Anil Rao: Editing Globally

anil1Filmmaking has been something of a roller coaster ride for Anil Rao, but when you have received writs from Warner Bros because you made your own award-winning Batman movie (for £300 from the Prince's Trust), had your graduation film described by Total Film magazine as 'British Cinema being in good hands' and have worked with Luc Besson and hung out with Quentin Tarantino, you can probably take anything in your stride. This is the story of the rise and rise of Shooter Anil Rao and how he came to edit "Half Life" and gained access to a completely new career experience as an international film editor and film music composer to sharpen up his own film-making goals, picking up a lot of tips and new experiences on the way.

In an extensive interview with James MacGregor, Anil Rao gives an insider guide to editing world cinema features, not only bridging cultures from Europe to Asia, but also editing dialogue in Tagalog, the language of Filipinos, of which he had no prior knowledge. That didn't stop the film ALA VERDE ALA POBRE from sweeping the board of Oscar equivalents in Manila, including a best editor award for himself. Anil went on to edit further features for the acclaimed Manila-based artist, director and producer Briccio Santos, all gaining local and then European endorsement at Rome. And it all kicked off with a notice on Shooting People's Filmmakers bulletin.

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Edgar Wright announced as judge for Jameson Empire Awards competition

From Naomi Li @ Jameson Empire Awards:

Edgar Wright, director of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, has been announced as a judge of the Done In 60 Seconds short film competition. As the name suggests, film fans are invited to re-create a popular movie in 60 seconds for their chance to attend and win their very own Jameson Empire Award.

Edgar Wright, commented: “I’m delighted to be judging the Jameson Empire Awards’ Done In 60 Seconds competition, which is such a great concept for any film lover.

“As a teenager I’d make amateur films, trying to recreate shots from my favourite directors like Sam Raimi and Martin Scorcese, with makeshift props. This competition has that at its heart, only we’re asking for a complete remake in 60 seconds, a good challenge for any budding filmmaker trying to hone their skills. I’m very intrigued to see the films other countries will choose.”

The top 20 entries will come to London for a semi-final event on 26 March, where the jury will select the final five nominees. These five will have the chance to rub shoulders with A-List stars at the Jameson Empire Awards on 28 March, where the winner will be announced. Film fans can get full details and upload their entries on to www.empireonline.com/awards2010. The closing date for entries is 29 January 2010.


The Jameson Empire Awards celebrate the film industry’s success stories of the year with Empire Magazine readers voting for the winners. The awards ceremony are held in London and deemed by many in the industry as the most fun awards in the British movie calendar, making it the perfect match for Jameson.

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The Open Cinema Unconference: Today at Leeds International Film Festival

personalwikilogoFilm festivals around the world present thousands of outstanding new and archive films that don't get the exposure they deserve. Beyond film festivals, audiences are severely limited by what they can see in public venues, while talented filmmakers are frustrated, unable to reach them.

The Open Cinema Unconference, a free event at the Leeds International Film Festival today November 12, 2009 takes place from 2pm to 6pm at the Carriageworks to explore how access to the cinema experience can be transformed for all.

a5The day is broken into three parts and includes speakers from Bristol's Cube MicroPlex microcinema, the Vancouver Underground Film Festival, the Louis le Prince* Centre at Leeds University, OpenIndie, fresh from raising $12k online to build a distribution system, independent Leeds cinema, Hyde Park Picture House, Netribution on our 'Living Cinema Project' and the free-download donationware feature doc Just to Get A Rep.

[*Louis le Prince, incidentally, was the Frenchman credited with making the first ever film in 1888 in Leeds (three years ahead of Edison and four years ahead of the Lumiere Brothers). See Roundhay Garden Scene, and the mashup version, Roundhay Deleted Scenes. He mysteriously disappeared on a train to Paris in 1890.]

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iFeatures microbudget scheme now open for submissions

South West Screen and BBC Films have launched iFeatures, a new digital film initiative, open to writers, directors and producers from across the UK.

Headed up by Chris Moll who was behind last year's Digital Departures scheme ('Of Time and The City', 'Kicks' and 'Salvage'),  iFeatures aims to harness fresh stories, outstanding creative talent and innovative production methods to create 3 full-length feature films during 2010.

Following an open call for submissions that runs to 8th December 2009, iFeatures will invite 12 filmmaking teams to take their ideas through an intensive creative and commercial development process. From these, it plans to ‘greenlight’ 3 films into production next summer. Each film will be produced in and around the City of Bristol, and must be capable of being realised on a budget of £300,000. The completed films are intended to be released theatrically and to embrace the myriad opportunities of digital distribution – DVD, online and mobile. The BBC is the UK TV broadcast partner.

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Leeds Int Film Festival gets underway with Bright Star, Men Who Stare at Goats

leeds-goatsThe Men Who Stare at Goats and Keats biopic Bright Star opened the 23rd Leeds International Film Festival - the UK's largest film festival outside London and Edinburgh - last night. The writer of the book behind the movie, Jon Ronson joined fans at the screening at Leeds Town Hall. The festival, extended to run eighteen days this year, and the UK's largest outside of London and Edinburgh, is packed with new films, documentaries, special guests and events. Running across five strands, highlights include new films from the Coen Brothers (A Serious Man), Julian Temple (Oil City Confidential), Hiayao Miyazaki (Ponyo), Harmony Korine (Trash Humpers) and Catherine Breillet (Bluebeard).

leeds_bright01Also screening is Colin, the £50 Britsih zombie movie that has wowed critics and the Bunny and the Bull from the Mighty Boosh director Paul King. The Cinema Versa strand returns featuring the best of documentaries covering music and human rights, while the Fanomonem fantasy strand delivers horror, action, sci-fi. Events include a Film Music Conference and an Open Cinema Unconference which we are helping to organise (more details to follow). During the first weekend at the Festival guests include include Julien Temple (Oil City Confidential), Éric Tessier (5150 Elm Street), Philip Ridley (Heartless), Marc Price (Colin), composer Ilan Eshkeri (Film Music Conference), Tom Six (The Human Centipede), Benoit & Julien Decaillon (Sodium Babies), and Felix Van Groeningen (The Misfortunates).

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Introducing a new social network for filmmakers

From ShoutFilm's Steven Waterfall:

We are pleased to announce the launch of ShoutFILM, a social networking site tailored specifically for filmmakers of all ages and skill levels. Members can share their work and communicate with each other with ease. ShoutFILM is the based on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and founded by filmmakers for filmmakers.

ShoutFILM incluces:

  • Free, quick and easy sign up.
  • Cinema - View, rate and write reviews for independent films and upload your own trailers, showreels or completed films to the cinema.
  • Studio - Follow the progress of independent films currently in production as well as posting your own.
  • Scripts - Find your next film script and get it direct from writers.
  • Production Companies - Add your production company and allow fans to follow your current projects in development.
  • and more!

ShoutFILM is completely free, sign up is required to access all the site has to offer. Check it out at www.shoutfilm.com

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LFF Preview: Nowhere Boy

mimijohn

The London Film Festival will close tonight with the world premiere of the feature debut from artist Sam Taylor-Wood, Nowhere Boy. It takes a look at the early years of John Lennon, when he was being brought up by his Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas in a fantastic performance), getting into music, and taking guitar lessons from a young squirt called Paul McCartney. Suchandrika Chakrabarti reviews.

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Special Edition # 34

Films, films and more films. And some TV shows. Yes, Special Edition# 34 has plenty of fun things for you this time around. It’s a good job the clocks went back or Laurence Boyce wouldn't know where to find the time….


It seems that all our directors have decided to have a laugh: after Mike Leigh decided to head down the comedy route in Happy-Go-Lucky and some would say that Guy Ritchie has been having a joke for his entire career, Ken Loach raises a smile in Looking For Eric (Icon Home Entertainment). Eric is a postman whose life is drifting out of control: his wife is gone, his stepson is going off the rails and he can’t see to turn for his friends for help. But salvation is at hand, as Eric Cantona – his footballing hero – is around to coach him through life. This is a fine paean to the power of belief, with Paul Laverty’s script providing much mirth and pathos and some top acting from Steve Evets and Cantona. Loach’s films have always had a dry sense of humour and here he amps it up whilst unafraid to dwell on dark moments. Tremendously enjoyable and with a lightness of touch that is absolutely affecting, this is yet another triumph from one of the UK cinema’s most talented directors. Special Edition reviewed the Blu-Ray edition of the film, which also be purchased as a standard disc

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LFF Preview: Starsuckers

 

starsuckers

Starsuckers is the second feature-length documentary from writer/director Chris Atkins, who made the BAFTA-nominated Taking Liberties in 2007. The film takes an in-depth look into celebrity culture - and sleb journalism - and the results are both laugh-out-loud funny and worrying.

The issue of made-up stories making their way into showbiz gossip columns was discussed by George Clooney and Kevin Spacey at the press conference for Men Who Stare At Goats last week (after the London Film Festival press screening).

spaceyclooney

Of course, there was nothing new about the debate, but it was intriguing, hearing two celebrities, who have been hounded by the media, describing how it feels, right in front of us. In fact, we got to watch it happen - in each of the two press conferences I saw Clooney in (Goats and Fantastic Mr Fox), he was besieged by a number of questions about his private life, namely when the hell he was going to get married and have kids. Some of the non-tabloid journalists later complained about this hijacking of precious press conference time. Who really cares? Well, as Starsuckers shows, we're all meant to, because caring about slebs makes us buy stuff...

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LFF Preview: An Education

 

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An Education, which which has its UK premiere tonight at the London Film Festival, is based on a short memoir written by newspaper journalist Lynn Barber, which was published in Granta. The story was adapted for the screen by Nicky Hornby, and stars Carey Mulligan in an acclaimed turn as 16-year-old Jenny (based on the young Lynn), and Peter Sarsgaard as David, the older man who shows her what life is like beyond school and the suburbs.

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UK Film Council Short Film Completion Fund is open for submissions

From Tamsin Ranger @ MayaVision:

Individual producers or production companies are invited to send a rough cut of their unfinished short film (up to 15 minutes in length) to Maya Vision International, along with a completed application form. The closing date for applications is 5pm, Monday 30 November 2009.

There will only be ONE call for applications for 2010 - so do make sure you get your film into us and don't hold back on the good stuff! Full guidelines, forms and more information can be found at www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/shortfilms

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LFF Preview Roundup

theinformantAhead of the London Film Festival's opening night tomorrow, here's a round-up of some highlights from Suchandrika Chakrabarti.

The LFF's press screenings begin before the festival begins, and carry on during it, with the previews of the big gala films, like the opening night's Fantastic Mr Fox (gosh, they do love a bit of Wes Anderson) and the George Clooney-starring The Men Who Stare at Goats, are saved for the morning of the screening. So you'll have to wait just a little bit longer for those.

In the meantime, you can read on for reviews of the latest Matt Damon movie and the mockumentary stylings of Michael "George Michael Bluth" Cera...

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London's Brazilian community out in force for Cine Fest Brasil:

brasil_film_festThe first London Brazilian Film Festival hit town last week with the warm and vocal audience participation of the city's expat community, and a couple of cinematic gems.

You get the sense that organizers ‘Inffinifo' want to express that there is so much more to Brazil, and it's cinema, than the sex, violence and poverty stereotypes reinforced by its big hits over recent years. However, and despite some works of interest in other areas, it seems that what Brazilian cinema does best - and what it's best filmmakers are doing - is to continue that exploration.  Stories from Brazil's most impoverished communities make for such good cinema because drama is at its most electric when following people in extreme situations.  The more the realist illusion is enhanced through the excellent documentary style techniques of ‘Cinema Novo', the more powerful these extremities appear.

last_stop_174Making this case most clearly was Bruno Barreto's exceptional Last Stop 174 (click for my review) - a fiction inspired by the real life events portrayed in the 2002 documentary ‘Bus 174'.  A gripping story enhanced by high production values and accomplished directing, this more than merits an international release.

Also explosively transporting life in Rio's ghettos to celluloid was Favela On Blast (click for my review).  Propelled forward with the raw exuberance of the music and characters within the clubbing scene in Brazil's favelas, rarely is a documentary so sexy, foul-mouthed and downright fun.

favela_on_blastA surprisingly fun and un-indulgent film was ‘Smoking I Wait', in which director Adriana L. Dutra uses her personal attempt to quit smoking as a base from which to explore the history and current state of the tobacco industry.  Well made and engaging, it did suffer from a problem evident in all the documentaries screened at the festival - an overestimation of its own playing time.

Special mentions should go to the crowd pleasing ‘If I were you 2'  and ‘The Childrens Orchestra', though the stageyness of teenage coming of age drama 'Before the World Ends'  only reinforced how well Brazilian's make the type of film that this was not - gritty realist drama's.  Compare it to Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas' excellent ‘Linha De Passe' of last year and this feels a much less successful exploration of similar themes.

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Special Edition # 33

Lots of new films this time around as Special Edition # 33 has more examples of Hollywood being unable to think of new ideas, a bunch of documentaries and the usual intriguing mix of world cinema and TV releases.

Originally a BBC Drama, State Of Play (Universal Releasing) has transferred to the big screen under the direction of Oscar winner Kevin One Day In September Macdonald. The original was a heady mix of political intrigue and complex motivations and, to Macdonald’s credit, this continues in this new version in which journalist Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe, who’s on good form) finds himself involved in the investigation of the murders of two congressional aides. However the condensation of the plot means that this is not as richly satisfying as its UK parent but – taken on its own – its an extremely exciting political thriller that manages to be reminiscent of some of the great US conspiracy movies on the 1970s. Aside from Crowe, Helen Mirren and Ben Affleck are on good form and this is a good example of intelligent Hollywood fare. The extras include a deleted scenes and a making of.

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Seven projects selected for Power to the Pixel Pitch, 15 October

An all-star jury ranging from UKFC Premiere Fund head Sally Caplan to YouTube's Sara Pollock will judge the Pixel Pitch award for a cross media project, with details of the seven finalists now released and detailed below. One winner will walk away with the £6,000 Babelgum Pixel Pitch Award.

Tickets are now on sale for the event, which will accompany the Power to the Pixel conference, where a host of names from the Open Video Conference (including Brian Newman, Ted Hope, Nina Paley, Lance Weiler) along with Age of Stupid's Franny and Lizzie - will talk about digital marketing and distribution strategies for filmmakers.

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17th Raindance Film Festival premieres new Japanese films and spotlights Japanese women directors

hotaru-300x225Since 1998, Raindance Film Festival has continued in its strong support for Japanese filmmaking, with its Way Out East section the largest annual showcase for new Japanese cinema in the United Kingdom, screening at least ten recent features and documentaries annually. The 17th Raindance Festival, held between 30 September - 11 October 2009, this year turns its spotlight on the rising number of women filmmakers in Japan, with a special selection of five features and one shorts program from some of the country's most exciting talent.

raindancelauriersmallDirector Momoko Ando will be in attendance to introduce the World Premiere of her debut feature, A PIECE OF OUR LIFE - KAKERA -. The film, scored by Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, is a touching portrait of a romantic relationship between Haru, a college student whose relationship with her self-centred boyfriend is going nowhere, and Riko, a bisexual medical artist who makes prosthetic body parts. Born in 1982, Ando is the daughter of the acclaimed actor-director Eiji Okuda and the sister of rising starlet Sakura Ando (LOVE EXPOSURE, AIN'T NO TOMORROWS). A former student of the Slade School of Fine Art, her return to London to present her new film promises to be an unforgettable experience.

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Sally Potter: “The beginning of a new way of looking at film”

sally_potter"Anyone can be a filmmaker. What's really hard is to make a good, interesting film. A computer doesn't help you write a better novel; writing in a notebook longhand is just as good.

"So technology can't do the job for you, but it can make the medium more accessible to more people... Within a short time, I could get 30,000 people coming to my site, from countries where Rage doesn't have distribution, and they're talking to each other about the themes they relate to in it. That's something that's so new and extraordinary, really."

Orlando director Sally Potter's latest film, Rage, will be the first feature-length film to premiere on mobile phones. With an ensemble cast including Eddie Izzard, Judi Dench, Diane Wiest, Jude Law and Steve Buscemi, the first of seven episodes of the film will be streamed on Monday on Babelgum's free mobile platform, across the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, with a new episode of the film every day. The mobile launch will be closely followed by the DVD launch, an interactive satellite premiere across a number of UK cinemas (including the British Film Institute) and a live-stream on Justin.tv.

Phew. How can one film work in so many formats? Netribution asked Suchandrika Chakrabarti to meet up with Potter and find out.

rage2Netribution: So how does the film work with the various methods of distribution? People are going to be watching it in very different media.

Potter: The film itself is a story that happens over seven days, so by its nature it divides into seven parts. As it's filmed in close-ups upon the actors' faces, it can work on a small scale, but also looks very beautiful up on the big screen. I think it does work at both ends of the visual scale. As it's a whodunnit, a murder mystery, it does keep you going into the next day and the next to find out how things unfold... each episode ends on a sort of cliffhanger.

People have the option to get the DVD later on, and there is also the premiere at the BFI, which is going out live on 40 screens across the country. There will be a Q&A after, and, for instance, Jude Law is going to be in New York, in his dressing room for Hamlet, and we're going to Skype him in.

Babelgum saw the film and really liked the idea of distributing it. This is one of their first feature films; it feels like the beginning of a new way of looking at films, and for people to access them easily and properly. Streaming technology is so much better these days.

N: Are you daunted by any of it?

P: It felt very much like leaping off a precipice. We didn't know where we would land. I've no idea how people are going to experience it - we're making it up as we go along. As people experience the film in different ways, it starts to morph, it's no longer a fixed entity - like the themes in the film itself. We're making the process and product be really reflective of each other, and the story itself reflective of how people can see it.

 

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Troy Kennedy Martin (1932-2009)

On a day where celebrities seemed to dropping like flies, it's a shame that the obits for British scriptwriter Troy Kennedy Martin  probably won't be as extensive as they should be. Needless to say the man was a man who had a hand in helping to create and write some of the best UK TV shows ever made including 'Z-Cars' and 'The Sweeney'. His TV shows helped pave the way for intelligent genre fare that were literate and exciting whilst 'Edge of Darkness', currently undergoing a Hollywood remake, remains a highpoint of British television. Aside from TV, he scripted the brilliant ensemble piece Kelly’s Heroes and – perhaps most famously – was responsible for The Italian Job, a film that is famous for lines such as “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” as it was for it’s impressive car chases.

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Netribution ran through two periods — a static site & weekly magazine/newsletter from the end of 1999 to early 2002; and as a user-generated, open cms-built site running between January 8th 2006 and 27 May, 2014 when the last user-submitted article was received. After this it became a more-traditional occasional blog. It is maintained here for archive purposes.