By Brian Brooks | Indiewire July 31, 2009 at 7:43AM
Havana ceremony honours del Toro
The inaugural Tomas Gutierrez Alea prize was presented at a ceremony attended by US actors Robert Duvall, James Caan and Bill Murray. Their visit is seen as a sign of warming Cuban-US relations. Puerto Rican-born del Toro played revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara in two films out last year. BBC reports.
DocuWeeks Theatrical Documentary Showcase to open in L.A., New York
18 feature and 10 short documentaries that have been selected to be screened during the prestigious International Documentary Assn.'s DocuWeeks Theatrical Documentary Showcase, which begins today in Los Angeles -- at the ArcLight in Hollywood -- and New York. The showcase runs through Aug. 20. Susan King takes a look at the series in the Los Angeles Times.
Almodovar's Broken Embraces arrives in the UK
Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodovar talk about "Broken Embraces," their fourth collaboration and his homage to film-making, which had its UK premiere last night at Somerset House, London. The film opens throughout the UK August 28. The Guardian reports.
"Thirst" maker seeks laughs in vampire flick
"You could consider the film a vampire film or a horror film, but actually I'd like people to laugh," "Thirst" director Park Chan-wook told the SF Examiner, "Of course, where people laugh in a film is cultural. But humor is necessary to enjoy my films."
Cannes-honoured Philippine film gets censors' nod
Censors here have belatedly approved a Philippine film honoured at the Cannes festival that graphically depicts the rape, murder and dismemberment of a prostitute. AFP reports on Brillante Mendoza's "Kinatay."
LACMA slaps film in the face
More fallout from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's decision to "suspend" its film program, as Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan attacks the decision saying, "You'll excuse me, but the logic of needing to stop the program in order to rethink it sounds suspiciously like the apocryphal Vietnam War rationale that 'we had to burn the village to save it.' That the museum seems to lack the ability to consider the situation's pros and cons while things are up and running doesn't give me a lot of confidence in its ultimate decision."