishna wrote the script and cinematography is managed by K Naidu.

(source: http://www.indianexpress.com)