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Filipino restored classic film "Omeng Satanasia" starring Philippines' King of Comedy to have a special presentation at 35th Edition of Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF); "YELLOW ROSE" starring Tony Award winner Lea Salonga and former "Miss Saigon" starrer Eva Noblezada to open the festival
by Oliver Carnay




ABS-CBN's restored 1977 cult classic of Philippine Cinema "Omeng Satanasia" will have a special screening at the upcoming Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festsival. It stars the late "King of Comedy," Dolphy, in his award winning, multi-role performance. A Faustian tale told with equal parts campy surreal fantasy, touching melodrama, and Dolphy's trademark comic mastery. Directed with exuberant experimentation by then first time director Frank Gray Jr.

Also added, CINEMA MUSICA PRESENTS COUNTERFLOW: CURRENTS IN NEW FILIPINA/O MUSIC - A visual mixtape experience featuring against the grain music from the Philippines from artists redefining and reworking the contemporary Filipina/o music landscape. A video companion to the Counterflow: Currents In New Filipina/o Music playlist. The program will take place on Saturday, May 4th at 9pm at the Downtown Independent.

The Festival, which will run from May 2 through May 10, 2019, recently announced the Opening Night film YELLOW ROSE, directed by Diane Paragas and starring Tony Award winner Lea Salonga and Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, that will open the Festival on Thursday, May 2.

LAAPFF will announce its full line up on Monday, April 1, 2019. Visual Communications Member presale ticketing will be available from Monday, April 1st to Friday, April 5th; ticketing for the general public will be available starting Friday, April 5th at 5:00pm PST.

Since 1983, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival has presented over 4,000 films, videos, and digital mediaworks by Asian international and Asian Pacific American artists, and additionally features seminars and panels, in-person guest appearances, and filmmaker awards. The Film Festival continues to be the largest festival of its kind in Southern California and is the premier showcase for the best and brightest of Asian Pacific American and international cinema.

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is a proud Academy Award®-qualifying film festival for Short Film Awards. Recipient(s) of the Film Festival’s Golden Reel Award for Narrative/Animated Short Film will be eligible to submit in the Animated Short Film/Live-Action Short Film category of the Academy Awards®.

For program information and a complete listing of sponsors and partners, please go to this link: https://vcmedia.org/festival
03.29.19 by OC

Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. celebrates 20th anniversary with Oscar Best Foreign Language Film submissions screenings

by Oliver Carnay


For complete line-up of films, schedule, details, please go to
www.sffla.net


For nineteen years, Best Foreign Language film contenders and award-winning features, shorts, and documentary films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Baltic neighbors Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia has been parading at the Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles, yearly housed at the Writers Guild of America Theater located in Beverly Hills (135 S. Doheny Dr., corner Wilshire Blvd.).

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the first festival in 2019 - SFFLA will run for two weekends starting from January 5 & 6 and after two weeks, January 19 & 20th. Among Oscar contender films for 2019 Best Foreign Language Film included this year is Sweden’s “Border” (based on a short story "Gräns" by John Ajvide Lindqvist) -- a custom officer who can smell fear develops an unusual attraction to a strange traveler while aiding a police investigation, which will call into question her entire existence. This is one of my favorites I’ve seen at the AFI Fest last November and it tops my 10 Best for Foreign Language Film so don’t miss this one! It’s showing Saturday, January 5th at 2:30 p.m.





An Opening Night Gala on January 5th will have a buffet starting at 5:30 p.m. and following is Denmark’s Oscar submission “The Guilty” directed by Gustav Möller. This claustrophobic thriller, precisely paced and grippingly played by sole actor in the film Jakob Cedergren will keep you at the edge of your seat.





Sunday, January 6 will have Finland’s submission “Euthanizer” at 11 a.m. A 50-year old mechanic and animal whisperer prefers to personally deliver justice to careless owners who neglected their pets, but his life is disrupted when he encounters a neo-Nazi gang, and a young nurse who understands his psychosis.





Then, Norway’s Oscar submission “What will people say?” by Director Iram Haq is screening at 3 p.m. A 16-year old Norweigian teen-ager is the perfect Pakistani daughter at home with her family but leads a double life partying outside, until her father catches her with her boyfriend inside her room. Soon she will suffer the consequences of living with relatives in Pakistan, a country she has never been before and forced to adapt to her parent’s culture.





On its second weekend, January 19 (Saturday), Estonia’s Oscar submission “Take It Or Leave It” screens at 3 p.m.. A 30-year old construction worker is surprised to hear that his ex-girlfriend who he hasn’t seen for six months is about to go into labor. Her girlfriend is not ready for motherhood and if he doesn’t want the kid either, the little girl will be put up for adoption.





And finally, Lithuania’s Oscar entry for Best Documentary “Wonderful Losers” is playing at 12:30 p.m., Sunday, January 20th. They’re called water carriers, domestics, ‘gregarios,’ ‘Sancho Panzas’ of professional cycling who are always at the back of the group, with no right for a personal victory are wonderful losers but true warriors of professional cycling.


12.23.18 by OC

Paul Walker “tribute” film (with additional footage) releases TODAY on his fifth death anniversary



TODAY marks the fifth anniversary of actor PAUL WALKER's tragic passing and in light of commemorating his legacy, Virgil Films is proud to announce the release of Network Entertainment Inc’s "I Am Paul Walker" for U.S. digital release today, Friday, November 30, 2018.

This digital release is the first time the full feature length documentary will be available for fans to view and they can now own or rent on Digital Download platforms across the U.S. on November 30, and/or purchase the DVD of the film, available on December 4.

The film, directed by Adrian Buitenhuis, explores the life and legacy of actor Paul Walker, the Southern California native who cut his teeth as a child actor before breaking out in the blockbuster Fast & Furious movie franchise. Featuring interviews with those who knew Paul best both professionally and personally, along with an extensive personal archive of never-before-seen candid video and still photographs provided by family and friends of the late actor, I Am Paul Walker explores Paul's private side in tandem with the highlights of his highly successful film career. His devotion to his family, his passion for surfing and auto racing, his commitment to marine biology and sharks, his dedication to humanitarian work through his NGO, Reach Out Worldwide, and his love for his family define the character of the man who starred in Fast & Furious, one of the most wildly successful film franchises of all time.

"I Am Paul Walker" made its U.S. television premiere on Paramount Network earlier this year on August 11. The documentary, running approximately 30-minutes longer than the version broadcast on television earlier this year, features interviews with those who were closest to Paul, including Fast & Furious actor Tyrese Gibson and director Rob Cohen, director Wayne Kramer, family members Cody Walker, Caleb Walker, Ashlie Walker, Cheryl Walker, and Paul Walker III and close friends, Oakley Lehman, Dr. Michael Domeier and Manager Matt Luber.
11.30.18 by OC

Finnish-Syrian LGBT romantic drama A MOMENT IN THE REEDS releases December 4th, 2018







The feature debut of Finnish writer/director Mikko Makela is a moving gay romance between a young Finnish academic and a struggling Syrian refugee, set against an idyllic Finnish summer. Filled with nuanced and sexually charged performances from the film's two openly gay leads, Finnish theatre actorJanne Puustinen, and openly gay Syrian actor Boodi Kabbani (who fled Syria and eventually settled in Finland, where he is based - he is one of the very few openly gay Syrian actors in the world), A MOMENT IN THE REEDS is a potent, inherently political, and remarkably mature exploration of an LGBT immigrant refugee's experience in today's world.

Mikko Makela's stunning debut explores the relationship between two men, set against an idyllic Finnish summer. Whilst visiting his estranged father, Leevi meets Tareq, a handsome Syrian immigrant employed to restore the family lake house. Leevi's father departs for the city, leaving the two men alone in the beautiful remote countryside and enabling them to act on their impulses and the chemistry that clearly exists between them. Far removed from their everyday lives, the only immediate threat to the men's relationship is the eventual return of Leevi's father. But there's also Tareq's complex relationship with his family back in Syria. Makela sensitively explores the perspectives of both men, who long for some human connection, acceptance and a place to call home. Locating marginalised characters at the forefront of the story, Makela's film is a very welcome and refreshingly frank portrait of contemporary Finnish society.

One of the first LGBT-themed films made in Finland, Makela's intimate drama places at its center the freedom and acceptance of sexual and ethnic minorities, amidst the backdrop of breathtaking Finnish lake country.

Indiewire called it "one of the best queer international films of 2018," and Edge said the film is "a fresh new voice in queer cinema...pitch perfect performances." Film Inquiry wrote "one of the most moving gay romances of recent years...full of sexually charged, intimate moments."

After world premiering at the 2017 London Film Festival and a year of critical success on the worldwide festival circuit and opening theatrically to critical acclaim in Finland this past summer, A MOMENT IN THE REEDS will be available for all U.S. and Canadian audiences.

Finnish-Syrian LGBT romantic drama A MOMENT IN THE REEDS releases December 4th, 2018 in the U.S. and Canada on VOD and digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Youtube Movies, and in the U.S. on DVD and Blu-ray through Amazon. Released by Wild Beast Productions.
11.23.18 by OC

"The Joneses" - a powerful LGBTQ docfilm!

"How do I tell my grandchildren that their Grandma is actually the father of their dad?" -- Jheri Jones.

www.thejonesesdoc.com




Moby Longinotto's feature documentary debut tells the story of Jheri Jones, a 74-year-old transgender matriarch, and her family in Bible Belt Mississippi. Reconciled after years of estrangement, and now living with two of her four sons in her trailer park home, Jheri embarks on a new path to reveal her true self to her grandchildren, while her son Trevor begins a surprising journey of his own. THE JONESES is a compelling documentary about an unorthodox family and the deeply complex personal bonds that make or break us.

A cinema verite and intimate documentary, THE JONESES is a multi-generational tale of long term healing and acceptance. It's about family members finding both themselves and each other through forgiveness and compassion. It's about the LGBTQ experience in working class America set in a conservative region of the South, yet optimistic and hopeful.

THE JONESES is from the executive producer of "Celluloid Closet," and the production company behind such documentaries as Emmy award winner "Medora," "Boom For Real," and "Blank City." The documentary has also played a number of prestigious film festivals including Doc NYC, the San Francisco Int'l Film Festival, Frameline, Raindance, among others.

THE JONESES is directed by Moby Longinotto. Gravitas Ventures released the film digitally on Oct 30.
11.08.18 by OC

ABS-CBN's first U.S.-produced reality show with an All-Asian American cast via “The People’s Queen” to premiere on Myx TV, TFC and Lifestyle Network in October and on Metro in November
by Oliver Carnay


trailer:





The glamorous reality show "The People’s Queen" is being called a cross between Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and America’s Next Top Model. The show follows two over-the-top coaches - CECILIO ASUNCION and VOLTAIRE TAYAG as they challenge 5 beauty pageant hopefuls eyeing for international titles. The five will live in a mansion for 6 weeks with a team of fashion and media specialists.

Cecilio and Voltaire are not simply shaping the perfect beauty queen; they’re creating The People’s Queen.

“The pageant community is looking to redefine its role in an era of female empowerment and gender equality,” Asuncion explains. His history with the pageant system extends to before he was even born. His grandmother was Miss Manila. Today, Asuncion is the Director of Slay Model Management, the world’s first all-Transgender model agency and National Director of Miss Supranational USA. He judged the Miss Universe 2017 pageant in Las Vegas and hosted this year’s Miss Teen USA pageant in Shreveport, Louisiana.

“In today’s pageants, the real competition is an internal one,” he continues. “It used to be that women reshaped themselves to fit the crown, striving to match the idealized version of a Barbie doll beauty queen. Today’s judges want to see the real, unfiltered woman beneath the lashes and beautiful gowns.”

“In order to triumph, pageant contestants are required to dig deep within their souls, confront unresolved personal issues and overcome self-doubt,” says Tayag, another pageant veteran. He was a fashion designer before turning his passion and expertise into becoming a pageant journalist and trainer. A stickler for traditional training techniques, Tayag often butts heads with Asuncion and his less conventional training methods.

The five pageant hopefuls in The People’s Queen are Nikita, a biracial beauty confronting her bullied past; 25 year-old Katrina, who spent years focusing on the needs of her immigrant family and may have missed her chance for an international crown; 15 year-old Jenny, a pageant newbie who may be too rough around the edges; overly shy Michelle who must break out of her shell if she hopes to compete at the Miss Philippines pageant; and Katarina, a runner-up on Asia’s Next Top Model and former Miss Intercontinental Philippines who is now vying for the Miss World Philippines crown.

“American audiences are craving multiculturalism in their televised programming and are especially interested in seeing more Asian representation,” says ABS-CBN Global COO Olivia De Jesus. She points to the successes of ABC-TV’s Fresh Off the Boat and the Warner Brothers Pictures’ film, Crazy Rich Asians.

De Jesus is an executive producer on The People’s Queen along with Jun Del Rosario, John Lazatin and Glenn Meehan, whose previous executive producer credits include the long-running TLC reality series, Little People, Big World.

Meehan agrees that Americans are eager to learn more about Asia’s rich culture, as long as it is a genuine representation. “Pageantry is a huge part of Filipino culture,” he says. “It is regarded as a sport and their passion for it demonstrates the quiet, resolute yet ultra-competitive nature of its people.”

Asuncion adds that the trend toward diversity isn’t exclusive to Hollywood. He sees it taking over pageants too as they are actively promoting varied shapes, heights and backgrounds in competition. “The upcoming Miss Universe 2018 pageant will even feature its first Transgender contestant, Miss Spain, competing for the crown,” he says.

“Pageant queens were never born, they’ve always been made,” Asuncion contends. “Where we used to build a queen with external make-overs, it’s internal transformations that win titles today. It’s simply not enough to be a beauty queen anymore. Pageant hopefuls must strive to be The People’s Queen.”

The People’s Queen is ABS-CBN International’s first foray into a reality show in English with an all-Asian American cast beyond its Myx TV channel. ABS-CBN is the largest Filipino media and entertainment company in the world. In the USA, its programming is available on Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Cox Cable and other major cable systems, as well as on satellite via DIRECTV, on IPTV and digitally via TFC online (TFC.tv) which is also available on Roku.

The People’s Queen will be seen globally on Myx TV (Myxtv.com) starting October 24; on TFC on cable, satellite, TFC online (TFC.tv) and Lifestyle Network on October 27 in North America, Europe and Middle East (October 28 in Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia); and on Metro channel in the Philippines in November.

Follow The People’s Queen on Instagram instagram.com/thepeoplesqueenshow and Twitter Twitter.com/tpqshow
10.04.18 by OC

What to watch out at upcoming Film Independent's Los Angeles Film Festival (Septmeber 20 - 28, 2018)

For film screening schedule, passes, ticket information about the LA Film Festival 2018, please click here:
www.lafilmfestival.com


Gala screenings of Ike Barinholtz's "THE OATH", Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin's documentary "FREE SOLO, and Rupert Everett's "THE HAPPY PRINCE" and Eva Vives' "ALL ABOUT NINA" plus the Special Screening of Tom Volf's documentary "MARIA BY CALLAS"; Buzz Section, Podcasts, and Series announced.





Hollywood, CA - The LA Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, announced Gala Screenings at the Festival including Ike Barinholtz’s directorial debut The Oath starring Ike Barinholtz, Tiffany Haddish, John Cho, Carrie Brownstein, Billy Magnussen, Nora Dunn, Chris Ellis, Jon Barinholtz, Meredith Hagner; Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s documentary Free Solo featuring Alex Honnold; Rupert Everett’s The Happy Prince, starring Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas and Emily Watson; Eva Vives’ All About Nina, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Common, Chace Crawford, Clea DuVall, Kate del Castillo, Beau Bridges and Camryn Manheim. There will also be a Special Screening of Tom Volf’s documentary Maria by Callas; a Series program that includes; the first episode of the Into the Dark series, “The Body” staring Tom Bateman and Rebecca Rittenhouse, directed by Paul Davis; and America to Me a multipart unscripted documentary series from filmmaker Steve James. In addition 12 films in the Buzz Section and 3 podcasts in the Podcast Section have been unveiled. The LA Film Festival runs September 20-28.

“My aim with LA Film Festival is to celebrate and acknowledge storytelling in all its myriad of forms,” said LA Film Festival Director Jennifer Cochis. “Bringing forth part of our Series programming, launching our Podcast section, and shining a spotlight on this year’s Galas is all in effort to honor these creative teams, processes and stories.”

Galas (4)

Sunday, September 23, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

All About Nina, dir. Eva Vives, West Coast Premiere

Just as Nina Geld’s brilliant and angry stand-up kicks her career into high gear, her romantic life gets complicated, forcing her to reckon with what it means to be creative, authentic, and a woman in today’s culture. All About Nina is distributed by The Orchard and will be in theatres on September 28th.

Tuesday, September 25, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

The Happy Prince, dir. Rupert Everett, United Kingdom, Los Angeles Premiere

The last days of Oscar Wilde — and the ghosts that haunted them — are vividly evoked in Rupert Everett's directorial debut. As the film travels through Wilde's final act and journeys through England, France and Italy, desire and loyalty face off, the transience of lust is laid bare, and the true riches of love are revealed. The Happy Prince is being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics and will open in LA & NY October 10th.



Tuesday, September 25, ArcLight Hollywood

The Oath, dir. Ike Barinholtz, USA, World Premiere

A controversial White House policy turns family member against family member

in The Oath, a savagely funny dark comedy about surviving life and Thanksgiving in the age of political tribalism. The Oath is Ike Barinholtz’s directorial debut and is being distributed by Topic Studios and Roadside Attractions, opening on October 12th.



Thursday, September 27, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Free Solo, dirs. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, USA, Los Angeles Premiere

Free Solo is a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock...the 3,200ft El Capitan in Yosemite National Park…without a rope. Free Solo is being distributed by National Geographic Documentary Films.



Special Screening (1)

Friday, September 21, ArcLight Hollywood

Maria By Callas, dir. Tom Volf, France, Los Angeles Special Screening

From first time director Tom Volf, Maria By Callas is the definitive documentary on the life and work of the Greek-American opera singer. Volf has spent nearly five years working on the film, which features never before seen or heard footage and performances of Callas. Maria By Callas is being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics and will open in LA & NY November 2nd.



Podcasts (3)

Don’t @ Me with Justin Simien - USA (CREATOR/HOST Justin Simien PRODUCER Gina Delvac) Beyond the knee-jerk reactions and Twitter hot takes, Justin Simien and his guests get real about a variety of topics. Don't like what you hear? Don't @ Me.



Hollywood & Crime - USA (CREATOR/HOST Tracy Pattin HOST Larry Brand) A look inside the most infamous murders in Hollywood history.



Welcome to L.A. - USA (CREATOR/HOST David Weinberg) - David Weinberg explores a few of the many L.A.s that exist between the Pacific and the Mojave, introducing us to a lot of fascinating characters along the way.



Series (2)

Friday, September 21, WGA Theatre

Into the Dark, “The Body”, dir. Paul Davis, USA, World Premiere

The first episode of the Into the Dark series – “The Body” – is a story about a sophisticated hitman with a cynical view on modern society who finds his work made more difficult when he has to transport a body on Halloween night, but everyone is enamored by what they think is his killer costume. “The Body” stars Tom Bateman and Rebecca Rittenhouse, written by Paul Fischer and Paul Davis and is directed by Paul Davis. Into The Dark is a first of its kind year-round horror event series from prolific, award-winning producer, Jason Blum’s independent TV studio Blumhouse Television. The Hulu Original Series includes 12 self-contained episodes, with a new episode premiering each month. The

Body premieres exclusively on Hulu, October 5th, 2018.



Sunday, September 23, WGA Theatre

America To Me, “I Don’t Have to Think About Being White”, dir. Steve James, USA

Poignant and funny, epic and intimate, America to Me spends an academic year at Chicagoland's elite Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF), allowing its students, families, faculty and administration to tell stories of the pressures and challenges teens face today in their own words. The fifth episode of the epic 10-part docu-series from Starz and Kartemquin looks closely at decades-long racial and educational inequities – in addition to the challenges that today's teenagers face. America To Me will premiere on Starz this Sunday, August 26 at 10pm PT/ET.



Buzz Section (12)

Non-competitive showcase of curated favorites from other film festivals.



Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable – dir. Aaron Lieber, USA, West Coast Premiere

Galveston – dir. Mélanie Laurent, USA, West Coast Premiere
The Great Buster: A Celebration – dir. Peter Bogdanovich, USA, North American Premiere
Jonathan – dir. Bill Oliver, USA, West Coast Premiere
Little Woods – dir. Nia DaCosta, USA, West Coast Premiere
Mr. Soul! – dirs. Melissa Haizlip, Samuel Pollard, USA, West Coast Premiere
Museo – dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios, Mexico, North American Premiere
The New Romantic – dir. Carly Stone, USA, West Coast Premiere
Sadie – dir. Megan Griffiths, USA, California Premiere
Song of Back and Neck – dir. Paul Lieberstein, USA, West Coast Premiere
Unlovable – dir. Suzi Yoonessi, USA, West Coast Premiere
You Can Choose Your Family – dir. Miranda Bailey, USA, West Coast Premiere



Passes are on sale now; only Film Independent Members get early access and save up to 25%. General admission tickets are available to the general public beginning today. Contact the Festival Box Office for passes, tickets and event information by calling 866.FILM.FEST (866.345.6337) or visit www.lafilmfestival.com
.


Venues for the 2018 Festival include the ArcLight Cinemas in Culver City, Hollywood and Santa Monica, as well as the new LMU Playa Vista Campus (opening this fall), the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the Writers Guild Theater and the Ford Theatres.


Online & Social Media:

www.lafilmfestival.com
Facebook.com/LAFilmFestival
Twitter.com/LAFilmFestical
hashtag: #LAFilmFestival.



ABOUT THE LA FILM FESTIVAL

The LA Film Festival is a key part of the exhibition arm of the nonprofit arts organization Film Independent. Showcasing new American and international cinema that embraces diversity, innovation and unique perspectives, the Festival produces one-of-a-kind events featuring critically acclaimed filmmakers, industry professionals and award-winning talent from Los Angeles and around the world. Presenting Media Sponsor is Los Angeles Times. Official Host Venue is ArcLight Cinemas. Platinum Sponsors are American Airlines, EFILM | Deluxe and HBO. The University Sponsor is Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television. Festival Supporters are Directors Guild of America, eTech Rentals, Kona Productions, TREETI and Visit Seattle. Festival Affiliates are 21st Century Fox Global Inclusion, ATK Audiotek, SAGindie and Writers Guild of America West. Additional support provided by National Endowment for the Arts. Stella Artois is the Official Beer. IMDbPro is the Official Industry Resource. CITI is the Official Credit Card. The LINE, NoMad Los Angeles and Freehand LA are the Official Hotel Partner. Essentia Water is the Official Water. Hillersden Estate Wines is the Official Wine. Getty Images is the Official Photographer.
08.27.18 by OC

"A Long Road Freedom: The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years" - A Here TV docfilm narrated by Laverne Cox to have its World Premiere at OUTFEST 2018

by Oliver Carnay





Los Angeles, CA - Thursday, July 19, 2018, marks the world premiere of the Here TV original documentary, A LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM: The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years

Narrated by Laverne Cox with music by Melissa Etheridge, this moving feature-length documentary focuses on watershed moments in LGBTQ history through never-before-seen footage and engaging interviews with NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, Caitlyn Jenner, Don Lemon, Gloria Allred, Gavin Newsom, Dustin Lance Black, Margaret Cho, Armistead Maupin, Bruce Vilanch, Greg Louganis, DeRay Mckesson, Candis Cayne, Guillermo Diaz, and many more.

Starting with the Black Cat Riots, the film covers Stonewall, the disco sexual revolution, the AIDS crisis, marriage equality, and the trans movement to present day.

Directed by Billy Clift and produced by Emmy-nominated producer David Millbern, A LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM: The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years is set to premiere at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills on Thursday, July 19, 2018 benefiting Outfest Los Angeles.

After its festival run, the film will premiere on Here TV followed by a 20-city theatrical release.

“The process of creating this project was twofold: to watch its journey and the journey I took personally,” says director Billy Clift. “If it changed me, it will change audiences as well. The documentary helped me learn more about the many steps taken to accomplish the great strides we all benefit from today. I give thanks and feel so honored to work alongside the amazing team at Here TV.”

A LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM: The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years was executive produced by Paul Colichman and Stephen P. Jarchow, who have produced and distributed over 200 films and series including Academy Award-winners “Gods and Monsters” and “Departures.” Malachy Wienges, Chairman Emeritus at The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, is also attached as an executive producer.

“This film celebrates the shoulders that we all stand upon in furthering LGBTQ rights and documents our long and successful journey. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got a long way to go.” – David Millbern.

A LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM: The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years is a call to action for all minorities (Black Lives Matter, Women, etc) to fight for the same rights. SAME FIGHT, SAME RIGHTS!

Here TV (www.heretv.com) launched in 2004, making it the world’s first SVOD LGBTQ+ video service and is available on all major US cable operators including Xfinity, Spectrum, Cablevision, FiOS, U-Verse, Cox, as well as Amazon, Roku and the Here TV app (www.here.tv) where it can be viewed on all iOS and Android mobile devices. Here TV reaches millions of viewers each month and has produced Academy award-winning films in addition to receiving three Daytime Emmy Award nominations.


07.12.18 by OC

Outfest 2018 (July 12 - 22) -- recommended films to watch out for the 11-day LGBTQ festival ..
by Oliver Carnay




Here are some of the recommended films you might miss out during Outfest 2018. Date, time, and venues are also indicated.
For complete guide and festival schedule, please log on to www.outfest.org



BITTER MELON
FRI | July 13 | Harmony Gold | 7:00 PM
Director: H.P. Mendoza
USA | 100 minutes | 2018



Who knew that the insensitive way some of his Filipino-American family members treat his sexuality would be the least of Declan’s worries when he returns home for the holidays? As he and his siblings tiptoe around his freeloading brother’s volatile personality, long-buried secrets are revealed to set in motion a hilarious plan of revenge. A black comedy with heart, the latest from H.P. Mendoza (Fruit Fly) deftly explores toxic masculinity and abuse— emotional and physical—with absurdity and true empathy.

H. P. Mendoza is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, producer and musician. He is best known for his micro-budget work as screenwriter, composer and lyricist on Colma: The Musical (2006), as well as his follow-up musical and directorial debut, Fruit Fly (2010). Mendoza’s musical films have been dubbed “mumblechoral” by Steve Seid of Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Mendoza was inducted into “Essential SF” by San Francisco Film Society.


Looking For? (你找什麼?)
FRI | July 13 | DGA 1 | 9:45 PM
Taiwan | 60 minutes |
English/Mandarin with English subtitles



Director: Tung-Yen Chou. A native of Taipei, Taiwan, Tung-Yen Chou works primarily in videos and theatre. His works have been screened and performed in international festivals in New York City, Brussels, Lisbon, Lille, Dresden, Copenhagen, Seoul and Beijing. Chou is a graduate of Taipei National University of the Arts in Theatre Arts, and later attained a MA in Scenography at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in the United Kingdom. Transforming his enthusiasm in video and theater to practice, Chou founded Very Mainstream Studio in 2010.

Explore the mysteries of dating apps in this charming, infectious documentary that lays all the sexy details out on the table. Young Taiwanese filmmaker Tung-Yen Chou searches for a love of his own, as he questions gay men around the world about their intimate experiences on hookup apps. Can Grindr lead you to the love of your life? This refreshingly raw and far too relatable look into digital romance is a snapshot of the moment.


ALONE IN THE GAME
FRI | July 13 | DGA 2 | 9:30 PM
USA | 95 minutes | 2018
Pre Screening Reception: DGA Atrium 7:30 – 9:15 PM



This inspirational documentary follows a number of LGBTQ athletes, including Robbie Rogers (Major League Soccer), Layana White (NCAA basketball player), Gus Kenworthy (freestyle skier and Olympic silver medalist), Megan Rapinoe (soccer, Olympic gold medalist), and Trevor Betts, a trans high school athlete, charting their social and legal challenges within the schools, sports leagues, and within their own families, as well as their triumphs in the face of great adversity.
Director: Natalie Metzger, Michael Rohrbaugh




"SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD"
SAT | July 14 | DGA 1 | 1:45 PM
Director: Matt Tyrnauer
USA | 98 minutes | 2017
Post Screening Reception:
DGA Atrium | 3:30 – 5:00 PM



In Hollywood’s Golden Age, studio publicists presented movie stars as paragons of heterosexual domesticity, but behind the curtain, some beloved actors and actresses had very different proclivities. Many of these celebrity sexcapades first came to light in Scotty Bowers’ controversial book Full Service. This fascinating documentary balances juicy gossip (bolstered by expert witnesses like Gore Vidal and Liz Smith) with a compassionate look at Bowers’ life. Meet the man who pierces the veil and shines a light on the private sexual dalliances of some of cinema’s biggest stars.

Matt Tyrnauer is a director, producer, and journalist whose films include Valentino: The Last Emperor; Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, which premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival; and Studio 54, about the famed New York nightclub, which is the Opening Night Gala at Outfest Los Angeles 2018. Tyrnauer’s upcoming projects include the HBO adaptation of his Vanity Fair article “Once Upon a Time in Beverly Hills”; a docuseries on culturally significant homes for Apple; and Don’t Mess with Roy Cohn, about the Svengali behind Joseph McCarthy and Donald Trump.


CUERNAVACA
SAT | July 14 | DGA 2 | 2:00 PM
SUN | July 22 | Regal LA Live | 11:00 AM
Director: Alejandro Andrade Pease
Mexico | 89 minutes | 2017
Spanish with English subtitles



After his mother dies unexpectedly, Andy moves into the palatial residence of his strict, no-nonsense grandmother (played by frequent Almodóvar collaborator Carmen Maura) in the Mexican suburb of Cuernavaca. He finds comfort and refuge in Charly, the estate’s young gardener, who introduces him to an exciting world of danger, risk, and temptation. In this epic coming-of-age story, Andy will navigate the pain and joy that comes with grief, growing up, and finding your identity.


TRANSMILITARY
SAT | July 14 | Harmony Gold | 4:30 PM
Directors: Gabriel Silverman | Fiona Dawson
USA | 93 minutes | 2018



At the risk of being discharged and losing their livelihoods, trans service members come out to top brass at the Pentagon to challenge the transgender military ban. From 2015 to the present day, we follow four trans service members—Senior Airman Logan Ireland, Corporal Laila Villanueva, Captain Jennifer Pause, and First Lieutenant El Cook—as they fight to defend their equal right to serve their country. A 2018 SXSW Audience Award winner.

Silverman is a journalist whose work has been recognized with more than a dozen awards, including an Edward R. Murrow Award for his investigative film work, and two News & Documentary Emmy nominations. Silverman is the co-founder of SideXSide Studios and a 2017 IFP Lab fellow.

Dawson is an LGBTQ advocate, Emmy-nominated multimedia director and producer, and IFP Documentary Lab Fellow. Dawson was honored by the White House for her work as an LGBTQ Artist Champion of Change in 2015. She served on the Board of Directors for HRC and NLGJA. She is Principal of Free Lion Productions.


WE THE ANIMALS
SAT | July 14 | DGA 1 | 6:45 PM
Director: Jeremiah Zagar
USA | 93 minutes | 2018
Post Screening Reception:
DGA Atrium | 8:30 – 11:00 PM



Lovely and lyrical, this film received well-earned comparisons to Moonlight when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where it earned the prestigious NEXT Innovator Award. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar makes his narrative debut with this adaptation of the novel by Justin Torres about three boys navigating their parents’ volatile relationship and the aftermath of their breakup. Two of the sons clearly follow in the footsteps of their macho, anger-prone father (Raúl Castillo, Looking), while the sensitive youngest, Jonah (Evan Rosado), remains close to their mother (Sheila Vand, Women Who Kill).

Exquisitely photographed by Zak Mulligan, the film captures both the beauty and terror of childhood, guiding us through the wonders of the world and the pain and confusion of marital dysfunction. Strains of Malick appear throughout, but there is nothing contrived or familiar about this achingly crafted coming-of-age tale. The entire ensemble (which also includes newcomers Josiah Gabriel and Isaiah Kristian) gives the film a raw naturalism — we feel like invisible observers as young lives unfold before us. Subtle and haunting, bursting with empathy and energy, We the Animals heralds a new chapter for a brilliant and essential storytelling talent.

Dir. Jeremiah Zagar grew up in South Philly spending most afternoons in a movie theater or wandering his local video store. Later, he started filming his hippie parents, resulting in the documentary In A Dream. His next documentary, Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart, aired on HBO in 2014. When he’s not working, Jeremiah spends his time swimming in New York City’s finest public pools.


HARD PAINT
SAT | July 14 | DGA 1 | 9:30 PM
Director: Filipe Matzembacher & Marcio Reolon
Brazil | 118 minutes | 2018
Brazilian Portuguese with English Subtitles
Pre Screening Reception:
DGA Atrium | 7:30 – 9:15 PM



Online, Pedro smears neon paint across his body for pay-per-view voyeurs hungry for his webcam erotica. IRL, he rarely sees the sun or speaks to another soul in Porto Alegre. After catching word of a rival ripping off his rainbow-colored act, he ventures from the shadows to settle their score — but finds an unlikely new friend in the process. This Berlinale Teddy Award winner conjures a dark, sensual atmosphere of alienation and discovery. We’re proud to welcome this young filmmaking duo back to the festival for the third time after their previous feature Seaside and miniseries O Ninho (The Nest).


MR. GAY SYRIA
SAT | July 14 | DGA 2 | 9:00 PM
Director: Ayşe Toprak
Turkey / France / Germany | 87 minutes | 2017
Arabic with English subtitles



Hussein is a Syrian refugee who lives in Istanbul and works as a hairstylist.
At gay support group “Tea and Talk,” Hussein and his friends discuss the issues they face in their homeland. Hoping to bring their cause international media visibility, they decide to participate in the Mr. Gay Syria competition. Writer-director Ayse Toprak’s riveting documentary shines a compassionate light on the ordeals encountered by these brave men as they face possible persecution and physical violence on a day-to-day basis.

Ayşe Toprak is a filmmaker based in Istanbul. She is fascinated in people who are pushed to the peripheries of society who have personal, vivid, compelling stories to tell. Her conviction in filmmaking comes from her wish to tell the stories of such people who she feels have different ways of looking at the world, each unique in their own ways.


THE ICE KING
SUN | July 15 | Harmony Gold | 11:30 AM
Director: James Erskine
United Kingdom | 89 minutes | 2018



Before Johnny Weir or Adam Rippon, there was John Curry. A legend on and off the ice, Curry elevated figure skating from a technical trade to a sophisticated art form with balletic grace and precision. Blending his private letters, public performances, and interviews with his closest circle, this portrait of an icon celebrates his tenacious spirit from the Olympics to Royal Albert Hall while also doubling as a document of burgeoning gay life in the 1970s and 80s.

James Erskine is an award-winning writer, director and producer. As well as directing a number of well-known UK drama series, he has a highly successful track record in feature documentaries including One Night in Turin (2010), Battle of the Sexes (2013), Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist (2014), Building Jerusalem (2015), and the upcoming Sachin (2017).


RIOT
SUN | July 15 | DGA 1 | 4:30 PM
Director: Jeffrey Walker
Australia | 106 minutes | 2017
Post Screening Reception:
DGA Atrium | 6:15 – 7:30 PM



In 1978, when the push to decriminalize homosexuality had stalled, a group of friends decide to make one final attempt to celebrate who they are. Led by a former union boss, they get a police permit and spread the word, unaware that the courage they find will finally mobilize the nation. This vivid retelling of “Australia’s Stonewall” is brought to life by a superb ensemble cast playing the real-life figures whose activist work led to the creation of the first-ever Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

For over a decade, Jeffrey Walker helmed major Australian television productions shown domestically and around the world. The “Jack Irish” TV movies, starring Guy Pearce, won Walker the Australian Academy Award for Best Direction in Television, making him the youngest-ever recipient. Walker began directing in the US in 2012 and so far has directed episodes across 11 TV series, including “Modern Family,” “Bones” and the critically-acclaimed “Difficult People,” where he directed all episodes and executive produced alongside Amy Poehler.


EVENING SHADOWS
SUN | July 15 | DGA 2 | 7:00 PM
Director: Sridhar Rangayan
India | 102 minutes | 2018
Hindi with English subtitles



While visiting his hometown in southern India, Kartik comes out to his loving mother, throwing her for a loop. Surrounded by a punitive patriarch and medieval societal norms, the duo of mother and son enters a series of nightmares, mirroring the nation’s resolve to keep its LGBTQ children in the closet. In his most nuanced and realized work yet, Sridhar Rangayan, long a champion of queer stories in India, gives us the queer film we’ve been wanting to watch with our mothers.

Sridhar Rangayan is a Mumbai-based filmmaker whose films have been at the forefront of the Indian LGBTQ cinema movement. His award winning films The Pink Mirror, Yours Emotionally, 68 Pages, Purple Skies and Breaking Free present hard-hitting social issues with warmth, compassion and humor. He has consistently strived to give a voice to social issues in India through his films, writings and public speaking for over two decades. He is also the founder and festival director of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, held in Mumbai, India every year for past 9 years.


NOVE DE NOVEMBRO
MON | July 16 | DGA 1 | 9:45 PM
Director: Lázaro Louzao
Spain | 84 minutes | 2018
Gallego with English subtitles
Pre Screening Reception:
DGA Atrium | 8:00 – 9:30 PM



It’s November 1989, and the Berlin Wall is coming down. But as Germany reunifies, Roberto and Miguel find themselves coming apart at the seams. The two look back at their ten years together — a tumultuous decade that included coming out of the closet and dealing with HIV — and come to terms with what it takes to stay together. Subtle and haunting, this moving Spanish drama skillfully explores the beautiful complexity of a long-term relationship.

Lázaro Louzao began exhibiting photography in 2006, accumulating to date eight solo and 10 collective exhibitions in different areas of the Galician and Basque regions, as well as in Mexico. He began his cinematographic journey with the shorts Los Seres Sombríos (2013), CRAC (2014), and La Luz Que No Vemos (2015), showing his works at prestigious festivals around the world. In 2016 he founded Costura Films in A Coruña, Spain, where he lives. Nove de Novembro (2018) is the first LGBT-themed feature film filmed in the Galician language and marks his directorial debut.


MALILA THE FAREWELL FLOWER
WED | July 18 | DGA 2 | 7:15 PM
Director: Anucha Boonyawatana
Thailand | 96 minutes | 2017
Thai with English subtitles



Pich and Shane are former lovers who reunite and rekindle their love, both coping with their own tragedies. Pich finds solace in creating intricate, ceremonial ornaments from folded banana leaves and white jasmine flowers, while Shane takes vows as a monk to heal from a loss. Reminiscent of fellow countryman and auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s work, this gorgeously lyrical and seductive tapestry weaves Thai traditions and Buddhist philosophy to explore love, death, and healing with tenderness and nuance.

Born in Nakhon Phanom Province, Thailand, in 1981, Anucha Boonyawatana is the founder of G-Motif Production, one of the largest video production companies in Thailand. As a transgender director, Anucha’s films always focus on gender issues in Thai society. Anucha’s thesis film Down the River, a combination of Buddhist philosophy and Thai art and a love story of a gay couple, won the Young Thai Artist Award and has been shown at several film festivals. Anucha’s first feature film The Blue Hour was selected to be in Panorama section of the 2015 Berlinale. Malila is the director’s second feature.


The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years: A Long Road to Freedom
THURS | July 19 | Samuel Goldwyn | 7:30 PM
The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years: A Long Road to Freedom
Director: William Clift
USA | 105 minutes | 2018
Post Screening Reception:
Samuel Goldwyn Theater Lobby | 9:00 – 11:00 PM

Trailer here

Narrated by Laverne Cox and with music by Melissa Etheridge, this moving documentary focuses on major events and watershed moments in LGBTQ history through never-before-seen archival footage and engaging interviews (Ricky Martin, Cleve Jones, Caitlyn Jenner, Gloria Allred, Gavin Newsom, Don Lemon, Dustin Lance Black, Margaret Cho, Armistead Maupin, and many more). Starting with the Black Cat Riots, the film covers Stonewall, the disco sexual revolution that continued from the late 60s, the AIDS crisis, marriage equality, and the trans movement to present day. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got a long way to go.


PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN
FRI | July 20 | DGA 2 | 7:15 PM
Director: Angela Robinson
USA | 108 minutes | 2017



Trailblazer Angela Robinson’s latest feature presents the little-known origin story of Wonder Woman. Delving into what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. Marston (Luke Evans) to create the iconic character, the film is a study of female sexuality and desire in its exploration of the relationship between his wife Elizabeth Marston (Rebecca Hall) and their lover Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). While the comic book was criticized for sexual perversity, it was the polyamorous relationship behind the headlines that truly defied convention.


I MISS YOU WHEN I SEE YOU
SAT | July 21 | DGA 1 | 11:30 AM
Director: Simon Chung
Hong Kong | 93 minutes | 2018
Cantonese with English subtitles



After living in Australia for a decade, Kevin returns to Hong Kong and reunites with childhood friend Jamie. Kevin confesses his affection for Jamie but is met with aloofness, spiraling him into self-sabotaging behavior. Now Jamie needs to reconcile his feelings for Kevin before he loses him forever. In this stunning tale of forbidden romance, director Simon Chung (Innocent, End of Love) takes audiences on a journey to revisit childhood nostalgia, inviting us to reminisce upon our experience of first love.

Simon Chung graduated from York University in Toronto, where he majored in film production. After returning to Hong Kong, he worked in the local film and television industry. Since 1996, he worked as an independent filmmaker. Innocent, his debut feature, premiered at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and won the NFB Best Canadian Film Award at Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. His second feature, End of Love, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2009, while his third feature, Speechless, premiered at the BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.


BELIEVER
SAT | July 21 | Harmony Gold | 2:00 PM
Director: Don Argott
USA | 101 minutes | 2018



Utah has the highest youth suicide rate in America and the largest Mormon population. For native son Dan Reynolds — frontman for the Grammy Award-winning Imagine Dragons — it’s a call to action to change his faith community from the inside out and foster policies of acceptance toward its LGBTQ members. Over the course of a year, his quest leads him and his family to create the first-ever LoveLoud Festival: a landmark music summit to amplify queer voices and save lives.


CANARY / KANARIE
North American Premiere
SAT | July 21 | DGA 1 | 9:30 PM
Director: Christiaan Olwagen
South Africa | 120 minutes| 2018
Afrikaans with English subtitles
Pre Screening Reception:
DGA Atrium | 7:30 – 9:30 PM



Drafted during apartheid by the South African Army, Johan’s love for Boy George and Depeche Mode lands him a spot in the Kanaries — the military’s traveling choir — but romance on the battlefield forces him to reckon with his long-repressed sexual identity. Examining the effects of nationalism on the soul, while also exploring the tender brotherhood among misfits, this musical comedy revels in the discovery of finding your voice and learning to fly.

Christiaan Olwagen’s film debut was in 2013 at the Silwerskerm Festival in Cape Town, with the short film Toevlug. The short won Best Director, Screenplay and Best Short Film. His feature film debut was in 2016 with Johnny is nie Dood nie. It won Best Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Screenplay, Art Direction, Music, Best Director and Best Film at the Silwerskerm Festival. It has been described by South African critics as a landmark in Afrikaans cinema. He is currently based in Cape Town, South Africa.


BAO BAO
SUN | July 15 | DGA 1 | 1:45 PM

Director: Guang-cheng Shie
Taiwan | 97 minutes | 2018
Mandarin with English subtitles
Post-Screening Celebrate Taiwan Reception: DGA Atrium



This deeply felt feature film debut by Shie Guang-cheng tells the story of Taiwanese expats Cindy and Joanne, living in London, who are about to have their first child. Their marital bliss is threatened when Cindy discovers that Joanne has promised their unborn son to another gay couple, their friends Charles and Tim. Told through an array of flashbacks, the film explores issues that affect many same-sex families, and is anchored by moving performances from Ke Huan-ru and newcomer Emma Reis.

Guang-cheng Shie was born in Erhlin, Taiwan in 1969. He graduated from the sociology department of National Taiwan University in 1992, and he graduated from London International Film School in 1999. Since then, he has shot TV ads and documentaries in Taipei. Bao Bao is his first feature film.


CALL HER GANDA
SAT | July 14 | Harmony Gold | 11:30 AM
Director: PJ Raval
Philippines / USA | 93 minutes | 2018
English/Tagalog with English subtitles



A journalist, a lawyer working pro bono, and the mother of the victim unite to stand up to U.S. imperialism and demand justice in the name of Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old trans woman murdered by a U.S. Marine in the Philippines. In the face of the gruesome facts of the case and transphobic reactions worldwide, these three women do not waiver, knowing that what is at stake is Filipino sovereignty and an end to gender-based violence. This is a visually daring and profoundly humanistic geopolitical exposé.

PJ Raval is an award‐winning filmmaker and cinematographer whose work explores the overlooked subcultures and identities within the already marginalized LGBTQ+ community. Raval’s film credits include Trinidad (Showtime, LOGO) and Before You Know It, which follows the lives of three gay senior men, described by indieWIRE as “a crucial new addition to the LGBT doc canon.” Also an accomplished cinematographer, Raval shot the Academy Award‐nominated Best Documentary Trouble the Water. He is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, 2016 Firelight Media Fellow, and a 2017 Robert Giard Fellow.


Outfest 2018 Festival trailer:
07.04.18 by OC

PJ Raval's documentary film "Call Her Ganda" will screen at Outfest 2018 on July 14 at Harmony Gold Theatre, 11:30 a.m.

by Oliver Carnay

.. If you missed "Call Her Ganda" by award-winning filmmaker PJ Raval at #LAPFF you can catch it on July 14, 2018, 11:30 a.m. during Outfest at the Harmony Gold Theater .. check out the info here: http://www.outfest.org/filmguide/call-her-ganda/

Here is a TFCBalitang America featured youtube clip for you to watch:
06.29.18 by OC

Revelations of a former "Styled to Rock" reality star contestant
(posted by Ahni Radvanyi on her FB page June 27, 2018)

by Ahni Radvanyi


For friends who have asked about the experience of being on a reality fashion TV show, here it is. I have never publicly shared anything about it until now. It took years to let the dust settle, and be able to look back with any kind of detachment. I felt so twisted about the way reality TV uses stereotypes, and "writers" to incite conflict storylines, and create a toxic environment of sleep deprivation and pressure cooking tension. Only now have I felt ready to revisit what happened as I re-watched and write a story about being on Styled to Rock.

....

"Styled to Rock"

"Back in five minutes!” the production manager shouts. We break our line formation of tv reality show cast members standing in front of our celebrity guest Kelly Osbourne, along with the team of fashion design mentors: music producer and designer Pharrell Williams, supermodel Erin Wasson, and Rihanna's personal stylist Mel Ottenberg.

The daughter of rock legend Ozzy Osbourne sits on set, with makeup melting beneath her purple hair twisted into double buns. "Goodahmn hottass hell en 'ere..." she mumbles in the cutest British accent. The family resemblence is not unrecognized. "Makeup! I need makeup." She flaps fanned fingers trying to move the hot Los Angeles air into a more cooling shape as hair and makeup crew come to dab and powder the rock princess.

"Set break!" he shouts while pressing the headset further into his ear. The cast of ten remaining on this reality fashion TV show, hosted by pop star Rihanna, exhale. My tall posture and camera ready smile dissolves to a heatstroke slump as I meet the eyes of my competitors. We are all overheating in this old brick mass of building cooking somewhere near the fashion district of LA. At least that's my best guess. We were driven here blindfolded in a van. We need a break. The cast of 12 is made up of stereotypes, including a flamboyant gay man in your pick of black, latin, Filipino, or white. The goth girl in a shade of palest white with darkest hair is standing next to her matching kinky latex friend. Another girl with one hand, a heroine with a disability, is a proud member of the cast. The only straight man on the show was cut in the first episode. Who am I? I am the “Free Spirit.” I am a product of transformational festival culture. Go to any "Burning Man"- and you will meet me, clad in my colorful tribal gear, with a leather holster, and dancing with a hula hoop.

I blast out the back door like steam from a kettle to lean on the shady side of a fire escape. Rihanna is already there, high heels dangling as she sits with long pointed fingernails dragging on a fatty hand rolled spliff. She looks up at me and flicks the tip. I sit down with her as she passes the ganja. “Kelly couldn’t take the heat. She’s in there melting now. All the kings horses and all the king’s men are trying to put her back together.” I take a long drag and exhale deep as if an ocean has been between me and fresh air. Rihanna giggles in a throaty arpeggio with, “Royalty? Ain’t none of that in SoCal. We just work, work, work…” we both smile and bounce our shoulders like we’re dancing to the lyrics of her song as if it were playing in a nightclub. One more drag and the rolled paper is burnt to the crutch. “See you inside.” I get up and make my way back through the hall leading to the ballroom. “Don’t go in the green room-” Rihanna calls as the door shuts.
Bursting from the bathroom door to my right, a hung-over Miley Cyrus attempts standing up straight, and sweeps hair from her eyes. Bad idea. She doubles over, folding her body around a waste basket, heaving again. Maybe its Monday. Post weekend. There is no way to know what day it is. We are filming six weeks in a vacuum with no communication to the outside world, no computer, no phones. We shoot on average 2 episodes a week and air them as if done in twice as long. “Pull it together, Miley.” I say as I hold her hair clear of last night’s binge shown in reverse. “Cameras roll soon.” There are no weekends here.

“Fuck off.” she says flatly. I continue down the hall to see other cast members mingling between stage lighting and cameras on rolling tracks. A camera crane looking like a bionic dinosaur hinges at the middle joint sweeping in for a slow zoom as the cameramen check tracking on their shot. Pharrell Williams is passing time snacking on peanut m&m’s and humming the hook from his hit track “Happy” just released that year. He is micro dancing, just enough to know he is practicing. Pharrell crosses his feet, and unwinds, striking a pose for his imaginary audience as peanut m&m’s roll out of his pocket on the floor. An arctic breeze seems to stream from him as he spins, making his stiff brimmed Canadian Mounty hat spin like a record. After this taping, he’s boarding a plane to perform in Dubai. It’s nearing time to get back to military formation in front of rolling cameras, so I double back to the green room door to check my make up. As I remember Rihanna saying something about the green room, I open the door to see a cameraman filming Khloe Kardashian, mid-coitus making a sex tape (to be released accidentally of course) and will be sure to go viral. I close the door as quickly as it opened, too stunned to care about my makeup.

“We roll in one minute! Everybody on set!” Shouts the production manager. Kelly Osbourne is looking magazine-cover perfect, and everyone shuffles back to match the placement and posture of the last scene. A bell sounds, and the camera is rolling. I snap out of daydreaming, as I have been standing in the same spot waiting alongside the other contestants for the last five minutes. We need to reshoot the part where Kelly Osbourne walks in, and we all shout with excitement and glee to meet this famous celebrity. The first take didn’t have enough energy. Not surprising. We have been sewing dresses the past 17 hours of the last 30 waking hours dedicated to making this episode. After an appropriate giddy scream, the show goes on.

“Kelly, you’ve been hosting a fashion commentary show… tell us about a fashion moment you’ve had.” Supermodel Erin Wasson purses her lips together and sets her jawline to “fierce” as she turns to look with steely eyed beauty at the celebrity guest, making even small talk dramatic, before choosing the winning red carpet look for this fashion reality show challenge.
The contestants have all just witnessed their models strut with full attitude the finished product of an outfit designed for Kelly Osbourne to wear for her next red carpet event. While we were given the challenge to make a look inspired by punk rock with no use of the color black, Kelly has no idea we were asked to do so. She was informed of such when she saw my leather dress, looking like a leather biker jacket had been deconstructed into a contoured silhouette mini dress with a long zipper to the hem and fancy cowl neckline.

“Can I have that made in black?” She asked her assistant off camera. My dress was designed for her as a nod to the pin-up girls of punk rock, and made to match her lavender hair, in the same shade. It had to be black. With suspenseful pause, Kelly announces the winning look- a skirt set in striking neon yellow, made by the sassy southern gentleman from South Carolina. The winner triumphantly raises his arms in the air, and bounces with tears in his eyes. Kelly Osbourne gives him a hug, and waves to all of us as she exits the set.

Now it’s time to decide the loser who must go home on this episode of Styled to Rock. More long drawn out suspenseful pauses lead to tears and emotions as the loser hangs her head and proceeds to thank the hosts for this incredible opportunity. This is only the third episode, and I am starting to understand how this works. Even though I feel confident as the first winner in episode 1, the competition is fierce. Now we go on to be introduced to the next celebrity, and the next fashion challenge. I hope Miley Cyrus is feeling camera ready. I just want to sleep.

Each episode is filmed in a familiar pattern. A challenge is set in the afternoon with a new celebrity guest, then the contenders go up to the studio to plan for an hour, then we pile into the van to shop for materials in one grossly insufficient fabric store. When we return, we begin cutting and sewing, which continues throughout the grueling night. Any sign of stress, the sewing machine may eat your dress under the press foot feed dogs… and a horde of camera men surround you to get the dramatic break down. Pattern making and construction of any garment is no easy task- and if any part goes wrong it’s over. In the morning after a sleepless night, models arrive to hair and makeup and then get dressed to parade the finished looks in front of the judges. By noon the next winner and loser is decided, and everything repeats again. Somehow there were nights I got some sleep, or afternoons between taping. So much is a blur from the wash of constant tension and sleep deprivation.

Each of us signed a 60 page contract, that made it clear no one was going to paid, except the final winner who would secure a spot on Rihanna’s design team. I understood and signed the contract which outlined this reality tv show is:
a.) not fair
b.) I will have no control over how I am portrayed
c.) working long inhumane hours
d.) a doctor sign to say I am not going to drop down dead under such conditions.

Each of us understood and willingly chose the hardships of filming fueled by the fumes of hope of winning fame and glory.
The story writers were working constantly to ensure as much drama could be squeezed out of every incident. For a reality show, I had no idea there could be so many writers. When walking through a crowded room, the production team would first yell, “Talent walking!” as to notify anyone talking about storylines to shut up- as surprise is a crucial element in writing reality tv. Writers will send someone to incite riots in any way they can. I have been told I’m two-faced, rejected, getting fat, and made to look like a clown. One day in a private recording for audio, the assistant was asking me to repeat phrases to use later as voice over in post editing. “ Say, ‘that bitch.’ Different ways for me.” I refused. It’s not something I had said or would say.

The refrigerator was always stocked with red bull and hard liquor. Limited resources led to a fight over materials between 2 cast members over a manican. We all had a messy cry at some point. While I am sure the story crew were all hoping for a queer love scene, that never happened. Despite it all, what made it on camera was centered around conflict. There was no filming when a tearful goth girl couldn’t finish her dress in time, so myself and the kinkey latex woman helped with six hands to sew the dress all at once to completion. That kind of cooperation does not inspire ratings.

On the chopping block, up for elimination it’s me and Autumn, the goth girl. I’ve helped her finish her projects in previous episodes, and this time it wasn’t finished again. The filming was delayed for hours until she was able to put something on her model. Autumn heard a scathing critique with “this dress is criminal, it doesn’t respect the woman in it. It’s completely unwearable.” My burning review was also hard to hear, “it could be sold as merchandise for the rapper Sean, but he wouldn’t wear it to an album release party.” I knew I could survive this episode and go on to the last episode if I wanted.

“I feel like you are torn, like you want to go home. You said you look forward to working with your clients again.” says Erin Wasson, and it’s true. I have 32 weeks of back orders for clients who embrace the leather designs I care more for than this pop star culture.

“I do look forward to working with my clients again. And if you can see that staying here any longer would be a waste of my time, or a waste of yours. Send me home now.” The judges have a conversation between them, where Pharrell Williams, bless him forever, points both his hands in the place I had been standing as he says, “On paper, you have got to go with the one who is going to get it done for you.” He is arguing the case for me to stay. He has always been supportive of me.

In the back room, a camera films Autumn and I talking, “Do you want to go?” She asks me. “It’s not in my nature to quit. But I am already living my dream,” I tell her.

The judges bring us both back out, and we are about to hear their final decision. The story and production crew have been talking for nearly an hour about what to do. The have made up their mind, and speak through headsets to the judges.

“Ahni, you are going home.” I am flooded with relief. Erin goes on to say, “Ahni, you are some kind of special. I am honored to have met you. You do incredible work, and you have so much to celebrate. You have so much to look forward to in going back home.” After the cameras have stopped rolling, Erin invites me in her dressing room to say more encouraging things. I am so emotional, I can’t even remember her words, but the flavor of respect she had for me still stays.

My goal with this tv show was exposure that would lead to recognition for the design work I have already done with my online store Resonating Threads,” which began in 2009. Later I learned any mention of my own brand, or even my full name was edited out of the show. While I wanted to end the experience as the winner, I knew the value was in showing as much of my work as possible to a wider audience. Winning for winning sake was not enough for me, and the chance to be part of a design team for a pop star was a prize that would take me off the path of my own dreams. I was devastated to find out how the show was edited to warp reality into an entertaining shit-show of caricature personalities. This world of tv and celebrity and drama was not what I wanted to support. Even the hope of fame and glory was faded as I realized was just smoke and mirrors not worth chasing, what I was already doing with my work was far more meaningful. I was in 9 of 10 episodes that made the final cut for the full season. I was ready to leave this place and return to my clients to fulfill their orders through my brand in the Resonating Threads shop. I chose to go, the writers from the show all know it. I am that Free Spirit. I choose to write my own story. Hollywood has no place to tell me what I should want.
06.27.18 by OC

Outfest 2018 (July 12-22) opens with Kino Lorber's "Studio 54" directed by Matt Tyrnauer




Hollywood, CA - (June 20, 2018) Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival is eleven days of not to be missed world-class films, panels, and parties. Each summer Outfest Los Angeles screens more than 150 feature and short films to an audience of more than 40,000 people. Outfest Los Angeles is the oldest film festival in Los Angeles and is considered the preeminent LGBTQ film festival in the world.

Celebrating its 36th Anniversary, Outfest - the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBTQ stories on the screen has announced the complete programming lineup for the 2018 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival presented by HBO. The nation's leading LGBTQ festival will be held July 12-22, 2018.

Outfest Opening Night film - "Studio 54" trailer



Opening Night Film to be held at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown, Los Angeles is Kino Lorber's "Studio 54," Matt Tyrnauer's vibrantly nostalgic documentary, while FilmRise's "The Miseducation of Cameron Post," Desiree Akhavan's Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner starring Chloë Grace Moretz will serve as the Closing Night film.

OutSet: The Young Filmmakers Project from Los Angeles LGBT Center and Outfest, will be premiering five new shorts on Sunday, July 22nd. Now in its sixth year, the OutSet program empowers youth ages 16-24 to share their stories though film.

Tickets and Information
Outfest members receive benefits such as free tickets, priority entrance to screenings or all-access passes. Tickets were on sale to members and has started since Thursday, June 14. General admission tickets to individual films go began on sale since Monday, June 18. For more information and for a complete listing of films in 2018 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival, log on to www.outfest.org or call 213-480-7065, Monday-Friday, 10:00am-6:00pm.
06.21.18 by OC

Movies I've seen in 2018 .. so far!

ANG LARAWAN - Dir. Loy Arcenas
THE COMMUTER - Dir. Jaume Collet-Serra
PROUD MARY - Dir. Babak Najafi
PADDINGTON 2 - Dir. Paul King
ANG PANDAY - Dir. Rodel Nacianceno
12 STRONG - Dir. Nikolai Fuglsig
DEN OF THIEVES - Dir. Christian Gudegast

SCANDINAVIAN FILM FESTIVAL:
YOU DISAPPEAR (DU FORSVINDER) - Dir. Peter Schonau Fog
NORTHBOUND - Dir. Jorn Nyseth Ranum
LATE SUMMER (Sensommer) - Dir. Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken
STRAWBERRY DAYS - Dir. Wiktor Ericsson
THE EX-WIFE - Dir. Katja Wik
FROST - Dir. Sarunas Bartas
MIAMI - Dir. Zaisa Bergroth
ACROSS THE WATERS - Dir.
01.16.18 by OC

Call Me By Your Name, an erotic triumph - by Anthony Lane, The New Yorker (reposting)




Call Me by Your Name: An Erotic Triumph
Luca Guadagninos latest film is emotionally acute and overwhelmingly sensual.
By Anthony Lane - The New Yorker

The new film by Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name, begins in the summer of 1983, in a place so enchanted, with its bright green gardens, that it belongs in a fairy tale. The location, the opening credits tell us, is Somewhere in Northern Italy. Such vagueness is deliberate: the point of a paradise is that it could exist anywhere but that, once you reach the place, it brims with details so precise in their intensity that you never forget them. Thus it is that a young American named Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives, dopey with jet lag, at the house of Professor Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg) and his Italian wife, Annella (Amira Casar), whose custom is to spend their summers there and also to return for Hanukkah. (Like them, Oliver is Jewish; a closeup shows a Star of David hanging from a chain around his neck.) The Professor, an American expert in classical archeology, requires an annual assistant, and Oliver is this years choice. Well have to put up with him for six long weeks, Annella says, with a sigh. Not long enough, as it turns out. You can pack a whole lifetime into six weeks.

The first words of the film are The usurper. They are uttered by the Perlmans only childtheir son, Elio (Timothe Chalamet), who is seventeen. He stands at an upstairs window with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel) and watches Oliver below, fearful that the American may break the reigning peace. The Professor is more welcoming, and he proposes a kind of free trade, both spatial and emotional, that will resound throughout. Our home is your home, he says to Oliver. My room is your room, Elio adds, a few seconds later, like an echo. He has moved into the adjoining room for the duration of Olivers stay, and they must share a bathroom. The sharing will deepen, from handshakes to confidences, and from cigarettes to kisses and other mouthly charms, concluding in the most profound exchange of all, whispered from a few inches distance and proclaimed in the title of the movie.

Call Me by Your Name is, among other things, an exercise in polyglottery, and Elio chats to his parents and friends in an easy blend of English, French, and Italian, sometimes sliding between tongues in the course of a single conversation. (Who would guess that a household, no less than a city, can be a melting pot?) His father and Oliver enjoy a clash of wits about the twisted root of the word apricot, tracing it through Arabic, Latin, and Greek, and mentioning that one branch leads to the word precociousa nod to Elio, who listens to them with half a smile. He is a prodigy, voraciously bookish, who plays Bach al fresco on the guitar and then inside on the piano, in the manner of Liszt and of Busoni, with Oliver standing in the background, contrapposto, with the elegant tilt of a statue, drinking in the sound and the skill. Is there anything you dont know? he asks, after Elio has told him about an obscure, bloody battle of the First World War.

Prodigies can be a pain, onscreen and off, and Eliofevered with boyish uncertainties and thrills, though no longer a boy, and already rich in adult accomplishments, yet barely a manshould be an impossible role. Somehow, as if by magic, Chalamet makes it work, and you cant imagine how the film could breathe without him. His expression is sharp and inquisitive, but cream-pale and woundable, too, and saved from solemnity by the grace of good humor; when Oliver says that he has to take care of some business, Elio retorts by impersonating him to his face. Chalamet is quite something, but Hammer is a match for him, as he needs to be, if the characters passions are to be believed. Elio is taken aback, at the start, by Olivers swaggerthe hesitant youth, steeped in Europe, confronted with can-do American chops. Hammer doesnt strut, but his every action, be it dismounting a bicycle, draining a glass of juice (apricot, of course), slinging a backpack over his shoulder, rolling sideways into a pool, or demolishing a boiled egg at breakfast until its a welter of spilled yolk suggests a person almost aggressively at home in his own body, and thus in the larger world. Hence the abrupt note that he sends to Elio: Grow up. See you at midnight.

You could, I suppose, regard Oliver as the incarnation of soft power. Certainly, his handsomeness is so extreme that the camera tends to be angled up at him, as if at one of the ancient bronze deities over which the Professor enthuses. When Oliver wades in a cold stream one glorious day, you stare at him and think, My God, he is a god. And yet, as he and Elio lounge on sun-warmed grass, its Oliver who seems unmanned, and its Elio who lays a purposeful hand directly on Olivers crotch. Now one, now the other appears the more carnally confident of the two. They take a while to find parity and poise, but, once they do, they are inextricable, rendered equal by ardor; the first shot of them, at dawn, after they sleep together, is of limbs so entangled that we cant tell whose are whose. As for their parting, it is wordless. They look at one another and just nod, as if to say, Yes, that was right. That was how it is meant to be.

The screenplay of Call Me by Your Name, adapted from Andr Acimans novel of the same title, is by James Ivory. He has done a remarkable job, paring away pasts and futures, and leaving us with an overwhelming surge of now. On the page, events are recounted, in the first person, by an older Elio, gazing backward, but Chalamets Elio lacks the gift of hindsight. In any case, why is it a gift? Who wouldnt prefer to be in the thick of love? The book is a mature and thoughtful vintage; in the film, were still picking the grapes.

Its tempting to speculate how Ivory, who, as the director of A Room with a View (1985) and of Maurice (1987), showed his mastery of Italian settings and of same-sex romance, might have fared at the helm of the new film. The rhythm, I suspect, would have been more languorous, as if the weather had seeped into peoples lazy bones, whereas Guadagnino, an instinctive modernist, is more incisive. He and his longtime editor, Walter Fasano, keep cutting short the transports of delight; the lovers pedal away from us, on bikes, to the lovely strains of Ravels Mother Goose Suite, only for the scene to hit the brakes. Call Me by Your Name is suffused with heat, and piled high with fine food, but it isnt a nice movie; you see it not to unwind but to be wound upto be unrelaxed by the force with which rapture strikes. There is even a gratifying cameo by a peach, which proves useful in an erotic emergency, and merits an Academy Award for Best Supporting Fruit.

The films release could not be more propitious. So assailed are we by reports of harmful pleasures, and of the coercive male will being imposed through lust, that it comes as a relief to be reminded, in such style, of consensual joy. I dont want either of us to pay for this, Oliver says. By falling for each other, he and Elio tumble not into error, still less into sin, but into a sort of delirious concord, which may explain why Elios parents, far from disapproving, bestow their tacit blessing on the pact. More unusual still is that the movie steers away from the politics of sexuality. Elio makes love to Marzia, on a dusty mattress, in a loft like an old dovecote, only hours before he meets with Oliver at midnight, but you dont think, Oh, Elios having straight sex, followed by gay sex, and therefore we must rank him as bi-curious. Rather, you are curious about him and his paramours as individualsthese particular bodies, with these hungry souls, at these ravening moments in their lives. Desire is passed around the movie like a dish, and the characters are invited to help themselves, each to his or her own taste. Maybe a true love story (and when did you last see one of those?) has no time for types.

Not that anything endures. Late in the film, the Professor sits with his son on a couch, smokes, and talks of what has occurred. We expect condescension, instead of which we hear a confession. I envy you, he tells Elio, adding, We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty. He once came near, he admits, to having what Elio and Oliver had, but something stood in the way, and he advises his child to seize the day, including the pain that the day brings, while he is still young: Before you know it, your heart is worn out. Much of this long speech is taken from Acimans novel, but Stuhlbarg delivers it beautifully, with great humility, tapping his cigarette. After which, it seems only natural that so rich a movie should close with somebody weeping, beside a winter fire. The shot lasts for minutes, as did the final shot of Michael Hanekes Hidden (2005), but Haneke wanted to stoke our paranoia and our dread, while Guadagnino wants us to reflect, at our leisure, on love: on what a feast it can be, on how it turns with the seasons, and on why it ends in tears.
01.05.18 by OC

Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. opens with screenings of two Oscar Best Foreign Language film entries - January 6 at Writers Guild Theater


by Oliver Carnay

the Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. @scandifilmfest #sffla starts #tomorrow #jan6 .. #dontmiss @squarethefilm #Cannes Palm d'Or #winner and #Sweden's #Oscar #entry playing at 3pm (one of the best films I've watched this film is one of the films #Oscars shortlisted) .. and #Denmark's Oscar entry #youdisappear is playing tomorrow with the Opening Gala and Buffet at 6pm, you can purchase a #FestivalPassport or a #GalaPass .. ("You Disappear" is a Danish drama about a wife questioning her husband who is diagnosed with a brain tumor that can cause behaviour disturbances, but at the same time discovered he is embezzling from the school heheadmasters.) .. #SFFLA runs Jan 6, 7, 20 & 21 at the #WritersGuildTheater in #BeverlyHills (135 S. Doheny Dr..) .. for more info about tickets and films schedule, please go to www.sffla.net
01.05.18 by OC

My 2018 Golden Globe predictions -- the one I think theyre going to give the awards to, not necessarily my personal picks!


(The Golden Globes will be broadcast from the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 7th at 8/7c on NBC. Seth Meyers will host, and Oprah Winfrey will accept the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award... )

And here are my picks ......


Best Motion Picture, Drama - THE SHAPE OF WATER (Id probably would pick Call Me By Your Name or The Post)
Best Actress, Motion Picture, Drama - SALLY HAWKINS, The Shape of Water (I
wouldnt mind Meryl Streep or Michelle Williams taking it, but Frances McDormand really deserves among the others)
Best Actor, Motion Picture, Drama - GARY OLDMAN, Darkest Hour (No doubt he will
win both here and the Oscar!)
Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical - LADY BIRD (strongest and most popular
contender)
Best Actress, Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical - SAOIRSE RONAN, Lady Bird (who else? .. i dont see any from the others taking this ..)
Best Actor, Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical - JAMES FRANCO, The Disaster
Artist (I would go for Ansel Egort just because I love this guy .. Daniel Kaluuya also
deserves this)
Best Supporting Actor, Motion Picture - WILLEM DAFOE (although I think Sam
Rockwell and/or Christopher Plummer also deserve this)
Best Supporting Actress, Motion Picture - ALLISON JANNEY, I, Tonya (I would pick
Hong Chau for this, shes truly remarkable in Downsizing)
Best Director - GUILLERMO DEL TORO, The Shape of Water (he deserves it,
although Im also impressed with Ridley Scott and Christopher Nolan)
Best Screenplay - THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (deserving! ..
The Shape of Water also has a shot ..)

Best Television Series, Drama - THE HANDMAIDS TALE
Best Actress, Television Series, Drama - CLAIRE FOY, The Crown (although,
Elizabeth Moss from The Handmaids Tale or Maggie Gyllenhall from The Deuce
may take it ..)
Best Actor, Television, Drama - STERLING K. BROWN (a favorite but Id like to see
Jason Bateman of Ozark or Freddie Highmore of The Good Doctor take this now ..)
Best Television Series, Comedy - THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL (.. or Will & Grace
will?)
Best Actress, Television Series, Comedy - RACHEL BROSNAHAN The Marvelous Mrs.
Maisel (I have no idea but she seems to be the best one I think they would give this
award to ..)
Best Actor, Television Series, Comedy - ERIC MCCORMACK, Will & Grace ( ... Aziz
Ansari of Master of None second pick? ..)
Best Limited Series or TV Movie - BIG LITTLE LIES (no competition?)
Best Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie - maybe KYLE MACLACHLAN? (I like Jude Law
in The Young Pope)
Best Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie - NICOLE KIDMAN, Big Little Lies (any of
the contenders deserve to win and this category is tough!)
Best Supporting Actress, Television Series - LAURA DERN, Big Little Lies (.. Id go for
Ann Dowd, too.. )
Best Supporting Actor, Television Series - ALEXANDER SKARSGARD, Big Little Lies (.. just deserving!)

===================================
01.04.18 by OC

My top favorite films and performances of 2017
My Top favorite films and performances of 2017

Yearly, Ive rounded up and made a list of memorable films Ive seen after New Years Day. I have seen about 585 films this year (Im short this year -- last year Ive seen about 700!) .. Remember that these are my personal favorites, movies that has an impact on me and that hit me on a personal level, and something else. In random order ..

Favorite Feature Films:
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
GOOD TIME
DETROIT
BABY DRIVER
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
PHANTOM THREAD
THE POST
DUNKIRK
WIND RIVER
LADY BIRD
GET OUT
mother!
THE SHAPE OF WATER
LOGAN
THE FLORIDA PROJECT
ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD
HAZE
THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE
THE BIG SICK
BLADE RUNNER 2049

Favorite Directors:
LUCA GUADAGNINO (Call Me By Your Name)
GUILLERMO DEL TORO (The Shape of Water)
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN (Dunkirk)
MARTIN MCDONAGH (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
RIDLEY SCOTT (All The Money in the World)
SEAN BAKER (The Florida Project)
PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON (Phantom Thread)

Top Favorite Acting Performances (Actor):
GARY OLDMAN (Darkest Hour)
TIMOTHEE CHALAMET (Call Me By Your Name)
DANIEL DAY LEWIS (Phantom Thread)
MARK HAMILL and ADAM DRIVER (Star Wars The Last Jedi)
DANIEL KALUUYA (Get Out)
JAMES MCAVOY (Split)
WILLEM DAFOE (The Florida Project)

Top Favorite Acting Performances (Actress):
FRANCES MCDORMAND (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
SAOIRSE RONAN (Lady Bird)
SALLY HAWKINS (The Shape of Water)
MERYL STREEP (The Post)
MELISSA LEO (The Novitiate)

Favorite Acting Performances (Supporting Actor):
SAM ROCKWELL (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
CHRISTOPH WALTZ (Downsizing)
BARRY KEOGHAN (The Killing of a Sacred Deer and DUNKIRK)
MICHAEL STUHLBARG (The Shape of Water and Call Me By
Your Name)
MICHAEL SHANNON (The Shape of Water)

Favorite Acting Performances (Supporting Actress):
LAURIE METCALF (Ladybird)
HONG CHAU (Downsizing)
TIFFANY HADDISH (Girls Trip)
ALLISON JANNEY (I, Tonya)
LESLIE MANVILLE (Phantom Thread)

Breakout Performances:
AUDEN THORNTON (Beauty Mark)
MITCHELL SLAGGERT (Moss)
FLORENCE PUGH (Lady Macbeth)
ROBERT SHEEHAN (The Song of Sway Lake)

Favorite Foreign Language Films:
THE VILLAINES (Dir. Byung gil Jung)
IN THE FADE (AUS DEM NICHTS) (Dir. Fatih Akin)
THE INSULT (Dir. Ziad Doueiri)
THE SQUARE (Director Ruben stlund)
APRILS DAUGHTER (Dir. Michel Franco)
FOXTROT (Dir. Samuel Maoz)
LOVELESS (Dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev)

Top Favorite Animated Films:
COCO (Dir. Adrian Molina)
THE BREADWINNER (Dir. Nora Twomey)
LOVING VINCENT (Dir. Dorota Kobiela)

Favorite Documentary Feature Films:
JANE (Dir. Brett Morgen)
MOTHERLAND (Dir. Ramona Diaz)
ICARUS (Dir. Bryan Fogel)
CHASING CORAL (Dir. Jeff Orlowski)
ONE OF US (Dir. Heidi Ewing)
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON (Dir. David
France)

Favorite LGBT Films:
BEACH RATZ (Dir. Eliza Hittman)
BEATS PER MINUTE (BPM) (Dir. Robin Campillo)
GODS OWN COUNTRY (Dir. Francis Lee)
CENTER OF MY WORLD (Dir. Jakob M. Erwa)
THE WOUND (Dir. John Trengove)
TOM OF FINLAND (Dir. Dome Karukoski)
TEENAGE KICKS (Dir. Craig Boreham)
AFTER LOUIE (Dir. Vincent Gagliostro)
A FANTASTIC WOMAN (Dir. Sebastian Lelio)
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (Dir. Luca Guadagnino)
SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER (Dir. David Berry)

.. end!
01.03.18 by OC

AFI Fest 2017 presented by Audi announces Award Winners; THE INSULT, Lebanon's submission to Oscar 2018 wins major award




by Oliver Carnay





Hollywood, CA (November 11, 2017) -AFI Fest's 31st edition ended last Thursday with the Closing Night film "Molly's Game" with a tribute to director Aaron Sorkin. A day after (Friday), Audience Award winners for World Cinema, New Auteurs, and American Independents were announced.

"THE INSULT", Lebanons official Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission, won the World Cinema Audience Award. Directed by Ziad Doueiri, this engrossing and unforgettable tale of modern life in the Middle East is a razor-sharp look at a countrys long-simmering resentments toward Palestinian refugees, and its traumatized civil war wounds. Set in Beirut, an insult blown out of proportions finds Toni, a Lebanese Christian, and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, in court. From secret wounds to traumatic revelations, the media circus surrounding the case puts Lebanon through a social explosion, forcing Toni and Yasser to reconsider their lives and prejudices. (This is one of my top favorite films seen at the recent AFIFEST!)

The New Auteurs Audience Award went to "WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY" directed by Iram Haq), which is a powerful story of a young woman growing up between two cultures, with no control over her life choices, where she must carve out her own path despite a significant culture clash.

The Audience Award for American Independents was awarded to "BODIED", directed by Joseph Kahn. Kahn's auteur style defies anticipations. In this sci-fi feature, a white boy explores rap battle vernacular, immersed in a subculture that is simply spectacular.

The Grand Jury Award for Live Action Short was given to "GAZE", directed by Farnoosh Samadi. From Jury's statement -- "No good deed goes unpunished is the phrase that stays with the viewer as you watch the film that captured the top honor this year. The filmmaker lures you in and then, like any classic thriller, hooks you until the final gasp the low hum of a motorbike replacing John Williams iconic notes in JAWS. Underneath, the film is a subtle examination of class and gender in Iranian society.

The Grand Jury Award for Animated Short went to "THE BURDEN", directed by Niki Lindroth von Bahr -- "a film whose stranded, unremarkable inhabitants convey the weight of the world through song and dance and reveal the anguish we all feel about life," according to Jury's statement during the announcement.

The film "SILICA" directed by Pia Borg, was given a Special Jury Mention, recognizing Borg's "beautifully composed, lush 35mm cinematography. Her blend of vivid landscape photography with microscopic and CG elements elevates this exploration of territorial constructs."

The Shorts Jury was comprised of Jeffrey Bowers (Senior Curator, Vimeo), Moira Griffin (Executive Director of Production, Creative Labs, 21st Century Fox) and Nathan Silver (director, ACTOR MARTINEZ, THIRST STREET). The Grand Jury Award winners for Live-Action and Animated Short, as decided by the Shorts Jury, will be automatically eligible for the Academy Award shortlists in the Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short categories.
11.18.17 by OC

Mr. & Mrs. A U.S. concert tour saved the best for last -- with a surprise participation of Philippine Concert King - Martin Nievera!
Click to watch: Martin Nievera surprises Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez onstage

Click to watch: Martin sang a duet song with Regine


by Oliver Carnay


Mr. & Mrs. A themselves were surprised to see Martin Nievera showed up unannounced at the last leg of their U.S. concert tour (Pittsburg-Las Vegas-New York-San Diego, and lastly Los Angeles). The timeless music icons and Philippines well-loved couple, dubbed as the Songbird and the Pambansang Songwriter ng Pilipinas were in awe as the Concert King himself entered the stage in the middle of the show, sending a teary-eyed Regine Velasquez-Alcasid while her husband Ogie Alcasid hugs Martin Nievera, another music icon and friend, known as the Philippine's Concert King. Later, Martin revealed the three will have a Valentine offering in Manila next year. Martin, then, obliged with a duet song with Regine.

The sold-out concert held at the historic Los Angeles Theatre in downtown L.A. was packed with a cheering crowd and mostly enthusiastically responding to the duos funny ad libs. The charismatic singer/songwriter/comedian had always something new to deliver for his fans -- the In & Out joke was new to me, and the constant reminder to buy his new CD (only 34 are left!) was spontaneously creative! Also, very well-applauded, was when Regine sang Yesterday while Ogie translated the lyrics in tagalog .. another hit was when Ogie sang an original Korean song he wrote himself (really funny!) .. nostalgic was the Tele-Serye Medley (written songs by Ogie Alcasid), but among the many highlights of the show was when everyone sang a happy birthday song to Nate (Ogies son with Regine) after singing a song with his sister Leila (Ogies daughter from Michelle Van Eimiren, Ms. Australia 1994 and Ogies former spouse) together with the power couple.

Regine, in a hearfelt short monologue, revealed that one of the most challenging times in her life was when she lost her voice due to an illness during her Silver concert that drove her into depression. She was scared, had her worst nightmares, and lost confidence in herself. But this has passed, she sequed, and felt she has regained the confidence she has lost, and felt her voice is now better and stronger than how she had ever sang in the past. She mentioned shes more satisfied hitting those high notes now than she ever did. True to this, her recent very well-received 2-night sold-out R3.0 concerts (30 years anniversary) was very successful, proving once more that her pipes are better than ever and that shes still on top of her career.

The almost 3 hour concert also featured L.A.s rising stars Jona Peralta, Kiersten Tyra, Bryce Gomez, Valerie Bonoan, Alex Collado, Lorenzo, and the Catalyst dancers. Congratulations to Vic Entertainment and Starmedia Entertainment, and their sponsors for giving another memorable show to Los Angelenos!

11.13.17 by OC

Netflix film MUDBOUND directed by Dee Rees to open AFIFEST 2017





AFI FEST 2017 presented by Audi will open with the Netflix film MUDBOUND. Directed by Dee Rees and co-written by Virgil Williams and Rees, the historical period drama features cinematography by AFI Conservatory alumna Rachel Morrison (Class of 2006). The film stars Academy Award nominee Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Jason Clarke, Jonathan Banks, Mary J. Blige and Rob Morgan. The Opening Night Gala will take place on Thursday, November 9, 2017, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.

Set in the rural American South during World War II, Dee Rees MUDBOUND is an epic story of two families pitted against one another by a ruthless social hierarchy, yet bound together by the shared farmland of the Mississippi Delta. MUDBOUND follows the McAllan family, newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis and unprepared for the harsh demands of farming. Despite the grandiose dreams of Henry (Jason Clarke), his wife Laura (Carey Mulligan) struggles to keep the faith in her husbands losing venture.

Meanwhile, Hap and Florence Jackson (Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige) sharecroppers who have worked the land for generations struggle bravely to build a small dream of their own despite the rigidly enforced social barriers they face.

The war upends both families plans as their returning loved ones, Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell), forge a fast but uneasy friendship that challenges the brutal realities of the Jim Crow South in which they live.

MUDBOUND will be in select theaters and on Netflix on November 17, 2017.
10.31.17 by OC

German Currents Film Festival 2017 at the Egyptian Theatre from October 13 - 16



German Film in 2017 is alive and highly visible from Film Festivals such as Berlinale to Cannes, Venice to Toronto, and all the way to the Academy Awards. The best new German, Austrian, and Swiss Cinema will once again be celebrated at the American Cinematheque, during the 11th Annual GERMAN CURRENTS FILM FESTIVAL from Friday, October 13th Monday, Oct 16th, 2017 at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Over the past decade, German Currents has offered a unique insight into German speaking cinema, bringing diverse and thought-provoking narratives, and must-watch documentaries to Los Angeles. German Currents is excited to once again feature an impressive line-up of new German cinema during the 4-day festival, including US and LA premieres, documentaries and films for children and families.

The festivities will begin on Friday, October 13th, 2017, with the opening-night red-carpet gala West Coast premiere of Jakob Lass' feature TIGER GIRL, followed by a discussion with the director and after party at the Egyptian Theatre.


TIGER GIRL to open the festival on Friday, October 13 at Egyptian Theatre:



The four-day festival continues with the US PREMIERE of BEUYS by Andres Veiel, the US PREMIERE of Ute Wieland's TIGER MILK (nominated for German Screenwriters Award), followed by a discussion with the director and the US PREMIERE of Fatih Akins coming-of-age film GOODBYE BERLIN, which won numerous awards including the Bavarian Film Award 2017. The Austrian entry at the festival this year is Dieter Berners EGON SCHIELE: DEATH & THE MAIDEN. German Currents is excited to present the Swiss submission to the Academy Awards THE DIVINE ORDER written and directed by Petra Volpe, who will attend this LA Premiere of her film. The event will conclude on Monday, October 16th with the popular and free childrens matinee screening for LA schools THE PEPPERCORNS AND THE CURSE OF THE BLACK KING.





THE DIVINE ORDER (DIE GTTLICHE ORDNUNG) - Swiss submission to the Academy Awards:



The popular Filmmaker Brunch will highlight two exciting German Filmmakers this year. After directors Roland Emmerich (INDEPENDENCE DAY) and Wolfgang Becker (GOOD BYE LENIN) German Currents and GABA Film Inititiative will welcome directors Jakob Lass (TIGER GIRL) and Ute Wieland (TIGER MILK) for their Tribute Event with a FOCUS: BERLIN panel this year. They will talk about their careers, their influences and TV and Film work in Germany. The Tribute event and Filmmaker Brunch is presented in cooperation with the GABA Film Initiative, and is sponsored by the German Consulate General in LA and the Millenium Biltmore Hotel, an historic landmark in Downtown Los Angeles.

This year, in cooperation with achtung berlin - new berlin film award, the GOETHE-INSTITUT and GERMAN CURRENTS will bring a selection of films from the achtung berlin film festival to Los Angeles with screenings at the GOETHE-INSTITUT every Wednesday throughout September, as part of the festivities 50-Year City Partnership Berlin Los Angeles. Focusing wholly on films created in Berlin or the state of Brandenburg, achtung berlin is Berlins second largest film festival.



A co-production of the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and the American Cinematheque, German Currents Los Angeles continues its cooperation with German Films Service + Marketing GmbH, Deutsche Welle (DW) as well as the long-standing collaboration with the Friends of Goethe (FOG). GERMAN CURRENTS 2017 is also proud to continue the cooperation with our partner festival German Currents San Diego, as well as the German Consulate General in Los Angeles, the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles, and the Consulate General of Switzerland to present films from Germanys German-speaking neighbors Austria and Switzerland.

For daily schedule of films please go here
10.07.17 by OC

Movie reviews, some of my favorite films at 2017 LAFilmfest



by Oliver Carnay


The 9-day LA Film Festival ended on Thursday with the announcement of winners held at the Culver Studios adjacent to the Arclight Cinemas in Culver City. This year, three Arclight venues were picked to screen features and shorts -- Arclight Hollywood, Arclight Santa Monica, and the Arclight Culver City. In addition, a couple of films were also screened at the LACMA and The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown, Los Angeles. For panel discussions (Coffee Talks with Directors, Actors, Screenwriters, etc.), they were held at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, which is a walking distance from the Arclight - Culver City.

In random order, but may be on top of my list that I truly enjoyed, and you might want to check out once these films come out in theatres ... theres Lady Macbeth, directed by William Oldroyd, an adaptation from the classic Shakespeare story set in 19th century rural England where the young bride Katherine (brilliant actress played by Florence Pugh) takes a forbidden affair with one of her estate workers, Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis). While her sexually inadequate husband was absent taking long trips outside their estate, their sexual innuendos are witnessed by her loyal black servant housemaid Anna (Naomi Ackie). Annas loyalty is not spared of Katherines cunning ability to survive. When Katherine and Sebastian got caught of killing a young boy and the mastermind of her husbands disappearance, Anna was forced to take the responsibility. The film shows how tyranny, power, class, loyalty, sex, and, race, can be rules of society . The cinematography is excellent combined with a good screenwriting.



And speaking of brilliant performances, I was floored by Auden Thorntons performance (very deserving this year, taking the Breakout Performance Award) in the movie Beauty Mark, playing a poverty-stricken young mother to her three-year old son and dependent mother who were evicted at their shanty apartment. She was forced to beg money from the same old guy who molested her when she was growing up. The film directed by Harris Doran is a well-made indie that is heartbreaking as Thornton takes you to her sympathetic hard life. One of my favorite movies during the festival!



From the Nightfall competing films, Serpent is nerve-thrilling and scary. Amanda Evans feature suspense-thriller debut is intense, with great performances from Tom Ainsley and Sarah Dumont playing a couple who decided to have a getaway in the woods, but when a venomous aggressive black mamba slipped into their tent, the wifes secret love affair is discovered from her phones text messages. The plot seems simple but with complex characters laid out in the 85 minute film, it became a well-crafted, remarkable and is visually entertaining feature.



I didnt see much from the L.A. Muse category but two of them caught my interest, and was happy I didnt missed them. I was very pleased with Director Timothy McNeils well-told debuting feature Anything, starring John Carroll Lynch, who took away a Special Mention Award at this years festival for his subtle but very effective performance playing the depressed widower - Early Landry who, upon moving from Mississippi to Hollywood, gets involved with Freda, a trans sex worker (an off-beat role played convincingly by Matt Bomer). The film is adapted from McNeils own 2007 play, executive produced by actor Mark Ruffalo. Another angle in the story is the relationship between Early and her sister (Maura Tierney) and her sons (Tanner Buchanan) relationship with his uncle Early.



Next one is Your Own Road directed by Brandon Buczek is a road trip feature that a lot of audience would relate to specially if you are working in this industry. Brian (played by Ashton Moio) is a passionate filmmaker who always get fired from his job so decided take a trip from Ohio to California tagging along his best friend and his long-time crush. The chemistry between the three actors are very natural and believable. This is a sweet small indie film with low budget but with video quality that works in all aspects. One of my favorites in the festival.

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10.03.17 by OC

Award-winning docfilm by Ramona Diaz, MOTHERLAND, is a fascinating docfilm about the busiest maternity ward in the world, The Fabella Hospital in Manila; the film will open this weekend, Friday, September 22 at Laemmle Monica Film Center



by Oliver Carnay


MOTHERLAND, directed by Ramona Diaz, is a fascinating cinema verit doc set in The Philippines, at The Fabella hospital in Manila, home to the busiest maternity ward in the world. Winner of World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Commanding Vision at Sundance, MOTHERLAND will open on September 22 in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Monica Film Center, with a national rollout to follow. The acclaimed film is being released by The Film Collaborative in partnership with CineDiaz and Kidlat Productions.

MOTHERLAND won a jury award at Sundance for Commanding Vision and has played festivals around the world such as Berlinale, Docville, Sheffield Doc Fest, The Sydney International Film Festival, Moscow Film Festival and is slated for fall festival screenings in Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich and more.

MOTHERLAND takes us into the heart of the planets busiest maternity hospital in one of the worlds poorest and most populous countries: the Philippines. The films viewer, like an unseen outsider dropped unobtrusively into the hospitals stream of activity, passes through hallways, enters rooms and listens in on conversations. At first, the surrounding people are strangers, but as the film continues, it's absorbingly intimate, rendering the women at the heart of the story increasingly familiar. In a hospital that is literally bursting with life, we witness the miracle and wonder of the human condition.

Diaz, a veteran documentarian began filming in the search of a story on reproductive justice, visited the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila, Philippines. As the busiest maternity ward in the world, it averages 60 births a dayand at its peak, as many as 100 babies within a 24-hour period. Fabella Hospital is the final safety net for very poor pregnant women, most of whom cannot afford either contraception or the $60 delivery fee.

Immersing the viewer with a fly on the wall cinema verit approach, Diaz shares her experience of finding her story: The images I saw at the hospital - the nurses who did their best to tame the noisy chaos of Emergency Room arrivals, the crowded corridors, the premature births and cramped recovery rooms with double occupancy of single beds gripped me and wouldnt let go. It was soon evident that the story I was looking for, a story about reproductive justice and maternal and womens rights, unfolded within the hospital wall.

MOTHERLAND is produced by Ramona S. Diaz and Rey Cuerdo and executive produced by Brillante Mendoza, Sally Jo Fifer, Justine Nagan, and Chris White. The film was lauded by audiences and critics across the globe playing at notable festivals such as Sundance, Berlinale, Docville, Sheffield Doc Fest, The Sydney International Film Festival, Moscow Film Festival and is slated for fall festival screenings in Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich and several other cities.
09.20.17 by OC

Introducing: "7 Less"; Lead vocalist Rasec Marc talks about an upcoming EP and his involvement as co-founder of Rockford Pictures
An exclusive interview

with RASEC MARC, lead vocalist of new band "7 Less"


by Oliver Carnay







Frontman Rasec Marc (far right) and John Htun (second from far right).


HOLLYWOODFLIP: The name of your group is "7 Less". Who thought of the name of your group and is there any significant story behind the name?

RASEC MARC:
7 Less symbolizes the hard work we put in our pursuits and dreams. It means man's persistence to work on something bigger than himself. All the hours that we put in to perfecting our craft and striving for excellence. After putting the effort of what man can do, achievements that are so much more than meets the eye will happen. Impact, purpose, inspiration, restoration, and change will be achieved.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
Can you introduce the members of your band? When did you start the group? Is this the first band you joined? How did you meet the other members of your group?

RASEC MARC:
Rasec Marc (me) is the lead singer, songwriter and producer of the band. John Htun is the drummer/producer. We started this group 5 months ago. I have been in many bands but all of them were bands that did not have a vision to work on. Except for 7 Less. This band is inevitably going places beyond our own comprehension.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
Are you the soloist of the group? I've seen a couple of videos online and I don't see the other members in the video, can you explain why?

RASEC MARC:
Yes. I am the singer of this group. These videos only have me and John because what we intend to show within the brand is only two faces. Two main writers.



HOLLYWOODFLIP:
How would you define the type of songs you sing? Are all of your songs written by you? How many songs have you written so far? Did you collaborate the lyrics of the songs released under 7 Less so far? What type of songs you listen to growing up and currently, any singers or songs you most listen to right now?

RASEC MARC:
This is pop/alternative. All of the song are written by me and I have written countless of songs prior to forming this band. I have been writing since I was 12 years old. For the songs under 7 Less, I would have the songs all written but will be ran through John's input and make changes from there.

I listen to Ed Sheeran, Onerepublic, Maroon 5, The 1975, James Bay. These bands are very organic-instrument oriented.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
Did you grow up in the Philippines? How many are Filipinos in your band? Can you briefly tell me where were you born? Tell me about what your parents do. You speak the Filipino language "tagalog" fluently, how long did you live in the Philippines? Were you born and raised in the Philippines or here in the U.S.? What were your fond memories living there?

RASEC MARC:
I was born here in California but grew up in the Philippines, in Bohol. The only Filipino in this band is me. I was born in California and moved to Bohol at age 6 and grew up there until I graduated high school. Both of my parents are in the professional career. I am the only one who is in the art field. I speak fluent English, "tagalog" and "visayan."

In Bohol, friends and neighbors would always gravitate towards me. I was always the person people rally around. I remember leading the pack constantly and come up with fun things to do outside. I lived in the Philippines for 9 years until I finished high school. I was raised by my grandparents while my mom and dad were in the US establishing everything for my arrival. My last visit to the Philippines was 4 years ago when I went there with a friend, Janine Tugonon, for vacation.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
Aside from writing songs and singing, what else skills you are good at? What kind of instruments do you play? What's the biggest audience you've played at?

RASEC MARC:
I dance, breakdance, have acted on set, do backflips and other tricks and play badminton. As far as instruments I play the guitar, piano, drums, bass and ukelele. The biggest show I have played is in front of 500 people.



HOLLYWOODFLIP:
Where have your band performed before? Can you enumerate some of the songs you have currently released? What were your inspiration when you wrote each of these songs? Do you have any favorites?

RASEC MARC: I have performed at many places in the Philippines. In the U.S., we have played at The Hotel Cafe, Genghis Cohen, Amplyfi, Republic of Pie. The songs that are currently released are: New Zealand, Don't Go, and Kiss me Goodnight. These were inspired by first hand experiences that I have gone through. Heartbreaks and love ignited.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
What's the group plan in the next two years?

RASEC MARC:
Our plan is to be going on tours. Have the name "7 Less" be well recognized and play at Coachella, Lollapaloza and even the Time Square.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
You also mentioned about being involved in a film production company? Can you tell me more about it?

RASEC MARC:
I am the co-founder of Rockford Pictures. It is a film production company that does music videos and movies. We have done music videos for C-TRU, BALANG, and SNOOP DOGG. Me and my friend (Alejandro Soto) have always been wanting to create video content but have failed numerous times. But due to our persistence, we have now concluded a very talented team and company.



HOLLYWOODFLIP:
What would you like your audience to take with them after watching your concert?

RASEC MARC:
I have observed the immense value of conversations. At our shows, we always highlight the relatable stories within the songs. By being vulnerable in front of everyone, it makes them understand people more. Therefore, develop compassion and empathy towards one another. It has always been through conversations and communication that a relationship and connection would be developed. When everyone could get a better perspective on the people around them, the world would be a better place.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
Any advice for any upcoming talent, singers or performer you'd like to give?

RASEC MARC:
My advice for upcoming talents is: You just have to keep at it. There are so many things in this world that are more than meets the eye. The temporary storm that we all will be facing is a constructive way for us to be shaped into becoming better people. Financial drought, family issues, disease, tragedies are things that could easily make us run to safety and comfort. But let us not stay there. Let us take these experiences and charge it to growth. For it is with our strong vision that we will be rendered unswayed.

FOLLOW "7 LESS" music at the following links:
https://www.facebook.com/7lessmusic/
https://www.instagram.com/7lessmusic/
https://twitter.com/7lessmusic
Please subscibe on Youtube here
09.11.17 by OC

U.K. based World Youth Organization CEO Kieran Goodwin travels Hollywood reaching out to U.S. universities and teen youth organizations for his platforms



an exclusive interview with World Youth Organization (WYO) CEO - KIERAN GOODWIN

by Oliver Carnay




Kieran meets up with WYO staff. "Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision in an orderly, thoughtful, collective manner" - Kieran Goodwin, CEO (Kieran Goodwin's official Facebook page and links)

For reference about WORLD YOUTH ORGANIZATION (WYO), please go to: www.worldyo.org


HOLLYWOODFLIP:
Can you briefly let our readers know what were you doing before you got involved with WYO? When did your passion to help other people started? How old were you then?

KIERAN GOODWIN:
Before WYO, I swam competitively at a national level in the United Kingdom specifically open water swimming. Other than that I was heavily involved in charity work with Cancer Research UK and a British disability sport non-profit for children raising thousands of pounds at the age of 15.

On an academic level, I was studying at college Health and Social Care with the aim of one day becoming an emergency paramedic.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
As CEO of World Youth Organization, what are your main jobs? What sort of services does WYO can give to those people or youth need, and how can someone or an organization help your organization? How long will you be in the U.S.?

KIERAN GOODWIN:
As Chief Executive of the World Youth Organization, yes I hold many responsibilities and duties. From planning future projects and programs the non-profit will be operating to expanding the organization internationally, and following the legal obligations a charity must uphold. I am also involved in recruitment from time to time at WYO and hold many meetings a year with my board of trustees and with potential sponsors and other forms of donors.

It was very challenging from the start. Being so young when I launched the charity (17 years old) people initially doubted me and my capabilities of running such a large organisation, overcoming this was a big hurdle for me and sometimes would affect my responsibilities and image of running the World Youth Organization.

The World Youth Organization is a registered charity/non-profit based in the United Kingdom, which supports young people through the transition from childhood to adulthood through educational based workshops and opportunities such as our WYO Educate program which recently launched in July 2017. This program gives out educational workshops to schools up and down the United Kingdom in mental health, sex education, lifestyle skills and careers. This workshop-based initiatives main objective is to push forward important subjects so that more young people are educated with life-based concepts/skills, and not just core curriculum based subjects provided by the state.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
What is your main objective in coming to United States in relation to your WYO post? What sort of organizations you are reaching out in the U.S.? How can a U.S. teen organization help and collaborate with you? Have you reached out to any other youth organizations or universities?

KIERAN GOODWIN: I will be based in the heart of Hollywood, Los Angeles for whole three months. During my time here, Id love to connect with numerous youth centers, colleges and universities talking to them about the World Youth Organization and our exciting program which we will be launching exclusively to LA, called Catch Counselling.


CATCH COUNSELLING is one of the upcoming programs WYO is conducting in Los Angeles. The sessions will be held at Lake Hollywood Park on Monday, September 18, 2017. To sign up, please go here

I have already made contact with a number of US non-profits including Eleveight and the LGBT Center. We hope to connect with many more during our time in the United States to expand the World Youth Organization, across the pond from London.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
You hold many titles. You were a blogger/writer at Huffington Posts and The Independent in U.K. and aside from having a big responsibility at WYO, you recently got involved as Regional Judging Panel Member for The Diana Award. What is the Diana Award and what sort of involvement do you have in it?

KIERAN GOODWIN: Yes, aside from WYO, I do external work with other organizations, charities and non-profits around the world including the THE DIANA AWARD (https://diana-award.org.uk/) . The Diana Award is a charity legacy to Diana, Princess of Wales (whom was a member of the British Royal Family). It was set-up to highlight young peoples achievements and successes. This year I was invited on the judging panel for London, reviewing nominations for the award. It was a truly wonderful experience.

Apart from that, I write occasionally for Huffington Post and The Independent on topics around youth, LGBT, mental health and the charity/non-profit sector.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
I heard you also have a passion for creating film content. Now that you are in Hollywood, the capital entertainment of the world, is it possible you can be involved in producing films as well? What other activities or hobbies do you enjoy most?

KIERAN GOODWIN:
Yes, I have created numerous music videos with my friend Amy Lee ha! This content was published on VEVO, a major music video publisher. To be honest, this was only pure fun, but I very much enjoy producing and filming short music videos and YouTube vlogs.

From doing occasional YouTube videos, I also have a weekly podcast which is uploaded to iTunes and Sound Cloud called CEO Talks. There I discuss my life programs (LOL) and whats currently happening with WYO and my job.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
How do you see yourself ten years and twenty years from now? What do you think is your ultimate goal in life?

KIERAN GOODWIN:
Id love to see WYO being a great success across the world, not just in the United Kingdom and it running fantastic programs for young people. For myself, personally if Im still working at WYO I would be happy with that but I would love to venture around the non-profit sector to see what other opportunities might be available. I hope in 10 years time, I would have at least met Ellen (DeGeneres)by then too ha!

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
If anyone is interested to join, help, be involved, or wants to know more about WYO, do you have any important social media links they can go to?

KIERAN GOODWIN:
Really simple. Visit our website www.worldyo.org or find us on social media. We are always up with something. Our Twitter is twitter.com/worldyoutho, my personal profile is www.twitter.com/_kierangoodwin. We are also on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/worldyoutho. Finally, you can always drop me an email to kieran.goodwin@worldyo.org.

Links:
Kieran Goodwin official Facebook page
Keeping Up with Kieran and Amy in L.A.
Article from ITVNews
How Kieran set up WYO -article from "Independent"/UK
Kieran Goodwin's U.K. Health Radio audio interview
09.09.17 by OC

Black AIDS Institute/Heroes In The Struggle honors Taraji P. Henson, Laverne Cox, Vanessa Williams, Alfre Woodard, Gina Belafonte, and Gina Brown; Jussie Smollett Hosts at 20th Century Fox Studios - September 16, 2017





For tickets, go to www.heroesinthestruggle.org


Los Angeles, CA (September 1, 2017) - The Black AIDS Institute inducts a select group of individuals and organizations that have made commendable heroic contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Black America. The 16th Annual Heroes in the Struggle Awards Presentation & Reception will be held on September 16, 2017 at the Darryl F. Zanuck Theater at 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles at 6:00 PM.

The 2017 inductees include Taraji P. Henson, Laverne Cox, Vanessa Williams, Alfre Woodard, Gina Belafonte, and Gina Brown. The 2017 Corporate Hero is Novant Health. Black AIDS Institute Board Member Jussie Smollett serves as Chair and Host. The 2017 theme is Black Men Honoring Black Women and celebrated R&B singer/songwriter Ledisi performs a special tribute. The awards presentation is produced by Russelli & Hall.

At the age of fifteen, I began working with the Black AIDS Institute and I am proud to be a member of the Board of Directors, said Jussie Smollett. Although it is not spoken about like it used to, the AIDS epidemic is not over, especially in Black communities. I am humbled to pay tribute to these remarkable women in our community.

Nearly 100 individuals have been inducted into the Heroes in the Struggle Hall of Fame over the last 16 years. It is a photographic tribute to HIV/AIDS allies; elected officials and policy makers; artists from television, film, stage and music; civil rights leaders; health-care providers; advocates and activists; and people living with HIV/AIDS. Since its debut in 2002, the exhibit has traveled the worldraising awareness; challenging Black Americans, key thought leaders and institutions to get involved in their communities; and generating critical conversation about HIV stigma, testing, prevention, treatment and care.

Black women are the single most important engine in the survival of Black people, including with HIV/AIDS, said Phill Wilson, President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. 59% of women living with HIV in the United States are Black. Black women account for 60% of the new HIV infections among women, and are 16 times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than white women. This event not only allows us to acknowledge the invaluable role Black women have played in the AIDS fight, but it helps raise awareness about the devastating impact AIDS continues to have on Black women and the opportunities we have to turn that around if Black men and women work together.

Tickets and sponsorship packages are priced at various levels, from VIP packages to a limited number of community seats for as little as $75.00. Because the event is completely underwritten by major donors, every penny raised goes directly into efforts to end the epidemic, help people get into care and stay in care, protect themselves from HIV infections, and advocate for sound HIV/AIDS policies, said Wilson.

For more information about purchasing tickets, becoming a sponsor, joining the host committee, or placing an advertisement in the program book, go to www.heroesinthestruggle.org.

About the Black AIDS Institute
Founded in May 1999, the Black AIDS Institute is the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on the Black communities. Our motto is Our People, Our Problem, Our Solution. The Institutes mission is to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions, leaders and individuals in efforts to confront HIV. The Institute interprets public and private sector HIV policies, conducts trainings, offers technical assistance, disseminates information and provides advocacy and mobilization from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view.

09.02.17 by OC

Anesu Mutara takes his Hollywood dream


HOLLYWOODFLIP interviews triple-threat actor Anesu Mutara


There is a flock of foreign actors trying their luck in Hollywood every year and most of them are having a hard time taking the first step getting their foot at the door and completing their package before getting a representation. It takes talent, perseverance, and luck sometimes to start with.

British actor Anesu Mutara are one of those hopefuls who took acting classes at the prestigious Stella Adler Art of Acting Studio and as soon as he got his work permit, a manager spotted him and took him into his wings. He immediately got signed with an agency and started booking. In a short span of time, he became SAG-Eligible. Read below about his journey:

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What were you doing in U.K. before deciding to study acting here in Los Angeles?

ANESU M: Back in the U.K I was known as a football (soccer) player. I was scouted and played for teams such as Cardiff City Academy, Leicester City, Birmingham City, Burton Albion, Watford, Aston Villa and a few others, as well as playing for a lot of local clubs. Aside for being a soccer player, I'm also known for dancing. I used to perform at school competitions and would get hired to perform at clubs with different age groups.

I also choreographed dancing at schools for younger kids that had talent shows or school showcases that they would put on for friends and family.

Growing up I also love making music and performing .. I would dance all the time any chance I'd get to be out in front of people, whether it's at church, school, at clubs... I'd do it!



Anesu back in U.K. was a well known soccer player competing for schools, local club teams, and pro youth academies.



Anesu spent time performing at different club events and teaching kids at schools.



He is a role model and the younger crowd always look up to him.



Anesu has performed in different churches, club events, schools, carnivals, among other venues in U.K.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: I noticed you have high social media followers, too. How did you acquire those? Send me links of all your social media.

ANESU M: I started getting a lot of followers first on Facebook then Twitter, and then on Instagram. I started making silly funny videos on Facebook and then post them! Silly videos that I did for fun like "When Girls Wear Too Much Make-Up" (where I ended up putting ketchup on my face) and it went viral. Somehow, it got a lot of views and reached a lot of different countries so I just kept it going! I also used to post fun soccer freestyle videos from our kitchen when I was younger and also a lot of dance videos. Performing around my city and other vicinity boost up my social media followings. I played soccer for every school that I studied at, from Glen Hills Primary School (year 6) all the way to Tresham College for higher education. In my 9th year, I had also created a dance group I called 'REWIND ' with my girlfriend and a few of our friends. We used to perform together at other schools while we were studying at South Wigston High School.

By the way, you can follow me on social media here:
www.anesumutara.com
www.instagram.com/starhcity
www.mobile.twitter.com/starhcity
www.facebook.com/starhcity

HOLLYWOODFLIP: So a lot of youngsters have looked up on you as a role model?

I always try to keep my content as PG13 as I can for my younger audience since I now know that a lot of kids watch my videos even though PG13 isn't always the outcome! Yes, during those years a lot of the youngsters look up to me as their big brother because I teach them how to dance and I performed a lot in schools. I was popular to them and it feels good to inspire kids, lol!

I have had a lot of messages from kid's parents & families reaching out telling me how much their children talk about me and look up to me. Looking back, it's good to see how the younger generation those of my age are when they're around me. Even though I know I have a long way to go in my career as an artist and entertainer it's great to hear and see that I'm bringing a positive vibe, motivating and inspiring others. And it's good to know that my school alma mater created a school article about me. They do follow my American Dream and my Hollywood journey!

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What year and what motivated you to move to Los Angeles?

ANESU M: I moved to Los Angeles in late 2014. My Dad would always tell me "If your dream is bigger than the city you live in, you need to get out ." So that motivated me to chase and work hard for what I wanted. I moved to LA to pursue a career in the entertainment business and to get the right training. After doing a two year professional conservatory, I finally graduated at Stella Adler's Art of Acting Studio with a BA Hons in Acting.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: From what age and where do you think you first shaped up your acting training, and other skills you have? What do you love most doing -- creating music, acting, dancing, singing, being a comedian, fashionable/modeling, or any other things in particular?

ANESU M: Funny thing! .. I think from South Wigston High School to Countesthorpe College and getting into Guthlaxton College I've first been introduced to my acting technique because I had been also getting a lot of experience in life and I have to be smart in a lot of ways! But professionally the school that shaped my acting was most definitely Stella Adler Art of Acting Studio.

The things I love to do most is creating! I love creating music, writing and arranging my own music.. melodies, harmonies, everything! Dance choreography, video footage of what I would like to be in or to see myself acting. My first love is playing soccer as that will always be where I think started and what has always been in me. I don't think I'll ever lose the love or the skill for the sport. I love fashion, too .. I think I'm typically fashionable. I love making people laugh and smile! Comedy is where I'm at but I love doing drama with a little bit of romance on the sides .. love it!

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What type of acting techniques did you learn, taking acting classes and which do you think you excel more?

ANESU M: Acting techniques : Scene Study, Voice & Speech, Movement, Business, Film, Shakespeare, Audition technique, On Camera, Mask, Extra Dialect classes (Accent), among others.

I personally think every single one of them shaped me and taught me something new to acting but I would say that I excelled more in Film, On Camera, Business & Movement. I also loved taking Shakespeare like I never thought I would!

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What achievements did you acquire after graduating from Art of Acting? How did you get representations right away? What sort of things did you do to get a representation?

ANESU M: After graduating, Art of Acting hosted a Talent Showcase for industry people where Agents, Managers, Casting Directors watch you perform. I had seven offers to sign with and chose I believe suited my best choice. My manager sent me to different talent agencies for interviews and he had me signed the agency he thinks is best for me. I started going out and never been busier. I immediately booked an Apple commercial for iPhone7+ that played worldwide. The first day it went out on youtube it immediately got 3 million views! I played the lead barber and it was so cool to see my face every television (it played hundred times in a day in every major television shows .. it's crazy!)

The iPhone 7Plus Apple commercial Anesu booked which gained 3 million views on its first day (and now more than 6.7 Million views):





I have booked a LEAD role playing a 17 year old boy named MILES. It is set to air on TLC & Destination America. This is something I am proud of and it is very different from any roles I have done. Contrary to most people have seen me, this is a very dramatic role.

I also very recently booked an undisclosed project commercial playing a PRINCIPAL role of the HERO kid in the neighborhood, the little brother opposite with all these well-known big personalities. It's going to be out soon!

I did an AD for Anti Smoking by BUZZFEED, among other things. But what I am excited about is the feature film I recently booked which its character is also attached to a television series so I'll be playing in the feature film version and will continue as a television series. I also booked another film they are waiting for an investor. So great things should happen within the next two years .. we can't say too much about them yet but these are exciting times!!

HOLLYWOODFLIP: You've been lucky enough to get representations after graduating in a school in Los Angeles and get to be a working actor sooner than you imagined. What sort of advise would you give to other foreign actors trying to make it in Hollywood?

ANESU M: I would say that never get too comfortable. Work hard, pray hard and never give up! I remember talking with my parents one night and telling them that after school there are people who just say "..finally! It's over .. let me rest a little bit!" then end up resting for the longest time and never doing anything. You should always keep busy and challenging yourself .. always be proactive! Never give up! When we realize it's not that easy, don't give up. You put everything you got no matter how tough it gets! We fail, we get up, we fail better .. and we get up!

So in a nutshell, always remember that better days are coming. What you're going through is only a phase and it will get better! Keep on keeping on and don't stop, help others, motivate others. We got to work harder because we're from another country trying to make it in their playing ground.

And ... network! You never know who you'll become friends with!

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What type of movies and television shows you usually watch? Do you like comedy, horror, action, or musicals? What are your current favorite tv shows?

ANESU M: I love all types of movies! .. except horrors ..so much! But funny because the TV show I just did ... may make you jump a little!
So far, my favorite television show has been STRANGER THINGS! Shout out to Millie Bobby Brown who plays 'Eleven' for representing the brits!

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How do you see yourself ten years from now?

ANESU M: Ten years from now I see myself at a whole different level .. still loving God .. still working hard and working smart in my career as an artist and an entertainer. I know God has great things set for me so I'll leave it to him. I'm excited! And Oh... see you at the Oscars! (lol!)

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Any parting words you can give for those who tries the Hollywood Dream?

ANESU M: Faith and Consistency. The industry is a line! It'll be your turn soon but be patient. Don't stop being consistent because as soon as you do, someone else will take your spot and you'll see yourself at the back of the line .. . Have fun and love what you do .. it also costs $0.00 to be kind so be kind to everyone.

Some of the red carpet events Anesu got invited to were The Los Angeles Fashion Week, OUTFEST, Hollyshorts Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, San Diego International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Scandinavian Film Festival, Dances With Films Festival, Sundance NEXT Fest, among others:

08.24.17 by OC

'Wind River' movie review





by Oliver Carnay


Director Taylor Sheridan combines great storytelling with substantial characters giving a perfect summer chilling thriller. Two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen gives a powerful performance where both lives up to its characters. Set in the remote snowy place in Utah to give a Western landscape, the cinematography by "Beasts of the Southern Wild" Ben Richardson is perfect. The writing is also excellent.

WIND RIVER follows a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) who teams up with a local game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past (Jeremy Renner) to investigate the murder of a local girl on a remote Native American Reservation in the hopes of solving her mysterious death. Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, WIND RIVER also stars Gil Birmingham, Jon Bernthal, Julia Jones, Kelsey Asbille, and James Jordan.

The film is currently playing at Arclight Cinemas and Landmark Theaters. Go see it!!!
08.04.17 by OC

Hollyshorts announce line-up of films; "Full Metal Jacket" to Open the festival with a tribute to Matthew Modine


by Oliver Carnay

www.hollyshorts.com

Hollywood, CA (August 4, 2017) - HollyShorts unveils it's star studded opening lineup. The 13th annual Academy Awards Qualifying Festival kicks off next Thursday night August 10 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters. A record 4,000 films were submitted and 400 are screening in competition August 10-19.

Below is the opening night program which will follow the special screening of Full Metal Jacket with Matthew Modine Q&A. Ben Lyons is hosting the evening.

HollyShorts Opening Night Shorts Program Lineup

Without Grace Directed by Deborah Kampmeier, written/produced by Angela Cohen, starring double-Emmy-nominee Ann Dowd (Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, HBO's The Leftovers) and John Doman (HBO's The Wire).

InGenue-ish Written and Directed by John Stamos

11th Hour Directed by Jim Sheridan starring Salma Hayek.

Graffiti by Brett Gursky starring Tanner Anderson, Cassie Scerbo

Penny Sucker by Erin Elders starring James Paxton, and Debbon Ayer.

HollyShorts 2016 Screenplay winner The Son, The Father by Lukas Hassel.

Crowbar Smile by Jamie Mayer, Produced by Josh Hutcherson (Hunger Games), starring Tristan Lake Leabu, Serinda Swan (HBO's Ballers), Emily Robinson, Tate Donovan

Control by Kimmy Gatewood (Netflix Original Series GLOW), written and starring Alison Becker (Parks and Recreation)

08.04.17 by OC

Hollyshorts teams up with Project Greenlight Digital Studios for Pitchfest





For more information about Hollyshorts Film Festival, please go to www.hollyshorts.com


August 4, 2017---The Academy Awards qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival is teaming up with Project Greenlight Digital Studios (PGLDS) for a special PitchFest Competition at this years HollyShorts, the 13th edition of the annual festival.

Project Greenlight Digital Studios is a story-driven creative community that empowers the next generation of great filmmakers. Founded by Adaptive Studios the partners behind the Project Greenlight television series on HBO PGLDS is an incubator for premium digital content produced, written, and directed by new and emerging talent.

The Project Greenlight Digital Studios PitchFest is a chance for creators of all experience levels to pitch their original ideas for short-form digital series to executives from PGLDS. One winner will be awarded a $5,000 prize and a general meeting with Adaptive and PGLDS creative development teams.

The PitchFest takes place on Friday, August 11 at 11:00am during the HollyShorts Film Conference, a special co-located event during this years festival at the Roosevelt Hotel.

To qualify for the session, filmmakers must have officially selected projects at this years HollyShorts.

The PitchFest Jury includes the following executives:

TJ Barrack (Partner, Adaptive Studios)
Brittany Turner (VP, Digital, Adaptive Studios)
Kate Grady (Executive Director, Production, Adaptive Studios)
Stephen Christensen (Director of Development, Digital, Adaptive Studios)
08.04.17 by OC

Sundance NEXT FEST added Line-up with Comedians, Star-Studded Conversations and Music Videos World Premieres




Tickets to Music, Movies and Mischief August 10-13 on Sale Now: sundance.org/next



Los Angeles, CA Ava DuVernay, Larry Wilmore, Peter Bogdanovich, Kate Berlant, Kate Micucci, Natasha Leggero, M83, Hundred Waters, Joey Bada$$, Quentin Tarantino, Dee Rees, America Ferrera, Electric Guest, Sleigh Bells, Lizzo, and more are among other attendees added to grace the upcoming Sundance NEXT FEST.

World premiere music videos, conversations between film legends and up-and-coming creatives and three female comedians have been added to the lineup for Sundance NEXT FEST, August 10-13 at The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. They join music acts like Lizzo, Electric Guest and Sleigh Bells, the Los Angeles premieres of some of the Sundance Film Festivals most talked-about films and NEXT FEST After Dark, Presented by Acura, featuring a 25th anniversary screening of Reservoir Dogs on restored 35mm and ceremony honoring Quentin Tarantino. More info, tickets ($15-35) and ticket packages are at sundance.org/next.


CONVERSATIONS
Ava DuVernay (13th, Selma) will join a conversation, presented by FilmL.A., Inc., with director Justin Chon after Saturdays 4:00 p.m. screening of Gook. Also on Saturday, Gente-fied executive producer America Ferrera, director/creator/co-writer Marvin Lemus, co-writer Linda Yvette Chavez and producer Aaliyah Williams will be in conversation following the noon screening of all seven episodes of the series.

On Sunday, Emmy Award winner Larry Wilmore will join directors Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles and the subject of Dina for a conversation following the afternoon screening. Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show) will be in conversation with filmmaker Alex Ross Perry following Sundays 4:00 p.m. screening of Golden Exits.

WORLD PREMIERE MUSIC VIDEOS
Highlighting the connection between music and movies, three brand-new music videos have been added to the lineup and will screen before films.



Temptation Joey Bada$$
Directed by Nathan R. Smith. A little girl journeys through Brooklyn as an omniscient Joey Bada$$ protects her from the alluring temptations she encounters. The track is featured on Joey Bada$$ latest album, All-Amerikkkan Bada$$. The music video will premiere Saturday, August 12 with the 4:00 p.m. screening of Gook.

Do It, Try It M83
Written and directed by David Wilson. A family outing to a burger joint sparks an argument between the parents whilst two children draw pictures to entertain themselves, taking the viewer into their imaginations. This four-minute adventure of mixed media film, fusing live action and hand-drawn animation, premieres Sunday, August 13 with the noon screening of Dina.

Fingers Hundred Waters
Directed by Allie Avital. Fingers is an eerie meditation on the dissolution of a relationship featuring 10,000 live insects.The music video will make its world premiere on Sunday, August 13 with the 4:00 p.m. screening of Golden Exits.


COMEDIANS

Kate Berlant will host the screening of Lemon and performance by Lizzo on Friday, August 11 at 8:00 p.m. Berlant has been described by The New York Times as a "magnetic improvisational comic" and named by Time Out New York as one of New York City's "Top Three Comics to Watch. She is also one of Comedy Central's "Comics to Watch.

Kate Micucci will host Saturdays 8:00 p.m. screening of Bitch and performance by Sleigh Bells. Micucci can be seen in The Little Hours with Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Dave Franco, Molly Shannon and John C. Reilly. Kate is co-creator and co-star of the group GARFUNKEL AND OATES, with Riki Lindhome. They were one of Varietys comics to watch in 2010 and their two-woman show regularly sold out Largo and UCB.

Natasha Leggero will host Sundays 8:00 p.m. screening of L.A. Times and performance by Electric Guest. Leggero has built her body of work with numerous roles on prominent television series including NBCs Community, FXs Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Arrested Development, Comedy Centrals Reno 911 and Drunk History, ABCs Suburgatory, the sketch comedy Key and Peele, Comedy Bang! Bang! Chelsea Lately, and The Tonight Show, among many others.


FOOD, DRINKS, GAMES AND MORE AT NEXT DOOR

NEXT DOOR, an outdoor social hub next to the Theatre, returns to Sundance NEXT FEST. Attendees can access with their tickets before or after screenings to mingle and enjoy drinks from Hochstadters, Stella Artois and wineries from the Santa Ynez Valley, samples from Califia Farms, experience an Acura NSX Virtual Reality test drive, participate in games from Allbirds and get your questions answered at the Los Angeles Times Ask a Reporter booth.

FREE PANEL

The weekend also includes a free panel on editing a film using Premiere Pro sponsored by Adobe. More info at sundance.org/next

Sundance NEXT FEST supporters include: Principal Sponsors Acura and Adobe; Major Sponsors Hochstadters Slow & Low Rock & Rye, and Stella Artois; Supporting Sponsors Allbirds, Beachside, Califia Farms, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., FilmL.A., Inc., The Theatre at Ace Hotel, Utah Office of Tourism and Film, and Visit the Santa Ynez Valley; and Media Sponsors LA WEEKLY, Los Angeles Times, Mashable and Time Out.

Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute's signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Boyhood, Swiss Army Man, Manchester By the Sea, Brooklyn, Little Miss Sunshine, Life, Animated, Sonita, 20 Feet From Stardom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, Spring Awakening, A Gentlemans Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

07.28.17 by OC

"Basaan" screenwriter Luigi Gonzalez talks about his first short film selected at Outfest





Basaan - Short Film

Director: Gino Jose
Screenwriter: Luigi Gonzalez

Story:
John is uptight and closeted. He is perfectly happy letting life pass him by, preferring the safety of loneliness for fear of getting hurt. He reluctantly returns to his hometown when his sister, Gibby, drags him to Basaan, the town's annual festival. There, he runs into Trey, an old friend of his who he is secretly in love with. The vibrant and spirited Trey calls out John's current way of life, challenging him to take part in it. John finally lets his guard down, but it may be too late for him.

===================================

An interview with screenwriter LUIS GONZALEZ


by Oliver Carnay


"Basaan" was one of the short films selected to be a part of the "Q&A: Queer & Asian" program which screened on Sunday, July 9 during OUTFEST 2017. I had a chat with Filipino screenwriter Luigi Gonzalez (who co-wrote the film with Basaan director Gino Jose). This is his first short film at Outfest and he hopes to submit more in the future .. please read on:


Hollywoodflip: What was your inspiration in writing the script? Did the script come first before the title? How did you come up with the title?

LG: After many years of creating content for other people, my filmmaking partner, Gino (film director, Gino Jose), and I were really itching to make something for ourselves. Since it was my first short film, I knew I wanted to say something about the gay experience. We made it in 2013, and by that time, I had just recently come out to my friends and family... at the age of 28. I was so frustrated with myself at having come out so late. It wasn't because my family and friends were conservative or anything like that. I was just too chicken to admit it to myself. The worst hate we experience is the one that comes from within. That's the inspiration for the story. John, the main character, has nothing to fear. No judgmental parents. No conservative authority figure. No oppressive religion. He has a loving sister who accepts him, warts and all, but still, he can't find it in himself to be himself.

The script definitely came before the title. When the script was finished, Gino and I were scrambling to come up with a title. We tossed a few titles back and forth, but none of them were good matches for the script. Finally, I said, "you know what? Let's just call it what it is. Basaan."

Hollywoodflip: How did you manage to shoot at the actual festival?

LG: We went to the mayor's office and pitched the story to him. He was on board almost instantly. He offered us a guide, a home base to house the equipment and the actors, and basically the freedom to shoot anywhere in town as long as we aren't bothering anyone.

Hollywoodflip: Can you explain more about the festival? What is it actually called and where is the festival actually happening?

LG: The Basaan Fiesta is a festival that happens every June 24th to celebrate the feast of John the Baptist. For the whole day, people douse each other with water in celebration. It is mostly celebrated by the provinces of San Juan and Balayan, which is where we shot the short. Certain places even celebrate by having a parade of roast pigs, each with its own float and decorations, which the townsfolk then eat at the end of the parade.

Hollywoodflip: What's the greatest challenge you encountered shooting the film?

LG: Shooting during the actual fiesta. All we did to prepare for shooting was to waterproof our gear. We were not prepared for the chaos that ensued. Basically, from 8am to 4pm, it was pandemonium. Everyone was drenched by the end of the shoot.

Hollywoodflip: How did you come about working with the director of the film? Can you relate how and when the project started, from the time you started writing it, to post production and until you finished the film?

LG: Gino and I have been friends ever since college. We were thesis partners back then and realized our styles really meshed well. We've been working together ever since. I started writing the script March of 2013. The festival was in late June, so we had a hard deadline.

The script had to be done by May. Since it was the first short film I've ever done, I didn't know how to go about telling the story. The first draft ended up being 30 pages long. We had my mentor, Marie Jamora, help us streamline the story. Five drafts later, it was ready to shoot.

We ended up having to shoot for a second week after we ran out of time the first week. We saved the kissing scene for last because we wanted Topper and JC to be better acquainted by the time we shot it. The kiss only took two takes and was shot from multiple angles. JC is straight, so he was a little nervous leading up to the kiss. But by the time it came to shoot, he did it with zero hesitation.

For post-production, we entrusted the footage to award-winning editor, Carlo Manatad. He was amazing. He brought something out of the film that we didn't necessarily see looking at the footage at first glance. The last thing we added was the score, which came to us by way of a dream. After trying out musicians we found on Soundcloud, Gino had a dream about his childhood friend one night, then he remembered his friend's brother was a musician. He asked his friend if he could get the brother to score the short, and it turned out well.

Hollywoodflip: How was the casting process?

LG: Annika, who played John's sister, Gibby, was the only cast member who had been with us from the very start. She, like us, was also looking for a project with greater artistic integrity, having only acted in soaps until that point. After one meeting with us, she was instantly on board.

The actors we originally cast as John and Trey were established actors, also itching for more artistic pursuits. However, when their management got wind of the project's homosexual content, they scheduled shoots for the both of them to conflict with our shooting schedule.

Down two actors a weekend prior to shooting, we were in a panic. We turned to our friends in the theater, and asked them to recommend actors for us. Topper was the actor who was suggested the most. We were so lucky he agreed to do it in such short notice. JC was the last actor cast. He signed on a day or two before shooting.

Hollywoodflip: What do you want your audience to take away after watching "Basaan"?

LG: Being gay, it takes so much courage to be yourself. Don't deny yourself the privilege of being you. Be brave. "Take off your raincoat."

Hollywoodflip: How many scripts have you written? Is this the first time you tried submitting your film in a festival?

LG: I've written and shot 3 shorts. I have two features that I'm still rewriting, and another feature script in the works. All 3 of my shorts have played in festivals. "After Class" starring Frencheska Farr was an official selection in the AC Electric Shorts Film Festival, and "Waivers" starring Cai Cortez and Aicelle Santos was exhibited at the EuroAsia Shorts in Washington, DC, and won Honorable Mention at the 28th CCP Independent Film & Video Festival.

Hollywoodflip: When was the first time you heard about "Outfest"? Is this the first time you are attending Outfest? When did you submit this film at Outfest? How did you feel the first time you knew "Basaan" was selected at Outfest?

LG: Outfest was the one film festival we wanted to get into. We submitted it more than once, but it was never selected. This year, we screened it at a private event where an Outfest official was present, and we were approached to include it in this year's lineup.

This is the first time I'm attending Outfest, and I am so proud to be a part of it this year.

Hollywoodflip: Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background?

LG: Ever since I saw Noah Baumbach's "Kicking and Screaming" on HBO when I was in the 4th grade, I knew I wanted to be a screenwriter. I've been creating video content, writing shorts and sketch comedy, since graduating from the Ateneo de Manila University in 2008. In 2015, I wrote a monologue for the play "No Filter," a hit play about millennials by millennials. "Basaan" is my first short film.

Hollywoodflip: What kind of genre do you usually write?

LG: I try to dip my toes in every genre, but I've been told by my classmates and professors that comedy is a part of me. Everything I write has to have a bit of humor in it.

Hollywoodflip: How many film festival "Basaan" had already played at and is it going to any other film festival soon?

LG: The first film festival "Basaan" played was the Chaktomuk Festival in Cambodia in 2014. The first festival it ever won was the Courts des Iles Festival in Tahiti where it won Jury Favorite, and as a result, it was included in the Cannes Short Film Corner in 2015. I was never able to afford going to any of those festivals. Outfest LA is the first time I've ever attended a festival screening of any of my shorts.

Hollywoodflip: Any social media you use so your audience can follow you?

LG: You can follow me at instagram.com/_luigigonzalez and on Facebook at facebook.com/SlantedFuzzPictures

Hollywoodflip: Do you have any projects lined up? Any feature film you have written and is finished?

LG: We're currently working on a gay-themed webseries, and I have two features written that still needs a little polishing before I can say it's finished.

Hollywoodflip: Good luck with all your projects!

LG: Thank you!


====================================
07.18.17 by OC

2017 OUTFEST winners announced (watch full video of Awards Ceremony and browse photos taken throughout the 11-day festival)



by Oliver Carnay


Watch full video of Awards Ceremony here

Photos from the 11-day festival can be browsed here.



For more information about Outfest and other Outfest programs, please log on to www.outfest.org



Los Angeles, July 16, 2017 Outfest the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen has announced the award winners of its 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival, presented by HBO.

The nations leading LGBT festival ran from July 6th to July 16th. The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival closes tonight with Trudie Stylers comedic Freak Show, starring Bette Midler, Alex Lawther, AnnaSophia Robb, Abigail Breslin, Ian Nelson, Larry Pine and featuring a cameo from Laverne Cox.


Outfest Los Angeles 2017 Award Winners
_______________________________________________________________

Audience Awards

Best Documentary Short Audience Award
Little Potato, Directed by Wes Hurley and Nate Miller

Best Documentary Feature Audience Award
Chavela, Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi

Best Narrative Short Audience Award
The Real Thing, Directed by Brandon Kelley

Best Narrative Audience Award
The Chances, Created by Shoshanna Stern and Josh Feldman, Directed by Anna Kerrigan

Best Experimental Short Audience Award
Pussy, Directed by Renata Gasiorowska

Audience Award for Best First U.S. Narrative Feature
A Million Happy Nows, Directed by Albert Alarr
_______________________________________________________________

Grand Jury Awards

Documentary Grand Jury Prize
We award Best Documentary Feature to Chavela, for its artistic style that elegantly and poetically brings together raw archival footage, animation, editing, and sound design.

Documentary Special Mention
For Excellence in Filmmaking we award a Special Jury mention to Girl Unbound: The War to Be Her, for its brave, humorous, and inspired depiction of Maria, a world class squash player and her rock star family who live on their own terms and challenge misconceptions of feminism and Islam in the Muslim and Western worlds. This film illustrates Marias nonbinary journey, her quest for athletic excellence and her desire to show all girls everywhere that, Fear is taught. That you are born free and you are born brave.

U.S. Narrative Jury Prize Best Actor
For his quiet intensity in a fresh and non-traditional coming of age role and his on-screen transformation both physically and emotionally, the US Narrative Jury honors Luka Kain for his outstanding performance in Saturday Church.

U.S. Narrative Jury Prize Best Actress
In a cast of strong female performances, she not only supported the ensemble cast but stood out with her comic timing and effortlessly hilarious presence. The US Jury Prize for Best Actress goes to Ever Mainard in The Feels.

Best Screenwriting in a U.S. Feature
For its naturalistic yet spare and unforced dialogue, even in the most harrowing of situations the award for Best Screenwriting in a U.S. Narrative goes to Eliza Hittman for Beach Rats.

U.S. Grand Jury Prize
For a delightful, well-acted and incisive romp into Chicago's multi-cultural neighborhoods and a moving exploration of the unique bonds between mothers and daughters. Its inspiring message of love and acceptance explodes with humor and heart. We award the Best US Narrative Feature Film prize to Jennifer Reeder for Signature Move.

U.S. Narrative Special Mention
The US Narrative Jury would like to present a Special Mention for amplifying unheard voices with authenticity, highlighting the contemporary life of queer black woman with flair, vibrancy and substance to 195 Lewis.

International Grand Jury Prize
This film breaks new ground through skillful storytelling and stunning cinematography and an unflinching focus on masculinities - toxic or otherwise. The Jury Award for Best International Narrative Feature goes to the South African film The Wound, directed by John Trengove.

International Special Mention
For authentic, grounded storytelling that successfully captures a universal tale of youth, the International Narrative Feature Special Mention for Directing goes to Marcelo Caetano for his work on Body Electric.

Best Documentary Short
For its elegant storytelling, its economical sweep of history, and its sensitivity to lovers together in the struggle, whose intimate point of view enlightens and moves us to see the intricacies of the personal & political victories we can achieve together. The Best Documentary short prize goes to: Bayard & Me by Matt Wolf.

Creatively employing the few surviving archival interviews to illuminate a forthright, outspoken, dynamic and sexy old school butch who was unstoppable in her quest for equality & fairness for lesbians, women and the queer community. The Best Documentary short prize goes to Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies & Feminism by Gregorio Davila.

Documentary Short Special Mention
The Special Mention goes to Al Otro Lado (The Other Side), directed by Rodrigo Alvarez Flores and Pedazos, directed by Alejandro Pena.

Best Narrative Short
Demonstrating restraint in both dialogue and narrative while also presenting a rich visual tapestry in a claustrophobic household, the film portrays an intense, simmering passion between two women yearning to break free from the norms of sexuality and caste (class) in a matriarchal Indian household. The Best Narrative Short Film Award goes to Goddess (Devi), directed by Karishma Dube.
_______________________________________________________________

Special Programming Awards

Emerging Talent
This assured debut feature film combines dreamy cinematography, honest and energetic performances, and snappy, contemporary dialogue, heralding the arrival of a fresh new voice in queer Asian cinema, the 2017 Programming Award for Emerging Talent goes to Samantha Lee for Maybe Tomorrow.

Freedom
This long overdue biography of a civil rights icon merges empathetic documentary filmmaking with the tenacity of investigative journalism to highlight the injustices that trans people still face today, the 2017 Programming Award for Freedom goes to David France and Victoria Cruz for The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.

Artistic Vision
For a chilling tale that blends Hitchcockian suspense filtered through the eerie Icelandic countryside with a rumination on the lingering effects of past trauma, the 2017 Programming Award for Artistic Achievement goes to Erlingur Thoroddsen for Rift.

Fox Inclusion Feature Film Award
Boys For Sale, Directed by Itako

Fox Inclusion Short Film Award
Ma, Directed by Vera Miao


ABOUT OUTFEST
Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is the worlds leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives. Over the past three decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers, and protected more than 35,000 LGBT films and videos. Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival is eleven days of world-class films, panels, and parties.

ABOUT HBO
Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the worlds most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services HBO and Cinemax to approximately 131 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and Cinemax On Demand, as well as HBO GO and MAX GO, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW, the networks internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBOs acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.
07.17.17 by OC

Santa Barbara International Film Festival returns January 31- February 10, 2018 for its 33rd year



For more information about the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, please log on to: www.SBIFF.org





The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) will run from Wednesday, January 31st through Saturday, February 10th 2018. Festival events will be held throughout Santa Barbara, including the Arlington Theatre and the newly restored historic Riviera Theatre.

After another fantastic year, we are ready to hit the ground running for 2018, said Roger Durling, Executive Director of SBIFF. We look forward to continuing our growth and bringing exciting new developments to the Santa Barbara community, and we plan to make our 33rd installment the best festival yet.

In addition to screening numerous films over the years, including countless US and World Premieres, SBIFF is known for programs such as the prestigious Tribute Honor which counts Emma Stone, Casey Affleck, Mahershala Ali, Damien Chazelle, and Janelle Mone among recipients, and the acclaimed Panel Series, where accomplished industry guests come together for lively and revealing discussions, which make the festival a key stop in the award season race.

SBIFF passes are offered at 25% off beginning August 1st.
07.07.17 by OC

LEFTOVERS - new docfilm about why senior citizens are the fastest growing group of people going hungry in America
Editor's Note: This movie brought me to tears! .. One of the most powerful and thought-provoking documentaries of the year .. it's one of the most important films released this year .. I highly recommend this film to everyone!




"LEFTOVERS" is coming on DVD on July 11, 2017


Photographer Seth Hancock was ASKED to make a documentary on a subject matter that meant nothing to him - Senior Citizens and Hunger. So he traveled across America to discover why senior citizens are the fastest growing group of people going hungry in America, why we treat senior citizens as second-class citizens, why he never cared about this issue and what can be done to make a difference in the lives of senior citizens in America.

"There are Americans in this county who are 60 years of age and older who are going hungry and this is the richest nation on earththey don't have the funding to buy the food, buy their medicine, pay their rent and pay their utility billsthey have nothing left over, nothing left over for foodsix million seniors going hungry every day is a national disgrace."



Made with the support of the Meals on Wheels Research Foundation, Leftovers is unarguably the most important film you can see this year.
07.03.17 by OC

Sundance NEXT FEST (August 10, 11, 12, 13) - The Theatre at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles



by Oliver Carnay


Sundance NEXT FEST is a four-day weekend-long festival featuring talented new filmmakers and music artists on the verge of breaking out. The festival will present the Los Angeles premieres of some of the most talked-about independent films from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival yearly held in Park City, Utah, as well as a showcase of upcoming artists.

===============================================


NEXT FEST Opening Night
presented by Acura

RESERVOIR DOGS - 25th anniversary screening

The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, August 10
7:30 p.m. Reservoir Dogs Screening on 35mm | Supported by Cinespia
9:30 p.m. After Dark Party

Kicking-off NEXT FEST is the special 25th anniversary screening of Reservoir Dogs on 35mm print and the presentation to Quentin Tarantino with Sundance Institute's VANGUARD LEADERSHIP AWARD, honoring his distinguished career in filmmaking and advocacy of independent voices. Once the sun sets on Reservoir Dogs, take the festival outside for the After Dark opening night party presented by Acura to enjoy music, drinks, food, games, and moreall while supporting the not-for-profit Sundance Institutes year-round mission to cultivate the next generation of storytellers.



===============================================


Friday, August 11 at 8 p.m. (followed by a performance by Lizzo)

LEMON
Supported by Cinefamily

Isaac Lachmann has seen better days. His acting career is tanking, while his colleagues succeed; his blind girlfriend of 10 years plans to leave him; and his own family singles him out as a constant disappointment at their latest reunion. Even as he takes a chance on new romance, Isaac struggles to define his place in a world that has seemingly turned against him.
Director Janicza Bravo (Gregory Go Boom, 2014 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Jury Award winner) returned to the Sundance Film Festival in 2017 with her description-defying debut feature that promises to delight and unsettle audiences in equal measure with its unique brand of discomforting humor. Bravo unflinchingly strips down her stellar lead and co-writer, Brett Gelman, to appalling levels of vulnerability, emphasized by idiosyncratic supporting turns from Michael Cera, Judy Greer, Nia Long, Martin Starr, and Gillian Jacobs. Bursting with meticulous unease and loving contempt, Bravo questions what it means to truly unravel.

Director: Janicza Bravo
Screenwriter: Janicza Bravo
Cast: Brett Gelman, Judy Greer, Michael Cera, Nia Long, Shiri Appleby, Fred Melamed



The screening will be followed up by a performance by Lizzo

Tossing her hair, flashing a confident smile, and feelin good as hell, Lizzo wields the kind of voice thats right at home in soul, pop, hip-hop, R&B, rock, and gospel. The vivacious and versatile vocalists impassioned delivery and dynamic range bond the six tracks on her critically acclaimed major-label debut EP, Coconut Oil (Nice Life Recording Company/Atlantic Records), achieving what she refers to as a genre-less style.



===============================================


Saturday, August 12 - 12:00 p.m. (will be followed by a musical performance - TBA)

GENTE-FIED

Seven characters deal with the effects of change in LAs Boyle Heights. Bicultural millennials and old-school business owners hustle to create spaces that celebrate their Latino identitieseven while faced with rent hikes, a housing crisis, and a steady stream of outsiders threatening to gentrify their barrio.

All seven episodes of the first season of this series will be screened.

Director: Marvin Lemus
Screenwriters: Marvin Lemus, Linda Yvette Chavez
Cast: Edsson Morales, Victoria Ortiz, Rafael Sigler, Alicia Sixtos, Salvador Velez Jr., America Ferrera



===============================================


Saturday, August 12, 4:00 p.m. (will be followed by a musical performance - TBA)

GOOK
Supported by Giant Robot

Winner of the NEXT Audience Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival
Its 1992 in Los Angeles and Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers, struggle to keep their fathers shoe store afloat. Theyre the unlikely pals of Kamilla, a sassy, 11-year-old African American girl from the neighborhood, who ditches school to secretly hang out at their store. When Kamillas brother Keith discovers that shes spending time with those gooks, he plots revenge on them. Meanwhile, on the day of the announcement of the Rodney King verdict, larger acts of violence loom as the LA riots move closer to their world.

Gook could be an independent film from the early 1990s, but the perspective on and insight into race relations between Korean Americans and African Americans in Los Angeles are more relevant than ever, 25 years after the fact. With humor, heart, and scrappy immediacy,
writer/director/lead actor Justin Chon re-centers this moment in history to tell a story about a first generation of Korean Americans amid the chaos and complexity of a multiracial LA, where everybody is looking to survive on their own terms and their own values.

Director: Justin Chon
Screenwriter: Justin Chon
Cast: Justin Chon, Simone Baker, David So, Curtiss Cook Jr., Sang Chon, Ben Munoz



===============================================


August 12, Saturday - 8 p.m. (will be followed by a musical performance by Sleigh Bells after the screening of Bitch)

BITCH

Jill, a lonely, distraught housewife with four unruly children, paces on her dining room table with a belt around her neck, contemplating a desperate end to her wretchedness. Her husband, Bill, focused on his identity as breadwinner and an affair with a lusty co-worker, is as oblivious to Jills growing terror that she will do something destructive as he is to the panic at his unraveling company. Meanwhile, dogs bark and howl through the night, as one persistent mutt continually stalks the familys yard. When Jills psyche finally breaks, she takes on a vicious new canine persona.

Marianna Palka (who returned to the Sundance Film Festival in 2017 after 2008s Good Dick) writes, directs, and stars in this provocative film. She balances a whip-smart, deeply unsettling take on the horrors of a crumbling nuclear family with a palpable sensitivity for her characters plight and perfectly timed comedic flourishes. Jason Ritter delivers a beautifully tragicomic performance as Bill, whos transformed by bizarre crisis from an indifferent hound of a man entirely untethered from his family to their unexpected emotional anchor.

Director: Marianna Palka
Screenwriter: Marianna Palka
Cast: Jason Ritter, Jaime King, Marianna Palka, Brighton Sharbino, Rio Mangini, Kingston Foster



Following the screening is the musical performance of SLEIGH BELLS

After getting off the ground in 2009, Sleigh Bells released three blistering records in four years. Ready for a break from the road, they then took their time to push their music even further in Jessica Rabbit, their intense, vulnerable, uncategorizable fourth LP.



===============================================


Sunday, August 13 - 12:00 p.m. (Following the screening, the creators will sit down for a conversation with a special guest of their choosing. Past guests have included Catherine Hardwicke, Nicolas Refn, Aubrey Plaza, Robert Townsend, and Werner Herzog.)

DINA

Winner of the U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Dina, an outspoken and eccentric 49-year-old in suburban Philadelphia, invites her fianc Scott, a Walmart door greeter, to move in with her. Having grown up neurologically diverse in a world blind to the value of their experience, the two are head-over-heels for one another, but shacking up poses a new challenge. Scott freezes when it comes to physical intimacy, and Dina, a Kardashians fanatic, wants nothing more than to share with Scott all shes learned about sensual desire from books, TV shows, and her previous marriage. Her increasingly creative forays to draw Scott close keep hitting roadblocksexposing anxieties, insecurities, and communication snafus while they strive to reconcile their conflicting approaches to romance and intimacy.

Filmmakers Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini construct seamless vrit scenes that lovingly frame Dina and Scotts vulnerable, yet matter-of-fact romance. Whether at the local nail salon, the warm beaches of Ocean City, Dinas racy bachelorette party, or on honeymoon in the Poconos, Dina captures the cadences and candid conversations of a relationship that reexamines the notion of love on-screen.

Directors: Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini
Cast: Dina Buno, Scott Levin




===============================================


August 12 - Sunday, 4:00 p.m. (Following the screening, the creators will sit down for a conversation with a special guest of their choosing. Past guests have included Catherine Hardwicke, Nicolas Refn, Aubrey Plaza, Robert Townsend, and Werner Herzog.)

GOLDEN EXITS

Nick has settled into a safe existence in a small pocket of Brooklyn, where he currently toils on an archival project for his father-in-law. Soon, 20-something Naomi arrives from Australia to assist Nick for the semester. She has no acquaintances in the city beyond a loose family connection to Buddy, a music producer who lives in the same neighborhood. For the few months she spends around Nick, Buddy, and their families, Naomi's presence upsets the unpleasant balance holding these two households together.

Writer/director Alex Ross Perry (2014s Listen Up Philip) returned to the Sundance Film Festival in 2017 with another acerbic ensemble, this time exploring the personal torment belying domesticated oblivion. His impressive cast embraces both the dramatic and darkly comedic faces of despair intertwining throughout the incisive script. As with his previous works, Golden Exits is impeccably designed by Perry's regular collaborators: cinematographer Sean Price Williams, editor Robert Greene, and composer Keegan DeWitt.

Director: Alex Ross Perry
Screenwriter: Alex Ross Perry
Cast: Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman, Chlo Sevigny



===============================================


August 13 - Sunday, 8:00 p.m.

L.A. TIMES

Annette might be judgmental, critical, and a total perfectionistbut only of the most charming variety. When she suddenly perceives that her relationship with her boyfriend, Elliot, is inferior to all the happy coupledom she sees among her friends, she decides they need to break up. Launched into the LA dating scene, where film industry jobs, old school bars, and elitist consumerism are the norm, Annette begins to realize that maybe meeting some cool new guy isnt going to lead her to personal fulfillment. When unsettling revelations about her friends and their ideal relationships surface, Annette is further forced to reexamine her theories.

In this aesthetically pleasing world created by writer/director/lead actor Michelle Morgan (whose short film K.I.T. played at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival), L.A. Times is a contemporary comedy of manners where West Coast meets Whit Stillman, and sweetness rules over cynicism. Morgan delights in languagewitticisms and pithy observations roll off the tongues of her endearing characters who, despite their seemingly perfectly curated lives, manage to complicate things in the most human of ways.

Director: Michelle Morgan
Screenwriter: Michelle Morgan
Cast: Michelle Morgan, Dree Hemingway, Jorma Taccone, Kentucker Audley, Margarita Levieva, Adam Shapiro



The screening will follow by a performance by ELECTRIC GUEST

The LA-based duo Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton recently released their adventurous electronic R&B album Plural. Rolling Stone called their Mondo a Beck-ian journey into L.A. slacker soul, and theyve been named an MTV Artist To Watch and NME Band Of The Week.



===============================================
07.03.17 by OC

New doc-film by award-winning director Stephanie Soechtig and Oscar nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock to feature environmental activist Erin Brockovich


www.TheDevilWeKnow.com


Never before seen clip featuring Erin Brockovich:
https://vimeo.com/218727856



THE DEVIL WE KNOW CHRONICLES ONE OF THE BIGGEST ENVIRONMENTAL SCANDALS IN U.S. HISTORY, INVOLVING ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE BRAND NAMES EVER: TEFLON

AN INDIEGOGO CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO SUPPORT THE COMPLETION OF THIS GROUNDBREAKING DOCUMENTARY

Two forces in the documentary film world Oscar nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (SUPER SIZE ME) and award-winning director Stephanie Soechtig (FED UP) have teamed up on an eye-opening new film that tells the story of an unprecedented chemical contamination that started in one of their hometowns before spreading around the globe. Today marks the launch of their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, in order to raise the funds needed to finish the film, which is currently in post-production.

After taking on, respectively, fast food behemoth McDonalds and the food and beverage industry, the filmmakers have turned their attention to the chemical industry in THE DEVIL WE KNOW.

Soechtig is the director, producer and writer of the project, with Spurlock coming on board as the Executive Producer, Jeremy Seifert (GMO OMG) co-directing, and Mark Monroe is also writing.

THE DEVIL WE KNOW focuses on one such story that unfolded in Parkersburg, West Virginia. For decades, the makers of Teflon, the multi-national chemical corporation DuPont, exposed its workers and an entire community to C8, a toxic chemical used to make its non-stick superstar and countless other consumer products. Now, according to the CDC, C8 is found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans.

The film features environmental activist Erin Brockovich, who famously took on Pacific Gas and Electric for contaminating the drinking water in Hinckley, California, and has remained an outspoken advocate for citizens across the country and around the world whose water has been poisoned.

C8 is one of the most prolific contaminants we're seeing. Its popping up every place, states Brockovich. It's in everything. I'm dealing with so many communities right now who are sick. Many have suffered with illnesses that science is starting to link with C8.

"As a native West Virginian, this story and the struggle the people of this community endure is one I could not ignore, adds Spurlock. I am hopeful that with this movie, we will continue to get them all the justice and closure they deserve."

Im so excited about the team weve put together on this film, says Soechtig. Morgan is a very generous and gracious collaborator, and his support of the film is especially meaningful given that it takes place in his hometown of Parkersburg, WV. And working with the incomparable Erin Brockovich has been profoundly important to the telling of this story.

With the project in post-production, the filmmakers today launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in order to finish the film. Those interested in supporting THE DEVIL WE KNOW can find out more at http://igg.me/at/thedevilweknow. Unique perks for participating include a 2-night stay, plus dinner, at The Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY; an opportunity to pitch a film and/or television project to a major production company; a pair of tickets to a taping of Late Night with Seth Meyers in New York - including a meet-and-greet with Meyers; and a lunch meeting with director Morgan Spurlock.

This film is an incredibly fascinating story that unfolds very much like a narrative film, adds Soechtig. While it is similar to my other films - UNDER THE GUN and FED UP - in that it explores a very complex, very urgent social issue, stylistically it is much different from those films and that has been an exciting challenge for me. I am hopeful that THE DEVIL WE KNOW will be a wake-up call to the public about the complete lack of oversight on tens of thousands of industrial chemicals in this country.

THE DEVIL WE KNOW represents the second film on which Spurlock's Warrior Poets has partnered with Indiegogo to support the funding of documentaries on the crowdfunding platform.

###

ABOUT THE DEVIL WE KNOW

C8 is a chemical in the bloodstream of 99.7% of Americans how it got there and why it took a cattle farmer and a PE teacher in West Virginia to expose the chemical is a fascinating and timely tale.

Tucked in the rolling hills of West Virginia, the town of Parkersburg is described by those who live there as an idyllic place to raise a family. Its also home to a sprawling DuPont chemical plant that manufactures Teflon. When Earl Tennant and his brother Jim noticed the cows on their family farm were mysteriously dying, they suspected it might be tied to the adjacent non-hazardous landfill operated by DuPont. Then one autumn day in 2000, local schoolteacher Joe Kiger opened his mail and found a letter in his water bill informing him that C8 - DuPonts Teflon chemical - was in his drinking water, but safe for consumption. Most people would throw the letter away and most did but Joe Kiger is different. The trail of deception he and his wife Darlene uncovered made the sleepy town of Parkersburg the epicenter of one of the largest class action lawsuits in the history of environmental law.

Internal documents and secret in-house studies reveal a disturbing truth: DuPont had knowingly been pumping a toxic chemical into the air and public water supply of more than 70,000 people for decades.

The heroes who brought this contamination out of the darkness help the filmmakers expose a complex, decades-long cover-up by one of the world's largest chemical corporations. As the story continues to unfold to this day, plaintiffs in an historic class action lawsuit break their silence about the suffering theyve endured at the hands of the chemical giant in their backyard.

ABOUT STEPHANIE SOECHTIG

Stephanie Soechtig is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder of Atlas Films. Her most recent film, UNDER THE GUN, received a prolonged standing ovation when it premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and critics called it "the best film on firearms since the 2002s Oscar-winning doc Bowling for Columbine. Two years earlier, FED UP, which spotlighted out addiction to sugar and the ensuing obesity epidemic, premiered at Sundance. Other projects include TAPPED, about the bottled water industry, and THE LAST ANIMALS, about Africas poaching crisis.

ABOUT MORGAN SPURLOCK

Morgan Spurlock is an Oscar nominated filmmaker and founder of Warrior Poets, a New York-based production studio. His first film, SUPER SIZE ME, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, winning Best Directing honors. The film went on to win the inaugural WGA Best Documentary Screenplay award, as well as garner an Academy Award nomination for Best Feature Documentary. Since then he has directed, produced, and distributed multiple film, television and online projects, including THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD; WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN?; RATS; MANSOME; CNNs INSIDE MAN; and more.

ABOUT INDIEGOGO

Indiegogo empowers people around the world to fund what matters to them. As the largest global crowdfunding platform, campaigns have launched from almost every country around the world with millions of dollars being distributed every week due to contributions made by the Indiegogo community. Indiegogo is an open platform dedicated to democratizing the way people raise funds for any project creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related. The company was launched in 2008 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York. For more information, visit www.indiegogo.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/indiegogo and www.facebook.com/indiegogo.

ABOUT C8

● C8 also known as PFOA is a synthetic industrial chemical that has been used in the manufacture of Teflon cookware and countless other products, like water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant carpeting, food wrappers, pizza boxes, microwave popcorn, dental floss, firefighting foam, and more.

● A panel of independent scientists have linked C8 exposure, even at low doses, to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, and pre-eclampsia.

● C8 has been detected in the drinking water of at least 6.5 million Americans in 27 states.

● C8 is one of the most persistent chemicals known to man - it is completely resistant to biodegradation and it accumulates in the blood.

● C8 has been found in the blood and organs of numerous wildlife species around the globe, from the Alaskan polar bear to the bald eagle, sea turtles to salmon.

● Studies have found C8 in the umbilical cord blood of every newborn baby tested.
07.03.17 by OC

Former Power Rangers tv star Davi Santos talks about how he got the role of Tim Wyman in the adapted film version of Jay Bell acclaimed novel "Something Like Summer" (playing at Outfest on July 15 at 11 a.m.)








An exclusive interview

by Oliver Carnay


Former Power Rangers tv star Davi Santos is starring in the new LGBT film Something Like Summer, a story about the tumultuous relationship of two secret high school sweethearts who grows over the years being friends and lovers. The movie, helmed by David Berry, is adapted from the acclaimed novel by Jay Bell.

Davi Santos is a Brazilian born American actor best known for his role playing Sir Ivan, The Gold Ranger on the television series Power Rangers Dino Charge. Ive known this guy for a while and was surprised to see him at the recent FilmOut San Diego where the film is doing its round of festival circuit. I decided to throw some questions about the film and asked what else he is up to, so here it is ...


HOLLYWOODFLIP: Were you familiar with the novel before accepting the role of Tim Wyman?

DS: The audition with its sides and script were my first introduction to the world of Something Like Summer.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What was the first thing you thought about upon learning you got the role? How did you prepare Tim's role?

DS: I was honored. It was a very honest script with role that wanted to play. I read Something Like Winter to get to know Tims perspective. I isolated scenes from the book in the film, comparing them and choosing what served the narrative from there.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Can you talk about how did the role of Tim land in your lap? Could you talk further about the audition and casting process, and with the other cast members?

DS: My manager asked me if I was interested and sent me the material. The story resonated with me, losing the one amidst the throughs of growing up, finding them again, wanting to make it work in spite of all the obstacles. It was beautiful, and I wanted to do it on screen.

I filmed a self-tape with a close friend, and they casted from there. I learned that all my material online was reviewed. My short films, Densely Hollow, even my other audition tapes that were available online at the time. Austin Mckenzie had been cast at that point. We had a Skype session.

He went to Broadway with Spring Awakening, so the film needed a new Ben. I went to LA for the chemistry read with the new actors considered. I was in the room with the producer, the director, the DP, the casting director, an assistant, and I read with some great actors, all quite different from one another actually. We also Skype read with Actors in NYC. We had a round of callbacks, and the decision was made from there. Grant was the guy.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What was the atmosphere during the shoot?

DS: It was a fantastically organized shoot. The actors got along, the director gave us liberty, and we were each committed to the story. We filmed in some lovely locations, and we got to start every day kind of late in the morning, so we were well rested. After coming out of a set that had only 5AM start times, 10AM was another planet.


HOLLYWOODFLIP: What was or were your favorite scenes, and memorable scene(s) in the film?

DS: So many actually. It spans different years, different rites of passage, but if I had to choose, it would be the very end at the Art Gallery. It felt like the alter, an ode to hope at second chances. Otherwise it was the Mexican Food joint where Ben and Tim meet, cause guess what we got to eat afterwards?

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How was it like working with director David Berry and with your co-leads Ben Braun and Grant Davis? Where you given special instructions about anything on how each role should be portrayed, or were you given a liberty to explore Tim's character with your own vision?

DS: David was a minimalist in terms of directing actors, which permitted me to play freely and manifest what I prepared and rehearsed. Ben, unfortunately I only had one scene with, so at the time, my only experience with him was that he had this deep seated resentment. It was funny to actually get to know him afterwards because hes so endearing. Grant was always up for rehearsal after a full days work before the next day, and I loved how committed he was to the story. He knew it so well.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How many days did you shoot and where did you shoot?

DS: We filmed for 20 days in Portland, Oregon.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What other festivals, after FilmOut San Diego would this film be screening?

DS: For the coming few weeks, Im most looking forward to the screenings at Outfest and Rio de Janeiro's Gender and Sexuality Film Festival.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What would you like the audience to take after watching this movie?

DS: Dare to love who you love and loves you. Forgive yourself. Believe in loving again.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: As an actor, what type of roles attract you?

DS: Those serendipitously under-the-skin close to self roles that require you to realize who you are, and the opposite that require immersive research and imagination to realize who you could have been.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Anything you want to promote, projects your fans should be looking out for?

DS: My company, Densely Hollow Films, has exciting upcoming work and I will be facing some frightening characters in The Weinsteins Polaroid this Summer.

So there you are readers .. if you want to follow Davi Santos social media links, check below links:

www.instagram.com/davi2santos
www.twitter.com/2davisantos
www.facebook.com/davisantosofficial

Something Like Summer will be screening at Outfest on July 15, Saturday, at 11 a.m.

https://www.facebook.com/events/238014716698502/
06.28.17 by OC

2017 FilmOut San Diego announces winners



2017 FilmOut Festival Awards were announced and here are the winners!

Best Narrative Feature Tom E. Brown, Pushing Dead
Best First Narrative Feature Albert Alarr, A Million Happy Nows Best Screenplay Del Shores, A Very Sordid Wedding
Best Actor in a Feature Film James Roday, Pushing Dead
Best Actress in a Feature Film *TIE* Bonnie Bedelia, A Very Sordid
Wedding & Crystal Chappell, A Million Happy Nows
Best Actor in Supporting Role Danny Glover, Pushing Dead
Best Actress in Supporting Role Jessica Leccia, A Million Happy Nows Best International Feature Joris van den Berg, CAS
Best Overall Short Film Faraz Ansari, Sisak
Best Short Film Male Eli Mak, Devil Wears A Suit
Best Short Film Female Graham Cantwell, Lily
Best International Short Film Jake Graf, Dusk
Best Cinematography Cathal Watters, Handsome Devil
Best Documentary Josh Howard, The Lavender Scare
Best Direction Jennifer Reeder, Signature Move
Best Soundtrack Cian McCarthy, Something Like Summer
2017 FilmOut Audience Awards
Best Narrative Feature John Butler, Handsome Devil
Best First Narrative Feature David Berry, Something Like Summer
Best Screenplay Del Shores, A Very Sordid Wedding
Best Overall Short Film Eli Mak, Devil Wears A Suit
Best Male Short Nish Gera, Scar Tissue
Best Female Short Christie Conochalla, August In The City
Best Actor in a Feature Film Fionn OShea, Handsome Devil
Best Actress in a Feature Film Fawzia Mirza, Signature Move
Best Supporting Actor Ben Baur, Something Like Summer
Best Supporting Actress Dale Dickey, A Very Sordid Wedding
Best International Feature Laurent Micheli, Even Lovers Get The Blues Best Documentary Jennifer Kroot, The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin Best Comedy Del Shores, A Very Sordid Wedding
Best Ensemble Cast of A Very Sordid Wedding
2017 FilmOut Programming Awards
The Festival and Programming Directors are responsible for these awards:
Freedom Award Josh Howard, The Lavender Scare
Outstanding Emerging Talent McGhee Monteith, He Couldve Gone Pro Outstanding Artistic Achievement Eli Mak, Devil Wears A Suit


06.23.17 by OC

Former Power Rangers tv star Davi Santos talks about how he got the role of Tim Wyman in the adapted film version of Jay Bell acclaimed novel "Something Like Summer"





Photo: (Left) Davi Santos being interviewed at red carpet before the screening of his film "Something Like Summer" at FilmOut San Diego, which served as the festival's "Boys Centerpiece"; (top right) stars from the film Davi Santos, Ben Baur and Grant Davis.


An exclusive interview

by Oliver Carnay


Former Power Rangers tv star Davi Santos is starring in the new LGBT film Something Like Summer, a story about the tumultuous relationship of two secret high school sweethearts who grows over the years being friends and lovers. The movie, helmed by David Berry, is adapted from the acclaimed novel by Jay Bell.

Davi Santos is a Brazilian born American actor best known for his role playing Sir Ivan, The Gold Ranger on the television series Power Rangers Dino Charge. Ive known this guy for a while and was surprised to see him at the recent FilmOut San Diego where the film is doing its round of festival circuit. I decided to throw some questions about the film and asked what else he is up to, so here it is ...


HOLLYWOODFLIP: Were you familiar with the novel before accepting the role of Tim Wyman?

DS: The audition with its sides and script were my first introduction to the world of Something Like Summer.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What was the first thing you thought about upon learning you got the role? How did you prepare Tim's role?

DS: I was honored. It was a very honest script with role that wanted to play. I read Something Like Winterto get to know Tims perspective. I isolated scenes from the book in the film, comparing them and choosing what served the narrative from there.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Can you talk about how did the role of Tim land in your lap? Could you talk further about the audition and casting process, and with the other cast members?

DS: My manager asked me if I was interested and sent me the material. The story resonated with me, losing the one amidst the throughs of growing up, finding them again, wanting to make it work in spite of all the obstacles. It was beautiful, and I wanted to do it on screen.

I filmed a self-tape with a close friend, and they casted from there. I learned that all my material online was reviewed. My short films, Densely Hollow,even my other audition tapes that were available online at the time. Austin Mckenzie had been cast at that point. We had a Skype session.

He went to Broadway with Spring Awakening, so the film needed a new Ben. I went to LA for the chemistry read with the new actors considered. I was in the room with the producer, the director, the DP, the casting director, an assistant, and I read with some great actors, all quite different from one another actually. We also Skype read withActors in NYC. We had a round of callbacks, and the decision was made from there. Grant was the guy.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What was the atmosphere during the shoot?

DS: It was a fantastically organized shoot. The actors got along, the director gave us liberty, and we were each committed to the story. We filmed in some lovely locations, and we got to start every day kind of late in the morning, so we were well rested. After coming out of a set that had only 5AM start times, 10AM was another planet.


HOLLYWOODFLIP: What was or were your favorite scenes, and memorable scene(s) in the film?

DS: So many actually. It spans different years, different rites of passage, but if I had to choose, it would be the very end at the Art Gallery. It felt like the alter, an ode to hope at second chances. Otherwise it was the Mexican Food joint where Ben and Tim meet, cause guess what we got to eat afterwards?

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How was it like working with director David Berry and with your co-leads Ben Braun and Grant Davis? Where you given special instructions about anything on how each role should be portrayed, or were you given a liberty to explore Tim's character with your own vision?

DS: David was a minimalist in terms of directing actors, which permitted me to play freely and manifest what I prepared and rehearsed. Ben, unfortunately I only had one scene with, so at the time, my only experience with him was that he had this deep seated resentment. It was funny to actually get to know him afterwards because hes so endearing. Grant was always up for rehearsal after a full days work before the next day, and I loved how committed he was to the story. He knew it so well.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How many days did you shoot and where did you shoot?

DS: We filmed for 20 days in Portland, Oregon.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What other festivals, after FilmOut San Diego would this film be screening?

DS: For the coming few weeks, Im most looking forward to the screenings at Outfest and Rio de Janeiro's Gender and Sexuality Film Festival.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What would you like the audience to take after watching this movie?

DS: Dare to love who you love and loves you. Forgive yourself. Believe in loving again.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: As an actor, what type of roles attract you?

DS: Those serendipitously under-the-skin close to self roles that require you to realize who you are, and the opposite that require immersive research and imagination to realize who you could have been.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Anything you want to promote, projects your fans should be looking out for?

DS: My company, Densely Hollow Films, has exciting upcoming work and I will be facing some frightening characters in The Weinsteins Polaroid this Summer.

So there you are readers .. if you want to follow Davi Santos social media links, check below links:

www.instagram.com/davi2santos
www.twitter.com/2davisantos
www.facebook.com/davisantosofficial

And dont forget, if you missed Something Like Summer at FilmOut San Diego, its next stop will be at Outfest in Los Angeles, playing July 15, Saturday, at 11 a.m.:

https://www.facebook.com/events/238014716698502/
06.23.17 by OC

Winners at 2017 LA Film Festival announced; Festival Guest Director Miguel Arteta received "Spirit of Independence Award"; docfilm "Skid Row Marathon" wins two awards; "Beauty Mark" actress Auden Thornton wins "Breakthrough Performance Award" while "Anything" lead star John Caroll Lynch won for "Best Male Performance"


Pics from the "Announcement of Winners" held at Culver Studios can be browsed here.


LOS ANGELES (June 23, 2017) The LA Film Festival, produced by Film Independent, announced the winners of the 2017 Festival at the Awards Reception presided over by Festival Director Jennifer Cochis and Film Independent President Josh Welsh. The Festivals juried awards include the U.S. Fiction Award, U.S. Fiction Cinematography Award presented by Aputure, World Fiction Award, Documentary Award, LA Muse Awards, and Nightfall Award, as well as the Short Fiction Award and the Short Documentary Award. Audience awards are presented for Fiction Feature Film, Documentary Feature Film, Short Film and Web Series. Festival Guest Director Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl, Beatriz at Dinner) was awarded the Spirit of Independence Award at the event for his work advancing the cause of independent film and championing creative freedom. Film Independent President Josh Welsh also took the opportunity to thank the more than 60 generous sponsors, funders and media partners without whom the Festival would not be possible.

This year the LA Film Festival stretched all across our city, from downtown to the beach, said Festival Director Jennifer Cochis. We're so grateful to the film lovers who packed our theaters in support of our storytellers. Today we celebrate the winners of the LA Film Festival Awards!

Producing the LA Film Festival is a huge undertaking, with filmmakers from all across the globe, venues all across the city, and hundreds of volunteers helping us pull it off, said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. We truly could not do it without the extremely generous support of our many sponsors.

The U.S. Fiction Award went to Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell for Becks, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. The U.S. Fiction Cinematography Award presented by Aputure went to cinematographers Christian Sorensen Hansen and Pete Ohs for Everything Beautiful is Far Away, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Duncan Birmingham, Riley Stearns and Emily Ting.

The World Fiction Award went to Diego Ros for The Night Guard (El Vigilante), which made its North American Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Caroline Graham, Lincoln Jones and Javier Fuentes-Len.

The Documentary Award went to Amanda Kopp and Aaron Kopp for Liyana, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Katherine Fairfax-Wright, Paul Federbush and Matt Holzman.

The LA Muse Awards were given to two films, one fiction and one documentary. The LA Muse Documentary Award went to Mark Hayes for Skid Row Marathon, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. The LA Muse Fiction Award went to Savannah Bloch for And Then There Was Eve, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Susan Burke, Juan Iglesias and Kimrie Lewis-Davis.

The Nightfall Award went to Amanda Evans for Serpent, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. Jury Members: Jimmy Tsai, Clarke Wolfe and Andrew Curry.

The Award for Short Fiction went to A Funeral for Lightning, directed by Emily Kai Bock. The Award for Short Documentary went to Black America Again, directed by Bradford Young. Jury Members: Kim Adelman, Jonni Cheatwood and Naomi Ladizinsky.

The Audience Award for Documentary Feature Film was given to Skid Row Marathon, directed by Mark Hayes.

The Audience Award for Fiction Feature Film went to The Keeping Hours, directed by Karen Moncrieff.

The Audience Award for Short Film went to Swim directed by Mari Walker. The Audience Award for Web Series went to High & Mighty, directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada.

Announced earlier were the winners of The Danny Elfman Project: Rabbit and Rogue competition:

13, Justine Quinones

The Bridge, Matt Eckholm

Dandelion, Catherine Fauteux

A Day for Manuel, JB Minerva

Gamelan, Cornelia Nicolăeasa

A Glory Sewn, Travis Dixon

Lakesong, Douglas Gibbens & Konstantina Mantelos

Natural Promotion, Sean Oliver

Urge, Pieter Coudyzer

Elfman offered free licenses of his Rabbit and Rogue album to filmmakers on indi.com as the catalyst and soundtracks to their short films. The winning films screened at the Festival. The jury was comprised of Gus Van Sant, McG, Rob Minkoff, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Paul Haggis and Suzanne Todd.

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COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS AND SPONSORS AT RECENT LA FILM FESTIVAL HOUSED AT ARCLIGHT CINEMAS - HOLLYWOOD/CULVER CITY/ SANTA MONICA

The LA Film Festival kicked off on Wednesday, June 14 with the World Premiere of Colin Trevorrows The Book of Henry and with the LA Premiere of Matt Spicers Ingrid Goes West. Special Screenings included Sofia Coppolas The Beguiled, Ric Roman Waughs Shot Caller, Dave McCarys Brigsby Bear and featured conversations with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of Portlandia, Ava DuVernay, Amanda Marsalis, DeMane Davis, Kat Candler and Cheryl Dunye of Queen Sugar to list but a few of the events this year. The Festival also celebrated producer Nina Yang Bongiovi (Roxanne Roxanne, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Fruitvale Station, Dope) at the Women Who Lead Luncheon.

The Festivals five competitions featured 37 World Premieres, 2 International Premieres and 9 North American Premieres. Across the competition categories 42% of the films are directed by women and 40% are directed by people of color.

Awards were given out in the following categories:

U.S. Fiction Award
Winner: Becks, directed by Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell

Screenwriter: Elizabeth Rohrbaugh, Daniel Powell, Rebecca Drysdale

Producer: Alex Bach, Elizabeth Rohrbaugh, Daniel Powell
Cast: Lena Hall, Mena Suvari, Christine Lahti, Dan Fogler, Rebecca Drysdale, Hayley Kiyoko, Michael Zegen

Film Description: After a crushing breakup, an aimless singer-songwriter moves in with her ultra-Catholic mother and strikes up an unexpected friendship with the wife of an old nemesis. World Premiere

U.S. Fiction Cinematography Award presented by Aputure

Winner: Everything Beautiful is Far Away, cinematography by Christian Sorensen Hansen and Pete Ohs
Directors: Pete Ohs and Andrea Sisson

Country: USA

Screenwriter: Pete Ohs

Producer: Saul Germaine, Andrea Sisson, Pete Ohs
Cast: Julia Garner, Joseph Cross, C.S. Lee

Film Description: This arthouse science fiction fable is set on an isolated desert planet, where a man who is looking for parts to repair his robotic companion teams up with a young woman who is searching for an imaginary lake. World Premiere

Aputure is a company that believes creators should never have to compromise their vision because of a budget. Offering professional-grade equipment affordable to filmmakers everywhere, Aputure sells in over 100 countries offering filmmakers and photographers LED lights, monitors, microphones and lens adapters. In partnering with the LA Film Festival to present the Aputure Cinematography Award, they are awarding $4,000 in lighting equipment to the winning film's director of photography.

The U.S. Fiction Jury awarded the following special mentions:

Special Mention for Breakout Performance: Auden Thornton of Beauty Mark

Country: USA

Director: Harris Doran

Screenwriter: Harris Doran

Producer: Harris Doran, Penny Edmiston, Gill Holland, Kiley Lane Parker, Bridget Berger, Corey Moosa

Cast: Auden Thornton, Catherine Curtin, Laura Bell Bundy, Jeff Kober, Madison Iseman, Deirdre Lovejoy

Film Description: Inspired by true events, when a poverty-stricken young mother and her three-year-old son are evicted, she turns to the only person she knows with any money the man who abused her as a child. World Premiere

Special Mention for Directing: Bruce Thierry Cheung of Dont Come Back from the Moon

Country: USA

Screenwriter: Bruce Thierry Cheung, Dean Bakopoulos

Producer: Jay Davis, Lauren Hoekstra

Cast: Jeffrey Wahlberg, Zackary Arthur, Alyssa Elle Steinacker, Cheyenne Haynes, James Franco, Rashida Jones

Film Description: The men of a small town on the edge of nowhere mysteriously disappear, one by one, leaving women and children behind to fend for themselves in a desolate and dreamlike world. World Premiere


****

World Fiction Award
Winner: The Night Guard (El Vigilante), directed by Diego Ros
Country: Mexico

Screenwriter: Diego Ros

Producer: Diego Ros
Cast: Leonardo Alonso, Ari Gallegos, Lilia Mendoza, Hctor Holten

Film Description: A security guard at a construction site learns about a crime that took place the night before and becomes entangled in a series of mysterious events that unravel over the course of a single night. North American Premiere

The World Fiction Jury awarded the following special mention:

Special Mention for Excellence in Storytelling: On the Beach at Night Alone (Bamui Hae-Byun-Eoseo Honja), directed by Hong Sangsoo

Country: South Korea

Screenwriter: Hong Sangsoo

Producer: Hong Sangsoo

Cast: Kim Minhee, Seo Younghwa, Kwon Haehyo, Jung Jaeyoung, Song Seonmi, Moon Sungkeun, Ahn Jaehong, Park Yeaju, Karl Feder, Mark Peranson, Bettina Steinbrgge

Film Description: Younghee is an actress who is stressed by a relationship with a married man in Korea. On the beach she wonders: Is he missing me, like I miss him? North American Premiere



****

Documentary Award

Winner: Liyana, directed by Amanda Kopp and Aaron Kopp
Country: Swaziland / USA / Qatar

Producer: Amanda Kopp, Aaron Kopp, Sakheni Dlamini, Daniel Junge, Davis Coombe
Featuring: Gcina Mhlophe

Film Description: The epic tale of a young Swazi girl on a dangerous quest to save her twin brothers is brought to life with captivating animation from the imaginations of five talented orphan children in Swaziland. World Premiere

****

LA Muse Fiction Award
Winner: And Then There Was Eve, directed by Savannah Bloch

Screenwriter: Savannah Bloch, Colette Freedman

Producer: Jen Prince, Jhennifer Webberley
Cast: Tania Nolan, Rachel Crowl, Mary Holland, Karan Soni, Anne Gee Byrd, John Kassir

Film Description: After the sudden disappearance of her husband, a woman enlists the help of his coworker to fill in the missing pieces. World Premiere

LA Muse Documentary Award
Winner: Skid Row Marathon, directed by Mark Hayes

Screenwriter: Mark Hayes

Producer: Gabriele Hayes, Doug Blush
Cast: Judge Craig Mitchell, Ben Shirley, Rafael Cabrera, Rebecca Hayes, David Askew

Film Description: On LAs Skid Row, a criminal court judge organizes a running club comprised of homeless, recovering and paroled men and women who seek to rediscover their sense of self-worth and dignity. World Premiere

The LA Muse Jury awarded the following special mentions:

Special Mention for Acting: John Carroll Lynch of Anything

Country: USA

Director: Timothy McNeil

Screenwriter: Timothy McNeil

Producer: Louise Runge, Ofrit Peres, Micah Hauptman

Cast: John Carroll Lynch, Matt Bomer, Maura Tierney, Margot Bingham, Micah Hauptman

Film Description: After the death of his wife, a man moves from Mississippi to a run-down Hollywood apartment, where he meets someone new. World Premiere

Special Mention for Excellence in Storytelling: The Classic, directed by Billy McMillin

Country: USA

Screenwriter: Billy McMillin

Producer: Christopher Leggett, Rafael Marmor, Timm Oberwelland, Billy McMillin

Cast: Mario Ramirez, Joseph Silva, Sammy Hernandez, Stevie Williams, Javier Cid, Lorenzo Hernandez, Alfred Robledo

Film Description: Two predominantly Latino high schools square off annually in one of the oldest and most heated football rivalries in the country: the East LA Classic. It doesnt get more American than this. World Premiere

****

Nightfall Award
Winner: Serpent, directed by Amanda Evans

Screenwriter: Amanda Evans

Producer: Greig Buckle
Cast: Sarah Dumont, Tom Ainsley

Film Description: When a young couple take a getaway aimed at reviving their romance, they find themselves trapped in a tent with a venomous snake and a backlog of secrets, and realize that only one of them can make it out alive. World Premiere

The Nightfall Jury awarded the following special mention:

Special Mention for Acting: Kate Nhung of The Housemaid

Country: USA/Vietnam

Director: Derek Nguyen

Screenwriter: Derek Nguyen

Producer: Timothy Linh Bui

Cast: Nhung Kate, Jean-Michel Richaud, Kim Xuan, Rosie Fellner, Phi Phung, Kien An

Film Description: After an orphaned Vietnamese girl is hired to be a housemaid at a haunted rubber plantation in 1953 French Indochina, she unexpectedly falls in love with the French landowner and awakens the vengeful ghost of his dead wife. North American Premiere

****

Award for Short Film
Winner: A Funeral for Lightning, directed by Emily Kai Bock. USA/Canada.
Film Description: Seven months pregnant and stuck in a sleepy corner of Tennessee, a young woman begins to question the promises made by her charismatic husband.

The Shorts Jury awarded the following special mentions:

Special Mention for Excellence in Storytelling: Balloonfest, directed by Nathan Truesdell. USA

Film Description: Cleveland attempts to overcome its nickname, The Mistake by the Lake, by launching a bunch of balloons.



****

Award for Documentary Short

Winner: Black America Again, directed by Bradford Young. USA
Film Description: Inspired by Commons Black America Again, this portrait is a celebration of the beauty, strength, perseverance and spirit of the black community in these troubling times.

****


Audience Award for Fiction Feature Film

Winner: The Keeping Hours, directed by Karen Moncrieff
Producers: Jason Blum, John Miranda
Cast: Lee Pace, Carrie Coon, Sander Thomas, Amy Smart, Ana Ortiz, Ray Baker

Film Description: Years after the death of their son and their subsequent estrangement, a couple reunites under supernatural circumstances. World Premiere.

This award is given to the fiction feature audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system. Select fiction feature-length films screening in the following sections were eligible for the Audience Award for Best Fiction Feature: U.S. Fiction, World Fiction, LA Muse, Nightfall and Premieres.


****

Audience Award for Documentary Feature Film
Winner: Skid Row Marathon, directed by Mark Hayes

Producers: Gabriele Hayes, Doug Blush

Featuring: Judge Craig Mitchell, Ben Shirley, Rafael Cabrera, Rebecca Hayes, David Askew

Film Description: On LAs Skid Row, a criminal court judge organizes a running club comprised of homeless, recovering and paroled men and women who seek to rediscover their sense of self-worth and dignity. World Premiere

This award is given to the documentary feature audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system. Select documentary feature-length films screening in the following sections were eligible for the Audience Award for Documentary Feature: Documentary LA Muse and Premieres.


****

Audience Award for Short Film
Winner: Swim, directed by Mari Walker

Country: USA
Film Description: As summer draws to a close, a young trans girl finds freedom in a secret midnight swim.

This award is given to the short film audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system. Short films screening in the Shorts Programs or before feature films in the Festival were eligible for the Audience Award for Short Film.


****

Audience Award for Web-series
Winner: High & Mighty, directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada

Country: USA

Description: Perpetually stoned, drunk, and unemployed, Chelo Chavez is an unlikely superhero.

This award is given to the web-series audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system.


In closing out the 2017 edition, the Festival also thanks the many sponsors whose support makes the program possible including Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times and Host Venue the ArcLight Cinemas. Platinum Sponsors are Alfa Romeo, American Airlines, EFilm | Company 3, HBO and Markers Mark. Supporter Level Sponsors are Classic Party Rentals, Directors Guild of America, Dolby, Focus Features, Kona Productions, Showtime Documentary Films and Smartsource Rentals.

Generous support has also been provided by Affiliate Level Sponsors ATK Audiotek, designer8*, The Culver Studios, IFC, Konsonant Music, Kraft-Engel Management, Ovation TV, SAGindie, Snapsound and Twentieth Century Fox Film. Other sponsors include BMI, ESPN Films, Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Ketchum, Twin Cities Film Fest, USA Network and Writers Guild of America, West.

Additional support is provided by Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, Lisa Argyros/Argyros Family Foundation, Jason Delane Lee and Yvonne Huff Lee | Lagralane Group, UCLA Latin American Institute, Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles, Employees Community Fund of Boeing California and the Members of Film Independents annual giving group, Arts Circle.

The Festival also thanks official industry resource IMDbPro, official card Citi, official beer Golden Road Brewing and official water, Essentia Water.

Alfa Romeo

Since its foundation in Milan, Italy, in 1910, Alfa Romeo continues to design and craft some of the most stunning and premium vehicles in automotive history, all while building on a racing heritage that includes some of the most talented and storied drivers and victories. www.alfaromeousa.com

American Airlines

American is committed to the community in Los Angeles through local partnerships and community projects and, as the preferred airline of the entertainment industry, has formed an advisory council of influencers from leading entertainment corporations to shape future decisions. American offers up to 225 flights per day from LAX to 70 destinations worldwide.

EFILM | CO3

Post facilities EFilm | Company 3, part of Deluxes creative group of companies, are known for creative color artistry, pioneering technology and global reach. Recent features include blockbusters Beauty & the Beast and Wonder Woman and indies such as The Bachelors, The Book of Henry, A Crooked Somebody and Out of State.

HBO

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the worlds most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services HBO and Cinemax to approximately 134 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and Cinemax On Demand, as well as HBO GO and MAX GO, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW, the networks internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBOs acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

Makers Mark

Makers Mark is one of the finest Kentucky Bourbons with a soft, smooth flavor stemming from the use of red winter wheat. Today, Makers Mark makes its bourbon the same way its founder, Bill Samuels, Sr., did over 60 years ago, in small batches by craftsmen who hand-dip each bottle.

Essentia Water

Were here to put a flag in the ground and tell the world that a better you starts with a better water. Supercharged ionized alkaline water, Essentia delivers peak rehydration performance. Its about drinking up more of life and doing all the things that make you extraordinary. #EssentiaNation

Golden Road

Founded in 2011 by beer enthusiast Meg Gill, Golden Road Brewing has since become Los Angeles' largest craft brewer and is available throughout major markets in the US. Golden Road offers a wide variety of beers created by combining old world brewing standards with California lifestyle inspired innovation and ingredients.

WireImage was the Official Photographer of the LA Film Festival.

Additional thanks to media partners Backstage, Deadline Hollywood, The Hollywood Reporter, KCRW 89.9FM, KPFK 90.7FM, LA Metro, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Confidential, Martin Outdoor Media, MovieMaker Magazine, OUTFRONT Media, Time Out Los Angeles, Univision/KLVE, Variety, Variety 411, WireImage and TheWrap.


Links:

www.lafilmfest.com
www.facebook.com/LAFilmfest
www.twitter.com/lafilmfest

#LAFilmfest

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ABOUT THE LA FILM FESTIVAL
The LA Film Festival is a key part of the exhibition arm of the nonprofit arts organization Film Independent. Showcasing new American and international cinema that embraces diversity, innovation and unique perspectives, the Festival produces one-of-a-kind events featuring critically acclaimed filmmakers, industry professionals and award-winning talent from Los Angeles and around the world. The Festivals signature programs include the Filmmaker Retreat, Women Who Lead Luncheon, Spirit of Independence Award, Coffee Talks and more. The Festivals Future Filmmakers Showcase supports high school filmmakers with screenings of their work and community based film education opportunities. Presenting Media Sponsor is the Los Angeles Times. Host Venue is the ArcLight Cinemas. Platinum Sponsors are Alfa Romeo, American Airlines, EFilm | Company 3, HBO and Makers Mark Bourbon. WireImage is the Official Photographer.


ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT
Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that champions independent visual storytelling and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independents Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a Member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.

In addition to producing the Spirit Awards, Film Independent produces the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independents Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year- round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independents signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. For more information or to become a Member, visit www.filmindependent.org.


ABOUT ARCLIGHT CINEMAS

ArcLight Cinemas, created by Pacific Theatres, a privately owned, Los Angeles based company with 60 years of theatrical exhibition history throughout California, Hawaii and Washington is a premiere moviegoing experience with an unparalleled commitment to bringing a variety of rich cinematic content to moviegoers in all markets. ArcLight Cinemas operates seven theaters in California including Hollywood, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, El Segundo, Santa Monica, Culver City and La Jolla, as well as theaters in Bethesda, MD, Chicago and Glenview, IL, with a new location in Boston for 2019. ArcLight also owns and operates the historic Cinerama Dome and programs the TCL Chinese Theatre and IMAX in Hollywood. Pacific Theatres currently operates theaters in Los Angeles that include The Grove and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, CA. Additional information about ArcLight Cinemas is available at www.arclightcinemas.com.
06.23.17 by OC

An interview with Jonathan Hammond, director of "EVIL ALAN"


an exclusive interview

by Oliver Carnay



Photo: (top) Q&A from cast and crew, San Diego local filmmakers and actors from all four films selected to participate in one of the featured programs. Photo: (Bottom right - L-R) Actors from "Evil Alan" Mark Rodriguez, Patrick Mayuyu, and Sidney Franklin.



EVIL ALAN was one of the four films included where local San Diego filmmakers are able to submit their short films to participate in one of the programs, a first, in this years 19th Annual FilmOut San Diego. The idea came from Program Director Michael McQuiggan. Director Jonathan Hammond was not able to attend the screening and Q&A after the four films selected had its World Premiere held on Sunday, June 11th. I was impressed with this brilliant movie so I got hold of him through one of its cast members, Mark Rodriguez. Please read on below ..


HOLLYWOODFLIP: First, I'd like to congratulate you on your film! Kudos to the writer -- Ryan Roach to a great funny well-written, intelligent script! I also liked the authenticity and acting delivery from the three actors .. editing was great as well! Over-all, it was very entertaining every bit of the scenes! I wonder how many festivals did you submit this one so many people can see this film .. I heard this short was from a play. If it is, can you talk a little bit about the play's background. Can you tell us what inspired you to bring it onscreen?

JH: Yes. Ryan Roach wrote a play for the NEW PLAY CAFE that is held down here in San Diego. He gave it for me to proofread and I gave him some notes. He then, taking absolutely none of my notes, revised it and made a smashing, brilliant short play. I loved the playful, snarky dialogue and felt that the characters were well drawn from the opposite sides of the same coin. It was funny and clever and, even though there is a direct plot homage to a well known science fiction dynasty, it was used in a refreshing and original way. Also, I have never seen these sorts of characters in this sort of world used in a gay context- so it was doubly refreshing. I immediately thought it was cinematic, as both the tone and the dialogue conjured up the films of Jim Jarmusch and The Coens. Jarmusch, as in there is one setting but inspired and oddball dialogue and the characters were very quirky and expressive like those in Coen Brothers films. In both instances, dialogue sort of becomes it's own character in a way and it informs the scene, how it is acted and edited and lit. That is the case obviously in every single film, but those guys can make a movie where a dinner table or taxi cab are as thrilling as any special effect. For me, this script had that quality.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How was the casting process? How did the actors prepared for their role? What was the most difficult part shooting the film? To all three actors -- what was your favorite line in the film?

JH: I had known all three actors prior to varying degrees. Patrick (Mayuyu) is one of my best friends and I knew he could make being rude funny. As for Markuz (Rodriguez), well - I co-wrote a play called "Bedrooms and Boyfriends", which was basically three short plays set in a bedroom - an omnibus in the "California Suite"-style, and it did well at last year's San Diego Fringe and won a big award so we decided to give it a proper run. As the play was short, we needed to add a fourth play and I urged the producer to hire Ryan, which he did. Naturally, it was funny and the character who was essentially Ryan's stand-in was played by Markuz. He was brought in by a different director. I knew who he was but I barely knew him. Just like Alan, the character was the person who was doing the reacting, the "straight" man as it were, though Markuz made it just as hilarious as the comic foil was intended to be (which was hilarious.) Ryan was shocked at having lines that he thought of as beng "throw-aways," weaved into comic gems. Ryan pushed to have Markuz play the part and I couldn't have agreed more.

I didn't know Sidney (Franklin) all that way. We had met a Film Event and I saw someone post him playing "Sid" on Facebook, so I knew he was a natural comedian- Sid being the clownish nerd at the Sea World show. It was a like a completely different person from the reserved, tall cool kid I had met previously. It was also important for me to cast someone who was handsome, because why else would any reasonable person be sticking around even after one minute of this guy? Even with bad self-esteem. There had to be some allure. And having watched a short film he was in, playing the snarky dick, I knew he could deliver. And boy did he. They all did. I was thrilled to have them all.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How many shooting days did you have and how many locations you shot? What was the most challenging part in creating this film?

JH: We had one day! 8-5! The most challenging part was my entire crew had to drop out a few days before filming. I ended up a little over my head. The sound guy wasn't really a sound guy and the recorder was rubbing against his belt, so the entire editing process for the movie was me trying to salvage what I could. I went into a G-Hole of editing. Trying to keep the rythm and tone while not having the right clips with the best dialogue was a nightmare. The sound issues remain evident but I have hired someone who can hopefully fix that up.


HOLLYWOODFLIP: I noticed about the long dialogues .. did the actors have to memorize all the lines and not improvise any lines?

JH: Yes. We did lots of table work. I was very specific about what I wanted. Once they understood the tone and peaks and valleys, they were really able to make it there own and watching them fly was such a pleasure. But I made them both memorize everything, in particular the monologues. And the dialogue is tough, especially those monologues. But they both had 90 percent of it down by our third rehearsal. I can't tell you how awesome they were.

I think they both wanted to change a couple of lines because it fit their natural cadence better, but I forbade it with the exception of maybe one line? I think it was one. It was Sidney's. He had to fight for it and it made sense so I let him. But there was zero improv on set. I love improv, but not when the dialogue is like this. BUT, the last line was mine. Ryan was afraid it would be cheap and corny, but I knew it practically necessary. I knew it was the right thing to say at the end and it would be funny. And the actors had my back. He fought me, but eventually confessed it was the right call.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Are there any upcoming festivals readers can look forward to watching this short after FilmOut San Diego?

JH: I am submitting to the San Diego International Film Festival and next year's OutFest in LA (submissions are closed now.) AND....I am not totally sure where else I should!!! Perhaps you can suggest a few..... :)

HOLLYWOODFLIP: There are so many starting from Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco! .. here is a link of famous LGBT Film Festival around the world: http://www.blog.filmfestivallife.com/2011/10/25/lgbt-film-festival-list/

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Can you give us details about the background of each of the actors? Any projects you want to promote, where we can see your work next?

JH: Sidney and I are talking about collaborating on another film, which will be much more dynamically visual. I am very excited. I just finished a movie with Patrick with him in the lead this time and he is, as usual, effin amazing. I also wrote a two plays since Evil Alan, one for The Old Globe and one at Diversionary Theatre that I gave Markuz the lead in. So, hopefully you will be seeing these guys very, very soon!

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Did you shoot this film with the intention of submitting to FilmOut San Diego? How was the feeling the first time you learned your short got included at this year's FilmOut San Diego?

JH: Yes. Absolutely. I made it just so I could see it in FilmOut. I mean, I wanted it to premiere there but hopefully have a shelf life after that. I go to FilmOut every year and am so inspired and I REALLY wanted to be one of those filmmakers who got to go up and present his film. I've had films in other festivals, but this one was personally meaningful to me. I mean, I think Michael McQuiggen is a hero. What he does for film- not just queer cinema- but cinema in general for this town is a feat. He needs an honorary Oscar. Anyway, I really wanted to be in this fest. Obviously, those in the audience are in my tribe, but they also seem to be slightly more supportive, ask slightly smarter questions. It's amazing to see and feel that energy just as an audience member, so I couldn't imagine as a filmmaker. So you could only imagine what I was going through when my mother called me to tell me her wedding date had been set for June 11. In the middle of Texas. Having something and working hard for it, but being pulled out from under you! Whatever joy I had about getting accepted, believe me, it was magnified much more significantly in the other direction after that phone call. I mean, I am elated for my mother, but of all the weekends to force me out of town! I guess I will just have to make an even better movie and pray they accept me next year!

Check out Jonathan Hammond's page here: https://www.facebook.com/Jonathan-Hammond-Productions-195235960828470/
06.18.17 by OC

Filmmaker Benjamin Howard talks about his film "SLEEP ON IT" and its World Premiere at 19th Annual FilmOut San Diego LGBT Film Festival





Sleep on It (2016) - OFFICIAL TEASER from Benjamin Howard on Vimeo.



by Oliver Carnay


Director Benjamin Howard was feeling thankful and ecstatic having his short film "SLEEP ON IT" being selected and had its World Premiere at the recent 19 annual FilmOut San Diego LGBT Film Festival. This year, local filmmakers and talents are able to submit their short film in one of the segments featured in the 3-day festival held at the historic The Observatory North on University Ave. Thanks to Program Director Michael McQuiggan who had this brilliant idea, encouraging locals to participate. The result is a flock of submission entries from the LGBT community in San Diego, hopefully to continue in the next coming years.

"Sleep On It" is well-directed and written, executed by two actors (Jordun Lyons and Demetrius Hodges) who never acted onscreen. It is about a gay couple who starts to contemplate the real score of their uncertain relationship while they were buying a mattress after moving together.

I caught up with Dir. Howard and this is what we've talked about .. please read on:


HOLLYWOODFLIP: How long did it take you to write the script for SLEEP ON IT?

BH: The script went through about eight or nine drafts, and took maybe three or four weeks to write. It was an assignment for school; I had the script finished before I pitched it to the class. (Editor: Howard just finished schooling and graduated last month at San Diego State University.)

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What was the inspiration in creating the script and the film?

BH: Early on, I set out to write a simple story that could be shot in one long, unbroken take. Jim Cumming'sThunder Road, the Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize winner for 2016, was a strong technical inspiration. Personally, my past experiences with guys and relationships and those of my gay friends were what inspired the molding of the two characters. Shooting the script in one take was important to me because I wanted the audience to be along for the ride and not distracted by cuts or edits. The camera is essentially a person just spying on these two guys in this store.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How did you cast your two main lead? I heard they were non-actors. Where did you find them? What was the most challenging part during the shooting? How did you motivate your two actors .. did you give them special instructions? What were the preparations? Were they allowed to improvise or you were keen on them sticking to the script line by line?

BH: Jordun (Andy) and Demetrius (Tustin) are working actors. They were found on Breakdown Express via Actor's Access. We held auditions in Hollywood; they both live in Los Angeles.

Blocking-wise, I wanted to keep things relatively simple to allow both my actors and crew to keep things natural.

The most challenging part was dealing with our faulty RED camera; it shut off mid-take a few times, which was very frustrating. The shoot was a two-day project. The first day was set-up and rehearsal- the second day we went for takes. The night before the second day, talent and I went to their hotel room and rehearsed the scene, over and over, until the emphases and nuances I wanted were memorized. I told them to try to stick to the words I'd written, but since it was a one-take short, fluidity and improv were okay with me. Ultimately, they recited the script almost verbatim. Andy's "Never mind?" when he stands on the top of the staircase was the only piece of improv that Jordun made-up; I loved it.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How many days did you shoot it and how many locations?

BH: Two days total, but just one day of shooting. We shot at a House2Home Furniture and Mattress in Lemon Grove, CA.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Can you talk about your background and goal as a director? Do you have a role model?

BH: Sleep on Itwas the fifth short film I'd written and directed. During my time at SDSU, I did seven total. Ultimately, my dream is to make a living writing and directing feature films. A number of filmmakers influence my style and tendencies; Xavier Dolan is a strong influence. P.T. Anderson is my favorite filmmaker.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: The film is part of a program where local actors and filmmakers get to participate at this year's FilmOut San Diego. How cool was that? How and when did you learn about it that you were encouraged to submit your short film.

BH: Seeing one of your projects screen anywhere is an awesome privilege. But to have it screen at alocalLGBT festival is like a sweet icing on top of the cake. I think I found FilmOut just on FilmFreeway, when I was researching LGBT festivals to submit to.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What type of films or genre attract you?

BH: Dramas are my thing. Stories about people, and their experiences and the human condition are stories I love to watch. I enjoy worlds that I can relate to; real-life situations that anyone can live. They're real and genuine and make you think and ponder. That's what I dig.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What's your next project? Ever thought already about your first feature film?

BH: I'm still finalizing my senior thesis film (facebook.com/DeviantShortFilm), and editing my last short I did while at State (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6770098/). I have a number of short scripts and concepts I'm constantly tweaking, but nothing immediately on the horizon. The thought of my first feature is exciting, but I think one or two more shorts under my belt would be beneficial. I definitely want to get started on tackling the first feature within the year, though.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What would you like for your audience to take after watching SLEEP ON IT?

BH: I wroteSleep on Itintending to tell a universal story of young love through a contemporary lens. I want the story to be relatable to anyone who watches; anyone could be Tustin and Andy. For this story, it just happened to be two gay men.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: After FilmOut San Diego, where is this film going to .. any festival you also have submitted to that readers can check it out?

BH: FilmOut is the first and only festivalSleep on Ithas gotten into so far. We have a few other festivals which we've submitted to; haven't heard back yet.

Official Facebook: facebook.com/SleepOnItShortFilm/

IMDb:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6323058/




06.15.17 by OC

Some of the films to watch at upcoming LA Filmfest 2017 (June 14 - 22)




by Oliver Carnay


LOS ANGELES (June 9, 2017) The 2017 LA Film Festival will screen a diverse slate of feature films, shorts and episodic series, along with programs such as Coffee Talks and Future Filmmakers Showcase. The LA Film Festival takes place June 14 June 22, 2017 headquartered at ArcLight Cinemas Culver City, with additional screenings at ArcLight Hollywood, ArcLight Santa Monica and more.

The festival includes 37 World Premieres, 2 International Premieres, 9 North American Premieres chosen for U.S. Fiction, Documentary, World Fiction, LA Muse & Nightfall Competitions .. Festival passes are on sale now at www.lafilmfestival.com.

Here are some of the notable films to look forward to. Make sure to log on at www.lafilmfest.com for complete details, schedule, and how to purchase tickets ..




THANK YOU FOR COMING


www.thankyouforcomingmovie.com


WORLD PREMIERING AT LAFF ON JUNE 18

A documentary film by Sara Lamm





Documentary filmmaker Sara Lamm discovered as an adult that she was conceived via sperm donor. Shes spent years looking for her biological fatherchasing non-existent medical records, trolling the archives of the doctor who ran the fertility clinic, and tracking down class photographs from the medical school; its been eleven years since she learned the truth and she doesnt have many leads.

Sara joins an online registry for donor conceived people and meets Jennifer, who was conceived at the same clinic, in the same year. The two women discover a number of similarities (height, seasonal allergies, a penchant for psychics) and decide to take a DNA test to see if theyre half-sisters. When they meet in Hawaii to determine the results, Sara brings her camera and for nearly two years after, documents their shared hunt for information.

Jennifer spends hours every day on the computer, toggling between DNA and ancestry databases, while Sara seeks out the edges of her family story--traveling up the coast of California to visit her non-biological, bird-watching father and across the country to her home state of North Carolinawhere she makes a personal request of an elderly aunt, visits her mothers graveside, and asks her mothers longtime boyfriend what he knew about the donor.

THANK YOU FOR COMING makes unexpected connections between the wild roots of a banyan tree, the lonesome shadow of a kite, and the comedic potential of a turkey baster. It's both a genealogical detective story and a funny, poetic meditation on love, loss, friendship, and family. The film is World Premiering at LAFF and is available for sales in all territories.


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(Editor: This is one of my favorites at the ongoing LA Film Festival. Great performance from Robert Sheehan, Rory Culkin and Mary Beth Peil. The latter plays Rory Culkin's grandma, with an interesting romantic affair with Robert Sheehan who plays Culkin's best friend. Sheehan shines so well in this coming-of-age film peppered with great soundtrack. The World Premiere is on Wednesday, June 21, 9pm at Arclight Cinemas in Culver City. Don't miss it!)






THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE

Wednesday, June 21st at 9:20pm at Arclight Culver City (World Premiere)





https://tickets.lafilmfestival.com/online/article/swaylake

Director: Ari Gold
Writers: Ari Gold, Elizabeth Bull

Cast: Rory Culkin, Robert Sheehan, Mary Beth Peil, Isabelle McNally, Elizabeth Pea, Jack Falahee, Brian Dennehy

Producers: Michael Bederman, Zak Kilberg, Allison Carter, Ari Gold

Runtime: 100 minutes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/swaylake/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/swaylake/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SwayLake

LOGLINE:

A young jazz collector plots to rob his wealthy grandmother of a rare 78 record, but his plan is derailed when his accomplice falls for the glamorous matriarch.

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TWO FOUR SIX

WORLD PREMIERE
Monday, June 19th at 8:50pm
Arclight Cinemas Culver City


A documentary film by
Leyla Nedorosleva

Featuring: Pierre Valmera, Schnider Herard, Djery Baptiste,
Pierre Joseph, Marckendy, Joseph, Andy Clerveau
trt. 90 minutes




Get tickets here

watch trailer here: https://vimeo.com/215029026


SYNPOSIS:
These kids are no stars. Not yet.

Set mainly in present day Dallas, TX and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, this features three main characters at three different stages of the same process. Supported by a nonprofit, these extremely tall teenagers come to the United States from Haiti using basketball as means to get an education and help their own country change.

We get close to Schnider, 17, as he copes with his new, quite exhausting and scheduled life in his guardian's apartment, completely different from his way of living as a street kid in Haiti. We see him getting better at basketball and learning to tame his somewhat rebellious nature for the greater good. Experts already compare him to LeBron James when he was the same age.

We meet Pierre, 15, living with his mother in a makeshift house in the outskirts of Port-Au-Prince, walking for hours every day to the amateur basketball court, too poor to afford public transit. He is excited to study in the U.S., waiting for the nearest opportunity.

We follow another Pierre, 32, a retired pro basketball player, operating the organization, connecting kids to the colleges, helping them with paperwork and genuinely caring for them as they retrace the steps he made years ago.

Although some of them will become top basketball players, this is not a sports documentary, this film is about the kids quest to come back home as new, much more capable persons.

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(Editor's Note: .. newcomer Mitchell Slaggert in his first acting job is a revelation in this film .. the screen explodes with his sensitive screen presence .. maybe another#ChrisPine #BradPitt in the making ..a talent to watch out for ... discovered by director Daniel Peddle who is known for finding undiscoveted talent (one of them was #JenniferLawrence) .. Mitchell was immediately signed by WME after doing this film .. "Moss" tells the story of A troubled young man meeting a mysterious beautiful hiker on the riverbanks near his house on the day of his 18th birthday, getting him on a journey of self-discovery, helping him overcome the death of his mother and his detached relationship with his father .. set in isolated rural South, director Peddle captured the beauty and tone of deep and wild nature in the American South .. will have its #redcarpet World Premiere screening June 21, Wednesday, 8:30 pm at #arclightcinemas in #CulverCity with cast members and film director attending .. )




MOSS | World Premiere | U.S. Fiction Competition
Wednesday, June 21 at 8:30PM Arclight Culver City 3

In this modern-day coming-of-age tale set in the American South, Moss is an isolated and troubled young man who on his 18th birthday embarks on an unexpected adventure never to be forgotten. For Moss, whose mother died while delivering him, the day means freedom, especially from his father, whom Moss believes resents him for his very existence. However, it will take more than this milestone day to set the troubled young man free. During a chance encounter with a woman fleeing her own heartache, the two escape into a psychedelic journey that teaches Moss lessons of life and loss.

From accomplished casting director and documentarian Daniel Peddle, MOSS is an unexpected and sensitive portrait of Southern Gothic America, revealing the struggles and beauty of lives deeply connected to nature. The film features a beautiful performance by newcomer Mitchell Slaggert, who is captivating as the introspective and sensitive titular character.

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DESOLATION
**WORLD PREMIERE**
Nightfall Selection at the 2017 LA Film Festival

Wednesday, June 21st at 9:30 pm at ArcLight Culver City





After starting his career at micro-budget hit factory Blumhouse Productions, director Sam Patton has crafted a tense, emotionally charged debut feature called DESOLATION, starring Jaimi Paige (PEACOCK, Rizzoli & Isles), Alyshia Ochse (THE OTHER WOMAN), Toby Nichols (TRUMBO, Iron Fist), and Claude Duhamel (WESTERN RELIGION).

Executive Producers: E. Thomas Fernandez, Michael Murdock
Running Time: 78 minutes
Rating: Not yet rated

Synopsis: A young mother, her son, and her best friend venture into the remote wilderness to scatter her late husband's ashes. On their trek home, they begin to realize that a lone hiker has been following them. A series of disturbing encounters forces the grieving family to confront their deepest fears when the stranger's true motives are revealed.

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MIDNIGHTERS

World Premiere: June 19th, 2017 at 9:35 pm
ArcLight Cinemas Culver City, Theater 1 (9500 Culver Blvd.)

MIDNIGHTERS is filmmaker Julius Ramsay's (director / editor of AMC's "The Walking Dead, "Cinemax's "Outcast," "Battlestar Galactica") theatrical directorial debut which was written by his brother Alston Ramsay and they produced along with Burke Ramsay.

The film has compelling and complicated female leads played by Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes, Tales of Halloween), Perla Haney-Jardine (Steve Jobs, Spider-Man 3) along with strong performances by Dylan McTee (MTV's "Sweet Vicious") and Ward Horton (Annabelle, The Wolf of Wall Street).

Directed by: Julius Ramsay
Screenwriter: Alston Ramsay
Producers: Alston Ramsay, Julius Ramsay
Cinematographer: Alexander Alexandrov
Music: Chris Westlake
Cast: Alex Essoe, Perla Haney-Jardine, Dylan McTee, Ward Horton

After leaving a New Years Eve celebration, a young married couples night takes a shocking turn when they accidentally hit a man who is wandering in the road. Watching the mans life slip away and fearing grave consequences, the couple haul the victim into the backseat and head for home, not knowing that their lives were already intertwined.

Uncompromising and intense, first-time director Julius Ramsay has crafted a highly stylized and visually scintillating suspense thriller.

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YOUR OWN ROAD
World Premiere - TUESDAY, JUNE 20TH 6:15 PM

YOUR OWN ROAD is a dramatic story about following your passion, no matter where the road may take you.

An idealistic recent film school graduate with few local professional options takes a road trip from Ohio to Los Angeles with his anxious best friend, his troubled high school sweetheart, and a hitchhiker hippie, to chase his dream of becoming a filmmaker.

YOUR OWN ROAD is about not letting extenuating circumstances determine your path in life. Brian (ASHTON MOIO) wants to make films but whether its his parents wishes, his geographical location, or just his self-doubt, the world seems stacked against him. Brian hits the road to break away from what is expected of him and pursue what he truly wants out of life. Along for the ride is his best friend Dan (AMIR MALAKLOU) whose whole life is structure and routine until his abusive ex-girlfriend dumps him and his plans go out the window. Brian also accidentally invites his next-door-neighbor and former crush, Ally (CORTNEY PALM), who abuses prescription drugs to deal with her depression from caring for her grandmother with Alzheimers. Along the road they meet vibrant characters none more so than Ariel (KYM JACKSON), an Australian hitchhiker hippie who is not all that she seems, who they pick up in Colorado going in no place in particular. Each one of these characters takes the journey to California for unique reasons but they all find their inner selves traveling through such a diverse and sometimes scary country.

YOUR OWN ROAD was written and directed by Brandon Buczek, and produced by Brandon Buczek and Roxy Shih. Starring Ashton Moio, Cortney Palm, Kym Jackson, and Amir Malakalou. The cinematographer is Sheldon Chau. The film was edited by Sean Puglisi.

Running Time: 103 minutes

Language: English

Rating: Not Rated ​

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ABU

Directed by Arshad Khan

ABU will have its WORLD PREMIERE at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Fathers Day Sunday, June 18.

(Abu is the Urdu word for Father)


SYNOPSIS

ABU is a journey to the center of a fragmented family as they grapple with religion, sexuality, colonialism and migration. Through a tapestry of narratives composed of family footage, observation and classic Bollywood films, gay-identifying Pakistani Muslim filmmaker Arshad Khan takes viewers through the tense relationships between family and fate, conservatism and liberalism and modernity and familiarity. It is a father and sons search for that elusive place called home.

DIRECTORS BIO
Khan is a graduate of the prestigious Mel Hoppenheim School of cinema in Montreal, where he received the "Outstanding overall achievement in the film production program award". Since graduation he has made several short films- documentary and fiction including Valery's Suitcase (2016), Doggoned (2013), ZEN (2012) and Threadbare (2008). He has worked on feature film projects at production designer (Saradrji 2015, Case Claus'd 2015) and art director. He is the director of the premiere South Asian film festival of Canada, MISAFF.

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WHAT WE STARTED

== WORLD PREMIERE===

THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 2017 - 5:30 P.M.

ARCLIGHT SANTA MONICA
395 Santa Monica Place #330, Santa Monica

WHAT WE STARTED aims to establish itself as the defining film of the electronic music genre. Through an artfully crafted narrative and stunning visual techniques, the film delves into the highly popular world of electronic dance music, providing backdoor access to a widely misunderstood, self-driven and well-insulated industry on its way to global domination.

Presently, the genre is booming at a pinnacle higher than ever before, however most do not realize that electronic dance music began as an underground movement that originated in America. The film sets out to illuminate this rich history: from its underground inception in the late 1980s in America to the musicians and fans of this genre that relentlessly fought for their rights around the world, both in the dance club and on the streets, to find a safe space to express themselves, to the development of this modern, mainstream revolution that has taken the world by storm.

Specifically, and with unprecedented access, the film follows industry pioneers, like Carl Cox, who are juxtaposed by the journey of a young, superstar of today, Martin Garrix. These dichotomous journeys of past and present are carefully interwoven to illuminate all viewpoints and highlight the momentous and groundbreaking time that electronic dance music is experiencing presently, while also leaving open the question of what will happen next for this incredible genre of music.

================================





ANYTHING


Saturday, June 17, 3:00pm / Arclight Cinemas / Santa Monica (RED CARPET PREMIERE WITH TALENT ATTENDING)

(2017, 94 min.)
Directed by: Timothy McNeil
Screenwriter: Timothy McNeil
Producers: Louise Runge, Ofrit Peres, Micah Hauptman
Cinematographer: James Laxton
Editor: Geraud Brisson, Andy Keir
Music: Isley Reust
Cast: John Carroll Lynch, Matt Bomer, Maura Tierney, Margot Bingham, Micah Hauptman

Early Landry is a paragon of human kindness and decency. Grief-stricken over the recent death of his wife, Early moves from Mississippi to Los Angeles and, despite the objections of his overprotective sister, into a run-down apartment complex in Hollywood. He is a welcome presence in his new environment, and quickly finds himself in an intense friendship with his neighbor Freda, but the simplicity of their shared loneliness and growing affection must be reconciled with the complexity of their disparate backgrounds.

As non-judgmental as its southern protagonist, Timothy McNeils debut feature is a deceptively quiet love story and an all too timely parable on the pressing need to bridge barriers and find common ground.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream


Saturday, June 17, 5:30pm, Arclight Cinemas / Santa Monica (PREMIERE)

(2017, 104 min.)
Directed by: Casey Wilder Mott
Screenwriter: Casey Wilder Mott
Producers: Joshua Skurla, Fran Kranz, Casey Wilder Mott, Douglas Matejka
Cinematographer: Daniel Katz
Editor: Curtiss Clayton
Music: Mia Doi Todd
Cast: Lily Rabe, Hamish Linklater, Finn Wittrock, Rachael Leigh Cook, Avan Jogia, Fran Kranz, Ted Levine, Paz De La Huerta, Saul Williams

When Hermia defies her father, spurning an arranged marriage to Demetrius in order to run off with her beloved Lysander, Demetrius follows them into the woods, trailed by the besotted Helena. The quiet of evening is further disturbed by a group of film students, including comical Nick Bottom, as well as playful fairies and a hippie sprite named Puck. Mistaken bewitchings, rampant flirtations, and unrequited love rule the hours until morning, when happy endings are delivered for all who deserve them.

Adapting a classic is an ambitious move, particularly for a first-time filmmaker, and Casey Wilder Mott fully embraces the poetry of the language and the storys joyful ridiculousness. A mad and twisting tale regardless of the setting, A Midsummer Nights Dream finds a great match in Hollywood, where bold declarations, idiotic miscommunications and wandering amorous eyes feel right at home.

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Stella Polaris - Ulloriarsuaq

Documentary Competition

Sunday, June 18, 3:35pm / Arclight Cinemas / Culver City (PREMIERE)

(2017, 90 min.)
Directed by: Yatri N. Niehaus
Screenwriter: Yatri N. Niehaus
Producers: Yatri N. Niehaus, Laali Lyberth, Nomi Baumgartl, Sven Nieder
Cinematographer: Yatri N. Niehaus
Editor: Yatri N. Niehaus
Music: Merzouga, Greg Haines, Gabriel Saloman
Cast: Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, Laali Lyberth, Sven Neder, Nomi Baumgartl, Adam Lyberth, Atsaarsuaq Hansiina, Akaaraq Lyberth

The Kalaallit people of Greenland have been intimately connected to the eternal ice for millennia. These massive glaciers stand as records of ancient eras of the planet but recently they began disappearing. As the foundation of their traditions literally melts beneath their feet, members of the Kalaallit community work with artists to capture the images and stories of a vanishing landscape and way of life.

First-time filmmaker Yatri Niehauss non-traditional narrative creates an introspective cinematic experience with an ethereal score and captivating imagery. The Kalaallit elders explain that by building a fire, others can behold their beauty while they behold the beauty of others. This film sparks a true sense of connection by sharing the wisdom of the indigenous communities most impacted by the environmental devastation that marks our current world.

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06.09.17 by OC

"Landing Up" directed by Dani Tenenbaum to have its World Premiere June 8, and in competition at DWF 2017; produced/written by Stacey Maltin the special event will be a tribute to co-star E'dena Hines in her last on-screen performance.



www.LandingUpfilm.com





Photo: E'dena Hines (left) and Stacey Maltin in a scene from "Landing Up"

(Hollywood, CA) June 6, 2017 - The feature film Landing Up (Bold Compass Films) is a story about a girl with nothing to lose and everything to hide, directed by Dani Tenenbaum and produced/written by Stacey Maltin. The narrative feature stars Stacey Maltin (Working On It, Lipstick Jungle), Ben Rappaport (ABCs For the People, USAs Mr. Robot), Edena Hines (5 Flights Up, Moll Flanders), Dov Tiefenbach (Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, Homeland), Theodora (Woolley) Miranne (The Blacklist: Redemption, Blue Bloods) and Jay DeYonker (Royally, Puerto Ricans in Paris), and is an Official Selection in Competition Features at Dances With Films, screening tomorrow, Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at 9:30 p.m., at the TCL Chinese Theatres, located at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California.

Chrissie (Stacey Maltin) is young, wild, and living on the streets. She and her best friend Cece (Edena Hines) use their youth and good looks to their advantage, playing a con game with strangers to put a roof over their heads, while all the time fantasizing about having enough money to score their dream apartment. When Chrissie meets David (Ben Rappaport), a funny, genuine guy who works his way into her heart, she falls for him and must decide whether to confess the real circumstances of her life or continue her carefully crafted lie at all costseven the cost of someones life. (Running time: 98-minutes)

Filmmaker and star Stacey Maltin says, The film exists in two worlds: Chrissies life on the street and her romantic life with David. Chrissies life on the street is gritty and dangerous, but when Chrissie meets David, her world explodes into color. Hes everything she always wanted and the film jumps in tone and style to almost a romantic comedy feel. Ben has no idea of the realities that Chrissie is facing. Her life is so far outside his realm of comprehension he never suspects her secret, even as she hides the truth from him at every turn.

Director Dani Tenenbaum adds, We are showing how people often exist in different parts of themselves. Chrissies carefully crafted lies lead her into a world that turns into a very real feeling of love. But can you ever really know someone if we all spend so much time crafting the perfect stories about ourselves?

This film has a tragic real life story as well. Just one month after principal photography wrapped, Maltins co-star Edena Hines was tragically murdered by her boyfriend, which was devastating to the cast and crew. The story made national headlines, in part due to Edena being the granddaughter of acting icon Morgan Freeman. Landing Up is Edenas last on-screen performance.

Maltin adds, Edena was an incredible and loving human being who illuminated any room she entered. She had so much talent and this energy that was so raw and magnetic. She really gave herself over to playing Cece and its reflected in her performance. We miss her every day and wish she could have seen what she created with us.

Because of this tragic violence in real life, which happens all too often against women in the world, and because the film tackles homelessness, the filmmakers felt it was paramount to give their audience a call to action. They have partnered with the non-profit organizations Midnight Mission, which offers paths to self-sufficiency to men, women and children who have lost direction, and LA Family Housing, which helps people transition out of homelessness and poverty, to help raise awareness for these issues.

If anyone is inspired to take action and make a difference, he or she can volunteer or make a donation to these organizations. To donate to Midnight Mission, text JustOne to 41444. To donate to LA Family Housing, please visit http://lafh.org/donate/.

The next project from Tenenbaum and Maltin is Head, a feature film about a gay millennial on the brink of full-time adulthood and dismayed to see all of his friends pairing up instead of getting off. When his ex-boyfriend reappears in his life at the same time as a new beau, he must decide whether to jump into the future or stay in the ever-tempting loop of instant pleasure.

Worldwide Rights for Landing Up are available.

For tickets to the World Premiere, please visit: https://danceswithfilms.com/landing-up/.
06.06.17 by OC

2017 FILM INDEPENDENT FAST TRACK PROJECTS ANNOUNCED $20K ALFRED P. SLOAN FAST TRACK GRANT AWARDED TO RADIANT



www.lafilmfestival.com
facebook.com/lafilmfestival


LOS ANGELES (June 6, 2017) Today Film Independent announced the 10 projects and 24 filmmakers selected for the 14th annual Fast Track film finance market. Held during the LA Film Festival, Fast Track helps producer-director teams advance their projects through meetings with top industry executives financiers, agents, managers, distributors, production companies, and granting organizations. During three days of intensive meetings, participants build vital industry relationships and gain valuable exposure for their projects as they fast track their films towards completion.

Film Independent will present the ninth annual Alfred P. Sloan Fast Track Grant, a $20,000 production grant to support a film that explores science and technology themes or that depicts scientists, engineers and mathematicians in engaging and innovative ways, to writer/director Annika Glac and producer Robyn Kershaw for their fiction feature film Radiant.

We are thrilled to continue our decade-long partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, championing cinematic stories that engage with the dynamic world of science and technology, said Jennifer Kushner, Film Independents Director of Artist Development. The Fast Track finance market helps spark critical relationships for filmmakers to support the development of their feature films, while also offering high level executives the opportunity to discover some of the talent that Film Independent fosters through our Artist Development initiatives.

We are delighted to join with Film Independent in awarding this years Sloan Fast Track grant to Annika Glac and Robyn Kershaws narrative portrait of Marie Curie, Radiant, said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Sloan has long championed stories about women in science including this years hit Hidden Figures and the upcoming Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story along with films in development about Rosalind Franklin, Lise Meitner, and Jane Goodall, so in this year of Wonder Woman, we look forward to celebrating on the big screen the remarkable life and work of another wondrous woman, the only person to ever win two Nobel Prizes in different sciences.

A select list of Industry participants include: Bunim-Murray, CAA, Color Force, Electric City Entertainment, Fox Searchlight, Imperative Entertainment, June Pictures, LA Media Fund, Mandalay Pictures, Participant Media, Pilgrim Media Group, Preferred Content, ShivHans Pictures, Sight Unseen Pictures, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, Sycamore Pictures, Symbolic Exchange and UTA.

Recent Fast Track projects completed include Lana Wilsons The Departure, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival; Lou Pepe and Keith Fultons Bad Kids, which premiered at Sundance 2016; Maris Currans Five Nights in Maine which premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival; Chloe Zhaos Songs My Brothers Taught Me, which premiered in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and Directors Fortnight at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for three Film Independent Spirit Awards. Additional projects supported through Fast Track include Kyle Patrick Alvarezs C.O.G.; Robbie Pickerings Spirit Award-nominated Natural Selection; Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worralls Call Me Kuchu; and Courtney Hunts Academy Award and Spirit Award-nominated Frozen River.

The following filmmakers have been selected to participate Film Independents 2017 Fast Track program:


2017 Fast Track Projects and Fellows

Blow the Man Down, fiction feature, Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy co-writers/co-directors, Drew Houpt, Producer

An accidental murder. An established Madam who does her dirtiest business while the town willingly looks the other way. Fifty grand of cash up for grabs and the local men out to sea enter two sisters with nothing and everything to lose.

Cantering, fiction feature, HIKARI writer/director/producer, Peter Maestrey producer

In order to escape her oppressive home life, a nave paraplegic artist begins to illustrate for an erotic manga, putting her on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.

Farewell Tour, fiction feature, Sean Hackett writer/director, Frederick Thornton producer

When three Christian fundamentalist teenagers with the dynamic of The Golden Girls help a local agnostic search Kansas City for his AWOL, terminally ill mother, they are forced to re-evaluate their true intentions and discover what truly binds their friendship.

Followers, fiction feature, Tim Marshall writer/director, Christina Radburn producer

A lonely woman who has lost all faith in God, becomes obsessed with her aqua-aerobics instructor after seeing the face of Jesus on his swimming shorts.

Maybe Tomorrow, fiction feature, Eliza Lee writer/director, Michelle Sy producer, Sophia Chang executive producer

In 1978 London, with only 24 hours left on her visa, a young American musician, Chrissie Hynde, takes one last stab at keeping her rock n roll dream alive.

Radiant, fiction feature, Annika Glac writer/director, Robyn Kershaw producer

Paris 1900, a physics prodigy glimpses a future world of unseen energy. Now she must battle the male scientific academy. The closer she gets to recognition, the more she realizes the battle is not with the male establishment but with the unleashed power of her own radioactive discovery.

Son of A Very Important Man, fiction feature, Najwa Najjar writer/director, Hani Kort producer

A Palestinian couple must travel to Israel in order to get a divorce and discover that sometimes the most unexpected roads in life are in the detours you didn't mean to take.

In response to a growing community of nonfiction filmmakers, the Fast Track finance market will also feature a new Documentary Fast Track session where selected projects will connect with industry executives dedicated to working in the nonfiction space:

Minding the Gap, documentary feature, Bing Liu producer/director, Diane Quon producer

A group of skateboarders confront domestic violence as they come of age in a rust-belt Midwestern town.

Missing in Brooks Country, documentary feature, Jeff Bemiss and Lisa Molomot producers/co-directors/cinematographers, Jacob Bricca producer/editor

In a small town in Texas, the border wall has already arrived.

Untitled Claudia Sparrow Documentary, documentary feature, Claudia Sparrow director, Steven J. Berger and Ryan Schwartz producers

A woman farmer from the beautiful highlands of South America stands up to a massive international mining conglomerate, defending the land, water, and people from devastating corporate greed.

Film Independent Artist Development has also selected two additional filmmakers and their projects to receive support that will include participation in select Fast Track meetings and mentorship:

Experience Designer, documentary feature, Mackenzie Fegan producer

On an apocalyptic commune in the Alaskan wilderness, a young man returns to confront his past in this unconventional non-fiction film.

Selene, fiction feature, Maris Curran writer/director

Selene fears she has laryngitis again. On a routine doctor visit to get antibiotics, she is diagnosed with a rare condition that leaves her permanently voiceless. As her world turns upside down and she struggles to communicate and adapt, she discovers that this limitation leads to the opening of a new world.

Fast Track is supported by Film Independent Artist Development Lead Funder Time Warner Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, EFILM | Company 3 and National Endowment for the Arts.


ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENT
Film Independent is a nonprofit arts organization that champions independent visual storytelling and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects, and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independents Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a Member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover.

In addition to producing the Spirit Awards, Film Independent produces the LA Film Festival and Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public.

With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independents Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year- round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independents signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. For more information or to become a Member, visit filmindependent.org.

ABOUT THE ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION

The New York-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants in science, technology, and economic performance. Sloan's program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.

Sloan's Film Program encourages filmmakers to create more realistic and compelling stories about scientists, science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Over the past 15 years, Sloan has partnered with some of the top film schools in the countryincluding AFI, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, UCLA and USCand established annual awards in screenwriting and film production, along with an annual best-of-the-best Student Grand Jury Prize administered by the Tribeca Film Institute. The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs with the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, the San Francisco Film Society, the Black List, and Film Independent's Producing Lab and Fast Track program and has helped develop such film projects as Morten Tyldum's The Imitation Game, Mathew Brown's The Man Who Knew Infinity, Michael Almereyda's Experimenter, Rob Meyer's A Birder's Guide to Everything, Musa Syeed's Valley of Saints, and Andrew Bujalski's Computer Chess.

The Foundation also has an active theater program and commissions about twenty science plays each year from the Ensemble Studio Theater and Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as supporting select productions across the country. Recent grants have supported Leigh Fondakowskis Spill, Nick Payne's Incognito, Frank Basloe's Please Continue, Deborah Zoe Laufer's Informed Consent, Lucas Hnath's Isaac's Eye, and Anna Ziegler's Photograph 51, recently on London's West End starring Nicole Kidman. The Foundation's book program includes early support for Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, now the highest grossing Oscar nominated film of 2017 that was awarded the San Francisco Film Society Sloan Science in Cinema Prize in 2016.


For more information about the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, visit www.sloan.org.
06.06.17 by OC

OUTFEST presented by HBO announced 2017 full line-up (July 6-16)



Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival 2017 teaser:




The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles Film Festival announced the full line-up today with 194 films from 30 countries to be screened over 11 days, July 6-16.

I am proud that this years program reflects just how far we have come as a movement, as a community and as storytellers. These films capture the true complexities of our lives, our loves, and our identities. But our advancements have only taken our community so far, and we are proud to champion this years filmmakers that capture the ongoing fight for our rights for freedom, for love, and for acceptance says Christopher Racster, Outfest Executive Director.

Check out all the exciting films at outfest.org, before tickets go on sale next Thursday, June 8 to members and Monday, June 12 to the general public.
06.03.17 by OC

LIVING WITH LOLA World Premiere at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe




Filipino American artists tells the story of what happened to the families of the 2nd generation of Filipino immigrants, the NAVY generation.


HOLLYWOOD, California, May 23, 2017 - Anjanette Abayari and Tita Pambid will represent the Filipino American narrative along with other independent Los Angeles productions in the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Tickets are on sale at the Hollywood Fringe website: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/4366 for three shows, June 4 at 7pm, June 9 at 9:30pm and June 14 at 8pm.

The show runs for one hour and will be at the Second Stage located at 6320 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Living With Lola is an original play by George Montero and directed by James Aceron and produced by Republiq Entertainment and Flowerman Productions.

Anjanette Abayari played the wonder woman of the Philippines, Darna: Ang Pagbabalik that came out in 1994 in Philippine Cinema. Living With Lola is her debut as a stage artist in Hollywood and she is playing the role of Sonia, the aunt. Tita Pambid is a professor of Filipino Language, Literature and Cinema at the University of California Los Angeles as well as a prolific stage artist both in the Philippines and in the US and she is playing the role of Lola, the grandma. Kristy Aquino is playing the role of Jenny, the granddaughter. Mel Domingo is playing Theresa, the mom. Johnnie Grebler is playing Vivian, Jennys schoolmate. Jacob Betts is playing Danny, the boyfriend of Vivian.

Living With Lola is a funny family drama where Jenny breaks the fourth wall and takes us on a journey of family discovery of a multi-generation immigrant family in San Diego. The story takes place in Lolas house around the holidays. It explores Filipino traditions around the holidays like the Parol and Simbang Gabi. Lolas husband who passed away early on worked for the US Navy in the Philippines and got an opportunity to migrate to the US and brought Lola with him. This story is about what happened to the families of the NAVY Generation that immigrated to the US from the Philippines after WWII. This is a feel good holiday Christmas family story where differences in traditions and morality come face to face with the realities of immigrant families in the US.

To contact the producers, call or text (626) 241-7010 or email flowermanproductions@gmail.com. Tickets for the preview and for seniors at $25 and regular tickets at $30.


About the Playwright

George Montero has a long history working in theater, film and television. He was a member of Repertory Philippines and worked with Artistic Director Zenaida (Bibot) Amador. He worked as an actor and in production in more than 40 plays and musicals produced by the repertory company which includes Fiddler On The Roof, The General Inspector, Evita, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and a chorus in Annie with Lea salonga.

He wrote and worked on Filipino movies shot in America including the movie Botchok In America starring famous Filipino actor Vandolph Quizon, son of legendary Filipino comedy actor Dolphy. The movie also features another star from the Philippines, Alma Moreno. He wrote and worked on another Filipino film, Liwanag Sa Dilim with Sheryl Cruz.

After leaving Repertory Philippines to migrate to the US, he has produced a slate of sold-out shows in Los Angeles including The Cascades, The Stylistics, The Platters, Rex Smith, Roberta Flack, Gloria Gaynor, The Appleband tribute to the Beatles, and a ton of other tribute artists.

He produced and directed several plays in Hollywood which includes the comedy First Night and his comedy play Babaeng Desperada which earned him several community awards for best play and best director.
05.24.17 by OC

2017 OUTFEST presented by HBO to run from July 6 - 16, 2017


July 6 16, 2017

Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival is eleven days of not to be missed world-class films, panels, and parties. Each summer Outfest Los Angeles screens more than 150 feature and short films to an audience more than 40,000 people. Outfest Los Angeles is the oldest film festival in Los Angeles and is considered the preeminent LGBT film festival in the world.
2017 Outfest Los Angeles Galas Announced!

The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival will open with Francis Lees poignant and masterful feature debut, Gods Own Country starring Josh OConnor and Alec Secareanu. The Achievement Award Ceremony honoring Bryan Fuller will take place at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles on July 6, followed by the screening of Gods Own Country.

Additional gala screenings include: a rare spotlight on a bisexual lead character in the West Coast premiere of the TV series Strangers, (U.S. Centerpiece) written and directed by Mia Lidofsky; the groundbreaking, Japanese trans family drama Close Knit (International Centerpiece) from filmmaker Naoko Ogigami; the World Premiere of Logo Documentary Films and Putti Medias KEVYN AUCOIN Beauty & The Beast In Me (Documentary Centerpiece), directed by Lori Kaye, on makeup artist legend Kevyn Aucoin; and Awesomeness Films Behind The Curtain: Todrick Hall (Special Centerpiece), directed by Katherine Fairfax-Wright, following the life of multifaceted performer Todrick Hall.

The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival will close on July 16 at The Ace Theatre with Trudie Stylers comedic Freak Show, starring Bette Midler, Alex Lawther, AnnaSophia Robb, Abigail Breslin, Ian Nelson, Larry Pine and featuring a cameo from Laverne Cox.

The complete lineup for the 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival will be announced on Thursday, June 1.


Venues

Outfest Los Angeles screens at state-of-the-art venues including the festival headquarters at the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the historic Orpheum Theatre and Ace Theatre, REDCAT: Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, outdoors at the Ford Theatres, and Harmony Gold Theatre.
Press

Outfest Los Angeles receives media coverage from national outlets such as Vanity Fair, CNN, USA Today, E! Entertainment Television, Access Hollywood, Variety, Entertainment Tonight, US Weekly, The Advocate, OUT, MTV, Hollywood Reporter, Genre, Huffington Post, and the Independent Film Channel as well as key local outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Lesbian News, Edge, XY Magazine, Nightlife, local network news, and as well as online news outlets.


Filmmaker Services

Given its location in the heart of the entertainment industry, more executives attend Outfest Los Angeles than any other LGBTQ film festival. Our Outfest Forward program offers exclusive filmmaker events such as Industry Link and Filmmaker Breakfast Series during the festival. Industry Link gives every every director in the festival the opportunity to have a one-on-one industry meeting with an agent, manager, production company executive, entertainment lawyer, or distribution company executive. The Filmmaker Breakfast Series are morning panels hosted by industry insiders, with topics potentially about How to Find Distribution, How to Get Work in Television, How to Get Representation, Casting Your Film, etc.
Awards

Outfest Los Angeles has the most extensive awards program of any LGBTQ film festival. Awards include:
GRAND JURY AWARDS
Short Film Jury Special Mention
Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Short Film
Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Short Film
Documentary Feature Jury Special Mention
Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature
International Narrative Feature Jury Special Mention
Grand Jury Award for Best International Feature
US Narrative Jury Special Mention
Grand Jury Prize for Screenwriting, US Narrative Feature
Grand Jury Prize for US Narrative Feature

PROGRAMMING AWARDS
Special Programming Award for Artistic Achievement
Special Programming Award for Emerging Talent
Special Programming Award for Freedom

AUDIENCE AWARDS
Audience Award for Best Experimental Short
Audience Award for Best Documentary Short
Audience Award for Best Narrative Short
Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
Audience Award for Best First Feature

For more info, upcoming schedule, tickets info, log on to www.outfest.org
05.15.17 by OC

Bryan Fuller to receive 2017 OUTFEST "Achievement Award" prior to screening of "GOD'S OWN COUNTRY" (OUTFEST'S Opening Night Film)



ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: BRYAN FULLER
OPENING NIGHT: GOD'S OWN COUNTRY
U.S. CENTERPIECE: STRANGERS
INTERNATIONAL CENTERPIECE: CLOSE KNIT
DOCUMENTARY CENTERPIECE: KEVYN AUCOIN BEAUTY & THE BEAST IN ME
SPECIAL CENTERPIECE: BEHIND THE CURTAIN: TODRICK HALL
CLOSING NIGHT: FREAK SHOW

Los Angeles, May 15, 2017 Outfest the Los Angeles based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen today announced its 2017 Achievement Award recipient, Bryan Fuller, and its galas, including Opening and Closing Night, for the 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival presented by HBO. The nations leading LGBT festival will be held July 6-16, 2017.





The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival will open with Francis Lees poignant and masterful feature debut, Gods Own Country starring Josh OConnor and Alec Secareanu. The Achievement Award Ceremony will take place at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles on July 6, followed by the screening of Gods Own Country.

The Achievement Award is Outfest's highest honor and is presented in recognition of a body of work that has made a significant contribution to LGBT film and media. Bryan Fuller is one of contemporary television's true visionaries. With shows like Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Hannibal and most recently American Gods, Fullers stories push boundaries and present characters that feel modern and transgressive, not only because so many are LGBTQ but also because they live and love and behave and react in a way that their TV antecedents would never have dared.

From the unabashed queer aesthetic in Pushing Daisies to the groundbreaking sex-scene between two Muslim, gay men in American Gods, Bryan [Fuller] has decidedly put LGBT lives into Americas living rooms. It is through his unapologetic storytelling - its newness, its frankness, and its honesty - that audiences have not only accepted these stories but asked for more, commented Outfest Executive Director Christopher Racster.

Additional gala screenings include: a rare spotlight on a bisexual lead character in the West Coast premiere of the TV series Strangers, (U.S. Centerpiece) written and directed by Mia Lidofsky; the groundbreaking, Japanese trans family drama Close Knit (International Centerpiece) from filmmaker Naoko Ogigami; the World Premiere of Logo Documentary Films and Putti Medias KEVYN AUCOIN Beauty & The Beast In Me (Documentary Centerpiece), directed by Lori Kaye, on makeup artist legend Kevyn Aucoin; and Awesomeness Films Behind The Curtain: Todrick Hall (Special Centerpiece), directed by Katherine Fairfax-Wright, following the life of multifaceted performer Todrick Hall.

The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival will close on July 16 at The Ace Theatre with Trudie Stylers comedic Freak Show, starring Bette Midler, Alex Lawther, AnnaSophia Robb, Abigail Breslin, Ian Nelson, Larry Pine and featuring a cameo from Laverne Cox.

This year Outfest proudly turns 35. What started as a three-day media conference on the campus of UCLA is now a year-round organization with global impact. Outfest Los Angeles remains ahead of the curve in showcasing the work and stories of women, people of color and the trans community remarked Racster. When I look at the Galas for this year's Outfest Los Angeles I can see that impact and leadership - with incredible efforts by female directors, the international discussion around trans rights and the dignity in their stories, and the spotlight on new avenues of storytelling to get stories out.

This has been a remarkable year for LGBT storytelling and its evolution in form, complexity and inclusion. We've chosen to spotlight the scope of these groundbreaking journeys, from the Japanese trans family in the International Centerpiece Close Knit, to the relationship between two men in our Opening Night Gala film God's Own Country, these stories of hope blossom despite the intolerance that surrounds them," commented Outfest Director of Programming Lucy Mukerjee-Brown. "In my travels across the film festival circuit this past year, the urgency and caliber of the queer content is indicative that no matter what part of the world we live in, the stories of our LGBT lives must be heard. In Behind the Curtain Todrick Hall says: I never saw a gay black man on TV when I was growing up. That is what this year feels like - we have grown up and we are now able to tell our stories, as beautiful and as challenging as they may be."

The complete lineup for the 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival will be announced on Thursday, June 1.

The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival is proudly presented by HBO, a partnership that has spanned over 20 years. The Grand Sponsor is DIRECTV NOW. The Premiere Sponsors include Bank of America, Clear Channel Outdoor, Comcast NBCUniversal, Directors Guild of America, Gilead, The Grove, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety.

For more info regarding the upcoming OUTFEST 2017, please log on to www.outfest.org
05.15.17 by OC

DANCES WITH FILMS Line-up announced



For more information about the schedule, tickets, and day to day schedule, please log on to danceswithfilms.com



OPENING NIGHT

AMERICAN FOLK
LOS ANGELES Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 99 min.
WRITER: David Heinz
DIRECTOR: David Heinz
PRODS: Matt Miller, Fiona Walsh, Samantha Sanders, Aaron Downing
CAST: Joe Purdy, Amber Rubarth, Krisha Fairchild, David Fine, Bruce Beatty, Elizabeth Dennehy

Two strangers, both folk musicians stranded in California, take a road trip to New York in the days after 9/11. A story about the kindness of strangers and the power of music.


MISSING IN EUROPE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 77 min.
WRITER: Jenny Paul
DIRECTOR: Tamar Halpern
PRODS: Rick Benattar, Milos Dujkalic, Michael Moran, Ivana Panic, Fernando Szew, Nigel Thomas, Kaila York
CAST: Miranda Raison, Emmett J Scanlan, Sophie Robertson

Cyber security expert Sara Woods arrives in Belgrade, Serbia to attend a conference and check on her daughter, Karissa, who is studying abroad. When Karissa and her classmate Lara go clubbing and disappear into thin air, Sara is certain theyve been abducted. Utilizing her hacking skills and following clues Karissa leaves behind, Sara starts to uncover a major sex trafficking ring. Even worse, it seems the local police are in on it. With nobody to trust, Sara uses every tool at her disposal to locate Karissa before shes sold to the highest bidder and disappears forever.


CLOSING NIGHT

AUSTIN FOUND
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 104 min.
WRITERS: Brenna Graziano, Will Rae
DIRECTOR: Will Rae
PRODS: Robert Ruggeri, Danny Costanzo, Mary Pat Bentel, Gary Ousdahl
CAST: Linda Cardellini, Skeet Ulrich, Craig Robinson, Kristen Schaal, Jon Daly, Patrick Warburton, Chris Parnell, Jaime Pressly, Ursula Parker

A Texas mother who is fed up with her mundane lifestyle enlists her outlaw of an ex-boyfriend and his former prison buddy to join her in a shockingly outrageous scheme that's sure to make her and her 11 year old daughter instant celebrities.


COMPETITION FEATURES

CASSIDY RED
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 92 min.
WRITER: Matt Knudsen
DIRECTOR: Matt Knudsen
PRODS: Brooks Yang, Matt Knudsen
CAST: Abby Eiland, David Thomas Jenkins, Jason Grasl, Jessy Knudsen, Gregory Zaragoza, Rick Cramer, Lola Kelly

Cassidy Red is a western fable chronicling the struggle of Joe Cassidy, daughter of a prostitute and a gunslinger. When she is led to believe that her lover, Jakob has been murdered by Tom, her scornful ex-fiance, Joe she seeks vengeance. But when she returns to her hometown at the edge of the Arizona Territory, she not only finds Tom to have installed himself as the local sheriff, she also discovers Jakob alive and incarcerated. Soon the lovers are back together but behind bars. Awaiting execution, they must escape, shoot their way out of town, or face the hangman's noose at dawn.

CHANCE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 94 min.
WRITER: Kenny Young
DIRECTOR: Kenny Roy
PRODS: Phil James
CAST: Will Cannon, Peppur Chambers, Eddie Goines, Kenny Young, Alan Naggar, Joe Grubbs

In the brutal world of underground dogfighting, dogs are trained and forced to fight to the death. Chance is a pit-bull puppy with a peaceful heart and an imaginative mind. Unfortunately, Chance is soon torn from his happy home and purchased by a cruel dogfighting owner. As Chance grows to young adulthood, he manages to hold on to his values despite the fact that he will eventually have to enter the ring of death. Unwilling to betray his peaceful beliefs, Chance plots to escape the yard. Chance soon discovers that the outside world can be just as harsh, as he finds himself even deeper in the bloody world of dogfighting. To stay alive, Chance is forced to betray his own beliefs and fight his own kind. To find redemption, must challenge the system that is causing his own kind to self destruct.

ELIZA SHERMANS REVENGE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 80 min.
WRITER: Gregory Fitzsimmons
DIRECTOR: Gregory Fitzsimmons
PRODS: Gregory Fitzsimmons, Jackie Geary
CAST: Jackie Geary, Kristen Miller, Kiva Jump, Mageina Tovah, Larry Bates, Jamison Haase, Mike Rock

Newly endowed with special powers, Eliza Sherman lures her old nemeses to the Hollywood Hills under the guise of a birthday party for '80s heartthrob Richard Grieco. Her plans to punish them go repeatedly awry as her powers prove to be no match for fate. She must conquer her ego and stop screwing up the space-time continuum if she wants to finally win the heart of her one true love. A scrappy pitch-black comedy.

GRIEF
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 82 min.
WRITER: Senda Bonnet
DIRECTORS: Kevin Renwick, Chris Mammerarelli
PRODS: Kevin Renwick, Robert N. Klieger, Chris Mammerarelli
CAST: Kevin Renwick, Jackie Moore, Sean Russel Herman, Ken Gamble, Nathan Kehn, Nelson Cheng

After the sudden loss of his young son, Kyle Harden tortures himself day-after-day by returning to his once happy home where he, his wife, and son, all lived. Today he will end the suffering -- Today he will be reunited with his son -- Today will prove to be the hardest day of Kyle Hardens life as he comes face-to-face with his inner demons in an effort to 'pull the trigger' as he slips further and further into a psychological wormhole of love, loss, and self-exploration to answer the real question... 'Do I deserve to live?'

GAME DAY
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 101 min.
WRITER: John Susman
DIRECTOR: John Susman
PROD: Stuart Wolf, John Susman
CAST: Elizabeth Alderfer, Romeo Miller, Fyvush Finkel, Chris J. Johnson, Jrgen Hooper, Amy Holland Pennell

A basketball-savvy teen reluctantly agrees to coach a brilliant but self-centered tech whiz who has lost everything when her startup goes bust and personal life is left in ruins. Discovering that success at her new job depends on becoming a team player in the office and on the company's, up till now, all-male basketball team, she enlists his help in a desperate attempt to save her job and her futurean experience that ultimately changes both of their lives forever. With original music by Romeo Miller and Master P.

HOLDEN ON
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 102 min.
WRITER: Tamlin Hall
DIRECTOR: Tamlin Hall
PRODS: James Cooney, Tamlin Hall, Jamie Roberts
CAST: Matthew Fahey, Ross Thomas, Steve Ellis, Kelly Finley, Greg Thompson

No longer your average boy-next-door, Holden Layfield weaves audiences through his harrowing tale in this film set in the early 1990s. After succumbing to a secret battle with mental illness, Holden evolves from a beloved, small town Georgia football player to a lost, self-medicating prophet.

IMITATION GIRL
LOS ANGELES Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 83 min.
WRITER: Natasha Kermani
DIRECTOR: Natasha Kermani
PRODS: Forrest McClain, Tim Wu, Claudia Murdoch, Alastair Murdoch
CAST: Lauren Ashley Carter, Neimah Djourabchi, Sanam Erfani, Marsha Stefanie Blake, Catherine Mary Stewart, Lewis Black, Adam David Thompson

A mysterious being arrives on Earth and takes the shape of a young woman. Taken in by Iranian immigrants, a brother and sister living in the American Southwest, the Imitation forms an understanding of the strange species around her, and as she learns more about her new body and her companions, she comes to appreciate the beauty and the sadness of her new world. At the same time, Julianna, Imitations world-weary earthly double, knows both glitz and grit working as an entertainer in New York City, where her fraying life and relationships now threaten her dreams for an audition that might finally set her on a happier path. On learning of Juliannas existence, Imitation heads to New York, where only by sacrificing themselves to each other can the cosmic twins complete a full portrait of a woman.

INHERITANCE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 92 min.
WRITER: Tyler Savage
DIRECTOR: Tyler Savage
PRODS: Dash Hawkins, JP Castel, Chase Joliet, Tyler Savage
CAST: Chase Joliet, Sara Montez, Dale Dickey, Drew Powell, Jim Ortlieb, Krisha Fairchild, Ashley Spillers, Alex Dobrenko, Tim Abell, Vincent Van Horn

Ryan has just inherited a $2 million beach house on the central California coast from his biological father, a man hes never known and thought long dead. Arriving in the charming town with his pregnant fianc, Ryans curiosity about his father soon leads him into an introspective investigation. As a looming family presence tightens its grip on him, Ryan detaches, pushing away his adoptive family and expectant fianc. When he finally discovers the horrifying truth about his birth parents, he might be too late to stop himself from repeating a similar pattern

JIMMY THE SAINT
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 87 min.
WRITER: Branden Morgan
DIRECTOR: Branden Morgan
PRODS: Branden Morgan, Bruce Witkin, Jason Leibsla, Chris Emerson
CAST: Zach Hursh, Anne Solenne, Brandon Breault, Jeff Murray, Christine Lakin

When a bagman for the Russian mob falls for a fresh-off-the-boat prostitute, the only way to ensure their freedom is to fight for it. Jimmy The Saint offers an unflinching look at the lucrative and dangerous sex trade that claims the lives of anonymous innocents everyday. With a talented cast of newcomers, JIMMY THE SAINT is a powerful film experience that will stay with you long after the final fade-to-black.

LANDING UP
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 98 min.
WRITER: Stacey Maltin
DIRECTOR: Dani Tenenbaum
PRODS: Stacey Maltin, Jessica Kingdon, Marzy Hart, Nikolai Metin
CAST: Ben Rappaport, Stacey Maltin, Edena Hines, Dov Tiefenbach, Theodora Woolley, Jay DeYonker

CHRISSIE is young, wild, and living on the streets. She and her best friend CECE use their youth and good looks to their advantage, playing a con game with strangers to put a roof over their heads while all the time fantasizing about having enough money to score their dream apartment. When Chrissie meets DAVID, a funny, genuine guy who works his way into her heart, she falls for him and must decide whether to confess the real circumstances of her life or continue her carefully crafted lie at all costs; even the cost of someones life.

LORE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 87 min.
WRITERS: Christian Larsen, Brock Manwill
DIRECTORS: Brock Manwill, Christian Larsen
PRODS: Brock Manwill, Christian Larsen, John Matthews, Polina Gorbacheva
CAST: Lyndsey Lantz, Max Lesser, Sean Wei Mah, Victor Gage

Ann, convinced that God is leading her, embarks on a journey to find her missing son in a remote wilderness with the help of her estranged husband, Rich and John, a Native American who is familiar with the area. As they venture deep into the forest, they witness strange and frightening occurrences that challenge the reality they thought they knew. They hope to put an end to their nightmare, but this could be just the beginning.

THE MIDNIGHTERS
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 87 min.
WRITER: Julian Fort
DIRECTOR: Julian Fort
PRODS: Adam Carl, Julian Fort
CAST: Leon Russom, Gregory Sims, John Wesley, Stuart McLean, Costa Ronin, Eve Mauro, Larry Cedar, Charles Dierkop

Expert safecracker Victor Lustig has just been released from prison after a thirty-five-year stretch. Now an old man all Vic wants to do is pick up some money long owed to him and live out his days in peace, quiet and comfort. When his old co-conspirator Louis breaks the news that the cash in long gone, Vics retirement plan goes up in smoke. It isnt until Victor gets a surprise visit from his long lost son Danny that his future begins to become clear. It seems that Danny has followed in Vics footsteps, and has gotten himself in heavy debt to dangerous Russian gangsters Orion and Vadik. Now Vic's got a choice to make: accept his new life playing out the string in a world he no longer understands or risk his life by utilizing every bit of his old street skills to save the son he never knew.

THE MEANING OF LIFE
WORLD Premiere | Canada, 2017, HD, 90 min.
WRITER: Cat Hostick
DIRECTOR: Cat Hostick
PRODS: Russ De Jong, Cat Hostick, Rona Leon
CAST: Tyler Shaw, Sergio Di Zio, Sadie Munroe, Jean Yoon, Dan Lett, John Boylan, Krista Morin, Jake Raymond

A starving musician Finn Faber (Tyler Shaw) gets a temporary job as a therapeutic clown at a hospital entertaining sick kids. He is assigned a 9 year-old leukemia patient: Sophia Hill (Sadie Munroe). Finn soon learns that Sophia coming into his life was no coincidence, but an important lesson he needed to learn before making a big step forward in life.

ONE LESS GOD
WORLD Premiere | Australia, 2017, HD, 133 min.
WRITER: Lliam Worthington
DIRECTOR: Lliam Worthington
PRODS: Maren Smith, Joel Hagen, Lliam Worthington, Nelson Lau
CAST: Joseph Mahler Taylor, SukhRaj Deepak, Mihika Rao, Kabir Singh, Kieran Kumar, Nathan Kaye, Martelle Hammer, Reilly O'Byrne-Inglis, Igor Kreyman, Joseph J.U. Taylor, Quentin Yung, Jan Langford-Penny, Nicole Fantl, Philip R.K. John, Nicolas Scot Francois, Rhavin Banda

In 2008, a band of young Islamic militants from Pakistan lands in Mumbai, their primary target, the iconic Taj Mahal hotel. With Indian forces unable to regain control, for 4 days the guests must battle to survive as the terrorists seek to drive them from hiding. The harrowing events that follow will come to be known as Indias 9/11 and one of the most audacious terrorist attacks in history. Yet more than a tale of monsters and men, this is a story of our shared humanity at the dark crossroads to which we have now stumbled. Inspired by true events.

TATER TOT & PATTON
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 92 min.
WRITER: Andrew Kightlinger
DIRECTOR: Andrew Kightlinger
PRODS: Adam Emerson, Dohui Kim, Ryan M. Hall, Sean Covel
CAST: Jessica Rothe, Bates Wilder, Forrest Weber

A wayward millennial escapes to her Uncle's South Dakota ranch, unhinging his placid boozer life.

TOMORROW, MAYBE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 84 min.
WRITERS: Jace Daniel, Roy Kirk 1st, Robert Blanche
DIRECTOR: Jace Daniel
PRODS: Jace Daniel, Roy Kirk 1st, Robert Blanche, David Brownlow
CAST: Robert Blanche, Bethany Jacobs, Grant Davis, Brian Sutherland

Determined to redeem himself upon his most recent release from prison, a father (Robert Blanche) reconnects with his daughter (Bethany Jacobs), who might not be so willing if her life wasn't suddenly falling apart.

FUSION FEATURES

ALL I WANT
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 91 min.
WRITERS: West Liang, Melissa Center
DIRECTOR: West Liang
PRODS: Melissa Center, West Liang, Giselle Gilbert, Howard Ginsburg, Ira Wagner, Leah Wagner, Ciel Turich
CAST: Melissa Center, Drew Rausch, Josh Casaubon, Rebecca Larsen, Jonathan Chase, Laura Mann, Susan-Kate Heaney, Bruce Lemon, Renee Threatte, Akemi Look, Giselle Gilbert, Drew Brooks, Kate Mines, Molly Kidder, Jorge-Luis Pallo, Camille Mana, Garrett Coffey, Vivian Bang, Bryce McBratnie

An ensemble drama that explores the anxiety of modern love and life among friends in Los Angeles.

BEING BLACK ENOUGH or (HOW TO KILL A BLACK MAN)
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 92 min.
WRITER: Devin Rice
DIRECTOR: Devin Rice
PRODS: Jacqueline Corcos, Devin Rice
CAST: Devin Rice, Bruce A. Lemon, Jr, Marcus Ajose, Matthew-David Smith, Joshua Walker, Danielle Jaffey, Jacqueline Corcos, D.J. Hale, Mark Ridley, Peter DiVito, Gina Jackson

A Young Black Man, raised in a White neighborhood, ridiculed for not being "Black Enough" decides to go to the hood to hang out with his gangster cousin and discover what it really means to be "Black." He eventually faces the harsh reality of gang violence, drugs and police confrontation.

D-LOVE
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 97 min.
WRITER: Dave Rogers
DIRECTOR: Elena Beuca
PRODS: Elena Beuca, Dave Rogers, Billy Howerdel, Elisabetta Tedla, Veronica Radaeli, John Chidwick
CAST: Elena Beuca, Dave Rogers, Ditlev Dharmakaya, Billy Howerdel

Stefania is working a job she has hated for years. Her husband, Dan, hasnt worked in years.
They have just landed at Los Angeles airport, returning from Europe, and having one of the worst days of their lives. Stefania is approached by a vagabond - Ditlev, who asks her for a ride to one of the busiest freeways in Los Angeles. She doesnt want to have anything to do with the wanderer, but her husband Dan, decides to take him home with them. How will this affect the couple? The director invites you on a 3 day journey, seen through Stefanias eyes, to view and discover that desired change doesnt always come in the package that we want or expect.

DEVILS WHISPER
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 85 min.
WRITERS: Oliver Robins, Paul Todisco, Adam Ripp
DIRECTOR: Adam Ripp
PRODS: Manjoj Punjabi, Mark Stolaroff, Liam Finn, Adam Ripp
CAST: Luca Oriel, Tessie Santiago, Marcos Ferraez, Rick Ravanello, Luna Maya, Alison Fernandez, Jasper Polish, Coy Stewart, Justin Tinucci, Benjamin A. Hoyt

15 year-old Alejandro Duran, who comes from a religious Latino American family, aspires to be a Catholic priest. But when Alex discovers a mysterious box, passed down from his grandparents, he unwittingly unleashes a demonic spirit bent on possessing him. Alex must find a way to defeat this ancient demon, which has been tormenting children since the dawn of man, before it destroys him and everyone he loves. On the surface Devil's Whisper is a supernatural horror film about demonic possession but at its core it's a psychological thriller about repressed memories, childhood trauma and the cycle of abuse.


ESPIONAGE TONIGHT
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 85 min.
WRITER: Rob Gordon Bralver
DIRECTOR: Rob Gordon Bralver
PRODS: Amy Child
CAST: Joe Hursley, Greg Davis Jr., Ganna Bogdan, Said Taghmaoui, Alexie Gilmore, Joseph Gatt, Chasty Ballesteros, Lynn Whitfield, Sean Astin

In a time of widespread disillusionment and distrust of our government, a reality TV show about spies is created to win back the faith of the American public. Audiences go undercover on missions around the globe and see real world effects from the narrative the showrunners create. As the first season unfolds, we wonder how much is real and how much is propaganda? Our charismatic host Swamp Fox leads us down the rabbit hole the show runners create, and it becomes impossible to distinguish fact from fiction as the lines blur between reality, television, and movies in an age when everything is on camera.

THE FIRST OF MANY
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 13 min.
WRITER: Pamela Guest
DIRECTOR: Elizabeth and Pamela Guest
PRODS: Elizabeth and Pamela Guest
CAST: Elizabeth Guest, Lawrence Michael Levine, Kristin Slaysman

In 1971 young actress goes on her first audition with surprising, life changing results.

THE MAN FROM EARTH: HOLOCENE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 99 min.
WRITERS: Richard Schenkman, Eric D. Wilkinson, Emerson Bixby
DIRECTOR: Richard Schenkman
PRODS: Richard Schenkman, Eric Wilkinson
CAST: David Lee Smith, Vanessa Williams, Sterling Knight, Akemi Look, Brittany Curran, Carlos Knight, William Katt, Michael Dorn

Following ten years after the cult sci-fi favorite Jerome Bixbys The Man From Earth, 14,000 year-old John Oldman is now comfortably hiding in plain sight as a college professor in Northern California. However his existence comes crashing down when he realizes that not only is something finally causing him to age, but a group of devoted students have discovered his deepest secret, putting his life in grave danger and potentially destroying the worlds most popular religion.

THE SCENT OF RAIN AND LIGHTNING
LOS ANGELES Premiere | USA, 2016, HDV, 73 min.
WRITERS: Casey Twenter, Jeff Robinson
DIRECTOR: Blake Robbins
PRODS: Casey Twenter, Jeff Robison, Jeff Johnson, Dan Koetting, Kevin Waller, Maggie Grace
CAST: Maika Monroe, Mark Webber, Maggie Grace, Will Patton, Logan Miller, Justin Chatwin, Brad Carter, Aaron Poole and Bonnie Bedelia

When a young woman in the Midwest learns her parents' killer has been released from jail, rumblings in her small town suggest he may be innocent. She begins questioning the police investigation and witnesses, and uncovers her own family secrets to piece together the shocking truth. Based on the bestselling novel The Scent Of Rain & Lightning by Nancy Pickard.

THE SPEARHEAD EFFECT
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 86 min.
WRITERS: Caleb Smith, Brandon Moore
DIRECTORS: Caleb Smith, Brandon Moore
PRODS: Terrence Malick, Alexander Zdzislaw Golubiewski, Jaime Gallagher
CAST: Rane Jameson, Leif Steinert, Caleb Smith

When an online journalist exposes widespread police corruption, he soon finds himself a target of the violent vigilante movement he unwittingly inspired.



MIDNIGHT FEATURES

AWAKEN THE SHADOWMAN
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 83 min.
WRITERS: Woodrow Wilson Hancock III, Skyler Caleb, James Zimbardi
DIRECTOR: J.S. Wilson
PRODS: Woodrow Wilson Hancock III, Skyler Caleb, James Zimbardi, Anthony C. Ferrante
CAST: James Zimbardi, Skyler Caleb, Jean Smart, Emily Somers, Andrea Hunt, Robert R. Shafer, Grace Van Dien, Raam Weinfeld, Carlos Pratts, Sophie Labelle, Casey Kramer

After the mysterious disappearance of their mother, estranged brothers reunite and discover an unknown supernatural force.

CENTRAL PARK
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 87 min.
WRITER: Justin Reinsilber
DIRECTOR: Justin Reinsilber
PRODS: Melissa Chamberlain, Justin Reinsilber, Rachel Brenna
CAST: Justiin A. Davis, Ruby Modine, Malika Samuel, Grace Van Patten, Guillermo Arribas, Deema Aitken, Marina Squerciati, Michael Lombardi, Charles Borland, David Valcin, Nicole Balsam, Justin Reinsilber

Central Park is a feature-length horror/thriller from writer/director Justin Reinsilber. Set in present day New York City the film centers around six high school juniors. Collectively they have done everything there is to do, know it all better than everyone else, and mean the world to each other. When one of their fathers is implicated in a Bernie Madoff-esque Ponzi scheme, the gang rallies around their friend. To blow off some steam, they set out for an epic night in Central Park. Little do they know the consequences of his crimes will go far beyond his client's bank accounts.



DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

CHARLIE VS GOLIATH
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 80 min.
DIRECTOR: Reed Lindsay
PRODS: Reed Lindsay, Nicolas Rossier, Kim Borba, Phillip Landrum, Ronica Reddick, Anthony Weldon

Former Catholic priest Charlie Hardy is 75 years old and has no money or political experience. But none of that dissuades this 21st-century Don Quixote from running for the US Senate in his home state of Wyoming. Charlies courage to take a principled stand against money in politics attracts a ragtag group of young volunteers and together they jump aboard a 1970 Crown school bus, campaigning across the Wild West state in a bid to shake up this country's political establishment.

GREEN STANDARD, THE
Los Angeles Premiere | USA, 2017, HDV, 75 min.
DIRECTORS: William Rosenfeld, Jacob Strunk
PRODS: William Rosenfeld, Jacob Strunk

Last year, lawmakers brought a petition before the DEA to loosen federal restrictions on cannabis. It was swiftly rejected, maintaining the plant's Schedule I classification alongside heroin and PCP on the stated basis of it having "no accepted medical use". Enter THE GREEN STANDARD: a people's account of pot, prejudice, and the fight against prohibition. Filmed throughout the U.S., TGS reveals the surprising highs and uncomfortable lows of the men, women, and children on all sides of the issue. From the refugee families of Colorado battling for their kids' lives to anti-legalization activists decrying the movement as greed-fueled hype, America's evolving perceptions of marijuana use are revealed, alongside criminalization's untold societal costs.

THE LAUGHTER LIFE
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HDV, 76 min.
DIRECTOR: Juliet Werner
PRODS: Juliet Werner, Jeff Werner

From Daily Show producer Juliet Werner, "The Laughter Life" follows a week in the professional life of the young comedians who write and star in "Studio C, a popular sketch comedy television show with a strong following on YouTube. But theirs is not your typical comedy success story, as the cast and crew behind the program are practicing Mormons living in Provo, Utah. And the network producing their show is run by the LDS Church. The film explores the tension inherent in creating "clean" comedy that will satisfy both the demands of the network and the cast's desire to generate a funny final product. The Laughter Life takes audiences to a world few have visited and demonstrates the unifying power comedy.

RESISTANCE IS LIFE
WEST COAST Premiere | Turkey/USA, 2017, HD, 73 min.
DIRECTOR: Apo W. Bazidi
PRODS: Apo W. Bazidi, Goran Zaneti

From a refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border, an 8-year-old girl, EVLIN, characterizes the resistance of her homeland. Her heroes, the Kurdish female fighters, are defending the city of Kobane against the onslaught by ISIS militants. The power of the human spirit emanates through Evlin as she shows us that hope and resilience prevail even in the most tragic of circumstances. Evlin takes us on a journey that introduces the many different faces of the resistance on both sides of the border and provides a unique look at the extraordinary spirit behind the first major victory against ISIS.

TO THE MOON AND BACK
WEST COAST Premiere | USA/Russia, 2016, HDV, 85 min.
WRITER: Susan Morgan Cooper
DIRECTOR: Susan Morgan Cooper
PROD: Susan Morgan Cooper
FEATURING: Jessica Long, Miles Harrison, Carol Harrison, Bill Browder, Gene Weingarten, Boris Altshuler, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Ben Cardin

The political murder of a Moscow lawyer and the cancellation of 259 pending American adoptions have a deep , insidious connection in this emotional expose.To the Moon and Back connects the dots from Russia's warehousing of abandoned and special needs children to the cross border dealings of a billionaire investment banker to one American family's tragedy. The film explores how Russian political corruption is linked to the accidental death of one adopted child and becomes Putin's reason behind the Adoption Ban.



COMPETITION SHORTS

ALFRED J HEMLOCK
WORLD Premiere | Australia, 2016, HD, 14 min.
WRITERS: Melissa Lyons, Edward Lyons
DIRECTOR: Edward Lyons
PRODS: Robert Raymond, Melissa Lyons, Edward Lyons, Lucas Newton, Aaron Bush, Tim Creswell
CAST: Renaye Loryman, Tristan Mckinnon, Christian Charisiou

When Emily is abandoned in the night, her only way home is through an alleyway where she is terrorised by the mysterious entity Alfred J Hemlock. After reaching the depths of her despair she finds strength that she never suspected she had.

ALL THE MARBLES
CALIFORNIA Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 17 min.
WRITERS: Carl Petersen, Michael Swingler
DIRECTOR: Michael Swingler
PRODS: Carl Petersen, Michael Swingler
CAST: Cole Sand, Carl Petersen, Helen Sadler, Christopher Franciosa, Micah Fitzgerald

In a magical world where marbles are as precious as gold, a boy named Jamison wins the most cherished marble of them all. When a villainous bully named Wolf cruelly snatches his prize trophy, the boy challenges him to an epic marble battle that could cost him much more than he expected.

AWOL
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 16 min.
WRITERS: Rene Yi, Paul J. Meredith
DIRECTOR: Paul J. Meredith
PRODS: Paul J. Meredith, Patrick Stephen, Rene Yi
CAST: Patrick Stephen, Henry Mark

AWOL tells the story of a Vietnam soldier who chose flight over fight, only to find himself up against harsh terrain and relentless homesickness. He must face the fact that in war, there are no winners.

BLUES WITH ME
NORTH KOREA Premiere | South Korea, 2016, HD, 25 min.
WRITER: Lee Han-jong
DIRECTOR: Lee Han-Jong
PROD: Han Dal-ho
CAST: Han Jung-hyun, Kim Kyung-ik, Nam Tae-woo

Seung-shik, a construction worker loses his daily job just because he is not on the list. To make things worse, he is not going to get paid for the work he did a week before. To get to the bottom of this absurd situation, he visits his foreman to his office.

BOY IN THE DARK
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 13 min.
WRITER: Jason Ragosta
DIRECTOR: Jason Ragosta
PRODS: Rebecca Ahn, Julie Chow, Richard Enriquez, Marisa Garay
CAST: TonyBoy Marin, Robert Matas, James Ted Harvey, Nani Strides, Tony Aldrich, Jayson Fabre

Boy In The Dark tells the story of Jake, a boy both blessed and cursed with an extraordinary imagination. Blessed in that he is able to lose himself in the drawings of creatures and places that populate his sketch book. Cursed, because he is plagued by a gruesome Night Terror, that emerges from the darkness each and every night. Jake discovers that if he is to survive, he must protect what he creates, and that there are bargains to be struck with those who truly rule the night.

BURYING AMBER
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 8 min.
WRITER: Alix Angelis
DIRECTORS: Alix Angelis, Vincent Cardinale
PRODS: Vincent Cardinale, Thomas Marchese, Alix Angelis
CAST: Alix Angelis

Lori must deal with the end of a relationship in a way she didn't expect.

CONFECTION
NORTH AMERICAN Premiere | United Kingdom, 2016, HD, 33 min.
WRITER: Lauren Bensted
DIRECTOR: Ed Rigg
PROD: AJ Leon
CAST: Perry Millward, Esther Smith, Tony Way

Set in a sleepy English seaside town, Confection is a comedy about a not-quite-grown-up who finds himself accidentally catapulted into the thick of a very grown-up situation.

CROSSING FENCES
WEST COAST Premiere | USA/Germany, 2017, HD, 14 min.
WRITER: Annika Pampel
DIRECTOR: Annika Pampel
PRODS: Justin Prentice, Nina Rausch
CAST: Nina Rausch, Christian Wolf, Philippe Brenninkmeyer

In a communist East Germany in 1974, a young couple attempts to escape into the West, seeking freedom, by using a handmade boat to cross the Baltic Sea. The fight for their lives begins when they get discovered and they try to escape decades of imprisonment or being executed on the spot.

DEEP PLAYA SUNRISE
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 13 min.
WRITER: Josh Yeo
DIRECTOR: Josh Yeo
PRODS: Josh Yeo, Seth Bunting, Chris Pitcher, Kris Kish, Arin Pitcher
CAST: Chris Holz, Rachel Emma Pringle

This whimsical story is a blend the senses, as we follow a medically discharged combat vet, on his first trip to Burning Man, as he searches the "Playa" for hearing-aid batteries. **One of the first and only narratives approved by Burning Man governing body, Black Rock City, LLC.

A DIMLY LIT ROOM
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 10 min.
WRITER: Thad Nurski
DIRECTOR: Thad Nurski
PRODS: Janice Fung, Nick Foss, Thad Nurski
CAST: Benjamin Hjelm, Jamie VanDyke

In a dimly lit room, Asher meets Persephone. What she wants, what she threatens, and what she has to offer are the clues Asher has to go on in order to solve the riddle in front of him and save his life. If he cannot figure out what is going on and what to do about it, it could be his end.

DOLL
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 20 min.
WRITER: Cory Pratt
DIRECTOR: Cory Pratt
PRODS: Cory Pratt, Josh Prosser
CAST: Yang Miller, Annie Ganousis, Tim Ashby

Smitten with his co-worker, a timid janitor struggles to connect with her and harbors a big secret...he performs his nightly duties in a fetish rubber suit.

EXPOSURE
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 15 min.
WRITER: Mary Jeanes
DIRECTOR: Mary Jeanes
PROD: Ivo Huahua
CAST: Antonina Vargas, Michael D. Finley

On Erins first outdoor climbing trip, her reckless boyfriend gets himself trapped high on a cliff. As time slips away and he falls into a severe hypothermic state, they realize help will not arrive in time. Erin risks her life in an attempt to rescue him before its too late.

FIRST NIGHT
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HDV, 10 min.
WRITER: Rafael Pablo Salinas, Daniel Andrs Gmez Bagby
DIRECTOR: Daniel Andrs Gmez Bagby
PRODS: Ornella Jaramillo, Rafael Pablo Salinas, Daniel Andrs Gmez Bagby
CAST: Brittany Ann Falardeau, Bryan Dechart, Sean Obryan

Joey is woken up in the middle of the night by a damsel in distress. Realizing he is in danger, Joey takes matters into his own hands to protect himself. His plan backfires, leaving him in a world of pain.

THE FACELESS MAN
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 13 min.
WRITERS: Sara OReilly, Jeremy Foley
DIRECTOR: Jeremy Foley
PRODS: Sara OReilly
CAST: William OLeary

An offbeat fable about a disillusioned man who discovers his face has transformed into a mirror and must venture out into the world to reclaim his identity.

FLOWER
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 15 min.
WRITER: Ch Walker
DIRECTOR: Ch Walker
PRODS: Ch Walker, Luke Paddington, James McCormick
CAST: Montana Roesch, Barry Primus, Mattia Bartoli, Austin Iredale

A young sex worker is tested to her limits by three very different clients.

THE GOOD MACHINE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 12 min.
WRITER: Michael Craft
DIRECTOR: Michael Craft
PRODS: Scott Riehs, Michael Craft
CAST: Jessica Park, David Rysdahl

A young woman struggles with her boyfriends addiction to a virtual reality device that allows him to interact with his dreams. She attempts to help him let go of his compulsion, but he resists. Working at her job at the library, and catching the train to and from work, she has her own dream, a life together with her boyfriend, free from addiction.

JOUSKA
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 5 min.
WRITER: Wynter Rhys
DIRECTOR: Wynter Rhys
PRODS: Wynter Rhys, Mumukuba
CAST: James Pinto II, Alissa Gustafson, Curtis McGann, Eric Bayne, Keenyn Rhys

An elderly man grapples with the guilt of what he's done in the strange, whimsical land of his subconscious

HERBIE
WORLD Premiere | France, 2016, HD, 20 min.
WRITER: Ralph Bismargi
DIRECTOR: Ralph Bismargi
PROD: Ralph Bismargi
CAST: Matt Vladimery, Laura Woody, Tiffany Hofstetter, Jim Sheppard, Zelda Rittner, Sebastian Marx, Ralph Bismargi

Herbie Spoon, a nave and emotionally imbalanced 30-year-old, dreams of becoming a successful life coach who inspires people and offers them guidance. His master plan: to start out by making YouTube videos with the help of his filmmaker friend, GINNIE. The only problem is that he keeps messing up during the shoot. Instead of a series of clips with him offering good advice, we end up with a bunch of hilarious outtakes that he does not find funny. Will he eventually succeed or is he on the wrong path? Herbie is not only a behind-the-scenes look at a quirky young man struggling to make it. It is a story that takes us on a journey towards self-discovery and embracing who we are.

THE KNACKERMAN
WEST COAST Premiere | UK, 2016, HD, 18 min.
WRITER: Tom Shrapnel
DIRECTOR: Tom Shrapnel
PROD: Rebecca Wolff
CAST: Donald Sumpter, Adam Long

An aging Knacker, responsible for the disposal of dying horses, must face his own mortality and in doing so entrust responsibility to the next generation.

LA SIRENA
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 24 min.
WRITER: Rosita Lama Muvdi
DIRECTOR: Rosita Lama Muvdi
PROD: Daniel Leighton
CAST: Jordan Monaghan, Kelsey Reinhardt, Darrel Cherney, Vera Cherny

LA SIRENA is psychosexual fairy tale about Mia, a woman in a small fishing village who is having an affair with Hector, a married fisherman. On the day Hector threatens to end the affair, Mia discovers a mysterious woman, Mara, washed up on shore, naked and with a hook lodged into her ribcage. After Mia brings her home to heals her wound, Mara tells her that a fisherman tried to stab her in the heart. With suspicions that Hector might have been involved, Mia is forced to confront Hector, surrendering to her own inner monster to avenge her broken heart.

PRINT SOURCE:
Rosita Lama Muvdi
(213) 361-5585
rosylama@gmail.com
www.lasirenafilm.com

LEMON
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 13 min.
WRITER: Timothy Michael Cooper
DIRECTOR: Timothy Michael Cooper
PRODS: Simon TaufiQue, Surina Jindal
CAST: Jennifer Westfeldt, Noah Bean, Jenn Lyon, Finn Douglas

Seconds after the wedding, a bride is stunned to learn that her new husband fudged nearly everything about his past, his family, and his accomplishmentsbut his revelations force her to come clean about a few shocking secrets of her own.

LIMBUS
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 16 min.
WRITERS: Lee Peterkin, Candace Jane
DIRECTOR: Lee Peterkin
PROD: Bill Lucia
CAST: Vinicius Vieira, Candace Jane

During the winter months in their cabin, Alex and Vera experience strange occurrences that are seemingly nonsensical. Nevertheless, the veil of surreality becomes lifted through a visceral and sobering revelation.

LOVE IS SHIT
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 20 min.
WRITER: Keith Schneider
DIRECTOR: Keith Schneider
PRODS: Katherine LaVictoire, Myko Olivier, Keith Schneider, Vince Tanzilli
CAST: Katherine LaVictoire, Nanrisa Lee, Myko Olivier, Ryan Shoos

When two couples discover the unevenness of their relationships, a chain of events leads to a more simple understanding for some, and heartbreak for others.

MIRIAM IS GOING TO MARS
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 16 min.
WRITER: Michael Lippert
DIRECTOR: Michael Lippert
PROD: Brittany Wagner
CAST: Ann Sonneville, Nathaniel Buescher

A woman with schizophrenia attempts to escape a psychiatric hospital by signing up for the first human mission to Mars.

oRaNgEdReAmS
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 10 min.
WRITER: Jessica Liu
DIRECTOR: Jessica Liu
PRODS: J. Graciano, Jessica Liu
CAST: Evelyn Warner, Shay Backe, Riley Jimenez, Jordan Franco, Andrew Lutheran, Kimberly Cohen

A sixth grade girl, who spends the majority of her time exploring early 2000s pop culture through her internet connection and dreaming of becoming a pop superstar, receives a reality check when she meets up with some friends, including her crush, at the mall.

RAHOWA
WORLD Premiere | Canada, 2016, HD, 23 min.
WRITER: Charlie Hamilton
DIRECTOR: Charlie Hamilton
PRODS: Charlie Hamilton, Diego Guijarro
CAST: Sam Duffy, Austin Duffy, Jorrin Bruns

After a brutal attack that leaves him injured and his girlfriend in the hospital, a young, impressionable skinhead must decide what direction the fallout goes.

REQUIRES REVIEW
NORTH AMERICAN Premiere | Australia/Sweden, 2016, HD, 6 min.
WRITER: Joshua Belinfante
DIRECTOR: Joshua Belinfante
PROD: Joshua Belinfante
CAST: Johan Lenhoff, Bjrn Lindqvist

Bjrn Lindqvist is the worlds best town planner. He isnt changing the world, hes just trying to improve it.

SOUL CANDY
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 10 min.
WRITER: Jennifer Rapaport
DIRECTOR: John Stimpson
PRODS: John Stimpson, Geoffrey Taylor, Jennifer Rapaport
CAST: Kallie Tabor, Erica Derrickson, Dario Sanchez

With a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac twist, Siri, a shy bookworm, convinces her extroverted sister, Kaya, to talk to with the cute bookstore clerk while she tells her what to say via text messages. When the ruse is up, the young couple bonds over author David Foster Wallace.

STILL HERE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 13 min.
WRITER: Teresa Decher
DIRECTOR: Kholi Hicks
PRODS: Morgan Pichinson, Teresa Decher
CAST: Teresa Decher, Kevin Joy, Michelle Ortiz

Still Here explores the cycles of unstable relationships through a couple following the days after their recent break-up.

SUBTEXT
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HDV, 9 min.
WRITER: Chris Valenti
DIRECTOR: Chris Valenti
PRODS: Michelle Loucadoux, Chris Valenti, We Make Movies
CAST: John Bigham, Michelle Loucadoux, Chris Valenti

A misfired text message creates an awkward but silent battle on a first date.

TAIL
WORLD PREMIERE | Australia, 2016, HD, 9 min.
WRITERS: David Gannon, Troy Larkin, Carl J. Sorheim, Nathan Strauss
DIRECTOR: Carl J. Sorheim
PRODS: Lisa Fineberg, Thanassi Panagiotara, Carl J. Sorheim, The Cameralla
CAST: Lisa Fineberg, J.R. Reyne, Nathan Strauss

Skye (Lisa Fineberg) makes a living as childrens entertainer Chaise the Mermaid, all the while harbouring a crush on her boss, Mark the Pirate (J.R. Reyne). Her best buddy and co-worker Jay Punch the Parrot (Nathan Strauss) doesnt think much of Mark, and might just be crushing a little on Skye Tail is a romantic comedy fable that pays homage to love and big, gorgeous 1980s cheese ball entertainment.

THIS IS THAT NIGHT
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 14 min.
WRITER: Jonathan Marballi
DIRECTOR: Matt Braunsdorf
PROD: Jonathan Marballi
CAST: Jonathan Marballi, Kris Wiener

"This is That Night" is a romantic comedy telling the story of a new couple who are about to hit a turning point in their relationship. Kris invites Jon over for their fourth date, where they end up talking and laughing all day. When they come to the realization that everything is going so well, the pressure to keep the momentum going brings everything to a halt.

THREE SKELETON KEY
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 11 min.
WRITER: Andrew Hamer
DIRECTOR: Andrew Hamer
PROD: Marcus Mizelle
CAST: Dan White, Robert Fleet, Paul Rae, Greg Perrow

Set in 1921, an American lighthouse crew on the small island of Three Skeleton Key become unnerved when a ship ignores their beacon, running aground on the reefs surrounding the island. They soon discover that something is on board the ship, and it's not human.

TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HDV, 24 min.
WRITERS: Christina Eliopoulos
DIRECTOR: Christina Eliopoulos
PRODS: Elizabeth Kinder, Alex Laviola, Adam Thomson, Eve Grace Penoyer
CAST: Joe Cortese, Azhy Robertson, Stephen Badalamenti, Janis Dardaris, Tara Murtha, Mark Gindick, Katherine Sigismund

Yianni is the star and celebrated host of TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT, the talk show that plays in his own beautiful but fractured mind. On one fateful day, Yianni who suffers from dementia, wanders out of his house and comes to the aid of a lonely and lost little boy.

WARM SPRINGS
CALIFORNIA Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 16 min.
WRITER: Sean Wang
DIRECTOR: Sean Wang
PRODS: Nick De Bellis, Sean Wang, Jon Jon Wong, Fahad Manzur
CAST: Bradley Bundlie, John Cusack, Carl Ryan Wendling, Daniel Donovan

It's summer in the suburban jungle of Warm Springs, CA. Naive and impressionable, six year old Ryan wants nothing more than to be accepted by his older brother, Van, and his two friends Kevin and Richie; to Ryan, Van and his friends are gods. In reality, the three boys arent much brighter than Ryan, searching for trouble just to pass the time in the blistering summer. When Van, Kevin, and Richie steal some fireworks and sneak off one day to go set them off, Ryan forces them to bring him along and their recklessness combined with Ryans overeagerness to grow up places Ryan in harms way.

WOMAN WITH AN EDITING BENCH
WEST COAST Premiere | Australia, 2016, HD, 16 min.
WRITER: Karen Pearlman
DIRECTOR: Karen Pearlman
PRODS: Lyn Norfor, Richard James Allen, Karen Pearlman
CAST: Leeanna Walsman, Richard James Allen, Marcus Graham

Inspired by a true story, "Woman with an Editing Bench" celebrates Elizaveta Svilova, the editor of Dziga Vertovs 1929 masterpiece "Man with a Movie Camera" (#1 on the "Sight and Sound" list of Best Documentaries of all time). By referencing Svilovas own kinetically exhilarating montage style, Woman with an Editing Bench reveals her fierce tenacity and fleet thinking as she dodges the bureaucracy and sustains revolutionary filmmaking in spite of Stalins oppression. "Woman with an Editing Bench" is a beautifully realised and brilliant homage to Svilova and a celebration of the art of film editing, Lawrie Silverstrin, ASE, Australian Screen Editors Guild Newsletter, September 2016.


FUSION SHORTS

ALWAYS WITH YOU
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 9 min.
WRITER: Hugo C. Domenech
DIRECTOR: Hugo C. Domenech
PRODS: Terence Lee, Josh Libitsky
CAST: William Knight, Melanie Friedrich, Russell Bradley Fenton, Jen Kerner

ALWAYS WITH YOU tells the story of newly widowed Jeff Evans as he struggles to find the joy in life without his cherished wife, Carol. Drowning in sadness, Jeff fails to maintain the garden, which was once Carol's pride and joy and was the long-standing source for many of their happy memories. Jeff accidentally discovers a lost roll of Super 8 film and is swiftly transported to another place and time with filled happy and joyous memories of his beloved Carol in her precious garden.

BUCKETS
CALIFORNIA Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 14 min.
WRITER: Julia Jones
DIRECTOR: Julia Jones
PRODS: Julia Jones, Zachary Gobetz, Sophia Harvey, Jacob Bittens
CAST: Olivia Nikkanen, Wolfgang Novogratz, Martin Harvey, Chuck McMahon

A girl learns the brutal sacrifices it takes to satisfy her love.

BUTTERCUP
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 12 min.
WRITER: Megan Brotherton
DIRECTOR: Megan Brotherton
PRODS: Megan Brotherton, Elizabeth Bates
CAST: Megan Brotherton, Elizabeth Bates

Maggie needs her best friend today more than ever, but never expected she'd actually show up.

CANDIDATE, THE
No Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 6 min.
WRITERS: Robin McDonald, Blaire Baron
DIRECTOR: Michael Hilf
PRODS: Blaire Baron, Robin McDonald
CAST: Blaire Baron, Robin McDonald, Will Gressman

The Candidate goes through a rigorously impossible vetting process to determine if he is The One for someone's very specific agenda.

CLEANERS
LOS ANGELES Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 19 min.
WRITER: R. E. Keith
DIRECTOR: R. E. Keith
PROD: R.E. Keith
CAST: Adam Huss, Jesse Boyd, Craig Robert Young, Darren Darnborough, Sara Maraffino

Two teams of hitmen vie for a deadly target together despite hating and undermining each other every step of the way. Best in Show meets the professional in this dark action romp.

EFFIE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 6 min.
WRITER: Eric Kneler
DIRECTOR: Miguel Duran
PRODS: Miguel Duran, Eric Kneler
CAST: Kevin Fernandez, Rose Liston, Philip Rossi

A young boy works up the courage to ask out the girl of his dreams. Things don't go as planned.

FREDERICK
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 16 min.
WRITER: Josh Mann
DIRECTOR: Traci Hays
PRODS: Josh Mann, Boman Modine, Daniel Hartz, Ed Marek, Michael Staenberg, Joseph Adolphe, Chris Witt
CAST: James Morrison, Josh Mann, Lexi Johnson, Kerry Knuppe, Marcus Henderson

Frederick is the story of a high profile painter and art gallery owner, who suffers from intense artists block. However, his passion reignites when he has an idea for a new controversial project. To his surprise, he receives an unexpected visit from an intimidating yet oblivious policeman, Detective Marks, who interrogates him about the disappearance of several young fashion models. Frederick and Marks play a game of cat and mouse, culminating in a mysterious yet frightening exhibition. A story about an eccentric creative man with a slew of tricks up his sleeve, Frederick determines to make a difference in the world.

THE HOBBYIST
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 9 min.
WRITER: George R. Vatistas
DIRECTOR: George R. Vatistas
PRODS: David E. Munz Maire
CAST: Robert W. Smith, Daniel Mitura

A seemingly ordinary man seeks out a sagacious druggist in search of an undetectable poison, but winds up getting more than he bargained for. Based on the 1961 short story by Fredric Brown.

HOLLYWOOD AND SUNSET
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 15 min.
WRITERS: Clinton Cornwell, Elizabeth Hirsch-Tauber
DIRECTOR: Clinton Cornwell
PRODS: Clinton Cornwell, Elizabeth Hirsch-Tauber
CAST: Elizabeth Hirsch-Tauber, Rachel Amanda Bryant, Jas Sams, Caitlin Randolph

Zombie sharks. Sleazy directors. Bragging redheads. Spaghetti. Just another day for struggling actor Audrey as she figures out what to do with her life.

A HORROR STORY
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 11 min.
WRITER: James Zimmerman
DIRECTOR: Philip Donohue
PRODS: Philip Jessen, James Zimmerman, Philip Donohue
CAST: James Zimmerman, Kate Huffman, Jemuel Morris, Laura L. Thomas, Stephanie Lalanne

Estranged from his wife, a man attempts to save his marriage at their friends' annual Halloween Party.

KID GAMBLED
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 15 min.
WRITER: Alex Familian
DIRECTOR: Alex Familian
PRODS: Simona Kessler, Alex Familian
CAST: Jacob Melton, Fred Melamed, Jack Begert, Connie Ennis, Keanush Tafreshi

In the suburbs of Las Vegas, Nevada an anxious 15 year old reluctantly smokes weed and agrees to steal beer from a gas station all to impress his hooligan friends and a girl that he likes.

LA STREET RACE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 1 min.
WRITER: Clay Westervelt
DIRECTOR: Clay Westervelt
PRODS: Clay Westervelt, Kyle Hardy, Russ Matthews
CAST: Monique Parent, Shawn Diddy

Not since "American Graffiti" has a film captured so authentically the state of modern drag racing in Los Angeles.

LAND OF HAPPY DREAMS
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 15 min.
WRITER: Josh Auter
DIRECTOR: Josh Auter
PRODS: Melanie DiPietro, Leo Olivia, Christine Auter, Josh Auter
CAST: Briana Marin, Presley Moore, Donnie Smith, Roland Ruiz

Misty, a single mom of limited means, knows she can't control the circumstances that affect her life-but she can control how she responds to them. With her daughter Olivia battling a rare blood disease that requires frequent transfusions, she knows she has to take drastic measures. When her own body can no longer keep up with the demand, she must seek an alternative solution. And through this we learn, there is nothing Misty won't do to save her daughter.

MIRIAMS BALLOONS
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2017, HDV, 10 min.
WRITER: Dan Czerwonka
DIRECTOR: Dan Czerwonka
PRODS: Dan Czerwonka, Amy Larsen
CAST: Gracie Miller, Raquel Startz, Blayne D. Smith, Lindsay Heath, Dan Czerwonka

Life hangs by a thread as a young angel of death risks everything to save her only friend.

NO HONKIE
No Premieres | USA, 2016, HD, 2 min.
WRITER: Crafty St. James
DIRECTOR: Crafty St. James
PROD: Crafty St. James
CAST: Ellie Araiza, Crafty St. James

A man gets caught taking a picture of his ****!

THE OTHER PLACE
NORTH AMERICAN Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 18 min.
WRITER: Lee Amir-Cohen
DIRECTOR: Lee Amir-Cohen
PRODS: Ashley Bua, Ashley Eberbach
CAST: Lee Amir-Cohen, Amanda Maddox, Cameron Diskin, Shoshana Bush

Two limp bodies with sacks concealing their faces, a revolver in hand, and pacing in an unknown synagogue. This is the scene The Brother (Lee Amir-Cohen), a mobster plagued by retrograde amnesia, wakes up to after emerging from a blackout state. He beckons the help of an alluring female figure obscured by shadows, The Fianc (Amanda Maddox). The Brother unveils one cover, only to find his Brother-In-Law (Cameron Diskin) a savant-like district attorney broken and bruised. After the unmasking, The Fianc reminds The Brother that his In-Law brokered a deal with the FBI to turn him in. His In-Law argues otherwise. Within The Brothers hazy world, facts prove difficult to obtain, pushing him to employ sadistic methods in an attempt to gain answers. However, the answers to those questions shift from one second to the next. And the harder he tries to navigate his fragmented memories and the accounts of his family members, the further he sinks into the abyss of doubt and disbelief.

PANIC ATTACK!
LOS ANGELES Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 3 min.
DIRECTOR: Eileen OMara
PROD: Eileen OMara

Do you ever wonder "did I leave the coffee on?" or "what if I give birth to Satan's baby?" This animated short explores anxiety, obsession, and one womans slippery hold on reality.

REACH
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 6 min.
WRITER: Kelsey Sante, Ryan Kerr
DIRECTOR: Kelsey Sante
PRODS: Kelsey Sante, Ryan Kerr, Christopher Campa
CAST: Abigail Phelps, Alex Dauphin

After an unsuccessful evening at a house party, Hannah loses herself in the depths of her anxiety disorder. To find a way out she must find the courage to reach out.

THIRTEEN
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 13 min.
WRITER: Sasha Sibley
DIRECTOR: Sasha Sibley
PRODS: Sasha Sibley, HSH Shadow Dragu-Mihai
CAST: Jolene Andersen, Mason Moghimi, Iyad Hajjaj

A female U.S. operative is captured by ISIS and between being tortured and interrogated, finds herself in a tent alone with one of the militants, who it turns out is only thirteen years-old. Soon her maternal instincts begin to kick in as she tries to save him at all costs.

THE WASTE LAND
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 13 min.
WRITER: Guillermo Ortiz Pichardo
DIRECTOR: Brian Brooks II
PRODS: Eric Baird, Scott Sullivan
CAST: Conner Scott, Carla Betz, Cece Paige, Hunter Jackson

When a 16-year-old outcast is bullied, he pleads with his parents to change schools, but his father tells him he needs to stand up for himself. While read "The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot, the poem's meaning begins to distort his reality. Ignored and betrayed by those around him, he illegally purchases a gun to deal with the mounting pressures in his life.

WILDFLOWERS
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, 16mm, 18 min.
WRITER: Mark Lammerding
DIRECTOR: Mark Lammerding
PRODS: Deva B. Anderson, Wrenn Woods
CAST: Wrenn Woods, Lexi Johnson, Zac Titus

Two sisters embark on a petty crime-filled road trip through the rural south, leading them to a chance encounter with an enigmatic stranger.

WINK
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 15 min.
WRITER: Monika Petrillo
DIRECTOR: Monika Petrillo
PROD: James Baumgartner
CAST: Caitlin Brandes, Michael Chandler

A lonely and slightly repressed housewife discovers an unusual way to spice up her afternoon.

MIDNIGHT SHORTS

2AM
CALIFORNIA Premiere | Australia, 2016, HD, 16 min.
WRITER: Huseyin Hassan
DIRECTOR: Huseyin Hassan
PROD: Huseyin Hassan
CAST: Mark Kenfield, Nichola Jayne, Akira Bradley

A middle aged man Alex awakens in his quarters to find a white rabbit beside his bed who then suddenly hops through a closed door. Scared and fascinated by how the rabbit got into his room and out through a closed door Alex gets up and leaves his room to follow the rabbit. Once he opens the door and steps out into the hallways of the asylum very unusual and supernatural events begin to unfold right in front of OUR eyes.

ATLAS WORLD
LOS ANGELES Premiere | Canada, 2017, ProRes, 7 min.
WRITER: Morgana McKenzie
DIRECTOR: Morgana McKenzie
PROD: Morgana McKenzie
CAST: Nve Gunette, Mia Guertin-Crte, Dea Telo, Janine Smith

A malignant spirit forces a girl into a perilous journey through a watery underworld. -- An authorized music video for Atlas World (Solomun Day Remix) by Liu Bei.

BLOOD RED
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 8 min.
WRITER: Rolando Bugarin
DIRECTOR: Rolando Bugarin
PRODS: Rolando Bugarin, Carlos Carballeda Jr., Javier Montoya
CAST: Jamilka Gonzalez, Maria Elena Heredia, Carlos Carballeda Jr.

A mysterious girl in a red hood walks the streets at night avenging the victims the city has swallowed up.

COLD PROCESS
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 11 min.
WRITER: William Pisciotta
DIRECTOR: William Pisciotta
PRODS: Bill Pisciotta, Zach Franklin, Shannon Franklin
CAST: Zach Franklin, Shannon Franklin, Walter Gass

An inside look at the Porter and Porter Cosmetics Company.


CUNNILINGUS KING, THE
No Premiere | USA, 2016, HDV, 5 min.
WRITERS: Shannon Burkett, Jayce Bartok
DIRECTOR: Jason Bartok
PRODS: So You Wanna Productions, Shannon Burkett
CAST: James Carpinello, Ron Jeremy, Jenny Maguire, Erik Heger

In August of 2011, Shannon Burkett was diagnosed with Pagets disease, a rare form of breast cancer and she did what anyone who is diagnosed with breast cancer would do: She wrote a rock musical about porn. The Cunnilingus King is a hilarious music video of one of the songs from that musical and it centers around a despondent former aspiring rock star who has a very special talent. The video stars Broadway sensation James Carpinello (Saturday Night Fever, Rock of Ages), Ron Jeremy (star of over 2,000 porn films, legend) and a giant puppet tongue.

G-4
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HDV, 24 min.
WRITER: Anna Biani
DIRECTOR: Anna Biani
PRODS: Anna Biani, Steven Berez, Nana Johnson
CAST: Anna Biani

What happens when the desire for gold and riches becomes ingrained? A story of Gluttony and enslavement, G-4 is the dance between Light and Darknessthe meeting of the innocent and the monster to challenge a break from victimhood to oneness. G-4 is a surrealist piece, a trance-like healing experience, guiding the audience back to their heart, and ultimately to freedom.

HIDDEN DAYLIGHT
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 18 min.
WRITER: John Rice
DIRECTOR: Adrienne Lovette
PRODS: John Rice, Elod Zoltan Filyo
CAST: John Rice, David Rey, Ella Jane New

In this haunting thriller, we follow a distraught businessman after his wife is abducted by the sadistic Hacksaw Killer. In desperation, the businessman turns to a blind psychic who can see through the killer's eyes. As their strange meeting unfolds, the psychic envisions the night of the kidnapping and provides vital clues to help the businessman solve the mystery... but the answers he seeks may come at a deadly price.

HOW2KILL
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 6 min.
DIRECTOR: Kevin Lee Loader
PRODS: Sean McCarthy, Elizabeth Mitchell, Jacob Rangel, Sean OHare

A lonely boy receives a mysterious doll just in time for his birthday. The boy quickly realizes his new 'friend' might have brought a few sinister friends of his own to the party, and he soon finds himself battling demonic terrors unleashed upon his house.

MEGRIM
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 13 min.
WRITER: Stuart Valberg
DIRECTOR: Stuart Valberg
PRODS: Sania Jhankar, Joan Cassin, Matt Dorris, Leslie Risak, Stuart Valberg
CAST: Pascal Yen-Pfister, Max Rhyser

An Artist and a Subject. The Artist wants to create his masterpiece; The Subject doesnt want to die.

MISCAST
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 10 min.
WRITER: Matt Katzenberger
DIRECTOR: Carsten Kurpanek
PRODS: Paul Santos, Nina Daniels
CAST: Nina Daniels, Brea Bee, Kade Pait

On Halloween night, office worker May gets caught in a battle between good and evil when her new co-worker April reveals herself as a real witch by turning her office party into a bloodbath with a spell. "Miscast", starring Nina Daniels, Brea Bee, and Kade Pait, is a darkly funny fantasy horror-thriller in "witch" nothing is as it seems.

NIGHT BEFORE, THE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 9 min.
WRITER: Alex Razzaghi
DIRECTOR: Alex Razzaghi
PRODS: Kim Pettiford, Duana Speights
CAST: Chelsea Wallace, Tom Berklund, Kim Pettiford, Brenda Arteaga-Walsh, Morgan Michaels, Phrederic Semaj

In 1994, a group of roommates are having dinner at their West Hollywood home. It's a real good time until they discover that somebody wants them dead, somebody close and unexpected. The motive is unknown but it's later clear that the killer may have been possessed by an uncontrollable object that will transcend one to commit ruthless murders.

PAULS BAD DAY
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HDV, 2 min.
WRITER: Phil Bucci
DIRECTOR: Phil Bucci
PRODS: Phil Bucci, Sara Fletcher
CAST: Jordan Wall, Ashandra McConnell, Paul Valtierra, Glen Warren

Paul wakes feeling not quite his usual self. As he begins his day every step reveals he has a growing problem that there is only one solution for.

SHALLOW WATER
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 19 min.
WRITER: Sandy Collora
DIRECTOR: Sandy Collora
PRODS: Sandy Collora, Eric S. Dow, Dale Pearson
CAST: Lisa Roumain, Kurt Carley, Jason Liles

A woman on a tropical island encounters more than she bargained for when she finds out she's the lone survivor of her kayaking and fishing expedition

SPEAK NO EVIL
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 13 min.
WRITERS: Connor Vera, Dave Vera
DIRECTOR: Matthew Serrano
PRODS: Dave Vera, Mya Kratzat
CAST: Jeremiah Brown, Dave Vera, Lydia Lee, Carson Preusse, Julia Pacific

A man wakes up in a dark garage with his mouth grotesquely sewn shut, two mysterious figures tied up next to him and one thought on his mind. Get out.

STALL
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 10 min.
WRITERS: Andrew Daniel, John D Harding
DIRECTOR: Andrew Daniel
PROD: Kenneth Leslie
CAST: John D Harding

Desperation leads to despair when the night takes an unforeseen dark turn for a man out "looking" for adventure.

SUBCULTURE
LOS ANGELES Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 9 min.
WRITER: Jason Kartalian
DIRECTOR: Jason Kartalian
PROD: Jason Kartalian
CAST: Jillian Christi, Raymond Morris, Jed Rowen

In SUBCULTURE, psychiatric session turns in a very twisted direction. A woman, Ivy leads a man named Julius into a dungeon where every his every desire is met. Julius meets some interesting people down in the dungeon that become obstacles that get in the way of his desires. He finds himself in an existential crisis of his own making.


DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

HAND-CUT
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 5 min.
DIRECTOR: Griffin Hammond
PROD: Griffin Hammond

From chainsaw to cocktail, this beautiful 5-minute documentary tracks the journey of clear, artisan ice into the hands of New York City bartenders.

HARD ASSES DONT TWERK: BECAUSE BEING A WOMAN IS NASTY
WORLD Premiere | Brazil, 2017, HD, 31 min.
DIRECTORS: Thales Banzai, Camila Cornelson
PRODS: Thales Banzai, Camila Cornelson

The documentary portraits the reality of the Psychology & Dance group, BDNT, created in South Brazil by the student Jade Quoi. Through intimate conversations with Jade and the class members - some of them that took part of group since its formation and others that just got there - their transformation process and search for acceptance is exposed, showing how these girls stopped being victims of a predominantly sexist society and started to act in a more independent and satisfactory way.

IMPACT POINT, THE
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 13 min.
DIRECTOR: Sydney Guthrie
PRODS: Sydney Guthrie, Emilia Wint

The Impact Point dissects the controversy that has grown increasingly prominent in women's freestyle skiing as injury rates have skyrocketed.

IRREGULARS
LOS ANGELES Premiere | Italy, 2015, HD, 10 min.
WRITERS: Fabio Palmieri, Cyrille Kabore
DIRECTOR: Fabio Palmieri
PRODS: NotWorkingFilms, Paola Pontelli
FEATURING: Cyrille Kabore

Against a tellingly hypnotic factory backdrop, a refugee encapsulates the global immigration crisis in his own wrenching words. Each year 400.000 people from Africa, Asia and Middle East, try to enter Europe. They flee from war, persecution and poverty. Since the ways by land have been interrupted, they board overloaded vessels and face a dangerous and often deadly voyage across the Mediterranean.

MANMADE WATERS
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 23 min.
DIRECTOR: Dustin Elm
PRODS: Erik Alskog, Alexander Polunin

In response to declining fish populations, the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute has pioneered an experimental aquaculture program to restock the ocean with California White Sea Bass. MANMADE WATERS follows the son of a professional fisherman as he explores the program alongside his father, a loyal supporter of Hubbs with personal ties to its management. His investigation ultimately leads us to ask whether we can solve a manmade problem with a manmade solution.

MELTING STARS
WEST COAST Premiere | Canada, 2017, HD, 15 min.
DIRECTOR: Kate Green
PROD: Kate Green

Starfish were dying by the millions and marine biologists were witnessing an epidemic that was the largest observed species die-off of human history. Melting Stars follows the clues on this marine mystery.

MIRACLE IN MALIBU
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 5 min.
WRITER: Karen Keagy Shaver
DIRECTOR: Karen Keagy Shaver
PRODS: Karen Keagy Shaver, Matthew Shaver
FEATURING: Mighty Under Dogs, Jean Pierre Pereat, AKA "Peli", Timothy Hazelip, Kristopher Cornish, Todd Cornish, Peggy LaBlanc

Watermen Jean Pierre Pereat, and Timothy Hazelip from the 'Mighty Under Dog' organization, introduce the benefits of surf therapy to a father of a teen with Autism at Surfrider Beach in Malibu, California .

OFFERING, THE
WEST COAST Premiere | Peru, 2016, HD, 7 min.
DIRECTORS: Billy Silva, Guille Isa
PRODS: Darrell Hartman, Oliver Hartman

Three artists in the highlands of Peru make an ancient spiritual offering to the spirits of the earth in exchange for strength and guidance.


DOWNBEATS

ALIENTOLOGISTS
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 18 min.
WRITER: Tyler Rabinowitz
DIRECTOR: Tyler Rabinowitz
PRODS: Tyler Rabinowitz, Nicole Quintero, Debbie Walters, Madeline Stephenson, Jamie Sweeney
CAST: Danny Gardner, Macy Sullivan, Kurt Csolak

When Earth no longer exists, a neighboring civilization is now studying the human artifacts that float around in Earths placelike paleontologists who study the ancient Egyptians. This is the story of a curious alien with a dream of being a space explorer that has been diminished by his nightmarishly closed-minded co-workers, and how this dream emerges from the rubble again upon his discovery of tap shoes, a jukebox, and ultimately humanitys creative spirit.

DANCING DAY
No Premiere | USA, 2016, HDV, 4 min.
WRITER: Tytus Bergstrom
DIRECTOR: Tytus Bergstrom
PROD: Tytus Bergstrom
CAST: Tytus Bergstrom

Fantasy about playing hooky from work and the surprising events that follow when leaving the house.

DANCIN THE CAMERA
UNITED STATES Premiere | Netherlands, 2016, 16mm, 9 min.
WRITER: Pieter-Rim de Kroon, Marije Nie
DIRECTOR: Pieter-Rim de Kroon
PRODS: Annemiek van der Hell
CAST: Marije Nie

A love story between a tap dancer, a piano player and a 1922 hand cranked motion-picture camera .The old camera is camera, character and stage. Seduced by the rhythms of the camera mechanics, the tap dancer jumps into the magical world of analogue black-and-white film where her dreams seam infinitely possible. In the end she finds out there is something that matters even more. A tribute to tap dance and the magic of film a classic and unique combination.

DENISE
NORTH AMERICAN Premiere | United Kingdom, 2016, HD, 7 min.
WRITER: Kenneth OToole
DIRECTOR: Kenneth OToole
PRODS: Kelly-Marie Kerr, Darren Bada
CAST: Iain Dootson, Nolan Robba

An elderly drag queen sparkles her way through time, reminiscing on her glory days.

DONT FEED THE PARTY ANIMAL
No Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 3 min.
DIRECTOR: Evan Younger
PRODS: Evan Younger, Jeff Kuperman, Rick Kuperman
CAST: Barton Cowperthwaite, Jordan Clark, Adam Hyndman

A music video for the band Miracles of Modern Science. In a 1950s nightclub, a wallflower longs to be the life of the party and win over the cutie across the dance floor but how can he compete with the suave crooners onstage and her beefcake boyfriend?

EVERYBODY
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 3 min.
DIRECTOR: Benjamin Roberds
PROD: Katie Gregg
CAST: Allen Rowell, Sienna Chandler, William Tokarsky, Joelle Re Arp Dunham

A whirlwind story of cowboys, possession, murder, dance routines and the FBI.

FLOR HOLD ON
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 3 min.
WRITERS: Justus Meyer, Sam Miller
DIRECTORS: McCoy | Meyer
PRODS: Joe Martinez, Sam Miller
CAST: Angelina Capozzoli

Young orphan Amelia lives in an airplane hangar, where she cares for her only friend- her father's yellow bi-plane, in hopes of one day taking to the skies.

GODSPEED & GUNS
NORTH AMERICAN Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 7 min.
WRITERS: Christina Rubino, Frankie Nasso
DIRECTOR: Frankie Nasso
PRODS: Frankie Nasso, Christina Rubino, Jerry Farley
CAST: Christina Rubino, Dolores Rubino, Dale Smith, Johnny Philippidis

"Godspeed and Guns" is a rockabilly psycho-thriller inspired by the unbreakable camaraderie of "Thelma & Louise" and the urban-meets-western genre-blending of Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill." Christina Rubino and her loving sister, Dolores, venture on a dangerous road trip that proves to be overrun with violent men. Christina's alluring voice assures that she and Dolores are the danger, as they kill every rapist and abusive man they encounter. Dolores' mental disconnect expands when the police find the pickled heads of their victims. They are imprisoned in an insane asylum that tears at their sisterhood until Dolores is completely unhinged. Inside Dolores disturbed mind reveals Christina is a schizophrenic hallucination that she created during her abusive childhood.

THE HARD ROAD TRIO - WHISKEY IN A GLASS
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 6 min.
DIRECTOR: Orlando Martos
PRODS: Orlando Martos, Juan Ramirez
CAST: Julia Gallegos, Kasey Page

The Hard Road Trio, a bluegrass/folk band performs the song "Whiskey in a Glass". The lyrics and video tell a tale of two former lovers who, when running into each other at an underground high stakes poker game, trigger memories of their former relationship. It is a relationship filled with addiction, passion, and hostile toxicity. When the poker stakes escalate, will they fall back into their old habits? or will they find the strength to step away?

JOHNNY CLEGG - TAKE MY HEART AWAY
No Premiere | South Africa, 2016, HD, 5 min.
WRITER: Jaron Clegg
DIRECTOR: Jaron Clegg
PROD: Jaron Clegg
CAST: Nhlakanipho Ntenjwa

A young African boy, who lives in an informal settlement that borders an international spaceflight launch site, is infatuated with space travel. The boy's dream is to fly amongst the stars, far away from his destitute township life. One day, the boy sees an opportunity to sneak on board a space shuttle as a stowaway.

THE JOHNSONS FT. BRYCE VINE JUICE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 3 min.
DIRECTORS: Eric McCoy, Justus Meyer
PROD: Joe Martinez
CAST: Julia Rose, Bruce Liberty, Michelle Zarlenga, Kristine Veta, Abhay Walia

The Johnson Boys wander into an ominous speakeasy, and things get a little weird

LOVE AND BREAKFAST
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 3 min.
DIRECTORS: KC Monnie
PROD: KC Monnie
CAST: KC Monnie, Morgan Larsen

With our phone addictions, and hectic schedules, communication is truly, a dying art. It is so important to make time to be present for one another. Even if it's just for a 30 minute breakfast. Listening to what someone has to say, or being brave enough to let someone hear what you are going through, even if it's embarrassing or imperfect, is so rare with our technological distractions.

MY ETERNITY
CALIFORNIA Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 4 min.
WRITER: Jonathan Martin
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Martin
PRODS: Jonathan Martin, John Miller AFB Artist Management
CAST: Elle Flannery, Sandi Jones, Nick Metos, Rachel Domingo, Liz Longsderff, Parker Cracroft

Four teens, with the help of a Medium, embark on a seance to conjure the spirit of someone they once wronged. Theyll soon wish they hadnt as the spirit gets her bloody revenge.

ON THE ROAD
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 4 min.
WRITER: Joi Olympia
DIRECTORS: Adam Ritchie, Joi Olympia
PROD: Sceneworks Studios
CAST: Jakob Karr, Ryan Steele, Joi Olympia

On the Road is the 5th movement within the song cycle, 'Hotel Chelsea,' created by Joi Olympia. It was inspired by the traveling stories of historic artists who passed through the Chelsea Hotel, including Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Arthur Miller, Patti Smith, and Jack Kerouac. Joi played guitar, bass, percussion, and violin on her album to weave together their beloved tales into something personal. Recorded and engineered in her home in Brooklyn. The video and song are influence by Jack Kerouac and his time spent writing the classic, America novel: On the Road.

ONE MORE DANCE
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 5 min.
WRITER: Jenn Page
DIRECTOR: Jenn Page
PRODS: Jenn Page, Jenna Edwards, Rima Shideler
CAST: Raymond Revel, Patrick Gorman, Iris Karina, Savannah Liles, Bryson Pitts

An elderly man's wife suffers from Alzheimer's and as he is losing her he reminisces about the first time they danced. Will he get one more dance with her before she passes?

THE OTHERSIDE
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 4 min.
WRITER: ULLLIIK, Mary Schwegman
DIRECTOR: Erika David-Marsh
PRODS: Ryan Michael Connolly, Erika Davis-Marsh, Juliette Beneich, Cassandra Jones
CAST: Caitlin Sweetser, Peter Dorn, Lisa Ermel

Bookish Alice doesnt quite fit in when a magical book transports her to a strange place. She follows a very late, handsome stranger to a wondrous tea party that may change her life.

PLAINS
WORLD Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 29 min.
DIRECTORS: Alexandra Palmer, Kelsey Alexander
PRODS: AKP Film and Media, Jessica Rotter, Alex K. Palmer, Alexandra Palmer, Kelsey Alexander, Jena Willard
CAST: Makenzie Murdock, Jessica Rotter

PLAINS is a short dance film caught somwhere between reality and a dream, spoken through movement. Filled with an aching sense of emptiness and loneliness, a free-spirited young woman leaves her home and embarks on an epic search for something to fill an unexplainable void she feels. Magical and mysterious lights, inspired by the Marfa lights, act as a beacon to what it is she so desperately desires. The melodies of PLAINS give life to the storyteller who acts as the woman's spiritual guide. Seen in the natural beauty of the sweeping plains and stars all around, the songstress and the mysterious lights are one in the same, guiding the young woman back to the home she was once so anxious to leave. Ultimately, the woman learns to embrace the life and relationships she has been given, accepting that even when she may feel 'lonely' she is never truly alone.

PERSECUTA
No Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 2 min.
DIRECTOR: Martin Lombard, Facundo Lombard
PRODS: Martin Lombard, Facundo Lombard
CAST: Martin Lombard, Facundo Lombard

A powerful new dance scene from the Lombard Twins.

PRINCESS BRIDE A WATCHMANS TALE
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2017, HD, 6 min.
WRITERS: Jeremiah Kaufman, Norman Kaufman
DIRECTORS: Jeremiah Kaufman
PRODS: Jeremiah Kaufman, Norman Kaufman
CAST: Noa Galil, Jeremiah Kaufman, Ella-Diana Brester

A fleeing Prince finds himself on a Medieval quest to rescue the Princess Bride and her beautiful maidens, held captive atop Mt. Arbel.

RED
NORTH AMERICAN Premiere | United Kingdom, 2017, HDV, 9 min.
WRITER: Min Reid
DIRECTOR: Min Reid
PRODS: Derrick Boudwin, Cami Boudwin, Min Reid
CAST: Adam Templar, Michele Belgrand

With Dementia and Alzheimer's now the biggest cause of death in England and Wales, Award winning director, Min Reid, felt compelled to write a script from the caretakers point of view. Inspired by American Artist Derrick Boudwins version of Red, a Taylor Swift song, Min Reid applied the lyrics to her interpretation of Alzheimers and the agony of losing a loved one to this brutal disease. Always keen to push the boundaries, Min created a music video that doubles up as a trailer for the full length film titled 'For The Love of Fred'. Using poignant scenes, mainly without dialogue, set to emotive music. Within the music video, Min breaks with tradition and takes the audience back into the memory of the main character Fred, remembering when he proposed to his now Alzheimers wife... we then see a scene with dialogue in the middle of a music video. #RememberThePerson

REPAIRations! - THE MUSICAL
Los Angeles Premiere | USA, 2016, HDV, 14 min.
WRITER: Courtney Miller
DIRECTOR: Courtney Miller
PRODS: Tracy Sabeti, Sandra Evers-Manly, Charlie Meyers
CAST: Clifford McGee

REPAIRations! is a story about the power of optimism against forces that are seemingly more powerful than yourself. It follows the story of a man named Isaac who lives during the end of slavery (1860's), end of segregation (1960's), and President Obama's inauguration in 2008. Through song and dance, we see how Isaac navigates through an ever changing America as he discovers what he needs to do to get his slice of the "American Pie".

THE RIVER
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 6 min.
WRITER: David S. Marfield
DIRECTOR: David S. Marfield
PROD: Adana Gardner
CAST: Auni Hovanesian, Hillary Smith, & Donovan Bullen

Trapped in an attic of dull stagnation, Auni discovers an instrument that allows her to transport herself to a place of vibrant beauty. The River is Aunis meditation on the tension between past and future, between the walls we create around ourselves and transcendence. Its a look into the moment of hesitation that comes before any real transformation.

STRACONY
WORLD Premiere | Canada, 2017, HD, 7 min.
WRITER: Luis Miguel Villarreal
DIRECTOR: Luis Miguel Villarreal
PRODS: Luis Miguel Villarreal, Blanca Elena Farias, Fernanda Alvarez Gastelum
CAST: Theodore Khoury, Robyn Gerry, Jeff Gonek

A young man is being seduced by a male and a female dancer, who are fighting for his love. The young mans homosexual attraction awakes by the caress of the dancer as he slowly shifts his attention and desire from the woman to the other man.

STUNG
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 4 min.
WRITER: Larry Ziegelman, Terry Ziegelman
DIRECTOR: Larry Ziegelman
PRODS: Larry Ziegelman
CAST: Zoquera Milburn, Jaron Bellar, David Weiner

In this dark, twisted story, a heart-broken ex-boyfriend pines away for the girl he still loves even after she begins a new relationship.

YOULL NEVER KNOW
WEST COAST Premiere | USA, 2016, HD, 7 min.
WRITER: Miles Windsor
DIRECTOR: Freddy Rodriguez
PRODS: Miles Windsor, Doug Strahm
CAST: Miles Windsor, Bobby Dellaroco

"You'll Never Know" is a modernized arrangement of the 1940's Academy Award Winning song of the same name previously covered by the great vocalists of yesteryear. This latest rendition by Australian crooner Miles Evan Windsor brings back the classic style while embracing an alternative direction for this timeless song. The music video is a tribute to true love. A man yearns for his lover before a heartbreaking performance on stage. "You'll Never Know" is an instant classic filled with passion, and heartbreak, but most importantly it evokes a time long past.


05.10.17 by OC

DANCES WITH FILMS celebrates 20 years with a bold line-up of truly independent films, runs June 1 - 11, 2017



by Oliver Carnay

The unstoppable festival, for two decades a champion of independent filmmakers, takes over the TCL Chinese Theaters June 1-11 with 74 world premieres, 36 west coast premieres, and opening and closing night films from DWF alumni.

LOS ANGELES, CA (May 10, 2017) The fiercely independent film festival Dances With Films (DWF) announced today its 2017 lineup of narrative and documentary features and short films for its 20 annual edition. Opening the festival on June 1 are two alumni projects: filmmaker David Heinzs modern musical, AMERICAN FOLK in its Los Angeles debut and the world premiere of Tamar Halperns intellectual thriller, MISSING IN EUROPE. Another DWF alumni project, AUSTIN FOUND, by director Will Rae, closes the festival with its world premiere on June 11. Tickets and passes will be available for sale on Friday, May 12 at http://www.tclchinesetheatres.com/ or thru the festival's own site: danceswithfilms.com.

The festival, proving itself to be unstoppable after 20 consecutive years, is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of innovative independent cinema in the U.S., presenting amazing, undiscovered talent to an industry audience in Hollywood. DWF will run June 1-11, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA at the TCL Chinese Theaters, located at: Hollywood & Highland, 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028.

We consider ourselves a true festival of discovery, said festival co-founders Michael Trent and Leslee Scallon. Our aim is to showcase films that have unique voices from the indie scene, stories that bring a touch of magic to the screen. We have discovered a great many of them over these last two decades, so we are excited to present this year's slate of knock-out talent.

The final lineup features more than 160 titles, chosen from a record 2,100 submissions from all over the globe. The juried narrative competition section includes 16 features, 13 of which are world premieres, and nearly three-dozen shorts. DWF also has a category for groundbreaking short and feature documentaries, provocative genre fare in the Midnight section, and the most exciting music videos and dance-themed films from the indie scene in the Downbeats section. The Fusion section brings together a multitude of additional features and shorts.

Notable Dances With Films alumni who first gained notice at the festival include:Gina Rodriguez, Bryan Cranston, Will Scheffer, Mark V. Olsen, Jesse Eisenberg, Mike Flanagan,andJohn Hawkes, among others.


About Dances With Films
In 1998 DWF began as a film festival dedicated to finding tomorrows talent today and continues to carry on this mission today. With many World and West Coast Premieres, DWF provides a coveted first stop on the festival circuit. With a vast number of submissions, the selection process is based solely on merit and discoverability. DWF continues its dedication to and is a devoted champion of fresh and creative voices, mandating that all competitive films have no known actors, writers, directors, or producers. For the past 20 years, DWF has proudly provided access and opportunity to thousands of films and filmmakers from across the globe that diligently work year after year to see their dreams realized. With more than 12,000+ festival attendees and 2.5 million impressions per month on www.danceswithfilms.com, DWF is loyal and dedicated to the indie filmmaker and is considered their champion in Hollywood.

DWFs Advisory Board includes: Steve Tisch, Cindy Cowan, Jonathan Dana, Steve Elzer, Kevin Kasha, Eriq La Salle, Michael Lehmann, Mike Macari, Valerie McCaffrey, Mark V. Olsen, Joel Ordesky, Mark Ordesky, Melissa Orlen, Will Scheffer, Hilton Smith, David Spiegelman,andSteve Wegner.

05.10.17 by OC

"The Book of Henry" to open LA FILM FESTIVAL; 2017 Competition Line-up just announced
37 World Premieres, 2 International Premieres, 9 North American Premieres chosen for U.S. Fiction, Documentary, World Fiction, LA Muse & Nightfall Competitions





by Oliver Carnay

LOS ANGELES (May 9, 2017) The 2017 LA Film Festival will screen a diverse slate of feature films, shorts and episodic series, along with programs such as Coffee Talks and Future Filmmakers Showcase. The LA Film Festival takes place June 14 June 22, 2017 headquartered at ArcLight Cinemas Culver City, with additional screenings at ArcLight Hollywood, ArcLight Santa Monica and more. Festival passes are on sale now at www.lafilmfestival.com.

Produced by Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards, also unveiled the official U.S. Fiction, Documentary, World Fiction, LA Muse and Nightfall sections.

Our competitions reflect who Film Independent is as an organization, said LA Film Festival Director Jennifer Cochis. Within each section youll find discovery, diversity, and promising talent both in front of and behind the camera.

Programming Director Roya Rastegar added, The films curated for the 2017 competition reflect the changing political climates impact on emerging independent filmmakers, who are compelled to tell stories about the power of conviction, collectivity and resilience.

The 2017 LA Film Festival announces a diverse slate of 48 feature films, 51 short films, 15 high school short films and 10 short episodic works representing 32 countries. Previously announced, the Opening Night Film is the World Premiere of Colin Trevorrows The Book of Henry.





The Festivals five competitions feature 37 World Premieres, 2 International Premieres and 9 North American Premieres. Across the competition categories 42% of the films are directed by women and 40% are directed by people of color.

Passes are on sale now and only Film Independent Members get early access and save up to 25%. In addition to access to screenings and events (even after they sell out), Festival passes provide entry to the Festival Lounge, which features a hosted bar for those 21 and older and the opportunity to interact with Festival filmmakers and professionals in the film community.

General admission tickets to individual films go on sale to Film Independent Members beginning Tuesday, May 16 and to the general public beginning Tuesday, May 23. Contact the Festival Box Office for passes, tickets and event information by calling 866.FILM.FEST (866.345.6337) or visit tickets.lafilmfestival.com.

===================================

U.S. Fiction Competition (10)

Original voices with distinct visions from emerging and established American independent filmmakers.

20 Weeks, dir. Leena Pendharkar, USA, World Premiere

And Then I Go, dir. Vincent Grashaw, USA, World Premiere

Beauty Mark, dir. Harris Doran, USA, World Premiere

Becks, dir. Elizabeth Rohrbaugh, Daniel Powell, USA, World Premiere

Dont Come Back From The Moon, dir. Bruce Thierry Cheung, USA, World Premiere

Everything Beautiful is Far Away, dir. Andrea Sisson, Pete Ohs, USA, World Premiere

Izzy Gets the Fuck Across Town, dir. Christian Papierniak, USA, World Premiere

Moss, dir. Daniel Peddle, USA, World Premiere

Never Here, dir. Camille Thoman, USA, World Premiere

Village People, dir. Paul Briganti, USA, World Premiere


Documentary Competition (10)

Compelling, character-driven non-fiction films from the U.S. and around the world.


Abu, dir. Arshad Khan, Canada, World Premiere

Dalyas Other Country, dir. Julia Meltzer, USA, World Premiere

Liyana, dir. Aaron Kopp, Amanda Kopp, Swaziland / USA / Qatar, World Premiere

Mankiller, dir. Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, USA, World Premiere

Monkey Business, dir. Ema Ryan Yamazaki, USA, World Premiere

Opuntia, dir. David Fenster, USA / Mexico / Spain, World Premiere

Out of State, dir. Ciara Lacy, USA, World Premiere

Stella Polaris Ulloriarsuaq, dir. Yatri N. Niehaus, Germany / Greenland, World Premiere

Thank You For Coming, dir. Sara Lamm, USA, World Premiere

Two Four Six, dir. Leyla Nedorosleva, Russia / USA / Haiti, World Premiere


World Fiction Competition (8)

Unique fiction films from around the world by emerging and established filmmakers, especially curated for LA audiences.


Butterfly Kisses, dir. Rafael Kapelinski, Great Britain, North American Premiere

Catching Feelings, dir. Kagiso Lediga, South Africa, World Premiere

Dark Blue Girl, dir. Mascha Schilinski, Germany / Greece, International Premiere

In This Corner of the World, dir. Sunao Katabuchi, Japan, North American Premiere

Moko Jumbie, dir. Vashti Anderson, Trinidad and Tobago / USA, World Premiere

The Nightguard, dir. Diego Ros, Mexico, North American Premiere

Nocturne, dir. Luis Ayhlln, Mexico, North American Premiere

On the Beach at Night Alone, dir. Hong Sangsoo, South Korea, North American Premiere


LA Muse (12)

Fiction and documentary films that capture the spirit of Los Angeles.


And Then There Was Eve, dir. Savannah Bloch, USA, World Premiere

Anything, dir. Timothy McNeil, USA, World Premiere

Built to Fail, dir. Bobby Kim, Alexis Spraic, Scott Weintrob, USA, World Premiere

The Classic, dir. Billy McMillin, USA, World Premiere

Fat Camp, dir. Jennifer Arnold, USA, World Premiere

A Midsummer Nights Dream, dir. Casey Wilder Mott, USA, World Premiere

Mighty Ground, dir. Delila Vallot, USA, World Premiere

Roller Dreams, dir. Kate Hickey, USA, International Premiere

Skid Row Marathon, dir. Mark Hayes, USA, World Premiere

What We Started, dir. Bert Marcus, Cyrus Saidi, USA, World Premiere

The Year of Spectacular Men, dir. Lea Thompson, USA, World Premiere

Your Own Road, dir. Brandon Buczek, USA, World Premiere


Nightfall (8)

From the bizarre to the horrifying, these are films to watch after dark.

Desolation, dir. Sam Patton, USA, World Premiere

The Housemaid, dir. Derek Nguyen, Vietnam / USA, North American Premiere

It Stains the Sands Red, dir. Colin Minihan, USA, North American Premiere

Midnighters, dir. Julius Ramsay, USA, World Premiere

The Neighbor, dir. Giancarlo Ruiz, Mexico, World Premiere

Replace, dir. Norbert Keil, Germany / Canada, North American Premiere

Serpent, dir. Amanda Evans, South Africa, World Premiere

Thread, dir. The Boy, Greece, North American Premiere

Short Films (51): From over 2,700 submissions, the short films selected represent 13 countries, 47% are directed by women and 51% are directed by people of color. Short films are shown before features and as part of six short film programs. Shorts will compete for juried prizes for fiction and documentary shorts, as well as an Audience Award for Best Short Film.


Future Filmmakers Showcase: High School Shorts (15):

Made by incredibly accomplished high school filmmakers from across the country and globe, 60% of the short films in this diverse slate are directed by young women and 20% are directed by people of color. Program sponsored by Time Warner Foundation, Lisa Argyros/Argyros Family Foundation and Employees Community Fund of Boeing California.

Episodes: Indie Series from the Web (10)

This showcase of independently crafted web series, 70% of which are directed by people of color and 40% are directed by women, celebrates rising creators whose work and subjects are innovative and unfiltered.



BKPI, dir. Hye Yun Park, USA

Danny the Manny, dir. Mike Roma, USA

High & Mighty, dir. Carlos Lopez Estrada, USA

My America, dir. Anna Jones, Asaad Kelada, USA

People Of..., dir. lamia Alami, SWITZERLAND

The F Word, dir. Nicole Opper, USA

The Show about the Show, dir. Caveh Zahedi, USA

Two Sentence Horror Stories, dir. J.D. Dillard, USA

Very Animated People, dir. Joseph Bennet, USA

Steps, dir. Fernando Sanchez, Pascual Sisto, USA
05.10.17 by OC

Stphane Briz's latest film "A WOMAN'S LIFE" opening this weekend




A film by Stphane Briz

Based on the novel Une Vie by Guy de Maupassant

Starring: Judith Chemla, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Yolande Moreau, and Swann Arlaud

Adapted from the novel Une Vie by Guy de Maupassant, A WOMANS LIFE is a tale of tormented love embedded in the restrictive social and moral codes of marriage and family in 19th century Normandy. Upon finishing her schooling in a convent, young aristocrat Jeanne (Judith Chemla) marries local Viscount Julien de Lamare (Swann Arlaud), who soon reveals himself to be a miserly and unfaithful husband. As she navigates his chronic infidelity, pressure from her family and community, and the alternating joys and burdens of motherhood, Jeannes rosy illusions about her privileged world are slowly stripped away. French filmmaker Stphane Briz shoots this follow-up to his Cannes and Csar Award-winner The Measure of a Man in constricted 4:3 Academy ratio, creating a tightly composed work that perfectly translates de Maupassants portrayal of lifes indifferences.

RT: 119min / Not Yet Rated

LANGUAGE: French with English Subtitles

A WOMAN'S LIFE will be showing at the following theaters:

Laemmle's Royal Theatre
11523 Santa Monica Boulevard, 1st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Laemmle's Playhouse 7
673 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
05.10.17 by OC

2017 COLCOA WINNERS ANNOUNCED


Los Angeles, California, May 3, 2017 - The Franco-American Cultural Fund, a partnership of the DGA, MPA, WGAW, and Frances Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM), announced today that Mr. & Mrs. Adelman, written by Nicolas Bedos and Dora Tillier, and directed by Nicolas Bedos, won the distinguished COLCOA Audience Award.

A Womans Life was awarded the COLCOA LAFCA Critics Award by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Jury at the 21 annual COLCOA French Film Festival. The film, co-written by Stphane Briz and Florence Vignon, and directed by Stphane Briz, will be released in the U.S. by Kino Lorber this month. A Womans Life also won the COLCOA Coming Soon Award, a prize given in association with KPCC 89.3, to a film presented with an attached U.S. distributor.

A Bag of Marbles, co-written and directed by Christian Duguay, won the Audience Special Prize while the Critics Special Prize went to Elementary, written and directed by Hlne Angel.

Little Gems received the Best Documentary Award, co-written and co-directed by Xavier de Lauzanne. The First Feature Award went to Tunisian-French co-production Hedi, written and directed by Mohamed Ben Attia. Introduced this year,the American Students Award went to Polina, written by Valrie Mller-Preljocaj and directed by Angelin Preljocaj and Valrie Mller-Preljocaj. This award was voted on exclusively by a jury of nine students from high schools and colleges.

Special Mentions were given by the audience to Like Crazy, the Italian-French co-production presented at the festival in association with Strand Releasing, which will release the film this month in the U.S., and to A Kid, a drama co-written and directed by Philippe Lioret. Distrib Films U.S. will release the film soon after the festival.

Presented in association with TV France International and TITRA Films, the COLCOA Television competition has three TV Series winners: Call My Agent (Season 2) was chosen best TV series by the audience, one year after it won for Season 1.The COLCOA Television Competition Jury gavethe Best Series award to Beautiful Loser and a special prize to the StudioCanal series Midnight Sun. As for TV Drama, the audience favorite by a large majority was Plessis Girls, written and directed by Bndicte Delmas, while the Jury chose Boulem Guerdjous drama Marion Forever 13 (Best TV series) and Arnaud Slignacs Box 27 (Jury Special Prize).

For the COLCOA Shorts Competitions, two films were awarded twice: Chasse Royale (Best Short Film given by the Jury and the Audience Special mention), and Thank You Mister Imada (Audience Award and Jury Special Mention). Special Prizes went to What Tears Us Apart? (Jury) and The Fisherman and the Businessman (Audience).

The COLCOA Web Series Competition was introduced at this years festival with six entries. The winner of this inaugural competition was the Studio+ series, Amnesia.

While 82 programs were presented at COLCOA this year, a total of 34 features and documentaries, 11 TV drama and TV series, 6 web series, and 19 short films competed for the 2017 COLCOA Awards.

Here are the complete lists of winners:

- AUDIENCE :

COLCOA AWARD: Mr. and Mrs. Adelman (Monsieur et Madame Adelman - W/D by Nicolas Bedos)

SPECIAL PRIZE: A Bag of Marbles (Un sac de billes - W/D by Christian Duguay)

SPECIAL MENTIONS: Like Crazy (Folles de joie - W/D by Paolo Virzi) & A Kid (Le fils de Jean - W/D by Philippe Lioret)

- JURY :

COLCOA AWARD: A Woman's Life (Une Vie - W/D by Stphane Briz)

SPECIAL PRIZE: Elementary (Primaire - W/D by Hlne Angel)

Other Prizes:

BEST FIRST FEATURE FILM: Hedi (Hedi, un vent de liberte - W/D by Mohamed Ben Attia)

BEST DOCUMENTARY: Little Gems (Les Ppites - W/D by Xavier de Lausanne)

AMERICAN STUDENT AWARD (New in 2017): Polina (W/D by Angelin Preljocaj, Valrie Mller-Preljocaj)

COMING SOON AWARD: A Womans Life (Une Vie - W/D by Stphane Briz)

** COLCOA TELEVISION **

- AUDIENCE:

TV SERIES AWARD: Call My Agent (10 Pour Cent - written by Fanny Herrero, Benjamin Dupas, Sabrina B. Karine, Anas Carpita, directed by Laurent Tirard)

TV DRAMA AWARD: Plessis' Girls (EllesLes Filles du Plessis - W/D by Bndicte Delmas)

- JURY :

TV SERIES AWARD: Beautiful Loser (Irresponsable - co-written by Frdric Rosset, directed by Stephen Cafiero)

TV SERIES SPECIAL PRIZE: Midnight Sun (Jour Polaire - written by Mns Mrlind, directed by Bjrn Stein, Mns Mrlind)

TV DRAMA AWARD: Marion Forever 13 (Marion 13 ans pour toujours - W/D by Boulem Guerdjou)

TV DRAMA SPECIAL PRIZE: Box 27 (W/D by Arnaud Slignac)

** COLCOA SHORTS **

- AUDIENCE:

COLCOA AWARD: Thank You Mister Imada (Merci Monsieur Imada - W/D by Sylvain Chaumet)

SPECIAL PRIZE: The Fisherman and the Business Man (Le pecheur et l'homme daffaires - W/D by Simon Francois)

SPECIAL MENTION: Chasse Royale (W/D by Romane Gueret, Lise Akoka)

- JURY:

COLCOA AWARD: Chasse Royale (W/D Romane Gueret, Lise Akoka)

SPECIAL PRIZE: What Tears Us Apart (Ce qui nous spare - W/D by Wei Hu)

SPECIAL MENTION: Thank You Mister Imada (Merci Monsieur Imada - W/D by Sylvain Chaumet)

** COLCOA WEB SERIES **

COLCOA WEB SERIES AWARD (New in 2017): Amnesia (written by Jrme Fansten, directed by: Patrick De Ranter and Jrme Fansten)

For more information, please log on to www.colcoa.org
05.03.17 by OC

"A Very Sordid Wedding" to Open 19th Annual FILMOUT SAN DIEGO (June 9 - 11)



by Oliver Carnay

(Los Angeles, CA - May 2, 2017) - San Diego's prime LGBT yearly film festival FILMOUT SAN DIEGO, now on its 19th anniversary, will have the most anticipated riot-comedy feature "A VERY SORDID WEDDING" as its Opening Night Film. The movie is the sequel to the classic "SORDID LIVES" from writer/director/creator Del Shores and producer Emerson Collins. This will be an exclusive San Diego Premiere and Director Del Shores and most cast members are expected to attend for the Q&A after the screening. An after-party is scheduled at the Sunset Temple (3911 Kansas Street, San Diego, CA 92104), which is directly across from the theatre.





The 3-day festival, which runs from June 9 through 11 (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) will screen 37 films including award-winning films from both the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals, along with independent features and a variety of short films. All screenings will be housed at the historic Observatory North Park Theatre in San Diego (2891 University Ave.)

The Closing Night Film will be the West Coast Premiere of Jennifer M. Kroot's "THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN" where an after-party is set at the West Coast Tavern (2895 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104) in the upper theatre lobby.

Other highlights of the festival which are all having its West Coast Premiere are the following:
Boys Centerpiece: David Berrys SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER
Girls Centerpiece: Jennifer Reeders SIGNATURE MOVE
Festival Spotlight: Josh Howards THE LAVENDER SCARE
International Spotlight: Laurent Michelis EVEN LOVERS GET THE BLUES

This year's events media/grant sponsors include CICA, SDGLN/SDPIX, LIVE Magazine, Flawles, Gay San Diego/SD Uptown News, Mance Creative, RAGE, and the San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture. Liquor Sponsors: Stella Artois, Smirnoff. Host Hotel: Lafayette Suites. Party Venues: Sunset Temple and West Coast Tavern.

For complete festival ticket info, screening updates, sponsorship and volunteer information, please visit www.FilmOutSanDiego.comTwitter at @FilmOutSD and Facebook at Facebook.com/FilmOutSanDiego
05.03.17 by OC

2017 COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL (April 24 - May 2); Claude Lelouch's "Everyone's Life" to open the festival, Eric Lavaine's new romantic comedy "You Choose" will serve as Closing Night film





by Oliver Carnay


(Hollywood, CA - April 17, 2017) - THE 2017 COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP! This year, a record 82 films, television series, and for the first time web series and VR!

On Monday April 24th, the 9-day festival will have the North American premiere of Oscar-winning Writer/Director Claude Lelouch's "Everyone's Life" as its Opening Night film. Celebrating 50 years of cinema, this ensemble film offers a high profile cast of 50 French actors, including Johnny Hallyday and Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin.

The festival will feature new work by leading filmmakers such as Marco Bellocchio, Nicolas Boukhrief, Stphane Briz, Bruno Dumont, Lisa Azuelos, Philippe Lioret, Hugo Glin, Philippe Lacheau, Dany Boon, and more!

The North American premiere of ric Lavaine's new romantic comedy, "You Choose", starring Alexandra Lamy will close the festival on Tuesday, May 2nd.

Other exciting programs include the After 10 Series, COLCOA Classics, COLCOA.doc, World Cinema Produced by France, Focus on a Filmmaker (Stphane Briz), Film Noir Series, French NeWave 2.0, Happy Hour Talks, Jean-Claude Petit

For full lineup and Day-to-day schedule, please browse here: http://www.colcoa.org/program-2017/day-by-day-schedule

Sponsors for the annual COLCOA French Film Festival include The Franco-American Cultural Fund, Directors Guild of America, Sacem, Writers Guild of America, West, Air Tahiti Nui, Dailymotion, TV5MONDE, Variety, AIRSTAR, Barnstormer, KPCC, Los Angeles Times, Barnes International Luxury Real Estate, European Languages & Movies in America, Gaumont, IndieWire, LA Weekly, Sunset Marquis, and Titrafilm.

For more details regarding COLCOA 2017, please log on to www.colcoa.org



04.17.17 by OC

FREE Master Classes at 2017 COLCOA -- Meet writer/directors Philippe Lioret (April 25) and Bruno Dumont (April 27)


COLCOA 2017 MASTER CLASSES: Celebrating 10 Years of Educational Program with European Langage and Movies Association (ELMA)


by Oliver Carnay


(Hollywood, CA - April 17, 2017) - Students and teachers are invited to attend two master classes at COLCOA (Free of charge) on Tuesday April 25 at 1pm (with writer/director Philippe Lioret) and Thursday April 27 at 1pm (with writer/director Bruno Dumont). The event is one of the highlights of COLCOA 2017 French Film Festival, which will run from April 24 through May 2, 2017.

HOW TO ATTEND the Master Classes:

Depending on availability, this program is open to any class of college or university. Students from any school can RSVP and attend individually. The master class program is also available for high school teachers and their students.

If you are a professor and want your class to attend this program, please send us an email now at school[at]colcoa.org. Please mention in your email:

◦ Where you teach

◦ How many students plan to attend

◦ Which Master class(es) you want to attend

Students may reserve individually by sending the name and school information at school[at]colcoa.org

Students can also buy tickets on site or on colcoa.org at the reduced price of $5 for all COLCOA screenings, from Tuesday 4/21 to Monday 4/27.


All COLCOA screenings from Tuesday 4/22 to Monday 4/28 are complimentary for teachers/professors participating in a Master class.


Tuesday, April 25 1:00 pm ~ 3:45 pm Truffaut Theater

Screening of A KID (Le Fils de Jean), followed by a discussion with writer/director Philippe Lioret.

Ten years before Stephen Spielbergs The Terminal, writer/director Philippe Lioret exposed the hidden airport subculture of permanently stranded travelers with no legal standing in his feature debut Lost In Transit (1993), starring Jean Rochefort. Lioret, followed up with films starring favorite collaborators Jacques Gamblin and Sandrine Bonnaire, honing the lighter style he had already established. Lioret began his transition to realist drama with The Light (COLCOA 2005). His breakthrough film Welcome (COLCOA 2009 Audience Award winner), invited audiences to sympathize with the plight of illegal immigrants who risk everything for a better life in France. Despite the controversial subject, the film was nominated for ten Csar Awards, including best film, best director, and best screenplay. Today, Lioret is best known for his closely observed characters and thematically complex, impressionistic storytelling.


Thursday, April 27 1:00 pm ~ 3:45 pm Truffaut Theater

Screening of SLACK BAY (Ma Loute), followed by a discussion with writer/director Bruno Dumont. (Note: Screening not recommended for students <17)

The first time that writer/director Bruno Dumont made a film about an incompetent detective hunting a killer in Northern France was in 1999, when his controversial Humanit won the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes. That film bore all the hallmarks of his early work: grim, minimalistic, non-professional casts, and low budgets. Like his Prix Jean-Vigo winning first feature, The Life of Jesus (COLCOA 1998), most of Dumonts films are set in northern France, where he taught philosophy before becoming a filmmaker. This harshly beautiful environment is the thread that binds much of Dumonts otherwise eclectic oeuvre. In 2006, Dumonts examination of the atrocities of war, Flanders (COLCOA 2007), earned a second Jury Grand Prize at Cannes. Ever the contrarian, Dumont sidestepped, criticizing modern religion with Hadewijch (2009) and Outside Satan (2011), before taking on a costume drama Camille Claudel 1915 (2013), his first film with a professional actor, Juliette Binoche. Dumonts current fascination, comedy, began with his Art mini-series Li'l Quinquin (2014).

The COLCOA Master Class program is presented in partnership with ELMA (European Langage and Movies Association) with the support of Laemmle Theatres and the French Film & TV Office in Los Angeles.

Among schools expected to participate are the following:
The Los Angeles Film School, California State University, Northridge Boston University in Los Angeles, Emerson College, Loyola Marymount University, Chapman University, California Institute of the Arts, UCLA, Le Cercle Francophone d'UCLA, American Film Institute, University of Southern California, USC School of Cinematic Arts, New York Film Academy, and more.

For tickets and festival schedule information, please log on to www.colcoa.org
04.17.17 by OC

2017 COLCOA Shorts Competition (April 30) at the DGA - FREE ADMISSION!




by Oliver Carnay


(Hollywood, CA) - 19 new French short films competing for the 2017 COLCOA Awards will be playing on April 30, 2017 at the Directors Guild of America (7920 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046) during the COLCOA French Film Festical, which will run from April 24 through May 2)! This new exclusive selection of French shorts underlines the creativity of French production and putting new talent in the spotlight.

Each short film will be shown before a feature film presentation during the festival (April 24- May 2). The competition of shorts will take place at the Directors Guild of America on Sunday, April 30, with a screening of all films selected with free admission on a first-come-first-serve basis. The audience will vote for the COLCOA Audience Short Film Award while a professional jury will decide for the COLCOA Short Film Award.

For the third year, a part of the COLCOA Short Film Program will be broadcasted in May on TV5 Monde Cinema On Demand, a subscription video-on-demand service now available everywhere in the United States.

In 2016, COLCOA Short Film Award went to 'Mother(s)' written and directed by Mamouna Doucour, and the COLCOA Audience Film Award went to 'Its Caviar' written and directed by Sarah Lelouch.

Details here: http://buff.ly/2o8Hj17

For more information regarding free tickets and schedule, please go to www.colcoa.org

Day by Day Schedule (including FREE tickets): http://www.colcoa.org/program-2017/day-by-day-schedule
04.17.17 by OC

Daryl Ong joins Los Angeles leg of Vice Ganda's "Pusuan Mo Si Vice Ganda Sa Amerika" U.S. concert tour
by Oliver Carnay


Before Daryl Ong became more popular via ASAP, the Sunday noontime variety show of ABS-CBN, he was one of the finalists of "The Voice" (Philippines), Season 2. I knew that even if he was eliminated on TVP, he will have a stable singing career. He did ..





I first came about to know this singer when I was browsing on youtube. He was doing a lot of cover songs then and has a lot of followers. He was not the matinee idol type, but there is something about the way he sings-- It pierce into your heart emotionally and it's all pure talent and voice. I learned that this young crooner was a former member of the disbanded boyband group - "Voices of 5" (2013). Among his signature songs include his own version of "Ikaw Na Nga" (original song of Willlie Revillame) and "Paano" (his TVP "blind audition" piece).

After TVP, Daryl continues to add highlights in his budding career. He released his first self-titled album in 2015. He sang his own version of "Stay", the theme song of Jadine's "On The Wings of Love" teleserye (originally recorded by Carol Banawa) and now a regular ASAP performer.

Daryl Ong is having his first U.S. stage performance as he joins the L.A. leg of Vice Ganda's U.S. concert tour. You can catch him at Vice Ganda's "Pusuan Mo Si Vice Ganda" concert at the Los Angeles Theatre (downown, Los Angeles) on April 1, 2017, Saturday, 7 p.m. brought to you by www.Starmedia Entertentainment.com (Anna Puno), www.VicEntertainment.biz (Vic Perez), and The Filipino Channel (TFC). For tickets, seat availability, call Vic Perez at 818-458-9258.

"Pusuan Mo Si Vice Ganda" was a sold-out concert last Valentine's Day in Manila, Philippines and is currently on its TFC U.S. tour (Kissimee, Forida - March 25; Houston, TX-March 26; San Diego, CA - March 31 and Los Angeles, CA - April 1, 2017).

03.18.17 by OC

Art Hearts Fashion Dominates NYFW with 33 Designers and lots of Heart at New York Fashion Week


Revolutionary bi-coastal fashion platform Art Hearts Fashion presented by AIDS Healthcare Foundation hosted New York Fashion Week shows February 10th-13th at the Neo-Gothic NYC landmark that is the Angel Orensanz Foundation on the culturally flourishing lower east side. The Angel Orensanz Foundation (http://www.orensanz.org/angel.html), a replica of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, has long been the home for artistic and performing arts. The Cathedral served as the dramatic setting for NYC's most highly attended shows. A favorite among press and celebrities alike, this season Art Hearts Fashion brought an impressive lineup of over 30 international acclaimed designers to the catwalk during 4 full days of runway shows, an exclusive opening party and closing awards presentation. For the full schedule please visit www.Artheartsfashion.com.

As a voice for artistic and cutting edge designers, Art Hearts Fashion is paving the way toward the future of Fashion Week. Art Hearts Fashion's philanthropic drive stretches from coast to coast, putting the spotlight on how fashion can promote constructive ideals and influence the progressive evolution of the fashion industry. The platform is proud to raise funds and awareness for organizations including: Aids Healthcare Foundation, Project Cancerland, Make A Wish Foundation, Children's Hospital LA, & Women's Cancer Research Foundation.

Special shows this season included AnaOno Intimates X Cancerland raising awareness for breast cancer by featuring cancer survivors on the runway. The event hosted by academy award winning actress Mira Sorvino was followed by 21 Reasons Why the fashion label by Madeline Stuart, the first ever Super Model turned designer with Down Syndrome.

From East to West, International Couture designers dominated the runway featuring brands from China, Dubai, Lebanon, Egypt, India, London, Paraguay, Serbia, Malta, Paris, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Philipinnes, and Australia.

Runway looks were mastered by the diligent work of CoCre8 Powered by Sexy Hair assisted by Woody Michleb's Style the Runway. April Love Pro Team worked tirelessly backstage to create hundreds of looks throughout the week. Special thank you to City Color cosmetics, Bdellium tools and Bulls Eye Lashes for providing the beauty products that helped complete the looks.

Title Sponsor AIDS Healthcare Foundation celebrated World Condom Day at the event and promoted #AlwaysInFashion to build awareness about condom usage. AHF is the world's largest provider of services for HIV/AIDS. To support AHF you can txt "FIGHTAIDS" to 41444 to donate any amount to support the cause.

Partners and sponsors include AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Big Sexy Hair, CoCre8, Style The Runway, April Love Pro Team, Monster Energy, Illy Coffee, Hubert's Lemonade, 42 Below Vodka, Harlem Brewing Company, Coco Community, Savvy Travelers, Shibue Couture, Six Summit Gallery, Project Cancerland, FNL Networks, Getty Images, Bulls Eye Lashes, The DL, Bdellium Tools, and The Attic.

Instagram photos: https://www.instagram.com/ArtHeartsFashion/


Among Designers and Brands who participated are the following:





























































02.20.17 by OC

Movies I've seen in 2017!

PATRIOT'S DAY - Dir. Peter Berg

SLEEPLESS - Dir. Baran bo Odar

UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS - Dir. Anna Foerster

Scandinavian Film Festivals in L.A.:
THE CROSSING - Dir. George Kurian docfilm

SPARROWS - Dir. Runar Runarsson

THE HAPPIEST DAY IN THE LIFE OF OLLIE MAKI - Dir. Juho Kuosmanen Finland Oscar entry

LAND OF MINE - Dir. Martin Peter Zandvliet Denmark Oscar entry

BEAUTY BITES BEAST - Dir. Ellen Snortland

ETERNAL SUMMER - Dir. Andreas Ohman

MARIOUPOLIS - Dir. Mantas Kvedaravicius

ALL THE BEAUTY - Dir. Aasne Via Greibrokk

A MAN CALLED OVE - Dir. Hannes Holm Sweden Oscar entry

HEARTSTONE - Dir. Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson

MOTHER - Dir. Kadri Kusaar Estonia Oscar entry

THE COMMUNE - Dir. Thomas Vinterberg

A HOLY MESS - Dir. Helena Bergstrm

DAWN - Dir. Laila Pakalniņa Lavia Oscar entry

LITTLE WING - Dir. Selma Vihunen

THE KING'S CHOICE - Dir. Erik Poppe Norway Oscar entry

SPLIT - Dir. M. Night Shymalan

XXX: THE RETURN OF XANDER CAGE - Dir. D.J. Caruso

SING - Dir. Christophe Lourdelet

THE FOUNDER - Dir. John Lee Hancock

TRESPASS AGAINST US - Dir. Adam Smith

ANG BABAE SA SEPTIC TANK 2 - Dir. Marlon Rivera

DETOUR - Dir. Christopher Smith

UN PADRE NO TAN PADRE - Dir. Raul Martinez

THE COMEDIAN - Dir. Taylor Hackford

THIS IS EVERYTHING: GIGI GORGEOUS - Dir. Barbara Kopple

FIFTY SHADES DARKER - Dir. James Foley

JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 - Dir. Chad Stahelski

RINGS - Dir. F. Javier Gutierrez

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO - Dir. Raoul Peck

MR. GAGA - Dir. Tomer Haymann

CHASING CAMERON - Netflix

VALENTINE ROAD: THE BOY WHO LOVED ANOTHER BOY - Dir. Marta Cunningham

EXTREMIS - Dir. Dan Krauss

EXTREME ANIMAL ATTACKS -

RUN BOY RUN - Dir. Pepe Danquart

THE WONDERS (LE MERAVIGLIE) - Dir. Alice Rohwacher

iBOY - Dir. Adam Randall

CALL OF HEROES - Dir. Benny Chan

THE GREAT WALL - Dir. Zhang Yimou

A CURE FOR WELLNESS - Dir. Gore Verbinski

MY EX AND WHYS - Dir. Cathy Garcia Molina

COLLIDE - Dir. Elan Creevy

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS - Dir. Colm McCarthy

The 2017 Oscar-nominated Live-Action
Sing dir. Kristof Deak, Hungary, 25 minutes
Silent Nights dir. Aske Bang, Denmark, 30 minutes
Timecode dir. Juanjo Gimenez Pena, Spain, 15 minutes
Ennemis Interieurs dir. Selim Aazzazi, France, 28 minutes
La Femme et la TGV dir. Timo von Gunten, Switzerland, 30 minutes

The 2017 Oscar-Nominated Shorts: Documentary
Extremis dir. Dan Krauss, USA, 24 minutes
4.1 Miles dir. Daphne Matziaraki, USA, 22 minutes
Joes Violin dir. Kahane Cooperman, USA, 24 minutes
Watani: My Homeland dir. Marcel Mettelsiefen, 39 minutes
The White Helmets dir. Orlando von Einsiedel, 41 minutes

I DON'T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE - Dir. Macon Blair

BOY MISSING (SECUESTRO) - Dir. Mar Targarona

WINTER OF WARTIME - Dir. Martin Koolhoven

LOGAN - Dir. James Mangold

TABLE 19 - Dir. Jeffrey Blitz

CATFIGHT - Dir. Onul Tukel

MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI - Dir. Claude Barras

KONG: SKULL ISLAND - Dir. Jordan Vogt-Roberts

GET OUT - Dir. Jordan Peele

FAIR HAVEN - Dir. Kerstin Karlhuber

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - Dir. Bill Condon

IRON FIST - 13 Episodes - Marvel Television

BEFORE I FALL - Dir. Ry Russo-Young

THE LAST WORD - Dir. Mark Pellington

KEDI - Dir. Ceyda Torun

PERSONAL SHOPPER - Dir. Oliver Assayas

BURNING SANDS - Dir. Gerard McMurray

THE YOUNG OFFENDERS - Dir. Peter Foott

LIFE - Dir. Daniel Espinosa

THE RED TURTLE - Dir. Michael Dudok de Wit

THE BELKO EXPERIMENT - Dir. Greg Mclean

RAW - Dir. Julia Ducoumau

AFTER THE STORM - Dir. Hirokazu Koreeda

THE SENSE OF AN ENDING - Dir. Ritesh Batra

SONG TO SONG - Dir. Terence Malick

IMPERIAL DREAMS - Dir. Malik Vitthal

TRAIN TO BUSAN - Dir. Sang-ho Yeon

THE LEVELLING - Dir. Hope Dickson Leach

BWOY - Dir. John G. Young

THE BOSS BABY - Dir. Tom McGrath

GHOST IN THE SHELL - Dir. Rupert Sanders

THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE - Dir. Niki Caro

FRANTZ - Dir. Francois Ozon

MAGNUS - Dir. Benjamin Ree

TEAM FOXCATCHER - Dir. John Greenhalgh docfilm

THE MOST HATED WOMAN IN AMERICA - Dir. Tommy O'Haver based on a true story of Pres. of Atheist America

USS INDIANAPOLIS: MEN OF COURAGE - Dir. Sara Vladic

MAN ON HIGH HEELS - Dir. Jin Jang

THE GET DOWN - PART 2 (5 EPISODES)

FINDING OSCAR - Dir. Ryan Suffern

13 REASONS WHY - Netflix Episodic

GOING IN STYLE - Dir. Zach Braff

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS - Dir. F. Gary Gray

GIFTED - Dir. Marc Webb

THE LOST CITY OF Z - Dir. James Gray

FREE FIRE - Dir. Ben Wheatley

THE PROMISE - Dir. Terry Goerge

UNFORGETTABLE - Dir. Denise Di Novi

LET IT FALL: Los Angeles 1982 - 1992 - Dir. John Ridley

CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE - Kathniel - Dir. Mae Czarina Cruz

THE NEXT SKIN - Dir. Isa Campo

TN THE SHADOW OF IRIS - Dir. Jalil Lespert

COLCOA 2017
THE PARIS OPERA - Dir. Jean Stephane Bron

THE CONFESSION - Dir. Nicolas Boukhrief

LIKE CRAZY - Dir. Paolo Virzi

HEDI - Dir. Mohamed Ben Attia

LITTLE GEMS (Les Pepites) - Dir. Xavier de Lauzanne

A WOMAN'S LIFE - Dir. Stephane Brize

A KID - Dir. Philippe Lioret

POLINA - Dir. Angelin Preljocaj and Valerie Muller Preljocaj

CORPORATE - Dir. Nicolas Silhol

DALIDA - Dir. Lisa Azuelos

WILLY - Directors: Ludovic Boukherma, Zoran Boukherma, Mariel Gautier and Hugo P. Thomas

A TASTE OF INK - Dir. Morgan Simon

A BAG OF MARBLES (Un Sac de billes) - Dir. Christian Duguay

HEAVEN WILL WAIT - Dir. Marie Castille Mention-Schaar

MR & MRS ADELMAN - Dir. Nicolas Bedos

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 - Dir. James Gunn

SLEIGHT - Dir. J.D. Dillard

THE CIRCLE - Dir. James Ponsoldt

THE DINNER - Dir. Oren Moverman

NORMAN - Dir. Joseph Cedar

THE WALL - Dir. Doug Liman

KING ARTHUR - Dir. Antoine Fuqua

SNATCHED - Dir. Jonathan Levine

LOWRIDERS - Dir. Ricardo Montreuil

COLD WAR 2 - Directors Lok Man Leung | Kim-Ching Luk

ALIEN: COVENANT - Dir. Ridley Scott

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING - Dir. Stella Meghie

DIARY OF A WHIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL - Dir. David Bowers

HAROLD AND LILLIAN: A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY - Dir. Daniel Raim

BAYWATCH - Dir. Seth Gordon

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES - Dir. Joachim Ronning

WONDER WOMAN - Dir. Patty Jenkins

WAR MACHINE - Dir. David Michod

LANDING UP - Dir. Daniel Tenenbaum

BEING BLACK ENOUGH - Dir. Devin Rice

FILMOUT SAN DIEGO:
A VERY SORDID LIVES - Dir. Del Shores

BEST OF LGBT SHORTS:
SISAK - Dir. Faraz Arif Ansari
AND WHY NOT (ET POURQUOI PAS?) - Dir. Nicolas Fay
LILY - Dir. Graham Cantwell
POR UN BESO - Dir. David Volduque
SWIM - Dir. Mari Walker
SCAR TISSUE - Dr. Nish Gera
ALPHA - Dir. Ben Rodrigues
PUSSY (CIPKA) - Dir. Renata Gaslorowska
THE WANKER - (PAJERO) - Dir. Altor Gonzalez Iturbe
IT'S A BOY - Dir. Trent Nakamura

THE LAVANDER SCARE - Dir. Josh Howard
PUSHING DEAD - Dir. Tom E. Brown
A MILLION HAPPY NOWS - Dir. Albert Alarr
SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER - Dir. David Berry
APOLLO (APOLLON) - Dir. Loic Dimitch
EVIL ALAN - Dir. Jonathan Hammond
LEGALLY WED - Dir. Michael Solario
SILENT - Dir. Paul Baker
SLEEP ON IT - Dir. Benjamin Howard
CAS - Dir. Joris Van de Berg
AN EVENING (EN AFTEN) - Dir. Soren Green
EVEN LOVERS GET THE BLUES - Dir. Laurent Michell
HANDSOME DEVIL - Dir. John Butler
DEVIL WEARS A SUIT - Dir. Eli Mark
THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN - Dir. Jennifer M. Kroot

LA FILMFEST:

THE BOOK OF HENRY - Dir. Colin Trevorrow
AND THEN I GO - Dir. Vincent Grashaw
BEAUTY MARK - Dir. Harris Doran
MOSS - Dir. Daniel Peddle
NEVER HERE - Dir. Camille Thoman
THANK YOU FOR COMING - Dir. Sara Lamm
BUTTERFLY KISSES - Dir. Rafael Kapelinski
DARK BLUE GIRL (DIE TOCHTER) - Dir. Mascha Schilinksi
MOKO JUMBIE - Dir. Vashti Anderson
NOCTURNE (NOCTURNO) - Dir. Luis Ayhilon
DESOLATION - Dir. Sam Patton
SERPENT - Dir. Amanda Evans
ANYTHING - Dir. Timothy McNeil
THE YEAR OF SPECTACULAR MEN - Dir. Lea Thompson
YOUR OWN ROAD - Dir. Brandon Buczek
LADY MACBETH - Dir. William Oldroyd
MY FRIEND DAHMER - Dir. Marc Meyeres
WHITNEY CAN I BE ME - Dir. Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal
THE FEMALE BRAIN - Dir. Whitney Cummings
THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE - Dir. Ari Gold
STORY OF A GIRL - Dir. Kyra Sedgwick
SUN DOGS - Dir. Jennifer Morrison
YOU GET ME - Dir. Brent Bonacorso
THE BEGUILED - Dir. Sofia Coppola

ALL EYEZ ON ME - Dir. Benny Boom
47 METERS DOWN - Dir. Johannes Roberts
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT - Dir. Michael Bay
THE MUMMY - Dir. Alex Kurtzman
BEATRIZ AT DINNER - Dir. Miguel Arteta
DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME - Dir. Bill Morrison

WHAT THE HEALTH - Dir. Kip Anderson
DRAGONHEART: BATTLE FOR THE HEARTFIRE - Dir. Patrik Syversen
OKJA - Dir. Bong Joon Ho
BETTING ON ZERO - Dir. Ted Braun
BABY DRIVER - Dir. Edgar Wright
DESPICABLE ME 3 - Dir. Kyle Balda

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING - Dir. Jon Watts
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES - Dir. Matt Reeves
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT - Dir. Michael Bay

OUTFEST:
GOD'S OWN COUNTRY - Dir. Francis Lee
KEVYN AUCOIN THE BEAUTY & THE BEAST IN ME - Dir. Lori Kaye
THE PASS - Dir. Ben A. Williams
BOYS SHORTS:
BOYS ON THE STREET #PRIDE - Dir. Louisa Bertman
HIM - Dir. Christian Coppola
COCK N' BULL 2 - Dir. Nathan Adloff
MONOGAMISH - Dir. Carlton Daniel
MEN DON'T WHISPER - Dir. Jordan Firstman
SOMETHING NEW - Dir. T.J. Marchbank
THE OTHER SIDE - Dir. Rodrigo Alvarez Florez
100 MEN - Dir. Paul Oremland
THE WOUND - Dir. John Trengove
THE REVIVAL- Dir. Jennifer Gerber
THE STRANGE ONES - Dir. Christopher Radcliff & Lauren Wolkstein
FATHERS - Dir. Palatpol Mingpornpichit
CENTER OF MY WORLD - Dir. Jacob M. Erwa
4 DAYS IN FRANCE - Dir. Jerome Reybaud
CLOSE KNIT - Dir. Naoko Ogigami
BODY ELECTRIC - Dir. Marcelo Caetano
TOM OF FINLAND - Dir. Dome Karukoski
HELLO AGAIN - Dir. Tom Gustafson
THE FABULOUS ALLAN CARR - Dir. Jeffrey Schwarz
BOYS FOR SALE - Dir. Itako
TAMARA - Dir. Elia K. Schneider
BOYS BE TRIPPIN':
RABBIT HOLE- STUPID ASS WITCH - Andrew J. Herbert and Kevin rios
PEDAZOS - Dir. Alejandro Pena
ACCORDING TO MATEO - Dir. Osama Chami & Enrique Gimeno
RUSALKA - Dir. Wes Hurley
LINE 9 - Dir. Tavo Ruiz
ACCORDING TO MY MOTHER - Dir. Cathy Yan
PEDRO - Dir. Andre Santos & Marco Leao
DISCREET - Dir. Travis Mathews
SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER -
TRANSPARENT - SEASON 4
TEENAGE KICKS - Dir. Craig Boneham
FREAK SHOW - Dir. Trudie Styler
RIFT - Dir. Erlingur Thorrodsen
DREAM BOAT - Dir. Tristan Ferland Milewski

DUNKIRK - Dir. Christopher Nolan
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS - Dir. Luc Besson
THE BIG SICK - Dir. Michael Showalter
GIRLS TRIP - Dir. Malcolm D. Lee
BLOODY CRAYONS - Dir. Topel Lee
WIND RIVER - Dir. Taylor Sheridan
GLOW: THE STORY OF THE GORGEOUS LADIES OF WRESTLING - Dir. Brett Whitcomb
THE LITTLE HOURS - Dir. Jeff Baena
LANDLINE - Dir. Gillian Robespierre
LOST IN PARIS - Dir. Dominique Abel
THE MIDWIFE - Dir. Martin Provost
ATOMIC BLONDE - Dir. David Leitch
THE EMOJIE MOVIE - Dir. Tony Leondis

DETROIT - Dir. Kathryn Bigelow
FINALLY FOUND SOMEONE - Dir. Theodore Boborol
THE DARK TOWER - Dir. Nikolaj Arcel
KIDNAP - Dir. Luis Prieto
AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER - Dir. Bonnie Cohen
I DREAM IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE - Dir. Ernesto Contreras
SOME FREAKS - Dir. Ian MacAllister McDonald
FROM THE LAND OF THE MOON - Dir. Nicole Garcia
STEP - Dir. Amanda Lipitz

LAPIFF -
EJK - Dir. Rolando Sanchez - EJK is about the extra judicial killing that is happening in the Philippines. It is a film that shows the disturbing details about drug abuse and drug trafficking that contribute mainly to many unexplained and unabated killings in the Philippines

AREA -Dir. Louie Ignacio - A short distance from the citys red-light district is Area, a neighborhood of brothels where over-the-hill sex workers can be had for a can of sardines or even on credit. During its heyday, Area had up to 700 brothels servicing thousands of low-income men, hormonally active boys and society misfits--all taking advantage of the bargain price of sex available only at Area. One of the last remaining brothels is operated by Ben, whose family of former pimps and subversives depends on the brothel for survival. Hillary (Ai-Ai de las Alas), one of the sex workers, keeps her life-savings to fulfill a dream to travel to the United States to find a son she said she lost during the panic caused by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.
The story happens during the Holy Week, when the residents of Area perform rituals of penitence to wash away their sins and be ready for another year of business as usual.

LAUT - Dir. Luisito Lagdameo Ignacio - A sea gypsies from Zamboanga who are now living in Mabalacat, Pampanga, Nadia of the group called Sama d'Laut. She hopes to marry the man she loves but was forced to leave when things got really difficult for her home province.She ends up in Mabalacat where she is forced to live a new life. Starring Barbie Forteza, Ronwaldo Martin, Jak Roberto, Ana Capri, Boobay, Gabby Garcia.

OF SINNERS AND SAINTS - Dir. Ruben Maria Soriquez - Leonardo Rossellini is an Italian priest from Rome, assigned to a parish in Payatas, a poor area of Metromanila, Philippines. Leonardo's mission is to counsel battered women and teach poor children. But soon his peace of mind is distraught by the encounter of a woman he used to love when he was still a seminarian. This young woman, Merlinda, is now married to a violent man. She also has a 6 years old child who is missing. Leonardo decides to help her find her son. Starring Ruben Maria Soriquez, Raymond Bagatsing, Polo Ravales, Kiko Matos, Richard Quan.

BIRDSHOT - Dir. Mikhail Red - "Birdshot" is a mystery-thriller film that tells a story of a young Filipina farm girl who wanders into the boundaries of a Philippine reservation forest. Deep within the reservation she mistakenly shoots and kills a critically endangered and protected Philippine Eagle. As the local authorities begin a manhunt to track down the poacher of a national bird, their investigation leads them to an even more horrific discovery. Starring John Arcilla, Arnold Reyes, Mary Joy Apostol.

SEKLUSYON - Dir. Erik Matti - In 1947 those aspiring to be priest, are sent to a remote convent to live in seclusion(Seklusyon) on the last day of their training. The purpose is to shield them from evil of the world. The plot thickens when a mysterious young girl comes to the convent but the question is whether she is really sent by God or by the Evil. This is the challenge awaits the candidates. Starring Ronnie Alonte, Lou Veloso, Dominique Roque, Neil Ryan Sese, Rhed Bustamante.

IMBISIBOL - Dir. Lawrence Fajardo - Imbisibol tells the tale of illegal Filipino immigrants in Japan and their plight to evade authorities. Starring Ces Quesada, Bernardo Bernardo, Allen Dizon, JM de Guzman, JC Santos.

MOVING PORTRAITS PROJECT (documentary, 30 min.) - Dir. Bryan Alano - Photographer/Director Bryan Alano and prosthetist Matthew Alegria's Moving Portraits Project follows their journey to Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines to provide amputees with new legs, and a chance at a more fulfilled life.

LOGAN LUCKY - Dir. Steven Soderbergh
THE HITMAN'S BODYGUARD - Dir. Patrick Hughes
INGRID GOES WEST - Dir. Matt Spicer
ANNABELLE: CREATION - Dir. David F. Sanberg
PATTI CAKES - Dir. Geremy Jasper
GOOD TIME - Dir. Benny Safdie

SUNDANCE NEXT FEST:
GENTE-FIED - Dir. Marvin Lemus
GOOD - Dir. Justin Chon
GOLDEN EXITS - Dir. Alex Ross Perry
L.A. TIMES - Dir. Michelle Morgan

THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK - Dir. Marc Webb
TALES OF AN IMMORAL COUPLE - Dir. Manolo Caro
BEACH RATS - Dir. Eliza Hittman
CROWN HEIGHTS - Dir.Matt Ruskin
THE VILLAINESS - Dir. Byung-gil Jung
THE TEACHER - Dir. Jan Hrebejk
DO IT LIKE AN HOMBRE (HAYLO COMO HOMBRE) - Dir. Nicholas Lopez
TULIP FEVER - Dir. Justin Chadwick
WHAT HAPPENED TO MONDAY - Dir. Tommy Wirkola
BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Dir. Ridley Scott
VICTORIA & ABDUL - Dir. Stephen Frears
IT - Dir. Andy Muschietti
KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE - Dir. Matthew Vaughn
AMERICAN ASSASIN - Dir. Michael Cuesta
HOME AGAIN - Dir. Hallie Meyers-Shyer
LOVE YOU TO THE STARS AND BACK - Dir. Antoinette Jadaone
JIGSAW - Dir. Michael Spierig
BATTLE OF THE SEXES - Dir. Jonathan Dayton
FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER - Dir. Angelina Jolie
HAPPY DEATH DAY - Dir. Christopher Landon
MARSHALL - Dir. Reginald Hudlin
'TIL DEATH DO US PART - Dir. Chris Stokes
SUBURBICON - Dir. George Clooney
SEVEN SUNDAYS - Dir. Cathy Garcia-Molina
THE FOREIGNER - Dir. Martin Campbell
MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US - Dir. Hany Abu-Assad
BEATS PER MINUTE - Dir. Robert Campillio
THE FLORIDA PROJECT - Dir. Sean Baker
NOVITATE - Dir. Margaret Betts
THE SQUARE - Dir. Ruben Ostlund
JANE - Dir. Brett Morgen
LOVING VINCENT - Dir. Dorota Kobiela
LADY BIRD - Dir. Greta Gerwig
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER - Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS - Dir. Jon Lucas
THOR: RAGNAROK - Dir. Taika Waititi
MOTHERLAND - Dir. Ramona Diaz
ICARUS - Dir. Bryan Fogel
JUSTICE LEAGUE - Dir. Zack Snyder
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS - Dir. Kenneth Branagh
HAZE - Dir. David Burkman
WALKING OUT - Dir. Alex and Andrew Smith

AFIFEST 2017:

MUDBOUND - Dir. Dee Rees
IN THE FADE (AUS DEM NICHTS) - Dir. Faith Akin
MR. LONG - Dir. SABU
V.I.P. - Dir. Park Hoon-Jung
LOVELESS - Dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev
SOLLER POINT - Dir. Matthew Porterfield
CLOSENESS - Dir. Kantemir Balagov
WESTERN - Dir. Valeska Grisebach
APRIL'S DAUGHERS - Dir. Michel Franco
WINTER BROTHERS - Dir. Hlynur Plmason
MRS. HYDE - Dir. Serge Bozon
THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE - Dir. Aki Kaurismki
LET THE CORPSES TAN - Hlne Cattet and Bruno Forzani
HANNAH - Dir. Andrea Pallaoro
A GENTLE CREATURE - Dir. Sergei Loznitsa
MARLINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS - Dir. Mouly Surya
THE INSULT - Dir. Ziad Doueiri
AVA - Dir. La Mysius
THE WORKSHOP - Dir. Laurent Cantet
FOXTROT - Dir. Samuel Maoz
WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY - Dir. Iram Haq
A SEASON IN FRANCE - Dir. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
I, TONYA - Dir. Craig Gillespie
HAPPY END - Dir. Michael Haneke
MOLLY'S GAME - Dir. Aaron Sorkin

THE SECRET SLAVES OF THE MIDDLE EAST - Netflix
PAKISTAN'S HIDDEN SHAME - Dir. Mohammed Naqvi
ROCCO - Dir. Thierry Demaiziere
THIS WORLD: FRAT BOYS - Netflix
LADY GAGA: FIVE FEET TWO - Dir. Chris Moukarbel
COCO - Dir. Adrian Molina
ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. - Dir. Dan Gilroy
WONDER - Dir. Stephen Chbosky
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME - Dir. Luca Guadagnino
ONE OF US - Dir. Heidi Ewing
SADECE SEN - Dir. Hakan Yonat
HOW GAY IS PAKISTAN - Dir. Masood Khan
IN LOUBOUTIN'S SHOES - BBC
SAVING CAPITALISM - Dir. Sari Gilman
THE DISASTER ARTIST - Dir. James Franco
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Dir. Guillermo Del Toro
UNEXPECTEDLY YOURS - Dir. Cathy Garcia-Molina
LADY BIRD - Dir. Greta Gerwig
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI - Dir. Martin MacDonagh
WONDER WHEEL - Dir. Woodly Allen
I AM EVIDENCE - Dir. Dir. Geeta Gandbhir, Trish Adlesic
DARKEST HOURS - Dir. Joe Wright
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN - Dir. Michael Gracey
DOWNSIZING - Dir. Alexander Payne
GANDARRAPIDO: THE REVENGERS SQUAD - Bb. Joyce Bernal
HOSTILES - Dir. Scott Cooper
ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD -
THE POST - Dir. Steven Spielberg
PHANTOM THREAD - Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

===================================
01.16.17 by OC

32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented by UGG, announces 2017 program; the festival runs February 1 through February 11


by Oliver Carnay


The Santa Barbara International film Festival (SBIFF), presented by UGG which will run from February 1 through February 11, 2017, had just announced its scheduled program, listing films from more than 50 countries, with 51 world premieres and 64 U.S. premieres. Previously announced, the festival will feature tributes to top celebrities, panel discussions, community education and outreach programs, and free screenings after the festival.



The Opening Night Film - docfilm "CHARGED" - Chef Eduardo's extraordinary recovery is not just about getting back what he lost, but about moving forward with more than he ever had.



Kicking off the festival, on Wednesday, February 1st to be held at the Arlington Theatre is the World Premiere of the docfilm "CHARGED," which will serve the Opening Night Film. Directed by Phillip Baribeau, CHARGED chronicles the journey of chef and outdoorsman, Eduardo Garcia and his recovery after being electrocuted by 2400 volts of electricity miles from help in the Montana backcountry. Garcia had his hand amputated, lost ribs, muscle mass and nearly his life, but more important than what he lost is what he found. CHARGED tells Eduardos remarkable journey from getting up off the forest floor to becoming the man he is today.



Closing Night Film - "THEIR FINEST" directed by Lone Scherfig, starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy


Sponsored by the Winchester Mystery House, the Lone Scherfigs period comedydrama THEIR FINEST will serve as the Closing Night Film, to be held at the Arlington Theatre on Saturday, February 11 in advance of the films March 24 stateside release.

The year is 1940, Britain. With the nation devastated by the war, the British ministry turns to propaganda films to boost morale at home. Realizing their films could use a womans touch, the ministry hires Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) as a scriptwriter in charge of writing the female dialogue. Although her artist husband looks down on her job, Catrins natural flair quickly gets her noticed by charming lead scriptwriter Buckley (Sam Claflin). Catrin and Buckley set out to make an epic feature film based on the Battle of Dunkirk starring pretentious fading movie star Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy). As bombs are dropping all around them, Catrin, Buckley and their colorful cast and crew work furiously to make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation.

International Gala - "Heal The Living"
Ivory Coast-born filmmaker Katell Quillvre adapts Maylis de Kerangals Booker Prizelonglisted novel for this elegant and affecting film which draws three seemingly unrelated stories together into a tale about the moment when tragedy meets hope.




For the International Gala, the festival will feature the US Premiere of HEAL THE LIVING (Rparer les vivants) a FrenchBelgian drama directed by Katell Quillvr and written by Quillvr and Gilles Taurand. HEAL THE LIVING stars Tahar Rahim (A Prophet, The Past, Grand Central, The Informant), Emmanuelle Seigner (Venus in Fur, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and Anne Dorval (Mommy, Heartbeats). Three seemingly unrelated stories are masterfully woven together in this family medical drama. A French teenager takes a road trip to the sea with friends to go surfing; a woman learns her heart is failing; and the staff at a regional hospital struggles through another day of saving lives. Cohen Media Group plans for a Spring 2017 release.



Previously announced are TRIBUTES to some of the AcademyAward frontrunners, many of whom have arrived as nominees and gone on to win the Oscar. The 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival will proudly celebrates and showcase some of the years finest work in film. The complete list of 2017 Honorees (in date order) is as follows:

Viola Davis will present DENZEL WASHINGTON with the esteemed Maltin Modern Master Award, moderated by longtime friend and film historian Leonard Maltin on Thursday, February 2nd.
The Outstanding Performers of the Year Award sponsored by Belvedere Vodka will be awarded to RYAN GOSLING and EMMA STONE. The tribute will be moderated by Roger Durling on Friday, February 3rd.
The Virtuosos Award presented by UGG will be awarded to AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON (Nocturnal Animals), DEV PATEL (Lion), JANELLE MONAE (Hidden Figures, Moonlight), MAHERSHALA ALI (Moonlight), NAOMIE HARRIS (Moonlight), RUTH NEGGA (Loving), SIMON HELBERG (Florence Foster Jenkins), and STEPHEN MCKINLEY HENDERSON (Fences) in recognition of the years emerging film artists. The evening will be moderated by Dave Karger on Saturday, February 4th.
CASEY AFFLECK and MICHELLE WILLIAMS will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award, moderated by Scott Feinberg, on Sunday, February 5th.
The Variety Artisans Awards will take place on Monday, February 6th and will be moderated by Varietys Sr. VP Awards Editor, Tim Gray. Honorees to be announced.
The Outstanding Director of the Year Award sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter will be Tuesday, February 7th and will be moderated by Pete Hammond. Honorees to be announced.
ISABELLE HUPPERT will be presented with the Montecito Award on Wednesday, February 8th, moderated by Anne Thompson.
JEFF BRIDGES will receive the American Riviera Award sponsored by Bella Vista Designs on Thursday, February 9th, moderated by Scott Feinberg.



OTHER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
The 2017 Film Program addresses timely themes including a focus on environmental activism, feminism in the Middle East, efforts to thwart ISIS around the world including, Mali and Kurdistan, the fight for democracy in Ukraine and the global refugee crisis. In addition, some of the new highlights in the program include the following sections:

Nordic Cinema Competition: A diverse showcase of contemporary cinema From Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
Crime Scenes: An international selection of crime thrillers and neo-noirs filled with gritty underworlds and moral nihilists.
Documentary Shorts: Refugees: A program of short documentaries featuring compelling stories from refugees living in Malawi, Syria, West Africa, Greece, Sweden and the United States.

The Jury Films in several of the Festivals film categories are in competition. These categories are viewed by a hand selected group of industry professionals including: Richard Raymond, Joanna Kerns, Jesus Lloveras, Tamara Asseyev, Martin Gooch, Anthony & Arnette Zerbe, Alan Marshall, Artie Schmidt, Janet Walker, Phyllis de Picciotto, Perry Lang and Mimi deGruy. On the last day of the Festival, the award winning films will be announced at the annual SBIFF awards breakfast.

For more detailed information, Program Schedule, and how to get tickets and passes, please log on to www.SBIFF.org



ABOUT SBIFF

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. Over the past 30 years, SBIFF has become one of the leading film festivals in the United States attracting 90,000 attendees and offering 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums, fulfilling their mission to engage, enrich, and inspire the Santa Barbara community through film.

Sponsors of the 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival include: UGG, Belvedere Vodka, Dom Prignon, AntiDefamation League, Montecito Bank & Trust, Visit The Santa Ynez Valley, IMDB, Santa Barbara Foundation, Union Bank, Winchester Mystery House, Wells Fargo, Westerly Wines, The Bentson Foundation and many more supporting through trade.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community through free programs like its 101010 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Mikes Field Trip to the Movies, National Film Studies Program, AppleBox Family Films, 3rd Weekend and educational seminars. This past June, SBIFF entered a new era with the acquisition of the historic and beloved Riviera Theatre. The theatre is SBIFFs new home and is the catalyst for program expansion and marks the first time that Santa Barbara has had a 24/7 community center to expand their mission of educational outreach.
01.13.17 by OC

Oscar foreign film entries with three short-listed 2017 Oscar nominated films to screen at 18th annual Scandinavian Film Festival in L.A. (SFFLA)




by Oliver Carnay

There are many reasons to check out the upcoming 18th annual Scandinavian Film Festival, which will run for two weekends (January 14 & 15 and January 21 & 22) two Saturdays and Sundays! The festivals venue and screenings will be at the Writers Guild Theater (135 S. Doheny in Beverly Hills, California, corner Wilshire Blvd.).

Yearly, it continuous to fascinate this writer the amazing Nordic films Hollywood has been deprived in regular theaters. For foreign movie lovers, this is an opportunity to watch outstanding films (shorts, documentaries, and feature films) from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden -- along with Baltic neighbors -- Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.




Included in the program are Oscar submissions and one film that has been short-listed and screening at the fest is Finlands The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mki (Hymyilev mies), directed by Juho Kuosmanen (screening at 4 p.m. this Saturday, January 14) . Awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize at the recent Cannes Film Festival, this charming film is the true story of a Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title, the real-life showdown between Finnish boxer Olli Mki and American champion Davey Moore in 1962 Helsinki.




Same day, this Saturday, Denmarks Oscar entry Land of Mine (Under Sandet), beautifully directed by Martin Pieter Zandvliet, is screening at 7:30 p.m. I saw this film at the recent AFIFEST in November and I was floored by its cinematography, its great plot and acting by the ensemble cast members. The setting takes place in the aftermath of World War II when a group of surrendered young German soldiers are ordered by Allied forces to remove their own landmines from the coast of Denmark.




On Sunday, January 15, at 2 p.m., the festival is screening Lithuanias Oscar Best Foreign Language film entry Senecas Day (Senekos Diena), directed by Kristijonas Vildziunas. Premise: Set in Vilnius in 1989, in the final year of Soviet rule, the film follows a few teenagers gathered in a group called Senecas Fellowship who are broken apart by a love triangle. A quarter of a century later, with disillusionment haunting his apparently successful life, one member of the group feels he has betrayed his youthful ideals and delves into a Pandoras box of memories.




Same day Sunday, catch the 7:15 screening of Swedens Oscar entry A Man Called Ove (En mansom heeter Ove), directed by Hannes Holm. If you missed it at a Laemmle screening, you wont want to miss this chance. The film tells about Ove, an ill-tempered, isolated retiree who spends his days enforcing block association rules and visiting his wifes grave, who is finally giving up on life while he develops an unlikely friendship with his boisterous new neighbors.




Also screening during the SFFLA second weekend, Saturday, January 21 at 4 p.m. is Estonias Oscar Foreign submission Mother (Ema), a comic crime mystery set in small-town Estonia. Elsa is the mother and full-time caretaker of Lauri, a teacher who has been in a coma since being shot under suspicious circumstances -- secret love affairs, nosey policemen, missing money, and other things will be revealed.




Dawn (Ausma), Latvias Oscar Best Foreign Language entry, directed by Laila Pakalnina, is screening on Sunday, January 22 at 3 p.m. Based on a Soviet propaganda story about Young Pioneer (the Soviet equivalent of a Boy Scout) Morozov, who denounced his father to Stalins secret police and was in turn killed by his family.

The Opening Gala will have foods and drinks. You can reserve tickets or purchase a festival Passport or a Gala Pass, browse more films participating and get detailed information and Schedule by logging on to www.SFFLA.net
01.09.17 by OC

My fearless 2017 Golden Globes predictions --- who are going to win?
by Oliver Carnay

.. and here are my 2017 Golden Globes fearless predictions:


Best Picture, Drama: "Manchester By the Sea" or "Moonlight" (I figured Golden Globe members would probably give it to "Manchester By the Sea" although I can't see any flaws in the making of "Moonlight" -- from cinematography, great acting ensemble, screenplay, in all aspect, this was a very well-made perfect film! .. hopefully, it will get the Oscar nod for Best Picture.)

Best Picture, Musical: "La La Land"

Best Film, Actress, Drama: Natalie Portman ("Jackie")

Best Film, Actress, Comedy or Musical: Emma Stone ("La La Land")

Best Film Actor, Drama: Casey Affleck ("Manchester By the Sea")

Best Film Actor, Comedy or Musical: Ryan Gosling ("La La Land") .. my 2nd choice is Ryan Reynolds in "Deadpool"

Best Film Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams ("Manchester By the Sea")

Best Film Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali ("Moonlight") .. second choice is Aaron Taylor-Johnson for "Nocturnal Animals"

Best Director: Kenneth Lonergan ("Manchester By the Sea") .. or Barry Jenkins for "Moonlight" (again, I think they would go with Kenneth Lonergan)

Best Drama TV Series: "Strange Things"

Best Musical or Comedy TV Series: "Veep"

Best TV Movie or Limited Series: "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Story"

Best Actor in a TV Drama Series: Rami Malek ("Mr. Robot")

Best Actress in a TV Drama Series: Claire Foy ("The Crown")

Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy TV Series: Jeffrey Tambor ("Transparent") or Gael Garcia Bernal ("Mozart in a Jungle")

Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy TV Series: Issa Rae ("Insecure")

Best Performance, Actress in a Series, Limite Series or Motion Picture Made for TV: Sarah Paulson ("The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story)

Best Performance, Actor in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for TV: Riz Ahmed ("The Night Of") or Courtney B. Vance ("The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story")

Best Performance, Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for TV: Chrissy Metz ("This is Us")

Best Performance, Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for TV: Sterling K. Brown ("The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story")

Best Animated Film: "Kubo and the Two Strings"

Best Foreign Language Film: "Divines"

Best Screenplay: "Moonlight"

Best Song: "City of Stars" ("La La Land")

Congratulations in advance to the winners! ... let's see if I guessed fairly perfect. Tune in tonight on NBC!
01.08.17 by OC

My favorite films, outstanding performances, etc. in 2016
by Oliver Carnay

2016 has officially passed and so I am ready to list down my favorites before the next award-giving bodies start announcing their winners. With more than 500 films I have watched in 2016 (see list here) here are my 2016 Favorites for "feature films," "best female performances," "best male performances," "breakout performances" "favorite docfilms," "my top animated films," "favorite foreign films list," and "favorite gay-themed movies" of 2016 (all in no particular order):

My favorite Feature Films of 2016:
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA - Dir. Kenneth Lonergan
MOONLIGHT - Dir. Barry Jenkins
LA LA LAND - Dir. Damien Chazelle
SILENCE - Dir. Martin Scorsese
A MONSTER CALLS - Dir. J.A. Bayona
LION - Dir. Garth Davis
FENCES - Dir. Denzel Washington
AMERICAN HONEY - Dir. Andrea Arnold
WHITE GIRL - Dir. Elizabeth Wood
HELL OR HIGH WATER - Dir. David Mackenzie
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM - Dir. David Yates
THE WITCH - Dir. Robert Eggers
I AM GANGSTER - Dir. Moritz Rechenberg
AS YOU ARE - Dir. Miles Joris-Peyrafitte
THE NICE GUYS - Dir. Shane Black
TRIPLE9 - Dir. John Hillcoat
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS - Dir. Tom Ford
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE - Dir. Dan Trachtenberg
TAKE ME TO THE RIVER - Dir. Matt Sobel
GREEN ROOM - Dir. Jeremy Saulnier
LITTLE MEN - Dir. Ira Sachs
MISS SLOANE - Dir. John Madden
LOVESONG - Dir. So Yong Kim
GOAT - Dir. Andrew Neal
DONT BREATHE - Dir. Fede Alvarez
KICKS - Dir. Justin Tipping
GIRL ON A TRAIN - Dir. Peter Sands
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY - Dir. Gareth Edwards
HIDDEN FIGURES - Dir. Theodore Melfi
OTHER PEOPLE - Dir. Chris Kelly


Breakout performances of 2016:
LUCAS HEDGES - MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
MICHAEL BARBIERI - LITTLE MEN
SASHA LANE - AMERICAN HONEY
RILEY KEOUGH - AMERICAN HONEY and LOVESONG
FRANCESCA EASTWOOD - OUTLAWS & ANGELS
LEWIS MACDOUGALL - A MONSTER CALLS
DAVE FRANCO - NERVE
LOGAN LERMAN - INDIGNATION
CHARLIE HEATON - AS YOU ARE
KOFI SIRIBOE - KICKS
NATHAN PARKER - BIRTH OF A NATION
JANELLE MONAE - HIDDEN FIGURES


Outstanding Performance - Actress in 2016:
MICHELLE WILLIAMS - MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
ALICIA VIKANDER - THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS
SALLY FIELD - MY NAME IS DORIS
KATE WINSLET - TRIPLE 9
NATALIE PORTMAN - JACKIE
MERYL STREEP - FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
JESSICA CHASTAIN - MISS SLOANE
AMY ADAMS - ARRIVAL
VIOLA DAVIS - FENCES
FELICITY JONES - A MONSTER CALLS
MARGO MARTINDALE - THE HOLLARS
JENA MALONE - LOVESONG
KATIE HOLMES - ALL WE HAD
ELLEN PAGE - TALULLAH
MARION COTILLARD - ALLIED
RUTH NEGGA - LOVING
ISABELLE HUPERT - ELLE
EMMA STONE - LA LA LAND
TARAJI P. HENSON - HIDDEN FIGURES
NICOLE KIDMAN - LION
NAOMIE HARRIS - MOONLIGHT
JULIANNE MOORE - MAGGIES PLAN
MOLLY SHANNON - OTHER PEOPLE


Best Male Performances in 2016:
CASEY AFFLECK - MANCHESTER BY THE SEA and TRIPLE 9
DENZEL WASHINGTON - FENCES
VIGGO MORTENSEN - CAPTAIN FANTASTIC
JOEL EDGERTON - LOVING
ANDREW GARFIELD - HACKSAW RIDGE and SILENCE
JAMES FRANCO - WHY HIM
BEN FOSTER - HELL OR HIGH WATER
JEFF BRIDGES - HELL OR HIGH WATER
HUGH GRANT - FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
DEV PATEL - LION
MAHERSHALA ALI - MOONLIGHT
MICHAEL SHANNON - NOCTURNAL ANIMALS
RALPH FIENNES - A BIGGER SPLASH
STELLAN SARSGAARD - OUR KIND OF TRAITOR


My favorite top documentary films of 2016:
GLEASON - Dir. J. Clay Tweel
BEFORE THE FLOOD - Dir. Fisher Stevens
THE WHITE HELMETS - Dir. Orlando Von Einsiedel
FOOD CHOICES - Dir. Michael Siewierski
10 BILLION: WHATS ON YOUR PLATE? - Dir. Valentin Thurn
THE BAD KIDS - Dir. Keith Fulton
TOMORROW (DEMAIN) - Dir. Cyril Dion/ Melanie Laurent
AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY - Dir. Jeff Feiuerzeig
HOOLIGAN SPARROW - Dir. Nanfu Wang
LIFE ANIMATED - Dir. Roger Ross Williams
FIRE AT SEA - Dir. Gianfranco Rosi
THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY - Dir. Andrew Rossi
O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA - Dir. Ezra Edelman
CITY OF GOLD - Dir. Laura Gabbert
TICKLED - Dir. David Farrier
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO - Dir. Raoul Peck
ZERO DAYS - Dir. Alex Gibney
MAKING A MURDERER - Dir. Moira Demos / Laura Ricciardi
SOUTH OF SALEM: THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR - Dir. Deborah Esquinazi
THE GOD CELLS - Dir. Eric Merola
RIGHT FOOTED LEG - Dir. Nick Spark
IMMINENT THREAT - Dir. Janek Ambros
OUT OF IRAQ - Dir. Eva Orner / Chris McKim


My favorite animated films of 2016:
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS - Dir. Travis Knight
ZOOTOPIA - Dir. Byron Howard
SING - Dir. Christophe Lourdelet
THE BOY AND THE BEAST - Dir. Mamoru Hosoda
THE BFG - Dir. Steven Spielberg
MOANA - Dir. Ron Clements


Favorite Foreign Films Ive seen in 2016:
ITS ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD - Dir. Xavier Dolan
I, DANIEL BLAKE - Dir. Ken Loach
HOME - Dir. Fien Troch
DIVINES - Dir. Houda Benyamina
OLD STONE - Dir. Johnny Ma
BANG GANG (A MODERN LOVE STORY) - Dir. Eva Husson
AS I OPEN MY EYES (A PEINE JOUVRE LES YEUX) - Dir. Leila Bouzid
MUCH LOVED - Dir. Nabil Ayouch
THE WOMAN WHO LEFT - Dir. Lav Diaz
BAD SEEDS (LES MAULVALSES HERBES) - Dir. Louis Belanger
THE CLAN (EL CLAN) - Dir. Pablo Trapero
THE HIGH SUN (SVIZDAN) - Dir. Dalibor Matanic
THE CULPABLE (VERFEHLUNG) - Dir. Gerd Schneider
LAZAR - Dir. Svetozor Ristovski
MAMMAL - Dir. Rebecca Daly
THE MIDWIFE (KATILO) - Dir. Antti J. Jokinen
TOO CLOSE TO OUR SON (AUPLUS PRES DU SOLEIL) - Dir. Yves Angelo
WE MONSTERS (WIR MONSTER) - Dir. Sebastian Ko
SECRETS OF WAR - Dir. Dennis Bots
REMEMBER - Dir. Atom Egoyan
STANDING TALL - Dir. Emmanuelle Bercot
DHEEPAN - Dir. Jacques Audiard
A BIGGER SPLASH - Dir. Luca Guadagnino
THE ONES BELOW - Dir. David Farr
PRINCESS - Dir. Tali Shalom Ezer
100 STREETS - Dir. Jim OHanlon
A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH - Dir. Hans Petter Moland
THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES - Dir. Mikkel Norgaard
THE ABSENT ONE - Dir. Mikkel Norgaard
OUR KIND OF TRAITOR - Dir. Susanna White
THE NEON DEMON - Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn
THE SALESMAN - Dir. Asghar Farhadi
GOAT (KOZA) - Dir. Ivan Ostrochovsky
NOTHING IN RETURN (A CAMBIO DE NADA) - Dir. Daniel Guzman
THE NET - Dir. Kim Ki-Duk
LAND OF MINE - Dir. Martin Zandvliet
ELLE - Dir. Paul Verhoeven
A SECOND CHANCE - Dir. Susanne Bier
VILLE-MARIE - Dir. Guy Edoin
KALINKA (AU NOM DE MA FILLE) - Dir. Vincent Garenq
OSCURO ANIMAL - Dir. Felipe Guerrero


Favorite Gay-Themed movies of 2016:
KING COBRA - Dir. Justin Kelly
THE CULPABLE - Dir. Gerd Schneider
MOONLIGHT - Dir. Barry Jenkins
PARIS 05:59 (THEO & HUGO) - Dir. Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau
FRONT COVER - Dir. Ray Yeung
ESTEROS - Dir. Papu Curotto
BEING 17 (QUAND ON A 17 ANS) - Dir. Andre Techine
DEPARTURE - Dir. Andrew Steggall
OUT OF IRAQ - Dir. Eva Orner / Chris McKim
HOLDING THE MAN - Dir. Neil Armfield
I PROMISE YOU ANARCHY - Dir. Julie Hernandez Cordon
OTHER PEOPLE - Dir. Chris Kelly
FORBIDDEN: UNDOCUMENTED AND QUEER IN RURAL AMERICA - Dir. Tiffany Reynaud
MAJOR! - Dir. Annalise Ophelian
REAL BOY - Dir. Shaleece Haas
WOMEN HES UNDRESSED - Dir. Gillian Armstrong

(coming up -- my Golden Globes predictions!)
01.02.17 by OC

Veteran French actress Isabelle Huppert to receive the "Montecito Award" at upcoming 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Feb. 1-11 , 2017)







Santa Barbara, CA (December 8, 2016) The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that Isabelle Huppert will receive their prestigious Montecito Award for her critically acclaimed role in Paul Verhoevens Elle, a Sony Pictures Classics release. Given to a person in the entertainment industry who has made a great contribution to film, the award will be presented to her at a ceremony on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at the historic Arlington Theater.

Shes one of the greatest actors ever, and her legacy to cinema is unparalleled, stated SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. Any film that includes Ms. Huppert is without a doubt immediately worth watching. She elevates any work shes elevated cinema. Its overdue to celebrate this giant.

Isabelle has appeared in over 100 film and television productions since her debut in 1971s Le Prussien. She rose to prominence after her first Csar nomination for 1975s Alose and after winning the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer for The Lacemaker in 1977. She is the most nominated actress for the Csar award with a total 15 nominations, winning in 1995 for La Crmonie. Most recently, Huppert received a Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Actress for her role in Elle.

Hupperts numerous film credits include Rosebud (Otto Preminger), Heaven's Gate (Michael Cimino), The Bedroom Window (Curtis Hanson), Going Places (Bertrand Blier), Madame Bovary (Claude Chabrol), I Heart Huckabees (David O. Russell) and Amour (Michael Haneke). In addition to her extensive work in film, Huppert has received international acclaim for her stage career. Starting with her work in A Month in the Country, she has been nominated for six Molire Awards, including for her role in this years Phaedra.

The Montecito Award is named after one of the most beautiful and stylish areas in Santa Barbara. Past recipients include Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Bill Condon, and Naomi Watts.

The festival previously honored Warren Beatty (Rules Dont Apply) with its Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film and has announced that it will honor Denzel Washington (Fences) with its Maltin Modern Master Award; Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone (La La Land) with its Outstanding Performers of the Year Award; and Aaron Taylor Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion), Janelle Mone (Hidden Figures, Moonlight), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Ruth Negga (Loving), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), and Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences), with the Virtuoso Award, among additional, yet to be announced, honorees.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes and packages, please visit www.sbiff.org.
12.24.16 by OC

"Manchester By The Sea" lead stars Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams to receive the "Cinema Vanguard Award" at the 32nd SBIFF





Photo: Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck in a scene from "Manchester By The Sea"


Santa Barbara, CA (December 15, 2016) - The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that it will honor Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams with the Cinema Vanguard Award on Sunday, February 5, 2017.

The two actors will be celebrated for their remarkable roles in Kenneth Lonergans deeply poignant Manchester by the Sea and will be feted with a tribute at the Arlington Theatre during the 32nd year of the festival, which will run Wednesday, February 1 through Saturday, February 11. This announcement comes on the heels of their respective Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

The Cinema Vanguard Award was created in recognition of actors who have forged their own path - taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. Previous honorees include Rooney Mara, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Jean Dujardin and Brnice Bejo, Nicole Kidman,Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Stanley Tucci, Peter Sarsgaard, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Ryan Gosling.

SBIFF's Executive Director Roger Durling commented, Throughout their respective careers, Casey and Michelle have impressed audiences with distinct, personal roles and we are excited to bring them together to honor their sublime performances in Manchester by the Sea.

After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee Chandler (Affleck) is shocked to learn that Joe has made him sole guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Taking leave of his job, Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester-by-the-Sea to care for Patrick, a spirited 15-year-old, and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his wife Randi (Williams) and the community where he was born and raised. Bonded by the man who held their family together, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a world without him.

The festival previously honored Warren Beatty (Rules Dont Apply) with its Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film and has announced that it will honor Isabelle Huppert (Elle) with its Montecito Award, Denzel Washington (Fences) with its Maltin Modern Master Award; Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone (La La Land) with its Outstanding Performers of the Year Award; and Aaron Taylor Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion), Janelle Mone (Hidden Figures, Moonlight), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Ruth Negga (Loving), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), and Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences), with the Virtuoso Award, among additional, yet to be announced, honorees.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes and packages, please visit www.sbiff.org.
12.24.16 by OC

Jeff Bridges to receive American Riviera Award at 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Feb. 1-11, 2017)




Photo: Jeff Bridges


Santa Barbara, CA (December 21, 2016) The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that Jeff Bridges will be honored with the 2017 American Riviera Award at the 32nd edition of the Fest, which runs from February 1 to February 11, 2017.

Bridges will be fted with a Tribute celebrating his illustrious career, culminating with his captivating performance in David Mackenzies Hell or High Water, a CBS Films/Lionsgate release. The film opened in August to critical acclaim. The Tribute will take place Thursday, February 9, 2017 at the historic Arlington Theatre.

For his role in Hell or High Water, Bridges has received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor, as well as the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor. Bridges renowned career includes celebrated roles in films such as The Big Lebowski, Fearless, The Contender, The Mirror Has Two Faces, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Door in the Floor, True Grit, Starman, The Morning After, Jagged Edge, The Last Picture Show, Against All Odds, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Fisher King, Seabiscuit, and Crazy Heart (for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor).

Jeff Bridges shows us in Hell or High Water that an already great artist can continue his growth. I may go as far as saying that this is his best performance," stated SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. Its truly special to be able to celebrate Jeff for hes not only a dear friend of SBIFF but he is a timeless legend in our industry."

A modern-day set crime western, Hell or High Water tells the riveting story of a divorced father and his ex-con older brother who resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's ranch in West Texas. The film, directed by David Mackenzie, with an original screenplay by Taylor Sheridan, also stars Chris Pine and Ben Foster.

The American Riviera Award was established to recognize actors who have made a significant contribution to American Cinema. Bridges will join a prestigious group of past recipients, including last years honorees Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and Mark Ruffalo (2016), Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke (2015), Robert Redford (2014), Quentin Tarantino (2013) and Martin Scorsese (2012), Annette Bening (2011), Sandra Bullock (2010), Mickey Rourke (2009), Tommy Lee Jones (2008), Forrest Whitaker (2007), Philip Seymour Hoffman (2006), Kevin Bacon (2005) and Diane Lane (2004).

For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes and packages, please visit www.sbiff.org.
12.24.16 by OC

32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival announces recipients of 2017 Virtuosos Award





Virtuosos Award 2017 recipients - clockwise from top left: Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion), Janelle Mone (Hidden Figures, Moonlight), Naomi Harris (Moonlight), Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), Ruth Negga (Loving), and Mahershala Ali (Moonlight).



Los Angeles, CA (November 25, 2016) - The 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival had recently announced the recipients of the 2017 Virtuosos Award. Created to recognize a select group of talent who have distinguished themselves through breakthrough performances in film this past year, the actors named were: Aaron Taylor Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion), Janelle Mone (Hidden Figures, Moonlight), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Ruth Negga (Loving), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), and Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences).

The Award presentation, which will be moderated for the seventh year by Dave Karger, will take place February 4, 2017 at the Arlington Theatre at the 32nd edition of the festival, which runs February 1 to February 11, 2017.

SBIFF Executive Director Roger During noted, This year has been monumental in the breadth of talent breaking through in distinct and emotional roles. We are excited to honor both new and familiar faces, and look forward to celebrating them and their contribution to the craft.

The diverse group will be recognized for their breakthrough roles in 2016 and careers thus far. Aaron Taylor Johnson delivers a fearless and menacing performance as the villainous sociopath Ray Marcus in the psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals. Based on the true story of Saroo Brierley, Dev Patel brings an emotional sentimentality and soulful depth to his role in Lion. Janelle Mone has had a banner year with star-making performances as Mary Jackson in the biographical drama Hidden Figures along with the brilliantly crafted Moonlight, in which she brings sensitivity and sincerity to the role of Teresa. In Moonlight, Mahershala Ali gives a captivating and moving turn as Juan, a man struggling to find his place in the world, and Naomie Harris mesmerizes with her touching and harrowing performance as the mother of a young man navigating his sexuality. Ruth Negga delivers a mesmerizing and resilient portrayal of Mildred Loving in the biographical drama, Loving. Simon Helberg won critical raves and audiences hearts with his charming performance opposite Meryl Streep as Cosme McMoon the very expressive pianist in Florence Foster Jenkins. After decades on Broadway, renowned character actor Stephen McKinley Henderson reprises the role of Jim Bono in Denzel Washingtons upcoming Fences, which earned the actor a Tony nomination.

Prior recipients for the award include Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Dano, OShea Jackson Jr., Gza Rhrig, Jacob Tremblay, Chadwick Boseman, Ellar Coltrane, Logan Lerman, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, J.K. Simmons, Jenny Slate, Ann Dowd, Elle Fanning, Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Omar Sy, Quvenzhane Wallis, Demian Bichir, Rooney Mara, Melissa McCarthy, Shailene Woodley, Andy Serkis, Patton Oswalt, Andrew Garfield, John Hawkes, Lesley Manville, Hailee Steinfeld, Jacki Weaver, Emily Blunt, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Stuhlbarg, Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, Viola Davis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jared Leto, and June Squibb.

For more information regarding the 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, please log on to www.sbiff.org.
11.29.16 by OC

'LA LA LAND' stars EMMA STONE & RYAN GOSLING to receive 'Outstanding Performers of the Year Award" at 32nd SBIFF






Los Angeles, CA (November 20, 2016) The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling will be presented with the 2017 Outstanding Performers of the Year award on Friday, February 3, 2017 for their remarkable performances in Damien Chazelles dazzling La La Land, from Lionsgates Summit Entertainment label. This marks the first time Stone has been honored by the festival and will be a return for Gosling who was the inaugural recipient of the Cinema Vanguard Award in 2008.

The tribute, which will take place at Santa Barbaras historic Arlington Theatre, will be moderated by SBIFF's Executive Director Roger Durling. The 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from Wednesday, February 1 through Saturday, February 11.

Durling stated, Ryan and Emmas luminous performances in La La Land remind us of the transformative and magical role of cinema. We are so proud to celebrate them and this incredible film and its nod to the classic love stories of Old Hollywood with a contemporary twist.

Gosling and Stone will join a recognized group of previous Outstanding Performer Award recipients, including Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan, Steve Carell, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, James Franco, Colin Firth, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Heath Ledger, Kate Winslet and Charlize Theron.

Written and directed by Academy Award nominee Damien Chazelle, La La Land, set in modern day Los Angeles, tells the story of Mia (Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts.

The festival announced that Warren Beatty (Rules Dont Apply) will be honored with its Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film and will honor Aaron Taylor Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion), Janelle Mone (Hidden Figures, Moonlight), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Ruth Negga (Loving), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), and Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences), with the Virtuoso Award among additional, yet to be announced, honorees.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, festival passes and packages, please visit www.sbiff.org.
11.29.16 by OC

Xavier Dolan returns to 2016 AFIFEST presented by Audi for his new well-received ITS ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD



Text and photos by Oliver Carnay



'IT'S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD' lead star Gaspard Ulliel (top right) and Xavier Dolan (bottom right) at the AFIFEST 2016 screening and Q&A held at Egyptian Theatre.

(Hollywood, CA - November 12, 2016) -Director Xavier Dolan, producer Nancy Grant and actor Gaspard Ulliel attended in full formal attires at the screening of their latest new Canadian-French drama - IT'S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD (Juste la fin du monde) on November 12th at the Egyptian Theatre at AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi.

Dolan first attended AFIFEST in 2014 when his Cannes Jury Prize film Mommy screened at AFIFEST two years ago. Now, his latest film, another Cannes winner - 2016 Gran Prix, starring Gaspard Ulliel in the lead, playing a writer who goes back to his hometown, after 12 long years, to meet up with his family and announce that he is dying. The film is heartbreaking and deals with resentment, feuds, fueled by loneliness, doubts where attempts at empathy are sabotaged by ones incapacity to listen and show love. The film delivers another exciting and extraordinary piece, with great performances by Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux, and Nathalie Baye.

Its an honor to be back and again, be invited to do the honor of representing your film. To be with other invited guests, with a group of talented people when you see them you feel lucky to be here, writer-director Xavier Dolan excitedly opens the conversation after the screening. Ive focused a lot on the mother and son relationship and I was happy to break the branch of family progression and talk about the brothers and sisters, which I have never tackled before, Dolan explaining about his latest obra.

Its about love and miscommunication. Sometimes, it is hard for people in the same family to get along and express love to one another. There is a reflection there that can apply to many situation, producer Nancy Grant explained briefly what the film is about.

Its always nice to have a different take on a movie with a new audience. Theres a real process of identification with each of the characters in the movie. Anyone can identify with the story, Ulliel relates when asked what was her take in bringing the movie to the audience.

Here is an excerpt from the Q&A after the screening:
11.24.16 by OC

DIVINES wins big at 2016 AFIFEST presented by Audi; winners announced at AFI Cinema Lounge-Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel



Photo and text by Oliver Carnay


'DIVINES' is comiing to Netflix ..

Hollywood, CA - Its a triple-win for the directorial debut of Houda Benyaminas teen angst movie DIVINES (also this years Cannes Film Festival Camera dOr prize winner), winning the Breakthrough Audience Award, the New Auteurs Audience Award, and New Auteurs Special Jury Mention for Acting for its lead star Oulaya Amamra for her electrifying portrayal as Dounia, a fearless and ferocious teenager who joins a ruthless gang in pursuit of money and power to help her family and best friend in poverty.


Bottom Left: Director Houda Benyamina receiving her awards; Bottom Right: Oulaya Amamra posed with New Auteurs Jury comprised of Michael Nordine (LA Weekly), Claudia Puig (President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association) and Robert Abele (author and critic).

The French-Moroccan director Benyamina and Paris-based actress Amamra were present to accept the awards. I am so honored and surprised by this award. I had a wonderful time in this festival and I thank AFIFEST for this very important award in my life, Amamra quipped in broken English.


(Photo: "LAND OF MINE" Producer Mikael Christian Rieks received the World Cinema Audience Award)


Attendees for the Awards ceremony were treated to a sumptuous brunch before the announcement of winners.

An encore screenings of selected award-winning films was held on the day of winners announced. The 8-day festival which run from November 10 through 17th, held at the TCL Chinese 6 and its main legendary Chinese Manns Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. was also AFIFESTs 30th anniversary edition. For more information regarding the recent AFIFEST presented by Audi, please log on to www.afifest.com


Here is the complete list of winners:

New Auteurs Grand Jury Award:THE FUTURE PERFECT
New Auteurs Special Jury Mention for Acting:Oulaya Amamra for DIVINES
Grand Jury Award Live Action Short:ICEBOX
Grand Jury Award Animated Short:PUSSY
Live Action Short Special Mention for Comedic Narrative: HOUNDS
Live Action Short Special Mention for Documentary: THE SEND-OFF
Live Action Short Special Mention for Acting: DREAMING OF BALTIMORE
Live Action Short Special Mention for Cinematography: A THOUSAND MIDNIGHTS
Live Action Short Special Mention: SPEAKING IS DIFFICULT
Animated Short Special Jury Mention: SUMMER CAMP ISLAND
Animated Short Special Jury Mention for Mixed Media: DEER FLOWER
Animated Short Special Jury Mention for Visual Aesthetics: SUPERBIA
World Cinema Audience Award:LAND OF MINE
New Auteurs Audience Award:DIVINES
American Independents Audience Award:DONALD CRIED
Breakthrough Audience Award:DIVINES
Breakthrough Audience Award First Runner-Up:ONE WEEK AND A DAY
Breakthrough Audience Award Second Runner-Up:THE RED TURTLE
11.24.16 by OC

Ruth Negga to receive "Rising Star Award" at 2017 Palm Springs International Film Festival (January 2-16)



RUTH NEGGA (photo by Justin Coit)


PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will present Ruth Negga the Rising Star Award at its Film Festival Awards Gala on January 2, 2017. Negga is being honored for her performance in the film "Loving" touted as one of "this year's most luminous and striking portrayals," said Chairman Harold Matzner.

This timeless love story about an interracial couple reminds us of the unstoppable power of love in the face of hate and prejudice - a story that could not be more resonant and powerful today. This will certainly be just one of many breathtaking performances in a long career. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present Ruth Negga with this years Rising Star Award.

Past recipients of the Rising Star Award include Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Dakota Fanning and Terrence Howard.

"Loving" is written and directed by Jeff Nichols, and stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving. Loving celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of the interracial couple who fell in love and were married in 1958. The couple had grown up in Central Point, a small town in Virginia that was more integrated than surrounding areas in the American South. Yet it was the state of Virginia, where they were making their home and starting a family, that first jailed and then banished them. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry. Richard and Mildred returned home and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since.

Negga's body of work spans award-winning theater productions, big-screen dramas, independent films, and innovative television series. Her film work includes World War Z, The Samaritan, Breakfast on Pluto, Una Vida (a.k.a. Of Mind and Music), Noble,; Jimi: All is by my side, Warcraft; and Lona.

Negga won the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) Award for Best Actress for her portrayel of legendary singer Shirley Bassey in the telefilm, Shirley. Her other TV work includes Misfits, Love/Hate, the miniseries Coup (a.k.a. Secret State) Five Daughters, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

She currently stars on AMC's series Preacher.

The Film Awards Gala will be held Monday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Palm Springs International Film Festival runs January 2-16.
11.17.16 by OC

Warren Beatty's "RULES DON'T APPLY" to open AFIFEST 2016



by Oliver Carnay





The world premiere of 20th Century Foxs RULES DONT APPLY written, directed, produced by and starring AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Academy Award winner Warren Beatty will be the Opening Night Gala of AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi on Thursday, November 10, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

The cast also includes Academy Award nominees Alec Baldwin, Annette Bening, Candice Bergen, Steve Coogan and Ed Harris, as well as Haley Bennett, Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Taissa Farmiga, Megan Hilty, Oliver Platt and Martin Sheen. In the film, an aspiring young actress (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle hopefully with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire (Warren Beatty) for whom they work.

The 30th edition of AFI FEST takes place November 1017, 2016, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings, Galas and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled in October.

Head here to purchase festival passes and packages to ensure reserved seats for Opening Night. Passes and packages can include access to sold-out Galas and other high-demand films and events.

As part of their membership benefits, AFI members will receive a complimentary AFI FEST Cinepass, which allows access to all regular screenings and special offers at this years festival. AFI members at the Two-Star level and above level receive a 10% discount on all AFI FEST Patron Packages and Express Passes. Information about AFI membership is available at www.AFI.com/membership.

Free tickets to AFI FEST will be available to the general public online at www.AFI.com beginning November 1.

For more information about the festival, please go to www.afifest.com
09.29.16 by OC

Nate Parker and The Birth of a Nation Team Announce New Fellowship for Young Filmmakers at Sundance Institute Benefit





Parker Unveils Grant in Vanguard Award Acceptance Speech


Los Angeles, CA, August 11, 2016 Nate Parker and the cast, Producers, and Executive Producers of The Birth of a Nation are investing in the next generation of diverse independent creativity with the Sundance Institute | The Birth of a Nation Fellowship for 18-to-24-year-old filmmakers participating in the Institutes Ignite program. Parker shared details at Sundance Institutes NIGHT BEFORE NEXT benefit at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles this evening, where he also received the Institutes annual Vanguard Award presented to him by actor and Sundance alum Michael B. Jordan. Parkers The Birth of a Nation was supported by the Institutes renowned Feature Film Program for three years before its premiere, and won both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

The Sundance Institute | The Birth of a Nation Fellowship will support a filmmaker of color each year for the next five years in the Sundance Ignite program, which was established in 2015 to provide year-round mentorship and industry experiences for talented young artists. The program aims to increase access to authentic, independent storytelling, developing a new audience base and providing a pipeline of support for emerging artists. The first Sundance Institute | The Birth of a Nation Fellow will be named in the Fall. Nate Parker and producer Jason Michael Berman were inspired by the program after meeting with the Ignite Fellows at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. There, they spoke about their films production process and gave each Ignite Fellow personal feedback and advice on pitching and developing film projects.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said Were deeply moved and grateful that Nate, Jason and the entire team behind The Birth of a Nation chose to commemorate their project by supporting the Institute. Their gift embodies the generosity of spirit and mentorship at the core of our initiatives. They know our programs intimately, and know exactly how this gift will enable our work in honing and amplifying the next generation of artistic talent.

The support I received from the Institute in developing The Birth of a Nation echoed the critical importance of mentoring independent storytellers, said Parker. I am honored to sow back into the Institute in alignment with their mission to support talented young artists with stories to tell.

The Sundance Institute | The Birth of a Nation Fellowship was made possible by contributions from Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Kevin Turen, Jason Michael Berman, Aaron L. Gilbert, Preston L. Holmes, Davis S. Goyer, Michael Novogratz, Michael Finley, Tony Parker, Jason Cloth, Andy Pollack, Allan J. Stitt, Jane Oster, Barb Lee and Alston Gardner, Carl H. Lindner III, Matthew Lindner, Derrick Brooks, Jill and Ryan Ahrens, Armin Tehrany, Brenda Gilbert, Mark Moran, Henry Jackman, Steven Rosenblum, Mark Boone Jr., Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Dwight Henry, Aja Naomi King, Esther Scott, Roger Guenveur Smith, Gabrielle Union, Penelope Ann Miller and Jackie Earle Haley.

Berman, a producer on The Birth of a Nation, said, As we brought The Birth of a Nation to life with Sundance Institute and to audiences at the Festival, Nate, Kevin, Aaron, Preston and I, along with our cast and team of Executive Producers were inspired to find a way to fortify our longstanding relationship and the projects legacy. Its our teams hope that this Fellowship underlines the importance of giving back, and that we inspire other successful filmmakers to contribute to the cultivation of young artists.

Set against the antebellum South, The Birth of a Nation follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nats preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities against himself and his fellow slaves Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom. The film opens in theatres October 7, 2016.

NIGHT BEFORE NEXT raised crucial funds to offset the non-profit Institutes year-round programs for artists, including Labs, grants and the Sundance Film Festival. The evening included an outdoor party with a live musical performance by White Sea, the solo project of Morgan Kibby of M83. The outdoor party featured specialty drinks, desserts and interactive games under the stars on a summer night.

In attendance were Amy Redford, Armie Hammer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Charmaine Bailey, Clea Duvall, Elizabeth Chambers, Harley Quinn Smith, Jason Ritter, Jason Stuart, Jay Duplass, J.K. Simmons, Katie Aselton, Kevin Smith, KNaan, Lake Bell, Lyn Lear, Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey, Nol Wells, Norman Lear, Pat Mitchell, RJ Cutler, Sean Bailey and Stephanie Allain.

The evening was supported by supported by two Host Committees. The dinner and cocktails Host Committee comprised: Charmaine Bailey & Sean Bailey; Ryan Coogler; Lyn Lear & Norman Lear; Ava DuVernay; Cindy Harrell Horn & Alan Horn; Pat Mitchell & Scott Seydel; Amy Redford; and Nadine Schiff-Rosen & Frederic D. Rosen. The outdoor party Host Committee comprised: Katie Aselton, Lake Bell, Damien Chazelle, Lena Dunham, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marielle Heller, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rashida Jones, Franklin Leonard, Justin Lin, Melanie Lynskey and Kevin Smith.

NIGHT BEFORE NEXT was presented by Acura.

Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute's signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentlemans Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube.
08.12.16 by OC

NANOBLOOD will premiere Friday, August 12th at 5pm at Hollyshorts Film Festival held at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood





The sexy, female-driven sci-fi/horror pilot is helmed by Lindsey Haun and stars Amanda Fuller

In Lindsey Hauns new independent pilot Nanoblood, one man had a seizure and another vomited in her seat and fainted trying to exit the theater. The piece is an intensely dramatic sci-fi thriller with elements of horror and some steamy romance, and its climactic sequence can be too much for some.

Lindsey Haun is an emerging filmmaker who is perhaps best known as a veteran actress and singer. Her resume boasts more than 30 starring roles in feature films (Shrooms, Village of the Damned), television series (True Blood, Graceland, Star Trek Voyager, Disneys Movie Surfers), and television movies such as the Emmy-winning The Color of Friendship.

Lindsey has also written and performed music for a number of independent films and commercials, and in 2006 she earned a Gold Record for her single Broken. Since 2012 she has directed several award-winning short films and music videos. Her most recent, Coming To, won the jurys Grand Prize for Fearless Filmmaking at Slamdance 2015. Lindseys films explore the dark, psychosexual underside of daily life, with a unique aesthetic style and powerful sense of visual storytelling. She is currently developing a feature debut.

Amanda Fuller's acting career leads something of a double life. In 2012 she captured the hearts of audiences as intern Morgan Peterson on Greys Anatomy, and for the last three years she has starred on Tim Allens ABC sitcom, Last Man Standing. At the same time, Amanda has also portrayed darker, more haunting characters in riveting independent films like Cheap Thrills, Starry Eyes, and Red White & Blue, which premiered at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam and had its American premiere at South by Southwest in Austin. Amandas resume boasts credits in more than 35 television series (including That 70s Show, The Practice, Bones, Buffy, Without a Trace, Law & Order), as well as more than a dozen movies for television and several features. Amanda is also a photographer, writer, painter, and traveler. She is currently penning her first feature, and is active in several animal rescue charities.
08.11.16 by OC

An interview with 'Behind The Wall' writer-director Bat-Sheva Guez; plays August 13, Saturday, at Hollyshorts Filmfest at TCL Chinese Theater






An interview with "BEHIND THE WALL" writer-director Bat-Sheva Guez

Sat August 13, 2016 12 pm, HollyShorts Film Festival - TCL Chinese Theater



Web link: www.adventurepants.tv/behind-the-wall

Blending dance with magic, this film takes the viewer on a journey into a world just a little bit different from our own, a world where characters dance to the percussive clatter and bang of an old radiator.

Winner for Best Cinematography at Rhode Island International Film Festival, as well as has been the highlights of several other filmfests including Hamptons Int'l Film Fest, BEST DIRECTOR: Art of Brooklyn Film Fest, Hollyshorts Film Fest, Lighthouse International Film Fest, Atlanta Underground Film Fest, Triskelion Dance Film Fest, Sanctuary Film Fest, Seattle Short Film Fest

The Story
Katrin moves heavily, encumbered by a thick cast. Her sadness slows her, far more than her injury does. She has fled her old life and has moved to a dilapidated apartment in a quiet street in Brooklyn. At night, Katrin lies awake in the eerie half-light, listening to the strange sounds of the building. The floorboards creak. The radiator groans. The pipes start to clatter and bang with a relentless, percussive steam hammer. And then, behind that sound, there is another: a faint sound - of music.

About Bat-Sheva Guez:
Bat-Sheva Guez pushes the boundaries of visual storytelling, weaving dance, magic, and experimental techniques into visually compelling, character-driven stories. She is the recipient of the JT3 Artist Award for Screenwriting & Directing and has written and directed more than a dozen short films which have screened in festivals worldwide. She won Best Director at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival for her recent short, Behind the Wall.

With her production company, Adventure Pants, she has directed web films for several years, including over 20 videos for Lincoln Center promoting artists and performers including New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and American Ballet Theatre to name a few. She's also directed promo videos for clients like Conde Nast, local businesses, think tanks, nonprofits and brands.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
What was your inspiration in creating the story of BEHIND THE WALL? Reading your bio, it looks like you are drawn to dance images as seen in your past short films. Where does that interest coming from?

BSG:
Behind The Wall had its first life as a subplot in an early draft of my feature script entitled, And How She. which illustrates different magical encounters in an old Brooklyn neighborhood. This short began as a seed of a story that never made it into the final script for And How She So I planted it and watched it grow into a film all its own, a project that is set in a similar universe to the feature.

I once used to joke that if I ever encountered a portal to a magical world, I would be far too busy to notice it. For this film, I wanted to tell a story about someone who is so driven that she has the tunnel vision necessary to achieve her goal. Then she is painfully and abruptly forced to stop. As a result, shes able to notice things she couldnt see before. Despite the loss and the pain of having to re-invent herself, she becomes a vacuum for new experiences. She can suddenly see the magic portal.

Ive always been very passionate about dance and using film to reach broader audiences for dance. I couldnt resist the urge to work dance into the narrative for Behind the Wall. I also love seeing older dancers in an art form that is primarily known for youth and strength. There is so much potential there to inspire and invigorate.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
Each characters in the film are strong and equally powerful and you've found great actors to make those character come alive and be more interesting. How do you cast each films you have? Do you follow any rules or procedure when considering actors to play each character roles? On this one, how did you cast each role?

BSG:
For this film, we worked with casting director Jenn Haltman. Auditions for the Superintendent and his wife turned into something of a dance party with lots of laughter and people stepping on each others toes. Our actor, Lou Patane, told us that he had a great time at our audition, which made me really happy to hear. I want actors to enjoy the audition process as much as they can. Auditions are hard enough.

Finding those double threat actors who could both sing and dance was a real challenge, especially with the limited time we could afford for this low-budget short film.

I look for actors who are able to really connect with each other, who can be really present in the scene and with each other. And I also look for some innate energy in the performer that matches the energy I have in mind for the character. I was moved by Alexandra Turshens performance because she seemed to have a connection to the character's struggles, and we learned later that she and our protagonist shared a similar story. They both had been professional dancers whose career got cut short by injury. Both had to reinvent themselves and find a new self-identity. It just seemed like she got it somehow. She's such an intelligent actor, and such a pro. We had a lot of conversations before the shoot about her character and about different ways to convey her emotion without dialogue and often without other actors to play off of.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
The cinematography was great! Can you talk about how you plan and envision each scene? Do you have exact directions to your cinematographer before you shot each scene?

BSG:
I had such a wonderful time working with cinematographer, Giacomo Belletti. I came to him with a very distinct vision for the film and had a very specific idea in mind for the lighting, the look, and the camera movement. And Giacomo was so talented that he understood me right away. We were speaking the same language. During preproduction, I brought him a Look Book, lighting references and a shooting diagram and we had a truly wonderful day together solidifying the camera blocking for each shot, sitting in his kitchen, drinking coffee and eating snacks while the sun poured in from the window. For this film, much of the camera blocking was heavily choreographed - though we always left space to discover things on set! And then Giacomo just made magic happen with his lighting design, bringing my ideas to life in such a vibrant way and with a real joy for the process.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
Can you talk about your next film? Is it a feature project?

BSG:
I am currently in the financing phase of a feature film entitled, And How She www.andhowthemovie.com
AND HOW SHE is set in the same universe as Behind the Wall, but features different characters with a different story. Both films share a tone that lands in that delicate balance between eerie, humorous and magical.

And How She is an Art World drama seasoned with magic, experimental sequences, and a dash of whimsy. Its a tale about a young artist named Asha who embarks on an electric collaboration with an older artist in the midst of his own creative crisis. Asha must decide whether to be an invisible part of someone elses great work, or to start over, anonymous and alone. She seeks advice from her neighbors: eccentric, elderly folk who face gentrification with their own kind of street magic.

Each act is bookended by an experimental montage which serves to complement the art in the film, so that that the entire film is, itself, a work of art.

Its an exciting time to be working on this project! Weve got a great team in place and were so excited to bring this story to life.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
What other film festivals BEHIND THE WALLS is going to be shown?

BSG:
You can find us next at the HollyShorts film fest, the Atlanta Underground Film Fest in August, the Seattle Short Film Fest in November, and the Choreoscope Dance Film Fest in Barcelona in November.

HOLLYWOODFLIP:
Can you enumerate any social media links you want readers to follow you or your work?

BSG: So many links! Please find me on

Twitter: @batshevaguez
Instagram: @batshevaguez
Facebook: www.facebook.com/batsheva.guez
Facebook for Behind the Wall: www.facebook.com/behindthewallmovie

Websites for Behind the Wall: www.adventurepants.tv/behind-the-wall
My Website: www.batshevaguez.com
My upcoming feature film, And How She. www.andhowthemovie.com
08.11.16 by OC

LAIKA's "KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS" set for memorabilia exhibit at Japanese American National Museum (JANM) to coincide with the start of NISEI WEEK; Props, set, puppets, Origami, costumes, Monsters, and more are featured in downtown Los Angeles' Little Tokyo venue; George Takei will present the Hosato puppet to JANM
Focus Features' "KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS" will be released nationwide on Friday, August 19th







(Los Angeles, CA., August 8th, 2016) LAIKA, the award-winning animation studio whose next movie "Kubo and the Two Strings" will be released nationwide by Focus Features on Friday, August 19th, will feature the pop-up exhibit THE ARTISTRY OF KUBO: A MAGICAL LAIKA EXPERIENCE at the Japanese American National Museum to coincide with the start of Nisei Week, the annual festival celebrating Japanese American culture and history in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles. Visitors will get a behind-the-scenes interactive peek at Kubo and the Two Strings through puppets, sets, props, monsters, origami, and costumes from the production presented in JANMs George & Sakaye Aratani Central Hall from Saturday, August 13th to Tuesday, August 30th. The exhibit was announced today by Travis Knight, LAIKA President & CEO and director of Kubo and the Two Strings.

The Kubo and the Two Strings exhibition will combine both traditional and digital interactive installations. Puppets, sets, props, and other ephemera from the film will be displayed in custom-made environments; character and set designs, concept art and origami from the production will be included.

At LAIKA, we aspire to make films that are bold, distinctive, and enduring, says Mr. Knight. This film expresses the respect and admiration all the artists at LAIKA feel for Japan and its culture, and Im thrilled to be able to bring our art to JANMs visitors. The museum is one of the artistic treasures of Los Angeles, and its an honor for us to be part of their service to the community.

My own introduction to Japan started over 30 years ago, when I accompanied my father on one of his business trips there. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and from the moment I set foot in Japan, it was like Id been transported to another world. It was unlike anything Id ever experienced. It was beautiful, breathtaking, almost otherworldly. The architecture, the art, the food, the style of dress, the music, the movies, the television shows, and comic books: everything was a revelation. I was utterly in its thrall. I arrived back home changed by the experience. My childhood introduction to Japan was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with a great culture, one we wholeheartedly pay tribute to with this lovingly hand-crafted film. LAIKA is proud to salute George Takei with this exhibit and to showcase how the exquisite, transcendent art and culture of Japan has so profoundly impacted our lives.

In a special ceremony on Thursday, August 25th, iconic actor and human rights activist George Takei will present the Hosato puppet to JANM, which will be included in the retrospective on Mr. Takeis life and career that the museum will exhibit in 2017. The Hosato character in Kubo and the Two Strings is a village elder who helps children understand the significance of the Obon observance, which honors ancestors who have passed.

It is wonderful that LAIKA is bringing the Japanese-influenced art of the film to the public, says Mr. Takei, who is Chairman Emeritus of JANM and a member of its board of trustees. Kubo and the Two Strings is visually stunning, and its magical artistry transports us to another time and place. Having this behind-the-scenes exhibit at the museum is a wonderful complement to the film. I am deeply honored that my character Hosato will be on display to be shared with the museum visitors.

Origami was a guiding creative inspiration for the LAIKA team in making Kubo and the Two Strings. In the art of origami, every fold, crease, and tuck conveys a meaning. The same can be said for LAIKA, where every filmic moment is created with a meticulous attention to detail, combining the age old stop motion animation format with the most cutting edge technologies including the studios rapid-prototyping innovations (which were acknowledged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences this year with a Scientific and Engineering Award plaque) and state-of-the-art visual effects.

Taking inspiration from origami, the exhibit will feature a framework of unfolding moments that live within the perimeter of a linear, geometric architectural space. From afar, this multi-dimensional creation will look like one homogenous sculptural installation, but a closer look inside the structure will reveal specific landscapes and moments from the film, unfolding right before a visitors eyes.

LAIKAs intensive research into Japanese culture and art will also be referenced in the exhibit, articulating the artistic influences that guided the filmmakers in every stage of production. This East +West exhibit will pay tribute to the Japanese culture as seen through the artistic prism of LAIKAs over 400 artists and technicians from around the world. The result is sure to engage visitors with both the sheer beauty of the pieces and the immersive experience that creates a long-lasting memory.

Admission to THE ARTISTRY OF KUBO: A MAGICAL LAIKA EXPERIENCE will be free and separate from admission to the other exhibitions currently on view at JANM. Admission to all other museum exhibitions remains $9 for adults; $5 for seniors (62 and over), students with valid ID, and youth ages 6-17. Children 5 and under and JANM members always enjoy free admission.

LAIKAs Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure film set in a fantastical Japan. Clever, kindhearted Kubo ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town. But his quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey and Beetle and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen - a magical musical instrument - Kubo battles gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King and the evil twin Sisters to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny. MPAA-rated PG, Kubo and the Two Strings opens nationwide from Focus Features on Friday, August 19th.

About LAIKA: Fueled by the vision of its owner, Nike co-founder and Chairman Philip H. Knight, and its President & CEO Travis Knight, feature film animation studio LAIKA celebrated its 10th anniversary in December, 2015. Located just outside Portland, Oregon, LAIKA was awarded a Science and Technology Oscar plaque in recognition of its innovation in 3D printing in 2016. Its three films, Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), and The Boxtrolls (2014) were all nominated for Oscars and PGA Awards as Outstanding Animated Film. Coraline earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics Choice nominations, and was named one of the years 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI). ParaNorman (2012) garnered BAFTA, Critics Choice, and GLAAD Media Award nomination and won two Annie Awards (the animation communitys Oscars equivalent) and was cited as the years best animated film by 14 critics groups. The Boxtrolls also earned Critics Choice and Golden Globe Award nominations and 13 Annie Award nominations, more than any other film that year. Kubo and the Two Strings, which marks the directorial debut of Travis Knight, will be released by Focus Features on August 19th, 2016.


About Focus Features: Focus Features (www.FocusFeatures.com) acquires and produces specialty films for the global market, and holds a library of iconic movies from fearless filmmakers. In addition to Kubo and the Two Strings, upcoming domestic releases from Focus include Tom Fords romantic thriller Nocturnal Animals, starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, world-premiering at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival; the real-life story of heroism The Zookeepers Wife, directed by Niki Caro and starring Jessica Chastain; Colin Trevorrows The Book of Henry, starring Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, and Jacob Tremblay; the action spy thriller The Coldest City, directed by David Leitch and starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy; J.A. Bayonas visually spectacular drama A Monster Calls, starring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Lewis MacDougall, and Liam Neeson, world-premiering at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival; and Jeff Nichols Loving, based on the love story of Richard and Mildred Loving, portrayed by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, which world-premiered at the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival.

Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the worlds leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
08.08.16 by OC

Nick Neon talks about his film "Ultra Bleu"




NICK NEON, actor/director of short "Ultra Bleu" is currently working on its feature film version and hopes to premiere it at next OUTFEST ...







An interview by Oliver Carnay


One of the most popular programs at the yearly Outfest (Los Angeles largest and only LGBT Film Festival) is Boys Shorts (a collection of some of the best shorts with lgbt themes). Among the most popular ones include ULTRA BLUE where director Nick Neon also stars in the movie. Ultra Bleufollows Jim Park (Neon) for the first 24 hours after a violent break up with his ex-boyfriend and how a chance meeting with a stranger reveals deeper issues he must confront. Its a coming-of-age story, which according to him is a little autobiographical. In person, Nick is very approachable and accommodating. He has that infectious smile that youd like to talk to him for long. I caught up with him and got an insight about "Ultra Bleu," which is still currently doing its successful rounds in different film festivals. He is also in pre-production and ready to film the feature version .. please read on:

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Can you give me a little background how you started acting, directing and finally producing?

NN: My acting experience has been pretty limited but I did get to train with Spike Lee's sister, Joie, for a semester which was definitely my most rewarding and challenging acting experience. I also spent a few years performing improv while living in Korea. And in college, I studied screenwriting which led to directing my first feature, Fear Eats The Seoul. From there, I began to direct music videos for K-Indie artists while living in Seoul.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What was your inspiration in making "Ultra Bleu"? Was it autobiographical? When did you start writing the script?

NN: Ultra Bleu was a project that I kept in the back of my mind. I wanted to tell a story about my experiences as a 20-something and lost gay youth living in the middle of Korea. The struggles and joy I felt as an immigrant in a foreign place. It wasn't until two years ago when I went through a really hard break up that I found the heart of the story. I was this lost kid in the world looking for love and my self. Last summer I began to write the first twenty minutes of Ultra Bleu which, ultimately, became the short film that screened at Outfest. We are now working on the feature version of Ultra Bleu.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: You are based in New York, but you shot this in Seoul, Korea, how did that happen?

NN: Well I was living in Seoul, on and off, for the last 8 years. Initially, as an English teacher and then as a film and music video director. Ultra Bleu came at the tail end of my stay in Korea.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: You cast non-professional actors in your film, isn't it risky to do that? How did you motivate them to get what you need?

NN: I think it's risky no matter who you work with. A professional actor could have a big ego or be trained to perform to the back of the room. And there are different risks to casting non-actors like not having enough self-confidence or not being able to take direction but I chose to trust the people I selected as many were friends of mine. A film set is just a group of relationships that must be managed well. If everyone feels comfortable and safe, it's amazing what people can bring to the table.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Did any of the actors do improvisation in any scene or did they stick to the script?

NN: We did a lot of improvisation in the rehearsal phase which led to some rewrites in the script. On set, we stuck to the improv rewrites but whenever someone felt better about a different line or delivery I was always open to trying it out.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What was your favorite moment in shooting the film? What was your least favorite part?

NN: My favorite part was performing. It was so nice after years of being behind the camera to finally step in front and spend most of my time working with the other cast members. I love acting. My least favorite part was having to spin in circles before every take for the opening scene to properly look drunk. Getting slapped 10 times wasn't fun either. But it looks great in the final film!

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What were the preparations you have to do before shooting and what were the greatest challenge you have encountered shooting the film?

NN: We're always fighting the clock. This film takes place from dusk till dawn over two days. It was difficult to shoot everything we needed for both nights before the sun started to rise. And we also had important scenes to shoot while the sun was rising. That was the biggest challenge. We didn't quite get it in production and had to do a little repair in post with color grading to help match shots. The most important thing I was preparing before the shoot was that the cast knew what I wanted from each scene because on set I was joining them as an actor and didn't want to be much of a director.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Do you believe in destiny? What do you want your audience to take with them after seeing this film?

NN: I believe destiny is something you earn. We're all born with great potential but it is up to us to discover and fulfill that potential. I want people to walk away with a stronger sense of self direction. Most of us spend so much time being lost somewhere in between lives. I would love for those who watch my film to reflect on their own lives and question if they're on their right path.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What were the film festivals "Ultra Bleu" had already been screened and what other film festivals is it going to? How was the reaction of the people who have seen the film? Did your family already saw it? What was their reaction?

NN: Ultra Bleu has screened at Sene Fest, Toronto Inside Out, Korea Queer Film Festival and Outfest. We will screen next at the North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in August and at the North Louisiana Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in September. We will screen in NYC in October, but I can't reveal what festival yet. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. I am very grateful for the genuine support audiences have provided for the film thus far. My family hasn't seen it yet. I was waiting for a NYC screening to have them see it on a real screen. I don't know what their reaction will be, ironically, the film shows a part of myself my family has hardly seen. I'm most curious what my mother's reaction will be... so we'll see come October.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: I believe this is your first time at Outfest. Besides having the opportunity to show your film at the longest and biggest LGBT film festival in L.A. what would be your greatest memorable moment so far?

NN: Yes, it was my first time. I can't express how incredible this experience has been for me. The most memorable part has been the incredible friendships that have been born here at this festival with other filmmakers who had their films screen here too. I even got a tattoo with two of them in honor of our fateful meetings.



(NICK NEON (far left) with other filmmakers and some of their cast members during BOY SHORTS screening at OUTFEST 2016.)


HOLLYWOODFLIP: Which do you enjoy most, acting or directing?

NN: I enjoy both very much. I have to say that my love for acting has been rekindled between Ultra Bleu and then acting in a new short film by fellow Outfest director Lisa Donato which we shot during the festival. But I also can't wait to get back to genre directing after Ultra Bleu. I have a trilogy of horror films that I want to tackle next.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: You mentioned you are preparing to start for the feature version of "Ultra Bleu," would you be getting a different cast and will you be hiring professional actors this time? Looking back to when you start writing the short script, and now you are working the feature version, what do you think you would have done differently?

NN: Yes, we are looking to begin shooting next spring into summer. I love the cast from the short, but we will be looking to cast some up and coming indie sweethearts to bring more clout to the project. We can't ignore the business side of filmmaking. I don't know if I would have done anything differently, we had managed to pull off a lot with very little. I would simply want more time and resources to better focus as an artist. Maybe less rushing. But that seems impossible on any set. You always want more time.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Do you have a dream project?

NN: I do. I have this massive future-fantasy space epic I've been developing since I was 16. That's all I can really say about it for now. But it would be nice to have a popular film franchise headlined by multi-racial LGBT characters who also get to blow shit up and save the world from imminent evil.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How do you see yourself ten years from now? Do you see yourself producing more gay-themed movies or any type of film genre?

NN: Ten years from now, I would like to be exploring the character of Jimmy Park at a later point in his life in a new Ultra Bleu film. I would also like to be working on more horror/sci-fi films that include LGBT characters. I don't think I can ever direct a film without an LGBT character somewhere in the story. It's just not true to my life. And genre filmmaking can also be a great way to tell these extraordinary stories that can be metaphors for the LGBT person and their struggle.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Can you tell our readers what web sites or social media links they can follow you and your works?

NN: For Updates, you can visit us at: www.UltraBleumovie.com
Or like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ultrableumovie & www.Facebook.com/Birdtankproductions. You can also follow my filmmaker's journey on Instagram: www.instagram.com/nickyneon
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/puNk

Thank you for all of your support and we will definitely be back at Outfest in 2018 with Ultra Bleu -- the feature :)

= END =

===========================================
08.03.16 by OC

ROCK THE RUNWAY fashion fundraising event at Avalon Hollywood featured avante-garde designer ROCKY GATHERCOLE, joined forces with Lilfestyle Network TV and For The Stars Fashion House benefitting ABS-CBN Foundation's "Bantay Bata" program
Text and photos by Oliver Carnay




Avante-garde fashion designer ROCKY GATHERCOLE, Lifestyle Network TV, and For The Stars Fashion House joined together on Thursday, July 28, 2016 for a collaborative fashion fundraiser benefitting ABS-CBN Foundation Internationals Bantay Bata, a program addressing the needs of abused kids in the Philippines. The red carpet gala event ROCK THE RUNWAY was held at Avalon Club at the heart of Hollywood, California.



Gathercole, known for his eccentric creations has dressed up Hollywood celebrities and concert icons such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, Thalia, Carrie Underwood, Paris Hilton, Paulina Rubio, Britney Spears, among others.

The fashion show was hosted by Fil-Am actor DANTE BASCO (Hook, Take The Lead, Biker Boyz, The Debut, Nickelodeons Avatar: The Last Airbender) and Emmy award-winning writer and producer for television, KEESA OCAMPO. The show was directed by award-winning film, concert and television director John-D Lazatin, also currently ABS-CBN global head of theatricals, overseeing the successful distribution of Filipino films for ABS-CBN worldwide.

Among performers before the main event were MATTHEW JOHN IGNACIO (a virtuoso on piano, accordion and cello, and also one of the youngest cellist for the Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra, and a celebrated prodigy of Oscar award-winning composer Maestro Andrea Morricone), FRANCESCA CAMUS (an incomparable artist whose repertoire include Soul, R&B, Blues, Jazz, Country, Opera and Rock, and has performed worldwide and various luxury casino resorts in Las Vegas). And finally, THE DOSE, a two-piece band consisting INDIO DOWNEY (vocals, guitar -- Indio is the son of actor Robert Downey, Jr.) and RALPH ALEXANDER (drums, bass) who just released their self-titled debut EP featuring their first single Cold Hands.



Among celebs and prominent people who attended include Hollywood Asian actress and fashionista Bai Ling (who was wearing a Gathercole creation), Disney and Broadway star Anna Maria Perez de Tagle (who is doing a concert with FASO and a duet with "Queen of Kundiman" Ms. Sylvia la Torre at John Wayne Auditorium in Glendale, CA on August 13), Michael Martinez (Filipino ice skating champ), ABS-CBN Foundation International Managing Director Jerry Bennett, the new Bb. Pilipinas-USA 2016 entourage with producer Mildred Daeng, Alee Cao, founder and CEO at CAO Cosmetics USA and Paul Mitchell The School (who was in charged of all make-up and hair for the show), actor Jake Delaney, and more ..

Links:
RockyGathercoleAtelier.com
ForTheStars.com
www.abs-cbnfoundation.com/bb163/
LifestyleNetworkTV

07.29.16 by OC

Outfest's International Centerpiece "Esteros" director Papu Curotto talks about the journey of his first feature film





Caption: Festival Programming Director Lucy Mukerjee-Brown (moderator), Director Papu Curotto, and Executive Producer Santiago Podesta during Outfest gala screening and Q&A; (bottom left) Papu Curotto with this author.





An exclusive interview with "ESTEROS" director Papu Curotto


by Oliver Carnay


Director Papu Curotto's first feature film "ESTEROS" was OUTFEST's pick as its International Centerpiece. A powerful film that offers nostalgic moments and unforgettable childhood romances using the hometown of Paso de los Lires in Argentina, the banks of Uruguay River as backdrop, and the mutual attraction about teen's deep friendship is the subject of Curotto's first feature film. Childhood friends Matias and Jeronimo reunites in their hometown in Argentina bringing old feelings to sparkle again. But Matias has to figure out if he can turn his back to marry his girlfriend in favor of the man he has always loved .. a sentimental, sexy, and heartfelt story soon you'll be able to watch when it gets released. Breaking Glass Pictures, through Outplay Films, picked up the movie for distribution in the middle of its screening at Outfest. So, watch out when this movie comes out in theaters. I caught up with director Papu Curotto for an exclusive interview so please read on ...

HOLLYWOODFLIP: I want to congratulate you for making your film into the U.S. and being featured at Outfest as this year's International Centerpiece .. it's a great accomplishment considering it's your first feature film! How do you feel when you first heard that your film was selected at Outfest?

PC: Last year before we shot Esteros, I made a list of the film festivals where I wanted to submit the movie, and Outfest was on top of my list. So I was really very happy when the news came out and that it will be featured as its International Centerpiece. I knew that it is an important film festival, but I did not realize how much!

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Can you tell me the journey how this film was created? Is this a spin-off of your short film "Matias y Jeronimo"? Is this part autobiographical?

PC: The first boy I loved was a friend in my childhood. We had our sexual awaken together, even before the understanding what sexuality is. When we understood what we were doing, the shame made that we put distance between each other. More than 20 years left and we met each other again. Our lives were very different, but we were able to reconnect with that feeling and friendship that had been truncated.

At that time I worked in a TV company with Andi Nachon, the screenwriter of the movie, and I invited her to make a movie that tells that story. After a while, Santiago Podesta, the main producer of the film, got involved in the project. I knew him from the university but never before we had worked together.

The three of us have developed the project in 2012. We submitted it to Raymundo Gleyzer, the contest of development projects of the Argentinian institute of cinematography and we won. That gave to us a little money to write the screenplay and to create HAIN CINE, our own production company with which we made Esteros. But the real problem was that I had never directed anything before, so we decided to take the first scenes of Esteros and make a short film with it. The idea was try to find an aesthetic for the feature film, work with kid and have my first experience like a director.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How long did you work on writing the script for "Esteros"? What was your inspiration in doing the feature version of "Matias y Jeronimo"? How did the concept for doing the short film started?

PC: Although I act as the director of Esteros, I can not say that I am the only mind behind it. Andi, Santiago and I are the hard core of the film which works from the very beginning. The three of us have talked a lot about which kind of film we wanted make, Andi is the screenwriter and Santiago the producer, the three of us have worked hard to create the universe of the movie.

After winning the Raymundo Gleyzer, we submitted the draft to the Iberoamerican development projects contest of the Carolina Foundation and the Ibermediam Program in 2013 and we got selected. The scholarship was only for the screenwriter, but I asked them to attend and they said yes. For me as the director of the film it was very important to me to understand why the characters do what they do. Every time I doubted about something in the shooting I remembered what we had talked with our teachers in the scholarship about what is the important thing in each scene.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Can you talk about how you cast your actors who played the principal roles? How did you find the kids who needed to perform a situation where they may not be comfortable because of the gay theme subject? How many kids you auditioned? How did you explain to the parents about the subject matter of the film being offered to the kids? How did you explain to the kids how they can execute the scenes you wanted, specially the masturbation scenes?

HOLLYWOODFLIP: The grown actors were selected by casting. The character of Matas (Ignacio Rogers) was the first to appear, and to find Jernimo was more difficult. Andi, Santiago and I talked a lot about which kind of gay man we want to show in the movie. It was important to us that he was not a stereotype; the gay component should be an important part of the character, but not the WHOLE character. After a hard search, we decided to invite Esteban Masturini, he had made the casting for Matas and was not selected. We asked him to improvise with Ignacio. The scene was how it will be to wake up the day after he has made love with the person he has been in loved in his whole life. They made together a beautiful scene and that was the signal that I needed to know he was the right one.

The casting of the kids was a whole different world. I wanted that they were from Paso de los Libres, the place where I was born and where we shot the movie, because for me, it was important that they were kids who used to be in contact with the nature. Libres is a small town and only a handful of kids studying theater there. So we decided to make an exhaustive research in each high school. With Mara Laura Berch, the casting director, we decided not to mention about the gay component in the movie because we did not want to inhibit the boys. Once we found the resemblance, we talked with the parents and we told them about the film, then we gave them the script. One father took his kid off, but other three let them in.

We asked the parents to read the script and talk with their children about it, after that we asked the kids to explain us what the film was about. So during the rehearsal, we worked with them using the same words that they have used when they told us the story. The scene where Jernimo masturbated Matas was not a problem, because it was a camera trick. The most difficult thing for me was say jerk off in front of a kid.
I think the proper way to work with kids is speak to them without underestimating them.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: When you were writing your script, do you already have a perfect location in mind? Such perfect location added the tone and mood of the film.

PC: I was born and grew up in Paso de los Libres, the heat in the nap time of the summers and the mood of little town has marked my childhood. The field where we shot belongs to a family who are friend of my parents. I have spent a lot of time in that field when I was kid, and I still remember resting with my friend in the floor of the gallery, both of us with our backs naked over the cool floor in the warm nap time. For me it was very important to realize the mood of those places and situations.
It was really important that Andi, Santiago and Eric Elizondo (the DOP) spend time in the Ibera estuaries, so they could understand the spirit of the film.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How long did you shoot this feature and what were the greatest challenges you encountered during filming?

PC: We shot for five weeks. I think the hardest thing was the weather, some days were so hot that the whole crew worked slowly. Other problem was our small budget and the fact that the city was not prepared to receive us. So we had to stay in the army and every day we woke up with the sound of the military band. When we shot with daylight it was useful, like an alarm clock. But when we had night shoot and we needed rest the day after, it was really a problem.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: It was announced before the screening that "Esteros" has been picked up by Breaking Glass Pictures for distribution. Congratulations! Can you talk more about the structure of how BGP will handle the distribution? Will there be a theatrical U.S. release?

PC: Thanks! Philippe Tasca from Outplay Films is taking care of it. I know that Breaking Glass Picture is going to release in Miami, New York, LA and Toronto in November. They said that they want to invite me for the Premiere release, and I really want to be there for it! :-)

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How many screenings did you have before this U.S. Outfest screening? How was the response from the other screenings?

PC: The worldwide premiere was at Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival, the theater was full and a lot of people stayed after the screening to talk. The second screening was in AMOR Film Festival in Chile, but I could not travel and that was a shame. So Outfest was my second screening. The audience feedback in Outfest was amazing! I think it is a film that works well because everybody has an unforgettable love story in their childhood.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How does it feel that your film is getting good response from Outfest? Have you made a lot of friends since you arrived in L.A.?

PC: The time I have spent in LA was incredible! I met a lot of amazing people; some of them that I already have met in Toronto. I love to meet people who enjoy what they do. Share experiences makes you get full with energy! And it is very rewarding discovery that in different parts of the world everybody makes movies in the same way and must fight with the same problems.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How is the gay community in rural areas in Argentina? Do you know how many gay films are made in Argentina in a year? Is it easy to produce gay films in Argentina?

PC: Coming out of the closet in a small town in Argentina is harder than do it in a big city like Buenos Aires. When we were shooting the movie, it was amazing to discover that there are a lot of gay teenagers (boys and girls) in Paso de los Libres that they could come out of the closet in their high school even though it is a hard time because of the bulling. That made me happy.

There are just a couple of gay movies each year in Argentina. I dont know if it is difficult for some to make gay movies, I think the hardest thing is make good movies with low budgets. And it is hard not only in Argentina but also it is hard in the whole world.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What is your next film? Do you have the urge to direct more gay films or are you considering other type of genre, like comedy or horror film? Would you consider submitting more gay themed movies for Outfest in the future?

PC: Andi, Santiago and I are already working in our next film; its name is Leoncinho, it means little Lion in Portuguese. It is a lesbian drama and we want to work again with Latina Estudio, the Brazilian producer of Esteros.
We really would love to come back to Outfest! Besides that, Hain Cine makes not only gay movies, nowadays we are working in different kind of projects.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Can you let our readers know where they can find your social media links -- twitter, facebook, instagram, or web sites they can check out your films?

PC: Hain Cine home is www.haincine.com all of our projects are there. And there you have the links to the Facebook and Vimeo. My Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is @papucurotto

Links:
www.haincine.com
twitter.com/papucurotto
facebook.com/papucurotto
instagram.com/papucurotto

(End)

=============================
07.23.16 by OC

Trailblazing with "SIGN" director Andrew Keenan-Bolger: showcasing a film about the deaf community, experience and talents not mostly often seen in films



An interview with Andrew Keenan-Bolger

by Oliver Carnay




One of the most deeply affecting film I have watched during the recent OUTFEST 2016 was Andrew Keenan-Bolger's short "SIGN." The film is uniquely told with no dialogue but only SIGN LANGUAGE and a musical score. It tells a story about a relationship between two guys -- one deaf and another a hearing man. There are so many parallels between the gay and deaf experiences and communities we don't get often to see depicted in films. There are also a lot of deaf actors not given the opportunity to portray roles that actually fits them and further their careers. This is among some of my favorite shorts during the festival. It played under the yearly BOYS SHORTS program. The last movie I've seen (and impressed with) that doesn't have a dialogue and performed by deaf actors was "The Tribe," a Ukranian feature film in black and white .. here is the trailer: https://vimeo.com/99616606.

"SIGN" has no dialogue, acted by real deaf actors, with great production value and good story telling, perfect cinematography and right soundtrack -- it was a moving experience.

I found myself connecting with its director Andrew Keenan-Bolger:

Hollywoodflip: Can you talk about the genesis and the inspiration you have in doing this excellent film? What motivated you to do this film? Do you have a personal experience or close relation to someone who is hearing-impaired? Do you know how to do the sign language?

AKB: What drew me to the film were the parallels between the deaf experience and the gay experience. Both have fallen under historical systems of oppression and have been viewed by many in the past as something that needed to be fixed or cured. And yet both have managed to build an incredibly rich culture and strong identity. As a cisgendered white man, I'm often reminded of my privilege and think that as an artist I'm not only drawn to, but in someways feel it's our responsibility to collaborate with people who have horizontal identities to our own. I think if we ever hope to break out of the homogenization of LGBT stories in film, we have to embrace intersectionality and tell underrepresented stories. Both my screenwriter and I are hearing but live in New York where there is a vibrant community of deaf actors. We've seen and worked with so many of them and felt that there were hardly enough opportunities to showcase their incredible talent.

Hollywoodflip: What do you aim in creating this film? What do you want the audience to take after watching this film?

AKB: The practice of experiencing film is inherently biased to hearing audiences and we wanted to make a film that would level the playing field. Ultimately, we decided to not use subtitles but to compose an evocative score that would help with storytelling. This way our deaf audience had the benefit of being able to access the love story of these two men through ASL, and our hearing audience was able access it through the score. In the end, our two audiences like our two leads understand the film more fully together than they do apart. I think one of the main themes is how gaps in communication affect our lives. We never fully understand other people, we have to fill in the gaps as best we can.

Hollywoodflip: You found two great actors for your film. Can you explain the process you had in selecting your main cast? Did it ever occur to you and consider casting non-deaf actors?

AKB: We knew that we wanted to cast deaf actors in deaf roles. This was non-negotiable. In Hollywood I find it problematic that with as many gifted deaf actors as there are working, deaf roles are still given to hearing people. Adam Wachter, my screenwriter, and I knew a handful of amazing deaf actors that we knew we wanted to cast but when it came down to casting the lead role of Aaron, everyone kept telling us that we needed to check out an actor named John McGinty. I had to opportunity to catch him in a play off-Broadway called Veritas as was pretty much floored by his performance. I knew our film would great if we could just get him on it. As for the character of Ben, it was important to cast a hearing actor who was fairly fluent in ASL. I had been a fan of Preston Sadleir's acting work but never realized that he had a background doing social work within the deaf community. Luckily, both gentleman were game and we offered them the roles without auditioning them.

Hollywoodflip: Am I correct to say the film doesn't have script, but at least a story board? How did you communicate and work or explained to your actors what you need from them, considering you're not deaf yourself? Do you have an interpreter on the set? How long did it take you to finish the story line or story board?

AKB: It comes as a surprise to some that we actually wrote a pretty involved screenplay before beginning production. Even though many scenes have no dialogue, we plotted out nearly every moment on the page. I knew I couldn't direct this film on my own and was fortunate enough to enlist the help of deaf actress and director Alexandria Wailes who served as our director of ASL and Culture. Her contribution to the film is immeasurable. She took the dialogue that Adam had written and created the vocabulary of ASL used through out the short. She was also able to speak to the deaf experience and guide both our deaf and hearing actors. We also worked with a team of interpreters which fostered excellent communication on set. Going into the project I was nervous that there would be some disconnect with the deaf and hearing cast and crew but honestly, I don't know if I've ever worked with a better, more efficient team.

Hollywoodflip: What have you learned that you did not know about before you started the film?

AKB: Filming Sign was a personal test for me. We had a zero dollar budget to shoot this film. I wanted to see if I could tell a complex and important story using only the tools and connections that we had in my immediate reach. Everyone who worked on this film donated their time and talent and they did it because they believed in the story. I hope this film serves as a testament to indie filmmakers everywhere that you don't need a big Hollywood budget to create something that is moving and important.

Hollywoodflip: What was the greatest challenge you encountered in creating this film? How many shooting days did you have? Where did you shoot?

AKB: We shot this film in four days in 17 different locations. I knew going into this that it was truly crazy but something kept telling me that if we just pushed through, it would work and be worth it. The bigger challenge was ensuring that every performance -- from both our deaf and hearing actors -- would resonate with both of our audiences, hearing and deaf. Working closely with our ASL director, we were able to fine-tune John's and Preston's performance in a way that was authentic to their characters and to a signing audience, while still conveying their character's emotions to a non-signing audience as well.

Hollywoodflip: Where else this shorts has been screened and taken you? Which film festival this short has been to and are there any other film festival it is going to after Outfest? What were the audience response from past screenings?

AKB: We were lucky enough to have our world premiere at OutFest. In the upcoming months we've also been invited to a bunch of other film festivals, most of which have not made their official announcements so I'm not yet at liberty to say. Next month though, we will be a part of the Rhode Island International Film Festival. Personally, I've been overwhelmed by the positive audience response. Before OutFest, I had never seen the film in front of an audience or on a big screen. Unsurprisingly, it was an experience I'll never forget. Seeing so many people wiping away tears, especially during a film that's less than 15 minutes long, was so affirming as a filmmaker. I was approached by so many people after who said that they had reservations about seeing a silent film, and one that is in ASL with no captioning, but as soon as it began, they were drawn immediately into the world and became so deeply affected by it. I also hope that people come away from the film with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the deaf experience, and go forth embracing representation in film.

Hollywoodflip: Do you enjoy directing more than acting? What will be your next project? Do you have other dream project?

AKB: It's hard to say which I enjoy more, acting or directing. I think they're so closely related. I like to say that ultimately I'm a story teller, and whether it's my vision, or the vision of someone I respect, I'm so lucky to get to do it as my career. Adam and I are working on our first screenplay for a feature right now. Sign has opened up a lot of doors for us and created a lot of possibilities. I can't wait to get back on set!

Hollywoodflip: Can you direct me to any social media you want audience to check out or any links you want them to check out?

AKB: Our facebook is www.facebook.com/SIGNthefilm
Our twitter is www.Twitter.com/SignTheFilm

Thank you so much!

-------------------------------------------------
07.21.16 by OC

Films I've watched at recent 2016 LA Film Festival




Movies reviewed by Oliver Carnay


Its hard to juggle your time between Dances With Films 2016 Film Festival held at the Chinese Manns 6 and LA Film Festival 2016, yet I also have to be gone on same weekend for FilmOut San Diego. And so I was only able to watch a couple of films.

This year, it is the first time LA Filmfest collaborated with Arclight Cinemas in Culver City. Yearly, they have used the Regal Cinemas at Staple Center, the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood, and different theaters in Westwood. Its kind of hard for me to travel coming from the valley but I kind of like the ambience of its new venue.




OUT OF IRAQ is a fascinating documentary film from Dir. Eva Orner and Chris McKim. For five years, the duo followed Nayyef and Btoos love story and triumph. Nayeff was stationed in Ramadi, Iraq ans an interpreter for the U.S. military while Btoo was an Iraqi soldier. Homosexuality is still forbidden in the country and gay men are persecuted, tortured and murdered so they have to hide their relationship. Nayeff was able to get out of the country and get settled in Seattle, Washington. He meets a gay activist who got interested with their story. Btoo has to make a decision to leave his family and country. A plan to apply under a refugee status with the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is not working out. Another plan came out -- to apply in Canada and travel to Seattle. It took more than five years after the two were separated, getting out of Iraq, fleeing from persecution and finally reuniting in America.

Both directors managed to make a thrilling and heartfelt film were most gays can relate to. Discrimination and helplessness in situations like Btoo and Nayeff is something to talk about as it really still exist in countries like Iraq. It was harrowing to know that in Iraq, with the existence of Talibans and the growing Isis group, gays can be punished, being killed on the streets, or being thrown out from the top of the building (as you can see in the film).




COMPANY TOWN is a groundbreaking investigative documentary from Dir. Natalie Kottke-Masocco, about the people and employees of a big company situated in the small town of Crossett, Arkansas who are working for the largest paper mill and chemical plants Georgia-Pacific, owned by billionaire brothers charles Koch and David Koch of Koch Industries. and the town folks fight to eradicate and get justice when they found out the waste of the company is being dumped everywhere which has killed many people as they get sick and die of cancer.

Prominent in the story is David Bouie, a pastor and community leader who has lived in Crossett for 30 years. He has worked at Georgia-Pacific for ten years while his wife has worked for the company for 25 years. Her sister was killed in the tissue paper machine while working at the company and her older sister who also worked there for years has recently died of cancer. Together, they are a couple who are brave enough to represent and fight Koch Industries polluting their town. Another character featured is Hazel Parker who is a Crossett residence for 51 years. Her mother and sister had cancer and her father had prostate cancer. Her father died in 2010, her mother in 2006, and her sister in 2001. Numerous testimonies from several residents are also featured in the film.

Heartbreaking and frustrating, this problem is happening in different countries. It asks the question about how state government agency like who really police the government employees of Department of Toxic Substances Control on their negligence and how we fight red tape from big businesses such as Koch Industries.




NAMOUR received the 2016 LA Muse Award and truly a deserving laurel from director Heidi Saman for having an original style in creating a film that is not typical, bringing the cultural assimilation among first generation immigrant aspirations but a dramatic fusion of unusually accomplished topic. Namour focused on 20-something Steven, a bored and lonely Egyptian-American guy who works as a valet parking attendant in a posh hotel somewhere in Beverly Hills. He still lives with his family. His parents are divorcing, his grandmother is being moved against her wishes, to a convalescent home. Set during the recession in 2000. Adding to his financial problems and boring routine job is his girlfriend. Unpredictable and brilliantly written on screen, this movie is a winner.




11:55, directed by Ben Snyder and Ari Issler, is one of my favorite films at this years LA Filmfest. With great performances from some of unknown Latino actors starting with the underacting Victor Almanzar in the lead role (who also wrote the script) and Elizabeth Rodriguez who plays Almanzars sister. Goya Robles (plays Teyo) steals some of the scenes while Julia Stiles and John Leguizamos cameo roles are notable.

11:55 is the hour and seconds of the time leading to the end of a problem of two rival gang members. Nelson Sanchez (Almanzar) returns to his hometown after serving in the U.S. military in Afghanistan. A homecoming surprise has been staged by his sister Angie (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and other family members, together with his old-time girlfriend Livvy (Shirle Rumierk) and hopefully soon to be wife. Sanchez, before leaving his hometown to work in the military, left a burden on his shoulder -- he accidentally killed the brother of his gangs rival leader during a gang stakeout and he was wanted for long since. When news goes out that he is back, Nicky Quinn (Mike Carlsen), the brother of his rival gang he killed is also out to get him. He reaches out to his former allies but nobody wants to make a move and help him fearing of escalating the situation. He is all alone to plan how he can persuade Nicky not to kill him.




A HUNDRED STREETS from Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated director Jim O'Hanlon. Notable from his work as a tv director, OHanlons first feature treat is a powerful and gripping multi-layered drama about different people of race, background and social status, where their paths and characters cross each other while living within the hundred streets of London neighborhood.

We see a couple: Max (Idris Elba), a former famous rugby player whose life is falling apart because he is temporarily separated from his wife-teacher Emily (Gemma Arterton). His wife left him because of infidelity and drinking problem. Emily herself is confused, dealing with a former lover Jake (Tom Cullen) who wants to win her back. There is Kingsley (Franz Dameh), a young drug dealer who wants to have a better life. He meets an old artist Terence (Ken Stott) who happens to know Emily and the teacher who will give a chance to take an audition, recommended by his new trusted friend Terence. And there is George (Charlie Creed-Miles), the nerdy cabbie driver whose only hope is to adopt a child so he can please his wife. All of them need major changes in their lives, which will be interconnected. Something will happen through the course of the narrative that will have a big change in each of their lives.

I loved how the film introduces each layered characters in the story. The plot and screenplay is greatly paced out, easily followed, which keeps you glued to the screen. Great performances, as I expected, from Idris Elba who is always effective in any given role he plays. I was moved, and became a fan of this unknown actor Franz Drameh (and realized he is on the tv series DCs Legends Of Tomorrow)! The movie opens with a great full panoramic view of the Chelsea borough of London along the River Thames -- that view is so majestic and I had a sense I am going to love the movie after.




CHEE AND T, directed by Tanuj Chopra, is a comedy film about two debt collectors Chee and T (played by Sunkrish Bala and Dominic Rain) who are tasked with getting their boss wild nephew, Mayunk (the hysterically funny Asif Ali), help him prepare for his engagement party. Mayunks uncle, Uncle Rob (Bernard White) has been Mayunks guardian. Unknown to his relatives and friends, Mayunk is hiding something, which he thinks is already obvious. On the day of his engagement, he plans to out himself.

I didnt have much time to think which ones I am going to watch on my first day at LA Filmfest so I went in with the flow of which ones are most popular. I though I was going to be annoyed and fall asleep. I wasnt expecting anything. But to my surprise, I somehow enjoyed the movie throughout until it ended. It probably because of Mayunks character and the way jokes are delivered. The plot is simple but it was good enough as an indie film.

.. 'til next year!

Go to www.lafilmfest.com for more info and updates!
06.24.16 by OC

SFFLA and Arena Cinema presents Danish crime-thriller series films Department Q on June 24 - 30
Arena Cinema in cooperation with Scandinavian Film Festival in L.A. is presenting DEPARTMENT Q thriller film series. From the global best-selling Danish crime series, DEPARTMENT Q, films "THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES," "THE ABSENT ONE," and "A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH" will be screening at the Arena Cinema (1625 Las Palmas Ave., behind the Egyptian Theater from June 24th to 30th. General admission is $12 per screening. All three films are screened consecutively on all days mentioned. For other info, please go to www.arenascreen.com or call 323-306-0676. For other information regarding the yearly Scandinavian Film Festival in L.A. please go to www.SFFLA.net

Watch the trailers below:




Police inspector Carl Mrck is put in charge of a department of cold cases, joined only by his assistant, Assad. They dig into a case about a disappeared woman.




In 1994 two young twins are found brutally murdered in a summer cottage. A number of clues points in the direction of a group of young upper class students from a nearby boarding school, but the case is closed as a local outsider pleads guilty and is convicted for the murders. When the case ends up on Carls Mrck's desk 20 years later, he soon realises that something is terribly wrong. As Carl and Assad start investigating the case, they are led on to an old emergency call from a desperate girl who seems to know the secrets of the murders. Soon they are plunged into an intense search for the girl, Kimmie, who has been missing since the murders happened. But Carl and Assad are not the only ones trying to track her down as the girl's testimonial is of great danger to a group of influential men at the top of society who will do all they can to keep her silent.




Siblings Samuel and Magdalena who grew up in a religious community in Denmark suddenly disappear. Meanwhile, at Police Headquarters in Copenhagen, an eight year old message in a bottle turns up containing a cry for help from a boy in captivity. Carl Mrck and his assistant Assad from the department for cold cases, Department Q, discover a connection between the two cases. Finally, as they manage to dig deep into the religious community, they get on the track of a man who has left a long trail of kidnappings and murders in his wake. This is the third installment in the Department Q franchise based on Jussi Adler-Olsen's best-selling novels.
06.23.16 by OC

An interview with Abraham Bobadilla, lead star of I Am Gangster, from writer/director Moritz Rechenberg

(Abraham Bobadilla gives an outstanding performance as a hardcore gang member who feels his need to have a better increased stature at his aunt's crime organization)


by Oliver Carnay


One of the films I saw at recent Dances With Films festival that I thought was very impressive was I Am Gangster. Writer/director Moritz Rechenberg delivers a realistic, raw, authentic portrayal of the gritty, dangerous life of gangsters in the Latino community in East Los Angeles, bringing a non-judgemental/non-apologetic portrait of the issue of gang-related youth violence on the streets of Los Angeles.

Rechenberg first took interest in street gang kids in late 2007 when he was looking for materials for his next short film Ticked. An article from Los Angeles Times about racially motivated gang killings caught his attention. His extended research led him and collaborated with members of the Teen Club of Hazard Park in East Los Angeles where he scouted real juveniles for his short film back in 2008. Eight years later he comes full circle with this powerful film I Am Gangster that comes straight from the heart. The film immediately got a film distribution deal from FilmBuff in the middle of its screening at Dances with Films festival.

Shot with handheld documentary style and realistic dialogue, Rechenberg highlights three main characters in his stories: Hardcore gang memberLITO(Abraham Bobadilla) seeks retaliation for the shooting of a fellow gang member by the police, while gang matriarch Tia (Marlene Forte) refuses to let him do so and rejects his request for more organizational responsibility. This pressuresLitoto begin seeking more power on his own. Meanwhile, rebellious and easily influenced teenagerRIO (Gilberto Ortiz)faces bullies at school and pressure at home, when he meets up with his old childhood friend who is an active gang member. Now, Rio could be easily swayed to enter the dangerous life that looks so inviting. David (Rick Mancia) is an idealistic correctional officer able to keep his family safe, deals with excessive use-of-force incidents at the jail and is challenged to make a fateful decision between the lesser of two evils.





Rechenberg masterfully used and selected a pool of organic non-actors -- former and actual occasional active gang members in the development of his films to give a different level of authenticity in creating this powerful film. Without story board he motivated and coached first-time actors. According to him, besides lending an inimitable character and level of authenticity to the film, these positions offered the kids employment and hopes it created an opportunity for healing through active reflection.

In the opening scene of I Am Gangster, non-actor Abraham Bobadilla, (who plays Lito) set the tone and thrill introducing the first major character in the movie. Curiously, I got the need to talk to him about his portrayal and participation in the film. And here is what I got. Please read on:

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How did you first learn about this movie? Can you talk about how you were cast? What were you doing before you got involved with this movie?

AB: I first heard about this film through Jacob Albert a mutual friend me and Moritz have. I was working at Homeboy Industries (www.HomeboyIndustries.org) when Jacob approached me and told me his pal had a movie and needed gangsters or people with experience in that life. I decided to go for the experience. I had no idea i would actually get the part. The day we went out to Hollywood to audition me and a few guys were given lines and asked to read them out. Im not going to lie ... I was a nervous wreck. I had no experience in acting . I just went with the flow. Strange enough I noticed I was the only one handed the main characters lines. I didnt really feel like i had to act. I just went into my street mode and read the lines. Moritz loved it and offered the role right away. I took the opportunity and ran with it. As i mentioned before, I was working at Homeboy Industries when i got involved with the movie. I was not involved with the teen harzard project.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: This is your first movie but it looks like you've been acting for a while. It was amazing the director came up with raw, realistic and the scenes were so truthful as they are. In your case, how did he motivate you or how did you motivate yourself in every scene you did? Was he open for suggestions? Did you improvise at any point or did he want you to go exactly what's on the script?

AB: Playing this role was not hard for me. Growing up in east L.A., I saw and lived a lot of these things growing up. I didnt need much motivation. I was guided in a direction that the director felt was real but there was sometimes we would need to change a word or two to sounds more up to date in the gangster world. Moritz was very open to any ideas and felt if we could improvise to make it seem more real, then that was the way to go. For the most part we went with the script. I felt it had a real feeling to it so i just went with it.
HOLLYWOODFLIP: What were the preparations you have to do the scenes? How was it working with Moritz as a film director?

AB: Preperation began in Moritz small office three months before actually filming. I would meet him up and rehearse lines after lines til he felt we had it down to his expectation. Working with Moritz was great. He is a very chill guy. From what Ive heard, directors can sometimes be *ssholes. Not in this case. Hanging out with Moritz feels like hanging out with one of the homies from the neighborhood.
HOLLYWOODFLIP: What was the greatest challenge you encountered during the shooting?

AB: The greatest challenge during the shooting scenes was the running. Ah man i hate running. He made me do those scenes over and over again. I wondered why so many takes. Come to find out he wanted me to look tired for reals. I wasnt to siked about this but hey what can i say. I like to work hard so i gave it my all.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How many days of shooting did you have?

AB: In total, I dont really remember how many days I filmed. I can estimate that I filmed about three weeks in total. 21 days if I remember correctly.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What do you think people would need to take after watching this film?

AB: What the audience needs to take is a trip down to Homeboy Industries. I worked there for about a year and I have to say its the best place to go meet people who have changed from their gangster ways to positive influential ways... plus their cafe has great food!

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How much of the character you portrayed is you? How do you relate to the other characters in the movie?

AB: I would say i was the character all in and out. Strange enough my characters pregnant girlfriend name in the movie is Jazmine and my actual babys mothers name is also Jazmine. It was easy enough to get mad at her while filming. I just thought of my girlfriend .. I can relate to the other characters in many ways. Being from the boy who was peer pressured to becoming the one who pressured the others.. ive lived it all in my short 21 years of life. I felt that playing this role was not really acting. More so just being myself.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: The last part of the movie was so powerful. How do you feel about the way the movie ended? For some people who are stuck in this kind of world, what do you think the society can offer as a solution?

AB: I felt that the way the movie ended was very real. There is so much stuck in a loophole and cant find a way out. And even sometimes if you want a way out it is already too late. The best way I think society can help change these situation would be to offer more jobs to people. Making money with job security is the key in the end. Either you make it flipping pattys or selling dope. Work is key. If you stay busy enough you wont have time to get involved in all these difficult situations.

HOLLYWOOD: Are you going to pursue more acting after this movie? What's next for you?

AB: Now that this film has been premiered here in Hollywood I feel that if any opportunities come my way I will definitely take full advantage of them. I didnt really plan on acting again and I loved what I did. But hey, if more than one person thinks i was good and think i can make it somewhere then they must have seen something i dont. I would love to continue acting.

Also i would love to thank all that made this possible for me -- from Jacob Alberts, our director Moritz Rechenberg, Ralf Weinfurtner - the producer, and all of my co stars .. It was really an honor filming this movie and I wish everyone the best in their future. .!
06.18.16 by OC

Director Casper Andreas latest LGBT flicks KISS ME, KILL ME and FLATBUSH LUCK bookends San Diego's FilmOut SD Film Festival as Opening and Closing Night films



An interview with Director Casper Andreas


by Oliver Carnay


LGBT communities favorite director Casper Andreas (Slutty Summer, The Big Gay Musical, Going Down in LA-LA-LAND, among his notable films) is back at San Diegos prime LGBT queer film festival, FILMOUT, with his latest feature KISS ME, KILL ME --to serve as the Opening Night film while FLATBUSH LUCK bookends the festival as its Closing Night. The festival gala which is yearly housed at The Observatory North Park, San Diego, starts this weekend, June 3, Friday at 7 p.m., with the director and cast members attending for a Q&A after the screening, and an after-party with foods galore and music.

KISS ME, KILL ME, written by David Michael Barrett (from last years Such Good People starring Randy Harrison) is a gay-thriller about Dusty (Van Hansis) who blacks out while confronting his cheating boyfriend, Stephen (Gale Harold), and wakes up finding out Stephen has been murdered and he is the prime suspect. Also starring Brianna Brown, Yolanda Ross, Jai Rodriguez, Matthew Ludwinski, Kit Williamson, D.J. Shangela Pierce, Allison Lane, Jackie Monahan, Craig Robert Young, Michael Maize and Jonathan Lisecki.




FLATBUSH LUCK is about two cousins -- Jimmy (Tanner Novlan) and Max (Robby Stahl) who are former Wall Street hotshots who makes a living as telephone repairmen in a Brooklyn neighborhood. While Max is worried about his upcoming expensive wedding, Jimmy is thinking of going back to his fast-paced high life. With their current job and an opportunity to tap phone lines of an illegal insider trading, they found a perfect scheme how to solve their money problem. But when the stock tips turn to murder plots, it seems they are veering more into a flat out of luck. Andreas collaborated with James Balletto with the script. The movie also stars Briana Marin, Natalie Britton and Juahn Cabrera.




I caught up with the ever busy Andreas and here is an excerpt from our conversation (please read on):

Hollywoodflip: Congratulations, two of your latest films are being featured at the upcoming FilmOut, San Diego's prime LGBT Film Festival! This is a rare opportunity and an honor for a filmmaker. How does it feel about not only getting "Kiss Me, Kill Me" as the Opening Night Film but "Flatbush Luck" also bookends the Closing Night? Can you tell us how did this happen?

CA: I, of course, feel wonderful to get my work recognized in this way. Im very proud of both films and excited to share them with the San Diego audiences. Its especially thrilling for me because many of my actors who are attending, especially from Flatbush Luck, have not yet seen the film.

I found out about "Kiss Me Kill Me" having been selected for opening night a while back. Then I got an email from Michael, the festival director, asking me if I could send him a screener of "Flatbush Luck" as well that he had just learned about. When he told me after having watched it that he was considering it for closing night I didnt believe it at first. This is definitely a first for me having films in both those slots and I dont expect it to ever happen again.

Hollywoodflip: For "Kiss Me, Kill Me" can you explain about the casting process and how were you able to convince Gale Harold to star in this film?

CA: David Michael Barrett who wrote the screenplay and who produced the film with me had run into Gale at some event and told him that he had a script he wanted to send him. Gale was open to reading it and once he did he really liked the part we wanted him for. It was a long process attaching him as he wasnt 100% on board with everything the role required, but we really wanted him and David ended up doing some rewrites to make the part more attractive for Gale which both David and I felt ended up helped the script. We were thrilled that Gale accepted as we think he is so great in this role and its the first time he has played a gay character since "Queer As Folk" ended over 10 years ago. We know a lot of his fans are very excited to see him in the film. A lot of the other cast we also attached by going directly to them through personal connections. Its very hard to get actors agents excited about a low budget film like this so it helped a lot to get the script directly to actors we wanted. Kit Williamson who plays the character Travis in the film was a big help as he put us in touch with both Van Hansis and Briana Brown who both had worked on his web-series Eastsiders

Hollywoodflip: How was your collaboration with David Michael Barrett? When did the story and the writing first come into fruition?

CA: David and I worked great together and I think really complimented each other during the making of this film. He first sent the script to me and asked if I was interested in directing. I indeed was VERY interested in directing since the type of film it is a whodunit style murder mystery/ thriller is not something I love watching, something I have not done before and I thought the script was very exciting. For a while we were looking for someone else to produce it however as I was kind of burned out on producing and really wanted to just focus on directing. But in the end we decided to just produce it together ourselves and get it done. I think David and I made a great team and we are still on speaking terms :)

Hollywoodflip: Which one did you start filming -- "Kiss Me, Kill Me" or "Flatbush Luck"? How many days of shooting you had for each?

CA: "Kiss Me Kill Me" was shot in January of 2015 for 18 days. We had planned to shoot it already end of 2014 so it got pushed a bit. At that point I already knew that I had "Flatbush Luck" lined up as the executive producer really wanted to get it done early summer. I shot that film for 17 days in June of 2015. So I had a very busy spring last year working on the post production of one film while being in pre-production and then production of my second one.

Hollywoodflip: How was the casting process for "Flatbush Luck?

CA: It was a lot of fun actually! I had pretty free hands to cast whoever I wanted as the executive producer James Balletto just wanted me to find good actors and wasnt worried about the name-game. So I did end up casting several actors I already knew in many of the roles. Then we put out some roles on the breakdown service and I picked actors from the submissions to do self-tapes. Then I called in the ones I liked the most for callbacks in NYC. During callbacks I had many of the actors read with each other to see if they had chemistry and how they played off each other, etc. I love working with actors so I actually enjoyed the whole process.

Hollywoodflip: What were the greatest challenges that you've encountered in creating both films?

CA: The greatest challenge making a film on a small budget is always finding locations that are willing to let you shoot for free or for a small payment. People hear about these big Hollywood productions coming in and paying tens of thousands to shoot in someones house or establishment and its not always easy to convince a bar or restaurant to let us shoot there during their off-hours in exchange for a small fee and us featuring their name in the film, etc. But thats the only way to get films like this made so its a lot of work lining up those locations.

Hollywoodflip: In choosing the people you work with, do you have rules or requirements?

CA: It depends what roles I need them to fill but generally I like working with friendly, hardworking, skilled individuals who are willing to go the distance!

Hollywoodflip: What do you want audience to take after watching both films?

CA: Well foremost I hope they will enjoy the films and have a good time watching them. KISS ME KILL ME should hopefully have audience members at the edge of their seats at times.

Hollywoodflip: I admire that you never stop working, continuing to be visible in this industry -- either as an actor, director, or producing films. You wear different hats, but which one do you love doing most -- acting, directing, or producing?

CA: I dont love producing but Im good at it which is why Ive been able to make so many films as a director. I really prefer doing the creative stuff though. At the moment Im probably mostly focused on directing but I love acting so much as well so I hope to be able to keep doing both.

Hollywoodflip: What are we looking forward to with your next project? What are you working on right now?

CA: Several things! As an actor I have a role in an upcoming feature by director Max Emerson. As a producer Im working on Madeleine Olneks period comedy about Emily Dickinson starring Molly Shannon. As a director Im attached to direct a film starring Malcolm McDowell that we are hopefully shooting this fall. Im also working on a really outrageous comedy called "The Homewrecker" written by my "Going Down in LA-LA Land" star Allison Lane (Allison is also in "Kiss Me, Kill Me). We are raising money right now in case any of your readers are interested in being part of it :)

Thanks so much! Please come check out the films at FilmOut I do hope we will have a full house for both films. I have a lot of cast members coming to join me for the Q&As and parties after the screenings so it will be a lot of fun. And do check out my website www.embrem.com for more information and links to my earlier films!

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OUTFILM San Diego is a three-day weekend festival (June 3, 4, and 5, 2016).
For tickets and detailed schedule of films, please go to www.FilmOutSanDiego.com
06.01.16 by OC

Two LGBT films I've really enjoyed at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2016




by Oliver Carnay






LOEV - Dir. Sudhanshu Saria - LOEV simply tells a tender, often hilarious road movie capturing a knotty love affair between two Indians who just happen to be gay.

This will be perhaps in one of my top LGBT films I've seen this year. It truly touched me that it is reeling with me for a few days after watching it.

Protests greeted Deepa Mehta's lesbian-themed "Fire" after it opened in 1998 in India, where same-sex activity remains criminalized as officially against the order of nature. No wonder Sudhanshu Saria shot his debut film, the English-language LOEV, in complete secrecy. While its very existence is something of a bold political statement, Saria smartly doesnt dwell on the novelty of the LGBT content.

Arriving in Mumbai for a short business trip, Jai (Shiv Pandit), a handsome Wall Street banker, meets up with his old pal Sahil (Dhruv Ganesh), a young music-producer. The excitable Sahil leaves his volatile boyfriend Alex behind and earnestly plans out the road trip to the canyons of Western Ghats, after Jai proposes to take a short pleasure trip. As these old friends drive and hike the trails, their fascinating dynamic sometimes easy and jokey, at other times thorny and awkward emerges. Leaving many things unsaid, the pair engages in a feverish tryst. Outwardly confident but actually confused and struggling with his sexuality, Jai unleashes his frustration on Sahil in a brutal scene. Things come to a head at dinner, between the would-be lovers as well as Alex and his new boy toy, when Sahil who turns out to be the more self-aware of the two puts all his cards on the table.

Thoroughly engaging, LOEV is told in an assured, shorthand style that evokes Richard Linklater. Director Saria has a light touch, and hes not afraid of ambiguity. Eliding standard exposition, he lets his actors play out their complicated relationship through silences and gestures. Pandit wears the alpha dog mask well, and Ganesh is absolutely dynamite his Sahil is at once brash, funny, insecure, and all too human. Tragically, Ganesh died of tuberculosis at the age 29 shortly after making LOEV, and the film is dedicated to his memory.



OutRun 1min from Walking Iris Media on Vimeo.



OUTRUN - Dir. S. Leo Chiang & Johnny Symons
In this most contentious of election years in the U.S., the current political climate in the Philippines offers a frightening corollary in its specific cultural and religious contexts. Directors S. Leo Chiang (MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON, Festival 2012; A VILLAGE CALLED VERSAILLES, Festival) and Johnny Symons (BEYOND CONCEPTION, ASK NOT) team up for this highly topical look at the emergence of Ladlad, the first Filipino LGBT political party, and its members struggles for representation in the national government.

The filmmakers follow key Ladlad members Bemz Benedito, a LGBT activist, trans woman, and public face of the party; Raymond Alikpala, a recently out attorney passionate about advocacy; and Danton Remoto, one of the partys founders. OUT RUN follows this grassroots team as they campaign to win three government seats and root the fledgling party into the corridors of power, in the hope that they can effect long-term change. As baklas (Filipino for gay and lesbian people) in a fundamentally Catholic nation, they are all well-acquainted with daily, in-your-face discrimination, in which some are overt but more commonly in the form of microaggressions. Even as recent surveys reveal a growing acceptance of the LGBT community, the Ladlad members face an uphill political battle as conservative candidates like Christian pastor Benny Abante play upon Filipinos homophobic fears. Abantes brand of political rhetoric convinces particular LGBTQ community members to back his platform under the unfortunate acronym, A.I.D.S. (Alyansa ng Ikatlong lahi ng Distrito Sais). When compared to people of color and women who misguidedly support Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, the comparisons are chilling.

In their quest for political inclusion, the Ladlad agree to a seemingly fatal compromise in the hopes of bettering their election chances. Directors Chiang and Symons highlight these milestones and missteps among the candidates and within the rank-and-file party membership. While the compromises made may seem steep, these intrepid Ladlad activists see them as building blocks towards a more equitable future in Philippine society.
05.28.16 by OC

My favorite films at 2016 COLCOA French Film Festival (April 18 - 26)


Movie reviews

by Oliver Carnay




AS I OPEN MY EYES / A peine jouvre les yeux - This film took top honors at the 2015 Dubai International Film Festival. A French-Tunisian co-production from writer/director Leyla Bouzid also went on to receive the Label Europa Cinemas prize at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. Tunisian born Bouzid studied film at La Fmis in Paris. After a few short films, she turned her attention to Tunisias Jasmine Revolution, a rich source of inspiration for her debut feature. From this starting point, Bouzid and her French co-screenwriter Marie-Sophie Chambon were able to create a complex mother-daughter relationship that mirrors the social forces at play in the country as a whole. Music was another critical component in the film, so Bouzid enlisted Iraqi musician/composer Khyam Allami to write the bands songs.

Its the summer of 2010, the eve of the Arab Spring. Tunisia heaves under the ever-watchful regime of dictator Ben Ali; revolution is in the air. Exuberantly breathing in that air is Farah, a bright high school grad eager to explore the fresh possibilities of young adulthood. Her mother, Hayet (renowned singer Ghalia Benali), is pressuring her to go to medical school, but Farah has more intriguing offers. Shes the singer in an underground band, and dabbling in matters of love and sex with fellow musician, Bohrene. Farahs fearless feminist stance and the bands lyrics challenge the status quo, so when Hayet receives a warning from an old friend in the Interior Ministry, she is determined to make Farah understand the very real dangers of her growing political convictions. A bittersweet coming of age drama, not only for its impetuous protagonist, but also for Tunisia, a country coming of age after its own rebellious spree ended without the freedoms that many of its youthful protesters had hoped for.




DON'T TELL ME THE BOY WAS MAD / Une histoire de fou - Dir. Robert Gudiguian - Against a backdrop of militant attacks sweeping 1980s Europe, this absorbing tale dives headfirst into themes of collective guilt, historical amnesia, and radicalization. Aram, a young man of Armenian descent, grows up in Marseille hearing stories of Turkish brutality and genocide against his people. Although these are the sins of a past generation, Arams pitched rage leads him to lash out against a Turkish diplomat in Paris. Fleeing to Beirut to join the Armenian Liberation Army, Aram doesnt know that his bomb also seriously wounded Gilles, an innocent cyclist who happened to be passing by. When Arams mother Anouch learns of her sons involvement in the bombing, her conscience gets the better of her, and she decides to pay a visit to Gilles in the hospital. Anouchs shame seems no match for Gilles anger and bitterness, yet the encounter inspires Gilles to dig deeper into Armenian history by way of imposing himself directly on Arams family.

Based on the autobiographical novel by journalist Jose Antonio Gurriaran, who was himself paralyzed in an Armenian terrorist attack and later defended the Armenian cause, this cri de coeur from writer/director Robert Gudiguian is a return to themes that have preoccupied him personally and professionally. Born to an Armenian dockworker in Marseille, Gudiguian makes films that confront social and political issues but add a touch of thriller or noir to the kitchen sink naturalism. Relying on a stable of regular actors, his early features were expressions of pessimism for the future of the French working class. Later films like Marius and Jeannette (1997) took a lighter, more charming turn, and garnered international acclaim. His ambitious Army of Crime (2009) pays tribute to immigrant resistance fighters in wartime France. For one of that films co-writers, Gilles Taurand, this marks his third collaboration with Gudiguian, along with The Last Mitterrand (2005). Dont Tell me the Boy was Mad had its World Premiere at the last Cannes Film Festival.




SAINT AMOUR - Dir. Benot Delpine, Gustave Kervern - Deadpan humor hits the highway for a romp through Frances most beautiful wine-growing regions, finding pathos - and some highly improbable sex - along the way. Benot Poelvoorde brings his signature staccato to the role of Bruno, a lonely, patched-together, wannabe-anything-but cattle farmer. Bruno hopes to drink his way through his personal crisis by taking the national wine tour, a series of regional wine stalls at Paris annual agriculture trade fair. When Brunos buzz turns belligerent, his father Jean decides that a tour of the real wine country is just the thing to help his son better appreciate Frances rural traditions. On the spot, Jean hires a cabbie, the handsome but smug city slicker Mike, and the unlikely trio hoof it out to the countryside to squeeze in a little drinking between hilariously awkward hookups and offbeat encounters, including one with author Michel Houellebecq as a disturbing B&B proprietor. Grard Depardieu brings some heft to the proceedings as the genial, but slightly befuddled dad hoping to reconnect with his wayward son.

The holy terrors of Franco-Belgian film are back with their seventh film. Writing/directing duo Benot Delpine and Gustave Kervern are specialists when it comes to the anarchic road trip comedy. Theres the cross-country wheelchair odd-yssey Aaltra (COLCOA 2005). Theres Depardieu starring as a not-so-easy-rider in Mammuth (COLCOA 2011), and theres Near Death Experience (2014) in which Michel Houellebecq takes a philosophical spin as a suicidal cyclist. Their work has always flirted with the absurd, as with the Sundance Special Jury Prize winner Louise-Michel (COLCOA 2009) about factory workers pooling their money to hire a hit man to kill the boss, and Avida (2006), about a dognapping by two deaf-mute ketamine addicts. But as chaotic and broad as their films can be, there is usually a touch of authentic tenderness extended to their characters, even if some of them dont deserve it. Both Delpine and Kervern got their start in TV, doing political satire. They still contribute to the Canal + comic show, Made in Groeland.




TOMORROW/ Demain - Dir. Cyril Dion, Mlanie Laurent - This entertaining and eye-opening winner of the 2016 Best Documentary Csar offers some provocative solutions to the hard challenges facing much of humanity. In 2012, extinction experts Anthony Barnosky and Elizabeth Hadly published a paper warning of a coming planetary sixth extinction beginning as soon as two generations from now. When environmental activist Cyril Dion shared the article with actress Mlanie Laurent, they decided to team up for a personal journey across ten countries to see what, if anything, could be done. They sought out those pioneers who challenge the old narratives and buck conventional wisdom in agriculture, energy, the economy, democracy, and education. Laurent and Dion quickly understood that they werent making another pessimistic, moralizing eco-doc, but an inspiring futuristic vision, because those who are offering the most effective solutions today are actually reinventing the world of tomorrow. With humor, stunning imagery, and a musical assist from Swedish songstress Fredrika Stahl, Tomorrow is an emphatic declaration of hope.

Co-directors Mlanie Laurent and Cyril Dion insist that this is not their film. It belongs to the thousands of people who crowdfunded the project. Their goal to raise 200,000 euros in two months was met in two days, and they went on to break a documentary fundraising record. Dion began writing the project in 2010, but when he fully absorbed the implications of the Barnosky/Hadly findings, he resigned his position as head of the Mouvement Colibris (Hummingbird Movement), the environmental NGO he co-founded, in order to dedicate himself to what would become his first feature film. This is the third feature outing for Mlanie Laurent, whose previous features focused on female friendship and bonding. Her first film, The Adopted, won the COLCOA First Feature Award in 2012. Her sophomore effort, Breathe (2014) tackled a toxic friendship between two teenage girls. Laurent is better known stateside as an actress starring with some of Hollywoods biggest names including Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Enemy).




BANG GANG (A MODERN LOVE STORY) / Une histoire d'amour moderne - Dir. Eva Husson - A heat wave isnt the only thing in full swing in this steamy drama about rich kids in the coastal town of Biarritz stripping down and shaking off that mid-summer ennui. Young George (Marilyn Lima, think adolescent Bardot painted by Botticelli) unexpectedly falls for Alex after he coaxes her into a casual encounter. When the feelings arent reciprocated, George tries to remind him what hes missing by instigating a game of truth or dare with enough dare in it to put a glint in the eye of a porn impresario. Aided by some selfies and the internet, word spreads, and what began as an attempt to spark a little jealously explodes into a furious wildfire of sexual discovery. George, Alex, and their growing circle of libertine teens are now determined to find their limits, consequences be damned.

Twenty years after Kids arrived like a cultural blitzkrieg, Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) was raising eyebrows at its Toronto International Film Festival premiere. Although the films explicit depiction of too-much too-young sex invites that comparison, first-time feature writer/director Eva Husson was thinking more Wong Kar-Wei than Larry Clark. An AFI graduate, Husson made a splash with her mid-length, Death Valley-set Those For Whom Its Always Complicated (2013), which French audiences would have seen on Arte. She has also made videos for music acts such as Florence and the Machine and M83. Husson conscripted M83 collaborator Morgan Kibby to make the films mesmerizing synth beat soundtrack.




COME WHAT MAY / En mai, fais ce qu'il te plait - Dir. Christian Carion - War films tend to tell stories about political leaders, or the soldiers who carry out their orders. Come What May examines the effects of war on more ordinary citizens, a timely subject in the midst of the Syrian refugee crisis. Its 1940; German Panzers are smashing through the Ardennes forest on their way to France. Eight million people flee the largest exodus in modern history. Among them are Paul, the mayor of a small village, and Suzanne, a young schoolteacher and surrogate mother to Max, a displaced German boy. They organize the charge to abandon the town and head for the safety of the coast. Its a heavy decision, because taking their caravan on the open roads leaves them defenseless against German attack. At the same time, Maxs father Hans, who fled the Nazi regime and was subsequently imprisoned in France, sets out to look for his son, accompanied by Scottish soldier Percy (The Americans star Matthew Rhys), who hopes to repatriate a set of bagpipes with the retreating British army. An intimate story, told on an epic scale, and with an expansive score by the maestro of film music, Academy Award winner Ennio Morricone.

Known for making historical tapestries based on true stories, writer/director Christian Carion stepped onto the international stage with his feel-good WWI film Joyeux Noel (2005), in which soldiers in the trenches lay down their arms for one day to celebrate Christmas with the enemy. His gripping thriller Farewell (COLCOA 2010), went back to the Cold War and featured filmmakers Emir Kusturica and Guillaume Canet as spies passing Soviet secrets to the West. Carion was born into a farming family and initially went in that direction professionally. After meeting fellow film enthusiast Christophe Rossignon, now a prominent producer, the two of them decided to dedicate their lives to filmmaking. Co-writer Andrew Bampfield is an established writer for French TV, known for Inside The Twin Towers (2006). This is the first writing credit for co-writer Laure Irrmann.




ONE MAN AND HIS COW / La Vache - Dir. Mohamed Hamidi - If Hannibal could get an army of elephants across the Alps, how hard can it be to get one cow across France? Fatah, an Algerian farmer played by Franco-Algerian comic Fatsah Bouyahmed, is determined to find out in this cheerful, comedic road movie with a twist or two. When his beloved prize heifer, Jacqueline, is finally invited to compete at the prestigious Salon de lAgriculture in Paris, Fatah has to figure out a way to get there. After some encouragement from his fellow villagers, Fatah rounds up his courage and leaves his home for the first time in his life. Crossing all of France on foot, youre bound to have a few interesting encounters, and Jacqueline turns out to be a real conversation starter. Before Fatah knows it, he and his bovine BFF go viral, and even his wife and children are watching him milk his newfound fame on the villages one communal TV. Which is unfortunate, because with all those cameras trained on him, its only a matter of time before something goes utterly wrong.

The journey to filmmaking for writer/director Mohamed Hamidi has been as full of twists as the protagonist of his film. While teaching economics in Bobigny, he got the opportunity to compose some music for Franco-Morroccan comedian Jamel Debbouzes comedy club. Before long, Hamidi was collaborating full time, working as artistic director for the comedy festival Marrakech du Rire and even writing material for Debbouzes stand-up shows. In 2013, Hamidi mounted his first feature, Homeland, about a young second-generation immigrant man going home to Algeria for the first time in his life. Both of his films feature Debbouze, who remains an important compass point in his career. Hamidis strength lays in his ability to transform the contradictions of modern life in Algeria into comedy. One Man and His Cow is a riff on Henri Verneuils 1959 The Cow and I, about a French POW who escapes Germany using a cow as a decoy. And thats the straight story




MY KING / Mon Roi - Dir. Mawenn - This intimate take on a rollercoaster relationship puts all the tropes of romance on its head by looking at it through the eyes of a woman seduced by the male equivalent of a blonde bombshell. Licking her wounds in a convalescent center after an accident-on-purpose on the ski slopes, fortyish lawyer Tony looks back on a tumultuous decade with her dream guy, Georgio. An effortlessly charming restaurateur, Georgio views the world as a stage upon which he is performing his life. Tony obliges with five-star reviews, at least while the passions are in full flush. Only later, when the couple gets down to the business of building a life together, will Georgios wolfish ego and his inability to fully let go of his womanizing past, begin to tarnish the shine. But even if theirs is a doomed relationship, Tony is about to learn that it doesnt always have to be this way. Vincent Cassel is at his raffish best, and Emmanuelle Bercot won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her heartbreaking portrayal of a woman desperate to fall out of love.

With My King, her fourth feature film, its perhaps time to stop calling Mawenn an actress-turned-filmmaker and start calling her simply a filmmaker. Coming off her grittier Cannes Jury Prize-winning ensemble drama Polisse (COLCOA 2011), Mawenn has put her spin on the classic French romance, and was nominated for the Palme dOr at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Daughter of actress Catherine Belkhodja, Mawenn was raised in the entertainment industry, and began acting as a child; her career was briefly on hold after she began a relationship with director Luc Besson. Technically, her first film was shooting the making of for Bessons Lo: The Professional (1994). She returned to acting with an autobiographical one-woman show, which led to her real first film, the short Im an actrice (2004). Mawenns co-writer Etienne Comar, has also co-written Of Gods and Men (2010), and Haute Cuisine (COLCOA 2012), among his many producer credits.




MADE IN FRANCE - Dir. Nicolas Boukhrief - This darkly atmospheric shock-thriller takes you on a white-knuckle ride inside a cell of homegrown extremists dedicated to bringing jihad to the streets of Paris. Sam is a Franco-Algerian journalist hoping to write a tell-all exposing the threat of domestic terrorism. Using his knowledge of Islam, he infiltrates a small cadre of extremists led by Hassan, a disgruntled shoe salesman whose chief leadership credential is having met the principals on his pilgrimage to Mecca. Hassan instructs everyone to become invisible. From the outside, it all appears frighteningly ordinary, except for Sam, who is now in the precarious position of a normal guy trying to look like an extremist trying to look normal. Sam discovers that the cell is comprised of young men who, far from marching in lockstep, have wildly different motivations. But as the plan moves closer to fruition, suspicion grips the conspirators, putting more than his book in immediate danger.

When writer/director Nicolas Boukhrief and his co-writer ric Besnard (Babylon A.D.) began to research this subject, their principal reference was the Paris commuter train bombing in 1995. They had no way of knowing just how prophetic the film would be, nor how much its commercial life would suffer for it. Slated initially for release in early 2015, the devastating attack on Charlie Hebdo gave the original distributor cold feet. Then the tragic Bataclan attack, coming just one week before the films new release date, led to a second cancellation. For Boukhrief, a genre specialist, the film was conceived firstly as entertainment, but its subject matter struck raw nerves in France. Known for crime dramas like Cash Truck (COLCOA 2004), Cortex (2008), and Sphinx (COLCOA 2010), Boukhrief began his career as a journalist, first as an editor for the genre film magazine Starfix, then creating the Canal + series Le Journal du cinma, which aired for more than a decade. His transition to filmmaking began in 1993, when he co-wrote Tout le monde n'a pas eu la chance d'avoir des parents communistes with director/co-writer Jean-Jacques Zilbermann.




FAMILIES / Belles Familles - Dir. Jean-Paul Rappeneau - Mathieu Amalric leads a nimble comedic cast as Jrme, a globetrotting businessman based in Shanghai, who makes a pit stop in Paris to introduce his business partner/fiance to his mother. Jrmes estranged father has recently passed away, and when he learns that the sale of his familys elegant Loire Valley manor is in bureaucratic limbo, he decides to send his fiance on to London and take care of the matter personally. Upon arrival, Jrmes finds that his private memory lane is about to be paved over by the highway of progress. To begin with, the man threatening to lay his ancestral home to block-development waste is none other than Grgoire, an old rival from school. Then it dawns on him that for years his father had been managing an elaborate alternate life in the old place. But its Grgoires girlfriend Louise (Young and Beautiful revelation Marine Vacth) that really intrigues him. She dislikes him more than she should, for a man she just met.

When his big budget international espionage project hit a roadblock, veteran writer/director Jean-Paul Rappeneau took a detour that led him to a more autobiographical approach, and a return to the high-energy comedy of earlier films like Call Me Savage (1975 COLCOA 2012). Known for his meticulous blocking and dynamic camera moves, the Rappeneau style reached its apex in lavish period productions Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) and The Horseman on the Roof (1995). Less known is the fact that Rappeneau is one of very few French writers to have been nominated for a Best Screenplay Oscar (That Man From Rio, 1964). To help shape his latest screenplay, Rappeneau enlisted co-writers Philippe Le Guay (The Women on the 6th Floor, COLCOA 2011), and son Julien Rappeneau (My Way, COLCOA 2012). Juliens brother Martin Rappeneau composed the films music, keeping Families in the family.




MUCH LOVED - Dir. Nabil Ayouch - Following its unveiling at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, this glossy, Marrakech-based drama about women making ends meet by selling their bodies has been banned in Morocco and cast members have been attacked on the streets. Loubna Abidar is magnetic as Noha, who at 28, is the matriarch of a group of upscale call girls who live together as a family of sorts. Case-hardened by life, Nohas only vulnerability is her judgmental mother. Soukaina, on the other hand, still harbors romantic sentiments for a penniless suitor who can only observe the object of his affection from a distance. Randa, the youngest and most modern, could learn a lot from Noha, if only her growing attraction to women werent eroding the mentorship. We follow their precarious lives as they negotiate the hypocritical macho posturing, the sexual repression, and the deeply entrenched double standards that mark Moroccan society, and perhaps by extension, much of the Arab world.

Writer/director Nabil Ayouch is known for pointed social dramas that focus on characters driven to desperation by poverty and victimization. While films like A Minute of Sun Less (2002), which depicted homosexual sex, have served to start conversations, they have also landed him in direct conflict with the more conservative elements of the Moroccan state. His 2012 film Horses of God took a hard look at the 2003 Casablanca suicide bombers as a harbinger for the rising phenomena of terrorism fueled by poverty and social alienation. After that, Ayouch decided to look into prostitution as another form of violence visited upon the underprivileged. Much Love[BD1] was the product of 18 months of research, including personal interviews with more than 200 sex workers. Initially conceived as a documentary, it evolved into what Ayouch calls a fiction du reel. Born in Paris to a Moroccan father and a Tunisian mother, Ayouch was raised in France. In response to the ongoing ban on his film, more than 80 French producers and filmmakers have signed a petition in support.




THE INNOCENTS (Les Innocentes) - Dir. Anne Fontaine - Premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film festival under the original title Agnus Dei, The Innocents is a WWII film with a fresh, feminine perspective. Set in the ruins of 1945 Poland after hostilities have ceased, the drama unfolds in a Benedictine convent, where the sisters try to maintain a tenuous grip on their faith after the chaos of war upends their cloistered existence. Mathilde, a young French Red Cross doctor is convinced to break protocol and make a house call at the convent. What she finds there disturbs her a pregnant nun in the midst of a complicated labor. More shocking still, she discovers several more novice nuns in various stages of pregnancy, and a headstrong Mother Superior (Agata Kulesza, Ida) refusing medical assistance for fear that if word gets out the convents future will be jeopardized. Secular and thoroughly modern, what Mathilde lacks in religious conviction she makes up for in compassion and decency, but she is ill prepared to confront the corrosive feelings of abandonment and shame overwhelming these servants of God.

This is perhaps the most restrained and intense film of writer/director Anne Fontaine, who is known for her more glamorous fare such as the glitzy biopic Coco Before Chanel (2009), and her frothy comedy Gemma Bovery (COLCOA 2015). With the help of co-writers Sabrina Karine, Pascal Bonitzer and Alice Vial, Fontaine creates a multi-layered story based on an original idea by Philippe Maynial, the nephew of historical figure Madeleine Pauliac, upon whom the Mathilde character is based. After starting out as a TV actor, Fontaine gained international recognition with her provocative third feature, Dry Cleaning (COLCOA 1998).




A DECENT MAN / Je ne suis pas un salaud - Dir. Emmanuel Finkiel - The modern world is changing too fast for people like Eddie, an unemployed, underachieving 30-something separated from his wife and son. Morose and aimless, Eddie sees few opportunities for improvement from his barstool perch in the soul-sucking concrete gloom of the housing projects. Yet when Eddie is stabbed and beaten while attempting to stop some hoodlums from stealing a car radio, his life changes unexpectedly, and for the better. Hes proclaimed a hero. His wife takes him back in and even finds an entry-level job. In a police line-up, Eddie fingers Ahmed, an Arab youth whom he recognizes, not from the attack, but from a sales training video. He cant say exactly why he lied, but as the law comes down hard on a man whose only crime is being an Arab with a good job, Eddie is trapped in his own downward spiral of volatility and rage.

Due to the films themes and violence, some may see it as a reaction to the November Paris attack but, in fact writer/director Emmanuel Finkiel has been working on the project for a decade. Finkiel began as an assistant director for Krzysztof Kieslowski and Jean-Luc Godard before winning a Csar for his short film, Madame Jacques on the Croisette (1999). His Holocaust-themed debut feature Voyages (1999) won the Best First Work Csar and was praised for its subtlety and restraint. A Decent Man may be more hard-hitting than his earlier work, but it shows the same measured precision and studied naturalism. The film was inspired in part by a real incident in which a friend of Finkiel, named Ahmed was falsely accused after the police rounded up everyone in the area with that name. Finkiel collaborated on the screenplay with Julie Peyr, noted for her work with director Arnaud Desplechin.




KALINKA / Au nom de ma fille - More intimate drama than thriller, Kalinka chronicles one mans quixotic, 27-year fight for justice in the name of his murdered daughter. Imagine it, your 14-year-old child turns up dead from alleged sunstroke at the house of your ex-wifes new husband, a German doctor with a history of sexual abuse. Worse, the autopsy report reveals evidence of abuse and mysterious injections, administered both before and after death. The sordid side of Andr Bamberskis story has been tabloid fodder for years in France. But questions about what really happened that fateful night take a back seat to Daniel Auteuils fierce interpretation of Bamberskis obsessive determination to bring the case to trial in the face of mounting bureaucratic quagmires and spineless magistrates. As the situation grows more desperate, so do Bamberskis tactics, and when the doctors extradition to France begins to look unlikely, the aggrieved father decides its time to play a different, more proactive role.

For documentarian turned fiction filmmaker, Vincent Garenq, justice is more than a subject for a film. Of his four features, three of them are interpretations of court cases. Garenqs skill lays in his total command of the issues involved in the cases, and in his ability to plum the emotional depths of his everyday heroes, like the family man fighting to prove his innocence in Guilty (COLCOA 2012), or the journalist risking his career to reveal the corruption within a multinational bank in The ClearStream Affair (2014). Garenq is sometimes compared to Andr Cayatte, whose films, such as Justice is Done (1950), reflected an enduring fascination for the French judicial system. However, Garenqs approach is less moralizing, designed merely to point out, rather than to point a finger at, institutional dysfunction. Garenqs co-writer Julien Rappeneau, is also the co-writer of Families, the latest work of director Jean-Paul Rappeneau, screening its U.S. Premiere at COLCOA this year.




FAST CONVOY/ Le Convoi - Dir. Frdric Schoendoerffer - Speed isnt the only thing that kills in this slick, turbo-charged road thriller. Benot Magimel leads a band of banlieue bad boys hauling stash for cash while steering clear of the law. Tasked with moving 3,000 lbs. of hashish from southern Spain to Paris, Alex (Magimel) organizes a motorcade of four vehicles for a go fast a flagrant, high-speed drug run designed to be so risky the police cant stop the traffickers without endangering the public. The scout car looks for trouble up the road, while Alex stoically drives the follow car, ready to intervene should trouble be found. The team's camaraderie is fragile, and as they tick off the kilometers, suspicion and paranoia make everyone twitchy. The tension kicks into overdrive when a firefight with the Spanish police forces them to take a hostage. Burning as much adrenaline as gasoline, Alex struggles to hold the team together as they make their mad dash for pay dirt in Paris.

Action aficionado Frdric Schoendoerffer has always been a stickler for detail and authenticity in his films, so as part of his research for this project, he brought in Yacine, a young man who had participated in 20 go fasts before he was caught and sent to jail. Co-writer Yann Brion, on his fifth collaboration with Schoendoerffer, spent several months working with Yacine as an adviser. Schoendoerffer got his first taste of filmmaking as an assistant director on his father Pierre Schoendoerffers war drama Dien Bien Phu in 1992. His first feature, the thriller Crime Scene (2000), starred his brother, actor Ludovic Schoendoerffer, and was nominated for a Best First Feature Csar. From there, Schoendoerffer has gone on to make a handful of taut thrillers set in the world of crime, including Switch (2011), and Paris Lockdown (2007), his first outing with actor Benot Magimel. As part of the final auditions for Convoy, actors were asked to drive as fast as they could while speaking their lines, with Schoendoerffer and his driving coordinator Jean-Claude Lagniez sitting in the back seat.




LAND LEGS (Tempte) - Dir. Samuel Collardey - When we first meet 36-year-old Dom in a pub listening to old sea shanties, its not immediately clear if hes an actor playing a fisherman, or a fisherman re-enacting the story of his life. Dominique Leborne won the Best Actor Award in the Venice Horizons sidebar for his portrayal of himself a divorced father of two trying to hold his family together at all costs. Usually, Dom is out on fishing vessels for months at a time, but when his daughter Mailys (Mailys Leborne) turns up pregnant, social services threatens to take custody of the kids unless he can spend more time with them. Dom has only known a life at sea, so his best shot at making his own hours is to get a boat of his own. But without any capital, his decision to stop working for others precipitates a downward spiral that brings the family to the brink of homelessness. This unassuming docudrama starring a trio of nonprofessional actors manages to blend just enough reality and fiction to get the best of both.

The third times a charm for writer/director Samuel Collardey. Since his first feature, the Prix Louis Delluc-winning Apprentice (2008), Collardey has been honing his naturalistic docu-fiction approach. For his second film, Little Lion (COLCOA 2013), Collardey felt that his style might benefit from a little more fiction and story elements. But when the boy whose story he wanted to tell refused to play himself, Collardey was forced to use an actor, and his original impetus for the film was lost. Collardey was drawn to the world of fisherman, but it was his long-time screenwriting partner Catherine Paill who first met Dominique Leborne on a short film she was shooting several years earlier. Before filming, Collardey spent nearly a year observing Dom. He slept on Doms sofa, went to sea with him. At that time, Doms daughter Mailys was estranged from her father, and Collardy convinced her to portray herself in the film as a way of spending more time with him. Trained as a cinematographer, Collardeys camera perfectly captures the melancholy grays of Sables d'Olonne.




FANNY'S JOURNEY/ Le Voyage de Fanny - Dir. Lola Doillon - COLCOAs audience will be the first in the world to see this poignant story of a brave and resourceful young girl leading a small band of orphans through Nazi-occupied Europe. Based on the autobiography of Fanny Ben Ami, the journey starts in 1939. After the arrest of her father in Paris, Fanny and her younger sisters, Erica and Georgette, are sent to a refectory for Jewish children in a neutral zone. For a time, she and her new friends are safe, but the war catches up to them soon enough, forcing them to flee. Fanny, now all of 13 years-old, has always relied on adults to take care of her, but as Mussolinis Italy collapses and the chaos of war closes in, Fanny has to be the adult for a group of 8 children. Hounded on all sides, and with nothing but her wits and her newly discovered fearlessness, Fanny resolves to do whatever it takes to get her young charges safely to the Swiss border. A tale of survival seen through the eyes of children coming-of-age amidst the horrors of WWII.

This is the third feature from writer/director Lola Doillon and her most ambitious to date. Her debut, Et toi t'es sur qui?, is a coming-of-age romantic drama that screened in Cannes Un Certain Regard section in 2007. Doillon followed that up with the psychological drama In Your Hands (2010), starring Kristin Scott Thomas. Doillon wrote both of her previous films, but here she collaborated with veteran TV writer Anne Peyregne to tackle Fanny Ben Amis epistolary autobiography. Growing up, filmmaking was the Doillon family business. Her mother is editor Noelle Boisson, and her father is director Jacques Doillon, with whom she got her start as an assistant director. Now married to director Cedric Klapisch, Doillon is keeping the tradition going. In addition to her feature work, Doillon is branching out into TV. In 2015 she directed two episodes of the new France 2 show Call My Agent, screening in COLCOAs Television section this year.




ONE WILD MOMENT (Un moment dgarement) - Dir. Jean-francois Richet - Two of Frances biggest stars, Vincent Cassel (Mesrine, COLCOA 2009), and Franois Cluzet (The Intouchables, COLCOA 2012) come together for the first time in this update of the 1977 Claude Berri film about doting dads and naughty daughters. Forty-something divorcee Laurent joins his old friend Antoine for a summer holiday at Antoines aging family manor in Corsica. Reluctantly tagging along, are Laurents and Antoines beautiful almost-18 year-old daughters, Marie and Louna. The girls have nothing but boys on their mind, and while Laurent puts on a good show of accepting his daughters budding adulthood, Antoine shifts into overprotective father mode. When Antoines daughter makes a Lolita-like play for the attentions of Laurent, she starts a chain reaction that turns the fun in the sun into a minor meltdown.

The plot of One Wild Moment may sound familiar to Americans who saw the 1984 American remake, Blame It On Rio, starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore. For this second retelling, producer Thomas Langmann, Claude Berris son, invited writer/director Jean-Franois Richet to take a comic detour from hardboiled action pictures like Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), and his Mesrine diptych. To help him make the transition, Langmann brought in co-writer Lisa Azuelos, who penned the hit coming-of-age comedy LOL in 2008. Richets working class roots and his love for Russian political masters Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov were inspirations for his politically incendiary first features Inner City (1995), and Ma 6-T va crack-er (1997). Richet will unveil his latest action thriller, Blood Father, starring Mel Gibson, later this year.




UP FOR LOVE/ Un homme la hauteur - Dir. Laurent Tirard - Every now and then COLCOA audiences get to see a film even before the French. Scheduled for a May 4th release in France, Up With Love is a high concept romantic comedy from the writer/director of Astrix and Oblix: God Save Britannia. Belgian rom-com veteran Virginie Efira stars as Dianne, a successful lawyer whos been unlucky in love. She gets an unexpected phone call from a stranger whos found her cell phone and wants to return it. The stranger, Alexandre, is funny and charming, and as the conversation goes on, the two seem to hit it off. They agree to a date of sorts to meet and return the lost phone. Dianne arrives at the appointed time with growing expectations, only to be let down, literally, when Alexandre turns out to be so short, he has to jump up to sit in the caf chair. Dianne is tempted to walk away on the spot. Problem is, apart from his diminutive stature, Alexandre is the total package. As the pair rises to meet the romantic challenges, not to mention the prejudices of society, Dianne will be forced to decide if Alexandre is man enough for her. Jean Dujardin displays impeccable comic timing as a vertically-challenged Romeo.




LONG WAY NORTH / Tout en haut du monde - Dir. Rmi Chay - This charming animated English-voiced adventure is set in the glory days of 19th Century exploration. As a member of the Russian aristocracy, 15 year-old Sasha is expected to make her debut in polite society, to marry strategically, and to live out her life as an obedient wife. But Sasha has other plans. She was born with the wanderlust of her grandfather Oloukine, an explorer of renown who has yet to return from his expedition to the far reaches of the North Pole aboard his unsinkable ship, the Davia. Meanwhile, the Tsars treacherous nephew has used Oloukines absence to tarnish her familys honor and Sasha is convinced that the Davia hasnt been found because everyone is looking in the wrong place. Without a ruble of her own, Sasha sets off to territories unknown, hoping to prove her theory and to restore the family reputation, even if it leaves her marriage prospects in ruins.

Director Rmi Chay decided to animate his first feature in 2D, a bold choice for a spectacular adventure story. This graphically simplified technique had the advantages of allowing him to focus more on color, and of helping to evoke the nostalgic worlds of two major influences: Jack London and Jules Verne. In development since 2005, the film was a labor of love for Chay, who began as an illustrator for comics and advertising before making his way through the ranks of animation starting as a storyboarder for films like L'le de Black Mr (2004), Secret of the Kells (2009), and The Painting (2011). The idea for the film came to Chay through TV writer Claire Paoletti, who, using Shackletons polar expedition as a major reference, developed the full treatment from a one-page outline. Two writers contributed to the screenplay, Patricia Valeix completed the second draft and Fabrice de Costil added the dialogue and final polish.
05.28.16 by OC

19th Annual "DANCES WITH FILMS" Festival opens with "WOLF MOTHER"



Dances is an 11-day Film Festival featuring breakthrough unknown filmmakers as well as Fusion films starring Brooke Shields, Ice-T, Sam Trammell, French Stewart, Chris Kattan, Tom Sizemore, Ione Skye, Randall Park, Annette OToole, John Glover, Nick Mancuso, Cassidy Freeman, Jay Ellis, among others joining a number of prolific returning alumni.


(LOS ANGELES, CA May 16, 2016) Dances With Films (DWF), the iconic Los Angeles-based Film Festival today announced its film lineup that includes the opening night film, Wolf Mother, making its World Premiere and joining the already announced competition slate. Boasting the most diverse line up for every taste from features, music videos, genre and an unprecedented shorts selection, DWF declares a truly independent spirit of passion, not politics for discerning Los Angeles audiences. DWF is known for their support of Festival alumni beyond their debut, as well as welcoming new voices to their family. Of the festivals 117 films: documentaries, shorts and music videos, DWF is excited to include a record number of premieres 60 World, 7 North American, 9 Southern California, and 31 West Coast.



Wolf Mother kicks off the festival with its World Premiere. Written and directed by DFW alumni, Erik Peter Carlson, and starring Najarra Townsend, Kevin Pinassi, Nick Frangione, Stephanie Pearson, and Tom Sizemore. In an attempt to rectify their criminal past, a once successful Hollywood and a petty thief set out together to solve a high-profile child abduction case in San Francisco.

Im hoping the independent movement happening now, will somehow find its way, the way it did in the 60s and 70s. Thats where I belong. Which is why Dances With Films is home after having premiered my first two features there, making my return to open Dances with my latest feature "Wolf Mother" this year all the more sweet. It's simply an honor as they are one of few film festival that truly champion new voices like mine in the indie scene." Erik Peter Carlson, DWF alumni and Wolf Mother director.

This years captivating slate feature legendary, and soon to be legendary, casts, a number of whom are returning to DWF as alumni: Sam Trammell (True Blood), Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan), Ice-T (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Ione Skye (Say Anything), Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat), Annette OToole (Superman III) John Glover (Smallville), French Stewart (3rd Rock From the Sun), Chris Kattan (A Night at the Roxbury), Todd Bridges (Diffrent Strokes), Lee Meriwether (All My Children), Nick Mancuso (Stingray), Cassidy Freeman (Smallville), Jay Ellis (The Game), Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan), Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight), Daphne Zuniga (Spaceballs), Patricia Velasquez (The Mummy), Erica Dasher (Jane By Design), Chris Weihl (What Boys Like), Lisa Ann Walter (Bruce Almighty), Lucy Russell (Batman Begins), Camille Sullivan (The Butterfly Effect), Gabrielle Rose (If I Stay), among others.

DWF Founder, Michael Trent, states, While DWF focuses on unknown and unexposed talent, we are happy to include exemplary indie films in our fusion section that represent the building blocks of a successful career.

The 19th Annual Dances With Films Festival best represents filmmakers who are breaking onto the scene, standing out with their filmmaking skills and remarkable talent in storytelling. The competition films are selected from more than 2,000 film submissions annually and were programmed entirely from blind submissions by the DWF filmmaking community based solely on their unique and powerful cinematic visions.

DWF is 11 days of bliss for those cinephiles who just cant get enough of the truest of indie filmmaking. The festival starts with the opening night party on Thursday, June 2nd and concludes with the closing awards ceremony & after party on June 12th, all centrally located in the Hollywood & Highland complex. Dances With Films serves as a festival that is unique in its dedication to the independent filmmaker and filmmaking process.

We are thrilled by the imagination of this years slate. The quality of the storytelling, and compelling visuals will thrill audiences once again this year," states Leslee Scallon, Festival Co-Founder.

DWF also facilitates the connection of many filmmakers, allowing for important associations to be made and nurtured even after the festival lowers the curtain on this year's events.

Dances With Films 2016 Film Festival season premieres June 2 - 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA at the TCL Chinese Theaters, located at Hollywood & Highland, 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028.

FOR TICKETS, SCHEDULE, AND FILMS INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO www.danceswithfilms.com
05.17.16 by OC

ArcLight Cinemas Announces a New Workshop Series for Women in Entertainment - May 17-19, 2016




(LOS ANGELES, CAApril 18, 2016) ArcLight Cinemas, a premiere movie-going destination is excited to announce the launch of the ArcLight Women in Entertainment Workshop Series. The events will take place from May 17-19, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA. The workshops will be hosted by ArcLights Executive Vice President, Gretchen McCourt and will feature some of the brightest and most creative leaders across film and television.

As women, our leadership roles keep expanding and with them, the challenges we face in the entertainment industry. We want to be sure that we are not only shining a light on the most prevalent issues that women face in the industry, but also providing women with the tools to succeed, states Gretchen McCourt. The launch of the workshop series is a developmental opportunity for emerging creative talent to learn from industry leaders in an intimate setting where they can freely ask questions and learn from these role models and their experiences.

This event series is designed to spark a more transparent and open dialogue that focuses on three areas of film and television: production, marketing and distribution. The event will provide a comfortable setting to gather friends of ArcLight and those women and men that are leaders in entertainment including; Susan Cartsonis (Storefront Pictures), Julie Lynn (Mockingbird Pictures), Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Director, Producer, Writer, Blackfish), Carolyn Harris (Skydance Television), Theresa Won (Myriad Pictures), Jennifer Cochis (Los Angeles Film Festival), Dalia Ganz (Freeform), and Joseph Beyer (Sundance Institute) among others.

Please apply for tickets at www.arclightwomen.com/wie-workshop. The deadline for applications is May 6, 2016.

Each workshop will take place at Sonoma Wine Garden (395 Santa Monica Pier) from 12:30pm 2:30pm PT.

About ArcLight Cinemas
ArcLight Cinemas, created by Pacific Theatres, a privately owned, Los Angeles based company with 60 years of theatrical exhibition history throughout California, Hawaii and Washington is a premiere moviegoing experience with an unparalleled commitment to bringing a variety of rich cinematic content to moviegoers in all markets. ArcLight Cinemas operates eight theaters in California including Hollywood, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, El Segundo, Santa Monica, Culver City and La Jolla, as well as one theater in Bethesda, Md, Chicago and Glenview, Ill, with a new location in Boston for early 2018. ArcLight also owns and operates the historic Cinerama Dome and programs the TCL Chinese Theatre and IMAX in Hollywood. Pacific Theatres currently operates theaters in Los Angeles that include The Grove and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, Calif. Additional information about ArcLight Cinemas is available at www.arclightcinemas.com

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04.18.16 by OC

An interview with 2016 Special Award -Superbods Challenge Winner Andrew Aurellano





by Oliver Carnay

Twenty-three years old New Yorker ANDREW AURELLANO was getting ready to leave before the main Century Tunas Superbod Challenge in Manila when this writer caught up with him:


Hollywoodflip: Can you tell us more about your background?

AA: I currently reside in Yonkers, NY. I graduated back in May 2015 from CUNY Queens College with a Bachelors in Nutrition & Exercise Science. I am a part time physical therapist aide and currently finishing the prerequisites to get into aDoctorate in Physical Therapy Program. I am also a NPC Men's Physique competitor (2x Nationally Qualified), I love to snowboard, played varsity tennis back in high school for 4 years, I ballroom dance, andI played the trumpet in the orchestral and marching band.

Hollywoodflip: Can you tell me about your parents? How are you growing up? Were you skinny or a little heavyset? What motivated you to have this this perfect body now? How long did it take you to have this body? When did you start really working out heavily?

AA: Both my parents were born and raised in the Philippines. My father is one of eleven children and my mother is one of four. My father grew up in Quezon City, while my mother grew up in Valenzuela City.

I am one of three children. We are 1 year apart and I am the middle child. Growing up, I have always been very skinny andexperienced a lot of verbal criticism from my fellow peers at school, and sometimes even from my family members saying that I looked weak and sickly. Finally during my junior year at Archbishop Stepinac High School, I started to think of a solution to my problem, and I began to lift weights and perform calisthenics. I started to do a lot of research about exercising and lifting movements so that I can teach myself the proper forms and movement patterns through a mirror. I have been lifting and exercising for 6 years now. It took a lot of hard work and patience to get to where I am today.

Hollywoodflip: How and when did you hear about Century Tuna's Superbods competition?

AA: I heard about the Century Tuna's Superbod competition through my father, who was watching TFC and saw the commercial, which was about 2 weeks before the competition in LA.

Hollywoodflip: Why did you enter the contest?

AA: I entered the contest because I aspire to inspire and educate other about the benefits of healthy living.

Hollywoodflip: What does Superbods mean to you?

AA: A Superbod is an individual who aspires to have a healthy image of themselves that could inspire others. By not only portraying the physicality of being "healthy," but also having the eagerness to learn and grow more intellectually. With more knowledge, a Superbod can educate other about the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.

Hollywoodflip: How often do you go to the gym? What is your usual regimen? Which do you prefer -- Muscled or toned body? Why? Which parts of your body you always want to work on when working out?

AA: I go to the gym pretty much everyday. Lifting and working out has been my passion for the past 6 years, and it will continue to be. I do a 5 daysplit workout routine dividing each muscle group for different days. My split workout routine consists of legs, chest, back, shoulders and then arms/core in that respective order. Afterthe cycle ends, I would repeat the cycle again.
I prefer having a strong and "healthy" body, becausebeing healthy is not just having a fit body, but also having a great and healthy mind.I believe the physicality of the body is a personal preference toeach individual. My favorite muscle groups that I enjoy working out on are my legs and chest.

Hollywoodflip: Which part or parts of your body do you like best? What part of your body you are not happy and would want to improve more?

AA: I appreciate every part of my body, but one thing I would like to have is a little more mass on my legs. I am very proud of the strength in my legs, but I would like to improve the mass in them. Overall, I like my body the way it is.

Hollywoodflip: If you are given a chance to change some parts of your body, what would they be?

AA: Honestly, there's nothing I would change about my body. I've learned how to appreciate myself for who I am and what I was given. I amgrateful for the gift we are all given, which is the gift of life.

Hollywoodflip: How do you encourage other people to be athletic and improve their lifestyle?

AA: I encourage other people to be athletic and improve their lifestyle by educating them about the benefits that comes along with it. I try to have them understand the quality of life and how we should not take our lives for granted.

Hollywoodflip: After looking at all the contestants, did you think you have a big chance to take the title?

AA: I honestly do not like to think highly of myself and that I am better than others. I like to see myself as another guy in the world doing the best he can in life. Everyone has their own story and has a chance to everything. It depends on the hard work and determination of each individual. I came into this competitions with no expectations and to just have fun.

Hollywoodflip: What sort of advice you would give to people who are starting to go to the gym?

AA: The advice I would give to people who are starting to go to the gym is to never compare yourself to others. Love yourself for who and how you are, and set goals. The only person you should really compete against is the person staring back at you in the mirror. Strive for progression and not perfection.

Hollywoodflip: How do you see yourself after five years?

AA: I see myself continuing to inspire and educate others through my passion of lifting. I would like to share my experiences and knowledge to so that they can optimize the gift of life by building a stronger and healthier body. I also plan on opening my own gym that provides different services to accommodate each individuals' goal.

Hollywoodflip: Good luck with all your endeavors!

************************************************
04.10.16 by OC

Century Tuna Superbods Challenge 2016 Winners announced


Tom Esconde and Olivia Medina were declared the winners of Century Tuna Superbods 2016 on Sunday, April 10 at the Palace Pool Club in Taguig. Philippines.

Clint Bondad and Ambra Gutierrez were declared as first runner-up winners, while Chet Abella and Ali Khatibi were declared 2nd runner-up winners.
The 2014 winners Mauro Lumba and Sarah Polverini were there to pass their titles to Tom and Olivia.

Teresa Herrera hosted the show, together with Mark Nelson and Gelli Victor.
Special Awards were also given to the following:
Beach Bodies: Shawn Stansbury and Ambra Gutierrez
Peoples Choice: Kaara Tan and Pio Luz
Fittest Individual: Clint Bondad and Ambra Gutierrez
Belo Beautiful Skin: Clint Bondad and Chet Abella
Stylish Superbod of the Night: Olivia Medina and Clint Bondad
Most Photogenic: Natalia LaLonde and Tom Esconde
Runway Superbod of the Night: Ameen Sardouk and Chet Abella
Superbods challenge winners: Cassie Umali and Andrew Aurellano

(See my interview with U.S. Superbod Challenge Winner Andrew Aurellano here)
04.10.16 by OC

"LOWRIDERS" to open the 22nd annual Film Independent's Los Angeles Film Festival (June 1-9, 2016); CREED Director Ryan Coogler to be honored as 2016 Festival Guest Director; Ava DuVernay and her distributor company Array Releasing to receive the Spirit of Independence Award




by Oliver Carnay


For 22 years now, the Los Angeles Film Festival has championed the best and most unique independent filmmaking voices from both America and abroad.

Just announced to open the festival is Ricardo de Montreuils touching new drama LOWRIDERS, on June 1 at the ArcLight Hollywood Cinerama Dome.


Lowriders Photo credit: Justin Lubin

Produced by Brian Grazer and Film Independent Forum alum Jason Blum, Lowriders stars Eva Longoria, Demin Bichir, Melissa Benoist, and Gabriel Chavarria in a gritty coming-of-age tale set amid East LAs vibrant and immersive car culture. Chavarria stars as Danny, a talented young street artist caught between the lowrider world embodied by his old-school father (Bichir) and the adrenaline-fueled outlet that gives his creativity a much-needed avenue for self-expression.

Were thrilled to open [our Festival] with Lowriders, said LA Film Festival Director Stephanie Allain. Made by filmmakers of color, Lowriders embodies our mission.

Film Independent Spirit Award winner and LA Film Festival alum Ryan Coogler (Creed) will be honored as the 2016 Festivals Guest Director. Cooglers Fruitvale Station appeared at the festival in 2013 and later won Best First Feature at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards.



Coogler will attend Film Independents Filmmaker Retreatan annual event which brings each years feature category directors together with high-profile mentors and selected Film Independent Board Members for a community-building event prior to the official start of the 2016 Festival.

But Coogler isnt the only big-name auteur being honoredSelma director Ava DuVernay, along with her innovative distribution shingle Array Releasing, will receive the festivals annual Spirit of Independence Award, which recognizes members of the independent film community who advance the cause of independent film and champion creative freedom.


Ava DuVernay

We cant imagine a more fitting recipient of the Spirit of Independent Award than Ava and Array Releasing, said Film Independent President Josh Welsh. In addition to being a brilliant filmmaker, Ava is a passionate, forward-thinking distributor.

In fact, Array bought last years LA Film Festival US Fiction award-winner Out of My Hand for distribution, as well as Festival favorite Ayanda. Additional Array titles include Middle of Nowhere, Ashes and Embers, Mississippi Damned, Kinyarwanda, Restless City and many more.

We look forward to being part of this years unique line-up, said Lowriders co-producer Jason Blum. The LA Film Festival is a wonderful eventwords to live by.

This years full line-up will be announced on April 26. For tickets, schedule, and other information, please go to www.lafilmfest.com
04.06.16 by OC

COLCOA announces 2016 line-up; "Monsieur Chocolat" to open the French Film Festival of Los Angeles with lead star Omar Sy to attend





THE FRANCO-AMERICAN CULTURAL FUND ANNOUNCES LINE-UP FOR THE
20th COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL

9 DAYS OF FILM AND TV PREMIERES IN HOLLYWOOD

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE OF "MONSIEUR CHOCOLAT" OPENS THE FESTIVAL WITH THE ATTENDANCE OF ACTOR OMAR SY


LOS ANGELES, CA March 29, 2016 - The Franco-American Cultural Fund, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, today announced the program for the 20th COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL that will run April 18-26 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles.

The festival will showcase a record 70 films and television series among them 64 in competition for COLCOA Awards - including four World Premieres, seven International Premieres, 19 North American or U.S. Premieres, 17 West Coast Premieres - and 21 new shorts. COLCOA, is now the worlds largest event dedicated to French films and television.

This 20th anniversary deserves a spectacular, strong program that reflects the diversity of French production, as well as the creativity and dynamism of French filmmakers and producers, stated Franois Truffart, COLCOA Executive Producer and Artistic Director. More than ever, we are about to involve audiences in a journey that will stir them, make them laugh, cry, tickle their curiosity, and help them remain optimistic, while recognizing the urgent world zeitgeist.

20 years is an achievement for any film festival in Hollywood. This would not have been possible without the commitment of the Franco-American Cultural Fund - a unique partnership of the DGA, the MPA, la SACEM and the WGA West creator of the festival in 1996 and supporter of its subsequent development. We also salute French sales companies, official supporters, sponsors, and U.S. distributors, whose loyalty and trust have given the festival its continuing excellence, he added.



COLCOA will open Monday, April 18th with the North American Premiere of Monsieur Chocolat, a biopic about the first French black clown, co-written by Cyril Gely, Olivier Gorce, Grard Noiriel, Roschdy Zem, directed by Roschdy Zem, and starring Omar Sy and James Thirre. The film will be presented in association with Gaumont, which celebrates its 120th anniversary.

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The festival will close its competition on Monday, April 25th with the World Premiere of Up For Love, the new romantic comedy written and directed by Laurent Tirard, starring Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin and Virginie Efira. Call My Agent (Season 1), the most popular French TV series of the year, about a talent agency with actors playing their own roles, will close the COLCOA TV Competition.

Two other TV series, shown for the first time in North America, will be part of the program, presented in association with TV France International and TITRAFILM: The Disappearance, a drama co-written by Marie Deshaires and Catherine Touzet and directed by Charlotte Brndstrm; and The Secret of Elise, a supernatural drama written by lsa Marpeau, Marie Vinoy, Marie Deshaires, and Catherine Touzet and directed by Alexandre Laurent, Samir Boitard, Mathieu Simonet, and Mehdi Meskar. The first two episodes of each series will be shown to the COLCOA audience.

To complete the competition, five TV movies will premiere at COLCOA: the North American Premiere of Borderline, a thriller co-written and directed by Olivier Marchal, the International Premiere of Carpets and Chaos, a comedy co-written and directed by Nader Takmil Homayoun, the International Premiere of Stolen Babies, a drama written by Julie Jzquel and directed by Golden Globe winner Alain Berliner; the International Premiere of The Wall-Crosser, a fantasy written and directed by Dante Desarthes, based on Marcel Ayms book; and the North American Premiere of Woman Under the Influence, a drama written and directed by Claude-Michel Rome.

The feature film selection (40 features and documentaries and 21 shorts), will feature exclusive presentations. Fannys Journey, an epic drama written and directed by Lola Doillon, starring Cecile de France, is also a World Premiere. The U.S. Premiere of the thriller Made in France, written and directed by Nicolas Boukhrief, is a film which did not have theatrical release in France because of sensitivity following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. COLCOA also will present the U.S. Premiere of Robert Gudiguians provocative film about the Armenian genocide, Dont Tell Me the Boy Was Mad. The U.S. Premiere of Oscar winner Claude Lelouchs new film Un plus Une, starring Jean Dujardin and Elsa Zylberstein, will screen, in addition to another U.S. Premiere of All Gone South, the comedy sequel co-written and co-directed by Nicolas Benamou and Philippe Lacheau, two years after the success of Babysitting at COLCOA in 2014.

Several established writers/directors return and other known artists have been selected: Academy Award nominee Christian Carion (Come What May with Cohen Media Group), Anne Fontaine (The Innocents with Music Box Films), Vincent Garencq (Kalinka), Academy Award nominee Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Families), Christian Vincent (Courted), Mawenn (My King with Film Movement).

Every year, the COLCOA program is dedicated to a new generation of talent, many of whose films are included in COLCOAs French NeWave 2.0 Series: Samuel Collardey (Land Legs), Clment Cogitor (Neither Heaven Nor Earth with Film Movement), Philippe Faucon - the writer/director of the 2016 Csar Best film winner (Fatima with Kino Lorber), Emmanuel Finkiel (A Decent Man), Eva Husson (Bang Gang with Samuel Goldwyn), Laurent Larivire (I am a Soldier), and Orelsan and Christophe Offenstein (Uncompleted Song).

The After 10 Series at COLCOA invites audiences to explore new frontiers with an exclusive program, including the French-Belgian co-production from writer/director Bouli Lanners (The First, the Last), the new dark comedy from Benot Delpine, Gustave Kervern, starring Grard Depardieu (Saint Amour), and Frdric Schoendoerffer (Past Convoy).

Two anticipated films about women in Muslim countries will be part of the Word Cinema Produced by France Series: the Franco-Moroccan co-production, Much Loved, written and directed by Nabil Ayouch, premiered at the Directors Fortnight in 2015, and remains banned in Morocco; and, As I Open My Eyes, a Franco-Tunisian film from female writer/director Leyla Bouzid (with Kino Lorber). The Argentine film, Eva Doesnt Sleep, written and directed by Pablo Agero will complete the series.

Two documentaries focusing on significant environmental issues will premiere at COLCOA: the closing film of the last Cannes Film Festival, Ice and the Sky (with Music Box Films) from Academy Award winner Luc Jacquet (March of the Penguins), and a special presentation following the United Nations screening of the 2016 Cesar winner for Best Documentary, Tomorrow, written and directed by Cdric Dion and Mlanie Laurent. The Frankenstein Complex, a tribute to the creators of big screen creatures, written and directed by Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet, will complete this high profile documentary series.

All other COLCOA series are back in 2016: the COLCOA Classics Series with an exclusive program of digitally restored premieres (see February 19th press release); the Happy Hour Talks Panel Series in association with Variety (April 19-25); the Short Film Competition (Sunday, April 24 March press release); the Focus on a Filmmaker, this year with writer/director Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Thursday, April 21); and the Focus on a Producer will be with Dominique Besnehard (Saturday, April 23).
Animation, an important part of the French film industry, will be shown at COLCOA with the premiere of Rmi Chays new film: Long Way North (with Shout Factory).

As is COLCOA tradition, comedies will join the program almost every day, including the romantic comedy Love at First Child, co-written and directed by Anne Giaffieri, starring Patrick Bruel and Isabelle Carr, Benots Graffins Hopefully, with Sandrine Kiberlain and Edouard Baer, Jean-Francois Richets One Wild Moment, starring Francois Cluzet and Vincent Cassel, and the new French hit One Man and His Cow, written and directed by Mohamed Hamidi.

This last film will also be shown to the 3,000 students and teachers who will attend the now five High School Screenings (April 19-25) as part of the COLCOA Educational Program presented in association with ELMA (European Languages and Movies in America). Two master classes for college and university students will complete the program.

For the ninth year, LAFCA will partner with COLCOA Cinema for the Critics Awards. The complete recipients list of the 2015 Awards - including the U.S. distributor winner of the COLCOA Coming Soon Award, presented in association with KPCC, will be announced on Wednesday, April 27. COLCOA Awards are presented in association with TITRAFILM, TV5 Monde USA, and AIR TAHITI NUI.

COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL is funded by the Franco-American Cultural Fund, a partnership of the Directors Guild of America, the Motion Picture Association, Frances Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music, and the Writers Guild of America, West, with the vital support of LARP (Frances Association of Authors, Directors and Producers), the CNC, the Los Angeles Film and TV Office of the French Embassy, TV France International, and Unifrance.

COLCOA FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL is sponsored by Air Tahiti Nui,Dailymotion.com, TV5MONDE, Variety (Official Sponsors); Airstar,KPCC 89.3,La Bote, Los Angeles Times (Premier Sponsors);Alliance Franaise de Los Angeles,Barnes International Realty,Club Culinaire of Southern California, ELMA,Gayot.com, Indiewire, LA Weekly, Sunset Marquis,TITRAFILM(MajorSponsors); Bank of the West,Champagne de LArgentaine, Cinando, France USA Media,Laemmle Theatres, Les Macarons Duverger, March du Film, Office de Tourisme Epernay, Under The Milky Way(Platinum Sponsors); and, Cinelife, Gitane Rhapsody, Hollywood Blonde, Loire Valley Wineries, International School of Los Angeles, Malibu Wine Safari, Rosenthal - The Malibu Estate, San Antonio Winery, and Tix (Supporting Sponsors).

All screenings have English subtitles or are in English. Tickets are available for advance purchase online at www.COLCOA.org until April 14th, and during the festival at the Directors Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (cash only). Please visit www.colcoa.org for box office hours. Ticket prices are $13 for adults; $10 tickets for seniors (62+), disabled, and members of American Cinematheque, ASC, ICG, Film Independent, Cinefamily, SAG-AFTRA, or Women In Film; $5 for students and under 21. Tickets are complimentary for DGA and WGAW guild members. Several screenings and events are free on a first-come, first-serve basis, with no reservation needed.
04.02.16 by OC

Free short films screening at COLCOA on April 24 at the DGA (French Film Festival - April 18-26, 2016)


21 NEW SHORT FILMS ANNOUNCED: Don't miss one of the most exciting experience at COLCOA: Attend for free the COLCOA SHORTS COMPETITION on April 24 and vote for the COLCOA Audience Short Award. Program presented in association with Unifrance, TV5 Monde and Titrafilm.

21 new French short films will compete for the 2016 COLCOA Awards. This new exclusive selection of French shorts is unique to a film festival in the United States, underlying the creativity of French production and putting new talent in the spotlight.

Each short film will be shown before a feature film presentation during the COLCOA week (April 18-26). The competition of shorts will take place at the Directors Guild of America on Sunday, April 24, with the rerun of all films selected. (Free admission on a First Come First Served basis.) Attendance will vote for the COLCOA Audience Short Film Award while a professional jury will decide for the COLCOA Short Film Award. (See the program and schedule below)

For the second year, in May, a part of the COLCOA Short Film Program will be broadcasted on TV5 Monde Cinema On Demand, a SVOD service available in select markets in the United States.

In 2015, COLCOA Short Film Award and COLCOA Audience Film Award went to Grounded written and directed by Alexis Michalik.

SHORT FILMS COMPETITION PART 1

Sunday April 24 Truffaut Theatre 11:00 am (ends at 1:00 PM)


CARAPACE

Animation, Fiction/2014/16 DCP 16/9 Dolby 5.1

Written and directed by: Flora Molini

Produced by: Dark Prince

Lili is in love, but can't make love. She is frustrated, desperate and scared that her relationship with Leo comes to an end.


THE WALL (Mur)

Drama/2014/17 DCP 1.85 Stereo

Written and directed by: Andra Tvy

Produced by: Les Films du Cygne

www.lesfilmsducygne.com

A cleaner is going to work. The surroundings are hostile, the labor is backbreaking. And a window doesnt close anymore: it snows inside the building.


ANNA

Animation, Drama/2015/8 DCP 16/9 Dolby 5.1

Written and directed by: Liu Yunhan, Sophie Bracmard, Alexis Choquard, Jordann Jacob, Alexia Rubod, Antoine Poyard

Produced by: MOPA

www.ecole-mopa.fr

Spring 1941. A plane crashes in the Canadian Rockies. The only survivor is a little girl.



MILLIONS OF TEARS (Des Millions de larmes)

Drama/2015/23 DCP 4/3 Digital 5.1

Written and directed by: Natalie Beder

Produced by: Yukunkun Productions

In an empty restaurant, a sixty-year-old man meets a young woman with a rucksack. She looks worn out. He proposes to give her a lift.



14

Animation, Comedy/2015/705 DCP 16/9 Dolby 5.1

Written and directed by: David Jurine, Roxane Martinez, Charlotte Da-Ros, Cyril Flous, Amelie Graffet, Juliette Coutellier

Produced by: MOPA

www.ecole-mopa.fr

French Pyrnes,1914. The national champion is leading the Tour de France when he falls on the descent of the Col du Tourmalet.


MOTHER(S) / Maman(s)

Drama/2015/2103 DCP 2.39 Dolby 5.1

Written and directed by: Mamouna Doucour

Produced by: Bien ou Bien Production

Eight-year-old Aida lives in an apartment in the Parisian suburbs. Her family's world is turned upside down when her father is back from Senegal with a woman.


ENEMIES WITHIN / Ennemis intrieurs

Drama/2016/2733 DCP 2.39 Dolby 5.1

Written and directed by: Slim Azzazi

Produced by: Qualia Films

www.qualiafilms.fr

In the 1980s, France is targeted by Algerian terrorism. A longtime resident is interviewed while applying for French citizenship.


SHORT FILMS COMPETITION PART 2

Sunday April 26 Truffaut Theatre 4:15 PM (ends at 6:45 PM)


ESTATE

Drama/2016/725 DCP 16/9 Digital 5.1

Written and directed by: Ronny Trocker

Produced by: Autour de Minuit, Stempel Films

www.autourdeminuit.com

On a Mediterranean beach, time seems to be frozen. An utterly exhausted black man crawls painfully off the sand among vacationers.


I AM THE SHADOW OF MY DESIRES (Je suis lombre de mes envies)

Comedy/2015/224 DCP Scope Stereo

Written and directed by: David Merlin-Dufey

Produced by: Autour dun film

www.agencecm.com

The story of a man under the influence.


REFLEX (Un Reflexe)

Dark Comedy/2015/224 DCP Scope Stereo

Written and directed by: Zulma Rouge

Produced by: Zulma Rouge

The boring life of a fishmonger who cuts off fish heads during the day and gets saddled with his hated wifes fish soups at home



OUR FALLEN HEROES (A ses enfants, la patrie reconnaissante)

Drama/2015/224 DCP 16/9 Dts 5.1

Written and directed by: Stphane Landowski

Produced by: Fulldawa Films
www.fulldawafilms.com

1919. Paul, a sculptor, goes from village to village to erect war memorials that bloom all over the country.


CAPTAIN 3D

Animation, Comedy/2014/224 DCP 16/9 Dts 5.1

Written and directed by: Victor Haegelin

Produced by: Partizan Films

www.partizan.com

When super hero Captain 3D puts his relief glasses, it is time to save the most charming prisoner from the most terrifying monster.


YY

Documentary/2015/711 DCP 16/9 Dolby 5.1

Written and directed by: Marc Johnson

Produced by: Atelier Marc Johnson

www.marcjohson.fr

To find an environmental balance in the valley of Yangtze in the Chinese province of Chngqng, beekeeper Sh Zuo Bin begins a trance and becomes at one with the universe.


ON THE ROAD

Comedy/2015/1245 DCP 16/9 Dolby SR

Written and directed by: Marion Laine

Produced by: Mon Voisin Productions

www.monvoisinproduction.com

In a highway restaurant three women share without knowing the same secret: they have just murdered a man. Then a policeman stops by.


DELIVERY

Animation, Comedy/2015/630 DCP 16/9 Dolby 5.1

Written and directed by: Thibault Scalesse, Kai Huang, Loan Torres, Leslie Belot

Produced by: MOPA

www.ecole-mopa.fr

A peaceful neighborhood, a peaceful home, and a peaceful couple who is about to celebrate the arrival of their new collector's item of African Art.


THE SESSION (La Sance)

Drama/2015/1221 DCP Scope Dolby Srd

Co-written and directed by: Edouard de La Poze

Produced by: Crew du Chapeau Productions

Paris,1899. Pierre-Louis a young and talented photographer visits the sulfurous Countess of Castiglione, his muse for a long time


AMA

Animation, Drama/2015/324 DCP 16/9 Dolby 5.1
Written & directed by: Juliette Peuportier, Tony Unser, Emilie Almaida, Lang Huang, Mansoureh Kamari, Julie Robert
Produced by: Gobelins LEcole de limage
gobelins-school.com

Japan, 1950. An American woman visiting the country encounters Namiko, a young local ama fisherwoman.


ITS CAVIAR (Cest du caviar)

Comedy/2016/23 DCP Scope Dolby 5.1

Written and directed by: Sarah Lelouch

Produced by: WatchUs
www.watch-us.fr

Charlie is shocked to learn from Leo, her boyfriend, and Camille, her best friend, that they are having an affair. The double betrayal deserves an equal revenge.


COLD COFFEE (Caf froid)

Animation, Drama/2015/1454 DCP 1.85 Dolby 5.1

Written and directed by: Stphanie Lansaque, Franois Leroy

Produced by: Je Suis Bien Content

www.jsbc.com

Saigon, Vietnam. After the death of her mother, a young girl is forced to abandon school to take over the family cafe.


PAPA, ALEXANDRE, MAXIME & EDOUARDO

Dark Comedy/2015/1227 DCP Scope Stereo

Written and directed by: Simon Masnay

Produced by: Arts Premiers

www.artspremiers.org

Alexander and Maxime come with little surprises to please their sick father. Today it is their father who gives them an unpleasant one.


MY FIRST ANALYST (Premiere Sance)

Comedy/2015/1045 DCP 4/3 Dolby 5.1

Written and directed by: Jonathan Borgel

Produced by: Les Fes Productions

www.lesfeesproductions.com

Ivan has an appointment with a psychoanalyst for his first session.

Source: www.colcoa.org
03.24.16 by OC

LGBTQ Films featured at 2016 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles



Homosexuality is still illegal in India, and punishable by up to 10 years in prison. LGBTQ citizens face harassment, extortion, and exile based on their lifestyle. This prejudice is also felt in the filmmaking community, where forward-thinking filmmakers are at risk of having their films banned, edited, or unfairly rated if they have LGBTQ themes.

This year, the 14th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) features three prominent LGBTQ films showing a rarely-seen side of Indian cinema and culture.

The critically acclaimed ALIGARH, directed by Hansal Mehta, tells the story of Professor Ramchandra Siras, who was suspended from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in 2010 after he was filmed having consensual sex with a man. The film was given a restrictive A (adults only) rating by the censor board due to its LGBTQ theme, hugely limiting it's marketing outreach, and a successful campaign was launched to cancel the screening of the movie in Aligarh because conservative forces thought it would sully the name of the town.

THE THRESHOLD, directed by Nishant Roy Bombarde, centers around an adolescent torn between his traditional Indian upbringing and his budding sexuality, a subject still taboo in mainstream Indian cinema.

And finally, ANGRY INDIAN GODDESS which initially plays like a straight comedy about a diverse group of women bonding on a trip to a friends wedding, but subverts expectations with a delightful twist at the end when we find out who their friend is actually going to marry.

IFFLA is the premiere South Asian film festival outside of India and showcases the top Indian films. Having three films that deal with a taboo subject in India and that have gained popularity and critical acclaim internationally is a telling tale for the changing film market in India and how filmmakers are breaking barriers. IFFLA programmers can talk further about this industry change and the positive impact it is having on the India film market and the fresh voices coming out of India.




ALIGARH
India/2015/114min/DCP/Hindi
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Hansal Mehta (IFFLA alum)

Logline: The true story of Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a linguistics professor at Aligarh Muslim University whose outing and threatened termination caused an uproar.




ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES
India/2015/115min/DCP/Hindi and English
U.S. Premiere
Director: Pan Nalin

Logline: When an eclectic group of women gathers to celebrate the impending nuptials of a close mutual friend, sparks fly as they each discover the power - and the fury - of the angry goddesses that lie within.

When a successful but frustrated photographer, a wannabe Bollywood actress, a high-flying workaholic executive and mother, a struggling musician, a prudish princess and a housekeeper with a dark secret all gather together in a quaint Portuguese villa in Goa on the eve of the hosts wedding, no subject is off limits for this spirited group of women. Love, sex, careers, marriage, friendship, sexism and the benefits of a super hot next-door neighbor are all up for debate. But it is ultimately tragedy and the power of unity in the face of institutional misogyny that binds these women together forever in this joyful yet powerful dramedy from 2014 IFFLA Audience Award winning director Pan Nalin (FAITH CONNECTIONS).

Screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES takes a refreshingly uncensored look at the issues facing women in contemporary Indian society while celebrating the uniqueness, talents and flaws of each of its female characters.

(no trailer)

DAARAVTHA (The Threshold)
India/2016/30min/DCP/Marathi
U.S. Premiere
Director: Nishant Roy Bombarde

Logline: Torn between a patriarchal Indian upbringing and his natural urge to identify with the opposite gender, an adolescent boy discovers his sexuality.

About IFFLA
Now in its 14th year, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.

The five-day festival is the premiere platform for the latest in cutting-edge global Indian cinema and bridges the gap between the two largest entertainment industries in the world Hollywood and India. The festival will showcase more than 25 films from the Indian filmmaking community across the globe, host the highly anticipated Opening and Closing red carpet Galas, and the Closing Awards ceremony.

For tickets, schedule, and other information, please log on to www.indianfilmfestival.org
03.24.16 by OC

Luis Zorraquin talks about his feature debut GUARANI and the history of the language lost because of war, casting his film, and the challenges of shooting it


by Oliver Carnay

Guarani is a small film about the Paraguayans and touches the lifestyle, culture and history of the people very seldom we see in any indie film. In the story, Lara, a teen-age girl is left and forced to live with her aunts family and grandfather, Atilio, because her mother, Helena, works in Buenos Aires. Lara hopes to follow and live with her mother but get stuck with occasionally helping and working with her grandfather who is a fisherman. Although, she communicates with her mother on a regular basis, her grandfather oddly gives her a hard time and they don't get along well in most cases. It also seems her grandpa have a language barrier with the other people around him as he uses the old Guarani language where folks doesnt use so she acts as his interpreter most of the time. When Atilio finds out that her daughter Helena is pregnant, he sets a long journey with Lara to Buenos Aires to convince her daughter Helena to move back to their Guarani hometown, having a desire to have a grandson he could pass down to their culture. Lara and Atilio, two generations with conflicting cultural values tries to make it despite problems they encounter from an almost impossible road trip, not having much money and the language barrier Atilio has to deal with along the way.

I caught up with director Luis Zorraquin after its movies screening at Santa Barbara International Film Festival and here is an excerpt of our conversation:

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Where was the idea born to write GUARANI? What urged you to tell this story? Am I right to say Guarani is the language used by local people from Paraguay? Whats the story behind the language?

LZ: I was working in Asuncin and I had to travel a lot. I made some friends there and I lived with their idiosyncrasy but I knew nothing about their history. The movie was born when I started to investigate and read about Paraguays history just for pleasure. And that was the moment I understood many things about our neighboring country, its role in the conquest of America, its independence, the big war against the Triple Alliance, after this conflict Paraguay held from 1864 to 1870 against Argentina (my country) Uruguay and Brazil had to rebuild everything again and I thought it was sad, embarrassing and fascinating at the same time.

In Paraguay only 30 percent of the male population survived and there were mostly children and the elderly. That 30 percent had to rebuild the society from scratch and language "Guarani" was the centerpiece. Then it had the Chaco War and, last but not least, 35 years of dictatorship, where the Guarani language was frowned upon because it was not a synonym of progress, they had to speak Spanish. It was not until 1992 that the Guarani language was recognized as an official language of Paraguay. Guarani is spoken in many Argentine provinces of the Northwest and parts of the coast. The language is generally transmitted from a parent to their children within the key tools for proper development. The film attempts to reconcile the language, the roots of a culture with the inevitable development of globalized societies, and it is represented in the relationship between grandfather and granddaughter.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Tell me a little bit about the actors you cast in the film. Did you use people from the community where you filmed and how many are non-actors? Is it hard directing non-professionalactors? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

LZ: There are professional actors from Paraguay, from Chaco and from Buenos Aires as well, the ones from Paraguay are the protagonists. Grandpa has a very special burden, as during the military dictatorship he was jailed for 13 years and it was the dictatorship that forbade the Guarani language for 30 years, all that was part of the emotional character development. The girl who played Lara came out of a casting of a theatre group from Luque, a town in Paraguay. She had to learn the language, her grandparents and her parents spoke very well but she did not. However, she understood everything that was spoken in Guarani and it was not as difficult as learning to ride a bicycle. I always work with casting and discover everything there. For me the secret of working with non-actors was to ask them not to act.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: What challenges did you face during the shoot?

LZ: The company move was not easy, but the warmth and professionalism of the team helped to overcome any obstacles. Another major challenge was shooting in the river. Never underestimate the river, but we received the help of locals who grew up along the river and its moods.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How was the financing?

LZ: It's a a low budget film, about USD 300.000 and it was filmed with private resources from Argentina and Paraguay and another large percentage from funds that encourage the Argentine cinema.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How many shooting days?

LZ: It took four weeks to film.

HOLLYWOOFLIP: Did you improvise in directing your actors based on your original script?

LZ: The script is a guide that I do not change. During the rehearsals I work on the lines and change them, but there are no surprises in the set.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: How is the current daily life of the people of Paraguay? What is the current state of film in Paraguay and Buenos Aires? How many films are made in a year? Are there any film or acting schools in Paraguay and Buenos Aires?

LZ: Life takes place mostly in Paraguays capital city: Asuncin. The film portrays characters that are not part of city life in Paraguay. Those people live next to the river, living day to day. The same happens in the other side of the border in Argentina. Paraguay has a short career in films when compared with Argentina. It could be said that it has developed intensively in the last 15 years. Paraguay and Argentina are making more and more co-productions, Paraguay makes 6 films in a record year and Argentina, 150.

HOLLYWOODFLIP: Have you shown this film before the screening at SBIFF? What was the reception of the audience? What is your marketing and distribution plan for this film? Which other festivals we can look forward seeing it?

LZ: The film had its world premiere in Europe in the PUFF Film Festival in Tallinn, Estonia. It is a class-A festival and the film competed for Opera Prima. It also was premiered at Geneva, in Poland, and soon in Argentina and Paraguay. It will also be available to in the Chicago Latino Film Festival in April. Spectators liked it a lot, and that makes me happy and eager to face my next film. Guarani has Media Luna New Films as its international sales agent and we are relying on their efforts so that the film can be seen in many places as possible. That is the final goal, that more people can watch it.
03.24.16 by OC

Art Hearts Fashion: From Runway to Red Carpet the Fashion Show That's Making a Difference in Los Angeles (March 14 - 18, 2016)



www.artheartsfashion.com

The Art Hearts Fashion opening reception will kick off the ambitious week of shows on Sunday, March 13th at the W Hotel in Hollywood at 6PM.
Official Fashion Week Afterparty Bash will be hosted by Riviera31 on March 18th 9PM-1AM


(Los Angeles, California)-Art Hearts Fashion, LA's first class fashion experience, is the show of record for the West Coast, this season bringing designers, performers, and artists to showcase at the Taglyan Complex in the City of Angels March 14th-17th. A major proponent of giving back, AHF has once again partnered with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation as the title sponsor to help raise awareness for HIV/AIDS and to support the mission to put 20 million HIV patients on medication by the year 2020. This season also marks a special partnership with VH1 Save the Music Foundation for the much loved kidswear shows. Celebrity VH1 Save the Music Alumni Ambassador JoJo will take the runway for a special acoustic performance
during the kids showcase on Wednesday, March 16th. The Art Institute of California joins the lineup this season bringing a 14 designer showcase to the finale night Thursday, March 17th. Throughout the blockbuster week, diverse collections will be hitting the runway featuring bridalwear, couture, kidswear, ready-to-wear, red-carpet cocktail, and plus size. Walter Mendez, Willfredo Gerardo and Rocky Gathercole will bring brand new couture collections to the F/W runway to the delight of the fashion cognoscenti. A full art gallery will take place throughout the week featuring Hollywood's most talented artists including: Sham Ibrahim, Connie Kurtew, Eugene Huffman, Josef Jasso, Molly Gruninger, Lillipop Saucedo and Omar Wysong with performances by Purple Crush and SpaceCream. Additionally, Art Hearts Fashion continues to support Make a Wish at each of their shows granting wishes in various cities. Guests of Art Hearts Fashion can get an Uber credit with the code 1VHET this season! For more info visit www.artheartsfashion.com

FHI Brands returns as Official Hair Sponsor of Art Hearts Fashion, working behind the scenes to create the diverse and innovative looks seen on the runway. Cadillac Concierge joins Art Hearts Fashion this season as Official Car Sponsor.

The event sponsors include: April Love Pro Makeup Academy, SoyJoy, Monster Energy, FHI Brands, Lunabar, Whole Foods Market, Nescafe, Hint Water, Cadillac Concierge, Fotopod, Mosaic floral.event.design, Portraits of Hope, Make a Wish, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Illy Issimo, Skinny Pop, Santa Monica Healing, Skintech Studios Oz+Ōtz, For the Stars Showroom, Creativ PR Showroom and VH1 Save the Music Foundation.



PROGRAM DATES, featured DESIGNERS, and SCHEDULE OF SHOWS:

MON MAR 14TH 5:00 PM MEDIA ARRIVAL
6:00 PM RED CARPET
7:00 PM YAS couture by Elie MADI, Isaac Newton, Kentaro
8:00 PM RED CARPET
9:00 PM Kate's Couture, Jaime Elyse Couture, Willfredo Gerardo
TUES MAR 15TH 5:00 PM MEDIA ARRIVAL
6:00 PM RED CARPET
7:00 PM Responsive Textiles, Yhta'k Designs, Rene Tyler
8:00 PM RED CARPET
9:00 PM Koco Blaq, Joshua Christensen, Mister Triple X
WED MAR 16TH 2:30 PM MEDIA ARRIVAL
3:00 PM RED CARPET
4:00 PM VH1 Save The Music Opening Performance By Colony Boys, Lil Jewels, Shout Out! Clothing, Victoria Atelier, Hollywood Doll, VH1 Save The Music Closing Performance by JOJO
6:00 PM RED CARPET
7:00 PM Joey Galon ATELIER, Czarina
8:00 PM RED CARPET
9:00 PM Merline Labissiere, Walter Mendez
THUR MAR 17TH 2:30 PM MEDIA ARRIVAL
3:00 PM RED CARPET
4:00 PM Art Institute Showcase: 14 Designer Capsule Collections
6:00 PM RED CARPET
7:00 PM Dunyah, Evana, Adolfo Sanchez
8:00 PM RED CARPET
9:00 PM Arman dance performance, Fernando Alberto, Mimi Tran, Rocky Gathercole

# # #
Adolfo Sanchez: The newest collection "Light to Dark" is a new take on womenswear embracing soft and feminine looks. The materials are light-weight neoprene, muted colors, and romantic lace. As the day turns into night, the collection transforms the Woman towards a darker, stronger, more individualistic tone, featuring leather, wool and sexy silhouettes with hardware.

Czarina: Catering to the ever-burgeoning market for modish attires, the essentially Australian brand Czarina offers an extensive range of ageless and timeless pieces in their online store. Through their vibrant fluid creations, they aim to celebrate women of every size, shape, and age, upholding their right to look beautiful.

Dunyah: Our newest collection blends modern streetwear with a clean sleek aesthetic. The silhouettes are a take on classic urban styles presented with an innovative edge. The fabrics range from natural earth tones mixed with a selection of premium lambskins and furs. This collection makes a statement and expresses Dunyah's take on men's fashion.

EVANA embodies a youthful yet sophisticated spirit that perfectly combines feminine and classy. Each style is crafted with keen attention to detail, expressing the designer's point of view. The feminine shapes and textured fabrics are enhanced by rich colors and versatile structure

Fernando Alberto: As a third generation fashion designer, Fernando Alberto continues his family's legacy of luxury designer garments that flow effortlessly with every move. Fernando captures the essence of the modern woman in his ready-to-wear and bridal collections. Fernando has incredible knowledge and appreciation of luxury fashion and infuses his garments with sheer elegance. The beauty of his craftsmanship transforms luxurious fabrics and textures into an exquisite design. Established in 2014, Fernando Alberto Atelier is considered one of the most upcoming houses in Los Angeles. It is known for its design, quality and creativity. His many fans include Lauren Hill, Ashanti and Mya. Fernando lives in Los Angeles with his son Arath. Fernando's career in fashion is inspired by honesty, family and his philanthropic pursuits." Collection name 'The Royals'
Hollywood Doll Fall/Winter Collection is all about back to school style. European style that is! As the sister brand of Hollywood Doll launches (Vegas Doll) we want to share the fabulous fashionista sensibility of every girl being a true doll!

Isaac Newton is an avant-garde designer line that carriers elegant and abstract qualities. Whether it's being worn or on a red carpet, an upscale event, or down the runway, Newton's designs are made for the scene. The Vine of New Orleans Collection takes things to a higher level, introducing posh styled cuts, colors, and textures. Being a true native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Newton chose to name his upcoming collection after his hometown as it symbolizes his growth thus far and to come.

Jaime Elyse Couture: The Jaime Elyse collection is inspired by the classic architecture of London, Paris, and New York. It's about elegance, beauty, structure, and presence. Each timeless piece in the collection is designed to stand, to inspire, to radiate light, and to reach the clouds.

Joey Galon, ATELIER : Reality TV Personality, Joey Galon will be launching for his is very first time at fashion week. Joey Galon, ATELIER will be featuring "Once Upon a Dream" a themed collection of regal evening gowns and swimsuit wraps for a royal experience of exquisite fashions.
Twitter: @JoeyGalon IG: @JoeyGalon

Joshua Christensen has been designing in the LA market for over 6 years. He has appeared on Project Runway season 9, worked as a designer for Guess Inc, and has dressed top celebrities. Joshua Christensen is currently working on new labels both personal and for other companies. The FW16 collection is titled, "Sugarcoated" - A menswear concept collection using lighthearted pastels and playful designs. Sometimes it's better to sugarcoat life when all we see is grey.

Kate's Couture By Kate Miles: Kate's 2016 line is designed for a young woman looking for a juxtaposition of timeless elegance and luxury with modern edge. She wants a dress to enhance her beauty and showcase her individuality. She is also concerned with sourcing, sustainability and ethics. Nearly all of the materials used for the collection are sourced from thrifted garments and end of the bolt fabrics, which makes the collection not only one of a kind, but also environmentally responsible. The glittering textiles, soft hues, and sophisticated lines in this collection merge together to create a sense of enchantment.

Kentaro started his fashion study at Fashion Careers International, (FCI the Fashion School), under the guidance of his mentor, Jake Jaime. He was the recipient of "The Most Dramatic" award for his first collection at the FCI Student Fashion Show in 2014. This collection was showcase at the "Moda 360" fashion trade show held in Los Angeles 2014. At his second FCI Student Fashion show in 2015, one of his works was chosen for the cover of the California Apparel News.

Koco Blaq returns to Art Hearts Fashion to present the brand's latest collection in its Fall 2016 showcase, Paradise Moana Collection. Koco Blaq keeps in line with this current inspiration, "It's Never Fall in Paradise" as the upcoming collection looks to make a splash in presenting yet another tropical twist on its signature island-inspired line. Koco Blaq continues to bring a Polynesian presence to the forefront of the LA Fashion Week in the Fall 2016 previews. This particular line promises the market an extended summer.

Lil Jewels: Yana Rostomyan will be releasing her F/W 2016 "Spread your Wings" high end ready-to-wear collection. Yana Rostomyan's 2016 collection comes from different lifestyle and trends that are strongly influenced by social-cultural changes. She uses different types of fabrics to express her emotions including velour, lace, tulle, silk, feathers, pearls and, of course, the bling bling.

Merline Labissiere: I design for the creative woman working in a professional, business environment. My brand is all about my quest to combine architecture and fashion. This season, my collection tells the story of the road which people in Haiti commute from one location to the next. The combinations of these roads create new, unexplored shapes and spaces. Looking through satellite lens at the road map running across the island of Haiti and combining these lines with contemporary architectural floor plans create the vision of this collection. Each architectural detail and geographic image inspired the new silhouettes and shapes that both accent and contour the female form appropriately for both work and play. www.merlinelabissiere.com @mlabissiere

Mimi Tran: Known for her contemporary style that enhances a woman's natural beauty and celebrates her femininity, Mimi Tran's collections of embellished cocktail dresses and evening gowns incorporate only the most luxuriant materials and rely on superior construction for a look that is elegant and sophisticated - with a hint of the sensual. When asked to describe her aesthetic, Mimi points to a hybrid of European luxury, Hollywood glamour and high-fashion couture. For her Fall/Winter 2015 collection, she channeled 1920s Paris: a black palette of intricate beading, lace and lattice work with gold accents accentuating the natural beauty of the feminine form. www.mimitrandesign.com Facebook: mimitrandesign Twitter and IG: @mimitrandesign Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mimitrandesign

Mister Triple X: Designer Erik Rosete will present his FW/16 creation "X ColleXion" featuring the brands signature metallic and bold prints. The colleXion will be the the next chapter in the brands unique fashion narrative. www.MisterTripleX.com Social Media: @MisterTripleX #MisterTripleX

Arman Morozov: Performance featuring designs by Arman Morozov custom wardrobe designer for celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez. Choreography by celebrity choreographer Michael Silas.

Rene' Tyler is excited to launch their new eveningwear collection "Premiere". Rene' Tyler is a sophisticated brand that gives plus-size women glamorous, red carpet designs in sizes 14 and above. The "Premiere" collection offers women with curves an upscale, high fashion alternative unlike any other brand.

Responsive Textiles: The upcoming RESPONSIVE TEXTILES AW16 collection explores the world of Fritz Lang's silent film Metropolis (1927). With the stark drama that is characteristic of German Expressionism, this collection pays homage to the cinematic masterpiece. It is a story of contrasts being mediated into balance: Light versus darkness, air versus weight, man versus machine. This is Monumental Silence.

Rocky Gathercole: Rocky Gathercole, an ardent, plucky, provocative fashion artist, exudes his dazing ideas into his avant-garde designs. A highly aggressive fashion designer with a taste for the unalike, Rocky continuously stages inimitable works of art on the vogue runway. Rocky Gathercole has made a niche in Dubai and Saudi Arabia for more than 20 years now. And he has now brought his amazing and atypical designs back to the Philippines. http://rockygathercoleatelier.com Social Media: @ilabRG

Shout Out! is a super fun t-shirt that allows kids ages 4-10 to create completely customizable messages on the front and back with the included detachable Velcro letters, numbers and symbols. Whether it's birthday parties, sporting events or school functions, kids can use their Shout Out! shirts to be creative and say whatever's on their minds! We are also proud to be working with Children's Hospital LA as our official charity partner where a portion of our proceeds goes to supporting the amazing work they do as well. Please visit us at www.shoutoutclothing.com to find out more! Think it up and Shout it Out!

Victoria Atelier: The collection I will be presenting is called "Pearl Collection." The reason behind this name is because most of my dresses have pearl bead work and pearl lace appliqus. I will have 14 dresses for little girls from ages 2-15. I put my heart and soul in this collection and I hope my dresses will speak for themselves. My goal as a childrenswear designer is to see beautiful fashionistas feeling like princesses on their special occasions.

Walter Mendez is one of the world's next top designers, with an eye for texture, silhouettes, and timeless style. His work is regularly featured on celebrities, television, editorials and red carpets. He is honored to count the world's leading ladies as clients such as Jennifer Lopez, Ciara, Selena Gomez and many more. Mendez has also been featured in countless publications such as Vogue, People Magazine, Women's Wear Daily and Apparel News. Walter's career propelled quickly to new heights as his quality, style and technique is highly respected. Walter lives for his work and will continue to create, as his brilliance will never dwindle. The desire to make the women's body appear striking, eye-catching, and exquisite, is a calling that will never go away. waltercollection.com Social Media: @wltrcollection

Willfredo Gerardo: Born and raised in North Hollywood, CA, early into his young age Willfredo was always interested and involved with fashion. Style and presentation was a main component of his upbringing that filtered into his career. After attending several performing arts schools in Southern California and Sarasota Opera House, he started to migrate from performing arts and immerse himself into fashion. He moved to New York where he worked in retail and stumbled into designing bridal gowns for high-end clients, and embraced his love for designing couture. Willfredo now resides in Miami, FL currently expanding his couture line. Ninel Conde, Chiquinquir Delgado, Alejandra Espinoza, and Daphne Joy are known to be a few of Gerardo's star studded client list. Social Media: @WilfredoGerardo
YAS Couture by Elie Madi: A native of Lebanon with a family inclined towards the arts, Elie found his passion with Fashion Design. His father is an architect by profession and Elie was fascinated at a young age with sketches, layouts and prints of architectural plans. This was a strong influence that marked his chosen path to move forward as a devoted artist in fashion. He pursued his studies in 2007 at (C.A.M.M. ) College Artistique de la Mode Moderne major in Fashion Design in Beirut, Lebanon.

Yhta'K (ya-tay) Designs is a clothing line company new in Los Angeles, CA offering clothing for men and women. Fashion Designer, Katherine Walker of Yhta'k Designs is showcasing a timeless collection in memory of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Originally from Chicago, while listening to "Thriller" in her home design studio in 2012, she was inspired to design a full collection across her lines (Katherine Marie, Madame Marie, and MJW) to mirror Michael's style of dress. The pieces are a bit edgy with a touch of class in lace, full-leather, and satin Contemporary-Better silhouettes. This collection is definitely a must have!

Art Gallery Artists:
Cornelia "Connie" Kurtew is a visionary artist hailing from seemingly stark and barren ground left behind the wall a generation after the war in East Germany. Cornelia sees beauty in everything. Her camera finds the nuances of every nook and cranny whether it be the graffiti of the city, the sharp powerful glint in the architecture, or the light of a soul captured in portraiture. Every photograph she takes carries you into another world, or reawakens a world you have already seen, but in way you couldn't imagine until her lens gave you passage.

Eugene Huffman (aka liebeKunst) is an established Los Angeles based artist whose painting style has been described as "abstract expressionism with non-repeating patterns that reference life through a lens of survival, using his artwork as an outlet for his brave and powerful openness of his out status of an HIV+ artist." Dealing with the expression of personal psyche, hidden images often reveal themselves in his pieces. As an Out HIV+ gay man, Eugene's appearances and gallery shows often include benefits for various LGBT, HIV and AIDS organizations. Additionally, Eugene works as a freelance Graphic Designer for various clients and publicity firms, and is a resident celebrity artist and Art Director for the Art Hearts Fashion Gallery for LA Fashion Week.

Josef Jasso is a professional fashion personality and beauty photographer in Hollywood California. The images he creates are beyond simple portraiture, they are bold alluring statements pieces. High-voltage glamour that grabs the attention, commanding one to stop, look, and talk about. The content of Josef Jasso's images range from highly structured and momentous to vibrant and light hearted, but ALWAYS Stylistic.

Lillipop Saucedo: A Los Angeles based Mixed Media Artist whose early interest in analog photography stemmed from the raw beauty she found in 35mm and Medium format film. Her Mixed Media photography are 35mm developed film prints that are hand painted using various mediums such as, acrylic, watercolors, even food coloring - giving her landscape pieces a psychedelic vibe while the destroyed film technique creates an abstract aesthetic. You can explore more of her work on Instagram @lillipopfauxtog.
Lisa Whitmore: Whitmore's specialty is underwater photography, the serendipity of which allows for a unique connection between the artist and subject. Working in this setting requires creative flexibility, as the unpredictable nature of water may reveal a completely different result than her initial idea. A graduate of The Atlanta College of Art (B.F.A., 1996) Whitmore is also the founder of The Survivor Campaign, which honors cancer survivors by featuring their strength and beauty in underwater portrait sessions.

Omar Wysong is an international selling artist recognized for his metal sculptures. In the last year he has become one of the fastest selling artist on Etsy. Selling over 1000 works worldwide through his Topanga Patina metal art brand, Saatchi, Houzz and many commissioned works. He utilizes scrap metal, paint, rust and other found materials to make unique sculptures often blending nature and urban themes that represent his life experiences and ideals.

Molly Gruninger is a pop surrealist painter whose work centers around the social and cultural evolution of humans and the means by which they express themselves. Her highly embellished subjects represent the idealistic persona that's communicated through image and materialistic worth and her detailed paintings invite viewers to explore hidden meanings and question their own sense of self-definition.

Purple Crush is a self-described "hetero-married Queer indie-pop duo" based in Los Angeles. Comprised of Isla Chanel and DJ Air Jared, Purple Crush was founded in Brooklyn, New York, where the duo found success in the blog house era. Now living in Los Angeles, both have found their niche in the Underground LA Queer Club community. Isla Chanel is also the host and founder of Banjee Ball - a monthly Vogue mini-ball showcasing music and underground ballroom vogue culture. http://purplecrush.com/ http://banjeeball.com/

Sham Ibrahim is a Pop Art Artist and television personality, best known for his digital portraits of celebrities and timeless moments in American pop culture. Currently, Sham and his art can be seen on the second season of VH1's highly successful reality television show K Michelle: My Life.

SpaceCream is a Glam Rock band from Hollywood, CA. Hailed as a modern, "Ann Wilson in Bowie's edition of Rocky Horror Picture Show." SpaceCream won the LA Battle for Vans Warped Tour and has since taken Southern California by galactic storm. The band's debut album Pterodactyl Sky is now available via iTunes, Spotify, and more. For more information, visit www.SpaceCreamBand.com.

VH1 Save the Music Foundation Performers:
The Colony Boys founded by Johnny Ramos, age 16, and Sean Oliu, age 13, trace their band's roots to a chance meeting at the NAMM Convention. That day they spent hours touring the massive event and talked about their shared interest in rock and roll, especially the Beatles and early rock. By the time the day ended the boys agreed they needed to form a band. They call themselves The Colony Boys, a nod to the Anaheim Colony Historic District they both proudly call home.

Sponsors:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation: The largest global AIDS organization, currently provides free treatment to 600,000 individuals and provides 4 million free HV tests each year in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit: www.aidshealth.org, Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and IG: @aidshealthcare. Mobile users can text "FIGHTAIDS" to 41444 to donate any sum of money to AHF's work in 36 countries worldwide.
April Love Pro Makeup Academy is one of the premier, fastest growing makeup schools in Los Angeles with 2 Locations. Our school will fully prepare you for a career in the competitive beauty world with a superb makeup kit, superior education and an outstanding networking resource for students. We are a boutique like academy with a strong educator base and a personal quality approach to education. We created our academy to improve the quality of makeup artists, not the quantity. This Academy strongly dedicates itself to improving the caliber of people who call themselves "Makeup Artists." You will learn to put the "Art" into makeup artist and acquire the essential skills needed to work successfully in the Fashion, Photography, Television and Video Industries.

The Art Institute of California-Hollywood is located in one of the world's most famous cities. Here, you'll learn in a region known for filmmaking, creativity, fashion, and fine dining. Our degree programs in the areas of Design, Media Arts, Fashion, and Culinary help you focus your talents and explore what you're passionate about. In our collaborative environment, our instructors will guide and mentor you as we help you build the skills you need to start your creative career. IG/Twitter @ai_hollywood Facebook.com/aihollywood

The Cadillac Concierge is an exclusive marketing division from Cadillac offering special concierge pricing, elite shopper assistance and on-demand test-drives facilitated by product specialists. The Cadillac Concierge is set up to bring a car to anyone's office so they can test drive without going to a dealership- no salesmen, no pressure, no hassle. Visit Cadillac-concierge.com to book your test drive with a product specialist today.

The Daily Front Row: The influence and power of the fashion industry reaches far beyond the runway. The fashion world and its key players have close connections to Hollywood, music, art and culture at large. Since its inception in 2002, The Daily Front Row has been speaking directly to A-list insiders wherever they are-the front row of Fashion Week, the backyards of their Hamptons summer homes, the Oscars and Golden Globes, and the industry gatherings that are so vital to their work. The Daily and its online destination, FashionWeekDaily.com, are the chroniclers of this rarefied audience.

DJ Potira: Blending eclectic Brazilian beats with urban underground cultures, DJ Potira believes the natural fit of all different types of music, and her Brazilian background help her read any audience, whether it's to get a venue jumping or to set the mood to an art gallery cocktail reception, this skill has allowed her to spin at many different venues and shows including events sponsored by Teen Vogue, Elle Magazine, and Chanel.
Fotopod Booth, LLC offers a stylish, contemporary, high-tech, dynamic LED-lighting "softbox" inspired photo booth setup. Many high-end event planners, celebrities, and professional photographers would call this the ultimate picture-taking, social media capturing, and multi-media user experience. Fotopod's patented, enclosed inflatable booth technology is a modern take on the old traditional photo booth "closets" that most people are accustomed to. No longer can 2-3 people fit, elbow to elbow, inside a dark and tiny cramped space. Fotopod was designed to fit up to 14 people at one time! Spend more time posing and jumping for joy, and less time trying to squeeze your party into the photos.

FHI Brands is the parent company to FHI Heat, STYLUS, NEO▼BOND, Hair Veil and Daily Beauty for Wildlife. FHI Heat was founded in 2003 and transcended into a world-renowned Professional Hair Care Company that creates the highest quality and technologically advanced hair tools in the beauty industry. STYLUS, the Award Winning, Favorite New Innovative Hair Tool launched a revolutionary line of thermal styling brushes that caused beauty buzz internationally. Hair Veil Powder Hair Filler is a game changer that gives the appearance of thicker, richer, fuller hair. It eliminates shiny spots, exposed scalp and camouflages scars. Daily Beauty's mission is to provide smooth, shiny, frizz-free hair with the introduction of Silk Fix. Neo-Bond is a revolutionary formula that repairs and protects the hair. Simply add it to your chemical services, and after one use, the results are instant and jaw dropping. Your client will be transformed with healthier hair. For more information visit http://fhibrands.com or call Toll-Free 1-877-344-4328.

Illy Issimo: FOR THOSE WHO DEMAND EXCELLENCE, THERE'S ONLY ONE COFFEE DRINK This isn't just coffee. We think it's the perfect coffee. A signature blend of 100% Arabica coffee from 9 different beans. An authentic espresso drink crafted over 80 years by 3 generations of very picky Italian masters. So bravo, as we say in Trieste, on such a wise choice. illyusa.com Social Media: @illyusa

LUNA is the first women's nutrition bar. In 1999, Clif Bar & Company founders Gary and Kit launched LUNA with a singular goal: create a delicious, nutritious bar that women would love. It is a great on-the-go snack that is made with organic ingredients and women's needs in mind to help nourish them throughout their busy day and lives.

Mosaic floral.event.design: Located in the heart of Los Angeles, and the intersection of the innovative and artistic, is Mosaic floral.event.design. Founded by Marin, Mosaic caters to clients with a keen of eye for works of art. Its unique and trendsetting designs continue to push boundaries with bold colors, rich textures and harmonic patterns. Each event is exclusive and specifically tailored to our discerning clientele, making their fantasies tangible with beautiful designs.

Oz+Ōtz: California Love - Founded in sunny Los Angeles California, Oz+tz is a lifestyle apparel brand that celebrates the natty, confident, sensuous woman. The garments embody femininity with body-conscious silhouettes and minimalist "ready-to-go" pieces. The unique blend and juxtaposition of fabrics & patterns create a hint of unforgettable sass. We are family-owned, operated, and produce all garments in the USA. With an increasing demand to ship our styles all over the US and Canada, Oz+tz is evolving with our shoppers and strive to stay style-relevant for the ready-set-go woman. IG: @ozandotz Fb: ozandotz Web: Ozandotz.com

Portraits of Hope Project is an ongoing fundraising Portrait Project of Irvin Rivera of www.graphicsmetropolis.com. Goal is to raise funds for various people, groups, institutions, causes in need one portrait at a time. Our next beneficiary is Gabriela Kasley who is battling HIV and Cancer at the same time. You can view more information at www.portraitsofhopeproject.com
Santa Monica Healing is the Westside's Place to Heal! Energy Work includes reiki treatments by April Pfender, who is Founder & CEO. Her energetic jewelry lines, called Indigo Amethyst & Gypsy Moon, come reiki infused & moon charged for the moon-goddess wearer.

SkinnyPop is Pure Popped Perfection SkinnyPop starts with a premium popcorn kernel, sunflower oil, and the perfect amount of salt. Our popcorn has no GMO's, gluten, or preservatives making SkinnyPop a delicious guilt-free snack.

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03.09.16 by OC

Irelend's Oscar entry "VIVA" opens in U.S. April 29, 2016





Official Selection: 2015 Telluride Film Festival.
Officia Entry: Ireland, 2016 Academy Awards.

In Theatres on Friday, April 29th, 2016

Viva stars Hctor Medina as Jesus, a young hairdresser working at a Havana nightclub that showcases drag performers, who dreams of being a performer himself. Encouraged by his mentor, Mama (Luis Alberto Garca), Jesus finally gets his chance to take the stage. But when his estranged father Angel (Jorge Perugorra) abruptly reenters his life, his world is quickly turned upside down. As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, Viva becomes a love story as the men struggle to understand one another and reconcile as a family.

Viva was a hit at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival, and is Irelands entry for the Best Foreign Film Academy Award this year.

Provided courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Rated R. Running time: 100 minutes.

Director's statement:
I was inspired to make VIVA when I saw some drag shows in Havana. A sheet hung up in a suburban backyard and a single light bulb created a theatre and a world of dreams out of nothing. This power of transformation and creation was driven by a desire to express identity in a raw, unabashed passionate voice. It was intoxicating.

I wanted to take that vivid romantic tone and place it in a world of naturalistic cinema. When I discovered the great wealth of Cuban acting talent it allowed me to push that mix of an exuberant emotional tone and an aesthetic of authenticity and naturalism even further.

Screenwriter Mark O'Halloran and I wanted to explore a theme of transformation and the alchemy of connecting to deeper truths through the use of artifice. At the heart of the story is a battle for identity and love between a father and son. The romantic plaintive female voice in Jesus's mother's record collection almost serves as another character and occupies a higher order that inspires the men of the story to become truly themselves. I wanted to tell a story where we find light in a dark place and where what is perceived as weakness transforms to be seen as strength.

-- Paddy Breathnach
About the Director

PADDY BREATHNACH started his directing career making natural history documentaries. His first feature, Ailsa, won the Award for Best First/Second Film at the San Sebastian Film Festival. His second feature I Went Down (BBC films) starring Brendan Gleeson, also won the New Directors prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 1997. I Went Down screened at Sundance in 1998 and won the Best Director awards at Thessaloniki and Bogota Film Festivals.

He produced SouthPaw, a feature documentary that was selected for Sundance in 1999 and got a US and UK theatrical release.

Breathnach then went on to direct Blow Dry (Miramax), which was released in 2001. His next film was Man About Dog, produced by Robert Walpole and Simon Channing Williams (The Constant Gardner). It was released in 2003 and became one of the most successful independently produced Irish films.

He has also directed a number of horror films including Shrooms (2006). In 2012 he completed the feature length documentary An Oiche a Gineadh mAthair for TG4.

He is a board member of The Dublin International Film Festival and is vice chair of The Screen Directors Guild of Ireland. He is also on the board of the Irish Film Institute.

Filmography - Director (10 credits)

2015 Viva
2012 An oche a gineadh m'athair (Documentary)
2008 Freakdog
2007 Shrooms
2004 Man About Dog
2001 Blow Dry
1997 I Went Down
1996 W.R.H. (TV Series documentary)
1995 The Long Way Home
1994 Ailsa
03.05.16 by OC

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) 2016 line-up of films announced (April 6-10, 2016)




Pan Nalins ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES opens the festival making its U.S. premiere after winning awards at festivals around the globe

Festival to close with Anu Menons WAITING, starring Naseeruddin Shah
and Kalki Koechlin.

Festival program features award-winning prestige titles from the festival circuit and more women filmmakers than ever before


LOS ANGELES, CA (February 25, 2016) The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) announced today its 2016 lineup of narrative and documentary features, short films, and galas for its 14th annual festival. Opening the festival on April 6th is the U.S. premiere of the ensemble powerhouse ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES, from filmmaker and four-time IFFLA alum Pan Nalin. Anu Menons poignant WAITING, starring Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki Koechlin, closes the festival with its North American premiere on April 10th. Gala tickets and passes are now available at www.indianfilmfestival.org. Tickets for individual films will go on sale on March 18, 2016.

The festival is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema globally. IFFLA will run April 6-10 at ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, the festivals home since its inception.

"India's independent filmmakers are taking bold risks, defying convention, and responding to injustice in each of these visionary films, and the results are breathtaking, said Mike Dougherty, Director of Programming. I'm extremely excited for our Los Angeles audience to experience these films, which have garnered raves from around the world, or are making their world premiere with us."

Festival opener ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and takes a refreshingly uncensored look at the issues facing women in contemporary Indian society while celebrating the uniqueness, talents, and flaws of each of its female characters. This joyful yet powerful dramedy comes from 2014 IFFLA Audience Award winning director Pan Nalin (FAITH CONNECTIONS).

Anu Menons WAITING closes the festival with a poignant and stirring story that is as witty as it is heartrending. Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah and the incomparable Kalki Koechlin reunite for the first time since they starred together in THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS, giving beautiful performances as two strangers who develop a deep connection in the hospital while their spouses lie in comas.

Spice Affair will host the Opening and Closing Night Gala receptions in Beverly Hills.

This year the festival will feature three world premieres, including IFFLA alum Kranti Kanades CRD, two North American premieres, and ten U.S. premieres.

More features and shorts from female filmmakers will be presented this year by IFFLA than ever before, including Deepa Mehtas gangster drama BEEBA BOYS; Leena Yadavs PARCHED, a piercing examination of Indias patriarchal culture through the stories of four women; Ruchika Oberois genre-bending triptych, ISLAND CITY; and Rinku Kalsys documentary FOR THE LOVE OF A MAN, about the fierce devotion shared by South-Indian superstar Rajinikanths fans.

IFFLAs program is also notable this year for the number of award-winning titles it includes. UMRIKA received the Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award; ISLAND CITY took home the Best Young Director Award of the Venice Days section at the 2015 Venice Film Festival; MASAAN garnered both Cannes Un Certain Regards prestigious FIPRESCI prize and the Promising Future Award for director Neeraj GhaywanPARCHED won the Stockholm International Film Festivals first-ever Impact Award; and OTTAAL was just awarded the Crystal Bear in the Generation Kplus section of the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.

The festival also features two LGBT titles, Hansal Mehtas politically-charged ALIGARH and the short DAARAVTHA (The Threshold) by Nishant Roy Bombarde, which are bold and compelling statements from filmmakers in a country where homosexuality is a criminal offense under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

Tamil cinema has recently emerged as a force on the world stage, and this is exemplified in the two engrossing Tamil features in the program: VISAARANAI (Interrogation) and KIRUMI (Virus).

Highlights in the shorts program include: the world premiere of MOCHI (THE COBBLER), an impressive directorial debut from Saqib Pandor, produced by Anurag Kashyap; the North American premiere of Anuj Gulatis THE MANLIEST MAN, a boldly told, absurdist tale that reveals a visionary emerging director; and Payal Sethis gripping LEECHES, which tracks a womans dangerous journey to save her young sister from being sold as a One-Day Bride.

Attending the festival this year to present their films will be a host of celebrated filmmakers, including Bhaskar Hazarika (KOTHANODI), Kranti Kanade (CRD), Hansal Mehta (ALIGARH), Prashant Nair & Swati Shetty (UMRIKA), Pan Nalin (ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES), Ruchika Oberoi (ISLAND CITY), Q (BRAHMAN NAMAN) and Leena Yadav (PARCHED).

IFFLA will also host stars from a number of films, including Kalki Koechlin (WAITING) and many of the actors featured in ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES.

Tickets and Passes
The 14th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) runs April 6-10 at ArcLight Hollywood located at 6360 W. Sunset Blvd between Vine and Ivar. Gala tickets and passes are now available at www.indianfilmfestival.org.

Tickets for individual films will go on sale on March 18, 2016. For more information please visit www.indianfilmfestival.org or follow us on Twitter (@iffla).

About IFFLA
Now in its 14th year, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.

The five-day festival is the premiere platform for the latest in cutting-edge global Indian cinema and bridges the gap between the two largest entertainment industries in the world Hollywood and India. The festival will showcase more than 25 films from the Indian filmmaking community across the globe, host the highly anticipated Opening and Closing red carpet Galas, and the Closing Awards ceremony.


OPENING NIGHT GALA

ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES
India/2015/115min/DCP/Hindi and English
U.S. Premiere
Director: Pan Nalin

Logline: When an eclectic group of women gathers to celebrate the impending nuptials of a close mutual friend, sparks fly as they each discover the power - and the fury - of the angry goddesses that lie within.

When a successful but frustrated photographer, a wannabe Bollywood actress, a high-flying workaholic executive and mother, a struggling musician, a prudish princess and a housekeeper with a dark secret all gather together in a quaint Portuguese villa in Goa on the eve of the hosts wedding, no subject is off limits for this spirited group of women. Love, sex, careers, marriage, friendship, sexism and the benefits of a super hot next-door neighbor are all up for debate. But it is ultimately tragedy and the power of unity in the face of institutional misogyny that binds these women together forever in this joyful yet powerful dramedy from 2014 IFFLA Audience Award winning director Pan Nalin (FAITH CONNECTIONS).

Screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES takes a refreshingly uncensored look at the issues facing women in contemporary Indian society while celebrating the uniqueness, talents and flaws of each of its female characters.

CLOSING NIGHT GALA

WAITING
India/2015/92min/DCP/Hindi and English
North American Premiere
Director: Anu Menon

Logline: While their spouses lie in comas, two strangers develop a deep connection in the hospital to help support each other through the trials of waiting and grief.

Young, outspoken, and impassioned Tara Deshpande receives tragic news: Her husband of only six weeks has slipped into a coma after a car accident. Despondent and desperate for answers in a situation where she has little control, Tara finds an unlikely friend in Shiv, a gentle and hopeful man who has become a regular in the hospital where his wife has been in a coma for over 8 months. They can relate to each other deeply, both isolated from other support and waiting for an optimistic outcome. However, as each reaches an important crossroads in caring for their spouses, Tara and Shiv realize that their fear of change is holding them back from making necessary decisions.

Anu Menons WAITING is a poignant and stirring film that is as witty as it is heartrending. Reuniting for the first time since they starred together in THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah and the incomparable Kalki Koechlin give beautiful performances that bring Tara and Shivs charming connection to life. Exploring the universal and personal experiences of grief in an honest and powerful way, WAITING is a tender film that proves the importance of our bond as humans is sometimes through sorrow and uncertainty.

FEATURES

ALIGARH
India/2015/114min/DCP/Hindi
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Hansal Mehta (IFFLA alum)
Logline: The true story of Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a linguistics professor at Aligarh Muslim University whose outing and threatened termination caused an uproar.

BEEBA BOYS
Canada/2015/103min/DCP/Punjabi and English
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Deepa Mehta (IFFLA alum)
Logline: A ruthless and charismatic Sikh Canadian gangster leads his crew into war for drugs, money and respect.

BRAHMAN NAMAN
UK/2015/90min/DCP/English
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Q
Logline: A team of misfits at Bangalore University makes an alcohol-fueled cross-country journey to the National Quiz Championships, determined to defeat their archrivals and lose their virginities.

This years Sundance Film Festival heard non-stop buzz about director Qs latest brazen cinematic provocation: a 1980s-set coming-of-age sex comedy. Theres much more on this films mind than young lust and sexual hijinksbut it does have plenty of that to spare!

CRD
India/2016/108min/DCP/Hindi and English
World Premiere
Director: Kranti Kanade (IFFLA alum)
Logline: As aspiring writer Chetan prepares to compete in a prestigious college theater festival, he explores his creative impulses in radical, hilarious and destructive ways.

FOR THE LOVE OF A MAN
India/2015/82min/DCP/Tamil and English
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Rinku Kalsy
Logline: An entertaining and unforgettable look at the godlike devotion by millions of fans for South-Indian super-star Rajinikanth.

ISLAND CITY
India/2015/111min/DCP/Hindi
U.S. Premiere
Director: Ruchika Oberoi
Logline: Three stories set in the sprawling city of Mumbai reveal the absurd, bittersweet and heartbreaking ways three characters attempt to push back against societys plans for them.

Oberoi brilliantly plays with genre as her film effortlessly shifts from absurdist comedy to escapist fantasy to realist drama (theres even a tinge of science fiction). Though each characters journey is markedly different, their goals are similar: to push back against the demands forced on them without any regard for their personal desires. Oberois unique vision won the Best Young Director Award of the Venice Days section at the 2015 Venice Film Festival.

KIRUMI (Virus)
India/2015/99min/DCP/Tamil
U.S. Premiere
Director: Anucharan Murugaiyan
Logline: An irresponsible young man finds work as a police informant, but his careless tactics soon anger some of Chennais most dangerous criminals, and put him and his loved ones in jeopardy.

First-time director Anucharan Murugaiyan delivers a riveting, white-knuckle thriller from a script co-written with rising star and Tamil filmmaker M. Manikandan (director of 2015 IFFLA Audience Award winner THE CROWS EGG). Their collaboration is a fine example of Tamil cinema's recent emergence as a force on the world stage, and a superb elevation of the crime genre into a stylish, sophisticated look at corruption from the inside.

KOTHANODI (The River of Fables)
India/2015/117min/DCP/Assamese
U.S. Premiere
Director: Bhaskar Hazarika
Logline: A darker side to motherhood is revealed in these Assamese folktales about four womens strange and unsettling relationships with their children.

MASAAN (Fly Away Solo)
India, France/2015/109min/DCP/Hindi
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Neeraj Ghaywan (IFFLA alum)
Logline: Four very different lives intersect along the Ganges, each longing to escape the moral constructs of a small town.

In the past year, IFFLA alum Neeraj Ghaywans debut feature has become one of the most celebrated independent Indian films in recent memory. Its premiere in Cannes Un Certain Regard section saw the film win the prestigious FIPRESCI prize, and the sections jury honored Ghaywan with the Promising Future Award. The films release in India garnered rave reviews and is poised to make stars of its talented young cast, including Vicky Kaushal, Richa Chadda and Shweta Tripathi.

OTTAAL (The Trap)
India/2014/81min/DCP/Malayalam
U.S. Premiere
Director: Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair
Logline: When an orphan's kind grandfather falls ill, the young boy is confronted with the bleak fate of millions of children worldwide.

Winner of the Crystal Bear in the Generation Kplus section of the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival, OTTAAL is directed with patient mastery by director Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair, and anchored by a heartbreaking performance from its young lead, Ashanth K. Sha.

PARCHED
India/UK/USA/2015/117min/DCP/Hindi
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Leena Yadav
Logline: Four small-town women struggling with mistreatment and misogyny find surprising ways to take control of their lives.

Leena Yadav's drama premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and went on to play the Stockholm International Film Festival, where it won the festivals Impact Award. With vivid, lived-in performances and a script by Yadav that never simplifies what is a complex reality for many Indian women, PARCHED spotlights a harsh patriarchal culture and the women and girls who remain steadfast within it.

UMRIKA
India/2015/102min/DCP/Hindi
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Prashant Nair (IFFLA alum)
Log line: A young man must learn the truth about what happened to his older brother after he left their small Indian village for the magical, faraway land of Umrika.

Showcasing winning performances by Suraj Sharma (LIFE OF PI) and Tony Revolori (THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL), UMRIKA won the Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award along with other accolades at festivals around the world. With a moving mix of humor, piercing loss and sacrifice, writer-director and IFFLA alum Prashant Nair captures the power of stories about the faraway, mythical places that are never quite real, but we still risk everything to reach.

VISAARANAI (Interrogation)
India/2015/108min/DCP/Tamil
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Vetri Maaran
Logline: When a Tamil-speaking immigrant lands in jail on trumped up charges, he must navigate a labyrinth of police brutality and corruption.


SHORTS

ASHRUT (Silent Voices)
India/2014/26min/DCP/Bengali
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Pritha Chakraborty
Logline: An intimate documentary portrait of three sisters and their mother that explores the womens unrealized dreams and confinement to domesticity.

BABUS DILEMMA
India/2015/24min/HDCAM/Hindi and English
World Premiere
Director: Collin D'Cunha (IFFLA alum)
Logline: An immigrant construction worker in Dubai who can barely make ends meet must find a way to send an expensive gift to his wife back in India.

BUNNY
India/2015/15min/DCP/Non-dialogue
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Megha Ramaswamy
Logline: A young girl mourns the death of her stuffed bunny.

CHHAYA (The Shadow)
UK/2015/10min/DCP/Non-dialogue
Director: Debanjan Nandy
Logline: Fantasy and reality vehemently clash in the nursing home quarters of a lonely widower.

DAARAVTHA (The Threshold)
India/2016/30min/DCP/Marathi
U.S. Premiere
Director: Nishant Roy Bombarde
Logline: Torn between a patriarchal Indian upbringing and his natural urge to identify with the opposite gender, an adolescent boy discovers his sexuality.

LEECHES
India/2016/27min/DCP/Urdu and Dakhani
U.S. Premiere
Director: Payal Sethi
Logline: A woman embarks on a dangerous journey to save her young sister from being sold as a One-Day Bride.

LOVE COMES LATER
USA/2015/10min/Blu-ray/English
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Sonejuhi Sinha
Logline: An undocumented motel worker faces a life-altering decision when she discovers shes pregnant.

MAST QALANDAR
India/2015/15min/DCP/Punjabi and Hindi
U.S. Premiere
Director: Divij Roopchand
Logline: All this rap-loving Sikh boy wants for his thirteenth birthday is a new hairdo.

MOCHI (The Cobbler)
India/2016/20min/Blu-ray/Hindi and Marathi
World Premiere
Director: Saqib Pandor
Logline: When a struggling shoe repairman loses an expensive pair of shoes, his entire world starts to crumble.

PLAYGROUNDS
India/2014/18min/Blu-ray/Hindi and Tamil
U.S. Premiere
Directors: Shamik Sen Gupta and Pallavi MD
Logline: When a rickshaw driver discovers a young boy in the back seat of his auto, he embarks on a dark journey to find the childs parents.

THE MANLIEST MAN
India/2016/23min/DCP/ Hindi and Bundeli
North American Premiere
Director: Anuj Gulati
Logline: When the village potter fails to produce a son, the community Chief calls for a manlier man to help the family bear a male offspring.
03.04.16 by OC

An in-depth interview with multi-awarded director Louis Belanger about his new comedy-thriller BAD SEEDS (Les Mauvaises Herbes)





by Oliver Carnay



Photo: Director Louis Belanger with this writer


One of the most entertaining and delightful comedy feature at the recent Santa Barbara International Film Festival was Louis Belangers BAD SEED (Les Mauvaises Herbes). Jacques (Alexis Martin), a theatre actor who runs away from the city to escape from a mafia where he owes a lot of money because of gambling debts. Clad only with a Shakespeare costume brazing the cold winter, he found himself in a very remote place meeting the reclusive farmer Simon (Gilles Renaud) who offered him food and shelter. But Jacques luck was only for a moment when he found out that he is now a hostage and being blackmailed to work for Simons home-breeding marijuana business. When Francesca (Emmanuelle Lussier-Martinez), a lesbian electrician who is doing a routine electricity house meter check-up found out about the marijuana-breeding barn and their secret, she also becomes a hostage and was offered to double her salary in exchange of working with them. Things get twisted when the mob boss Patenaude (Luc Picard) starts looking for Jacques and found him working in this barn. This is just a premise of such comedy-thriller story with endearing characters director Belanger greatly executed.





I caught up with director Belanger after the movie and here is an excerpt of our conversation:

HF: You mentioned your daughter had a significant part in creating this wonderful film and you said you were at SBIFF ten years or twelve years ago? Can you talk about it?

LB: My daughter was two years old the first time I was in Santa Barbara International Film Festival and that was sixteen years ago. Most films I've done was about politics and my daughter actually was asking me why I don't do funny films. And that's how I thought about doing this film. (In 2000, that year his film "Port Mortem" won the SBIFF Special Jury Prize for Artistic Merit and the Independence Voice Award).

HF: How did you come up with the fascinating story? What was your motivation and inspiration in creating the relationships between each characters?

LB: The idea started with few intuition. A book that I read. La fort des Renard Pendus. From Finland author Arto Passalinan. It was set in Winter and I thought that we have the same surrounding to set a good story. I also had a friend who passed away 4 years ago. He was 63, living in a complete autarky 4 hours up north from Montreal. I learn fishing with him, canoe, He was a pure philosopher even if he was unable to read and write. So I decided to dig this idea about the rural intelligence and city intelligence. Book and school versus life and pragmatism. Finally I ride a motorcycle, so I travelled a lot in remote village in the province of Qubec, a huge territory and it doesnt take a genius to understand the alternative economic in those place. Farmer and lumber turn to weed harvester without any guilt. They have been forgotten by the big city, the government. so they feel the right to do as they please to occupied 364 days per years those territories. Finally , a subject that come back in most of my work. the legacy. what to pass on to our children and im not talking about money, but value of life.

HF: How long did it take you from the very start you wrote the script and the production, and with the finished product? How many shooting days did you have?

LB: It took something like 3 years from the writing of the script to the editing room. Alexis and I started to write this story while we were doing a documentary on his father (a great journalist). Then there were a lot of pause because Alexis wrote and played two theatre plays he directed. On my side I was doing 36 episode series for TV (the french adaptation of IN TREATMENT). The problem was there were small windows we target to shoot the film. End of January and February are the only safe month if you want enough snow to shoot a film during the winter. We were ready in winter 2013-2014 but there were not enough snow. So we waited for winter 2014-2015. It was ok because we took that time to go deeper in the writing of the script. When we can, we just go outside of Montreal in the country, either at my shack in the wood or we rent a country house where we cut ourself from our other obligation. Finally, we were able to shoot it in 35 days. Tough condition but beautiful. Editing and mixing were done last summer.



Photo: A scene from "Bad Seeds" with actors (L-R) Gilles Renaud, Emmanuelle Lussier-Martinez, and Alexis Martin (who co-wrote the story with writer/director Louis Belanger).


HF: I liked how you gradually introduce each characters throughout the film and it kept the thrill in creating the arc and twist of the story until the end. How did you do this?

LB: Basically, Alexis and I are always worried about doing something already done. Often when the people who fund the film propose some solution they dont realize that theyre proposing old ideas, clichs and thats exactlywhat we were trying to avoid. Sometimes if you want to create something different and unusual you have to stop being logic. Logic is not always entertaining. It has to be believable but not always rational and logic. In this film we use a simple technique. Each time the story start to slow down, we injected a new character. When thing start to be too good and life is great for Simon and Jacques, Francesca arrive in their republic. When all of them start to get along too well .. bang!!! ..here is Patenaude -- the crook! It kind of gave an electric shock to the story. It complicates things, and people have to reveal new sides of their personality. And we try to respect only one law when i write a film. To be interesting, a character should always be in mutation

HF: You have found a tremendous talented actors. Where did you find them?

LB: Before being actors, these people are my friends and we see each other very often outside work. Ive already made five films with Gilles Renaud (Simon) andthree movies with Alexis Martin. With the actors and my technical crew as well, I am a family man. I work with the same people (John Casavetes maybe an inspiration here!!!!).

Gilles, Alexis and Luc Picard (Patenaude, the Crook) are quite famous here in Quebec. They are popular in small and big screen and all three are also known for their theater works. Gilles was in over 20 projects in one of the most famous writer here, Michel Tremblay. Alexis is the director of Libre thtre where Luc Picard is what you can call a star here. I go to see a lot of theatre plays and I always follows the work of different actors and actresses. I never do auditions to get actors in my movie. I always offer the part to actors and I live and die with my choices. But I auditioned only with Emmanuelle Lussier Martinez (the girl who played Francesca). In her audition with Gilles, I knew right away, we had found our Francesca. She was right on Her will to get the part made her look strong like Francesca. She was nervous and making fun of herself. she was being very comic. I knew she had a great sense of humor. She was very concentrated and was listening very well to my instructions. And above all, she was not trying to seduce the camera or me, or the casting agent. She was just natural.

HF: How was the working relationship and the atmosphere in between shoots? Did you allow your actors to be serious during set? Did you have to be strict on them so you can achieve the delivery you wanted?

LB: There was nothing you can do, seriously, when Gilles is around With me and Alexis either. That said, we burst in laugh between the takes. But we go back on serious mood rapidly before the take. In certain occasion, i can become very strict. One example, all the scenes when Simon is lying in his bed waiting for death to come and take him. I asked my first AD to make sure that all the conversation between the takes are made in a whisper mode. I asked for the clap being made at the end of the take, not at the beginning. I also notice that Gilles and Alexis were very kind to the young Emmanuelle. Some sort of parenthood attitude. She was the kid of the set so they kind of protect her. When i give directions to an actor, it is never from a chair behind the monitor. I walk to them and talk in low voice. I try to make it simple and short. One instructions per take and I dont give a whole bunch of information. I have to admit, I dont have to talk a lot with Gilles and Alexis (we go way back). I work a little more with Emmanuelle. Making a film is a rare opportunity, I try to do that with fun and laugh.

HF: The set location effectively created a perfect atmosphere in establishing the momentum and the pacing. I feel like I was also freezing the whole time. Where did you find the location?

LB: We found the location about two hours up north of Montreal. We were lucky to find exactly something that fits the script. It was out of question doing the interior of the farm in one place, the barn in another place, and the exterior farm in a another place and trying to make it match with green screen. I dont have the patience for continuity. Im bored withcontinuity and I want the actor to go were they are pleased. I would want to change my mind on the set and try something different, plus I never used storyboard so I have to shoot with the real environment.

HF: Can you talk about the plants used in shooting and the location of the barn? Where did you find all the marijuana used during the shoot?

LB: I owe everything to Andr-Line Beauparlant, my Visual Designer. Shes the one who created all these places. She was also the one who decided that we would go plastic for the plants (yes, we used fake plastic plants!). Otherwise, we would have lost the harvest of weed ten times during the shooting. Shes the one who went and got thehelp from professinals in growing weeds, to make sure that we were 100% accurate.

HF: What was the most challenging part during shooting inside the barn? Did you have to stop sometimes because of the weather temperature?

LB: The weather was always an issue. Last winter was the coldest since we started to film the temperature. 39 Celsius is something camera doesnt like. But we have to and never stopped. My photographer Pierre Mignot is 71 years old. He was for a long period of time, the director of photography for famous director Robert Altman. He is a gem .. and human tougher than equipment.

HF: What would someone think about your film after watching it? What do you want them to take with them later?

LB: We should all wake up in the morning and try to enjoy life on a daily basis, which is the greatest human challenge. I want people to leave after watching this movie with a feeling of love and gratitude for human beings. I believe that with beautiful things comes our success and failure. I strongly believein solidarity. It is something that we are capable of. Friendship and family are important to me. I try to pass it along.

HF: Who were the filmmakers you adore growing up watching films?

LB: As a kid, I was fascinatied by every Sergio Leone films. Then as a young adult I fell in love with the Italian cinematography of Fellini, Scola, the Taviani Bros, Commenchini, Elio Petri .. films with mixture of drama and comedy was new to me. Then the New Wave from Czechoslovakia like Jiri Menzel and Milos Forman (trains closely watched and the love of a Blonde)..

HF: Do you have a role model?

LB: If I have to name one personit would be John Cassavetes. He set all the rules for independant filmmaking. He was totally free in his artistic approach. Im also a big fan of the works of Ken Loach.

HF: What type of films you like watching, any genre?

LB: Recently, Ive been watching a lot of documentary and foreign independent fictions.

HF: What is your next film about?

LB: Once again, it will be a film about friendship. Largely autobiographic. Three guys from 7 years old to 21. I was not exactly a good teenager .. it will be something dramatic and funny!

HF: What is your marketing and distribution plan for this film? Are we going to watch this film in the U.S. in the near future?

LB: As of right now, I am thinking of my junket tomorrow morning. This film will be launched in five days. As you know it had a World Premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. We have a solid distributor (E ONE) so it is early to tell. The passage and the buzz at SBIFF certainly open some doors on the US market. The film will be screened at another festival in CA. at the Sonoma Film Festival). Strangely, despite the language, it looks better so far in the US than in France. Well see .. thank you!
02.28.16 by OC

Director Gerd Schneider talks about his new film THE CULPABLE, winner of 2016 SBIFF Audience Award



THE CULPABLE (Verfehlung) Trailer from Pluto Film on Vimeo.





Photo: Dir. Gerd Schneider doing his acceptance speech receiving the 2016 SBIFF Audience Award; with SBIFF Festival Director Roger Durling.


by Oliver Carnay

One of the best films Ive seen at the recent Santa Barbara International Film Festival is 2016 Audience Award winner THE CULPABLE. The film is about a Catholic prisoner minister named Jakob (a compelling performance by Sebastian Blomberg) who is shaken when his colleague and friend Dominik (Kai Schumann) is taken into custody under suspicion of sexual abuse. Ive seen many films about the anomaly plagued in the Catholic ministry, cover-ups of high-ranking Cardinals, not to mention the Oscar-nominated SPOTLIGHT. But this film offers a viewpoint on the other end. With great screenplay and story different from what weve already seen, director Gerd Schneider manage to write and deliver a film that is well-crafted and such that is engrossing until it ends.

I caught up with Director Gerd Schneider later after the SBIFF Awards announcement and below youll read the in-depth stories about the challenges he encountered in creating his film.


HF: Congratulations for winning the Best Audience Choice Award at the recent Santa Barbara International Film Festival! You attended the announcement and how did you feel the moment they announced your film? What does this recognition mean to you?

GS: Well, I was very surprised and caught a bit off guard, when Roger announced the winners of this years SBIFF. The award means a lot to me and also my producers since this is an audience award. People obviously liked THE CULPABLE very much. I'm deeply grateful.

HF: There were a lot of films made that already tackled clergy child-abuse scandal roiling the Roman Catholic church and the latest is the Oscar-nominated "Spotlight," what inspired you to do this film? What made your film different from the other films that has come out? What was your motivation? Also, can you describe Raul's relationship with Bro. Jakob, which maybe for some people, are not familiar about the role and job description of being a Catholic prisoner-minister.

GS: The idea to THE CULPABLE came to me several years ago; it was just a single situation I had in mind: a prison minister has to take care of his imprisoned friend and colleague who is under the suspicion of child abuse. I studied catholic theology and was myself about to take the cloth, so I know the inner system of the church very well. And I knew that transgressions have taken place; in fact, every one could have known. Jokes about "the quire boys" are old and common. But I wanted to take a different point of view on the story: who are those people, who got knowledge of these incidents and turned a blind eye to them? What is going on between priests who want to do something about the situation and their superiors? While SPOTLIGHT focuses on the journalistic investigation, THE CULPABLE tells the story from the other side of the fence. And the Chilean film EL CLUB takes an insight of a whole group of perpetrators beeing more or less under house arrest in a very remote place, concealed by the church from the rest of the society.

HF: Rauls part is actually that of a mirror character: he is expecting a verdict for rape and fatal aggravated assault; Jakob does his best to take care of this special inmate. There is an intense and intimate relationship between the both of the men; Raul is trusting Jakob, but loses that confidence when he sees that Dominik is released from custody. And so Raul gets lost which puts the pressure on Jakob. Suicide does happen in prison, and it is a very sad thing to see somebody going that way and feeling absolutely helpless about it.

HF: Tell us about how did you research on the theme as well as the characters you put into your film?

GS: I got in contact to survivers and interviewed them. That was something very special and also exhausting, because there are so many sad and unsettling stories, peoples lifes were so deeply affected by the transgressions. After one of those interviews I stopped writing for about three months because I thouhgt I would never make a good screenplay out of it. At a point, you have to let go and work on the story. I worked closely with my actors on their characters, we spend a week in a monastery for readings and rehearsing, especially the liturgical parts. In fact, we had a blast there, laughed a lot.

HF: There is an obvious feeling about the objectivity of this film the way the characters, the conflicts that are provided to the audience, and I like that it is not being judgmental at all the way the story was enfolding. Can you talk more about this? What was your original perspective in creating the arc of the film and its characters?

GS: Well, things are never black-and-white, there is a lot of grey out there. That sounds like a weisenheimer's piece of wisdom, but it's a finnicky business to get that into a good screenplay: all the characters have their reasons, some are good, some of them are selfish and some arise from cowardice. It is usual people under unsually high pressure. As I've said before, I wanted to establish a perspective on those who fell silent - and there's a lot of silence on all sides: the church, the families, survivers and investigators. Jakob is the character the film concentrates on, his struggle to simply do the morally right thing and his shattering finding that he himself is not meeting his moral standards - as neither anybody on the clerical side. The film has a certain position but is not forcing that on the audience; I just wanted to pass the ball back to the audience: what would you do?

HF: The movie tackled a lot of issues: trust, faith, morality, dedication and hope. What do you think this film can help achieve for the people who see it?

GS: I would like people to achieve one thing: be aware of what's going on and don't turn the blind eye to it. That means to leave your comfort zone but otherwise nothing will change. And it takes more than prayers, God isn't fixing it.

HF: What was your favorite scene in the movie and why?

GS: My most favorite scene is Dominik's confession to Jakob in the chapel; the incredibel acting of Kai Schumann and Sebastian Blomberg in this unsettling situation is outstanding. We shot just three set-ups, nothing else: a 2-shot from behind and two 'over-the-shoulder'; I wanted the camera to be kind of eavesdropping, the audience beeing the silent third party. Jakob's reaction to Dominik's opening is literally breathtaking; Sebastian's highly sensitive and emotional acting shows the slow disruption of the prison minister's world.

HF: You got great actors to create a well-crafted dramatic piece, where did you find your actors? What was the casting process? Can you tell me more about their background?
GS: We worked with casting agent Suse Marquardt in Berlin who is an experienced and emphatic caster. We sat together, talked about the screenplay and tried dozens of combinations first on the paper, then invited actors to audition at her casting office. It took us weeks to try all the combinations as I wanted to find actors who could play the three clergymen and friends in a highly credible way. None of them is a really religious person, Sebastian refers to himself as a 'bedraggled Lutheran'. Kai Schumann actually played mainly in comedies which why I casted him for the part of Dominik. Jan Messutat starring as Oliver, the freshly appointed Vicar General, is such a good and thoughtful actor; as well is Sandra Borgman, who gave Vera Rubin, the victims mother, a touching and humane character drawing.

HF: How long did it take you to start and finish the script? Was there anything from the original script that you left out in the final print? How many shooting days did you have?

GS: Writing is quite a process; a screenplay is a living and constantly changing document. It took me 5 years to deliver a draft that attracted sponsors and convinced filmboards. By then everything went pretty fast. We had 30 days of shooting which we completed in May 2014. A lot of things change during the shooting process as the screeenplay becomes alive. I had scripted a different, more conventional ending but as we were shooting it I already knew this was not going to be the ending of the film. My editor Uta Schmidt developed a new version which I immedeately fell in love to and we sticked to it. I think it is a powerful and provoking ending now.

HF: What was the greatest challenge for you as a director, and as a writer, in creating this film?

GS: There's a lot of challenges, that's for sure. Time pressure and a tight schedule are the most challenging circumstances, and by that I think to me the biggest challenge was to direct a scene adequately and with care. Sometimes you don't know what to do with a scene, your head is just empty but the train is rolling and you have to give direction. And you hope what you do is hopefully the right thing. It feels like surfing with three boards.

HF: How did you come up with the title of the film?

GS: For a long time we had a working title, 'THE RESPONSIBLE ONES', but that didn't sound right anymore. So we were discussing the title a lot with the german distributor and some executives from the networks; there were dozens of nominations and a lot of discussions, but we finally came together on THE CULPABLE. I think it has the right sound and gives you an idea what you're about to see.

HF: Can you give me a little description about your background and your goals as a writer/director? What are your favorite films or the type of films do you watch growing up .. do you have a dream project? What's your next project?

GS: I don't see myself as an Author's filmmaker. For that, I'm too lazy I'm afraid. No really, I would love to work with screenwriters as they bring in their own creativity and I'm bringing in mine. I've always loved films with a strong story and a strong message, wether mainstream or Arthouse I don't care; a good science fiction movie can enthrall me as well as an emotional drama. I love the films of Kubrick, Spielberg, Gilliam, Bergman, Lubitsch, Herzog and so many others - there is no particular filmmaker I would favour. They all have a certain quality and handwriting which I hope to develop myself. Right now I'm working on a very special lovestory in times of a society politically shifting to the extremes again; it's going to be a film about seduction and sedition. And I'm working on the adaptation of an old fairy tale which I want to relocate to a contemporary Berlin.

HF: Where else can we see this film after SBIFF? Have you found distribution and what is the marketing plan of this film? I hopefully want this to be available for the U.S. audience, definitely.

GS: THE CULPABLE is invited to the Festival of German Films in New York in March, which I will personally attend; L.A. Goethe Institute is hopefully going to screen it as well. Right now we are dicussing US-distribution, first promising contacts have been made. I'm very hopeful we find a distributor. I'd love to have THE CULPABLE showing in U.S. theaters.
02.17.16 by OC

31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival announces winning films at awards breakfast held at Fess Parker Double Tree



Photo: (Top left clockwise) 2016 SBIFF Best Doc Short Film Award ("Lebanon Wins the World Cup," producer, director Tony Elkhoury; SBIFF Exec. Director Roger Durling with "The Culpable" director - Gerd Schneider; Filmmakers (L-R): Peter Alsted ("Standing On Water"), Arthur Franck and Oskar Forsten ("I Am Walker")

Complete list of winners:

BRUCE CORWIN AWARD - BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM:
"GRAFFITI" - Directed by Llus Qulez

BRUCE CORWIN AWARD - BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM:
"THE ORCHESTRA" - Directed by Mikey Hill

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM AWARD:
"LEBANON WINS THE WORLD CUP" - Directed by Tony El Khoury and Anthony Lapp

NUEVA VISION AWARD FOR SPANISH/LATIN AMERICAN CINEMA:
"TALIN" - Directed by Martn Tuta

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM AWARD:
"VITA ACTIVA: THE SPIRIT OF HANNAH ARENDT" - Directed by Ada Ushpiz

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM AWARD:
"VILLE-MARIE" - Directed by Guy doin

PANAVISION SPIRIT AWARD FOR INDEPENDENT CINEMA:
"MAMMAL" - Directed by Rebecca Daly

SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARD FOR DOCUMENTARY FILM:
"10 BILLION: WHATS ON YOUR PLATE?" - Directed by Valentin Thurn

THE ADL STAND UP AWARD (SPONSORED BY SANTA BARBARA/TRI-COUNTIES ADL): "VIVA," Directed by Paddy Breathnach

THE AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD (SPONSORED BY THE SANTA BARBARA INDEPENDENT): "THE CULPABLE" - Directed by Gerd Schneider



Santa Barbara, CA (February 13, 2016) The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), presented by UGG, announced today the highly-anticipated winners for its 31st year at a breakfast held in their honor. Ten winning films in as many categories were announced, culminating in the coveted audience award which went to THE CULPABLE.

Three awards, chosen by jury members Perry Lang and Mimi deGruy, were handed out for short films. The Bruce Corwin Award for Best Live Action Short Film went to Llus Qulezs GRAFFITI, chosen for its brave and beautiful use of Chernobyl in winter as a real character in a fictional story about a man in isolation. THE ORCHESTRA, directed by Michael Hill, received the Bruce Corwin Award for Best Animated Short Film not only because of its lovely animation and music but the sentiment that demonstrates we all live with our own soundtrack in the hope it can someday work in concert with someone we love. Finally, Best Documentary Short Film was awarded to LEBANON WINS THE WORLD CUP, directed by Tony Khoury, because of the filmmakers unique understanding of Beirut and their ability to give us a soulful snapshot of the power of forgiveness.

The Nueva Vision Award for Spanish / Latin American Cinema went to Martin Tutas TALIN, chosen by jury members Alan Marshall & Geoffrey Cowper for being so bold and straightforward with such an important and relevant issue as child pornography, and for electrifying filmmaking with powerful and emotional performances.

VITA ACTIVA: THE SPIRIT OF HANNAH ARENDT was awarded the Best Documentary Film Award by jury members Phyllis de Picciotto and Margaret Lazarus. When asked why, they said Ada Ushpizs Vita Activa is a sometimes critical, but always incisive, biography of the independent thinker Hannah Arendt. We chose this film because after experiencing it and really listening to what she has to say, you will have a deeper understanding of what it means to be a responsible human being.

Jury members Sean Baker and James Morrison chose Rebecca Dalys MAMMAL as winner of the Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema. They chose to award a film that they found beautifully perverse, truthful, thick, sad, and visually poetic. They felt this is a film that is confident in its bold choices and is never afraid to seek empathy in characters who perform unsympathetic acts. They thought Rachel Griffiths delivers a courageous performance which hopefully continues to be recognized.

The Social Justice Award for Documentary Film went to 10 BILLION: WHATS ON YOUR PLATE?, directed by Valentin Thurn. Jury members Anthony and Arnette Zerbe chose the film as an alarming glimpse of the imminent disaster of food shortage in the world. They felt the film exposes the precarious balance of greed on one side and creative innovation on the other. Wake up, GREED is winning!

Jury members Johannes Kuhnke and Neil Konigsberg chose VILLE-MARIE as the recipient of the Best International Film Award. Kuhnke and Konigsberg praised the performances of the actors and applauded Guy doins film as a richly conceived and ambitious look at multiple characters coming together through tragedy and subsequent healing. They also noted the unique story elements of the film, particularly the soap opera that was within the unfolding drama.

Sponsored by Santa Barbara and Tri-Counties ADL, The ADL Stand Up Award went to Paddy Breathnachs VIVA. The purpose of the ADL Stand Up Award is to recognize and celebrate the impact that storytelling can have in fostering mutual understanding and respect. Viva, a story about both confrontation and transformation on multiple levels, was chosen because it powerfully stands up for respecting diversity, rejecting bigotry, and celebrating a triumph of self-realization and love over hate.

Sponsored by The Santa Barbara Independent, the Audience Choice Award went to Gerd Schneiders THE CULPABLE. The film, which had its US premiere at the festival this week, deals with the life and faith of catholic prison minister Jakob Voelz, who becomes troubled when his best friend and hieratical colleague Dominik is taken in custody under suspicion of sexual abuse.

About the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema. SBIFF offers 11 days of 200+ films, tributes and symposiums that transforms beautiful downtown Santa Barbara, CA into a rich destination for film lovers which attract more than 90,000 attendees.

SBIFF continues its commitment to education and the community through free programs like its 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Mikes Field Trip to the Movies, National Film Studies Program, AppleBox Family Films, 3rd Weekend and educational seminars. In recent years SBIFF has expanded its year round presence with regular screenings and Q&As with programs like Cinema Society, The Showcase and its Wave Film Festivals.
02.13.16 by OC

Predictions for best performances and films that might be nominated for Oscar (coming out this Thursday)


by Oliver Carnay

I have been raving about The Revenant and Leonardo DiCaprios performance since Day 1 and it proved during last Sundays Golden Globes. Despite top performance from other actors, its Leo that is a unanimous frontrunner this year. Id like to see The Revenants winning streaks all throughout this award season. For Best Director, Id like to say it should be between Alejandro G. Inarritu and George Miller.

For Best Actress, Im still sticking with Brie Larson to win the Oscar. Alicia Vikander was good in Ex Machina as well as in The Danish Girl but if she pulls down to Best Supporting Actress nomination, Jennifer Lawrence has a chance to take the slot for Best Actress category. I would like to see Charlize Theron nominated for Mad Max: Fury Road for Best Supporting category, though.

For Best Supporting Actor, I would like to see Michael Shannon (99 Homes) and Abraham Attah (Beast of No Nation). It seems some people are pushing Jacob Trembley (Room) to get a nomination but lets see if that happens. Tom Brady was excellent in The Revenant as well as in the other films Ive seen him last year (Child 44, Legend, and Mad Max: Fury Road).
For my top favorite films and performances in 2015 list, read here.

Here is the list we might see for Thursday's Oscar nomination announcement:

Best Picture:
The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Carol

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant -- should win!

Sicario

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton

Best Director:
Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight)

Ridley Scott (The Martian)
Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant)

Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)

Adam McKay (The Big Short)

George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Best Actor:
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)

Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)

Matt Damon (The Martian)

Best Actress:
Brie Larson (Room)

Cate Blanchett (Carol)

Saorise Ronan (Brooklyn)

Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)

Best Supporting Actor:
Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)

Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)

Christian Bale (The Big Short)

Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
Michael Shannon (99 Homes)

Best Supporting Actress
Helen Mirren (Trumbo)

Rooney Mara (Carol)

Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

Jane Fonda (Youth)

Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)

Original Screenplay
Spotlight

The Hateful Eight

Inside Out

Bridge of Spies

Sicario

Adapted Screenplay
Brooklyn

The Big Short

Steve Jobs

Room

The Martian

I will post my Oscar predictions after all the nominations are out .. stay tuned!
01.13.16 by OC

My Predictions for 2016 Golden Globes!
The Golden Globes is tonight and here are my predictions:

FILM

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

(It's a toss for me between THE REVENANT and MAD MAX: FURY ROAD but they may pick SPOTLIGHT)

Best Motion Picture, Comedy
The Big Short
Joy
The Martian
Spy
Trainwreck

(Literally, it should be TRAINWRECK, but I would pick THE MARTIAN)

Best Director Motion Picture
Todd Haynes, Carol
Alejandro Irritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max
Ridley Scott, The Martian

(For Best Director, I would like to win either George Miller or Alejandro Irritu!)

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

(Brie Larson is the most deserving and most likely to win!)

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy

Amy Schumer, Trainwreck


Maggie Smith, Lady in the Van

Lily Tomlin, Grandma

(Amy Shcumer might get this but I would like Lily Tomlin to win as she is the most deserving!)

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Jane Fonda, Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

(Kate Winslet is very good in STEVE JOBS and I like Alicia Vikander to win but Jane Fonda did a great cameo in YOUTH and I also like her to win!)

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Will Smith, Concussion

(I would go solidly for LEONARDO DICAPRIO!!!)

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carell, The Big Short
Matt Damon, The Martian
Al Pacino, Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

(Matt Damon is deserving to win but Steve Carrell may steal it from him!)

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

(Michael Shannon was very effective and most deserving but who knows if they will give this to Sylvester Stallone!)

Best Screenplay Motion Picture
Emma Donoghue, Room
Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer, Spotlight
Charles Randolph, Adam McKay, The Big Short
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

(Aaron Sorkin should get this for STEVE JOBS but Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer might steal it for SPOTLIGHT!)

Best Animated Feature Film
Anomalisa

The Good Dinosaur

Inside Out

The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

(No doubt, it should be INSIDE OUT!)

Best Original Song
Love Me Like You Do 50 Shades of Grey
One Kind of Love Love and Mercy
See You Again Furious 7
Simple Song No. 3″ Youth
Writings on the Wall Spectre

(Not sure but i would go for "Love Me Like You Do" coz I've been hooked up to the tune since they used this on PBB, lol!)

Best Original Score
Carter Burwell, Carol
Alexandre Desplat, The Danish Girl
Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs
Ryuichi Sakamoto Alva Noto, The Revenant

(I would go for Ryuichi Sakamoto Alva Noto for THE REVENANT)

Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language
The Brand New Testament
The Club
The Fencer
Mustang
Son of Saul

(Most deserving for me is MUSTANG but SON OF SAUL seems to be the most popular!)


TELEVISION

Best TV Series, Drama

Empire
Game of Thrones
Mr. Robot
Narcos
Outlander

(GAMES OF THRONES has been consistent, but why not give it to EMPIRE?)

Best TV Series, Comedy
Casual
Mozart in the Jungle
Orange Is the New Black
Silicon Valley
Transparent
Veep

(I'd like TRANSPARENT to win!)

Best TV Movie or Limited-Series
American Crime
American Horror Story: Hotel
Fargo
Flesh and Bone
Wolf Hall

(AMERICAN CRIME should win!)

Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Wagner Moura, Narcos
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

(John Hamm, Mad Men -- again?)

Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Eva Green, Penny Dreadful
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Robin Wright, House of Cards

(Taraji P. Henson should get it this time!)

Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
Rob Lowe, The Grinder
Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

(I would go for Jeffrey Tambor for TRANSPARENT!)

Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex Girlfriend
Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens
Julia Louis Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Lily Tomlin, Grace & Frankie

(Gina Rodriguez may get it again for JANE THE VIRGIN but Lily Tomlin may steal it!)

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited-Series, or TV Movie
Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Regina King, American Crime
Judith Light, Transparent
Maura Tierney, The Affair

(Either Uzo Aduba or Regina King.)

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Tobias Menzies, Outlander
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

(I am a fan of Ben Mendelsohn but I also like Alan Cumming in THE GOOD WIFE!)

Best Actor in a Limited-Series or TV Movie
Idris Elba, Luther
Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero
David Oyelowo, Nightingale
Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall
Patrick Wilson, Fargo

(Mark Rylance or Oscar Isaac!)

Best Actress in a Limited-Series or TV Movie
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel
Sarah Hay, Flesh & Bone
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Queen Latifah, Bessie

(Felicity Huffman in AMERICAN CRIME!)
01.10.16 by OC

Movies I've seen in 2016 ..
by Oliver Carnay

Another year passed by and so far I've seen about 540 movies in 2016:

CUATRO LUNAS - directed by Sergio Tovar Velarde

NAKED AS WE CAME directed by Richard LeMay

BLACKBIRD - Dir. Patrik Ian Polk

THE TIGER & THE MONK - tv special

SPECIAL FORCES - Dir. Stepjane Rybojad

SEBASTIAN - Dir. Svend Wam

LIKE A BROTHER - Dir. Bernard Alapetite

THE FENCER - Dir. Klaus Haro

ANGELS OF SEX - Dir. Xavier Villaverde

STEAK REVOLUTION - Dir. Franck Ribiero

DANCE FOR ME (Dans For Mig) - Dir. Katrine Philp

BIG SKY - Dir. Jorge Michel Grau

AMOROUS - Dir. Joanna Coates

13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI - Dir. Michael Bay

RIDE ALONG 2 - Dir. Tim Story

UNCLE JOHN - Dir. Steven Piet

UNLUCKY PLAZA - Dir. Ken Kwek

MAKING A MURDERER (10 EPISODES) - Directors Moira Demos | Laura Ricciardi

ANOMALISA - Dir. Duke Johnson

DIRTY GRANDPA - Dir. Dan Mazer

MOJAVE - Dir. William Monahan

ROSITA - Dir. Frederikke Aspck

THE OTHER GIRLS - Dir. Esa Illi

THE LESSON - Dir. Andris Gauja

SECOND CHANCE - Dir. Susanne Bier

FINEST HOURS - Dir. Craig Gillespie

EVERYTHING ABOUT HER - Bb. Joyce Bernal

KUNG FU PANDA 3 - Dir. Alessandro Carloni

JANE GOT A GUN - Dir. Gavin O'Connor

FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK - Dir. Michael Tiddes

SBIFF 2016:
BATTLECREEK - Dir. Allison Eastwood

ALEX & EVE - Dir. Peter Andrikidis

THE LITTLE PRINCE - Dir. Mark Osborne

10 BILLION: WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE? - Dir. Valentin Thurne *****

ALENA - Dir. Daniel Di Grado *****

ALEX AND EVE - Dir. Peter Andrikidis *****

THE ASSISTANT (La Volante) - Dir. Nicolas Bonilauri *****

BAD SEEDS (Les Malvauses Herbes) - Dir. Louis Belanger *****

THE CHAMPIONS - Dir.Darcy Dennett

THE CLAN (El Clan) - Dir. Pablo Trapero ****

THE CULPABLE (Verfehlung) - Dir. Gerd Schneider *****

THE DARK SIDE OF THE OCEAN - Dir. Rick Roshenthal

A DECENT MAN (Nickts Passiert) - Dir. Micha Lewinsky *****

DREAMLAND - Dir. Steve Chen

HIGH STRUNG - Dir. Michael Damian ****

THE HIGH SUN (Zvizdan) - Dir. Dalibor Matanic *****

HOME CARE - Dir. Slavek Horok *****

I EAT, THEREFORE I AM - Dir. Cheoi-ha Lee

ISLA BONITA - Dir. Fernando Colomo

KING GEORGES - Dir. Erika Frankel

LAMB - Dir. Yared Zeleke

LAZAR - Dir. Svetozor Ristovski *****

LOUDER THAN BOMBS - Dir. Joachim Trier *****

MA MA - Dir. Julio Medem ****

MAMMAL - Dir. Rebecca Daly ***** Rachel Griffiths gives a arresting performance

MIDNIGHT RETURN - Dir. Sally Sussman Morina

THE MIDWIFE - Dir. Antti J. Jokinen

MONITOR - Dir. Alessio Lauria

A FOOL -

ONE MORE TIME - Dir. Robert Edwards, starring Amber Heard and Christopher Walken

THE PICKLE RECIPE - Dir. Michael Manasseri

RENDEZ-VOUS - Dir. Antoinette Baumer *****

SHE WALKS (La Marcheuse) - Dir. Noel Marandin *****

A SINGLE FRAME - Dir. Brandon Dickenson

SPARROWS - Dir. Runar Runarsson

SPEAR - Dir. Stephen Page

STEREOTYPICALLY YOU - Dir. Benjamin Cox

TALION - Dir. Martin Tuta *****

THE TRANSLATOR (Il Traduttore) - Dir. Massimo Natale *****

TOO CLOSE TO OUR SON (Au plus pres du Soleil) - Dir. Yves Angelo *****

VILLA-MARIE - Dir. Guy Edoin *****

WE MONSTERS (Wir Monster) - Dir. Sebastian Ko *****

GUARINI - Dir. Luis Zorraquin

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HOW TO BE SINGLE - Dir. Christian Ditter

DEADPOOL - Dir. Tim Miller

ZOOLANDER 2 - Dir. Ben Stiller

HAIL, CAESAR! - Dir. Ethan Coen

THE CHOICE - Dir. Ross Katz

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES - Dir. Burr Steers

The 2016 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Animated
Sanjays Super Team dir. Sanjay Patel, USA, 7 minutes
World of Tomorrow dir. Don Hertzfeldt, USA, 17 minutes
Bear Story dir. Gabriel Osorio, Chile, 11 minutes
We Cant Live Without Cosmos dir. Konstantin Bronzit, Russia, 16 minutes
If I Was God (additional film)
The Short Story of a Fox and a Mouse (additional film)
The Loneliest Spotlight (additional film)
Catch It (additional film)
Prologue dir. Richard Williams, UK, 6 minutes

Important note: Prologue, one of the five nominees, will be the last film in the program. A beautiful, hand-drawn depiction of a battle scene, theres violence and some male nudity in it, and its not appropriate for young children. Well have a Parental Guidance warning prior to this short, so that parents and caregivers can usher children out of the theater if theyd like. Other than Prologue, the program is acceptable for kids of all ages.

Sanjay's Super Team: Young Sanjay, a first-generation Indian-American, is obsessed with television, cartoons and his superhero action figures. He is reluctant to spend time in daily prayers with his devout Hindu father, but a flight of imagination helps him develop a new perspective that he and his father can both embrace.

World of Tomorrow: A little girl named Emily is taken on a fantastical tour of her distant future by a surprising visitor who reveals unnerving secrets about humanity's fate.

Bear Story: Every day, a melancholy old bear takes a mechanical diorama that he has created out to his street corner. For a coin, passersby can look into the peephole of his invention, which tells the story of a circus bear who longs to escape and return to the family from which he was taken.

We Can't Live without the Cosmos: Two best friends have dreamed since childhood of becoming cosmonauts, and together they endure the rigors of training and public scrutiny, and make the sacrifices necessary to achieve their shared goal.

Prologue: 2,400 years ago, four warriors -- two Spartan and two Athenian -- battle to the death in an intense struggle witnessed by a little girl, who then runs to her grandmother for comfort.

The 2016 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action
This year's nominees are:

Ave Maria dir. Basil Khalil, Palestine/France/Germany, 15 minutes
Shok dir. Jamie Donoughue, Kosovo/UK, 21 minutes
Everything Will Be Okay dir. Patrick Vollrath, Germany/Austria, 30 minutes
Stutterer dir. Benjamin Cleary, UK/Ireland, 12 minutes
Day One dir. Henry Hughes, USA, 25 minutes

Ave Maria: Five nuns living in the West Bank find their routine disrupted when the car of a family of Israeli settlers breaks down outside the convent. Unable to use the telephone due to Sabbath restrictions, the family needs help from the nuns, but the sisters' vow of silence requires them to work with their visitors to find an unorthodox solution.

Shok: In Kosovo in 1998, two young boys are best friends living normal lives, but as war engulfs their country, their daily existence becomes filled with violence and fear. Soon, the choices they make threaten not only their friendship, but their families and their lives.

Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut): Michael, a divorced father devoted to his eight-year-old daughter, Lea, picks her up for their usual weekend together. At first it feels like a normal visit, but Lea soon realizes that something is different, and so begins a fateful journey.

Stutterer: For a lonely typographer, an online relationship has provided a much-needed connection without revealing the speech impediment that has kept him isolated. Now, however, he is faced with the proposition of meeting his online paramour in the flesh, and thereby revealing the truth about himself.

Day One: On the heels of a painful divorce, an Afghan-American woman joins the U.S. military as an interpreter and is sent to Afghanistan. On her first mission, she accompanies troops pursuing a bomb-maker, and must bridge the gender and culture gap to help the man's pregnant wife when she goes into labor.

BUSCO NOVIO PARA MI MUJER - Dir. Enrique Begne

RACE - Dir. Stephen Hopkins

RISEN - Dir. Kevin Reynolds

THE WITCH - Dir. Robert Eggers

WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM - Director Evgeny Afineevsky

GODS OF EGYPT - Dir. Alex Proyas

TRIPLE 9 - Dir. John Hillcoat

FIVE DANCES - Dir. Alan Brown

SECRETS OF WAR - Dir. Dennis Bots

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON: SWORD OF DESTINY - Dir. Woo Ping-Yuen

THE BOY AND THE BEAST - Dir. Mamoru Hosoda

LONDON HAS FALLEN - Dir. Babak Najafi

THE WITCH - Dir. Robert Eggers

ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE - Dir. Dan Villegas starring Gerald Anderson and Arci Munoz

ZOOTOPIA - Dir. Byron Howard

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT - Dir. Glenn Ficarra

EDDIE THE EAGLE - Dir. Dexter Fletcher

TOUCH WITH FIRE - Dir. Paul Dalio

IMMINENT THREAT - Dir. Janek Ambros

FINDING VIVIAN MAIER - Dir. John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

BUEN DIA, RAMON - Dir. Jorge Ramirez Suarez

COOKED - Dir. Alex Gibney

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE - Dir. Dan Trachtenberg

THE BROTHERS GRIMSBY - Dir. Louis Leterrier

THE PERFECT MATCH - Dir. Billy Woodruff

THE YOUNG MESSIAH - Dir. Cyrus Nowrasteh

HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS - Dir. Michael Showalter

THE DIVERGENT SERIES: ALLEGIANT - Dir. Robert Schwentke

THE BRONZE - Dir. Bryan Buckley

THANK YOU FOR PLAYING - Dir. David Osit

BRAINWASHING OF MY DAD - Dir. Jen Senko

REMEMBER - Dir. Atom Egoyan

KNIGHT OF CUPS - Dir. Terrence Malick

CITY OF GOLD - Dir. Laura Gabbert A+

MARGUERITE -Dir. Xavier Gannoli

THE LADY IN VAN - Dir. Nicholas Hytner

CALIFORNIA WINTER - Dir. Odin Ozdil

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE - Dir. Jack Snyder

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING 2 - Dir. Kirk Jones

LOLO - Dir. Julie Delpy

NO LETTING GO - Dir. Jonathan D. Bucari

LOVE IS BLIND - Dir. Jason Paul Laxamana

DECAY - Dir. Joseph Wartnerchaney

STRANGE SEPTEMBERS: THE HILL ABDUCTION & THE EXETER ENCOUNTER - Dir. Jeff Finn

LITTLE BOY - Dir. Alejandro Monteverde

TAKE ME TO THE RIVER - Dir. Matt Sobel

MIDNIGHT SPECIAL - Dir. Jeff Nichols

GOD'S NOT DEAD 2 - Dir. Harold Cronk

EYE IN THE SKY - Dir. Gavin Hood

MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN - Dir. Patricia Riggen

STANDING TALL - Dir. Emmanuelle Bercot

CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR - Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

I SAW THE LIGHT - Dir. Marc Abraham

KRISHA - Dir. Trey Edward Shults

BORN TO BE BLUE - Dir. Robert Budreau

CASA GRANDE - Dir. Fellipe Barbosa

HARDCORE HENRY - Dir. Ilya Naishuller

THE BOSS - Dir. Ben Falcone

DEMOLITION - Dir. Jean-Marc Vallee


INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2016:
UMRIKA - Dir. Prashant Nair

ALIGARH - Dir. Hansal Mehta

KIRUMI - Dir. Anucharan Marugaiyan

DAARAVTHA (THE TRESHOLD) - Dir. Nishant Roy Bombarde

VISAARANAI - Dir. Vetrimaaran

THE NUMBERS STATION - Dir. Kasper Barfoed

KINKY BOOTS - Dir. Julian Jarrold

13 CAMERAS - Dir. Victor Zarcoff

COLONIA - Dir. Florian Gallenberger

SOUTH 32 - Dir. Jake Barsha

BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT - Dir. Malcolm D. Lee

THE JUNGLE BOOK - Dir. Jon Favreau

CRIMINAL - Dir. Ariel Vromen

EVERYBODY WANTS SOME - Dir. Richard Linklater


COLCOA - French Film Festival (April 18-26):

AS I OPEN MY EYES / A peine jouvre les yeux - Dir. Leyla Bouzid Its the summer of 2010, the eve of the Arab Spring. Tunisia heaves under the ever-watchful regime of dictator Ben Ali; revolution is in the air. Exuberantly breathing in that air is Farah, a bright high school grad eager to explore the fresh possibilities of young adulthood. Her mother, Hayet (renowned singer Ghalia Benali), is pressuring her to go to medical school, but Farah has more intriguing offers. Shes the singer in an underground band, and dabbling in matters of love and sex with fellow musician, Bohrene. Farahs fearless feminist stance and the bands lyrics challenge the status quo, so when Hayet receives a warning from an old friend in the Interior Ministry, she is determined to make Farah understand the very real dangers of her growing political convictions. A bittersweet coming of age drama, not only for its impetuous protagonist, but also for Tunisia, a country coming of age after its own rebellious spree ended without the freedoms that many of its youthful protesters had hoped for.

After taking top honors at the 2015 Dubai International Film Festival, this French-Tunisian co-production from writer/director Leyla Bouzid went on to receive the Label Europa Cinemas prize at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. Tunisian born Bouzid studied film at La Fmis in Paris. After a few short films, she turned her attention to Tunisias Jasmine Revolution, a rich source of inspiration for her debut feature. From this starting point, Bouzid and her French co-screenwriter Marie-Sophie Chambon were able to create a complex mother-daughter relationship that mirrors the social forces at play in the country as a whole. Music was another critical component in the film, so Bouzid enlisted Iraqi musician/composer Khyam Allami to write the bands songs.

LONG WAY NORTH / Tout en haut du monde - Dir. Rmi Chay - This charming animated English-voiced adventure is set in the glory days of 19th Century exploration. As a member of the Russian aristocracy, 15 year-old Sasha is expected to make her debut in polite society, to marry strategically, and to live out her life as an obedient wife. But Sasha has other plans. She was born with the wanderlust of her grandfather Oloukine, an explorer of renown who has yet to return from his expedition to the far reaches of the North Pole aboard his unsinkable ship, the Davia. Meanwhile, the Tsars treacherous nephew has used Oloukines absence to tarnish her familys honor and Sasha is convinced that the Davia hasnt been found because everyone is looking in the wrong place. Without a ruble of her own, Sasha sets off to territories unknown, hoping to prove her theory and to restore the family reputation, even if it leaves her marriage prospects in ruins.



Director Rmi Chay decided to animate his first feature in 2D, a bold choice for a spectacular adventure story. This graphically simplified technique had the advantages of allowing him to focus more on color, and of helping to evoke the nostalgic worlds of two major influences: Jack London and Jules Verne. In development since 2005, the film was a labor of love for Chay, who began as an illustrator for comics and advertising before making his way through the ranks of animation starting as a storyboarder for films like L'le de Black Mr (2004), Secret of the Kells (2009), and The Painting (2011). The idea for the film came to Chay through TV writer Claire Paoletti, who, using Shackletons polar expedition as a major reference, developed the full treatment from a one-page outline. Two writers contributed to the screenplay, Patricia Valeix completed the second draft and Fabrice de Costil added the dialogue and final polish.

DON'T TELL ME THE BOY WAS MAD / Une histoire de fou - Dir. Robert Gudiguian - Against a backdrop of militant attacks sweeping 1980s Europe, this absorbing tale dives headfirst into themes of collective guilt, historical amnesia, and radicalization. Aram, a young man of Armenian descent, grows up in Marseille hearing stories of Turkish brutality and genocide against his people. Although these are the sins of a past generation, Arams pitched rage leads him to lash out against a Turkish diplomat in Paris. Fleeing to Beirut to join the Armenian Liberation Army, Aram doesnt know that his bomb also seriously wounded Gilles, an innocent cyclist who happened to be passing by. When Arams mother Anouch learns of her sons involvement in the bombing, her conscience gets the better of her, and she decides to pay a visit to Gilles in the hospital. Anouchs shame seems no match for Gilles anger and bitterness, yet the encounter inspires Gilles to dig deeper into Armenian history by way of imposing himself directly on Arams family.

Based on the autobiographical novel by journalist Jose Antonio Gurriaran, who was himself paralyzed in an Armenian terrorist attack and later defended the Armenian cause, this cri de coeur from writer/director Robert Gudiguian is a return to themes that have preoccupied him personally and professionally. Born to an Armenian dockworker in Marseille, Gudiguian makes films that confront social and political issues but add a touch of thriller or noir to the kitchen sink naturalism. Relying on a stable of regular actors, his early features were expressions of pessimism for the future of the French working class. Later films like Marius and Jeannette (1997) took a lighter, more charming turn, and garnered international acclaim. His ambitious Army of Crime (2009) pays tribute to immigrant resistance fighters in wartime France. For one of that films co-writers, Gilles Taurand, this marks his third collaboration with Gudiguian, along with The Last Mitterrand (2005). Dont Tell me the Boy was Mad had its World Premiere at the last Cannes Film Festival.

SAINT AMOUR - Dir. Benot Delpine, Gustave Kervern - Deadpan humor hits the highway for a romp through Frances most beautiful wine-growing regions, finding pathos - and some highly improbable sex - along the way. Benot Poelvoorde brings his signature staccato to the role of Bruno, a lonely, patched-together, wannabe-anything-but cattle farmer. Bruno hopes to drink his way through his personal crisis by taking the national wine tour, a series of regional wine stalls at Paris annual agriculture trade fair. When Brunos buzz turns belligerent, his father Jean decides that a tour of the real wine country is just the thing to help his son better appreciate Frances rural traditions. On the spot, Jean hires a cabbie, the handsome but smug city slicker Mike, and the unlikely trio hoof it out to the countryside to squeeze in a little drinking between hilariously awkward hookups and offbeat encounters, including one with author Michel Houellebecq as a disturbing B&B proprietor. Grard Depardieu brings some heft to the proceedings as the genial, but slightly befuddled dad hoping to reconnect with his wayward son.

The holy terrors of Franco-Belgian film are back with their seventh film. Writing/directing duo Benot Delpine and Gustave Kervern are specialists when it comes to the anarchic road trip comedy. Theres the cross-country wheelchair odd-yssey Aaltra (COLCOA 2005). Theres Depardieu starring as a not-so-easy-rider in Mammuth (COLCOA 2011), and theres Near Death Experience (2014) in which Michel Houellebecq takes a philosophical spin as a suicidal cyclist. Their work has always flirted with the absurd, as with the Sundance Special Jury Prize winner Louise-Michel (COLCOA 2009) about factory workers pooling their money to hire a hit man to kill the boss, and Avida (2006), about a dognapping by two deaf-mute ketamine addicts. But as chaotic and broad as their films can be, there is usually a touch of authentic tenderness extended to their characters, even if some of them dont deserve it. Both Delpine and Kervern got their start in TV, doing political satire. They still contribute to the Canal + comic show, Made in Groeland.

TOMORROW/ Demain - Dir. Cyril Dion, Mlanie Laurent - This entertaining and eye-opening winner of the 2016 Best Documentary Csar offers some provocative solutions to the hard challenges facing much of humanity. In 2012, extinction experts Anthony Barnosky and Elizabeth Hadly published a paper warning of a coming planetary sixth extinction beginning as soon as two generations from now. When environmental activist Cyril Dion shared the article with actress Mlanie Laurent, they decided to team up for a personal journey across ten countries to see what, if anything, could be done. They sought out those pioneers who challenge the old narratives and buck conventional wisdom in agriculture, energy, the economy, democracy, and education. Laurent and Dion quickly understood that they werent making another pessimistic, moralizing eco-doc, but an inspiring futuristic vision, because those who are offering the most effective solutions today are actually reinventing the world of tomorrow. With humor, stunning imagery, and a musical assist from Swedish songstress Fredrika Stahl, Tomorrow is an emphatic declaration of hope.

Co-directors Mlanie Laurent and Cyril Dion insist that this is not their film. It belongs to the thousands of people who crowdfunded the project. Their goal to raise 200,000 euros in two months was met in two days, and they went on to break a documentary fundraising record. Dion began writing the project in 2010, but when he fully absorbed the implications of the Barnosky/Hadly findings, he resigned his position as head of the Mouvement Colibris (Hummingbird Movement), the environmental NGO he co-founded, in order to dedicate himself to what would become his first feature film. This is the third feature outing for Mlanie Laurent, whose previous features focused on female friendship and bonding. Her first film, The Adopted, won the COLCOA First Feature Award in 2012. Her sophomore effort, Breathe (2014) tackled a toxic friendship between two teenage girls. Laurent is better known stateside as an actress starring with some of Hollywoods biggest names including Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Enemy).

BANG GANG (A MODERN LOVE STORY) / Une histoire d'amour moderne - Dir. Eva Husson - A heat wave isnt the only thing in full swing in this steamy drama about rich kids in the coastal town of Biarritz stripping down and shaking off that mid-summer ennui. Young George (Marilyn Lima, think adolescent Bardot painted by Botticelli) unexpectedly falls for Alex after he coaxes her into a casual encounter. When the feelings arent reciprocated, George tries to remind him what hes missing by instigating a game of truth or dare with enough dare in it to put a glint in the eye of a porn impresario. Aided by some selfies and the internet, word spreads, and what began as an attempt to spark a little jealously explodes into a furious wildfire of sexual discovery. George, Alex, and their growing circle of libertine teens are now determined to find their limits, consequences be damned.



Twenty years after Kids arrived like a cultural blitzkrieg, Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) was raising eyebrows at its Toronto International Film Festival premiere. Although the films explicit depiction of too-much too-young sex invites that comparison, first-time feature writer/director Eva Husson was thinking more Wong Kar-Wei than Larry Clark. An AFI graduate, Husson made a splash with her mid-length, Death Valley-set Those For Whom Its Always Complicated (2013), which French audiences would have seen on Arte. She has also made videos for music acts such as Florence and the Machine and M83. Husson conscripted M83 collaborator Morgan Kibby to make the films mesmerizing synth beat soundtrack.

COME WHAT MAY / En mai, fais ce qu'il te plait - Dir. Christian Carion - War films tend to tell stories about political leaders, or the soldiers who carry out their orders. Come What May examines the effects of war on more ordinary citizens, a timely subject in the midst of the Syrian refugee crisis. Its 1940; German Panzers are smashing through the Ardennes forest on their way to France. Eight million people flee the largest exodus in modern history. Among them are Paul, the mayor of a small village, and Suzanne, a young schoolteacher and surrogate mother to Max, a displaced German boy. They organize the charge to abandon the town and head for the safety of the coast. Its a heavy decision, because taking their caravan on the open roads leaves them defenseless against German attack. At the same time, Maxs father Hans, who fled the Nazi regime and was subsequently imprisoned in France, sets out to look for his son, accompanied by Scottish soldier Percy (The Americans star Matthew Rhys), who hopes to repatriate a set of bagpipes with the retreating British army. An intimate story, told on an epic scale, and with an expansive score by the maestro of film music, Academy Award winner Ennio Morricone.

Known for making historical tapestries based on true stories, writer/director Christian Carion stepped onto the international stage with his feel-good WWI film Joyeux Noel (2005), in which soldiers in the trenches lay down their arms for one day to celebrate Christmas with the enemy. His gripping thriller Farewell (COLCOA 2010), went back to the Cold War and featured filmmakers Emir Kusturica and Guillaume Canet as spies passing Soviet secrets to the West. Carion was born into a farming family and initially went in that direction professionally. After meeting fellow film enthusiast Christophe Rossignon, now a prominent producer, the two of them decided to dedicate their lives to filmmaking. Co-writer Andrew Bampfield is an established writer for French TV, known for Inside The Twin Towers (2006). This is the first writing credit for co-writer Laure Irrmann.

ONE MAN AND HIS COW / La Vache - Dir. Mohamed Hamidi - If Hannibal could get an army of elephants across the Alps, how hard can it be to get one cow across France? Fatah, an Algerian farmer played by Franco-Algerian comic Fatsah Bouyahmed, is determined to find out in this cheerful, comedic road movie with a twist or two. When his beloved prize heifer, Jacqueline, is finally invited to compete at the prestigious Salon de lAgriculture in Paris, Fatah has to figure out a way to get there. After some encouragement from his fellow villagers, Fatah rounds up his courage and leaves his home for the first time in his life. Crossing all of France on foot, youre bound to have a few interesting encounters, and Jacqueline turns out to be a real conversation starter. Before Fatah knows it, he and his bovine BFF go viral, and even his wife and children are watching him milk his newfound fame on the villages one communal TV. Which is unfortunate, because with all those cameras trained on him, its only a matter of time before something goes utterly wrong.

The journey to filmmaking for writer/director Mohamed Hamidi has been as full of twists as the protagonist of his film. While teaching economics in Bobigny, he got the opportunity to compose some music for Franco-Morroccan comedian Jamel Debbouzes comedy club. Before long, Hamidi was collaborating full time, working as artistic director for the comedy festival Marrakech du Rire and even writing material for Debbouzes stand-up shows. In 2013, Hamidi mounted his first feature, Homeland, about a young second-generation immigrant man going home to Algeria for the first time in his life. Both of his films feature Debbouze, who remains an important compass point in his career. Hamidis strength lays in his ability to transform the contradictions of modern life in Algeria into comedy. One Man and His Cow is a riff on Henri Verneuils 1959 The Cow and I, about a French POW who escapes Germany using a cow as a decoy. And thats the straight story

MY KING / Mon Roi - Dir. Mawenn - This intimate take on a rollercoaster relationship puts all the tropes of romance on its head by looking at it through the eyes of a woman seduced by the male equivalent of a blonde bombshell. Licking her wounds in a convalescent center after an accident-on-purpose on the ski slopes, fortyish lawyer Tony looks back on a tumultuous decade with her dream guy, Georgio. An effortlessly charming restaurateur, Georgio views the world as a stage upon which he is performing his life. Tony obliges with five-star reviews, at least while the passions are in full flush. Only later, when the couple gets down to the business of building a life together, will Georgios wolfish ego and his inability to fully let go of his womanizing past, begin to tarnish the shine. But even if theirs is a doomed relationship, Tony is about to learn that it doesnt always have to be this way. Vincent Cassel is at his raffish best, and Emmanuelle Bercot won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her heartbreaking portrayal of a woman desperate to fall out of love.

With My King, her fourth feature film, its perhaps time to stop calling Mawenn an actress-turned-filmmaker and start calling her simply a filmmaker. Coming off her grittier Cannes Jury Prize-winning ensemble drama Polisse (COLCOA 2011), Mawenn has put her spin on the classic French romance, and was nominated for the Palme dOr at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Daughter of actress Catherine Belkhodja, Mawenn was raised in the entertainment industry, and began acting as a child; her career was briefly on hold after she began a relationship with director Luc Besson. Technically, her first film was shooting the making of for Bessons Lo: The Professional (1994). She returned to acting with an autobiographical one-woman show, which led to her real first film, the short Im an actrice (2004). Mawenns co-writer Etienne Comar, has also co-written Of Gods and Men (2010), and Haute Cuisine (COLCOA 2012), among his many producer credits.

MADE IN FRANCE - Dir. Nicolas Boukhrief - This darkly atmospheric shock-thriller takes you on a white-knuckle ride inside a cell of homegrown extremists dedicated to bringing jihad to the streets of Paris. Sam is a Franco-Algerian journalist hoping to write a tell-all exposing the threat of domestic terrorism. Using his knowledge of Islam, he infiltrates a small cadre of extremists led by Hassan, a disgruntled shoe salesman whose chief leadership credential is having met the principals on his pilgrimage to Mecca. Hassan instructs everyone to become invisible. From the outside, it all appears frighteningly ordinary, except for Sam, who is now in the precarious position of a normal guy trying to look like an extremist trying to look normal. Sam discovers that the cell is comprised of young men who, far from marching in lockstep, have wildly different motivations. But as the plan moves closer to fruition, suspicion grips the conspirators, putting more than his book in immediate danger.

When writer/director Nicolas Boukhrief and his co-writer ric Besnard (Babylon A.D.) began to research this subject, their principal reference was the Paris commuter train bombing in 1995. They had no way of knowing just how prophetic the film would be, nor how much its commercial life would suffer for it. Slated initially for release in early 2015, the devastating attack on Charlie Hebdo gave the original distributor cold feet. Then the tragic Bataclan attack, coming just one week before the films new release date, led to a second cancellation. For Boukhrief, a genre specialist, the film was conceived firstly as entertainment, but its subject matter struck raw nerves in France. Known for crime dramas like Cash Truck (COLCOA 2004), Cortex (2008), and Sphinx (COLCOA 2010), Boukhrief began his career as a journalist, first as an editor for the genre film magazine Starfix, then creating the Canal + series Le Journal du cinma, which aired for more than a decade. His transition to filmmaking began in 1993, when he co-wrote Tout le monde n'a pas eu la chance d'avoir des parents communistes with director/co-writer Jean-Jacques Zilbermann.

MONSIEUR CHOCOLAT / Chocolat - Dir. Roschdy Zem - The 20th Anniversary of COLCOA celebrates its opening night with this lively, lavish biopic set in the Belle poque worlds of circus and music halls. Omar Sy effortlessly juggles comedy and compassion as Raphael Padilla, a.k.a. Chocolat, the first black star of the French stage. Born a slave in Cuba, Padilla makes his way to a rag-tag circus in Europe, where he plays a tooth-baring cannibal named Kalanka for provincial rubes whove never seen a black man before. Impressed with Padillas agility, George Footit partners up with him and they develop a clown act that catapults them to fame and fortune more or less, since Footit, the white man in the partnership, takes most of the fortune. Success is bittersweet for Chocolat, who stays positive despite the fact that his act consists of mocking his own race to the delight of French audiences. But when he tries to step outside the character society wants him to play, those delighted audiences vanish in droves. Monsieur Chocolat revives the legend of a trailblazing artist whom history has all but forgotten.

The fourth film of writer/director Roschdy Zem is his first period piece, and his most ambitious effort yet. Most people will know Zem for a diverse acting career that has spanned nearly three decades. He brings that same versatility to directing, ranging from his cross-cultural comedy Bad Faith (COLCOA 2007), to the crime drama Omar Killed Me (2011) to the family drama Bodybuilder (2014). This project was first proposed to Zem by producers ric and Nicolas Altmayer, who had a Cyril Gely script based on a theater piece and subsequent book by historian Grard Noiriel. For the final adaptation Zem brought in his Omar Killed Me collaborator Oliver Gorce. For the role of Footit, Zem cast Charlie Chaplins grandson James Thirre, an accomplished acrobat and juggler who designed and choreographed the circus numbers.

FAMILIES / Belles Familles - Dir. Jean-Paul Rappeneau - Mathieu Amalric leads a nimble comedic cast as Jrme, a globetrotting businessman based in Shanghai, who makes a pit stop in Paris to introduce his business partner/fiance to his mother. Jrmes estranged father has recently passed away, and when he learns that the sale of his familys elegant Loire Valley manor is in bureaucratic limbo, he decides to send his fiance on to London and take care of the matter personally. Upon arrival, Jrmes finds that his private memory lane is about to be paved over by the highway of progress. To begin with, the man threatening to lay his ancestral home to block-development waste is none other than Grgoire, an old rival from school. Then it dawns on him that for years his father had been managing an elaborate alternate life in the old place. But its Grgoires girlfriend Louise (Young and Beautiful revelation Marine Vacth) that really intrigues him. She dislikes him more than she should, for a man she just met.

When his big budget international espionage project hit a roadblock, veteran writer/director Jean-Paul Rappeneau took a detour that led him to a more autobiographical approach, and a return to the high-energy comedy of earlier films like Call Me Savage (1975 COLCOA 2012). Known for his meticulous blocking and dynamic camera moves, the Rappeneau style reached its apex in lavish period productions Cyrano de Bergerac (1990) and The Horseman on the Roof (1995). Less known is the fact that Rappeneau is one of very few French writers to have been nominated for a Best Screenplay Oscar (That Man From Rio, 1964). To help shape his latest screenplay, Rappeneau enlisted co-writers Philippe Le Guay (The Women on the 6th Floor, COLCOA 2011), and son Julien Rappeneau (My Way, COLCOA 2012). Juliens brother Martin Rappeneau composed the films music, keeping Families in the family.

THE FIRST, THE LAST / Les Premiers, les derniers - Dir. Bouli Lanners - Elements of the western and the gothic thriller come together in this darkly absurd conceptual one-off. Set amidst the industrial ruins of a flatland vast enough to swallow men whole, Cochise and Gilou, a pair of grizzled bounty hunters, have been hired by a wealthy stranger to obtain a phone that holds some critical information. The phone is in the possession of Esther and Willy, a homeless young couple. Whenever they turn the phone on, Cochise and Gilou can get a lead on their whereabouts, but the feckless lovers dont have much need for phones. They believe the end-times have begun, an unlikely proposition seemingly corroborated by the appearance of a gaunt, bearded man calling himself Jesus. As the chase develops, straightforward genre elements give way to more metaphorical and thematic concerns. In this singular and deeply personal universe, everyone, including a craggy undertaker played by Max Von Sydow, seems uprooted, set adrift in his/her own way.

Its perhaps no coincidence that the fourth feature of Belgian actor/writer/director Bouli Lanners has a painterly look; Lanners first calling was to fine arts and painting, although it was as an actor that Lanners found the success that opened doors for him. Over the last two decades, he has established himself as a character actor in dozens of films. In 2006 he made his first feature Ultranova, followed by Eldorado (2008), which took the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes Directors Fortnight. A road movie about a heroin addict and a lonely car dealer who end up unlikely companions, the film was Lanners first to draw visual inspiration from the Western canon. Lanners third film, the Belgium-set, coming-of-age comedy, The Giants (2011), won the SACD Prize at Cannes. Throughout his directing career, Lanners has nurtured a creative collaboration with cinematographer Jean-Paul de Zaetijd, making for films that recall Lanners underpinnings as a painter. In fact it was a single image, glimpsed from a passing train that planted the seed for this film. The First, The Last took its international bow in the Panorama section of the 2016 Berlin Film Festival.

COURTED / L'Hermine - Dir. Christian Vincent - Best Actor prize at the 2015 Venice International Film Festival went to Fabrice Luchini for his portrayal of Michel Racine, a cranky, straight-laced judge presiding over a sobering murder case, while dealing with a divorce on the home front, and a pesky flu. As demanding as all of that is, Michels world skids to a halt when a randomly chosen juror turns out to be someone from his past. Ditte, played by Borgen star Sidse Babett Knudsen, is a caring single mother who made an indelible impression on Michel six years earlier. Michel, whose reputation for severity has earned him a nickname reflecting the double-digit sentences he likes to hand down, tosses his beloved protocol aside for a series of assignations to explore their mutual attraction. While nodding to courtroom drama and rom-com, Courted conscientiously dodges the clichs of both genres.

Known for his skill with intimate drama, such as the Isabelle Huppert and Daniel Auteuil starrer, La separation (1994), and for studied social critiques like Save Me (2000), writer/director Christian Vincent is equally adept with comedy, as he demonstrated with his Ernst Lubitsch-styled hit Quatres toiles (2006). Stateside, many will know him from his previous hit, Haute Cuisine (COLCOA 2013). Vincent first gained attention with his feature La Discrte (1991). Adding to the acclaim the film received from the Csar Awards, including Best Debut Feature, was a Best Actor nomination for the films lead, Fabrice Luchini. Early on, Vincent was compared to filmmaking legend Eric Rohmer with his explorations of the incivility lurking in the nuances of so-called civil society. But it is foremost to Jean Renoirs Rules Of The Game that Vincent claims creative lineage. In addition to the Best Actor prize, the 2015 Venice International Film Festival awarded Vincent a Best Screenplay honor.

MUCH LOVED - Dir. Nabil Ayouch - Following its unveiling at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, this glossy, Marrakech-based drama about women making ends meet by selling their bodies has been banned in Morocco and cast members have been attacked on the streets. Loubna Abidar is magnetic as Noha, who at 28, is the matriarch of a group of upscale call girls who live together as a family of sorts. Case-hardened by life, Nohas only vulnerability is her judgmental mother. Soukaina, on the other hand, still harbors romantic sentiments for a penniless suitor who can only observe the object of his affection from a distance. Randa, the youngest and most modern, could learn a lot from Noha, if only her growing attraction to women werent eroding the mentorship. We follow their precarious lives as they negotiate the hypocritical macho posturing, the sexual repression, and the deeply entrenched double standards that mark Moroccan society, and perhaps by extension, much of the Arab world.

Writer/director Nabil Ayouch is known for pointed social dramas that focus on characters driven to desperation by poverty and victimization. While films like A Minute of Sun Less (2002), which depicted homosexual sex, have served to start conversations, they have also landed him in direct conflict with the more conservative elements of the Moroccan state. His 2012 film Horses of God took a hard look at the 2003 Casablanca suicide bombers as a harbinger for the rising phenomena of terrorism fueled by poverty and social alienation. After that, Ayouch decided to look into prostitution as another form of violence visited upon the underprivileged. Much Love[BD1] was the product of 18 months of research, including personal interviews with more than 200 sex workers. Initially conceived as a documentary, it evolved into what Ayouch calls a fiction du reel. Born in Paris to a Moroccan father and a Tunisian mother, Ayouch was raised in France. In response to the ongoing ban on his film, more than 80 French producers and filmmakers have signed a petition in support.

THE INNOCENTS - Dir. Anne Fontaine - Premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film festival under the original title Agnus Dei, The Innocents is a WWII film with a fresh, feminine perspective. Set in the ruins of 1945 Poland after hostilities have ceased, the drama unfolds in a Benedictine convent, where the sisters try to maintain a tenuous grip on their faith after the chaos of war upends their cloistered existence. Mathilde, a young French Red Cross doctor is convinced to break protocol and make a house call at the convent. What she finds there disturbs her a pregnant nun in the midst of a complicated labor. More shocking still, she discovers several more novice nuns in various stages of pregnancy, and a headstrong Mother Superior (Agata Kulesza, Ida) refusing medical assistance for fear that if word gets out the convents future will be jeopardized. Secular and thoroughly modern, what Mathilde lacks in religious conviction she makes up for in compassion and decency, but she is ill prepared to confront the corrosive feelings of abandonment and shame overwhelming these servants of God.

This is perhaps the most restrained and intense film of writer/director Anne Fontaine, who is known for her more glamorous fare such as the glitzy biopic Coco Before Chanel (2009), and her frothy comedy Gemma Bovery (COLCOA 2015). With the help of co-writers Sabrina Karine, Pascal Bonitzer and Alice Vial, Fontaine creates a multi-layered story based on an original idea by Philippe Maynial, the nephew of historical figure Madeleine Pauliac, upon whom the Mathilde character is based. After starting out as a TV actor, Fontaine gained international recognition with her provocative third feature, Dry Cleaning (COLCOA 1998).

UN PLUS UNE - Dir. Claude Lelouch - n this slow-burning romance, charismatic leads Jean Dujardin and Elsa Zylberstein play opposites attracting in postcard India. Celebrated film composer Antoine arrives in Mumbai to record the music for a Bollywood take on Romeo and Juliet. Already bored with the idea of scoring yet another movie for festivals, the womanizing charmer sets his sights on Anna, the younger wife of the French Ambassador. Ever since his arrival, Antoine has been unable to shake a headache, exacerbated it seems by his much younger girlfriend, who keeps calling from Paris. Anna, on the other hand, is convinced that a child is the only thing missing from her relationship, and decides to go on a fertility pilgrimage to the holy city of Varanasi to commune with Amma, the hugging saint. With his awards and his self-satisfaction, Antoine doesnt see the need for spiritual quests, but with his girlfriends arrival a few days away, hes got some time to kill. And who knows, a motherly hug might be just the thing for that nagging migraine of symbolic import.

Few filmmakers are more in love with the idea of being in love than writer/director Claude Lelouch. After six decades of filmmaking and five life partners, the 78 year-old veteran remains ever the hopeless romantic of French cinema. Lelouch forged that reputation beginning fifty years ago with A Man and a Woman, a simplistic love story that earned him a grand slam of both the Palme dOr and the Foreign Language Oscar. If his overt sentimentalism confounded his New Wave cohorts, audiences felt no such ambivalence. Over the years he scored hits such hits as Les Misrables (1995), and the thriller Roman de gare (COLCOA 2008). Most recently his films have taken on a more autobiographical nature, with protagonists that are thinly veiled stand-ins for Lelouch himself, allowing him to explore themes of mortality and family ties. This is Lelouchs second collaboration with co-writer Valrie Perrin, who worked with him on We Love You, You Bastard (COLCOA 2014).

A DECENT MAN / Je ne suis pas un salaud - Dir. Emmanuel Finkiel - The modern world is changing too fast for people like Eddie, an unemployed, underachieving 30-something separated from his wife and son. Morose and aimless, Eddie sees few opportunities for improvement from his barstool perch in the soul-sucking concrete gloom of the housing projects. Yet when Eddie is stabbed and beaten while attempting to stop some hoodlums from stealing a car radio, his life changes unexpectedly, and for the better. Hes proclaimed a hero. His wife takes him back in and even finds an entry-level job. In a police line-up, Eddie fingers Ahmed, an Arab youth whom he recognizes, not from the attack, but from a sales training video. He cant say exactly why he lied, but as the law comes down hard on a man whose only crime is being an Arab with a good job, Eddie is trapped in his own downward spiral of volatility and rage.

Due to the films themes and violence, some may see it as a reaction to the November Paris attack but, in fact writer/director Emmanuel Finkiel has been working on the project for a decade. Finkiel began as an assistant director for Krzysztof Kieslowski and Jean-Luc Godard before winning a Csar for his short film, Madame Jacques on the Croisette (1999). His Holocaust-themed debut feature Voyages (1999) won the Best First Work Csar and was praised for its subtlety and restraint. A Decent Man may be more hard-hitting than his earlier work, but it shows the same measured precision and studied naturalism. The film was inspired in part by a real incident in which a friend of Finkiel, named Ahmed was falsely accused after the police rounded up everyone in the area with that name. Finkiel collaborated on the screenplay with Julie Peyr, noted for her work with director Arnaud Desplechin.

KALINKA / Au nom de ma fille - More intimate drama than thriller, Kalinka chronicles one mans quixotic, 27-year fight for justice in the name of his murdered daughter. Imagine it, your 14-year-old child turns up dead from alleged sunstroke at the house of your ex-wifes new husband, a German doctor with a history of sexual abuse. Worse, the autopsy report reveals evidence of abuse and mysterious injections, administered both before and after death. The sordid side of Andr Bamberskis story has been tabloid fodder for years in France. But questions about what really happened that fateful night take a back seat to Daniel Auteuils fierce interpretation of Bamberskis obsessive determination to bring the case to trial in the face of mounting bureaucratic quagmires and spineless magistrates. As the situation grows more desperate, so do Bamberskis tactics, and when the doctors extradition to France begins to look unlikely, the aggrieved father decides its time to play a different, more proactive role.

For documentarian turned fiction filmmaker, Vincent Garenq, justice is more than a subject for a film. Of his four features, three of them are interpretations of court cases. Garenqs skill lays in his total command of the issues involved in the cases, and in his ability to plum the emotional depths of his everyday heroes, like the family man fighting to prove his innocence in Guilty (COLCOA 2012), or the journalist risking his career to reveal the corruption within a multinational bank in The ClearStream Affair (2014). Garenq is sometimes compared to Andr Cayatte, whose films, such as Justice is Done (1950), reflected an enduring fascination for the French judicial system. However, Garenqs approach is less moralizing, designed merely to point out, rather than to point a finger at, institutional dysfunction. Garenqs co-writer Julien Rappeneau, is also the co-writer of Families, the latest work of director Jean-Paul Rappeneau, screening its U.S. Premiere at COLCOA this year.

FAST CONVOY/ Le Convoi - Dir. Frdric Schoendoerffer - Speed isnt the only thing that kills in this slick, turbo-charged road thriller. Benot Magimel leads a band of banlieue bad boys hauling stash for cash while steering clear of the law. Tasked with moving 3,000 lbs. of hashish from southern Spain to Paris, Alex (Magimel) organizes a motorcade of four vehicles for a go fast a flagrant, high-speed drug run designed to be so risky the police cant stop the traffickers without endangering the public. The scout car looks for trouble up the road, while Alex stoically drives the follow car, ready to intervene should trouble be found. The team's camaraderie is fragile, and as they tick off the kilometers, suspicion and paranoia make everyone twitchy. The tension kicks into overdrive when a firefight with the Spanish police forces them to take a hostage. Burning as much adrenaline as gasoline, Alex struggles to hold the team together as they make their mad dash for pay dirt in Paris.

Action aficionado Frdric Schoendoerffer has always been a stickler for detail and authenticity in his films, so as part of his research for this project, he brought in Yacine, a young man who had participated in 20 go fasts before he was caught and sent to jail. Co-writer Yann Brion, on his fifth collaboration with Schoendoerffer, spent several months working with Yacine as an adviser. Schoendoerffer got his first taste of filmmaking as an assistant director on his father Pierre Schoendoerffers war drama Dien Bien Phu in 1992. His first feature, the thriller Crime Scene (2000), starred his brother, actor Ludovic Schoendoerffer, and was nominated for a Best First Feature Csar. From there, Schoendoerffer has gone on to make a handful of taut thrillers set in the world of crime, including Switch (2011), and Paris Lockdown (2007), his first outing with actor Benot Magimel. As part of the final auditions for Convoy, actors were asked to drive as fast as they could while speaking their lines, with Schoendoerffer and his driving coordinator Jean-Claude Lagniez sitting in the back seat.

LAND LEGS (Tempte) - Dir. Samuel Collardey - When we first meet 36-year-old Dom in a pub listening to old sea shanties, its not immediately clear if hes an actor playing a fisherman, or a fisherman re-enacting the story of his life. Dominique Leborne won the Best Actor Award in the Venice Horizons sidebar for his portrayal of himself a divorced father of two trying to hold his family together at all costs. Usually, Dom is out on fishing vessels for months at a time, but when his daughter Mailys (Mailys Leborne) turns up pregnant, social services threatens to take custody of the kids unless he can spend more time with them. Dom has only known a life at sea, so his best shot at making his own hours is to get a boat of his own. But without any capital, his decision to stop working for others precipitates a downward spiral that brings the family to the brink of homelessness. This unassuming docudrama starring a trio of nonprofessional actors manages to blend just enough reality and fiction to get the best of both.

The third times a charm for writer/director Samuel Collardey. Since his first feature, the Prix Louis Delluc-winning Apprentice (2008), Collardey has been honing his naturalistic docu-fiction approach. For his second film, Little Lion (COLCOA 2013), Collardey felt that his style might benefit from a little more fiction and story elements. But when the boy whose story he wanted to tell refused to play himself, Collardey was forced to use an actor, and his original impetus for the film was lost. Collardey was drawn to the world of fisherman, but it was his long-time screenwriting partner Catherine Paill who first met Dominique Leborne on a short film she was shooting several years earlier. Before filming, Collardey spent nearly a year observing Dom. He slept on Doms sofa, went to sea with him. At that time, Doms daughter Mailys was estranged from her father, and Collardy convinced her to portray herself in the film as a way of spending more time with him. Trained as a cinematographer, Collardeys camera perfectly captures the melancholy grays of Sables d'Olonne.

I AM A SOLDIER / Je suis un soldat - Dir. Laurent Larivire - If you were thinking a willowy leading actress and a lot of cute puppies mean youre in for a schmaltz fest, think again. I am a Soldier is a hard-hitting drama about a woman compromised by the financial pressures of Frances economic austerity. In a thoughtful, subdued performance, Louise Bourgoin plays Sandrine, a 30-year-old who, after a failed attempt to succeed in Paris, is forced to retreat to Roubaix and the working-class life shed hoped to escape. Disengaged from the world, she takes a job working at her Uncle Henris dog-breeding kennel. Everyone in her immediate circle has money issues, except Henri, and as she soon finds out, thats because hes operating an illegal puppy mill. Puppies are smuggled in from Eastern Europe, purchased by weight like meat; the unsold stock disposed of with little more concern. In desperate times money trumps morality and Sandrine stays with it, long enough to discover she has a knack for business. Intoxicated by finding her first real talent in life, Sandrine turns a blind eye to the dark side of the actual business shes in.

This year, COLCOAs Focus on a Producer is dedicated to Dominique Besnehard, who brings us this debut feature from writer/director Laurent Larivire. Shown in competition at the 2015 Cannes Un Certain Regard sidebar, Larivire brings together the stylistic approach and techniques hes honed over the course making a handful of acclaimed shorts such as Lightning Struck Me (2006), and Les larmes (2010). Narrative restraint, naturalistic performances, and economic dialogue all bring to mind his chief influences: American James Gray and Belgiums Dardenne brothers. Parallel to his filmmaking career, Larivire creates films that are part of the stage design for theater and performance pieces. It was at one of his shows that he met and befriended actress Louise Bourgoin (The Girl from Monaco COLCOA 2009, Love Lasts Three Years COLCOA 2012.) He wrote the part of Sandrine with Bourgoin in mind, though she was unaware of that when she first read the screenplay. This is also the first feature credit for co-writer Franois Decodts. He has recently collaborated on a new feature script for Heat Wave (2011) director Jean-Jacques Jauffret.

FATIMA - Dir. Phillippe Faucon - This perceptive celebration of a resilient immigrant mother of two working as a house cleaner in Lyon, cleaned up at the 2016 Csar Awards, taking prizes for Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Most Promising Actress for bright newcomer Zita Hanrot. Adopting a grounded, episodic approach, the film focuses on the challenges of cultural assimilation as seen through the eyes of two generations of women. Fatima is a divorcee holding down several menial jobs. She emigrated from North Africa at 20, but 20 years later, she struggles to speak enough French to communicate with her own daughters Nesrine and Souad, whose lives she is tirelessly devoted to improving. Nesrine is trying to strike a balance between cramming for her pre-med exams and dating, while the younger and more rebellious Souad is testing her limits and her mothers patience by acting out. Facing veiled racism, suspicion, awkwardness, and shame on a daily basis, Fatima discovers that the perfect outlet for her frustrations is also the best way to tell her daughters how she really feels.



The immigrant experience is on the minds of quite a few French filmmakers of late, but for writer/director Philippe Faucon it has been a career-defining theme. Samia (2000), shed light on the conflicting expectations of first and second generation Algerian immigrants. La Dsintgration (2012) looked at the disillusionment leading to Islamic radicalization amongst a group of young men in Lille. The Betrayal (2006) turned the tables, exploring the struggles of a French officer torn between his duty and the excessive repression of villagers during the Algerian War. Faucon achieves portraits of startling complexity and immediacy, in part through the use of an almost docu-style naturalism. His casting of Soria Zeroual as Fatima, a non-actor who actually works as a house cleaner, is a case in point. For the script, Faucon consulted with Aziza Boudjellal, Yasmina Nini-Faucon, and Mustapha Kharmoudi to forge a narrative out of the poems and prose from autobiographical books by Fatima Elayoubi.

FANNY'S JOURNEY/ Le Voyage de Fanny - Dir. Lola Doillon - COLCOAs audience will be the first in the world to see this poignant story of a brave and resourceful young girl leading a small band of orphans through Nazi-occupied Europe. Based on the autobiography of Fanny Ben Ami, the journey starts in 1939. After the arrest of her father in Paris, Fanny and her younger sisters, Erica and Georgette, are sent to a refectory for Jewish children in a neutral zone. For a time, she and her new friends are safe, but the war catches up to them soon enough, forcing them to flee. Fanny, now all of 13 years-old, has always relied on adults to take care of her, but as Mussolinis Italy collapses and the chaos of war closes in, Fanny has to be the adult for a group of 8 children. Hounded on all sides, and with nothing but her wits and her newly discovered fearlessness, Fanny resolves to do whatever it takes to get her young charges safely to the Swiss border. A tale of survival seen through the eyes of children coming-of-age amidst the horrors of WWII.



This is the third feature from writer/director Lola Doillon and her most ambitious to date. Her debut, Et toi t'es sur qui?, is a coming-of-age romantic drama that screened in Cannes Un Certain Regard section in 2007. Doillon followed that up with the psychological drama In Your Hands (2010), starring Kristin Scott Thomas. Doillon wrote both of her previous films, but here she collaborated with veteran TV writer Anne Peyregne to tackle Fanny Ben Amis epistolary autobiography. Growing up, filmmaking was the Doillon family business. Her mother is editor Noelle Boisson, and her father is director Jacques Doillon, with whom she got her start as an assistant director. Now married to director Cedric Klapisch, Doillon is keeping the tradition going. In addition to her feature work, Doillon is branching out into TV. In 2015 she directed two episodes of the new France 2 show Call My Agent, screening in COLCOAs Television section this year.

STOLEN BABIES (Bbs vols) - Dir. Alain Berliner

ONE WILD MOMENT (Un moment dgarement) - Dir. Jean-francois Richet - Two of Frances biggest stars, Vincent Cassel (Mesrine, COLCOA 2009), and Franois Cluzet (The Intouchables, COLCOA 2012) come together for the first time in this update of the 1977 Claude Berri film about doting dads and naughty daughters. Forty-something divorcee Laurent joins his old friend Antoine for a summer holiday at Antoines aging family manor in Corsica. Reluctantly tagging along, are Laurents and Antoines beautiful almost-18 year-old daughters, Marie and Louna. The girls have nothing but boys on their mind, and while Laurent puts on a good show of accepting his daughters budding adulthood, Antoine shifts into overprotective father mode. When Antoines daughter makes a Lolita-like play for the attentions of Laurent, she starts a chain reaction that turns the fun in the sun into a minor meltdown.

The plot of One Wild Moment may sound familiar to Americans who saw the 1984 American remake, Blame It On Rio, starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore. For this second retelling, producer Thomas Langmann, Claude Berris son, invited writer/director Jean-Franois Richet to take a comic detour from hardboiled action pictures like Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), and his Mesrine diptych. To help him make the transition, Langmann brought in co-writer Lisa Azuelos, who penned the hit coming-of-age comedy LOL in 2008. Richets working class roots and his love for Russian political masters Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov were inspirations for his politically incendiary first features Inner City (1995), and Ma 6-T va crack-er (1997). Richet will unveil his latest action thriller, Blood Father, starring Mel Gibson, later this year.

UP FOR LOVE/ Un homme la hauteur - Dir. Laurent Tirard - Every now and then COLCOA audiences get to see a film even before the French. Scheduled for a May 4th release in France, Up With Love is a high concept romantic comedy from the writer/director of Astrix and Oblix: God Save Britannia. Belgian rom-com veteran Virginie Efira stars as Dianne, a successful lawyer whos been unlucky in love. She gets an unexpected phone call from a stranger whos found her cell phone and wants to return it. The stranger, Alexandre, is funny and charming, and as the conversation goes on, the two seem to hit it off. They agree to a date of sorts to meet and return the lost phone. Dianne arrives at the appointed time with growing expectations, only to be let down, literally, when Alexandre turns out to be so short, he has to jump up to sit in the caf chair. Dianne is tempted to walk away on the spot. Problem is, apart from his diminutive stature, Alexandre is the total package. As the pair rises to meet the romantic challenges, not to mention the prejudices of society, Dianne will be forced to decide if Alexandre is man enough for her. Jean Dujardin displays impeccable comic timing as a vertically-challenged Romeo.

Coming off a string of box office successes adapting popular French childrens books Le petit Nicolas: Little Nicholas (2009) and its sequel Nicholas on Holiday (2014), as well as Astrix and Oblix: God Save Britannia (2012), writer/director Laurent Tirard now turns his attention to effects-driven comedy. Tirard took up the challenge of creating a visually convincing four-foot version of Jean Dujardin, without stepping on the chemistry of his romantic leads. To adapt his story from the Argentine hit Corazόn de Leόn (2013) by director Marcos Carnevale, Tirard worked with his long time writing collaborator Grgoire Vigneron. Tirard began as a journalist and critic for the magazine Studio. His book, Moviemakers' Master Class: Private Lessons from the World's Foremost Directors, features interviews with Woody Allen, David Cronenberg, the Coen brothers, and Lars Von Trier, among others. Tirards debut feature, The Story of My Life, won the COLCOA Audience Award in 2005. He went on to gain international attention for his historical comedy Molire (2007).

April 23

MILES AHEAD - Dir. Don Cheadle

NINA - Dir. Cynthia Mort

SING STREET - Dir. John Carney

FRANCOFORNIA - Dir. Aleksandr Sokurov

THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY - Dir. Andrew Rossi

AN EYE FOR BEAUTY - Dir. Denys Arcand

OUR LAST TANGO - Dir. German Kral

NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL:
SUMMER OF 8 - Dir. Ryan Schwartz

SINCE: THE BOMBING OF PAN AM FLIGHT 103 - Dir. Phil Furey

LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL:
LOEV - Dir. Sudhanshu Saria - PROTESTS GREETED DEEPA MEHTAS LESBIAN-THEMED FIRE after it opened in 1998 in India, where same-sex activity remains criminalized as officially against the order of nature. No wonder Sudhanshu Saria shot his debut film, the English-language LOEV, in complete secrecy. While its very existence is something of a bold political statement, Saria smartly doesnt dwell on the novelty of the LGBT content. LOEV simply tells a tender, often hilarious road movie capturing a knotty love affair between two Indians who just happen to be gay.

Arriving in Mumbai for a short business trip, Jai (Shiv Pandit), a handsome Wall Street banker, meets up with his old pal Sahil (Dhruv Ganesh), a young music-producer. The excitable Sahil leaves his volatile boyfriend Alex behind and earnestly plans out the road trip to the canyons of Western Ghats, after Jai proposes to take a short pleasure trip. As these old friends drive and hike the trails, their fascinating dynamic sometimes easy and jokey, at other times thorny and awkward emerges. Leaving many things unsaid, the pair engages in a feverish tryst. Outwardly confident but actually confused and struggling with his sexuality, Jai unleashes his frustration on Sahil in a brutal scene. Things come to a head at dinner, between the would-be lovers as well as Alex and his new boy toy, when Sahil who turns out to be the more self-aware of the two puts all his cards on the table.

Thoroughly engaging, LOEV is told in an assured, shorthand style that evokes Richard Linklater. Director Saria has a light touch, and hes not afraid of ambiguity. Eliding standard exposition, he lets his actors play out their complicated relationship through silences and gestures. Pandit wears the alpha dog mask well, and Ganesh is absolutely dynamite his Sahil is at once brash, funny, insecure, and all too human. Tragically, Ganesh died of tuberculosis at the age 29 shortly after making LOEV, and the film is dedicated to his memory.

OUTRUN - Dir. S. Leo Chiang & Johnny Symons IN THIS MOST CONTENTIOUS OF ELECTION YEARS IN THE U.S., the current political climate in the Philippines offers a frightening corollary in its specific cultural and religious contexts. Directors S. Leo Chiang (MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON, Festival 2012; A VILLAGE CALLED VERSAILLES, Festival) and Johnny Symons (BEYOND CONCEPTION, ASK NOT) team up for this highly topical look at the emergence of Ladlad, the first Filipino LGBT political party, and its members struggles for representation in the national government.

The filmmakers follow key Ladlad members Bemz Benedito, a LGBT activist, trans woman, and public face of the party; Raymond Alikpala, a recently out attorney passionate about advocacy; and Danton Remoto, one of the partys founders. OUT RUN follows this grassroots team as they campaign to win three government seats and root the fledgling party into the corridors of power, in the hope that they can effect long-term change. As baklas (Filipino for gay and lesbian people) in a fundamentally Catholic nation, they are all well-acquainted with daily, in-your-face discrimination, in which some are overt but more commonly in the form of microaggressions. Even as recent surveys reveal a growing acceptance of the LGBT community, the Ladlad members face an uphill political battle as conservative candidates like Christian pastor Benny Abante play upon Filipinos homophobic fears. Abantes brand of political rhetoric convinces particular LGBTQ community members to back his platform under the unfortunate acronym, A.I.D.S. (Alyansa ng Ikatlong lahi ng Distrito Sais). When compared to people of color and women who misguidedly support Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, the comparisons are chilling.

In their quest for political inclusion, the Ladlad agree to a seemingly fatal compromise in the hopes of bettering their election chances. Directors Chiang and Symons highlight these milestones and missteps among the candidates and within the rank-and-file party membership. While the compromises made may seem steep, these intrepid Ladlad activists see them as building blocks towards a more equitable future in Philippine society.

THE TIGER HUNTER - Dir. Lena Khan

PALI ROAD - Dir. Jonathan Hua Lang Lim

April 29
PAPA - HEMINGWAY IN CUBA - Dir. Bob Yari

ELVIS & NIXON - Dir. Lisa Johnson

A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING - Dir. Tom Tykwer

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER'S WAR - Dir. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

MOTHER'S DAY - Dir. Garry Marshall

GREEN ROOM - Dir. Jeremy Saulnier

SING STREET - Dir. John Carney

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR - Dir. Anthony and Joe Russo

JUST THE 3 OF US - Dir. Cathy Garcia-Molina

THE FAMILY FANG - Dir. Jason Bateman

THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY - Dir. Matthew Brown

THE MEDDLER - Dir. Lorena Scafaria

BEING CHARLIE - Dir. Rob Reiner

8:46 - Dir. Jennifer Gargano

MONEY MONSTER - Dir. Jodie Foster

STARCROSSED - Dir. Chase Mohseni

PRESCRIPTION THUGS - Dir. Chris Bell

RUN BOY RUN - Dir. Pepe Danquart

LA MUJER DE MI HERMANO - Dir. Ricardo de Montreuil

TEAM FOXCATCHER - Dir. Jon Greenhalg

THE CHOSEN ONES (LAS ELEGIDAS) - Dir. David Pablos

REQUIEM FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM - Dir. Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, Jarred P. Scott

NARCO CULTURA - Dir. Shaul Schwarz

LOS JEFER - Dir. Chiva Rodriguez

WELCOME TO LEITH - Dir. Michael Beach Nichols

THE NICE GUYS - Dir. Shane Black

THE ANGRY BIRDS - Directors Clay Kaytis | Fergal Reilly

NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING - Dir. Nicholas Stoller

QUEEN MIMI - Dir. Yaniv Rokah

DHEEPAN - Dir. Jacques Audiard

A BIGGER SPLASH - Dir. Luca Guadagnino

WELCOME TO HAPPINESS - Dir. Oliver Thompson

THE ONES BELOW - Dir. David Farr

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE - Dir. Bryan Singer

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS - Dir. James Bobbin

MONEY MONSTER - Dir. Jodie Foster

LOVE & FRIENDSHIP - Dir. Whit Stillman

THE IDOL - Hany Abu-Assad

WEINER - Dir. Josh Kriegman

PRINCESS - Dir. Tali Shalom-Ezer

30 FOR 30: FANTASTIC LIES - Dir. Marina Zenovich

A GIRL LIKE HER - Dir. Amy S. Berg

AILEEN: LIFE AND DEATH OF A SERIAL KILLER - Dir. Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill

JOSEF FRITZL: STORY OF A MONSTER - Dir. David Notman-Watt

TICKLED - Dir. David Farrier

LA FILM FESTIVAL 2016:
OUT OF IRAQ - Dir. Eva Orner, Chris McKim

COMPANY TOWN - Dir. Natalie Kottke-Masocco

NAMOUR - Dir. Heidi Saman

11:55 Dir. Ben Snyder

A HUNDRED STREETS - Dir. Jim O'Hanlon

CHEE AND T - Dir. Tanuj Chopra

======================

LAND OF LEOPOLD - Dir. Akis Konstankapoulos

THE GOD CELLS - Dir. Eric Merola

SEPTEMBERS OF SHIRAZ - Dir. Wayne Blair

=======================

FILMOUT SAN DIEGO 2016:
KISS ME, KILL ME - Dir. Casper Andreas

BEST OF LGBT SHORTS - multiple

TOY - Dir. Patrick Chapman

UPSTAIRS INFERNO - Dir. Robert L. Camino

COMING IN - Dir. Marco Kreuzpaintner

SHARED ROOMS - Dir. Rob Williams

PARIS 05:59 (THEO AND HUGO) - Dir. Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau

DOWNRIVER - Dir. Grant Scicluna

S&M SALLY - Dir. Michelle Ehlen

CLOSET MONSTER - Dir. Stephen Dunn

FRONT COVER - Dir. Ray Yeung

FLATBUSH LUCK - Dir. Casper Andreas

============================

DANCES WITH FILMS 2016:
I AM GANGSTER - Dir. Moritz Rechenberg

WARCRAFT - Dir. Duncan Jones

ME BEFORE YOU - Dir. Thea Sharrock

LOVE ME TOMORROW - Dir. Gino M. Santos

NOW YOU SEE ME 2 - Dir. Jon M. Chu

MAGGIE'S PLAN - Dir. Rebecca Miller

THE FITS - Dir. Anna Rose Holmer

GENIUS - Dir. Michael Grandage

FINDING DORY - Dir. Andrew Stanton

CONJOURING 2 - Dir. James Wan

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE - Dir. Rawson Marshall Thurber

HONOR THY FATHER - Dir. Erik Matti

THE SHALLOWS - Dir. Jaume Collet-Serra

FREE STATES OF JONESES - Dir. Gary Ross

INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE - Dir. Roland Emmerich

THE KEEPER OF LOST CAUSES - Dir. Mikkel Norgaard

THE ABSENT ONE - Dir. Mikkel Norgaard

A CONSPIRACY OF FAITH - Dir. Hans Petter Moland

OUR KIND OF TRAITOR - Dir. Susanna White

THE NEON DEMON - Dir. Nicolas Winding Refin

THE DUEL - Dir. Kieran Darcy-Smith

THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR - Dir James DeMonaco

THE BFG - Dir. Steven Spielberg

SWISS ARMY MAN - Dir. Dan Kwan

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING - Dir. Rob Burnett

B.A. PASS - Dir. Ajay Bahl

BREAKING THE MAGICIAN'S CODE: MAGIC'S BIGGEST SECRETS FINALLY REVEALED - Dir. Don Weiner

IP MAN 2 - Dir. Wilson Yip

IP MAN 3 - Dir. Wilson Yip

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN - Dir. David Yates

MARAUDERS - Dir. Steven C. Miller

MIKE AND DAVE NEED WEDDING DATES - Dir. Jake Szymanski

THE INFILTRATOR - Dir. Brad Furman

THE OUTLAWS AND ANGELS - Dir. JT Mollner

LITTLE MEN - Dir. Ira Sachs

ZERO DAYS - Dir. Alex Gibney

KING JACK - Dir. Felix Thompson

ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE - Dir. Mike Thurmeier

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS - Dir. Chris Renaud

LIGHTS OUT - Dir. David F. Sandberg

STAR TREK BEYOND - Dir. Justin Lin

HILLARY'S AMERICA: THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY - Dir. Dinesh D'Souza

OUTFEST 2016
THE INTERVENTION - Dir. Clea Duvall

SPA NIGHT - Dir. Andrew Ahn

ESTEROS - Dir. Papu Curotto

KING COBRA - Dir. Justin Kelly

OTHER PEOPLE - Dir. Chris Kelly

FRONT COVER - Dir. Ray Yeung

MILES - Dir. Nathan Adloff

SLASH - Dir. Clay Liford

BEING 17 - Dir. Andre Techine

DEPARTURE - Dir. Andrew Steggall

FIRE SONG - Dir. Adam Garnet Jones

HOLDING THE MAN - Dir. Neil Armfield

I PROMISE YOU ANARCHY - Dir. Julie Hernandez Cordon

FORBIDDEN: UNDOCUMENTED AND QUEER IN RURAL AMERICA - Dir. Tiffany Reynaud

MAJOR! - Dir. Annalise Ophelian

REAL BOY - Dir. Shaleece Haas

WOMEN HE'S UNDRESSED - Dir. Gillian Armstrong

STRIKE A POSE - Dir. Ester Gould, Reijer Zwaan

BOYS SHORT -
THE SAINT OF DRY CREEK - Dir. Julie Zammarchi
A SONG FOR YOUR MIX TAPE - Dir. Brandon Zuck
ULTRA BLEU - Dir. Nick neon
SAY U WILL - Dir. Chris Cruse
PRONOUNS - Dir. Michael Paulucci
SIGN - Dir. Andrew Keenan-Bolger
SPOILERS - Dir. Brendon McDonall

SKIN (SHORTS):
DOORS CUT DOWN - Dir. Antonio Hens
THE DEN - Dir. Brandon Zuck - Dir. Lorenzo Caproni
BOYS ON THE ROOFTOP - Dir. Julian Hernandez
G O'CLOCK - Dir. Mitchell Marion
JOHNNY - Dir. Micah Stuart
ALFA - Dir. Javier Ferreiro

LOOKING: THE MOVIE - Dir. Andrew Haigh

SAG PANEL: "THE BUSINESS OF ACTING: MAKING DIVERSITY WORK FOR YOU"

TRANSPARENT (PANEL DISCUSSION WITH CAST AND CREW)

LIFE - Dir. Anton Corbijn

ME HIM HER - Dir. Max Landis

THE MAN FROM NOWHERE - Dir. Jeong-beom Lee

THE SUSPECT - Dir. Shin-yeon Won

COMMITMENT - Dir. Hong-soo Park

NO TEARS FOR THE DEAD - Dir. Jeong-beom Lee

HOOLIGAN SPARROW - Dir. Nanfu Wang

SOUTH OF SALEM: THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR - Dir. Deborah Esquenazi

RIGHT FOOTED LEG - Dir. Nick Spark

JASON BOURNE - Dir. Paul Greengrass

CAFE SOCIETY - Dir. Woody Allen

RISE OF THE LEGEND - Dir. Roy Hin Yeung Chow

SUICIDE SQUAD - Dir. David Ayer

NERVE - Dir. Henry Joost

DEMON - Dir. Marcin Wrona

ANTHROPOID - Dir. Sean Ellis

THE PEOPLE VS. FRITZ BAUER - Dir. Lars Kraume

TALLULAH - Dir. Sian Heder

SUNDANCE NEXTFEST:
LOVE SONG - Dir. So Yong Kim

MORRIS FROM AMERICA - Dir. Chad Hartigan

WHITE GIRL - Dir. Elizabeth Wood

GOAT - Dir. Andrew Neel

HOW TO BE YOURS - Dir. Dan Villegas (Bea Alonzo and Gerald Anderson)

INDIGNATION - Dir. James Schamus

KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS - Dir. Travis Knight

THE HOLLARS - Dir. John Krasinski

DON'T BREATHE - Dir. Fede Alvarez

PETE'S DRAGON - Dir. David Lowery

HELL OR HIGH WATER - Dir. David Mackenzie

BEN-HUR - Dir. Timur Bekmambetov

FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS - Dir. Stephen Frears

HANDS OF STONE - Dir. Jonathan Jakubowicz

MECHANIC: RESURRECTION - Dir. Dennis Gansel

WAR DOGS - Dir. Todd Phillips

BAD MOMS - Dir. Jon Lucas

SAUSAGE PARTY - Dir. Greg Tieman

KICKS - Dir. Justin Tipping

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS - Dir. Derek Cianfrance

MORGAN - Dir. Luke Scott

NO MANCHES FRIDA - Dir. Nacho D. Velilla

SULLY - Dir. Clint Eastwood

NOTHING IN RETURN - Dir. Daniel Guzman

XOXO - Dir. Christopher Louie

HOLY HELL - Dir. Will Allen

BRIDGET JONES'S BABY - Dir. Sharon Maguire

SNOWDEN - Dir. Oliver Stone

STORKS - Dir. Nicholas Stoller

BLAIR WITCH - Dir. Adam Wingard

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN - Dir. Antoine Fuqua

BARCELONA: A LOVE UNTOLD - Dir. Olivia M. Lamasan

AUDREY & DAISY - Dir. Bonnie Cohen

THE LOVERS AND THE DESPOT - Dir. Ross Adam

THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK - Dir. Ron Howard

THE DRESSMAKER - Dir. Jocelyn Moorhouse

RAMS - Dir. Grimur Hakonarson

DEEPWATER HORIZON - Dir. Peter Berg

QUEEN OF KATWE - Dir. Mira Nair

MASTERMINDS - Dir. Jared Hess

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME OF PECULIAR CHILDREN - Dir. Tim Burton

RIVER - Dir. Jamie M. Dagg

GIRL ON A TRAIN - Dir. Peter Sands

BIRTH OF A NATION - Dir. Nathan Parker

MASTERMINDS - Dir. Jared Hess

THE ACCOUNTANT - Dir. Gavin O'Connor

KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW? - Dir. Leslie Small

AMERICAN HONEY - Dir. Andrea Arnold

DESIERTO - Dir. Jonas Cuaron

THE THIRD PARTY - Dir. Jason Paul Laxamana

OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL - Dir. Mike Flanagan

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES - Dir. Greg Mottola

EL JEREMIAS - Dir. Anwar Safa

BOO: A MADEA HALLOWEEN - Dir. Tyler Perry

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK - Dir. Edward Zwick

13TH - Dir. Ava DuVernay

THE WHOLE TRUTH - Dir. Courtney Hunt

INFERNO - Dir. Ron Howard

BAKIT LAHAT NG GWAPO MAY BOYFRIEND? - Dir. Jun Lana

THIRD PARTY - Dir. Jason Paul Laxamana

THE HANDMAIDEN - Dir. Chan Wook-Park

MICHAEL MOORE IN TRUMPLAND - Dir. Michael Moore

SAND STORM - Dir. Elite Zexer

CERTAIN WOMEN - Dir. Kelly Reichardt

MOONLIGHT - Dir. Barry Jenkins

BEFORE THE FLOOD - Dir. Fisher Stevens

DOCTOR STRANGE - Dir. Scott Derrickson

TROLLS - Dir. Walt Dohm

HACKSAW RIDGE - Dir. Mel Gibson

AMANDA KNOX - Dir. Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn

THE IVORY GAME - Dir. Kief Davidson

INTO THE INFERNO - Dir. Werner Herzog

THE SIEGE OF JADOTVILLE - Dir. Richie Smyth

ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE: TRUTH, DECEPTION, AND THE SPIRIT OF I.F. STONE - Dir. Fred Peabody

ALMOST CHRISTMAS - Dir. David E. Talbert

ARRIVAL - Dir. Denis Villeneuve

SHUT IN - Dir. Farren Blackburn

BLEED FOR THIS - Dir. Ben Younger

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM - Dir. David Yates

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN - Dir. Kelly Fremon Craig

BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK - Dir. Ang Lee

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA - Dir. Kenneth Lonergan

AFIFEST 2016:

LION - Dir. Garth Davis

MISS SLOANE - Dir. John Madden

I, DANIEL BLAKE - Dir. Ken Loach

THE SALESMAN - Dir. Asghar Farhadi

IT'S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD - Dir. Xavier Dolan

STILL LIFE - Dir. Maud Alpi

THE NET - Dir. Ki-duk-Kim

THINGS TO COME - Dir. Mia Hansen-Love

HOME - Dir. Flen Troch

FEAR ITSELF - Dir. Chalie Lyne

ALBUM - Dir. Mehmet Can Mertoglu

FRAUD - Dir. Dean Fleischer-Camp

MOANA - Dir. Ron Clements

LAND OF MINE - Dir. Martin Zandvliet

HUNTER GATHERER - Dir. Joshua Locy

TONI ERDMANN - Dir. Maren Ade

OSCURO ANIMAL - Dir. Felipe Guerrero

THE EYES OF MY MOTHER - Dir. Nicolas Pesce

MALGRE LA NUIT - Dir. Phillippe Grandieux

BUSTER'S MAL HEART - Dir. Sarah Adina Smith

THE WOMAN WHO LEFT - Dir. Lav Diaz

JULIETA - Dir. Pedro Almodovar

DIVINES - Dir. Uda Benyamina
-------------------------------------------

BAD SANTA 2 - Dir. Mark Waters

ALLIED - Dir. Robert Zemeckis

RULES DON'T APPLY - Dir. Warren Beatty

UNMARRIED WIFE - Dir. Maryo de los Reyes

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS - Dir. Tom Ford

ELLE - Dir. Paul Verhoeven

JACKIE - Dir. Pablo Lorrain

20TH CENTURY WOMEN - Dir. Mike Mills

PATERSON - Dir. Jim Jarmusch

(482)

FOOD CHOICES - Dir. Michael Siewierski

MAN DOWN - Dir. Dito Montiel

NERUDA - Dir. Pablo Larrain

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS - Dir. Otto Bell

THE SUPER PARENTAL GUIDANCE - Dir. Joyce Bernal

OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY - Dir. Josh Gordon

THE C WORD - Dir. Meghan O'Hara

OLD STONE - Dir. Johnny Ma

BURN COUNTRY - Dir. Ian Olds

LA LA LAND - Dir. Damien Chazelle

ALL WE HAD - Dir. Katie Holmes

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY - Dir. Gareth Edwards

FENCES - Dir. Denzel Washington

THE HOLLOW POINT - Dir. Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego

THE BAD KIDS - Dir. Keith Fulton

AS YOU ARE -Dir. Miles Joris-Peyrafitte

SAND STORM - Dir. Elite Zexer

THE WHITE HELMETS - Dir. Orlando Von Einsiedel

WHY HIM? - Dir. John Hamburg

PASSENGERS - Dir. Morten Tyldum

ASSASSIN'S CREED - Dir. Justin Kurzel

SILENCE - Dir. Martin Scorcese

30 for 30: June 17th, 1994 - ESPN

THE CHILDHOOD OF A LEADER - Dir. Brady Corbet

I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER - Dir. Billy O'Brien

A MONSTER CALLS - Dir. J.A. Bayona

HIDDEN FIGURES - Dir. Theodore Melfi

LIVE BY NIGHT - Dir. Ben Affleck

GOLIATH - starring Billy Bob Thornton (tv series)

COMPLETE UNKNOWN - Dir. Joshua Marston
01.02.16 by OC

2016 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and Golden Globe shortlisted The Fencer to serve as Opening Night Film at 17th annual Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. (SFFLA), with Director Klaus Hro to attend


by Oliver Carnay




January 1, 2015 (Los Angeles, California) - The Fencer (Miekkallija), Finlands nominated Best Foreign Language Film at this years Golden Globe and Oscar (recently announced as one of the 9th film shortlisted) will serve as the Opening Night Film at the Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. to be held at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills (135 So. Doheny Ave.) on January 9, 2016. Director Klaus Hro (best known from his films Elina, Mother of Mine, and Letters to Father Jacob) is expected to attend and have a Q&A.

The Fencer is based on the real life story of Estonian fencer Endel Nelis (1925-1993). Fleeing from the Russian secret police because of his controversial past, a young Estonian fencer is forced to return to his homeland, where he begins to train a group of young children in the art of fencing. The past however catches up with him and he has to choose between letting his students down or putting his life in danger.

Celebrating its 17th anniversary, the festival which runs two weekends (January 9, 10, and 16, 17) will screen some of the top best films made from European and the Baltic region. Participating countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, among others. Some of these films amazing films are never released in the U.S. so it is a chance for film lovers to watch and enjoy these amazing films.

This year, in honor of the iconic actress - Ingrid Bergmans 100th birthday celebration, in conjunction with the Swedish Film Institute Film Archive, there will be a special screening of the restored version of Gustaf Molanders classic film Intermezzo, which is one of Bergmans most memorable films. Although Bergman was a Hollywood royalty, she has made several Swedish films and this is a film where you can hear her speak in Swedish language.

SFFLA box-office online will open on January 4. Please call (323) 636-6404 for tickets. For complete schedule of films, please log on to www.SFFLA.net
01.01.16 by OC

My "List of Favorite Films" and "Best Acting Performances" in 2015
by Oliver Carnay

Now that I've seen all the Oscar contender films of 2015, here are lists of films and acting performances that I thought are remarkable .. these are my top favorites. This year, I've seen about almost 500 films (see list here) including movies from regular theater commercial screenings and from different film festivals I have attended-- the yearly Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), OUTFEST Los Angeles, Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFilmfest), Scandinavian Film Festival of Los Angeles (SFFLA), Cinema Italian Style Los Angeles - Italian Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICGLA), AFIFEST, European Film Promotions, French Film Festival (COLCOA), Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), among others. Here you go ...

My list of top favorite U.S. produced movies in 2015:
THE REVENANT - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
THE HATEFUL EIGHT - Quentin Tarantino
BEASTS OF NO NATION - Cary Joji Fukunaga
JAMES WHITE - Josh Mond
CHILD 44 - Daniel Espinosa
MARFA GIRL - Larry Clark
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD - George Miller
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON - F. Gary Gray
YOUTH - Paolo Sorrentino
THE DANISH GIRL - Tom Hooper
SPOTLIGHT - Tom McCarthy
ROOM - Lenny Abrahamson

My favorite directors of films in 2015:
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU (The Revenant)
QUENTIN TARANTINO (The Hateful Eight)
JOSH MOND (James White)
GEORGE MILLER (Mad Max: Fury Road)
PAOLO SORRENTINO (Youth)

Best Female performances in 2015:
BRIE LARSON (Room)
JENNIFER LAWRENCE (Joy)
JANE FONDA (Youth)
CYNTHIA NIXON (James White)
ALICIA VIKANDER (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl)
SAOIRSE RONAN (Brooklyn)

Best Male Performances in 2015 :
LEONARDO DICAPRIO (The Revenant)
BRYAN CRANSTON (Trumbo)
EDDIE REDMAYNE (The Danish Girl)
MICHAEL FASSBENDER (Steve Jobs)
CHRISTOPHER ABBOTT (James White)
JAKE GYLLENHAAL (Southpaw)
MARK RUFFALO (Spotlight)
ABRAHAM ATTAH (Beasts of No Nation)
MICHAEL SHANNON (99 Homes)
TOM BRADY (Child 44, Legend, The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road)
MARK RYLANCE (Bridge of Spies)

My top documentary films of 2015:
WHERE TO INVADE NEXT
THE LOOK OF SILENCE
SHES THE BEST THING IN IT
CARTEL LAND
AMY
WE COME AS FRIENDS
ONLY THE DEAD SEE THE END OF WAR
GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF
WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?
THE WOLFPACK
THE HUNTING GROUND
THE LIFE AND MIND OF MARK DEFRIEST
LISTEN TO ME MARLON
THE SEVEN FIVE
(T)ERROR
PROPHETS PREY
DIOR AND I
TWINSTERS
TALES OF THE GRIM SLEEPER
TAB HUNTER: CONFIDENTIAL
IRIS

My top favorite foreign movies seen in 2015:
SON OF SAUL (Saul Fia) - Directed by Laszlo Nemes, is Hungary's shortlisted Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. Shots are focused on the face of lead star Geza Rohrig who gave a powerful performance as a prisoner during 1944 Auschwitz who is desperate to find a rabbi in order to give a proper burial to a boy he believed is his son.

NAKED AMONG WOLVES (Nackt Unter Wolfen) - the mood is also set in a concentration camp quite similar to "Son of Saul" but director Philipp Kadelbach decided to shoot in wide full angle. A remake of the 1963 movie about a 4 year-old Polish boy who smuggled in a suitcase in a concentration camp in Buchenwald and a group of prisoners decide to protect the child from the Nazis.

MUSTANG - also shortlisted for Oscars Best Foreign Language Film, from Dir. Deniz Gamze Erguven, the film is a story of five Turkish sisters heavily constrained by their father after setting off a scandal among town folks, accused of playing with boys on a beach.

VIVA
ACCUSED
THE FENCER
BEHAVIOR (CONDUCTA) - Dir. Ernesto Daranas Serrano
CORN ISLAND
BALLET BOYS
CUT SNAKE
IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE
NO ONES CHILD
HEART OF A LION
ONE NIGHT IN OSLO
YOUNG TIGER
DARKER THAN MIDNIGHT
LE TOURNOI (THE TOURNAMENT)
THE SEARCH
THEEB
TANGERINES
THESE ARE THE RULES
WHATS BETWEEN US
A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE
DESDE ALLA
LAND AND SHADE
NEON BULL
THE SECOND MOTHER
VIKTORIA
HOW TO WIN AT CHEKERS
THE BOSS, ANATOMY OF A CRIME
THE TREATMENT
A WOLF AT THE DOOR

My favorite gay themed movies seen in 2015:
BEAUTIFUL SOMETHING
THOSE PEOPLE
FOURTH MAN OUT
IN THE GRAYSCALE
VIVA
EASTERN BOYS
SEX BY DA SILVA
DROWN
THE NEW GIRLFRIEND
DESDE ALLA
XENIA
TANGERINE

.....
12.26.15 by OC

Eco-Couture Filipino Designer JOHN C. ABLAZA debuts his latest one-of-a-kind fashion show Bow Tie Couture Fashion Collections in Hollywood benefitting the underprivileged Mangyan Women in Mindoro, Philippines

Photo: Eco-Couture Designer John C. Ablaza with Fil-Swedish Hollywood Actor/model Devon Spence wearing a $1.3 Million dollar handmade bow-tie that has 18 pieces -- .50ct each carats of GIA certified diamonds, with 11.44 carats center diamond, H color, with internally flawless clarity) courtesy of Jules Barba of JB Diamonds located in Newport Beach.


Photos and text by Oliver Carnay


Hollywood, California (November 29, 2015) - A very enthusiastic crowd cheered for Filipino designer John C. Ablaza at last nights eventful Hollywood debut of his latest collections entitled Bow Tie Couture Fashion Collections, held at the Celebrity Centre International where proceeds of the show benefits the Mangyan Women Tribes to sustain livelihood. Among major sponsors of the show include GMA Pinoy TV, MBeauty Clinic by Dr. Tess Mauricio, BlogTalk with MJ Racadio, iDance Studio, and Manny Pacquiao Foundation, in cooperation with 3gsWorld and MODXchange.

The one-of-a-kind fashion show featured models wearing limited edition of bow ties made by the women of the Iraya Mangyan tribes in Mindoro, Philippines. Each piece was hand embroidered to perfection using sustainable and organic materials such as coconut shells, wood beads, lumbang seeds, salwag and tree barks called dalet. The materials were hand processed and colored using vegetable dye.

In the evenings finale, the cream-white suit worn by Fil-Swedish Hollywood-actor/model Devon Spence was complemented with a one-of-a-kind John Ablaza bow-tie, hand made by the tribal mangyan women, hand embroidered with bleached coco beads, and was embellished with a $1.3 million diamonds totaling 18 pieces (.50 carat each , D Color, Flawless Clarity) with centered diamond that has 11.44 carats, H Color with Internally Flawless Clarity, contributed by Jules Barba, CEO of JB Diamonds, Inc. in Newport Beach.

Among other highlights of the show include the auction of limited edition of John Ablazas bow ties. Also auctioned were boxing champ-Manny Pacquiaos limited edition of Nike shoes, signed boxing gloves, unreleased limited edition of shorts and t-shirts, and Manny Pacquiaos new fragrance "M8," which is only available at Fred Segal on Melrose Ave.

The John Ablaza Bow Tie Collections are not yet available in the market and will soon be available in stores and online in cooperation with the Ayala Foundations Livelihood program, who is also currently helping the underprivileged Mangyan women. (Mangyan is the generic name for the eight indigenous groups found on the island of Mindoro, southwest of island of Luzon, the Philippines). Aside from his quest to help the Mangyan tribe in their daily living, Ablaza also supports his other charity, the St. Martin de Porres in Cebu, which is an institution that helps children with autism and Down Syndrome.

Well-known in the Philippines as the first Eco-Couture designer and internationally when he started showcasing his Mangyan gown creations in museums in Europe and other parts of the world, Ablaza is an advocate of protecting Mother Nature. The soft-spoken couture designer and philanthropist, also just had another successful fashion show last week, November 22, at Hyatt Regency Embarcadero in San Francisco during the Philippine International Aids (PIA) annual fund-raising event where he showcased his Rizaliana Collections.

Ablaza is an author of the fashion book Ramp Diva Filipina, a compilation of life story, work archives of 64 iconic Filipina models who made an indelible mark in the history of Fashion. His next project is a compilation of photographs from top Filipina beauty queens and top male models of Filipino descent which will be dressed-up by world-class Filipino designers from top photographers. The book will be entitled Fashion Meets World and is slated to be released in 2017. He is also scheduled to mount the John Ablaza Gala Tribute to Donya Bea Zobel de Ayala, the Grand Matriarch of the famous Ayala clan, featuring the Mangyan Gown Collections in September 2016 in Manila, Philippines.

More pics here and some below:
11.29.15 by OC

Johnny Depp to receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award at 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on January 2, 2016







Palm Springs, CA (November 17, 2015) The 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Johnny Depp with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor atits annual Awards Gala for his performance in Black Mass. Each year the festival selects an actor and actress to receive this award. The Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart and presenting sponsor Entertainment Tonight, will be held Saturday, January 2, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 1-11.

Johnny Depp is one of the most versatile and dynamic actors of our time, said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. In his latest film, Black Mass, Depp, in a stunning transformation, creates a gripping and multi-layered portrait of infamous gangster James Whitey Bulger. He delivers an astounding performance that has earned raves from both critics and audiences and is sure to garnerawards attention. It is our honor to present the 2016 Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor, to Johnny Depp.

Past actor recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Matthew McConaughey, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Eddie Redmayne. In the years they were honored, Bridges, Day-Lewis, McConaughey, Penn and Redmayne went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, while Cooper, Firth and Pitt received Oscar nominations.

Depp can currently by seen in Black Mass, which tells of the unholy alliance between ruthless mobster James Whitey Bulger (Depp) and childhood friend-turned-FBI agent, John Connolly (Joel Edgerton). The bond, forged growing up on the streets of South Boston, would test the limits of loyalty in a town that answers to its own, unwritten code. Blinded by ambition, Connolly convinces Bulger to inform on their common enemy, the Italian Mafia. The deal allows Bulger to expand his criminal empire with complete impunity, threatening to destroy both men, their families, and the very city that made them. Based on true events, the film is directed by Scott Cooper and features an ensemble cast, also including Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, Kevin Bacon, W. Earl Brown, David Harbour, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard, Adam Scott and Juno Temple. The screenplay is by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, based on the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard