What’s Actually Happening – March 3 (DALLAS FILM FEST, SXSW, FESTWORKS, STRIPPED)

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on March 5, 2010

What’s Actually Happening – March 3

I feel bad. I feel guilty. Because I started this blog about a year ago at Justina’s (my wife) urging and I was into it and writing fun stuff that was behind the scenes and naming some names and taking some artistic licenses and people were starting to follow it and pay attention to what was actually going on in my life with the stuff that I do.

Then I kept getting busier and busier. Which you would think would make it more and more interesting except that I stopped the actual blogging stuff and just posted press releases and interviews and movie reviews. Which I want everyone to see but that isn’t the point, is it? If I’m asking you to check into this damn thing then I should make it worth your while.

So, I’m taking another stab at it. Because there is A LOT happening and a lot happening with me wearing various different hats. So I’m going to try and stop being a perfectionist with the prose and just start delivering some goods – rough on the edit edges or not.

So, here’s some stuff to look forward to:

DALLAS International Film Festival. I’m into it BIG TIME. We’re like five weeks out or something and there’s great, exciting stuff and there’s “what the hell?!” stuff and there’s a lot of praying – to uhmmm…no one in particular. Because that’s how it works in film festival land. AND, this is the first year with no AFI involvement. Training wheels are off, baby! And I just might throw in some thoughts later as to why I believe that was a HUGE mistake on their part. I’ll give you a hint: It’s the “vision” thing. Or lack of it.

SXSW (or South by Southwest Film Festival for those of you that need this shit spelled out – literally). I’ll be covering the film festival for Movie City News, like I just did for the Sundance Film Festival. And once again, I’ll try to write about every damn thing that happens to me so you’ll have an idea of what the experience is like. Of course, you’ll have to go to Movie City News to read it, since Dave Poland promotes the fact that I’m reporting/writing/reviewing for him, so he’s kind of like you to read it on his pages instead of mine. And since I would kind of like him to pay me for doing that…it works for me.

FESTWORKS. At Sundance, Rose Kuo (Artistic Director), Robert Koehler (Director of Programming and film critic extraordinaire, David Rogers (Festival Producer) and myself joined forces to form our own version of a film festival super group. Hopefully, less like Asia and more like Derek and the Dominoes. But with less heroin and more staying power. Anyway, we all left AFI after beating the odds and the house with AFI FEST last year (if you know what I mean and if you don’t….well, I’ll talk about that at some point too, I’m sure) because we love film festivals in a way that we want them all to be the best damn things ever. And we think we can help various ones do that. Sometimes, it will be just some simple consulting, some times it will be us recommending some kick-ass person we know would be great for the job and a great fit and sometimes will swarm the place, roll up the sleeves and bust our asses side-by-side with the teams in place to make something work. Anyway, I’ll be announcing the first “official” project soon and it will be very, very cool.

STRIPPED. The movie. My first feature film as a director. And the first feature film for Justina and myself as producers. It’s a post-feminist horror film. Three guys on a birthday outing talk their way into the wrong house with the wrong women inside. Think TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE or THE DEVIL’S REJECTS with a “family” of women orchestrating the proceedings…

We are scheduled to shoot this thing at the end of May going into June and as much experience as I have doing various jobs in front of and behind the camera and watching as many films as I do and working with as many filmmakers at the film festivals as I do – well, there is a HUGE learning curve with this thing every single day. Producers on the film include one of the guys responsible for THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake and the other producer has cool-ass films like David Lowery wonderful ST. NICK and current SXSWers EARTHLING and AUDREY THE TRAINWRECK under his belt. We already have the horror dynamo known as Tiffany Shepis on board as well as Samrat Chakrabarti, an Indian actor that despite an amazing international filmography we’re getting on the ground floor with because various dumbasses haven’t cast the guy in some weird-ass network sci-fi series where a strange incident has tied a group of random hot people together in a world where truth is false and pretend is sexy….or something like that.

Anyway, Justina and I actually bought the house we’re shooting this thing in. Which I’m living in right now. I’m sleeping in the room that will be inhabited by ‘Crystal’ a hot little sociopath that like the color pink, scrapbooking and uhmmm…cutting things. Our friend Marc Lee is staying in “the killing room.” Fun! So, I’ll clue you into the process as we hurtle along toward the shoot not too unlike one of those test rockets they show in stock footage that would freak you out if you were standing anywhere in the vicinity while it blasts off the blocks and careens not entirely toward its destination.

Here are some fun things about the house: It’s in South Dallas. Which is not a “great” area. But it is a cool two-story four-bedroom place with close to two acres of land and a freeloading horse named “Money” that is taken care of by an old black rodeo guy named “Peewee”. Oh, and we are surrounded by Baptist churches. And a train. One final thing, when we cut the chains that had kept the garage closed since we bought the place we found an old cabinet that had in it (among other things) a bee keepers outfit and smoker, random mason jars with weird stuff in them and two chainsaws! Made to order for Justina and John, the couple that gets romantic when they’re watching OLDBOY.

After that, new stuff that has just come up include doing some stuff with the Texas Frightmare Weekend screenings at the end of April, working with the Las Colinas Studios on a couple projects, possibly the Vision Awards benefit and definitely the Feel Good Film Festival.

I’m sure there is – and will be – more. Because that’s how things have been since January 1st. A very strange year and a very cool year so far.

So stay tuned….

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New FESTWORKS Firm Announced with Kuo, Koehler, Rogers & Wildman

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on January 26, 2010

ROSE KUO, ROBERT KOEHLER, DAVID ROGERS

AND JOHN WILDMAN

ANNOUNCE NEW FESTWORKS VENTURE

PARK CITY, UT (January 24, 2010)—Four former principals of the AFI FEST Los Angeles International Film Festival have joined forces to create a partnership that will offer a wide range of consultation services for film festivals.

Their new venture, FESTWORKS, will seek to provide consultation and services for film festivals of all sizes in the areas of festival operations, development, programming and communications.

Kuo (AFI FEST Artistic Director), Rogers (AFI FEST Festival Producer) and Wildman (AFI Head of Press & Public Relations) all announced their departure from AFI earlier this month. This announcement confirms Koehler’s departure as AFI FEST’s Director of Programming.

The fledgling company’s website states, ”As the film festival world grows more complex and mullti-dimensional, with greater demands placed on festivals to present exciting and relevant events to audiences while serving the interests of filmmakers and sponsors, there is a growing value for precise and informed services and solutions to the many needs that occur during the execution of a festival. FESTWORKS provides a one-stop service for festival operations, development, programming and communications.”

Kuo adds, “This collaboration allows each of us to have more creative freedom and is the best way for us to continue our commitment to artistic excellence and innovative film programming.”

Koehler added, “”We believe that the multi-faceted mission behind FESTWORKS reflects the current and ongoing changes in the film festival world, above all the need for exciting ways to devise, organize and execute festivals.”

“This partnership came together as a direct result of our experiences working together on this past edition of AFI FEST,” said Rogers, “And as the culmination of what each of us has identified as a need in the film festival community.”

Wildman concluded, “The four of us share a great passion for the art of film, for filmmakers and especially for the unique film viewing experience and interaction with those filmmakers that film festivals offer the public. It’s our hope that through FESTWORKS, we can help enhance the way things are done that will benefit both film maker and filmgoer and improve a way of seeing films that we truly love.”

Kuo, AFI FEST’s Artistic Director for the last three years, was recently named as Co-Executive Director of the Sante Fe Film Festival with Michael Hare and brings a wealth of experience in leading film festivals as well as film production. The architect of AFI’s successful “free festival” in 2009, Kuo is widely credited with the critical turnaround of AFI FEST.  In December 2009, the International Film Festival Summit honored her with its prestigious IFFS Excellence Award. Kuo has worked for Mill Valley, San Francisco and Santa Barbara film festivals, as well as renowned directors such as Michael Mann, Paul Schrader and Martin Scorsese. She is an occasional contributor to Movie City News.

After a celebrated career as Daily Variety’s film critic, Koehler joined AFI FEST as Director of Programming in a move that inspired a new round of enthusiasm within the film festival community and began a trend with other notable film critics following suit over the course of the year. Having returned as a critic and contributor for Variety, Koehler continues writing film criticism for Cinema Scope, Cineaste, filmjourney.org and the Christian Science Monitor.

Following a career producing film, music videos and commercials, Rogers joined AFI FEST as the Festival Village Producer in 2006. He subsequently became Director of Production at AFI DALLAS in 2008 prior to becoming AFI FEST’s Festival Producer in 2009. Along with successfully navigating the festival production and logistics of new venues in Hollywood and the festival’s move to Santa Monica during AFM, under his stewardship, AFI FEST enjoyed record crowds with remarkably smooth production details despite extremely challenging economic circumstances.

After his prior work with AFI, AFI FEST and AFI DALLAS, Wildman currently serves as the Director of PR for the DALLAS International Film Festival, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and the Feel Good Film Festival (Los Angeles). He has also headed up the PR for past editions of the Lone Star Film Festival (Fort Worth) and the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. Wildman has produced, written and served as the publicist for the Vision Awards (which benefits Retinitis Pigmentosa) for the past four years. In addition, he writes about film and film festivals for outlets such as Movie City News, Moving Pictures Magazine.com and Envy Magazine, as well as his popular blog at wildworx.wordpress.com.

AFI FEST 2009 Announces Full Schedule

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on October 14, 2009

AFI FEST 2009 PRESENTED BY AUDI

ANNOUNCES THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY’S “A SINGLE MAN”

AS CLOSING NIGHT GALA PRESENTATION

SONY PICTURES CLASSICS’

“THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS”

IS CENTERPIECE SCREENING GALA PRESENTATION

PROGRAMMING INCLUDES TRIBUTES TO

VIGGO MORTENSEN AND CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER

COMPLETE FESTIVAL LINEUP ANNOUNCED

TICKETS AVAILABLE STARTING FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16

LOS ANGELES (October 14, 2009)—AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi today announced the complete lineup of films for the 23rd edition of the Festival, including the Closing Night Gala, Centerpiece Screening, Tributes and Special Presentations.

The Weinstein Company’s A SINGLE MAN has been selected as the AFI FEST Closing Night Gala presentation. A SINGLE MAN will make its US Premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Thursday, November 5, 2009.

Sony Pictures Classics’ THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS has been selected as AFI FEST’s Centerpiece Screening Gala presentation. THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS will make its US Premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Monday, November 2, 2009.

The Closing Night Gala presentation of A SINGLE MAN features the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford from his script adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s acclaimed novel. The film follows a day in the life of a gay British college professor in Los Angeles as he attempts to cope with the death of his partner. Ford’s work helming the project and Colin Firth’s lead performance in the film have received critical acclaim following screenings at the Venice and Toronto film festivals. Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode and Ginnifer Goodwin also star in the film. The Weinstein Company release is due in theaters on December 11.

Ford, Firth and Moore are scheduled to attend.

“It is exciting to champion a talented artist like Tom Ford as he moves beyond the boundaries of one medium into another. In A SINGLE MAN, he delivers an elegant and beautiful personal story that will resonate with all audience members“ said AFI FEST Artistic Director Rose Kuo.

The Centerpiece Screening Gala presentation features the latest work by director Terry Gilliam. THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS follows the leader of a traveling theater troupe who, having made a deal with the devil, takes audience members through a magical mirror to explore their imaginations. The film stars Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Heath Ledger in his final role. The Sony Pictures Classics release is due in theaters stateside on December 25.

Gilliam and Plummer are scheduled to attend.

“The mind-altering, looking-glass world that Terry Gilliam creates in THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS,” notes Director of Programming Robert Koehler, “is like a model for his ideal cinema, in which anything can happen and all rules are broken. If audiences thought that THE DARK KNIGHT was their last glimpse of Heath Ledger, then what Ledger brings to Gilliam’s fantasy-adventure will surprise them.”

AFI FEST has selected actors Christopher Plummer and Viggo Mortensen to receive tributes at this year’s Festival. Sponsored by the Skirball Cultural Center, Plummer’s tribute event will precede the screening of his film THE LAST STATION on Tuesday, November 3. Mortensen’s tribute will precede the US Premiere of the film THE ROAD on Wednesday, November 4. Both Tributes will take place at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

One of the world’s most respected actors, Plummer has won two Tony Awards (for CYRANO and BARRYMORE), three Drama Desk Awards, the National Arts Club Medal and two Emmys. He was a leading member of  Laurence Olivier’s Royal National Theatre and Peter Hall’s Royal  Shakespeare Company. Since appearing in Sidney Lumet’s STAGE STRUCK (1958), his more than 100 films have included WIND ACROSS THE  EVERGLADES (1958), THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), WATERLOO (1970) and TWELVE MONKEYS (1995), THE INSIDER (1999), A BEAUTIFUL MIND (2001), SYRIANA (2005) and INSIDE MAN (2006). He stars as Leo Tolstoy in THE LAST STATION and plays the title role in THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS.

John Hillcoat THE ROAD is adapted from the acclaimed novel by Cormac McCarthy, THE ROAD stars Mortensen as a father making his way with his young son across the scorched landscape of a post-apocalyptic world. Directed by Hillcoat from a script by Joe Penhall, the film also stars Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce and Molly Parker. The Weinstein Company release is due in theaters November 25.

Mortensen, Hillcoat and Theron are scheduled to attend.

From his debut in Peter Weir’s WITNESS (1985) to his signature role of Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, Mortensen’s career has been highlighted by intensely stunning portrayals of men of strict and uncompromising character dealing with a shifting moral universe. Notable films include Sean Penn’s INDIAN RUNNER (1991), Gregory Widen’s THE PROPHECY (1995), Ridley Scott’s G.I. JANE, Tony Goldwyn’s A WALK ON THE MOON (1999), David Cronenberg’s A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (2005) and EASTERN PROMISES (2007)—for which he received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations—and Ed Harris’ APPALOOSA (2008).

“Viggo Mortensen and Christopher Plummer are two actors and film artists of the highest order,” said Kuo. “They share that rare trait of being looked up to by audiences and film fans around the world as well as being greatly respected by their peers.”

Other highlights among the complete film schedule announced today include Jonathan Demme’s music documentary NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW (with Demme and Young confirmed to attend) and the screening of two films connected by legendary art director and longtime AFI Conservatory Distinguished Lecturer Robert Boyle, who turned 100 on October 10. Those films are AFI Conservatory Alumnus Daniel Raim’s (Production  Design ’99) documentary SOMETHING’S GONNA LIVE and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic NORTH BY NORTHWEST, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

A follow-up to Raim’s Oscar-nominated documentary, THE MAN ON LINCOLN’S NOSE, SOMETHING’S GONNA LIVE profiles Boyle (THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, THE BIRDS) and renowned art directors Henry Bumstead (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, THE STING), Harold Michelson (STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, CATCH-22) and Albert Nozaki (THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS), as well as master cinematographers Conrad Hall (IN COLD BLOOD, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID) and Haskell Wexler (WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT). From snapshots, sketches and vintage footage interwoven with interviews and new scenes of these octogenarian artists at work, we get a behind-the-scenes look at master moviemaking.

Boyle and Wexler will attend the World Premiere screening.

On Monday, November 2, AFI FEST, in conjunction with Warner Home Video will present a special screening of Hitchcock’s NORTH BY NORTHWEST. The first Hitchcock film to be released on Blu-ray, the film has been restored and remastered for its 50th anniversary. As part of the Gala event, director William Friedkin will attend to moderate a Q&A with Boyle and the film’s stars Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau.

Koehler noted, “In our 23rd year, our programming seeks to shine a light on an international cinema landscape filled with brilliant young filmmakers forging fresh, unexpected pathways, documentarians on a quest for truth, and a fascinating survey of stop-motion animation (FANTASTIC MR. FOX, IN THE ATTIC, A TOWN CALLED PANIC), while delivering what AFI FEST has done from the beginning—offering audiences a view of the vastness of cinema across the world.”

AFI FEST continues its unique and successful association with the American Film Market with 23 of the features in official selection at AFI FEST represented by distributors at AFM, unfolding concurrently with AFI FEST from November 4–November 11. The following films are among those that will participate in the market and screen at the festival: AFTER.LIFE; THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL, NEW ORLEANS; BELLAMY; CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH; EVERYONE ELSE; FIRST OF ALL, FELICIA; FISH TANK; THE HOLE; THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS; KANIKOSEN; THE LAST STATION; THE LOVED ONES; THE MESSENGER; THE MILK OF SORROW; MOTHER; NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW; PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE; THE ROAD; THE SILENT ARMY; A SINGLE MAN; THE TWO HORSES OF GENGHIS KHAN; WOMAN WITHOUT PIANO; YOUTH IN REVOLT.

Enhancing the AFI FEST/American Film Market alliance, the final two days of AF FEST (November 6-7) will screen at the Laemmle’s Monica 4-plex, 1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica, in close proximity to AFM headquartered activity.

AFI FEST 2009’s overall lineup will showcase 67 features (54 narrative, 13 documentary) and 26 shorts for a total of 93 films from 32 countries.

The breakdown by section is Galas/Tributes (7), New Lights Competition (11), Special Presentations (3), Documentary (13), World Cinema (27), Alt_Cinema (6) and Shorts (26).

The Festival is headquartered at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. All screenings from October 30–November 5 will take place at the Grauman’s Chinese and Mann Chinese 6 theaters in Hollywood with the final two days of the Festival (November 6-7) screening at the Laemmle’s Monica 4-plex in Santa Monica.

Free tickets to all Festival screenings are available online at AFI.com/AFIFEST or by phone at 866-AFI-FEST beginning October 16, at the Mann Chinese 6 Theatre (6925 Hollywood Blvd.) in the Hollywood and Highland Center) beginning October 26, and on the day of scheduled screenings via Rush Lines. Early entry to all screenings can be secured by becoming a patron of the Festival and purchasing an AFI FEST Patron Pass. For more details, visit AFI.com.

The complete program line-up for AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi is as follows:

GALAS/TRIBUTES

Opening Night Gala—FANTASTIC MR. FOX (North American Premiere) Cast: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Wally Wolodarsky, Eric Anderson, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, Jarvis Cocker DIR: Wes Anderson PROD: Allison Abbate, Scott Rudin, Wes Anderson and Jeremy Dawson USA

Centerpiece Gala—THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS (US Premiere) Cast: Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell DIR: Terry Gilliam PROD: Amy Gilliam, Terry Gilliam, Samuel Hadida, William Vince EXEC PROD: Patrice Theroux, David Valleau USA

Gala—EVERYBODY’S FINE (World Premiere) Cast: Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell, Melissa Leo DIR: Kirk Jones PROD: Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Ted Field, Glynis Murray, Gianni Nunnari EXEC PROD: Craig J. Flores, Callum Greene USA

Tribute—THE LAST STATION Cast: Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, Paul Giamatti, James McAvoy DIR: Michael Hoffman PROD: Bonnie Arnold, Chris Curling EXEC PROD: Andrei Konchalovsky, Robert Little, Phil Robertson, Judy Tossell UK/Germany

Gala—PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE Cast: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sheri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz DIR: Lee Daniels PROD: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness EXEC PROD: Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Lisa Cortes, Tom Heller USA

Tribute—THE ROAD (US Premiere) Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce, Molly Parker DIR: John Hillcoat PROD: Paula Mae Schwartz, Steve Schwartz, Nick Wechsler EXEC PROD: Marc Butan, Mark Cuban, Rudd Simmons, Todd Wagner USA

Closing Night Gala—A SINGLE MAN (US Premeiere) Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, Ginnifer Goodwin DIR: Tom Ford PROD: Tom Ford, Andrew Miano, Robert Salerno, Chris Weitz USA

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

A showcase honoring film history and its filmmakers.
NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G. Carroll, Martin Landau DIR: Alfred Hitchcock PROD: Herbert Coleman, Alfred Hitchcock USA

SOMETHING’S GONNA LIVE (World Premiere) Subjects: Robert “Bob” Boyle, Haskell Wexler, Henry Bumstead, Harold Michelson, Albert Nozaki DIR: Daniel Raim PROD: Daniel Raim USA

WAKE IN FRIGHT Cast: Gary Bond, Donald Pleasence, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson DIR: Ted Kotcheff PROD: George Willoughby, EXEC PROD: Bill Harmon, Howard G. Barnes Australia

NEW LIGHT COMPETITION

This section features and honors vital, groundbreaking films by first- and second-time feature filmmakers from around the world.

AJAMI Cast: Fouad Habash, Nisrine Rihan, Elias Saba, Youssef Sahwani DIR: Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani PROD: Moshe Danon, Thanassis Karathanos EXEC PROD: James Richardson Israel/Germany

EASIER WITH PRACTICE Cast: Brian Geraghty, Marguerite Moreau, Jeanette Brox, Jenna Gavigan, Katie Aselton DIR: Kyle Patrick Alvarez PROD: Cookie Carosella USA

EVERYONE ELSE (ALLE ANDEREN) Cast: Birgit Minichmayr, Lars Eidinger, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Nicole Marischka DIR: Maren Ade PROD: Maren Ade, Dirk G. Engelhardt, Janine Jackowski Germany

FIRST OF ALL, FELICIA (FELICIA INAINTE DE TOATE) Cast: Ozana Oancea, Vasile Mentzel, Ileana Cernat, Adina Andrei DIR: Razvan Radulescu, Melissa de Raaf PROD: Ada Solomon Romania/France/Belgium/Croatia

FISH TANK Cast: Michael Fassbender, Harry Treadaway, Katie Jarvis, Kierston Wareing DIR: Andrea Arnold PROD: Kees Kasander EXEC PROD: Christine Langan, David M. Thompson, Paul Trijbits UK

I KILLED MY MOTHER Cast: Anne Dorval, Xavier Dolan, François Arnaud, Suzanne Clément DIR: Xavier Dolan PROD: Xavier Dolan EXEC PROD: Carole Mondello Canada

THE MESSENGER Cast: Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Ben Foster, Jena Malone DIR: Oren Moverman PROD: Benjamin Goldhirsh, Mark Gordon, Lawrence Inglee, Zach Miller EXEC PROD: Steffen Aumueller, Nathaniel Bolotin, Christopher Mapp, Shaun Redick, Glenn M. Stewart, Matthew Street, David Whealy, Bryan Zuriff USA

THE MILK OF SORROW (LA TETA ASUSTADA) Cast: Magaly Solier, Susi Sánchez, Efrain Solis, Marino Ballón DIR: Claudia Llosa PROD: Antonio Chavarrías, Claudia Llosa, José María Morales Spain/Peru

NORTHLESS (NORTEADO) Cast: Harold Torres, Alicia Laguna, Sonia Couoh, Luis Cárdenas DIR: Rigoberto Perezcano PROD: Edgar San Juan EXEC PROD: Sergio Castro, Hector Hernandez-Pons, Alejandro Martinez-Gallardo Mexico/Spain

POLICE, ADJECTIVE Cast: Dragos Bucur, Vlad Ivanov, Irina Saulescu, Ion Stoica DIR: Corneliu Porumboiu PROD: Corneliu Porumboiu Romania

WOMAN WITHOUT PIANO (LA MUJER SIN PIANO) Cast: Jan Budar, Esperanza De la Vega, Tomás del Estal, Nadia de Santiago DIR: Javier Rebello EXEC PROD: Damián Paris, Stefan Schmitz, María Zamora Spain/France

WORLD CINEMA

This section presents a selection of new works by many of the world’s most renowned filmmakers.

ABOUT ELLY Cast: Taraneh Alidoosti, Golshifteh Farahani, Shahab Hosseini, Mani Haghighi, Merila Zarei, Peyman Moadi, Ahmad Mehranfar, Rana Azadivar, Saber Abar  DIR: Asghar Farhadi PROD: Asghar Farhadi Iran

AFTER.LIFE Cast: Liam Neeson, Christina Ricci, Justin Long DIR: Agnieska Wojtowicz-Vosloo PROD: Brad Michael Gilbert, Bill Perkins, Celine Rattray EXEC PROD: Pamela Hirsch, Edwin L. Marshall, Galt Niederhoffer, James Swisher USA

THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL, NEW ORLEANS Cast: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendez, Val Kilmer DIR: Werner Herzog PROD: Edward Pressman, John Thompson, Alan Polsky, Gabe Polsky, Stephen Belafonte EXEC PROD: Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, Elliot Rosenblatt USA

BELLAMY Cast: Gerard Depardieu DIR: Claude Chabrol PROD: Edward Pressman, John Thompson, Alan Polsky, Gabe Polsky, Stephen Belafonte  EXEC PROD: Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, Elliot Rosenblatt France

CASTRO Cast: Edgardo Castro, Julia Martínez Rubio, Alberto Suárez, Carla Crespo, Esteban Lamothe DIR: Alejo Moguillansky PROD: Mariano Llinás, Laura Citarella EXEC PROD: Eduardo Costantini Argentina

CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH Cast: Liu Ye, Gao Yuanyuan, Hideo Nakaizumi, Fan Wei, Jiang Yiyan DIR: Lu Chuan PROD: Han Sanping, Steffen Wild China/Hong Kong

THE HOLE Cast: Chris Massoglia, Haley Bennett, Nathan Gamble, Teri Polo, Bruce Dern DIR: Joe Dante PROD: Robert Skotak EXEC PROD: Gary Michael Waters, Chris Bender, J.C. Spink USA

IN THE ATTIC Cast: Barbora Hrzánová, Boris Hybner, Vladimír Javorsky DIR: Jiri Barta PROD:  Milos Smídmajer Czech Republic/Slovakia/Japan

KANIKOSEN Cast: Matsuda Ryuhei, Nishijima Hidetoshi, Kora Kongo, Arai Hirfumi, Emoto Tokio, Kinoshita Takayuki, Kimoto Takehiro DIR: Sabu PROD: Utagawa Yasushi, Mameoka Ryosuke, Tanabe Keigo EXEC PROD Takahito Kashino Japan

A LAKE (North American Premiere) Cast: Dmitry Kubasov, Natalie Rehorova, Alexei Solonchev, Simona Hülsemann, Vitaly Kishchenko, Arthur Semay DIR: Philippe Grandrieux PROD: Catherine Jacques  France

LONDON RIVER Cast: Brenda Blethyn, Sotigui Kouyate DIR: Rachid Bouchareb PROD: Rachid Bouchareb, Jean Bréhat, Mattieu de Braconier, Bertrand Faivre Algeria/France/UK

LOOKING FOR ERIC Cast: Steve Evets, Eric Cantona, John Henshaw, Stephanie Bishop DIR: Ken Loach PROD: Tim Cole EXEC PROD: Rebecca O’Brien UK

MOTHER Cast: Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, Park Eun-kyo DIR: Bong Joon-ho PROD: Choi Jae-won, Seo Woo-sik EXEC PROD: Miky Lee, Katharine Kim, Yang-kwon Moon South Korea

NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS Cast: Negar Shaghaghi, Askan Koshanejad, Hamed Behdad DIR: Bahman Ghobadi PROD: Bahman Ghobadi EXEC PROD: Roxana Saberi Iran

PERPETUUM MOBILE Cast: Gabino Rodríguez, Teresa Sánchez, Francisco Barreiro DIR: Nicolás Pereda PROD: Nicolás Pereda, Catarina Coyoacan Mexico/Canada

A PROPHET Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb, Hichem Yacoub DIR: Jacques Audiard PROD: Martine Cassinelli, Antonin Dedet France/Italy

RED RIDING TRILOGY (1974, 1980, 1983) Cast: Sean Bean, Andrew Garfield, David Morrissey, John Henshaw, Anthony Flanagan, Rebecca Hall, Peter Mullan DIR: Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, Anand Tucker PROD: Andrew Eaton, Anita Overland, Wendy Brazington EXEC PROD: Liza Marshall, Hugo Heppell, Norman Merry UK

ROOM AND A HALF Cast: Alisa Freindlich, Sergei Yursky, Grigory Dityatkovsky, Artem Smola DIR: Andrey Khrzhanovsky PROD: Artem Vassiliev, Andrey Khrzhanovsky Russia

THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES Cast: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino, Guillermo Francella DIR: Juan José Campanella PROD: Gerardo Herrero, Mariela Besuievsky, Juan José Campanella Argentina/Spain

THE SILENT ARMY Cast: Marco Borsato, Andrew Kintu, Abby Mukiibi Nkaaga, Thekla Reuten DIR: Jean van de Velde PROD: Chris Brouwer, Richard Claus, Paul Brinks The Netherlands/France

SWEET RUSH Cast: Krystyna Janda, Pawel Szajda, Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieslak, Julia Pietrucha, Jan Englert DIR: Andrzej Wajda PROD: Waldemar Dabrowski, Slawomir Jozwik, Michal Kwiecinski, Dorota Rakowska-Kosmicka, EXEC PROD: Katarzyna Fukacz-Cebula Poland

TO DIE LIKE A MAN Cast: Fernando Santos, Alexander David, Goncalo Ferreira de Almeida, Chandra Malatitch, Jenny Larrue DIR: Joao Pedro Rodrigues PROD: Maria João Sigalho, Judith Nora Portugal/France

A TOWN CALLED PANIC Cast: Stéphane Aubier, Jeanne Balibar, Veronique Dumont, Bruce Ellison, Frederic Jannin DIR: Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar PROD: Philippe Kauffmann, Vincent Tavier Belgium/France/Luxembourg

VINCERE Cast: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi, Fausto Russo Alesi, Michela Cescon, Piergiorgio Bellocchio DIR: Marco Bellocchio PROD: Mario Gianani EXEC PROD: Olivia Sleiter Italy/France

YOUTH IN REVOLT Cast: Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long, Steve Buscemi, Jean Smart, Fred Willard, Mary Kay Place DIR: Miguel Arleta PROD: David Permut EXEC PROD: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Nan Morales USA

DOCUMENTARY

The best and brightest of challenging, thrilling documentary filmmaking from around the world, as chosen by the AFI FEST Programming Staff.

THE ART OF THE STEAL; DIR: Don Argott PROD: Sheena M. Joyce EXEC PROD: Lenny Feinberg USA

BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO; DIR: Jessica Oreck PROD: Jessica Oreck USA/Japan

LOS HEREDEROS; DIR: Eugenio Polgovsky PROD: Camille Tauss Mexico

ICONS AMONG US; Subjects: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Olu Dara, Ravi Coltrane, Medeski Martin and Wood DIR: Michael Rivoira/Lars Larson/Peter J. Vogt PROD: John W. Comerford, Theo N. Ianuly USA

LA DANSE: THE PARIS OPERA BALLET; DIR: Frederick Wiseman PROD: Pierre-Oliver Bardet, Frederick Wiseman, Francoise Gazio France/USA

MOSCOW; DIR: Eduardo Coutinho PROD: Beth Pessoa EXEC PROD: João Moreira Salles, Mauricio Andrade Ramos, Guilherme Cezar Coelho Brazil

NE CHANGE RIEN; With: Jeanne Balibar DIR: Pedro Costa PROD: Francisco Villa-Lobos Portugal/France

NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW Subject: Neil Young DIR: Jonathan Demme PROD: Jonathan Demme, Elizabeth Hayes, Mark Kamine EXEC PROD: L.A. Johnson USA

PETITION; DIR: Zhao Liang PROD: Sylvie Blum France/China

REPORTER; With: Nicholas D. Kristof DIR: Eric Daniel Metzgar PROD: Mikaela Beardsley, Steven Cantor EXEC PROD: Ben Affleck USA

SWEETGRASS; DIR: Lucien Castaing-Taylor/Ilisa Barbash PROD: Ilisa Barbash USA

TRANSCENDENT MAN;  DIR: Robert Barry Ptolemy PROD: Barry Ptolemy, Felicia Ptolemy EXEC PROD: Joe DiSanto, John Ramsay, Wren Waters, Doobie White, Drew Dowdle, John Erick Dowdle  USA

THE TWO HORSES OF GENGHIS KHAN; DIR: Byambasuren Davaa PROD: Byambasuren Davaa, Beatrix Wesle Germany/Mongolia

ALT_CINEMA

Home to alternative filmmaking, this section provides a platform for filmmakers who push the boundaries of culture and cinema.

THE ANCHORAGE Cast: Ulla Edström, Marcus Harrling, Elin Hamren, Bengt Ohlsson DIR: C.W. Winter/Anders Edström PROD: C.W. Winter, Anders Edström USA/Sweden

BEST WORST MOVIE; DIR: Michael Paul Stephenson PROD: Lindsay Rowles Stephenson, Michael Paul Stephenson, Brad Klopman, Jim McKeon, Mary Francis Groom, Ace Goerig EXEC PROD: Alan Hunter, Hugh Hunter USA

GUY AND MADELINE ON A PARK BENCH Cast: Bernard Chazelle, Desiree Garcia, Jason Palmer, Frank Garvin, Sandha Khin DIR: Damien Chazelle PROD: Jasmine McGlade EXEC PROD: W.A.W. Parker USA

THE LOVED ONES Cast: Xavier Samuel, Robin McLeavy, John Brumpton, Victoria Thaine, Jessica McNamee DIR: Sean Byrne PROD: Mark Lazarus, Michael Boughen EXEC PROD: Christopher Mapp, Matthew Street, David Whealy, Bryce Menzies Australia

MODUS OPERANDI Cast: Randy Russell, Danny Trejo, Mark Borchardt, Michael Sottile, Barry Poltermann DIR: Frankie Latina PROD: Shalyse Dominique, Laurie Foote, Mark Foote, Jon Krill, Zebedee LeTendre, Andrew Swant EXEC PROD: Bobby Ciraldo USA

TRASH HUMPERS Cast: Rachel Korine, Brian Kotzue, Travis Nicholson, Harmony Korine DIR: Harmony Korine PROD: Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Amina Dasmal, Robin Fox EXEC PROD: Amina Dasmal, Robin Fox, agnès b USA/UK

SHORTS

A wide-ranging selection of shorts by some of the world’s leading film artists, including a fresh serving from the ongoing Lunchfilms series (from programmer and Cinemad founder, Mike Plante, in which Plante takes a cash-strapped filmmaker out to lunch, and they pay him back what they owe with a film).

LUNCHFILMS:

ALL DAY ALL NIGHT DIR: Sarah Soquel Morhaim USA

THE CALL DIR: David Fenster/David Nordstrom USA

CHINESE BOX DIR: Nick McCarthy USA

CLEAR GLASSES DIR: Sam Green USA

FRIENDS DIR: James Graham USA

GOLDTHWAIT FAMILY HOME MOVIES (ANNIVERSARY EDITION) DIR: Bobcat Goldthwait USA

HOME MOVIE DIR: Braden King USA

JEAN DIR: Kelly Sears USA

LETTERS REAL/NAMES NOT DIR: Azazel Jacobs USA

OFFSHORE BANK DIR: Tom Barndt USA

TIN WOODMAN’S HOME MOVIE #2 DIR: Naomi Uman/Lee Lynch USA

WEIRD CAROLERS DIR: Brent Green USA

WHISKEYPRIEST DIR: Randy Walker/Jennifer Shainin USA

SHORTS PROGRAM:

THE CITIZENS/LEAD/THE SIMPLE ANTENNAE DIR: Kevin Everson USA

DICK CHENEY IN A COLD, DARK CELL DIR: Jim Finn USA

THE HISTORY OF AVIATION DIR: Balint Kenyeres Hungary/France

I AM SO PROUD OF YOU DIR: Don Hertzfeldt USA

JOHN WAYNE HATED HORSES DIR: Andrew T. Betzer USA

OIL CHANGE DIR: Todd Luoto USA

SEND ME TO THE ´LECTRIC CHAIR DIR: Guy Maddin, Isabella Rossellini Canada

SHORT TERM 12 DIR: Destin Daniel Cretton USA

S/T DIR: Lisandro Alonso Argentina

AFI FEST 2009 Announces Halloween Movies

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on September 30, 2009

AFI FEST 2009 PRESENTED BY AUDI

ANNOUNCES HALLOWEEN PROGRAMMING

FEATURING

“THE HOLE” IN 3-D, “THE LOVED ONES,”

“WAKE IN FRIGHT,” “BEST WORST MOVIE”

Los Angeles, CA, September 29, 2009—AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi today announced films scheduled for Halloween, all of which celebrate the horror genre. Joe Dante’s THE HOLE, Sean Byrne’s THE LOVED ONES, Ted Kotcheff’s WAKE IN FRIGHT and Michael Stephenson’s BEST WORST MOVIE will screen on Saturday, October 31 at the Mann Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood.

Presented in 3-D, Joe Dante’s family friendly thriller THE HOLE marks an auspicious return to the big screen by the celebrated genre director after 11 years. In the film, two young brothers stumble upon a mysterious hole in their basement that houses an evil force that can create a physical manifestation of their deep-seated fears. After unwittingly unleashing the force, the brothers must team with the teenage girl next door to find a way to defend themselves against the darkness. The film stars Chris Massoglia, Haley Bennett, Nathan Gamble, Bruce Dern and Teri Polo.

THE HOLE will mark the first time a feature film has been presented in 3-D at AFI FEST or it’s precursor, Filmex since Paul Morrissey’s FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN screened in 1977. Michael Medaglia’s short film THE RATSNITCH ANGEL was presented in 3-D in 2006.

The Midnight Madness Audience Award winner of this year’s Toronto Film Festival, Sean Byrne’s THE LOVED ONES is an Australian thriller about a troubled high school senior who finds himself trapped in a bizarre “prom” and fighting for his life after he is abducted by a psychotic father-and-daughter pair. The film stars Xavier Samuel (who will star in ECLIPSE, the third installment of the TWILIGHT film saga), Robin McLeavy, John Brumpton and Victoria Thaine. THE LOVED ONES screening will be sponsored by Fangoria Entertainment.

Also hailing from Australia is Ted Kotcheff’s underground classic WAKE IN FRIGHT. Originally released in 1971, the film was nominated for the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival and has developed a reputation as one of Australia’s great, lost films. Recently recovered and restored, the film is a brutal and uncompromising thriller about a young teacher who arrives in a rough outback mining town planning to stay overnight before catching a plane to Sydney. However, his dealings with the hard-drinking, violent locals and a harrowing kangaroo hunt plunge the man headlong toward his own destruction. The film stars Donald Pleasence and Gary Bond.

Michael Stephenson’s documentary BEST WORST MOVIE looks at both the behind-the-scenes origins of TROLL 2 and the film’s journey to become a cult classic years after its initial release. Two decades later, Stephenson, the legendarily inept film’s child star, unravels the improbable, heartfelt story of an Alabama dentist turned cult movie icon and an Italian filmmaker as they try to come to terms with this genuine, internationally revered cinematic failure.

Also screening on Halloween will be the previously announced South Korean Academy Award pick, Bong Joon-ho’s MOTHER and the acclaimed RED RIDING TRILOGY of films.

“These are films that are targeted specifically to AFI FEST audiences looking for excitement on Halloween,” said AFI FEST Director of Programming Robert Koehler. “They run the gamut from the family friendly scares of THE HOLE, to the incredible Australian duo of THE LOVED ONES and WAKE IN FRIGHT, to the intense crime dramas of the RED RIDING TRILOGY.”

“Rollicking cult movie worship and Ozploitation lead the way in our celebration of Halloween at AFI FEST this year,” added AFI FEST Senior Programmer Lane Kneedler.  “We are thrilled to be embracing fringe filmmaking and alternative cinema once again as core components of our festival. When audiences come to Hollywood and Highland on Saturday night, we will deliver an unforgettable Halloween experience.”

Complimentary tickets are available beginning on October 16 to all Festival screenings at AFI.com/AFI FEST, at the Mann Chinese 6 Theatres (6925 Hollywood Blvd.) beginning October 26, or on the day of scheduled screenings via Rush Lines. Priority seating to all screenings can be secured by becoming a patron of the Festival and purchasing an AFI FEST Patron Pass. For more details, visit AFI.com.

AFI FEST 2009 Announces Dates & Free Screenings

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on May 7, 2009

AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi
Rolls Out October 30 to November 7

“SEE A FILM ON US”
is the Theme of the 23rd Annual Film Festival
featuring Complimentary Screenings

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 7, 2009—AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi will be held October 30 – November 7 in Hollywood, California, celebrating its 23rd year as Los Angeles’ premier film festival.  This year, in recognition of Audi’s 100 years of automotive innovation, AFI and Audi will offer complimentary tickets to all screenings, including a limited number of seats at the evening screenings and Galas, including Opening and Closing Night.

The festival will be headquartered at the historic Mann’s Chinese Theatre between October 30 and November 5th, and then move to the seaside for screenings in Santa Monica presented in association with the American Film Market (AFM). The Hollywood Roosevelt returns as the festival’s host hotel.

“AFI FEST presented by Audi brings the best of global cinema to the world capital of the art form,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO.  “Presenting the screenings compliments of AFI and Audi is our way of reaching out to film lovers in these challenging times and inviting them to see a movie on us.”

The festival will be programmed by Rose Kuo, AFI FEST Artistic Director, in partnership with longtime film writer Robert Koehler and AFI FEST programmer Lane Kneedler. “ It is a thrill to have Robert join the AFI FEST team,” said Kuo. “His critical eye has long been respected in the film community, and he has been an unwavering voice on behalf of the array of international filmmakers whom AFI FEST has championed from its very beginning.”

AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi will feature domestic and international works from emerging filmmakers, global showcases of the latest offerings from established artists, and red-carpet gala premieres.  In addition to complimentary seating on a “first come” basis, patron passes for guaranteed seats at evening galas and tributes will be available for purchase and will allow priority access to all regular screenings.

AFI FEST presented by Audi is the only film festival in the United States to hold the prestigious FIAPF accreditation (www.FIAPF.org), assuring a high standard of quality and reliability for the international film community. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards.

The AFI FEST presented by Audi early film submission deadline is June 19, 2009. The final deadline for shorts (under 30 minutes) is July 17, 2009. The final deadline for features (over 30 minutes) is July 31, 2009.  Acceptance decisions will be announced no later than October 1, 2009. Submissions can be made at http://www.AFI.com/AFIFEST or by calling 1.866.AFI.FEST for more information.

The American Film Market (AFM), to be held November 4 -11, 2009, is the market partner of AFI FEST. Since its formation in 2004, this alliance has grown into the largest gathering of film professionals in North America. The association between the two events connects art and commerce, broadening the opportunities for all participants. A total of 30 films selected for last year’s AFI FEST were also represented at AFM 2008.

AFI FEST 2008 presented by Audi enjoyed record attendance, as audiences turned out in force to view films and special events. Programming highlights from AFI FEST 2008 presented by Audi included the World Premiere of DOUBT with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams in attendance; a Tribute to Danny Boyle, which included the U.S. premiere of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE with the director and cast on the red carpet; the U.S. premiere of THE WRESTLER with Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Darren Aronofsky in attendance; red carpet appearances by Benicio Del Toro, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Mark Ruffalo, Joaquin Phoenix, Michelle Williams, Steven Soderbergh, Ed Zwick and Arnaud Desplechin; and access to the AFI Digital Content Lab’s 2-day DigiFest conference.