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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: 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...

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...

Interview with Sarah Hoch (Mexico - Expresion en Corto) ... and the budget crisis.

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A scarcity of Mexican production and the absence of exhibition platforms prompted Sarah Hoch to establish the festival Expresion en Corto twelve years ago which she has helmed ever since. As a publicly funded film festival, Expresion en Corto had a primary focus on short films. By 2009 it has morphed into one of the most important Latin American fests offering a comprehensive program with productions drawn from many countries, a program which stands comparison to much bigger major important fe...

New York: IFP 2009 Independent Film Week and Conference

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In the context of a weak economy, the scarcity of income generating outlets for independent productions, and the constantly rising number of prospective film makers, the 31st edition of the annual IFP, Independent Feature project was held from September 19 – 24 in New York City. After the demise of AIVF (Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers) IFP remains the most important organization catering to independent film makers and had about 10 000 members, including the Los Angeles chap...

New York: the 2009 New York Film Festival

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Presenting 28 feature and documentary productions the 47th edition of the New York Film Festival running from September 25 through October 11, certainly retained its standing as the premier US showcase for the international films and for presenting the best emerging and recognized international film directors. Culled this year mostly from other festivals the NYFF had few films from the United States (THE ART OF THE STEAL, Don Argott; SWEETGRASS, Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaign-Taylor; L...

Tribeca Film Festival Documentaries

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When the Tribeca film festival management announced that this year’s festival edition would program on the lighter side providing more uplifting and joyful fare, Woody Allen had an appropriate response. Films selected, including his, are only a palliative and people waking up in the middle of the night are driven by fears about losing their jobs and paying their bills. Though there was certainly joyful fare among the feature films screened and some ‘uplifts’ in the documentary section, ...

Berlinale 2009 Post Script

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Dieter Kosslick's comment that “Reality has actually surpassed fiction this year” fits rather well the 2009 edition of the Berlinale. Kosslick has directed the Berlinale since 2001 and helped to elevate it to rank with Cannes and Venice as one of three most important global film festivals. His take on the Berlinale as being political has often been criticized yet not detracted from the importance of the festival. The opening film THE INTERNATIONAL by Tom Twyker about the criminal activities...

The Dubai Film Market: Interview with the Director Ziad Yaghi

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As noted in our February 4th write up, setting up the first regional film market is part of a comprehensive strategy by the Emirate of Dubai to create a sophisticated media infrastructure. It includes dating Dubai media city for electronic and print media with 1300 mostly foreign companies; Dubai Internet City; the International Media Production Zone; Dubai Studio City housing the biggest and technologically most advanced studio facility in the Middle East; and the five year old Dubai Internatio...

The 2009 New York Jewish Film Festival conclusion

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Concluding on January 29th after a two week run at Lincoln's Center Walter Read Theater and other venues, the 18th annual Jewish Film Festival presented 32 features and shorts from 17 countries. Covering aspects of past and present Jewish (and Israeli) experience, most of these productions had their New York premiere. Among the about 60 Jewish Film Festivals in the United States, the New York festival is rather influential and trend setting given its location and a captive Jewish audience. T...

Thoughts on 2008 Dubai International Film Festival.

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Held from December 11th-18th in Dubai’s luxurious Madinat Jemeirah’s conference center embedded in an upscale tourist resort with screening in other venues, the Dubai film festival is racing to be number one in the region. Catering to about 750 official participants who attended as guests and numerous other professionals, the program featured 181 films from 66 countries. More than 20 well attended industry events and panels were held ranging from marketing and distribution issues to cas...

New York Film Festival 2008 notes Sept. 26 – Oct. 12

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Like other festivals, the Lincoln Center Film Society’s 46th New York Film Festival experienced a steady increase in films submitted amounting to about 1500 productions this year, far below the 8500 which the Sundance program coordinator Zakheim is quoted as having received for the 2008 edition, even less than the 1600 productions send now to the four year old Dubai festival. Yet the importance of the NYFF and of the 2008 main selection of 28 titles is not measured by competitive numbers, rat...

New York IFP 2008 Creating Opportunities for Independents

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IFP, the Independent Feature Project, has defined for the last 30 years its mission as helping independent film makers to break into the industry. It has evolved as the most important US organization serving indie film makers and staged its annual conference each fall with financial support from the media industry. This year the one week conference, the Independent Film Week , formerly known as the IFP market, analyzed over six days in day- long seminars in than 30 panels film making, fil...

New York: Turkish Film Week

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The establishment of new film festivals has become common in our expanding visual media universe and they are becoming more differentiated appealing to thematic or ethnic niche audiences. In New York the Turkish Film Week supported by the local Turkish Cultural Center premiered in August at the centrally located Scandinavia House as a pilot project with a limited number of films providing an overview of current Turkish cinema. Though a Turkish Film Festival has been held annually in New York ove...

A look back to Tribeca 2008 Documentaries

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As in earlier editions of the Tribeca Film Festival, the documentary sections presented outstanding productions, though, included some films that seemed to have been selected from a political perspective rather than from a strictly artistic one, meaning outstanding productions characterized by exquisite formal execution and original thematic concepts. Some of the films included in this year’s selections show that original thematic concepts are more difficult to develop than executing a them...

Interview with Frogman (Eagle Talon The Movie)

Interview with Frogman, Director, Producer and Writer of EAGLE TALON THE MOVIE: THE CHANCELLOR ONLY LIVES TWICEClaus Mueller:Can you just briefly comment about your background?Frogman:I have been involved in television productions and drama for fifteen years. About four years ago I started with flash animationCM:     What kind of films have you done before EAGLE TALON?F:        It is actually my first film but I have produced many TV seriesCM:     What prompted you to use flash an...

An Interview with Frogman (Eagle Talon The Movie)

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Interview with Frogman, Director, Producer and Writer of EAGLE TALON THE MOVIE: THE CHANCELLOR ONLY LIVES TWICEClaus Mueller:Can you just briefly comment about your background?Frogman:I have been involved in television productions and drama for fifteen years. About four years ago I started with flash animationCM: What kind of films have you done before EAGLE TALON?F: It is actually my first film but I have produced many TV seriesCM: What prompted you to use flash animation?F: When I moved to the...

Interview with Frogman, EAGLE TALON THE MOVIE Director

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Interview with Frogman, Director, Producer and Writer ofEAGLE TALON THE MOVIE: THE CHANCELLOR ONLY LIVES TWICEClaus Mueller:Can you just briefly comment about your background?Frogman:I have been involved in television productions and drama for fifteen years. About four years ago I started with flash animationCM: What kind of films have you done before EAGLE TALON?F: It is actually my first film but I have produced many TV seriesCM: What prompted you to use flash animation?F: When I moved to the ...

New York – 2008 International Independent Film and Video Festival

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Presenting from February 28 to March 6th close to 100 productions in two Manhattan venues, the IIFVF covered virtually all genres in feature films, shorts and documentaries with a selection from fifty countries that ranging from outstanding and innovative productions to those shown once, and soon to be forgotten. This festival receives contradictory reactions from trade and website publications, with some simply refusing to cover it. A few participating producers and directors participating in ...

Christopher Terhechte: Berlinale Forum Director Interview

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Christoph Terhechte has been a member of the International Forum of New Cinema’s selection committee since 1997 and directing the Forum since 2001.The Forum is widely considered as the most innovative artistic and political section of the Berlinale featuring experimental, avant-garde films and documentaries characterized by unconventional approaches and presenting new film makers. Terhechte added in 2006 ‘forum expanded’, a new component of the Forum exploring the emerging fusion of cinema...

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