Dancing Arabs (2014)
Eyad,a boy from an Arab village has the opportunity to attend a prestigious boarding school in Jerusalem. Eyad tries hard to fit in with the Jewish-Israeli culture of the late 1980s. He develops a close...
James Garner
Rockford Files star, dies aged 86

James Garner, for more than 50 years one of Hollywood's most likable leading men on the big screen and on TV,...
Shadow People • Interview
Shadow People tells the story of people who are on the margins of our society, people who are in the shadows that you cannot see! I wanted to shed light on these people...
Pulp Farsi (2013)
The Bizarre Reality of a Nation

If there was one country, where the word dichotomy had to be used, it would be Iran. Paradoxically religion is...
Kim Ki-Duk film to open Venice Days
Now on his twentieth film South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk has chosen Venice Days for the international debut of his latest effort, “One on One”...
Mood Indigo (2014)
The sets of “Mood Indigo” are breathtaking, one is overwhelmed with images, ideas, words and a fear of blinking lest we miss a single visual spark of this colored visual poem...
7th Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco
Save the Dates for the 7th Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco, a showcase for the independent feature and short films made by or about Iranians from...
Her (2013)
Eternal Love to an Unseen Soul Mate

A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly-purchased operating system that’s designed to...
In Order of Disappearance
A rip-roaring revenge tale

“To be able to laugh about morbid things, the absurd moments in life, can be liberating”. A father becomes a killer on a quest to find the truth behind his son's death....
The Terminal (2004)
Viktor Navorski is a visitor to New York from Eastern Europe. His homeland erupts in a fiery coup, while he is in the air en route to America. Stranded at Kennedy Airport with a passport from nowhere...
Blue Jasmine
Perhaps Woody Allen's Cruelest-Ever Film

Anxiety, nightmares and a nervous breakdown, there's only so many traumas a person can withstand until they take...
When Animals Dream
the wolf and the lamb

An initiation story on the transformation of a normal girl who discovers she is a werewolf as she transitions from adolescence into adulthood...
Niki Karimi and Amos Gitai
to Chair Edinburgh juries

Iranian actress and filmmaker Niki Karimi will head the panel of jury for the Best International Feature Film Competition in the upcoming Edinburgh International...
Gilles Jacob
Honored at Cannes

Mr. Jacob is widely credited with not allowing commercial pressures to weigh too heavily on the films selected for competition...
Awards Winners
CANNES 2014

The Palme d’or was awarded to Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Winter Sleep. It was presented to him by the American actress Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino...
Leila Hatami
CANNES INTERVIEW

Discovered in Asghar Farhadi's film A Separation in 2011, Leila Hatami is one of the nine members of the Jury for this edition of the Festival de Cannes...
Abbas Kiarostami
CANNES INTERVIEW

Poet, painter, photographer... At the age of 73, Abbas Kiarostami is a director whose talent is not only expressed on screen, although it is through his films...
Cannes 2014
Ken Loach's Jimmy’s Hall

A provocative portrait of Ireland in the thirties. Ken Loach turns once again to the portrayal of a powerful and uncompro- mising character. Perhaps one of...
CANNES CLASSICS
óóA Legendary Marriage

The stupendous Italian actress, Sophia Loren, is the guest of honour at the Festival de Cannes, which has scheduled the screening of a restored version of...
SPECIAL SCREENING • Cannes 2014
This year, Cannes welcomes Mexican actor Gael García Bernal in two capacities. He will sit on the Feature Film Jury and he will also be on screen, in The Ardor...
The Physician
Philipp Stoelzl's epic film

The adaptation of Noah Gordon's best selling book about a British boy who travels to the medieval East to learn about medicine. The look and feel of the film...
WINTER SLEEP
Our favorite at Cannes

“Winter sleep” is the story of a retired actor-turned-hotelier Aydin who runs a B&B in Anatolia with his sister and his wife, and coming to terms with the fact that...
Marriage Italian Style
Cannes Classics 2014

Marcello Mastroianni co-stars as the irrepressibly carnal businessman Domenico, who discovers Loren's Filumena as a young prostitute and keeps her as...
Tatiana Samoilova
Dies at 80

Soviet Film Star Tatiana Samoilova Dies at 80. The actress best known for her performances in Anna Karenina (1967).., was celebrating her 80th birthday...
My Sweet Pepperland
Make laugh, not war

Director Hiner Saleem’s most successful attempt to depict the new Kurdistan with humor and imagination. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard...
Istanbul Film Festival
Turkish Delights?

There’s so much more to the Istanbul Film Festival than its line-up or curation. “That’s where the protests took place. I was wounded by three plastic bullets ..”
Iranian Film Festival
San Francisco

2014 Call for Entries is Open now! San Francisco – Iranian Film Festival, a showcase for the independent feature and short films made by or about Iranians...
ILO ILO (2013)
Winner of the Camera d’Or for best debut feature at Cannes 2013, Anthony Chen’s film is set in Singapore, 1997, during a financial crisis in Asia which saw both unemployment and suicide rates rise...
RUN & JUMP (2013)
Steph Green’s debut has been lauded on the international festival circuit, and was celebrated as the Best Irish Feature at the Galway Film Fleadh last year. An American doctor travels to Ireland to study the...
In Bloom (2013)
Tbilisi, 1992: the Soviet Union has collapsed and the newly independent Georgian state is in turmoil, with food shortages, desperate poverty, rumours of war and vigilantes on the streets...
Audrey Hepburn
As actress and woman

Hepburn as actress and woman seemed an emissary from a finer world than ours. While she is still remembered as a film actor, she also remains a symbol of both...
Sundance Institute
Short Film Challenge

Celebrate progress in the fight against global poverty with storytellers from around the world. Over the last 20 years, global poverty has been cut in half...
The Jury
The 67th Festival de Cannes

The New Zealand director, Jane Campion, winner of the Palme d’or for The Piano, will be the President of the Jury of the 67th Festival de Cannes...
REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG
an intimate study of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century. Endlessly curious and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of...
Cannes 2014
Official Competition Lineup

Cannes has announced the lineup for the Official Competition and Un Certain Regard section, as well as special screenings, for the 67th edition of the festival...
The Serious Game
Pernilla August and Lone Scherfig team up for a new take on The Serious Game. They have joined forces for the third screen adaption of Swedish author Hjalmar Söderberg’s 1912 novel...
Grace of Monaco (2014)
to open the 67th Festival de Cannes

French director Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco is to open the next Festival de Cannes. The world preview will take...
Half of a Yellow Sun (2013)
Based on the Orange prize-winning novel of the same name, Bandele’s adaptation insightfully portrays the Nigerian civil war by exploring its abiding impact on his characters’ lives...
The Lunchbox (2013)
Middle class housewife Ila is trying once again to add some spice to her marriage, this time through her cooking. She desperately hopes that this new recipe will finally arouse some kind of reaction...
Fribourg special focus on Iranian cinema
In Iran, cinema is a weapon of resistance. Iranian cinema is fascinating due to its courageous confrontation with the pain of history by means of a...
Stratos (2014)
The best of european cinema

By night, Stratos works in a bread factory but by day, he’s a professional hit man. He needs the cash to free Leonidas from...
The Butterfly’s Dream
Two poets who have the constant habit of making bets on things that they do not own, make a bet on a beautiful girl. They will both write a poem for her and whichever Suzan likes, the other will...
Frank Pavich • Interview
director of Jodorowsky's Dune

In 1975, Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose films launched and ultimately defined the midnight movie...
Shirin in Love
New Iranian-American Romantic Comedy. “Shirin in Love,” takes the viewer on a ride through one woman’s journey of self-discovery, not just to find who she is as a person, but to find her place in...
Last Flight to Abuja
'The straight-to-video industry gave Nigeria the dubious honor of becoming the second largest in the world just on quantity. We want quality and that’s happening, but it comes at a price'...
Ukraine
The Occupied Soul

If there was ever a film that might metaphorically express the current political situation on the ground in Ukraine, Loznitsa’s narrative feature debut...
Brother Number One
Through Olympian New Zealander Rob Hamill’s story of his brother’s death at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, Brother Number One explores how the regime and its followers killed...
Wes Anderson
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

A tale from a revered novel that does not exist, inspired by the works of Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, an account of...
ERROL MORRIS
THE UNKNOWN KNOWN

There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But...
Willem Dafoe To Star in Abel Ferrara's Pasolini Biopic
Willem Dafoe definitely has the chops to take on the enfant terrible of cinema, a visionary of extreme passion whose addiction to controversy...
The Secret Flight (2014)
In 1995 two men set out on a mission: to drop four tons of weapons from a plane over West Bengal in India. But they have very different agendas. Niels Holck is the idealist; a political activist wanting to...
A Thousand Pieces (2014)
A legendary singer-songwriter portrayed 15 years after his death. The story of a man full of contradictions: a singer of protest songs but also of sentimental ballads. A political activist...
The first Iranian VAMPIRE film
Ana Lily Amirpour’s imaginary vision of an Iranian underworld, shot in Los Angelesis, is one where trees look like atomic mushroom clouds, pimps and hookers...
NOSTALGHIA
Posits irreconcilable worlds as a Russian leaves the USSR behind. In this crisis-ridden age, few filmmakers redeem the art of cinema as a moral force with the persistent invention and resolute vision...
The Island - Ostrov (2006)
This stunningly photographed parable of guilt, redemption and divine healing, shot on a tiny snow-covered isle in the White Sea, centers on a religious man striving to atone for the sin he committed thirty...
El Greco (2007)
An epic tale of an uncompromising artist and fighter for freedom, Domenicos Theotokopoulos, known to the world as «El Greco». Set in the 16th century, El Grecos search for freedom, and love...
Tell Me of the Seas (2014)
A tale of two mothers and daughters, one imaginary, the other real sharing a cell in prison. Azar is a young mother incarcerated with her young daughter Nina in Evin prison...
Lean and The Revolution
In 1963, Lean Waage Beck, a young blonde danish hairdresser in the United States meets two Iranian brothers, she marries one of them, the other becomes foreign minister in Khomeini's...
Abbas Kiarostami on the jury for short films and Cinéfondation
The Iranian filmmaker will be joined by Noémie Lvovsky, Daniela Thomas, Mahamat Saleh-Haroun and Joachim...
Kamran Shirdel
makes first US visit

Kamran Shirdel's films have been censored, banned and celebrated for documenting hidden parts of Iranian society — the plight of Tehran's...
First Danish Oscar
The Oscar for Best Short Film went to Denmark’s Helium. The film tells the story of a young boy Alfred that is dying, but through the stories about HELIUM – a magical fantasy world...
American Hustle (2013)
American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld, who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser is forced to work for a wild FBI agent...
Uncle Vanya (1970)
A 1970 film adaptation of the Anton Chekhov play of the same title. A retired professor has returned to his estate to live with his beautiful young wife, Yelena. The estate originally belonged to his...
Oscars 2014:
12 Years a Slave wins best film

Italy's The Great Beauty wins Foreign Language Film ; Gravity soars with 7 Oscars, but 12 Years a Slave wins best film...
Earth (1998)
A film by Deepa Mehta

The second part of a trilogy, the story is set in 1947 in Lahore, where Hindu, Sikh, Parsee, and Muslim share a peaceful co-existence. Events are seen from...
12 Years a Slave
'A game changer for black directors'

Oscar academy's first black president says movie could help loosen white dominance....
Nick Fraser: don't give an Oscar to this 'snuff movie'
'The Act of Killing' won the documentary prize at the Baftas last week and is the favourite to win the much-coveted Oscar. "A snuff film? Seriously?!"...
Venice Cinema in Beirut
organised by the Venice Biennale – presided over by Paolo Baratta, together with the Italian Culture Institute in Lebanon – kicked off today and will run through Tuesday, February 25...
KIDS FOR CA$H
3,000 kids. One judge

Under his reign, over 3,000 children were ripped from their families and imprisoned for years for crimes as petty as creating a fake MySpace page...
Go Back To Where You Came From
“I need to touch your heart … if we do not touch your heart, you do not see us. We are not animals. It is a problem for the world. It is a problem..”...
Animating Noam Chomsky
Learning comes from asking: why do things work like that? Why not some other way? The world's a very puzzling place. If you're not willing to be puzzled you just become a replica of someone else's mind...
12 YEARS A SLAVE
tops the BAFTAs

12 Years a Slave has won two BAFTA awards, including the big one, but Gravity‘s come on strong, taking six. Presented by the British Academy of...
Berlinale 2014
Prizes of the International Jury

The members of the 2014 International Jury, James Schamus (President), Barbara Broccoli, Trine Dyrholm, Mitra Farahani, Greta Gerwig, Michel Gondry and...
Old guard v new blood
at Iran’s Fajr film festival

‘Fajr isn’t about discovering new talent, but showcasing the old. That’s how organizers have always sold tickets and gathered crowds’...
Berlinale 2014
'71, review

Director Yann Demange's film debut is a blindingly strong feature that takes a bold sensory plunge into the Troubles. A young and disoriented British soldier is...
'Nymphomaniac' In Berlin
Lars von Trier Shows Up With 'Persona Non Grata' T-Shirt; LaBeouf Abruptly Exits Press Conference. Lars von Trier and his extended cut of the first volume of "Nymphomaniac" arrived at the Berlin...
Berlinale 2014
3rd Spotlights

Berlinale, Saturday Feb 08, 2014. A medley of impressions of the third Festival day. Go for live images of the festival, and all the buzz surrounding the Red Carpet...
Berlinale 2014
“I’m Not Angry!”

This film is an experience at close quarters of the powerlessness of a lost generation who feels robbed of its birthright, and whose protests come to nothing...
Berlinale 2014
Chilla (40 Days of Silence)

A trip into an unconscious and intimate female world; it is an attempt to portray broken identities and women who confront their own will to choose and decide...
Berlinale 2014
Press Conference Intl. Jury

The International Jury Press Conference during the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at the Grand Hyatt on February 6, 2014...
Annmarie Jacir
director of WHEN I SAW YOU

Jordan, 1967. The world is alive with change: brimming with reawakened energy, new styles, music and an infectious sense of hope...
Vinterberg's 'The Hunt'
won the most Bodil Awards

Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Cinematography. 'The Hunt' and 'Nymphomaniac' were both nominated six times, but it was...
Water (2005)
In 1938, Gandhi’s party is making inroads in women’s rights. Chuyia, a child already married but living with her parents, becomes a widow. By tradition, she is unceremoniously left at a bare...
Jehane Noujaim • An interview
Armed with nothing more than cameras, social media, videos posted to YouTube, and a resolute determination to liberate their nation, these revolutionaries give...
Pussy versus Putin
37th Göteborg FilmFest

In August, 2012, three members of the Russian art collective Pussy Riot, this year's GIFF poster artists, were sent to jail for hooliganism for performing their...
'Act of Killing' forces
government response

The Indonesian government has issued a response to The Act of Killing, the award-winning documentary about the large-scale massacres in the country...
Omar (2013)
The first fully-financed film to come out of the Palestinian cinema industry, Omar is the story of three childhood friends and a young woman who are torn apart in their fight for freedom...
Extensive Focus on Russia
The 37th International Film Festival in Göteborg turns its gaze eastward. The Russian film tradition is one of the world’s most famous and Russia is currently one of the most interesting countries for film...
A letter to the king
Hisham Zaman • Interview

“It’s difficult to tell sugar and salt apart when they are mixed”. The film shows us an Oslo unfamiliar to most, by people unknown to all. A group of characters...
Ida (2013)
The film tackles issues of identity, religion and dealing with a dark past. Ida is UK-based director Pawel Pawlikowski’s first film made in his native Poland. After taking top honours at the Gdynia Film Festival...
Like Nowhere (2012)
Dogme Art

"Like Nowhere" pays homage to those killed in the eighties and the victims of Iran's Green Movement: all the people who were killed in Evin and other prisons...
Authorities Close Cultural Events in Tehran
A large crowd of eager guests, some of whom had traveled long distances, were not allowed to attend a cultural event organized by Chelcheragh magazine...
Four Women Directors
Will Compete for 2014 Berlinale's Golden Bear

Iranian-Austrian Sudabeh Mortezai, Austrian Feo Aladag, Peruvian Claudia Llosa, and Argentine Celina Murga will...
Mitra Farahani To Serve On
Berlin Jury

With James Schamus serving as Jury President, Mitra Faharani is one among those who as the International Jury members will decide who will receive...
Trier and Vinterberg
lead Bodil nominations

BODIL AWARDS. Lars von Trier's "Nymphomaniac" and Denmark's choice for the Oscars, Thomas Vinterberg's "The Hunt", lead nominations for the Danish...
Three Danish films
receive Oscar nomination

OSCAR 2014. Three Danish films are selected to enter the final run for the Oscars on 2 March. "The Hunt",...
The Square - Al Midan (2013)
In February 2011, Egyptians, particularly young ones, showed the world the way people demanding change can drive an entire nation to transformation...
Macario (1960)
"Whenever you appear, there is no time for anything else." An insinuating tale of a poor peasant who meets Death in the forest one day and is presented by him with miraculous healing powers...
Leonardo DiCaprio
wins lead actor in a comedy

The American super-actor Leonardo DiCaprio won one of the film industry 's finest prices: A Golden Globe for his starring role in Martin Scorsese's Hit...
Top Prizes for
‘12 Years a Slave,’ and ‘American Hustle’

The 71st Golden Globes Sunday were a celebration of cruelty and corruption as “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle”
Facing Mirrors at SOAS Brunie
Facing Mirrors will be screened at SOAS Brunie, Monday, 13 Jan 2014. Iranian female director’s first feature film with a transgender protagonist...
Deadly blast
at Iran war film shoot

At least five people have been killed and several seriously hurt in Iran in an explosion at a filming location. The blast happened some 35km (21 miles) south...
All is Lost • A survival drama
All is Lost is a survival drama starring Robert Redford as a lone sailor adrift after his boat is damaged in a collision. A yachtsman is on a solo voyage in the...
LA BELLE ET LA BÊTE • Review
Almost 70 years on, the Jean Cocteau classic has lost none of its wonder and mystery. Jean Cocteau’s sublime telling of the 18th century fairy tale has been...
THE MISSING PICTURE • Cambodia's Oscar Entry
Awarded the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes 2013, The Missing Picture is an inventive, mesmerising film of depth and significance, documentary filmmaking...
MAN OF HOPE • Poland’s Oscar Entry
The New Europe has its beginnings in Gdansk! “Wałęsa. Man of Hope” is a story of a contemporary hero – Lech Wałęsa (Robert Więckiewicz). MAN OF HOPE is...
Halima’s Path • Croatia’s Oscar Entry
It would be a mistake to dismiss Halima’s Path as just another film about the war and its aftermath. Halima’s Path, Croatia’s Oscar Entry, directed by Arsen Anton...
Controversial ‘12 Years a Slave’ Poster
'Inappropriate' materials, which favored Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender over black star, to be withdrawn. The Italian distributor of “12 Years a Slave” has...
Hushpuppy • Review
You can make "Beasts of the Southern Wild" aka Hushpuppy into an allegory of anything you want. This film is a remarkable creation, imagining a self-reliant community without the...
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
"I partied like a rock star and lived like a king. Stock-market multimillionaire at 26, federal convict at 36." A chronicle of the ex-stockbroker’s rise and fall in the...
‘Shame on You!’
Says Academy Member to Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese knows that “The Wolf of Wall Street” is not for everyone, but he probably didn’t expect to be lambasted...
Lars von Trier’s
NYMPHOMANIAC

“Lars von Trier’s latest film, Nymphomaniac, which unfolds in two-parts across four hours in its current edit, is nothing less than the director’s...
BBC: Our World
Iran's Secret Army

Yalda Hakim investigates the clandestine role of Iran in Syria's civil war, providing a dramatic insight into Tehran's support for the Assad regime on the ground...
Peter O’Toole Dies;
‘Lawrence of Arabia’ Star Was 81

Irish-born stage and screen actor Peter O’Toole, who became an international star in the title role of David Lean’s Oscar-...
Poetry (2010)
A sixty-something woman, faced with a crippling medical diagnosis and the discovery of a heinous family crime, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class...
Walter Benjamin and The Act of Killing
Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing documents the efforts of a group of small-time gangsters in Indonesia to re-enact, through cinematic genres...
NEBRASKA • ALEXANDER PAYNE
Is Alexander Payne mocking his characters? That question often lingers in viewers' minds after watching a Payne film, and it will surely arise following his...
70% of Hollywood silent films lost forever
Most of the feature-length films made by Hollywood during the golden age of silent movies have been lost forever, according to a new study by the US Library of...
Sharon Stone honoured at Marrakech Filmfest
“I feel very excited about being honoured here,” said Stone. “I think it’s a beautiful country and it’s a great honour to be here and a great moment for me and my...
Popular Underground Musician Arrested
Iran’s Morality Police have arrested popular rapper Amir Tataloo whose songs have great appeal among Iranian audiences; he has 560,000 fans on his...
Rakhshan Banietemad at REDCAT screening
Iran's most celebrated female filmmaker, Rakhshsn Banietemad, screened two passionate and fascinating explorations of the impact of the recent electoral...
A Forrest Gump in Palermo
Pierfrancesco Diliberto’s cinema debut, known on television as Pif, combines grotesque comedy with socially engaged cinema. La mafia uccide solo d’estate, the first Italian film in competition in...
Helium on Oscar shortlist
"Helium" by Anders Walter is among the ten live action short films picked to enter the race for an Academy Award nomination. Last year his 17-minute 9 Meter was shortlisted, and now his...
Gone With The Wind
and slavery

Why most films of Hollywood's golden age chose to brush race issues under the carpet. what the motivation is for re-releasing Gone With The Wind just...
The Yellow Dogs • The dissident rockers
They made history in Tehran. The band, which once defied Iran's ban on rock music, fled their country in 2010. Two members were tragically killed in New York
Bloody Beans
wins at Cph:dox

Algerian film Bloody Beans has picked up the Dox:Award for best film at Copenhagen documentary festival Cph:dox. Radical, original and playful...
Acrid (Gass) • Rome Review
The scenes of middle-class life in Tehran, with its modern homes, cars and stores, are brought out well in cinematographer Majid Gorjiyan’s cool, clean shots in soft colors giving the film a pleasant...
UTOPIA • JOHN PILGER
Utopia is both a personal journey and a universal story of power and resistance in the media age. The new feature documentary from BAFTA and Emmy winning filmmaker and journalist...
'Downpour' Remastered!
The film has been restored with the support of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation. It was carried out by Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna in 2011. Funding provided by Doha Film...
CPH:DOX • Jason Osder
Let The Fire Burn

Reshaping American History With Jason Osder's 'Let the Fire Burn'. A sheer knockout of a film, which tells one of this year's most fiercely dramatic stories...
CPH:DOX • Ai Weiwei
Stay Home!

Ai Weiwei, alongside his career as one of the world's most influential artists, has also directed a number of documentaries which examine the social and political conditions in modern China...
"Manuscripts" Travels; Rasoulof Can't
Mohammad Rasoulof, whose film will be shown at the Stockholm International Film Festival, has had his passport confiscated and he is now being prohibited from...
Stockholm Filmfest 2013
The 2013 Stockholm International Film Festival takes place on 6-17 November. Ai Weiwei, who is not allowed to leave China, is represented in Sweden by a Ming Dynasty-style chair he made....
Hisham al-Zouki's Untold Stories
The Syrian 'Untold Stories' is not just highly relevant right now. Hisham al-Zouki's insider depiction of the Syrian people's battles over the last two years, where a budding people's revolution...
Welcome to CPH:DOX 2013!
The largest international documentary film festival in Scandinavia, Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX – which last year registered 51,800 admissions - will open tomorrow...
Backyard - El traspatio (2009)
Sometime in 1996, a terrifying phenomenon surfaced in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. In this now-infamous city, young women are regularly murdered...
After the Battle (2012)
Once a member of one of the notorious armed groups that were coerced by the Egyptian Government to carry out violent attacks on protestors in Tahrir Square...
Dialogue Of Cultures
International Film Festival

The world’s first film festival dedicated to the worldwide phenomenon of people in search of their identity in the era of mass migration and globalisation...
Top Chinese film-maker
calls country's censors 'ridiculous'

Prominent Chinese director Feng Xiaogang has spoken out against the restrictions imposed by the country's censorship...
A Survivor from Magadan
This is a true story of Dr. Ata Safavi. In 1947. at the age of 20, Safavi, a leftist activist in Iran was threatened by Shah's agents with exile to a remote town in south of Iran. Thus, he decided to...
Retrospective •
The Talented Mr. Ripley

Based on Patricia Highsmith's novel about Tom Ripley, a man who is irredeemably bad, and yet charming, intelligent and thoughtful about the price he pays for...
Iran actress
sentenced on 'security charges'

An Iranian court has sentenced filmmaker and actress Pegah Ahangarani to 18 months in prison, her mother told ISNA...
Into The Universe
With Stephen Hawking

Hawking gives us the ultimate guide to the universe, a ripping yarn based on real science, spanning the whole of space and time - from the nature of the universe...
Moebius
South Korea, 2013

Consumed with hatred against her husband for his long time infidelity, the wife wants to take revenge against him but ends up inflicting a fatal wound...
Kim Ki-duk's
Samaritan Girl (2004)

Two high school girls are raising money for a European trip through prostitution. Jae-Young meets older men on the Internet and charges them for sex...
No Fire Zone:
The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka

A chilling expose of some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity of recent time. No Fire Zone is the story of...
Kianoush Ayari’s
The Newborns (1979)

Released 2007 this documentary shows that after the expulsion of the Shah and the adoption of a religious constitution, there was a short period of freedom...
The Riahi Brothers'
Everyday Rebellion

A documentary about the power of the peaceful protests and the new forms of civil disobedience in a time of global upheavel....
The Real Life (2013)
A philosophical film work based on the French philosopher Simone Weil's thoughts, beautifully translated into grainy 16mm footage from modernism's absolute capital, Paris...
Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX
November 7-17

It is not about experience, background, resume or about knowing the right people. CPH:DOX is looking for a film with an original and well written idea...
LE WEEK-END (2013)
From Hanif Kureshi’s razor sharp script, Roger Michell has created a wonderful autumn years romantic comedy containing sparkling performances from its veteran cast...
The Pervert's Guide to Ideology • review
Culture critic Slavoj Žižek tackles one of cinema's great challenges – the sequel – with mixed results. The question of that problematic cinema genre...
Hannah Arendt (2012)
Hannah Arendt is a portrait of the genius that shook the world with her discovery of “the banality of evil.” After she attends the Nazi Adolf Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem, Arendt dares to write about...
Haifaa Al Mansour talks about Wadjda
This first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia is the story of a young girl determined to buy a bike in a society that sees bicycles as dangerous to a girl's...
THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY
The makers of The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema return with THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY. Philosopher Slavoj Zizek and filmmaker Sophie Fiennes use their...
Isabella Rossellini at Filmfest Hamburg
Actress Isabella Rossellini is to present the Montblanc Best Script Award at the closing event of the 21st Filmfest Hamburg on 5 October 2013 at the CinemaxX...
Filmfest Hamburg waited for Rasoulof
Filmfest Hamburg has learned, however, that Iranian authorities confiscated Rasoulof’s passport upon his arrival. So far, it has not been returned to him...
Iran Deluxe at Filmfest Hamburg
There is a long tradition of Iranian cinema at Filmfest Hamburg. Many important Iranian filmmakers just like Panahi, Kiarostami, Farhadi, Rasoulof and Majidi...
The Runner • Hamburg Film Festival
Amiro, a 13-year old war orphan, is fighting for survival in an Iranian port. He searches scrapyards for things to sell, collects empty bottles and sells iced...
Manuscripts Don't Burn
Sex, Drugs & Taxation • Hamburg Film Festival
They were the most spectacular thing Denmark had to offer in the 1960s: two notorious drop-out provocateurs, a radical libertarian and a hedonist capitalist...
Manuscripts Don't Burn • Hamburg Film Festival
Teheran: Morteza and Khosrow are given the job of liquidating someone. If possible, it should look like an accident. At the last minute, however, both are forced to...
Manuscripts Don't Burn
Keeper of Lost Causes sells 32,000 tickets for sneak previews
Danish director Mikkel Nørgaard's first thriller in the Jussi Adler-Olsen franchise has all the qualities of a blockbuster...
Shahin Najafi Challenges Public Executions in Iran
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran released the music video “Execution” by Okhtapus, featuring Shahin Najafi and Majid Kazemi...
With Mom (2013)
While her middle class, socialist family is falling apart around her, Berina, a young artist, tries to cope both with her awakening sexuality and her mother Jasna's imminent death...
Sepideh
Reaching for the stars

Sepideh wants to become an astronaut. She spends her nights exploring the secrets of the universe, while her family will do anything to keep her on the...
Grace of Monaco
watch Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly in world exclusive trailer for new biopic. She stars as former Hollywood star in this new biopic about her time married to Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth)...
IFSM • The Adventure of a Married Couple
Based on a story written by Italo Calvino this short film is a poetic variation in black and white on the daily routine of a young couple trapped in daily repetition...
Bille August will have a new take on Zweig
After Nabokov’s Laughter in the Dark, Danish Oscar-winning director Bille August will direct a new adaptation of Austrian author Stefan Zweig’s 1939 novel...
Lines of Wellington
to represent Portugal in the Academy Awards

The last project by late director Raoul Ruiz which was directed by his wife Valeria Sarmiento, is Portugal’s submission for...
Remote control, Iranian style
Kambuzia Partovi came alone to Berlin, where Closed Curtain had its world premiere. His co-director, Jafar Panahi, couldn’t make it, as he’s been held...
Toronto: '12 Years a Slave' Wins Audience Award
Director Steve McQueen follows the acclaimed Hunger and Shame with this shocking, based-on-fact story of a 19th-century freeman kidnapped...
The end of an idyll
Swiss director Markus Imhoof is back with a documentary that exceeds all expectations. 'More Than Honey' is a deeply disturbing work, which benefits from lucid narration...
Miguel Gomes to shoot the 1001 Nights of a country in crisis
No Aladdin, no Ali Baba, no Sinbad the Sailor nor any of the other legendary characters whose stories Scheherazade used to entertain the sultan...
Claudia Cardinale: 'I don't want to stop'
Sixties screen siren Claudia Cardinale talks to Steve Rose about entrancing Fellini, spurning Brando – and why appearing in 135 films still isn't enough...
Harvey Weinstein extortionist sentenced to seven years
Struggling actor, Vivek Shah, 26, found guilty of plot to demand money from wealthy individuals by threatening their relatives...
Florbela • Sophia Prize
Florbela is ahead in the race for the Sophia Prize. The second awards ceremony of the Portuguese Film Academy will take place in Lisbon on October 6...
Festival - TIFF Kids
Denmark’s first superhero in Toronto before his Danish debut

Danish director Ask Hasselbalch’s feature debut, Antboy, follows a 12-year-old boy who gets accidentally bitten by...
Festival - TIFF Kids
The World of Goopi and Bagha

A captivating animated adaptation of a cherished children’s classic by Satyajit Ray, this timeless fable is the story of...
Venice 2013. Awards
The 70th Venice Film Festival has closed! The Golden Lion goes to a documentary for the first time, plus wins for Tsai Ming-liang and more...
"The Golden Lion? Surprising and poetic”
The most prestigious award was given to a documentary. Italy had not won in fifteen years (the last time was Amelio with The Way We Laughed)...
12 Years a Slave (2013)
Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into...
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)
A chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of...
Fish & Cat • Venice (Orizzonti)
A number of students have traveled to the Caspian region in order to participate in a kiteflying event during the winter solstice...
Walesa. Man of Hope (2013)
How was it possible for one person to change the world so dramatically? It is as much a political as a psychological question...
Vinterberg eyes his second Nordic Prize
His last feature – Submarino (2010) – won it, and his The Hunt, which was launched and awarded at last year’s Cannes International Film Festival, is among...
Julian Assange to serve on Raindance jury
21st edition of festival to feature over 300 films from 50 countries as well as the UK’s first ever Web Fest, dedicated to web series...
Fifi Howls From Happiness (2013)
An Iranian artist who disappeared from public life is tracked down in Rome and interviewed in this bareboned documentary. Before he dies...
Border • Alessio Cremonini
When two sisters learn that a member of their family has decided to desert the Syrian Army and join the Free Army, they must embark on a hazardous journey to Turkey...
Telluride: Three Iranian Directors Take Center Stage
Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi, the formerly-imprisoned Mohammad Rasoulof and newcomer Mitra Farahani show off their latest work
Danish actor Ole Ernst dies aged 73
Ernst, something of a loose cannon in the respectable, disciplined world of theatre, was known for creating the occasional stir, but also for high-calibre acting and...
6th Annual IFF •
Tickets on Sale Now!

6th Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco, a showcase for independent films made by or about Iranians from around the world!
Upstream Colour
Shane Carruth’s mind-bending follow-up to Primer bewitches as it puzzles. Shane Carruth writes, directs, produces, edits, shoots and acts in this transcendent, delayed follow-up to his extraordinary ...
Venice Days
Yuval Adler • Interview

Arab-Israeli conflict is at the heart of Israeli director Yuval Adler’s feature debut Bethlehem, which is part of the Venice Days 2013 selection...
Venice Days
LE DONNE DELLA VUCCIRIA by HIAM ABBASS

Palestinian female director Hiam Abbass contemplates the transformative power of clothes, music and dance in a charming...
Venice Days
Nobody's Home: a family drifting apart

The loss of identity of a family after the unexpected death of the father is the central theme of Turkish director Deniz ...
Why black British directors and actors leave the UK for Hollywood
Britons Steve McQueen, Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor and David Oyelowo are behind this Oscar season's key titles...
The War You Don't See
As weapons and propaganda become even more sophisticated, the nature of war is developing into an 'electronic battlefield' in which journalists play a key role, and civilians are the victims...
The Stag (2013)
Irish novelist John Butler makes his feature-film directing debut with this hilarious and heartwarming comedy, in which a bachelor party weekend takes some unexpected detours...
Amy Goodman • Interview (2013)
Goodman is the host of Democracy Now!, an independent global news program broadcast daily on radio, television and the Internet...
LOVELACE • ROB EPSTEIN and JEFFREY FRIEDMAN
Linda Lovelace remains a fascinating figure in film history. She left a strict religious family and found unheralded international fame as the star of...
3rd Iranian Film Festival Australia (Oct - Nov 2013)
Iranian cinema continues to be a strong one, producing many high quality films, and the Iranian Film Festival is back again in October November 2013...
Mohsen Makhmalbaf returns with The President
Renowned Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf (The Gardener), who has long lived a life of exile in London, is back with his first English-language feature...
CALL GIRL MIKAEL MARCIMAIN
Based on an actual prostitution scandal that rocked the liberal Swedish government in 1976, this is a slow-burning and masterful debut feature of real depth and class...
Video Contest: It may be dangerous to stay at home!
CPH: DOX & the Danish Refugee Council call for video contest! DOX and Danish Refugee Council launches this year a video contest to recruit volunteers for...
Albert Serra wins Locarno’s Golden Leopard
The Lav Diaz-led jury in Locarno has awarded this year’s Pardo d’oro (Golden Leopard) to Albert Serra’s Story of My Death......
Emir Kusturica to Direct Documentary on Uruguayan President
Emir Kusturica's next project is slated to be about someone arguably even more interesting: Jose “Pepe” Mujica...
Video: The Big City trailer
A woman’s place is with her cooking pots: that is the firmly articulated belief of Subrata Mazumdar, a young bank clerk struggling to support his entire extended family on a meagre salary...
Ken Loach waltzes into Jimmy’s Hall
The film, starring Barry Ward and Simone Kirby, is likely to be the last narrative feature by Palm D’Or Winner. The end of a glorious era is in sight. 77-year-old...
Satyajit Ray
A major retrospective in London, new releases from Criterion, and screenings in Cannes, Venice, and L.A. Today sees the opening of a two-part retrospective of Ray’s work at BFI Southbank in London...
Breaking Free, in Life and on Screen
Golshifteh Farahani Continues to Rebel in ‘Patience Stone’, which opens in New York on Wednesday, and is also a statement of rebellion, though a somewhat tame one...
The Keeper of Lost Causes (2013)
The story of chief detective Carl Mørck and his assistant Assad who become involved in a five-year-old case concerning the mystery of young danish politician...
A caged woman on the Piazza
Danish director Mikkel Nørgaard's thriller Kvinden i buret (The Keeper of Lost Causes) – the adaption of Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen's award-winning ...
London loves Tom Hanks
Paul Greengrass' Captain Phillip, John Lee Hancock's Saving Mr Banks to bookend the London Film Festival (October 9-20). The 57th British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival (October 9-20) is serving...
The Patience Stone
Atiq Rahimi • Interview

"The Patience Stone is based on a real story". It captures the reality of everyday life for an intelligent woman under the oppressive weight of the Taliban regime...
MY STOLEN REVOLUTION
Nahid Persson • Interview

Thirty years after The 1979 revolution, filmmaker and activist Nahid Persson Sarvestani sets out to find the friends she left behind in the Islamic Republic...
Freedom to Sing: One Small Suitcase, Many Big Dreams
In the Islamic Republic, a woman is typically not allowed to sing solos in public unless she performs for an all-female audience and is accompanied by...
Salman Rushdie and the fatwa
"Fundamentalism isn't about religion, it's about power" says Salman Rushdie. Following the publication of the novel 'The Satanic Verses' in 1988, author Salman...
Iranian film director tackles pedophilia
A leading female director in Iran is not afraid of tackling difficult issues on the big screen. Pouran Derakhshandeh’s latest movie "Hush, Girls don’t scream" won...
The Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh (2010)
This documentary is an enchanting ode to the resilience, intelligence and valor of Palestinian women from Ain el-Hilweh. The largest refugee camp in Lebanon, it has...
The Raven (2012)
Set in 1849, it is a fictionalized account of the last days of Edgar Allan Poe's life, in which the poet and author pursues a serial killer whose murders mirror those in Poe's stories...
Makhmalbaf: The Ambassador of Peace
A letter of support and gratitude for Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s peaceful efforts in Israel. Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who recently attended the...
'Cinema threatens the government'
Cancer, arrests and exile from Tehran haven't stopped Mania Akbari from making her politicised, potent films. Tom Seymour from The Guardian meets Iran's iron...
Makhmalbaf: "You love us, we love you"
Iranian film-maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a leading figure in Iranian cinema's new wave movement and the most prominent Iranian figure to visit Israel since 1979...
Al-Ghazali: The Alchemist of Happiness (2007)
Combining drama with documentary, this film argues that Ghazali’s Islam is the antidote for today’s terror. Ghazali's path of love and spiritual excellence...
Mads Mikkelsen: Ready, Aim, Fire
The ‘Hannibal’ star’s Cannes-winning turn as an unjustly targeted social pariah in Thomas Vinterberg’s THE HUNT raises the Great Dane’s international stature...
The Challenges Of Making A Film In Saudi Arabia
How's the film doing in Saudi Arabia? Well, there are no movie theaters in the desert kingdom. Saudi Arabia's strict interpretation of Islam is the backdrop...
Haifaa Al Mansour to Head Venice Jury For Debut Films
Haifaa Al Mansour, the first female director in Saudi Arabia and author of Wadjda, will be president of the International Jury for the “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award...
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013)
an extensive examination of all things related to WikiLeaks and the larger global debate over access to information. Having exposed institutions like Enron,...
My Mother’s Home, Lagoon (2001)
Like Hiroshi Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes, 67-year-old Kobra battles the elements on a lagoon in Iran to eke out a living for herself and her 100-year-old...
The Notebook (2013)
A fascinating and hard-hitting adaptation of the controversial first novel by Hungarian writer Agota Kristof about 13-year-old twins forced to spend the last years of the Second World War...
Jane Campion: this much I know
My advice to young female filmmakers is: please do not play the lady card. Don't feel sorry for yourself. Just do your work and let someone else deal with...
KVIFF: And the winners are…
In a report from the Closing Ceremony of the 48th Karlovy Vary IFF, Oliver Stone addresses the assembled after receiving the festival’s Crystal Globe award ...
The Invisible War (2012)
Casualties of war rage beyond the battlefield. As ranks of women in the American military swell, so do incidents of rape. An estimated 30 percent of servicewomen and...
Jerusalem Film Festival pays tribute to Makhmalbaf
JFF has invited Mohsen Makhmalbaf as a special guest and will be paying tribute to his works by showcasing four of his films...
Papusza (2013)
True story of Papusza - the first Roma woman who put her poems into writing and published them, and therefore confronted the traditional female image in the gypsy community...
Big Brother will last
Oliver Stone • Interview

Oliver Stone is being honored at the Karlovy Vary fest this year with a Crystal Globe for his contribution to world cinema...
20 Feet From Stardom (2013)
Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we’ve had no...
Susan Sarandon • Interview
'Feminism is a bit of an old-fashioned word'. Susan Sarandon on portraying strong women, the dearth of young Susans – and her recipe for ...
Viva la libertà (2013)
One night after the umpteenth protest Olivieri, the Secretary of the main opposition party, vanishes leaving a laconic note. Rumors and inferences abound in the institutional and party...
Renoir (2012)
In his twilight years, Auguste Renoir is tormented by the loss of his wife, the pains of arthritic old age and the terrible news that his son Jean has been wounded in action...
Former Monarch’s Private Life gone on stage
A part of the private life of the former Iranian monarch, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, has inspired a play entitled “Flight to Darkness”, which has gone on stage...
Before Midnight (2013)
One of cinema’s finest portrayals of a relationship and one of the great love stories of American independent cinema with lead actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke ...
Shun Li and the Poet (2011)
A sense of belonging is at stake for the two different exiles at the heart of this immersive first dramatic feature from noted Italian documentarist Andrea Segre...
Gezi Park – the movie
In politics, as in cinema, representation is everything. In Istanbul’s Gezi Park, where thousands of protestors spent the first week of June ...
Takva: A Man's Fear of God (2006)
A promotion brings a Muslim's relationship with God into question. He ends with experiencing an excellently portrayed crisis of...
Open letter to president of Turkey
Following events on Saturday evening, in Istanbul, award winning German-turkish film director Fatih Akin has called on Turkish ...
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
A chronicle of the ex-stockbroker’s rise and fall in the 1980s financial scene, along with his hard-partying lifestyle and tumultuous personal...
Marvelous Marketa
The Czech masterpiece Marketa Lazarová is almost here. Get a glimpse of some of the arresting images from this film.. Out next week on Blu-ray and DVD...
Diana (2013)
Celebrated and adored by millions, she was the Queen of people’s hearts, yet the bittersweet story of the last man to truly capture hers has never before been told...
The Italian (2005)
Vanya is a 6 year old orphan living in a rundown orphanage in a remote Russian village. For Vanya and the other children, life is without hope, unless, of course...
Dormant Beauty (2012)
A mosaic of several intertwined stories questioning the meaning of life, love and hope, set during the last six days in the life of Eluana Englaro...
The Roaring Lion-Prince of Iran returns
In the world of Iranian actor Kambiz Hosseini, almost everything about his country's presidential elections is side-splittingly funny...
The Attack (2012)
The film focuses on the moral dilemma faced by an Arab-Israeli surgeon when the police inform him that his wife has carried out a suicide bombing...
Barzakh (2011)
What is it like to live in a city where large mosques stand next door to torture chambers? And where clairvoyants’ prophesies are more heeded than official...
Le Havre (2011)
In this warmhearted portrait of the French harbor city that gives the film its name, fate throws young African refugee Idrissa into the path of Marcel Marx, a well-spoken...
World celebrities against police violence in Turkey
“Dear citizens of the world, right now, police is violently attacking citizens that are protesting...
Like Father, Like Son (2013)
Would you choose your natural son, or the son you believed was yours after spending 6 years together? Hirokazu Kore-eda, the globally...
Arirang (2011)
Arirang is about Kim Ki-duk playing 3 roles in 1. Ah…Arirang. Alright. Let’s mercilessly kill each other in our hearts till we die. Even today I hold back as I get angry. I laugh as I...
A Gagged Lars von Trier Reveals 'Nympho- maniac' Chapters
The Danish director unveils the structure of his upcoming erotic epic. On Friday, von Trier gave...
The Congress (2013)
The film explores the ramifications of how a new digitized actress affects the future of the woman and society as a whole...
Abbas Kiarostami on situation in Iran
'The Situation in Iran Has Never Been This Dark'. Having made his two previous films abroad, the former Palme d’Or winner says...
Deepa Mehta about Midnight’s Children
At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India declares independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched...
Pieta (2012)
Hired by moneylenders, a man lives as a loan shark brutally threatening people for paybacks. This man, without any family therefore with nothing to lose, continues his...
AWARDS: 66th Festival de Cannes Awards
Tonight, during the Closing Ceremony of this 66th Festival de Cannes, the Jury presided over by Steven Spielberg revealed...
Cannes 2013: "Blue is the Warmest Colour" wins the Palme d'Or
Abdellatif Kechiche's epic and explicit love story beats the Coen Brothers into second place...
The Missing Picture (2013)
"It is symbolic for us – because the Khmer Rouge did not only kill people but they also destroyed identity and memory..."
‘Needle’ Wins Cannes’ Cinefondation Prize
Iranian-born director's short film wins the student film competition section. Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s Needle was awarded the Cine...
My Sweet Pepperland: Make laugh, not war
Director Hiner Saleem’s most successful attempt to depict the new Kurdistan with humor and imagination...
Jim Jarmusch: Press Confrence • Cannes
"There is something very British about vampire stories". I have wanted to direct a vampire love story for the past seven years...
INTERVIEW: Nicole Kidman • Cannes
"In my heart I'm independent, a bit of a rebel, a non-conformist". Encounter with the glamorous star of Steven Spielberg's Jury...
UN CERTAIN REGARD • Manuscripts Don't Burn
An emblematic victim of artistic repression in Iran, Mohammad Rasoulof was arested at the same as Jafar Panahi...
Le Grand Jerry Lewis
Jerry Lewis, the tireless joker, a man with many hats, actor, screenwriter and producer. He is a film legend who will be celebrated this year at the Cannes...
Robert Redford on America
'Certain things have got lost'. Robert Redford attends the All Is Lost Press Conference during the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival...
Press Conference • Jia Zhangke • Cannes
'I am dedicated to preserving creative freedom.' Jia Zhangke appeared before journalists at the press conference for A Touch of...
Nicolas Winding Refn • Avenging Angel
Since his first film, Pusher (1996), the Danish filmmaker has painted portraits of violent men in search of vengeance. He sets the action...
Interview: Thomas Vinterberg • Cannes
Thomas Vinterberg, after four films including the highly acclaimed Festen (Jury Prize 1998) and The Hunt (Best Actor 2012), returns...
The Great Beauty: a journey to the end of the night
Jep Gambardella is 65 and his character emanates a charm that time has not ravaged. He is a...
Cannes Review • As I Lay Dying
James Franco's adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel about an impoverished Mississippi family premiered in the Un Certain...
Soderbergh's "Behind the Candelabra"
Before Elvis, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Liberace: virtuoso pianist, outrageous entertainer and...
The Witches (1967)
The film has a strong satirical mold and considers the status of women in the sixties in Italy. It consists of 5 short stories, directed by De Sica, Visconti, Pasolini, Franco Rossi...
Interview: Jane Campion • Cannes
Presidente of the Short Films and Cinéfondation Jury, Jane Campion is the only woman to feature on the list of Palme d’or award winners...
Interview: François Ozon • Director
"Adolescence is the birth of disillusion". French director offers the Cannes competition an initiatory account both bold and moving ...
Asghar Farhadi, Press Conference, Cannes
"Every spectator can make the film their own". Asghar Farhadi, in Competition with The Past, held his press conference surrounded by...
Cannes 2013: Top Ten
The most anticipated films in competition for the Palm D'Or this year at the Cannes Film Festival. A preview of the upcoming 2013 Cannes top ten Films and a list of...
Only God Forgives (2013)
Nicolas Winding Refn presents revenge thriller Only God Forgives. An American drug smuggler in Thailand is ordered by his mother...
Marjane Satrapi Takes On 'The Voices'
The new film by the award-winning Iranian-French director Marjane Satrapi is a psycho-thriller that tells the story of a bathtub factory...
How to be a film critic
Hone your critical approach to film and how you communicate your ideas to others in this practical introduction to film criticism. It takes more than an encyclopaedic...
The End of Innocence
There is no such thing as a happy Kennedy. It is an insider’s family history, seen through the eyes of a child, with all their naivety, their doubts and their questions...
The Scream (2012)
In a country that has little place for a woman’s voice, Yemen – and the rest of the world - was stunned when Yemeni women took to the streets to draw attention to...
Kayhan Kalhor: Songs of Hope
Filmed in Karaj, Iran and New York City, "Songs of Hope" explores the life and music of Kayhan Kalhor, a master of the kamancheh, or...
Cinema Encounters in Tehran (2009)
A 40 minute documentary that follows two young American filmmakers' journey to Iran for the 2007 Verite Film Festival...
Yesterday Never Ends (2013)
Year 2017. Barcelona. A couple reunites after five years of not seeing each other and after going through some tragic incidents...
God's Horses (2012)
Nabil Ayouch's latest film is an impressive depiction of a Casablanca slum as a breeding ground for terrorism. We were expecting a tough film, and that's exactly...
Jim Jarmusch enters the competition
Unveiled on April 18th, the Official Selction of the 66th Cannes Film Festival was completed today. Only Lovers Left Alive by Jim Jarmusch...
Nycander prepares close-up of Astrid Lindgren
"I don't mean anything by my writing. I just write for the child in myself." she responded, when...
Mossadegh (2012)
Roozbeh Dadvand’s Short film about the legendary iranian Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh. Having risen to an intolerable level of popularity among the Iranian...
Cinema's Love Affair With Cars Continues
Jaguars have played their part in many iconic film moments. How many can you recall? The truth is that automotive and cinematic...
Filmmakers of the world
Polanski, Farhadi and Saleh Haroun: nationalities? Filmmakers of the world. The question of the nationality of films has become...
Fifty People One Question: Tehran
Shot on location in Tehran’s Gisha neighborhood, filmmaker Ali Molavi’s contribution to this project is a lovely reflection of the universality of big dreams...
The Minister (2011)
The film is the portrait of a lonely man – with “4000 contacts and not a single friend” – who can neither open his eyes to nor turn a blind eye towards reality...
Review: The Gatekeepers
A candid insight into Israel's security situation since 1967. This first-rate film has rightly been compared with The Fog of War...
Taboor (2012)
A man seeks to protect his hypersensitive body from a daily rise in temperature caused by pervasive electromagnetic waves. He concocts an aluminum...
Alamar (2009)
Natan is five years old. He is the son of a Mexican father and an Italian mother. Before his parents separate for good and Natan moves with his mother to Rome, his father Jorge...
The Newcomers (1979)
A documentary, that was only recovered one year ago, shows us unique images of Tehran in the summer of 1979, when freedom of speech was abundant and...
Ziba (2012)
Ziba is an upper-class housewife in today's modern Tehran. Unable to relate to her environment or to her alienating life, she lives within her repetition unable to express to...
CPH PIX 2013
Celebrating its fifth edition, CPH PIX 2013 tours Copenhagen's cinemas from 11 to 24 April with a programme of more than 150 feature films from around the world
Northwest gets two prizes in Beaune
Scandinavian feature films shine out on the winners’ list of this 5th edition of the International Crime Film Festival in Beaune, which ended...
The Past (2013)
The Past is an upcoming 2013 French Drama film directed by the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi. It stars Bérénice Bejo, Ali Mosaffa and Tahar...
Iranian 'King of Hearts' 13th anniversary
Iranian 'King of Hearts' died 13 years ago in April 2000 in Tehran where more than 20,000 mourners had gathered for the funeral of...
Roger Ebert dies aged 70
America's most popular film reviewer, who wielded the nation's most famous thumb, dies in Chicago after cancer treatment...
Salvador Dalí - Arena (1986)
This documentary chronicles the life of Salvador Dali, and is probably the most informative and comprehensive film on the subject with rare...
Denmark's Heide and Joof selected for comedy film fest in New York
Rasmus Heide’s One for Two and Hella Joof’s Almost Perfect will...
Maria Full of Grace (2004)
In a small village in Colombia, the pregnant seventeen years old Maria supports her family with her salary working in a floriculture...
Jon Stewart to Direct Serious Film
Mr. Stewart, the stand-up satirist and “Daily Show” host to direct his first movie, a drama called Rosewater from a screenplay ...
Under an empty, cruel sky
Anyone who has seen more than one Bergman film will recognise certain plot elements, settings, faces. Few artists have created…
A Hijacking adds a Bodil to a Robert
Danish director Tobias Lindholm‘s pirate thriller A Hijacking continued its award-winning spree Saturday night at Copenhagen’s Bremen ...
Aga: Golshifteh Farahani stands up to a corrupt chief
the Franco-German coproduction Aga by Hiner Saleem, a sort of modern western describing the...
The Great Gatsby to open Cannes 2013
Baz Luhrmann's much-anticipated 3D take on The Great Gatsby, Scott Fitzgerald's romantic tale of the gilded jazz age, is to open...
The Filmhouse, Copenhagen
Each week we ask readers to tell us about where they go to watch films. Today, the home of Denmark's national agency for film and...
6th Annual IFF: Call For Film Submissions
6th Annual Iranian Film Festival - San Francisco is inviting the filmmakers from all over the world to submit their films to the next ...
Persson explores fate of her executed brother
Iranian-Swedish director Nahid Persson was arrested and briefly imprisoned in Iran for allegedly shaming her country in her ...
The Iranian Top 50 Films
Fifty films essential to understanding Iranian cinema. This list doesn’t necessarily represent the monuments of Iranian art-...
A Hijacking wins Best Feature, Best Actor
Tobias Lindholm’s pirate thriller A Hijacking took the main trophy for Best Feature, and his lead Søren Malling won for Best Actor in...
Luis Bunuel's masterpiece, TRISTANA
"Tristana", recently digitally restored by the Cohen Film Collection, is a subdued Bunuel masterpiece of his later period...
Hushpuppy (2012)
Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in “the Bathtub,” a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink’s tough love prepares her...
War Witch (2012)
Shot in the Democratic Republic of Congo and released in 2012, is a film that packs a punch. It follows the terrifying journey of a child soldier as she tells her life story...
Sweden got an Oscar for documentary
Sweden took a golden statuette home for the film "Searching for Sugar Man". Swedish Malik Bendjelloul win an Oscar for...
The Hollywood Reporter's Nominees
THR's Nominees Night event lured Oscar hopefuls including Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lawrence, Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain...
Wonderful Town (2007)
In Aditya Assarat’s haunting film, a Bangkok architect, sent to a town devastated by the 2004 tsunami to supervise construction of a new beach resort, falls in love with...
Silent Night (2012)
In his quiet, intimate film, director Reis Çelik succeeds in telling the tragic story of an unusual wedding night – without the strains of a musical score on the soundtrack ...
Bwakaw (2012)
Veteran Filipino superstar Eddie Garcia delivers the performance of a lifetime in this life-affirming, heartwarming and tear-jerker dramatic/comedy that shows that...
Child`s Pose (2013)
One cold evening in March, Barbu is tearing down the streets 50 kilometres per hour over the speed limit when he knocks down a child. The boy dies shortly after the ...
'Afghanistan is like Star Wars'
Unveiled in Toronto, the Franco-German co-production The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi is being released today in French cinemas...
Cairo Time (2009)
Vaguely dissatisfied with her job, Juliette follows her Canadian diplomat husband, Mark, to Cairo. When she arrives, however, she learns that he’s been held up in...
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BEV chats to 'My Brother The Devil' writer-director Sally El Hosaini

It is safe to say that Sally El Hosaini is already the woman to watch out for in 2012. Her feature length debut My Brother the Devil – a beautiful and subtle study of what it means to be a young Arab man today in the East London borough of Hackney – has been wowing the judges at the winter film festivals.

Fresh from her successes at Sundance Festival and Berlinale 2012 – where My Brother The Devil won Europa Cinema’s award for “Best European Film” – Birds Eye Viewer Emily Vermont caught up with El Hosaini to talk about the freedom of fiction and those damn statistics.



Birds Eye View: Can you remember the first time you decided you’d make a film? Was it something you’d always dreamed of or did you suddenly ‘catch the bug’?

SALLY EL HOSAINI: As a kid I used to write a lot, mainly poetry and short stories.  I was also really into taking black and white photographs, but I hadn’t connected the two activities in my head.  The actual decision to make a film came when I was at university studying something entirely different.  I thought I’d messed up my life by not studying film.  In hindsight not going to film school was the best move I made!  It made me more determined to pursue filmmaking as a career.



Birds Eye View: You told the Guardian newspaper that you turned away from documentary film making because “you can be much more truthful in fiction.” Could you elaborate on this?

SALLY EL HOSAINI: I wasn’t making docs on my own terms, but instead for companies who were in turn selling them to TV channels.  The docs were formulaic and no matter how much I tried to avoid it, often sensationalist.  I also had some ethical dilemmas about the way they were being made and about “investigative journalism” in general.  I think the bottom line is that I’m not a journalist. I found that in fiction you can explore questions in a way that you can’t when you are limited by so called “facts”.  You can go deeper.  You can explore the emotional and the psychological dimensions of a story.  I’m suspicious of certainty anyway.  If you look at history, facts seem to change over time and reflect only the present consensus (if that).

BEV: How different were your research methods for My Brother… than those you would use for a documentary film?

SALLY EL HOSAINI: The research methods were similar.  Making contacts, building honest relationships of trust and entering new worlds.  Observing and listening.  I like to be a fly on the wall in the world I’m writing about.  It’s the only way I know how to make something truly authentic.
BEV: What was it that made you want to tell your latest story through the eyes of a male?

SALLY EL HOSAINI: I was spending a lot of time with groups of boys in a very macho world.  These boys put so much pressure upon themselves to be a “man”.  Their masculinity interested me and their homophobia appalled me.  A male character who is exploring his sexuality in this alpha-male world interested me.  As did the fact that to many Arabs they would rather have a son, a brother, who is a terrorist than gay.  I wanted to explore what it means to be a man to these boys.

BEV: You took part in Birds Eye View’s She Writes Lab (in partnership with Script Factory). Can you tell us a bit about it? What was the most important thing you learned from that experience?

She Writes was a screenwriting scheme for women to help readdress the awful statistic that only 12% of screenwriters in the UK are women.  Some people say there aren’t more women coming up in the industry because other women get jealous of them and won’t give them breaks.  I don’t think that’s the case AT ALL.  The scheme was an extremely encouraging and supportive environment.  I consider the other screenwriters on the scheme as friends and I’m genuinely happy about their successes.  The statistic that horrifies me even more is that only 6% of film directors in the UK are women.  I think it says a lot about British society as a whole.  There isn’t economic parity between the sexes and many of our industries are sexist. I’m often asked about the fact that I’m a woman directing a movie about men.  This irritates me because I’m a filmmaker before I’m a female filmmaker.  Many male directors, like Almodovar for example, can make movies about women without anybody reacting.

BEV: You not only directed but also wrote MBTD. How did this feel – did you find yourself re-writing as you went along?

SALLY EL HOSAINI: I never stopped rewriting the script for the five years it took to make the movie.  I was even rewriting while we were shooting. And then reconstructing the film in the edit.  They say that a film is never finished, only ever abandoned.  That’s definitely my experience.  There comes a moment when the time and money runs out and you’re forced to stop.  I’m too much of a perfectionist to ever be “done” at any stage of the process.  I’m always striving to make it better.

BEV: With your incredible success at Sundance and Berlin this year, 2012 is already a massive year for you. Do you feel your life changing? What has been the highlight of these past two months?

SALLY EL HOSAINI: The highlight has been finally making the movie and sharing it with audiences.  The critical success and reviews are wonderful in terms of my “career”, but the real buzz is when you know that your film has connected with ordinary people.  That’s the thing that makes all of the pain of making the movie suddenly seem worthwhile.  It’s what makes me want to do it all over again.

BEV: This must be the question on those movie moguls lips: do you have any other projects on the cards already?

SALLY EL HOSAINI: Of course.  You have to have a few projects on the go because it’s so hard to make a movie these days.  You can’t be certain which one will be “next”.  The one I’m currently most excited about is another London movie, but a completely different world to My Brother The Devil.

We are delighted that Sally El Hosaini will be a guest speaker at the Birds Eye View International Women’s Day Gala at the NFT1 BFI Southbank on March 8th.

Ali

11/11/2012

 ***** 

Mainstream in Denmark, arthouse in the rest of the world
Susanne Bier • Director

by Birgit Heidsiek, Cineuropa

30/10/2012 - The Academy Award-winning Danish director Susanne Bier has gained a reputation for dramas such as Brothers, After the Wedding [trailer, film focus] and In A Better World [trailer]. In her new movie Love Is All You Need [trailer], she sends a cancer-suffering hairdresser on a turbulent, tragicomic trip to Italy. Love Is All You Need was presented as a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and is being released in more than 20 countries.

Cineuropa: How do you create your authentic women characters?
Susanne Bier: The main female character was slightly built as a character on my mother. When Anders Thomas Jensen (scriptwriter) and me started talking if we should do a movie about cancer, we decided quite quickly we should do a romantic comedy because we didn‘t want to do a heavy-handed drama. We wanted to infuse the whole notion with some kind of hope. It was very obvious for me to look at my mother. She had breast cancer twice. She has always been this very positive, very optimistic person. Evenwhen she was feeling really bad she was talking about how nice the nurses are.


Your film is being sold as a romantic comedy. Do you agree with that?
The film has a lot of fun elements in it, but I wouldn‘t exactly call it a comedy. I have been wondering about it but I am not quite sure how I would sell it myself. According to the rules,a love story has to end badly and a romantic comedy ends well. So in that respect it is a romantic comedy. It is really hard to figure out what you do when you sell your film; if you do it right or wrong.

Do you accept any compromises as a film director?
I wouldn‘t do a cinematic compromise. But I would make other kind of compromises, for example with the titles. I much prefer the Danish title The Bald Hairdresser. I think that is a much more fun title. It comes directly to the whole issue of cancer and does it in a humorous way. But the reaction we got from all the distributors was that it would alienate the audience in their country. And there I feel I have to listen to what they say.

How do you deal with the dark humor of Anders Thomas Jensen?
Anders Thomas Jensen has a very black sense of humor, you can‘t make it more black. I really enjoy in it but I am probably also very romantic and tend to make his material more warm and emotional.

Is there a difference between the way how your films are perceived in Denmark and in the rest of the world?
Yes, in Denmark I am mainstream and in the rest of the world I seem to be arthouse. It is kind of funny. With In A Better World, I won a Golden Globe and I won European Best director and the Oscar but I wasn‘t even nominated for the Danish equivalent. There is a certain snobbishness, which is a little bit European. Things have to be a bit incomprehensible and really weird, then they are masterpieces. But I have a huge audience in Denmark. I actually believe that being able to tell a good substantial story which means something and having a big audience is what movies are for.

Why did you choose Pierce Brosnan for the male lead?
When the movie starts, the female character has lost everything. She has been ill, she has finsished treatment, she is terrified. The disease hasn‘t gone away. She has got no hair and only one breast. Her husband is having an affair with a beautiful blond at her daughter‘s age. You see this woman at this disastrous moment of her life. With whom do you think does she wants to end up? The man of her dreams would be like James Bond as a human being who has the charming surface but is actually a passionate, intense man.

Iman

11/10/2012

 ***** 

Cristian Mungiu • Director of Beyond the Hills

by Domenico La Porta, 19/05/2012

Cristian Mungiu • DirectorThe Cannes Film Festival is well known for having launched and supported the career of many directors, and Cristian Mungiu is one of them. His Palme d'Or for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days has given rise to a new age in Romanian cinema and his latest work, 

Beyond the Hills [trailer, film focus], confirms his serious talent (read the review). He continues to refine it in the context of a national filmsector still in crisis, but it is one in which the Cannes Film Festival continues to believe, as shown by his selection for its 65th official competition.


What are the differences between this film and your last? 
Cristian Mungiu 
: I don't think it's good to compare this film with my last. To understand this film, you have to forget what I have done before, because I did not encounter the same problems in production or shooting, and I very simply wanted to tell a different kind of story. It's not a film about friendship like in my previous film, but rather one about love and what the abandonment of love provokes in us, in the choices we make.

Who are the real culprits in this film? 
The film shows us a victim, but the real culprits are not featured in this story. It's all the result of a weak educational system that was set up a long time ago and that is failing these people. What interests me is not denouncing the culprit. Choices are important. Are we always right to help others, even those we love? Do we really help them by imposing our values on them against their will? The man of faith thinks he is helping the girl, because no one else is helping her. He takes her to hospital, but the doctors can't help her and he interprets this failure as licence to decide her fate and the way she is treated. His acts correspond to his choices, but we don't really know if he was ever able to choose his beliefs or how he reached this way of life in the first place. No judgement.

Do you consider religion to be dangerous? 
I try not to criticise anybody. This film discusses particular cases. There is no generalisation, and I am not describing Romanian society through this little 
community. A film is not able to be so all-encompassing. Beyond the Hills is more about superstition than it is about religion. It is not an analysis of religion's perverse effects, and I am not saying that people's beliefs are the same as those of the Romanian orthodox church as an institution.

Could you tell us about Oleg Mutu's cinematography? 
I started to work with him when we were students. We didn't need to talk to each other a lot. We fixed a few things in the beginning, but not too much. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days was very formal, but without a single angle and everything was very flat, pictorial onscreen. Here, when Oleg follows a character with his camera for eight minutes, there are moments in which what is filmed is not important, and the consciousness of what is happening takes over. Once again, the director removes himself, but this takes away none of Oleg Mutu's incredible talent without which I could not have attained this difficult result.

How has the Romanian film sector's financial crisis affected this film?
Our industry's problem is not funding, it's cultural. Films that are not entertainment are not popular in Romania. This is why we receive less 
money from the state for arthouse films, and why I had to look for international funding. My film will be seen much more abroad than it will be at home. That's just how it is. We have to hold on and continue to produce good quality films also aimed at the Romanian people.

Alex

9/5/2012

 ***** 

2012 Cannes Film Festival award winners

By

2012 Cannes Film Festival announced the award winners tonight.

Responding to questions from journalists at the press conference that followed the closing ceremony, Nanni Moretti and his jurors readily commented on their selected winners.



In the preamble, the President of the Jury Nanni Moretti said that the jurors had got on particularly well together, that they had held eight meetings, and talked a lot about the films. He said that no film had been unanimously selected. Raoul Peck added that despite this, "everyone in their own way added to the opinions held by others" and that "somehow a middle ground was found". "We all stand by our selection", he said.

Nanni Moretti thanked his jurors one by one: "Ewan McGregor for his sincerity, Hiam Abbas for her passion, Jean-Paul Gaultier for his good humour that makes him the ideal audience member, Diane Kruger for her determination, Emmanuelle Devos for her kindness, Raoul Peck for his competence and his culture, Andrea Arnold for her enormous energy, and Alexander Payne for his knowledge of cinematic history."

Nanni Moretti has also shared a personal reflection: "In this Competition, the filmmakers seemed more in love with their style than with their characters".



When questioned on the choice of Post Tenebras Lux for the Award for Best Director, but also on the absence of Holy Motors among the award winners, Nanni Moretti said that three films had particularly divided the Jury: Post Tenebras Lux, Holy Motors, Paradise: Love. "We didn't think it was right to look for unanimity and we had a lot of discussions. In the end, the first was awarded a prize, but not the other two." Andrea Arnold was among the defenders of Post Tenebras Lux. She spoke of "a brave, tender, loving film, that faces life and its fragility." Raoul Peck added, "this film really touched me emotionally and intellectually. I've rarely seen images with such force, such freedom, such sincerity. It connects us with the problems of today: being in a couple, love, children, the lack of communication, and also class struggle, with rare strength, and all this with incredible poetry."



Regarding the Award for Best Actor, Ewan McGregor spoke of "a subtle performance", while Nanni Moretti said that "the tension felt throughout the film owes as much to the direction as the lead actor." On this subject he added that several jurors would have liked to have awarded prizes to the actors in Love, but it was not permitted by regulations: the three main prizes - the Palme d’Or, the Award for Best Director and the Grand Prix- must not be associated with an acting award.

Finally, a reporter noted that no prize was awarded to any of the seven American In Competition films, and asked if that was a reflection on the state of American cinema. "It's a film festival, it's not about giving awards to a particular country, but of choosing from among the selected films. It would be incorrect to generalise on the choice that has been made", said Alexander Payne.



Winners of Cannes 2012:

Palme d'Or (Best Film): Love (Austria) by Michael Haneke

Grand Prix (Runner-up): Reality (Italy) by Matteo Garrone

Jury Prize (Third Prize): The Angels' Share (Britain) by Ken Loach

Camera d'Or (Debut Film): Beasts of the Southern Wild (U.S.) by Benh Zeitlin

Best Director: Carlos Reygadas, Post Tenebras Lux (Mexico)

Best Screenplay: Beyond the Hills (Romania), Cristian Mungiu

Best Actress: Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, Beyond the Hills

Best Actor: Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt

 

Press Conference with the Award Winners
After the presentation of the awards at the the closing ceremony, the award winners met for a press conference. One by one, they answered questions from  journalists. Excerpts.

Michael Haneke, winner of the Palme d'or for Love (Amour): The story I tell is based on the promise my wife and I made to each other: not to separate in a situation like the one in the film. We see that all the time and it is a widespread problem. I experienced it in my own family and that is what pushed me to make the film Love.

Matteo Garrone, winner of the Grand Prix for Reality: I have not read much of what has been written. It was a surprise for me because I know there were many beautiful films. The Competition was tough but I am very happy because the Grand Prix will help the film to reach a wider audience.

Ken Loach, winner of the Jury Prize for The Angels' Share: We realized that if we spent time with people like the ones in the film, they have such optimism that it makes us happy. To speak truthfully about things, you have to present them in the form of comedy.



Cristian Mungiu, Best Screenwriter for Beyond the Hills: I am very happy to have this award, a little surprised because it is the longest film in the Competition. I kept on changing the dialogues, the actresses helped me a lot, we tried to give it a continuity.

Carlos Reygadas, Best Director for Post Tenebras Lux: My work comes from the desire to create, to share, to find fraternity in the world with you. I was asked if I was not sad because many people did not like my film. For many filmmakers, the goal is to please. That is not my goal. Mine is to be able to express myself with absolute freedom and to be able to leave someone with something.

Mads Mikkelsen, Best Actor: It was a big moment for me and for the film. One cannot be a good actor in a mediocre film. During my stay, I didn't have a chance to see other films, but there is a lot of work to do in Cannes! Put me in the Jury and I will come to see films!

Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, Best Actress: The rhythm is different in film; after two months of shooting, here we are with this award, it’s incredible.

Benh Zeitlin, winner of the Caméra d’or for Beasts Of the Southern Wild: For almost everyone who contributed to the film, it was their first film. We had worked very hard on small projects, short films in the past. We wanted to make this with friends, as a family. You never know, when you make a film, that success could come like this.

L. Rezan Yesbilas, winner of the Palme d'or - Short Film for Silent: It was amazing to be there, even before the ceremony. This is the second time that Turkey has won a Palm.

Armin

6/10/2012

 ***** 

ALI SAMADI AHADIALI SAMADI AHADI
The German-Iranian filmmaker reflects on the impact his taut political documentary, The Green Wave, has made on the Middle East.

In June 2009 hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets to dispute the result of the country’s presidential election, which many believed had been rigged by the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

What followed was a violent crackdown, evidence of which leaked out through social networking sites.

German-Iranian Ali Samadi Ahadi’s film, The Green Wave, which had its UK premiere at last month’s Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, brings together fractured pieces of footage filmed on mobile phones and testimony from bloggers in the country to document the brutality.

         
 
A mixture of news reports, animation and interviews, the film uses the emergence of social networks – which were pivotal in the propagation of the unrest – to mitigate the difficulties inherent in making a documentary in a context where journalists were expelled or imprisoned and information was under the control of the government. LWLies spoke with Ahadi recently about the film’s impact both at home and abroad.


 
LWLies: The Green Wave takes a very close-up view of events in Iran, which you were at the time quite distant from. How did you come to make the film?
 
Ahadi: When the elections took place in Iran, like other Iranians outside of Iran I was watching what was going on in the country. I was shocked and paralysed because of this brutality and the violence which we were facing.

After three months of being too shocked to be able to do anything, I wanted to do something. Not only to react but also to take action.



And because I am a filmmaker, I decided to make a film. We asked Associated Press to help us with their footage. This is a big part of our material.

And then we collected images which were shared on the internet, and we used images that we collected inside Iran and smuggled out of the country.

But all of these images were not able to tell the whole story, because they had mostly not a beginning, not an end, like broken puzzles.



We had to find a way to bring them together, because they had no protagonists, so we had to find a way to weave them to each other and that was the reason why I decided to use blogs and Twitter messages to bring all these things together.

I never think in genres and I never think in the way of tools. I find that if I get the subject, I try to understand how this subject can be told through me.

I try to collect all my tools and play around with them until I find a way of how I can tell the story.


 
A natural criticism of this style of documentary making is surely that you are bringing together a lot of very subjective evidence and trying to make it into an honest narrative.
 
It is a very subjective way of talking about the issue. We don’t have to lie to our audience and say we know the truth, and we have the whole truth and we are objective. I don’t believe that.



I believe in complete subjectivity. We don’t need to hide ourselves because it is subjective. It is very important to make it clear that it is our point of view, we have this opinion.

I think even journalistic pieces – mine is not journalistic – are subjective, and we know that. We know that it is not true when journalists say ‘we are objective’.


 
It is the same with the blogs and images we use. I read more than 1,500 pages of blogs and chose only 15 of them.

You can’t believe how often people talked about the same situation from different sides of the same place and the same momentum from different perspectives.

The same is with images. There is a moment in the film, where a Basij [militiaman] is on the roof of a building, shooting into a crowd of people, and we have it from more than 10 cell phone cameras from 10 different perspectives.



[President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad would say “these are not in Iran and these are from somewhere else”, but to be honest, we know that these things took place.
 
Maybe there are images which are not true, but this is not important. I’m not saying that we are showing the whole truth, I am saying that what is important is that we are able to say these things are true or not true, and no one will harm you.

In Iran if you would say that Ahmadinejad is a liar, they would arrest you or kill you. This is important, and not the evidence of this image or this blog. What is important is that you have the freedom to talk about it. And this is something that is much more important.

This is the bigger point. We tried our best to keep the evidence high, to double check the images, to double check the blogs. But even if there is a failure there, I think the much more important point is being able to talk with freedom.


 
I think even if you are a journalist, the only controlling system which really works every time is your own inner voice. My teacher when I was a student said to me you can do anything, but never forget the conversation with your inner voice.

Which is very true – you can make out of this footage 100 different films. Against and pro-Ahmadinejad. Where is the controlling mechanism? It is only you.
 
This was one striking feature of the revolutions that have taken place in the Middle East in the past few months – that they are not really political in the sense that they aren’t calling for one regime to be replaced by another, they are really just asking for representation.

In the film this comes out – people were not really going out to vote because they wanted [opposition leader] Mir-Hossein Mousavi to win – they were going out because they want to be heard.


 
I think we are going through a moment in the Near and Middle East the ideological regimes are coming to an end. People are sick and tired of either the religious ideology or socialism and communism.

They don’t care about that. Young people in Egypt, or in Iran, or in Yemen, or in Bahrain, are able to go to the internet and Google you and look how you live, and they ask themselves, ‘Why is this person able to live in that way and I am not?’

We are both human beings, but why can he talk freely and I can’t? They are not looking for ideologies, they are looking for human rights, which makes the big difference between these movements and the movements 20, 30, 40 years ago?
 
Has the moment for change passed in Iran? Is the regime there not better able to control this message the second time around.
 
It has not passed. I think Iranian society made a big development in the last 18 months, or 20 months after the election. They started asking, ‘Where is my vote?’, for a recount of the ballots, for re-election. Now they clearly talk about system change.

This is a big development. And this is not a minority that is talking about change, this is the majority. It needs really a blitz to explode the whole thing. It is like a desert.

When the first rain falls down, the earth is really hard and the rain can’t penetrate the soil, but with time, when the rain continues, the soil becomes soft and the water can penetrate.
 
The existence of so many recorded perspectives on every event has changed – as you have said – the monopoly that governments can have on information. Has it changed the way that documentary filmmakers record these events?
 
I think so. When we started to make this film, I had no idea what it would look like, because I don’t know of any films that have been made in that way. I thought it is bungee jumping without a bungee, pure risk.

I think really that these instruments make our business, filmmaking, much more democratic, much more open. We are not dependent on broadcasters. We are not dependent on the permission of countries like Iran to be able to make images.

And we are not dependent that much on money. If you see what we made with really horrible, small, bad quality images. We screen it on 70 square metres in theatres, and it works. I think it really changed, fundamentally, filmmaking.

Especially in countries which are under pressure. I think that there is now more democracy in filmmaking, because you can get a direct connection to your audience. It will change our language, I think. The language of filmmaking.
 
http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/interviews/ali-samadi-ahadi-14691

Reza

5/9/2011

 ***** 

William Shimell talks about Certified Copy, a film by Abbas Kiarostami

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Cerified Copy, the latest Abbas Kiarostami film will be on US screens soon and to learn more about this film, we interviewed William Shimell, the actor of the film.

William Shimell made his screen acting debut alongside Juliette Binoche in Abbas Kiarostami’s Copie Conforme (Certified Copy), in competition at Cannes Festival 2010. Born in 1952, he is one of Britain's most accomplished operatic baritones and has earned himself an international reputation in the world's leading opera houses.
 
William is well known for his interpretations of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which he first sang in Britain for Welsh National Opera and ENO, and has since sung in opera houses throughout the world. He has recorded the role for EMI with Riccardo Muti.

His reputation has been further enhanced by his worldwide performances of Marcello in La Bohème, as Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress, as Sharpless in Madame Butterfly, as Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, as Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte and as Dourlinski in Cherubini's Lodoïska at La Scala, which was recorded live for Sony.



In 2005 William took the title role in Handel’s Hercules in a Luc Bondy production which was filmed for broadcast and DVD release. He is also much in demand on the concert platform, appearing at a range of venues including the Orange Festival in France, and recording performances with the likes of Sir Georg Solti and Riccardo Chailly.

Certified Copy  is the story of a meeting between one man and one woman, in a small Italian village in Southern Tuscany. The man is a British author who has just finished giving a lecture at a conference. The woman, from France, owns an art gallery. This is a common story that could happen to anyone, anywhere.



Bijan Tehrani: How were you first introduced to Certified Copy?
William Shimell: I was working with Abbas Kiarostami in the south of France at the opera Festival, where he was directing 2 years ago. Abbas asked me if I had ever been in a film and I said no and then he asked me if I would be interested in being in a film, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I though that maybe he is asking me to do a line or two or maybe just be on the background and sing but that was not what he had in mind at all.

BT: Did you read the script before getting involved with Certified Copy?
WS: I read the script before going to the shoot yes, but not before I accepted and signed the contract, basically I wanted to work with Abas and it would not have mattered what he proposed. I enjoyed the experience of working with him in France so much that I was very interested in working with him again whether it is with a film or any other project. The first version of the script I saw had been translated from Farsi into French and then from French into English; so after going through two translations in two languages it was almost incomprehensible, I think that the person who translated it from French to English did not do a very good job. Abbas and his assistant Massoumeh Lahidji did actually work very hard on the script to get it to what we eventually worked with.

BT: How did you communicate with Abbas and was there any difficulty with the language barrier?
WS: No, his assistant Massoumeh Lahidji is an astonishing translator and Abas English is not that bad. He can certainly make himself understood and one of the reasons why I enjoyed working with him is that I had a very good grip on what he was saying. When you work in Opera there is no real barrier in the language at all.

BT: When was the first time that you were exposed to Abbas work and when did you begin watching his films?
WS: To be honest I had never heard of him and I usually don’t go to the cinema, I have two young children and the only time that I go to the cinema is when I take my children to see films that young children like to see.  Otherwise I am not a film buff. When I was told that Abbas would be directing the opera I did a little homework just to see what I was going to be going up against. As a result I saw some of his films; I find them quite difficult I must say.



BT: How difficult was it to work in Certified Copy?
WS: It was horrifically difficult for me because I really did not know what I was doing; sometimes opera companies make  video operas for their own purposes or for DVD, but I am an opera singer and not really an actor so I did not know what I was doing really, it was hard. As far as the character that I was playing and story in the film I concentrated on each scene as I came to it and it wasn’t until the film was put together that I really had an idea of what the result would be.

BT: How much freedom did Abbas give you in terms of his direction?
WS: He is used to working with none actors and he has a very light hand when he directs and he tries not intimidate.  Especially with someone like me who is put I this situation and being in front of the camera, so I was never really aware that I was being directed; but Abbas still had a way of getting what he wanted.

BT: Describe working with Juliette Binoche?
WS: Well it was an enormous privilege to work with such a talented person and she was extraordinarily helpful and encouraging throughout the whole process really and I don’t know how I could have done it without her or everyone else’s help. One of the thing that surprised me was how open and eager everyone was to help out and work with someone who was inexperienced.



BT:
Did you do any study or research of the character that you were playing prior to the shoot? 
WS: Well I read and learnt the script, but I’m an opera singer and I am used to searching out the character from the words and the orchestra score from the music that is usually where the character is hidden in opera. I didn’t have that in this film so I had to focus more on what the character said and use what few tools I had in my experiences in opera; the dialogue has to be from within you and form your own experience and from your own personality.

BT: Did you have a chance to change the dialogue to your liking?
WS: We worked to try to make the dialogue sound as natural to an Englishman as I could, because I was the only English person working on the project.

BT: How much do you think that the location meant to Certified Copy?
WS: When people see the film they we see that the star is Juliette and the co-star is the Italian countryside. The atmosphere of Italian countryside and the colors of the buildings, of the sky and the Tuscan countryside paint such a vivid picture.  They really help shape the emotional structure in the film. What this film did do is give me a great deal of respect for film actors and I enjoyed making the film and it was a huge pleasure and privilege.

BT: Do you plan to be in another film in the future?
WS: I would love another  try and I had such a fascinating try and when you get to my age it is not often that you get the opportunity to try something different and I would love to learn some more.

Bami

4/4/2011

 ***** 

Leila HatamiBerlin film review: "Nader and Simin, a Separation"

Posted Thursday, February 24, 2011 12:54:05 PM


BERLIN
-- Just when it seemed impossible for Iranian filmmakers to express themselves meaningfully outside the bounds of censorship, Asghar Farhadi’s Nader and Simin, A Separation comes along to prove the contrary.



Apparently simple on a narrative level yet morally, psychologically and socially complex, it succeeds in bringing Iranian society into focus for in a way few other films have done.

Like About Elly (2009), which won Asghar Farhadi the best director award at Berlin two years ago and which went on to find release in many territories, it has the potential to engage Western audiences with the right handling.

Politics are ostensibly out of the picture, though the whole premise is based on a middle-class couple’s divorce because the wife Simin (Iranian star Leila Hatami) wants to move abroad to find a better future for their 11-year-old daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi). But that may not be the real reason for the separation.

Asghar FarhadiNader (Peyman Moaadi, seen in About Elly) is a decent man but a stubborn one, and he neglects his wife. Too proud to ask her to stay with him, he lets her move back to her mother’s place while he and Termeh are left to look after his aged father with Alzheimer’s disease. He hastily hires a poor woman named Razieh (Sareh Bayat) as a daytime caretaker, who signs on without telling him she’s pregnant (or does she?).

A few days later he fires her and shoves her out the door; she falls on the stairs (perhaps) and has a miscarriage. The rest of the film is a crescendo of tension as Razieh’s hot-headed, debt-ridden husband Hodjat (Shahab Hosseini) takes Nader to court for manslaughter.

continue on hollywoodreporter.com

Rushid

2/24/2011

 ***** 

We are honored to invite you to participate in the:

Iranian documentary Film Festival - Malmö | Sweden | Saturday 19 February 2011





If you are interested in contributing to the festival with your film please send your film to us. The deadline for receiving films is 15th February 2011. We have special sections for productions from amateurs, pupils and students.

For more information please contact us: iranfilmfestival@gmail.com 

Web site: http://doc-film-festival.blogspot.com/

or you can call us.

The phone number is:
0046 40 611 8585
 0045 2325 2218

The following organizations contribute to arrange the festival:
Seven Arts Association


Persian Social Democratic Association

Roxana

2/1/2011

 ***** 

Who’s afraid of Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof?

By Vera Mijojlic

"Cinema Without Borders is establishing an Open Page for Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof as an on-going, action-oriented commentary about the jailing of the filmmakers in Iran. The Page will remain open until Mr. Panahi and Rasoulof are freed, and free to make movies of their choice.

Film critic Vera Mijojlic is our first contributor. Cinema Without Borders invites readers, filmmakers, critics, supporters, and friends of international cinema to submit their comments and keep this Page active until Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof are freed".


 
First the physical jail for the body, then post-incarceration ban on the mind, heart and soul; wow. Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof are dangerous men alright. We got that. Compared to their predicament, Solzhenitsyn’s gulag years do not even compare.  After all Mr. Solzhenytsin was able to continue with his subversive creative activities. The two Iranian filmmakers are apparently  bigger threat to their homeland of more than 70 million people. Over there they seem to be trembling with fear at the sight of them. No small feat for a country of considerable military and spiritual might. So maybe we should investigate this affair a little bit deeper and find out who else might be so afraid that no other path was open to Mr. Panahi and Mr. Rasoulof but the one-way to jail, both here on Earth and within the more eternal realms of the future as well.

Both were found guilty of treason, disloyalty to their country, bent on telling stories for which they must have known would land them in trouble. To add insult to injury neither filmmaker wanted to flee to a nice country like say France and seek artistic asylum for their tortured souls. Instead they opted to stay put in Iran where they called to task its very solemn government. They made their government look bad, and expected clemency! What insolence on the part of Mr. Panahi and Mr. Rasoulof. They should have known that one doesn’t fool around with people who don’t have any sense of humor. Iranian leaders are somber, serious men, busy with policing a massive populace of restive compatriots. They have already made a mistake in letting a whiff of democracy blow through their heretofore closely controlled elections which led to a thing called hope in the person of an opposition candidate whom the two filmmakers may, for all we know, have supported or, insolent as they are, encouraged with their movies. Ah, the magic of moviemaking!

Democracy, as we have all learned during the past decade, can be a real nuisance. It is understandable that Mr. Panahi and Mr. Rasoulof saw no big advantage in fleeing to the West ruled by the leaders of the free world whose claim to fame rests in the ruins of their own populace through ingenious economic instead of crude police measures. Sensitive as artists tend to be, Mr. Panahi and Mr. Rasoulof probably saw no advantage in washing ashore west of their homeland as poor refugees hoping to make a beer commercial to sustain themselves.

No, they chose to stay in their country and defy its rulers.

And rulers like rulers eventually had enough. The united voice of these two filmmakers was one opposition voice too many. The more I think about it, the more I understand why Mr. Panahi and Mr. Rasoulof had to go to jail for all our sakes. Times are tough, and we have enough on our hands to deal with in their part of the world. Who has the time to continue messing with this case where no Western politician stands to gain anything?

Indeed, who? Who is left to keep Mr. Panahi and Mr. Rasoulof in our collective consciousness?

One is immediately thinking of the media. Yes, of course, the media! Surely, the media will do that. There are infinitely more news outlets today than ever before. But there is also a vast amount of news to digest. And as a consequence, whether we like it or not, we have grown numb, deaf, and indifferent because we have seen it all already, every single detail of human existence many times over. We have been given front row seats in the theater where punishing light was shed on every pitiful world leader, rebel, criminal, sociopath or genius alike. Everyone finally got their 15 minutes of fame, and quickly found out that without upping the ante forever, every single day, with another piece of news, whether real or engineered….if we stop broadcasting .....well, we then fall into the abyss of obscurity and non-existence. Our 15-minute lifetime span is up. Next!

And where do Mr. Panahi and Mr. Rasoulof feature in all this? This may sound harsh to you (after all, the men are in jail), but their time in our news cycle has been up for about a week now. Meanwhile fresh stories from around the world keep pouring in, the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar has just started, and one can always count on North Korea to provide the most entertaining and media-friendly content. Plus, too many calls for justice and petitions from human and animal rights groups and concerned citizens over the past media-heavy decade have had the same age-old effect on us as the shepherd who cried wolf too many times had on the villagers …. when it finally mattered, no one came.

 

What is one to do when the wish for information abundance comes true, as it has in our lifetime? Who knew that once we ‘got the knowledge’ about everything under the sun we’d grow weak, complacent, drained of attention and filled mostly with curiosity about the shiny objects of media desires, like indigenous people once were of glass beads, and rendered just as powerless and as easily manipulated?

For all I know Mr. Panahi and Mr. Rasoulof might have been jailed to serve another purpose, as chips in a future political bargain that we are not yet privy to between the “West” and the “East”. I have never met either one and who knows, both might be an unpleasant sort. Artists tend to be difficult people. But I asked myself, what if someone I knew, someone talented and in the prime of his or her creative life, someone whose future films I want to see, someone who can give me something to look forward to beyond the trashy headlines, what if someone like that got jailed? I’d be mad as hell!!!!

Perhaps, let’s face it, you’d be too – if it was your friend?

Do we wait for someone else to raise hell? And who, may I ask, is that someone else, precisely?

The quickly congealing media silence is cementing Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof further and further away. If they are being robbed of their future films, then I am robbed of experiencing them. If they do not get another chance at freedom, then I am poorer for one too. They did not murder anyone, or commit a crime for which they should be kept away from us. They made movies, problematic for the rulers of their country perhaps, but that’s the rulers’ problem, not theirs. We are free to critique their craft of film making, but we overstep our boundaries when we silence people for their thoughts, and in this case even future thoughts. Thoughts and stories and movies that are yet to come.

It is all too easy to blame everything on politicians and autocratic governments. Where are we in all this? To whom exactly do we transfer our responsibility when we grow tired of a news story? Ultimately, what is the meaning of ‘speaking up’ in the global entertainment circus?

The question we are faced with is not just the jailing of two filmmakers, but also the media death of the story. The encroaching silence that comes with diminishing media coverage, leading to indifference and ultimately forgetting.

In John Schlesinger’s “Marathon Man” Laurence Olivier famously kept asking Dustin Hoffman, “Is it safe?”

I guess it never really is, as Mr. Panahi and Mr. Rasoulof have already found out. There is no such thing as safety, so get over it. I am not afraid of whatever it is that I am supposed to be afraid of in a world so thoroughly infused with fear.  Are you?

JAFAR PANAHI, b. 1960, is one of the leading directors of the Iranian New Wave. He won praise and international acclaim with his films “The White Balloon”, “Crimson Gold” and “Offside” among others. He was in and out of jail in 2010 until December, when he was convicted of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran” and of undermining its national security. He was sent to jail for 6 years, and banned from making films, writing screenplays, giving interviews or leaving the country for the next 20 years after that. If his sentence stands, he will be 76 years old when he gets another chance at making movies.

MOHAMMAD RASOULOF, b. 1972,  gained international recognition with his first feature-length docudrama "Gogooman" (2002). His other films include multiple award-winner "Iron Island", as well as “The White Meadows”, and "Head Wind", a documentary about the restrictions currently imposed in Iran on using satellites and internet. He was also in and out of jail throughout 2010 and in December sentenced and sent to jail under the same terms as Jafar Panahi.

To comment, add your name to the Cinema Without Borders “Open Page for Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof”, Please email us at info@cinemawithoutborders.com and for post your comments in the same article in CWB BLOGS.

1/18/2011

 ***** 

Fakhri Khorvash IFF
Iranian Film Festival Honors Fakhri Khorvash


Veteran Iranian actress Fakhri Khorvash will be honored for her lifetime achievements during the Iranian Film Festival, which will be held in San Francisco on September 18 and 19.The ceremony has been arranged to honor her 50-year career in Iranian stage and screen.

Fakhri Khorvash, a star of Iranian intellectual theater for a few decades, has also been acting in movies since 1958. She has worked with several well-known Iranian filmmakers such as Bahman Farmanara and Dariush Mehrjui.

Fakhri Khorvash appeared for the first time in 1958 Sadegh Bahrami’s “Bohloul” and her last part in a movie was in Bahman Farmanara’s A Little Kiss (yek booseh khuchulu) in 2005.



Iranian Film Festival will screen Shazde Ehtejab (1974) as part of honoring ceremony for Fakhri Khorvash. Shazde Ehtejab that is based on book with the same title by Hooshang Golshiri, is directed by Bahman Farmanara.

Cinema Without Borders will soon publish its exclusive interview with Fakhri Khorvash.
 

Bami

9/19/2010

 ***** 

Enemies Of the People



"Enemies Of the People", which won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury prize at Sundance 2010, and a dozen other international Festival awards, still awaits permission for a national theatrical release from the Ministry Of Culture and Arts of Cambodia.

Cambodian reporter Thet Sambath and British documentarian Rob Lemkin collaborated on the exceptional "Enemies Of The People."

Sambath, whose family were killed in the "killing fields" of the Khmer Rouge, spent a decade patiently wooing a friendship with Khmer Rouge second in command, Nuon Chea AKA "Brother Number Two." Years into his freelance assignment, Thet Sambath met Brit filmmaker Rob Lemkin, who was on a research trip to Cambodia during the 2006 Khmer Rouge Trials. Dedicated Sambeth repeatedly visited Nuon Chea and other interviewees gaining their trust. These weekend trips to the countryside nearly destroyed his family life.

Smiling patiently as he listens to harrowing truths, Sambath never reveals that his family members were Kymer rouge victims, lest he lose the participant's stories. “I think only the killers can tell us the truth, why they killed the people and who ordered them to kill,” explains his narration, which reveals a Buddhist compassion as well as a tenacious digging for the truth. Peasant soldiers were forced to kill or face execution themselves. An uneasy interviewee smiles at the camera as he demonstrates the throat cutting style he was taught and used on hundreds of bound victims.

No amount of archival footage can match the power of this astounding documentary. What began as a investigation, seeking the justice that revealing the truth can bring, becomes over time, a lesson in forgiveness as Sambeth finds himself oddly concerned for the ailing Nuon Chea, once he's arrested to face War Crime trials.

Ten years of visits wears down Chea's defenses. The now frail 83-year-old tyrant, known as the ideological leader of the genocidal regime, at first denies knowledge of the local level assassinations. Eventually he acknowledges that the rural mass murders were policy handed down from the top. Sambath reveals that all his family was killed and Nuon Chea apologizes. This is the unique time that a high level Kymer Rouge accepted responsibility for the extensive war crimes. (Pol Pot died in 1998.)

Interviews with victim's relatives, peasants who point out where the bodies lay in the now tranquil countryside, and low-level participants in the army massacres add some additional color, but it is the final resolution with Chea that gives the film it's dramatic force.

Durin 2009 the ECCC tried Comrade Duch, charged with the deaths of over 20,000 prisoners. He will serve an additional 19 years in prison for his 'Crimes Against Humanity". Nuon Chea (Brother Number 2) and three other senior Khmer leaders, charged with genocide, are awaiting trial.

Originally reviewed at SBFF, 2010. Opens August 26- Laemmle Music Hall.

Sohrab

8/27/2010

 ***** 

Rapping in Tehran


Hassan Khademi , the Iranian director of Rapping in Tehran, is a graduate with MA of Arts from University of Tehran and has conducted several research projects about Iranian underground music.

Hassan khademi's short film, Rapping in Tehran,  has participated in several international film festivals such as International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival and Peace on Earth Film Festival-Chicago.



Cinema Without Borders:
How did you come up with the idea of Rapping in Tehran?
Hassan Khademi: I am a social researcher and I have conducted research in the field of Iranian youths and also young subcultures in Iran and I’ve written some papers about them. During my research, I found that Persian rap is the most popular music style among young Iranians. I should say that Persian rap is something more than a music genre; it is a social phenomenon.

CWB: How challenging was it to shoot this film? Did you face any problems and limitations?
HK: Since underground music is illegal in Iran and underground singers, mostly Persian rappers, sometimes may face legal repercussions, these groups are not easily accessible and it is actually very difficult to find them. It took me 5 months until I could convince them to take part in my film.

CWB: Did you know all the bands and performers beforehand, or you did you get to know them over the shooting period?
HK: Before the shooting period, I had studied about all the important Persian rappers and I had listened to most of their works. During creation of the film I got to meet with them and made friendships which still last to this day.

CWB: How did you manage gain the trust of the artists performing in Rapping in Tehran?
HK: It was such a difficult job! The artists were particular in how they were filmed because they all feared of getting identified by the police, which would be troublesome for them. We tried to accommodate all of their requests to ensure their safety and peace of mind.

CWB: Did you have a visual style in mind when you started “Rapping in Tehran”, or would you say that your vision came through in post-production?
HK: I had a screenplay before shooting. But, like most documentary films, the events which happened during shooting changed the story of the film. For example, my film ends with the unwanted exile of some of the pioneering Persian rappers while, at the beginning, I hadn’t prospected this event. I can say my film was produced during the editing process.

CWB: Were there any of the artists that did now allow you to have them in Rapping in Tehran and were there any scenes that you liked that you had to remove from the final-cut?
HK: In this film, I went to the most talented Persian rappers, and the most important ones were ready to cooperate with me. A couple of them said they would only participate if I agreed to exclude other rappers because of their competition; a condition that I didn’t accept.
In terms of film scenes, I should say I loved some of them but I had to omit them because they didn’t correlate with the main story or they would create trouble for the rappers.

CWB: How did the artists react after seeing Rapping in Tehran?
HK: The musicians who have watched the film are very pleased. They are happy to be portrayed in a positive light and they enjoy how they are represented.

CWB: What is the current state of Iranian underground music and how do you see its future?
HK: Underground music is the most popular music genre amongst Iranian youths. My recent survey, which I conducted for a government organization in Iran, has confirmed my research results and also verified my understanding about underground Persian rap during the shooting period.
It is difficult to foresee the future of this genre, but it is obvious for me that Persian rap in Iran is not the cause, but it is the effect. It doesn’t matter if the effect is Persian rap or anything else, as long as the cause is still there.

CWB: Are you working on any new projects?
HK: Yes. I am in the research period of a film about Iranian clergies.

CWB: How can interested individuals watch Rapping in Tehran?
HK: Although my film cannot get permission to be shown in Iran, I have shown it in private gatherings with students, teachers and other Iranian elites—even to some cultural policy makers of the Iranian government. (An Interview with Cinema Without Borders)

Ali

4/24/2010

 ***** 

"No one Knows About Persian Cats, showed me a new way of looking at art" 

-- Bahman Ghobadi




No one Knows About Persian Cats
is the story of two young musicians that have recently been released from prison and decide to form a band. Together they search the underworld of contemporary Tehran for other players. Forbidden by the authorities to play in Iran, they plan to escape from their clandestine existence, and dream of performing in Europe. But with no money and no passports, it won’t be easy...

Bahman Ghobadi, director of No One Knows About Persian Catswas born on February 1st, 1969, in Baneh, a city near the Iran-Iraq border, in the province of Kurdistan, Iran. After receiving his high school diploma from Sanandaj, he moved to Tehran in 1992 to further his studies. Ghobadi began his artistic career in the field of industrial photography. Although he earned a B.A. in Film Directing from the Iranian Broadcasting College, he never properly graduated, believing that he learned more by making short films than by formal study. His direct experience with film helped him to expand his individualistic voice and his vision of the world he inhabited. He initially used 8mm film, shooting short documentaries as a starting point. From the mid-1990s on, Ghobadi’s short films began to receive foreign and domestic awards. LIFE IN FOG ("the most famous documentary ever made in the history of Iranian cinema") in particular was the recipient of a number of international prizes and opened new opportunities in Ghobadi’s career. With the making of his debut feature, A TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES in 1999, Ghobadi became fully recognized as an international director. The first full-length Kurdish feature film in the history of Iranian cinema, it firmly established Ghobadi as the leading Kurdish director from Iran.

Bijan Tehrani: How did you first encounter the story of No One Knows About Persian Cats?
Bahman Ghobadi: Three years ago I wanted to shoot a project called Thirty Seconds about Us. I didn’t get the permission for making that film and therefore I was very disappointed and I was looking for a solution for making a project that would help me overcome the disappointment that I had. I am a filmmaker and I had no other way but to make a film and just before saying goodbye to my crew and letting go because my project had failed, I decided that I would go to an underground music studio and record my songs and music and I would try to do some artistic work that way. When I went to record my music, there I met these Iranian underground musicians and I was amazed while learning about their goals; they opened up a new window for me. It showed me a new way of looking at art and a new way of being an artist, they gave me the courage and the bravery to know that I don’t have to wait in order to get permission to make a film, I don’t have to wait to go and get a budget; I could make a project about ideas such as underground Iranian music without a budget or permission. This way of filmmaking would allow me to go after ideas and subjects that we were not even allowed to get close to or even make a film about them. It became bigger than music, because there are so many problems and issues that are forbidden to talk about. I wanted to try an urban movie, making a movie in the city and about the city life.

BT: No One Knows About Persian Cats shows a new picture of Iran, we see a face of Iran that we have not seen before in any Iranian films.
BG: That’s quite true. At the Cannes Film Festival, everyone called this a new wave in Iranian cinema when they saw this film. I was hearing a lot of comments like that in the places that the film was showing, Iranians were coming to me after the film and telling me that they never knew that anything like this existed in Iran. As I mentioned, this whole thing was a gift given to me by underground Iranian musicians that actually let me find a new way of telling a story which was different than the other movies that I had worked on. Also, in this film I showed a whole new face of the capitol of Iran, this was also because of the subject of the film which allowed me to show this face of the city.

BT: I wanted to know, among the characters in the film, if they are real characters or fictional ones.
BG: Every character, every group, every location; everything in the film is real—nothing is fiction in this film. Before we started this film, we had conducted interviews with the characters that you see in the film. We used all of the comments and all of the real stories of the characters and musicians in order to build this screenplay. Every scene of the film that you see with a band is a result of conversations with the real members of that band, their experiences and all of the things that have happened to them. Every single event in the film, everything that happens to every character is based on real stories.

BT: Something that is amazing to me is how brave the characters in the film are; that despite the circumstances in their country, they openly come out to participate in this type of film. Were they not scared of the consequences that could possibly follow?
BG: I just got a little bit of my bravery from these guys: they are really, really brave. The film is limited to the bands who participated, but there are thousands of bands in Tehran only playing music. But my film is an hour and a half and there was no chance of showing all of the bands. Even if I had filmed all of them, it would have been a messy project. When the bands that I shot got in front of the camera, they are just playing music; they are not saying anything that would cause trouble for them. They are protesting through their music in a very calm and polite manner, in a peaceful manner. When we were about to finish the film, the two main characters, Negar and Ashkan, told us that they were about to leave Iran in twenty days, and we based our story on the real struggles of this young girl and young boy who had been in jail because of their music. After they leave the jail, they put a band together and leave the country; their goal was to leave Iran and go to a place where they have more freedom to play and record music without restriction, they would then come back to Iran and educate on their experiences. I was thinking that they might get in trouble, but they are now in London and they are working on their first album.

BT: One of the characters in No One Knows About Persian Cats which I found quite impressive is Hich-Kass, Nobody. How did you first meet this character?
BG: I know Soroush personally and he is a very interesting and nice person, and he had a great influence over my work and this film. He introduced me to a man that had worked on his music videos and he helped me with the video clips in the film. He had a great effect over the structure in my film. He really loves Iran and even though he is currently under close observation and restriction, he still works under these hard conditions and teaches rap music to the underground musicians of our time. He is really a rebel, but at the same time he is a very honest person, like all of the other musicians in the film.

BT: You have a very unique style with this film as opposed to your other films; it’s an entirely new way of making films for you. How did you come up with the new style?
BG: Actually, this came from the music of the artists; I was listening to their music everyday and night. I wanted to make a film that was completely new for Iranian cinema and use unique locations and characters that are based on truth. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do more than what I had done, because we only had seventeen days to do the whole thing. I think everything else came from the music, trying to go and discover Iran and seeing the different layers of life in Iran—all of this came through the music. If this film is very energetic, that energy comes from the music of the bands that are in the film. First we were going to just have the camera in the studio and have the bands play for the camera and that would be the start of the film, but as I was listening to the music, I could see the visual interpretations of the music in my head. I decided that the viewer would want to see the visuals of this music that would give a face to the whole film.

BT: Right now, you are living outside Iran. Some say that an artist that is cutting his roots and living elsewhere can’t match the quality of his previous work. Do you agree with that?
BG: I have not left my country forever; I left my country to do a few projects, especially due to all of the censorship that is preventing the freedom of the artist. But soon I will go back to Iran, as I am not ready to leave that front. I want to go back and make my films there.

BT: Will you please tell us about your future projects?
BG: I am working on a movie that will be filmed in either the U.S. or in Germany. I am also working on a dark-comedy that will be shot mostly in English in Iraq. I hoped that I can make both of these projects happen and I will make the first one in 2010. I hope that these films will pass new messages and ideas to my audience.
BT: Thank you for your time and good luck.

Ali

4/23/2010

 ***** 

An interview with Lone Scherfig director of An Education

Bijan Tehrani

An Education
happens in the post-war, pre-Beatles London suburbs. A bright schoolgirl is torn between studying for a place at Oxford and the more exciting alternative offered to her by a charismatic older man.

Lone Scherfig director of An Education , was born in Copenhagen and studied film at the University of Copenhagen and the National Film School of Denmark. She has written and directed short films, radio dramas and television series. Lone has collected 22 awards and 11 nominations for her work. Italian for Beginners (the fifth Danish Dogma Film) received a FIPRESCI award and a Silver Bear Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, and the Robert Award for Best Original Screenplay from the Danish Film Academy. Her features include The Birthday Trip and On Our Own. Her first English language film Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself received the FIPRESCI prize and a host of international film awards. Lone conceived the characters which formed the basis for Andrea Arnold’s Cannes Jury Prize winning film Red Road. Lone is a recipient of Denmark's prestigious Carl Dreyer Honorary Award. Just Like Home, her last feature before An Education, screened at the Toronto Film Festival in 2007.


Bijan Tehrani: What initially motivated you to make An Education?
Lone Scherfig: When I read the script, I was seduced by David just like everybody else. I wanted to make close-ups of this male character and be in this world for a while. I wanted to look through the eyes of this girl that I could understand and identify with.

BT: One thing that is very impressive about the film is the visual style. How did you come up with the visual style of your film?
LS: We wanted to do something that had the innocence that Jamie has. When you see things for the first time through her, it should be something that is not pretentious, but we are in her mind and the film works to get an impression of this girl’s view of the world. I think it is hard to make period films entertaining and I don’t want the audience to sit and focus on costumes and production design. They should interpret the story and then, after the film, they can absorb the time and space.

BT: How has this film been received by younger audiences?
LS: I don’t know, but when we tested the film, they liked it: They understand it and they related with the characters. This is about a character that gets an education for her sake, and decides how she wants to live, so I feel that this is an important message to send to young people. We see many issues that effect youth. We have underage sex, drugs, and racism; on the other hand I think that the film has very strong values and I would not mind my daughter watching the film.


BT: There is a touch of Tony Richardson filmmaking present in this film. Did you intentionally draw influence from this director?
LS: No, my cinematic background is Scandinavian. I love more southern European films and the directors that I feel closer to are French and Italian. I looked at the films that were made during the 60’s just to get a better understanding of the period and to interpret the language.


BT:
An Education is a very international film in terms of the cast and crew. As a Scandinavian, what do you think that you bring to the film in terms of your own background?
LS: I did a lot of research to make up for my lack of knowledge on British culture. I know that there are things that you take for granted as an Englishman that I don’t, so it makes it easier to understand for people that are not British. You do not need to be British to understand this film. Peter and I are the only outsiders.

BT: How did you go about casting the film?
LS: The casting director found many, many girls and Carey was one of them. I liked her from the beginning and it is wonderful to see how her career is taking off at a wonderful speed.

BT: How did you actually work with Carey Mulligan?
LS: We just talked everyday and I let her try things out and expand her range and help each other. We rehearsed a little bit, but not that much; you don’t want to over-rehearse a comedy because it flattens it. We never had any conflict and I would love to work with her again.

BT: And how was it like working with Alfred Molina?
LS: He was wonderful! He was just a pleasure and he would always make everyone around him happy. He got the character straight away and he understood the actor completely. He grew up in England and he said that he had met men like his character when he was a child.

BT: What was it like working with the Director of Photography on this film?
LS: John and I love the same things and the same films, and he is a great person. John has a great crew that he works with, which is important in creating a nice atmosphere on the shots, even if we shot the film in six-and-a-half weeks, we still had time to try things out. (Link to the interview)

Ali

4/22/2010

 ***** 

 

Samuel Maoz Israeli Samuel Maoz wins Golden Lion in Venice
 VENICE, Italy (AFP) 
 
Posted 14 September, 2009 | by Fiona

"Lebanon" by Israeli Samuel Maoz, the story of the first Lebanon war told from inside an Israeli tank, won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival Saturday.




"I know it may be naive, but I like to believe that the film I made will open people's minds and that they will ask themselves who it is that we are," Maoz said.


 

Synopsis

June, 1982 - The First Lebanon War. A lone tank and a paratroopers platoon are dispatched to search a hostile town - a simple mission that turns into a nightmare. The four members of a tank crew find themselves in a violent situation that they cannot contain. Motivated by fear and the basic instinct of survival, they desperately try not to lose themselves in the chaos of war.




Cast:
 
 Reymond Amsalem ...  Assna
 Ashraf Barhom  
 Oshri Cohen ...  Herzel
 Yoav Donat ...  Shmulik
 Michael Moshonov ...  Yigal
 Zohar Shtrauss ...  Gamil
 Dudu Tassa  
 Itay Tiran ...  Asi


Colin FirthColin Firth, star of Tom Ford's "A Single Man," picked up the Volpi Cup for best actor, while Russian actress Ksenia Rappoport won best actress for her role in "La Doppia Ora."

"I'm here for the gift that Tom Ford gave me," Firth said as he accepted the award. "Tom Ford had a cause that he put in my hands, so it became a very important thing for me as well."

Ford's film about a gay professor mourning the death of his partner is an adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's landmark 1964 novel.




"A Single Man," a first film for former Gucci designer Ford, 48, offers a moving snapshot of life as a homosexual more than four decades ago.

Iranian photographer and visual artist Shirin Neshat won the Silver Lion for best director for "Women Without Men."

Her directorial debut dissects Iranian society at the time of the 1953 CIA-backed coup that overturned the nationalist government of Mohammed Mossadegh and installed the shah in power.



Shirin NeshatAgainst that backdrop, four women -- a prostitute, an activist, a cosmopolitan woman and a traditional young girl -- fight for individual freedom and independence, winding up together at an idyllic orchard in the countryside.

"This has been a labour of love for six years," Neshat said. "This film speaks to the world and to my country," she said, ending her remarks by making a "V for victory" sign.(Venice Film Festival 2009 Winners)

Basim

11/25/2009

 ***** 

A Prophet wins inaugural London Film Festival best film award

28 October, 2009 | By Sarah Cooper





The Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival’s inaugural Star Of London award for best film went to Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet at the awards ceremony last night


Jacques Audiard

Jury chair Anjelica Huston said of France’s foreign-language Academy Award submisison: “A masterpiece, Un Prophete has the ambition, purity of vision and clarity of purpose to make it an instant classic. With seamless and imaginative story-telling, superb performances and universal themes, Jacques Audiard has made a perfect film.”

The jury gave a special mention to John Hillcoat’s The Road.

In another first-time presentation, the Best British Newcomer award celebrating a film-maker who had demonstrated “real creative flair and imagination with their first feature” went to The Scouting Book For Boys screenwriter Jack Thorne.

The jury gave a special mention to J Blakeson, the writer and director of The Disappearance Of Alice Creed, which premiered recently in Toronto.

The longstanding Sutherland Award presented to the maker of the most original and imaginative first feature went to Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani’s Ajami, Israel’s foreign-language Oscar submission.

The London Film Festival Grierson Award for best documentary was presented to Yoav Shamir for Defamation.

John Hurt and Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé earned BFI Fellowships for their “significant achievements in the fields of acting and directing.”

Hurt stars in two films that screened in the festival, 44 Inch Chest and The Limits Of Control. Cissé’s Tell Me Who You Are received its UK premiere at the festival

Bami

10/29/2009

 ***** 

Nahid Persson and Farah Diba to compete at Sundance

Nahid Persson Sarvestani’s film The Queen and I (Drottningen och jag) is the first ever Swedish documentary to compete at the Sundance Festival.

The Queen and I
The Queen and I is selected for competition Photo: Real Reel

It was recently announced that Nahid Persson's new documentary The Queen and I, about Farah Diba, has been selected to compete in January's Sundance Film festival. This marks the first time ever that a Swedish documentary is in competition at Sundance.

Representatives for the festival ploughed their way through 1,623 documentaries from around the world, selecting 16 for the World Cinema section and 15 for the American section.

"It's fantastic, Sundance is so big. I recently presented the film at IDFA in Amsterdam and was totally bowled over by the reception. The film screened six times to completely full houses," says Nahid Persson. "And since the Sundance announcement I've had emails from several major companies wanting to distribute the film. That's very cool indeed!"



Two years ago Nahid Persson travelled to Iran to finish off her film Four Wives – One Man, which went on cinema release last year. As soon as she landed at Teheran Airport she was arrested and subjected to intense interrogation, culminating in her being forced to sign a declaration that she would make no more films about Iran. And it was during these interrogations that she got the idea for her latest film.
 
Going back thirty years, Nahid took part in the revolution which ousted the Shah and brought down the monarchy in Iran. Yet she has always been fascinated by the Shah's wife, Farah Diba. And it is to this seemingly unlikely subject that she has turned so many years after the revolution and the betrayal she felt at being forced into exile, a fate she shares in common with the former queen. During the two years of filming her former adversary there were many moments of disagreement, but also of surprise and revelation. The film unfolds a meeting between two women who have much more in common than either of them might have imagined.

Distributed by Folkets Bio, The Queen and I opens in Sweden on 13 February 2009.
The Sundance Film Festival runs from 15-25 January 2009.

Alirus

2/16/2009

 ***** 

 

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