Tuesday, March 17, 2009

12th international scriptwriters festival in France

The French town of Bourges will host the 12th International Scriptwriters festival, between March 25 and 29. The event is popular, featuring round tables, a writing competition, workshops (with a focus on writing for TV), audience-friendly events that include the analysis of popular films and events around animation and documentaries. All events are in French.

Find more details here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

RIP: Tullio Pinelli, writer of "La Dolce Vita"

Tullio Pinelli, writer of the screenplay of "La Dolce Vita" and "8 1/2", died in Rome on March 7. Pinelli, who was 100 years old, wrote more than a dozen of Fellini's films as well as working with other "maestros". Although nominated four times, he never won an Oscar, but did pick up numerous other awards, the most recent being the David Di Donatelo screenplay award for "Speriamo che sia femmina/Let's Hope It's a Girl" in 1986. A script of his, "Voyage to Tulum", is currently in production.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Czech award goes to "The Karamazovs"

In further award news, the Czech TV and film announced the winners of the 2008 Czech Lions at a gala ceremony March 7 at Prague's Lucerna Palace. Petr Zelenka's The Karamazovs [trailer] was the big winner, taking home Best Film and Best Director, as well as being named Best Feature by Czech film critics. Zelenka wrote the script, based on the book "The Brothers Karamazov" by Dostojevsky. It was Czech Republic's Oscar contender this year.

The Best Screenplay went to Bohdan Slama for his Venice title A Country Teacher.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Millenium explodes onto Nordic screens

The first instalment of the best-selling "Millenium" trilogy opened to explosive figures in Sweden and Denmark. Some 350,000 people queued for the 140-minute film of Stieg Larsson's sweeping tale of dark secrets in a darker family, putting it at the top of both box offices over the weekend.

Directed by Niels Arden Oplev and written by Nicolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg it will soon be released in Norway (March 13), Finland (March 27) and France, where UGC is planning to release it May 13, the opening day of the Cannes Film Festival. Rumours in the press have it that Millenium will open the festival.

Monday, March 02, 2009

"Seraphine" picks up 7 awards in France

The biopic "Séraphine" walked away with no less than 7 Césars at France's annual film awards. It had been nominated in nine categories and took prizes including best actress for Yolande Moreau, best original screenplay, best cinematography, best score, best art direction and best costumes. It pushed out the impressive "Mesrine" series, with Vincent Cassel nonetheless picking up a best actor award.

Inevitably, the blogosphere was again full of claims that the Césars snub the French audience (as in previous years). A notable absence was the runaway hit "Les Ch'tis" (Welcome ot the Sticks) that only managed a nomination in the original screenplay award. Although it unikely that it deserved to win in that section, it is unusual that such a huge hit should be passed over on the night. As actor Dany Boon pointed out, there should be a section for Best Comedy - a genre that France can still excel in but is perhaps a little too low-brow for the august academy.

The full list of César winners:

Best Picture
Seraphine, dir : Martin Provost

Best Actor
Vincent Cassel, Mesrine

Best Actress
Yolande Moreau, Seraphine

Best Director
Jean-Francois Richet, Mesrine

Best Original Screenplay Martin Provost, Seraphine

Best Adapted Screenplay Laurent Cantet, Francois Begaudeau and Robin Campillo, The Class

Best First Film
I've Loved You So Long, dir: Philippe Claudel

Best Supporting Actress
Elsa Zilberstein, I've Loved You So Long

Best Supporting Actor
Jean-Paul Roussillon, A Christmas Tale

Best Newcomer, Male
Marc-Andre Grondin, Le Premier Jour Du Reste De Ta Vie

Best Newcomer, Female
Deborah Francois, Le Premier Jour Du Reste De Ta Vie

Best Score
Michael Galasso, Seraphine

Best Cinematography
Laurent Brunet, Seraphine

Best Costumes
Madeline Fontaine, Seraphine

Best Art Direction
Thierry Francois, Seraphine

Best Editing
Sophie Reine, Le Premier Jour Du Reste De Ta Vie

Best Sound
Alexandre Widmer, Francois Groult, Gerard Hardy, Herve Buirette, Jean Minodo, Mesrine

Best Foreign Film
Waltz With Bashir, dir: Ari Folman

Best Documentary
Les Plages d’Agnes, dir: Agnes Varda

Best Short Film
Les Miettes, dir : Pierre Pinaud