Sunday, September 28, 2008

San Sebastián Film Festival Winners

View of San Sebastián and Festival Office

Award winners at the 56th San Sebastián International Film Festival (56 Festival Internacionál de San Sebastián Donostia Zinmaldea), 18 - 27 September 2008, have been announced. The winner of the Golden Shell (Concha de oro) for Best Film was: PANDORANIN KUTUSU / PANDORA'S BOX, Yesim Ustaoglu, (Turkey - France - Germany - Belgium).

An American movie, FROZEN RIVER, won two awards for the director, Courtney Hunt, and a Silver Shell (Concha de plata) best-actress for Melissa Leo, in a tie with the lead actress of PANDORA'S BOX.

Here is the FULL LIST with many pictures and much info. Click title of this post for the Festival's official Web site.

There is extensive information about the Festival, including the opening gala, on my Film Festivals Page. Here's the direct link for 2008. The opening gala was broadcast live on the Festival's Official Video Site, Telefestival, the Screen of Plaza Oquendo, and on Spanish Television's 2nd channel. This is the widest coverage the SSIFF has ever guarnered. The General Coordinator of the multi-media broadcasts was my buddy Diego Galán, and Manuel Palacios directed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oscar® Entries Deadline for Foreign Language, and Shot Films

The Best Foreign Language Film submission deadline for possible Oscar® nomination is Wednesday, 1 October 2008. It is also the deadline for Live Action Short Film and Animated Short Film.

Entry forms for consideration for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination for the 81st Academy Awards®, along with documentaion and one English-subtitled film print, and all other required materials, must be at the Academy in Beverly Hills by 5:00 p.m., 1 October. Only one entry per country.

The Academy mailed entry forms to 95 countries in June. Last year, the Academy invited 93 countries to submit. Of those who submitted, films from 61 countries were qualified for nomination.

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 same deadline.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, 22 February 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, Hollywood, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

For more information contact:

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®
8949 Wilshire Boulevard Beverly Hills, CA 90211-1972
Or, click the title of this post.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Win a Seat Along Red Carpet at Academy Awards®

There will be only 300 seats available along the 500-foot-long walkway that leads into the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® 22 February 2009, when Academy Awards® are awarded. Beginning this Monday, 22nd, fans are invited to submit an online application for the chance to win one of those seats. In previous years, as many as 20,000 fans have applied but luck might be on your side this year.

The lucky winners will watch and cheer Oscar® nominees, presenters and other ceremony guests as they arrive at the 81st Academy Awards on Sunday, 22 February 2009. Following the red carpet arrivals, the winners will be invited to watch the Academy Awards telecast at a nearby location.

Excited about it? In that case, pay attention to the procedure:

Beginning on Monday, 22 September, at 9 a.m. PT / noon ET, and continuing for only one week, fans may apply on the Academy's Official Web Site
to win seats along the Academy Awards® red carpet. The application form will be available at The online-only application process will close on Sunday, 28 September, at 9 p.m. PT / midnight ET.

To be eligible for the random drawing, an individual must complete the application form in its entirety. Applications may only be submitted online. Forms may not be returned via U.S. mail, fax or private delivery service such as UPS or FedEx.

Applicants may register up to four persons. However, only one form will be accepted per person or group.

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. The Academy will not be responsible for securing travel and/or hotel accommodations for winners.

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.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, 22 February 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Toronto Festival Wraps - Let the Film-Awards Season Begin

Dev Patel and Freida Pinto in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

The film festival in the city that has been dubbed "Hollywood North," Toronto, Canada, wrapped Sunday. The Toronto International Film Festival is also considered the opening of the film-awards season, which culminates with the Academy Awards® in February.

However, the first major awards after Toronto's IFF are usually the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Primetime Emmy Awards®. This year is no exception.

The 60th Primetime Emmy gala (Diamond Jubilee) will be broadcasting live on ABC from the NOKIA Theatre, Staples Center, Los Angeles (8:00-11:00 PM, ET / PT, 7:00 PM CT) next Sunday the 21st. The New York party will be held at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Building, NYC.

The next night, Monday 22, the 29th News and Documentary Emmy Awards is at the Fredrick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Building, NYC, and will not be broadcast.
You can get a bird's eye view of both the Primetime and the News and Documentary awards on my Awards Page. Here's the link to the Official Primetime Emmy Site for more details.

As for Toronto, it is interesting to me that the Cadillac Audience Award went to British Director Danny Boyle's movie SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE filmed in India, the story of a orphaned young man trying to win big on a television show that is the Indian version of a U.S. show, and the Best Canadian First Feature Film was awarded to Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu's BEFORE TOMORROW. The movie is based on the novel by Danish author Jørn Riel, which is about a strong Inuit woman and her beloved grandson, who become trapped on a remote Island.

Toronto IFF proves every year how truly international filmmaking is becoming. Go to my Film Festivals Page and see what I am talking about. There's plenty of highlights on my page, including pictures and the recent awards. For more details go to the TIFF Official Site.

Also, I have highlighted some of the movies at the festival that most likely will make the nomination list, in some aspect, for the upcoming 81st Academy Awards® on Sunday, 22 February 2009. Go. Get a heads-up!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Duplicate Capra Oscar® Returned to Army

Duplicate statuette and PRELUDE TO WAR poster on display at ceremony returning Oscar statuette to the Department of the Army, 3 September 2008. Photo: Todd Wawrychuk / ©A.M.P.A.S.

A duplicate of an Oscar statuette earned by director Frank Capra’s acclaimed 1942 documentary PRELUDE TO WAR, the first film in the United States Army Special Services’ seven-picture “Why We Fight” series, was removed from the auction block by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy President Sid Ganis returned the statuette to the care of the U.S. Army in a special ceremony yesterday.

The duplicate statuette was requested by and granted to the Department of Defense in 1958 in connection with a special exhibition. In the years following the exhibition, the award was in the care of the Army Pictorial Center. The original Oscar for Best Documentary of 1943, PRELUDE TO WAR, remains in the care of the Capra family.

The Army Pictorial Center closed in 1970. Academy officials, who monitor auction houses, on-line sales, and other sales outlets, saw that Christie's auction house was offering the statuette for sale. The Army asserted its claim on the Award immediately after being notified by the Academy. Exactly what happened to the statuette between 1970 and 2008 is unknown, but the auction house was pleased to return the statuette to the Army.

Frank Capra (L) and John Ford during World War II, undated.
Photo courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library.

The “Why We Fight” films, directed by then-Major Frank Capra (IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, 1946) are widely recognized as the most effective of the many films produced by the armed services to educate Americans in general, and new servicemen in particular, about the nation’s objectives in entering WWII.

“We are very grateful that the Academy contacted us and has returned the Oscar to the U.S. Army. . . . The award will be proudly and prominently displayed at the Department of the Army Headquarters for Public Affairs Office at the Pentagon for all to see," said Brigadier General Jeffrey E. Phillips, Deputy Chief of Public Affairs.

TRIVIA NOTE from Mimi: Frank Capra (18 May 1897, Sicily - 3 September 1991, Palm Springs, CA)

Actually, Frank Capra was not credited on PRELUDE TO WAR, the official World War II US Government film made for distribution to the American public. It defines the various enemies of the Allies and why they must be fought. It was made at a time when the war was going badly for the USA, 1942. The entire "Why We Fight" series, directed by Frank Capra, was placed on the National Film Registry, National Film Preservation Board, USA, in 2000.

Capra's first studio feature film after returning from his Army film assignment was IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946), starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, etc. He won three Oscars for directing in the 1930's for YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN and IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT. Ironically, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE was nominated for five Oscars, including directing, but won none.

MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, also starring Jimmy Stewart, was nominated for 10 Oscars in 1940, including Stewart and Capra, but only Lewis R. Foster received one for writing the original story.

Capra has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but never received a lifetime achievement Oscar from the Academy. His last movie was the 1961 POCKETFULL OF MIRACLES.

I met him at the La Quinta Resort, Palm Springs, CA, about 1984. I was there working with a partner's meeting for what was then Price Waterhouse. I was distributing credentials for the evening parties, when a casually dressed older gentleman, only slightly taller than I, walked up to me and asked, "May I come to the parties."

I knew he was not part of the seminar and asked, "What is your name?"

"Frank Capra. Do you think you could get me in?"

I was stunned for a moment, and then recognized him as, indeed, one of the Hollywood directors that I most admired. I replied, "I'm not sure, Mr. Capra, these are private parties, but I'll be happy to ask my boss."

"Oh," he said, "I was just kidding, but thank you."

He gave me a card with only the number of his residence at La Quinta. The next day, I knocked on the door at the time he had indicated.

Mr. Capra answered, invited me in, and I visited with him for about an hour. We exchanged pleasantries and talked in generalities - - families, current movies, current events, about his life at La Quinta, my work at Price Waterhouse, etc.

Although tempted, I never asked him any questions. He seemed very pleased about the visit and invited me to visit him again the next time I was at the resort. Much to my regret, due to circumstances in my life that were beyond my control, I never returned to La Quinta.