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The Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) is being held February 11-14, 2010 in scenic Boulder, Colorado, featuring award-winning films and filmmakers from all over the world. Screenings are at the Boulder Theater, Boulder Public Library, and First United Methodist Church ("The Church"). The Opening Night Red-Carpet Gala includes the screening of The Lightkeepers, directed by Daniel Adams and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Blythe Danner, Bruce Dern, Tom Wisdom and Mamie Gummer. The film is about the lightkeeper for a lighthouse on a deserted Cape Cod beach in 1912. A mysterious man takes the position of assistant lightkeeper, and the two men swear an oath to never get involved with women. However, they soon find themselves contending with two female summer visitors. Following the screening, Ms. Danner, the director, and producer Straw Weisman will be on hand for a Q&A. BIFF’s Closing Night Awards Ceremony will feature a tribute to Emmy Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin, who will be honored with an Award of Excellence in Acting. Included is a film retrospective of his work, followed by a Q&A hosted by BIFF executive producer Ron Bostwick.Film highlights from the festival include: I Am Love, directed by Luca Guadagnino, was a winner at the Venice Film Festival. Starring Tilda Swinton, this drama portrays the irresistible heat of forbidden passion within the constrained upper-class mores of an Italian family. Last Train Home, directed by Lixin Fan. The world’s largest human migration takes place each year in China as 130 million factory workers fight for space on overcrowded trains to return home for the Spring Festival. This beautiful film captures two years in the life of the Zhangs, who left the poverty of the countryside and their children behind with their extended family.Mugabe and the White African, directed by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson, is the story of one of the few hundred white farmers left in Zimbabwe since President Robert Mugabe began his violent land seizure program in 2000. In 2008, Campbell took the unprecedented step of challenging Robert Mugabe before international court, charging him and his government with racial discrimination and violations of human rights. Other BIFF films not to be missed:Soundtrack for a Revolution, directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Struman, depicts the American civil rights movement through the music that fortified protestors as they struggled for equality, with music by The Roots, Wyclef Jean, Joss Stone, Richie Havens and Harry Belafonte. A Film with Me In It, directed by Ian Fitzgibbon, is a morbidly delightful account of a hapless out-of-work Dublin actor named Mark, who is struggling to make it through a day from hell. Together with his hilarious neighbor, Pierce, they hatch a desperate plan of treating their predicament like a film scenario and try to rewrite the day. The Most Dangerous Man in America; Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, directed by Rick Goldsmith and Judith Ehrlich, depicts the high-level Pentagon official, former Marine and Vietnam War hawk who discovers top-secret reports detailing the lies the Pentagon had been telling the public about the war. Wings of Silver: The Vi Cowden Story, directed by Mark and Christine Bonn. This remarkable documentary follows Vi Cowden’s journey from rural South Dakota, where she learned to fly biplanes, to her two years in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), for which she piloted 19 different types of fighter planes in the U.S. on enough trips to have circumnavigated the world 55 times. Healthy and lively, Vi last piloted a P-51 when she was 92. In March the United States will award the Congressional Gold Medal to nearly 300 women, all over the age of 86, who flew fighter planes for the Army Air Corps in 1943-44. The directors will be present following the screening. Waking Sleeping Beauty, directed by Don Hahn, is a juicy, scathing, behind-the-scenes tell-all about the turmoil at Walt Disney Studios released by, well, Walt Disney Studios. After a string of flops in the 1980s, movie animation was considered dead. Yet the ‘90s saw a staggering output of Disney hits—Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. This incredibly well-crafted documentary from two-time Oscar nominee Don Hahn and then-animation-head Peter Schneider shows us a side of Disney we’ve never seen before, with feuds, ego battles, cost overruns, failed experiments—all the blood, sweat and carnage that went into the great Disney Renaissance. Magic, it seems, like sausage, is not always pretty to watch being made. This film is a must-see for all serious film heads who still believe in magic. The director will be present. Mother, directed by Bong Joon-ho, is about a fiercely maternal single mother determined to protect her only child, a handsome but mentally challenged 27-year-old son, who was framed for a heinous murder. The small-town police and the town folk are already convinced of his guilt, while the mother ferociously goes on a hunt for the real killer herself. Bong Joon-ho, who wrote and directed the cult film The Host, has crafted a superb Hitchcockian murder mystery peppered with surprising twists coming thick and fast, which keep his audience guessing over who the real culprit is until the very end. The Secret of Kells, directed by Tomm Moore, is an animated masterpiece that blends fantasy and Celtic mythology into a riot of color and detail. In this sweeping story about the Viking raids of Ireland, 12-year-old Brendan’s dangerous quest takes him, and the mysterious wolf-girl, Aisling, into the enchanted forest where mythical creatures hide. Director Moore scanned the stunningly beautiful illuminations of Ireland’s thousand-year-old Book of Kells into a computer program so that they would move. And then, using the same brilliant colors and flat medieval perspective, he produced a feature-length animated film that tells a hero-quest set in the time of the book.
Additionally, BIFF hosts:
The Digital Media Convergence Symposium (DiMe), a celebration of creativity, technology and those who innovate in these converging spheres. A panel of visionary leaders in the film, media and gaming industries will discuss commonalities and potential for collaboration, as well as the evolution and applications of new technology and distribution and how to engage in this profitable arena. Call 2 Action, a program that offers concrete ways for filmgoers to translate the energy and passion that film evokes into action. Film has the unique and creative ability to educate, integrate and involve the entire community to teach us about our world. For further information, visit www.biff1.com. Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) February 11-14, 2010 Boulder Theater, Boulder Public Library, and First United Methodist Church ("The Church")Boulder, Colorado
The 18th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF), America’s largest and most prestigious Black film and arts festival, runs from February 10 through 17, 2010 at the Culver Plaza Theatres, 9919 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, California. The accompanying Fine Arts Show is being held February 12-15, 2010 at the Westfield Culver Plaza, 6000 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, California. The Pan African Film and Arts Festival is an official event of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Black History Month Celebration. The 2010 Celebrity Host is acclaimed actress CCH Pounder (Avatar, Brothers, Warehouse 13). The Opening Night feature is the world premiere of Blood Done Sign My Name, starring Nate Parker (The Great Debaters) as notable Civil Rights activist Dr. Ben Chavis, who is expected to attend, Other cast members include Lela Rochon, Omar Benson Miller, Afemo Omilami and Ricky Schroder. Jeb Stuart directed his own screenplay. This Opening Night Gala is being held at the Directors Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles.
The 2010 PAFF Lifetime Achievement Award honoree is Glynn Turman (Cooley High, The Wire), presented at the PAFF Night of Tribute. This star-studded red carpet event is televised on the Africa Channel and shown throughout Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. Other honorees: Pioneer Award – director F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, A Man Apart) Beah Richards Award – Tatyana Ali (Love That Girl)Canada Lee Award – Nate Parker (The Great Debaters, Blood Done Sign My Name) PAFF/African Channel Visionary Award – Nigerian filmmaker and founder of the African Academy of Motion Pictures Peace, Anyiam-FiberesimaCommunity Service Award – LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas The Centerpiece Presentation is the documentary 41st & Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers, directed by Gregory Everett. The film explores the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party from its glorious Black Power beginnings through to its tragic demise. Despite the Party’s formation of free medical clinics and a successful breakfast program for children, the L.A. chapter was also known as the most violent Black political group in the United States. The film includes both archival footage and many interviews with former Party members, including surviving original members, many of whom will be present for the panel discussion after the screening. In addition, the PAFF is holding numerous screenings of the powerful film Haiti: the Sleeping Giant, directed by Love Joel Aryeetey, to raise money for Haitian relief efforts. 100% of the proceeds raised from ticket sales will be donated to the Haitian Emergency Relief Fund. The PAFF is encouraging attendees to make it a point to include this film in their must-see list. Aside from providing the highly needed assistance for Haiti, the film provides a comprehensive understanding of the historical and political history that has led to Haiti’s current condition.The Closing Night presentation is Freedom Riders, directed by Stanley Nelson. This is the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of eight months that changed America forever. From May until December 1961, more than 400 Black and White Americans risked their lives. Many endured savage beatings and imprisonment, often for simply traveling together on buses as they journeyed through the Deep South. Discussion will follow afterward with former Freedom Riders Dr. Robert Singleton, Helen Singleton and former Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Farrell, who will share their experiences.Other features include:All My Life / Toul Omry, directed by Yetnayet Bahru. When a young man’s longtime lover leaves him to marry a woman, and his best friends drift away, he comes face to face with the harsh realities of life as a gay man in Egypt. Darfur, directed by Uwe Boll. American journalists in Sudan are confronted with the dilemma of whether to return home to report on the atrocities they have seen, or to stay behind and help some of the victims they have encountered. Starring Billy Zane, Edward Furlong, Hakeem Kae-Kazim.From A Whisper, directed by Wanuri Kahiu. A Kenyan family is caught up in the bombing of the American Embassy by Islamist terrorists. Abu, a Muslim intelligence officer investigating the bombing, has a deep, complex friendship with one of the terrorists. Winner of Best Picture in Africa last year at the Africa Movie Awards. Documentary Features include: Rwanda Beyond the Deadly Pit, directed by Gilbert Ndahayo. A Rwandan aspiring filmmaker emotionally resurfaces to confront his parents’ murderers. Filmed over the course of three years, this is the first film ever made by a genocide survivor. Stolen, directed by Violeta Ayala and Daniel Fallshaw. This film confronts the all-too-real issue of modern day slavery as Black Saharawis reveal to the filmmakers, despite the grave risks, that they are enslaved. Sweet Crude, directed by Sandy Cioffi. This film examines the politics, the people and the spin surrounding the policies regarding oil in the Nigerian Delta, one of the most oil rich regions on Earth. Shorts include:Charity, directed by Lansana Mansaray. The film explores delicate family dynamics in desperate times, as a reflection of the mixed blessing of the massive amount of international support and assistance Sierra Leone received during the UN peacekeeping mission. Killer Necklace, directed by Judy Kibinge. A young man from a sprawling Nairobi ghetto, trying to stay away from the enticements of crime, longs to buy his girlfriend the gold necklace that she covets.Documentary Shorts include:A Day Without Mines, directed by Adisa. In Sierra Leone, the filmmakers embark on a journey to excavate the children from the diamond mines by hosting an all day soccer tournament. The Little Princess and the Sand School, directed by Stéphanie Gillard. In Mali, Tuaregs try to keep their traditional way of life as nomadic shepherds and at the same time to participate actively in contemporary social changes, so school has become a matter of survival.Panels and workshops include: A Directors RoundtableIt’s Legal…So Write, Right?Breaking Into Reality TVHiring Film Composers: Avoiding 7 Common Costly MistakesActing on the Web: Testimonies from the Frontlines of the Online RevolutionCreating for the Web: New Visions for a New FrontierPromoting Your Independently Produced Film…The Right WayOne of PAFF’s most popular special programs is the StudentFest, which provides free arts education for over 10,000 students from the Los Angeles Unified School District and throughout Los Angeles County. Students view age appropriate specially programmed films and have discussions with film and community professionals in the morning and in the afternoon tour the fine arts market where they interact with the artists.
The PAFF also includes a Children’s Fest, which entertains over 1,000 children, ages 4-12, and their parents with Free film screenings, storytelling, refreshments and interactive activities. Among the films shown is The Princess and the Frog. The Fine Art Show features over 100 fine artists and craftspeople from around The world showcasing The best in Black fine art, sculpture, photography, unique handmade crafts, home furnishings, designer jewelry, designer fashions and accessories that highlight The artistry and beauty of the African aesthetic.For more information, visit www.paff.org. Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF)February 10-17, 2010Culver Plaza Theatres9919 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CAFine Arts ShowFebruary 12-15, 2010Westfield Culver Plaza, 6000 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA
The Berlin International Film Festival, running February 11 to 21, hits the big Six-O this year. Set in the capital of Germany, the "Berlinale," as it's popularly dubbed, holds an exalted place in the pantheon of film festivals. Not only is it known as a hotbed of quality work, but, with nearly 500,000 annual admissions, it's also said to be the largest publicly-attended cinema showcase.
Also from the legal and moral murk comes Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's Howl, with actor James Franco as beat poet Allen Ginsberg during the 1957 obscenity trial involving his publisher. Other US contenders for first prize include Noah Baumbach's Greenberg, starring Ben Stiller in an adult coming-of-age tale set in Manhattan. Playing out of competition is a Cold War-era thriller from Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island. Dennis Lehane's novel provides the brief for a U.S. marshal (Leonardo DiCaprio), who probes a psychiatric prisoner's sudden disappearance. From the UK, there's The Killer Inside of Me, about a Texan deputy sheriff who turns out to be a homicidal maniac. (Perhaps it's just a coincidence that the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM] was published on the eve of the Festival.) The thriller by 1995 Golden Bear nominee Michael Winterbottom stars Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Bill Pullman and Jessica Alba. Hollywood won't be the only star system to twinkle in Berlin. Bollywood nova Shah Rukh Khan is expected to dazzle his Berlinale fans with My Name Is Khan, about an Indian Muslim facing down prejudice in post 9/11 America. (It opens in the U.S. February 12.) Shahada echoes similar themes in its portrait of young Muslims living and struggling in Berlin. Europe is represented by Mammuth, with Gerard Depardieu as the lead, and Thomas Vinterberg's newest work, Submarino. In addition to Apart Together, Chinese productions gracing the Festival include A Woman, A Gun and A Noodle Shop, from Golden Bear-winning director Zhang Yimou, and the latest Jackie Chan kung-fu comedy. As ever, the Berlinale will screen classic works from the archives. This year, audiences will see a restored version of Fritz Lang's original 1927 silent film, Metropolis, thanks to the 2008 discovery of a negative containing scenes that had been long been considered lost. The Festival, which runs through February 21, will woo young viewers with "Generation," one of three out-of-competition events. Presented in collaboration with the Berlinale Talent Campus, the slate spans Ghanian/Kenyan director Hawa Essuman's Soul Boy; Helmut Dziuba's Sabine Kleist, 7 Jahre; and a cleaned up version of the documentary Nuremberg: Its Lesson For Today. Themes of "family and reunions" undergird many of this year's films, explained Festival director Dieter Kosslick. Right on time for the new DSM.... For more info and a complete schedule: http://www.berlinale.de/en/HomePage.htm
Berlin International Film FestivalFeb. 11 - 21 2010Potsdamer Straße 510785 BerlinGermanyphone +49 · 30 · 259 20 · 0fax +49 · 30 · 259 20 · 299
The 35th Annual Boston Science Fiction Film Festival is being held February 5-15, 2010 at the Somerville Theatre, located at 55 Davis Square, Somerville, Massachusetts (adjacent to Boston). This year, the Festival expands to 10 days with over 70 films submitted from all over the world. The venerable genre fest will highlight a new feature or shorts program every night, culminating in the traditional non-stop 24 hour marathon starting noon on February 14.The 'Thon, as it affectionately came to be called, is something special. It began as a 24-hour film marathon when, in 1976, the now-defunct Orson Welles Cinemas held a 24-hour science-fiction retrospective. SF1 started at noon on the Sunday of Presidents Day weekend and ended at noon the following day. Every year since then, 'Thon has bloomed in winter to bring a community of SF lovers together, sharing one room for 24 straight hours of classics, premieres, cartoon, schlockers and everything in-between.
This year's highlights:The opening-night film is Sleep Dealer, an award-winner out of Mexico directed by Alex Rivera. In this visually stunning film, water is used for blackmail, security has reached new dimensions, and "sleep dealers" work in factories.One of the New England premieres is Mutant Swinger from Mars, directed by Michael Kallio. Here, Martians come to Earth and force a mad scientist to create a "chick magnet." This lovingly rendered sci-fi spoof parodies films like Young Frankenstein, The Ape Man and The Nutty Professor, with equal measures of Ed Wood and William Castle thrown in.Making its world premiere is Caller ID, directed by Eric Zimmerman, a psychological sci-fi thriller based on real voicemail messages received from a disturbed woman. A group of graduate students study advanced techniques in psychopathology while their professor leads them through a series of bizarre experiments and perverse sexual research involving mind control. Each student must explore the caller's hidden psyche — as well as their own id. It stars James Duval (Donnie Darko, Independence Day), Nathan Bexton (Go, Nowhere) and Peter Greene (Pulp Fiction, The Mask). A Q&A follows with the director and Bexton. Another world premiere is Luopolis, directed by Matthew Avant. A conspiracy radio show caller claims that people from the future live on the moon and control our every action. Filmmakers Matt and Sonny chase the story deep into Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin, where an ominous underground compound raises more questions than answers. A Q&A with the director follows. The Shorts Program has three tracks:Little Space OdditiesExtra-Terrestrial ExtravaganzaPlanetary ParanoiaThis year's selections for The 'Thon are:Lathe of HeavenDistrict 9MoonThe ThingGodzilla Vs. MothraNight of the Creeps9The Day the Sky ExplodedNight of the CometColossus: The Forbin ProjectThe Giant Gila MonsterRabidOf all the ways to be cooped up during a cold winter, this Festival has to be one of the best. For more information, visit www.bostonsci-fi.com. Boston Science Fiction Film Festival ('THON) February 5-15, 2010 Somerville Theatre 55 Davis Square Somerville, MA
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