Friday, September 9, 2016

Santa Barbara International Film Fest | Calling All Features & Shorts!

Santa Barbara, California - USA
February 1 to 11, 2017

In the Spotlight today is the 32nd Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival(SBIFF), an Oscar-qualifying showcase for unforgettable American independent cinema alongside many of the best films from every corner of the globe. A long-respected staple of the international film circuit, SBIFF takes full advantage of its gorgeous surroundings in a destination city known as the American Riviera that thrives on art, culture, food, wine, and the outdoors. With more than 200 films on display (and more than 90,000 film fans in attendance), SBIFF stands tall as one of the most beloved festivals on the film scene.

Featuring over 100 US and World Premieres, SBIFF has increasingly attracted some of the world's top distributors as well as industry critics and reporters from VarietyHollywood Reporter and IndieWire, offering invaluable exposure for filmmakers. SBIFF is characterized by a competitive selection of international narrative and documentary cinema, creative sidebars that reflect the community including a focus of wine/food, dance, surfing and wildlife, and a robust shorts program. Several Academy Award-winning shorts that launched at SBIFF include Mr. HublotHead Over Heels, and The Orchestra.

The Festival now has a growing acquisitions program that allows accredited distributors to screen available films premiering at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and access to the filmmaker lounge, where filmmakers have the opportunity to meet potential buyers. A number of films have gone on to receive distribution following their premiere here including CaffeinatedNight Has SettledStereotypically YouU Want Me 2 Kill Him?Bang Bang Baby and Siddharth, to name a few.

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September 16, 2016 - Regular Deadline

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Now in its 32nd year, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and educational organization with a mission to engage, enrich and inspire people through film.

US filmmakers are entitled to one complimentary night at one of SBIFF's sponsoring partner hotels, while International filmmakers are eligible for three complimentary nights. The festival is set to award a $60,000 USD camera package and some competition sections include cash awards. Each film is eligible for two platinum passes, which gives filmmakers priority access to all screenings, tributes, panels and special events, including SBIFF's filmmaker's lounge at the UGG Pavilion which features daily happy hours and provides filmmakers with networking opportunities.

Whether you have a short or a full-length feature, filmmakers thrive in Santa Barbara - submit your film today!

9th Advantage India - Have You Submit Your Entry

Thursday, September 8, 2016

2016 Toronto's Gourmet Feast Includes Finest of Indian Flavours

TIFF 2016, in its 41st edition, starts its 11 days session on September 8 to an awe-inspiring over-kill of festival films. The Oscar contenders dominate but there is choice a-plenty in its sumptuous menu of different genres. The immense challenge is how and what to choose in this mammoth maze of films.
India is a good place to start. Its array of films and film professionals is wide scaled and impressive. There are as many as 16 such films featured in TIFF’s widely diverse sections. The India diaspora hits the top ranks and Indian actors (Victor Bannerjee, Anupam Kher, Suraj Sharma, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Roshan Seth) appear as marquee names in Hollywood and UK films).The selected features, shorts and documentaries come from within India and films from elsewhere that link with the country. Both testify that India has a cultural depiction unique to itself. 

Directors from abroad choose India as their setting ( Goran Paskaljevic, Garth Davis). Directors of Indian origin feature prominently (Deepa Mehta, Mira Nair, Vikram Gandhi, Dilip Mehta). From India, masters Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Buddhadeb Dasgupta add their might. Consummate star Konkona Sensharma launches her directorial debut. Shorts/documentaries frontline India’s allure with works from Richie Mehta, Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya. A rare double bill has ground-breaking Anand Gandhi as producer and Khushboo Ranka as director. 

Toronto’s high profile talks centre-stage Karan Johar, Freida Pinto and Mira Nair. Mira Nair’s latest film ‘Queen of Katwe’ graces TIFF’s high-profile Gala section. It presents the stirring true story of a brilliant 10-year-old Ugandan girl Phiona Mutesi whose humble life changes on realizing her gift for chess. Also in Gala is Mark William’s ‘The Headhunter’s Calling’ on corporate chancery, with Anupam Kher alongside Gerard Butler, Willem Dafoe and Alison Brie.

In TIFF Masters, two renowned names from India take centrestage. Adoor Gopalakrishnan emerges from a 8 year hibernation with the international premiere of his latest film ‘Pinneyum’ (Once Again), an internalised and complex emotional interplay of a loving couple torn apart by life’s vicissitudes. For once, this filmmaker looks outside his Kerala to cast the Marathi actor, Subodh Bhave. 

From Bengal, Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s ‘Tope’(The Bait), holds its world premiere. Following three main characters, this intriguingly surreal and visually stunning film dissects how class structures dehumanise life.

Leading directors living abroad showcase films that take place in India. Deepa Mehta’s ‘Anatomy of Violence’ is deeply moving and thought provoking as it unveils its improvised exploration of the events that led to the Nirbhaya rape of 2012. From Serbia, Goran Paskaljevic sets his ‘Dev Bhoomi’ in a Himalayan village visited by a former inhabitant 40 years after it was hit by a severe landslide. Victor Banerjee has co-scripted the film and also plays the lead role.

TIFF’s Special Presentations is lit by Konkona Sensharma’s remarkable directorial debut, ‘A Death in the Gunj’, a coming of age story of a shy student whose family outing goes awry on many levels. Vikrant Massey, Kalki Koechlin and Ranvir Shorey head the cast. US-based Viram Gandhi’s first feature film ‘Barry’ harks back to 1981 as it follows the 20-year-old Barrack Obama’s pivotal junior year at Columbia University which shape his views on race and nationality.

Dev Patel and Tannishtha Chatterjee feature in Australian Garth Davis’ ‘Lion’, set mostly in chaotic Kolkata where a runaway boy finds adoptive parents in an Australian couple but later questions his real identity and place in life. Emotional turmoil stirred by an American 8-year-old mistaking himself to be a Mongolian goat-herder marks Jordon Roberts ‘Burn Your Maps’, with young Suraj Sharma in a major role. From the UK, Pete Travis’s ‘City of Tiny Lights’, a madly sinister caper into the murky aspects of London, features consummate actor, Roshan Seth.

The powerful TIFF Docs showcases some path-breaking films linked to India. Dilip Mehta’s ‘Mostly Sunny’ reflects with bewitching candour on Sunny Leone’s amazing life. Richie Mehta’s crowd-sourced ‘India in a Day’ sizzles through kaleidoscopic vignettes of just one day (October 10, 2015) across the canvas of our country. Shirley Abrahyam and Amit Madheshiya’s ‘The Cinema Travellers”, acclaimed at Cannes, brings the wonder of showmen on cinema lorries who brought movies to faraway villages in India.

Anand Gandhi as producer and director Khushboo Ranka present the rare Double Bill at TIFF. ‘An Insignificant Man’ directed by Ranka and Vinay Shukla, provide insights into Arvind Kejriwal over two significant years of his political ascendence. ‘Right to Pray’, directed by Ranka, travels to Trimbak’s Trimbakeshwar Temple where female activists fight against regressive forces of patriarchy and tradition which debars their entry into its inner sanctum.

Besides the films that showcase Indian talent at its best, there are speakers and panellists such as Mira Nair conducting a Masterclass, Freida Pinto espousing the cause of Dialogues:Women at the Helm – Because it is 2016!, Karan Johar – In Conversation, and Bina Paul, now Vice Chairperson of Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, on the Netpac Jury.

This 2016 mega Indian showcase at one of the most valued film venues of the world suggests that maybe, at last, the country’s many cinemas are coming into their own, outshining the glitz of Bollywood. And about time, too!

Courtesy:  - India's first independent on-line daily which was launched on January 27, 2014. Reproducing Uma da Cunha's column

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Call for entires: Dallas Film Society

Artistic Expression - the city of Turin beckons!

TORINO 26-27-28 AUGUST 2016

The last weekend of August (26/27/28), from early afternoon to later night, the City of Turin presents the second edition of TODAYS, a festival dedicated to contemporary artistic expression, with particular attention to music and its different languages.

Two main stages, a few steps from each other. The green grass in sPAZIO211 hosts the live shows of international artists as M83, THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE, LOCAL NATIVES, CRYSTAL FIGHTERS, GOAT, next to new interesting names of the national scene as a Pugile, Stearica, Giuda, Niagara, Iosonouncane, Motta, Victor Kwality. The internal square of the former INCET - National Electric Cable Industry Turin, object of an important urban renovation work, is the ideal post-industrial setting to show the passions and fears of our time, with live exhibitions of John Carpenter and Soulwax.

Todays festival explores and crosses the borders between different disciplines: the Contemporary Art Museum Ettore Fico hosts exclusive and site specific projects in which music becomes a sounding board of the different contamination with other arts, while the Art Gallery Gagliardi and Domke for three days becomes the headquarter of the educational section, To_Lab: an opportunity to meet opinion makers, artists, experimenters, producers, journalists, designers and to exchange experiences, discuss the issues related to music industry and technology.

Sunday, August 28, in the afternoon, the urban park Aurelio Peccei, realized and recognized as the first totally eco-friendly park in Italy, is the evocative setting for a special project with Elio Germano and Theo Theardo that links literature and music in a new version of Celine's masterpiece, Journey to the End of the Night.

TODAYS is a project of the City of Turin, realized by the Foundation for Culture Torino with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo and Fondazione Crt, Main Partner Suzuki, Partner Terna Official sponsor Heineken.