Festival News

4 Cannes 2016 Performances that Lived Up to the Hype

As NYFA looks forward to our participation at the Venice International Film Festival, it’s always fun to check in and remember more of the years’ stand-out film performances. It’s not too early to start your Oscar predictions — and before we lose our hearts at the star-studded festivals in Venice and Toronto, let’s take stock of some of the Cannes performances that won us over. This is a handy roundup of Cannes 2016 performances that lived up to the hype — and then some. 

1. Dave Johns and Hayley Squires in “I, Daniel Blake”

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What better way to start than with the British film that took home the coveted Palme d’Or this year. Director Ken Loach delivers a captivating story where we see a realistic scenario of regular people getting cheated by the system. Those of you familiar with Loach’s past works know that he often works with bureaucratic injustice as his central theme.

“I, Daniel Blake” tells the tale of widower Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) and his battle to receive benefits after suffering a heart attack. Denied for no apparent reason, he finds himself in a welfare office where he meets Katie (Hayley Squires), a single mother with two kids who is also struggling to make ends meet.

Together, Johns and Squires do a fantastic job of portraying this desperate, unlikely pair as they see navigate a cruel system. Johns’s performance is both powerful and believable, allowing the audience to see Daniel as a decent but devastated man. Squires also delivers, imbuing her character with complex and subtle layers.

2. Jaclyn Jose in “Ma’ Rosa”

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“Ma’ Rosa” is Filipino director Brillante Mendoza’s latest film, and a return to the same style that made his 2009 film “Kinatay” an international hit. While Mendoza didn’t win another Best Director Award this year, lead actress Jaclyn Jose proudly won Best Actress.

In “Ma’ Rosa”, a woman named Rosa (Jose) owns a small convenience store with her husband in Manila. But with four children to feed, the couple is forced to sell illegal drugs from the store to make ends meet. After they is caught and arrested, their children must do what they can to save up enough money to free their parents.

Jose’s performance of a graceful yet resilient mother left an impression on the audience and jury members alike. It was a huge departure from her previous roles, which were often more bombastic and active. Jose’s historic win marks the first time a Filipino has ever won an acting award at the Cannes Film Festival.

3. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga in “Loving”

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Both Negga and Edgerton gave viewers a memorable performance in this film about a mixed-race couple fighting for justice and equality during the late ’50s. Jeff Nichols’ historical drama has received widespread acclaim and was even given a standing ovation upon its first showing at Cannes 2016.

“Loving” weaves a charming tale of a Virginian couple who tied the knot — despite the fact that mixed-race marriage was illegal at the time. Their decision sparked enough controversy and outrage that the Supreme Court passed laws declaring their marriage unconstitutional.

Although the film went home with no prizes, Edgerton and Negga’s touching performances were considered among the best in the festival. The fact that “Loving” focuses less on the civil rights movement and more on the couple’s relationship allowed the talented actor and actress to deliver an intimate, heartwarming story.

4. Shahab Hosseini in “The Salesman”

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In 2011, Asghar Farhadi saw his hard work pay off with “A Separation.” The Iranian drama film won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. With “The Salesman,” Farhadi has crafted yet another thrilling film that’s sure to be a contender at the next Oscars.

Along with Best Screenplay, “The Salesman” snagged the Best Actor award for Shahab Hosseini’s performance. The film combines elements of murder mystery and drama, creating a revenge thriller that left Cannes viewers with eyes glued to the screen.

The film tells the story of Emad (Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a young married couple involved in a small theater’s production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” While living in a shoddy apartment previously inhabited by a prostitute, Rana is beaten and possibly raped by a man who was looking for said prostitute. Hosseini delivers a convincing performances as an angry husband tracking down the unknown man.

With Cannes 2016 behind us, we still have much to look forward to — whether catching up on these incredible performances, enjoying new festival surprises, or placing our bets in the inevitable Oscars race ahead.

What are you favorite film festival performances of 2016? Let us know in the comments below!

Back To The Future’s DeLorean Made of Photographs

DeLorean Print Project Belfast Photo Festival

2015 is a year with many anniversaries, but one in particular that film and photography buffs around the world can celebrate is this is the year Marty McFly famously traveled to in Back to the Future 2. To commemorate this particular anniversary, the internationally recognized Belfast Photo Festival will be building and sharing its own DeLorean, but with a twist.

Fusing the mediums of both sculpture and photography, artist Cyril Hatt will work with more than 150 former employees of the DeLorean Motor Company to build a replica of the DeLorean from Back to the Future 2 through an in-depth photographing of the original car, with each image then printed on to aluminum plates that will be assembled to create a life-size replica of the car.

The DeLorean factory was originally based in Belfast and the former employees intend to reunite once more to celebrate the cult following the car has earned along with the 35th anniversary of its world debut.

One of the many interesting facts that have come out of the planning for this anniversary is that the former employees of the factory actually added their own personal touches to the car—throughout the inner body of the car are messages inscribed by the employees that provide a singular look into the anticipation and joy they felt while working at the DeLorean Motor Company.

To make this a celebration unlike any other, the former employees will travel from all around the globe to meet in Belfast and join the staff of the Belfast Photo Festival in adding a new generation of unique messages to each new photographic aluminum plate that make up the Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine.

Anyone attending the Belfast Photo Festival is invited to stake a claim on a piece of this one-of-a-kind photographic sculpture. Visit Belfast Photo Festival or the festival’s Kickstarter page to learn how you can help make this project a reality.

DeLorean Print Project

The Academy’s Photography School students are encouraged to look into this campaign to get ideas for their own work.

Boulder International Film Festival 2015

BIFF 2015

Voted One of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine, the 11th Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) will take place March 5-8, 2015 at the foothills of the stunning Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado.

The festival will run over four days and feature some of the best new talent in filmmaking and is expected to be attended by more than 25,000 people. The festival is scheduled to feature between 50-70 films from all around the world with screenings held in the following venues –

  • Historic Boulder Theatre
  • NEW Church – First Pres Boulder
  • Boulder High Auditorium
  • eTown Hall
  • Boulder Public Library

BIFF has hosted a number of special guests over the past 10 years including Shirley Maclaine, Alec Baldwin, Oliver Stone, William H. Macy, Martin Sheen and Chevy Chase just to name a few.

Opening Night Red Carpet Gala kicks off with TWO simultaneous parties and will feature the film The Wrecking Crew. Tickets are on sale now and are expected to sellout fast. To secure your seat for this amazing night please click here to buy tickets and be sure to follow BIFF on their social channels below –

facebook  twitter youtubeinstagram

For the full BIFF 2015 Program and Schedule please visit here.

Fast Forward Film Festival

Fast Forward Film Festival

The Fast Forward Film Festival (FFFF) invites New York Film Academy filmmakers from the Rochester, New York area to submit to the inaugural Fast Forward Film Festival. For this first year, the Fast Forward Film Festival is only accepting submissions from filmmakers in the greater Rochester area with short films under 5 minutes. If you are from the area, this is a terrific opportunity to expose your student shorts to your local community.

Entries must be submitted through the Fast Forward Film Festival website by 11:59PM EST on February 27, 2015.

Final selections will be announced by early April, 2015. All submissions will be considered for each of the categories, and the 3 winning film selections will be screened at the festival.

“Embracing the short film format, FFFF challenges filmmakers to utilize the power of visual storytelling to convey the urgency of our environmental problems. Shorts are a liberating form that allow for greater experimentation and give voice to both aspiring and veteran filmmakers. By focusing creativity into films under five minutes in length, FFFF films will become an important communication tool to inspire change, connect people and build an environmentally concerned community.”

Judging the short films will be a jury composed of the following four distinguished professionals:

  • Jack Garner, nationally renowned film critic and author of From My Seat on the Aisle: Movies and Memories
  • Deborah Dickson, Academy Award nominee
  • Todd McGrain, independent filmmaker and The Lost Bird Project co-founder and winner of the 2014 Audubon Award for Art Inspiring Conservation
  • Enid Cardinal, RIT’s Senior Sustainability Advisor to the President. Selected entries will be shown at the Little Theatre and George Eastman House during Earth Week 2015.

The festival will award filmmakers for the following three categories:

  1. Most inspiring, compelling, and engaging
  2. Most unique perspective
  3. Strongest call to action.

Winners will receive $1,000 cash awards. Awards of $250 will also be given to Honorable Mentions in each of these three categories.

Los Angeles Amazigh Film Festival

LAAFFIn support of the indigenous people of North Africa, the Tazzla Institute for Cultural Diversity is holding its 6th annual Los Angeles Amazigh Film Festival on Saturday, December 6, from 2:30 pm to 7:30pm at the Wells Fargo Theater.

Tickets are available on their web site www.laaff.org for $15.00 each, and at the door the day of the event for $20.00.

This year’s festival will offer the West Coast premieres of three award-winning documentaries regarding Morocco. Two of the films are directed by well known producer, Izza Genini (Vibrations in the High Atlas and Nuptials in the Middle Atlas). LAAFF will also salute the work of Dounia Benjelloun (Sand Hill Production, Casablanca and New York), who has contributed each year to this festival, by showing her award-winning 2012 documentary Palm Grove School. In addition, the program will feature the very special documentary created by Dr. Wassim Korbi, recipient of several awards, called Azul (Tunisia).

Among the attendees, LAAFF will be honored by the presence of Moroccan producer, Mr. Ahmed Baidou, who will present a short on the city of Agadir, which was devastated by a 1960 earthquake. He will also be screening his latest feature film, Aghrabou (the Boat), which won the Best Film Award at last year’s festival.

“We have selected visual productions of quality to illustrate the Amazigh (Berber) culture of North Africa in its wealth and variety. All presentations are subtitled in English. We hope you will join us for an afternoon of good films, and good cheer.” – LAAFF

This event is primarily sponsored by the BMCE Fondation of Morocco, and by A.C.A.A., Amazigh Cultural Association in America.

Chick Flicks Film Festival

Chick Flicks Film FestivalThe Women in Film Dallas (WIFD) provides a wonderful opportunity for women filmmakers to showcase their work. They accept narrative, documentary, animated, and experimental short films in any genre with a runtime of 35 minutes or less. The 2014 categories are Female Filmmakers and Flicks by Texas Chicks, and they are now accepting short film submissions for the 13th Annual Chick Flicks Film Festival, which will be held on October 2, 2014 at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas.

In honor of WIFD’s 30th Anniversary, winners will be awarded cash prizes. The Best of Fest winner will take home $1,000.00 and the Best Student Film will win $300.00.

To learn about Chick Flicks Film Festival rules, guidelines, and fees please visit http://www.wifdallas.org/page-969702 or www.wifdallas.org. 2014 Submissions will be accepted up until August 28th, 2014.

The United Film Festival Los Angeles

United Film Fest

The United Film Festival Los Angeles will be returning to the City of Angels for its 7th year at the Los Feliz 3 from September 5th through the 11th. The festival will be screening great independent films, both features and shorts, and a midnight screening of their cult classic documentary, The Rock- afire Explosion.

Selections include:

  • Live-In Fear on Friday, September 5th at 9:30pm (In order to escape the anxieties and fears of their normal lives, four emotionally distant friends travel to the Utah mountains to try and reconnect but it only ends up driving them further apart. They soon find the world coming down on them as they must face their fears and a deranged cult hell-bent on waking something ancient and evil up from a thousand years of sleep.)
  • Chasing Notes on Saturday, September 6th at 7:00pm, (The first documentary of its kind – focusing on the real-life challenges and demands faced by film composers who apply their craft in an intensely competitive field. Broader than that, however, it captures the spirit of chasing one’s dreams, which is an aspect of life that everyone can relate to. This film will allow you to meet the personalities of those who write the music we love in our movies, showing you a human side of an overlooked industry. As you get to know the key players of film composing, and hear their widely entertaining (and at times painful) tales of experience, you will also witness the emotional journey of an emerging composer attempting to break through into the industry at all costs. Capturing the very essence of the independent spirit, Chasing Notes shares candid stories intertwined with behind-the- scenes access about what it’s really like to be a composer in Hollywood today, and how some will brake for nothing to succeed at it.)
  • Legend of the Red Reaper on Sunday, September 7th at 6:30pm (For a thousand years, the Reapers guarded mankind from the demons that wait in the dark. Now, at the beginning of a new age, the Reapers are betrayed and slaughtered. Only one Reaper remains – Red, and she’s out to exact revenge.)
  • Echoes on Tuesday, September 9th at 7:00pm (Struggling with horrifying, sleep-paralysis induced visions, a young writer retreats with her boyfriend to an isolated desert house. As the visions intensify, she finds herself on the verge of losing her mind…or uncovering a life-threatening secret.)
  • Furthest From The Wild on Wednesday, September 10th at 7:00pm (Chronicling the many struggles that non-profit animal sanctuaries must face, Furthest From the Wild is a window into the world of captive animals. It offers a unique look at the lives of those who care for beautiful, and at times, dangerous creatures.)

Jason Connell is the founder and director of the United Film Festival, which started in Tulsa in 2002 and then spread to Los Angeles & New York in 2007 and next to San Francisco, Chicago & London in 2009. The festivals have a rich tradition of screening exceptional independent films and have gained a respectable reputation in only a few years time. Connell’s distribution division, the appropriately named United Films, has grown rapidly and now represents an impressive and constantly expanding library of independent films.

If you’d like to check out the full schedule or buy tickets, visit: theunitedfest.com/LosAngeles!

NOTE: Tickets for most screenings are $10, with the only exception being the midnight screening, which is 2 for $10.

LA Femme International Film Festival

LaFemme Film FestIn the spotlight is a unique festival that is truly a one of a kind that focuses on empowering women filmmakers, producers, writers, and talent. This diverse festival screens films, documentaries, commercials, shorts, music videos and screenplays that are created “by women for everyone” as entertainment. This festival is not a conglomerate or big business venture but one woman’s vision to make a difference and increase the ability for women creating entertainment to get a head and be seen.

LA Femme International Film Festival is from October 16-19, 2014 celebrating its 10th year.

The upcoming deadlines are Aug 16th and Aug 23rd for this year’s festival.

LA Femme now has a first look distribution partner which LA Femme successfully paired over six of our filmmakers with distribution for their films screening at the 2013 festival. This distribution relationship is exciting since all our films are screened by our distribution partner annually. So, distribution is open to all those selected to screen not just the winners of the festival.

What sets this festival apart are its amazing sprit with unprecedented panels with experts in all avenues of the entertainment fields in getting films made, sold, and distributed. LA Femme uses a select handful of entertainment experts that actually inspire while giving filmmakers the reality of today’s entrainment pitfalls. This is where the female indie filmmaker scene shines and is the only festival of its kind in sprit, content, and distribution opportunities for the woman filmmaker.

The festival has networking parties every night with a gala closing night ceremony for the attendees, honorees and winners where filmmakers, entertainment professionals, distribution executives and celebrities mix and mingle all festival long.

Some of the following award winners at the festival have gone on to received distribution: Green Street Hooligans directed by Lexi Alexander (2000 screens nationwide, international distribution),The Colt, Directed by Yelena Lanskaya ( Hallmark), Draco y el Teatro, directed by Angela Alvarado (MTV music Video) just to name a few.

At LA Femme, we proudly celebrate all the contributions to entertainment by leading female directors, producers, writers and performers in the entertainment industry. In recent years we have honored such outstanding individuals as Angela Bassett, Virginia Madsen, Vivica A. Fox, Lorraine Toussaint, Tippi Hedren, Susan Seidelman, Penelope Spheeris, Jacqueline Bisset and Sally Kirkland, among others.

This is New York Film Academy students’ chance to become supportive and creative LA Femme Alumni and join the forces of the women making a difference in entertainment!

Plus, Bonus discount for NYFA students submitting a short or feature.

(THESE DISCOUNTS ARE GOOD UNTIL AUGUST 16, 2014 FOR SUBMISSION OF FILMS)

 

Vail Film Festival 2015

Vail Film FestivalThe Vail Film Festival, held annually in the small ski resort town of Vail, Colorado, fosters independent film and filmmakers through film screenings, panels, workshops, networking events, and educational projects.

Filmmakers who submit will have their films viewed and selected by VFF’s Programming Committee.

The Official Selection films will screen in Vail, CO, March 26 – 29, 2015. Filmmakers are invited to attend all screenings, festival parties and award ceremony.

Prizes will be given to the winners of the following categories:

  • Best Feature Film
  • Best Documentary Film
  • Audience Award
  • Best Short Film
  • Best Student Film
  • Best Environmental Film
  • Best Feature Screenplay
  • Best Short Screenplay

If you’re interested in submitting or would like to know more about the Vail Film Festival, CLICK HERE.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1AZOG1tqsA