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Location location location. That’s the only reason to stay at the Hollywood and Highland hostel. It’s right across the street from the iconic Chinese theater. It’s where I stayed during the AFI film festival, which was okay, I guess. There were lots of bad things that happened that didn’t have anything to do with them, which kind of ruined everything, but what I want to begin with is a few films that I didn’t see.
That’s right, didn’t. It wasn’t scheduling, although there were a number of those which were at the same time as things I wanted to see, no, there were a number of films that I wanted to see but were either cancelled or changed at the last minute to somewhere I couldn’t see them or worse.
It didn’t actually start with the Kevin Spacey thing. Kevin Spacey, as everyone at this point in time knows, was retroactively thrown out of his latest film for being gay at the wrong time and Ridley Scott pulled the film in order to digitally replace him with Christopher Plummer. So the thing was pulled. But that’s not the first thing that was pulled, noooooo. The first thing that was pulled was an animated film called “The Breadwinner.” Now the question as to WHY they decided to pull this G-rated film that has had nothing but good buzz about it is a bit of a mystery.
The person at the box office that that it had become a “private” screening after someone had bought a block of tickets for a school group, which would be fine had not they started giving out tickets for the thing well before which became invalid.
Here’s the official preview:
THE BREADWINNER – This timely, inspiring and beautifully animated tale follows an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan, who must disguise herself as a boy to support her family. DIR Nora Twomey. SCR Anita Doron. CAST Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Laara Sadiq, Shaista Latif, Ali Badshah, Kawa Ada, Noorin Gulamgaus. Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg
It was supposed to be really good and was publicized. So why did they pull it? It can’t be because they sold a bloc of tickets, an extra screening room wouldn’t be that hard to procure, especially in Hollywood, where there are screening rooms anywhere. Doing something like that just doesn’t look good for the people at AFI.
There has to be another reason….
The reason for not seeing this one is even less understandable:
MOLLY’S GAME – Oscar ® nominee Jessica Chastain stars in Oscar ® -winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, set in the glamorous world of high-stakes underground poker games. DIR Aaron Sorkin. SCR Aaron Sorkin. CAST Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, Bill Camp. USA
It was part of the special screenings section. It was on the schedule, and they had set up the place for the line to start and everything…and less than two hours before showtime….BANG! It was gone. No not gone, changed to the closing night Gala.
Now you remember that the original closing night Gala was Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World with Kevin Spacey, but that was pulled and there was going to be, or so they said, replaced by Dan Gilroy's Roman J. Israel, Esq., starring Denzel Washington. But that, which was another film I was unable to see because it would be pulled almost as soon as it was announced, was….you guessed it right! Then it got put back on the day before, but still…jeez!
This wasn’t all, not by a long shot. They had an unannounced ban on “electronics.” I.e, if you’re phone was so big that it looked like an i-pad, it was forbidden. Why? So people wouldn’t take pictures of the films or Q and As. But then again, everyone on line had their phones out and nobody was bothering them….so they were nice enough to let me go in. I did a better job of hiding mine and nobody was the wiser.
If films focused on women and their experiences are rare, women in roles behind the camera are rarer still. Shorter still is the list of film festivals with a mission to represent female perspectives. The 12th annual High Falls Film Festival — held in Rochester, New York, from October 23 - 26, 2014 — carries on its tradition of honoring independent films by female storytellers who work on both sides of the camera.
The opening film I Know a Woman Like That was produced by mother-daughter team Elaine and Virginia Madsen. Virginia, best known for Sideways (2004), produced the film that her mother — poet, producer and playwright Elaine — directed. The director will be on hand to discuss the movie. With Q&As following most films, festival goers get an ample opportunity to interact with filmmakers.
The festival will debut three world and two U.S. premieres among its 19 screenings of over 35 international and U.S. films, documentaries and shorts. Paula Hernandez's U.S. romantic drama Un Amor Argentina — about adolescent infatuation that unfolds over time into an enduring love triangle — premieres on October 23. Alexis Krasilovsky's U.S. documentary Let Them Eat Cake premieres October 24 and looks at pastries through a scope both sensual and socioeconomic.
Also debuting October 24 is Courtney Cobb's world-premiere documentary Crafting a Nation about the breweries behind the craft beer craze. A second world-premiere documentary is Caroline Krugmann's We Weren't Given Anything for Free, about 22-year-old Annita Malavasi becoming one of the Italian resistance's few female commanders in German-occupied Italy. Lastly, Ann LeSchander's romantic comedy The Park Bench uses both live action and animation to tell the story of a graduate student and her American Literature tutor falling in love over their park bench talks.
There will be three separate short programs: Short Cuts, the Women of SoFA Short Program put on by RIT's School of Film and Animation, and a free program of 14 Children's Shorts from five countries. One of these films has special Rochester interest, as it was made in the local Public School 8 after-school program.
Another feature of particular interest for Rochester-area film enthusiasts is the educational panel Lights, Camera Action: Tips for local Filmmakers. More than just adding local interest, these regional features foreground HFFF's affiliation with Rochester as the birthplace of motion picture film: George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company in 1888 and invented motion picture film there, according to the HFFF website.
To learn more, go to: http://highfallsfilmfestival.com/
High Falls Film FestivalOctober 23 - 26, 2014
Dryden Theatre900 East AveRochester, NY 14604Little 5240 East Ave
Rochester, NY 14604
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is screening Noël Burch and Thom Andersen’s not uninteresting essay-film, Red Hollywood, which explores the contribution of screenwriters who were Communists or fellow travelers, in its documentary series, The Art of the Real, which runs from April 11th to April 26th, 2014.
212 875 5601212 875 5601
The Rated SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York focuses on socially relevant human stories to raise awareness of social problems by offering positive solutions through the medium of cinema.
A new non-profit film festival, it runs from March 14 to the 20th, 2014, at New York’s Quad Cinema; its main slate offers an international selection of narrative and documentary features representing a dozen nations.
Founded by award-winning actor, filmmaker and curator Nora Armani, the festival showcases films with human interest stories and socially impactful themes as a response to the proliferation of violent storytelling.
The festival founders and supporters believe that by expanding knowledge about diverse cultures and the human condition as a whole, it’s possible to create a better world free of violence, hate and crime.
The festival shines the spotlight on filmmakers who tell compelling, socially relevant narratives across a broad range of social issues without resorting to gratuitous violence and violent forms of movie making.
Over 30 narrative and documentary films will screen including 12 features that compete for the Grand Prize — a week-long theatrical engagement at the Quad Cinema, courtesy of the QuadFlix Select Program. The 10 documentaries will compete for the documentary prize which offers the winner will a VOD DVD distribution deal courtesy of Cinema Libre Studio, a leader in the distribution of social issue documentaries and independent feature films.
The following lists the main slate of films in competition.
Coney Island: Dreams for SaleAlessandra GiordanoUSA, 81min., 2013documentary
Dovid MeyerPaul MonesUSA/Israel, 101 min., 2013narrative
FloreJean-Albert LievreFrance, 2014, 85min.documentary
Forward 13: Waking Up the American DreamPatrick LovellUSA, 120 min., 2013documentary
Full CircleZhang YangChina, 2012,104min.narrative
If Only EveryoneNataliya BelyauskeneArmenia, 2012, 94min.narrative
Indian SummerSimon BrookFrance, 84 min., 2013documentary
My Love Awaits Me by the Sea (Habibi Biyestannani and el Bahr)Mais DarwazahPalestine, Qatar, Germany, Jordan80min., 2013documentary
Offside Trap (Abseitsfalle)Stefan HeringGermany, 98min., 2012narrative
Orphans of the GenocideBared MaronianUSA, 91min., 2013documentary
Small Small ThingJessica ValeUSA, 85min., 2013documentary
Coal RushLorena Luciano & Filipo PiscopoUSA, 85min., 2013documentary
ControlChris Bravo, Lindsey SchneiderUSA, 50min., 2013 (NYFA artist)documentary
Destiny’s BridgeJack BalloUSA, 80min., 2013 (NYFA artist)documentary
Fred Ho's Last YearSteven de CastroUSA, 58min., 2013documentary
From the Black You Make ColorRichie Sherman and Judy MaltzUSA, Israel, 75min., 2012documentary
Hamshen Community at the Crossroads of Past and PresentLucine SahakyanArmenia, Turkey, 60min., 2012documentary
Not Who We AreCarol MansourLebanon, 72min., 2013documentary
Stable LifeSara MacPhersonUSA, 52min., 2013documentary
The ThrowawaysBhawin SuchakUSA, 62min., 2013documentary
Journalist/author/radio commentator Amy Goodman, host of will deliver the keynote address on "The Impact of Socially Relevant Films" and will present an award for a film in the Rated SR Social Justice Category. Democracy Now! currently aired by more than 1,000 radio, television, satellite and cable TV networks in North America, and watched in dozens of countries via the Internet.
Partner supporters include:
· Academic partner, the School of the Visual Arts Social Documentary department, home of the new MFA in Social Documentary filmmaking.
· Dailymotion (http://www.dailymotion.com/RatedSR#video=x19e8px), the official video media partner. A selection of close to 100 film trailers from the festival submissions are viewable on an official festival page, garnering close to 100,000 visits to date.
· Village Voice (Media partner)
Other promotional partners of the festival include:
NYFA, Indieflix, Unifrance Films International, Cineuropa, Alouette Communications, FIAF, Samuel Infirmier, Final Draft and Center for Remembering and Sharing.
New-York based metalsmith designer Michael Aram has donated a special trophy to be awarded to the recognized Rated SR honoree.
The festival also presents the Vanya Exerjian award to a film that raises awareness to violence against women and girls, in commemoration of Armani’s late cousin and uncle, victims of a violent hate crime.
The closing night includes the Awards Ceremony reception which takes place at the Tenri Center (across from the Quad Cinema) where one can applaud the winners, see the filmmakers win their awards, and view the closing night films all on one night.
A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales each year of the festival will be donated to a charity selected from the fields of: poverty, homelessness, cancer and aging. Rated SR aims to promote positive social change through the powerful medium of cinema.
For tickets there is a variety of packages and discounted ticket options are now on sale at: www.ratedsrfilms.org
Individual tickets are available at Quad Cinema: www.quadcinema.com
Rated SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New YorkMarch 14-20, 2014
The Quad Cinema34 West 13th StreetNew York, NY212-255-8800212-255-8800
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