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Film Festival Roundup: MoMI and India Center Foundation Launch India Kaleidoscope Festival, Palm Springs Announces More Tributes

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.

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.”

The inaugural India Kaleidoscope 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, artfully edited by director Richie Mehta (who will appear in person on Dec. 8), and executive produced by Ridley Scott and Anurag Kashyap.

"India In a Day"

“India In a Day”

The films in the newly announced lineup “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.” You can find out more information right here.

Honors and Tributes

– The 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman with the International Star Award for her performance in “Lion” at its annual Film Awards Gala.

Kidman received the Festival’s Chairman’s Award in 2005. Past International Star Award honorees include BAFTA and Academy Award winning actors Javier Bardem, Helen Mirren and BAFTA and Academy Award nominated actress Saoirse Ronan.

– The festival will also present Natalie Portman with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress for her performance in “Jackie” at its annual Film Awards Gala.

Portman received the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress in 2011 for her performance in “Black Swan,” where she went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. Additional past recipients of the award include Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway, Charlize Theron and Naomi Watts.

Previously announced honorees attending the 2017 Film Awards Gala are Casey Affleck, Tom Hanks, Ruth Negga, the cast of “La La Land,” including Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, and director Damien Chazelle. The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Monday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2  -16.

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in Fences movie


Paramount Pictures

– Denzel Washington is set to receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Washington will be honored for his longstanding contributions to the film industry culminating with Paramount’s upcoming “Fences” which he directs, produces, and stars in.

Leonard Maltin, for who the award was recently renamed after, will return for his 26th year to moderate the evening. The award will be presented on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre.

The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and is the highest accolade presented by SBIFF. Created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, it was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin. The 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place February 1 – February 11.

Past recipients include Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchett, Will Smith, George Clooney and Peter Jackson.


– Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land,” starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, and J. K. Simmons, will receive Capri, Hollywood – The International Film Festival’s 2016 Best Ensemble Acting Award, as announced earlier this week by iconic Italian filmmaker Lena Wertmuller, chairperson of the Capri in the World Institute.

The Festival’s 21st edition will run December 26 – January 2.

La La Land Movie

“La La Land”

Summit Entertainment

– Australia’s premier genre film festival, Monster Fest, wrapped its most successful edition to date earlier this week in Melbourne. The festival’s 6th edition ran November 24 – 27 at the Lido Cinemas.

The features jury, consisting of Fantastic Fest head programmer Evrim Ersoy, filmmaker Donna McRae and longtime screen critic Simon Foster awarded the festival’s top prize, The Golden Monster, to Julia Ducournau’s “Raw,” with Ducournau in person to accept her award, beautifully designed and sculpted by Rain Gidley Studios. “Raw” also walked away with an honour for best FX.

Feature film awards also went to André Øvredal’s “The Autopsy of Jane Doe,” dual awards for the Australian home invasion feature “Safe Neighbourhood” (including a Best Performance award for young actor Levi Miller), Bartosz M. Kowalski’s “Playground,” Alice Lowe’s “Prevenge,” and Sophia Takal’s “Always Shine.”

Event Announcements

– Film Independent President Josh Welsh has announced that David Oyelowo will be the 2017 Spirit Awards Honorary Chair. Past Honorary Chairs include Jessica Chastain, Kerry Washington, Benicio Del Toro, Angela Bassett, Salma Hayek, Jodie Foster, Danny Glover, Ang Lee and Martin Scorsese.

Also announced this week, Emmy Award-winning Sterling K. Brown and writer, producer, actress Issa Rae will co-host the Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grant & Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 7 at BOA restaurant in West Hollywood where they will announce the Spirit Awards Grant Winners for 2017.

"A United Kingdom"

“A United Kingdom”

20th Century Fox

– The Athena Film Festival (AFF) has announced that Amazon Studios will sponsor the 2017 Athena List, an annual slate of 3-5 screenplays that have yet to be produced and that showcase female leadership or strong female protagonists. The Athena List is a hallmark program of the Athena Film Festival, an annual celebration of women and leadership, co-founded by the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood. The festival will return for its seventh year February 9-12, 2017.

The Athena List was launched by the AFF in 2014 in an attempt to remedy the dearth of female characters and misconceptions about female-led films. A committee of industry professionals will participate in the selection of the 2017 winners, and for the first time this year, winners be participate in a symposium with the Athena Film Festival and Amazon Studios and will be provided access to industry professionals.

Programming Notes

– Aspen Film has announced the additional programming team for the 26th annual Aspen Shortsfest taking place April 5 – 9, 2017. One of the world’s premier international short film showcases, Aspen Shortsfest is Oscar-qualifying in five categories of its international competition, which offers a diverse and exciting selection of drama, comedy, animation and documentary, all at 40 minutes or less. Joining Director of Programming Kathleen McInnis are Andrea Brusa, Angie Driscoll, Laura Good and Sudeep Sharma.


– Aspen Film is also currently accepting submissions for the 26th Aspen Shortsfest. Regular Entry Deadline is November 30, 2016. Late Entry Deadline is December 26, 2016. For information on entering a film for Aspen Shortsfest, check out their official site.

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