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Michelle Paster

Boston International fest screens Kevin Nealon Flick

REMARKABLE POWER! is the latest feature film from filmmaking duo, writer/producer Scott Sampila and writer/director Brandon Beckner whirling the audience through the trials and tribulations of a late night talk show host, Jack West, played by Kevin Nealon. His show is successful. His wife has an affair. He takes revenge on his wife. He concocts an elaborate scheme to win back his show. REMARKABLE POWER! refers to a self-help video to improve one’s wealth. The comedic thriller also stars Tom Ar...

Thoughts from AFI on females faces in Film

Female Faces in Film Story and photo by MICHELLE PASTER, AFI Daily News Magazine Editor Female filmmakers have a strong presence at AFI FEST this year. In two films, JELLYFISH, from Israel, and WITH YOUR PERMISSION, from Denmark, the female filmmakers' sensibilities impact character development and choice. Though the directors come from different cultures, the ties that bind their films are family, personal relationships, and love or the lack of it. In writer/director Shira Gefen's JE...

AFI Closing with a Bang - And a Flower

Scenes from CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, starring Gong Li and Chow Yun Fat, directed by Zhang Yimou, making its world premiere as the Closing Night Gala Presentation of AFI FEST 2006. The Closing Night Gala Presentation, making its world premiere at AFI FEST 2006 presented by Audi, is CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, directed and co-written by Zhang Yimou. CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER stars Chow Yun Fat, Gong Li and Jay Chou. The film is set during China's Tang Dynasty of the 10th century. The Imperial...

Newport Film Festival to Screen Body of Work

Financing a movie? Well you might want to read this for inspiration. StrangeLand Films and Director Farnaz Samiinia, with producing partner, Isabel Gallardo, did just that for suspense thriller Body of Work. Welcome to Newport, California: where the film will screen at April’s Newport Beach Film Festival. With a vision to boot, the film’s inspiration came from a published play by Brian Alan Lane, also the writer of the film. Samiinia exudes,“When I read the play the very first time, I fell...

Double Dare: Where is it Now?

“I guess you don’t have to be boring to be an adult.” – ZOË BELLAmanda Micheli does a wonderful job comparing and contrasting careers of two female Hollywood stunt women in her film “Double Dare”. She brings the story so every one can relate to it, whether you involved in the entertainment industry or not. Zoë Bell of “Kill Bill” and “Xena: Warrior Princess” fame and Jeannie Epper, best known for Lynda Carter’s double in TVs “Wonder Woman”. Where is the film now? Afte...

Donnie's Tree , student work at Big Bear City Fest

California’s Big Bear City Film Festival Showcases Papa G Studio’s Donnie’s TreeIt’s good to know there are professional films coming from student filmmakers. Writer/director, and producer Isung Hwang, has brilliantly created Donnie’s Tree, a short film about an elderly man’s desire to come to terms with his wife by means of a kumquat tree. As a graduate student at Chapman University in Orange County, California, Insung created his characters, plot, and locations all in a 7 day shoot...

A List Hollywood Talent lends itself to Indie Film: “Catching Kringle”

Welcome to the unique world of animation. On the film festival circuit, short animation films tend to stand out amongst the live-action shorts, because there are less of them. But what makes an animation flick stand out amongst all the others? There’s the 3d-animation, which if done in a professional manner, seems to catch all the attention, like Chris Landreth’s film, “Ryan” (2005 Academy Award winner). With 2d animation, even if the artists execute the visuals well, there still lies th...

"Autism is a World" to screen on CNN

Academy Award-Nominated Film Details a Life of Autism: Film to Air on CNN Network Told through the words of a young adult living with autism, Gerardine Wurzburg’s documentary film, “Autism is a World” enlightens our vision of what we have previously thought it may be like to be autistic. The film illuminates that there is a difference between autism and mental retardation and reveals Sue Rubin, a 26-year-old Los Angeles young woman in her comforts and inherent challenges. The film was nomi...

Opportunity in Dylan Rush’s The Ice Cream Man

Dylan Rush’s The Ice Cream Man combines characters of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds, as they learn to co-exist in America. Children, as the consumers of ice cream, represent America with their essence of freedom, while Venica, California serves as a melting pot. It is this mixture that embodies America with its forced nature to cause coexistence. Rush chooses to express these notions through ice cream truck drivers. A former Soviet male and a female Korean immigrant both start in the...

Ryan animated film by Chris Landreth, from AFI

An animated documentary film by Chris Landreth: WITH ALL THE SURPRISESWow! Impressive! Imaginative! The list goes on. Academy Award nominated Canadian filmmaker, Chris Landreth, and his film, RYAN deserve recognition beyond a time when the mere idea of recognition may die out. Based on the life of animator, Ryan Larkin, a Canadian animator who produced influential and original animation at the National Film Board of Canada many years ago, the film chronicles a deceptive path and the life that le...

What is in the Air from AFI: about Backseat Bingo

WHAT IS IN THE AIR The 2004 AFI Film Festival at Hollywood’s ArcLight Theater showcased a variety of short films, from topics on the CIA to the forgotten suicides of young stars. On Wednesday, November 10 and Saturday, November 13 the LA Film School hosted a group of the AFI shorts. Off to Laemmle’s ? They all should be. But for the time being we can just admire the dedication and creativity these young filmmakers share. One such filmmaker, Liz Blazer, created an animated short on a solo mis...

Kontroll making waves from AFI

KONTROLL: a Hungarian film takes you through a trip when your job becomes your reality“Can’t make waves if you don’t have any water.” Ticket inspector upon the staff going to a psychiatrist Hungary, 2004, 106 min, Color, 35 MMIn Hungarian with English subtitlesDIR/SCR: Nimrod Antal, PROD: Tamas Hutlassa, DP: Gyula Pados, ED: Istvan Kiraly, MUS: NEOCast: Cast: Sandor Badar, Eszter Balla, Csanyi, Gyorgy Cserhalmi, Eniko Eszenyi, Lajos Kovacs, Janos Kulka, Zsolt Laszlo, Bence Matyassy...

Comic -Con International Convention wrapped

SATURDAY AT COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL: 2004 From Borgs to Rainbow Men, from “Star Trek” to “Star Wars,” thousands of comic book fans, film fans, and those just curious gathered at the San Diego (CA) Convention Center July 22-25 for the annual Comic-Con International Convention. Jude Law, Giovanni Ribisi, Ling Bai, writer/director Kerry Conran, and others with “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” promoted their film with a question and answer series. Mark Hamill led a panel of voice ...

SBIFF reveals the <i>guts and glory</i> of directing

2004 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Reveals the Guts and Glory of Directing From Peter Biskind’s documentary, Don’t Bank on Amerika to Denys Arcand’s, The Barbarian Invasions Santa Barbara never ceases to amaze us. On Saturday, January 31st a panel of eight prominent directors answered Biskind’s Q’s at the 2004 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. It is an event like this Directors on Directing panel that inspires and intrigues us as filmmakers, film enthusiasts, and f...

5 Sides of a Coin by Paul Kell

"5 Sides of a Coin" Q & A by Michelle Paster with Paul Kell. Canadian filmmaker Paul Kell’s feature documentary, 5 Sides of a Coin, premiered at this year’s 2003 AFI International Film Festival. It showcases interviews and footage from some of the world’s top hip-hop artists, including Grandmaster Flash, Phase Too, Run DMC, Afrika Bambaataa, Jurassic 5, Prince Paul, The Beatnuts, Del Tha Funky Homosapien, Mix Master Mike, Rahzel, Spearhead, and DJ Krush, among others. Michelle Paster heav...

Nobody needs to know

At this year’s AFI International Film Festival, the so-called“somebodies” like Charlize Theron, Jon Favreau and Sir Ben Kingsleywalked the red carpet while the "nobodies" flanked them famelessly onboth sides. A good image to keep in mind when talking about filmdirector Azazel Jacobs and his recent feature, Nobody Needs toKnow, which screened at the festival as the only US entry in itsInternational Feature Competition. The low-budget film illustrates howour culture can make ordinary people ...