Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall Film Festivals - Canada, Italy, Spain, USA

69th Venice International Film Festival

 The 69th Venice International Film Festival (la Biennale di Venezia - VIFF), directed by Alberto Barbera, kicks off today, Wednesday, August 29, with the Opening Ceremony and the Palazzo del Cinema screening of Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, out of competition. It will run through September 8th. Check out the Screenings schedule.

WEBSITE (English)

Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Toronto, Canada, opens September 6, and runs through the 16th. The folks at Toronto claim, "The Toronto International Film Festival is the leading public film festival in the world, screening more than 300 films from 60+ countries every September." I have no facts to dispute that. I do know that their cinematic selection each year is one of the best if not, as they claim, the best. The TIFF has another distinction, that of managing to screen the Academy Award-winning  feature movie with regularity. Therefore, when I begin the process of trying to predict that winner, I turn to Toronto.

A small sample of films to be screened: From the U.S.A. Beasts of the Southern Wild, Great Expectations. Quebec writer-diector Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette's Inch’Allah, and the return of Austrian auteur and two-time winner at Cannes, Michael Haneke with Amour.

Ticket packages are available to buy now. Individual tickets go on sale September 2nd.


French filmmaker Georges Franju will be the subject of one of the retrospectives programed for the 60th San Sebastian Festival (SSIFF), September 21 - 29, 2012. Franju would have been 100 this year. 

Georges Franju (April 12, 1912 / November 5, 1987) was an enormously influential figure in French film culture. In 1936 he founded the Cinémathèque Française with Henri Langlois, and his career as a director began in 1949 with documentaries. His early works demonstrated his particular talent for filming reality from unexpected angles, a trait akin to surrealism and expressionism.

American director Oliver Stone and Scottish actor, Ewan McGregor will each receive the Donastia Lifetime Achievement Award for their contributions to cinema.  Both of them have new movies, which will premiere after the presentation of their awards, September 23 for Stone's Savages. The Impossible starring McGregor and Naomi Watts, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, a young filmmaker from Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, will premiere September 27. Bayona's most recent movie before The Impossible is The Orphanage (El orfanato, 2007), featuring Geraldine Chaplin.

Films in Progress will present six films from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay. Four films from Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco are selected to participate in Cinema in Motion.

Sixteen Spanish movies will premiere in the Made in Spain section, including Sleepless Knights, a German production in the Spanish Language, due to be released in 2013. The movie has been selected for the 2013 Forum section at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival and the Cine del futuro section at the Buenos Aires Festival. The full screenings schedule for the SSIFF has not yet been released.

The 60th edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival will include screenings of the eight films selected this year for the Zinemira section, dedicated to films produced for the most part in the Basque Country. The Premiere's section will include six new productions, while Panorama will offer another two titles produced this year.The six premieres will contend for the Serbitzu Award, a new addition this year. The award will also be open to Basque productions presented in any of the other Festival sections.

WEBSITE  (English)



The San Diego Film Festival (SDFF) will run from September 26 - 30, 2012, and has expanded to two locations, downtown San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter and La Jolla.

If you haven't experienced all the San Diego Film Festival events previously, you need to know this festival is known as "The Party Festival." Each night's fete is held at one of the Gaslamp Quarter's hot spots or in the gorgeous setting of La Jolla. Open to Patrons, Sponsors, VIP & Festival day pass holders, each party will feature a one-hour hosted bar. There are many other smaller parties open to all attendees. At any party, attendees must be 21 with a valid ID.

Gus Van Sant

Oscar nominated auteur Gus Van Sant will attend the special tribute and retrospective of his films. The Festival will screen some of his most acclaimed features, including early indie favorites Drugstore Cowboy and My Own Private Idaho and more recent Academy Award winners Good Will Hunting, Milk and Cannes Palme d’Or winner Elephant. He is currently directing Promised Land, written by and starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski.

 A small sample of films to be screened: From the U.S.A. Beasts of the Southern Wild, Great Expectations. Quebec writer-diector Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette's Inch’Allah, and the return of Austrian auteur and two-time winner at Cannes, Michael Haneke with Amour. The full Festival schedule has not yet announced.

Nicole Kidman will be honored, and there will be a special screening of a newly restored version of Lawrence of Arabia. Only two of the juicy events for the 50th New York Film Festival (NYFF), September 28 - October 14, 2012, under the auspices of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York City. More on this one later.

As information is released there will be more from time to time on this blog about the above festivals.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Santa Barbara Festival Pass-Sale Ending

The 28th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival opens January 24, 2013 and runs through February 03, 2013. Purchase of discount pass packages ends August 31st.