“Issiz” and “No.4” among plethora of Rhode Island Fest winners
Turkish director Cagan Irmak’s “Issiz Adam” (Alone) won the best feature prize at the 2009 Rhode Island International Film Festival, while Barbara Bird, Judy Maltz and Richie Sherman’s “No. 4 Street of Our Lady” won best documentary. Best documentary short went to “Team Taliban” by Benjamin Kegan. RIIFF’s directyorial discovery award went to “Who Killed Chea Vichea” by Bradely Cox and the international discovery award went to “Danse Macabre” by Pedro Pieres. “Out of the Blue” by Michael Lavelle won best cinematography. In other prizes, Victor Barcena, director of “Las manos de Abel” received the festival’s “Ambassador Award.” Ernest Borgnine was also on hand to receive the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This year’s RIIFF ran August 4-9th and showcased 235 cinematic works submitted from over 57 countries and 31 states in the United States. The 2009 RIIFF presented 38 World Premieres and 21 US/North American Premieres. For more information and further winners, visit the festival’s website.
“Dragon” and “Lucy” take top Feel Good Film Fest prizes
Max Mannix’s and John Radel’s “Dance of the Dragon” won the Panavision grand jury prize for best feel good feature film at the 2nd Feel Good Film Festival (FGFF) in Los Angeles, while Julie Sagalowsky’s “Lucy: A Period Piece” took the prize for best short. Chris Dowling’s “Rock Slyde” won the audience award for “feel good feature,” and Angelo Salvatore Restaino’s “Grande Drip” for feel good short. Cass Warner’s documentary “The Brothers Warner” received a Special Mention in the Feel Good Feature category.
7th Cine Fest Petrobras Brasil-NY names Crystal Lens winners
The 7th Cine Fest Petrobras Brasil-NY announced that Loki – Arnaldo Baptista, directed by Paulo Henrique Fontenelle, won the Festivals’s Crystal Lens Award for Best Feature Film. The award, which is voted on by the audience from amongst all the films, was presented at the Cine Fest Petrobras-Brasil-NY’s Closing Night party at the Tribeca Cinemas on Friday, August 7.
HBO Takes Rights to “Afghan Star”
HBO Documentary Films has acquired U.S. TV rights to “Afghan Star,” the two-time 2009 Sundance award-winning film directed by Havana Marking. Currently in theatrical release via Zeitgeist Films, the documentary will make its U.S. TV debut on HBO in early 2010.
“Children” Gets its NY Debut
“All God’s Children” will have its New York City premiere on Tuesday, August 11, 7:30pm at Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street. The film’s directors, Scott Solary and Luci Westphal (Brooklyn, NY) are scheduled to attend together with several of the film’s participants: Dianne Darr Couts (Akron, OH), Rev. Dr. Richard Darr (Chicago, IL), Marilyn Shellrude Christman (Seattle, WA) and Beverly Shellrude-Thompson (Burlington, ON) are scheduled to attend. Through the eyes of three families, the documentary tells the personal story of the first boarding school for children of missionaries to be investigated for abuse at the hands of the parents’ missionary colleagues. The survivors and parents share their journey of seeking justice, redemption and healing. The Christian and Missionary Alliance, which ran the boarding school at the heart of the film, had its headquarters in Nyack, NY at the time of the abuses. For more information about the film and screening, visit the film’s website.
Brown Takes on “Guest Host” for IFP/Chicago
Producer Effie T. Brown will serve as “Guest Host” for the 3rd Annual Independent Film Gala being held Friday, September 25th at the Wit hotel in downtown Chicago. The event is organized by IFP/Chicago. As Guest Host, Effie will be sharing her experience beginning her career as part of IFP/LA’s Project: Involve program leading her on to her current successes as an award-winning producer. For more information, visit the group’s website.
Top US acting school scouts for new Indian talent
The United States’ most prestigious acting school is to open branches in India, with hopes that they can help discover new generations of talent and make them household names across the world. Phil Hazlewood reports for AFP.
Hollywood abuzz at South African sci-fi film
Hollywood is buzzing with excitement about South African director Neill Blomkamp’s debut film “District 9,” a science-fiction thriller about aliens segregated in a Johannesburg township. Paula Bustamante reports in AFP.
Animator Hayao Miyazaki moves beyond good vs. evil plots
The famous Japanese director tells an American audience that he deeply mulls the stories behind his popular films, including the upcoming Disney venture, “Ponyo.” Charles Burress reports in the Los Angeles Times.
Film Festival in the Cross Hairs
The Chinese flag that defaced the Melbourne International Film Festival’s hacked Web site on July 25 came with a warning: “We like film but we hate Rebiya Kadeer! We like peace and we hate East Turkistan terrorist! Please apologize to all the Chinese people!” Dan Levin reports in the New York Times.