22nd Tokyo International Film Festival Announces Lineup
270 films are on tap for the 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival. The festival, which will have an eco-theme, is scheduled to open October 17 with the world premiere of Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud’s “Oceans,” “a tale of the ocean’s beauty and brutality with the latest cinematographic equipment, capable of taking miraculous images,” and to close on with the Japanese premiere of Pixar’s “Up.” Notably, the festival will also screen Louie Psihoyos’ documentary “The Cove,” which has attracted controversy in Japan for its investigation of dolphin slaughtering in a Japanese village. AP reports that the director risks arrest by attending the festival screening of his film for violating trespassing laws while making the documentary. Among the competition films scheduled to screen at this year’s festival are Jinsei Tsuji’s “Acacia,” Dev Benegal’s “Road, Movie,” and Huo Jianqii’s “Snowfall in Taipei.” View the complete lineup here.
Polish documentary selected to open IDFA
Polish director Dariusz Jablonski’s “War Games and the Man Who Stopped Them” will open the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) on November 19. Jablonski originally pitched the film at the festival’s forum in 1998.The film chronicles the story of Ryszard Kuklinski, a Polish colonel who passed over 40,000 documents about the Warsaw Pact to the U.S. during the Cold War. The film incorporates interviews as well as computer game graphics to illuminate the growing power struggle between East and West. Previously, Jablonski was the recipient of the Joris Ivens Award at IDFA in 1998 for his documentary “Fotoamator.”
AP: Variety trade newspaper to charge for online site
Ending a three-year flirtation with free online content, Variety newspaper plans to put some of its Web site content behind a “pay wall” that will require a paid annual subscription, its publisher said Thursday. The changes at the Hollywood trade publication will take place early next year and come with new online features such as a better archive, publisher Brian Gott said. While there might be some reduction in the number of Web site visitors, currently about 2.5 million per month, the switch will help preserve paying subscribers even if readers eventually switch to reading online only, he said. “It’s getting ahead of something that inevitably will happen and creating a business strategy around maintaining the viability of being a paid product,” Gott said. Ryan Nakashima reports.
Outfest announces recipients of 2009 Legacy Awards
Outfest will honor Emmy Award-winning producer and director Alan Poul and Clear Channel Los Angeles on Wednesday, September 30 at the institution’s annual Legacy Awards. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, a collaboration between Outfest and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The program is devoted to saving and preserving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender moving images. “Since the mid-90’s Alan Poul has been championing LGBT images through his inspired work as a director and producer and as an Outfest Board Member and long-time Major Donor,” said Outfest’s Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer in a statement. “Clear Channel Los Angeles has been an incredible supporter of the LGBT community and of Outfest. They are a leader in both their internal policies and external dedication to LGBT equality.” Actress Laura Linney will present the award to Alan Poul and Jim Murphy, Vice President of Business Affairs, will accept on behalf of Clear Channel. Comedian Bruce Vilanch will host the evening.
IFP announces Independent Film Week’s Spotlight Conversation headliners
IFP has announced the line-up of veteran filmmakers serving as this year’s “spotlight” speakers during the Conference of the IFP’s 31st Annual Independent Film Week. Leading “Spotlight Conversations” are director Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding,” the upcoming “Amelia”), director RJ Cutler (“The War Room,” “The September Issue”) and producer and co-founder of Big Beach Films, Peter Saraf. The Conference will be held during the 31st Annual Independent Film Week running in New York City September 19-24 at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
The First Romania International Film Festival unveils “Women in Cinema” lineup
The Romania International Film Festival announced the selection of its competitive section, “Women in Cinema.” The competition, which runs parallel to the CineBlackSea competition, includes narrative feature films, documentaries and short films, and is dedicated to female directors and producers. Among the films screening in the competition are “El Niño Pez” by Lucia Puenzo, “Little Zizou” by Sooni Taraporevala, and the documentary “Swamp” by Barbara Henlo. The first edition of Ro-IFF takes place in the Romanian city of Arad September 26 through October 4, 2009. View the complete “Women in Cinema” lineup here.
Double feature of Japanese cult classics at American Cinematheque
American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, CA will present a double feature of Japanese cult classics, “Hausu” and “Goke, Bodysnatcher From Hell” on Wednesday, September 23. Nobuhiko Obayashi’s “Hausu” (1977) is a “long-lost fantasy/horror masterpiece” about a demonic house that feasts on virgins. In Hajime Sato’s “Goke,” a “plane is disabled by a flying saucer and crash-lands in a mountainous desert. Heroic pilot Teruo Yoshida tries to control the panic but can’t keep several passengers from wandering off and promptly getting invaded by a creeping blue gel that turns them into vampiric killers.” The screenings will be preceded by a booksigning with author Chris D. and his re-released book “Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film.” More information on the American Cinematheque’s website.