Tag Archives: filmmakers

Sundance Film Festival 2017: Anti-Trump ‘Women’s March’ Planned For Film Festival In Utah Day After Inauguration

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Seerat Chabba

This year’s Sundance Film Festival is also the venue for “Women’s March on Main,” one of the first large-scale protests against the election of President-elect Donald Trump in 2017, to be held just a day after he is officially inaugurated as president of the United States.

“We open this march and event to everyone who respects human rights, civil liberties, and diversity. Despite its title, like the marches happening nationwide, this march is for women AND men. Anyone who supports the rights of others and protecting those rights is welcome,” the description on  the event’s official Facebook page reads. It adds: “We have an opportunity in the creative communities to spread hope, tolerance and inclusiveness in our art and with our voices. We relish the chance to join Park City, its organizations and citizens, and our larger nationwide community on this day.”



The “Women’s March on Main” in Park City, Utah, on the sidelines of the film festival is expected to be attended by a number of actors and filmmakers in town for the film festival, reports say. Comedian Chelsea Handler confirmed she will join the march on Jan. 21.

Chelsea Handler (pictured above)has confirmed she will participate in the “Women’s March on Main,” in Park City, Utah, January 21, 2017. (Photo via amny.com)

“Sundance has always been a platform for change: not only for filmmakers and filmmaking, but also for big ideas for the future,” she said in a statement to Mashable. “If there’s anything I learned in the last year, it’s that we need to be louder and stronger than ever about what we believe in, so I joined some incredible women from around the country to bring our voices together in the streets of Park City.”

The Sundance march will be one of over 200 planned for the day after the president-elect’s inauguration. Others have been planned in cities like Washington, D.C. — where over 100,000 people are expected to participate — New York and Los Angeles.

The Sundance Film Festival — which boasts of attendees like Salma Hayek, Jennifer Aniston, Rooney Mara and others, according to People magazine — is not affiliated with the march.




 Palm Springs, CA (December 6, 2016) – The 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), scheduled January 2-16, 2017, announced the films selected to compete for the FIPRESCI Award in the Awards Buzz section.  The Festival will screen 43 of the 85 official submissions to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Foreign Language Film.  Additional film programs will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

The Awards Buzz section is selected by Festival programmers as the strongest entries in this year’s Academy Awards® race.  A special jury of international film critics will review these films to present the FIPRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, as well as Best Actor and Best Actress in this category.  The following 43 films are selected to screen (in alphabetical order by country):

o   The Distinguished Citizen (Argentina), Directors: Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat

o   Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe (Austria), Director: Maria Schrader

o   The Ardennes (Belgium), Director: Robin Pront

o   Sealed Cargo (Bolivia), Director: Julia Vargas Weise

o   Death in Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Director: Danis Tanović

o   It’s Only the End of the World (Canada), Director: Xavier Dolan

o   Neruda (Chile), Director: Pablo Larraín

o   On the Other Side (Croatia), Director: Zrinko Ogresta

o   Land of Mine (Denmark), Director: Martin Pieter Zandvliet

o   Clash (Egypt), Director: Mohamed Diab

o   Mother (Estonia), Director: Kardi Kousaar

o   The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Finland), Director: Juho Kuosmanen

o   Elle (France), Director: Paul Verhoeven

o   Toni Erdmann (Germany), Director: Maren Ade

o   Kills on Wheels (Hungary), Director: Attila Till

o   Sparrows (Iceland), Director: Rúnar Rúnarsson

o   Interrogation (India), Director: Vetri Maaran

o   The Salesman (Iran), Director: Asghar Farhadi

o   El clásico (Iraq), Director: Halkawt Mustafa

o   Sand Storm (Israel), Director: Elite Zexer

o   Fire at Sea (Italy), Director: Gianfranco Rosi

o   Nagasaki: Memories Of My Son (Japan), Director: Yoji Yamada

o   Very Big Shot (Lebanon), Director: Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya

o   The Liberation of Skopje (Macedonia), Directors: Rade Šerbedžija, Danilo Šerbedžija

o   The Black Hen (Nepal), Director: Min Bahadur Bham

o   Tonio (Netherlands), Director: Paula van der Oest

o   A Flickering Truth (New Zealand), Director: Pietra Brettkelly

o   The King’s Choice (Norway), Director: Erik Poppe

o   The Idol (Palestine), Director: Hany Abu-Assad

o   Ma’ Rosa (Philippines), Director: Brillante Mendoza

o   Afterimage (Poland), Director: Andrzej Wajda

o   Sieranevada (Romania), Director: Cristi Puiu

o   Paradise (Russia), Director: Andrei Konchalovsky

o   Barakah Meets Barakah (Saudi Arabia), Director: Mahmoud Sabbagh

o   Train Driver’s Diary (Serbia), Director: Miloš Radović

o   Apprentice (Singapore), Director: Boo Junfeng

o   Houston, We Have a Problem! (Slovenia), Director: Ziga Virc

o   Call Me Thief (South Africa), Director: Daryne Joshua

o   The Age of Shadows (South Korea). Director: Kim Jee-woon

o   Julieta (Spain). Director: Pedro Almodóvar

o   A Man Called Ove (Sweden), Director: Hannes Holm

o   My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland), Director: Claude Barras

o   Under the Shadow (UK), Director: Babak Anvari


About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon.  PSIFF is organized by The Palm Springs International Film Society, a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization with a mission to cultivate and promote the art and science of film through education and cross-cultural awareness.

For more information, call 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.

 # # #


Steven Wilson / Ashley Patterson                                                                             David Lee

B|W|R Public Relations                                                                                                 PSIFF

212.901.3920 / 310.550.7776                                                                                       760.322.2930

Steven.wilson@bwr-pr.com / ashley.patterson@bwr-pr.com                       david@psfilmfest.org




Darren Aronofsky in Singapore: You can make anything if you persevere

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Genevieve Sarah Loh

SINGAPORE: In the space of six feature films, Darren Aronofsky has shown that challenging and original work still has a place within mainstream movie-making.

With work like the unflinching Requiem for a Dream, the fantastically ambitious The Fountain and the epic Noah in a resume that also includes award favorites Black Swan and The Wrestler, few working filmmakers have left such a striking cinematic footprint.

Which is why the Oscar-nominated director and his work are a perfect fit for the 27th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) – a regional event with a focus on celebrating and encouraging independent cinema.

The rapt audience at Aronofsky’s sold-out SGIFF Masterclass held last Friday (Nov 25) at the ArtScience Museum turned out to learn from an auteur who, with films like Black Swan and The Wrestler, has successfully managed to bridge the gap between commercial and indie without losing artistry or audiences. They were there to pick the brain of a filmmaker whose debut feature was financed entirely from $100 donations from friends and family, and catered by his mother “who fed everyone peanut butter and jelly sandwiches”.

Darren Aronofsky singing autographs after his masterclass (Photo: Genevieve Loh)

“It’s usually that original image or idea that stays with the film forever that is an anchor,” he told the audience of local and regional film directors, writers, producers and students. “That’s the passion that makes you willing to face the hurdles you’re going to run into, because you believe that one essence is worth sharing. It’s a long process of spit-balling, telling the story over and over again, and making it richer and richer.”

For the director-writer-producer, screenwriting is similar to sculpture, in that “you slowly work your way at it.”

“For me it’s always been about just doing draft after draft after draft,” he shared, adding that he goes through an average of 20 to 30 drafts even before production starts. “Something like Black Swan probably (saw) hundreds of drafts.”

This meticulous approach – that perhaps borders on the obsessive – might just be the secret of Aronofsky’s success. And it is perhaps the reason why he’s only made six feature films since his audacious debut Pi in 1998.

It might also be the one tip many aspiring independent filmmakers in Singapore’s burgeoning film industry could consider picking up. After all, Aronofsky who studied anthropology and film at Harvard before going to graduate school at the American Film Institute Conservatory, is known for pursuing his passion projects through to fruition.

The 47-year-old told Channel NewsAsia in an interview after the masterclass that he tries to make projects that he believes in.

“That’s all I can do,” he said. “Whatever…I really believe in and seems to make most sense, is the one that I do next.

“For all my films, I just do them in the same way. I really don’t have full control if they become hits or not, but it’s just a matter if something connects with people at the time,” he continued.

Darren Aronofsky on top of the ArtScience Museum after his masterclass (Photo: Marina Bay Sands)


“It’s always a tricky balance of how to get something made. The Fountain took six years to get made and it changed very much in what it was. But eventually we figured out a way to make it,” said Aronofsky. “So I think if you have persistence, you can make anything.”

Aronofsky’s sprawling The Fountain was originally a US$70 million vehicle for Brad Pitt who famously pulled out just weeks before shooting commenced. The director only returned to the project two years later, this time with replacement leading man Hugh Jackman and a lower budget. He says of all the films that he’s made, The Fountain “was the film I was most passionate about.”

So what advice would he give to aspiring indie filmmakers in Singapore struggling to find the balance between critical and commercial viability while navigating a notoriously difficult industry?

“Certain filmmakers can make those bigger films. And if that’s their aesthetic, that’s their aesthetic. I don’t know why would you do it, it’s such a hard job,” he said with a grin.

“But I’m sure there are stories here in Singapore that need to be told… (by) someone who is passionate. And only they can tell it,” he continued. “You just have to figure out a way to tell it. If you have to do it on your iPhone or a little camera, there is nothing wrong with that. Those type of cameras work in today’s world.  There are a lot of ways to get films made.  At this point, you just have to have the story that you’re passionate about.

He confessed to not being as familiar with Singaporean filmmakers as much as he would like to be.

“I tried to educate myself before I came here but I didn’t have time,” he said.  “But I’ve met some good filmmakers and I’m curious to see what they’ve done.”

He singled out Singapore filmmaker Ken Kwek, who moderated his masterclass and is known, most recently, for the satirical Unlucky Plaza, which opened the SGIFF in 2014.

And what would Aronofsky, a filmmaker known for constantly taking risks, say to an industry in a country that is arguably risk-averse?

“Art is all about being honest and truthful… you have to continue to pursue what you want to do. It may not work well in Singapore or it may work well in Cannes. It may put you in jail, but you can’t resist it. Your job is to keep telling the truths that you know.”

This is part of Channel NewsAsia’s coverage of the 27th SGIFF, which runs from Nov 23 to Dec 4.


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

EDITORIAL: Messages and meaning at the Middleburg Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Times-Mirror Editorial Board

In just four years, the Middleburg Film Festival has earned a place among such iconic film festivals as Sundance, Telluride, Tribeca, Toronto, Melbourne, Berlin, Venice and Cannes. The film festival’s quaint venues – a converted ballroom at Salamander Resort, a performing arts auditorium at an elementary school, a library-museum for horse enthusiasts, a spartan reception hall in Upperville and the barrel room of a local winery – differentiate the festival from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s showplaces.

Middleburg brings something more meaningful to the conversation about movies: an intimacy with the stories and the people of the movies.

The charming town tucked in Virginia hunt-and-horse country is more than just a setting for a cozy film festival. Middleburg is also a character in the movies shown there.

Over four postcard-perfect days, about 4,000 people traveled to what looks like a back lot for idyllic moviemaking. Film buffs took Route 50, the two-lane road that follows the rolling hills, stone fences and horse farms to the charming town in Loudoun’s southern tier. Nearing the town, two oversized Trump banners greeted visitors from a private parcel of land on the roadside – seemingly out of place and out of character in a setting known for its style and discretion.

The wearisome soundbites of the presidential campaign become a faint echo at Middleburg’s one stoplight, a few hundred feet down Route 50 where it becomes Washington Street. Make a right turn, or a left, and you are at an unexpected venue for a movie. Or you can follow scenic side roads to the festival’s more distant venues.

At this place, in this time, Middleburg is about movies. But something more, too.


In Loving,the quiet and courageous love story of Richard and Mildred Loving, the Virginia countryside is both prominent and familiar, enhancing the realism of rural racism in the commonwealth at the time. The movie follows the courtship and marriage of Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who are arrested and sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 because their interracial marriage violates the state’s anti-miscegenation laws. Exiled to Washington, they sue the Commonwealth of Virginia in a series of proceedings leading to the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Loving v. Virginia, which holds that laws prohibiting interracial marriage are unconstitutional.

The film, scheduled for release in the U.S. on Nov. 4, was shown at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington on Monday. But at a discussion following the screening on Sunday, Virginians were able to better appreciate the continuing relevance of Loving as its British producer and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gave the story context. Following the program, dozens of attendees swarmed Holder, the first African American to serve as Attorney General (2009-2015).

Middleburg also had a brief role in the screening of Jackie, Natalie Portman’s riveting portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy’s private grief as she coped with her public persona and the nation’s reaction to the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy.

The movie would not have been screened in Middleburg but for a photograph of Jackie attending mass with JFK at the Middleburg Community Center, which now serves as the box office for the film festival. The distributors of Jackie had initially rejected the advance screening of the movie in Middleburg, a young festival with a relatively small audience in rural Virginia. But the photo provided a meaningful connection between Jackie Kennedy and Middleburg, where she spent private time away from Washington riding at her farm.

As Middleburg presented itself as a haven away from the front lines of the nation’s capitol 43 miles down the road, the film festival also provided a conversation that played to the politics of the moment. A conversation about presidents, politics and the movies quickly turned to “the elephant in the room,” as CNN political analyst David Gergen observed: Donald Trump.

Who would play Trump in the movie about the current presidential race? Alec Baldwin, of course, came the response to a joke that was apparently known to all in the audience. Film clips from movies about past presidents then left attendees to wonder whether art imitates life or life imitates art.

Middleburg’s messages echoed beyond. The Eagle Huntress followed Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl who trains to become the first female in 12 generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries. While there were many old Kazakh eagle hunters who vehemently rejected the idea of a female taking part in their ancient tradition, Aisholpan’s father, Nurgaiv, believed that a girl could do anything a boy can, as long as she was determined.

That idea brought cheers from the denizens in Virginia that included local Girl Scout troops that came to honor Aisholpan. The girl and her father traveled from Mongolia to Middleburg to acknowledge the cheers and to demonstrate how ordinary people could do extraordinary things. The cheers came again when it was announced that Aishholpan would become a character in a super-heroes cartoon.

So we come to superheros and the deeper meaning of the Middleburg Film Festival. In just four years, Sheila Johnson has exceeded her dream of turning her passion for cinema into a festive gathering of fellow film aficionados in the chic yet comfy venues of Northern Virginia’s horse country. The entrepreneur, philanthropist and film producer has made Middleburg a metaphor for creative endeavor with a social purpose. She has provided a lens to view the important films about our our culture, as well as perspective that is authentically Virginia.

But perhaps Johnson’s greatest gift is bringing together movies and people who make us think, feel and belong. Devoid of cynicism, these are the stories of our times. Johnson presents them as a kindred spirit in a place called Middleburg.




Scorcese film ‘Silence’ about 17th century Christians in Japan set for December premiere

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Jardine Malado

Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese announced that his the long awaited film Silence will be released in theaters on Dec. 23.

Silence, based on a novel by Shusaku Endo, tells the story of two Jesuit priests who encountered brutal persecution when they attempted to spread Christianity in 17th century Japan.

The production of the movie has been delayed several times. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film took 26 years to make and it has been the subject of various legal battles.

Martin Scorsese

Scorsese was sued multiple times by Cecchi Gori Pictures for choosing to finish other films ahead of Silence. Court papers revealed that he blamed the delay partly on “a cloud on the title to the Picture.”

The film was almost shutdown during its pre-production in Taiwan in 2014 for lack of funds. Filming began in early 2015 after Fabrica de Cine and Morah Media offered to provide capital.

There was also a lawsuit regarding the writing credits of the film but the parties involved decided to settle the case in order to avoid causing a delay in the release of the movie.

Scorsese said that he went to the places that were mentioned in the book and interviewed the descendants of hidden Christians. Japanese Christians practiced their faith underground during the 17th century due to severe persecution. They only came out of hiding in the 1860s when Japan ended its self-imposed isolation.

“What came out of that for me was the extraordinary power and sacrifice, the commitment and conviction of their ancestors who were martyrs to the faith,” the filmmaker said to AFP. “For me this was almost like meeting one of the hidden Christians from the 17th century and it changed my perception of how to deal with those scenes and the characters,” he added.

Slash Film reported that the movie was initially supposed to run for 195 minutes but it has been cut down to 159 minutes.

The cast of “Silence” includes Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Adam Driver and Tadanobu Asano.

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

Inaugural Critics’ Choice Doc Nominations Announced

LOS ANGELES, CA (OCTOBER 10, 2016) – The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) have announced the nominees for the inaugural Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards. The winners will be presented their awards at a gala event on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at BRIC, in Brooklyn, New York.

Broadcast Film Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalist Association’s Joey Berlin. (Photo: zimbio.com)

BFCA and BTJA President Joey Berlin said,

“It is an amazing time for documentaries, with the ever-increasing number of platforms enabling producers to reach enthusiastic and growing audiences for non-fiction storytelling. This is clearly demonstrated in the depth and quality of our inaugural nominees. We have a wealth of brilliant creators who are bringing to light some of the most entertaining and illuminating stories being told today.  Indeed, documentary filmmaking is modern investigative journalism. We look forward to celebrating all these fine and important achievements at the first Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards gala on November 3rd.”


13th, 30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America and Gleason lead the nominations this year with five each. 13th has been nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Best Political Documentary, Best Documentary Feature (TV/Streaming), Ava DuVernay for Best Director (TV/Streaming) and Best Song in a Documentary.


The nominations for O.J.: Made in America include Best Documentary Feature, Ezra Edelman for Best Direction of a Documentary Feature, Best Limited Documentary Series, Best Political Documentary and Best Sports Documentary.


Gleason received nominations for Best Documentary Feature, Clay Tweel for Best Direction of a Documentary Feature, Best Song in a Documentary, Best Sports Documentary, in addition to the Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary honor for Steve Gleason.


As part of the gala awards ceremony the BFCA and BTJA will be honoring this year’s Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary. Honorees are as follows:


–      Danny Fields – Danny Says (Magnolia/Outre Films)

–      Iggy Pop – Gimme Danger (Magnolia/Amazon)

–      Kirsten Johnson – Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)

–      Owen Suskind – Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)

–      Sharon Jones – Miss Sharon Jones! (Cabin Creek Films/Starz Digital Media)

–      Steve Gleason – Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)

–      Theo Padnos – Theo Who Lived (Zeitgeist Films)



Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations include:



–      13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)

–      30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)

–      Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)

–      Fire at Sea (Kino Lorber/Stemal Entertainment/21 Unofilm/Cinecittà Luce/Rai Cinema/Les Films d’Ici/Arte France Cinéma)

–      Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)

–      Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)

–      Tickled (Magnolia/A Ticklish Tale/Fumes Production/Horseshoe Films)

–      Tower (Kino Lorber/ITVS/Meredith Vieira Productions/GTS Films/Diana DiMenna Film)

–      Weiner (Sundance Selects/Motto Pictures/Edgeline Films)

–      The Witness (FilmRise/Five More Minutes Productions)



–      Ezra Edelman – 30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)

–      Ron Howard – The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (Hulu/Imagine Entertainment/Apple Corps)

–      Kirsten Johnson – Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)

–      Keith Maitland – Tower (Kino Lorber/ITVS/Meredith Vieira Productions/GTS Films/Diana DiMenna Film)

–      Clay Tweel – Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)

–      Roger Ross Williams – Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)



–      Otto BellThe Eagle Huntress (Sony Pictures Classics/Kissaki Films/Stacey Reiss Productions)

–      David Farrier and Dylan Reeve –  Tickled (Magnolia/A Ticklish Tale/Fumes Production/Horseshoe Films)

–      Adam IrvingOff the Rails (The Film Collaborative/Zipper Bros Films)

–      Josh Kriegman and Elyse SteinbergWeiner (Sundance Selects/Motto Pictures/Edgeline Films)

–      James D. SolomonThe Witness (FilmRise/Five More Minutes Productions)

–      Nanfu WangHooligan Sparrow (The Film Collaborative/Little Horse Crossing the River)



–      13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)

–      30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)

–      Audrie & Daisy (Netflix/Actual Films)

–      Newtown (Abramorama/Mile 22/Independent Television Service)

–      Weiner (Sundance Selects/Motto Pictures/Edgeline Films)

–      Zero Days (Magnolia/Jigsaw Productions/Participant Media)



–      13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)

–      30 For 30: Fantastic Lies (ESPN)

–      Amanda Knox (Netflix/Plus Pictures)

–      Audrie & Daisy (Netflix/Actual Films)

–      Before the Flood (National Geographic/Appian Way/Insurgent Docs/RatPac Documentary Films)

–      Holy Hell (CNN/WRA Productions)

–      Into the Inferno (Netflix/Herzog-Film/Matter of Fact Media/Spring Films)

–      Jim: The James Foley Story (HBO/Kunhardt Films)

–      Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (HBO/Film Manufacturers/World of Wonder Productions)

–      Rats (Discovery Channel/Dakota Group/Submarine Entertainment/Warrior Poets)



–      Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato –  Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (HBO/Film Manufacturers/World of Wonder Productions)

–      Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn – Amanda Knox (Netflix/Plus Pictures)

–      Ava DuVernay – 13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)

–      Werner Herzog – Into the Inferno (Netflix/Herzog-Film/Matter of Fact Media/Spring Films)

–      Morgan Spurlock – Rats (Discovery Channel/Dakota Group/Submarine Entertainment/Warrior Poets)

–      Fisher Stevens – Before the Flood (National Geographic/Appian Way/Insurgent Docs/RatPac Documentary Films)



–      Everything is CopyJacob Bernstein and Nick Hooker (HBO/Loveless)

–      Holy HellWill Allen (CNN/WRA Productions)

–      Mavis!Jessica Edwards (HBO/Film First Co.)

–      My Beautiful Broken BrainSophie Robinson and Lotje Sodderland (Netflix)

–      Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio FourDeborah Esquenazi(Investigation Discovery/Motto Pictures/Naked Edge Films)

–      Team FoxcatcherJon Greenhalgh (Netflix/Hattasan Productions/Madrose Productions)



–      30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)

–      The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth (Showtime/Left/Right)

–      The Eighties (CNN)

–      The Hunt (BBC America/Silverback Films/NDR Naturfilm)

–      Jackie Robinson (PBS/Florentine Films)

–      Soundbreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music (PBS/Higher Ground/Show of Force)



–      30 for 30 (ESPN)

–      Frontline (PBS)

–      Last Chance U (Netflix)

–      Morgan Spurlock Inside Man (CNN)

–      POV (PBS)

–      This Is Life with Lisa Ling (CNN)



–      “Angel by the Wings” – The Eagle Huntress – Written by Sia – Performed by Sia (Sony Pictures Classics/Kissaki Films/Stacey Reiss Productions)

–      “The Empty Chair” – Jim: The James Foley Story – Written by Sting and J. Ralph – Performed by Sting (HBO/Kunhardt Films)

–      “Flicker” – Audrie & Daisy – Written by Tori Amos – Performed by Tori Amos (Netflix/Actual Films)

–      “Hoping and Healing” – Gleason – Written by Mike McCready – Performed by Mike McCready (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)

–      “I’m Still Here” – Miss Sharon Jones! – Written by Sharon Jones – Performed by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (Cabin Creek Films/Starz Digital Media)

–      “Letters to the Free” – 13th – Written by Common, Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper – Performed by Common featuring Bilal (Netflix/Kandoo Films)



–      30 For 30: Fantastic Lies (ESPN)

–      30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)

–      Dark Horse (Sony Pictures Classics)

–      The Eagle Huntress (Sony Pictures Classics/Kissaki Films/Stacey Reiss Productions)

–      Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)

–      Jackie Robinson (PBS/Florentine Films)

–      Keepers of the Game (Tribeca Digital Studios/Flatbush Pictures)



–      The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (Hulu/Imagine Entertainment/Apple Corps)

–      Gimme Danger (Magnolia/Amazon)

–      Miss Sharon Jones! (Cabin Creek Films/Starz Digital Media)

–      The Music of Strangers (Participant Media/Tremolo Productions)

–      Presenting Princess Shaw (Magnolia)

–      We Are X (Drafthouse Films)



–      Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)

–      Kate Plays Christine (Grasshopper Film/4th Row Films/Faliro House Productions/Prewar Cinema Productions)

–      Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)

–      Nuts (Amazon/mTuckman Media/Cartuna/Gland Power Films)

–      Tower (Kino Lorber/ITVS/Meredith Vieira Productions/GTS Films/Diana DiMenna Film

–      Under The Sun (Icarus Films/Vertov Studio/Saxonia Entertainment/Hypermarket Film)


Qualified members of BFCA and BTJA will choose the winners from amongst the nominees in voting October 31 – November 1.




The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards are presented in concert with the Critics’ Choice Awards. The Critics’ Choice Awards are bestowed annually by the BFCA and BTJA to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. The BFCA is the largest film critics’ organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 300 television, radio and online critics. BFCA members are the primary source of information for today’s film-going public. BTJA is the collective voice of almost 100 journalists who regularly cover television for TV viewers, radio listeners and online audiences. Historically, the ‘Critics’ Choice Awards’ are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.

A&E Networks will again partner with the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) as the exclusive home to the ‘22nd Annual ‘Critics’ Choice Awards’. Accolades for the finest achievements in both movies and television will be presented Sunday, December 11 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, and will again be seen live on A&E, 8pm-11pm ET. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com


The inaugural Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards will honor the finest achievement in documentary features and non-fiction television. The awards are determined by a committee of BFCA and BTJA members with a background and expertise in the documentary field. The debut awards ceremony will take place, November 3, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York.

For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com


The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 300 television, radio and online critics. The Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) is a partner organization to the BFCA and includes TV, radio and Internet journalists who cover television on a regular basis. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com

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


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!



Filmmakers Will Connect With Industry Professionals and

National Opinion Leaders for a Series of Professional Development Events

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.



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.

# # #


Gabrielle Flamand, AFI DOCS PR, 202.339.9598 or gabrielle@prcollaborative.com

Liza Ameen, American Film Institute, 323.856.7885 or LAmeen@AFI.com

#ANIME NEWS: Top directors Hosoda and Iwai to take center stage at #TIFF

June 9, 2016 at 11:00 JST

Animated works by director Mamoru Hosoda are to be showcased in the Animation Focus program at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), which will run from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3.

The festival’s 2016 edition will also shine a spotlight on leading film director Shunji Iwai, who will provide the theme for the Japan Now section, which focuses on outstanding Japanese filmmakers.

Having celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, the TIFF, which was launched in 1985, is widely known as one of the leading film festivals held in Asia. In recent years, the festival has been putting extra emphasis on promoting Japanese culture trends including anime.

In 2014, the TIFF featured “Evangelion” anime creator Hideaki Anno in the Animation Focus program under the title of “The World of Hideaki Anno.” The festival also covered the “Mobile Suit Gundam” robot anime franchise last year.

Known for many hit anime films such as “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” “Summer Wars” and “The Boy and the Beast,” Hosoda will be the third anime creator to be featured in the Animation Focus program.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 9.08.27 PM

“The Boy and the Beast” ((c) 2015 The Boy and the Beast Film Partners)

In addition to screening his recent films, the TIFF will also showcase Hosoda’s early works including “One Piece” and “Digimon Adventure” to offer a retrospective look at his career and wide-ranging creative expertise.

The Japan Now section deals with filmmakers most worthy of promoting internationally at the moment.

Known for “Love Letter,” his latest movie “A Bride for Rip Van Winkle” and other critically acclaimed films, Iwai is popular at home and abroad, particularly in Asia. He drew international attention with his animated feature film effort “Hana and Alice,” in 2015.

His artistic abilities will be brought to light in the program.

Details of the TIFF will be updated at its official website at (http://2016.tiff-jp.net/en/).


To learn more about the latest developments in Japanese anime, visit the official site of Anime Anime (http://animeanime.jp/).

(Sourced and translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.)

Submit Your Film to the 29th Tokyo Int’l Film Festival #TIFF

Film submissions for the Competition section of the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is now ready on the festival website! (Submission period: April 15-July 8, 2016)

As one of the largest film festivals in Asia – TIFF Competition has been showing many outstanding films created by up-and-coming directors as well as premieres of works by prestigious filmmakers of the world.

Last year, we were honored to receive 1,409 films from 86 countries and regions. 16 excellent films were screened after the pre-selection and Nise – The Heart of Madness (Brazil) directed by Roberto Berliner won the Tokyo Grand Prix for the last year’s TIFF.


 28th TIFF Award Winners ©2015 TIFF

A summary of the Regulations for the Competition 2016 is attached. TIFF looks forward to even a larger number of submissions from around the world.

The 29th TIFF will take place October 25-November 3, 2016 for 10 days in Tokyo, JAPAN.

For detailed information about film submission, please visit the TIFF official website: www.tiff-jp.net . (Source: Press release courtesy of TIFF Public Relations Group)