– Annette Bening will preside over the jury of the upcoming 74th Venice Film Festival, ending an 11-year succession of male jury chiefs. The last time a woman headed up the jury was in 2006, when French actress Catherine Deneuve held the honor. Bening is only the sixth female jury president at Venice, the world’s oldest film festival.
Jon Rou - Loyola Marymount University
“It was time to break with a long list of male presidents and invite a brilliant talented and inspiring woman to chair our international competition jury,” Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera said in a statement. “I am extremely happy that Annette Bening has accepted this role, which she will carry out by virtue of her stature, her intellect and the talents she has manifested over the course of her career, in Hollywood, Europe and on the stage.”
– Pixar’s latest animated picture, the Day of the Dead-themed “Coco,” is set to open the Morelia International Film Festival on October 20, several weeks ahead of Day of the Dead festivities. The film is flush with voice talents, including Gael Garcia Bernal, Edward James Olmos, and Alanna Ubach.
– The 21st edition of The Fantasia International Film Festival (July 13 – August 2, 2017) has unveiled the remainder of its predictably stacked lineup, and it’s a doozy. Highlights include the North American Premiere of Cannes sensation “Good Time,” with directors in attendance; a Lifetime Achievement Award for Mexican luchador film legend Mil Mascaras; a visit from martial arts superstar Scott Adkins (who stars in two films in this year’s Action! section); the International Premiere of “A Taxi Driver,” with director Jan Hoon in attendance; a Special Screening of “Atomic Blonde”; and that’s not all.
Other standouts include Canadian Premieres of “Patti Cake$,” “Bushwhack,” “Fashionista,” “Most Lovely Island,” and “Prey” (many with directors in attendance); the North American Premiere of “Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D”; the World Premieres of the female-driven exploitation films “Blood Heist” and “Blood Ride” (both produced by James Franco); and the World Premiere of Synapse Films’ long-awaited 4K restoration of Dario Argento’s legendary “Suspiria.” You can check out the full lineup right here.
– The 13th annual Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF) has announced its Closing Night Film: “Detroit,” the highly anticipated new film by Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow. Following the film’s July 25 premiere at the Fox Theater in Detroit, the Traverse City Film Festival (July 25 – 30, 2017) will screen the film in its historic movie palace, the State Theatre, at 6 pm on July 30.
The film focuses on the Algiers Motel killings, a brutal incident that has become synonymous with the systemic racism that helped spark the 1967 Detroit uprising. Piecing together the horrifying, true events of that evening, when a group of teenagers ducked into the Algiers to avoid the chaos outside, and police later stormed the building.
“This captivating, vital film resonates strongly today, 50 years after the events took place,” said Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore, the festival’s founder, president and programmer. “We aim to bring great movies that can move, inspire, and change audiences. There could be no better way to close this year’s festival than with ‘Detroit.'”
– The Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF) has announced its diverse lineup of feature-length documentaries, feature-length narrative films, and short films from August 1 – August 4, 2017. Standouts include “In Search of Fellini,” “Gold Balls,” and “A Private Portrait.” You can see the full lineup right here.
– The Boulevard Film Festival, presented by the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, Sunnyside Artists, and the Thalia Spanish Theatre, has announced its official program selections for the 2nd edition of the Boulevard Film Festival. BFF’s annual festival celebrates the art of filmmaking in Queens, showcasing local filmmakers and international films that are emblematic to the borough of Queens.
BFF emphasizes the importance of community by collaborating with local venues for screenings at the Thalia Spanish Theatre, Bar 43, the Dog & Duck, Maggie Mae’s Bar, and partnering with many local business such as Artist and Craftsman LIC and Spaceworks. Boulevard Film Festival takes place July 20 – July 23, 2017. You can see the full lineup right here.
– The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) has announced the Award Winners for this year’s 71st edition, as well as confirming the Best of the Fest films. 151 features from 46 countries screened at this year’s Festival, with the jurors viewing an extensive and varied selection of shorts, documentaries and features since the start of the Festival. Winners included “God’s Own Country,” “Glory,” “Donkeyote,” and “The Full Story.” You can see the full list of winners right here.
– The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) has confirmed the dates for the 33rd year of the fest. The festival will run from Wednesday, January 31 – Saturday, February 10, 2018. Festival events will be held throughout Santa Barbara, including the Arlington Theatre and the newly restored historic Riviera Theatre.
“After another fantastic year, we are ready to hit the ground running for 2018,” said Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF. “We look forward to continuing our growth and bringing exciting new developments to the Santa Barbara community, and we plan to make our 33rd installment the best festival yet.”
Honors and Tributes
– The Zanzibar International Film Festival announced its 2017 Chief Guest, executive producer, entrepreneur and CEO of D Street Media Group, Dexter Davis. Dexter will be at ZIFF to host a series of workshops on marketing and distribution, as well as pitching.
Every year, ZIFF welcomes a filmmaker as its Chief Guest to celebrate their achievements and contributions to the film industry. Dexter has a solid and illustrious pedigree within the film industry in the USA and beyond, and has solidified his commitment to the development of African film through a number of initiatives which began in South Africa in 2010. His attendance at ZIFF is further testament to his belief in the future of the African film industry.
– The Ibiza International Film Festival (IBIZA IFF) has launched a new concept to create a film centre on the island. IBIZA FILM LABS will train up-and-coming film students and develop and shoot film projects. IBIZA SHORTS will provide a channel to gather and promote the talent of future directors and producers from around the world.
“The traditional concept of festivals is outdated and doesn’t respond to the needs of the industry. The new Ibiza film festival and labs project will be more suited to the reality of today’s film industry by focussing on entertainment platforms such as Netflix and Amazon,” said Xavi Benlloch, director of the IBIZA IFF.
– The Raindance Film Festival is quickly approaching and to celebrate, it has launched the Official Trailer and Poster for its 25 edition, which will take place in London’s West End from September 20 – October 1, 2017. A champion of independent cinema around the world, the Raindance Film Festival is the largest of its kind in Europe. It showcases feature, documentary and short films, music videos, web series and virtual reality experiences.
Directed by Rick Darge, the inspiration behind this year’s trailer has been attributed to the filmmaking process and the deconstruction of cinema – taking a comedic look at the dichotomy between fiction and reality. Darge won the Film of the Festival Award at last year’s Festival for his feature debut, “Zen Dog.”
Internationally renowned illustrator and filmmaker, Dave McKean illustrated this year’s eclectic poster. McKean is no stranger to Raindance, having previously illustrated six Festival posters between 1997 – 2002. Check out the poster right here.