Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2012 MTV Video Music Awards – nominations

The nominees for the 29th annual MTV Video Music Awards were unveiled today. Rihanna and Drake led the field with five nominations each.

Rihanna's "We Found Love" was nominated for Video of the Year, Best Female Video and Best Pop Video. "Where Have You Been" was nominated for Best Choreography and Best Visual Effects. In addition, she is featured on Drake's "Take Care" which received four nominations, and on Coldplay's "Princess of China" which was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Direction.

The nominations for Drake's "Take Care" were for Video of the Year, Best Male Video, Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography. His fifth nomination was for "HYFR" featuring Lil Wayne, which picked up a Best Hip-Hop Video mention.

Toronto International Film Festival announces titles including Documentaries, Midnight Madness

Slate includes latest films from Ken Burns, Alex Gibney and Julien Temple as well as fresh perspectives on high profile figures including Jared Leto and Thirty Seconds to Mars, Olympic runner Ben Johnson, playwright Sam Shepard, Snoop Dogg and Iceberg Slim

Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® today announced its 2012 slate of documentaries. The TIFF Docs lineup includes Moon lovers, extreme surfers and disco dancers; films that offer insight into known figures and the art of show business as well as sensitive and eye-opening spotlights on big issues and current events. Canadian documentaries include highly anticipated projects from Canadian directors Denis Côté, Barry Avrich and Peter Mettler.

Films exploring pressing, hot button issues include Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, Matthew Cooke’s How to Make Money Selling Drugs, Marina Zenovich’s Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out, and a number of powerful films dealing with the conflict in the Middle East: Dror Moreh’s The Gatekeepers, Dan Setton’s State 194 and Mahdi Fleifel’s A World Not Ours.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Call for submissions: DOC Toronto Community Connections

The Toronto branch of the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) has put out a call for submissions to their new Doc Toronto Community Connections series. They are seeking documentaries between 45 and 60 minutes long (a broadcast hour) about a relevant community social issue, local or global.

DTCC free documentary ia a screening and public discussion series that utilizes documentary film as a tool for community engagement and activism.

Filmmakers must be from the GTA or members of DOC Toronto. All screenings will be followed by a moderated audience discussion forum with the filmmaker, participants from the film, and other experts.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Eli Roth presents Umberto Lenzi's Cannibal Ferox

Writer-director Eli Roth is in Toronto and on Monday, July 31, he appears at TIFF Bell Lightbox to present a screening of Umberto Lenzi's cult horror film Cannibal Ferox (also known as Make Them Die Slowly).

Eli Roth was the writer and director of Cabin Fever, Hostel and Hostel: Part II. He also acted in those films as well as others such as Inglourious Basterds and Piranha 3-D. Roth has been in Toronto shooting the the werewolf series Hemlock Grove for Netflix.

Roth says, "I love the Italian cannibal sub-genre from the late seventies and early eighties. The two undisputed maestros of the genre, Ruggero Deodato and Umberto Lenzi, battled back and forth to reign supreme as the Cannibal King. I've shown Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust lots of love in the past (Deodato even did a cameo as a cannibal in Hostel: Part II), but I also want to show my appreciation for the great Lenzi and see how grisly and visceral his work looks projected in 35mm. I've never seen this film projected, so for me it will be like seeing it for the first time as it was meant to be seen, in a theatre with an audience full of horror fans, in all its uncut Italian glory."

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Call for submissions: the 8 fest 2013

The 8 Fest Small Gauge Film Festival has put out a call for submissions for their 6th annual festival. The 8 fest is a unique festival that presents all forms of small-gauge film: 8mm, Super 8 and 9.5mm, as well as works in installation, loops, and 'proto-cinema devices' like zoetropes.

The accept films of every genre including: experimental, animated, personal, handmade, diary/essay, documentaries. They may be done with live performance and music mixed with film. They accept any film made within the last five years, although some exceptions can be made if you arrange it in advance.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Classical IV: Strings at Harbourfront, July 27-29

This weekend, the music festival Classical IV: Strings takes place at Harbourfront in Toronto. The event is free.

They will not only feature orchestral strings, but all manner of stringed instruments from around the world – "from cellos to ouds, koras to harps, burus to hurdy gurdys to pipa, quanun to double bass."

"Come explore the dramatically different aural soundscapes created by stringed instruments from across the world, played by virtuosi from home and abroad. Be prepared to open your ears, drop your preconceptions and discover new and ancient heartwarming resonances."

2012 Saturn Awards – winners

The 38th annual Saturn Awards were originally scheduled to be held on June 20, but they took place last night in Burbank. The event was hosted by Jeffrey Ross who received an Appreciation Award for his work.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Super 8 led with three awards each. Rise of the Planet of the Apes beat out Super 8 to win the Best Science Fiction Film and also won for Supporting Actor (Andy Serkis) and Special Effects. J.J. Abrams won Best Director for Super 8, as well as Best Music and Best Performance by a Younger Actor which somewhat surprisingly went to Joel Courtney over Elle Fanning.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 by David Yates was named Best Fantasy Film. That was its only award, however, even though it had led the nominations with ten along with Martin Scorsese's Hugo. The only win for Hugo was for Production Design, though director Martin Scorsese had previously been announced as the recipient of the George Pal Memorial Award.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Comedy review: Aziz Ansari

Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari made an impressive return last night to Montreal's Just for Laughs festival with his new show Buried Alive. It's his fourth year in a row appearing at the festival.

The show began with him (or what sounded like him) announcing over the loudspeakers the usual no recording, etc. policies in his usual hilarious manner, before introducing the opening act Chelsea Peretti. She proved to be an apt choice to open. Not only has she written for Parks and Recreation, but she shared a similar comedic sensibility – raunchy, but not too much so. She ventured into tricky territory when she addressed the issue of rape jokes, but showed that rape jokes can indeed be funny.

When Ansari came out, he began by getting a some business out of the way, including noting that the venue didn't seem to be stopping anyone from taking photos as they should, so he asked people to take them then and there to get it out of the way. He helpfully struck some poses before riffing on people showing off the photos afterwards but not knowing what was being said since they were too busy taking pictures.

CFC and Just for Laughs announce the Telefilm Canada Comedy Exchange

A CFC North South Marketplace Initiative in collaboration with Just For Laughs

Montreal, July 26, 2012 – The CFC (Canadian Film Centre) today announced the launch of the Comedy Exchange, which replaces the acclaimed 3-year-old Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab. This new initiative will raise the profile of Canadian filmmakers and their film projects internationally while continuing to build interest and business relationships within the Hollywood and North American independent film and comedy communities.

“The Comedy Exchange builds upon the strengths and traction of the previous program, while even more closely aligning itself with Telefilm's mandate to increase the packaging and promotion of exciting Canadian talent and features to the international marketplace,” says Sheila De La Varende, Director Industry Promotion, Telefilm Canada.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Call for submissions: TIFF STUDIO

The Toronto International Film Festival has put out a call for submissions to their inaugural STUDIO program for mid-level producers. This is the first of their year-round industry development programs and starts this September during the 37th annual Toronto International Film Festival.

"STUDIO will consist of interactive sessions throughout the coming year (September 2012 to August 2013). These sessions will offer candidates the opportunity to cultivate their knowledge in a challenging environment. The sessions will also offer expert insights into the business of film production, by providing in-depth views on relevant topics ranging from screenwriting to film financing to the new age of movie marketing.

"This programme will allow chosen candidates to interact with internationally acclaimed industry professionals — including acclaimed filmmakers, experienced producers and other experts in both the Canadian and international film industry. Some sessions will be offered exclusively for the programme's chosen candidates, while others will be open to all industry professionals."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Call for submissions: Toronto Super Pitch Bowl

Paramax Films & Monde Ouest Production in partnership with Screen International is holding the first ever Toronto Super Pitch Bowl. Participants compete for a chance to win an opportunity to pitch their film idea to international/Hollywood producers at the upcoming 37th Toronto International Film Festival.

Those who wish to participate should go to The €co Series Facebook page and click on the "like" button. After that, you can post your movie logline (story idea expressed as a sentence) on the page. Then you need to try to get as many "likes" as possible. The three candidates with the most likes will be asked to send more information on their film. A panel of judges will choose the winner who then will be able to pitch it to a roundtable of producers

Call for submissions: 2012 Sommets du cinéma d’animation de Montréal (Montréal Animated Film Summit)

The Sommets du cinéma d’animation de Montréal (Montréal Animated Film Summit) has put out a call for submissions for its 11th edition of the festival.

Every year, the Sommets du cinéma d’animation de Montréal presents the best animated films from Quebec, Canada and elsewhere. The program includes a selection of international titles, a solid line-up of student films directed by young artists representing the future of animation cinema, an overview of Canadian and Quebec production, retrospectives, and activities for young audiences. Part of the program is also presented in the city of Québec.

In addition to screenings, the Sommets du cinéma d’animation de Montréal offers a range of special activities. The Cinémathèque québécoise hosts a series of original and eclectic events: exhibits, performances, discussion forums with directors and artisans, workshops, film classes, entertaining and rewarding sessions with animation professionals and renowned guests, and festive evening activities.

2012 Toronto International Film Festival first films announced

Toronto – Piers Handling, CEO and Director of TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, made the first announcement of films to premiere at the 37thToronto International Film Festival. Films announced include titles in the Galas and Special Presentations programmes. The announced films include 17 Galas and 45 Special Presentations, including 38 world premieres.

Toronto audiences will be the first to see the world premieres of films from directors Andrew Adamson, Ben Affleck, David Ayer, Maiken Baird, Noah Baumbach, J.A. Bayona, Stuart Blumberg, Josh Boone, Laurent Cantet, Sergio Castellitto, Stephen Chbosky, Lu Chuan, Derek Cianfrance, Nenad Cicin-Sain, Costa-Gavras, Ziad Doueiri, Liz Garbus, Dustin Hoffman, Rian Johnson, Neil Jordan, Baltasar Kormákur, Shola Lynch, Deepa Mehta, Roger Michell, Nishikawa Miwa, Ruba Nadda, Mike Newell, François Ozon, Sally Potter, Robert Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman, Eran Riklis, David O. Russell, Gauri Shinde, Ben Timlett & Bill Jones & Jeff Simpson, Tom Tykwer & Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski, Margarethe von Trotta, Joss Whedon and Yaron Zilberman.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Just for Laughs Film Festival 2012, July 23-28

The 16th edition of the Just for Laughs Film Festival gets underway tonight with a special advance screening of Alain Chabat’s Sur la piste du Marsupilami.

The festival will also be screening Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk with Me, Cannes selection La Fée, Neil Berkeley’s Beauty is Embarrassing, plus Oscar-nominated short Wild Life and the multiple-award-winning Mr. Foley.

They will also be screening films for free under the stars at Scène Vidéotron in Place des Festivals at 9pm for the next several nights. Tonight's opening free film is Singin' In The Rain – appropriate, given the forecast. Tomorrow night, they will screen the Oscar-winner The Artist, and on Thursday night, they will screen The Muppets.

Teen Choice Awards 2012 – winners

The Teen Choice Awards were held last night at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. The evening was hosted by singer Demi Lovato and Kevin McHale (Glee), and featured performances by Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Flo Rida, No Doubt and DJ Pauly D.

The Hunger Games led the award-winners taking eight prizes. The movie won for Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Josh Hutcherson), Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy (Jennifer Lawrence), Movie Chemistry, Villain and Scene Stealer: Male, while the The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins was named Choice Book.

Although the The Twilight Saga didn't maintain its usual domination, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 managed four awards with Movie: Romance, Romance Actress (Kristen Stewart) and Scene Stealer: Female (Ashley Greene) and the Ultimate Choice Award. The brings the series total to 41 wins. In addition, Stewart came away with the award for Summer Movie Star: Female for Snow White & The Huntsman.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kerala State Film Awards – winners

The Kerala State Chalachitra Academy and Kerala's Department of Cultural Affairs announced the winners for their 54th Annual Kerala State Film Awards last night in Thiruvananthapuram, India.

The top prize of Best Movie went to Indian Rupee by Ranjith and produced by Prithviraj. However, that was its only trophy.

Ivan Megharoopan by P. Balachandran took the biggest haul with four prizes. It won for Best Second Movie, Music Director, Editing and Dubbing (Female). Next with three awards was Vellaripravinte Changathi by Akku Akbar, winner for Best Actor (Dileep), Makeup and Choreography.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

2012 Humanitas Prize – finalists

Thirty-five finalists in ten categories have been announced for 38th Annual Humanitas Prize which honours excellence in Film and Television writing of stories "which truly and deeply explore the human experience in a way that both entertains and enlightens."

The nominees for the Feature Film category were the Oscar-winning screenplay The Descendants by Alexander Payne, Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, as well as the films/screenplays Hugo, The Conspirator and Shame. As with most categories, the award comes with a cash prize of $10,000.

2012 Fantasia International Film Festival, July 19-Aug 9

The 16th Annual Fantasia International Film Festival begins tonight with a screening of Takashi Miike's For Love's Sake (opening short is Bydlo). Also screening tonight will be Pascal Laugier's The Tall Man (opens with Cure), Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's Headshot and Peter Chan's Dragon.

The opening party takes place at Club 1234 at 1234 Rue de la Montagne. There will be music provided by Sibian & Faun (live) and DJ Mini. Doors open at 9pm and admission is free for everyone.

Other film highlights during the festival include Juan of the Dead, Toad Road, The Sorcerer and the White Snake, Nameless Gangster, Beast, The Sword Identity, and Black’s Game.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Call for submissions: NSI Features First program

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) is now accepting applications for its NSI Features First program, presented in association with Telefilm Canada. Based in Winnipeg, the NSI is one of Canada's leading advanced film schools.

NSI Features First is a feature film development training course for teams of first or second time writers, directors and producers. Successful teams receive group training and a cash award to put towards a story editor and further project development.

“It’s been 15 years since NSI Features First was launched,” said new program manager Brandice Vivier. “Its longevity is a tribute to great Canadian stories, committed industry resources ready to mentor and train our students, and of course an abundance of talented emerging filmmakers ready to take their career to the next level.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: critics, fanboys and trolls

In case you missed it, the last few days have been full of drama for fans anticipating the latest Batman movie by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises. And the movie hasn't even come out yet.

Eminent critic Roger Ebert complained that reviews for the film were embargoed until Sunday at midnight when press screenings were not even going to take place until Tuesday morning. He discovered that critics in Los Angeles and New York received early screenings, while others accepted being flown in to a press junket. Based in Chicago, he was not pleased.

Late Saturday night, a troll named Adrian Chen who apparently writes for Gawker and edits for The New Inquiry tweeted a supposed major spoiler. He followed it up with a disguised tweet claiming to be a picture of something else but in fact was a picture of the spoiler written as text. He followed this up with retweets of angry responses and repeats of the picture. More likely than not, he didn't see the film and was just being a dick. He delighted in the aggravation he caused, tweeting "lololol I think I reached peak troll with that. It was a good day."

2012 Polaris Music Prize short list

The Polaris Music Prize today announced the 10 remaining albums that comprise their short list, after having previously named 40 potential winners on their long list.

Those eliminated from the short list included Patrick Watson (the first time an album of his wasn't shortlisted), The Weeknd, Leaonard Cohen, Coeur de pirate, Joel Plaskett Emergency and Yukon Blonde.

The 200+ writers, editors, producers and media figures who make up the Polaris Music Prize jury pool chose the Short List by submitting ballots listing their Top 5 albums from the previously announced Long List of 40 eligible albums.

2012 Toronto Summer Music Festival, July 17-Aug 4

The 7th Toronto Summer Music Festival gets underway tonight with a recital by award-winning Quebecois pianist André Laplante. He will perform Bach/Busoni’s Organ Toccata; several works of Ravel: Oiseaux tristes; La vallée des cloches; Sonatine; Morel’s Deux etudes de sonorité; and Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage, Première année Suisse (selections). The gala evening includes a post-concert champagne reception for the audience, and a chance to meet Mr. Laplante.

Other featured performers and ensembles performing during the festival include The Borodin String Quartet; Gerald Finley & Stephen Ralls; The Zukerman Chamber Players featuring Pinchas Zukerman; The Gryphon Trio; National Youth Orchestra of Canada; Cecilia String Quartet with Georgy Tchaidze; and The Nash Ensemble with Colin Ainsworth.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Call for submissions: the Rail City Roadshow

Rail City Media in Montreal has put out a call for submissions for its Rail City Roadshow pilot tour. This is a travelling film festival and the pilot tour is a mini-tour being held in the lead-up to a planned larger tour of Canada.

Rail City Media will accept short films of up to ten minutes in length made in 2011-2012. They must be in English or have English subtitles. There is no submission fee for this pilot tour.

The pilot tour will take place in September in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. The full tour will take the films coast-to-coast.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nollywood & African Film Critics’ Awards 2012 – nominees

Nominees have now been announced for the 2nd annual Nollywood & African Film Critics’ Awards (NAFCAs).

Kathryn Fasegha's Treacherous Heart led the field with eighteen nominations. Nine went to Fasegha herself including Best Film, Drama, Screenplay and Director. The film is about a young girl Ngozi who is sent to Canada to live with her mother's best friend, but then at the age of 26 her parents arrange a marriage for her.

Next with eleven nominations was Lonzo Nzekwe's Anchor Baby, including Best Film. The other nominees for Best Film were Joe Obed's The Professor, Uche Jombo's Damaged and GuGu E. Michael's Unge's War.

Summer in France screening series, July 13-Sept 2

The rest of the summer brings a terrific retrospective series at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Summer in France presents some of the very best and most important films from France. All of them are masterpieces.

The series kicks off with several films from Jean Renoir, the son of painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir and one of the all-time filmmaking greats. Tonight, La Grande Illusion plays at 6pm, then NOW Magazine critic Norm Wilner introduces the 9pm screening of La Règle du jeu (The Rules of the Game). Both films are often cited as among the greatest films ever made.

From there, the series presents some unjustly-neglected masters such as Georges Franju and Jean Grémillon, as well as well-known figures, particularly those from La Nouvelle Vague (the French New Wave) such as François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Éric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette, Jacques Demy, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais and Agnès Varda.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Shinsedai Cinema Festival, July 12-15

Tonight, the 4th annual Shinsedai Cinema Festival celebrating Japanese film gets underway in Toronto.

The opening night film will be 劇場版 神聖かまってちゃん ロックンロールは鳴り止まないっ (Ringing in Their Ears) by 入江悠 (Yu Irie). The film is about the lives of various people in the week leading up to a concert by the red-hot rock band "Shinsei Kamatte." The movie opens with a music video Back.

This will be followed by Takashi Makino's Enter the Cosmos: Takashi Makino Special. The program is a collection of experimental works.

2012 Cartoon d'Or Awards – nominations

CARTOON, the European Association of Animation Film, has announced the five nominees for this year’s Cartoon d’Or, the pan-European award for the best animated short film of the year.

One of the nominees is Franck Dion's Edmond était un âne (Edmond Was a Donkey), a recent prize-winner for Best Canadian Short at the Worldwide Short Film Festival. The film is a France-Canada co-production that was made with the National Film Board of Canada.

The five finalists of the Cartoon d'Or 2012 are:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

LUX Style Awards 2012 – winners

The 11th LUX Style Awards for entertainment in Pakistan held their gala ceremony in Karachi last night.

The film section was free of suspense, with Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol (Speak) winning for Best Film, Actor (Manzar Sehbhai) and Actress (Humaima Malik) because they were the only nominees in their respective categories. Sehbhai, however, wasn't at the ceremony and castmate Mahira Khan accepted on his behalf. Sehbai later said from Germany that he hadn't been invited and feeling insulted, he rejected the award.

The only other multiple prize-winner was the song Woh Humsafar Tha by Qurat-ul-Ain Baloch. It won for Song of the Year and Best Original Sound Track.

2012 Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) Awards – nominees

The Directors Guild of Canada has announced the nominations for the 11th Annual DGC Awards. The finalists in 19 categories were selected from close to 180 submissions.

Leading the feature film nominees with five nods was David Cronenberg's period drama A Dangerous Method. It was nominated for Best Direction, Feature Film, Production Design, Picture Editing and Sound Editing.

Sarah Polley's sophomore film Take This Waltz came next with four mentions including Best Direction. The other nominees for Best Direction were Michael Dowse for Goon , and David Weaver for The Samaritan. Only The Samaritan was also nominated for Best Feature Film, however, as Nathan Morlando's Edwin Boyd and Donald Shebib's Down the Road Again edged out Take This Waltz and Goon.

Call for submissions: Reel Asian's So You Think You Can Pitch? competition

The call for submissions has been announced for the 7th Annual Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival's pitch competition, So You Think You Can Pitch?

Selected pitch contestants will be given an opportunity to sell their short film idea to a panel of judges from the film industry during the Reel Asian Festival. They will also be awarded with a Festival Pass, with access to festival screenings and Industry Series sessions. There are categories for Emerging and Established filmmakers. One winner in each category will receive a prize package worth thousands to help make their short film.

They will accept submissions for films up to 30 minutes in length, in any form, whether dramatic, documentary, musical or experimental. An Asian must, however, play a key creative role, either in front or behind the camera.

Call for submissions: the 34th Rhubarb Festival, Young Creators Unit

A call for submissions has been put out for the 34th annual Rhubarb Festival, which takes place in the late winter at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 7. This includes both general submissions as well as submissions to the one-to-one performance category and mobile works.

Buddies in Bad Times has also put out a call for submissions for their Young Creators Unit (YCU). The program provides training and mentorship for four queer-identified artists (age 25 and under) to develop and perform their own original, 25-minute, solo performance piece. Participants will present their finished works at The Rhubarb Festival.

Monday, July 9, 2012

2012 ALMA Awards – nominees

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) has announced the nominations for their 2012 American Latino Media Arts Awards (or ALMA Awards) to recognize Latino entertainers and those who promote positive portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment field.

Dean Wright's For Greater Glory led the field with five nominations. Its nods were for Favorite Movie, Movie Actor (Andy Garcia), Movie Actress—Drama/Adventure (Eva Longoria), and Movie Actor—Supporting Role (Rubén Blades, Oscar Isaac)

Oliver Stone's Savages picked up four awards. All were for acting, with mentions given to Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Demián Bichir and Mia Maestro.

30th Anniversary Just For Laughs Festival, July 9-29

Tonight is the opening night for the 30th Anniversary Festival Juste pour rire de Montréal (Just For Laughs Festival). Tonight's offerings are only in French, and include Les Papas, Les Nanas Coustiques, Isabelle Gauthier "Prête, pas prête, j'y vais!", Kheiron - Libre éducation, Cardio Thai Russ, Chantons sous la pluie, 60 minutes avec... Neev, Autant s'emportent les gens, Les Souverains du Désir "La première tournée d'adieu", Olivier Martineau "Du coq à l'âne", and Péckel et Roffel "une histoire d'amour all dresss".

English offerings begin tomorrow with The Nasty Show, Scottish Sperm and Phone Whore. Phone Whore actually began last Thursday but is connected to the festival, as are some shows that have already begun such Forever Crazy - Crazy Horse.

This year's Gala presentations are The Muppets All Star Comedy Gala; John Pinette Gala; Bill Hader Gala; The American Dream? Gala hosted by Lewis Black; JFL XXX, hosted by Bob Saget; Howie Mandel Gala and the Joel McHale Gala.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

59th Idea Filmfare Awards (South) – winners

The 59th Idea Filmfare Awards (South) took place yesterday at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai. Guests and performers included stars Mahesh Babu, Dhanush, Puneet Rajkumar, Shruti Haasan, Trisha, Rana Daggubatti, Kajal Agarwal, Khushboo, Ramya, Amy Jackson, Tamanna, Namitha, Charmmee Kaur and Sonia Agarwal.

Sreenu Vaitla'a Dookudu topped the award winners on the night. It won a total of six awards in the Telugu section including Best Film. The others were for Best Director, Best Actor Male (Mahesh Babu), Best Supporting Actor Male (M S Narayana), Best Music Director and Best Playback Singer Male. Dookudu recently led the winners at the South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA).

Not far behind was Vetrimaran's Aadukalam with five awards in the Tamil section. It won Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor Male (Dhanush) and Best Music Director, plus a Special Award for Best Cinematography.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Festival de Lanaudière 2012, July 7-Aug 5

The 35th anniversary of the Festival de Lanaudière, one of the premier summer music festivals in Canada, opens tonight with a concert of the Requiem, op. 5 by Berlioz, conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni and featuring tenor Frédéric Antoun.

Among the highlights will be a number of Beethoven-themed concerts by The New Orford Quartet, pianist Stewart Goodyear and the Orchestre Métropolitain led by conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The Pittsburgh Symphony returns for two concerts, and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal led by Maestro Kent Nagano performs a concert with pianist André Laplante as well as a concert of Russian works Pictures at an Exhibition and Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring).

Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 Constellation Awards - winners

Tonight at the Polaris 26 Science Fiction convention in Toronto, the ceremony for the 6th Annual Constellation Awards took place. The event was hosted by Sanctuary actor Robin Dunne who ended winning for Best Male Performance in a 2011 Science Fiction Television Episode ("Fugue").

The film winners were led by Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It won Best Science Fiction Film, TV Movie, or Mini-Series of 2011 while motion-capture actor Andy Serkis won for Best Male Performance.

Best Female Performance went to Olivia Wilde for her turn in Cowboys & Aliens.

Call for submissions: The Green Pitch

The call for submissions has opened for the Green Pitch competition at the 13th annual Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival. The winning pitch for an environmentally-themed film will receive a grand prize over $10,000 in cash & services.

This year, the Green Pitch competition will take place at the historic Distillery District, 15 Case Goods Lane, Suite 402, Toronto.

North Korean Human Rights Film Festival 2012, July 6-8

Tonight, the first North Korean Human Rights Film Festival which was created by Gilad Cohen and Michelle Ragno to help raise awareness of North Korea's human rights abuses.

The opening film tonight will be the North American premiere of Winter Butterfly by Gyu-min Kim. It is based on a true story of a mother and her son and their struggles due to the food shortage. The screening will be followed by a discussion by Randall Baran-Chong and Erica Kim of HanVoice.

Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI), July 6-8


Tickets for the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI), celebrating the best of animation arts from around the world, go on sale June 1, 2012. Widely supported by the Toronto animation industry, the threeday festival features screenings of shorts and full-length features, plus intimate and exclusive workshops and master classes. The exciting new festival that showcases the local and international animation industry comes to the TIFF Bell Lightbox, July 6-8, 2012.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Film Review: Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present

Writer/Director: Matthew Akers, Jeff Dupre
Producer: Jeff Dupre, Maro Chermayeff
Featuring: Marina Abramović, Ulay and Klaus Biesenbach
Biographical Art Documentary
1 hour, 46 minutes

I am a performance art skeptic. As with the question as to whether or not video games are art, I don't see any connection with other art forms. Or at least I didn't, until now.

Marina Abramović, The Artist is Present is a new film by Matthew Akers that explores the forty-year career of the trailblazing performance artist Abramović as she mounts a career retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It requires training a whole crew of younger performance artists to reproduce some of her earlier works, many of which involved being motionless while nude.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

RIDM under the stars: 6 parks, 6 free documentaries

The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) is pleased to announce a special summer program to be held in six different Montreal parks. All screenings in the series are free.

In 2011, RIDM joined forces with the SAT and Quartier des Spectacles to organize what turned out to be a highly successful evening: an outdoor screening of El Bulli: Cooking in Progress. The three organizations are collaborating again this year to kick off RIDM’s summer screening series this Thursday, July 5, when Matthew Akers’ film Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present will be shown for free in Place de la Paix, on St. Laurent Blvd. between St. Catherine and René-Lévesque. The screening will be preceded by a barbecue, from 7 to 9 p.m., where the SAT FoodLab chefs will serve grilled dishes for guests and DJ Alexis Bowles will set the mood. The public is welcome to bring blankets and folding chairs to the screening.

Toronto Fringe Festival, July 4-15

The 24th Annual Fringe Festival in Toronto begins today.

This year’s festival presents twelve days with 155 shows produced by national and international artists who will delight and entertain with musicals, comedy, drama, dance, visual art, site-specific shows, and theatre for young people. The Fringe Club behind Honest Ed’s is a large, fully-licensed, open-air patio featuring some of Toronto’s hottest indie visual artists at the Fringe Artist Alley, and the Fringe Club daily programming includes live concerts like a free Jack Grunsky concert on Saturday, July 14th, as well as lively debate with theatre movers and shakers like Sky Gilbert, Daniel Brooks, Natasha Mytnowych, and many more.

Possible Worlds' top 100 list of Canadian films

Possible Worlds, the Australian Canadian Film Festival, has unveiled their selection of the top 100 Canadian films from the last 30 years.

Their choice for the number one Canadian film was the directorial debut of actress Sarah Polley Away From Her. The film earned Polley an Oscar nomination for Adapted Screenplay and a Best Actress nomination for Julie Christie. It also topped Playback Magazine's 2010 list of top Canadian films of the decade.

The rest of the top ten from the list consisted of The Sweet Hereafter, Last Night, Incendies, Jesus of Montreal, My Winnipeg, The Barbarian Invasions, Videodrome, Exotica and My Life Without Me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2012 Globi d'Oro (Italian Golden Globe Awards) – winners

L'Associazione della Stampa Estera in Italia (Italian Foreign Press Association) held the ceremony for Italy's Golden Globe Awards known as the Globo d'Oro at Villa Massimo-Accademia Tedesca in Rome.

Giuliano Montaldo's L'industriale (The Industrialist) came out on top, winning Best Film. It also won for Cinematography and Music. It had led with five nominations.

Winning more prizes, however, was Ferzan Ozpetek's Magnifica presenza (Magnificent Presence). It won for Best Director as well as Actor (Elio Germano), a Special Globo d'Oro for actress Anna Proclemer, and Supporting Acting awards for Beppe Fiorello (shared with Terraferma) and Paola Minaccioni.

TIFF announces the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto Asian Film Summit

Toronto International Film Festival Announces

Tokyo – Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, today announced the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto Asian Film Summit will take place during the 2012 Festival, on Monday, September 10 at the Shangri-La Hotel.

“As both a key launch pad for films in North America and home to huge audiences for Asian cinema, we think Toronto can be a prime meeting place for the Asian and western film industries,” said Bailey. “The Shangri-La Hotel Toronto Asian Film Summit is our humble attempt to offer a platform where industry leaders can foster deeper relationships, generate new ideas and find new business opportunities.”

Call for submissions: CFC's Slaight Music Residency

The Canadian Film Centre recently announced the Slaight Music Residency, a program for composers and songwriters to develop their craft in the writing for the screen. They are now accepting nominations for the program. For this first session, there will be no tuition.

The Slaight Music Residency is aimed at composers and songwriters looking to break into the onscreen world, and will support four musical artists (two composers & two songwriters) per session. Applicants must be nominated by an established songwriter, a Professional or Gold Member of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, established film/television/documentary director/producer/showrunner, music supervisor, or music executive.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Call for submissions: M60 Film Festival

The M60 Montreal 60 Second Film Festival will be turning 5 this year. They have announced the launch party for registration will be taking place on July 19 at Cada Del Popolo. The party and registration are free.

After registering, filmmakers will have a month to make a film of sixty seconds running time on a topic that will be revealed on that night. All levels of filmmaking expertise are welcome to participate.

The party will feature performances by Cat Kidd, storytellers from Confabulation, musician Tom Mennier, their popular screen-test booth, and door-prizes from local artists.

The screening of the finished films will take place at the Cinéma Excentris from September 13-15.

2012 BET Awards – winners

The 2012 BET Awards took place last night at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in a ceremony hosted by Samuel L. Jackson.

In the film section, the Best Movie Award went to The Help. Its star Viola Davis won for Best Actress.

Best Actor went to comedian Kevin Hart, who starred as Cedric in Think Like a Man.

Several artists were double winners in the music categories. Beyoncé won for Best Female R&B Artist and was co-winner for Video Director of the Year. Chris Brown won Best Male R&B Artist and the FANdemonium Award. The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West) won for Best Group and Video of the Year.