Monday, October 31, 2011

An Evening with Award-Winning Director and Screenwriter Deepa Mehta

Innis College and the Cinema Studies Institute invite you and a guest to attend An Evening with Award-Winning Director and Screenwriter Deepa Mehta.

Deepa Mehta is one of Canada’s most influential and respected filmmakers. Her movies have received numerous awards and played at every major film festival; she has received honourary degrees, tributes and awards around the world, including the prestigious CineAsia “Best Director Award.” Her film Water was nominated for an Academy Award as best Foreign Language Film

The director will present in person clips from her current project Midnight's Children adapted from Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning novel of the same title. Using magical realism, it tells the story of India's transition from British colonialism to independence and the partition of India.

A discussion and Q&A will follow. After that, there will be a free and public screening of Bollywood/Hollywood where she will introduce the film.

Call for submissions: 2012 Everyday Heroes Film Festival

The Everyday Heroes Film Festival has put out a call for submissions for their 3rd annual festival.

They accept short film, video and animation submissions from young filmmakers between the ages of 13 to 24. The films must be silent and one minute in length. They must be about environmental awareness. This year's theme is "Going environ-MENTAL" and is specifically about ways we can help solve climate change.

The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2012. The 3rd Annual Everyday Heroes Film Festival will take place from April 13 - 22, 2012.

During the festival, Everyday Heroes plays every 10 minutes on the network of 300 TTC subway platform screens in 60 stations across the Toronto. The festival also plays once every 5 minutes on screens in 35 Ivanhoe Cambridge Shopping Centers in communities across the country.

2011 British Independent Film Awards - nominations

Today, the nominations for the 14th annual Moët British Independent Film Awards were announced  at St Martins Lane, London by Helen McCrory.

Three films led the way with seven nominations each -- Steve McQueen's Shame, Tomas Alfredson's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Paddy Considine's Tyrannosaur. Each film's nominations included Best British Independent Film and Best Director.

The other two nominees for Best British Independent Film were Senna and Lynne Ramsay's We Need To Talk About Kevin. Ramsay also picked up a Best Director nomination, but the fifth Director nomination went to Ben Wheatley for Kill ListWe Need To Talk About Kevin and Kill List each picked up six nominations, while Richard Ayoade's Submarine followed closely with five.

2011 ZAFAA Awards - winners

The 4th annual Zulu African Film Academy Awards (ZAFAA) were handed out last week in Troxy Hall, London. They were dominated by the film The Mirror Boy which won six awards. It won for Best Film, Lead Actress (Genevieve Nnaji), Supporting Actress (Fatima Jabbe), Child Actor - Male (Edward Kagutuzi), Cinematography and Editing.

Frank Raja won Best Director for Somewhere in Africa which also picked up Best Story (Pascal Amanfo) and Best Sound Editing. The film Okon Lagos also captured three awards, in the comedy categories. It picked up Best Comedy Film, Comedy Actor (Ime-Bishop Umoh) and Comedy Actress (Vanessa Koko).

was a double-winner, taking Best Actress - Indigenous (Ini Edo) and Producer - Indigenous (Uduak Oguamanam).

2011 Gala de l’ADISQ - winners

After holding L'Autre Gala de L'ADISQ and the Gala de l’Industrie earlier last week, ADISQ (Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo) held their 33rd annual Gala de l’ADISQ last night at the Théâtre St. Denis to honour the Queebec music industry.

Douze hommes rapaillés chantent Miron, volume 2 picked up two awards. It won for Album of the Year - Contemporary Folk and picked up as well as Writer or Composer of the Year for Gaston Miron and Gilles Bélanger. Marie-Mai was also a double winner, taking Female Artist of the Year and Show of the Year by a Singer-Songwriter for her Version 3.0 tour.

After years of snubbing Arcade Fire, they picked up their second award for Quebec Artist of the Year with the Most Success Outside Quebec last night after Album of the Year - Anglophone last week. Band members Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury and Will Butler were on hand to pick up the award, but there was some grumbling that the bandleaders Win Butler and Régine Chassagne didn't show.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011 Directors Guild of Canada Awards - winners [UPDATED]

Tonight, the Directors Guild of Canada held their 10th annual DGC Awards at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. CBC radio personality Jian Ghomeshi hosted the ceremony.

The big winner of the night was
Barney's Version which picked up three awards. The film based on the novel by Canadian author Mordecai Richler won Best Feature Film, Director (Richard J. Lewis) and Production Design (Claude Pare).

Splice had led with five nominations. It won for Best Editing (Michele Conroy). The Whistleblower won Best Sound Editing for its team of Mark Gingras, John Laing, James Robb, Alex Bullick, Nelson Ferreira and Katie Halliday.

The Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary went to Sturla Gunnarsson's Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie. Montreal filmmaker Kaveh Nabatian picked up the award for Best Short Film for Taxi Libre.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Early drafts of the Moneyball screenplay

So the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series last night, to close out an exciting last month of this year's baseball season. With that in mind, here are two versions of the Moneyball screenplay which many have said is a movie that aptly reflects this year's dramatic finish. As Sony Pictures has yet to release the official script for the film, these are both early drafts from before Aaron Sorkin was brought on board.

The first version is a witty second draft by Oscar-winning Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List) from December 1, 2008. The other version is a subsequent shooting draft from June 22, 2009 with rewrites done by director Steven Soderbergh. This intriguing script was infamous for causing Sony Chairman Amy Pascal and her executives to pull the plug on the film five days before Soderbergh was to start production. It includes the following note by Soderbergh before page 1.
Billy Beane's minor and major league career will be shown via filmed interviews with scouts, coaches, managers, players, and family members who were with him at the time. These interviews will comprise approximately ten percent of the film.

Another ten percent of the film will consist of re-enactments of real events as remembered by the people playing themselves. The purpose of these scenes will be to provide set-up and perspective for subjects, situations, or relationships which currently appear in the screenplay without the requisite/normal amount of context.

6th annual Macedonian Film Festival, Oct 29-30

The 6th annual Macedonian Film Festival takes place this weekend in Toronto.

Each day begins at 2pm and continues into the night. In addition to short fiction and documentary films, the festival will screen the feature films Некои други приказни (Some Other Stories), an omnibus film by five directors, and Македонска крвава свадба (Macedonian Bloody Wedding).

Некои други приказни (Some Other Stories)
actress Iva Zendelska will be in attendance and participate in a Q&A, as will Sandra Danilovic who directed the Machinima film Second Bodies.

The screenings today take place at Innis Town Hall Theatre, 2 Sussex Avenue, at St. George St. between Bloor and Harbord. The Festival concludes tomorrow at the Carlton Cinemas, 20 Carlton Street. All films will be presented in English or have English subtitles unless otherwise noted.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Call for submissions: Festival St-Ambroise Fringe de Montréal

The call for submissions has been put out for 22nd edition of Le Festival St-Ambroise Fringe de Montréal (Montreal Fringe Festival).
You are invited to apply to be a part of the Plateau Mile-End's biggest summer block party. The FRINGE is a multidisciplinary arts festival of theatre, dance, comedy, music, spoken work, puppeteering and much more! Nearly one hundred companies will be selected by lottery to perform more than 700 shows in a dozen venues throughout the neighbourhood. Chosen companies will present shows from June 14th-24th, 2012.
Deadline to apply is November 14th at 6pm. The Lottery Party at MainLine Theatre and hosted by Kirsten Rasmussen and Cat Lemieux is later that night at 8pm.

Bridesmaids screenplay is now available

Earlier this week, I provided the links to the first six screenplays that are being promoted as award-contenders this year. I included a list of films that may have their screenplays released by the studios in the leadup to the Oscars and other awards.

Now, the original screenplay for Bridesmaids by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig has become available online. The film from Universal Pictures was a surprise hit earlier this year and became the top-grossing Judd Apatow production to date.

It was seen as a breakthrough film for women as well. Both a critical and box-office hit, it was everything that the Sex and the City movies tried to be but weren't. It managed to be funny for both male and female audiences without being mean like SATC or The Hangover 2.

Montreal Greek Film Festival, Oct 28-Nov 3

The 3rd Montreal Greek Film Festival (Festival du Film Grec de Montréal) takes place this week starting tonight. The festival opens with a screening of Pantelis Voulgaris' Νύφες (Brides). The film is executive produced by Martin Scorsese and tells the story of one of the 700 mail order brides who left Greece for Chicago on the SS King Alexander in 1922.

The festival will also be screening Ρεμπέτικο (Rembetiko), Ας περιμένουν οι γυναίκες (Let the Women Wait), Απ\' τα κόκκαλα βγαλμένα (Welcome to All Saints), Happy Day, Τι έκανες στον πόλεμο, Θανάση (What Did You Do in the War, Thanasis?), Ψυχή Βαθιά (With Heart and Soul), Wasted Youth, Ημερολόγιο Καταστρώματος – Γιώργος Σεφέρης (Log Books – George Seferis), Σεισμός (Earthquake), and Γλυκό μου καναρίνι (My Sweet Canary).

Γλυκό μου καναρίνι (My Sweet Canary) closes the festival on November 3 at the Rialto Theatre in a program that also includes an Awards ceremony and a live performance by Cirque du Soleil's Nitza Melas.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

2011 IDA Documentary Awards - nominations

A day after the Cinema Eye Honors announced their nominees, the International Documentary Association (IDA) has announced its nominees for their 27th annual IDA Documentary Awards. 

The nominees for the Best Feature Award are Better This World, How to Die in Oregon, Nostalgia for the Light, The Redemption of General Butt Naked and The Tiniest Place (El Lugar Más Pequeño). How to Die in Oregon and The Tiniest Place (El Lugar Más Pequeño)
also picked up a a second nomination for the IDA/Humanitas Award to lead with two nominations.

The Best Short Award nominations go to Broken Doors (Goro Toshima), Maya Deren’s Sink (Barbara Hammer), Minka (Davina Pardo), Poster Girl (Sara Nesson) and The Warriors of Qiugang (Ruby Yang). Unlike last year, there is no category for Music Documentary.

Canadian nominees include CBC's The Passionate Eye which was nominated for Best Continuing Series, and The National Parks Project which involved eight directors and six producers.

Brazil Film Fest in Toronto, Oct 27-30

Tonight the 5th Brazil Film Fest in Toronto begins tonight with a gala screening of Ó Paí, Ó by Monique Gardenberg. This is the sister festival to Montreal's Festival du Film Brésilien de Montréal in November and is not affiliated with last month's Brazilian Film & TV Festival of Toronto.

Other features screening during the festival will be Into the Blue (João Rodrigo Mattos), 5X favela, now by ourselves (Wagner Novais,) So Hard to Forget (Malu de Martino) and Beyond the Road (Charly Braun), as well as the documentaries Memórias do Recôncavo: Besouro and Other Capoeiras (Pedro Abib), Gisele Omindarewa (Clarice E. Peixoto) and Rio Sonata: Nana Caymmi (Georges Gachot).

After tonight's opening gala at TIFF Bell Lightbox, the festival moves to the Royal Cinema on College Street for the remaining screenings.

The festival continues until Sunday October 30 in Toronto.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2011 Cinema Eye Honors - nominees

Tonight in London at an event hosted by Sheffield Doc/Fest, the nominees were announced for the 5th annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking. 33 Films from 12 countries are in contention this year.

For the first time, there are six nominees for the top prize of Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking. They are Clio Barnard’s The Arbor, Steve James’ The Interrupters, Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light, Leonard Retel Helmrich’ Position Among the Stars, James Marsh’s Project Nim and Asif Kapadia’s Senna.

Seven films tied for the most nominations with four: The Arbor, Tristan Patterson’s Dragonslayer, Danfung Dennis’ Hell and Back Again, The Interrupters, Nostalgia for the Light, Position Among the Stars and Senna. Steve James leads the individual nominees with four as a candidate for each of The Interrupters' nominations.

2011 RIDM announces complete programming

After previously announcing the opening and closing films, the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM), or Montreal International Documentary Festival, has announced the full programming for its 14th edition.

Included in the strong program of 115 films are Leonard Retel Helmrich's award-winning Position Among the Stars, Michal Marczak's At the Edge of Russia, Inside Lara Roxx by Montreal filmmaker Mia Donovan, and Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, the latest in the series of films which became instrumental in securing the release of the wrongfully convicted group known as the West Memphis Three. While
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory had its world premiere at TIFF, this will be the Canadian premiere of the revised version that includes footage of their release from prison this summer.

The festival will present retrospectives of the esteemed documentarians Frederick Wiseman, Jørgen Leth, and Helena Třeštíková. They will also have tribute screenings for Richard Leacock, Gualtiero Jacopetti, and Michel Chartrand.

Digifest, Toronto's Digital Media Festival, Oct 26-30

After a five year hiatus, Digifest returns with its 4th edition of their Toronto Digital Media Festival. For the event, the School of Design at George Brown College has partnered with the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the Toronto International Film Festival Group (TIFF), Applied Arts Inc., Meet The Media Guru (Italy), TOJam and various academic, cultural, media and venue partners.

For the next five days, you'll have a chance to attend various events and activities such as Innovation Days, Meet The Media Guru talks, the All Our Digital Futures conference, the Halloween Spooktacular, and the opening and closing parties. Free events include the Gaming Incubator Launch Party, The Applied Arts Annual Winners Exhibit, the First Person Show, the Link Exhibit, TOJam Arcade, and the Yonge-Dundas Square Funday Sunday.

The first-ever TIFF Nexus Innovation Day is an all-day event on Friday October 28 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. It will feature emerging technology talks and presentations, and they will present the results of the 2011 Gaming Peripherals Jam (where game developers and hardware hackers worked together) at an evening reception.

Call for submissions: 2012 De Colores Festival of New Works

The Alameda Theatre Company in Toronto has put out a call for submissions from established and emerging Latin-Canadian playwrights for their 2012 De Colores Festival of New Works. Submissions can include full-length plays, works-in-progress or ideas (accompanied with writing samples).

Several selected playwrights will then have their works developed with one-on-one mentoring by a professional dramaturge. This year's dramaturges are Stephen Colella, Dramaturge at Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People and Erica Kopyto, Dramaturge for Nightwood Theatre. After workshopping the plays, they will receive a  a staged reading in October 2012. The playwrights will also received a small honorarium.

The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2011.

image+nation 24: Montreal International LGBT Film Festival, Oct 25-Nov 6

After announcing its programming last week, the 24th annual image+nation Film Festival, Canada's oldest LGBT film festival, begins tonight with a gala screening of Tova Magnusson-Nörling's Fyra år till (Four More Years). The gala starts at 8pm at the Cinéma Impérial.

The festival closes with a screening of the musical Leave It On The Floor which portrays the world of voguing that was first explored in Jennie Livingston’s documentary Paris is Burning which also screens during the festival as a special 20th anniversary presentation.

image+nation 24 continues until November 6 at Cinéma Impérial (1432 Bleury), Theatre Hall Concordia (1455 Maisonneuve W.), JA de Sève Theatre (1400 Maisonneuve W.), and Goethe-Institut (418 Sherbrooke E).

2011 Reaper Awards - winners

Home Media Magazine and presented the 3rd annual Reaper Awards and the big winner was Blu-ray collection The Alien Anthology in its limited-edition alien egg set. It won 3 "Grimmy Awards" for Best of Show as well as Best Extras and Best Packaging.

Machete was also a multiple winner with a couple of awards. It won Best Line for "Machete don't text" and Best Kill for "The Gut-Wrenching Escape" where Machete disembowels someone and uses his intestines as a rope to flee through a window.

The Reaper Awards honour the top horror and thriller home video releases of the past year. Eligible titles were released between Aug. 1, 2010, and July 31, 2011. Contenders were submitted by studios for consideration by a panel of judges in conjunction with a consumer vote.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2011 Hollywood Film Awards - winners

The 15th Annual Hollywood Film Festival held their Hollywood Film Awards ceremony last night before a standing-room-only gathering of over 1,100 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The Hollywood Film Awards are the first of the awards season but are also one of the least influential. Most of the award recipients were named well in advance. The Hollywood Movie of the Year Award was chosen by online voting and went to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Actors who received awards were George Clooney taking Best Actor for The Descendants, Best Actress Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn, Best Supporting Actor Christopher Plummer for Beginners, and Best Supporting Actress Carey Mulligan for Shame. Glenn Close received a Career Achievement Award for her starring role in Albert Nobbs. The cast of The Help was given the Ensemble Cast Award.

Other stars and celebrities who attended the ceremony included Ben Affleck, Craig Brewer, Beau Bridges, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ted Danson, Paul Haggis, Anne Hathaway, Jonah Hill, Julianne Hough, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Ray Liotta, Ewan McGregor, Penelope Ann Miller, Christoph Waltz, Harvey Weinstein and Owen Wilson.

L’Autre Gala de l’ADISQ, Gala de l’Industrie - winners

While the Gala de l’ADISQ (Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo) isn't until Sunday night, a good number of Felix Awards were given out at the the L'Autre Gala de L'ADISQ and the Gala de l’Industrie on Monday night.

Arcade Fire continued its winning streak with their album The Suburbs by capturing Anglophone Album of the Year. It was their first ever Felix Award. Previously, they won at the Grammy, Juno and Brit Awards, and recently captured the Polaris Prize. They are nominated in other categories for the main gala on Sunday but will not be attending.

The Alternative Album of the Year prize went to La caverne by Malajube. Éric Lapointe picked up Rock Album of the Year for Le ciel de mes combats. Roch Voisine picked up Quebecois Artist of the Year - Other Languages as well as Cover Album of the Year and Sound Engineer of the Year for his collaborator Dany Legendre.

CineSIEGE: free screening of York University shorts

Tonight at Toronto's TIFF Bell Lightbox, York University hosts the CineSIEGE Showcase of new student short videos. CineSIEGE is York University's annual juried showcase of student productions in the various genres of dramatic fiction, documentary, diarist and experimental. Admission is free.

This year's jurors are Eileen Arandiga, director of the World Wide Short Film Festival; documentary filmmaker Sarah Goodman (Army of One, When We were Boys); Adam Nayman, film critic for The Grid; Pablo de Ocampo, artistic director of the Images Festival; and film director and producer Barbara Willis Sweete, founding partner of Rhombus Media.

The jurors selected the 22 nominees from a pool of 135 films made this past season. They will announce the winners at the screening.

Monday, October 24, 2011

6 Oscar/Awards screenplays now available

Last year, I published the links for dozens of screenplays that were being touted as potential Oscar-contenders. Surprisingly, most links are still active which suggests that the studios aren't fretting any more about removing them after the Oscars are over and done with.

As the awards season gets under way with the Gotham Independent Film Awards nominations kicking things off, the studios have started to promote their contending films. Most have just released an industry screening schedule of films being promoted. But Focus Features has gotten the ball rolling by making available six of their screenplays. As I did before, I've provided the links below.

There are two writer-directors, Mike Mills (Beginners) and Dee Rees (Pariah), whose works are very personal. One is an original screenplay Hanna by Seth Lochhead and David Farr, which was directed by Joe Wright and starred Saoirse Ronan. The other three are adaptations. Moira Buffini's screenplay for Jane Eyre is from the classic Charlotte Brontë novel. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan and based on the John le Carré novel. The Debt is written by Matthew Vaughn & Jane Goldman and Peter Straughan and based on the 2007 Israeli film Ha-Hov (The Debt). It is interesting to note Peter Straughan's involvement with both political thrillers.

2011 Golden Rooster Awards for Chinese film - winners

Yesterday, the China Film Association held their 28th Golden Rooster Awards (金鸡奖) for Chinese-language films at the Hefei Lake Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Golden Rooster Awards are mainland China's awards for Chinese-language film, along with the Huabiao Awards which are given by China's State Administration of Radio, Film and TV.

The surprise winner of Best Feature Film was 飞天 (Fei Tian). The film is also known as Shen Zhou 11 and tells the story of Chinese astronauts from the spacecrafts Shen Zhou 7 to 11. 

Best Director was awarded to 陈力 (Chen Li) for 爱在廊桥 (Love On Gallery Bridge). 孙淳 (Sun Chun) won Best Actor for his role in 秋喜 (Qiuxi) while 娜仁花 (Na Renhua) won Best Actress for her starring role in 额吉 (Mother).

唐山大地震 (Aftershock) had led with nine nominations. While it missed out on the the highest profile awards, it was the only multiple-winner with its two prizes in the categories of Art Direction and Music.

Free screening and workshops at Get Animated! Oct 22-Nov 6

The National Film Board of Canada is hosting a nation-wide celebration of animation these next two weeks. Get Animated! includes the October 28 observance of the 10th International Animation Day.

The NFB will host free screenings, workshops and masterclasses in every province and territory. Films include Anita Lebeau's Big Drive, Juliette Loubières' Citrouille et vieilles dentelles (Pumpkins and Old Lace), I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors by Ann Marie Fleming, Marv Newland's CMYK, Muybridge’s Strings by Koji Yamamura, Wild Life by Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, and Dimanche (Sunday) by Patrick Doyon. Family programming includes Waseteg by Phyllis Grant, Private Eyes by Nicola Lemay and The Girl Who Hated Books by Jo Meuris.

Master Classes and workshops will be held by Co Hoedeman, Luigi Allemano, Marv Newland, Marc Bertrand and Nicola Lemay.

2012 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival - award winners

The 12th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival closed its largest festival ever last night with an awards presentation. The ceremony took place at the Mod Club and was hosted by actor Billy Merasty.

The Best Dramatic Feature award went to Australian filmmaker Beck Cole (Luritja Warramungu) for her debut feature Here I Am. It tells of a woman's reconnecting with her estranged family after being released from prison.

An Australian film also captured the Alanis Obomsawin Award for Best Documentary which went to The Tall Man, directed by Tony Krawitz and produced by Darren Dale (Bunjalung). It examines the case of Cameron Doomadgee whose death in an Australian prison cell ignited racial tensions across the country.

The short film Amaqqut Nunaat (The Country of Wolves) by director Neil Christopher and producer Louise Flaherty came away with two awards. It won for Best Canadian Short Drama but also picked up the Cynthia-Lickers Sage Award for Emerging Talent. It was the opening short animated film that played with the opening night film On the Ice.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

World Soundtrack Awards 2011 - winners

The World Soundtrack Academy held their 11th World Soundtrack Awards at a ceremony in Ghent that included live music by the Brussels Philharmonic. The Film Composer of the Year for the third year in a row was Alexandre Desplat. His films this past year included the Oscar-winner The King’s Speech, The Tree of Life, and the final two Harry Potter films.

Hans Zimmer won the Best Original Film Score of the Year 2010 for his score of Inception. There is some controversy around that score, however, since much of the score consists of sound design (manipulating an old Edith Piaf recording) rather than composing.

Clint Mansell had led the nominations along with Desplat and Zimmer, but went away empty-handed.

Randy Newman won Best Original Song for "We Belong Together" from the animated feature Toy Story 3. Alex Heffes was named the Discovery of the Year for scoring The First Grader and The Rite, while the much-lauded A.R Rahman claimed the Public Choice Award for 127 Hours.

Toronto Israel Film Festival, Oct 23-27

The 4th Toronto Israel Film Festival begins tonight at the Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas. It is more particular than the Toronto Jewish Film Festival in that it presents films by filmmakers from Israel.

The opening screenings are The Human Resources Manager, Just the Two of Us and The Flood. Director Tzipi Baider will present the screening of Just the Two of Us, while director Guy Nattiv will be in attendance for the screenings of The Flood.

Other filmmaker's presenting their work include Dani Menkin who will appear with his film Dolphin Boy; Tal Goren presenting Family in Captivity; and Marco Carmel who brings My Lovely Sister.

The 4th Toronto Israel Film Festival continues until October 27 at the Cineplex Odeon Sheppard Cinemas.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2011 Festival du nouveau cinéma - award winners

The awards for the 40th Festival du nouveau cinéma were presented at tonight's closing night gala screening of Monsieur Lazhar. The winner of the top prize, the Louve d’or, went to Icelandic director Rúnar Rúnarsson’s debut film Volcano. It also won the Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma (Quebec Film Critics Association) Award for Best Feature Film in the International Selection.

An Icelandic film also won the top prize for short films. Magma by Marianna Morkore and Rannvá Káradóttir picked up the Loup argenté for Best short film in the International Selection. Honourable mentions went to La fleur de l’âge by Pascal Plante and Umshini Wam by Harmony Korine.

The Acting Award went to Nadezhda Markina for her work in the Russia film Elena by Andrei Zvyagintsev. Two Montreal directors won for their debut feature films. Anne Émond won the Daniel Langlois Innovation Award for Nuit #1. The Innovation Award is for "a work in the international selection that stands out for its daring aesthetics, creative use of new technologies and/or groundbreaking treatment of a sensitive subject matter." Ivan Grbovic won the Focus Grand Prix for Roméo onze. He receives with his award a $1,500 cash prize and $3,500 in services.

Friday, October 21, 2011

2011 Montreal Stop-Motion Film Festival, Oct 21-23

The 3rd annual Festival du film de Stop-Motion de Montréal (Montreal Stop-Motion Film Festival) begins tonight with special guest speaker Peter Saunders. At 7:30pm, Peter Saunders from Mackinnon and Saunders will revisit the production aspects of Corpse Bride, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Mars Attacks!

Over the weekend, the festival will screen over 60 stop-motion films from around the world. The festival also presents a hands-on stop-motion workshop as well as free programming for the family.

The festival continues to Sunday night at J.A. de Sève Theatre at Concordia University.

Call for submissions: 2012 ReelWorld Film Festival

The ReelWorld Film Festival is now accepting submissions for their 12th annual festival.

The festival was founded by actress and entrepreneur Tonya Lee Williams, best known for her 15-year starring role as Dr. Olivia Winters on The Young and The Restless. It was her response to the lack of positive diverse stories on screen or sustainable opportunities emerging artists of colour. The festival provides a platform to showcase Canadian filmmakers from various backgrounds and represent everyday Canadian diversity.

The submission deadline for ReelWorld 2012 is December 9, 2011. Any submissions received after this date will not be accepted. Notifications will be completed by March 2012.

The 12th annual ReelWorld Film Festival takes place April 11-15th, 2012 in downtown Toronto.

Free Event! Taiwanese Cuisine: Intimate Politics in Film

Tonight, the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs of the University of Toronto hosts a free event. Taiwanese Cuisine: Intimate Politics in Film presents an exploration of food and film from Taiwan.

The films screening this weekend are Night Market Hero (Tien-Lun Yeh), Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee) and Kuei‐mei, A Woman (Yi Chang). Speakers include Professors Scott Simon, Joseph Wong, Charlie Keil, Bart Testa, James Udden and Jing Jing Chang.

You do not have to be a student to attend. You must, however, register online in order to RSVP for the individual events. After the opening keynote lecture at North House (Room 208N) of the Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place, the remaining events take place at Innis Town Hall and Innis Café, 2 Sussex Street at St. George.

Ekran 2011, Toronto Polish Film Festival, Oct 21-23

This weekend, the Ekran Polish Film Association presents their 3rd annual Ekran 2011 - Toronto Polish Film Festival. It kicks off tonight with a special presentation of Ryszrad Brylski's Cudowne Lato (Wonderful Summer). Brylski will be in attendance and stay for a Question and Answer session after the screening.

Other filmmakers in attendance include
Piotr Uzarowicz who directed the documentary The Officer’s Wife, Toronto-based Rafal Sokolowski who made the short film Three Mothers, and animator Michał Mróz who made the stop-motion short Friction.

In addition to the short film and animation programs, the additional feature films are Joanna by Feliks Falk, Jutro będzie lepiej (Tomorrow Will Be Better) by Dorota Kędzierzawska, Skrzydlate Świnie (Flying Pigs) by Anna Kazejak, Erratum by Marek Lechki, and Uwiklanie (Entanglement) by Jacek Bromski.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Festival SPASM 2011, Oct 20-29

The 10th annual SPASM festival of horror film begins tonight with a screening of Julien Leclercq’s L’Assaut (The Assault). It's an account of a 1994 hijacking by Algerian terrorists who meant to crash the plane into the Eiffel Tower.

The SPASM Festival began as a local Montreal festival of short horror and genre films. While the focus is still on shorts, they've expanded this year to include some features as well as international selections from Australia, France, Germany, Spain, and Sweden.

As part of the festival, the Montreal Zombie Walk takes place on Oct. 22.  This free event is co-presented by the Montreal Fringe Festival. It starts at 3:30pm at Mont-Royal metro station and winds its way to Club Soda with a free screening at 6pm of the best zombie movies from the past 10 years of SPASM.

2011 Toronto After Dark Film Festival, Oct 20-27

Tonight is the opening night for the 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival. The comedy Monster Brawl by Jesse T. Cook will play twice, with the sold-out 7pm screening being followed by a 9:45pm show. The closing night gala for the festival will be Ti West's The Innkeepers.

Other feature film titles include Exit Humanity, Redline, DeadHeads, Some Guy Who Kills People, Love, The Theatre Bizarre, Midnight Son, Absentia, A Lonely Place to Die, The Divide, Manborg, The Corridor, VS, The Woman, The Innkeepers, and the world premieres of Father’s Day, and The War of the Dead.

Each feature film screened at the festival will be preceded by a Canadian short film including films such as The Legend Of Beaver Dam, The Lady ParaNorma, Blind Spot, My Main Squeeze, and How to Rid Your Lover of a Negative Emotion Caused By You!

image+nation 24 announces 2011 festival programming

The Montreal International LGBT Film Festival known as image+nation is the oldest of its kind in Canada and they've just unveiled their programming for their 24th edition. They will be screening over 125 films over the course of the 12-day festival.

To open the festival, Tova Magnusson-Nörling's Swedish Comedy Fyra år till (Four More Years) will play at the Cinéma Impérial. The festival closes at Theatre Hall Concordia with Canadian filmmaker Sheldon Larry's musical Leave It On The Floor.

Other films to look out for include Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same which just picked up a Gotham Award nomination; Ausente (Absent) which won the Teddy Award at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival; and Circumstance by Maryam Kershavarz which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

2011 Gotham Independent Film Awards - nominations

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) have announced their nominations for the 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. IFP are America's oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers and the Gotham Awards serve as an East Coast equivalent of the Independent Spirit Awards.

Leading with three nominations each are Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants and Sean Durkin‘s Martha Marcy May Marlene with three nominations each. The Descendants was nominated for Best Feature, Ensemble and Breakthrough Actor (Shailene Woodley), while Martha Marcy May Marlene picked up Breakthrough Director as well as Ensemble and Breakthrough Actor (Elizabeth Olsen).

The other films in contention for Best Feature are Beginners by Mike Mills, Meek’s Cutoff by Kelly Reichardt, Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols, and Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2011 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Oct 19-23

Today is the opening of the 12th Annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival which celebrates aboriginal and indigenous peoples. After a welcome gathering that takes place at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, the opening screening takes place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The gala screening will be the Canadian premiere of Andrew Okpeaha MacLean’s On The Ice, winner of the Best First Feature Prize at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival.

Other highlights include Shirley Adams by Oliver Hermanus, the world premiere of Mesnak which is based on Shakespeare's Hamlet, an Australian musical Bran Nue Dae by Jimmy Chi which stars Geoffrey Rush, and Dylan Valley's The Uprising of Hangberg about the recent forced displacement of residents in a Cape Town suburb. The international spotlight for this year is South Africa.

The closing night film will be Wapos Bay: Long Goodbyes by Dennis and Melanie Jackson.

The Free Screen at TIFF Bell Lighbox: Hors Pistes

Tonight at TIFF Bell Lightbox, the Free Screen offers a screening of three important female artists whose work showed at the 2011 edition of Centre Pompidou's annual Hors Pistes festival. The Hors Pistes festival is an international showcase for innovative films and videos that blend fiction with contemporary art, documentary and experimental formats.

The three films screening are In Free Fall by Hito Steyerl, Noé by Pauline Julier, and After School Special by Corin Sworn.

The screening will be introduced by Géraldine Gomez, founder and Director of Hors Pistes and film programmer at Le Centre Pompidou.

Free advance screening of Martha Marcy May Marlene

The University of Toronto's Cinema Studies Student Union (CINSSU) continues its generous practice of occasionally offering free advance screenings of upcoming movies. They will be screening the Sean Durkin film Martha Marcy May Marlene which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year before going on to Cannes, TIFF and other major festivals.

It was announced earlier today that the 22-year-old star Elizabeth Olsen (younger sister to the Olsen twins Mary-Kate and Ashley) was named winner of the Best Actress award at the 38th Ghent Film Festival in Belgium.

To attend, you can pick up a pass from the CINSSU office at Innis College during office hours between 12-4pm on weekdays. Those without passes can still attend by joining a rush line on the evening of the screening. The rush line will then be let in after all the passholders have been seated.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 Canadian Comedy Awards - winners

The 12th annual Canadian Comedy Awards took place tonight at the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto as part of the Canadian Comedy Awards & Festival.

The prize for Best Film as voted by the public was Jacob Medjuck's Summerhood. Medjuck also won for Best Direction, Film. The other double-winner in film was Jacob Tierney's Good Neighbours. It won for Best Writing (Tierney) and Best Actor, Film (Jay Baruchel). Peepers had led with five nominations but was shut out.

In television, the only multiple winner was Less Than Kind. It won for Best Direction, Television Program or Series (James Dunnison), and Television Performance, Female (Brooke Palsson). The public's choice for Best TV Show was This Movie Sucks!

The Stand-Up awards for male and female went to Steve Patterson and Debra DiGiovanni respectively. Eric Andrews claimed the Stand-Up Newcomer award.

Monday, October 17, 2011

2011 British Academy Scotland Awards - nominees

The 2011 British Academy Scotland Awards have announced their nominations field. Formerly known as the BAFTA Scotland Awards, the awards have returned following a year-long absence with a new name. Scottish comedienne Karen Dunbar revealed the nominees earlier today in Glasgow city centre.

Morag McKinnon's Donkeys led the way with five nominations. They were for Feature Film, Director, Writer (Colin McLaren) and two for Actor (James Cosmo, Brian Pettifer). Following closely with five nominations was writer/director Peter Mullan's NEDS. It was nominated for the same categories but only once for Actor (Conor McCarron).

David Mackenzie's Perfect Sense was also nominated for Feature Film. Mackenzie received an additional nomination for Director.

Jude MacLaverty, Director of BAFTA Scotland said: “The British Academy Scotland Awards demonstrate the wealth of talent we have within our country. Our juries have been overwhelmed by the quality and originality of the work submitted and the shortlisted nominees demonstrate the innovative and original work Scotland is producing.”

RIDM announces opening and closing films

RIDM announces opening and closing films

Montreal, October 17, 2011
– The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) will have the honour of screening CRAZY HORSE, the latest documentary by acclaimed American filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, at its opening night on November 9, in Ludger-Duvernay Theatre at the Monument-National. After high-profile screenings at TIFF and the Venice Film Festival, CRAZY HORSE will launch RIDM on a high note.

After LA COMÉDIE FRANÇAISE and LE BALLET DE L’OPÉRA DE PARIS, Frederick Wiseman takes us behind the scenes of one of the most famous French cultural institutions: the Crazy Horse. Since 1951, the Parisian cabaret has claimed that it stages the world’s most extravagant burlesque show. For 11 weeks, Wiseman filmed preparations for their new show, DÉSIRS, choreographed by Philippe Decouflé, an amalgamation of ballet and erotic dance, refinement and vulgarity, fantasy and avant-garde art. For his 39th documentary, the filmmaker switched from 16mm film to digital HD, doing justice to the swirling colours in each number and the unquestionable cinematic appeal of the bodies in motion. It’s easily the most entertaining and glamorous film of Wiseman’s career.

Sweden's Beyond wins 2011 Nordisk Råds Filmpris (Nordic Council Film Prize)

The winner of the 2011 Nordisk Råds Filmpris (Nordic Council Film Prize) was announced today. It was won by Sweden's Svinalängorna (Beyond) the directorial debut of actress Pernilla August. The award comes with a $65,000 (DKK 350,000) prize, which August will share with her co-writer Lolita Ray, and producers Helena Danielsson and Ralf Karlsson.

The film is an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Susanna Alakoski and stars Noomi Rapace and her real-life husband Ola Rapace. It had previously won Best Director, Supporting Actress (Outi Mäenpää) and Editing at Sweden's 2011 Guldbagge (Golden Beetle) Awards. Beyond is Sweden's submission to the Academy for the Best Foreign Language Film Award.

The winners was announced in Denmark by Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren, the honourary chair of the Nordic Adjudication Committee. In addition to Mirren, the Adjudication Committee consisted of film critic Per Juul Carlsen (DK), communication manager Outi Heiskanen (FI), CEO Sif Gunarsdottir (IS), editor Silje Riise Næss (N) and film critic Fredrik Sahlin (S).

The nominees from the other Scandinavian countries were Sandheden om mænd (Truth About Men) by Nikolaj Arcel (Denmark), Brim (Undercurrent) by Árni Ólafur Ásgeirsson (Iceland), Oslo, 31. august (Oslo, August 31st) by Joachim Trier (Norway), and Zaida Bergroth's Hyvä poika (The Good Son) (Finland).

Toronto Fashion Week, Oct 17-21

The latest LG Fashion Week in Toronto for the Spring 2012 collections gets underway tonight. It begins with a show by Holt Renfrew, followed by Juma, Arthur Mendonça and Lala Berlin.

Other featured designers this week include Attitude by Jay Manuel, Chloé Comme Parris, Joe Fresh, Pink Tartan, Arthur Mendonça, Denis Gagnon, Vawk, Joeffer Caoc, and Montreal's Marie Saint Pierre.

The events take place primarily at David Pecaut Square (formerly Metro Square) in downtown Toronto, 221 King Street West. LG Fashion Week runs until October 21.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

2011 Spike TV Scream Awards - winners

The sixth annual Spike TV Scream Awards took place last night at the Universal Studios lot in Los Angeles. The big winner of the night was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, which won six awards including the top prize The Ultimate Scream and Best Fantasy Actor for Daniel Radcliffe. He accepted both awards with a pre-recorded message from New York. The series also received a farewell tribute at the event.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and X-Men: First Class had led with 14 nominations each. X-Men: First Class came away with Best Fantasy Movie and Best Cameo (Hugh Jackman).

Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan claimed three awards with Best Director, Fantasy Actress (Natalie Portman) and Best Supporting Actress (Mila Kunis).

Other notable winners included Super 8 which won Best Science Fiction Movie, Limitless winning Best Thriller, Monsters taking Best Independent Movie, and the Best Horror Movie prize going to Let Me In, which also won Best Horror Actress (Chloe Grace Moretz).

Call for Submissions: One Act Playwrighting Contest

Call for Submissions: One Act Playwrighting Contest

QDF - Byron Toben announces a new world wide one act playwrighting contest to be called:  “THE RETURN OF G. BERNARD SHAW”

Shakespeare appreciation declined after his death in 1613. It was revived in 1660 and is healthy today. G. Bernard Shaw, the only person to have won both an Academy Award and a Nobel ( as well as being pictured on a Beatles album cover) may be faced with a decline in popularity as we enter a technological Twitter™ esque era where rolling waves of witty language are being swamped by mono syllabic bursts.

What would a resurrected GBS make of all this? And how re-animated? Would his statue in Niagara -on–the-Lake, Ontario awake (as did the Commander in Don Juan in Hell)?  Would the mourners wish him to disappear again ( as with St. Joan)?  Would he materialize in the green hills of John Bull`s Other Island?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Aotearoa Film & TV Awards (New Zealand) - nominees

The newly named Aotearoa Film & Television Awards (AFTAs) -- formerly known as Qantas Film and Television Awards -- to honour New Zealand film and TV have announced the nominations for their 2011 edition.

Leading with 11 nominations including Best Feature and Best Director is Jason Stutter's Predicament. It was followed by Love Story with 8 nominations and My Wedding And Other Secrets with 5 nominations, also including Best Feature and Best Director for each.

Michael Bennett's debut film Matariki received 6 nominations including Outstanding Feature Film Debut.

Curiously, the submission to the Academy for Best Foreign Language Film, The Orator, is not nominated for any AFTA Awards. It is a Samoan-language film.

Friday, October 14, 2011

2011 Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) - nominees

The Asia Pacific Screen Academy has announced the nominees for their 5th annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs).

Leading with four nominations each are Iran's Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation) by Asghar Farhadi and Turkey's Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Each film was nominated for Best Feature as well as Achievement in Directing and Best Screenplay. A Separation was also nominated for Best Actor (Peyman Moadi) while the additional nomination for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia was in the Achievement in Cinematography category. Both films are their respective country's entry to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Next with three nominations was another Iranian film, Bé Omid É Didar (Goodbye) by Mohammad Rasoulof. Its nominations were for Best Feature, Achievement in Directing and Best Actress (Leyla Zareh).

The other Best Feature nominees were the China/Hong Kong film Rang zidan fei (Let the Bullets Fly) and India's Band Baaja Baaraat (Wedding Planners).

Moving Images Film Festival, Oct 14-16

The 2011 Moving Image Film Festival gets under way tonight in Toronto.

Moving Image states that they are "the first film festival that focuses on the genres of film as a study and welcomes experimentation  with the "clash" or "fusion" of different genres. Our focus is to find new and innovative films that push the envelope by altering the way we view films today."

The festival runs this weekend until Sunday night at Toronto Underground Cinema and Annex Live.