Dolan’s “Mother” wins in Reykjavik
Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s directorial debut “I Killed My Mother” (J´ai Tué Ma Mère), which chronicles the stormy relationship between a teenage boy and his mother, won the Golden Puffin at the 2009 Reykjavik International Film Festival. The film also won the Prix Regards Jeunes at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. The prize is a discovery award eligible to first and second time directors. Swedish director Fredrik Ekdfelt´s first feature “The Girl” (Flickan) which tells the story of a 10-year old girl who, left alone, creates her own reality won the FIPRESCI Award by the International Federation of Film Critics, while Norwegian director Matias Armand Jordal’s “Together” (Sammen) won the Church of Iceland Award. The film is the story of a family’s fight to re-establish their bonds.
Icelandic director Janus Bragi Jakobsson´s short film “The Gentlemen” (Herramenn), a tale of male bonding aided by copious amounts of alcohol, won the RIFF Audience Award, UK/ TOGO director Brice Lainé´s “The Dancing Forest” took the RIFF Environmental Award. Milos Forman, meanwhile, received the festival’s lifetime achievement award. Admissions for the festival, which took place in Iceland’s capital surpassed 22,000. The dates for the 2010 RIFF are September 23 – October 3. For more information about the festival and other winners, visit their website.
Adrienne Shelly’s “Moonlight” to open 16th Austin Film Festival & Conference
The Austin Film Festival has unveiled it’s opening and closing films, with the late Adrienne Shelly’s penned work, “Serious Moonlight,” directed by Cheryl Hines and Oscar-nominated Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air” closing the festival, which takes place October 22 – 29. “Moonlight” is described as a dark relationship comedy starring Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Kristen Bell and Justin Long. “Air” is the story of a corporate downsizer and frequent flyer, played by George Clooney, who has to learn what it means to make a real connection and have a home as he faces the prospect of being permanently called in from the road. For the full Austin line up, visit indieWIRE.
Jeremy Thomas slated for Keynote Speech at Film Independent’s 5th Annual Filmmaker Forum
Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced today that Academy Award-winning producer Jeremy Thomas will be the keynote speaker for the fifth-annual Filmmaker Forum, which will be held October 9-11 at the Directors Guild of America, Los Angeles. Rebecca Yeldham, Film Independent’s festival director, will moderate the conversation. Thomas has produced over forty films, including: Bernardo Bertolucci’s Academy Award-winning “The Last Emperor,” David Cronenberg’s “Naked Lunch,” Jonathan Glazer’s “Sexy Beast,” Phillip Noyce’s “Rabbit-Proof Fence,” Terry Gilliam’s “Tideland,” Richard Linklater’s “Fast Food Nation,” and most recently, Jon Amiel’s “Creation,” which opened the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. The three-day forum kicks off Friday night with a screening of the Weinstein Company’s “The Road,” followed by a Q&A and reception with director John Hillcoat.
2010 RiverRun International Film Festival to expand dates
Bucking a trend among festivals that have downsized or even eliminated upcoming editions, organizers of the 2010 RiverRun International Film Festival will expand its event to eleven days for the event takingplace April 15 – 25 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, giving the fest two weekends in its next run. For most of RiverRun’s history, the Festival has been a three- or four-day event, starting in 1998 when it was founded in Brevard, NC. “Over the past few years, we’ve been very fortunate to receive continued support from our audiences as we expanded the size and scope of the festival,” said Andrew Rodgers, RiverRun’s executive director in a statement. “For the 2010 festival, we are excited to grow RiverRun even further by adding a second weekend, which will allow us to offer more films and screening opportunities for our audiences.”
Clooney to star in Anton Corbijn’s “The American”
Academy Award winner George Clooney will star in director Anton Corbijn’s (“Control”) “The American, which begins production this week on location in Italy. Focus Features holds worldwide rights to the suspense thriller written by Rowan Joffe adapted from Martin Booth’s novel, A Very Private Gentleman.
AFP: China’s “City of Life and Death” wins San Sebastian film prize
Chinese director Lu Chuan’s account of the Japanese occupation of Nanjing in 1937, “City of Life and Death,” won the top award Saturday at the San Sebastian Film Festival. A Spanish actor with Down’s Syndrome, Pablo Pineda, picked up the best actor prize at the festival in the northern Spanish coastal city for his role in “Yo, Tambien” (“Me Too”), the jury announced. Virginie Grognou reports.
NYT: Indie Filmmakers: China’s New Guerrillas
Over the course of six years Zhao Dayong, an independent filmmaker from Guangzhou, China, spent many months living among the residents of Zhiziluo, an impoverished and forgotten village in the rugged mountains near the Myanmar border, and filming their lives. Using his own money and simple digital filmmaking equipment he made “Ghost Town,” a quiet, hypnotizing, three-hour documentary that provides an extraordinary and intimate portrait of Chinese life. Like independent filmmakers everywhere, Mr. Zhao worked with no guarantee of an audience, or even a place to show his work. By his estimates only a few thousand people have seen “Ghost Town” in China since he finished it last year. Several hundred more are scheduled to see it Sunday afternoon when the film has its international premiere at the New York Film Festival. Kirk Semple reports.
AFP: Indonesian filmmakers defy clerics over Japanese porn star’s visit
Filmmakers in Muslim-majority Indonesia on Monday defied condemnation by clerics, saying they would stick to their plans to fly out a top Japanese porn star to act in a local comedy. Muslim leaders have blasted plans to bring out 23-year-old erotic film megastar Maria Ozawa, popularly known as Miyabi, to play herself in the upcoming film “Menculik Miyabi” (Kidnapping Miyabi). AFP reports.