‘Cartoon Forum’ Europe’s Premiere Animation Pitching Conference Celebrates It’s 25th Year


Over the last 25 years, European animation found a firm supporter in Cartoon, an international non-profit organization based in Brussels, dedicated to helping animation professionals through the creation of several year-round events and seminars.  Cartoon Forum is one such event, slated to run from September 23-26 in Toulouse.

According to their website, “Cartoon Forum is a unique event focusing on pitching sessions of pre-selected TV projects, where animation producers can find cross-border partners and speed up financial arrangements.  It allows co-productions to be finalized, pre-buys agreed, negotiation of distribution agreements, options discussed on every type of right, and licensing of secondary rights.”

This year boasts the largest submissions numbering nearly 150, up nearly 50% and out of those 150 submissions 79 animation projects will be showcased.  Each project will be given 30 minutes to convince buyers, the website continues, “The pitching sessions are the core element of the Cartoon Forum; each project is presented in 30 minutes to all potential partners gathered in the same room.  A new category has been created: Short Pitch sessions, where several projects will be pitched in 10 minutes.  The screening of trailers in front of all participants during the traditional breakfast, Croissant & Coffee Shows gives a taste of the project and encourages people to attend the pitching sessions. ”

With a track record of 1 out of 3 projects gaining funding, this is an exciting and integral avenue for creators of animated works.  Check out Cartoon‘s website for complete details, here.


Grand Lyon Film Festival to Present Pedro Almodovar with 2014 Lumière Award

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Thierry Fremaux, Director of the Institut Lumière announced today that on Friday October 17th, the Grand Lyon Film Festival will be honoring Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar with the 2014 Lumière Award.  Almodovar is the controversial director of films such as All About My Mother, Bad Education, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! and Volver.  The Spanish director’s work has earned him considerable respect the world over, even earning him a Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay for his 2002 piece, Talk To Her.

According to the Grand Lyon Film Festival press release, “The Lumière Award was created by Thierry Frémaux to celebrate a filmmaker or personality of the cinema in Lyon, the very place where the Cinematograph was invented by Louis and Auguste Lumière, and where they shot their first film,Workers Leaving the Factory, in 1895. Because we must express our appreciation to the directors and artists of the cinema who fill our lives, the Lumière Award is a distinction reflecting time, gratitude, and admiration.”

This is only the 6th time the award has been presented, earlier recipients include Gerard Depardieu, Clint Eastwood, Ken Loach, Milos Foreman and Quentin Tarantino.

The Grand Lyon Film Festival is slated to run from October 13th – 19th.  Get all of the festival details at their website, here.

Guy Maddin and Kim Morgan Will Serve as Telluride Film Festival’s Guest Directors: Screen Daily

keyhole_aLooks like husband and wife team Guy Maddin and Kim Morgan will be serving as the Guest Directors at this year’s Telluride Film Festival according to the festival’s executive director Julie Huntsinger. Maddin and Morgan, who have been long associated with the festival, will host the event from August 29th through September 1st and present a hand-picked film series.

Jeremy Kay of Screen Daily writes: “Maddin has won the National Society Of Film Critics Award for best experimental film twice, for Archangel in 1991 and The Heart Of The World in 2001. He also earned the Telluride Silver Medallion in 1995.

Morgan is a film, music and culture writer who has written for numerous outlets.

“We are honoured and thrilled to be guest directors at Telluride, by far the most concentrated, smartly curated, and enchanting of all the film festivals,” said Maddin and Morgan.”

For more visit Screen Daily or to get more info on the Telluride Film Festival visit their website.

Slovakia’s Largest Film Festival ‘Art Film Fest’ To Feature An Alan Clarke Retrospective


This year’s Art Film Fest held in Trenčianske Teplice, will highlight over 130 films from around the globe, including a well-deserved retrospective to underrated British director Alan Clarke.

The festival will be screening 3 of his more well-known films:  Scum, which stars a youthful Ray Winstone, is about a young man sent to a British Borstal (reform school) who witnessed how the few in charge made no attempt to reform or help the young men sent to their institution but actually encouraged a brutal power struggle within the ranks of the students; Made in Britain (pictured above) highlighting Tim Roth in his feature debut as a young angst-ridden skinhead with no regard for authority, and The Firm with Gary Oldman in the lead role as a violent and uncompromising hooligan involved in a deadly rivalry with neighboring gangs.

Check out the trailers for each of the films below:


Made in Britain

The Firm

Alan Clarke’s influence has been felt far and wide but he remains largely unknown due to the bulk of his work being seen by only English television audiences.  As most of his films were made specifically for television, they suffered greatly from censorship because of his realistic portrayal of violence and his scathing views in response to the political climate of the time, more specifically, Margaret Thatcher’s Britain.

If you are in the area, don’t miss your chance to see these masterworks on the big screen.  The Art Film Fest will be getting underway in just over a week and is slated to run from June 21- 27th.  For more information, check out the Art Film Fest page, here.

2014 Seattle International Film Festival Winners Announced; Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ Takes Top Prize


The festivities are wrapping up and results are now in.  Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood comes out on top this year taking home several Golden Space Needle Awards including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress for Patricia Arquette.  Don’t fret if you missed your chance to catch the film during it’s run, it’s scheduled for nationwide release on July 11th.

Another film gaining some attention from Seattle audiences was Maciej Pieprzyca‘s Life Feels Good, running a close second in the film and director categories and winner of the Best Actor category for Dawid Ogrodnik.  

Be sure to check out the complete list of winners for the 40th Annual Seattle International Film Festival:

Golden Space Needle Awards:

Best Film: “Boyhood”

Runners-up (first to fourth): “Life Feels Good,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” “Big in Japan”

Best Documentary: “Keep On Keepin’ On

Runners-up: “Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory,” “I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story,” “Strictly Sacred: The Story of Girl Trouble,” “The Case Against 8″

Best Director: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Runners-up: Maciej Pieprzyca, “Life Feels Good”; Zaza Urushadze, “Tangerines”; Pawel Pawlikowski, “Ida”; Sara Colangelo, “Little Accidents”

Best Actor: Dawid Ogrodnik, “Life Feels Good”

Runners-up: Guillaume Gallienne, “Me, Myself and Mum”; Matt Smith, “My Last Year with the Nuns”; Felix Bossuet, “Belle & Sebastien”; Igor Samobor, “Class Enemy”

Best Actress: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”

Runners-up: Juliette Binoche, “1,000 Times Good Night”; Agata Kulesza, “Ida”; Jenny Slate, “Obvious Child”; Jordis Triebel, “West”

Best short film: “Fool’s Day”

Runners-up: “The Hero Pose,” “Strings,” “Mr. Invisible,” Aban + Khorshid”

Lena Sharp Award (for a female director’s film that receives the most votes in public balloting): “Bound: Africans Versus African Americans”

Competition Awards (voted on by juries)

Best New Director: Carlos Marques-Marcet, “10,000 KM”  (special jury mention: Chika Anadeu, “B for Boy”)

Best Documentary: “Marmato” (special jury mention: “Dior and I” and “Garden Lovers”

Best New American Cinema: “Red Knot”

Youth Jury Award for Best Futurewave Feature: “Dear White People”

Youth Jury Award for Best Films4Families Feature: “Belle & Sebastien” (special jury prize: “Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang”

Futurewave Wavemaker Award for Excellence in Youth Filmmaking: Malone Lumarda, “Black Rock Creek”

Futurewave Shorts Audience Award: “While We’re Asleep”

Futurewave Prodigy Camp Scholarship: Khidr Joseph, “Clapping for the Wrong Reasons”

Short Film Awards

Live Action: “Twaaga” (special jury mention: “Aban + Khorshid”

Documentary: “Maikaru” (special jury mention: “The Queen (La Reina”))

Animation: “Rhino Full Throttle”

Two Directors To Shoot Bergman’s ‘Scenes From A Marriage’ On Open Set (Cineuropa)

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Ingmar Bergman‘s 1973 Swedish television event, Scenes From A Marriage, chronicles 10 years of a couple’s relationship as they bond, deal with extra-marital affairs, split-up, etc.  Audiences found themselves connecting to the project’s honest narrative and as a result of the film’s large success, divorce rates increased dramatically and couples entering into counseling nearly doubled.  Artistically, the project enjoyed a wide scope of influence, causing numerous re-visits and remakes.

Now, the television mini-series will soon undergo an open set interpretation where the project will play out in front of a live studio audience.  The directors, Baker Karim and Sofia Norlin begin shooting the project as part of Bergman week on the island of Faro, situated near the Swedish mainland.

Jorn Rossing Jensen from Cineuropa explains, “Two Swedish directors, Baker Karim and Sofia Norlin, have worked on Bergman’s text together with students at Fårösund’s StoryEducation, a new educational scheme, and will film the scene with Swedish actors Alexander Karim and Josette Bushell-Mingo/Philomène Grandin in the roles originally played by Erland Josephson and Liv Ullmann.”

In this incarnation which is to take place during the week of June 23-29, the audiences gain a deeper understanding not only of the relationship unfolding on stage but also of the filmmaking process.  Jensen further explains, “Audiences for the open stage will receive a copy of the screenplay before they enter the studio so that they can watch how it is transferred to pictures and words, while the film is simultaneously edited and cut. Two days later, the results will be screened, and the directors will discuss their experiences of working with Bergman’s material.”

Be sure to check out the article at Cineuropa for complete details, here.  Also, if you’ve never seen the piece, check out the introduction:

SIFF Discovery: Quincy Jones’ Score For Sidney Lumet’s ‘The Pawnbroker’


Sidney Lumet’s 1964 The Pawnbroker, enjoyed a screening at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival earlier this week, as part of a celebration of the life and work of music giant and former Seattle resident, Quincy Jones.

Jones has scored a wide-range of film and television projects including The Out of Towners, The Italian Job (1969), In Cold Blood and In The Heat Of The Night.  Although the score for The Pawnbroker was one of his initial film projects, it is a sophisticated piece of work that could easily stand on it’s own.

The Pawnbroker tells the story of Sol Nazerman (played masterfully by Rod Steiger), a New York City pawnbroker who after surviving the Holocaust and the loss of his family, struggles to reconcile his past with his current reality.  The film’s title piece with vocals by Marc Allen, highlights the potent mix of New York sensibility and the tragic narrative of the film’s lead and his clientele, the neighborhood folks trying to scrape by.

Check it out here:

The score for the rest of the film moves effortlessly between elements of jazz, bossa nova, and soul, succeeding in bridging the gap between the world of New York where Nazerman operates his pawn shop and the intense emotional landscape he can’t escape from.

Here’s a highlight featuring the main theme, Rack ‘Em Up, and the end title:

I highly recommend giving the soundtrack a spin, especially since the release is coupled with another Jones film piece, Deadly Affair.  Also, if you are in Seattle, Quincy Jones events continue this evening with his introduction of the Justin Kauflin Trio at the Triple Door.  Tickets are $25 and show starts at 7 P.M.  Get all the info you desire from the SIFF information page, here.