Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Polanski, Van Dormael awarded at Tallinn

Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer," a story of a journalist hired to ghostwrite the memoirs of a British prime minister, was designated best film at the European Film Award in Tallinn, Estonia. Polanski, who was awarded the Silver Bear for best director at the Berlin Film Festival, also took five other prizes at the ceremony, including best screenwriter.

In other awards, Swiss actor Bruno Ganz was given a lifetime achievement award and Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael left with the audienc award for "Mr Nobody".

Full list of winners:

EUROPEAN FILM 2010
THE GHOST WRITER, France/Germany/UK
directed by Roman Polanski
written by Robert Harris & Roman Polanski
produced by Robert Benmussa, Alain Sarde & Roman Polanski

EUROPEAN DIRECTOR 2010
Roman Polanski for THE GHOST WRITER

EUROPEAN ACTRESS 2010
Sylvie Testud in LOURDES

EUROPEAN ACTOR 2010
Ewan McGregorin THE GHOST WRITER

EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER 2010
Robert Harris & Roman Polanski for THE GHOST WRITER

CARLO DI PALMA EUROPEAN CINEMATOGRAPHER AWARD 2010
Giora Bejach for LEBANON

EUROPEAN EDITOR 2010
Luc Barnier & Marion Monnier for CARLOS

EUROPEAN PRODUCTION DESIGNER 2010
Albrecht Konrad for THE GHOST WRITER

EUROPEAN COMPOSER 2010
Alexandre Desplat for THE GHOST WRITER

EUROPEAN DISCOVERY 2010- Prix FIPRESCI
LEBANON, Israel/Germany/France
written & directed by Samuel Maoz
produced by Moshe Edery, Leon Edery, David Silber, Uri Sabag, Einat Bickel, Benjamina Mirnik & Illan Girard

EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY DOCUMENTARY - Prix ARTE 2010
NOSTALGIA DE LA LUZ (Nostalgia for the Light), France/Germany/Chile
Directed by Patricio Guzmán

EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY ANIMATED FEATURE FILM 2010
THE ILLUSIONIST by Sylvain Chomet

EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY SHORT FILM 2010
HANOI - WARSZAWA (Hanoi – Warsaw), Poland
by Katarzyna Klimkiewicz

EUROPEAN CO-PRODUCTION AWARD – Prix EURIMAGES 2010
Zeynep Özbatur Atakan, producer

EUROPEAN FILM ACADEMY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Bruno Ganz, actor

EUROPEAN ACHIEVEMENT IN WORLD CINEMA 2010
Gabriel Yared, composer

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD for Best European Film 2010
MR. NOBODYwritten and directed by Jaco van Dormael
produced by Philippe Godeau

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RIP: Mario Monicelli

Italian director Mario Monicelli, one of the fathers of the commedia all'Italiana, committed suicide Tuesday November 29, 2010 by jumping from the window of the hospital in which he had just been admitted for a tumour.

Monicelli, 95, was – alongside Dino Risi, Luigi Comencini and Steno – a key figure of the golden era of Italian cinema. His work includes the Oscar-nominated "Big Deal on Madonna Street" (1958), "The Great War" (1959, Golden Lion winner at the Venice Film Festival) and "For Love and Gold" (1965). His last feature was "Desert Roses", in 2006, followed in 2008 by the documentary, "Vicino al Colosseo c'è Monti".

Monday, October 11, 2010

FIFF scriptwriting award goes to "La Mosquée"


For its 25th edition, the annual French-speaking film festival of Namur (Belgium), awarded the screenwriting prize to writer/director Daoud Aoulad-Syad for "La Mosquée/The Mosque/Jamaâ".

The Franco-Moroccan production tells the tale of a Moroccan villager whose life is turned upside down when a fake mosque is built on his land for a movie. When the filming is finished, everything is taken down except the mosque. The film was produced by Film du Sud, Aoulad-Syad's own production company.

The Bayard d'Or for best film went to Romania's "Tuesday, After Christmas"(Marti, dupa craciun) by Radu Muntean, written by Alexandru Baciu, Răzvan Rădulescu and Radu Muntean.

Festival website: FIFF

Monday, September 20, 2010

15th Festival of German Films to open in Paris


The 15th Festival of German Films will be held in Paris from 29 September to 5 October, 2010. A total of eleven new feature films, six shorts and the NEXT GENERATION 2010 program of shorts will be presented in the Cinéma L’Arlequin.

The festival will open with Pia Marais’ AT ELLEN’S AGE (IM ALTER VON ELLEN) which was enthusiastically received at the international festival in Locarno. Members of the cast and crew will be present.

Other new German films to screen include: THE ALBANIAN (DER ALBANER, Johannes Naber), ALL MY FATHERS (ALLE MEINE VAETER, Jan Raiber), BERLIN `36 (Kaspar Heidelbach), IN THE SHADOWS (IM SCHATTEN, Thomas Arslan), THE LAST EMPLOYEE (DER LETZTE ANGESTELLTE, Alexander Adolph), MY WORDS, MY LIES – MY LOVE (LILA LILA, Alain Gsponer), RUN IF YOU CAN (RENN, WENN DU KANNST, Dietrich Brueggemann), GRAVITY (SCHWERKRAFT, Maximilian Erlenwein), DANCING DREAMS (TANZTRAEUME, Anne Linsel, Rainer Hoffmann) and VINCENT WANTS TO SEA (VINCENT WILL MEER, Ralf Huettner). Some of the directors will be travelling to Paris to present their films in person.

EVERYONE ELSE (ALLE ANDEREN) by Maren Ade, THE ROBBER (DER RÄUBER) by Benjamin Heisenberg and THE CITY BELOW (UNTER DIR DIE STADT) by Christoph Hochhaeusler will be shown in the "Nouvelle Vague allemande" sidebar being programmed by the Goethe Institut.

Full details: Festival du Cinéma Allemand

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Balada Triste de Trompet picks up screenwriting award at Venice


The implausibly named "Balada Triste de Trompet" (Trumpet's sad ballad?) picked up the scriptwriting award at the 67th Mostra de Venezia. Writer/director Alex de la Iglesia is perhaps best known for the bitter comedy "Ferpect Crime" in 2004. He also picked up the Best Director award at Venice.

Complete list of winners
The Venezia 67 Jury, chaired by Quentin Tarantino and comprised of Guillermo Arriaga, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Arnaud Desplechin, Danny Elfman, Luca Guadagnino, Gabriele Salvatores, having viewed all twenty-four films in competition, has decided as follows:

GOLDEN LION for Best Film:
SOMEWHERE by Sofia COPPOLA (USA)

SILVER LION for Best Director to:
Álex de la Iglesia for the film BALADA TRISTE DE TROMPETA
(Spain, France)

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE to:
ESSENTIAL KILLINGby Jerzy SKOLIMOWSKI
(Poland, Norway, Hungary, Ireland)

COPPA VOLPI
for Best Actor:
Vincent GALLO
in the film ESSENTIAL KILLING by Jerzy SKOLIMOWSKI
(Poland, Norway, Hungary, Ireland)

COPPA VOLPI
for Best Actress:
Ariane LABED
in the film ATTENBERG by Athina Rachel TSANGARI (Greece)

MARCELLO MASTROIANNI AWARD
for Best Young Actor or Actress:
Mila KUNIS
in the film BLACK SWAN by Darren ARONOFSKY (USA)

OSELLA for Best Cinematography to:
MIKHAIL KRICHMAN
for the film SILENT SOULS (OVSYANKI) by Aleksei FEDORCHENKO (Russia)

OSELLA for Best Screenplay to:
Álex de la Iglesia
for the film BALADA TRISTE DE TROMPETA by Álex de la Iglesia
(Spain, France)

SPECIAL LION FOR AN OVERALL WORK to:
Monte HELLMAN

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Sophie Scholl" writer to act as ScriptEast creative advisor


German scriptwriter and author Fred Breinersdorfer, who wrote the Oscar-nominated “Sophie Scholl” is will participate in the 5th edition of ScripTeast as a Creative Advisor. Over 7 days of the workshop in Sterdyn, Poland, he will discuss the scripts submitted by the participating screenwriters at one-on-one meetings.

Educated as a lawyer and writer, Breinersdorfer wrote 12 novels and numerous theatre and radio plays before becoming a screenwriter. He’s an author of 65 screenplays, many of which were internationally recognized and awarded, including the German Film Award and Adolph Grimme Preis mit Gold - called “German Oscar”.

Breinersdorfer gained international acknowledgement as the author of "Sophie Scholl” - the shocking portrayal of one of the legendary fighters of the Nazi regime in Germany. The film was nominated to the Oscar and received 16 international awards, including two Silver Bears in Berlin - Julia Jentsch for The Best Actress and Marc Rothemund for the Best Director and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. International recognition of the film is a double success for Breinersdorfer, who was not its screenwriter, but also the co-producer. Breinersdorfer is a member of the German film Academy. He was the President of the German Writers Association and ran for the German parliament.

ScripTeast is a training program for existing scripts from Central and Eastern Europe. One-on-one meetings with international professionals in different creative disciplines allow the authors to sharpen their objectives for the story and determine the best way to tell it. For details, visit ScripTeast.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Just Between Us awarded Best European Film award at Karlovy Vary

"Just Between Us" (Neka ostane medju nama) has been awarded the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European Film in the 45th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Written by Rajko Grlić and Ante Tomic and directed by Rajko Grlić, "Just Between Us" is a wicked, indiscreet contemporary story set in Zagreb about the whirling erotic passions that percolate beneath the dull, composed surface of everyday bourgeois life and manners. It is about things that happen in well-established families that are mainly kept secret, but that nevertheless remain painful.

The film had already won 8 awards at the Pula festival. Visit the official site.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

RIP: Suso Cecchi D’Amico, writer of "The Bicycle Thief"


One of Europe's most successful screenwriters, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, has died in Rome at the age of 96. D'Amico is perhaps best known as the writer of Visconti's "Ladri di biciclette/The Bicycle Thief" - a key film in the history of cinema. But by the time she had written this, she had also written "Roma: Free City" in 1946, and went on to pen nearly 120 films, including co-writing "The Taming of the Shrew" with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, "The Leopard" with Burt Lancaster and Alain Delon, "Brother Sun, Sister Moon", Casanova 70" and "The Leopard". She worked with directors Michelangelo Antonioni, Francesco Rosi and Mario Monicelli but most notably Luchino Visconti. She is credited with releases as late as 2006, at the age of 92!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Toronto festival to feature European films


The Toronto International Film Festival (September 9-19) will feature an unprecedented number of European films this year. They include Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech (UK/Australia); Andy de Emmony’s East is East sequel West is West; Mike Leigh’s Another Year, Danis Tanovic’s Cirkus Columbia, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful and the premieres of Guillaume Canet's Little White Lies and Eric Lartigau’s The Big Picture.

For details, visit TIFF.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

ScriptEast award to be announced at Cannes


The title of the winning script in the ScriptEast award will be announced Wednesday 19th May at 5 p.m. at a ceremony to take place at Plage des Palmes. Since September 2009, the experienced East European authors have been working on screenplays with the help and advice of Creative Advisors (see below).

For the past week, participants have been meeting producers and distributors, as well as having consultations with Heads of Studies. ScripTeasters have also got opportunities to attend the festivals' screenings, conferences and participate in all the festival events as well as meet with experienced sales agents, producers and members of international film industry to name a few: Simon Perry from Irish Film Board, sales agents: Gabor Greiner from The Match Factory, one of the most famous sales company in Europe, and Chris Nightingale from High Point. They also had an important pitching session with David Matamaros from Zentropa.

The advisers were Marc Caro, director of "Delicatessen", Chris Collins, producer of "My summer of love", Licia Eminenti, scrip expert, working for Media Fund, Eurimage and Arte, Robert Jones, producer of "Unusual Suspects" and "Gosford Park", Joelle Levie, long-term director of Quebec division of Telefilm, Canada, Udayan Prasad, director of "Opa!", "Yellow Handkerchief", Jason Resnick, fomer International Sales Director of Universal Pictures and Focus Film, Antonio Saura, producer of "Fados" and "Salome", Antonin Svoboda, producer of "Darwin's Nightmare" and "The Educators", director and scriptwriter. Visit ScriptEast.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Tales from the script


I just came across this tasty trailer on Twitter (don't forget to follow Cannes or Bust for movie and music biz news). Shane Black ("Lethal Weapon"), John Carpenter ("Halloween"), Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption"), William Goldman ("The Princess Bride"), Paul Schrader ("Taxi Driver"), and dozens of other Hollywood screenwriters share hilarious anecdotes and penetrating insights in Peter Hansons "Tales from the Script," which is billed as "the most comprehensive documentary ever made about screenwriting". By analyzing their triumphs and recalling their failures, the participants explain how successful writers develop the skills necessary for toughing out careers in one of the world's most competitive industries.

I don't know when it will be relased, nor where.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Antichrist sweeps Danish awards

Lars von Trier’s "Antichrist" swept the boards at the Bodil Awards ceremony, organised by the Danish Film Critics Association. The film that caused such uproar at Cannes 2009 was also the most celebrated by the entire Danish film industry. It had already won seven Roberts awards from the Danish Film Academy last month.

"Antichrist" won five Bodils:
Best Danish Film
Best Actress (Charlotte Gainsbourg)
Best Actor (Willem Dafoe)
Best Cinematographer (Anthony Dod Mantle)
Best Sound Design (Kristian Eidne Andersen).

Monday, February 08, 2010

Mark Burton (Madagascar, Wallace & Gromit) to talk in Brussels


Last minute: The Belgian writers group ASA has invited scriptwriter Mark Burton to talk about his work on "Madagascar" on February 11 in Brussels. A screening of "Madagascar" at 1pm will be followed by a lengthy discussion about the characters and structure. Burton also wrote "Wallace & Gromit - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" and dialogues for "Chicken Run".

Sounds like a fantastic opportunity to me.

Date Feb 11 from 1pm. Maison des Auteurs, Rue du Prince Royal 87, 1050 Brussels

€20 for students and members of the ASA and Scenaristengilde, €40 for non-members. Bookings (obligatory): newsletter@associationscenaristes.be

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mia Hansen-Love wins Lumiere script award


Mia Hansen-Löve, writer-director of "Le père de mes enfants/Father of my Children" won the screenplay award at this year's Lumière awards in Paris, January 15 2010. The film, detailing the fall from grace of a film producer, was the surprise winner against multiple nominee "Un prophète/A Prophet".

The awards are given by the foreign press for French or French-speaking films. Other winners include "Welcome", "A Prophet" (director and actor), actress Isabelle Adjani and best Francophone film for "J'ai tué ma mère" by Canada's Xavier Dolan.

Read more about "Le père de mes enfants.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Avatar: which lesson for the industry?

Lots of people are coming to conclusions about "Avatar", and what it teaches us. Having seen it "flat", I can already understand that it is a huge hit as it delivers great entertainment. For me, I think the 3D and Imax versions are icing on the cake. In a good analysis, Mike Goodridge of "Screen International" quotes LOTR's Peter Jackson: “It’s not about technology,” he insists. “It’s about entertainment and stories.” Goodridge continues:
And he is right. The best stories will continue to attract talent to make them and audiences to see them. It sounds clichéd to say it all starts with the script, but perhaps that has never been so relevant as now. Avatar, after all, is a good story rich with detail and flourishes from Cameron’s imagination. The audience has responded.

This is both comforting for writers and a challenge. I personally know no-one that would have spent time writing an Avatar-type story - starting with me. Too much like Pocahontas, too mass market, characters that are just on the wrong side of corny; yet Cameron pulled it off very well. It's easy to get distracted by discussions about the budget. "Avatar" connects on a more basic level. And if it really is all about the script, it is up to us writers to write scripts that connect with larger audiences.