Israeli ‘band movie’ tops Tokyo Film Festival
2007 Tokyo Film Festival: Oct. 20–28.
Eran Kolirin’s The Band’s Visit, about an Egyptian police band stranded in a small Israeli town, was the top winner at the 2007 edition of the Tokyo Film Festival. The Band’s Visit has also won the Jury Coup de Coeur Award at the Cannes Film Festival (in the Un Certain Regard sidebar), two European Film Awards, and eight Ophir Awards from the Israeli Film Academy. The film is also up for a Spirit Award for best foreign-language film. The US-based Academy was much criticized for disqualifying The Band’s Visit from the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar category because most of the film’s dialogue is in English.
Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix
The Band’s Visit (Director Eran Kolirin)
Special Jury Prize
The Western Trunk Line (Director Li Jixian)
Award for Best Director
Director Peter Howitt Dangerous Parking
Award for Best Actress
Shefali Shah Gandhi My Father
Award for Best Actor
Damian Ul Tricks
Award for Best Artistic Contribution
The Waltz (Director Salvatore Maira)
The Audience Award
Leroy (Director Armin Voelckers)
Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film Award
Singapore Dreaming (Directors Yen Yen Woo and Colin Goh)
Asian Film Special Mention
Dancing Bells (Director Deepak Kumaran Menon)
Japanese Eyes Best Picture Award
United Red Army (Director Koji Wakamatsu)
Japanese Eyes Special Award
Tears of Kitty (Director Toshiyuki Morioka)
The 4th Akira Kurosawa Award
Jury: Alan Ladd, Jr. (President), Serge Losique, Nicola Piovani, Wu Nien-Jen, Kioko Kagawa, Yasuo Furuhata
2nd Rome Film Festival Awards – 2007
The 2nd Rome Film Festival ran from Oct. 18-27, 2007.
The 2nd Rome Film Festival awards were announced on Oct. 27, 2007.
Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman, Juno is a comedy about a resourceful Minnesota teenager (Ellen Page) who becomes pregnant and then sets out to get things ready for the upcoming baby.
BEST COMPETITION FILM
Juno, Jason Reitman, U.S.
Jiang Wenli for Li Chun / And the Spring Comes, China
Rade Serbedzija for Fugitive Pieces, Canada-Greece
SPECIAL JURY AWARD
Hafez, Abolfaz Jalili, Iran-Japan
ALICE IN THE CITY (CHILDRENS SIDEBAR) K-12 SECTION
Canvas, Joseph Greco, U.S.
YOUNG AUDIENCES SECTION
Meet Mr. Daddy, Kwang Su Park, South Korea
ALICE IN THE CITY BOOK SECTION
Ragazzi di Camorra, Pina Varriale
FASTWEB PRIZE FOR THE PREMIERE SECTION
Into the Wild, Sean Penn, U.S.
L.A.R.A. AWARD FOR ITALIAN PERFORMER
Giuseppe Battiston for The Right Distance, Italy
CULT NETWORK AWARD FOR DOCUMENTARY
Forbidden Lie$, Anna Broinowsli, Australia
ENEL CUORE PRIZE FOR BEST SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY
War/Dance, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix-Fine, U.S.
MINI PRIZE FOR BEST EUROPEAN PROJECT IN NEW CINEMA NETWORK
Slawomir Fabiki for Bonobo Jingo, Poland
Jury: President: Denis Tanovic. Peoples jury comprised of 50 “film lovers of all ages who go to see every kind of film imaginable; fans, but not fanatics.” Of those, thirty are non-fanatics from Italy; 20 come from elsewhere in Europe.
44th Golden Horse Awards
The 44th Golden Horse Award nominees were announced on Oct. 27.
The 44th Golden Horse Award winners were announced on Dec. 8.
Lust, Caution has been nominated for 11 Golden Horse Awards, in addition to a nomination for director Ang Lee as Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year. Lee’s intriguing, beautifully made World War II drama about a resistance spy who tries to ensnare a collaborator in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, has already won top honors at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Lust, Caution stars Best New Performer nominee Tang Wei, excellent as the conflicted resistance spy, and Best Actor nominee Tony Leung Chiu Wei.
Best Feature Film
what on earth have I done wrong?!, Honto Production presents
Tuya’s Marriage, Xi anMovice And Television Production.Ltd.
Getting Home, Filmko Entertainment Limited
The Home Song Stories, Film Finance Corporation Australia
* Lust, Caution, Focus Features and River Road Entertainment, Haishang Films
The outstanding Taiwanese Film of the year
what on earth have I done wrong?!, Honto Production presents
The Drummer, Arc Light Films, Emperor Motion Pictures
* Secret, Zoom Hunt International Productions CO, Ltd , EDKO Films LTD
Exotic Exoticism: Plant Wars, Asio Liu (Mimeo Films)
* Hollywood Chinese, DeepFocus Productions, Inc.
Wang Quan An, Tuya’s Marriage
YAU Nai Hoi, Eye in the Sky
* Ang Lee, Lust, Caution
Li Yang, Blind Mountain
Best Leading Actor
Gurmit Singh, Just Follow Law
Zhao Ben Shan, Getting Home
Aaron Kwok, The Detective
* Tony Leung Chiu Wei, Lust, Caution
Best Leading Actress
Yu Nan, Tuya’s Marriage
* Joan Chen, The Home Song Stories
LI Bing Bing, The Knot
Tang Wei, Lust, Caution
Best Supporting Actor
Wu Jing, Invisible Target
Joel Lok, The Home Song Stories
* Tony Leung Ka Fai, The Drummer
Louis Koo, Protégé
Best Supporting Actress
Chang Chun Ning, what on earth have I done wrong?!
Maggie Shiu, Eye in the Sky
* Fan Bing Bing, The Matrimony
Alice Tzeng, Secret
Best New Performer
Eddie Peng, My DNA Says I Love You
Joel Lok, The Home Song Stories
Enno, Summer’s Tail
* Tang Wei, Lust, Caution
Best Original Screenplay
Bon Sek Yieng, Tan Wei Lyn, Just Follow Law
Lu Wei, Tuya’s Marriage
Singing Chen, Lou Yi An, God Man Dog
* Tony Ayres, The Home Song Stories
Best Screenplay Adaption
Izo Hashimoto, Szeto Kam Yuen, Shamo
Jacob Cheung, A Battle of Wits
Shu Ping, Kiang Wen, Guo Shi Xing, The Sun Also Rises
* Hui Ling Wang, James Schamus, Lust, Caution
Yang Wei Han, The Most Distant Course
Fung Yuen Man, Shamo
* Mark Ping Bin Lee, The Matrimony
Rodrigo Prieto, Lust, Caution
Best Film Editing
Singing Chen, God Man Dog
David Richardson, Eye in the Sky
* Zhang Yi Fan, Jiang Wen, The Sun Also Rises
Tim Squyres, Lust, Caution
Best Original Film Score
Anthony Chue, Invisible Target
Guy Zerafa, Eye in the Sky
Terdsak Janpan, Jay Chou, Secret
* Alexandre Desplat, Lust, Caution
Best Original Song
“Jasmine” (from Spider Lilies)
Lyrics: Zero Chou, Tom Shu Yu LIN, Composer: Insecteens, Performer: Rainie Yang
“Blood Brothers” (from Blood Brothers)
Lyric: Francis Lee, Composer: Kubert Leung, Performer: Shu Qi
* “Secret” (from Secret)
Lyrics: Fang Wen Shan, Composer and Performer: Jay Chou
“Little Love Song” (from Exit No.6)
Lyrics and Composer: Wu Ching Feng, Performer: Soda Green
Best Art Direction
Huang Mei Ching, God Man Dog
* Anuson Pinyopotjanee, The Detective
Melinda DORING, The Home Song Stories
Pan Lai, Lust, Caution
Best Makeup & Costume Design
Doris Song, Road to Dawn
Kirsten Veysey, Cappi Ireland, The Home Song Stories
Moe Kasim, Dollei Seah, 881
* Pan Lai, Lust, Caution
Best Visual Effects
Michael Yeoh, Just Follow Law
Stephen Ma, Twins Mission
BULKY Animation Studio, Studio 2, The Wall-Passer
* Wong Wang Tat, Wong Wang Hin, Cheung Yiu Ming, Donnie Lai, Secret
Best Action Choreography
Wong Wai Leung, Shamo
LEE Chung Chi, Invisible Target
Stephen Tung, A Battle of Wits
* Donnie Yen, Flash Point
Best Sound Effects
* Tu Duu Chih, Kuo Li Chi, Tang Xiang Zhu, The Most Distant Course
Kinson Tseng, Confession of Pain
Steve Burgess, He Wei, A Battle of Wits
Soundfirm Beijing, Flash Point
Best Short Film
Temptation, Serenity Entertainment International
* Fly Out Blue, Jack Shih
Summer of Magic, Graduate School of Filmmaking , TNUA & Public Tevelision Service Foundation & Wang Cheng Yang
Father’s Finger, Flash Forward Entertainment
The outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the year
* Ang Lee
Niu Chen Zer
Lifetime Achievement Award: Edward Yang
Jury: CHANG, Chang-Yan (Chairman of the Jury), LEE Daw Ming, LANG Tsu Yun, CHEN Huan Chang (Bug), CHANG Ching Bei, TSAI Guo Jung, CHENG Wen Tang, Isabelle WU, Mabel CHEUNG, Sylvia FENG, HAN Yun Chung, Watanabe Takayoshi, Kim Sung-Soo
Israeli Best Foreign Language Film Entry Disqualified for the Oscars
Israel’s submission for the best foreign-language film Academy Award, Eran Kolirin’s The Band’s Visit, has been disqualified for the 2007 Oscar in that category because more than half of the film’s dialogue is in English.
As the Israeli Academy’s best film winner, The Band’s Visit was automatically selected as Israel’s Oscar entry. According to Miriam A. Shaviv in The Jerusalem Post, the Israeli Academy has appealed the rejection but it appears that Joseph Cedar’s Beaufort, the Academy’s best film runner-up, will become Israel’s official entry.
“The real question is why this situation came to pass at all,” says Shaviv. “There are clear rules posted on the Oscar Web site that insist that nominated foreign language films appear ‘predominantly’ in the primary language of the submitting country. [sic] The Band’s Visit was in clear violation of this pre-requisite. Is it arrogance or sheer lack of organization that prevented Israel’s Academy from slightly altering its film submission to meet the US Academy’s requirements? The Jerusalem Post predicted the problem in September, so why has the Israeli Academy been caught unprepared?”
Regarding the “sic” above: The U.S. Academy has changed its rules, allowing countries to submit films spoken in a language other than the official language(s) of the submitting country. That’s why last year Canada was allowed to submit Deepa Mehta’s Hindi-language drama Water.
The Band’s Visit, which has received widespread praise at several film festivals, revolves around an Egyptian police band stranded in a small Israeli town. Beaufort, the Best Director Silver Bear winner at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, tells the story of the last Israeli battalion to leave Lebanon.
In her article, Shaviv adds that “Jerusalem Post film critic Hannah Brown speculates that voting members of the US Academy will more easily relate to the Israelis portrayed in a military drama than those in Kolirin’s apolitical film.”
Even though The Band’s Visit seems to be anything but apolitical, Brown could well be right. Academy members tend to like their nominated films to display their Messages in bold, capital letters. In turn, this predisposition for the obvious means that Academy members – especially those who vote in the foreign-language category – need to have their cinematic horizons expanded quite a bit.
The last time an (official) Israeli entry received an Academy Award nomination was in 1984. The movie in question, Uri Barbash’s Beyond the Walls, portrays the struggles of Arab and Israeli inmates at a corrupt Israeli prison facility.
In 2005, the German-Israeli-Palestinian co-production Paradise Now also received a best foreign-language film nod, but as a Palestinian entry.
Gotham Awards: ‘Great World of Sound’
Great World of Sound – Craig Zobel, director; Melissa Palmer, David Gordon Green, Richard Wright, Craig Zobel, producers (Magnolia Pictures)
I’m Not There – Todd Haynes, director; Christine Vachon, James D. Stern, John Sloss, John Goldwyn, producers (The Weinstein Company)
* Into the Wild – Sean Penn, director; Sean Penn, Art Linson, Bill Pohlad, producers (Paramount Vantage & River Road Entertainment)
Margot at the Wedding – Noah Baumbach, director; Scott Rudin, producer (Paramount Vantage)
The Namesake – Mira Nair, director; Lydia Dean Pilcher, Mira Nair, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
The Devil Came on Horseback – Annie Sundberg & Ricki Stern, directors; Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg, Gretchen Wallace, Jane Wells, producers (International Film Circuit)
Jimmy Carter Man from Plains – Jonathan Demme, director; Jonathan Demme, Neda Armian, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)
My Kid Could Paint That – Amir Bar-Lev, producer/director (Sony Pictures Classics)
* Sicko – Michael Moore, director; Michael Moore, Meghan O’Hara, producers (The Weinstein Company)
Taxi to the Dark Side – Alex Gibney, director; Alex Gibney, Eva Orner, Susannah Shipman, producers (THINKFilm)
Best Ensemble Cast (tie)
* Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead – Albert Finney, Rosemary Harris, Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian F. O’Byrne, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Marisa Tomei (THINKFilm)
The Last Winter – Connie Britton, Kevin Corrigan, Zach Gilford, James LeGros, Ron Perlman (IFC First Take)
Margot at the Wedding – Jack Black, Flora Cross, Ciarán Hinds, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Zane Pais, John Turturro (Paramount Vantage)
The Savages – Philip Bosco, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
* Talk to Me – Cedric the Entertainer, Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mike Epps, Vondie Curtis Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Martin Sheen (Focus Features)
Lee Isaac Chung for Munyurangabo
Stephane Gauger for Owl and the Sparrow
Julia Loktev for Day Night Day Night (IFC First Take)
David Von Ancken for Seraphim Falls (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
* Craig Zobel for Great World of Sound (Magnolia Pictures)
Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage)
Kene Holliday in Great World of Sound (Magnolia Pictures)
* Ellen Page in Juno (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Jess Weixler in Teeth (Roadside Attractions)
Luisa Williams in Day Night Day Night (IFC First Take)
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You
August the First – Lanre Olabisi, director; Shawn Alexander, Gabriel “Swede” Sedgwick, Nicky Arzeu Akmal, Lanre Olabisi, producers
* Frownland – Ronald Bronstein, director; Marc Raybin, producer
Loren Cass – Chris Fuller, director; Chris Fuller, Frank Craft, Kayla Tabish, producers
Mississippi Chicken – John Fiege, director; John Fiege, Anita Grabowski, Victor Moyers, producers
Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa – Jeremy Stulberg & Randy Stulberg, directors; Eric Juhola, Jeremy Stulberg, Randy Stulberg, producers
Actor Javier Bardem
Film critic Roger Ebert
Production designer Mark Friedberg
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg
Director Mira Nair
President of IFC Entertainment and creator of the IFC Center Jonathan Sehring
Vancouver Film Festival Awards
In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Marsha Lederman discusses Nick Wilson’s documentary The Prince of Pot: The US vs. Marc Emery.
Wilson’s documentary focuses on the U.S. government’s never-ending multibillion-dollar War on Drugs (the older sister of the equally ineffectual and wasteful War on Terror) and one of its targets, Canadian citizen Marc Emery, head of the B.C. Marijuana Party and owner of a mail-order marijuana-seed distribution business.
In her article, Lederman writes that “in 2005, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration asked Canada to extradite Emery and two of his employees to face drug-trafficking charges for sending seeds south of the border. Vancouver Police moved in and arrested him.
“And it was that fact – the co-operation of a Canadian police force with American anti-drug forces – that drew Wilson in. ‘Emery is a symptom of a much bigger issue, which is Canadian sovereignty,’ Wilson says. ‘Who’s setting our priorities? Is it us or is it the Americans?’”
The Prince of Pot: The US vs. Marc Emery is one of three Canadian films at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival focusing on marijuana’s legal limbo.
The other two are Brett Harvey’s The Union: The Business Behind Getting High and Weirdsville, a comedy directed by “proud pothead” Allan Moyle.
Harvey’s The Union asserts that market forces – with greedy power-players ranging from pharmaceutical giants to prison-guard unions – not health concerns, are keeping pot illegal. The Union was chosen best documentary at this year’s Winnipeg International Film Festival.
Written by Willem Wennekers, Weirdsville stars Scott Speedman and Wes Bentley (who was excellent as Chris Cooper’s unusual son in American Beauty) as a couple of pot smokers in Hamilton, Ontario, who get enmeshed with a quirky satanic cult.
“If there’s a reason these films have all found their way onto the big screen at this time, it’s as much about politics as it is pot,” adds Lederman. “With the current U.S. administration and its war in Iraq, the distinctions between Canada and the United States have never been so obvious. These Canadian filmmakers would like to see Canada distance itself from America’s war on drugs, too.”
The Vancouver Film Festival runs until Oct. 12.
Jennifer van Evra on the Vancouver International Film Festival at the Toronto Globe and Mail:
“While many Vancouverites were giving thanks and tucking into turkey dinners with their loved ones on Sunday [Thanksgiving in Canada takes place on the second Monday in October], Tracy D. Smiths family including her very traditional parents who drove in from Penticton were watching people win massive dildos and other sex toys at the world premiere of Smiths film, Taming Tammy. A modern-day adaptation of Shakespeares The Taming of the Shrew, the comedy centres around a sex-toy-party organizer who refuses to settle down, and the filmmaker marked the occasion by doling out several racy door prizes. Not surprisingly, some winners were a little reluctant to pick up their loot, said Smith at a packed after-party at Chivana. But actress Anne Marie Loder bravely accepted her rather grand prize, which was reportedly the first thing she had ever won.”
26th Vancouver International Film Festival Awards
The 26th Vancouver International Film Festival ran from Sept. 27–Oct. 12.
People’s Choice Award for Most Popular International Film
PERSEPOLIS, directed by Marjane Satrapi of Iran and Vincent Paronnaud of France
People’s Choice Award for Most Popular Canadian Film
SHE’S A BOY I KNEW, directed by Gwen Haworth of Vancouver
People’s Choice Award for the Most Popular International Nonfiction Film
GARBAGE WARRIOR directed by Oliver Hodge of the UK
Kyoto Planet Climate for Change Award
Directors Michael Stenberg, Johan Soderberg and Linus Torell of Sweden for THE PLANET.
Citytv Western Canada Feature Film Award
Director Carl Bessai of Vancouver for NORMAL.
Honorable Mention to YOUNG PEOPLE FUCKING by Martin Gero
Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Asian Cinema
FUJIAN BLUE by Robin WENG (WENG Shouming) (China)
MID-AFTERNOON BARKS by ZHANG Yuedong (China)
Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film
Director Anna McRoberts of British Columbia for THE WINDFISHERMAN.
NFB Best Canadian Documentary Award
Director Yung Chang of Québec for UP THE YANGTZE.
Special Mention: John Zaritsky from British Columbia for THE SUICIDE TOURIST.
Women in Film & Television Vancouver Artistic Merit Award
Gwen Haworth for writing / producing / directing / shooting / editing SHE’S A BOY I KNEW.
Festival of British Films in Dinard
The 18th Festival of British Films winners were announced in Dinard, Brittany, on Oct. 7.
David Mackenzie’s Hallam Foe follows a young peeping tom (Jamie Bell) who tries to find both love and the real cause of his mother’s death. Six British films were in competition at the 18th Festival du Film Britannique de Dinard, which opened with an out-of-competition screening of Ken Loach’s social drama It’s a Free World.
Hitchock d’Or: Hallam Foe by David Mackenzie
Special Mention: Once by John Carney
Audience Award – Hitchcock d’Argent (Silver Hitchcock): Brick Lane by Sarah Gavron
“Coup de Coeur” – Hitchcock de Bronze: Garage by Lenny Abrahamson
Best Screenplay: Abi Morgan and Laura Jones for Brick Lane
Prix Kodak for Best Cinematography: Giles Nuttgens for Hallam Foe
Best Short: Friends Forever by Marçal Forès
Jury: Josiane Balasko (president), Sylvie Testud, Kerry Fox, Linh Dan Pham, Imelda Staunton, Cécile Cassel, Etienne Chicot, Jocelyn Quivrin, Michael Grigsby, Laurent Gerra
Festival du Film Britannique de Dinard website.