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Panos Koutras’ Xenia sweeps Hellenic awards

  • ScreenDaily
Panos Koutras’ Xenia sweeps Hellenic awards
Director refuses to accept trophies in protest over immigrant issues in Greece.Scroll down for full list of winners

Panos H Koutras’ Xenia swept the sixth Hellenic Film Academy Awards on Monday evening (March 30) including the top prizes for best film, best director and best screenplay.

The film, which played in Un Certain Regard at Cannes 2014, was also awarded best editing, best costumes and best supporting actor for Angelos Papadimitriou.

But in an emotionally charged gesture, the director and his team chose not to accept the awards until the left wing Syriza government passed a bill regarding second-generation, referring to more than 100,000 immigrant children born and raised in Greece who are being denied Greek citizenship.

Xenia centres on two teenage boys who cross the entire country in search of their Greek father, after their Albanian mother passes away. They hope he will identify them as sons and secure their citizenship.

Last year’s
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Complete lineup of Mumbai Film Festival 2014

Complete lineup of Mumbai Film Festival 2014
The 16th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival announced its line-up in a press conference today.

Here is the complete list of films which will be screened at the festival:-

International Competition

Difret

Dir.: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari (Ethiopia / 2014 / Col / 99)

History of Fear (Historia del miedo)

Dir.: Benjamin Naishtat (Argentina-France-Germany-Qatar-Uruguay / 2014 / Col / 79)

With Others (Ba Digaran)

Dir.: Nasser Zamiri (Iran / 2014 / Col / 85)

The Tree (Drevo)

Dir.: Sonja Prosenc (Slovenia / 2014 / Col / 90)

Next to Her (At li layla)

Dir.: Asaf Korman (Israel / 2014 / Col / 90)

Schimbare

Dir.: Alex Sampayo (Spain / 2014 / Col / 87)

Fever

Dir.: Raphaël Neal (France / 2014 / Col / 81)

Court

Dir.: Chaitanya Tamhane (India (Marathi-Gujarati-English-Hindi) / 2014 / Col / 116)

Macondo

Dir.: Sudabeh Mortezai (Austria / 2014 / Col / 98)

India Gold Competition 2014

The Fort (Killa)

Dir.: Avinash Arun (India (Marathi) / 2014 / Col / 107)

Unto the Dusk

Dir.: Sajin Baabu (India (Malayalam) / 2014 / Col / 118)

Names Unknown (Perariyathavar)

Dir.: Dr. Biju (India (Malayalam) / 2014 / Col / 110)

Buddha In a Traffic Jam

Dir.
See full article at DearCinema.com »

European Film Awards: Vogt, Östlund, Pawlikowski, Zvyagintsev , Glazer & Ceylan Among 50 Contenders

This year’s European Film Awards are officially out of the gates with a not so lean 50 film submissions to select from. The 27th edition collects titles that date back to last year’s Venice and Toronto Int. Film Festivals moving into Sundance-Rotterdam-Berlin and finally Cannes of ’14. Among the 31 European countries represented, we’ve got likes of the Palme d’Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan leading the huge pack of contenders including Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin and Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida. Here’s the complete list of 50!:

Alienation

ОТЧУЖДЕНИЕ (Otchujdenie)

Bulgaria

Directed By: Milko Lazarov

Written By: Milko Lazarov, Kitodar Todorov & Georgi Tenev

Produced By: Veselka Kiryakova

Amour Fou

Austria/Luxembourg/Germany

Written & Directed By: Jessica Hausner

Produced By: Martin Gschlacht, Antonin Svoboda, Bruno Wagner, Bady Minck, Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu & Philippe Bober

Beautiful Youth

Hermosa Juventud

Spain/France

Directed By: Jaime Rosales

Written By: Jaime Rosales & Enric Rufas

Produced By: Jaime Rosales,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Efa unveils 50-strong selection

  • ScreenDaily
More than 30 European countries represented in the line-up.Scroll down for list in full

The 50 films recommended for a nomination for the European Film Awards (EFAs) have been unveiled.

The European Film Academy and Efa Productions revealed the titles at a press conference in Riga, Latvia where this year’s 27th EFAs will take place on Dec 13.

A total of 31 European countries are represented. In the 20 countries with the most Efa members, these members have voted one national film directly into the selection list.

To complete the list, a selection committee consisting of Efa Board Members and invited experts have included further films. Those experts include Screen International chief film critic and reviews editor Mark Adams (UK), Marit Kapla (Sweden), Stefan Kitanov (Bulgaria), Paz Lázaro (Spain), Christophe Leparc (France) and Elma Tataragic (Bosnia & Herzegovina).

In the coming weeks, more than 3,000 members of the European Film Academy will vote for the nominations in the categories European Film, Director
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1

Early predictions have emerged for most Academy Award categories. As the studios reveal their hopeful offers to be released in the final months of the year, the speculation increases. But despite all the information available on the centerpiece awards, other more obscure races remain a complete mystery at this point. Among these, the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is almost certainly the most complex to prognosticate. The lengthy process that precedes the announcement of the final nominees makes for a competition that begins months in advance in nations around the globe.Having the opportunity to submit only one film, each country must carry out its own selection process. Once these decisions have been made, their chosen works will compete to make it to the nine-film shortlist, and eventually into the final five slots. Although this procedure allows for a certain degree of democracy, it also excludes all those other films that were left behind in their homelands. This, in turn, gives us a narrow view of what is being produced abroad.

Therefore, after lots of research and arduous educated guessing to put it together, the list below offers a more insightful look at this race before the actual individual selections are announced. For the sake of time, the amount of films is limited to five per country, but in some cases the choices are scarcer and less films are listed. While trying to speculate is always an uncertain endeavor, the factors taken into account to determine which are some of this year’s most important films in each country and their prospects of being chosen as their representative at the Academy Awards, were varied. Festival exposure, release date, the country’s previous submissions, and even the thematic elements of a few of them were considered to create this piece.

Clearly nothing is definitive at this point, but at the very least, this compilation will provide a sense of what the film industries in these territories are putting out and sharing with the world.

Read More: Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas

Here is the first part of the list on Europe (Albania -Lithuania)

Albania

Last year the Balkan state had one of its strongest contenders in recent history, Robert Budina’s “Agon,” a powerful drama dealing with the ethnic identity of the region. This time around, there are three films that qualify to be selected. The front-runner is “ Amsterdam Express, ” which has the highest international profile of the three being a co-production between Albania, U.K The Netherlands and Germany. The film explores the sociopolitical situation of the country through the eyes of an Albanian man who immigrates to Dutch territory illegally. Following along are two other dramas, “The Last Wish” (Amaneti) and “Ada.” Having three clearly viable options, it is almost certain that Albania will compete once again this year.

1. "Amsterdam Express" PC: F&Me

2. "The Last Wish" (Amaneti) PC: Media Vision

3. "Ada" PC: Concordia Pictures

Armenia

Having submitted only four times as an independent nation, it is difficult to predict whether Armenia will decide to participate this year. However, they do have a few films that could represent them at the Academy Awards. Even though the country’s film industry is still precarious and struggling, they have their own annual awards and consistently complete feature length works. Since many of them don’t fulfill the quality standards of major festivals, few of their offers ever get passed their border. The most feasible candidate this year is “Tevanik,” a film about the Karabakh war that screened at the Cannes film market and that has also screened theatrically in its home country. Another possible selection is dark comedy “The Romanticists,” which won the Best Screenplay award at the Hayak National Cinema Awards and had some international exposure. Drama “From Two Worlds as a Keepsake, ” could also be a good candidate as it premiered last year at the World Film Festival in Montreal. Less likely are comedy “The Heart in the House ,” a Russian co-production, and Hayak Best Film nominee “Caucho,” which might be a bit too avant-garde to be chosen.

1. "Tevanik" PC: Fish Eye Art

2. "The Romanticists" (Rromantiknery) PC: Aysor-Plus Film Productions

3. "From Two Worlds as a Keepsake" (Yerku ashkharhic i hishatak) PC: National Film Centr of Armenia

4. "The Heart in the House" (Domik v serdtse) PC: Berg Sound

5. "Caucho"

Austria

Since Austrian productions are heavily influenced by the German film industry and often intertwined with it, it is no surprise that the major winner at the German Film Awards was the co-production “The Dark Valley.” But given that the director Andreas Prochaska is Austrian, as well as most of the creative control and resources, the Germans couldn’t claim it as their own. This, and the fact that Sam Riley is in it, make it an ideal, high profile candidate to be Austria’s Oscar submission. Nominated for five awards in the past Austrian Film Awards, “October November” is also a descent candidate. A close third followed is “The Last Dance” the latest film by Houchang Allahyari, whose film “I Love Vienna” represented the country a couple decades ago. Then we have “ Soldier Jane,” which also nominated for Best Film at the National Awards. Lastly, “The Silent Mountain, “ an epic period piece about World War I is not entirely far fetched. Other films that have had positive receptions at festivals such as “Macondo,” or “Amour Fou” will be released closer to the end of the year.

1. "The Dark Valley" (Das Fisntere Tal) Isa: Films Distribution

2. "October November" (Oktober November) Isa: The Match Factory

3. "The Last Dance" (Der letzte Tanz) PC: Allahyari Filmproduktion

4. "Soldier Jane" (Soldate Jeannette) Isa: Premium Films

5. "The Silent Mountain" ( Der Stille Berg) Isa: Premiere Entertainment Group

Azerbaijan

It's always great to see a country like Azerbaijan submitting a film and making an attempt at getting exposure for their filmmakers and industry. Their films rarely make it to the world stage of glamorous festivals, thus they remain mostly obscure and inaccessible outside their homeland. Nevertheless, this year an Azerbaijani film, “Nabat,” could change that as it will screen at the Venice Film festival. This war film has already screened in the country at least at a special event, it is difficult to know if it will qualify this time around. If it does, it is their best bet. Should they decide to save it for next year, the country has another option of mild prestige. “Chameleon,” a small drama set in a remote village, screened last year at Locarno and that alone could help its chances. Lastly, there is “Down by the River,” which was part of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival selection. It will almost certainly be released until past the deadline, but might be a strong contender in the future. Two other dramas, one of epic proportions and a biopic could get in the mix but there is hardly any information available besides the fact that they have been screened in the capital city of Baku.

1. "Nabat" Isa: Dreamlab Films

2. "Chameleon" (Buqälämun) PC: Arizona Productions

3. "Down the River" (Axinla ashagi) PC: Azerbaijanfilm

Belarus

The small ex-Soviet state has been mostly producing documentaries for local viewing. Their output of material that can be successful abroad is minimal, and even when they have been presented with a great opportunity to participate at the Academy Awards, they simply don’t. This was the case of Sergey Loznitsa's “In the Fog” a couple years back, which could have represented them but was not entered. In fact, they have only participated on two occasions, the last one being in 1996. Although it is unlikely they will show interest, the country has a couple of promising choices. Belarus’ best bet would be the international coproduction “ The Role,” a solemn period piece that was nominated for five Nika Awards (the Russian Oscars) and actually won for Best Screenplay. Highly improbable, but given their small number of contenders, the country could also choose to send “BaBu,” an Azerbaijani coproduction about the kidnapping of a businessman’s daughter.

1. "The Role" (Rol) Isa: Reflexion Films

2. "BaBu"

Belgium

With the return to Cannes of the country’s most iconic filmmakers, the Dardenne Brothers, Belgium has an easy decision to make. Starring Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night” looks like the obvious favorite. Nevertheless, the Dardennes have been overlooked before, as it was the case two years ago when the Belgians decided to send “Bullhead” over the duo’s “The Kid with a Bike.” The only real threat could be “Marina” by Stijn Coninx, who was nominated for an Oscar in this category back in 1992 with “Daens.“ His latest work is a period piece about Rocco Granata’s life, an Italian singer who lived in Belgium in his youth. A more audacious decision, but not entirely impossible, would be to select the beautifully nightmarish “The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears,” which has had noticeable international presence. Two other titles, “ The Verdict” and “The Treatment” have been well received at home but since they are facing works by revered filmmakers, their chances are slight.

1. "Two Days, One Night" (Deux jours, une nuit) Isa: Wild Bunch

2. "Marina" Isa: Media Luna New Films

3. "The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears" (L'étrange couleur des larmes de ton corps) Isa: Bac Films International

4. "The Verdict" (Het Vonnis) Isa: Media Luna New Films

5. "The Treatment" (De Behandeling) Isa: Be for Films

Bosnia & Herzegovina

The last film by the poster child for Bosnian cinema, Danis Tanovic, managed to make it to the 9-film shortlist last December. This year, the country doesn’t have such a prominent candidate. Based on release date, festival exposure, and language, their safest selection would be the family drama “ With Mom.” Another title that could qualify is “Krivina,” which is technically a 2012 film, but did not premier in Bosnia until late last year. If eligible, it would definitively be a great runner-up. In third place is the incredibly small local film “ Krajina: Life or Death,” and it’s in that position simply because it meets all the minimum requirements to qualify - language included. The last two films mentioned here are longer shots not due to lack of quality, but because of their production details. One, “Bridges of Sarajevo,” is an anthology film created by over a dozen filmmakers from around the world. Even though one of the filmmakers is Bosnian and all sections are in a language other than English, it will be hard to consider it an actual Bosnian film. The other, “For Those Who Can Tell No Tales,” is a Bosnian production directed by Jasmila Zbanic, but the dialogue seems to be mostly in English, which would make it ineligible.

1. "With Mom" (Sa Mamom) PC: Scca/Pro.BA

2. "Krivina" Isa: Princ Films

3. "Krajina: Life and Death" (Ja sam iz Krajine, zemlje kestena) PC: Depo Production

4. "Bridges of Sarajevo" (Les Ponts de Sarajevo) Isa: Indie Sales

5."For Those Who Can Tell No Tales" (Za one koji ne mogu da govore) PC: Mpm

Bulgaria

In recent years the country has decided to send films that have won or have been nominated for their local film awards. This year the winner of the top award for Best Film was “Alienation,” seemingly making it the favorite to be submitted. This might actually not be the case. Premiering at Sundance earlier this year, “Viktoria,” an epic drama about a peculiar mother-daughter relationship, might actually be the frontrunner. The film has been rightfully hailed as the most important Bulgarian film of 2014 as it has been praised at several international festivals. The only concern was its release date, but that has been put to rest since the filmmakers have announced a one-week theatrical run of the film in Sofia this September. This might imply they are seriously considering the possibility of being chosen. Other less likely options are “Roseville,” another Best Film nominee at the local film awards, “Rat Poison,” which won Best Screenplay at those same awards, and the comedy “ Living Legends.” “The Judgement,” another important Bulgarian film that opened the Sofia International Film Festival in March, won’t opened theatrically until after the deadline.

1. "Viktoria" PC: Viktoria Films

2. "Alienation" PC: Red Carpet/ Bnt

3."Roseville" Isa: Wide

4. "Rat Poison" PC: Bulfilm Nfc

5. "Living Legends" PC: Euro Dialogue Productions

Croatia

Dominating last year’s Pula Film Festival with seven Golden Arena awards and presented at other international festivals, the drama “ A Stranger” is by far the most qualified choice. Bobo Jelcic’s film follows a man who returns to his hometown only to attend a funeral, but is forced to deal with several other issues from his past while there. Closely following is complex family drama “Hush…,” which also won several awards at the same festival. Other films that could come into play include “Vis-à-Vis,” a story about a film director and on his actor trying to write a screenplay, crime thriller “Not All About the Money, ”and the comedy “Handymen” by Dalibor Matanic, whose film “Fine Dead Girls” represented Croatia in 2002. It is important to note that three other relevant Croatian films, “The Bridge at the of the World,” "Number 55” and “The Reaper,” will probably be released in the next few months and will be in the running next year.

1. "A Stranger"(Obrana i zastita) Isa: Rendez-vous Pictures

2. "Hush..." (Šuti) PC: Kinorama

3. "Vis-a-Vis" PC: Copycat Production House

4. "Not All About the Money" (Nije sve u lovi) PC: Interfilm

5. "Handymen" (Majstori) PC: Hrvatska Radiotelevizija

Cyprus

As one of the few countries in Europe that has never submitted a film, it is likely they will continue on that path once again. Yet, if they decide otherwise, there is a film that could represent them. Crime drama “Stratos” directed by Cyprus-born Yannis Economides and produced with support from the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture could actually be the island nation’s lucky charm. Another Cypriot production, the romantic comedy “ Committed,” would be listed here as a possibility if it wasn’t for the fact that it is entirely in English.

1. "Stratos" (To Mikro Psari) Isa: The Match Factory

Czech Republic

Last year was rough for the Czechs. The ambitious historical courtroom drama “Burning Bush” by acclaimed filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, was disqualified as their submission because it was originally conceived as a TV miniseries. They were forced to select another film “The Don Juans,” which that didn’t do much them. This time around things are looking up with a wide array of films to choose from. Playing at Karlovy Vary recently and opening theatrically just in time to qualify is “Fair Play,” a sports drama about a sprinter attempting to make it to the Olympic Games in 1980. Then there is “Clownwise, ” a quirky dramedy that was nominated for Best Film and won Best Supporting actor at the local Czech Lion Awards. In the third spot is “Hany,” a film conformed of a single continuous shot depicting the madness occurring during a night out in the city. “The Way Out, ” a drama that screened in the Acid sidebar at Cannes, could also be picked based on that notable international exposure. Lastly, “Delight,” another Czech Lion Best Film nominee, could be the surprise selection, but it will probably prove to be a tad too abstract for voters.

1. "Fair Play" Isa: Intramovies

2. "Clownwise" (Klauni) Isa: Latido

3. "Hany" PC: Barletta

4. "The Way Out" (Cesta Ven) Isa: Premium Films

5. "Delight" (Rozkos) PC: Cineart TV Prague

Denmark

These days Denmark is a powerhouse in this category. After almost tasting glory once again with Vinterberg’s “The Hunt, ” the Danish will return to seek their third consecutive nomination. In order to continue their great streak, they need to choose wisely. “Someone in Love,” about a musician in crisis, has garnered praise from critics internationally, and will seem like the obvious choice. On the other hand, there is the mystery flick “ The Keeper of Lost Causes,” which opened in Denmark late last yearand was nominated for 4 Bodil Awards. Then there is “Sorrow and Joy” another powerful drama from Nils Malmros, whose film “Barbara” represented Denmark in 1992. Unique coming-of-age tale ”Speed Walking” could also be a contender. On the final slot there is the romantic drama “The Miracle,” a film that did well at the Montreal World Film Festival, unlikely but not impossible. Whichever it is, it will certainly be something to watch out for throughout the race.

1. "Someone You Love" (En du elsker) Isa: TrustNordisk

2. "The Keeper of Lost Causes" (Kvinden i buret) Isa: TrustNordisk

3. "Sorrow and Joy" (Sorg og glæde) PC: Nordisk Film Production

4. "Speed Walking" (Kapgang) PC: Nordisk Film Production

5. "The Miracle" (Miraklet) PC: Film i Vast

Estonia

This Baltic country’s film industry has increasingly become more consistent at delivering interesting films. Winning awards across festivals, their absolute frontrunner is “Tangerines, ” a Georgian coproduction about a Estonian man caught up in the middle of a war. Its biggest competition is the black and white historical film “In the Crosswind,” “which is a viable choice given that it deals with a painful episode in the region's history: the mass deportation of Baltic people to Siberia by Russia. Though it looks beautifully done, its particular visual aesthetic might seem to unconventional to some voters. It is still really possible they decide to send it regardless. Finally there is “ Kertu” a romantic drama about an unlikely relationship.

1. "Tangerines" (Mandariinid) Isa: Cinemavault

2. "In the Crosswind" (Risttuules) PC: Allfilm

3. "Kertu, Love is Blind" (Kertu) Isa: Paul Thiltges Distribution Sarl

Finland

Despite the countries long filmmaking tradition, the Finnish have only been nominated once for Aki Kaurismäki's “The Man Without a Past” in 2002. Fortunately for them, they have several great eligible films that will make for a difficult decision. Black and white philosophical drama “ Concrete Night” from Pirjo Honkasalo earned 6 Jussi Awards, given by Finland’s film professionals. Such overwhelming recognition will make it hard to ignore despite the serious competition. The film also had a great festival run. Right behind it are two films by prolific Dome Karukoski, who has represented his country at the Oscar previously. The first one is “The Grump,” a comedy based on the character created by Tuomas Kyro. It will screen at Tiff and will open locally just in time to qualify. Karukoski’s other film “Heart of a Lion,” tells a more serious story about a Neo-Nazi who reconsiders his views after falling in love. Either one of them could be picked as a way to honor the consistently great work this filmmaker puts out. Yet another interesting possibility is “Korso,” about a young man with big basketball dreams. The film was partially produced by the same company that created last year’s Oscar nominated short “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?” There are several other plausible films, but from all those, the one that seems to have the best prospects is the historical comedy “August Fools.”

1. "Concrete Night" (Betoniyö) Isa: Film Republic

2. "The Grump" (Mielensäpahoittaja) Isa: The Yellow Affair

3. "Heart of a Lion" (Leijonasydän) Isa: The Yellow Affair

4. "Korso" PC: Bufo/Tuffi Films

5. "August Fools" (Mieletön elokuu) Isa: Insomnia World Sales

France

Narrowing down France’s possible selection to five titles is by far one of the must uncertain and difficult tasks. The French film industry releases a vast number of films every year in a variety of genres and sizes. This gives them endless possibilities. Yet, there are some indicators that provide insight to what they might end up choosing. First off, the Cesar Awards. This year’s big winner was Guillaume Gallienne's “Me, Myself and Mum, ” which is a delightfully funny film that shines with originality. It was released last November and could definitely be their selected entry. On the other hand, they could choose to honor legendary filmmaker Alain Resnais- who past away earlier this year - by submitting his last film “Life of Riley.” The film received mixed reactions, but won the Fipresci Prize and the Alfred Bauer Award in Berlin. If they want to go with some fresh young talent, there is Cannes Directors' Fortnight Winner “Love at First Sight, ” the debut feature by Thomas Cailley. Another award winner that qualifies is Katell Quillévéré’s “Suzanne” about a woman that loses it all for the love a deviant man. Last but not least, Mathieu Amalric’s latest directorial effort “The Blue Room” could be a surprise player given the actor’s prestige and talent both in front and behind the camera. It is still up in the air.

1. "Me, Myself and Mum" (Les Garçons et Guillaume, à table!) Isa: Gaumont

2. "Life of Riley" (Aimer, boire et chanter) PC: F Comme Film

3. "Love at First Sight" (Les Conbattants) PC: Nord-Ouest Productions

4. "Suzanne" Isa: Films Distribution

5. "The Blue Room" (La Chambre Bleue) Isa: Alfama Films

Georgia

Impressively on the rise, the Georgian film industry keeps on delivering great works that often make waves across international festivals. Last year’s submission “In Bloom,” was a great success and managed to get U.S. distribution for a small theatrical release. On this occasion, they have three films that have done well internationally. Out of the batch, the most successful has been Levan Koguashvili’s “Blind Dates, ” a charming story of a unique quest for love. A second strong competitor is “Brides,” a drama that screened both at the Berlinale and Tribeca this year. Then, just fresh from winning at Karlovy Vary, there is “Corn Island,” a poetic vision of life from the perspective of rural Georgia. It appears like all three titles will release at home in time to qualify. If that’s the case, Georgia has a tough decision to make

1. "Blind Dates" (Shemtkhveviti paemnebi) Isa: Films Boutique

2. "Brides" (Patardzlebi) Isa: Rezo

3. "Corn Island" (Simindis kundzuli) PC: Arizona Productions

Germany

After releasing a 15-film shortlist, Germany’s prospects look clearer. There are several titles on the list that won’t merit a nomination, but the prominent film that remain will make for a competitive final selection. Winning two prizes in Berlin, “Stations of the Cross,” a look at fundamentalist Catholicism, sounds like a front-runner. However, its subject matter might play against it. Feo Aladag’s latest film “Inbetween Worlds,” about a German soldier in Afghanistan, seems to be a powerful drama on the vein of Susanne Bier’s “In a Better World.” On the third slot is “West,” a moving film about a woman and her son escaping socialist East Germany to discover the other side also has its darkness. Then there is “Beloved Sisters,” a costume drama that seems like a safer choice. It might be too familiar to be selected, but not at all improbable. Lastly, “Home from Home,” which won several national awards. It'ss possible, but its narrative style and extensive running time (225 min.) might make it a much more harder sell.

1. "Stations of the Cross" (Kreuzweg) Isa: Beta Cinema

2. "Inbetween Worlds" (Zwischen Welten) Isa: The Match Factory

3. "West" (Westen) Isa: Picture Tree International

4. "Beloved Sisters" (Die geliebten Schwestern) PC: Bavaria Film

5. "Home from Home - Chronicle of a Vision" (Die andere Heimat - Chronik einer Sehnsucht) Isa: Arri Worldsales

Greece

Even though it not an absolute rule, the Greeks tend to select the Hellenic Awards Best Film winner as their submission. Taking that into account, the clear favorite and almost certain choice is “Little England,” a period piece that won big locally. It’s biggest flaw; however, is the lack of international exposure. If for some reason they wanted to make a bold move and reward an impressive festival run, then Alexandros Avranas’s marvelously perverse “Miss Violence” would be ideal. Another great festival darling is Elina Psikou‘s feature debut “The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas,” a sardonic exploration on fame and identity. On the fourth spot, there is “ The Enemy Within,” a tense crime drama about a family in the aftermath of a home invasion. The film was also honored at the Hellenic Awards. Finally, “Standing Aside, Watching,” about corruption, sexism, and intimidation in a small village, could also be a great entry. Un Certain Regard film “Xenia” by Panos H. Koutras, won’t open in Greece until October, but will be a possible option next year.

1. "Little England" (Mikra Anglia) PC: Black Orange

2."Miss Violence" Isa: Elle Driver

3."The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas" (I Aionia Epistrofi tou Antoni Paraskeva) Isa: M-Appeal World Sales

4."The Enemy Within" (O Ehthros Mou) Isa: Patra Spanou

5. "Standing Aside, Watching" (Na kathesai kai na koitas) Isa: Patra Spanou

Hungary

Hungary’s last submission “The Notebook” managed to make it into the highly competitive 9-film shortlist. This year they have even brighter hopes with a slate of titles that have done very well around the world. Un Certain Regard winner “White God” is undoubtedly the one to beat. It is a rare occasion for the country to win such a high profile prize, thus making it almost impossible to ignore. Nevertheless, if that is not enough to convince the selection committee, “Free Fall” the latest film György Pálfi - whose films “ Hukkie” and “Taxidermia” have represented Hungary in the past - would be the next best choice. It also won several awards recently at Karlovy Vary, which could be of help. Less likely is Virág Zomborácz‘s “Afterlife” another drama that screened at the renowned Czech festival. Other possible titles include Lgbt romantic drama “Land of Storms, “ which screened in Berlin, and dark “ “Heavenly Shift,” which descent international presence.

1. "White God" (Fehér isten) Isa: The Match Factory

2. "Free Fall" (Szabadesés) PC: Jiff Project

3. "Afterlife" (Utóélet) Isa: Hungarian National Film Fund

4. "Land of Storms" (Viharsarok) Isa: M-Appeal World Sales

5. "Heavenly Shift" (Isteni müszak) Isa: Hungarian National Film Fund

Iceland

This small Scandinavian nation seems to have a very easy decision to make. The film “Life in a Fishbowl” has been dubbed by local critics as “the best Icelandic” film ever made” and it has also been an absolute box-office hit in its homeland. The multi-narrative film is by far the most likely to be submitted. However, its closest competitor is Ragnar Bragason‘s “ Metalhead,” a drama about a girl coping with her brother’s death. It was released late last year and won several Edda Awards. With far less possibilities given the two frontrunners is the dramedy “Paris of the North, ” which screened at Karlovy Vary, and comedy “ The Grandad,” which lacks exposure and buzz.

1. "Life in a Fishbowl" (Vonarstræti) Isa: Films Boutique

2. "Metalhead" (Málmhaus) Isa: Picture Tree International

3. "Paris of the North" (París Norðursins) PC: Arizona Productions

4. "The Grandad" (Afinn) PC: Thorsson Productions

Ireland

Since most of country’s releases are in English rather than in the Irish language, most years the country doesn’t have any candidates for this category. Ireland has only submitted to films for consideration as foreign language films. It is unlikely they’ll enter the race this year, but if it manages to be released in time, Irish director Johnny O'Reilly‘s Russian-language film “Moscow Never Sleeps” could be their selected candidate. The film was produced with the help of the Irish Film Funs, a fact that could help claim it as an Irish production. Another film in the Irish language, “An Bronntanas” (The Gift), would be a great choice, but it seems to be originally envisioned for TV as a five part miniseries. It’s hard to know if it will manage to qualify.

1. "Moscow Never Sleeps" (Москва никогда не спит) PC: Snapshot Films

Italy

Returning as current champion, Italy - which is the most successful nation ever in this category – has two main contenders and a couple other minor players. At the top of the list is “Human Capital,” which beat out “The Great Beauty” at the local David di Donatello Awards. Added to that, the film has won almost every award at home and several others abroad. It would be shocking to see the film be ignored. The biggest threat to its flawless run is Cannes Competition film “The Wonders.” It received mixed reviews but the Cannes pedigree could play a big role. Local success “The Mafia Only Kills in Summer” is less likely to have a chance. However, it also received tons of praise at home, so it shouldn’t be entirely disqualified. “Misunderstood,” by Asia Argento, played in the Un Certain Regard section but faces tough competition. Rounding up these five possibilities is “Those Happy Years, ” a personal film by Daniele Luchetti, which received very positive reviews internationally.

1. "Human Capital" (Il capitale umano) PC: Indiana Production Company

2. "The Wonders" (Le meraviglie) Isa: The Match Factory

3. "The Mafia Only Kills in Summer" (La mafia uccide solo d'estate) Isa: Rai Com

4. "Misunderstood" (Incompresa) Isa: Other Angle Pictures

5. "Those Happy Years" (Anni felici) Isa: Celluloid Dreams/Nightmares

Kosovo

The surprise submission could come from the recently independent, war-torn Balkan state. They have a promising feature film by Isa Qosja's “Three Windows and a Hanging,” which has been called “the best film from Kosovo to date.” Dealing with the forced silence and shame rape victims experience in a small village ruled by patriarchal norms, the film seems to be a perfect candidate to be their first submission. It recently premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival, so its biggest challenge would be qualifying based on its unknown release date at home.

1. "Three Windows and a Hanging"

Latvia

Unfortunately for Latvia, their possibilities are extremely limited this year. There are only two films that seem as possible candidates. One is the slasher horror film “The Man in the Orange Jacket.” It sports a great production value and might be an interesting offer, but it is hard to see it get far in the race. Nonetheless, it is still their best chance. The other film "Escaping Riga" is a documentary on historical figures Sergei Eisenstein and Sir Isaiah Berlin. Given its subject matter it wouldn’t be surprising if they chose to with this. Hopefully next year their output gives them more to pick from.

1. "The Man in the Orange Jacket" (M.O.Zh.) Isa: Wide

2. "Escaping Riga" PC: Mistrus Media

Lithuania

Opposite to its Baltic neighbor mentioned above, Lithuania has several notable films that could represent them. After winning the top prizes at the Lithuanian Silver Crane’ awards, “The Gambler” became the clear favorite. However, it is important to mention that despite having narrative features to choose from, Lithuania decided to send a small documentary to represent them last year. This curious fact could play in favor of “ Cenotaphs,” a doc focusing on the search for the remains of dead soldiers from World War II. The film won Best Documentary and was nominated in other categories at the local awards. Then there are three other Silver Crane nominated films. Coming-of-age flick “ Non-Present Time,” family drama “Santa,” and crime thriller “Name in the Dark.” The winner of several of these awards, “The Excursionist” was released too early last year to be considered this time around. Local financial success “Redirected” is mostly in English, thus ineligible.

1. "The Gambler" (Losejas) Isa: Wide

2. "Cenotaph" (Kenotafas) PC: Studio Uljana Kim

3. "Non-Present Time" (Nesamasis laikas) PC: Just a Moment

4. "Santa" PC: Artbox

5. "Name in the Dark" (Vardas tamsoje) PC: Fralita Films
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Berlin film festival roundup

The 64th Berlinale was enlivened by the likes of George Clooney, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Nick Cave – and the best pulled pork ever

Some long-established film festivals, such as Cannes and Venice, can legitimately claim to be timeless. Berlin, however, seems to be stuck in the past, and not only because the event somewhat coasts on its bygone reputation as a festival of discovery. It's also because, amid the corporate monumentalist architecture of Potsdamer Platz, the atmosphere seems frozen in the mid-1990s. The Berlinale's synth-heavy trip-hop anthem plays before every film, accompanying the CGI fireworks of the festival trailer, and as you emerge from the Palast, the first thing you see is the billboard for the long-running show by hoary postmodernist novelty act Blue Man Group.

The Berlinale's 64th edition was the most lukewarm in years. You don't usually expect swoons and scandals here, but you do hope
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Berlin 2014: 'Stratos' review

  • CineVue
★★★★☆Certain to be one of the more divisive Competition films to have screened at this year's Berlinale once the dust had settled, Yannis Economides hogties and drags his national cinema from the shadow of Giorgos Lanthimos with fourth feature Stratos (2014), a bleak, brooding noir deliciously tainted by bad debt, ill-advised investments and good old fashioned greed. The granite-faced Vangelis Mourikis plays the bread factory worker/hitman of the film's title, pounding filo by day whilst filling his marks with lead by night. Obsidian black in tone and slow-burning in nature, Economides' latest tests whilst it triumphs.
See full article at CineVue »

Berlinale 2014: The Competition Round-Up

  • HeyUGuys
Though the annual Berlin Film Festival may have reached its 64th year, this year’s event is the very first HeyUGuys have had the distinct pleasure of covering. We can also proudly boast to having seen all 20 of this year’s films in Competition. So, with the award ceremony taking place tonight, to see which feature will take home the much coveted, prestigious Golden Bear, we’ve provided a run-down of all competing productions…

The Unmissable

The festival certainly got off to a good start, as the opening night film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, by American auteur Wes Anderson is one of the very best on offer. The quaint, whimsicality that alleviates the director’s work is matched on this occasion by a tender, emotional core to create one of his finest pieces yet. Polarising he may be, given his often contrived stylistic approach, but this seems to be a
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Berlin completes competition line-up

  • ScreenDaily
Berlin completes competition line-up
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood to compete for the Golden Bear; Beauty and the Beast, starring Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux, to play out of competition.

The 64th Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 6-16) has added 15 titles to its Competition programme, completing the line-up of 23 films - of which 20 will vye for the Golden Bear and Silver Bears.

The programme includes 18 world premieres and three feature debuts.

The line-up includes the international premiere of Boyhood, from Before Midnight director Richard Linklater. The film, which will premiere at Sundance, was shot over short periods from 2002 to 2013 and covers 12 years in the life of a family, featuring Mason and his sister Samantha. Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater star.

World premieres include In Order of Disappearance, directed by Hans Petter Moland, which stars Stellan Skarsgård as a snow plough driver whose son’s sudden death puts him in the middle of a drug war between theNorwegian mafia and the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Berlinale 2014. New 'Competition' & 'Berinale Special' Titles

  • MUBI
The 64th Berlin International Film Festival has announced the first set of titles for the main Competition and special screenings. The festival begins on February 6th.

Competition

Above: Director Dominik Graf (far left) and cast from Die geliebten Schwestern

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, USA) - Opening Film

'71 (Yann Demange, UK)

Aloft (Claudia Llosa, Spain/Canada/France)

Die geliebten Schwestern (Dominik Graf, Germany)

Life of Riley (Alain Resnais, France)

The Monuments Men (George Clooney, USA/Germany) - Out of Competition

Stratos (Yannis Economides, Greece/Germany/Cyprus)

Berlinale Special

Above: We Come As Friends

A Long Way Down (Pascal Chaumeil, UK)

We Come As Friends (Hubert Sauper, France/Austria)

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden (Dayna Goldfine & Daniel Geller, USA)

The Turning (various, Australia)
See full article at MUBI »

Berlin Film Festival 2014 Reveals Five New Competition Titles, Includes Films by Alain Resnais, Claudia Llosa and More

Berlin Film Festival 2014 Reveals Five New Competition Titles, Includes Films by Alain Resnais, Claudia Llosa and More
The Berlin International Film Festival has unveiled five new titles slated to play in competition at the upcoming 2014 fest, kicking off February 6. The added competition films are Yann Demange’s “’71," starring Jack O'Connell ("Starred Up," "Unbroken"); New Wave veteran Alain Resnais’ “Aimer, boire et chanter” (Life of Riley); “Aloft,” by Claudia LLosa ("The Milk of Sorrow"); German director Dominik Graf’s “Die geliebten Schwestern” (Beloved Sisters); and Yannis Economides’ “Stratos.” These join previously announced "The Grand Budapest Hotel," Wes Anderson's latest entry and the fest's opening night film; and George Clooney's "Monuments Men," which screens out of competition. So far this is how the Berlinale lineup is breaking down:Competition“’71,” Yann Demange, (U.K.). World premiere.With Jack O’Connell, Sean Harris, Richard Dormer. “Aimer, boire et chanter” (Life of Riley). Alain Resnais (France). World premiere.With Sabine Azema, Sandrine Kiberlain, Caroline...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Berlin Announces More 2014 Titles, Including Alain Resnais, Claudia Llosa and a Cate Blanchett Triple Feature

Berlin Announces More 2014 Titles, Including Alain Resnais, Claudia Llosa and a Cate Blanchett Triple Feature
The first seven films for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival's competition lineup have been announced. Joining previously announced heavyweights "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Wes Anderson's latest will open the festival) and "The Monuments Men" (George Clooney's film will have its international premiere out of competition), productions and co-productions from Canada, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, United Kingdom and the Us have all been added to what could be a very high-profile year for the Berlinale. Alain Resnais, Claudia Llosa and Yannis Economides are among the filmmakers in that mix.   The festival also announced four films in the Berlinale Special section, two of which feature Cate Blanchett, who also stars in "Monuments Men." Considering the Berlinale takes place a few weeks before Blanchett may or may not win another Oscar, she definitely seems poised to be the queen of the 2014 Berlinale. More information regarding program selections will be.
See full article at Indiewire »

Berlin reveals competition titles

  • ScreenDaily
Berlin reveals competition titles
‘71, Life of Riley and Aloft selected. A Long Way Down, The Turning among Berlinale Special titles.

The first seven films selected for the Berlinale Competition programme include Yann Demange’s ‘71, Alan Resnais’ Life of Riley (Aimer, Boire et Chanter) and Claudia Llosa’s Aloft.

Also joining Wes Anderson’s opening film The Grand Budapest Hotel, and George Clooney’s Monuments Men, both announced in November, are Dominik Graf’s Die Geliebten Schwestern and Yannis Economides’ Stratos.

In the Berlinale Special strand are Pascal Chaumeil’s A Long Way Down, Australian anthology film The Turning, Hubert Sauper’s documentary We Come As Friends (Entente Cordiale) and Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller’s doc The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden.

Six of the seven announced main competition titles are world premieres – Monuments Men, which screens out of competition, gets its international premiere.

Chaumeil’s A Long Way Down, starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Berlin Competition to include '71,  Riley, Aloft

  • ScreenDaily
Berlin Competition to include '71,  Riley, Aloft
A Long Way Down, The Turning among Berlinale Special titles.

The first seven films selected for the Berlinale Competition programme include Yann Demange’s ‘71, Alan Resnais’ Life of Riley (Aimer, Boire et Chanter) and Claudia Llosa’s Aloft.

Also joining Wes Anderson’s opening film The Grand Budapest Hotel, and George Clooney’s Monuments Men, both announced in November, are Dominik Graf’s Die geliebten Schwestern and Yannis Economides’ Stratos.

In the Berlinale Special strand are Pascal Chaumeil’s A Long Way Down [pictured], Australian anthology film The Turning, Hubert Sauper’s documentary We Come As Friends (Entente Cordiale) and Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller’s doc The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden.

Six of the seven announced main competition titles are world premieres – Monuments Men, which screens out of competition, gets its international premiere.

Chaumeil’s A Long Way Down, starring Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots, makes its world
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Yannis Economides' Knifer Tops Greek Academy Awards

Yannis Economides' Knifer Now in its second year, the Hellenic Film Academy Awards ceremony was held in Athens on May 4. Veteran filmmaker Michael Cacoyannis (Zorba the Greek, The Trojan Women) received an honorary award, while absentee filmmaker Yannis Economides' Macherovgaltis / Knifer was the big winner, taking home seven awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Knifer tells the story of a man who goes live with his uncle in the outskirts of Athens. Once there, one of his duties is the protection of two purebred dogs. Syllas Tzoumerkas' first feature, Homeland, won five awards, including Best Directorial Debut and Best Supporting Actress (Ioanna Tsirigouli). Homeland follows a dysfunctional Greek family living in a dysfunctional country (that's Greece as well) from the 1970s to the present. The Best Actress was Ariane Labed for her performance as a young woman attempting to cope with sex, death, and
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

'Knifer' Beats out Greece's Best Foreign Film Nommed 'Attenberg' at the 2nd Greek Cinema Awards

The 2nd Annual Awards Ceremony of the Hellenic Film Academy was held in Athens yesterday, and the big winner was the Cypriot director Yannis Economides with his third feature film, "Macherovgaltis" (Knifer). Knifer competed against the Venice Film Festival winners and favorites, Attenberg and Hora Proelefsis (Homeland) and still managed to win seven awards out of the nine that has been nominated including Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Economides’ black and white drama is about Nikos, an ordinary guy, who after his father’s sudden death decides to go live and work with his uncle in the suburbs of Athens. Nikos also accepts his uncle’s offer which consists of protecting two purebred dogs from the hostile neighbors. Knifer also won the awards for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound and Best Film Editing. Syllas TzoumerkasHora Proelefsis (Homeland) was originally the Academy’s favorite film with 12 nominations,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Crocodile Headed Knifer Plagues Greece

Add Yannis Economides to the growing list of Greek directors turning out odd and oddly compelling dramas sure to perplex on the festival circuit. Giorgos Lanthimos currently leads that particular group thanks to Dogtooth with Athina Tsangari not far behind thanks to Attenberg but the pair of them have now got a crocodile headed man nipping at their heels.

The latest from Economides is Μαχαιροβγάλτης, a film going out internationally as Knifer.

Niko is an ordinary guy without any ambitions. His father's sudden death brings back his uncle who proposes to live and work together with him and his wife in the suburbs of Athens. Niko accepts his uncle's offer, which consists of protecting two purebred dogs from the hostile neighbours. Driven by envy, lust and anger, Niko merges into a vicious circle of perpetual antagonism, the struggle for power over others and discontent.

The first trailer - English friendly,
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Crocodile Headed Knifer Plagues Greece

Add Yannis Economides to the growing list of Greek directors turning out odd and oddly compelling dramas sure to perplex on the festival circuit. Giorgos Lanthimos currently leads that particular group thanks to Dogtooth with Athina Tsangari not far behind thanks to Attenberg but the pair of them have now got a crocodile headed man nipping at their heels.

The latest from Economides is Μαχαιροβγάλτης, a film going out internationally as Knifer.

Niko is an ordinary guy without any ambitions. His father's sudden death brings back his uncle who proposes to live and work together with him and his wife in the suburbs of Athens. Niko accepts his uncle's offer, which consists of protecting two purebred dogs from the hostile neighbours. Driven by envy, lust and anger, Niko merges into a vicious circle of perpetual antagonism, the struggle for power over others and discontent.

The first trailer - English friendly,
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Crocodile Headed Knifer Plagues Greece

Add Yannis Economides to the growing list of Greek directors turning out odd and oddly compelling dramas sure to perplex on the festival circuit. Giorgos Lanthimos currently leads that particular group thanks to Dogtooth with Athina Tsangari not far behind thanks to Attenberg but the pair of them have now got a crocodile headed man nipping at their heels.

The latest from Economides is Μαχαιροβγάλτης, a film going out internationally as Knifer.

Niko is an ordinary guy without any ambitions. His father's sudden death brings back his uncle who proposes to live and work together with him and his wife in the suburbs of Athens. Niko accepts his uncle's offer, which consists of protecting two purebred dogs from the hostile neighbours. Driven by envy, lust and anger, Niko merges into a vicious circle of perpetual antagonism, the struggle for power over others and discontent.

The first trailer - English friendly,
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Greece strikes again with moody trailer for Yiannis Economidis’s Mahairovgaltis

I’m not quite sure what they’re putting in the water in Greece but there’s definitely something going on. The country has never really been at the forefront of filmmaking but over the last year, there have been an assortment of excellent titles coming out of the Balkan Peninsula.

First there’s Vardis MarinakisBlack Field (check out our preview and interview with Marinakis) Giorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth (review) and yesterday we got word of Athina Rachel Tsangari's Attenberg. Today we have Yiannis Economidis’s Mahairovgaltis.

It’s the story of Nick, a man who lives in the country; a man who lives for the here and now. When his father dies, he’s urged to leave small town life behind and head to Athens where his uncle offers him food, board and an easy job but Nick's life takes a sharp turn once he arrives in the metropolis.
See full article at QuietEarth »

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