Saturday, April 17, 2010

Major Film Festivals in April 2010

SERIES: Major Film Festivals

9th Tribeca International Film Festival 21 April - 2 May 2010, New York City. (TIFF)

The Festival, sponsored again by its founding partner American Express, is more highly interactive this year. Their slogan is, "Here comes the neighborhood." Also, the Festival Web site is nominated for a Webby Award (The "Oscar®" of Web Awards).

Since there is so much happening at the Festival this year, here are only some of the highlights - -

Big green news! The premiere of DreamWorks Animation's SHREK FOREVER AFTER is opening night of the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by American Express—the first 3D movie for both Shrek and TIFF!

Among those serving on one of the six juries are: Jessica Alba, Justin Bartha, Selma Blair, Marshall Curry, Hope Davis, Aaron Eckhart, Aidan Quinn, America Ferrera, Whoopi Goldberg and Brooke Shield.

Tribeca Film Festival Virtual will kick off its opening night on April 23 with NICE GUY JOHNNY, the latest NY story from Edward Burns. How can YOU see it, even if you are not in NYC?

With a TIFF Virtual Premium Pass, some of the movies screened at the Festival will be available online. This brand new pass, available for $45.00 to a limited number of U.S. residents, 18 years or older, will allow fans to participate fully in Tribeca Film Festival Virtual. Want it? Better get it now

The closing night gala will be the documentary FREAKONOMICS, based on the book by journalist Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt. The doc, directed by Alex Gibney with a host of other doc-making luminaries, is less about economics than about the strange connections between seemingly disparate topics—for instance, how drug dealing is like working at McDonald’s or why good parenting methods don’t really matter in the long run. It has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures.

Gibney, who received an Oscar for Best Documentary Film with his TAXIE TO THE DARK SIDE is also bringing his latest, MY TRIP TO AL-QAEDA, which HBO has bought, as well as a work-in-progress, ELIOT SPITZER.

Go to the Official Web site for much more by clicking the title of this blog post, and don't forget to vote for the Webby Award.

19th Annual Florida Film Festival, 9 - 18 April 2010, Enzian Theater, Orlando, Florida. (FFF)

Watch video about Florida FF on YouTube (too wide to embed in this blog).

The Florida Film Festival is currently underway in Orlando screening 162 films from 25 countries. In competition, there are 20 feature films, 10 narrative and 10 documentary. Among them, three East Coast premieres were selected, with 11 filmmakers making their feature directorial debuts, including eight female directors.

One feature film among them is the female director Debra Granik’s WINTER'S BONE, co-written with Anne Rosellini, and based on the novel by Missouri-based author Daniel Woodrell. In this movie, "An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact." It will have its U.S. East Coast premiere in Orlando.

BONE made it first festival appearance, and had its U.S. West Coast Premiere, at the Sundance IFF this January where it won the two top awards, Grand Jury Prize and Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. The next month in Berlin it won the prestigious C.I.C.A.E. (Confédération Internationnale des Cinémas d'Art et d'Essai), and the Festival's Der Tagesspiegel Award (The Daily Mirror), sponsored by the Berlin-based newspaper of the same name.

Michael Paul Stephenson’s documentary BEST WORST MOVIE won a Crystal Bear at Berlin this year and has won a number of awards at various other film festivals. It will screen along with Marshall Curry’s RACING DREAMS, which won Best Documentary at the 2009 Tribecca Film Festival.

All 20 films will be eligible for various awards such as the Grand Jury award for best film, a Special Jury award, given at the jury’s discretion for exceptional achievements, and an audience choice award.

In addition there is a fabulous retro section. The opening party theme, "No Grits, No Glory."

Another film festival currently underway is the 12th annual RiverRun International Film Festival (RRIF) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 15 - 25 April 2010.

RiverRun is one of the outstanding film festivals in the Southeastern U.S. North Carolina ranks third in movie and television production in U.S., only behind Los Angeles and New York City, respectively. The festival gets its name from the French Broad River near Brevard, NC, where the festival was originally held. In 2003, Dale Pollock, a former film producer and then-Dean of the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, moved RiverRun to Winston-Salem, where it resides today as an independent arts organization dedicated to showcasing the best new films from independent, international and student filmmakers.

This festival screens only independent films. RiverRun is an eco-friendly festival, and has an Environmental Sidebar. Read about it. The opening night film is THE EXTRA MAN, directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini.

The Festival also has a side-bar showing films from a foreign country, mostly films that have critical credibility. This year, the side-bar is Mexico and they made excellent choices with Louis Buñuel's classic LOS OLVIDADOS (The Forgotten Ones), Alfonso Curaon's Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mother Too), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Amores Perros (Amorous Dogs), and Alfonso Alrau's LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE, plus two others.

Filmmaker David Gordon Green will attend the screenings of two of his films, GEORGE WASHINGTON and PINAPPLE EXPRESS, and - - gasp - - Peter Bogdanovich will be there for PAPER MOON. Bogdonovich will receive the Festival's Master of Cinema award, a real crystal ball. For children under 12 there is a Saturday morning cartoon show.

In keeping with the Festival's Environmental Film Focus and Eco-Initiative, their partner, Whole Foods Market, for a party on the eve (21st) of Earth Day Thursday, 22nd. party on Thursday, 22nd. This party will feature all-natural beverages and hors d’oeuvres provided by Whole Foods Market Winston-Salem, while the music and visuals will be created by students from UNCSA. The festivities will begin immediately following the screening of Disney's documentary OCEANS. There will also be a cash bar for beer and wine.

As the Festival winds down, they are spicing things up with a Mad Hot Mambo party at the Millennium Center, featuring live Salsa music by the renowned band, West End Mambo. The festivities will begin immediately following the Saturday Night screening of Werner Herzog's MY SON, MY SON WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? at the Steven’s Center. There are two other parties. After all, it isn't a true film festival without the parties.

12th Roger Ebert's Film Festival, 21 - 25 April 2010, Virginia Theater, Champaign, Illinois. (Ebertfest, REFF)

All films are selected from those Mr. Ebert sees during his normal viewing and reviewing. The festival stressed, "Do not send films."

The Illinois Champaign County Anti-Stigma Alliance, is pleased to announce that they will have a special showing of THE SOLOIST immediately following the close of Ebertfest (April 25). The Alliance was formed to challenge disability discrimination and promote education and awareness. This screening will be at the Virginia Theatre at 4:30 pm, and it will free to the public. The screening will be followed by a panel of guest speakers.

Contact: Mary Susan Britt , 217-244-0552.

11th On Location: Memphis International Film and Music Festival, 22 - 25 April 2010, Malco's Ridgeway Four, Memphis, Tennessee. (MIFMF)

Formerly known as the Memphis Film Festival the festival has now added music to the program to increase its influence in the region, but its emphasis is still on film, especially that of regional filmmakers. It has morphed into a full-grown film organization that is active year-round.

The Festival is also now more "family friendly." Last year, they added a Kids First Film Festival, and it will take place Saturday, April 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm, featuring a compilation of short films to entertain and educate. It's free. Here's the information and films that will be shown.
The festivities begin at 1:00 pm on Thursday, 22nd, and will run until late Saturday night. The opening film is HOMETOWN GLORY, written, directed and produced by Hollywood entertainment manager/publicist Ray Costa. As a teenager, Costa was among the ranks of Germantown, TN, teenage volunteers who risked their lives to protect their town fighting fires in the 1970's.

The screening is the official premiere of HOMETOWN GLORY, 7:30 pm, at the Malco Ridgeway Four. Attending the event will be Ray Costa, composer George S. Clinton and the firefighters chronicled in the film. Tickets are $10 and will go on sale April 18. The Festival After Party will follow at the Blues City Café Bandbox.

The closing party follows at Ernestine and Hazel's.

There are two documentaries screening on Saturday afternoon that should not be missed. The first at 1:30 pm is THE COVE. It is about the dolphin slaughter in Japan and what drives it, and it won the Academy Award® this year for Best Documentary Film of 2009. The other one is TIBET IN SONG, which follows THE COVE at 4:00 pm.

This Festival still has a public relations handicap due to its amateurish Web site and always being late getting out the publicity.

53rd San Francisco International Film Festival, 22 April - 6 May 2010, Castro Theatre and other venues, San Francisco, California. (SFIFF)

Opening Night is Thursday, 22 April, and the opening film is MICMACS (Micmacs à tire-larigot), by French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amélie), which screens at the Castro Theatre, 7:00 pm, followed by a party at The Regency Center, 9:30 pm.

Saturday, May 1, the Centerpiece Film will screen at he Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 6:30 pm. HAPPYTHANKYOUMOREPLEASE is the debut film for Ohio native Josh Radnor, who also wrote the screenplay. This being San Francisco, it will be followed by a party at Manor West.

The gala awards night is Thursday, 29 April in the Westin St. Francis Hotel, Grand Ballroom, beginning with a VIP cocktail reception with celebrity guests. This star-studded occasion honors this year’s directing, acting and screenwriting award recipients with a glamorous black-tie evening featuring onstage celebrity appearances and gourmet dining.

Here are only two of a number of special awards to be given to celebrity guests at the festival this year, and each guest will have a special day which includes a screening of an associated film:

Robert Duvall will be the recipient of the Peter J. Owens Award to be presented at the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival. The onstage tribute to Duvall at the Castro Theatre will feature a clip reel of career highlights, an onstage interview and a screening of his most recent film GET LOW.

This year's Novikoff Award for an individual or institution whose work has enhanced the filmgoing public’s knowledge and appreciation of world cinema goes to film critic Roger Ebert. A screening will follow of Erick Zonca's JULIA.
Closing Night is Thursday, 6 May and the film is JOAN RIVERS -- A PIECE OF WORK, screen at the Castro Theatre, 7:00 pm. The party follows at Folsom.

COMING IN MAY: Cannes International Film Festival, 12 - 23 May 2010; Mountain Film in Telluride, 28 - 31 May 2010.

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