Post(s) tagged with "fest feed"

AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi ANNOUNCES DATES AND CALL FOR ENTRIES

The American Film Institute Celebrates the Year in Global Cinema

and Continues Unprecedented Offer of Free Tickets To All Screenings

LOS ANGELES, CA, March 5, 2013 – AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi officially announced its dates and call for entries today. The American Film Institute’s annual celebration of artistic excellence brings the audience and the entertainment community together to explore the year in global cinema through the new works of film masters, moving image icons and breakthrough talents, and is the only film festival of its stature that is free to the public. This year AFI FEST will take place November 7 through 14 in Hollywood, California, the movie capital of the world, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly known as Grauman’s Chinese), the Chinese 6 Theatres at the Hollywood & Highland Center, the Egyptian Theatre of the American Cinematheque and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

AFI FEST mixes nightly red carpet galas of Hollywood films with award-winning and highly anticipated new auteur works from filmmakers around the world. Emerging in 1987 as a program of the American Film Institute, the festival has paid tribute to numerous influential filmmakers and artists over the years, including Pedro Almodóvar, Bernardo Bertolucci and David Lynch as Guest Artistic Directors, as well as top film talent such as Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, Marion Cotillard, Catherine Deneuve, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep, to name a few. In addition, AFI FEST has showcased scores of films that have produced wins at the Oscars® in recent years, including A SEPARATION, AMOUR, THE ARTIST, BLACK SWAN, THE KING’S SPEECH, LIFE OF PI, LINCOLN, PRECIOUS and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

"AFI FEST is where the films of talented emerging filmmakers have the opportunity to screen alongside the current works of masters of the art form," said Jacqueline Lyanga, Director, AFI FEST. "Last year’s festival included many extraordinary films from across the globe, from the World Premiere of Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN and Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI to first-time feature filmmaker Tosh Gitonga’s NAIROBI HALF LIFE, whose film was AFI FEST’s Audience Award Breakthrough winner and Kenya’s first-ever Foreign Language Film Oscar® submission.”

The 2012 festival featured the World Premieres of HITCHCOCK from Sacha Gervasi and the previously mentioned LINCOLN from Steven Spielberg, as well as the Secret Screening of SKYFALL from Sam Mendes, and brought over 200 filmmakers from all over the world to Los Angeles to present their films to the city’s audience of film-lovers, including new films from established filmmakers such as Léos Carax, Matteo Garrone, Michael Haneke, Kim Ki-duk, Cristian Mungiu, Sally Potter, Walter Salles and Hong Sang-soo, among many others.

Submissions are now open and filmmakers are invited to submit narrative, documentary, experimental, animated and short films at AFI.com/AFIFESTor through Withoutabox.com. The final submission deadline for short films (under 30 minutes) is August 2, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards®. The final submission deadline for feature-length films is August 16. Films found solely through the submissions process are presented in the festival’s Breakthrough section, providing an opportunity for new filmmakers to share their vision with the world and receive a $5,000 cash prize.

"Festivals are a place of great discovery, and every year we look forward to finding new films and filmmakers through our submissions-based Breakthrough section and in our Oscars®-qualifying Short Film program,” said Lane Kneedler, Associate Director of Programming, AFI FEST.

Filmmakers can e-mail programming@AFI.com or call 866.AFI.FEST for more information about the submissions process.

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Producer Ginger Wilson, director David Tosh Gitonga and Sarika Hemi Lakhani - AFI FEST 2012 Audience Award Breakthrough winner - NAIROBI HALF LIFE.

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A still from AFI FEST 2012 Audience Award Breakthrough winner - NAIROBI HALF LIFE.

Alumni Nominated for Film Independent Spirit Awards and National Board of Review Awards

AFI is happy to congratulate the following AFI Conservatory alums that have been recently nominated for the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards and the 2012 National Board of Review Awards.

2013 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS
(7 Films with 9 Alums credited)

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Affonso Gonçalves (AFI Class of 1993), Editor
Best Feature (Nominee)

THE INVISIBLE WAR
Kirby Dick (AFI Class of 1983), Director/Screenwriter
Best Documentary (Nominee)

KEEP THE LIGHTS ON
Affonso Gonçalves (AFI Class of 1993), Editor
Best Feature (Nominee)

MOSQUITA Y MARI
Magela Crosignani (AFI Class of 2008), Cinematographer
Augie Robles (AFI Class of 1995), Editor
John Cassavetes Award (Nominee)

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
Rita DaSilva (AFI Class of 2005), Additional Editor
Best First Feature (Nominee)

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Screened at AFI FEST 2012)
Masanobu Takayanagi (AFI Class of 2002), Cinematographer
Jay Cassidy (AFI Class of 1976), Editor
Best Feature (Nominee)

SOUND OF MY VOICE
Zal Batmanglij (AFI Class of 2006), Director/Screenwriter
Rachel Morrison (AFI Class of 2006), Cinematographer
Best First Feature (Nominee)

2012 NATIONAL BOARD OF REVIEW AWARDS
(11 Films with 15 Alums credited)

ARBITRAGE
Lauren Versel (AFI Class of 1984), Executive Producer
Brian Young (AFI Class of 1974), Executive Producer
Top 10 Independent Films

ARGO
Sharon Seymour (AFI Class of 1984), Production Designer
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (AFI Class of 1997), Second Unit Director
Top Films

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
Affonso Gonçalves (AFI Class of 1993), Editor
Top Films

DJANGO UNCHAINED
Robert Richardson (AFI Class of 1979), Cinematographer
Top Films

END OF WATCH
Jillian Longnecker (AFI Class of 2002), Co-Producer
Top 10 Independent Films

THE INVISIBLE WAR
Kirby Dick (AFI Class of 1983), Director/Screenwriter
Top 5 Documentaries

LINCOLN (Screened at AFI FEST 2012)
Janusz Kamiński, AFI Class of 1987), Cinematographer
Sarah Broshar (AFI Class of 2005), First Assistant Editor
Top Films

NO
Daniel Dreifuss (AFI Class of 2007), Producer
Top 5 Foreign Language Films

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
Rita DaSilva (AFI Class of 2005), Additional Editor
Top Films

PROMISED LAND
Gregory Weimerskirch (AFI Class of 1994), Art Director
Top Films

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Screened at AFI FEST 2012)
Masanobu Takayanagi (AFI Class of 2002), Cinematographer
Jay Cassidy (AFI Class of 1976), Editor

Catching up with AFI FEST 2012 Filmmaker Roger Hayn

Can you briefly summarize your short film INTRODUCING BOBBY?

The film might best be described as a collage-form character portrait of an individual in conflict with himself.

How did this story come to you or what was the inspiration that began this journey?

I’ve always referred to myself as a ‘sensation enthusiast’ and I’m fascinated by the concept of character. I’m mainly attracted to characters in a state of psychological turmoil who experience an intense variety of emotions. Bobby is a complex character who exists in territory that’s unfamiliar to a lot of people, which is exactly what I’m inspired to make films about. Overall, I aimed to tell a story about a troubled personality who I identify with and also admire in many ways. 

Telling a full/complete story in a small amount of time is an art. Can you talk about the challenges in the cutting room and discuss the challenges and advantages of making shorts?

When I finished filming I had nine hours of footage and three additional hours of unlabeled audio recordings. It was a nightmare. I have a tendency to lose focus on a project if I don’t complete it immediately so I spent roughly 40 hours cutting up and assembling everything in a dark windowless room. I operated on practically no sleep. By the time I was done I hated the film and never wanted to see it again. Luckily that changed after a while. As for making shorts - I think they just require you to be more concise with what you’re trying to express. They require you to think in terms of what can be made ultimately gratifying within a compressed period of time. There are unique freedoms within those restrictions, so it’s all about adjusting the way you approach narrative.

You mentioned during your stay in Los Angeles that AFI FEST was the only festival you officially submitted to. Why is that?

I’m going for quality over quantity with the festival screenings. I’d prefer it only be exhibited a few times by festivals with strong reputations. I think the film is better left as something intimate and, though I’d like for it to reach an audience, I’d rather not jam it down anyone’s throat. I might screen one or two more festivals but no more than that. Also, I’m filming a new short in early 2013 and always try to focus on new projects instead of lingering on old stuff.

What are some of your AFI FEST 2012 highlights? (Events you attended, people you met.)

I generally avoid film-making circles because I find myself as an artist benefiting from a certain amount of isolation. It also allows me to cherish situations where I do actually interact with other filmmakers, such as at AFI FEST. Coming to LA and mixing with nothing but film people for five days was in itself one giant highlight. I also loved meeting the AFI programmers and staff, who I can’t thank enough for inviting me to the festival. 

AFI FEST 2012 Films Nominated for Golden Globes

Congratulations to all the AFI FEST 2012 films that have been nominated for Golden Globes!

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
LIFE OF PI
LINCOLN

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Marion Cotillard, RUST AND BONE
Helen Mirren, HITCHCOCK
Naomi Watts, THE IMPOSSIBLE

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Daniel Day-Lewis, LINCOLN

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Jennifer Lawrence, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
Maggie Smith, QUARTET

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Bradley Cooper, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
A ROYAL AFFAIR
AMOUR
KON-TIKI
RUST AND BONE

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Sally Field, LINCOLN

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Tommy Lee Jones, LINCOLN

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
Ang Lee, LIFE OF PI
Steven Spielberg, LINCOLN

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Tony Kushner, LINCOLN
David O. Russell, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

AFI FEST Filmmakers Nominated for Independent Spirit Awards

We are so proud that many talented filmmakers who attended AFI FEST 2011 & 2012 have been nominated for Independent Spirit Awards!

Best Feature
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (AFI FEST 2012)

Best Director
Julia Loktev - THE LONELIEST PLANET (AFI FEST 2011)
David O. Russell - SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (AFI FEST 2012)

Best Screenplay
David O. Russell - SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (AFI FEST 2012)

John Cassavetes Award
THE COLOR WHEEL - Alex Ross Perry & Carlen Altman (AFI FEST 2011)
STARLET - Sean Baker (AFI FEST 2012)

Best Male Lead
Bradley Cooper - SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (AFI FEST 2012)

Best Documentary
THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE (AFI FEST 2012)

Best International Film
AMOUR (AFI FEST 2012)
ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA (AFI FEST 2011)
RUST & BONE (AFI FEST 2012)
WAR WITCH (AFI FEST 2012)

Robert Altman Award
STARLET - Sean Baker (AFI FEST 2012)

Someone to Watch Award
ELECTRICK CHILDREN - Rebecca Thomas (AFI FEST 2012)

Truer Than Fiction Award
LEVIATHAN - Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel (AFI FEST 2012)
ONLY THE YOUNG - Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims (AFI FEST 2012)

Adult Violence, Childlike Love

WAR WITCH
11/04/12 - Chinese 1, 3:45 p.m.
11/06/12 - Chinese 6, 1:45 p.m. 

By Andrew Johnson

It would be easy for a film about child soldiers to crumble under the weight of its dour and depressing subject matter, but WAR WITCH sidesteps this problem by being a character-driven film rather than an issue-driven one. Kim Nguyen’s latest offering follows Komona, a young African girl abducted from her village at the age of 12 after being forced to shoot her parents. In the hands of a les assured filmmaker this premise might become an excuse for a laborious exercise in “poverty porn,” but Nguyen treats his subject matter with greater respect, choosing to depict suffering through the eyes of a child rather than the desensitized gaze of an adult—are not the young often more capable of processing horror than the old?

Nguyen inserts elements of magical realism into the proceedings, giving them an eerie and otherworldly atmosphere while also accentuating the thematic subtext. Komona has visions of the dead standing motionless around her, caked in white ash. Her parents are her most frequent visitors, and their presence is a constant reminder of her sins. She may have killed them in order to survive, but they weren’t given a proper burial, and until their souls are laid to rest hers never will be.

The second act plays more like a coming-of-age tale, a MOONRISE KINGDOM-esque romance set against the backdrop of poverty and war-torn Africa. The key difference is that these two youngsters are just old enough to act on their hormonal impulses, something which strikes me as just a bit too subversive for a filmmaker like Anderson, and perhaps for mainstream Western audiences. I usually consider myself pretty open-minded when it comes to sex and gender issues, but when confronted with the prospect of Komona having sex with a fellow soldier (they’re so young!), I found myself forced to grapple with my own assumptions and preferences regarding appropriate sexual behavior. I wondered, were they ready for such intimacy? Was this really the best thing for them right now? Couldn’t it bring more trouble than it was worth?

In retrospect, it seems so silly of me to think so. I had fallen prey to the common cultural myth perpetuated by Hollywood that violence is a more acceptable element of youth than sex. Watching children murder their elders was horrible enough, but it was the idea of teenage sexuality that upset me the most! The brilliance of Nguyen’s screenplay is that it acknowledges common Western perceptions of sexuality in Africa as a tragic act inextricably linked to rape and HIV and gradually turns them on its head.

Here, teenage sexuality isn’t a cause for concern, it’s a cause for celebration, a relieving respite from the oppressive and manipulative sex of adulthood. Komona’s body may be a tool to satiate adult (blood)lust, but it never ceases to be hers, and when she becomes empowered to use it to act on her own desires, she reclaims her innocence rather than losing it. In the haze of young love her sins are momentarily washed away, and the endless possibilities of childhood are instantly possible again.

It’s a small miracle that WAR WITCH didn’t turn out completely unwatchable. Nguyen takes several diverse genres — war film, coming-of-age romance, and supernatural horror allegory, to name a few — and combines them all into something beautiful. The film stands as a haunting reminder that we must take care not to delve too deeply into the darkness of others, lest we be blinded from confronting the darkness in ourselves. As Kamona puts it at one point, “I won’t tell you what happened … you won’t listen anymore.” Nguyen wisely takes the eroticism out of violence and places it back where it belongs, in the space between two people. In doing so, he keeps WAR WITCH from coming another gratuitous look at African suffering and allows his images to retain their power, enabling us to better identify the evil around us.

Andrew Johnson is a freelance journalist and the founder of Film Geek Radio, a network of film-and-TV-themed podcasts.

A Conversation with Antonio Campos

By Joey Ally, AFI FEST Now

Before anything else, in the interest of journalistic integrity I should admit to the following: I am absolutely Antonio Campos’s #1 fanboy (or, in this case, girl). I first became aware of Campos’s work five years ago when — still a New Yorker and still (kinda/sorta/sometimes on Wednesdays) trying to make acting my main jam — my scene study teacher was plucked for a role in AFTERSCHOOL (AFI FEST 2008). The work since produced by his film company — Borderline Films, comprised of Campos (writer/director: AFTERSCHOOL, SIMON KILLER), Sean Durkin (writer/director: MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE), and Josh Mond (producer of all three, in addition to numerous others), who met during their time in undergrad film school at NYU — has been nothing short of incendiary, engendering discourse and (gasp!) even agreement throughout the independent film world. Everyone digs these dudes.

Yet sitting down with Campos on Tuesday in Beverly Hills, it was immediately apparent that in spite of the Hollywood-hoover-cloud swirling just above him, Campos possesses one of the most calming demeanors I’ve yet to come across this go round the sun. The lull of his voice, the minimalism of his motions, and the intention behind his eye-contact — as though saying “yes, I’m here with you” — make it apparent why he is able to command such delicately tremendous performances. Actors trust him because he’s a guy you trust, plain and simple.

For 40 minutes, we chatted about SIMON KILLER, AFTERSCHOOL, the New York from which Campos draws his inspiration, and why existentialism shakes his cage, among many other things (such as why the choice of handle for the titular character in SIMON KILLER is not, in fact, a reference to the game “Simon says”….though if you’re reading, Antonio, I maintain that the hypothesis was not totally unfounded).

Here’s some of that conversation.

AFN: First of all, I just want to say thank you for meeting with me. I’ve actually been following you, and Borderline Films, since the casting stage of AFTERSCHOOL because I was in Alexandra Neil’s scene study at the time.

AC: Oh I’m so happy to hear that — I really like Alex. I had it in my head that Alex Neil’s character was sort of connecting the AFTERSCHOOL universe and SIMON KILLER. We were gonna put Brady (Corbet, who portrays the eponymous “Simon”) in a “Brighton Academy” (the fictitious school that serves as the backdrop for AFTERSCHOOL) sweatshirt, like he was the brother to the twins that died or something, but it was too much.

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Jury and Audience Awards


EAT SLEEP DIE

AFI FEST 2012 presented by Audi announced today the features and short films that are the recipients of this year’s Audience and Jury Awards. Select award-winning films will screen again today at the Chinese 6 Theatres.

GRAND JURY AWARD, NEW AUTEURS

The jury is comprised exclusively of film writers: Dana Harris (Indiewire), David Hudson (Fandor), Gregg Kilday (The Hollywood Reporter) and Bérénice Reynaud (Senses of Cinema).

Grand Jury Award: EAT SLEEP DIE for director Gabriela Pichler’s “sensitive portrait of a young woman fighting to keep her job and her dignity in the globalized economy, driven by an energetic performance from Nermina Lukac, is an extraordinary work accessible to many audiences.”

Special Mention for Performance: SIMON KILLER’s Mati Diop for “her contribution to SIMON KILLER as both an actress and screenwriter.”

Special Mention: HERE AND THERE by Antonio Mendez Esparza for “its honest depiction of lives that are otherwise often invisible in our society.”

GRAND JURY AWARDS,
LIVE ACTION AND ANIMATED SHORT

This year’s Shorts jury consisted of Claudette Godfrey (Short Film Programmer for the South by Southwest Film Conference); Mike Plante (Sundance Film Festival Programmer, publisher of Cinemad and filmmaker); Ry Russo-Young (NOBODY WALKS); Ryan Silbert (Academy Award®-winning filmmaker, Live Action Short, GOD OF LOVE); and Jenny Slate (actress, best-selling author, and voice, co-writer and co-creator of MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON, winner of Best Animated Short at AFI FEST 2010).

Grand Jury Award, Live Action Short: INTRODUCING: BOBBY. by Roger Hayn “for crafting an honest vision of America by making an insightful portrayal of a single man.”

Grand Jury Award, Animated Short: OH WILLY… by Emma De Swaef and Marc Roels “for melding a dynamic narrative with innovative animation style that leads the viewer to pure wonderment.”

Special Jury Award for Animation: BELLY by Julia Pott “for its personal touch to technique and playful storytelling that is a welcome addition to the pantheon of animation.”

Special Jury Award for Documentary Filmmaking: WHATEVEREST by Kristoffer Borgli “for constructing a film that contextualizes the digital generation and reflects on what happens when we turn the camera onto ourselves.”

Honorable Mention for Performance: NARCOCORRIDO (DIR Ryan Prows) for Raul Castillo’s “penetrating lead performance that conveys a sense of loss that leaves a lasting mark on the audience.”

Honorable Mention for Promising Vision: DOGS ARE SAID TO SEE THINGS by Guto Parente “for pulling together social criticism with a pool party and actually making something fresh and smart.”

AUDIENCE AWARDS

Audience Award, World Cinema: A ROYAL AFFAIR. DIR Nikolaj Arcel. Denmark/Sweden/Czech Republic/Germany.

Audience Award, New Auteurs: A HIJACKING. DIR Tobias Lindholm. Denmark.

Audience Award, Young Americans: ONLY THE YOUNG. DIR Jason Tippet, Elizabeth Mims. USA.

Audience Award, Breakthrough: NAIROBI HALF LIFE. DIR David Tosh Gitonga. Kenya/Germany. Award accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize.

Photos from Day 7 of AFI FEST presented by Audi.

Photos from the Election Night Party held on Day 6 of AFI FEST presented by Audi at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, CA on Nov. 6, 2012

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