Italian Contemporary Film Festival: THE PLACE

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The Place Poster
Trailer

Director:

Paolo Genovese

Writers:

Christopher Kubasik (original story), Paolo Genovese (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

 

Arguably the most touted film of the ICFF and the film chosen to close the last Rome Film Festival, this high concept film has a setting in a bar called THE PLACE.  The neon sign brightly lights up the bar entrance in repeated scenes.  At a fixed table, a mysterious man meets up with 10 different strangers one at a time. 

 The man offers each stranger a chance to better him or herself on a certain condition to be met, which might not be an easy one.  A blind man gets a chance to regain his sight if he rapes a woman.  A nun who has lost her faith is given a chance to redeem it if she loses her virginity and gets pregnant.  As the film progresses, the man meets each stranger a repeated times.  Is this man the devil or an angel of God?   

The film investigates the beast inside every person just like the similar film BEASTS which also opens this week.  Director Genovese uses different camera tactics (different angle shots) to vary the monotony of the one idea film, but the film leads nowhere.  The film contains an all-star cast that Italians will more likely be familiar with.  A disappointment after hearing all the hype about this film.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJQR1FESfKM

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Interview with Festival Director Alecs Nastoiu (SHORT TO THE POINT (STTP) )

SHORT TO THE POINT (STTP) is an international network of distribution, broadcast and promotion of short films. Since 2009, SHORT TO THE POINT has gone through several steps and right now it has gathered some awesome projects under its umbrella.

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Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Alecs Nastoiu: The most important thing I guess is that we screen films every month. The classic annual festivals usually screen few shorts, one time per year. And the next important thing is that we screen short films in unconventional spaces like pubs, bars, museums, theatres or terraces. We try to bring short films to the audience, not the audience to cinemas. And another good thing is that we screen short films simultaneous in over 30 cities from Romania and Moldova. And very soon we will start doing this all over the world.

2) What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2018)?

We are a monthly festival, with monthly awards and screenings. But we have an annual event as well. Each year we change the host city. This year we will organize the annual edition of the festival in Bacau, Romania at the end of July. We are screening all winner films of the monthly awards editions from past year. So we offer the opportunity to the filmmakers to discover new cities each year and to meet with filmmakers from all over the world. Every time we have new audience, and new locations. So I think the experience of Short to the Point Film Festival is continuous and you will never get enough of it.

3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We accept any kind of short films in our festival. We have a lot of categories. And each category has it’s own selections and winners. So the qualifications are different from category to category. But our jury is looking for good stories and good filmmaking all the way.

4) Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

There are a lot of film festivals in the world so I think each film has its opportunity to make it to the big screen. It’s all about filmmakers. They have to know where to submit their films.

5) What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

First of all we are filmmakers. So we like films. And Short to the Point offer us the opportunity to meet people from industry, to find good ideas that maybe will inspire us in the future and of course to understand what is the trend in cinematography at the moment.

6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

In my opinion FilmFreeway is the best thing in film festival industry that has happened in last 3 years. It’s the best film submission platform on the market. It’s easy to use and it has a lot of options that makes our job as a festival much more easier.

7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

In 2023 Short to the Point will have screenings in unconventional spaces all over the world.

8) What film have you seen the most times in your life?

Because I edit my first feature length movie (Billion Star Hotel) for over 6 months, I can say that I saw it the most times. But If we speak about other directors, I can say that I saw over 30 times ‘The man who wasn’t there’, directed by Coen brothers.

9) In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is a product that combines perfectly all ingredients: script, directing, cinematography, editing, acting etc

10) How is the film scene in your city?

I was born in Bucharest but for 6 years I live in a small city from Transylvania called Targu Mures. Here I started with some friends the first film production company in the history of the city. And I made 2 feature films. First of them Billion Star Hotel has 19 awards at festivals around the world and the second one is in post production. Short to the point is screening short films here every month, so I can say that the film scene is animated for the moment by my team.

 

short to the point 1.jpg

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Festival Director Daniel Wesseik (Pannen op Het Dak)

Pannen op het Dak is Breda’s first and real roof-top festival and it will take place between 22nd of June – 1st of July. Come enjoy the various culinary options, cultural programs and of course a summary view of the entire Breda city. The festival is free and is for both the young and the older.

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  • Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

    Daniel Wesseik: Pannen op het Dak is a festival for culture and culinary and attract various audiences. Thus, the filmmakers’ work is shared with audience that don’t often get exposed to independent animation filmmaking. I think that this is special.

    2) What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2018)?

    Pannen op het Dak is a rooftop festival, and visitors can expect an ideal experience of good food, beer and animation. Can it get better that that?
    The audience will be able to enjoy our two screening programs –
    1. Afternoon program with films created by young talents from Belgium and NL, that gives a beautiful overview of the films that were created here lately.
    2. An evening main program with films that are made by professionals and that are currently on their festival route, swiping awards.

    3) What are the qualifications for the selected films?

    For the young talent – Must be Belgian or Dutch.

    For the professional films – Outstanding artistic voice.

    4) Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

    Asian and arabic films. They are so different from European standards, but there is obviously a simmering creative community in many of these countries.

    5) What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

    Love for animation and a will to expose more audience to the medium.

    6) How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

    Easy and convenient.

    7) Where do you see the festival by 2023?

    By 2023 I hope to have 6 years of successful programs, at some point with a competition as well.

    8) What film have you seen the most times in your life?

    Animated feature film – Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
    Animated short film – Choir Tour

    9) In one sentence, what makes a great film?

    Three P’s: Practice, Planning and passion.

    10) How is the film scene in your city?

    The city hosts the great Playgrounds Festival that focuses on various disciplines, but Pannen op het Dak is the only festival that aims to focus on animation exclusively.
     

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    Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Film Review: THE INCREDIBLES 2 (USA 2018) ***1/2

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Incredibles 2 Poster
Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.

Director:

Brad Bird

Writer:

Brad Bird

 

If one is making an animated action hero movie for the family, it makes sense to make the family movie about an action hero family at that.   THE INCREDIBLES 2, the sequel to the successful THE INCREDIBLES is just that, keeping the spirit of the first one intact while introducing the new addition to the family, the tot, Jack-Jack for extra good cheer.  And of course, this baby has super powers too, not only unknown (and multiple ones) but unharnessed as yet, much to the chagrin of papa Incredible.

The super action hero family is comprised of Bob Parr aka Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and wife, Helen Parr aka Elastigirl (Helen Hunt) with their son, Dash (Huck Milner) who has superhuman speed and daughter, Violet (Sarah Vowell).  Father’s best friend is actually a robot, Frozone, Lucus Best (Samuel L. Jackson) who can turn humidity into ice.  This is probably the only film that Jackson never gets to say the ‘mother….The family have assorted super powers that they use to fight crime, only that there is one problem.  They are not allowed to as the government has established that more damage have been caused by the super heroes fighting come than the crimes themselves.  This is observed in the film’s opening sequence when the Incredibles chase after  the villain, Underminer (John Ratzenberger) as he flees in his drilling vehicle, stopping him before destroying City Hall. But the level of damage caused by the debacle is more than the authorities can handle. Rick Dicker (Jonathan Banks) informs the Parr family that his department in the Super Relocation presses most of the acts 

With so many action movies in the theatre (especially the marvel superhero Universe and the Star Wars films – last month saw three action hero movies HANS SOLO, DEADPOOL 2 and AVENGERS) , there is the need to differentiate THE INCREDIBLES 2 from other similar genre films.  The plot therefore does not include the saving of the planet or the universe as the main issue at hand.  The main issue here is the legalization back of the super heroes – to allow them to return to fight for humanity.

Most of the actors in the original INCREDIBLES reprise their roles with  Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Sophia Bush and Isabella Rossellini, voicing new characters.

THE INCREDIBLES 2 has an over convoluted plot involving the different villains and the hypnotic shields that will all prove too much for younger kids to understand and parents to follow if they are in the theatre controlling their kids.  The film runs a bit long at almost two hours, not counting the short animated featurette.

THE INCREDIBLES 2 ends brilliantly and spiritedly, keeping the spirit of both the need for action heroes and (also the need) of the family alive! 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5qOzqD9Rms

 

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Italian Contemporary Film Festival: THE GIRL IN THE FOG (Italy/France/Germany 2017)***1/2

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La ragazza nella nebbia Poster
Trailer

Special agent Vogel is sent to an isolated town in a remote mountain valley to investigate the case of a sixteen years old’s disappearance.

Director:

Donato Carrisi

Writers:

Donato Carrisi (novel), Donato Carrisi (screenplay)

 

Italian author Donato Carriso makes his film writing/directing debut with a top notch European-style mystery thriller set in a small mountain community of Avechot where a girl goes missing a few days before Christmas.

  She was last seen going into a fog.  The film opens with a meeting between the psychiatrist (the always excellent Jean Reno from the Luc Besson films) of Avechot, and police officer Vogel (Toni Servillo), famous for his inquiries and love of television appearances.   Then there’s a flashback: young Anna Lou Kastner, daughter of parents belonging to a fraternity of religious fanatics, leaves home two days before Christmas and disappears into the fog, allegedly abducted by a maniac assassin. Vogel arrives to investigate along with the television troupe, including hyenic journalist Stella Honer (Galatea Ranzi).

The first to be suspected is a mischievous kid, which then points the investigation towards a charming but well-behaved high school teacher (Alessio Boni).  But nothing is what it seems.  Carrisi accomplishes the task of keeping his audience glued to his well played out whodunit with his expert but flawed inspector.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZpThEgTtyM

 

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Happy Birthday: Jim Nabors

Festival Reviews

jimnabors.jpgHappy Birthday actor Jim Nabors

Born: James Thurston Nabors
June 12, 1930 in Sylacauga, Alabama, USA

Married to: Stan Cadwallader (15 January 2013 – present)

QUOTES:

I think this story sums up my career the best. One time I was walking in an airport somewhere and I saw this woman with her young son. The son looked up at me and it was obvious that he recognized me. He thought for a second and he said ‘Mom, there goes an old Gomer!’

I never knifed anybody in the back. It was just not my nature at all and that is why I was so surprised that I made it in show business at all.

It’s pretty obvious that we had no rights as a couple, yet when you’ve been together 38 years, I think something’s got to happen there, you’ve got to solidify something. And, at my age, it’s probably…

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Happy Birthday: Timothy Busfield

Festival Reviews

timothybusfieldHappy Birthday actor/director Timothy Busfield

Born: Timothy C. Busfield
June 12, 1957 in Lansing, Michigan, USA

Married to: Melissa Gilbert (24 April 2013 – present)

Jennifer Merwin (11 September 1988 – 2007) (divorced) (2 children)

MOVIE POSTERLITTLE BIG LEAGUE
1994
dir. Andrew Scheinman
Stars:
Luke Edwards
Timothy Busfield
MOVIE POSTERFIELD OF DREAMS
1989
dir. Phil Alden Robinson
Starring:
Kevin Costner
James Earl Jones
TV POSTERBEST of THE WEST WING
Over 100 pages of BIOS and PICS
TV POSTERTHE WEST WING season 1
Created by Aaron Sorkin
TV POSTERTHE WEST WING season 2
Created by Aaron Sorkin
TV POSTERTHE WEST WING season 3
Created by Aaron Sorkin
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Created by Aaron Sorkin
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TV POSTERTHE WEST WING season 7
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