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Del Toro, Grisoni, Roeg & Fellowes in Cheltenham Screenwriting Festival

Cheltenham Film StudiosMasterclasses from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas adaptor Tony Grisoni, writer/director Guillermo del Toro, Don't Look Now's Nicholas Roeg, Gosford Park's Oscar winner Julian Fellowes and Hilsborough's Jimmy McGovern top a packed programme at the Screenwriter's Festival 2006. Running June 27 to 30th, the festival is ferrying a vast range of film talents to the stately Cheltenham Film Studios, where the event takes place.


Birds Eye View Film Festival begins

refugeereceptionAccording to the ladies at Birds Eye View, “film is the most powerful medium of our time, but only 7% of directors are women,” and so the Birds Eye View Film Festival aims to redress the balance somewhat by showing the best of international female-helmed films. As Birds Eye View patron, Joanna Lumley, puts it, "if this is what being a bird is, I'm proud to be one"


Cannes 2006 - A Retrospective


Cannes - The Red CarpetWhilst this year's Cannes Festival remained as glamorous as ever, with the requisite number of the great and good of Hollywood and beyond all making their way up the red carpet, the general consensus is that the festival lacked a certain ‘ooomph'. With no real stand out feature films in the competition, some disappointments surrounding highly expected films (especially Southland Tales, Richard Kelly's follow up to Donnie Darko, but more of that later) and a lack of activity in the festival market it seems that 2006 represents an industry in hibernation. But if you look beyond the high profile films you'll see that there are some definite bright spots amongst the general malaise.


Aussie Low Budget Film Wins Cannes Special Jury Prize


 Ten Canoes star David GulpililA low-budget Australian film has been awarded the Special Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Rolf de Heer's film, Ten Canoes, was shot in Arnhem Land, in Australia's Northern Territory, and features non-professional indigenous actors in a traditional story set in the pre-European past.The film's executive producer, Sue Murray, accepted the award in Cannes, describing it as a great honour for the Aboriginal people of Ramingining.

The film is due to be released in Australia on 29 June.



Cannes Barley Gold For Ken Loach


Veteran director Ken Loach Cannes was a European Sweep with the UK, Spain and France leading the way - at the 59th edition of the Cannes Film Festival , where a surprise Palme d'Or went to veteran UK director Ken Loach for his The Wind That Shakes the Barley . Veteran director Loach, fast approaching 70, is already a triple Cannes winner with the Jury Prize in 1990 and 1993 for Hidden Agenda and Raining Stones, respectively, and Best Screenplay for Sweet Sixteen in 2002. The revival of UK cinema at Cannes seems almost confirmed, with the award of the Jury Prize to Andrea Arnold for her debut feature Red Road.


Is Cannes Drowning in Commercialism ?


Hollywood films hype in Cannes whether in competition or notMoney talks, and no entity in the film world talks louder than Hollywood, says The Daily Telegraph's David Gritten.  But you can't help feeling irritated by the fevered hype surrounding these expensive movies - in a place where the quality, not the potential box-office returns of films should be under scrutiny. It's doubly annoying that these films aren't even entered in competition.