Browsing: Feature Story

Based on a list issued recently by Indiwire Website, a famous daily news site of the independent film community, the performance of renowned Iranian actress Leila Hatami in the movie ‘A Separation’ has been placed among the 25 best female performances of the 21st century. “Much has been made about the dearth of strong female roles in contemporary cinema, and the problematic depictions of women in many recent movies, but the past two decades have provided plenty of counterexamples. While the onus is on writers and directors to craft strong female characters, the actresses themselves bring these figures to life,…

The Iranian drama ‘Breath’ (Nafas), directed by female filmmaker Narges Abyar, has been selected as the country’s official submission to the 90th Academy Awards in the best foreign language film category. A committee of nine cinema professionals (including four directors, an actor, a composer, a producer, a film critic, and a cinema official) was assigned by Iran’s Farabi Cinema Foundation to choose the county’s submission to the Oscar race. “The movie ‘Breath’ was selected by a majority vote,” committee spokesman Amir Esfandiari said on Tuesday, adding that the Committee hopes Abyar’s film would further introduce Iran’s capacities to a wider…

Tehran-born, Montreal-based director Sadaf Foroughi wins Discovery Fipresci Award and Honorable mention as the Best Canadian First Feature at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” won the audience award on Sunday at the Toronto Film Festival, putting it in prime position to compete at the Academy Awards. Directed by Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards” stars Frances McDormand as a woman who takes a stand against the police, using the titular three billboards after her daughter is murdered and months later no arrests have been made. The rest of the cast includes Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell (who, along with McDormand,…

Times, they are a-changing. That hopefully appears to be the case when it comes to the products of the South African film industry. For many years, most local films hitting cinemas would be either slapstick comedies, cheesy rom-coms or dusty period dramas set in small platteland dorpies. Then came Gavin Hood’s Tsotsi and Neill Blomkamp and suddenly SA was on the radar of international cinephiles. However, the local industry hasn’t really delivered on that trailblazing promise though – at least not in a major recognisable way. But things are starting to happen. Even when newer local movies are not wholly…

The Toronto International Film Festival has downsized a bit for its 42nd edition, running Sept. 7 to 17, but the buzz about its film offerings roars as loudly as always. In fact, our 17th annual “Chasing the Buzz” poll of the most eagerly anticipated movies at TIFF identified 25 films offering particular cinematic sustenance, up one from last year’s 24, and that’s out of a feature lineup that’s been pared to 255-plus movies, down from 296 in 2016. No one movie dominated the polling of the Star’s 31-member panel of critics, programmers, professors and regular film buffs. But six films…

At Cinema Without Borders we had the opportunity of interviewing VALÉRIE MÜLLER and famed French dancer/choreographer ANGELIN PRELJOCAJ, directors of the Polina in a phone interview and create a video from the audio of the interview and footage from the film. https://vimeo.com/231979649 Rigorously trained from an early age by a perfectionist instructor, Polina (played by Anastasia Shevtsova, a professional dancer who has performed with Saint Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre) is a promising classical ballet dancer. She is just about to join the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet when she discovers contemporary dance, a revelation that throws everything into question on a profound level. Diverting…

These days, it seems as though life in the Trump era could easily deteriorate into a nerve-racking thriller or an apocalyptic horror movie. But do leaders have any influence on films made during their time in office? Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump – the leader of the free world, as the holder of the office is usually called – taught us there’s no difference between good and evil, or between the good guys and the bad guys. That happened when Trump reacted to events in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, when the Ku Klux Klan and other racist right-wing…

Cinema Without Borders announced Jury members and nominees for 2017 Bridging The Borders Award for the Best Polish Short Film at the Polish Film Festival Los Angeles Twelve short films from Poland have been nominated for the 2017 Award: A LONG TIME AGO IN SILESIA (Dawno temu na Slasku) by Tomasz Protokowicz, ADAPTATION by BArtosz Kruhlik, FRAGMNET by Miroslaw MAczur, HOT AND COLD (Cieplo-zimno) by Marta Prus’ MICE AND RATS (Myszy i szczury) by Kacper Anuszewski, MY PRETTY PONY by Maciej Barczewski , ON THE ROAD (Na drodze) by Bartosz Nowacki , ROMANTIK by Mateusz RAkowicz, SUMMER (Lato) by Martyna…

Jerry Lewis died on Sunday at the age of 91, leaving behind at least one big mystery: the fate of The Day the Clown Cried, an unreleased 1972 Holocaust film that Lewis directed and starred in. It tells the story of a fictional German clown, Helmut Doork, who is sent to a Nazi concentration camp as a political prisoner and ends up entertaining Jewish children at an adjoining death camp. In the film’s climax, Helmut distracts the children with jokes and pratfalls as he leads them to the gas chambers, ultimately joining them inside. You will be only partially relieved…

I started working as a construction worker at the age of six. I was working along with ten other workers building a housing project in a Tehran suburb. My life was limited to carry red bricks for other workers; I was carrying bricks from dawn to sunset and even in my dreams. The only joy of my life was listening to the stories of Mashdi, an old worker. Mashdi loved to tell us the stories of his old days working in the movie theaters. During the silent movie era, he had worked as an interpreter of the captioned text for the…

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