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Film Festival Roundup: AFI FEST Adds ‘Jackie’ and ‘Miss Sloane,’ Chicago International Announces Winners and More

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column.

jackie natalie portman


Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

Openers, Closers and Other Additions

– The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the films that will play in the Special Screenings section of AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi, which includes three World Premieres and four additional highly anticipated films.

The World Premiere of the CG-animated film “Moana” will play in the Special Screenings section, along with “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds” and “Toni Erdmann.” Also bowing as Special Screenings will be the World Premieres of “Miss Sloane” and, as previously announced, “The Comedian.”

AFI FEST has also added Pablo Larrain’s lauded “Jackie,” starring Natalie Portman, as a Centerpiece Gala.

– The Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced that “American Pastoral,” the directorial debut of Perthshire-born Ewan McGregor will have a special Edinburgh International Film Festival Gala at the Filmhouse, Edinburgh on Wednesday, November 2. Director and lead actor McGregor will be in attendance to celebrate the film in his native country.


– The Chicago International Film Festival announced its complete list of award winners honored at the 52nd edition, which ran through October 27. The Romanian drama “Sieranevada” home top honors in the Festival’s prestigious International Feature Competition category, earning the Gold Hugo for Best Film. The film’s director, Cristi Puiu, is also awarded Silver Hugo Best Director honors.

The Festival’s Jury Prize, helmed by Jury President Geraldine Chaplin, was awarded to Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman,” the Gold Hugo in the New Directors Competition was presented to Juho Kuosmanen’s “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki” and the Gold Hugo for Best Documentary was awarded to Festival world premiere “Samuel in the Clouds.” You can check out the full list of winners right here.

Ewan McGregor in American Pastoral

“American Pastoral”


– Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman will be honored with the 2016 Israel Film Festival Achievement in Film Award, Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress Sharon Stone will receive the 2016 Israel Film Festival Career Achievement Award and Jay Sanderson will accept the 2016 Israel Film Festival Community Leadership Award on behalf of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, at the 30th anniversary of the Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles gala dinner on Wednesday, November 9.

– New York City’s NewFest announced their Audience Awards on Tuesday night. The winners included Jonah Markowitz’ “Political Animals,” Carly Usdin’s “Suicide Kale,” Derrick L. Middleton’s “Shape Up: Black & Gay in the Barberhop” and Andrew Keenan-Bolger’s “Sign.”

– The Middleburg Film Festival announced their Audience Award winners earlier this week, concluding the four-day festival. This year’s Audience Award for Best Narrative went to Garth Davis’ “Lion,” while Otto Bell’s “The Eagle Huntress” won for Best Documentary.

– The Austin Film Festival announced their Hiscox Audience and Courage Award Winners this week, recognizing film favorites across the festival’s 2016 slate.

This year’s winners include Remy Auberjonois and Kate Nowlin’s “Blood Stripe,” Alexander Kleider’s “Berlin Rebel High School,” Steven DeGennaro’s “Found Footage 3D,” Michael Dowling and Jody Lambert’s “Brave New Jersey,” Natalie Malla’s “Killing Thyme,” Frank Stiefel’s “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405” (which also took hime the Courage Award), Takeshi Yashiro’s “Moon of a Sleepless Night,” Ophelia Harutyunyan’s “Red Apples,” Westin Ray’s “The Listening Box,” Brian Rudnick’s “American Wrestler: The Wizard,” Ozan Aciktan, Ozan Guven, Fethi Kantarci, Uygar Sirin, Mehmet Turgut, and Funda Cetin’s “My Mother’s Wound,” David Hickey and Blaise Miller’s “Homestate” and Luke Davies’ “Lion.”

Lion - Dev Patel


The Weinstein Company

– The 53rd edition of International Antalya Film Festival came to a close on Sunday. In the spirit of its long-time tradition, the festival honors iconic figures from around the world and their contribution to cinema to educate and entertain audiences and to bring attention to individual stories and extraordinary events.

This year’s recipient of the Golden Orange Lifetime Achievement Awards went to legendary Oscar nominated actor Harvey Keitel and award-winning Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi.

– Matt Ross’ “Captain Fantastic” won the BNL People’s Choice Award from this year’s Rome Film Fest. The film was presented in the Official Selection of the Fest, in collaboration with the parallel and independent sidebar Alice nella città.

– The international jury of Film Fest Gent, led by jury president Jeremy Thomas, announced this week the winners of the different competitions. “A Quiet Passion” by Terence Davies won the Grand Prix for Best Film, the Georges Delerue Award for Best Music went to Johnny Jewel for his music for “Home” by Fien Troch and Jeremy Thomas received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his entire career.

Submissions and Prizes

– The Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF) is awarding more than $50,000 in cash and prizes to independent filmmakers and screenwriters across seven categories. Submissions of original screenplays, features and short films are now being accepted for the sixth annual festival, to be held in Sun Valley, Idaho from March 15-19, 2017.

The Festival offers significant funding and mentorship opportunities, with category winners and finalists paired with established talents who have helped many filmmakers gain representation and national distribution. Films competing for $10,000 in finishing funds from The Film Lab, presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, will also receive feedback and guidance from Sundance’s Director of Programming, Trevor Groth. In addition, filmmaker Michael Tully will host the inaugural Short Film Lab with Jim Burke of Focus Features, judging. Producer, Chris Moore will be next year’s judge of The High Scribe screenplay competition. To find out more, head to their official submissions page.

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