SANTA FE FILM FEST Announces Schedule for 2010

Posted in film festivals, Santa Fe by johnwildman on October 5, 2010

SANTA FE FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE FOR 11TH EDITION OF FILM FEST

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE CANNES PALME D’OR WINNER“ UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES”

40TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING OF “CATCH-22” WITH RICHARD BENJAMIN AND PAULA PRENTISS ATTENDING

TICKETS ON SALE OCTOBER 8TH

SANTA FE, NM, September 30, 2010 – The Santa Fe Film Festival today announced the slate of films set to screen during the 11th edition of the film festival (October 22-24) at the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA).

Highlighted by the 2010 winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, UNCLE BOOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES and a special 40th Anniversary screening of the classic CATCH-22 with two of the film’s stars, Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss attending, the weekend will see 8 feature films and a collection of notable shorts from emerging filmmakers on display for Santa Fe film goers.

This year’s selections include:

THE ATHLETE (ATLETU)
Davey Frankel’s and Rasselas Lakew’s drama ATLETU tells the inspiring and incredible true story of Abebe Bikila, the two-time Olympic gold medalist in the marathon in 1960 and 1964. An Ethiopian, Bikilia was the first African to win a gold medal and the first repeat champion in the marathon. Bikila was later involved in a tragic car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. And thus, began the greatest struggle of his life. Told on film as a hybrid of travelogue, biopic and documentary. Bikila’s first Olympic triumph was unprecedented, but his athletic conquests after a paralyzing car accident only add to his legend and impact.

BAG IT
Suzan Beraza’s documentary BAG IT follows the results of one man making a resolution to stop using plastic bags at the grocery store. What he discovers is that this simple decision will change his life completely and through that change he comes to the conclusion that our consumption of plastic has finally caught up to us. BAG IT won the Audience Award at Telluride Mountainfilm 2010 earlier this year.

CATCH-22
Director Mike Nichols’ and screenwriter Buck Henry’s 1970 adaptation of Joseph Heller’s scathing satire of life in the Air Force during World War II is the pair’s boldest cinematic display. A brilliant black comedy with an all-star cast including Alan Arkin, Bob Balaban, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel, Jack Gilford, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, Paula Prentiss, Martin Sheen, Jon Voight, Orson Welles.

THE FOUR TIMES (LE QUATTRO VOLTE)
Michelangelo Frammartino’s enchanting, mystical film THE FOUR TIMES focuses on an elderly goat herder as he dies and becomes a goat; it wanders into the woods and transforms into a tree, which is processed into coal. The film lovingly observes village life in Calabria, and in the process becomes one of the most original Italian films in years. Selected for the prestigious Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, the film stars Giuseppe Fuda, Bruno Timpano, Nazareno Timpano.

LENNONNYC
Marking the 70th anniversary of his birth and the 30th anniversary of his death, Michael Epstein’s documentary LENNONNYC traces the experiences of John Lennon and Yoko Ono upon their arrival in New York City in 1971. After an initial heady period of music, politics, culture and creativity in their new home, a dark period followed for both Lennon’s career as well as their relationship. However, the intertwining of man, artist and adopted city righted itself before the musical legend’s untimely and tragic death.

THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER
Directed by the legendary Bertrand Tavernier and based on a short story by Madame de La Fayette, THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER is a French period romance set during the French Wars of Religion. As he experiences his own forbidden desire for the irresistibly beautiful and much-courted Marie, soldier-scholar Chabannes must also protect her from the dangerously corrupt court dominated by Catherine de Medici. Tavernier translates de Lafayette’s novel into a brilliant evocation of the tragic conflict between duty and passion. The film’s exceptional cast includes Melanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet, Gaspard Ulliel, Raphael Personnaz.

TUESDAY, AFTER CHRISTMAS (MARTI, DUPA CRACIUN)
Radu Muntean’s TUESDAY, AFTER CHRISTMAS is a drama which takes a singular, stripped-down look at adultery through the story of a man that must choose between his wife of ten years and his mistress, a pediatric dentist. Muntean constructs a powerful chain of scenes from a marriage with a rare display of great cinematic excitement. A product of the extraordinary Romanian New Wave, the film stars Mimi Branescu, Mirela Oprisor and Maria Popistasu.

UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (LUNG BOONMEERALUEK CHAT)
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES is a fable about a tamarind and honey farmer named Uncle Boonmee who is slowly dying of kidney failure, and finds the ghosts of departed family members coming back to visit him. The film stars Sakda Kaewbuadee, Jenjira Pongpas, Thanapat Saisaymar.

In addition, to the film schedule, SFFF will offer free panels hosted at galleries in the Railyard, Canyon Road and Plaza area arts districts, as well as an assortment of complimentary events produced in collaboration with Santa Fe arts organizations during the festival.

“This year’s festival is designed as a weekend viewing of carefully selected film highlights from key festivals like Cannes, Toronto, and New York as well as introducing interesting work from new indie filmmakers. We hope that Santa Fe will become a destination boutique film event that will anchor the fall festival season which begins with Telluride,” said SFFF Co-Director Rose Kuo.

SFFF Co-Director Michael Hare added, “We are thrilled to offer this group of films that have been some of the most talked about on the film festival circuit this year. And to be screening at CCA, which we feel is one of the cornerstones of Santa Fe cinema, makes it the perfect hub for SFFF 2010. One of our goals has been to showcase the artistic richness of Santa Fe, to anchor the festival within the larger community and we think we have gone a long way toward that effort with this slate of films and events that look to make for a tremendous weekend for film lovers.”

Tickets go on sale Friday, October 8 through Tickets Santa Fe (ticketssantafe.org). Additional information can be found at http://www.santafefilmfestival.com.

The 2010 Santa Fe Film Festival’s complete lineup follows:

Feature films
THE ATHLETE (ATLETU) (Narrative) Ethiopia/USA/Germany
DIR: Davey Frankel, Rasselas Lakew
PROD: Davey Frankel, Rasselas Lakew, Darryn Welch
Cast: Rasselas Lakew, Dag Malmberg, Ruta Gedmintas, Abba Waka Dessalegn

BAG IT (Documentary) USA
DIR: Suzan Beraza
PROD: Michelle Hill

CATCH-22 (1970) (Narrative) USA
DIR: Mike Nichols
PROD: John Calley, Martin Ransohoff
Cast: Alan Arkin, Bob Balaban, Martin Balsam, Richard Benjamin, Art Garfunkel, Jack Gilford, Bob Newhart, Anthony Perkins, Paula Prentiss, Martin Sheen, Jon Voight, Orson Welles

THE FOUR TIMES (LE QUATTRO VOLTE) (Narrative) Italy/Germany/Switzerland
DIR: Michelangelo Frammartino
PROD: Philippe Bober, Marta Donzelli, Elda Guidinetti, Gabriella Manfre, Susanne Marian, Gregorio Paonessa, Andres Pfaffi
Cast: Giuseppe Fuda, Bruno Timpano, Nazareno Timpano

LENNONNYC (Documentary) USA
DIR: Michael Epstein
PROD: Susan Lacy

THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER (Narrative) France/Germany
DIR: Bertrand Tavernier
PROD: Marc Siliam, Eric Heuman
Cast: Melanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet, Gaspard Ulliel, Raphael Personnaz.

TUESDAY, AFTER CHRISTMAS (MARTI, DUPA CRACIUN) (Narrative) Romania
DIR: Radu Muntean
PROD: Dragos Vilcu
Cast: Mimi Branescu, Mirela Oprisor, Maria Popistasu

UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (Narrative) Thailand
DIR: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

PROD: Simon Field, Keith Griffiths, Charles de Meaux, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Cast: Sakda Kaewbuadee, Jenjira Pongpas, Thanapat Saisaymar

Short Films
CULEBRA (Narrative) USA
DIR: Sean Carter

HEDGEHOG IN THE FOG (YOZHIK V TUMANE) (1975) (Narrative/Animation) Russia
DIR: Yuriy Norshteyn

KAVI (Narrative) USA/India
DIR: Gregg Helvey

MAMANEK (Narrative) Czech Republic
DIR: Jesse Baldwin

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Val Kilmer Named as Honorary Chair of the Santa Fe Film Festival

Posted in film festivals, Santa Fe by johnwildman on July 9, 2010

VAL KILMER NAMED AS HONORARY CHAIR OF THE SANTE FE FILM FESTIVAL

DATES FOR THE 11TH EDITION OF SFFF WILL BE OCTOBER 20-25

SANTE FE, NM, July 8, 2010 – The Santa Fe Film Festival has announced that Val Kilmer will serve as the Honorary Chair for the 11th Santa Fe Film Festival.

The dates for this year’s edition of SFFF will be October 20-25.

A long time supporter of the film festival, the actor and Santa Fe resident has taken a great interest in the promotion and revitalization of the celebrated event as part of his support for the Santa Fe community. The announcement follows Kilmer volunteering the use of his ranch of his Pecos River Ranch in Rowe, New Mexico for a fundraising event on behalf of the SFFF on June 27.

Kilmer said, “The Santa Fe Film Festival is a wonderful event offering the opportunity for everyone in Santa Fe and the surrounding areas to see amazing films from around the world and meet the filmmakers that made those films. And I look forward to helping bring some of the best filmmakers I know and have worked with to enjoy our city and see firsthand why I love it and have made it my home.”

SFFF Co-Director Michael Hare said, “Val has been a champion of this film festival for years and this announcement only serves to put an official stamp on the unwavering support he has offered to this event and this area. We look forward to putting something very special together in our eleventh year.”

The fundraising event at Kilmer’s Pecos River Ranch featured a day of fly fishing, jeep tours of his 6000 acre ranch and a gourmet meal. Notables enjoying the hospitality included Laurent and Nathalie Gruet of Gruet Winery, local philanthropists Lee and Susan Berk, writer and philanthropist Michael Pettit, SFFF board members Gunther Maier, Bill Dedmon, Pat Hall, and Nick Durrie & Sandy McGovern Durrie, as well as SFFF Co-Directors Hare and Rose Kuo.

Additional information can be found at http://www.santafefilmfestival.com.

What’s Actually Happening – March 6 (Movie Stars, Money and no Mediocrity)

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on March 7, 2010

Okay, technically I’m writing this on March 7 (it’s close to 1AM). But, you know, it’s my blog and I’ll….anyway…

MOVIE STARS

That’s what the DALLAS FILM FEST is all about for me right now because we have to have them show up. Bottom line. And it’s always this ordeal of a process to figure out (say, in the case of the DALLAS Star Award) who you want to honor, who “deserves” to be honored, who would even consider making the trip, who is “easy” because they’re nice, their publicist isn’t lazy or an ass, or who you can simply call because you’ve worked with them in the past and their experience at your past event was amazingly easy for them, you had your thing down and they enjoyed themselves.

Okay, now I’ll take a breath.

So – I’m into that right now. And it is NEVER easy. But there is one thing that is leaps and bounds better than in years past with DALLAS FILM FEST: a lot of the conservative shroud has been lifted off what we are doing this year. In the past, the potential DALLAS Star Award honorees had to be vetted by as many people that have worked on the health care bill. There always had to be some major anniversary of a film or the person had to be ancient or a very typical honoree choice…but not too big, not such a big fish because that person needed to be utilized (read exploited) for something that could make some folks some money somewhere.

NOT ANYMORE.

So, I’m really hoping that some of the people we are going after say “yes” because they won’t be people that have been trotted out countless times, they aren’t the kind of people where we’d just recycle their clip montages from Santa Barbara or Palm Springs or the Hollywood Film Festival, etc. It would be cool to give these people a nod. Sit down in front of a Dallas crowd to talk about their careers…

(And by the way, if you ARE a publicist reading this – YOU CAN NOT DO BETTER than a Dallas audience for your client. No audiences are as engaged as these audiences are. Not just fans – which they are – the Dallas filmgoers are appreciative, interested and absolutely fascinated by the artistic process. Liener Temerlin and Michael Cain knew what the hell this town wanted and needed when they created this film festival. Trust me on that.),

…and go on record as “saying” that this actor or actress or director or cinematographer, editor, designer, you name it is an artist and someone with a vision.

And then there are the jurors and the panelists and the people that will actually have movies in the film festival. I know that we have to get people here. I mean, that knowledge plagues me. Especially since I’m the freakin’ red carpet guy. You don’t put on the red carpet show without stars and filmmakers. You just don’t. That’s not a red carpet anymore. It’s a red heartbreak. For me, that is. For the press it’s irritating, if not infuriating. There’s a step-and-repeat behind it with logos and stuff, sure. But you might as well have your attendees taking prom-style pictures with powder blue tuxes and corsages and stuff. Because all-of-a-sudden, your event is the school dance with the “Under the Sea” theme. Sad.

Fortunately, we’ve already got a decent handful of people that we’ll be telling everyone about over the next couple of weeks, so no one has to worry about doing a slow dance to “Through the Years” with a lonely shorts director or the one actor that had family in town therefore they decided to make the trip. No, magic 8-ball says we’ll be well attended by out-of-towners once again.

THE VISION THING

That’s why FESTWORKS was created (by Rose Kuo). And that’s why the idea had me before she could completely say it out loud when she introduced it to me. I talked to her this morning and there are possibilities and things on the table for various film festivals and conferences and screening series all over the damn world. And no, the vast majority of them won’t happen. (I say, because I cannot fathom doing every single one of these jobs and projects.) But, how goddamn cool to work with someone that keeps pushing and pushing and saying, “Why not?” “Let’s try this?” “Have you considered this idea?” and “We should give this a shot because no one else has before.”

I was talking to a PR dynamo named Cristina Uranga on Friday. She has been one of the amazing stalwarts I sincerely lean on in Dallas to help us pull off what we do with this film festival. I’ve written about a few of them on this blog before, but I could write about them endlessly and I’d never be able to pay back what they make possible with this thing. To a person, they aren’t just absurdly generous with their time they ARE GOOD. They make me and the film festival look good and I consider them great friends too. Anyway, in 2008 Cristina was my Latin Media Specialist and she rocked the PR house. Just cut a swath through this town on behalf of our films from Mexico and Spain and Latin America. Smart, driven, relentless, charming, thorough – man, it was brilliant. Even wrapped it all up with one of those reports that they throw around in commercials for Kinkos and Fed Ex, you know, with pie charts and graphs and stuff. So, last year I say, “Hell, she pulled that off. Let’s have her run the entire Ethnic and Special Interest outreach! Give her the keys to that part of the kingdom! And let’s add on an “Adopt a Film’” component as well!” Didn’t work. And not because of her at all. Because I screwed up and tried to advance the plan to far and too fast and way too vast for just one person – even one that is a certifiable rock star like Cristina.

So, what’s the point? I’m getting to it – patience, already. The point, as I told Cristina, is that we tried something that didn’t work. But we tried. We tried to do more, we tried to go farther, and we weren’t satisfied with the amount of press and attention we got for our films and filmmakers the previous year so we tried something even more ambitious. And, of course it doesn’t always work. And, of course, it will never always work. BUT, it will ALWAYS work in one very important way. It will keep us from being mediocre. It will keep us from being lame. Complacent at best. Hacks at worst.

So Cristina had gone to the International Film Festival Summit in Vegas in December. Now, I had gone too but I went during a different portion of this thing. Second year I’ve gone. And I think this “summit” has a lot of potential to do good stuff and spread some information and help a lot of regional film festivals (and the people that put them on) all over the country. But Cristina had gone to a part of this thing specifically to learn more about everything she could about the film festival machinery. And what happens? She gets told (as did the rest of the unfortunate people attending this “class” with her) by some PR or marketing type that they all needed to forget about social media because it was pointless and never helped a single filmmaker actually get people to attend their screenings, blah, blah, you’re fucking blah, kidding me, blah.

And that’s why FESTWORKS is important. And that is why I so appreciate Rose Kuo. Because there are people out there that pass themselves as being in-the-know veterans that are gonna give you the lowdown on how to put on your event and the truth is, they’re gonna regale you with stories of what they did during the Toronto Film Festival for that Disney film in the mid-80s or how they pulled that Oscar winning director out of their hat for their film fest two decades ago.

And you won’t learn a thing. Because that’s how long it has been since they knew anything worth learning. Which is fine unless you’re passing off bad info to a Fresh Princess of PR like Cristina. Man, that story pissed me off.

A NEW HOPE.

I’ll finish with this: This morning I got a call from a friend letting me know that she had a conversation with someone at a production company about STRIPPED. Now, I’m still meeting with anyone that will let me in the door or on the phone or in a crowded elevator about getting the last of the funds to finance this thing completely before we start shooting at the end of May. So, apparently this guy at this production company is a good script read away from giving me that golden production ticket and more.

And, of course, I’m not holding my breath anymore than I am about the two indie movie stars that have the script with the idea that they could reunite on my film giving me three “box cover names” for a project that Justina and I had conceived and developed and produced expressly so we would not have to depend on “names”. And then, of course, Rose’s husband Larry Gross got on my case for not putting it out there because, in his opinion it was more than worthy for snagging someone stellar (stature-wise) due to what Justina and I written. And when a guy with a Waldo Salt Award, a try to keep up with the cool filmography and the kind of film knowledge that send you running for the Criterion section of your DVD store after the most casual of conversations prods you like that….

Anyway, we’re trying. And now this thing. I mean, we have four or five people circling with their checkbooks and it’s all very promising but I won’t be able to imagine that aspect of it (even as I design business and marketing plans to go along with the actual film itself to make it as investment tasty as I can), because with everything that I’ve done all around the camera and various offices and events and shows related to moviemaking – the reality is that this will be the first time that I have done this one specific thing: raise funds to make a feature film.

Movie stars and money. And no mediocrity. That’s what we’re working for here.

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….

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.

Santa Fe Film Festival Announces Michael Hare and Rose Kuo Co-Executive Directors

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on January 21, 2010

THE SANTA FE FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES NEW LEADERSHIP

MICHAEL HARE AND ROSE KUO SELECTED

AS CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS OF THE FESTIVAL

SANTA FE, NM, January 20, 2009 – The Santa Fe Film Festival has announced the selection of Michael Hare and Rose Kuo as Co-Executive Directors of the Festival succeeding Founder and Executive Director, Jon Bowman, whose retirement from the Festival was announced late last year.

Commenting on the selections of Hare and Kuo, Tom Maguire, Santa Fe Film Festival Chairman of the Board, said “The Santa Fe Film Festival has enjoyed much success over the course of its ten year history and we are proud of what we have built with this event. We feel strongly that this team is particularly suited to take the festival to an even higher level.”

Santa Fe resident, Hare is Managing Director of Mojo Raid Entertainment II, having created MARTIN LAWRENCE PRESENTS: THE 1ST AMENDMENT, a stand-up television series entering its fifth season on Starz and has been responsible for all facets of multi-million dollar production, distribution, and licensing relationships with Starz, Starz Media, and Anchor Bay Entertainment. He is also the founder of i2five entertainment, LLC, a Santa Fe, New Mexico-based production company with several film and television projects in various stages of development.

Hare said, “During his ten years of extraordinary dedication to the festival, Jon Bowman has created an invaluable asset for this community. I look forward to working with Rose, the board, and the community at large to build on this legacy and take the festival forward. I also want to thank Operations Director Karen RedHawk Dallet for her tremendous effort over the past year in establishing such a strong foundation for the future. I am thrilled to be teaming up with someone as accomplished and respected in the festival world as Rose.”

Rose Kuo, AFI FEST’s Artistic Director for the last three years, 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.

Kuo said, “Fred Roos and Val Kilmer —both big champions of the Santa Fe Film Festival—introduced me to the event and the town. The beauty of the architecture and the land, the warm and supportive residents and a festival infused with a regional heritage provide the perfect setting for a wonderful film viewing experience that audiences and filmmakers love. I am excited to work with someone as talented and enthusiastic as Michael and we are both eager to get started on a new chapter for the festival.”

The 11th edition of The Santa Fe Film Festival will take place in October of this year. Additional information can be found at http://www.santafefilmfestival.com.

Rose Kuo and David Rogers Depart AFI FEST

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on January 11, 2010

ROSE KUO AND DAVID ROGERS

ANNOUNCE DEPARTURE FROM AFI FEST

LOS ANGELES (January 11, 2010)—On the heels of the successful 2009 edition of AFI FEST including the unprecedented offer of free screenings to all films for the public, Artistic Director Rose Kuo and Festival Producer David Rogers have announced their departure from AFI.

Head of Press and Public Relations John Wildman has also exited AFI.

Kuo joined AFI FEST as the Artistic Director in 2007 and presided over a rebirth of the venerable film festival that featured a distinctive programming philosophy and personality. The result was immediate critical praise regarding the new direction. The addition of former Daily Variety film critic Robert Koehler as AFI FEST Director of Programming in 2009 inspired a new round of enthusiasm within the film festival community. Kuo also was the architect of the free screenings initiative for 2009 despite a challenging economic  year for all non-profit arts organizations.

Rogers successfully navigated 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.

Regarding her departure, Kuo said, “It has been a privilege to lead AFI FEST and work with the exceptional members of the festival team.  We have succeeded in reshaping the festival and, I hope, reaffirming its place among leading festivals.  Now it is time for me to go in a new direction.

“AFI FEST 2009 was the culmination of some really innovative ideas regarding what a film festival could and should be and of course, a lot of hard work. Given the hurdles presented us, it was also something that could not have been achieved without our core group. It was great to work with each of them,” said Rogers.

Wildman added, “While I am very proud of the work I was able to do press-wise on behalf of AFI FEST and several AFI programs, including the AFI Life Achievement Award (working with a wonderful team at TV LAND) and the Directing Workshop for Women, I am very passionate about promoting and assisting filmmakers through film festivals. This move will open up that landscape.”

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 FANTASTIC MR. FOX Opening Night Film

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on September 24, 2009

AFI FEST 2009 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES

20TH CENTURY FOX’S “FANTASTIC MR. FOX”

OPENING NIGHT FILM

Los Angeles, CA, September 23, 2008—AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi announces that 20th Century Fox’s FANTASTIC MR. FOX has been selected as the Festival’s Opening Night Gala presentation. FANTASTIC MR. FOX will have its North American Premiere when it opens AFI FEST on Friday, October 30, 2009 at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The Opening Night Gala is presented by Audi of America.

Heralded as “A movie that deserves to be called groundbreaking” by Peter Travers of Rolling Stone Magazine, FANTASTIC MR. FOX is visionary director Wes Anderson’s first animated film, utilizing classic handmade stop-motion techniques to tell the story of the best-selling children’s book by Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach).  The film features the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Wally Wolodarsky, Eric Anderson, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson, and Jarvis Cocker. The screenplay is by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, music composed and conducted by Alexadre Desplat. The film is produced by Allison Abbate, Scott Rudin, Wes Anderson and Jeremy Dawson.

Mr. and Mrs. Fox (Clooney and Streep) live an idyllic home life with their son Ash (Schwartzman) and visiting young nephew Kristofferson (Eric Anderson). But after twelve years of quiet domesticity, the bucolic existence proves too much for Mr. Fox’s wild animal instincts. Soon he slips back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief and in doing so, endangers not only his beloved family, but the whole animal community. Trapped underground without enough food to go around, the animals band together to fight against the evil Farmers – Boggis, Bunce and Bean – who are determined to capture the audacious, fantastic Mr. Fox at any cost. The film will be in theaters on November 13 in limited release and will open wide on November 25th for Thanksgiving weekend.

“Wes Anderson is an American original,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO.  “It is a distinct honor for the American Film Institute to shine a proper light on his extraordinary talents by premiering his latest gift to the nation and to the world.”

“We are delighted to present this uniquely creative work that will launch the film festival with absolute fun and style. The combination of Anderson’s signature take on Roald Dahl’s world with the note perfect voice performances make it destined to be one of the key films of the year, said Rose Kuo, AFI FEST Artistic Director.

Free tickets are available to all Festival screenings in advance at AFI.com, at the Mann Theatres (6925 Hollywood Blvd.) beginning October 26, or on the day of scheduled screenings via rush lines. Reserved 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 First Official Selections

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on September 16, 2009

AFI FEST 2009 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES

FIRST TWELVE TITLES IN OFFICIAL SELECTIONS

LIONGATE’S “PRECIOUS” IS FIRST ANNOUNCED

GALA PRESENTATION

FILMS BY HERZOG AND BONG

MARK A RETURN TO AFI FEST

Los Angeles, CA, September 16, 2009—AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi announces 12 films that will screen at this year’s Festival (October 30-November 7) including Lee Daniels’ PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE, Werner Herzog’s THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS and Bong Joon-ho’s MOTHER.

The film festival, which will debut it’s groundbreaking “See a Film on Us” initiative featuring complimentary tickets to all films including a limited number of seats at each Gala Presentation, will be headquartered at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel between October 30 and November 5. AFI FEST will then move to Santa Monica for the final two days of screenings presented in association with the American Film Market (AFM).

Lee Daniels’ PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE is the first announced Gala Presentation at this year’s AFI FEST. Set in 1980’s Harlem, the film tells a story of salvation through education against all odds as it follows the hopeful trajectory of ‘Claireece Precious Jones (played by newcomer Gabourey Sidibe), an overweight and illiterate teen pregnant with her second child and abused by her poisonously angry mother. The film also stars Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sheri Shepherd and Lenny Kravitz. PRECIOUS will be released by Lionsgate on November 6.

AFI FEST 2009 will also mark the return of Werner Herzog to the Festival after Herzog’s celebrated panel appearance two years ago. Herzog’s THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS is a loosely interpreted re-imagining of Abel Ferrara’s gritty classic starring Nicolas Cage as a rogue detective who is as devoted to his job as he is to scoring drugs. Complicating his tumultuous life is the prostitute he loves (played by Eva Mendes). The film also stars Val Kilmer.

The Festival also welcomes back Bong Joon-ho (following the screening of THE HOST in 2006). The South Korean entry for the Academy Awards, Bong’s MOTHER is an inventive thriller that follows a woman’s personal investigation into a murder in order to clear the name of the accused – her son.

Two French/Italian co-productions, A PROPHET and VINCERE will also be presented to Los Angeles audiences for the first time. Jacques Audiard’s A PROPHET traces the journey of a young Arab man, who becomes a mafia kingpin after he is sent to a French prison. Marco Bellocchio’s VINCERE is a biographical drama that tells the story of Mussolini’s secret lover, Ida Dalser and their son Albino.

Also included in the list of film titles announced today are the latest work by such noted auteurs as acclaimed French New Wave director Claude Chabrol (BELLAMY), Ken Loach (LOOKING FOR ERIC) and Harmony Korine (TRASH HUMPERS).

“These first dozen titles offer a wonderful preview to our lineup which is a survey of the year’s significant films. They represent a diversity of voices and we take great pride in being able to bring them to Los Angeles audiences for the first time,” said Rose Kuo, AFI FEST Artistic Director.

The twelve official selections include:

THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL, NEW ORLEANS (USA)

Director: Werner Herzog

Set in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Nicolas Cage plays a rogue detective who is as devoted to his job as he is to scoring drugs — while playing fast and loose with the law. With the prostitute he loves, the couple  descends into a world marked by desire, compulsion and conscience. The film also stars Eva Mendes and Val Kilmer.

BELLAMY (France)

Director: Claude Chabrol

A famous French detective (played by Gerard Depardieu) on vacation in Languedoc investigates a mystery man who approaches him claiming to have killed someone. The film also stars Clovis Cornillac and Jacques Gamblin.

EVERYONE ELSE (Germany)

Director: Maren Ade

Drama follows the volatile relationship resulting from the psychological and emotional ties between two young lovers.

THE LAST STATION (UK/Germany)

Director: Michael Hoffman

A historical drama that illustrates Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s struggle to balance fame and wealth with his commitment to a life devoid of material things. The film stars Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, Christopher Plummer and Paul Giamatti.

LOOKING FOR ERIC (UK)

Director: Ken Loach

Eric, a football fanatic postman whose life is descending into crisis, receives some life-coaching from a poster of the famously philosophical footballer, Eric Cantona.

MOTHER (Madeo) (South Korea)

Director: Bong Joon-ho

This thriller follows the investigation of a murder by a mother desperate to find the killer who framed her son for the crime.

POLICE, ADJECTIVE (Romania)

Director: Corneliu Porumboiu

This drama follows the impact on a young policeman’s life after he refuses to arrest another man for offering drugs to his friends.

PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE (USA)

Director: Lee Daniels

In Harlem, an overweight and illiterate teen pregnant with her second child and abused by her domineering mother is invited to enroll in an alternative school with the dream to move her life in a new direction. The film stars Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz, and introducing Gabourey Sidibe.

A PROPHET (France/Italy)

Director: Jacques Audiard

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin.

RED RIDING (UK)

Directors: Julian Jarrold, James Marsh, Anand Tucker

Three inter-connected films set in the years 1974, 1980 and 1983 trace the crime and corruption in West Yorkshire, England. The films star Mark Addy, Sean Bean, Paddy Considine, Andrew Garfield and Rebecca Hall.

TRASH HUMPERS (USA)

Director: Harmony Korine

A cinema verite look at a fringe cult-freak collective with a penchant for anti-social behavior and activities.

VINCERE (Italy/France)

Director: Marco Bellocchio

This drama tells the story of Mussolini’s secret lover, Ida Dalser and their son, Albino.

Free tickets are available to all festival screenings – in advance at AFI.com, at the Mann Theatres (6925 Hollywood Blvd.) on October 26, or on the day of scheduled screenings via rush lines. Reserved seating can be secured by becoming a patron of the film festival and purchasing an AFI FEST Patron Pass. For more details, visit AFI.com.