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Claus Mueller

NY Film Festival 2006: Postmodern Menagerie

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This festival continues as an upscale, boutique film venture for cinephiles, with only 25 features and innovative sidebars--including a critical overview of foreign filmmakers, with respect to both new filmmaking approaches and new subjects. Other major fests love red carpets, pay respect to commercial consideration and defer to megalomaniac growth desires; they need to present as many new films as possible, to have a large contingent of buyers and distributors, and to secure a sizable prese...

New York Tribeca Film Festival - the future Cannes of North America?

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This film festival continues to expand, though it lacks a clear profile, compared to other major fests like the New York Film Festival, Sundance, or the Berlinale. Each year it adds new components. If current trends prevail Tribeca will rank among the biggest film festivals in the world.  During the last edition (April 25 – May 6, 2007), the number of premieres had increased, more industry executives attended and a consensus emerged in the trades that Tribeca had become a viable place for dis...

New York Tribeca Film Festival - the future Cannes of North America?

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This film festival continues to expand, though it lacks a clear profile, compared to other major fests like the New York Film Festival, Sundance, or the Berlinale. Each year it adds new components. If current trends prevail Tribeca will rank among the biggest film festivals in the world. During the last edition (April 25 – May 6, 2007), the number of premieres had increased, more industry executives attended and a consensus emerged in the trades that Tribeca had become a viable place for disc...

Festival tourism part 3

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The previous articles provided the context for the growing film festival tourism phenomenon.  In this last installment, more specific information is provided about the participants in festival tourism, the services  provided by the few agencies in this new niche market, and the characteristics of the film festivals that would most likely benefit from film festival tourism.As noted before, comprehensive Canadian research on US festival tourism enthusiasts, including those groups who reported 60...

A research on Film Festival Tourism III

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The previous articles provided the context for the growing film festival tourism phenomenon. In this last installment, more specific information is provided about the participants in festival tourism, the services provided by the few agencies in this new niche market, and the characteristics of the film festivals that would most likely benefit from film festival tourism.As noted before, comprehensive Canadian research on US festival tourism enthusiasts, including those groups who reported 600,...

Film Festival Tourism part II

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As a response to the several inquiries that I have received, this article provides additional information following my December 15 background essay on the emerging field of film festival tourism. As noted before, film festival tourism is part of the rapidly expanding cultural tourism industry that serves a fairly affluent and knowledgeable audience. Conversely, local or national departments of tourism have realized that attracting cultural film tourists generates additional income for the loca...

Berlinale Speck on the TEDDY Award and the current Queer Cinema

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The Berlinale is still the only major international film festival offering official awards for the best films on gay, lesbian or transgender themes. The legendary famed Teddy awards have been offered since 1987, and following the political orientation of the Berlinale, the awards were created with the goal of enlightenment, thus breaking taboos and challenging the stereotypes dominating official and popular views of the queer and transgender communities. The daring and innovative nature of the...

Politics at New York Arab & South Asian Film Festival

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New York Arab & South Asian Film Festival 2007, 2/23 – 3/4There is a constant creation of new film festivals defined by regional, thematic, distribution (such as video ipods), or other parameters, propelled by a large supply of production and an ever increasing number of new film makers. This phenomenon is caused by expansion of film schools, access to low cost production equipment, and last not least public and corporate funding for film festivals. By now it is hard to ascertain how many fes...

Open discussion with Berlinale Panorama - Wieland Speck

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Set up in 1985 as an official Berlinale program the Panorama focuses on difficult issue-oriented features and documentaries by first and second time international film directors and has been programmed since 1997 by Wieland Speck. Compared to other programmers Speck has the rare distinction of being an accomplished film director and writer whose works ranges from educational HIV/AIDS shorts to documentaries like ESCAPE TO LIFE: THE ERIKA AND KLAUS MANN STORY screened at the 2005 Berlinale. Sp...

Berlinale 2007, Dieter Kosslick’s Reflections Part I

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Dieter Kosslick continues to imprint his signature on the Berlinale. He has transformed the Berlin Festival into the largest audience oriented international film festival. Through the European Film Market and the main competition,  the Berlinale has met commercial interests while satisfying cinematic ones through the Panorama, Forum and other Berlinale components. Unlike Cannes and Venice, the Berlinale features the Talent Campus, permits large testing of new productions and presents a balanced...

Berlinale 2007, Dieter Kosslick’s Reflections part 1

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Dieter Kosslick continues to imprint his signature on the Berlinale. He has transformed the Berlin Festival into the largest audience oriented international film festival. Through the European Film Market and the main competition, the Berlinale has met commercial interests while satisfying cinematic ones through the Panorama, Forum and other Berlinale components. Unlike Cannes and Venice, the Berlinale features the Talent Campus, permits large testing of new productions and presents a balanced m...

New York Jewish Film Festival, 2007 edition

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New York Jewish Film Festival, 2007 edition took place January 10 to 25.Playing to a captive, though a bit aged, audience the 16th edition of theNY Jewish Film Festival presented 31 feature film, documentaries and shortsdepicting the complexity of Jewish lives, its history and culture and the endless themes of coping with a murderous past. Paradoxically, only few productions in the program focused on Jewish life in Israel and the problems that country faces, possibly due to the Israeli Film Fest...

Bahamas Film Fest with Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage.

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Though clouded by a lack of the customary Bahamian sun, this festival branded as ‘cinema in paradise’ and guided by ‘Spirit of Freedom’ and ‘New Visions” awards in the documentary and narrative sections completed its third edition at the upscale Atlantis Hotel on December 10th.Over a four day period more than 60 fifty films were screened including selections spotlighting recent Caribbean and Bahamanian film making, family oriented productions, and films in the Nicolas Cage Retrospe...

Film Festival Tourism

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The continued expansion of film festivals and their financial support by public authorities is well known. There are clear economic and political benefits derived from investing in cultural events since more visitors come to the venue of the festival and support the local economy through expenditures on lodging, meals, local products and other leisure activities. Further, support for the arts is an appealing political activity since there are no controversies involved and provides prestige for ...

The Bahamas International Film Festival

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3rd Annual BAHAMAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVALDecember 7 – 10, 2006The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) kicks off its third annual celebration of films, events and panels presented amidst idyllic Bahamian settings on December 7th – 10th, 2006. Festival attendees will delight in the nation’s tropical beauty and cultural charms thanks to Founding Sponsors Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and the Islands of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Audiences will enjoy BIFF screenings at the...

Cologne Conference 2006: Spiegel TV & Film Festival.

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As the 16th edition shows, the Cologne Conference held from May 18. – 24, 2006 has become the most important annual German platform for presenting the innovative international fiction and non- fiction television fare as well as influential professional seminars. It could be best compared to a one-week crash course in reflexive high quality television and film. Under the current direction of Martin Richter, there is continued emphasis on film, as exemplified by this year’s comprehensive Micha...

Newport Film Fest: June Film Tourism with Style

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Important regional film festivals like Newport, now in its ninth edition, rarely show outstanding new film makers for the first time since those tend to enter first in national or international fests such as Sundance, Tribeca, Telluride the New York Film Festivals, Toronto or the Berlinale. Yet this apparent disadvantage is not troublesome since the audience views many remarkable productions which gained their cache already in national or other regional festivals. Thus the Newport program fea...

Newport International: Laurie B. Kirby interview

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Established in 1998, and now in its ninth year, The Newport International Film Festival NIFF has grown into one of America's leading regional film festivals. The Festival, which critics have called a "low key Cannes," has distinguished itself as one where, according to Vanity Fair "art ranks before commerce". Over 10,000 filmmakers, celebrities, journalists, and film enthusiasts of all kinds attend drawn by the less frenzied, less commercial, and more intimate environment that the Newport fe...

Speed Interview with Dieter Kosslick, Busy Berlinale Chief

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Filmfestivals correspondant Claus Mueller sat down with Dieter Kosslick head of the Berlin festival for an open discussion on the festival changes. Claus Mueller What is the most important change compared to last year?Dieter Kosslick The most important change of course is that we finished out five year plan, including the change of the market, that is the move to the Martin Gropius Bau. That was a big move, and there is another little change, that we give the awards at the end of the festival on...

New York Jewish Film Festival wrap impressions

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New York Jewish Film Festival, January 11-26, 2006Among the more than 60 Jewish film festivals held in the United States the NY Jewish Film Festival (NYJFF) has after 15 editions become well established and is now considered as important as the Sans Francisco Jewish Film the oldest and biggest at 23 years. Organized by the influential Jewish Museum of New York, the NYJFF’s alliance with the Film Society of Lincoln Center has added to its prestige.As a community based film festival, th...

Bahamas International Film Festival: Second Edition

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Bahamas International Film Festival: Second Edition; 8. – 12. December, 2005Readily accessed by the discount airline Jet Blue, the Bahamas International Film Festival on Paradise Island (Cinema in Paradise) is a new kid on the festival circuit and a most promising entry. Location is certainly important as the success of the US American Newport and Hampton International Film Festivals demonstrate, as is broad sponsorship. But artistic and professional skills are vital for the success of a new...

Richard Peña on his work at New York Film Fest - part 3

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RICHARD PENA ON HIS WORK III Do you think that the continued expansion of film festivals is indication of the growing cinematic interest by the audience?I wish it were that. I don’t know. It is probably an indication of more people looking for ways of having jobs that are more glamorous. I am not sure how much it helps films. The vast majority of the festivals have no impact on the films at all. In the best possible of all worlds it is a nice cultural activity, but they do not really affec...

Richard Peña, Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center

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This is the first of a three part interview for filmfestivals.com by Claus MuellerRichard Peña on his WorkRichard Peña, noted film curator and scholar, is in charge of the New York Film Festival and the programs of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Since his appointment in 1988, Mr. Peña has enhanced festival standing as the most selective and influential cinema event in North America, and extended the Film Society’s programs to cover in depth year-round retrospectives of influential film...

IFP New York 2005: more focus on docs

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The 27th IFP market, the largest convocation of aspiring and actual independent film makers in North America closed September 22 expanding to more participants and more industry speed networking. It reduced the number of works screened from 400 in past markets to 199 from the more than 1400 submitted in 2005. Thus IFP is shifting from a market and or festival to an efficient networking event that arranged this year an estimated 1,500 buyer-driven meetings with film makers. A new component, Th...

Subway Cinema’s New York Asian Film Festival

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Rarely does a film festival stress popular and commercially successful movies, dispenses with intellectual and high brow aspiration, disregards art house films, and provides little or no amenities to journalist and media professionals. Yet the 4th annual New York Asian Film Festival presented thirty new Asian feature films not screened before in New York City in two venues, the venerable Anthology Film Archives and the uptown Imaginasian Theatre, In spite of the lack of festival accoutrement...

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