Mill Valley Film Festival announces lineup
The Mill Valley Film Festival, to take place October 8-18, has announced a line up of 143 films from 41 countries, including 24 premieres, for its 2009 edition. The festival will open with “The Boys Are Back,” directed by Scott Hicks (“a wryly confessional tale of fatherhood that evokes the wonders of family life”) as well as Lee Daniels’ “Precious,” and is set to close with Jean-Marc Vallé’s “The Young Victoria,” starring Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria, and Ken Loach’s “Looking for Eric.” In addition, the festival will honor actors Anna Karina, Uma Thurman, and Woody Harrelson, with screenings of their latest films, and will also spotlight the careers of director Jason Reitman (including a screening of his newest film, “Up in the Air”) and actor Clive Owen. To view the complete lineup and list of special events, visit the Mill Valley Film Festival’s official website.
Werner Herzog announces the creation of his “Rogue Film School”
Werner Herzog has announced the opening of his “Rogue Film School,” a series of several weekend seminars scheduled to take place in various US and international cities. The inaugural seminar will take place January 8-10, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA in a hotel conference room. A limited number of students will assemble to learn about “the art of lock-picking, traveling on foot, the exhilaration of being shot at unsuccessfully, the athletic side of filmmaking, the creation of your own shooting permits, the neutralization of bureaucracy, and guerilla tactics.” According to Herzog: “The Rogue Film School is not for the faint-hearted; it is for those who have traveled on foot, who have worked as bouncers in sex clubs or as wardens in a lunatic asylum, for those who are willing to learn about lock-picking or forging shooting permits in countries not favoring their projects. In short: it is for those who have a sense for poetry. For those who are pilgrims. For those who can tell a story to four-year-old children and hold their attention. For those who have a fire burning within. For those who have a dream.” For more information on how to apply, visit the seminar’s official website.
Maggie Gyllenhaal to Host new season of PBS’s “Independent Lens”
The PBS series “Independent Lens” announced today that actress Maggie Gyllenhaal will host the upcoming 2009/2010 season, making her debut when the series premieres on Tuesday, October 13th, 2009, which will feature Megumi Sasaki’s documentary “Herb & Dorothy,” about a postal worker and his librarian wife whose passion led them to create one of the most priceless collections of contemporary art in the world. This season of “Independent Lens” will showcase a selection of 26 other independent films. “I’m a passionate believer in the power of independent film,” said Gyllenhaal in a statement. “‘Independent Lens’ filmmakers ignore the rules of commercial programming and spend years pursuing diverse stories about people not normally seen on TV. I am truly honored to present their work as the new host of ‘Independent Lens.'” Past seasons of Independent Lens have been presented by such actors as Edie Falco, Angela Bassett, Don Cheadle and Susan Sarandon.
Writers Guild of America, West announces results of 2009 Officers and Board of Directors election
The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has announced the final results of its 2009 WGAW Officers and Board of Directors election. The following members were elected to serve as Officers: President – John Wells; Vice President – Tom Schulman; Secretary-Treasurer – David N. Weiss. “I’m remarkably humbled by the membership returning me to the Presidency of the Guild,” said Wells in a statement. “I look forward to working with the Board again and to working with David Young and his talented staff to meet the many challenges that lie ahead.” The following nine members were elected to the WGAW’s Board of Directors: Patric M. Verrone, Howard A. Rodman (inc.), Dan Wilcox (inc.), Linda Burstyn, Billy Ray, Steven Schwartz, Chip Johannessen, Carleton Eastlake, Ian Deitchman. The Officers and Board members will serve for a term of two years, effective immediately.
Spike Jonze and Patrick O’Dell to host evening of skateboard videos at MoMA
PopRally, in conjunction with the MoMA film exhibition “Spike Jonze: The First 80 Years,” will present a compilation of seminal skateboard videos from the 1980s to today, including some of Jonze’s contributions to the genre, chosen by producer and photographer Patrick O’Dell (of Epicly Later’d). The screening, which will take place Thursday, October 15, will be followed by a conversation with several skateboarders and filmmakers, including Jonze, Lance Mountain, Jake Phelps, Greg Hunt, Ty Evans, and other guests. A performance by the band No Age follows the film program.
Variety: Film Society to unspool “Border”
The Film Society of Lincoln Center will unspool Oliver Stone’s “South of the Border” on Wednesday in Gotham to coincide with the U.S. visit of Bolivian President Evo Morales, who is featured in the doc. Stone and pic producer Fernando Sulichin will attend the exclusive screening at the Walter Reade Theater. A Q&A, moderated by film society program director Richard Pena, follows. Pic preemed at the Venice Film Festival, where its subject, Hugo Chavez, created a stir walking on the Lido red carpet. Shalini Dore reports.