Tuesday August 30th, 8:30 pm in the Sala Darsena
9 “views” of Venice and Luigi Comencini’s Tutti a casa (1960)
9 “views” of Venice and Luigi Comencini’s Tutti a casa (1960)
For more complete details click here.
Filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo (nominated Curator in 1992 then appointed Director until 1996), the director of La battaglia di Algeri, took up office with three decrees: make Venice the capital of quality filmmaking, bring the great directors and film stars back to the Lido, and revitalise the Palazzo del Cinema zone with young people. Pontecorvo succeeded in his intentions through a remarkable series of events and initiatives. During the years of his mandate Venice hosted the “Auteurs’ Assise” (1993), numerous seminars were held and the U.M.A.C. (World Union of Auteurs) was founded.
The spectacular films from the Notte section brought “stars” from the US firmament to the Lido – Jack Nicholson, Harrison Ford, Bruce Willis, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, with Golden Lions for Career Achievement to Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Francis Coppola; at the 1992 Festival, the Golden Lion was awarded to a comedian, Paolo Villaggio.
The Lido was re-animated during the Pontecorvo years with rock concerts held in the square facing the Casinò, and thanks to the initiative of “CinemAvvenire”, which entailed inviting high school students who had won awards for work on film themes.
Over the following years the Lido witnessed a series of appearances by filmmakers and works including Altman (Short Cuts, Golden Lion) and Abel Ferrara, de Heer and Radford (Il postino), Peter Jackson (Heavenly Creatures) and Milcho Manchevski (Before the Rain, Golden Lion), Lee Tamahori and Kathryn Bigelow (Strange Days), Tsai Ming Liang and Anh Hung Tran (two oriental Golden Lions), Gregg Araki, then Jane Campion once more (The Portrait of a Lady).
One of the innovations introduced by Pontecorvo was the landmark section “Finestra sulle immagini”, a lively workshop of film and video, shorts, medium length and feature films, animation, anything new and unusual on offer from audio-visual production.
Under the direction of Felice Laudadio the films of Takeshi Kitano were launched on the international stage; in 1997 he received the Golden Lion for Hana-bi. In 1998 Così ridevano by Gianni Amelio became the ninth Golden Lion awarded to an Italian film. At this time a vast marquee was also erected in Via Sandro Gallo to host the ever-increasing members of the public for the Festival screenings.
In 1999, Alberto Barbera was appointed as director of the festival. He took up the position until 2001.
AFI announced the four documentary projects that will receive funding from the first-ever AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grants. The grants will support the outreach and social action campaigns for the projects, which screened at AFI DOCS 2015 and participated in the inaugural AFI DOCS Impact Lab, a two-day filmmaker workshop that engaged participants with policymakers pursuing social change across a range of issues.
The documentary projects receiving a total of $75,000 in support from the 2015 AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grants are:
Blair Foster (Director/Producer), Geeta Gandbhir (Director/Producer), Jessica Jones (Impact Producer)
THE CONVERSATION, a series of short films, uses powerful personal narratives to elevate shared experiences about race and equality that are often only discussed in the confines of like-minded communities. The series aims to foster a deep dialogue around racial tension and polarization in the United States as well as serve as an outlet for more personal and intimate discussions about race relations in America. Each film will be a conversation from a different personal perspective, experience and racial lens within our society.
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED
Greg Whiteley (Director/Writer/Producer), Ted Dintersmith (Executive Producer), Daria Lombroso (Director of Campaign Strategy)
The American education system was developed during the Industrial Revolution to help prepare young people to take on standard jobs of the era, which no longer exist. So why has that system remained virtually unchanged for more than 100 years when our culture and economy have dramatically shifted to an age of information and technology? Filmmaker Greg Whiteley explores this paradox and examines the future of education through experimental schools such as San Diego’s High Tech High, where students, teachers and parents embark on a new path that aims to spark an education revolution.
Scott Christopherson (Director/Producer/Cinematographer), Brad Barber (Director/Producer/Cinematographer), Corinne Bourdeau (Engagement Campaign Strategist)
As a sheriff in the 1970s, William “Dub” Lawrence founded Utah’s SWAT team. Thirty years later, when a police standoff ends with that SWAT team killing his son-in-law, Dub launches a personal investigation into the case. As the scope of his investigation grows to include several chilling cases of excessive force and questionable techniques used by law enforcement, he finds himself confronting a startling nationwide trend of increasing militarization of police forces.
Chris Temple (Director/Producer/Campaign Director), Zach Ingrasci (Director/Producer/Campaign Director), Salam Darwaza (Producer/Campaign Director)
Across the Jordanian border from Syria lies the world’s second largest refugee camp. In an effort to understand the growing crisis, a film team spends one month living in Za’tari. The Syrian families they meet aren’t just displaced, they have no promise of a future with sufficient food, security, education or peace. SALAM NEIGHBOR offers personal insights into the complexities of refugee life and challenges audiences to express neighborly love for people in crisis.
Pictured above: SALAM NEIGHBOR
The 73rd Venice Film Festival will screen the four feature films selected, developed and produced at Biennale College – Cinema, a laboratory for advanced training dedicated to the production of low cost films. The laboratory was created by the Biennale di Venezia in 2012 and is open to young filmmakers from all over the world. The four films are: Orecchie, directed by Alessandro Aronadio and produced by Costanza Coldagelli; La Soledad, directed by Jorge Thielen Armand and produced by Adriana Herrera and Manon Ardisson; Una Hermana – One Sister, directed by Sofia Brockenshire and produced by Verena Kuri; and Mukti Bhawan, directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani and produced by Sanjay Bhutiani.
The Biennale also admitted, as a one-time exception, the top-ranked Italian project, considering its particular interest and quality. The goal is to present the 4 feature-length films, debut or second works, at the coming 73rd Venice International Film Festival (31 August – 10 September 2016), directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by the Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta.
The 8 projects that will not continue to the second workshop will in any case enjoy an online follow-up and will be given various opportunities to find co-producers in collaboration with IFP, TorinoFilmLab and others.
Biennale College – Cinema enjoys the support of the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities – General Direction Cinema, and the Regione del Veneto. For the fourth year in a row, it will rely on the academic collaboration of the IFP in New York and the TorinoFilmLab, and will continue its collaboration with the Busan International Film Festival. The Director is Alberto Barbera, the Head of Programme is Savina Neirotti.
The call for participation in the fifth edition (2016-2017) of the Biennale College – Cinema recently closed on July 1st. Once again participants registered from all over the world. In the coming weeks a selection process will take place to choose the next 12 projects and teams who will be invited to the first workshop in October, the first step in a development process that will end at the 2017 Venice Film Festival with the screening of three new low-cost films. The selection of the 12 projects will be announced at a Biennale College – Cinema press conference that will take place during the Venice Festival.
So far 9 feature-length films have been made during the first (2012/2013), second (2013/2014) and third (2014/2015) editions of the Biennale College – Cinema, and screened as world premieres respectively at the 70th Venice International Film Festival 2013, at the 71st Venice International Film Festival 2014, and at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival 2015 and later at other festivals, winning many awards and receiving excellent critical reviews.
The three feature-length films made during the first edition of the Biennale College – Cinema (2012-2013)
• Memphis by Tim Sutton (director, Usa), John Baker (producer, Usa).
• Mary is Happy, Mary is Happy by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit (director, Thailand), Aditya Assarat (producer, Thailand).
• Yuri Esposito by Alessio Fava (director, Italy), Max Chicco (producer, Italy).
The three feature-length films made during the second edition of the Biennale College – Cinema (2013-2014)
• Blood Cells by Joseph Bull (director, Great Britain), Luke Seomore (director, Great Britain), Ben Young and Samm Haillay (producers, Great Britain).
• H. by Rania Attieh (director, Lebanon), Daniel Garcia (director, Usa), Shruti Rya Ganguly (producer, India), Pierce Varous (producer, Usa).
• Short Skin by Duccio Chiarini (director, Italy), Babak Jalali (producer, Iran/ Great Britain).
The three feature-length films made during the third edition of the Biennale College – Cinema (2014-2015)
• Baby Bump by Kuba Czekaj (director, Poland), Magdalena Kaminska and Agata Szymanska (producers, Poland).
• Blanka by Kohki Hasei (director, Japan), Flaminio Zadra (producer, Italy).
• The Fits by Anna Rose Holmer (director, Usa), Lisa Kjerulff (producer, Usa).
The AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women (DWW) is a hands-on training program committed to increasing the number of women working professionally in screen directing.
The selected participants will receive guided instruction and direct a short film or new media project. All completed projects will be showcased the following year.
DWW offers participants intensive training in narrative filmmaking in an innovative workshop. Each participant is required to complete a short film or series by the end of the program. DWW is open to women with three years or more of professional experience in the arts. The program is tuition-free though participants are responsible for raising the funds for their projects. For more details on the program click here.
Applications are open now through August 30, 2016. Apply here.
AFI has announced its collaboration with the White House on the third annual White House Student Film Festival, to be held in late summer 2016. Participant Media, a global entertainment company focused on inspiring social change, joins AFI in support of their work with young filmmakers of the White House Student Film Festival for a second year. Open to K-12 student filmmakers, the theme of this year’s festival is “The World I Want to Live In.” Young storytellers are now encouraged to submit their short films based on this theme at WhiteHouse.Gov/FilmFest.
Film submissions period has been extended and will now be accepted through August 15, 2016.
“For nearly 50 years, the American Film Institute has served the nation by upholding and advancing the art of filmmaking,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “We began in the White House Rose Garden, and since that day have trained thousands of filmmakers whose stories have graced screens throughout the world. Working with the White House, we are honored to encourage and help the youngest of storytellers bring their voices to the art form.”
Since the festival began in 2014, AFI has worked on President Barack Obama’s program as an advisor and producer, reviewing submissions and creating a two-day celebration that includes educational opportunities for the selected young filmmakers. This year, that partnership continues as the White House Student Film Festival highlights both the Administration’s commitment to public service and AFI’s ongoing mission to nurture the next generation of storytellers.
Submit your film to the White House Student Film Festival today!
With ninety-four films from over 30 countries the 2016 AFI DOCS had something for just about every documentary film lover. The Opening Night film dazzled the at-capacity audience at the Newseum with Alex Gibney’s North American Premiere of Zero Days,a detailed account of claims the US and Israeli governments unleashed a sophisticated virus to thwart the Iranian nuclear enrichment program. The film also addressed the issue of retaliation and made for a lively conversation and Q & A following the screening. Highly recommended.
Kicking off the first full day, I had the good fortune of seeing seven short documentaries under the guise of Shorts: Outside In; Tracks, The Great Theatre, Rotatio, Neige, Fundir and Chocolate Mountain Metal, Shorts: Outside In. Warmly recommended.
Winding up a busy Day 2 at the Newseum, an interactive museum of news and journalism in downtown Washington, DC, Newtown, an emotionally, powerful look at the local community two years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre from acclaimed director Kim Snyder, and Audrie & Daisy, a story of two high school girls who were sexually assaulted in indefensible states and their vilification on social media with tragic consequences, were shown. Both are must-see films. Highly recommended.
Day 3 brought After Spring, a telling tale of the relocation of Syrian refugees and the challenges they face at the Zaatari relocation camp inside the Jordanian border. Directors Steph Ching and Ellen Martinez attended the screening and made themselves available to discuss the making of the film. Recommended.
Almost Sunrise, explores an alternative approach to the traditional diagnosis and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Director Michael Collins chronicles the journey of two Iraq War veterans as they share a 2700 mile hike from the Midwest to the state of California to create an awareness of their trauma. Along the way, the two are warmly greeted and supported by fellow veterans and communities alike. Warmly recommended.
Unfortunately, due to an overwhelming demand for seats at the Guggenheim Symposium and Screening, I was not granted a place for the evening’s conversation with Werner Herzog and Ramin Bahrani including clips from Herzog’s storied career and a screening of his latest work, Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. Nevertheless, I made my way over to Silver Spring, MD, AFI Silver Theater for Cinema, Mon Amour, a wonderful story of a Romanian family and their ‘never say quit’ spirit as they work determinedly to keep open the last of Romania’s grand movie palaces.
Day Four began with a visit to the AFI DOCS Lounge for the Filmmakers Forum and the making of short documentaries. Quick and to the point, storytellers and the movers and shakers of the industry engaged in an informative format as filmmakers and producers provided guidance and probed the issues in today’s filmmaking environment.
Full of vigor, the featured Command And Control,directed by Robert Kenner, recounted a 1980 nuclear accident with surreal details. Highly recommended.
Next, I dropped in on Vanessa Gould’s Obit, an insider’s guide to the world of who’s who in the annals of lives lived through the eyes of the legendary New York Times obituaries desk. Obit reveals a unique form of journalism and the idiosyncrasies of the writers and editors who create and compose these celebrations of extraordinary lives lived. Warmly recommended and my personal favorite!
Closing out the evening again at the Newseum with a Spotlight Screening of Check It. Check It, a mesmerizing look at an inner city, Washington DC, gang composed of gay and transgendered teens who allied themselves together for protection and survival out on the streets of the nation’s capitol over a three year period, was directed by Toby Oppenheimer and Dana Flor. Over the course of the film, the Check It gang comes to the realization that while surviving is critical so is leading a productive and useful life. Warmly recommended.
Day 5 kicked into gear with another visit to the AFI DOCS Lounge for Part Four of the Filmmakers Forum. I arrived early and met Discovery’s Gina Scarpulla. Unbeknownst to me, Ms. Scarpulla and her team at Discovery are pioneering virtual reality in film. Virtual headsets, known as lunchboxes were made available before and after the forum. See my full write up here: AFI DOCS Filmmaking Forum on Virtual Reality
Next came the Chicken People, directed by Nicole Lucas Haimes. Chicken People delves into the worlds of the contestants and their contenders, pure bred chickens, as they vie for best fowl at the Ohio National Poultry Show and the title of Super Grand Champion. Warmly recommended and A Don’t Miss!
Doc & Darryl, a soon-to-be-aired ESPN 30 for 30 film, depicts the trials and tribulations of the 1986 Major League Baseball World Champions New York Mets and the meteoric rise and setbacks of the team’s two most talented players, Dwight ‘Doc’ Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. The film was co-directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio. See my write up: Doc & Darryl
Closing out the 2016 AFI DOCS was Norman Lear: Just Another Version Of You, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. This is a masterpiece of television history. Breathtaking images of actors, writers and directors watching clips from All In The Family, The Jeffersons, Maude and Good Times juxtaposed against their commentaries, highlight this cinematic gem. Another must see film! And I know Norman Lear wouldn’t have it any other way. Highly recommended.
This was my first AFI DOCS. Set in our nation’s Capitol, the festival ran smoothly. Two venues were in downtown Washington, DC, and were within walking distance of one another. Also, both venues were easily accessible by the Metro and had plenty of shops, coffee bars, sports bars, and restaurants nearby. The third venue was in Silver Spring, Maryland, home of the AFI DOCS Silver Theater and Cultural Center. Again, plenty of shops and nearby eateries and fairly easy to get to by Metro. The Washington Post calls AFI DOCS “The nation’s leading documentary film festival.” I couldn’t agree more.
Until next year, I’ll see you at the movies!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — JUNE 17, 2016, WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced the AFI DOCS 2016 Filmmaker Forum program and Impact Lab participants. The four-day Filmmaker Forum will take place June 23–26 at the AFI DOCS Festival Hub — located at the District Architecture Center, 421 7th St., NW in Washington, DC — and is open to AFI DOCS Priority and Industry passholders as well as festival filmmakers. Filmmakers and industry professionals will meet for a series of professional development and networking events focused on diversity in documentary filmmaking, new technologies and the expanding world of documentary short filmmaking.
Sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, days one and two of the Filmmaker Forum will connect attendees with independent producers, leaders in public media and cultural critics as they examine the issues of diversity and equality within the documentary community. Additional Forum highlights include a panel discussion with award-winning filmmakers on the advantages of short-format documentary filmmaking; and a panel discussion on the Virtual Reality revolution featuring VR makers, journalists, academics and industry insiders. The Filmmaker Forum is presented in association with the International Documentary Association and Women Make Movies.
The second edition of the AFI DOCS Impact Lab, produced in partnership with Picture Motion and in collaboration with NBC Universal, will take place June 21–22. The intensive program provides filmmakers with issue-driven films with unique training opportunities in the areas of advocacy, grassroots communication and engagement. After completion of the Lab, participating projects are eligible to apply for the AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grants, which support the outreach and social action campaigns of select Lab participants. Other supporters of the Impact Lab include CrossCurrents Foundation and The Fledgling Fund.
Selected from films screening at AFI DOCS 2016, the 10 films participating in the 2016 Impact Lab are ALMOST SUNRISE (DIR Michael Collins, USA), AMERICAN BAGHDAD (DIR Ron Najor, USA), CARE (DIR Deirdre Fishel, USA), CHECK IT (DIRS Toby Oppenheimer, Dana Flor, USA), FAREWELL FERRIS WHEEL (DIRS: Jamie Sisley, Miguel “M.i.G.” Martinez, USA), THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES (DIRS Mike Day, DENMARK, USA, UK), NEWTOWN (DIR Kim A. Snyder, USA), THE OPPOSITION (DIR Hollie Fifer, AUSTRALIA), RAISING BERTIE (DIR Margaret Byrne, USA) and THEY CALL US MONSTERS (DIR Ben Lear, USA).
“Both the AFI DOCS Filmmaker Forum and Impact Lab provide unique opportunities to convene documentary filmmakers with policymakers and industry professionals in our nation’s capital,” said Michael Lumpkin, Director of AFI DOCS. “Through the Filmmaker Forum’s conversations with experts and the Impact Lab’s advocacy training, we hope to inspire documentarians to leverage the power of nonfiction storytelling and create meaningful change.”
(Michael Lumpkin, AFI DOCS Director)
The 14th edition of AFI DOCS will run June 22–26 in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, Maryland. For more information about the Impact Lab and Filmmaker Forum, please visit AFI.com/afidocs.
About AFI DOCS
AFI DOCS is the American Film Institute’s annual documentary festival in the Washington, DC area. Presenting the year’s best documentaries, AFI DOCS is the premier festival in the U.S. dedicated to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers and policy leaders in the seat 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, D A Pennebaker, Agnès Varda and Frederick Wiseman. Now in its 14th year, the festival will be held June 22–26, 2016 in landmark Washington, DC venues and the historic AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD. Visit AFI.com/afidocs and connect on twitter.com/afidocs, facebook.com/afidocs and youtube.com/AFI.
About the American Film Institute
AFI is America’s promise to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film; AFI AWARDS, honoring the most outstanding movies and TV series of the year; AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCS and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory. For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.
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