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Home International Cinema Bollywood-Style Movie Tops Toronto + Japanese Death Drama Wins Montreal + Oscar-Winning Make-Up Artists Seminar

Bollywood-Style Movie Tops Toronto + Japanese Death Drama Wins Montreal + Oscar-Winning Make-Up Artists Seminar

Bollywood style movie tops Toronto Film Festival
Danny Boyle’s Bollywood-style drama – in spirit if not in deed – topped this year’s Toronto Film Festival: Slumdog Millionaire.

Toronto Film Festival awards: Bollywood-style movie tops

The fantastic story of a teenager from the slums of Mumbai told in flashback after his arrest on suspicion of cheating at India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Danny Boyle’s Bollywood-style drama Slumdog Millionaire received the People’s Choice Award at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival – and is already being touted as one of the top contenders for the 2009 Oscars.

Runners-up in the audience award category were Kristopher Belman’s More Than a Game and Cyrus Nowrasteh’s The Stoning of Soraya M. The former film is a documentary about five high-school basketball players from Akron, Ohio, one of whom (LeBron James) becomes a NBA star; based on a true story and on Freidoune Sahebjam’s bestseller (co-adapted by Cyrus and Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh), the latter film stars Shohreh Aghdashloo as a woman from a small Iranian village who recounts the tragic story of her friend Soraya (Mozhan Marnò) – a victim of human viciousness and religious intolerance – to a stranded French journalist (Jim Caviezel).

Other 2008 Toronto Film Festival winners:

  • Rodrigue Jean’s Lost Song follows a couple (Suzie LeBlanc, Patrick Goyette) whose lives take a drastic turn for the worse after they move to an isolated area north of Montreal;
  • Based on Jørn Riel’s novel, Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu’s Before Tomorrow depicts the fight for survival of an Inuit woman and her grandson after they’re trapped on a remote island;
  • Set in 1970s Long Island, Derick Martini’s Lymelife revolves around a 15-year-old (Rory Culkin) and his family (Alec Baldwin, Jill Hennessy) whose world is turned upside down after an outbreak of Lyme disease hits their suburban community, spreading illness and paranoia. Also in the cast: Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon, and Kieran Culkin;
  • and based on J. M. Coetzee’s novel, Steve Jacobs’ Disgrace is about a Cape Town University professor (John Malkovich), who, following a scandalous affair with a student, seeks refuge at a farm belonging to his daughter (Jessica Haines) – where trouble follows him.

Toronto Film Festival 2008 Winners

CADILLAC PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD: Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire

Runners-up: Kristopher Belman’s More Than a Game , Cyrus Nowrasteh’s The Stoning of Soraya M. (above)

CITY OF TORONTO-CITYTV AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FEATURE FILM: Rodrigue Jean’s Lost Song

Special Citation: Atom Egoyan’s Adoration

CITYTV AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE FILM: Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu’s Before Tomorrow

Special Citation: Lyne Charlebois’ Borderline

AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM: Chris Chong Chan Fui’s Block B

Special Citation: Denis Villeneuve’s Next Floor

DIESEL DISCOVERY AWARD: Steve McQueen’s Hunger

International Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize for Discovery: Derick Martini’s Lymelife

International Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize for Special Presentations: Steve Jacobs’ Disgrace

CANADIAN FEATURE FILM AWARDS JURY:
Filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming, filmmaker and actor Sarah Polley, programmer for the Locarno Film Festival Vincenzo Bugno, and producer Michael Burns

SHORT FILM JURY: Filmmakers Louise Archambault and Min Sook Lee, and Rotterdam International Film Festival programmer Peter van Hoof

FIPRESCI JURY:
Jonathan Rosenbaum, freelance – USA – Jury President
Nick Roddick, London Evening Standard – United Kingdom
Elie Castiel, Séquences – Canada
Ranjita Biswas, The Hindu – India
Kim Linekin, CBC Radio – Canada
Pablo Scholz, Clarin – Argentina

Montreal World Film Festival Awards

2008 Montreal World Film Festival (Montreal Festival des Films du Monde): Aug. 21-Sept. 1, 2008

In Yojiro Takitas Departures which beat well-received Canadian entry The Necessities of Life a young (and indebted) Japanese cellist (Masahiro Motoki) returns to his family home to look for some real work. While there, he inadvertently and more than a little reluctantly becomes a well-paid “corpse beautician,” preparing the remains of the departed before they’re put in caskets.

FEATURE FILMS

Grand prix of the Americas:
OKURIBITO (DEPARTURES) by Yojiro Takita (Japan)

Special Grand Prix of the jury :
THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (CE QU’IL FAUT POUR VIVRE) by Benoît Pilon (Canada)

Best Director :
THE TOUR (TURNEJA) by Goran Markovic (Serbia/Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Best Actress :
BARBARA SUKOWA for the film THE INVENTION OF THE CURRIED SAUSAGE (DIE ENTDECKUNG DER CURRYWURST) by Ulla Wagner (Germany)

Best Actor :
ERICK CAÑETE for the film TEO’S VOYAGE (EL VIAJE DE TEO) by Walter Doehner (Mexico)

Best Screenplay:
WELCOME TO FAREWELL-GUTMANN (BIENVENIDO A FAREWELL-GUTMANN) by Xavi Puebla, screenplay by Xavi Puebla and Jesús Gil (Spain)
NOBODY TO WATCH OVER ME by Riyoichi Kimizuka, screenplay by Ryoichi Kimizuka and Satoshi Suzuki (Japan)

Best Artistic Contribution :
WOLF (VARG) by Daniel Alfredson (Sweden-Norway-Finland)

Innovation Award:
IT ALL BEGINS AT SEA by Eitan Green (Israel)

SHORT FILMS

1st prize :
THE NECKTIE (LE NŒUD CRAVATE) by Jean-François Lévesque (Canada)

Jury Award:
FAL by Hans Van Nuffel (Belgium)

ZENITHS FOR THE BEST FIRST FICTION FEATURE FILMS 2008

Golden Zenith for the Best First Fiction Feature films :
FOR A MOMENT, FREEDOM (EIN AUGENBLICK, FREIHEIT) by Arash T. Riahi (Austria/France)

Silver Zenith for the First Fiction Feature Film :
WELTSTADT by Christian Klandt (Germany)

Bronze Zenith for the Fisrt Fiction Feature Film :
SUMMER BOOK (TATIL KITABI) by Seyfi Teoman (Turkey)

AUDIENCE AWARDS

Audience Award for the most popular film of the Festival:
THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (CE QU’IL FAUT POUR VIVRE) by Benoît Pilon (Canada)

Audience Award for the most popular Canadian Feature Film :
THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE (CE QU’IL FAUT POUR VIVRE) by Benoît Pilon (Canada)

Glauber Rocha Award for the Best Latin American Film :
DON’T LOOK DOWN (NO MIRES PARA ABAJO) by Eliseo Subiela (Argentina-France)

Award for Best documentary :
CHILDREN OF THE PYRE by Rajesh S. Jala (India)

Award for Best Canadian Short Film :
THE NECKTIE (LE NŒUD CRAVATE) by Jean-François Lévesque (Canada)

FIPRESCI PRIZE (INTERNATIONAL FILM CRITICS)
THE TOUR (TURNEJA) by Goran Markovic (Serbia/Bosnia and Herzegovina)

ECUMENICAL PRIZES
WOLF (VARG) by Daniel Alfredson (Sweden-Norway-Finland)

Special mention of the Ecumenical jury :
TEO’S VOYAGE (EL VIAJE DE TEO) by Walter Doehner (Mexico)

OTHER AWARDS

Special Awards for their exceptional contribution to the cinematographic art :
ALAN LADD JR.
TONY CURTIS
ISABELLE HUPPERT

OFFICIAL COMPETITION JURY
President : MARK RYDELL, director (U.S.A.)
EVELYNE BOUIX, actress (France)
JOHANNE DUGAS, representing the general public (Canada)
XIE FEI, director (China)
VOJTECH JASNY, director (Czech Republic)
DANY LAFERRIÈRE, writer and director (Canada)

First Fiction Films Jury
Pierre-Henri Deleau (France)
Denis Héroux (Canada)
Armand Lafond (Canada)

Irish & Artivist Film Festivals: Los Angeles Screenings

The Irish Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFF), the first “stand-alone” Irish film fest to be presented in the city, begins today and runs until Sunday, October 5, at the Clarity Theater in Beverly Hills.

The festival will open with the West Coast premiere of Eden (to be distributed in the US by Liberation Entertainment). Directed by Declan Recks and adapted by Eugene O’Brien from his own play, Eden follows a small-town married couple as they prepare for their 10th anniversary. Eileen Walsh (best actress winner at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival) and Aidan Kelly star.

Also of particular interest are:

Colm Meaney in Kings

Tom Collins’ Kings, the first Irish-language film ever submitted in the Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film category. Kings, which earned a record 14 Irish Film and Television Award nominations in 2008, chronicles the lives of six ambitious Irishmen who’d once dreamed of becoming rich in the construction industry of 1970s London. Starring Colm Meaney, Donal O’Kelly, Brendan Conroy, Barry Barnes, and Donncha Crowley, Kings ended up winning five Irish Film awards, including best editing (Dermot Diskin) and best supporting actor (Conroy).

A rare screening of the 1964 drama The Luck of Ginger Coffey, starring Robert Shaw and Mary Ure. Directed by Irvin Kershner, who later moved to Hollywood (The Eyes of Laura Mars, The Empire Strikes Back), The Luck of Ginger Coffey is based on Belfast-born writer and Malibu resident Brian Moore’s autobiographical novel about an Irish emigrant longing for personal freedom.

The West Coast premiere of Louis Lentin’s Grandpa…. Speak to Me in Russian and Valerie Lapin’s Shalom Ireland. In the former, director Lentin uncovers his family’s history and the world of the Jewish shtetl, while in the latter director Lapin presents a portrait of Ireland’s small Jewish community, with a soundtrack that mixes traditional Irish and Klezmer sounds.

Gerard Hurley’s The Pride takes place in a small gypsy (a.k.a. “Irish traveler”) community in Upstate New York, where a man (played by Hurley) returns from prison determined to win back his estranged wife (Nancy McNulty).

And three silent films:

  • A newly-formatted HD version of John Ford’s 1924 epic Western about the building of the transcontinental railroad, The Iron Horse, starring George O’Brien and Madge Bellamy.
  • Sidney Olcott’s 1910 production A Lad from Old Ireland, reportedly the first American production filmed abroad. The film is about an Irishman who returns to Ireland after making his fortune in the United States just in time to save his betrothed and her family as they’re about to be evicted from their land. A Lad from Old Ireland stars Olcott and Gene Gauntier.
  • Norman Whitten’s 1920 quasi-religious drama In the Days of St. Patrick, about the 4th-century man who went from prince to slave to priest, and who is credited for converting pagan Ireland to Christianity. Whether that’s such a good thing is debatable, but this rare film is a must-see. Both Irish silents will be accompanied by composer and conductor Eimear Noone.

The Clarity Theater is located at 100 N. Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills. $3 parking at the theater is available through the entrance on Crescent Drive (one block north of Wilshire).

Tickets are available at www.lairishfilm.com.

Artivist Film Festival

The 5th Artivist Film Festival, held at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, kicked off last night with a screening of Peter Josephs Zeitgeist Addendum, the sequel to Josephs documentary Zeitgeist which had its official world premiere at the 2007 Artivist. Since then, Zeitgeist has been released on Google Video, becoming as per the Artivist press release “an on-line phenomenon as the most downloaded film in Internet history.”

The 2008 edition of Artivist, which runs until Sunday, October 5, will screen no less than 40 films from no less than 40 countries. Themes range from human and animal rights (same thing, you say) to the environment.

Partial schedule and synopses of upcoming films are from the Artivist press release:

7:30PM – Friday, October 3, 2008

A POWERFUL NOISE

Director Tom Capello

Hahn is an HIV-positive widow in Vietnam. Nada, a survivor of the Bosnian war. And Jacqueline works in the slums of Bamako, Mali. Three very different lives. Three vastly different worlds. But they share something in common: Power. These ordinary women are overcoming deep-seeded gender barriers to rise up and claim a voice in their societies.

8PM – Friday, October 3, 2008

THEY TURNED OUR DESERT INTO FIRE

Director Marck Brecke

Mark Breckes They Turned Our Desert Into Fire tells the story of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan, through the perspectives of Amtrak passengers during a cross-country train trip, becoming an enlightening and emotional journey through an indifferent American media landscape into the heart of the Darfur tragedy.

9:30PMFriday, October 3, 2008

BOMB HARVEST

Director Kim Mordaunt

Rural poverty in Laos has triggered a brisk illegal trade in bomb scrap metal left from Americas Secret War over 35 years ago, and the local children are out hunting for bombs. This timely story is terrifying and yet filled with eccentric characters and humor, vividly depicting the consequences of war and the bravery of those trying to clear up the mess.

3PM – Saturday, October 4, 2008

COMPANIONS TO NONE

Director Bill Buchanan

Companions to None takes an in-depth look at the companion animal overpopulation and abuse crisis in Mexico, the consequences of which are animal suffering and serious human health issues.

8:00PM Saturday, October 4, 2008

ONE WATER

Director Sanjeev Chatterjee

Filmed in 14 countries across the globe, One Water brings home stunning non-verbal visual sequences, compelling expert commentary, local music and an overall score performed by the world-renowned Russian National Orchestra, to highlight mankind’s changing and challenging relationship to water.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2008 – 2008 ARTIVIST AWARDS

Honoring this year’s Winning Films and KPFK Radios 50th Anniversary as a Community Leader.

6PM: Red Carpet

7PM: Awards Ceremony

8PM: Dinner Reception and Musical Performances

‘Make-Up Artists and Hairstylists’: Academy seminar series featuring several Oscar-winning panelists

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ three-evening seminar series “Make-Up Artists and Hairstylists: A Forum on Contemporary Technique” will be held on Thursdays, Oct. 16, 23, and 30, from 7 to 10 p.m., at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

According to the Academy’s press release, ‘Make-Up Artists and Hairstylists’ will feature “a comprehensive look at contemporary motion picture make-up and hairstyling techniques from the perspective of the practitioners themselves. Each week’s topic will be illuminated by film clips, onstage discussions with working make-up artists and hairstylists, and questions from the audience.”

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Jim Carrey make-up Count OlafLemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, with Jim Carrey (as Count Olaf) under heavy make-up.

The “Make-Up Artists and Stylists” series schedule is as follows:

October 16 – Beauty Make-Up

  • Moderated by Oscar winner Bill Corso (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events), with Academy Award nominee Ronnie Specter (Batman Returns), Academy governor Leonard Engelman (Moonstruck), Tricia Sawyer (Casino, The Love Guru) and Bob Mills (Pretty Woman).

Oct. 23 – Character and Special Make-Up Effects

  • Moderated by Leonard Engelman, with six-time Oscar winner Rick Baker (Men in Black), two-time Academy Award nominee Kazuhiro Tsuji (Norbit), two-time Oscar winner Greg Cannom (A Beautiful Mind), and three-time Oscar winner Ve Neill (Ed Wood).

Oct. 30 – Hairstyling

  • Moderated by Leonard Engelman, with Oscar winner Gail Ryan (Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas), two-time Oscar winner Yolanda Toussieng (Ed Wood), Roy Helland (The Devil Wears Prada), and Kathy Blondell (Cast Away).

Tickets for the entire “Make-Up Artists and Hairstylists: A Forum on Contemporary Technique” series will be available beginning September 25 at a cost of $30 for the general public and $20 for Academy members and students with valid ID. Tickets may be purchased online at the Academy’s website. Tickets for individual evenings, if available, will be $10 at the door. The Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events Jim Carrey as Count Olaf image: DreamWorks Pictures / Paramount Pictures.

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