Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 AmérAsia Film Festival, March 1-11

The AmérAsia Film Festival is proud to announce the five principal subcategories – Asian Treasures, Animation Spotlight, WeDistribute, Québécois Special and AmerAsia (AA) Shorts – for this third edition of Montreal's premiere festival celebrating the latest Asian and Asian-Canadian cinema, taking place on the first two weekends of March.

Asian Treasure
The full line-up of blockbuster Asian films that will screen over the course of the festival has been chosen from the best of the continent's creative talent. Oscar-nominated Chinese blockbuster Aftershock, the international premiere of Kyung-soon's Red Maria, funny and moving major festival selection The Day He Arrives by director Hong Sangsoo, the Cannes award-winning Arirang by renowned Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk, Best Newcomer nominee at the 2012 Asian Film Awards I Wish, and Vietnamese director Cuong Ngo's captivating personal portraits in Pearls of the Far East will all feature.

Also included is 24th Tokyo International Film Festival selection Power of Two, a Japan/U.S. co-production about organ donation, and the directorial debut of Academy Award-nominated producer Marc Smolowitz (The Weather Underground), who will be attending the festival.

Human Rights Watch 2012, Feb 29-Mar 9

Whether documentary or fiction, films on human rights issues can not only change the way people see the world and affect their future actions, but in some cases — such as Pamela Yates' Granito — can actually become instruments of justice in themselves. Offering sobering accounts of oppression, violence, and intolerance occurring worldwide, the films in this year's Human Rights Watch Film Festival also allows us to experience the courage of the victims of and fighters against injustice, who share their stories of survival and their inspiring will to rebuild their lives. In their unblinking confrontation with suffering, these films offer hope that the very act of bearing witness can in itself help prevent the occurrence of further atrocities. — Alex Rogalski

The annual festival details stories of injustice, oppression, and stubbornly unquenchable hope in nine documentary and fiction films from around the globe.

Genie Awards announce Golden Reel Award winner is Starbuck

Starbuck Wins the 32nd Annual Genie Awards Golden Reel

Celebrating the highest grossing Canadian film at the 2011 box office in Canada

(Toronto, ON) February 29, 2012—The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (ACCT) presents the 2011 Cineplex Golden Reel Award to Quebec comedy Starbuck, which grossed over $3.5 million in Canada in 2011.

Starbuck is a great Canadian success story with healthy box office in Canada, prizes in Canada, United States and Europe which augur well for healthy future box office returns,” says Helga Stephenson, ACCT Interim CEO.

The Cineplex Golden Reel Award is presented annually to the Canadian film that earns the highest domestic box office in that year. The award will be presented at the 32nd Annual Genie Awards on Thursday, March 8th at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

2012 Saturn Awards – nominations

Hugo and Harry Potter Cast Their Spells and Lead Film Nominations for 38th Saturn Awards

Breaking Bad and American Horror Story Scare Up Most TV Nominations in Banner Year for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror; Winners to be Announced June 20

LOS ANGELES – February 29, 2012 – Hugo and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 each received 10 nominations as the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films today announced nominations for the 38th Annual Saturn Awards, which will be presented on Wednesday, June 20.

Other leading titles in the Academy’s film categories were Super 8 (eight nominations); Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger (seven); and The Adventures of Tintin and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (six each). Rise of the Planet of the Apes breathed new life into a classic sci-fi franchise with five nominations, including a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Andy Serkis.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

65th Festival de Cannes unveils official poster

The icon of the 65th Festival

On the occasion of its 65th anniversary, the Festival de Cannes pays tribute to Marilyn Monroe, selected as the icon of the 2012 Festival.

Fifty years after her death, Marilyn is still a major figure in world cinema, an eternal icon, whose grace, mystery and power of seduction remain resolutely contemporary.

Each of her screen appearances sparks the imagination. The Festival poster captures Marilyn by surprise in an intimate moment where myth meets reality – a moving tribute to the anniversary of her passing, which coincides with the Festival anniversary.

Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts 2012

Canada Council for the Arts honours eight Canadian greats for the 2012 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts

Toronto, February 28, 2012 – The winners of the 2012 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts were announced today by Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Each has, in their own way, made a mark on Canada’s dynamic art scene through their groundbreaking work. They are:

Australian Film Critics Association AFCA Awards - winners

The Australian Film Critics Association handed out their 5th Annual AFCA Film Awards this weekend at the University Hotel in Melbourne.

The thriller Snowtown by Justin Kurzel topped the awards with four prizes. It won for Best Australian Film, Actor (Daniel Henshall), Director and Screenplay. It's competitors for Australian Film were The Eye Of The Storm, Mrs Carey’s Concert, Oranges And Sunshine and Sleeping Beauty.

Fred Schepisi's The Eye of the Storm had led with six nominations. However, it came away from the evening empty-handed.

Canada's Incendies by Denis Villeneuve won for Best Overseas Film – Foreign Language. The other nominees had been last year's Oscar-winner Hævnen (In A Better World), Certified Copy, Pina and La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In).Terrence Malick's The Tree Of Life won for Best Overseas Film (English Language) against Drive, The Guard, Melancholia and Take Shelter.

Call for submissions: Tarragon Emerging Playwrights’ Competition

RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwrights’ Competition

On the heels of last year’s overwhelming success, Tarragon Theatre is pleased to partner with RBC Foundation once more in offering the 4th Annual RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwrights’ Competition. Tarragon has long been committed to fostering new work and developing new Canadian voices. In keeping with this commitment, the competition offers emerging playwrights financial support to further develop their plays, the opportunity to work with skilled artists in new play development, and the chance to showcase their work on a national level.

The Tarragon will consider full-length plays (min. 80 minutes) written in English by Canadian citizens or permanent residents. To qualify, a playwright must be emerging, which is defined as someone with less than five years of professional playwriting experience.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Academy Award winners' speeches

Last night's Oscar ceremony was enjoyable enough with some memorable moments, a terrific performance by the Cirque du Soleil and some excellent speeches for the most part. The standouts were Asghar Farhadi's sober acknowledgement of hawkish talk concerning Iran that spoke of respect for cultures; Christopher Plummer's masterful and delightful soliloquy; and Meryl Streep's self-effacing and genuine tribute to her husband Don, makeup artist (and fellow Oscar-winner) Roy Helland and to her colleagues throughout her career.

Here are some of the highlights from the evening's acceptance speeches.

Art Direction
Francesca Lo Schiavo: This is for Martin and for Italy!

Costume Design
The Artist
Mark Bridges: You know, I was just a kid from Niagara Falls who dreamed, ate, and slept movies and so I want to thank the Academy for this honor and for making a lifelong dream come true.

2012 Academy Awards winners

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held their 84th Annual Academy Awards tonight and The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius and Martin Scorsese's Hugo were the big winners taking five awards each. They had led the nominations with ten and eleven nominations respectively.

The Artist, however, claimed the more high-profile prizes. It won Best Picture, Director and Actor (Jean Dujardin), as well as Costume Design and Original Score. It becomes the first black-and-white silent film since Wings won Most Outstanding Production at the first ever Academy Awards in 1929. It also becomes the first film to win Best Picture at each of the Oscars, Indie Spirit Awards, César Awards, BAFTAs and Golden Globes among its many other wins. Jean Dujardin is the first ever French winner for Best Actor.

Although Hugo led with eleven nods, it received no acting nominations and its wins were in the technical categories. It won for Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.

The only other multiple-winner was The Iron Lady, which won for Best Makeup and a somewhat surprising win for Meryl Streep as Best Actress for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher. It is her third win after a three decade drought since 1982's Sophie's Choice.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 RVCQ award winners

The 30th edition of the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois came to a close with an awards presentation. The ceremony took place at the Cinémathèque québécoise in the presence of Mme Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women and representatives of Québec Cinéma.

The winner for the Prix Gilles-Carle for best first or second feature film was Sébastien Pilote for Le vendeur (The Salesman). The award comes with a $5,000 cash prize from Remstar. The Prix Super Écran for the best writer of a first or second feature film was Stéphane Lafleur for En terrains connus (Familiar Ground). It also came with a $5,000 cash prize, given by Super Écran. The jury for both prizes consisted of actress Anne-Marie Cadieux, Agnès Wildenstein of the Locarno Film Festival, Maxime Giroux, director and winner of the Prix Gilles-Carle in 2011.

Sébastien Pilote was also the winner of the Prix Luc Perreault/LaPresse for Best Quebec Film which came with $2000.

My 2012 Oscar predictions

Tonight, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents the 84th Annual Academy Awards. For what it's worth, here are my predictions.

Complete nominations for the 84th Academy Awards

[UPDATE: I got 18 of the 24 categories right which is respectable. I was very pleased to be wrong about Best Actress (won by Meryl Streep) and Foreign Language Film (won by A Separation) as I went with my head and not my heart on those predictions.]

Best Picture
Will win: The Artist
Should win: The Artist
In spite of all the griping, The Artist will win easily and will be a very worthy winner. It's an extremely accomplished work that approaches perfection. It could hardly be improved – certainly not by its noisiest detractors who didn't get it and casually dismissed it as light. In spite of people saying it was a weak year, many of the nominees were on my personal top ten list or runners-up. I didn't even hate Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close although I get why some (especially New Yorkers) despise it. The only one I think doesn't belong is The Help but even then I understand why some people admire it.

2012 ACTRA Awards - winners

The Toronto branch of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) held its 10th Anniversary ACTRA Awards in Toronto at the Carlu on Saturday night. The gala was hosted by comic Elvira Kurt and featured live music by the blues band Raoul and The Big Time, led by actor Raoul Bhaneja.

Three juried ACTRA Awards were presented during the night. Christopher Plummer triumphed in the Outstanding Performance (Male) category for his performance in Barrymore, a film based on his own acclaimed stage performance.  He is currently Oscar-nominated for his role in the film Beginners.

Amy Price-Francis was declared winner of Outstanding Performance (Female) for her work in the television series King. The winner of Outstanding Voice Performance was Billy MacLellan for Afghanada.

Comedian Rick Mercer was presented with the 2012 Award of Excellence for his body of work and a commitment to advocacy on behalf of all performers.

Golden Raspberry (Razzie) Awards - nominations

Adam Sandler Sets New Record for Most RAZZIE® Nominations in a Single Year

As an Actor, Producer and Screenwriter, Sandler Racks Up a Staggering 11 'Worst in Film' Nods

With three critically-panned movies released by his Happy Madison Productions, 2011 was A Berry Bad Year for Adam Sandler, who now totally dominates the list of contenders for The 32nd Annual RAZZIE® Awards. Sandler has more than doubled Eddie Murphy's old record for the most nominations accrued by an individual in a single year. As an actor, writer and/or producer on JACK & JILL, BUCKY LARSON and JUST GO WITH IT, the former SNL star has amassed a whopping 11 RAZZIE® nods, dis-honoring last year's Worst Achievements in Film.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

In defence of the Oscars: why the haters are wasting their breath

Last month, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled the list of nominees for the 84th Annual Academy Awards, the media and social networks broke out into a firestorm of griping and outrage. Of course, everyone predictably got their predictions wrong, but many seemed to take it personally that the final list of nominations didn't match up with their own personal favourites.

The carping has continued unabated since. Article after article has appeared on how the Academy is the one that always get it wrong, how they're irrelevant and how their choices are predictable and ridiculous, all this before the actual ceremony takes place. But you know who else had a nominees or "best of" list that was just as bad if not worse?


The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as a "best" in the movies or any art. The most one can really say is that this or that is a personal favourite. Even if there was some type of statistical scorecard for films like they keep for sports – say, an "emotions per hour" average, "memorable lines" index, or "walkouts per public screening score" – you still wouldn't have 100% agreement. Even with statistics, people will interpret them: "he hit x number of home runs but that was in a smaller home field"; "his lower goals-against-average came behind a strong defensive team"; and so on.

2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards - winners

Film Independent presented their 27th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, or Indie Spirit Awards, today at Saturday afternoon on the Santa Monica beach. The event was hosted by Canadian actor Seth Rogen.

Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist dominated the awards with its four wins. It won Best Feature, Director, Actor (Jean Dujardin) and Cinematography. Most of the team from The Artist didn't make it in time since their flight was delayed from France where they had just triumphed at the César Awards. Jean Dujardin's brother Mark was there to accept on his behalf but went out for a smoke break during the surprisingly early awarding of Best Actor. Penelope Ann Miller accepted on Jean's behalf before Mark finally came in a couple of minutes too late. Michel Hazanavicius received a police escort to the show and arrived just five minutes before he was announced as winner of Best Director.

The Artist had led with five nominations along with Jeff Nichols' Take ShelterTake Shelter's only win of the night was the Piaget Producers Award which went to producer Sophia Lin.

Steve James' gritty The Interrupters won for Best Documentary, against An African Election, Bill Cunningham New York, We Were Here and The Redemption of General Butt Naked. None of the Indie Spirit documentary nominees were nominated for an Oscar.

Friday, February 24, 2012

2012 César du cinéma winners

L'Académie des arts et techniques du cinéma in France held the ceremony for the 37th Annual César du cinéma tonight at the at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. The event was hosted by actor Guillaume Canet and presented by master of ceremonies Antoine de Caunes.

Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist continued its seeming unstoppability with 6 Césars. It won for Best Film, Director, Actress (Bérénice Béjo), Cinematography, Production Design and Music. Interestingly, Jean Dujardin did not win Best Actor but was edged out by Omar Sy for Intouchables (Untouchable). It was that film's only win.

Maïwenn's Polisse had led the field with 13 nominations. Its only wins were for Editing and for Most Promising Actress in which Neyda Yadri tied with Clotilde Hesme from Angèle et Tony (Angèle and Tony).

Pierre Schoeller's L'exercice de l'État (The Minister) picked up three awards for Best Supporting Actor (Michel Blanc), Original Screenplay and Sound.

Étoiles d'or du cinéma français (French film critics awards) - winners

Last night, l'Académie de la presse du cinéma français presented the winners for their 13th Annual Étoiles d'or du cinéma français (Golden Stars).

As with many other awards shows this season, The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius led the winners with six awards. It came away with Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress (Bérénice Bejo), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Soundtrack (Ludovic Bource) and Best Producer (Thomas Langmann, La Petite Reine).

The award for Debut Film went to Alix Delaporte's Angèle et Tony (Angèle and Tony). Christian Rouaud's Tous au Larzac (Leader-Sheep) took the prize for Documentary.

Valérie Donzelli and Jérémie Elkaïm picked up the Screenplay prize for La Guerre est déclarée (Declaration of War).

Call for submissions: WSFF Screenplay Giveaway

The Worldwide Short Film Festival has put out a call for submissions for their annual Screenplay Giveaway.

Filmmakers can submit a short screenplay of up to 40 pages for consideration. Applications must include a full creative team of writer, director and producer. They don't have to be separate people for each title, but the director and producer must have at least one previous credit and either have written the project or have a signed release from the writer. All applicants must be Canadian residents.

The prizewinning team will receive a substantial filmmaking package of goods and services. Last year's award included services such as post-production at Deluxe Laboratories, story editing from Marguerite Pigott of Super Channel, and a locations support package from Location Equipment Supply Inc.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Call for submissions: Regent Park Film Festival

The Regent Park Film Festival has opened their call for submissions to their 10th annual edition of RPFF.

They accept submissions from around the world for films suitable for their diverse community. They have three programming categories:

SCHOOL PROGRAM: For Grade 1-8 addressing themes of difference, racial diversity, bullying, gender identity, poverty, health, and other issues relevant to youth.

GENERAL PROGRAM: RPFF seeks works made by filmmakers from multi-cultural and/or Aboriginal backgrounds and/or films that celebrate difference and solidarity, immigrant experiences, urbanization, inner city issues, cultural identity and multicultural relationships.

2012 International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) Awards - winners

The International Film Music Critics Association has announced the winners for their Eighth Annual IFMCA Awards.

John Williams dominated with his five wins. He was named Film Composer of the year for his work on both Steven Spielberg films, The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn and War Horse. His score for War Horse won Film Score of the Year, Best Original Score for a Drama Film and Film Music Composition of the Year ("The Homecoming") while The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn won for Best Original Score for an Animated Feature. He had led the field with seven nominations.

Michael Giacchino won for another Steven Spielberg film. The Spielberg-produced Super 8 by J.J. Abrams won for Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film.

The Artist composer Ludovic Bource was the winner at the Golden Globes and is considered the frontrunner at the Academy Awards. His only win was for Breakout Composer of the Year.

2012 Independent Music Awards (Indies) - nominees

The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Music & The Arts (C.A.A.M.A.) has announced the nominees for the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards, also known as the Indies.

Both The Sheepdogs and Rich Aucoin led with four nominations each. The Sheepdogs were nominated for Single of the Year, Group or Duo of the Year, Live Artist/Group or Duo of the Year and Rock Artist/Group or Duo of the Year. Rich Aucoin received his nods for Solo Artist of the Year, Live Artist/Group or Duo of the Year, Electronic Artist/Group or Duo of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year.

Those receiving three nods were The Pack A.D., Coeur de Pirate, Danny Fernandes and Timber Timbre. Other nominees included Feist, Bruce Cockburn, Fucked Up, The Weeknd, Deadmau5, Adele and AWOLNATION.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

International Cinephile Society's ICS Awards - winners

The International Cinephile Society has announced the winners for their 9th ICS Awards.

Asghar Farhadi's A Separation was crowned Best Picture of 2011 by the ICS. It also won for Original Screenplay, Acting Ensemble, and Best Film not in the English Language. Furthermore, actors Peyman Moaadi and Shahab Hosseini were chosen as runners-up in their respective categories of Actor and Supporting Actor. It had led with ten nominations.

The Tree of Life also managed four wins. ICS gave prizes to director Terrence Malick, supporting actor Brad Pitt, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, and to its team of editors.

Tom Cullen won for Best Actor with Weekend and Margaret actresses Anna Paquin and J. Smith-Cameron won for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively.

Mysteries of Lisbon by Raoul Ruiz was recognized for Adapted Screenplay. It also was a runner-up in non-English Language Film, Cinematography and Original Score.

Genie Awards announce Claude Jutra Award for Anne Émond's Nuit #1

Anne Émond Wins Claude Jutra Award for Nuit #1

(Toronto, ON) February 22, 2012 - The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is pleased to announce that this year’s Claude Jutra Award goes to Anne Émond for her film Nuit #1.

This Special Genie Award honours outstanding achievement by a first-time feature filmmaker. It was established in 1993 in honour of the late Quebec director Claude Jutra, best known for Mon Oncle Antoine.

“The Academy is thrilled to present cinéaste Anne Émond with the Claude Jutra Award for Nuit #1 which is a very daring and accomplished debut feature,” says Helga Stephenson, Interim CEO,Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

In addition to winning the Claude Jutra Award, Nuit #1 is in the running for two Genies: Best Original Screenplay, for Anne Émond and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, for Catherine De Léan.

Cinema Kabuki, February 22-26

Cinema Kabuki returns to Cineplex theatres in Toronto and Vancouver.

Starting tonight in Toronto, you'll have an opportunity to see The Zen Substitute, Murder in a Hell of Oil, Heron Maiden and Hokaibo. On Sunday afternoon in Vancouver, Murder in a Hell of Oil and Heron Maiden will screen.

Kabuki is a form of traditional Japanese theatre involving music, drama and dance. Its origins date back to the 1600s and often involves wild costumes and swordfights.

2012 Reel Artists Film Festival, February 22-26

The Canadian Art Foundation presents their ninth annual Reel Artists Film Festival starting tonight.

Tonight's opening night gala is a sold-out Canadian premiere screening of Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present which just won the Documentary Audience Award at Berlinale. The gala includes an opening cocktail dinner reception and is followed by a celebration. The director Matthew Akers, producers Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre, and documentary subject Marina Abramović will be in attendance. The film will screen again on closing night.

Other films being screened include the World Premiere of Mark Dion; the North American Premieres of Candida Höfer, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff and Massimo Vitali; the Canadian Premiere of Moon Mirror Journey; and the Toronto Premieres of Mark Lewis: Nowhere Land, Hiroshi Sugimoto: Visions in My Mind and Oliviero Toscani: The Rage of Images.

2012 Costume Designers Guild (CDG) Awards - winners

On Tuesday night, the Costume Designers Guild held their 14th Annual CDG Awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The event was hosted by actress Jane Lynch and included presenters Billy Bob Thornton, Diane Lane, Robert Duvall, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

In the Contemporary Film category, the winner was Trish Summerville with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She had been up against the costume designers for Bridesmaids, The Descendants, Drive and Melancholia.

For Period Film, the prize went to Arianne Phillips for her work on Madonna's W.E. She edged out the designers for The Artist, Jane Eyre, The Help and multiple Oscar-winner Sandy Powell of Hugo.

Jany Temime won for Fantasy Film with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 over Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Red Riding Hood, Thor and X-Men: First Class.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

BRIT Awards 2012 - winners

The ceremony for the BRIT Awards 2012 took place tonight at London's O2 Arena.

Fresh off her wins at the Grammy Awards, Adele continued her winning streak with two major wins for Best Female Solo Artist and British Album of the Year for 21. Her competition for Female Solo Artist had been Florence & the Machine, Jessie J, Kate Bush and Laura Marling, while her co-nominees for British Album of the Year had been Coldplay (Mylo Xyloto), Ed Sheeran (+), Florence & The Machine (Ceremonials) and PJ Harvey (Let England Shake). She has recently announced that she would be taking a five-year sabbatical.

Ed Sheeran also won a pair of awards, claiming British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act. He had led with four nominations.

Premiile Gopo 2012 - Romanian film awards - nominations

The Asociaţia Pentru Promovarea Filmului Românesc (Association for Romanian Film Promotion) announced the nominees today for their 6th Annual Premiile Gopo (Gopo Awards) for Romanian cinema.

Bogdan George Apetri's Periferic (Outbound) led the field with twelve nominations. Its nods included Best Picture, Debut Feature, Director and Actress (Ana Ularu). It was followed by Cristi Puiu's Aurora which received ten nominations. Four of them went to Cristi Puiu himself for Best Picture, Director, Actor and Screenplay.

The other Best Picture nominees were Anca Damian's Crulic – Drumul spre dincolo (The Path to Beyond), Adrian Sitaru's Din dragoste cu cele mai bune intenții (Best Intentions) and Cătălin Mitulescu's Loverboy. Both Sitaru and Mitulescu were also nominated for Best Director, and Sitaru also scored a Screenplay nomination.

Call for submissions: 2012 Film Pop

The POP Montreal International Music Festival has put out a call for submissions for their 11th edition of the accompanying film festival known as Film Pop.

The festival accepts features, short films and other media presentations of music-related work created after October 1, 2011. There is no entry fee.

The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2012. They strongly encourage early entries, however, as it will help your chances of selection.

The 11th POP Montreal International Music Festival and Film Pop takes place from September 19-23, 2012.

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 MPSE Golden Reel Awards - winners

The Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) held their 59th Annual Golden Reel Awards on Sunday night at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel &Suites in Los Angeles. The awards were spread around evenly with no film taking multiple awards.

Both Steven Spielberg films picked up an award. The Adventures of Tintin won for Animated Feature Film, while War Horse won for Sound Effects and Foley. Another film he produced, Super 8 by J.J. Abrams, was the winner for Dialogue and ADR. Super 8 had led with three nominations.

Martin Scorsese's two films also picked up a trophy. George Harrison: Living in the Material World won the Documentary category and Hugo won for Music.

The winner for Music in a Musical Film was James Bobin's The Muppets. The Foreign Language category went to the Chinese epic film The Flowers of War by Zhang Yimou and starring Christian Bale.

2012 Writers Guild Awards - winners

Sunday night, the Writers Guild of America held simultaneous ceremonies for their 64th Annual Writers Guild Awards at both the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and at the B.B. King Blues Club in New York.

Woody Allen won the Original Screenplay award for Midnight in Paris against four other comedy scripts, Will Reiser's 50/50, Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig's Bridesmaids Tom McCarthy and Joe Tiboni's Win Win, and Diablo Cody's Young Adult. Ineligible screenplays, however, included the awards-season frontrunner The Artist. This was Woody Allen's 20th WGA nomination and his fifth win.

For Adapted Screenplay, the winner was The Descendants by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash. It emerged victorious against The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steven Zaillian, The Help by Tate Taylor, Hugo by John Logan, and Moneyball by Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin. This caps a very successful weekend for The Descendants in which also won the Scripter Award and at the ACE Eddie Awards.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2012 Premios Goya (Spanish Film Awards) - winners

The Academia de las Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas de España (Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences) held their 26th Annual Premios Goya (Goya Awards) on Sunday night in Madrid.

The surprise leader of the night was Enrique Urbizu's No habrá paz para los malvados (No Rest for the Wicked). It won seven awards including the main categories of Best Film, Director, Screenplay and Actor (Jose Coronado). Its competitors for Best Film had been La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In), La voz dormida (The Sleeping Voice) and Blackthorn. Sin destino (Blackthorn).

Pedro Almodovar's La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In) had led the field with 16 nominations. It came second with five awards as did Blackthorn. Sin destino (Blackthorn)

2012 South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) - nominations

The National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa (NFVF) announced the nominees for the 6th Annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs, also known as the Golden Horns) at a private function that took place at The Venue in Melrose Arch, Joburg.

The film Black Butterflies about South African poet Ingrid Jonker led the field with nine nominations. It's mentions included Best Feature Film and Writing Team.

The two other Best Feature Film nominees were Skoonheid and Roepman which followed with six nominations. Retribution also picked up six nominations but missed the Best Feature Film category.

Steven Silver's Canadian-South African co-production The Bang Bang Club picked up five nominations. It was nominated for Best Cinematographer, Editor, Music, Makeup/Hair and Sound Design.

2012 American Cinema Editors' ACE Eddie Awards - winners

The American Cinema Editors (ACE) held their 62nd Annual ACE Eddie Awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday night. The main winners were The Descendants and The Artist, both of which were winners at the Golden Globes.

Editor Kevin Tent of The Descendants won for Best Edited Feature (Drama). The competition had been The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter), Hugo (Thelma Schoonmaker), Moneyball (Christopher Tellefsen) and War Horse (Michael Kahn). The director of The Descendants Alexander Payne was also the recipient of the honourary ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year, presented to him by Reese Witherspoon and Kevin Tent.

Director Michel Hazanavicius served as editor alongside Anne-Sophie Bion for The Artist which won for Best Edited Comedy. They had been competing against Bridesmaids (William Kerr, Michael L. Sale) Midnight in Paris (Alisa Lepselter), My Week with Marilyn (Adam Recht) and Young Adult (Dana E. Glauberman).

2012 Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Awards - winners

On Saturday night, the Cinema Audio Society held the ceremony for their 48th Cinema Audio Society Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing.

In the Motion Picture category, Hugo emerged as the winner. It had been competing against Hanna, Moneyball, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Super 8. Hugo leads the nominees at the 84th Academy Awards too with eleven, mostly because the presumed favourite The Artist is a silent film and thus didn't get either of the two nominations for sound while Hugo did.

The winners for television were Too Big to Fail, Boardwalk Empire and Deadliest Catch: New Blood.

2012 Scripter Award goes to The Descendants


Authors and screenwriters of the family drama take the 2012 USC Libraries Scripter Award.

Author Kaui Hart Hemmings and screenwriters Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash won the 24th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for their creative contributions to The Descendants. Selection committee co-chair Naomi Foner announced the winners at the black-tie ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 18.

“This is such a wonderful honor and to be part of something that celebrates and puts books on a pedestal and none of this would have been possible without Kaui’s wonderful book,” said Rash. “It was such a wonderful journey for us to fall in love with the book and have the opportunity to turn it into the film.”

Hemmings noted that the collaboration has been a positive experience for her.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Edduverðlaunin 2012 - Edda Awards for Icelandic film - winners

Íslenska kvikmynda- og sjónvarpsakademían (Icelandic Film and Television Academy) held the ceremony for the 14th Annual Edduverðlaunin (Edda Awards) for film and television at the Icelandic Opera House.

The film Eldfjall (Volcano) dominated with five awards. They were the five main creative categories of Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Lead Actress and Lead Actor. Eldfjall had led with with 13 nominations.

Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson's Á annan veg (Either Way) was next with three wins. Þorsteinn Bachmann was nominated for Supporting Actor with both Á annan veg and Eldfjall but won for Á annan veg. It also won for Cinematography and Costumes.

Best Documentary went to Andlit norðursins (Last Days of the Arctic). It also picked up the prize for Music. Hetjur Valhallar - Þór (Legends of Valhalla: Thor) also picked up two trophies, winning for Editor and Art Direction.

World Stage 2012, February 18 - May 19

Harbourfront Centre kicks off World Stage 2012 tonight with Everything Under the Moon, an all-ages production with hand-animated projected images as well as narrative song.

World Stage 2012 continues with productions of Entity, The Wooster Group's Version of Tennessee Williams' Vieux Carré, Ajax & Little Iliad, Paris 1994/Gallery, Agwa/Correria, The Shipment and Dance Marathon.

The festival continues until Saturday, May 19 at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto.

PTC Punjabi Film Awards 2012 - winners

The Indian network PTC Punjabi held the second edition of the PTC Punjabi Film Awards tonight in Chandigarh.

Jihne Mera Dil Luteya by Mandeep Kumar swept the awards with seven awards. Its wins included the main categories of Best Film, Director, Actor (Diljit Dosanjh-Gippy Grewal), Actress (Neeru Bajwa) and Screenplay/Dialogue.

Dharti by Navneet Singh followed close behind with six awards. Its actors Rannvijay Singh and Surveen Chawla won the Best Debut categories for Male and Female respectively. It also took the Critics Awards for Best Movie and Best Director.

2012 Berlinale Awards - winners

As the 62nd Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin (Berlin International Film Festival) or Berlinale draws to a close, the awards were handed out a closing gala ceremony. Among the attendees were Jury President Mike Leigh and members of the International Jury Anton Corbijn, Asghar Farhadi, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jake Gyllenhaal, François Ozon, Boualem Sansal and Barbara Sukow.

The winner of the Golden Bear for the best film was Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die). It also won the competition category for the Ecumenical Prize.

The Jury Grand Prix-Silver Bear went to Bence Fliegauf's Csak a szél (Just The Wind). It earned a pair of others, taking the Peace Film Award and the Amnesty International Film Prize.

Friday, February 17, 2012

NAACP Image Awards - winners

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held their 43rd annual NAACP Image Awards tonight at the Shrine Auditorium. Sanaa Lathan and actor Anthony Mackie hosted the event.

The Help led the Motion Picture field with wins for Outstanding Motion Picture and acting awards for Actress Viola Davis and Supporting Actress Octavia Spencer. The Help had led the nominations with eight along with Pariah.

Salim Akil's Jumping the Broom tied the three wins by The Help with its own trio of prizes. It claimed Best Director and the both Actor and Supporting Actor for Laz Alonso and Mike Epps respectively.

The only win for Pariah was for Independent Motion Picture. The winner for Foreign Motion Picture was In the Land of Blood and Honey. The award for Writing in a Motion Picture went to Ann Peacock for The First Grader

Free events this weekend at Lightbox

Tomorrow morning, TIFF Bell Lightbox kicks off a weekend of free screenings and activities for people of all ages as part of their festivities for the Family Day long weekend.

In addition to a free screening of their regular weekly Family Classics series (this week's feature is Fantastic Mr. Fox), there will be addition free screenings of Moonbeam Bear and His Friends, The Flying Classroom, Sergeant Pepper, Signe Taylor and a collection of animated short films based on children's literature Cover to Cover: Literature Meets Animation.

They will also have a number of free workshops for children on button-making, voice-dubbing, and using green screen, puppets and other visual effects with animals.

Call for submissions: NSI New Voices program

Winnipeg's National Screen Institute (NSI) has put out a call for submissions for their 2012 New Voices program.

The program is a 14-week training program for Aboriginal Canadians 18-35 years of age. It provides culturally sensitive training in the film and television industry. There is a small application fee but no tuition fee for the program. Participants will in fact be paid minimum wage during the program.

Non-residents of Winnipeg may apply but must provide for their own travel and accommodation and demonstrate that they are able to do so.

The program begins April 30 and runs for fourteen weeks. The first phase is six weeks of skills development training, followed by a second phase of eight weeks in a work placement. Additionally, participants will shoot, edit and screen three short films.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kids' Choice Awards 2012 - nominees

Nickelodeon has unveiled the nominees for their Kids' Choice Awards 2012.

Animation featured prominently in the Movie nominees which were Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, The Muppets and The Smurfs. The actual Animated Movie nominations went to Cars 2, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots and Rio.

Johnny Depp picked up two nominations. He was nominated for Movie Actor where he competes against Jim Carrey, Daniel Radcliffe and Adam Sandler, and for Voice From An Animated Movie where he is up against Antonio Banderas, Jack Black and Katy Perry. Katy Perry, however, had a total of three nominations with her music nominations for Female Singer an Song (Firework).

For Movie Actress, the nominees were Amy Adams, Kristen Stewart, Sofia Vergara and Emma Watson.

Free event at TIFF Lightbox: Ways of Seeing (in) African Cinema

On Friday morning as part of its ongoing celebration of Black History Month, TIFF Bell Lightbox will host a free screening and panel discussion in the morning called Ways of Seeing (in) African Cinema.

The Zambian short film The Adventures of Mwansa the Great by Rungano Nyoni will be screened and be discussed by panelists including Professors Kass Banning and Marieme Lo from the University of Toronto and programmer Julie MacArthur. TIFF's co-director Cameron Bailey will act as moderator.

The film is in the language Bemba with English subtitles and lasts 24 minutes. It is told from the perspective of a young boy from a small village outside Lusaka who uses his imagination to transform his mundane reality into an adventurous journey to prove he is Mansa the Great.

The panel is begins at 10am and is tentatively scheduled to last 2 hours. It takes place at TIFF Bell Lightbox at Reitman Square, 350 King St West.

Montreal en lumière, February 16-26

Today is the start of the 13th edition of Montreal en lumière, the 11-day festival that features hundreds of gastronomic and wine tasting activities, shows, exhibits, concerts and a free outdoor illuminated site.

The last few years had been staged at Old Montreal, but this year brings a return to the Quartier des spectacles with a new outdoor site with numerous activities, installations and splashy uses of illumination. They will also be bringing the fine dining experience outdoors with a number of stopovers with culinary offerings from this year's featured regions Wallonia and Brussels.

A major part of Montreal en lumière is the 9th edition of the Nuit blanche à Montréal, which will take place during the night of Saturday, February 25 into early Sunday, February 26. Mostly free, there are 170 activities available including museum visits, poetry, film, music, song, skating, artists' workshops, art galleries, and even winter swimming.

2012 XRCO Awards - nominations

The X-Rated Critics Organization (XRCO) has announced the nominations for the 28th Annual XRCO Awards for adult entertainment.

The films vying for Best Release are Lost & Found, Runaway, Peepshow, Babysitters 2 and Dear Abby. The AVN Movie of the Year Award-winner Portrait of a Call Girl was nominated for Best Epic along with Fighters, Horizon, Killer Bodies: The Awakening and Top Guns.

Asa Akira picked up four nominations herself for Female Performer of the Year, Superslut, Orgasmic Oralist and Orgasmic Analist. Additionally, her film Asa Akira Is Insatiable 2 was nominated for Best Gonzo Movie.

Performers with three nominations included Jessie Andrews, Kristina Rose and Bobbi Star. Double-nominees included starlets Kayden Kross, Andy San Dimas, Chanel Preston, Brooklyn Lee, India Summer and Dana DeArmond, as well as male performers Xander Corvus, Rocco Reed, Anthony Rosano and Evan Stone.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Australian Film Critics Association AFCA Awards - nominees

The Australian Film Critics Association has announced the nominees for their 5th Annual AFCA Film Awards.

Leading with six nominations was The Eye of the Storm by Fred Schepisi. Its nominations were for Best Australian Film, Actor (Geoffrey Rush), Actress (Judy Davis and Charlotte Rampling), Director and Screenplay. Shaun Grant's Snowtown was next with five nominations, also for Australian Film, Actor (Daniel Henshall), Actress (Louise Harris), Director and Screenplay.

Rounding out the Australian Film category were Oranges And Sunshine, Sleeping Beauty and the documentary Mrs Carey’s Concert. Oranges And Sunshine and Sleeping Beauty each had four nominations.

The nominees for Best Overseas Film in English were Drive, The Guard, Melancholia, Take Shelter and The Tree Of Life. For Overseas Film – Foreign Language, the nominees were Oscar-winner Hævnen (In A Better World), Canada's Incendies, Certified Copy, Pina and La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In).

Hot Docs announces opening and programming for renovated Bloor Cinema


Toronto, February 15, 2012 – Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Blue Ice Group are pleased to announce that the newly renovated Bloor Hot Docs Cinema will have its grand opening on Wednesday, March 14, amidst a celebratory week of special screenings and events for both the general public and invited guests.

“This partnership is a game-changer for Hot Docs and great news for Toronto's film lovers,” says Chris McDonald , executive director of Hot Docs. “Investors were anxious to purchase and develop the property but the Bordonaro family was determined to leave the Bloor in cinema-loving hands. Hot Docs and Blue Ice are anxious to meet this challenge. In an era where arts and culture are at risk of funding cuts and indifference from some quarters, this is one of Toronto's good news stories of the year. We are thrilled."

Torontohas amazing film audiences, many of whom make up Hot Docs’ enormous community of documentary fans,” says Blue Ice Group principal Neil Tabatznik. “We are happy that this partnership will rejuvenate the Bloor as a home for docs, whereToronto’s film-lovers will have the chance to experience incredible stories year-round.”