Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SERIES: Upcoming Film Festivals - August III

VENICE (VIFF - Labiennale)

The 66th Venice International Film Festival, oldest of all, will run at Venice Lido from 2nd to 12th September 2009.The film program has been announced. The USA is well represented this year.

In the International Feature Competition, as mentioned earlier here, BAARÌA, written and directed by Italian Oscar-winner Giuseppe Tornatore (CINEMA PARADISO), will open the Festival. The film will screen in competition.

Some U.S. films in competition that caught my eye, featuring world premieres for all, are:

Director Werner Herzog's BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS, starring Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer and Michael Shannon; Tom Ford's A SINGLE MAN, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore and Matthew Goode; John Hillcoa's THE ROAD, Charlize Theron, Viggo Mortensen, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce; and MICHAEL MOORE's new documentary - CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY.

Three interesting USA productions screening out of competition are:

Director Grant Heslov's THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, with George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey; John Lasseter's TOY STORY, 3-D, and TOY STORY 2, 3-D; and Antoine Fuqua's BROOKLYN’S FINEST, with Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes and Ellen Barkin, among Hollywood's finest.

American actor Sylvester Stallone will receive a special award. The retrospective section is on Italian cinema rediscovered, and there will be a new trends in world and Italian cinema section, plus an international short film competition.


Toronto International Film Festival, which runs 10 to 19 September will offer 21 Special Presentations. These will feature the works of Alejandro Amenábar, Miguel Arteta, Sylvain Chomet, Rodrigo Garcia, Werner Herzog, Grant Heslov, John Hillcoat, and Tom Ford's directorial debut.

They will include on-screen performances by international superstars Annette Bening, Jeff Bridges, Michael Cera, George Clooney, Willem Dafoe, Robert Duvall, Colin Firth, Zach Galifianakis, Samuel L. Jackson, Ray Liotta, Ewan McGregor, Demi Moore, Julianne Moore, Viggo Mortensen, Guy Pearce, Natalie Portman, Til Schweiger, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz.

Canadian favorites include Christopher Plummer, Jay Baruchel, Atom Egoyan, Don McKellar, Dilip Mehta, Ruba Nadda, Sandra Oh, Saul Rubinek, Lisa Ray, Peter Stebbings and Jacob Tierney.

Born in India and now Canadian citizens, siblings Deepah and Dilip Mehta wrote the latest Hinglish movie, COOKING WITH STELLA, and brother Dilip directed. The film will premiere 16 September at Toronto in the Roy Thompson Hall. Deepah is best known for her trilogy, FIRE, EARTH, WATER, and BOLLYWOOD / HOLLYWOOD.

The new film center, known as the Bell Lightbox, is now taking shape at the corner of King and John Streets in downtown Toronto. Bell Lightbox will not be ready for this year's festival, but promises to be spectacular.

The five-story complex will bring together the film-loving public, Canadian and international filmmakers, industry professionals, academia and visitors to Toronto from around the world to explore the power of cinema.

Toronto International Film Festival Will again offer a series of free outdoor events at Yonge-Dundas Square (YDS) taking place 10 - 19, and featuring special appearances by George A. Romero, Neil Young, Joan Baez, Jonathan Demme and more.

This year, the Festival is on Facebook. The full film list will be available 20 August, and the schedule goes live on Facebook 25 August, so sign up now. The current film list is posted, but it is not the full one, yet.

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