Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nastri d'argento 2012 (Silver Ribbons for Italian film) – winners

Today, the Sindacato Nazionale dei Giornalisti Cinematografici Italiani (Association of Italian Film Critics) held the ceremony for their 66th Nastro d'Argento (Silver Ribbon) Awards at the Teatro Antico in Taormina, Sicily.

The top prize of Best Director went to Paolo Sorrentino for his English-language film This must be the place starring Sean Penn. It also won for Cinematography and Art Direction.

Daniele Vicari's Diaz (Diaz - Don’t Clean Up This Blood) also picked up three prizes, winning for Producer, Editing and Sound, as did Posti in piedi in paradiso (A Flat for Three) by Carlo Verdone, winning for Comedy, Actress (Micaela Ramazzotti) and Supporting Actor (Marco Giallini).

Marco Tullio Giordana's Romanzo di una strage (Story of a Massacre) and Ferzan Ozpetek's Magnifica presenza (Magnificent Presence) each led with nine nominations. Both films won a pair of awards.

Friday, June 29, 2012

AMPAS invites 176 new members to the Academy

Beverly Hills, CA (June 29, 2012) – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 176 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitation will be the only additions in 2012 to the Academy’s roster of members.

“These film professionals represent some of the most talented, most passionate contributors to our industry,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “I’m glad to recognize that by calling each of them a fellow Academy member.”

New rules for the Academy Awards include Hairstyling

Yesterday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved rule changes for the upcoming 85th Academy Awards. None are as dramatic as the previously announced changes to the Documentary category. The most significant of the new changes is the introduction of a Hairstyling Award to be jointly given with the Makeup Award.

I'm not so keen on this change. The Makeup Award is already dubious in that it inevitably goes to the most obvious prosthetic or special effects makeup work, never to the more subtle yet artistic work. I suppose this criticism is true of most categories, but makeup especially is almost always best when barely noticed if at all. By tacking hairstyling together with it (and not as a separate category) it will push this further towards the most garish and obvious choice.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Call for submissions: Telefilm Canada Producers' Mentorship Program

Telefilm Canada and the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) have announced their 2012 Telefilm Canada Producers' Mentorship Program. This ia a mentorship open to emerging and mid-level producers of any age across Canada.

This program gives emerging and mid-level producers the opportunity to gain above-the-line production experience. The program emphasizes one-on-one mentoring in a production environment, and creating enhanced professional development opportunities. This on-the-job training creates employment prospects, and gives participants production credits. It also solidifies their skills and increases the potential for career advancement in the film, televison and interactive media production industry.

2012 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, June 28-July 7

After a special pre-opening concert by James Taylor and the presentation to him of the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award, the 33rd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal officially gets underway tonight. The festival kicks off with one of their massive free outdoor parties featuring Rufus Wainwright. The other two big free shows will be the Brooklyn group Escort and the dance group Chromeo.

Over the next ten days, there will be over 180 concerts, many of them for free. Some of the highlights include Wayne Shorter, Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter, Chick Corea, John Scofield Trio, B.B King, Liza Minnelli, Tangerine Dream, Norah Jones, Sophie Milman, Esperanza Spalding, Ziggy Marley, Timber Timbre, Janelle Monáe and Fishbone.

MAFS presents Die Bad

Ciné Asie hosts the return of their Monthly Asian Film Screening (MAFS), starting tonight, Thursday, June 28. To lead off, they will present Ryoo Seung-wan's action anthology film Die Bad starring Seong-bin Park, Seung-beom Ryu and Jung-shik Bae.

After the screening, there will be a culinary workshop and food tasting.

The Monthly Asian Film Screening series will continue throughout the summer with a film from a different Asian country each month. There will also be special guests, artist talks, and food provided at each event.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Telefilm's Micro-Budget Production Program


Telefilm Canada is pleased to announce that as of today, June 27, 2012, we are officially launching our new Micro-Budget Production Program. This program targets emerging talent in Canada’s audiovisual industry and will support them in the production and release of their first feature-length film, with an emphasis on digital platforms and their potential for wide distribution and audience involvement.

Toronto After Dark summer screenings

Although the Toronto After Dark Film Festival has moved back to a fall schedule, they will be hosting screenings of several films this summer in anticipation of the festival in October. The screenings take place at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.

Tonight, the films being screened will be Alejandro Brugués's Cuban zombie movie Juan of the Dead, and Nicholas McCarthy's The Pact. Afterwards, ticketholders are invited to Pub After Dark, an after-screening social event at Paupers Pub across the street from the Bloor Cinema.

In two weeks on Wednesday, July 11, the films being shown will be Joseph Kahn's sci-fi-horror-comedy Detention, followed by V/H/S a film made collectively by Ti West, Adam Wingard, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, David Bruckner and Radio Silence.

ReelHeART International Film Festival, June 27-30

The 8th Annual ReelHeART International Film Festival gets underway today. The featured event will be a live reading of one of their Top 3 Feature Screenplay Winners. William, Will you Dance? by Mary Huckstep tells the story about a shy Scottish farmer in search of love. Thirteen actors will participate in performing this script.

This will be followed by a live reading of several short film scripts. They will perform Spin by Tom McIntire, We’ll Meet Again by W. Daniel Whiddden, and Playing Through by John Harris. Afterwards, they will have a screening of David Wild's Seventeen People from Toronto.

The official opening night film will take place tomorrow night. We Run Sh*t by Scott Storm and Michael Creighton Rogers is a music documentary about the Miami club scene.

TIFF in the Park: Screwball Comedies

Every Wednesday at sunset beginning in June, TIFF and the Toronto Entertainment District BIA present FREE outdoor screenings of classic screwball comedies at David Pecaut Square, directly west of Roy Thomson Hall — so in the words of Oscar Wilde, "Take a seat on the lawn and laugh your grass off!"

Films in TIFF in the Park: Screwball Comedies

Trouble in Paradise
Ernst Lubitsch
A gentleman thief (Herbert Marshall) romances a rich Parisian widow (Kay Francis) — to the distress of his smitten partner in crime (Miriam Hopkins) — in this sparkling romantic comedy from the great Ernst Lubitsch.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Film review: The Girl in the White Coat

Writer/Director: Darrell Wasyk
Producer: Michel Ouellette, Darrell Wasyk
Cast: Pascale Montpetit, Joey Klein, Monique Mercure, Louise Marleau, Paul Savoie, Julien Poulin
Gritty Indie Drama
1 hours, 53 minutes
English and French with subtitles

Back in 1990, Darrell Wasyk made H his startling debut about two heroin junkies that earned its star Pascale Montpetit a Genie Award for Best Actress. He then made Mustard Bath in 1993 before moving on to television, painting and theatre.

After a long absence, he has returned to the big screen and reunited with Montpetit. The Girl in the White Coat is an adaptation of sorts based on the short story Шинель (The Overcoat) by Nikolai Gogol. But you needn't know anything about it beforehand. Gogol's story of a poor Russian bureaucrat is merely used as the jumping-off point for Wasyk who re-imagines and reinvents it in Montreal with a female protagonist.

Call for submissions: 2012 CaribbeanTales Market Incubator Program

The call has been put out for the 2012 CaribbeanTales Market Incubator Program for producers and filmmakers of Caribbean-themed content.

The Incubator Program is a 5-day industry event that brings producers together with industry professional from Canada, the Caribbean and around the world. The program overlaps slightly with the Toronto International Film Festival to provide participants the opportunity to pitch their projects to visiting delegates.

To apply, you should submit your film project with your info to Malinda Francis, Incubator Co-ordinatoe at by July 15.

Italian Contemporary Film Festival, June 26-July 1

The inaugural Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF) gets underway tonight with a screening of the Canadian documentary Piazza Petawawa: The Paradox, before the official opening night gala screening of La Kryptonite nella Borsa (Kryptonite!). This will be followed by the opening night party at Maison Mercer.

The closing film will be the Canadian Premiere of Woody Allen's latest film To Rome with Love. The film stars Allen himself as well as Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Canadian actress Ellen Page. Actress Monica Nappo will be in attendance at the screening.

Other highlights at the festival include recent Italian hits Terraferma, Che Bella Giornata (What a Beautiful Day), Il Gioiellino (The Jewel), La Scomparsa di Patò (The Vanishing of Patò), Basilicata Coast to Coast, Letter One, Posti in Piedi in Paradiso and Nanni Moretti's Habemus Papam.

Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 Dora Mavor Moore Awards – winners

The 33rd annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards took place tonight at the Bluma Appel Theatre in the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. The event was hosted by Thom Allison.

The top winners on the night were Theatre Passe Muraille's Crash, and Caroline, or Change by Acting Up Stage Company with Obsidian Theatre Company, each with four awards. Crash won in the General Theatre Division with Outstanding New Play and Performance by a Female in a Principal Role for Pamela Mala Sinha as well as for Lighting Design and Sound Design. Caroline, or Change won (mostly) in the Musical Theatre Division, taking Outstanding Production of a Musical, Actress (Arlene Duncan), Actor (Sterling Jarvis) and Musical Direction.

Topdog Underdog, which Obsidian Theatre Company produced with the Shaw Festival, won three major awards in the General Theatre Division. It won Outstanding Production, Outstanding Male in a Principal Role (Nigel Shawn Williams) and Outstanding Musical Direction (Reza Jacobs).

TIFF packages go on sale starting today

The Toronto International Film Festival has begun selling its ticket packages starting today to those with TIFF memberships. This is one of the many perks of getting a membership with TIFF, which also gives members access to discounts and free tickets to events at TIFF Bell Lightbox throughout the year.

New this year, they are introducing four new packages: the 6 Premium Ticket Pack, customizable Flex Packs, the Premium Sampler, and Contemporary World Cinema selected by TIFF programmers.

Next week on July 3, sales for ticket packages will open for those with Visa credit cards. Visa is the preferred credit card of TIFF and a festival sponsor. For the general public, all ticket packages will be available on July 9.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) – winners

The inaugural South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) took place over two nights this weekend to honour the best in the film industries of of Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. Parvathy Omanakuttan hosted the first evening, and she was joined by Lakshmi Manchi and Madhavan for the big gala the next night.

The top winner was Srinu Vaitla's Dookudu, which claimed eight awards in the Telegu section. It won Best Film, Director, Actor (Mahesh Babu), Supporting Actor (Prakash Raj), Comedian (Brahmanandham), Playback Singer (Male), Music Director and Lyricist.

Nagashekar's Sanju Weds Geetha was next with five awards in the Kannada section. It won for Best Director, Actress (Ramya), Actor in a Negative Role (Rangayana Raghu), Cinematographer and Lyricist. It missed out on Best Film, however, losing to Dinakar Tugudeep's Saarathi.

For Tamil films, the top winner was Vetrimaran's Aadukalam which won four awards including Best Director, Actor (Dhanush), Music Director and Cinematographer. However, Best Film went to KV Anand's Ko which also picked up Best Actor in a Negative Role (Ajmal).

Friday, June 22, 2012

DOC Toronto Cinematography Day

DOC Toronto Cinematography Day sponsored by SIM Digital!

Join us on June 23 as some of documentary's best directors and DPs share adventures from the field, their essential tips for collaboration, getting the shot, and the latest techniques and technologies.


Ryerson University, Heidelberg Centre

2012 Toronto Jazz Festival, June 22-July 1

The 26th Annual TD Toronto Jazz Festival kicks off tonight at Nathan Phillips Square. The 26-year-old chanteuse Janelle Monáe headlines the show, with Roman GianArthur as opening act.

Higlights from the festival include Natalie Cole, Bill Frisell, Esperanza Spalding, Ziggy Marley, Roy Hargrove's RH Factor, Norman Marshall Villeneuve's Jazz Message Quartet and Peter Appleyard.

There will be free concerts at Nathan Phillips Square every day at 5pm. There will also be a free concert series at Shops at Don Mills (1090 Don Mills Road at Lawrence Ave. East). There are many other free events throughout the festival.

Toronto Korean Film Festival, June 22-July 1

The Inaugural Toronto Korean Film Festival gets underway tonight with a screening at Innis Town Hall of 밀양 (Secret Sunshine) by 이창동 (Lee Chang-dong). "Secret Sunshine" is the literal translation of Miryang, the town in the movie where a single mother moves after the loss of her husband. Actress 전도연 (Jeon Do-yeon) won the Prix d'interprétation féminine (Best Actress Award) at Canned in 2007 for her performance in the lead role.

This will be followed by an opening night party at Lee's Palace, 529 Bloor Street West.

The festival continues over the next nine days with some of the most exciting films in world cinema. Films screened include short films, 봄 여름 가을 겨울 그리고 봄 (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.... and Spring) by 김기덕 (Kim Ki-duk), 마더 (Mother) by 봉준호 (Bong Joon-ho), and two of the vengeance trilogy by 박찬욱 (Park Chan-wook), 친절한 금자씨 (Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) and 올드보이 (Oldboy) (currently being remade in Hollywood by Spike Lee).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Inaugural Chennai Times Film Awards – winners

The Times of India held their first ever Chennai Times Film Awards in which the public could decide the best of the Tamil film industry (known as "Kollywood") in 2011.

The top winner was K. V. Anand's Ko with four awards. It won Best Film, Actor in a Negative Role – Male (Ajmal), Music Director (Harris Jayaraj) and Singer – Male (Aalap Raju).

Venkat Prabhu's Mankatha also was a four-time prizewinner. Its wins were for Best Youth Film, Best Actor Male (Ajith), Promising Newcomer – Male (Ashwin Kakumanu) and Actor in a Negative Role – Female (Lakshmi Rai).

2012 JJA Jazz Awards – winners

The Jazz Journalists Association held their 16th annual JJA Jazz Awards in New York on Wednesday evening.

The renowned tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins was the big winner, taking Musician of the Year for the second year in a row. He won for Record of the Year with his live album Road Shows, Vol. 2, and was named Tenor Saxophonist of the Year. In addition, the liner notes for Road Shows, Vol. 2 by Francis Davis won for Liner notes of the Year.

The only other multiple prize-winner was the Israeli clarinettist/saxophonist/bandleader Anat Cohen who won both Multi-reeds Player of the Year and Clarinetist of the Year.

Pianist/composer Horace Silver was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, winning out over Muhal Richard Abrams, Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter.

First Peoples Cinema series begins with Tanya Tagaq/Nanook of the North

Last month, TIFF Bell Lightbox announced the retrospecitve series First Peoples Cinema: 1500 Nations, One Tradition on the cinema by and about Native peoples. It is fitting that the programs starts today on National Aboriginal Day.

Tonight's opening event will be the world premiere of a newly commissioned composition by renowned throat-singer Tanya Tagaq. She is an award-winning and Juno-nominated artist who takes a very avant-garde approach to the traditional techniques of throat-singing.

She will perform the piece as a live accompaniment to the groundbreaking if controversial silent documentary Nanook of the North by Robert J. Flaherty. Although discredited as a pure documentary, the film was nonetheless a milestone of cinema and sympathetic to its subjects in a way that mainstream cinema has only begun to match.

2012 Parkdale Film + Video Showcase, June 21–24

Tonight is the opening kickoff for the 14th Annual Parkdale Film + Video Showcase. The showcase is an annual summer celebration of the local artists and audiences in the Parkdale neighbourhood.

The showcase begins with a screening of short films and videos by Parkdale filmmakers, including Alex Pugsley's James O’Reilly in Parkdale, Lina Rodríguez' Einschnitte, Chris Kennedy's Phantoms, and Craig Orrett's Sayonara Sarnia.

Other highlights from the festival include the all-ages Screening Under the Stars and the inaugural program of youth projects Above the Line.

2012 Open Roof Festival, June 21-Aug 23

The third edition of the Open Roof Festival of music, movies and beer starts tonight at the Amsterdam Brewery in downtown Toronto. Every Thursday night this summer, you'll have a chance to see some live local bands, followed by some terrific films.

Tonight's musicians will be the reggae band Friendlyness and the Human Rights, an apt opening act for the documentary Marley by Academy-Award winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald.

Other musical acts include Army Girls, The Little Black Dress, Eucalyptus, Parlovr and Bruce Peninsula. The movie lineup includes a slew of terrific documentaries including the Oscar-winning Undefeated by Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin (the first black director to win an Oscar), and excellent Canadian docs China Heavyweight, Herman’s House and Indie Game: The Movie.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012 Imagen Awards – nominations

The Imagen Foundation has announced the nominations for the 27th Annual Imagen Awards to recognize Latinos and their positive representations in the entertainment industry.

Patricia Riggen's Girl in Progress led the film nominees with five mentions. It received nods for Best Feature Film, Director, Actress (Eva Mendes), Supporting Actor (Eugenio Derbez) and Supporting Actress (Cierra Ramirez).

The other nominees for Best Feature Film were Matt Piedmont's Casa De Mi Padre and Filly Brown by Youssef Delara and Michael Olmos. Each picked up four nominations as did Gabriela Tagliavini's Without Men.

Why "Auteur Theory" is nonsense

Earlier today, we received the sad news that the distinguished film critic Andrew Sarris passed away due to an infection he acquired after a fall. Immediately, expressions of grief, tributes and remembrances poured out on news and social media outlets. He was praised for his passion, vast knowledge and influence on subsequent generations of critics. He is most remembered, though, for introducing to Americans the "Auteur Theory" of the Cahiers du Cinema writers such as François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol who later formed La Nouvelle Vague (The New Wave).

He famously feuded with fellow film critic legend Pauline Kael about the concept, a feud which became bitterly personal. Both were redoubtable opinion-makers and both could be quite wrong. On this issue, Sarris could be declared the winner, since Auteur Theory has taken hold and people now take it as a given that the director is the author of a film.

Yet Sarris was completely wrong.

Call for submissions: ReelWorld Film Festival

Toronto's ReelWorld Film Festival has put out a call for submissions for their 13th edition of the multicultural festival for filmmakers of diverse backgrounds.

They are seeking film submissions from diverse talent from Aboriginal, Asian, Black, Latino, Middle Eastern, South Asian and other multi-racial communities. Filmmakers or actors of other ethnicities are welcome to submit if their films significantly reflect those cultures.

They accept features, documentaries and short films from around the world. For music videos, they only accept Canadian entries. The films must be submitted by December 6, 2012. Notifications will be completed by March 2013.

The Free Screen presents Liquid Metal

Tonight at 7pm, the Free Screen at TIFF Bell Lightbox presents Liquid Metal, a program of experimental works inspired or influenced by the morphing technique epitomized by the T-1000 villian of James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Although the program is short, it features eight works from around the world including Canada's Tasman Richardson. She brings her short video Matt:15:9 and will be doing a live video performance of her longer piece Firing Squad.

The Free Screen continues this summer with the programs Fractured Movement / Constituent Parts on Wednesday, July 18, and Jonathan Schwartz: The Skies Can't Keep Their Secrets on Wednesday, August 15.

2012 Amandaprisen, Norwegian Film Awards – nominations

The nominations have been announced for the 28th Annual Amandaprisen (Amanda Awards) for the cinema of Norway.

Leading the field with eight mentions was Pål Sletaune’s Babycall (The Monitor). It was nominated for Best Norwegian Film, Actress (Noomi Rapace), Supporting Actor (Kristoffer Joner), Screenplay, Cinematography, Production Design, Visual Effects, Editing and Sound Design.

Next with six nominations were Jannicke Systad Jacobsen's Få meg på, for faen (Turn Me On, Dammit!) and Joachim Trier's Oslo, 31. august (Oslo, August 31st). Arild Andresen's Kompani Orheim (The Orheim Company) followed with five.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Film Review: Moonrise Kingdom

Writer: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Director: Wes Anderson
Producer: Jeremy Dawson, Scott Rudin, Wes Anderson, Steven M. Rales
Cast: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel
Whimsical Indie Drama
1 hours, 33 minutes

I don't get Wes Anderson.

It's not like I haven't tried. I know that he is much-loved by many of my friends and both critics and filmmakers. Martin Scorsese considers Anderson's debut Bottle Rocket one of the best films of the nineties. Of Moonrise Kingdom, it was selected as the opening film for this year's Festival de Cannes. It enjoys a 95% rating on Rotten Tomoatoes, though only 84% on Metacritic. Yesterday, director Rian Johnson tweeted "Finally saw Moonrise Kingdom. Favorite film of the year so far by a country mile."

10th Anniversary Female Eye Film Festival, June 20-24

The 10th Anniversary Female Eye Film Festival gets underway tomorrow with an opening night screening of Barbara Willis-Sweete's Billy Bishop Goes To War. The film about the World War I flying ace Billy Bishop stars Eric Peterson and award-winning writer/composer John Gray, and is based on the hit play co-written by both. Willis-Sweete has been named the 2012 Honourary Director and will be presented with A Best In The Biz Tribute on Sunday, June 24.

Other honours will be a Best In The Biz Tribute to American director Nancy Savoca, Honourary Maverick award to Carol Whiteman (President & CEO, Creative Women Workshops Association; Producer, The Women in the Director’s Chair Program), and the inaugural Life Time Achievement Award to First Nations Documentary Filmmaker, Alanis Obomsawin.

The closing night film will be Nancy Savoca's Union Square. It's about an unexpected reunion between estranged sisters played by Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino and Tammy Blanchard.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Call for submissions: China Canada Gateway for Film Script Competition

The Whistler Film Festival and Telefilm Canada have announced the inaugural China Canada Gateway for Film Script Competition. This contest will allow for Canadian filmmaking teams to finance and co-produce a feature film in partnership with Chinese production companies. Up to $15 million in production financing is on the table.

Writer and producer teams (at least one of whom must be a Canadian citizen or resident) are asked to submit their info and story synopsis to the Whistler Film Festival by August 17. They are seeking potential films suitable for both the Chinese domestic and international markets.

Regional pitch sessions will then take place in the early fall. Up to 12 finalists will be selected from the regional pitch sessions by October 31 to come to the Whistler Film Festival and publicly present their story idea to the 3 Chinese production companies plus 2 to 5 international judges.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

2012 MuchMusic Video Awards – winners

The 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards took place tonight in Toronto at a lively show hosted by the electropop duo LMFAO. They themselves went on to win International Video Of The Year – Group for their huge hit Sexy And I Know It.

Carly Rae Jepsen led the award winners with three prizes for her hit Call Me Maybe. She won the top prize Video of the Year as well as Most Online Streamed Video and UR Fave Video.

Stratford, Ontario heartthrob Justin Bieber picked up two wins. He won International Video Of The Year By A Canadian for Boyfriend as well as the fan-voted honour UR Fave Artist.

Vancouver punk rockers Marianas Trench led with seven nominations going into the night and came away with two awards. They won for Cinematography Of The Year for Fallout and Pop Video Of The Year for Haven’t Had Enough.

Call for submissions: Shorts That Are Not Pants

The quarterly short film screening series in Toronto known as Shorts That Are Not Pants has put out its first call for submissions to Canadian and international filmmakers. Previously, its screenings were chosen through a partnership with Future Shorts and the National Film Board of Canada.

They are seeking short films of up to 20 minutes in length from filmmakers anywhere. They welcome all genres and will try to give feedback whenever possible.

There is no deadline as it is an ongoing screening series. The next screening is on July 13 with a program that includes Bang, At the Formal, A Morning Stroll, Guest, Notes on Biology, We'll Become Oil, Street Vendor Cinema, Tumult and Fireworks.

Friday, June 15, 2012

2012 Gawad Urian Awards (Filipino film) – winners

The Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (MPP) or Filipino Film Critics held their 35th edition of the Gawad Urian Awards yesterday to honour the best in Filipino cinema. The ceremony was hosted by actress Angel Aquino and beauty queen Venus Raj.

Alvin Yapan's Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (The Dance of Two Left Feet) swept the field in picking up seven awards. It won for Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Actor (Paulo Avelino), Supporting Actress (Jean Garcia), Cinematography, Music. The only one of its nominations it didn't win was for Editing.

The Best Actress prize went to Maja Salvador for Paul Soriano's Thelma, while Art Acuña won the Best Supporting Actor Award for Niño by Loy Arcenas.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

2012 Polaris Prize – long list

The 2012 Polaris Long List was announced today at The Waldorf Hotel in Vancouver, BC.

Polaris Founder and Executive Director Steve Jordan was pretty excited about the List.

"The year's list deliciously illustrates the burgeoning sense of community in our jury," he said. "Almost half of the selections on this list were the direct result of passionate recommendations made by individual members to their peers. We hope the ultimate result of this dialogue will likewise inform the taste of adventurous music lovers from Canada and the world."

The 2012 Polaris Music Prize Long List is (in alphabetical order):

Ingrid Veninger at the Royal Cinema, June 14-24

After having announced that she will use the proceeds from her screenings to help fund micro-budget projects participating in her $1000 Feature Film Challenge, award-winning Toronto director Ingrid Veninger brings all three of her features as a director ONLY, MODRA and her latest i am a good person/i am a bad person to the Royal Cinema for a one-week retrospective of her work.

She continues to go from strength to strength in each of her films, using all of her available resources to her utmost advantage. Her two earlier films have a simplicity, delicacy and sense of longing reminiscent of Linklater's Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.

With i am a good person/i am a bad person, she has crafted a more complicated multi-country narrative that includes her as an actor in the film (acting being one of the many hats she wears) and takes a somewhat more improvisatory approach. Her character Ruby White is like herself a filmmaker from Canada on a festival tour with her films. But White isn't as together and clear-thinking and thus her family relationships teeter as she works out her inner struggles.

Telefilm Canada's Golden Box Office Award goes to Barney's Version

Telefilm Canada this morning presented its annual Golden Box Office Award to the director of Barney's Version, Richard J. Lewis, and to the film's scriptwriter, Michael Konyves, in a ceremony attended by producer Robert Lantos and actors Anna Hopkins, Clé Bennett and Howard Jerome. The Award includes a cash prize of $20,000 for each of the winners. The Golden Box Office Award has been presented every year for the past three years to the Canadian director and writer of the English-language Canadian feature-length film that earned the highest box office during the preceding year. For 2011, Barney's Version generated over$3.2 million at the box office in Canada. The award presentation took place at Caplansky's Delicatessen in Toronto, purveyors of classic Montreal-style smoked meat - a tribute to that city's importance in the film's story line.

"From the Genie Awards to the Golden Globes, Barney's Version has had an impressive success on the national and international scene, winning more than 15 awards while also scoring a popular success as well," said Telefilm executive director Carolle Brabant. "This success would not be possible without the tremendous talent that abounds in our industry — which is why the Golden Box Office Award is presented to those who work behind the camera. Our 'Goldie' is a departure from most box-office awards that usually go to producers or distributors."

Teen Choice Awards 2012 – 2nd wave of nominations

After announcing the first batch of nominees earlier last month, the Teen Choice Awards 2012 today announced their second wave of nominations.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 shared the lead in the first round and continued its strong showing with seven additional nominations, a number it shared with the recent release Snow White & The Huntsman. Both films star Kristen Stewart.

Television categories were led by The Vampire Diaries with six nominations. American Idol followed with five nods.

Once Upon a Time, Lebanon: Visions of Postwar in New Lebanese Cinema, June 14-17

For the last three weeks, the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival's People's Choice Award winner Where Do We Go Now? has been screening at theatres across Canada including the TIFF Bell Lightbox. This delightful film combines wit, wisdom and originality in dealing with its usually weighty subject matter of regional conflict.

Now, the TIFF Bell Lightbox presents a retrospective of Lebanese cinema starting tonight at 6pm with Jocelyne Saab's Once Upon a Time: Beirut. The film follows two young women as they explore the city's cinematic past in the aftermath of the civil war. Rasha Salti, TIFF's programmer of African and Middle Eastern Cinema, will introduce the film and the screening series prior to the film.

This will be followed at 9pm by Ghassan Salhab's Un Certain Regard selection Terra Incognita. His film examines contemporary Beirut through five disparate characters.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

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

L'Associazione della Stampa Estera in Italia (Italian Foreign Press Association) announced the nominations for Italy's Golden Globe Awards, the Globo d'Oro.

Giuliano Montaldo's L'industriale (The Industrialist) led the field with five nominations including Best Film, Screenplay and Actress (Carolina Crescentini). However, Montaldo was not nominated for Director.

Also nominated for Best Film were Marco Tullio Giordana's Romanzo di una strage (Story of a Massacre) and the Taviani brothers' Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die) which has already been declared Film of the Year by the upcoming Nastro d'Argento Awards.

Call for submissions: Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program

The Writers Guild of Canada has put out a call for submissions to its third season of the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program (the second in the West).

They are looking for diverse writers who are emerging or mid-career who are from the western half of Canada. Up to eight people will be selected for the training program which involves a week-long intensive session followed by a 10-12 week mentorship with a story editor. One writer will be selected at the end of the program to receive a paid internship on a Bell Media TV series.

Latinordicos, Festival du Film Immigrant, June 13-Aug 15

After their inaugural edition last year of the Latinordicos Festival du film interculturel de Montréal, they have returned with a screening series this summer, the Latinordicos Festival du Film Immigrant. Starting tonight, they will present a weekly screening at Au Café de Da, 545, rue Fleury Est starting at 7pm. All of the screenings are free.

Tonight's opening film will be the documentary La Dérive douce d'un enfant de Petit-Goâve (The Gentle Drifting of a Little Boy from Petit-Goâve) by Pedro Ruiz. It tells the story of the life of novelist, journalist and director Dany Laferrière.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Call for submissions: Cours écrire ton court


Up-and-coming Quebec screenwriters are invited to participate in the 14th edition of Cours écrire ton court by La Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) in collaboration with the Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma (SARTEC), the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), Jimmy Lee, Sid Lee, the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC), the Cinémathèque québécoise, the Festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal (FNC), the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and the law firm Lussier & Khouzam.

This year, they will be accepting script submissions for animated short films only. Screenwriters are requested to submit the first version of their scripted screenplay of no longer than 5 minutes by September 11, 2012. A pre-selection committee of industry professionals will select seven projects from the applications received.

Finalists will have the opportunity to benefit from advice from experienced screenwriters, and mentors will accompany each participant throughout the contest to help with revising his/her screenplay. Finalists will then have the opportunity to present their work to experienced producers in front of an audience of industry professionals during the 11th Sommets du cinéma d' animation de Montréal in November 2012.

Call for submissions: Script to Screen development funding program


New program provides screenwriters with funding to develop feature film scripts

Corus Entertainment today announced Script to Screen, a new program partnership with Corus’ western-Canada pay TV service Movie Central and the Winnipeg-based National Screen Institute (NSI). Script to Screen will provide established and emerging Canadian screenwriters with robust funding, creative support and industry guidance to fully develop feature film concepts for film and television, from script to screen.

“With the launch of the Script and Screen initiative in partnership with National Screen Institute, Corus has the opportunity to play an instrumental role in fostering screenwriting talent,” said Jocelyn Hamilton, Vice President, Original Programming, Kids, Comedy, Drama, Corus Entertainment. “In addition to providing Canadian screenwriters with robust funding, Script to Screen will offer support and expertise throughout the process.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

2012 Student Academy Awards – winners

Academy Announces Medal Winners for 2012 Student Academy Awards®

Thirteen students from colleges and universities around the world were honored tonight (June 9) as winners at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 39th Annual Student Academy Awards.  The medal placements were announced at the awards ceremony, which featured as presenters actors Laura Dern, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Greg Kinnear and Mena Suvari alongside Academy President Tom Sherak at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

The winners are:

2012 Tony Awards – winners

The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing held their 66th Annual Tony Awards for Excellence in the Theatre at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Neil Patrick Harris returned as host.

The adaptation of the film Once triumphed on the night with a dominating eight wins from its leading eleven nominations. It won for Best Musical, Book of a Musical, Director, Actor (Steve Kazee), Scenic Design, Lighting Design, Sound Design and Orchestrations.

Peter and the Starcatcher led the plays with five wins including Best Actor for star Christian Borle. But the satirical drama Clybourne Park captured the Best Play award.

In the Revival categories, the winners were the play Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and the musical The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Death of a Salesman also won Best Director for Mike Nichols, and Porgy and Bess also won Best Actress – Musical for Audra McDonald.

North by Northeast (NXNE), June 11-17

The 2012 North by Northeast (NXNE) Festival begins today. It is a festival that features music, film and interactive sections, both shows for the public and an industry component for artists.

Hundred of musicians will be performing over the next week including John Maus, Eight and a Half, Bad Religion, Plants and Animals, METZ, Ceremony and The Men.

NXNE is featuring over 40 films this year, including feature-length docs, shorts, and music videos. The films cover an array of topics - whether its following the story's of unique and influential bands from a variety of genres, chatting with music and literary icons, or exploring themes of growing up, getting old, or being gay - NXNE has a film for everyone.

2012 Worldwide Short Film Festival Award-winners

The CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival (WSFF) has presented the winners of the festival jury prizes, including eight prizes and over $65,000 in cash and awards.

This year’s jury was comprised of Shane Smith, Director of Public Programmes at TIFF Bell Lightbox, filmmaker Iain Gardner, winner of the 2011 Best Animated Short award at WSFF for The Tannery, Susanne Folkesson, acquisition executive for UR, Ian Harnarine, winner of the Genie Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2012 for Doubles with Slight Pepper) and award-winning filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée (Café de Flore).

WSFF is one of only four Canadian festivals accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Winners for Best Live-Action Short and Best Animated Short are eligible for Academy Award nominations. WSFF Canadian award winners are eligible for Genie Awards.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

2012 International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards – winners

Over the last three nights, the 13th International Indian Film Academy Awards took place in Lion City, Singapore. Zoya Akhtar's Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar dominated the Popular Awards on Saturday night, each taking home four trophies.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara took the top two prizes for Best Film and Best Direction. It also won for Best Supporting Actor (Farhan Akhtar) and Best Story. This was in addition to its previously announced five wins in the technical categories for Cinematographer, Editing, Screenplay, Choreography and Sound Mixing.

Rockstar picked up the awards for Best Actor (Ranbir Kapoor), Music Direction (A.R. Rahman, Nadaan Parinde), Lyrics and Playback Singer - Male. The lead actors Kapoor and Nargis Fakri were also named the Star Plus Hottest Pair. However, its only technical award was for Background Score (A.R. Rahman).