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Film Festival Roundup: AFI FEST Adds ‘Patriots Day’ and ‘Split,’ Savannah Reveals Award Winners and More

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


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

– The Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) and The India Center Foundation are launching India Kaleidoscope, an exciting new festival that will present film lovers with a chance to immerse themselves in the unique sights and sounds that make up the Indian regional, independent film landscape. These films, which delve into the most relevant and pressing topics facing India, are being made by today’s most progressive filmmakers working in regional languages such as Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, and Bengali. Their films are insightful, topical, and provocative, bringing to light the dynamism and the challenges that face modern India and her many diverse communities.

The inaugural festival, taking place December 8 – 11 at the Museum, will feature eight films, including seven new titles that will be making their U.S. or North American premieres and one special presentation of a classic Indian film. Most films will feature directors in person. The Opening Night film is “India in a Day,” an ambitious documentary project initiated by Google and comprised of images shot by thousands of people throughout India.

– Imagine This Productions has launched the Women’s International Film Festival with the aim to celebrate and empower independent and aspiring women filmmakers from around the world. The two-day event will be held at Brooklyn’s Wythe Hotel from November 12-13 and will feature 29 shorts and 6 feature films from female storytellers across 15 countries.

Among the festival selection, 8 will be making their international debut and an additional 5 will be shown in the US for the first time. A number of films will touch on themes related to personal struggles within political and social conflicts across the world. Tickets for the event are available right here.

Openers, Closers and Other Additions

– The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced that AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi will close with the Special Closing Night Gala Presentation of CBS Films and Lionsgate’s “Patriots Day.” Directed by Peter Berg and starring Academy Award nominee Mark Wahlberg, the Closing Night Gala will take place on November 17 at the TCL Chinese Theatre. The festival has also added a special screening of M. Night Shyamalan’s James McAvoy-starring “Split.”

Dog Eat Dog

“Dog Eat Dog”

RLJ Entertainment

– The Denver Film Festival, produced by the Denver Film Society, has announced the full schedule for the Festival AnneX. New to the Festival this year, the Festival AnneX is housed at the recently renovated McNichols Civic Center Building. The AnneX will serve as a hub for Festival activities, highlighting the intersection of film, art, performance and technology. The venue will be open to the public daily, offering panel discussions, creative conversations, digital product displays, a public lounge with happy hour specials and a virtual reality experience. You can check out more information here.

– Australia’s premier genre festival Monster Fest, has unveiled its final wave of films for the 2016 festival, which is set to take place November 24 – 27 at the Lido Cinemas in Melbourne. Highlights include “Dog Eat Dog,” “The Hollow Point,” “The Windmill Massacre,” “The Legend of Ben Hall” and “Playground.” You can check out the full lineup here.

– The 10th edition of the Brazil Film Fest is returning to Toronto from November 4 – 6. Fully dedicated to Brazilian cinema, this year’s opening film is “Aquarius.” The 2016 program is comprised of 10 features and documentaries, many already garnering top awards from various international film festivalsYou can check out the full lineup here.

Special Events

– The Maryland Film Festival presents “Between the Screens: An Inside Look at New Ways to Make Movies,” an open conversation and fundraiser at the MICA Brown Center. Panelists include filmmakers Lodge Kerrigan and Marielle Heller.Moderated by Baltimore filmmaker and Baker Award winner Matt Porterfield, the panel will discuss how the rise of high-quality original shows from Amazon, Netflix, Showtime and AMC are opening new avenues for stories once limited to the silver screen.

The event will support the Maryland Film Festival’s year round programming and operations while celebrating the upcoming opening of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Film Center. It will take place on Saturday, November 12. Find out more information and grab tickets right here.

Honors and Tributes

– The late Ronit Elkabetz, one of the great luminaries of the Israeli film industry and the winner of three Ophir Awards (the Israeli equivalent of an Oscar), will have a tribute dedicated to her memory at this year’s Israel Film Festival in Los Angeles. Often called the “Meryl Streep of Israel,” she died earlier this year at the age of 51. As a tribute to this acclaimed director and actress, the Israel Film Festival, taking place November – 23, will screen two of her films, “The Band’s Visit” and “Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem.”


– The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) announced the award winners for the 19th annual Savannah Film Festival during an awards brunch held at Garibaldi’s Restaurant this past week. Sixteen awards were announced from the 118 films that competed in the categories of narrative features, documentary features, animated shorts, SuperShort! shorts, professional and student shorts and Global Shorts Forum selections. Winners included “Like Cotton Twines,” director Marc Raymond Wilkins, “The Freedom to Marry” and “American Fable” star Peyton Kennedy. You can check out the full list of winners here.

"Nocturnal Animals"

“Nocturnal Animals”

Focus Features

– The seventh edition of the American Film Festival, the only showcase of contemporary American independent films in Eastern and Central Europe, concluded with a closing gala on Sunday evening after screening of Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals.” From among the 14 feature films by independent American filmmakers that were presented as part of the Spectrum competition, viewers chose “Hunky Dory” by Michael Curtis Johnson, who attended the festival and collected the award personally.

Ten films were screened as part of the American Docs section. According to audiences, the festival’s top documentary was Thorsten Schütte’s “Eat That Question – Frank Zappa in His Own Words,” a portrait of the legendary and uncompromising experimental musician made up of statements by Zappa himself from different periods of his work. The Indie Star Award went to the doyen of the New York avant-garde scene, Jonas Mekas.

– America’s largest and longest running horror movie festival, Screamfest, has awarded the top movies, filmmakers and actors of this year’s festival. “My Father Die” and “The Master Cleanse” tied with the most awards, each with four. “My Father Die” won Best Picture, Best Director with Sean Brosnan, Best Editing by Jason Eric Perlman and Sean Brosnan, as well as Best Musical Score by Justin Small and Ohad Benchetrit. “The Master Cleanse” won the Best Actor category with Johnny Galecki, Best Make Up by Naomi Bakstad, Best Special FX by Nicholas Podbrey, Werner Pretorius and Creature FX Artists as well as Best Visual FX by George A. Loucas. Check out the full list of winners here.

Staffing Changes

– The San Francisco Film Society has announced the appointment of Caroline von Kühn as Director, Documentary & New Media Program, effective November 1, 2016.

“Caroline brings a unique range of experience in the film world and an infectious energy to everything she does,” said Noah Cowan, SF Film Society Executive Director. “She is the perfect leader for our rapidly growing documentary and VR artist support programs and a phenomenal addition to our overall programming team.”

Caroline von Kühn is one of the founders of the Points North Institute, the recently launched nonfiction film and media incubator and producer of the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF), among the leading documentary festivals in the country. Von Kühn is also the producer of “Burn Country” (also known as “The Fixer”), a Tribeca Film Festival prizewinner and SF Film Society–supported feature film starring Melissa Leo and James Franco. Von Kühn’s career includes a significant contribution to the Tribeca Enterprises organization, as a Film Festival publicist, head of the Industry office and industry panel producer at Doha Tribeca Film Festival (Qatar).

“I could not be more thrilled to be joining the San Francisco Film Society and their great commitment to supporting emerging artists,” said von Kühn. “I am deeply honored to serve this impressive legacy, furthering the organization’s work to champion important documentary and new media artists, especially at such an exciting time in our field and in the rich creative landscape of the Bay Area.”

Passes and Tickets

– The 19th annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, or “Ebertfest,” have announced that passes for this year’s event are now on sale. Passes allow access to all 12 or more screenings during the five-day event held April 19-23, 2017 at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, IL as well as related talks and panel discussions held at the Hyatt Place in Champaign and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  A limited quantity of 1,000 passes will be obtainable for this year’s festival. You can find out more information here.

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