Sunday, September 30, 2007

Spain Sends THE ORPHANAGE to Fetch BFLF Oscar®

It's official. THE ORPHANAGE (EL Orfanato, Spain, 2007) directed by J. A. (Juan Antonio) Bayona and produced by Guillermo del Toro (PAN'S LABYRINTH), will represent Spain in the contest for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar®. That's a movie in languages other than English, and countries may submit only one film in the BFLF category.

ORPHANAGE bypassed the top film festival in Spain, San Sebastián, for the Film Festival of Catalonia at Sitges, a festival for fantasy and the fantastic. It will have its Spain premiere in Sitges at the opening gala 4 October.

Meanwhile, the Picturehouse release is making its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival as I write this, and is in competition. The movie stars Belén Rueda (Laura), Fernando Cayo (Carlos) and Geraldine Chaplin (Aurora), and it is the last name on the list that is very interesting, I think.

You see, one of the reasons the movie may have bypassed San Sebastián could be because that festival was pulling out all the stops to honor Carlos Saura for 50 years of filmmaking. They honored him with a Golden Shell. Before Saura, only Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel, "the master," received one in 1981. Buñuel died in 1983.

If you don't know, Saura and Chaplin had a close relationship for many years in which she collaborated on the writing of the scripts, helped finance some of his projects, starred in a number of his movies and gave him his third son, Sean Saura Chaplin. Carlos was married with two sons. She was not. They never married, but were together shortly after she starred in DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965) until the filming of her last movie with Saura, MAMA TURNS 100 (1979). There's much more, but you must wait for my book.

FADOS ("a musical documentary," from Portugal/Spain) is Saura's latest. The movie's Spanish premiere was at San Sebastián 21 September. It was a gala event where Saura received the Golden Shell from former Festival director and movie critic Diego Galán. Not only that, there was a live production of fado singers with flamenco dancers.

FADOS will have its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival in NYC, screening as a special event on 13 October. No word as yet if the fado singers will perform. The world premiere was at Toronto, the Spain one at San Sebastián, and the Canadian one at Vancouver. ORPHANAGE didn't appear at any of those.

Here, the plot thickens. FADOS is a Portuguese/Spanish production and Portuguese is spoken. So, I can hardly wait to find out if Portugal is submitting FADOS to AMPAS® as their official submission.

Geraldine Chaplin on the set of EL ORFANATO, 2007

The story of ORPHANAGE is that Laura (Rueda) returns with her family to the orphanage in which she grew up with the intention of opening a residence for children with disabilities. The new environment wakes up her son's imagination, and he begins to take on more and more intense games of fantasy.

As the games intensify, Laura becomes increasingly disturbed until she reaches the point where she thinks there is something in the house that is threatening her and her family. The escalation of events lead her to take her son for psychological help.

Scandinavian actor Per Oscarsson and Géraldine Chaplin in LA MADRIGUERS (The Burrow, 1969)

Have you seen Saura's movie LA MADRIGUERS, 1969? Take your pick of English titles: Honeycomb, The Burrow, The Den. If you have seen this movie, the above synopsis should prick your ears, because there is definitely a psychological similarity between the synopses of the two movies. At any rate, from what I am hearing, Geraldine may receive an Oscar nomination for her performance in this movie, and the movie stands a good chance, too.

Will someone please go see these movies in New York and send me a report? I Will appreciate it. If you have a fast Internet connection, you can catch the trailer here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

First BFLF Oscar® Deadline Monday

Deadline for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences® to receive entries in Foreign Language Film, Live Action Short Film, and Animated Short Film for Oscar® consideration in the race for the 80th Academy Awards® is 5:00 p.m., Monday, 1 October.

In the short film categories, filmmakers must submit an entry form, one film print or copy in an approved digital format, and all other required materials by the deadline. In the Foreign Language Film category, filmmakers must submit entry forms, one English-subtitled film print and all other required materials by the deadline. Only one motion picture will be accepted from each country.

This past June, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences mailed Foreign Language Film award entry forms to 95 countries, facilitating their submissions for the 80th Academy Awards. Read the complete, and newly revised

The 2006 Best Foreign Language Film was THE LIVES OF OTHERS (Das Leben der Anderen), Germany, written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The German spy drama, based on records from the now defunct East German (GDR/DDR) secret police, Stasi, is currently in preproduction as an English-language movie by former Miramax Films chiefs Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella. It is tentatively set to be released in 2010.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2007 will be presented on Sunday, 24 February 2008, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. Click the schedule for the 80th Academy Awards on the right sidebar.

Monday, September 24, 2007

My Film Festival Page News

Counted today and found there is information and links for 34 film festivals so far this year on my Film Festival Page, including some that are difficult to find information about such as the Festival of New Latin American Cinema held each December in Havana, Cuba. Ten are upcoming, or going on now, with the rest already completed this year. Altogether, there's a wealth of info. Here is the list of the 34:

AFIFEST, Berlin, Boston, Times BFI London, Canadian Hot Docs, Cannes, Deauville, Edinburgh, Guadalajara, Huelva, Havana, Jackson Hole, Los Angeles Independents, Memphis, Miami, Montreal, New York, Palm Sprngs, Puerto Valarta, River Run, Rome, San Diego, San Sebatian, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Sarajevo, Sitges, Sundance, SXSW, Telluride, Toronto, Tribeca, Vancouver, and Venice.

This weekend, I installed quick links to help you find the festivals in which you are interested. Just find the name of the festival you want, click, and you are there. Click the title of this post, which will take you to my Film Festival Page, and near the top you will find the links for the festivals going on now, or upcoming through December, including the one in Havana. There is a separate set of links for those already completed. Remember, there is always a link to my Film Festival Page on the right sidebar of this blog as well.

George Clooney and Jerry Weintraub at a recent Boston Film Festival gala.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Want to know what Sally Field Said at EMMYs?

Would you like to know what was deleted from Sally Field's acceptance speech at the Emmys®? Do you know what Al Gore has won an Emmy and two Oscars® for this year (different projects)? You will find answers to these questions on my 2008 Award's Page.

Want to find out some more happenings in "Hollywood North" at the Toronto International Film Festival? How about what is, and will be, happening at the Film Festival in San Sebastián, Spain, and many others?

You need to access my Film Festival and Award Pages. The Emmy Awards for Prime Time were presented last night (15 September), and I have posted on my Award's Page, incorporating some information from the Creative Emmy Awards presented 8 September. There are extra tidbits as well.

So far this year, I have written about 25 international film festivals since the first of January on my Film Festival Page. I am currently following one recently closed (Toronto), one currently going (Boston), and five upcoming (San Sebastián, Vancouver, New York (NYC), Sitges (Spain), BFI-London). All have links to the Official Web sites, plus other links of interest. More upcoming festivals will be added the last of this month.

Once the last major film festival ends for this year, usually in late November, the awards season, in anticipation of the ultimate awards the last of February, kicks off. Those ultimate awards for movies are the Academy Awards® to be presented Sunday, 24 February 2008. There are links to both my Film Festival and Award pages on the right sidebar of this blog. Come visit.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Win Red Carpet Seats For Oscars®

You could win red carpet seats for the 80th Oscars® this coming February. Beginning Monday, 17 September at noon PST, and continuing for only one week, fans may apply online to win seats on America’s most celebrated red carpet – the Academy Awards® red carpet.

There are 300 seats available along the 500-foot-long carpet that leads into the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center®. In previous years, as many as 25,000 fans have applied online for the limited bleacher seats.

Applicants may register up to four persons; however, only one form will be accepted per person or group. Only those individuals who have been pre-approved by the Academy will have access to the bleachers. Those who wait overnight to attempt admittance will not be granted entry, and the Academy will NOT be responsible for securing travel and/or hotel accommodations for winners.

The lucky winners will get to watch and cheer the Oscar® nominees, presenters, and other ceremony guests as they arrive at the 80th Academy Awards on Sunday, 24 February, and following the red carpet arrivals, the winners will be invited to watch the Academy Awards telecast at a nearby location.

Click for the application form. The online-only application process will close at noon PST, Monday, 24 September.

To be eligible for the random lottery, an individual must complete the application form in its entirety. Applications may only be submitted online. No other method of delivery will be accepted.

Those whose names are selected in the random drawing will be notified in early October. They will then be required to submit additional information for security purposes prior to final approval. Eligible attendees will receive a confirmation letter in early December with information pertinent to the event.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2007 will be presented on Sunday, 24 February 2008, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network.