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Ambitious South Korean Actioner ‘The Villainess’ Just Might Be This Year’s ‘Train to Busan’ — Film Festival Roundup

Plus, new announcements from Sundance NEXT FEST, Japan Cuts, and many more.

the villainess cannes

“The Villainess”

Lineup Announcements

– Sundance NEXT FEST has announced the seven films picked direct from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, paired with three energizing musical performances. The fest lights up Los Angeles August 10 – 13, 2017 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, and this year will include presentation of the Institute’s Vanguard Awards to Quentin Tarantino and Dee Rees.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “This year’s weekend festival offers everything from a Sundance throwback to our first-ever NEXT FEST episodic screening; the perfect blend to give Angelenos a taste of our Park City Festival. A majority of these movies, filmmakers and musicians are from Los Angeles, so it’s a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate hometown talent.”

The event will feature a 25th anniversary screening of “Reservoir Dogs” on restored 35mm and presentation of the Institute’s Vanguard Leadership Award to Quentin Tarantino. The film debuted at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival following Tarantino’s participation in the Institute’s Directors Lab and returned to its roots with a From the Collection screening at this year’s Festival. Tarantino is the fifth recipient of this award celebrating creativity and leadership in independent film, joining the likes of journalist and film critic Roger Ebert and actress and arts advocate Glenn Close.

"Reservoir Dogs"

“Reservoir Dogs”

Sundance Institute

Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “’Reservoir Dogs’ debuted as the Festival’s most talked-about film in 1992 and 25 years later, it’s still a fresh, high-caliber thrillride, and more iconic than ever. I can’t think of a better way to kick off Sundance NEXT FEST than to showcase our history and what we’re all about.” You can check out the full lineup here, along with information on how to buy tickets and passes.

– Japan Cuts returns for its 11th installment July 13 – 23, 2017 to serve up a slice of the best and boldest films from Japan never before seen in NYC with special guest filmmakers and stars, post-screening Q&As, parties and more. Boasting a thrilling slate of epic blockbusters, shoestring independents, radical documentaries, mind-bending avant-garde, newly-restored classics and breathtaking animation, Japan Society’s renowned summer film festival promises a bounty of cinematic discoveries for film fans and pop culture enthusiasts alike.

For its eleventh edition, Japan Cuts 2017 presents its most far-reaching and iconoclastic lineup to date, including 28 feature films (3 International Premieres, 10 North American Premieres, 6 U.S. Premieres, 6 East Coast Premieres, 3 New York Premieres) and 6 short films, brought to life by rare, in-person access to creators of the work through Q&As and signature parties that allow connections beyond the screen. You can check out the full lineup right here.

– Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen, today announced the complete programming lineup for the 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival presented by HBO. The nation’s leading LGBT festival will be held July 6 – 16, 2017.

The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival opens at the Orpheum Theatre with Samuel Goldwyn Films’ “God’s Own Country,” Francis Lee’s powerful directorial and screenwriting feature debut; and closes with IFC Film’s “Freak Show,” Trudie Styler’s feature directorial debut starring Abigail Breslin, AnnaSophia Robb, Laverne Cox, and Bette Midler. Additional gala screenings include: U.S. Centerpiece “Strangers,” International Centerpiece “Close Knit,” Documentary Centerpiece “KEVYN AUCOIN Beauty & the Beast In Me,” and Special Centerpiece “Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall.” You can check out the full lineup right here.

“God’s Own Country”

– The 10th Annual Las Vegas Film Festival has announced additional programming — including its opening and closing night films — as well as panels, special screenings and events for the 2017 Festival, to be held entirely at Brenden Theatres and the Palms Casino Resort, June 6 – 11, 2017. You can check out the full lineup here.

The Festival kicks off on Tuesday, June 6 with “Lemon,” which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Isaac Lachmann has seen better days. His acting career is tanking, while his colleagues succeed; his blind girlfriend of 10 years plans to leave him; and his own family singles him out as a constant disappointment at their latest reunion. Even as he takes a chance on new romance, Isaac struggles to define his place in a world that has seemingly turned against him.

Closing out the Festival on Sunday, June 11 is another Sundance Film Festival 2017 premiere, “Landline,” starting Jenny Slate, John Turturro, Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, Jay Duplass and Finn Wittrock. The Manhattan of 1995: a land without cell phones, but abundant in CD listening stations, bar smoke, and family dysfunction. Enter the Jacobs. Eldest daughter Dana’s looming marriage to straight-laced Ben prompts a willful dive into her wild side, while her younger sister, Ali, is still in high school but leads a covert life of sex, drugs, and clubbing. After discovering love letters penned by their father, the sisters try to expose his apparent affair while keeping it from their all-too-composed mother.

– The Jewish Film Institute (JFI) has announced the Opening and Closing Night films for the 37th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF). which returns to the Bay Area July 20 – August 6, 2017. Both the Opening and Closing Night films at this year’s Festival are feature directorial debuts by women filmmakers.

The Festival will open on Thursday, June 20 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco with the Tribeca Film Festival award-winning narrative “Keep the Change,” with director Rachel Israel and invited guests in person. A romantic comedy set in New York City, the film is an honest portrayal of a community of adults living on the autism spectrum.

Keep the Change

“Keep the Change”

The 37th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival closes its Castro Theatre screenings on Sunday, July 30 with Closing Night film “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.” An official selection of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, the follows the life and career of actress Hedy Lamarr. Alexandra Dean’s documentary chronicles not only Lamarr’s achievements as an actress but also her accomplishments as an inventor.

– PEI Fest Executive Director Colin Stanfield has announced a new programmatic collaboration with Jamie Redford and the Redford Center to bring environmental films, panels and a special keynote presentation to the inaugural film, food, and ideas festival taking place July 13 – 16, 2017 in Charlottetown, PEI. Highlighting the collaboration will be Netflix’s Sundance award-winning documentary “Chasing Coral,” which will screen as the Closing Night Film.

“’Chasing Coral’ is an on-the-edge-of-your seat global adventure film that tells a vitally important story about the fate or our oceans.” Says Redford Center co-founder Jamie Redford. “Partnering with PEI Fest to show this amazing movie aligns precisely with our mission at the Redford Center of fostering awareness and action through film. I’m thrilled to present my friend Jeff Orlowsk’s film in PEI this summer with Colin and his festival team.”

Awards and Honors

– The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT), one of the world’s most prominent academic institutions for entertainment and performing arts education, announced today that Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer, Annie Award-nominated animator Erick Oh and director Reed Morano will be honored at its 26th Annual Film Festival, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Kanbar Entertainment with support from SAG-Indie, and in-kind support from Cast & Crew Entertainment, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, International Screenwriters Association and Stella Artois.

The festival takes place June 10 – 14, 2017 at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and the Directors Guild of America.

– “HARE KRISHNA! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami who started it all,” the documentary which follows the true story of 70-year-old Indian Swami Srila Prabhupada, whose unflinching determination and faith ignited the worldwide Hare Krishna movement, took home the 2017 Feature Competition Jury Prize at the fourth annual Illuminate Film Festival, May 31 – June 4 in Sedona, AZ.

“Icarus”

Directed by John Griesser and co-directed by Jean Griesser and Lauren Ross, the documentary was one of nine World and US Premieres in the feature competition section. The film also won second place for the Audience Award. Abramorama will release the film at the Village East Cinemas Theater in New York on June 16.

– Sundance Institute and Picturehouse announced that the Sundance Film Festival: London’s inaugural Audience Favourite award went to “Icarus,” directed by Bryan Fogel. Festivalgoers voted in the thousands for their favourite features across the four-day event at Picturehouse Central.

The film had its U.K. premiere at Sundance Film Festival: London following its World Premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A. where it received the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: The Orwell Award.

Other Announcements

– Now celebrating its sixth anniversary, the BlackStar Film Festival showcases film from around the world by Indie Means Necessary, and will return to Philadelphia August 3 – 6, 2017. The theme of this year’s festival is Resistance, examining political and social uprisings around the world and in the U.S., from the upheaval of the 1960s to the Los Angeles riots in the 1990s to the uprising in Ferguson and the current moment of unrest.

“In reviewing a lot of work made this year, a common theme of resistance emerged, which is eerily right on time considering our political climate,” said founder and artistic director Maori Karmael Holmes. “Many of these films can help us to see how our struggles are interconnected globally and offer us hope during challenging times.”

This year’s festival honors filmmaker Ava DuVernay with the Richard Nichols Luminary Award at the annual awards ceremony on Saturday, August 5 at World Café Live, featuring live music and special guests to be announced.

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