THIS WEEK IN NEWS: Tribeca wound down to a close this week, Todd McCarthy was revealed as the latest addition to iW’s blog community and a number of promising films were bought up for distribution.
TRIBECA: With this year’s edition of the Tribeca Film Festival coming to an end this Sunday, the festival announced its winners at a ceremony in Manhattan’s Union Square on Thursday evening. German director Feo Aladag’s “When We Leave” was the big winner of the night, picking up Best Narrative Feature and Best Actress for Sibel Kekilli. Alexandra Codina’s moving documentary “Monica & David” meanwhile went on to win the Best Documentary Feature prize.
Offering his critical take on Tribeca’s hottest entires, iW’s film critic Eric Kohn churned out review upon review, with likely little sleep to spare. One of the films with the highest profile, Clio Barnard’s “The Arbor,” was judged favorably by Kohn, who dubbed the innovative documentary as “a welcome exception to the norm.” Two films that stirred up a bit of controversy at this year’s fest for their provocative subject matter, Kim Chapiron’s “Dog Pound” and Ashley Horner’s “brillaintlove,” were both met with faint praise and reservations by Kohn. Of “Dog Pound” Kohn wrote “Chaprion’s dedication to the utter brutality of the environment overrides a handful of plot holes, allowing him to skillfully reach the sensational climactic revolt even though it lacks a sufficient explanation.” Kohn mainly found fault in “brilliantlove”‘s plot, and made no qualms about its explicit sex scenes. He writes that “Sean Conway’s screenplay adopts a brisk tone until it aims for deeper thematic possibilities.”
Those seeking a break from Tribeca’s endless screenings found themselves in SoHo’s Apple Store listening to the many talks given by filmmakers and actors with films at the fest, sponsored by indieWIRE. A radiant Patricia Clarkson was in attendance at the talk to promote her latest, “Cairo Time” from Canadian director Ruba Nadda. Director Rodrigo Garcia and actress Kerry Washington were on hand to discuss “Mother and Child.” indieWIRE’s very own Eugene Hernandez moderated a discussion with French filmmaker Thomas Balmes, to promote quite possibly the cutest documentary ever made, “Babies.”
Also to note, director Nicole Holofcener was interviewed by Anthony Kaufman, to bring attention to her Tribeca contender, “Please Give.”
And lastly, to get caught up on pictures from the festival be sure to check out our Tribeca iPop gallery.
iW BLOGS: It is with great excitement that indieWIRE finally gets to tell its followers that legendary film critic Todd McCarthy has joined the esteemed list of indieWIRE’s blogging community. As Eugene Hernandez writes in the official announcement “Todd joins a sharp and seasoned roster of writers here at indieWIRE, from our top notch editorial staff to Anne Thompson & Leonard Maltin who came on board last year and our own critic Eric Kohn. Others will join us this year while we continue to build new sites with terrific journalists.” McCarthy is equally as enthused about the prospect of exploring what the web has to offer. In his first blog post he writes: “For 30 years I enjoyed the “inside” aspect of the trade paper format at Variety and from the beginning tried in my reviews to merge the required commercial perspective with serious critical evaluation. With this new site, I will continue writing formal reviews of important new pictures, but the blog aspect will permit me to write about so many other things, from Hollywood personalities I encounter as a matter of course to observations about my son’s progress as a blossoming film buff.”
ACQUISITIONS: Set for competition at next month’s Cannes Film Festival, Doug Liman’s “Fair Game” starring Naomi Watts and Sean Peen was nabbed by Summit Entertainment for North American and foreign distribution. Sony Picture Classics meanwhile acquired North American rights to Sylvain Chomet’s follow up to “The Triplets of Belleville,” “The Illusionist.” And following a win for the Best Narrative Feature prize at SXSW, Lena Dunham’s “Tiny Furniture” was bought up by IFC films for North American and foreign distribution.
For more of this week’s news be sure to check out the links below…
“The Tree” to Close Cannes
Julie Bertucelli’s “The Tree,” starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marton Csokas and Aden Young will close the 63rd Festival de Cannes on Sunday, May 23rd following the Awards Ceremony.
Seattle Sets 406 Films For Massive 36th Edition of Fest
The 36th edition of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) promises to lay claim to holding the title as the largest and most highly attended event of its kind in the US.
“Toy Story,” “Extra Man” To Jointly Open Nantucket Film Festival
“This line-up of feature films is reflective of some of the fiercest storytellers out there – newcomers as well as some of Nantucket Film Festival’s most beloved past participants,” said Artistic Director Mystelle Brabbee.
“Inferno” and “Hedgehog” Lead COL COA Winners
“Now in its 14th year, City of Lights, City of Angels serves as an increasingly prominent platform for showcasing contemporary French cinema in the United States and an important stop for the directors, writers, producers and actors whose works are shown,” stated LAFCA Jury President Jean Oppenheimer.
Berthaud’s “Pieds” To Close 2010 Director’s Fortnight
Fabienne Berthaud’s “Pieds nus sur les limaces” (Lily Sometimes) has been announced as the closing night film of the 2010 Director’s Fortnight, joining 24 films already announced for the Cannes program last week.
SXSW Doc Heads to VOD in FilmBuff Pact
“Pelada,” which is the Brazilian word for ‘naked,’ is a is a documentary following Luke and Gwendolyn, two former college soccer stars who didn’t quite make it to the pros.
“Cyrus” Opening BAMcinemaFEST; Assayas Chat Also On Tap
The festival will open on June 9th with New York premiere of Jay and Mark Duplass’s “Cyrus,” which premiered at Sundance earlier this year.
“Winter’s Bone” Claims Top Palm Beach Prize
As with many similar events these past several months, the festival faced severe financial difficulties, leading to some speculation that this might be its last. But despite that unfortunate possibility, the fest drew over 70 participating filmmakers to share their films with appreciative audiences over the past week.
“Toy Story 3” Heading To Edinburgh Fest
The audience in Edinburgh will be the first in the UK to see the film after its opening in the United States the previous day.
Cannes Catches Classics for 2010
This year’s roster includes a range of movies from around the world from filmmakers Jean Renoir, Luchino Visconti and Luis Buñuel to Volker Schlöndorff, John Huston and Hector Babenco. Also on tap are a group of four documentaries about films, filmmakers or the film industry.
Sundance Names 13 for June Directors & Screenwriting Labs
Over the course of the Directors Lab, the Fellows work with an accomplished group of Creative Advisors and professional production crews, shooting and editing key scenes from their screenplays.
Box Office: Banksy & “Secret” Lead Weekend; Openers Struggle (UPDATED)
The weekend’s big news was really last weekend’s big news: “Exit Through The Gift Shop,” the mysterious is-it-a-documentary from the equally mysterious British street artist Banksy, and Argentine director Juan José Campanella’s Oscar winner “The Secret In Their Eyes” both continued suggestions that they were turning into Spring specialty success stories.
FUTURES | “The Dry Land” Filmmaker Ryan Piers Williams
Williams credits his foray into journalism and especially his formative surroundings for instilling in him a passion to tell meaningful stories. “I had a really great upbringing,” he said.
Filmmaker Interview: Director Michael Patrei Aims to Inspire with “Ballou” (Watch it Now Free)
Michael Patrei’s inspirational and uplifting documentary “Ballou” has been making the rounds for the past two years on the festival circuit, including screenings at the Hollywood Black Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival.
Writing 101: Tips From Three Tribeca Screenwriters
Edward Burns: I’m pretty strick about my schedule. I start writing everyday at 9:30, and I write until 1. I have lunch, and then I pick it up again around 2:30 and then work write until 5.
Big Screen | Holofcener and a “Human Centipede” Lead Debuts
Both among early-in-the-season picks on indieWIRE’s summer movie preview, there might not be a more inappropriate double feature than Nicole Holofcener’s “Please Give” and Tom Six’s “The Human Centipede.”
Controversy Brewing In Wake of Tribeca Rwanda Doc Debut
“This is the story of Rwanda. It’s our story, but we also have to move forward,” said Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame following the world premiere of Deborah Scranton’s doc, “Earth Made of Glass,” at the Tribeca Film Festival Monday night in a very soggy downtown Manhattan.
Spitzer Doc Gains Momentum at Tribeca Fest
One of the biggest screenings going into this year’s Tribeca Film Festival may also be one of the most-buzzed-about going out. Tipped as one of the event’s most anticipated films, Alex Gibney’s “Untitled Eliot Spitzer Film” didn’t disappoint at its Saturday night premiere, hitting all the right notes of humor, scandal and revelations for a packed house at Chelsea’s SVA Theater.