London Film Festival to open with Frost/Nixon

frostnixon The London Film Festival's programme was announced by the BFI's Artistic Director, Sandra Hebron, at the press launch today. Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon, with Michael Sheen and Frank Langella (pictured) in the starring roles, will be premiering in the opening night slot on 15th October. Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, set in India, will close the festival.

Although Ms Hebron said that 2008 was "not a vintage year for cinema," judging from other festivals this year, she feels that her team have picked out some gems for us lucky Londoners.The keywords for this year's festival are "politics, history and memory," she added. Sounds promising.

 

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Danny Boyle's SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE to close London Film Festival

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From the official LFF press release:

London – Wednesday 3 September: The Closing Night Gala of The Times BFI 52nd London Film Festival will be the European Premiere of Danny Boyle’s SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.  The festival opens with Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is the story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who finds himself  just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?  Arrested on suspicion of cheating, Jamal tells the police the incredible story of his life on the streets, and of the girl he loved and lost. But what is a kid with no interest in money doing on the show? And how does he know all the answers?  When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the police and sixty million viewers are about to find out … Dev Patel (Skins) stars alongside an all-Indian cast including Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Madhur Mittal and Freida Pinto in this uplifting drama set and shot in India.

 

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Hull's Glimmer fest follows Radiohead with Pay What You can submission fees

FILMMAKERS TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN ENTRY FEE FOR GLIMMER : 7th HULL INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 21st-26th April 2009

glimmer.jpegGiven the number of entries they normally receive and the costs of watching and reviewing them, for the recent Hull International Short Film Festival in April, submissions fees were introduced (tho kept free for those from the region). While making sure that people were serious before sending in their film, fees could put off the poorest filmmakers and limit the range of films submitted, so for next year - in a move with echoes of Radiohead's recent In Rainbows - filmmakers are invited to pay what they can. While being open about the costs involved in running a successful fest, they hope to encourage a debate about festival fees and a responsible reaction from those submitting - some shorts have festival costs written into the budget, while in some parts of the world, the postage and duplication costs alone can be offputting.

 

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International Comedy Film Festival 2008 : Torquay

rivierafest.jpgThis was submitted by Chris using the open content submission - and if you click to read more, includes an 'Eat My Shorts' comedy film contest with the winners screened at the Groovy Movie Picturehouse - the world's first (and only?) solar powered cinema.

This September (25-28th) will see the launch of the first ever International Comedy Film Festival in Torquay, on the south west coast of England. The inaugural week-long event will take place in an area affectionately dubbed the "English Riviera" and in many ways the spiritual birthplace of classic British comedy.  Peter Cook, who was crowned the world's greatest comedian by his peers in a recent survey of 300 writers, directors and comedians, was born in Torquay. A close runner-up in the survey was one John Cleese, who will remain forever associfawltypic3.jpgated with the town thanks to his role as the world's most irascible hotel owner, Basil Fawlty. The sitcom Fawlty Towers, set in Torquay of course, has also been voted the best British sitcom of all time. It's a comic legacy that certainly deserves to be celebrated.   

John Cleese said: "I'm delighted to learn that Torquay is launching its International Comedy Film Festival.  I think of Torquay as being the home of British comedy.  The first time I saw Bruce Forsyth was in the Babbacombe Pavilion in the mid 50s; we had a very successful Monty Python shoot there in 1970; it was then that I met the famous Donald Sinclair, the model for Basil Fawlty; and I for many years followed the hilarious antics of Torquay United at Plainmoor." 

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Edinburgh Winners: Eurostar's Somers Town, Man on a Wire, Herzog's Encounters at End of the World

wall-e_3.jpgSorry for the shortage of updates recently, I've watched too many inpsiring films in the past few weeks, with not enough time to do them justice with a good enough review. And after seeing Wall-E on Thursday - towards the end of an enlightening Edinburgh - business as usual doesn't seem possible either. In the meantime here's the award winners from Sunday's ceremony.

EuroStar's Somers Town won the £20,000 Michael Powell Best British Film Award, a film directed by Shane Meadows through a £500k financing deal set up by ad agency Mother, the company behind the Orange Film Funding Board adverts.

This year’s Michael Powell Jury were actor Danny Huston (Ivans Xtc) as president, international producer Sigurjon Sighvatsson (ZIDANE: A 21st CENTURY PORTRAIT); Orange Prize nominated author Scarlett Thomas (The End of Mr. Y); Golden Globe Best Actress nominee Joely Richardson (NIP\TUCK) and acclaimed director Iain Softley (INKHEART; K-PAX).

The Jury citation read: “It is a great pleasure to recognise SOMERS TOWN as the freshest, most imaginative, maverick work deserving of the Michael Powell Award. After viewing an impressive selection of films and a long deliberation we the Jury unanimously agreed that the award would go to SOMERS TOWN.” 

Full winners and jury comments below

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Bolzano ShortFilmFestival NEW DEADLINE - 15th July 2008

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From Bolazno HQ: 

We are pleased to inform you that new deadline for the festival subscriptions is 15th July 2008!:

- 5th NO WORDS - International no-dialogue short film competition.
In this competition, the film/video must be understood through the strength of the images only. Music, sounds, environment background noises, etc. are accepted. Films/videos without dialogues, about any topics, produced 2006, 2007 or 2008 can be submitted.

- 40th OPERE NUOVE - Short film competition for italian films.
Competition for italian filmmakers, italian producers or films in italian language only.

- 4th SHORT FILM EXPERIMENT - Short film competition for experimental films.
Experimental short films produced 2006, 2007 or 2008 can be submitted.

Free entry for all competitions!  Total prizes amount: € 5500

NEW Deadline for all competitions: July 15th 2008

For further information, and for the online-submission of your works we invite you to visit our website: www.bolzanoshortfilmfestival.it

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Raindance presents Live!Ammunition! at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

shooting-people.jpgRaindance presents on June 26th at 7.30pm

Live!Ammunition! at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

followed by an afterparty

hosted by Shooting People and Wallflower Press

HAVE YOU GOT A GREAT IDEA FOR A MOVIE? This is it! Your chance to pitch your movie idea directly to a panel of top British film executives. These are the people who matter. They are the people who buy and develop scripts – they are the people who decide what will be made and what won’t.

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Edinburgh video previews : Shirley Clarke, Mirrorball docs and Hannah's picks

edfilmfestlogo.jpg With less than a fortnight until Edinburgh Film Festival gets underway, the big question lingers - will the move to June work? On the one hand, Edinburgh in August is an invigorating and inspiring place, and set the film festival within a richer cultural backdrop than Cannes or Sundance could ever offer. On the other, Edinburgh's a special city any time of the year, and with the place much quieter in June, festival delegates may keep together much more, creating a more intimate atmosphere, with the Filmhouse supposedly licensed until 3am.

Either way, the programme seems to not have suffered, as the following three video previews suggest:

Mirrorball docs: Gorillaz , Lee Scartch Perry, Arthur Russell and Pati Smith

Shirley Clarke Retrospective

Hannah McGill's highlights : 'most of them star Ben Kingsley'

 

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Turner winner McQueen picks up Camera D'Or, as The Class takes Palme

hunger1.jpgstevemcqueen.jpgBritish artist Steve McQueen's film debut, Hunger, detailing the hunger strike and death of IRA prisoner Bobby Sands, has picked up the Camera D'Or at Cannes, for best debut work. French docu-drama, The Class, looking at life in a Parisian school - has taken the Palme D'Or. Hunger also picked up the Fibresci Un Certain Regard in the other awards .

There's a few good roundups of the festival online. Nested between articles such as 'How much bigger can Pregnant Urika Get?' The Daily Mail, of all places, takes a long hard - yet painfully honest - look at the sleazy underbelly of cannes, and the cocaine quaffing, supermodel hooked world of financing and yachts.

"I ask my producer friend whether a party is quite the right place, being so noisy, to pitch an idea to a mega-rich investor. He looks at me as if I'm mad. 'We don't pitch at the parties. We get them to trust us.'
And how do you do that? 'We take drugs together.' And when do you finally get to pitch, what... well, floats their yacht?  'If you want your movie to get made, you have to pitch an idea that is either about the environment or about pornography. Basically, you have to make an investor feel either guilty or horny.'"

An insightful piece by Ty Burr in the Boston Globe, meanwhile, takes a cultural look at the event and how it reveals differences in the American and European cinematic sensibility:

"An unusually large percentage of movies made outside the US entertainment axis embrace the principle of uncertainty - they question, wonder, foment, call to account. They leave endings unresolved and matters up to us. Even the blatant entertainments can be shot through with hesitation, by a contemplation of actuality as it might be rather than a digitized improvement. By contrast, the majority of films made for consumption in the United States - and successfully sold like candy bars throughout the world - cling to the principle of certainty. They smooth things over rather than raise questions, and they work toward definitive closure of our emotions and of the sale." 

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