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Film Festival Roundup: AFI FEST Adds ‘La La Land’ Gala, London Awards Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Certain Women’ and More

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

La La Land

“La La Land”


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

Full Lineup Announcements

– “3-D Auteurs,” a 19-day, 34-film festival spotlighting stereoscopic movies by some of history’s most distinguished directors, will run at Film Forum November 11 – 29. The festival spans 3-D’s earliest days (including some turn-of-the-century films by pioneer Georges Méliès) to the present, and represents virtually every genre, including Westerns, Film Noir, and Science Fiction. Hollywood’s first big 3-D craze (sometimes called 3-D’s “golden era”), intended to offset the threat of television, came in the early 1950s, with such movies as Hitchcock’s “Dial M For Murder,” André De Toth’s “House of Wax” and Jack Arnold’s “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (all included in the series).

Hollywood produced roughly 50 movies in the process from 1952 to 1954, before fizzling out and being overtaken by other big screen innovations like Cinerama and CinemaScope. You can check out the full lineup here.

– Washington West will present its sixth annual festival, running October 19 – 25, featuring new films produced by Stephen Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and award-winning independent filmmakers from around the world. Academy Award-winning actor and director Robert Duvall will offer a rare audience experience, sharing multiple scenes of his career and answering questions from the audience about each. Legendary Washington Post writer and associate editor Bob Woodward will attend the 40th anniversary screening of “All The President’s Men” (four Oscar wins, eight nominations) and answer audience questions following the film.

The festival’s Closing Night Film is an early pre-release D.C. screening of the new film executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Bruce Cohen, “Bleed For This” (starring Miles Teller and Aaron Eckart). Many new Oscar contending documentaries and short films also fill the seven day program. You can check out the full lineup right here.

Miles Teller stars as Vinny Pazienza

“Bleed For This”

Open Road/Magna

– Ithaca Fantastik will unleash its fifth annual film festival November 9 – 13 in Ithaca, NY. The festival has horror fans covered, with some of the year’s genre gems. Fantastic Fest award winner “The Autopsy of Jane Doe”  will lead the pack, followed by “Safe Neighborhood,” the action-packed “Headshot,” the socially-infused zombie anime “Seoul Station,” the disturbing “Pet” (Carles Torrens), as well as an over-the-top Indian take on a zombie breakout: “Miruthan.” You can check out the full lineup right here.

– The 2016 Gold Coast International Film Festival has announced its slate of films for this year’s festival, taking place November 9 – 15 in venues throughout the north shore of Long Island. The festival kicks off with a special sneak peek screening of “Burn Your Maps,” starring Jacob Tremblay andVera Farmiga, to be held on November 10 at Soundview Cinema in Port Washington. On November 12, also at Soundview Cinemas, GCIFF will host the Long Island premiere of “Bang! The Bert Berns Story,” a documentary narrated by Steven Van Zandt about the life and career of Bert Berns, the renowned 1960s songwriter/producer.

Other standout films include the Long Island premiere of Isabelle Huppert’s new film “Things to Come,” direct from the Toronto International Film Festival, “Harry Benson: Shoot First,” followed by a Q&A with the legendary photographer himself and “On the Map,” the incredible story of how the 1977 Maccabee Tel-Aviv basketball team toppled the four-time defending Soviet team and put Israeli basketball firmly on the map. Director Dani Menkin and basketball star Tal Brody will be in attendance for a Q&A. You can check out the full lineup right here.

– The Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival, set in the heart of Mallorca’s buzzing and culturally rich center of Palma, has announced its lineup of screenings and events for the festival’s fifth edition. The ten-day festival will take place November 3 – 12 and includes a festival tribute award to legendary actor/director Danny DeVito, a Gala Opening Night, narrative and documentary competition sections, a Drive in Cinema section at Port Adriano, and a Virtual Reality Zone at Co Co & Cia.

The festival will present 16 films in Narrative feature and 6 in Documentary feature Competition, 18 short films, as well as additional events and special screenings. Special events include the Opening Night Screening of “El Destierro,” produced by local Goya nominated filmmakers Toni Bestard, Marcos Cabotá and Diana de la Cuadra. Centerpiece is the Evolution Honorary Award Presentation to iconic filmmaker Danny DeVito, Spotlight Screening of acclaimed narrative film “A Heavy Heart” and a Closing Night Screening of “Tour de France,” starring Gerard Depardieu, and an Awards gala at Mercado Gastronómico San Juan. You can check out the full lineup right here.

Openers, Closers and Other Additions

– The American Film Institute will screen Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” as a Centerpiece Gala at AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi. It will screen on Tuesday, November 15, at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

– With Houston Cinema Arts Festival just under a month away, the programming lineup has added the biopic “Jackie” from acclaimed Chilean director Pablo Larraín. Starring Academy Award winner Natalie Portman, the film is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.

The annual festival – running from November 10 – 17 – will release its full schedule at the HCAF16 Launch Party on October 25 at The Alley Theatre.

jackie natalie portman


Additional films about artistic disciplines screening at HCAF16 include “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise,” guest filmmaker Beth B’s “Call Her Applebroog” and “Exposed, Argentina, The Architect” with guest director Jonathan Parker as part of the ArCH Film Festival, “Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table” with guest director Leslie Iwerks in conjunction with famed Houston restaurant Brennan’s, “Bird in the Room “and “Yarn.”

Honors and Tributes

– The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) announced that the recipients of the 2017 Virtuosos Award, created to recognize a select group of talent who have distinguished themselves through breakthrough performances in film this past year, will include: Aaron Taylor Johnson, Dev Patel, Janelle Monáe, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Ruth Negga, Simon Helberg and Stephen Henderson.

The Award presentation, which will be moderated for the seventh year by Dave Karger, will take place February 4, 2017 at the Arlington Theatre at the 32nd edition of the festival, which runs February 1 to February 11, 2017.

– The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is pleased to announce honorees, guests and the complete film line-up for the 2016 Savannah Film Festival. Mahershala Ali will receive the Discovery Award, Sam Claflin and Molly Shannon will receive Spotlight Awards, and Miles Teller will receive the Vanguard Award.  Held in downtown Savannah, the Festival runs October 22 – 29.

– Outfest, the non-profit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen, has announced that Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”), Amy Landecker (“Transparent”), Dax Shepard (“Parenthood”), Shay Mitchell (“Pretty Little Liars”), Teri Polo (“The Fosters”) and Sherri Saum (“The Fosters”) will be presenting Legacy Awards to Jill Soloway, Sean Hayes and Freeform, respectively. The 2016 Legacy Awards will take place on Sunday, October 23 at performing arts venue Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles, with head chef Neal Fraser (Redbird).

As previously announced, Soloway will be honored with the Visionary Award, which recognizes artistic and creative contributions to the LGBT media visibility for a body of work that includes “Transparent.” Hayes is receiving the Trailblazer Award in recognition of his exemplary career as a stage, film, television, and recording artist and for his longtime, passionate support of the LGBT community. Freeform is receiving the Corporate Trailblazer Award in recognition of its groundbreaking programming for young adults — people in high school, college and the decade that follows — which includes such LGBT-friendly programs including “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Fosters” and “Shadowhunters.”

Jill Soloway

Jill Soloway

Daniel Bergeron

– In recognition of his contributions to both independent and blockbuster films, the San Jose International Short Film Festival (SJSFF) in cooperation with Mammoth Pictures will honor filmmaker James Gunn with “The Visionary Award” at their eighth annual festival. The honor recognizes a filmmaker’s unwavering integrity throughout their work in independent and blockbuster features, and recognizes true artists who dream big to reach unparalleled heights.

As the festival’s guest of honor, Gunn will also review and select the winner of the inaugural “James Gunn Independent Filmmaker Award,” accompanied by a grant of $2,500 or more for the winner to make their next film. The award recognizes exemplary independent filmmakers who display immense potential in their craftsmanship and understanding of the filmmaking process; the winner will be revealed at the Festival Gala held at the Glass House in downtown San Jose on Saturday, October 22.

– The sixth annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) will host a private VIP screening of TWC-Dimension’s highly anticipated film “Gold,” starring Matthew McConaughey, who will receive the Caldwell Vineyards Maverick Actor Tribute, for his outstanding contributions to the art of acting and cinematic story-telling. The film is inspired by true events and will be released wide on Christmas Day.


– The 60th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express announced this year’s Festival Awards’ winners at its high profile Awards dinner, at Banqueting House, Whitehall, this week. Hosted by Michael Sheen and with an address from BFI Chair Josh Berger, guests included Abi Morgan, Alicia Vikander, Anna Friel, Anthony Chen, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Bola Agbaje, David Dehaney, David Nicholls, David Tennant, Edmund Coulthard, Florence Pugh, George Amponsah, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Guy Lodge, John Maclean, Kerry Fox, Lily James, Louise Osmond, Matthew Macfadyen, Oli Hyatt, Radu Jude, Sarah Gavron, Sara Ishaq, Sean McAllister and Michael Fassbender, who presented the BFI Fellowship to this year’s recipient Steve McQueen.

The Best Film Award went to Kelly Reichardt for her “Certain Women.” Other winners include “Raw,” “Starless Dreams” and “9 Days — From My Window in Aleppo.”

– The Mill Valley Film Festival concluded its 39th year this week with the Bay Area premiere of Jeff Nichols’ acclaimed historical drama “Loving.” Nichols was in attendance for the screening along with actor Joel Edgerton and actress Ruth Negga, with special guest Alice Walker in the audience. The screening was a fitting end for the annual autumn showcase of films, panels, parties, and musical performances.

MVFF also announced it audience award winners, including “Lion,” “Loving,” “Moonlight,” Unleashed” and “A Man Called Ove.” You can check out the full list of winners here.



– The 17th annual fiercely independent Woodstock Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday with a screening of “Woodstock: A Love Poem” by Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Leon Gast. Tallies from more than 120 narrative, documentary, short and animated films were calculated at the film center late Sunday night to determine the Audience Award Winners. Ten thousand movie buffs, film industry members and filmmakers from around the world attended films, panels, and special events in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Kingston and Saugerties over the last three days, traversing everything from road blocks to drum circles to get to their screenings and fill the ballot baskets!

Winners included “Junction 48” and “Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing.”

– The 14th Annual Tallgrass Film Festival presented by Consolidated Equities Trust  announced their filmmaker awards during an entertaining ceremony preceding their Closing Night Gala screening of Dorie Barton’s GIRL FLU on Sunday, October 16 at the Orpheum Theater in Wichita, Kansas. Feature films taking the Golden Strands Programming Awards (selected by the senior members of the Tallgrass Programming Staff) included Jaco Van Dormael’s “Brand New Testament,” which was named “Outstanding Narrative Feature,” and Andrew Becker and Daniel Mehrer’s “Santoalia,” chosen as “Outstanding Documentary Feature.”

Other winners and honorees included Anne Fontaine, Paul Taylor, Maisie Crow, Alicia Slimmer, Keith Maitland, Alex Shafer, Chen Gang, Lucy Waters and the cast of “Bender.” You can check out the full list of winners here.

– The fourth annual La Costa Film Festival announced their filmmaker awards on Saturday, October 15 at the renowned Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California. Nathan Apffel’s “The Longest Journey” was the big winner of the evening, taking home the Audience Awards for both Best Documentary Feature Film, as well as Best of the Festival. Bo Brinkman’s “Last Man Club” was chosen by La Costa FF audiences as Best Narrative Feature Film (Domestic), and Olivier Ringer’s “Birds of Passage” received the Audience nod as Best Narrative Feature (Foreign).

The Closing Night Star Awards Gala presentations were preceded by the featured screening of Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson’s “Claire in Motion” with star Betsy Brandt in attendance. You can check out the full list of winners here.

"The Cinema Travellers"

“The Cinema Travellers”

– The New Hampshire Film Festival ended its 16th annual film festival on Sunday with an awards presentation at The Music Hall. Filmmakers, critics, and festival-goers packed the historic theater for the closing ceremonies, which featured organizers handing out numerous solid-granite NHFF awards called “The Granny” to the weekend’s best films. This year’s winners included “The Cinema Travellers,” “We’re Still Together,” “Walk for Me,” “The Itching,” “Pickle,” “How You Look At It,” “Forest Born,” “Weiner,” “American Fable,” “The Legend of Swee’ Pea” and “Chronic.”

– Director Aleksandra Maciuszek received the Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award at the 2016 Mead Awards Ceremony on Sunday, October 16, for her film “Casa Blanca,” about a young Cuban man with Down syndrome who grapples with new responsibilities when his mother falls ill.

Maciuszek was selected from among eleven contenders by a jury that included the co-founder and executive director of Cinema Tropical Carlos A. Gutiérrez; director and cinematographer Kirsten Johnson; Carolyn Rouse, cultural anthropologist at Princeton; director of programming for DOC NYC Basil Tsiokos;  and MIT anthropologist Christine Walley.

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