Tag Archives: Hacksaw Ridge

ANDREW GARFIELD TO RECEIVE THE SPOTLIGHT AWARD AT 28th ANNUAL PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FILM AWARDS GALA

Palm Springs, CA (December 20, 2016) – The 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Andrew Garfield with the Spotlight Award for his role in Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge at its annual Film Awards Gala.  Hosted by Mary Hart, the Film Awards Gala will be held Monday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-16, 2017.

“Andrew Garfield is one of the most versatile actors today and this is proven with his tremendous and critically acclaimed performance this year in Mel Gibson’s award-winning film Hacksaw Ridge,” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In Hacksaw Ridge, Garfield brings to life the incredible true story of World War II soldier Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who refused to touch a gun during wartime and instead dedicated himself to saving lives as a combat medic.  For this brilliant awards worthy performance, it is an honor to present Andrew Garfield with the Spotlight Award.”

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Past recipients of the Spotlight Award include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Helen Hunt, Rooney Mara, Julia Roberts and J.K. Simmons. All recipients received Academy Award®nominations in the year they were honored, with Simmons receiving the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Hacksaw Ridge is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss (Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without a gun.  He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong.  As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated wounded men from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The film is directed by Mel Gibson and also stars Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths and Vince Vaughn.

For his role, Garfield was nominated for a Critics Choice Award (Best Actor), a Golden Globe Award (Best Actor in a Drama) and Screen Actors Guild Award (Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role).

Garfield also stars this year in Martin Scorsese’s Silence.  His previous film credits include The Social Network, 99 Homes, and Boy A.

Previously announced honorees attending the 2017 Film Awards Gala are Amy Adams, Casey Affleck, Mahershala Ali, Annette Bening, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Negga, Natalie Portman, the cast of Hidden Figures including Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons, and the cast of La La Land, including Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, and director Damien Chazelle.

 

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

 

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About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, annually welcoming more than 135,000 attendees 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 guests, presented this year by Chopard and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight.  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, 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 with a mission to cultivate and promote the art and science of film through education and cross-cultural awareness.

 

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Media contacts:

Steven Wilson / Lauren Peteroy                                                                         David Lee

B|W|R Public Relations                                                                                        PSIFF

212.901.3920                                                                                                         760.322.2930

Steven.wilson@bwr-pr.com / Lauren.peteroy@bwr-pr.com                        david@psfilmfest.org

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Mel Gibson’s new Christian film ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ receives 10-minute standing ovation; Movie hits U.S. theaters November 2016

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Jardine Malado

Mel Gibson’s upcoming Christian movie Hacksaw Ridge got a 10-minute standing ovation at its premiere last September and it will be released in theaters next month.

The film is based on the true story of a World War II medic named Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield. Doss refused to fire a single shot in battle because of his religious convictions. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for rescuing as many as 75 soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

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Director and actor Mel Gibson, left, and actor Andrew Garfield attend the photocall for the movie Hacksaw Ridge at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival in Venice, Italy September 4, 2016. (Photo credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)

During the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Gibson was joined by actors Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer and Luke Bracey to greet the dazzled audience.

In an interview with France24, Gibson characterized Hacksaw Ridge as an anti-war movie.

“It is an anti-war movie. I think all war movies are anti-war movies, but we do have to be compassionate to our warriors,” Gibson said. “I hate war, but I love the warrior. And those guys that went to war, I appreciate and honor their sacrifice, because many of them lost much, even when they come home they suffer,” he added.

Gibson expressed his admiration for Doss’ faith in God during an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.

“To go in to a battle zone like that. I think the Japanese called it a steel rain, with the artillery and the lead that was flying around, to go into that armed with only your faith, your faith has to be strong indeed,” he said.

The film’s producer, Bill Mechanic, had been working n on the film for 13 years. Gibson signed up to direct the movie in 2014. Mechanic considered it as Gibson’s greatest film. He previously worked alongside the director on the award-winning film Braveheart.

Last August, Gibson appeared at Pastor Greg Laurie’s SoCal Harvest in Anaheim, California, to promote the film. He also hinted that his next project could possibly be a film about Christ’s resurrection.

Hacksaw Ridge will be released in U.S. theaters on Nov. 4.

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

Mel Gibson at Venice Film Festival’s ‘Hacksaw Ridge’: ‘Maybe I’m a Megalomanic’

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Jamie Manelis

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(Photo credit: Jamie Manelis)
Mel Gibson makes a triumphant directorial return at the Venice Film Festival with Hacksaw Ridge, starring Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, and Teresa Palmer. This World War II film is not your average glamorized bloodbath. Unlike other war movies where combat and incessant violence may seem gratuitous, Gibson directs like a master composer, creating a visual symphony of war and relationships.

Fans swarmed the premiere of Hacksaw Ridge like starstruck bees to an illustrious honeyhive. Extra security flooded the theatre, escorting fans straight to their seats to protect some of Hollywood’s most revered stars. The film itself is an overwhelming masterpiece. Intentionally and with much success, Gibson juxtaposes the horrific scenes of war with the innocent protagonist, played by Andrew Garfield. Based on a true story, Hacksaw Ridge is about the first Seventh-Day conscientious objector, Desmond Doss, who declined to bear arms. A belief that almost sent him to military prison, but he not only persevered with his faith, he proved the military wrong and single-handedly saved 75 lives in one night. Regardless of any religious affiliation the audience may identify with, the real astonishment is Doss’s naive optimism and selflessness. Gibson is like a seasoned puppeteer, pulling each tiny string with precision and purpose, manipulating any audience into trusting humanity.

“I enjoy directing more…maybe I’m a megalomanic, I just love telling the story and I love to see the story the way I see it.” – Mel Gibson

Although Gibson’s name in the news has sparked controversy in the last ten years, journalists at the press conference neglected to ask him about his personal afflictions and only focused on questions of the film and his future. However, when Gibson was asked if he preferred acting or directing, he responded, “I enjoy directing more…maybe I’m a megalomanic, I just love telling the story and I love to see the story the way I see it.” Although the stories he chooses are directly linked to religion as Gibson is a devout Catholic, he explained that this story isn’t completely about faith. “He (Doss) didn’t regard his life to be any more valuable than his brothers…that’s the greatest expression of love.”

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(Photo credit: Jamie Manelis)
Gibson wanted to honor Doss as well as creating awareness of the unspeakable horrors soldiers deal with during and after war. “A lot of attention needs to be paid to our warriors when they come back. They need some love, they need some understanding.” Gibson says with a stern, concerned look. After a brief pause he continues, “I hope that this film departs that message and if it does nothing but that – that’s great.”

(Source: Excerpt from http://www.observer.com)

*Featured photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema

Screening today 4 September at the 73rd Venice Film Festival

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.11.54 PMScreening in competition in the Sala Grande theatre today: Spira mirabilis by Massimo D’Anolfi and Martina Parenti (2 pm) and El ciudadano ilustre by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat (4:30 pm). Out of Competition, Hacksaw Ridge by Mel Gibson (7:15 pm).

In competition in the Orizzonti section, Réparer les vivants by Katell Quillévéré (2:30 pm) and Il più grande sogno by Michele Vannucci (5 pm), both in the Sala Darsena theatre.

Among other screenings today, Una hermana by Verena Kuri and Sofía Brockenshire (11:15 am and 6:15 pm) and The Secret Life of Pets by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney (9 pm and 10:45 pm) in the new Sala Giardino theatre.

The PalaBiennale theatre features screenings for the public from 1:15 pm until the double screening starting at 8:15 pm.

See you at the cinema!

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For ticket information click here.

 

(Source:www.labiennale.org)

Australian films on the world stage at Venice and Toronto film festivals

Posted by Larry Gleeson

 

Post by Stephanie Bunburry

With three Australian films screening in the Venice Film Festival and four features and a short film at Toronto International Film Festival, September will be something of a bumper month for the local industry.

Venice is the world’s oldest film festival, with a prestigious competition. Toronto’s only prize is its audience award, but it has set a precedent as the effective launching pad for Hollywood’s awards seasons, with many of the industry’s most Oscar-worthy films screening there first. The mass conversation about movies may have shifted to the internet but, for films that are not part of a critic-proof comic franchise, that has only made the stamp of approval from a top festival more important.

In Venice, the Mel Gibson war drama Hacksaw Ridge, crime thriller Hounds of Love and Boys in the Trees, a supernatural coming-of-age film, will all have their world premieres. Hacksaw Ridge is about an American conscientious objector (played by British actor Andrew Garfield) whose bravery as an unarmed medic on the field of battle earned him a Congressional medal of honour. It was written, financed and filmed in Australia. “It’s an Australian film about America,” said Gibson in a recent interview. “It’s a fully Aussie-funded film. It’s really interesting.”

Hacksaw Ridge is also – along with opening-night film La La Land, directed by Damien Chazelle of Whiplash fame, Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi Arrival and Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, which features Natalie Portman as the former First Lady – one of the few really big-ticket films showing on the Lido. Increasingly, Venice is largely a showcase for European arthouse, with a few high-end Hollywood films adding glitter to the festival’s red carpets in exchange for some take-away Euro gravitas. The studios are not even bothering to do press in Venice for La La Land or Jackie; that all happens in Toronto.

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The Venice festival’s most hotly-anticipated film comes from an experimental American director; coincidentally, it also has its origins in Australia. Derek Cianfrance’s Light Between Oceans, starring Michael Fassbender and Alice Vikander, is based on Western Australian writer M.L. Stedman’s hit historical romance novel of the same name. It is set in a fictional lighthouse somewhere near Cape Leeuwin, although it was shot in New Zealand and Tasmania.

Nicholas Verso’s Boys in the Trees, which is screening in Horizons, the more experimental section, is more the kind of film festivals expect from Australia: smaller, quirky, peopled with ordinary Joes who could be our neighbours. It features a couple of quarrelling skater boys who get lost after a school leaving party unwisely held on Halloween. Hounds of Love, which screens as part of the Venice Days program that runs alongside the main festival, is another story from WA. In a different way from Boys in the Trees, it is also a horror film. It revolves around a young woman abducted by a strange couple who realizes she must play mind-games with her captors to survive.

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Boys in the Trees has been selected for Toronto too, along with three other features. Ivan Sen’s cop drama Goldstone, already seen in Australia, is one of them. Sotiris Dounoukis’ Joe Cinque’s Consolation, which recently screened at the Melbourne Film Festival, is based on Helen Garner’s closely argued examination of the real-life case of a Canberra student whose mounting insanity plans to kill her boyfriend were simply ignored by her circle of friends.

The most prominent film in the Toronto pack is Lion, directed by Garth Davis from Saroo Brierley’s book about his return from his home in Australia to India to search for his birth parents. Nicole Kidman stars as his adoptive mother in Australia; Dev Patel, who rose to international fame in Slumdog Millionaire, is the searching son. The short film Trespass, about an encounter between two women in the bush and directed by Animal Kingdom actor Mirrah Foulkes, rounds out Toronto’s Australian contingent.

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First comes Venice, however, which officially begins on Wednesday night. The usual gala opening party has been cancelled out of respect for the Amatrice earthquake victims; there will be no fireworks over the lagoon this year. The Venice Film Festival, even more than Cannes, has always been unrepentantly glamorous. How much the overall tone of the event will change in the wake of the disaster only 500 kilometres away remains to be seen; it is hard to imagine, however, that the flow of prosecco will stop entirely.

(Source: http://www.smh.com.au)

Why the Venice Film Fest Matters More to Oscar (Sorry, Toronto)

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Ariston Anderson

After premiering three major Academy Award winners in a row, the world’s oldest film fest is once again Hollywood’s awards-season launchpad.

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The past few years, while Toronto bickered with Telluride over which festival could screen which premiere when and where, Venice — after some decidedly lackluster editions — took the high road and worked on improving. The result? It’s back on top after a scorecard that saw successful Oscar wins for Venice premieres three years in a row: Gravity, Birdman and, last year, Spotlight. Hollywood has taken notice. The festival is filled with studio titles this year, which means the red carpet will be filled with A-list talent. The four premieres that already are garnering awards buzz:

La La Land’s Oscar Launch

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With Venice proving to be a good luck charm at the Oscars, one young contender seems to be taking the hint. Damien Chazelle is following up his 2014 best picture nominee Whiplash with festival opener La La Land. The musical stars Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist who falls in love with an aspiring actress (Emma Stone). The Venice committee, after watching the film, immediately offered Lionsgate the opening slot. “I was so honored to get the invitation to open Venice,” says Chazelle. “It’s the kind of place that seems to belong in a dream. That’s the feeling I wanted to capture with this movie: the way things look and sound in a dream, the magic and the romance of it all.”

Chazelle adds that it was a natural choice to follow up his critically acclaimed Whiplash with the challenging genre of the musical. “The thing I love about musicals is that everything is possible. You can combine all the arts — music, dance, painting, theater —  to collectively produce an emotion that can’t be conveyed by words,” he says. “I wanted to try and make a film that told an honest, intimate story but also allowed for that kind of big-screen moviemaking.”

Festival director Alberto Barbera believes that the film, a tribute to old Hollywood musicals, is a natural candidate for the Oscars. “It has all the elements,” he says. “It’s a wonderful story, a classic film. It’s extremely well done with two outstanding lead performances. You have to go back to the ’60s and ’70s to see something that is similar to those performances. It has beautiful music, beautiful dance performances. Everything in the film is definitely outstanding.”

While Lionsgate is planning a big launch at the festival, unfortunately Gosling will not be present, as he couldn’t escape filming duties for Blade Runner 2. Stone will be back in Venice after her 2014 success with Birdman led her to an Oscar nomination.

Mel’s Big Comeback

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After a public meltdown of epic proportions, Mel Gibson retreated from the spotlight, putting his work behind the camera on hold. Now Venice is premiering his first directorial effort since Apocalypto (2006). Never one to retreat from challenging topics, Gibson explores the true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, in the World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge.

“The movie is special,” says Stuart Ford, CEO of IM Global, which co-financed the film, putting up approximately half of the budget. “Audiences can look forward to a picture that is both an old-school, action-packed wartime epic and also an intelligent and very moving present day statement on the nature of conflict and forgiveness.”

Barbera firmly believes the film marks Gibson’s comeback. “There is a high expectation of course after the previous films and all the issues around his bizarre attitude. I didn’t know what I was going to say when I saw the film,” he says. “I was quite surprised because it is a beautiful, classic war film about a courageous hero and the capability to put one’s own life before others. I think it’s proved that he’s a really great director and I hope that it will forgive some mistakes that he did and some unacceptable behaviors in the past.”

Paolo Sorrentino’s TV Debut

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It’s not just films that are having their moment in Venice. HBO’s launch of Olive Kitteridge in Venice led it to pick up eight Emmy awards last year. As more and more acclaimed cinema directors make the leap into longform TV, all eyes will be on Oscar winner Paolo Sorrentino’s TV debut The Young Pope, starring Jude Law as a fictional American pope who is conservative, politically conniving, and incredibly self-reflective. The production is a joint effort of HBO, Sky and Canal Plus.

The Young Pope is a 10-part series but at the same time is a collection of 10 movies, each of them with Sorrentino’s unique flair and enthusiasm in innovating visual storytelling, featuring an inimitable top-notch technical and quality style and starring an outstanding international cast,” says Andrea Scrosati, executive vp programming of Sky Italia says. “So there could not be a more suitable venue than the Venice Film Festival to premiere the first two episodes of this show, and this choice confirms, if any additional proof were needed, that the distinction between cinema and television no longer exists: It all comes down to storytelling.”

FremantleMedia International, which is handling sales, has, not surprisingly, already begun closing deals ahead of the Venice launch. “Jude Law plays a hyper-contemporary and conservative pope, revolutionary, a fundamentalist who goes through life with an absolute faith and devotion to God,” says Lorenzo Mieli, CEO of FremantleMedia Italy. “And all the while he continuously poses to himself and to us the question we are all compelled to ask at least once in our lives: What do we mean exactly when we talk about faith and God? Stories and themes like these inevitably involve a wide audience from each country.”

Sorrentino agrees with the potential wide appeal of the series. “Beyond the interest for the Vatican, a closed and mysterious place, the series turns its attention to the Vatican’s inhabitants,” he says. “I think that the audience, regardless of where they’re from, will be captivated by the human and spiritual lives of these people.”

And with the American election coming up, Sorrentino believes that the candidates could also heed the advice of The Young Pope. “There is always danger around the corner,” he says. “The private biography of a leader can influence his choices for the collective interest of the people and that these choices could be dangerous and ineffective.”

Focus Features’ $20 Million Gamble

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Last year, Focus Features paid a reported $20 million for Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford’s sophomore directorial effort.

Now, Focus is planning on betting a big chunk of their Oscar-campaign money on the dark romance based on Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan and starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. Adams plays an art gallery owner who receives her ex-husband’s violent manuscript in the mail, which she interprets as a threatening tale of revenge and regret. It plays out as a story within a story as Isla Fisher plays Adams in novel form.

Could the L.A.-set noir finally deliver Amy Adams and/or Jake Gyllenhaal their long-awaited Oscars? Focus hopes so, with many more categories to push for. “The film will be one of the highlights of Venice,” says Barbera. “Both Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal could start an Oscar campaign from Venice, definitely.”

 

(Source:www.hollywoodreporter.com)