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New York, 2011 Japan Cuts Film Festival

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For the last five consecutive years JAPAN CUTS, the New York festival of contemporary Japanese Cinema   has been embedded in the New York Asian Film Festival and steadily gained in importance. There are now more films from Japan at the NY Asian Film Festival than from any other country. Programmed during the Film Festival, at the Walter Read Theater and the Japan Society from July 1-14, 35 Japanese films were shown. It included 32 new titles, mostly premieres which were presented only once. Th...

Expanding Taiwanese film making

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We may be returning to the success enjoyed by Taiwanese Cinema in 2000 when CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON ruled the international box office and YI YI was prominent in the film festival circuit. Over the last two years the most successful films in Taiwan were domestic productions, Taiwanese films have increased their presence at international film festivals and open access to the huge market in mainland China provides now an advantage no other foreign country enjoys. Potentially the...

New York: Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2011

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Running its 22nd edition in cooperation with the Film Society of Lincoln Center the Human Rights Watch Film Festival presented from June 16 – 3019 films from 12 countries and premiered 17. As in past editions, most productions selected were first rate prompting animated debates reinforcing the audience commitment to human rights issues. Thus the viewers enjoyed again reflexive cinema at its best. Most filmmakers were present to discuss their productions and to provide additional insights into...

New York: The Hebron Dilemma at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival

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THIS IS MY LAND…HEBRON is among the most important films featured at the June 2011 New York Human Rights Watch Film Festival. It is an outstanding Italian-Israeli documentary coproduced by Giulia Amati and Stephen Natanson which has received many rewards since its release in 2010. The film presents interviews with Israeli journalists and politicians as well as statements by spokes persons for the settlers and Palestinians. It provides an extraordinary insight into the mindsets of the warring p...

Cambodia Film Making – Postscript

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Among companies providing productions services to foreign film makers is Bophana Production a Pnomh Phen based company which has been involved in large scale productions and co-productions while producing documentaries on their own. Among most recently produced films serviced by Bophana are SAM SAME BUT DIFFERENT, THE CATCH, EMPIRE OF THE TIGER, and HOLY LOLA (bophanaproduction.com).There is no official censorship in Cambodia yet all scripts need to be approved. According to Cedric Elroy wh...

New York Israel Film Festival

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There is no country other than the United States which has as elaborate and extensive a screening support structure for Jewish and Israeli films. Several years ago I noted in an article about the New York film festival that there are more than fifty Jewish film festivals in the United States. According to jewishfilm.com there are now close to seventy Jewish film festivals in this country as well as at least four festivals devoted to Israeli films and two to Sephardic ones. In addition, there ar...

Pnomh Phen: Cambodian Film Making Challenges

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Over a period of fifteen years through 1975, known as the golden age of the Khmer cinema, Cambodia produced almost 400 films. Under the four year terror regime of the Khmer Rouge the Cambodian film industry and most of its worker were terminated with only 30 films left intact. Laboratories, films, and theatres were destroyed; actors and directors slaughtered. Very few were able to leave the country. Others lived underground, like the noted Mao Ayuth, disguising their professional background fo...

New York: 2010 Margret Mead Film & Video Festival

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The 34th edition of the M. Mead Film Festival presented 38 selections from November 11 to 14 at the American Museum of Natural History, its principal sponsor. This festival is the oldest documentary film festival in the United States and includes outstanding and innovative productions covering animation, experimental approaches, in addition to archival material and restored films with a large number not shown before in the New York metropolitan area. Transcending the strict ethnographic film a...

The 2010 New York Film Festival

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The New York Film Festival, still after 22 years under the outstanding stewardship of Richard Pena, has completed its 48th edition running from September 24 to October 10. It has remained a most desirable platform for directors and the place to detect tendencies for high quality commercial movie making and for films in the art cinema sector. It is a festival where film tastes are shaped and where an upscale discerning audience derives pointers for serious filmmaking and for features they should...

New York: Independent Film Week

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Formerly known as the Independent Feature Project Market, the Independent Film Week now consists of the Independent Filmmaker Conference and the Project Forum celebrated its 32nd anniversary from September 19-23, 2010 at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Arranged by IFP it is the longest running networking and educational event for independent film makers. According to IFP the organization has been involved in the production of 7000 films and has assisted 20,000 filmmakers since it...

Mexico: International Film Festival of Guanajuato (formerly Expresion en Corto)

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Considered the largest film festival in Mexico the Expresion en Corto Short Film Festival run annually since 1997 has morphed this year into the International Film Festival of Guanajuato. Held from July 22 – August 2, the festival has further expanded drawing more visitors and adding more programs in spite of economic constraints. According to the latest figures, an audience of close to 90 000 attended this primarily publicly funded festival which received about 2500 submissions from more than...

Asian American International Film Festival

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New York: 2010 Asian American International Film Festival: New Films from TaiwanVirtually all Southeast Asian film making countries were represented at the 33rd edition of the festival organized by the non-profit New York based Asian CineVision. Held from July 15-24 in four central Manhattan locations the selections focused on independent films and ranged from a presentation of a collection of short films by emerging film directors from Malaysia to a special program on the New Taiwanese Cinema....

New York: 2010 International Film and Television Finance Summit

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Senior executives from the film and television industry and area experts present from September 27-28 fundamental seminars at a central Manhattan location on the funding marketing and distribution of films with a special emphasis on the independent film sector. In our period of economic constraints conferences on the financial and marketing elements of the film industry have become more important since they provide through presentations and case studies crucial insights into the current and fu...

New York: JAPAN CUTS Film Festival

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Co-presented with the New York Asian Film Festival, though most titles were screened at the Japan Society, JAPAN CUTS is the largest Japanese film festival in the United States. Held for the fourth time from July 1st through the 4th, it offered this year during the Asian Film Festival and at the Japan Society 24 titles spanning a wide variety of themes and styles. This diversity in film making approaches is certainly startling ranging from the anime KING OF THORN on a world threatening cold slee...

New York: Expanding the Queens Museum of the Moving Image

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As the chairman of the Museum Herb Schlosser emphasized at a recent meeting when presenting a status report on the expansion project, the visual media have developed many new production and distribution technologies, expanded their reach by providing more differentiated programs, and grown in their popularity as distinct from the print media. Thus it is very difficult for any museum devoted to the visual media to remain current and contemporary. With more money and time spent by consumers on vis...

New York: NY Asian Film Festival

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When I first covered the festival numerous years ago at the downtown Anthology Film Archives, I was struck by several features not encountered in any of the other established festivals. The organizers of the festival performed antics on the stage before the films and threw presents like videos and books into the audience. They were greeted by an adoring and enthusiastic crowd who seemed to be familiar with directors and principal characters of the films screened. In short an audience addicted to...

New York: Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2010

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In its 21st edition the festival organized by Human Rights Watch and the Film Society of Lincoln Center presented from June 10-24 thirty films from 25 countries with 28 New York Premieres. The Human Rights Watch organization is an international group with offices in 18 countries publishing well received investigative reports about human rights violations which are taken seriously by policy makers. It is no wonder that the film festival is also shaped by the expectation that it has an impact...

New York Documentary Film Festival

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The Italian Festival dei Popoli arranged at the Anthology Film Archives in New York from May 26 -30 a documentary film festival and presented a selection of Italian productions. Guided by 'The Feeling of Being There' theme the program included influential classic international documentaries produced during the 1958-1965 period which had a strong impact on documentary film making. An additional focus was an Italian Chronicles section with the work of Alessandro Rossetto and a Special Events pa...

German Films in the US since 1979 ...

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Among the top foreign language features shown in the United States from 1979 through 2009 which grossed $1,3 billion dollars, German productions ranked seventh behind France, Taiwan, China, Italy, Mexico, and Spain with a total of $49 million. Only five German features generated more than $5 million in the US: DOWNFALL, NOWHERE IN AFRICA, RUN LOLA RUN, LIVES OF OTHERS, and the commercially most successful one, DAS BOOT, a 1982 release, which scored $11.5 million. It may very well be that ...

New York: Foreign Language Films in the US market

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Against the background of an overall decline of US revenues from foreign films, Europe as the dominant source of such productions has been surpassed by Asian Countries. Even for internationally acclaimed films as evidenced by awards and critical reviews, the income seems minuscule. Of the 1000 foreign language films which entered the US market since 1980, 70% scored less than $1 million and only 22 more than $10 million. For each successful foreign release there are dozen if not hundreds o...

Havana Film Festival – New York: April 16-23

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Entering its second decade the most important US film festival with a focus on Cuban film making has expanded its programs and venues including links with some of the most prestigious New York art institutions. As a member of the group which established the Havana Film Festival in New York in 2001 I was fortunate to secure some funding from the Ford Foundation for bringing Cuba film makers to the festival, a practice which was continued in the following years contingent on funding and the vagar...

New York: New Directors/New Films 2010 - from several outstanding films to some passing ones…

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In its 39th edition of New Directors / New Films the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art presented through April 4th 27 features and documentaries as well as eleven shorts from 20 countries, spanning a broad spectrum of themes and approaches. Most were rather impressive, some of lesser interest other than having been shown at prestigious festivals. Yet the impressive ones were far superior in their reflexive reality presentations demonstrating again the merit o...

Interview with Dieter Kosslick,and a look back on 2010 Berlinale

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Under Kosslick's direction the Berlin International Film Festival has become the largest international film festival adding virtually each year new program components, which have been frequently emulated by other film festivals. As distinct from the Cannes Film Festival which admits only professionals and Venice which has limited screenings for the public, the Berlin International Film Festival has been open to the general public since its founding in 1951 as a political showcase. With close to...

New York: Reliance MediaWorks: Cracking International Markets.

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While other large Western media conglomerates seem to have a hard time maintaining, their market shares, the Indian Reliance Industries Ltd through its numerous media subsidiaries provides a text book case of successful strategies. To begin with Reliance Industries is the biggest private sector company in India with a current estimated market value of about $83 billion. It has been ranked by Business Week as number 15 among the top 50 most innovative global companies. It is the only company ach...

2010 Cinema Eye Honorees

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For the third time, Cinema Eye Honors (CEH) the annual award celebration of "innovation and exemplary craft in nonfiction filmmaking" was held in New York on January 15 under the principal sponsorship of IndiePix , a noted innovative US distribution company, and support from HBO, the Danish Film Institute and others. Named after the Russian documentary film maker Dziga Vertov, CHE focuses on outstanding artistic achievements in nonfiction story telling providing 12 awards ranging from debut ...
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