IFF Panama: Panamanian Filmmakers Set Sights on International Market

PANAMA CITY — Prior to the launch of IFF Panama in 2012, Panama’s film production was virtually non-existent. With the aid of the festival, the national film fund, and impetus created by an influx of foreign shoots, local productions have secured an increasingly important role at the domestic box office. Several projects now enjoy multi-territory […]

Variety

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Lionsgate to Develop Thriller ‘Run’ From ‘Searching’ Filmmakers (EXCLUSIVE)

After a highly competitive bid, Lionsgate has acquired the original screenplay “Run” by the writing team of Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian and placed the project on fast-track development. The studio plans to shoot “Run” in the fall. The story centers on a homeschooled teenager who begins to suspect her mother is keeping a dark […]

Variety

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Jeremy Renner Encourages Global Filmmakers at IFFAM Project Pitch

Oscar-, Golden Globe, and BAFTA-nominated Hollywood star Jeremy Renner was the surprise guest at the project market during the ongoing International Film Festival & Awards Macao. Some 14 projects were pitched to international industry practitioners. The eclectic pitches were from Macau, Portugal, South Korea, Australia, U.S., Japan, Malaysia, France, Indonesia, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, U.K., […]

Variety

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Language and Censorship Stir Singapore Filmmakers

The title of the panel discussion at the Singapore International Film Festival on Saturday was innocuous enough – Singapore cinema: Then and Now – but the filmmaker panelists chose to speak about subjects close to their hearts, especially the use of the Hokkien dialect of the Chinese language and censorship. The panelists included Ghazi Alqudcy, […]

Variety

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Kenzo Taps Three Young Filmmakers for Season Zero Campaign

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Kenzo’s Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are known for their experimental approach to campaign films.
This season, for the launch of their Kenzo Season Zero collection, the design duo embarked on an adventure with three young filmmakers – Mati Diop, Baptist Penetticobra and Eduardo Williams – whose work they felt encapsulates the theme of the season: “a singular relationship with the world.” Their brief: “How do we inhabit Earth today in 2017?”
Described in a press release from the house as “mixed, expatriated, nomads,” Williams hails from Argentina, Diop is French and Penetticobra is French but L.A.-based.
Williams’ work, “Tzzd,” follows the dream of an elf who nods off in the metro in Buenos Aires, winding through three countries and two continents and moving from cool to warm colors, with locations ranging from a Buenos Aires fruit and vegetable shop to a dark cave.
Diop’s film, “Olympus,” captures her brother, model Gard Diop, bicycling through Paris in moonlight, and Penetticobra’s “Untitled (Juice),” presented in a vertical format, stars Karmesha Clark playing a modern-day, black Mona Lisa rapping about orange juice.
The films can be viewed on international streaming platform lecinemaclub.com, ending Nov. 9.
Showcasing both emerging and established filmmakers, the platform, which presents

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These 4 Filmmakers Are Shattering Their Industry’s Gender Barriers

From Patricia Arquette’s Oscars acceptance speech to Jennifer Lawrence’s viral essay, award-winning actresses have, in recent years, boldly called for an end to the film industry’s pay gap between them and their male co-stars ― one of several  indicators of the film industry’s longstanding gender inequality problem. The gender gap is even wider behind the scenes. Of the 250 top-grossing domestic films of 2015, just 19 percent of all directors, writers, producers, editors and cinematographers were women, according to the annual Celluloid Ceiling report by San Diego State University’s Center For the Study Of Women In Television and Film.

While actresses are doing important work bringing broader cultural attention to the pay gap, fixing the film industry’s gender disparity will be powered as much by those calling the shots behind the cameras. Another San Diego State study found that films with women in producer or director roles had a significantly higher overall percentage of women working on-set than did films with exclusively male directors.

As the movie industry ramps up for what will be a heavily scrutinized award season, we partnered with Georg Jensen to celebrate the filmmakers, working in and out of Hollywood, who are daring to rewrite the script. Refusing to accept that moviemaking is a man’s domain, these four filmmakers are paving the way for the next generation of diverse artists.

1. The Hollywood Heavyweight

Kathryn Bigelow has long been setting industry benchmarks with hard-hitting films like “Zero Dark Thirty.” The first and only woman to date to win the Academy Award for Best Director — in 2010 for “Hurt Locker” — Bigelow’s films dare to go dark on subjects that have made some viewers uncomfortable. Her unsentimental, detached style has taken the narrative of action movies — especially those about war and terrorism — in an entirely new direction.

As the best-known female director in the industry, Bigelow has been a vocal advocate for changing the discrimination women face in Hollywood. Following the ACLU’s 2015 investigation into the Celluloid Ceiling report findings, Bigelow released a statement to TIME magazine, which has previously included her on its most 100 Powerful People list. “Gender discrimination stigmatizes our entire industry,” she said. “Change is essential. Gender-neutral hiring is essential.” Bigelow hopes to see films judged on their merit, and not on the gender of their creators.

2. The Up-And-Comer

Danish filmmaker Laerke Herthoni began her career in a way all too relatable to women in male-dominated fields: by working long hours as a production assistant, watching in frustration as her male colleagues were given opportunities to climb the career ladder. “Working in an industry where you constantly hear that it’s never going to happen for you because you are female made me realize I had to do it by myself,” Herthoni told The Huffington Post.  

So Herthoni set out to write and direct her first film outside of her full-time job. Upon the film’s release, Herthoni’s boss told her she was too opinionated and outspoken, and fired her. But rather than treat the job loss as a setback, it freed Herthoni to launch her own career directing award-winning commercials. With an atmospheric narrative style that brings a refreshing lens to subjects as mundane as insurance, Herthoni hopes to expand her career internationally and into feature films.

3. The Veteran Visionary

Had it not been for the groundbreaking work of Danish-born filmmaker Susanne Bier over the last three decades, up-and-comers like Laerke Herthoni wouldn’t have a benchmark for success. Bier achieved international success with feature films such as “Open Hearts,” “Brothers” and “After the Wedding.” Catastrophe and family dysfunction may be Bier’s favorite subjects, but she handles them with a deft touch that has won the attention of critics and a slew of awards, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

With so many successful movies to her name, Bier has built the kind of career that any director would envy. Her recent BBC and AMC spy miniseries, “The Night Manager,” further proves her versatility as one of the world’s best directors working today. Bier has used her notable career success as a platform to advocate for greater gender equality in the film industry as a whole. In an interview earlier this year with BBC’s HARDtalk, Bier called out the sexism pervading the movie industry as limiting the talent pool. “If film continues to not reflect the diversity of society, movies as an art form will die out,” she warned.

4. The Trailblazer

Director Ava DuVernay has never shied away from embracing diversity. Refusing to let her career success be limited by systemic disparities that are even wider for directors of color, DuVernay has used her experiences as a black woman to shape the style and subject matter of her films. She won the coveted Best Directing award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 for her second feature, “Middle of Nowhere,” which explored oft overlooked themes of the black American experience.

In the years since, DuVernay’s career has reached even greater heights with the critically acclaimed feature “Selma” and the documentary “13th,” which shed new light on historical movements that have affected millions of Americans. And while others have taken issue with being defined as a woman filmmaker, or a black filmmaker, DuVernay embraces both. In an interview with AOL MAKERS last year, DuVernay highlighted the power of her outsider identity. “That is my gaze,” she said. “I’m proud of it. I don’t feel like it’s any less or limiting. I’m a black woman filmmaker and my films are just as valid as the white man filmmaker and whoever else.”

DuVernay advocates for more women to break into the film industry, citing greater opportunities through new ways to monetize and distribute films and to communicate with audiences. From directing a new show on the Oprah Winfrey Network to Disney’s upcoming production ofA Wrinkle In Time,” DuVernay is inspiring other filmmakers to relentlessly follow their vision — and not wait for permission.

5. The Change Artists

Laerke Herthoni, Susanne Bier and Ava DuVernay have all blazed their own impressive paths to success. And they have also helped to usher in an era of promise for female filmmakers.

Building on their momentum, the nonprofit We Do It Together launched earlier this year to help other women break through obstacles in the film industry. With industry heavyweights including Queen Latifah, Oprah Winfrey and Catherine Hardwicke on its advisory board, We Do It Together aims to fund and produce films dedicated to women’s empowerment. The organization’s first feature film — starring Robin Wright, Freida Pinto and Juliette Binoche and aptly named “Together Now” — is currently in production.

Women in the arts are creating powerful stories, helping other women and making strides to change the status quo. Through their films and their activism, we all benefit. Georg Jensen celebrates strong women everywhere who are charting bold new territory, like the five women at the top of their fields who are featured in the short video below. Directed by Laerke Herthoni and celebrating the work of visionaries like Susanne Bier, Georg Jensen celebrates women everywhere who are proving that “you can never be too much you.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Remembering Towering Filmmakers Fuller and Truffaut

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Francois Truffaut (left) and Samuel Fuller (right). Photo courtesy of Samantha Fuller.

It’s timely that A Fuller Life — a documentary celebrating Samuel Fuller’s career — opens Friday at the Laemmle Noho 7 in Los Angeles, and that the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris has just mounted a massive retrospective of Francois Truffaut’s work. The internationally revered French filmmaker died thirty years ago on October 21 — at the age of 52 — while the 17th anniversary of Fuller’s passing (at 85) is October 30.

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The two directors — who often expressed mutual admiration — were fiercely independent, making movies that were often deeply personal. Truffaut wrote in 1960 — just after directing his first feature, The 400 Blows — “I always come away from Samuel Fuller films both admiring and jealous.” And when I was Truffaut’s translator for a 1979 American Film Institute retrospective of his work, Fuller was one of the American directors about whom I heard him speak reverentially.


Francois Truffaut and Annette Insdorf at an AFI master seminar

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Truffaut in The Wild Child with Jean-Pierre Cargol (Photo: Pierre Zucca)

Samantha Fuller’s film works not only as a valentine from a daughter to her filmmaker-father, but an absorbing and illuminating piece of film history. Samuel Fuller had quite a life, which he chronicled in his autobiography, A Third Face. He didn’t simply direct such classics as Shock Corridor, Pickup on South Street and Forty Guns; he was a newspaperman, soldier, liberator, screenwriter, and — late in life — husband to the actress Christa Lang, and then a father (at age 63). The irascible director’s words are spoken by twelve actors and filmmakers, as well as illustrated by clips from his feature films, home movies, and archival footage.

In Fuller’s evocative studio office, the “readers” provide glimpses of a life lived with gusto: James Franco about being a young NYC (Park Row) newsboy; Jennifer Beals recreating his time as a crime reporter; Bill Duke about freelancing during the Depression as well as the San Francisco strike of 1934; James Toback recalling that Fuller heard about Pearl Harbor on a car radio and immediately enlisted.

Given how Fuller’s World War II experiences shaped his future work — from The Steel Helmet (1951) to his masterpiece The Big Red One (1980)–the film offers numerous presenters of this seminal period. Wim Wenders — who cast Fuller in The State of Things (1982) — reads a wonderful story about Marlene Dietrich. (The cigar in the German director’s mouth echoes the one that seemed to be attached to Fuller’s mouth.) They met when she performed for the USO, and Fuller asked her to give their mutual agent a message.

Fuller was part of the charge into North Africa in November of 1942, not to mention D-Day. Filmmaker Monte Hellman gives voice to Fuller’s liberation of the Falkenau concentration camp (and we see in the studio the Bell & Howell camera with which he filmed the crematoria).

A maverick whose work was better appreciated in Europe than the U.S., Fuller was always struggling with authority. Screenwriter Buck Henry recalls how he fought with J. Edgar Hoover, while director William Friedkin invokes Fuller’s White Dog: it was meant to be a humanizing drama about racial tensions, but Paramount — fearing violence — shelved the film.

An astute viewer of White Dog can glimpse Truffaut’s oblique presence: when Kristy McNicol’s character visits a black girlfriend — who has been hurt by a dog trained to attack African-Americans — one can glimpse the famous book of interviews that Truffaut conducted with Hitchcock.

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Fuller in Paris. Photo courtesy of Samantha Fuller.

Truffaut was not the only French New Wave director who revered Fuller. Jean-Luc Godard gave him a cameo (un-credited) in Pierrot le fou (1965) that is often quoted: “Film is a battleground,” Fuller said on camera. “Love, hate, violence, action, death… In a word, emotion.” (Godard’s latest motion picture, Goodbye to Language 3D, opens next Wednesday.)

Truffaut was closer than Godard to the kind of narrative filmmaking in which Fuller excelled, namely stories about compelling individuals. Although his movies — including Jules and Jim, the Oscar-winning Day for Night, and The Last Metro — conveyed emotion more subtly or obliquely than Fuller, they seem inspired by his assessment of the American master: “As I watched Verboten, I realized all that I still have to learn to dominate a film perfectly, to give it rhythm and style, to bring out the beauty in each scene without taking refuge in extrinsic effects, to bring out the poetry as simply as possible without ever forcing it.”

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Annette Insdorf, the author of Francois Truffaut, is currently writing a book on the films of Wojciech Has.
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2014 Foreign Language Film Symposium Honors International Filmmakers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Golden Globe Awards are put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — a group of journalists who cover movies for international publications — so it’s fitting to pay special tribute to international filmmakers.

The HFPA did that Saturday at its 11th annual Foreign Language Film Symposium, which drew the directors of four of the five foreign-language films nominated at Sunday’s Golden Globes. Abdellatif Kechiche of France (“Blue is the Warmest Color”), Thomas Vinterberg of Denmark (“The Hunt”), Paolo Sorrentino of Italy (“The Great Beauty”) and Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi of Iran (“The Past”) discussed their work with each other and an audience of fans at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre.

Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, whose film “The Wind Rises” is also up for a Globe, wasn’t able to attend.

Apart from Vinterberg, who also works in English, each director was accompanied by an interpreter. All said that despite working in disparate languages, film transcends any such obstacles.

“Film is beyond all spoken language,” Vinterberg said. “The more local I get in my writing, the farther my film reaches.”

His nominated film, “The Hunt,” stars Mads Mikkelsen as a lonely teacher whose life is upended by an innocent lie.

“Blue is the Warmest Color” is a coming-of-age love story. “The Great Beauty” explores the indulgence of lavish nightlife. “The Past” deals with family relationships. “The Wind Rises” is about a dreamer who designed fighter planes in World War II.

Trailers for all five films up for the Golden Globe for best foreign-language film were shown at the symposium, where filmmakers also took questions from fans. The winner will be announced Sunday at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards.

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AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen will be tweeting from the Golden Globe Awards at www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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Online:

www.goldenglobes.com

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