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Entries in film festivals (333)

Tuesday
Mar142017

New Directors / New Films: Strong Island

New Directors / New Films which runs March 15th through the 26th is a festival of emerging international filmmakers here in NYC each year. We'll be covering a few titles including this unravelling of a Long Island murder in Glenn's weekly documentary spotlight.

Strong Island

“There’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place. And that’s the graveyard. People ask me all the time: what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say exhume those bodies – exhume those stories.”

I thought of these words from Viola Davis’ Academy Awards speech last week while writing about the ABC queer rights miniseries When We Rise; thinking of all the men and women lost over the years to AIDS and what they could have done and who they could have been. I did not expect to be thinking of them yet again so quickly, but here we are. I thought of Viola’s words while watching Strong Island because exhume is exactly what first-time filmmaker Yance Ford has done with this film about the death of his older, 19-year-old brother, William, at the hands of a white man who the courts sort little interest in seeking justice for.

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Saturday
Mar112017

New Directors / New Films: Sexy Durga

New Directors / New Films which runs March 15th through the 26th is a festival of emerging international filmmakers here in NYC each year. We'll cover a few titles staring with a nightmare journey in India... 

Sexy Durga
Do you ever feel like you're missing something no matter how closely you pay attention? Not being well versed in Hinduism, it's difficult to make many inferences from the use of the goddess Durga in this film's title though calling her "Sexy" was quite a controversial move. I'm not sure why given that a quick bit of research reveals that she's a supreme goddess which sounds damn sexy to me...

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Tuesday
Jan312017

Doc Corner Goes to Slamdance

by Glenn Dunks

Okay, so if we had really gone to Slamdance I feel like you would have noticed with some extra coverage given that it runs at the same time and in the same city as Sundance. So despite not travelling to the snowy surrounds of Park City, I was still nonetheless lucky enough to get a peek at Slamdance’s documentary slate. And here we are telling you about FIVE of the titles in this super-sized edition of Doc Corner. Those five include outback savages, musical amateurs and geniuses and more that should be coming to festivals and VOD over the next year...

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Thursday
Jan052017

An Interview with the Founder of the Seattle Film Critics Society

Please welcome Brian Zitzelman, our newest contributor. He's a member of the newly formed Seattle Film Critics Society and for his first post he's interviewing the founder of that society Michael Ward. A little inside peak for you. - Editor

Michael Ward of "Should I See It"by Brian Zitzelman

Beyond being a genuinely kind, smart man, Michael Ward has done what few have; he's created a film critic's society. The Seattle Film Critics Society to be exact.  

Despite being home to a near month-long film festival, a multitude of cinemas devoted to older movies and generally being pretty comfortably snobby about the arts, the city of Seattle hasn't had a proper Film Society for over a decade. Mr. Ward changed that with months and months of work dealing with studio reps here and cavalcades of other oddities. In between tallying the final votes and writing sensationally for his own site Should I See It, I spoke to Mike about the joys, troubles and curveballs of what it takes to develop something that’s usually an established institution in other parts of the country. 

BRIAN ZITZELMAN: Let me start with the obvious question; How happy are you to have this first year of the Seattle Film Critics Society behind you?

MICHAEL WARD: Well, it feels premature to say that we have a full year under our belts. We are still working with a team to complete the infrastructure but I am comfortable in saying that lots of people have put in lots of time to make this a reality. We are planning on voting in a Board of Directors in February 2017, and at that point, more than two years of hard work will definitely have paid off. 

Moonlight took 6 prizes including Best Picture at the first official Seattle Film Critics Society awards

Can you walk us through the whole concept? I think most people assume every major metropolitan city has its own film critics circle, especially those with a history of the arts like Seattle. 

While this iteration of a Seattle Film Critics Society is new, there was an organization that existed from 2001-2004. Unfortunately, when they disbanded it was an ugly dissolution, and people are still reeling from how that all apparently went down.  But you're absolutely right Brian, most major cities have a film critics society or organization which most people typically only hear about during awards season...  

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Friday
Dec022016

Sight & Sound's Top 20

So many lists and awards announcements this week you'd think it was... oh, yes, it is December. Sight and Sound enter the fray now with their top 20 which is a mix of expected auteur worship titles, festival films that may or may not ever actually open. It's also very now. The oldest title here is the great German continuous shot film Victoria (which premiered at festivals last year -- we nominated it for cinematography in 2015) but almost everything else just opened or hasn't opened yet! It's to be expected but also deeply frustrating that distributors never really catch up to film buzz...

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Monday
Oct242016

Middleburg Finale: "Loving" & "La La Land"

Lynn Lee here stepping in for Nathaniel, on his way back to NYC, for the final day of the Middleburg Film Festival which was Sunday. As a D.C. area resident, I’ve been observing the rising profile of this local-ish film festival over the past few years with great interest.  Festival founder Sheila Johnson seems bent on making Middleburg a lower-altitude Telluride of the East, and she certainly has the Hollywood heavy-hitter connections to do it!  This year’s lineup was easily the most impressive so far in the festival’s short history; it’s as if the program was constructed specifically to highlight likely Oscar contenders.

The Lovings in the beloved Virginia.

In both that ambition and its picturesque Virginia setting, there was no more fitting film to cap the festival than Loving...

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Monday
Oct242016

Middleburg Day 3: Presidents, Production Designers, and Girl Power

Photo by Mara RoszakSaturday, my final full day at the fest, was a chilly windy day in Middleburg - horseback ride thwarted again! The unplanned theme of the day was girl power. The day began with a lively keynote conversation with AMPAS President Cheryl Boone-Isaacs. The moderator kept mentioning that she was the perfect person to be leading the Academy in these tough times and after listening to her for an hour, we can't disagree! It's quite obvious why they keep electing her. She's extroverted, quite funny, movie-loving, and knowledgeable about Hollywood with quite an interesting storied career behind her in film publicity. After that rousing breakfast conversation, the day ended with a standing ovation for Emma Stone and the dazzling La La Land (it's even better the second time!).

Inbetween those events a 13 year old Kazakh girl inspires in the documentary The Eagle Huntress, a very crowded panel on Presidents in the movies, and a conversation with four time Oscar nominated Production Designer Jeannine Oppenwall...

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