Sunday, July 01, 2012

Film Festials of Summer 2012

This is the time of year in the United States that the movie calendar is full of big budget loud movies meant to appeal to the youngsters on summer break from high school and college. Amidst all the shouting, I like to see what films the festivals in the U.S., and around the world, are highlighting. I love to look for little gems that will be big movies when the major awards season arrives in November.

In Scotland, wedged between the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic games in the U.K., the prestigious Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland (EIFF), opened 20 June 2012, and closed today, 1 July, after the final big screening last night of Disneys latest animation from Pixar, BRAVE. This year, the Festival returned to bestowing awards and the big winners are:

Director Penny Woolcock was awarded The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film for ONE MILE AWAY, which received its World Premiere at the Festival. The Jury choosing the Michael Powell award winners was chaired by actor Jim Broadbent

Andrea Riseborough and BrĂ­d Brennan jointly won The Michael Powell Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film for their performances in James Marsh’s SHADOW DANCER, which had its UK Premiere last night.

The Award for Best Film in the International Feature Competition went to the drama HERE, THEN, about rootless youngsters in China, from director Mao Mao, with his first credit as a director. Elliot Gould presided over the Jury.


Heart of Sarajevo
Next up is a festival that most in the world may never have heard of, but one that has the backing of the likes of Actor Kevin Spacey and U2's Bono. It's the 18th SARAJEVO FILM FESTIVAL (SFF) held in Bosnia Herzegovina, opening July 6 and running through the 14th. Because this festival arose from the ashes of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995, we feel it is important to cover it. Last year, Angelina Jolie was awarded the Heart of Sarajevo for her efforts to bring awareness of the war through her movie, LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY.

The Festival Program Journal has been published. It is available at the Main Box Office, and single tickets are on sale. This year the Festival will present 210 films from 57 countries. There is also an online version of this year's Program Journal with information about all the screenings. We highly recommend you take a look at it as it is bilingual with English, and there is a beautiful spread featuring handsome Michael Fassbender:    

Special screenings will include Steven Spielberg's SCHINDLER'S LIST, and some screenings will take place under the stars. The opening feature is Aida Begic's CHILDREN OF SARAJEVO (Dejeca), which won the Special Distinction of the Jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival. THE ANGEL'S SHARE will close. The already award-winning THE BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, filmed in and around New Orleans will screen in competition, and it is the directorial debut of U.S. director Benh Zeitlin.
WEBSITE (English)   

The 69th Venice International Film Festival (VIFF) will run August 29th to September 8th, directed by Alberto Barbera. New features of the next edition include a new foyer of the Palazzo del Cinema; the Venice Film Market, a new service that will join the Industry Office; and Biennale College - Cinema, a workshop open to young filmmakers for the production of low-budget films.
The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement has been awarded to Italian director and screenwriter Francesco Rosi. The award will be presented on August 31st, on the occasion of the screening of the restored copy of Rosi's masterpiece, Il caso Mattei (The Mattei Affair, 1972).


The 36th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), originally known as the Festival of Festivals, will be held in September from the 6th to 16th in Toronto, Canada. The Festival will be screening more than 300 films from over 60 countries, as it does every September. Tickets sales are available, but the full program has not yet been announced.

Toronto's programers have earned a reputation for excellence, and a diverse array of films are shown. There are Hollywood galas, complete with red carpet glamor but, most of all, the best in international cinema and potential Academy Award winners are screened. Toronto's track record of booking eventual Academy Award winners is legendary.

Could this be the surprise movie of the year?

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