Oct 11, 2010

Planet in Focus International Film Festival

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October 13-17, 2010: Toronto, Canada

Planet in Focus, Canada’s leading environmental media arts organization, today announced the complete line-up of the 11th annual Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival at a press conference held at the Royal Ontario Museum’s Schad Gallery of Biodiversity in Toronto, Canada.

Executive Director Sarah Margolius and Director of Programming Kathleen Mullen unveiled this year’s line-up, which includes over 100 environmental films from 32 countries. Director Ron Mann (Opening Feature: In the Wake of the Flood), Dr. Allan Baker, Head, Department of Natural History & Senior Curator, Ornithology of the Royal Ontario Museum (featured in the film Red Knot: Flying on the Edge) and Earth Rangers trainer Meghan Woodworth with Sonic (a Barn Owl), also took to the stage during the launch.

“This is a tremendously exciting year, with an unprecedented number of films that deal with stories and issues taken right from the headlines. As with all environmental films, what happens after you watch them is as important as what takes place on-screen: these films help us imagine more possibilities, and promote a deeper understanding of our world, inspiring us to think more about how we live.” said Executive Director Sarah Margolius. “

“This year we have films from places as diverse as the Solomon Islands, Bangladesh, Niger, Iran, Australia, the USA and from all parts of Canada. Our filmmakers prove that important environmental stories are everywhere, and we have worked hard to make available the most engaging stories from all over the planet..” said Director of Programming Kathleen Mullen.

The festival launches Opening Night at the brand new TIFF Bell Lightbox with Director Ron Mann’s In the Wake of the Flood. The film follows acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood as she sets out on a journey around the world, using her latest novel The Year of the Flood to inspire audiences into awareness and civic action. Atwood’s novel and Mann’s film brings further attention to the plight of birds on our planet. Prior to the opening of the film, both Margaret Atwood and her partner and fellow novelist Graeme Gibson will be presented with this year’s Planet in Focus' Canadian Eco Hero Award for their role in promoting environmental education and awareness.

Closing Night features Director Brian Hill’s Climate of Change, a globally focused documentary profiling those who are working to combat the effects of climate change. From child activists in India to residents in Appalachia this documentary will leave audiences inspired to make changes in their own lives – a fitting way to end the festival. The film is paired with narration written by celebrated British poet Simon Armitage and read by Oscar winning Actress Tilda Swinton.

HIGHLIGHTS [THURS, FRI, SAT, SUN] Many Directors in attendance
Complete Listings daily listings available.

Canadian environmental stories are showcased. Director Liz Marshall’s Documentary Water on the Table , recently nominated for a Gemini for the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social, Political Documentary, follows Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians as she works to have water declared a human right, during her term as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the U.N. General Assembly. This July, the U.N. passed a resolution making water a human right, with Canada abstaining from this historic vote. Both Maude Barlow and Liz Marshall will be present for a post-screening discussion.

Burning Water tells a story from Rosebud, Alberta when one family’s land becomes toxic after their farm water is contaminated by chemicals used in gas extraction. This feature is screened in conjunction with Life in the Fast Lane, a short film about Highway 401 in Toronto, Ontario and how a once-200-acre farm is directly affected. Green Heroes: Sarah Harmer, profiles the award-winning singer’s fight to protect the Escarpment in the region of Halton, Ontario.

Realizing that our children are our future, the inspiring NFB documentary Hope Buildersis about teacher Dominique Leduc and his classroom of kids in rural Quebec who take on a community project to effect change in their hometown.

Celebrating an unusual urban farm, Cement Roots introduces us to La Ferme Pousse Menu, the only concrete building in downtown Montreal with farm status from the Government. Through innovative practices like vermi-composting, Philippe Robillard produces one ton of highly nutritious, organic sprouts every week.

One of the last semi-nomadic hunting people of Canada, the Mushuau Innu of Labrador are profiled in Nutshimit- On the Land, a film they commissioned to create a visual legacy of their continuing life on the land. The film screens in tandem with Tshiushuas, a short by Christine Poker, an Innu filmmaker, who will be in attendance at the festival.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of CBC’s award-winning program The Nature of Things with David Suzuki with a special screening of For The Love of Elephants, a poignant documentary portrait of an elephant-human bond that develops at an Elephant rehabilitation centre near Nairobi, Kenya.This event kicks off the brand new $5 screening events at the festival, taking place at 5 p.m. daily on Thursday and Friday and at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Cultivating a New Generation of ‘Green’ Film Lovers. Saturday’s programming includes a day of free children’s activities at Theatre Direct’s Wychwood Theatre and The Stop Community Food Centre at Artscape Wychwood Barns. Events include short film screenings for 3-6 year olds and 7-13 year olds, a Farmer’s Market Scavenger Hunt and an animation workshop courtesy of the National Film Board. Pre-registration is required; spaces are limited.

Supporting Youth Environmental Filmmakers. Sunday’s programming includes the free Green Sprouts! Youth Filmmakers’ Showcase at the Bata Shoe Museum, featuring films made by youth for youth. Planet in Focus’ Youth Camera Action! Videos premiere as well as other films from around the world.

Imagining a Sustainable Future: 21st Century Visionaries. Two exceptional documentaries profile visionaries. Transcendent Manfollows the best-selling Author and Futurist Ray Kurzweil, a man whose ideas and inventions have earned him 17 honorary doctorates and cult-legend status. A Road Not Takenprofiles US President Jimmy Carter’s visionary move to install a set of solar panels on the White House and the shift in ideals when Reagan takes office a year later.

Nature’s Greatest Defender profilesNational Geographic's Lifetime Achievement Award winner George Schaller. The globally recognized conservationist is seen here returning to the sites of some of his iconic studies to see what has happened to some of these extraordinary animals and their habitats.

Dr. Allan Baker, Head, Dept. of Natural History & Senior Curator, Ornithology of the Royal Ontario Museum is the focus of Red Knot: Flying on the Edge. Over the last decade, this migratory shore bird that moves from Argentina to the Arctic and back annually, has seen its population plummet from 52,000 individuals to a mere 15,000. Dr. Baker has dedicated his life to recovering the species.

Championing Everyday Activists. Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?is a terrific documentary driven by one charismatic father-to be who tackles the number one consumer item in the world, the plastic bag. Two guerilla journalists (literally) confront over-consumption in the USA in Dive! Living Off America’s Waste.

Highlighting International Perspectives.Winner of the best documentary at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2009 (Africa’s top film prize) For The Best and For The Onion! follows Yaro, a farmer in Niger, as he fights to successfully harvest his Galmi purple onion crop all to provide enough funds and community respect to support the wedding of his daughter.

Into The Dragon’s Lairdetails a perilous expedition by Jacques Cousteau’s former cinematographer and diver Didier Noirot in Botswana to find one of nature’s most fearsome predators: the Nile Crocodile. Walter and the Tigers breaks down our fear with a spectacular film about free diving with Tigers Sharks.

Built in the far north permafrost of Svalbard, Norway, Seed Warriors introduces us to the 'Doomsday Vault', a construction containing seeds from around the world in order to safeguard our diverse plant species from potential extinction.

The town of Pascua Lama is put on the map in Cry of the Andes when it is caught in a war between corporate and social values. Barrick is poised to develop the world's largest open pit gold mine threatening the way of life for the local indigenous people.

German Perspectives on Innovation In The 4th Revolution – Energy Autonomy the film shows that a complete changeover of world's energy-supply system to renewable energies can - and must - take place. The film includes thoughts from much-lauded environmental thinkers. A series of German filmmakers explore tradition, innovation and sustainability, with many in attendance this year.

Focusing on the urban environment. As China emerges as the new economic powerhouse of the 21-century, no one can disrupt the biggest construction boom in the world's history. New Beijing, Reinventing a City looks at China’s future. Regarding Vancouver mixes archives and contemporary elements of Vancouver in order to rediscover urban decay and development.

Fostering Green Film Projects and Productions. Friday October 15 brings together filmmakers, broadcasters and distributors in a series of interactive panels and events, including the innovative Free Green Screen Toronto Workshop to provide assistance in reducing film productions’ environmental footprint.

Planet in Focus is Canada's leading non-profit environmental media arts organization, producing year-round programming across Canada and around the world and fostering a new generation of environmental filmmakers. The 11th annual Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival runs from October 13 to 17 in Toronto. Visit planetinfocus.org.

For the complete line-up, ticket info and day-by-day schedule, please visit: http://www.drop.io/planetinfocus

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Oct 10, 2010

The winners of 2010 Shriekfest Horror Film Festival

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The winners of 2010 Shriekfest Horror Film Festival have been announced. The 10th annual Shriekfest Horror Film Festival is “the oldest continually running genre festival in Los Angeles, California. Shriekfest took place on Sept 30-Oct 3 at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.



Shriekfest screened 36 films and had 32 screenplay finalists and 12 original song finalists. It…awards films in the science fiction, fantasy, and thriller categories. Prizes include trophies, as well as cash, product awards, and publicity.” The full list of all this year’s winners at the Shriekfest Horror Film Festival is below.

Best Horror Feature Film: Ashes
Best Sci Fi Feature Film: Transfer
Best Super Short Film: Rise of the Appliances
Best Short Film: Serum 1831
Best Under 18 Film: On the Other Line
Audience Choice:
Best Feature Screenplay: Dead Crows
Best Under 18 Screenplay: Ain’t No Wolves ‘Round Here
Best Short Screenplay: Carbon Dating
Best Webisode: Shady Texas
Best Original Song: Rekindled

source: shriekfest.com

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Oct 9, 2010

October 2010 Film Release: Buried (2010)

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* Release Date:October 8th, 2010
* Starring: Ryan Reynolds, José Luis García Pérez, Robert Paterson, Stephen Tobolowsky, Samantha Mathis
* Director:Rodrigo Cortés
* Writer:Chris Sparling
* Studio:Lionsgate
* Genre:Mystery, Thriller
* Official Site:experienceburied.com, twitter.com/lionsgatehorror, facebook.com/experienceburied
* Runtime:1 hour 35 minutes

Paul Conroy is not ready to die. But when he wakes up 6 feet underground with no idea of who put him there or why, life for the truck driver and family man instantly becomes a hellish struggle for survival. Buried with only a cell phone and a lighter, his contact with the outside world and ability to piece together clues that could help him discover his location are maddeningly limited. Poor reception, a rapidly draining battery, and a dwindling oxygen supply become his worst enemies in a tightly confined race against time- fighting panic, despair and delirium, Paul has only 90 minutes to be rescued before his worst nightmare comes true.

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Oct 4, 2010

The Social Network: Film about Facebook

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Could it be that the person who founded Facebook, the man who connected so many individuals that the total defies belief (500 million and counting), is himself incapable of close personal friendship? Is it possible that the world's youngest self-made billionaire, a 26-year-old whose creation unites people in 207 countries using 70 languages, is the loneliest guy on the planet?

If that sounds like a hell of a premise, you don't know the half of it. Smartly written by Aaron Sorkin, directed to within an inch of its life by David Fincher and anchored by a perfectly pitched performance by Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network" is a barn-burner of a tale that unfolds at a splendid clip.

Yet, while nothing is more au courant than the Facebook phenomenon, "Social Network" succeeds because its story is the stuff of archetypal movie drama. It marries the tradition of present-at-the-creation epics like "Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet," "Madame Curie" and "Edison, the Man" with the familiar story of the corrupting power of ambition and success that allows audiences to feel, and not for the first time, that their ordinary lives have more meaning than those of the rich and famous.

Where "Social Network" departs from those earlier biopics is that, as played by Eisenberg, protagonist Mark Zuckerberg is introduced as extremely unlikable rather than heroic, a self-absorbed and arrogant 19-year-old Harvard sophomore who is as socially maladroit as he is fearsomely smart.

An actor who has nailed every discontented role he's had, including "Roger Dodger," "The Squid and the Whale" and "Adventureland," Eisenberg excels as someone whose success is fueled, in classic movie fashion, by resentments of all shapes and sizes. His Zuckerberg is so consumed by the drive to get even and gain status that no one is a match for the combination of ruthless focus and disinterested frigidity he brings to the table.

The opportunity to simultaneously portray and dissect this kind of compelling yet distant individual is an ideal fit for Fincher. Presented with an involving central character cold enough to suit his chilly but considerable filmmaking talents, the director does his best work, convincingly presenting a story about conflicts over intellectual property as if it were a fast-paced James Bond thriller.

"Social Network" is fluidly shot by Jeff Cronenweth with convincing production design by Donald Graham Burt, both Fincher regulars, and the director also has the benefit of working with Sorkin's strong and persuasive script. As fans of TV's "The West Wing" well remember, Sorkin writes great crackling dialogue that dramatically represents the dynamics of power relations, and he puts that gift to great use here. Both his writing and the unnerving music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross bring so much propulsive energy to the project that resistance is all but futile

Although the film is based on Ben Mezrich's "The Accidental Billionaires," Sorkin did his own research into the story and his treatment doesn't have an ounce of fat on it. Though there has been talk of "Social Network" having Rashomon elements, that is something of a red herring. The film's characters naturally have differing viewpoints and details are argued over, but the basic thrust of this tale never wavers, no matter whose eyes events are being told through.

"The Social Network" begins by positing that it was a very specific social resentment that got Zuckerberg started on his road to billions. The film opens at an undergraduate bar near the Harvard campus in the fall of 2003 with Zuckerberg getting dumped by his girlfriend Erica ( Rooney Mara, soon to be Lisbeth Salander in the Fincher-directed versions of the Stieg Larsson trilogy). Going out with him, she says tartly, is "like dating a Stairmaster."

Furious at this rejection, Zuckerberg stomps back to his dorm and, with the help of roommate and best friend Eduardo Saverin (the gifted shape-shifter Andrew Garfield), takes revenge by doing some adroit hacking and coming up with Facemash, a site that enables students to vote on which Harvard women are the hottest. It gets 22,000 hits in two hours and crashes the university's system.

That stunt attracts the attention of two of the school's elite, rowers and identical twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (played, with the help of computer wizardry, by two unrelated actors, Armie Hammer and Josh Pence). They and friend Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) hire him to work on a university dating service they have in mind called Harvard Connection. Almost simultaneously, Zuckerberg, funded by best friend Saverin, starts "thefacebook," which eventually morphs into you know what.

After these dynamics are established, "Social Network" jumps us a few years into the future, to separate but equally acrimonious lawsuits brought against Zuckerman by the Winklevosses and by Saverin, all of whom, albeit for different reasons, are upset enough with their erstwhile colleague and friend to drag him into legal proceedings.

Part of "Social Network's" energy comes from the alacrity, courtesy of the brisk editing of Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, with which it jumps between the taking of two sets of depositions and the film's depiction of the events that led to Facebook, and Zuckerberg, getting rich and famous. This includes the eventual involvement of Napster co-founder Sean Parker (a quite-convincing Justin Timberlake), a personality as seductive as he was divisive.


Another red herring about "Social Network" is how true to life these characterizations and this film are. It's a red herring because movies, even well-intentioned documentaries, distort reality by their very nature. Zuckerberg's adherents say the film is unfair to their man, and it may or may not be, but given that a New Yorker writer who interviewed him characterized the Facebook founder as "distant and disorienting, a strange mixture of shy and cocky," Eisenberg's characterization doesn't seem that far off the mark.

All that really matters about "Social Network" is that it be convincing in movie terms, and it very much is that. Very likely gritting his teeth and agreeing is Zuckerberg himself. Someone who donated $100 million to the Newark, N.J., public schools just as this film was opening the New York Film Festival is probably worried that with all his billions he may forever be a prisoner of the film's uncharitable portrayal, just as gifted actress Marion Davies was similarly blindsided by the talentless character based on her in "Citizen Kane." Facebook may be powerful, but impressive movies have a force that cannot be denied.

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kenneth.turan@latimes.com, at http://articles.latimes.com/keyword/entertainment

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Oct 3, 2010

Cincinnati Film Festival: October 8-16 2010

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A Regional Festival of International Films

The Cincinnati Film Festival focus on the "LIVE Experience". The organizer believe that the film festival experience should be set apart from just going to your average theater to watch a movie. This is a Festival, and therefore a Live, Interactive environment no matter if you're an audience member, a filmmaker, or an industry professional.

The organizer accomplish this by bringing in as many of the filmmakers as they can to interact with audiences after the films, provide multiple special events ranging from panels to workshops, receptions, meals, galas, lounges, concerts, you name it... to allow filmmakers, industry, and audiences to interact directly with each other every chance we get. Audiences and industry are allowed to not only rate, but actually write reviews about the films they've seen, and let the filmmakers respond to them (and learn from them). There's a reason filmmakers and audiences alike request to come back to Cincinnati year after year.

Visit CFF official website for more information.

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Hamptons International Film Festival : October 7-11, 2010

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The famous Hamptons International Film Festival starts Thursday, October 7th and continues through Monday, October 11, 2010. Celebrating its 18th year, the festival is held in East Hampton with additional venues in Southampton, Sag Harbor and Montauk.

The popular festival celebrates independent film and in 2008, it featured the East coast premiere of Slumdog MIllionaire, which later went on to win eight Academy Awards. This year's Festival features a wealth of new films including some world premieres, North.

For more information, please visit Hamptons Film Festival official website.

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Oct 2, 2010

London Children’s Film Festival

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30 Oct - 7 Nov 2010

Welcome to the biggest celebration of film for children in the Capital!



Now six years old, the London Children’s Film Festival gives families the chance to watch the best feature and short films from around the world, create their own films and participate in a wide range of arts activities.

'A glorious concoction of film, special events and hands-on celluloid craziness….we’re so overexcited, we can’t sleep.' - The Guardian more information

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National Schools Film Week 2010

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This year’s dates are:
England, Wales & Northern Ireland – 14-22 October 2010
Scotland: 28 October-5 November 2010
National Schools Film Week (NSFW) provides teachers and their students the opportunity to see a wide range of films at local cinemas entirely free-of-charge.

The Festival's goal is to support classroom teaching by providing schools with a powerful experience for their students that links directly to elements of the curriculum, supported by an on-line library of resources related to individual films and more generic topics, essentially an extension of the classroom.

Over 400,000 students and their teachers attended the Festival in 2009 and this year the Festival, which operates on a scale and with a degree of sophistication unknown in any other country (2,800 screenings at 540 cinemas across the UK) celebrates its 15th birthday.

We welcome bookings of all sizes. Some schools will bring an entire Year group or Key Stage while others attend on a class-by-class basis. We absolutely do not limit places to any number of students or schools to any number of bookings. As long as there is space in the cinema, you are welcome!

more information please visit the official website at http://www.nsfw.org

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