Sunday, Sep 13, 2009
Director Samuel Maoz exits the ceremony after receiving the Golden Lion Best AP Director Samuel Maoz exits the ceremony after receiving the Golden Lion Best Film Award for 'Lebanon'
By SHERI JENNINGS, Associated Press Writer Sheri Jennings, Associated Press Writer Sat Sep 12, 4:38 pm ET
VENICE, Italy "Lebanon," an Israeli film that recounts Israel's 1982 invasion of the Middle East country through the eyes of four soldiers in a tank, won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.
The festival jury announced the Golden Lion and other prizes on the last day of the 11-day screening of films from around the world. An Iranian film about women and repression took the No. 2 prize, the Silver Lion.
"Lebanon," directed by Samuel Maoz, tells the story of Israeli paratroopers searching a hostile town. The conflict is seen through the binocular-aided eyes of those inside a tank, with their cramped quarters lending an anxious sense of claustrophobia to their viewpoint.
"I dedicate this work to people all over the world that come back from the war safe and sound," the director told the audience at the award ceremony. "They work, get married, have children," but the memories get "stuck in their souls."
Maoz was a young man when he served in the Israeli military during the invasion, which led to a long occupation of southern Lebanon.
Variety has described the film, one of 25 which competed for the Golden Lion, as the "boldest and best of the recent mini-wave" of Israeli movies. The awards jury was headed by Ang Lee, himself a Golden Lion-winning director, who marveled that if "Lebanon" was Maoz's first film what might he do next.
He said the jurors were both quick and unanimous in choosing "Lebanon" and were "happy not be inside that tank which could have been any tank in any war."
Maoz told Israeli Channel 1 TV in a phone interview immediately after winning that he hoped the film "helps people understand our country better, understand our society better, and the complexity of our society better."
The jury seemed to wade straight into conflicted parts of the world.
Iranian filmmaker and photographer Shirin Neshat snared the Silver Lion for best director for her feature debut with "Zanan Bedoone Mardan" ("Women Without Men").
The film depicts four women from all classes of society in 1953 Iran, on the eve of an American-aided uprising that deposed an elected government that had nationalized the oil industry, and leading to the return of the shah.
But Neshat said the film aimed at providing encouragement to democracy-loving people in her country a half century after the events in the film.
The movie is about "the courage of the women and the people of Iran to take their lives into their own hands," she said after winning the Silver Lion, the festival's No. 2 prize.
"I knew when I was making the film, I was taking a risk. I knew nothing about cinema." But she added, "I took a risk so the fundamental message is about courage. There is a great value in that struggle and we must fight to evolve as a society and as women."
The Italian news agency Apcom quoted her as adding: "I hope that the people are given what they need peace and democracy."
A comedy, "Soul Kitchen," by German-Turkish director Fatih Akin, won the Special Jury Prize. The film represented a departure from the more serious tones set in Akin's 2004 Berlin Golden Bear winner "Head On" and 2007's "The Edge of Heaven," which won the screenplay award at the Cannes film festival.
Colin Firth took best actor award for his role in Tom Ford's "A Single Man" as a college professor grappling with solitude after his longtime partner dies. Fashion designer Tom Ford made his director's debut with the movie.
Ksenia Rappoport, starring in the Italian film "La Doppia Ora," won best actress honors.
Saturday, Jun 23, 2012
The Second "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival" launches at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles on Aug. 3 for a one-week celebration of Kazakh cinema and culture, including musicians.
The festival is a stellar opportunity for directors, producers, location scouts, and the general public to get an understanding and appreciation of this exotic locale without leaving home.
Sweeping from the Caspian Sea on its Russian border to the Altai Mountain range on the Chinese border, Kazakhstan has a rich nomadic history as well as a powerful current tapestry of cultures. Since gaining independence in 1991, the Central Asian Republic has embraced its remarkable filmmaking past that dates back to the 1930's, when Sergei Eisenstein made his classic Ivan the Terrible in this mystic land, and has even given rise to several "New Wave" movements.
Opening night on Aug. 3rd begins with a reception at 7 pm, and includes a program of live entertainment until 11 pm, at the DGA Theater.
Sponsored by Kazakh Geographic Society (KazGeo.kz ), helixfilmsinc.com , the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan in Los Angeles, the festival includes Advisory Board Members Steven-Charles Jaffe (GHOST, K19), David Marconi (Screenwriter, ENEMY OF THE STATE), and Ambassador Erlan Idrissov.
Tickets cost $10 (including free parking) can be purchased from the festivals website. "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival 2012" will be held Aug. 3 - 9 at the Directors Guild of America on 7920 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles, California
For more information, please see www.kazakhfestival.com - KazakhFilmFestLA@gmail.com
Source : HelixFilmsInc.com
Sunday, May 27, 2012
The 65th Festival de Cannes drew to a close tonight with the closing awards ceremony hosted by Academy Award nominated actress Berenice Bejo.
The top prize was captured yet again by Michael Haneke for his portrait of an elderly couple Amour. This is the second time he has bested Jacques Audiard who was also in competition with De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone). Haneke becomes one of the few two-time Palme d'Or winners alongside Alf Sjoberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Bille August, Emir Kusturica, Shohei Imamura, and Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and only the second after August to win with consecutive films his previous Palme d'Or was for his 2009 film Das weiße Band (The White Ribbon).
Matteo Garrone picked up his second Grand Prix for his film Reality. Previously, he had won in 2008 for Gomorrah.
The surprise winner for the Jury Prize was Ken Loach with The Angels' Share. He previously won the Palme d'Or in 2006 with The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Another previous Palme d'Or winner won Best Screenplay. Cristian Mungiu who made 4 luni, 3 săptămâni ?i 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) returned with După dealuri (Beyond the Hills), and it also shared the Best Actress for its stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur.
In spite of the heavy American representation in the selection, the only American film to win a prize was Benh Zeitlin's Un Certain Regard entry Beasts of the Southern Wild which won the Camera d'Or for first film. Last night, it had won the FIPRESCI international critics' prize.
Complete list of winners for the 65th Festival de Cannes
Amour, Michael Haneke (France-Germany-Austria)
Reality, Matteo Garrone (Italy-France)
The Angels' Share, Ken Loach (U.K.-France-Belgium-Italy)
Carlos Reygadas, Post tenebras lux (Light After Darkness) (Mexico-France-Germany-Netherlands)
Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Mads Mikkelsen, Jagten (The Hunt) (Denmark-Sweden)
Cristian Mungiu, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (U.S.)
PALME D'OR FOR BEST SHORT FILM
SESSYZ-BE DENG (SILENCE), REZAN YE?YLBA?
Source : www.ensonhaber.com