International film – Cannes Fest http://cannesfest.org/ Wed, 03 Aug 2022 23:50:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://cannesfest.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-3-120x120.png International film – Cannes Fest http://cannesfest.org/ 32 32 Cuba’s Gibara International Film Festival returns after two-year hiatus – Xinhua https://cannesfest.org/cubas-gibara-international-film-festival-returns-after-two-year-hiatus-xinhua/ Wed, 03 Aug 2022 23:50:15 +0000 https://cannesfest.org/cubas-gibara-international-film-festival-returns-after-two-year-hiatus-xinhua/ Tourists chat with a Cuban woman in the Old Havana district of Havana, capital of Cuba, Sept. 7, 2018. (Xinhua/Joaquin Hernandez) “The film festival has returned to Gibara this year, adding new experiences to the partnership, cooperation and strong cultural exchange we have forged for more than two decades,” he said. HAVANA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) […]]]>

Tourists chat with a Cuban woman in the Old Havana district of Havana, capital of Cuba, Sept. 7, 2018. (Xinhua/Joaquin Hernandez)

“The film festival has returned to Gibara this year, adding new experiences to the partnership, cooperation and strong cultural exchange we have forged for more than two decades,” he said.

HAVANA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) — The 16th edition of the Gibara International Film Festival (FICG) is underway in the eastern province of Holguin, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Until August 6, the event presents 45 films from more than a dozen countries, according to the organizers.

Sergio Benvenuto, general manager of the festival, told local media that the event aims to promote cinematic creativity in these difficult times around the world.

“The film festival has returned to Gibara this year, adding new experiences to the partnership, cooperation and strong cultural exchange we have forged for more than two decades,” he said.

Along with film screenings, the festival offers concerts, art exhibitions and panel discussions on the challenges facing cinema around the world.

Held every year since 2003, the FICG is considered the second most important film festival in Cuba after the Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana.

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10 films to watch at the 2022 Edinburgh International Film Festival https://cannesfest.org/10-films-to-watch-at-the-2022-edinburgh-international-film-festival/ Tue, 02 Aug 2022 09:06:28 +0000 https://cannesfest.org/10-films-to-watch-at-the-2022-edinburgh-international-film-festival/ Returning to its traditional August slot after nearly 15 years and to an all-in-person format after two years, the Edinburgh International Film Festival (August 12-20, 2022) marks its 75th edition this year and the event inaugural under new creative director Kristy Matheson. Along with a revamped central competition, the Powell and Pressburger Award for Best […]]]>

Returning to its traditional August slot after nearly 15 years and to an all-in-person format after two years, the Edinburgh International Film Festival (August 12-20, 2022) marks its 75th edition this year and the event inaugural under new creative director Kristy Matheson.

Along with a revamped central competition, the Powell and Pressburger Award for Best Feature Film, and a new audience-friendly program structure, the festival’s retrospectives include an examination of the feminist legacy of the women’s event from 1972 to EIFand a season about Japanese performer and director Kinuyo Tanaka (1909 to 1977).

Elsewhere, Peter Strickland is back with kink-filled Flux Gourmet; Jemaine Clément tells everything in the EIF Central Gala, Naked Tuesday; Leila Hatami falls in love in the streets of Tehran in Imagine; and Park So-dam drives criminals at breakneck speed in the automotive thriller Special Delivery.

Director Kogonada has personally curated Carte Blanche, a selection of films offering insight into the inspirations for his meditative sci-fi After Yang, which will close this year’s festival. Carte Blanche will see special screenings of Irma Vep (1996), After Life (1998) and Your Name (2016).

To help you find your way through this year’s bountiful selection, the programming team at EIF picked out some personal highlights. And, if this list has piqued your curiosity, there’s plenty more to chew on in this year’s full schedule.

The plains

For his feature debut, lawyer-turned-filmmaker David Easteal has made a formally audacious film, which offers a unique examination of contemporary Australian society through the eyes of a singular protagonist. On his daily commute, Andrew alleviates traffic jams by calling his mother and wife. Occasionally he gives his younger colleague (played by Easteal himself) a lift and through these interactions, which span the mundane, philosophical and quietly ambitious, we construct an image of Andrew. A deceptively simple film, Easteal’s critically acclaimed debut rewards those who invest in its cumulative approach with an ultimately touching experience.

Nana (before now & So)

Kamila Andini has delighted international festival audiences with stories of young people navigating the world in films such as The Seen and Unseen (2017) and Yuni (2021), but for his latest film, the director switches gears, delivering a Intoxicating period drama about the unlikely yet deeply moving friendship between two women in Indonesia’s politically turbulent post-independence years. After its premiere in official competition at the Berlinale 2022, UK audiences are ready to see one of this year’s most lavish films, steeped in ghosts, memories and quiet passions.

The narrow road

The Narrow Road (2022)

World premiere at EIF 2022, Lam Sum’s feature debut is further proof that films are much more than their plots, with the Hong Kong director conjuring tender and unerringly charming drama out of a potentially depressing plot. Struggling small business owner Chak (Cantopop singer Louis Cheung) hires young single mother Candy (rising star Angela Yuen) to help him with his industrial cleaning business, but their bond is put on hold. tested by the challenges of working through the covid-19 pandemic. Unsentimental yet optimistic in its portrayal of a chosen family going through hard times, The Narrow Road is beautifully acted and offers stunning nighttime photographs of a most cinematic city.

Ghost Project

Can charismatic actor Pablo forget his ex-boyfriend? How is it possible to construct borders? Did you know pop star Ke$ha slept with a ghost? This beyond-the-charm Chilean comedy-drama follows the journeys of a haunted vintage cardigan, exploring the burning concerns of a circle of queer creatives in contemporary Santiago. At 30, at a standstill in his career and his love, Pablo searches for a sign, but when his roommate moves out and he stays with the dog, houseplants and chic mystical knitwear, what does can a guy do? Shaggy, supernatural and contemporary, the vibes of Roberto Doveris’ second feature are irresistible.

Electrical disease

This poignant documentary by Swedish-born, Glasgow-based director Marie Lidén sheds light on a case of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), the medically challenged but nonetheless debilitating condition that Better Call Saul fans will remember affected Michael McKean’s character, Chuck. The subject of Electric Malady, William, is a Swedish man in his forties whose symptoms have become so severe that he now lives in tragic isolation in the countryside, shrouded in ghostly blankets to protect himself from the radiation emitted by modern technology. Using a hand-cranked 16mm camera to get closer to him safely, Lidén’s deeply empathetic investigation was prompted by a personal experience: his mother also suffered from EHS.

Licht – The Legacy of Stockhausen

Watching Licht’s staging, an “unstaged opera,” is like watching a horror movie for artists. Produce a 29-hour performance featuring 500 performers, including a string quartet in four separate helicopters, you say? And of course, this documentary captures all the ego boosts you’d expect, as well as being an archival-rich introduction to the atonal music of Karlheinz Stockhausen. A pioneer of a radical polyamorous lifestyle, the composer also emerges as a man who inspired intense devotion in talented women, while inflicting devastating cruelty on his offspring. That makes it a fascinating addition to a favorite micro-genre: movies that ask “what happens when geniuses have kids?”

Cathedral Square

Physical and metaphorical structures are juxtaposed in Abner Benaim’s visceral drama Plaza Catedral. The sharp angles of a staircase trap stern architect Alicia (Ilse Salas) the night she finds a bloodied boy on the steps leading to her apartment. Spaces contract and expand as the two prance around each other, the heaviness of life’s many burdens contrasting with the aching lightness of emotional emptiness. It is a deeply effective, yet heartbreaking dance, grounded in painful realism by the central performances, which lend a moving tangibility to this refined examination of violence and grief.

Until tomorrow

Most university students would welcome an impromptu visit from their parents after a long period of separation. Fereshteh (Sadaf Asgari), however, is far from your usual student: she recently gave birth to a baby girl in the greatest secrecy of her family. Ali Asgari’s piercing second feature follows the young mother as she rushes through the bustling streets of Tehran in an anxiety-inducing battle against time. This well-crafted drama cleverly harnesses classic thriller tropes to turn a daycare dilemma into a biting reflection on gender roles and motherhood in contemporary Iranian society. The result is a thrilling and illuminating feat.

Huesera

Expectant mother Valeria (Natalia Solián) begins to have frightening visions of faceless figures, hearing bones cracking all around and spiders everywhere. These visions don’t affect anyone else, and her partner and her doctors are quick to say that it’s all in her head. After the birth of her child, Valeria takes a trip back to her old life and all the things she chose to leave behind. A truly terrifying horror, director Michelle Garza Cervera takes the jitters and nerves of first-time motherhood and crafts a story of universal fear: the fear of losing one’s own identity.

Have pity on me!

Amanda Kramer is a rare kind of filmmaker. Completely unique, watching one of her films (and she has two at the festival this year) is like stepping into another universe. In Pity Me! we are welcome to the pity party of a lonely waving wife TV starring Sissy St Claire (Sophie von Haselberg). She gives us song and dance numbers, a stand-up show, and even a deranged, knife-wielding stalker. A glittery, disco-infused mushroom trip from a movie, Give Me Pity! is utterly spellbinding and unlike any other film you’ll find at the festival.

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Tylerman International Film Festival returns for fourth year August 5-7 https://cannesfest.org/tylerman-international-film-festival-returns-for-fourth-year-august-5-7/ Fri, 29 Jul 2022 16:36:13 +0000 https://cannesfest.org/tylerman-international-film-festival-returns-for-fourth-year-august-5-7/ The fourth Tylerman International Film Festival opens Friday, August 5 with a red carpet premiere for all ages at the Studio Movie Grill, 301 Rice Lake Square in Wheaton. Sessions will be at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. with two short film presentations: “The Secret Weapon – Yesterday is Today” and “The McHenry Trial – […]]]>

The fourth Tylerman International Film Festival opens Friday, August 5 with a red carpet premiere for all ages at the Studio Movie Grill, 301 Rice Lake Square in Wheaton.

Sessions will be at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. with two short film presentations: “The Secret Weapon – Yesterday is Today” and “The McHenry Trial – Don’t Judge a Child by Their Hoodie”.

The festival continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday August 6 and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday August 7 at the Visitor Center Theater and Joseph Medill Hall in Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton. It is sponsored by Parc Cantigny, InUrban Strategies and ComEd.

Andrew Tyler, founder of Tylerman Films LLC, created the festival as a way for filmmakers to “showcase their unfiltered skills in support of social awareness” and tell their stories to a wider audience.

The weekend pass is $35.

Admission to Parc Cantigny is $15 for Saturday or Sunday, and $15 for Explosion Gospel or “The Spellbinder” Walter King! Live the magic.

There will also be virtual screenings on TylermanTV.com.

On August 6, enjoy an outdoor gospel blast with Dr. Walt Whitman and The Soul Children of Chicago and “The Spellbinder” illusionist Walter King from 5-8 p.m.

On August 7, there will be a presentation of “Waiting To Explode” at 2:30 p.m. and a red carpet presentation of “How We Got Here?” from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a filmmaker/actor meeting from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For tickets, visit www.tylermanfilms.com or tylermantv.com.

]]> Pakistan International Film Festival holds special effects makeup workshop for cinema https://cannesfest.org/pakistan-international-film-festival-holds-special-effects-makeup-workshop-for-cinema/ Wed, 27 Jul 2022 21:40:07 +0000 https://cannesfest.org/pakistan-international-film-festival-holds-special-effects-makeup-workshop-for-cinema/ Special effects makeup is an integral part of modern cinema. It is not only used to create aliens and monsters, but to create a realistic character that audiences can connect with and believe in. Keeping in mind the importance of SFX makeup in film and television and the limited options available locally, the Karachi Film […]]]>

Special effects makeup is an integral part of modern cinema. It is not only used to create aliens and monsters, but to create a realistic character that audiences can connect with and believe in. Keeping in mind the importance of SFX makeup in film and television and the limited options available locally, the Karachi Film Society organized a two-day SFX makeup workshop for film and television with Turkish experts Murat Polat and Sezen Can from Türkiye. The workshop was part of the women’s edition of the 3rd Pakistan International Film Festival 2021, which was postponed due to the international Covid19 lockdown. PiFF Women’s Edition hosted a series of insightful, engaging, interactive and educational panel discussions and seminars/webinars on various topics, celebrating the tremendous achievements of women in the entertainment industry in Pakistan.

Held at the Arts Council in Karachi, the first day of the workshop by Sezen Can, an on-screen beauty and fashion industry specialist with experience working in popular films such as The Big Flight, Never Leave Me and Aile Arasinda gave exclusive tips and live demonstrations on how to apply traumatic makeup, the different stages and SFX makeup aging techniques. The second day of the workshop featured Murat Polat, an SFX makeup specialist with experience working in over 500 projects, including popular Netflix series The Protector and Turkish original Alev Alev. He introduced attendees to the different types of trauma makeup kits, sculpting techniques, different lighting setups, wound applications, transfer techniques, and how to add depth to various applications with makeup via live demos and exclusive tips.

The workshop was supported and assisted by makeup experts Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Masarrat Misbah, Angie Marshall and aspiring makeup artists who appreciated KFS’ efforts in organizing such an educational workshop. The workshops were streamed live on the official social media pages of PiFF for those who were unable to attend due to the current monsoon in Karachi.

KFS President Sultana Siddiqui, in her closing speech, thanked the Turkish guests, Arts Council Chairman Mohammad Ahmed Shah, Sindh Provincial Minister for Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Syed Sardar Ali Shah and participants for their support in making the two-day workshop a huge success. . She also underlined the importance of organizing such educational workshops to nurture the talent of Pakistan. In his speech, Provincial Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah appreciated the efforts of KFS and gave the support of the provincial government to the vision of KFS to improve the technical skills of young budding talents in different categories of cinema and films.


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‘Girl, Taken’ review from the 43rd Durban International Film Festival https://cannesfest.org/girl-taken-review-from-the-43rd-durban-international-film-festival/ Mon, 25 Jul 2022 14:00:27 +0000 https://cannesfest.org/girl-taken-review-from-the-43rd-durban-international-film-festival/ THE 43rd Durban International Film Festival has been running since July 21 and will continue until July 30. I had the privilege of watching one of their movies online and then wrote a review of it. This is a review of girl taken (contains spoilers). I was gripped by this roller coaster ride of a […]]]>

THE 43rd Durban International Film Festival has been running since July 21 and will continue until July 30.

I had the privilege of watching one of their movies online and then wrote a review of it. This is a review of girl taken (contains spoilers).

I was gripped by this roller coaster ride of a true story.

girl taken is a documentary produced by Solsui Films K2019540296 (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd MMXXII. It was produced by Neasa Ni Chaináin, David Rane, Shameela Seedat and François Verster and supported by Fís Éarrean/Screen Ireland. The directors were François Verster and Simon Wood.

The film tells the true story of Celeste and Morné Nurse, a couple from Cape Town, whose newborn baby was taken from Groote Schuur Hospital two days after birth.

Cassidy and Miché, sisters reunited later in life. Photo: provided
Morné and Celeste Nurse were devastated to lose their baby.

The police could not find their daughter, Zephany. For 17 years, the couple searched and hoped to find the missing piece in their lives while raising their three other children.

The story mainly follows their story, the story of younger sister Cassidy and the story of Zephany / Miché and also delves into the lives of the other family members.

Miché was raised by Lavona Solomon and her husband Michael. Lavona abducted Zephany (called Miché by Lavona) from the hospital while posing as a nurse. Cassidy Nurse, Zephany’s younger sister, befriended Miché at school due to their uncanny resemblance. They soon discover that they were related.

The film then covers the story of Lavona’s trial and arrest and the subsequent fallout for the families. The documentary explains how each character deals with the enormous disruption in their lives. It’s a deeply moving, dramatic and incredible story that at times left me speechless with surprise.

I was blown away by this story and impressed with how it was portrayed. The directors made me feel sympathy for each character even though some characters were in opposition to each other. It was so real, especially being based in South Africa, although it’s not a part of South Africa that I know. Every interview seemed authentic. The twists and turns and deep dive into the lives and feelings of those affected by a painful and traumatic event will stir your emotions throughout. The interviews and interactions were brilliant and I enjoyed the cinematography. The pacing and flow were well crafted and edited.

I would recommend this documentary to anyone who loves a true story that dives deep into the emotional lives of real people affected by a deeply traumatic event and despicable crime.

To find out more about the 43rd Durban International Film Festival and get free tickets, visit their website: https://www.durbanfilmfest.com/

* Notice: Coronavirus reporting at Caxton Local Media aims to tackle fake news

Dear reader, As a local news provider, we have a duty to keep you factually informed about Covid-19 developments. As you may have noticed, misinformation and disinformation (also known as “fake news”) are circulating online. Caxton Local Media is committed to filtering through the masses of information circulating and separating truth from lies in order to keep you properly informed. Local newsrooms follow a strict fact-checking protocol before publication. A national task force has been created to help bring you credible reporting on Covid-19. Readers with comments or questions can contact National Group Editor Irma Green ([email protected]) or legal counsel Helene Eloff ([email protected]).

At press time, the content of this feature reflects South Africa’s lockdown regulations.

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Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival: Eight great Kiwi films to discover https://cannesfest.org/whanau-marama-new-zealand-international-film-festival-eight-great-kiwi-films-to-discover/ Sun, 24 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://cannesfest.org/whanau-marama-new-zealand-international-film-festival-eight-great-kiwi-films-to-discover/ From heartfelt dramas to portraits of local artists, suitcase pictures and documentaries revisiting sometimes painful memories, many films originating or supported by Aotearoa make their debut as part of the Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival of This year. Stuff to Watch reviewers Graeme Tuckett (GT) and James Croot (JC) got a chance to […]]]>

From heartfelt dramas to portraits of local artists, suitcase pictures and documentaries revisiting sometimes painful memories, many films originating or supported by Aotearoa make their debut as part of the Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival of This year.

Stuff to Watch reviewers Graeme Tuckett (GT) and James Croot (JC) got a chance to preview a selection of Kiwi titles coming to the big screen near you.

When the Cows Come Home, Kāinga and Gloriavale are among the Kiwi films debuting at this year's Whānau Mārama: New Zealand <a class=International Film Festival.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

Provided

When the Cows Come Home, Kāinga and Gloriavale are among the Kiwi films debuting at this year’s Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival.

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A Boy Called Piano is about resilience, family and music as a river that carries our memories.

Provided

A Boy Called Piano is about resilience, family and music as a river that carries our memories.

A Boy Called Piano (M)

This film is a surprise. If you’ve never heard the story of Fa’amoana John Luafutu before, prepare to be moved.

He may be better known in the media as ‘Scribe’s father’, but Fa’amoana testifies to all that was wrong with our state care systems and the way we treat troubled young men. Raised in boys’ homes at a young age, Fa’amoana endured everything imaginable.

Its story became a famous stage and radio play and its transition to film was beautifully done, with archival footage and dramatic recreations well intertwined.

A Boy Called Piano is about resilience, family and music as a river that carries our memories. It is a gripping and poetic film. Go see him. –GT

Geoff Dixon turns out to be a wonderful narrator of his own story.

Provided

Geoff Dixon turns out to be a wonderful narrator of his own story.

Geoff Dixon: Portraits of Us (E)

Geoff Dixon is an iconoclastic figure who has worked in many mediums over five decades. He is a wonderful colourist and deeply deep thinker, with a brilliant sense of humor to enhance the seriousness of his themes.

Dixon’s work speaks to extinction and the damage we are causing to his beloved natural world, but he does so with a warmth, playfulness and a child’s sense of wonder and awe at the face of what it represents.

Often seated next to his old friend and collaborator Euan Macleod, Dixon talks, laughs, walks us through his life so far, and is generally a wonderful narrator of his own story, even when tragedy strikes.

With a soundtrack by Wellington icons Plan 9 and photography by Russell Milledge, Portraits of Us is a warm, moving and deeply likeable film. Highly recommended. –GT

Sharon Ready is a key figure in Noel Smyth and Fergus Grady's documentary Gloriavale.

Provided

Sharon Ready is a key figure in Noel Smyth and Fergus Grady’s documentary Gloriavale.

Gloriavale (to be confirmed)

Lifting the lid on the “secret New Zealand cult” and its fall from utopian ideal to animal farm nightmare, this illuminating, heartbreaking and rage-inducing documentary follows former members as they fight for justice and reform from abroad.

Siblings John Ready and Virginia Courage reveal what life was like inside the West Coast ‘Christian Fellowship’ and how their respective banishment and escape impacted the family members they have left behind, as they help compile a series of legal actions against what they believe to be his human rights abuses and disrespect of labor laws.

While their mother Sharon’s testimony is telling, it’s the more recent archival footage and secret audio recordings that really resonate – and shock.

A far cry from the lighthearted entertainment of TVNZ’s hugely popular ‘specials’, Noel Smyth and Fergus Grady’s tale is an excellent and powerful introduction to the history, controversy and concerns surrounding Gloriavale. – JC

Evocative and emotionally charged, Kāinga is an intelligent, sensitive and stunning collection of female-led Kiwi-Asian stories.

Provided

Evocative and emotionally charged, Kāinga is an intelligent, sensitive and stunning collection of female-led Kiwi-Asian stories.

Kainga (M)

Waru and Vai producers Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughton are back with another octet of powerful news.

This time the connection is one house – 11 Rua Road in Tāmaki Makaurau, as we glimpse the experiences of eight women of varying ages and from varying Asian backgrounds, at different times from 1972 to the present day. There’s a young Iranian woman frustrated at not being able to pursue her true profession, a middle-aged Chinese girl trying to make peace with her late father’s “other” family, a Tamil sister searching for buried memories for a long time and a Filipina nurse desperately trying to maintain contact with those who stayed at home.

Evocative and emotionally charged, this is a smart, sensitive and stunning collection of Kiwi-Asian stories led by women who wisely chronicle our changing nation over the past 50 years. – JC

Welby Ings' Punch contains enough resonant moments to keep audiences engaged and moved.

Provided

Welby Ings’ Punch contains enough resonant moments to keep audiences engaged and moved.

Hallmark (R16)

Writer-director Welby Ings has been thinking about Punch for over a decade.

On the beautiful west coast of Auckland these days, Jim is an up-and-coming boxer and a popular figure in the local high school. Jim’s new friend, Whetu, may be the only openly gay young man for miles around.

Jim’s father Stan – played by Tim Roth – distinguishes between controlling his son in a way that might have worked a generation earlier – and letting the young man chart his own course. Stan’s ever-present bottle of whiskey doesn’t help him forge any sort of adult relationship with his son.

Punch contains enough resonant moments to keep us engaged and moved. And Matt Henley’s (Coming Home In The Dark) cinematography is typically outstanding.

It might be Roth’s name that sells the tickets, but it’ll be Jordan Oosterhof as Jim and Conan Hayes as Whetu – and the Henley footage that will keep Punch in your memory. –GT

Sarah May and Millie Van Kol star in Shut Eye.

Provided

Sarah May and Millie Van Kol star in Shut Eye.

Close your eyes (M)

Writer-director Tom Levesque’s feature debut follows a troubled young woman’s journey through the world of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).

Struggling to make eye contact, let alone hold a conversation, Sierra (Millie Van Kol) seems ill-suited to her job of persuading inner-city Aucklanders to donate to a conservation charity. Attempts to find a connection both in person and online have also resulted in disaster – and humiliation.

As her mood deteriorates, a visit to the doctor sees her diagnosed with insomnia, an ASMR app suggested as something that could help. Of all the silent whisperers, chewers, and noisemakers, Sierra is smitten with Kookie (Sarah May). Seemingly kind, caring, and generous with her time, Sierra is overjoyed when their online relationship erupts into the real, physical world.

An absorbing and atmospheric drama, which draws on elements of 90s girly thrillers and more modern mumblecore to create something very contemporary. – JC

Unlike most compendium films, We Are Still Here doesn't always delineate where one film ends and another begins.

Provided

Unlike most compendium films, We Are Still Here doesn’t always delineate where one film ends and another begins.

We are still here (M)

This Australian-New Zealand production is a collection of eight short films by 10 directors.

Although the films are outwardly very different, taking place across centuries, between two countries – and many nations – and embracing genres ranging from animation to war film to futuristic sci-fi with winks Eye to Blade Runner, there’s always a brilliant cohesion here.

We Are Still Here opens with a bold animated sequence, almost revisiting the story of Māui fishing the Te Ika-a-Māui – before a reveal of what’s on that hook.

The longest film in the collection – at 17 minutes – chronicles an incident in the 1860s that turns into a concrete embodiment of the supernatural.

Unlike most compendium films, We Are Still Here doesn’t always delineate where one film ends and another begins. These films testify to what their companions achieve. It’s a stroke of editing and imagination that made me happy that the rules of storytelling can still be turned around, by filmmakers with something to say that needs to be heard. We Are Still Here is my favorite festival film I’ve seen so far. –GT

When the Cows Come Home: New Zealand agriculture hasn't been so beautiful or magical since Harry Sinclair's The Price of Milk.

Provided

When the Cows Come Home: New Zealand agriculture hasn’t been so beautiful or magical since Harry Sinclair’s The Price of Milk.

When the cows come home (E)

Veteran documentarian Costa Botes’ first feature in four years is a charming portrait of a sweet and soulful Kiwi and his bovine friends.

At first, Andrew Johnstone’s only trick seems to be his ability to herd his cattle without the need for working dogs or motorized vehicles and understanding their need to “paint their faces” and “dance”. But after meeting his secret weapons, the love matriarchs of Krispie Tilly and Millie, Johnstone opens up about a very eclectic life. It was one that included a family tragedy, battles with authority at his Catholic boarding school, a marriage breakdown, a successful foray into the New Zealand music scene, a drug addiction and a career as a rock journalist from high profile who came crashing to a controversial end in 2015.

Botes generously leaves about him the space and time to wisely share his story, and New Zealand agriculture hasn’t been so beautiful or magical since Harry Sinclair’s The Price of Milk. – JC

Kicking off in Auckland on Thursday (July 28-August 7), this year’s edition of Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival will also visit Wellington (August 4-14), Christchurch (August 5-14) , Dunedin (August 11-21), New Plymouth (August 11-21), Masterton (August 17-31), Matakana (August 18-28), Hamilton (August 18-31), Tauranga (August 18-28), Hawke’s Bay (August 18-28), Palmerston North (August 18-28), Nelson (August 18-28), Timaru (August 18-28) and Gore (August 18-25).

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Hypochondriac Critic – Fantasia International Film Festival 2022 https://cannesfest.org/hypochondriac-critic-fantasia-international-film-festival-2022/ Fri, 22 Jul 2022 03:38:46 +0000 https://cannesfest.org/hypochondriac-critic-fantasia-international-film-festival-2022/ Reading time: 3 minutes Much of the horror lineup at the 26th Fantasia International Film Festival this year has been a visceral experience. Brute and investigator, Hypochondriac add to that. A painful watch on deep-seated family trauma that manifests in mental illness, Hypochondriac is a fever dream come true, pushing the boundaries of what the […]]]>
Reading time: 3 minutes

Much of the horror lineup at the 26th Fantasia International Film Festival this year has been a visceral experience. Brute and investigator, Hypochondriac add to that. A painful watch on deep-seated family trauma that manifests in mental illness, Hypochondriac is a fever dream come true, pushing the boundaries of what the viewer thinks is real while ensuring that even hallucinations carry emotional weight. The film is directed and written by Addison Heimann and stars Zach Villa in the lead role of Will.

Living with a mentally ill relative, especially one who harms you (intentionally or not) is an experience you always carry with you. In Hypochondriac, Will’s (Zach Villa) mentally ill mother (Marlene Forte) tried to kill him when he was 12, which resulted in her being sent to a mental health facility. Picking up 18 years after the traumatic event, Will believes he has healed himself of all past trauma. He has a happy life with his boyfriend Luke (Devon Graye), a job he loves, and he even helps ground his colleague when she suffers a panic attack. It fits well, to say the least.

Then, packages from his mother begin to appear, containing disturbing and paranoid recorded messages. The ramblings and warnings become the soundtrack to his life as Will begins to see things and feel sick. Although they’ve seen various doctors (all of whom are funny cameos), they keep telling him he’s physically fine, just stressed. But the lack of response sends him into a spiral of anxiety as his mind continues to deteriorate, and his mother stands as the specter of a future he is hurtling towards and fighting against. Fleeing from one potential refuge to another for fear of hurting someone he loves, Will may not be able to escape the family demons.

The hypochondriacs the exploration of mental illness hits harder given the character’s Latinity. Latinos don’t talk about mental illnesses, we don’t ask for help, and because of the marginalization we already face, asking for help is a tough choice to make. For some of us, we grew up around mental illness and learned to spot it within ourselves. But instead of using this information as a way to ask for help, we see it as a ticking time bomb. This is perfectly captured by Will’s continued belief that something is wrong, the fear that he is right, and the ultimate realization that he has followed his mother’s path to ruin, even if it was the last thing. That he wanted.

Watching Hypochondriac is like stroking a raw nerve. Each act increases the tension and increases the uncertainty as Will tries to take control of his life and is ignored by everyone around him. With his spiraling life, I found myself increasingly uncomfortable. Moving in my seat, with a weight in the pit of my stomach that drives me deeper and makes me want everything to stop. I know what to look for in my own sanity because I know how it has manifested around me, but every symptom and every note of abnormality feels like a dam is about to break. burst and it’s been that way since I was diagnosed with an eating disorder over 15 years ago.

Addison Heimann captures the raw and terrifying reality of dealing with trauma from the people who should love you the most. Villa’s portrayal of Will is very emotional, terrifying, and real in a way that escapes you. Although some elements seem blurry, Hypochondriac is a beautifully moving and deeply dark exploration of mental illness, family trauma, and more.

Hypochondriac screened at the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival.

Hypochondriac

8.5/10

TL; DR

Addison Heimann captures the raw and terrifying reality of dealing with trauma from the people who should love you the most. Villa’s portrayal of Will is very emotional, terrifying, and real in a way that escapes you. Although some elements seem blurry, Hypochondriac is a beautifully moving and deeply dark exploration of mental illness, family trauma, and more.

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LA Shorts International Film Festival Comes to NoHo https://cannesfest.org/la-shorts-international-film-festival-comes-to-noho/ Thu, 21 Jul 2022 00:01:27 +0000 https://cannesfest.org/la-shorts-international-film-festival-comes-to-noho/ Short films may not be as labor intensive as feature films, but they have their own set of challenges. Telling a great story in a limited time is not easy and it takes real talent to do it well. The LA Shorts Film Festival is one of the most respected showcases for shorts for a […]]]>

Short films may not be as labor intensive as feature films, but they have their own set of challenges. Telling a great story in a limited time is not easy and it takes real talent to do it well. The LA Shorts Film Festival is one of the most respected showcases for shorts for a reason – it’s long on established filmmakers and award-winning titles – so the chances are very good that you’re screening top talent. Accredited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences (OSCAR®), the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and many others, no less than 65 Los Angeles filmmakers who debuted at the festival have won Oscar® nominations (and 16 won). It’s Los Angeles’ longest-running short film festival, and this year, its 26th, promises some intriguing entries. See some of our picks below.

Opening Night (July 21) features superstar rapper Wiz Khalifa in Blair Avery’s documentary Always rolling paperson the making of his first studio album and his professional journey since its release, while the closing night (July 28) offers another big name – George RR Martin, the famous writer of fantasy, horror and science fiction best known for A song of ice and fire adapted later in HBO Game of thrones. Directed by acclaimed actor Vincent D’Onofrio, Martin’s short film “Night of the Cooters” will be screened, followed by a conversation with the film’s writer and cast.

Other shorts throughout the week that look promising: the dance-thriller narrative short from director Vanessa Beletic Catch the spirits, exploring fate, dance and voodoo (July 27); Rapper Bun B alongside writer/directors Andy Cohen and Grover Ellisor in Lotusland, about two friends who turn to their eccentric spiritual guru uncle after being robbed (July 27); and daddy’s eyesa dark drama about the bittersweet reunion of a mother and daughter (July 27).

The LA Shorts International Film Festival runs July 21-18 at Laemlee NoHo 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood. More info at lashortsfest.com

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Dark Nature Review – 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival https://cannesfest.org/dark-nature-review-2022-fantasia-international-film-festival/ Tue, 19 Jul 2022 04:46:52 +0000 https://cannesfest.org/dark-nature-review-2022-fantasia-international-film-festival/ Reading time: 2 minutes CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Dark Nature and this review deal with topics of domestic violence The first horror feature for Berkley Brady, dark nature it’s like standing in a swimming pool with your toes barely touching the bottom, knowing you can’t swim. I can’t think of a better way to explain this raw, […]]]>
Reading time: 2 minutes

CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Dark Nature and this review deal with topics of domestic violence

The first horror feature for Berkley Brady, dark nature it’s like standing in a swimming pool with your toes barely touching the bottom, knowing you can’t swim. I can’t think of a better way to explain this raw, dark exploration of trauma and violence, horror in more ways than one.

Joy (Hannah Emily Anderson) is a survivor of domestic violence. In a heartbreaking shift from romance to violence, the film’s opening plunges the viewer into trauma as we see the very real physical danger Joy finds herself in. Luckily, the focus of this film isn’t on finding the courage to leave, but rather on what happens after. Having left the abusive relationship, Joy no longer knows who she is and must relearn how to be herself.

Experiencing flashbacks of the abuse of PTSD, her best friend Carmen (Madison Walsh) encourages her to go on a healing retreat with a psychologist in mind. The trek through the Rocky Mountains is led by Dr. Dunnley (Kyra Harper), a specialist in helping trauma survivors deal with their demons. But this is not an individual experience. Instead, Joy joins other women who are also struggling with PTSD and violence.

While the film does a phenomenal job of making trauma and the past a monster that must be constantly fought, women have more to fear than they realize. As Joy begins the exercises outlined by Dr. Dunnley, she begins to think her ex-boyfriend is following them. Then the women also find abandoned items from former hikers on the way, hear strange noises, and begin to share a strange nightmare. Quickly, the flashbacks become overwhelming for the women, and as danger looms and more people get hurt, it’s clear that they’re not just fighting an internal battle.

A fairly straightforward survival horror movie, dark nature takes flight when its protagonists start reliving the past again and are pushed to the brink. Surviving a mysterious danger in the wild is hard enough, throwing in debilitating flashbacks that leave you breathless, and fighting anything that says “roll up and die” is a whole other level. Fear is an emotion that, when played well in horror movies, grips audiences. Add to that the anxiety and PTSD and for a survivor like me, I also found myself holding my breath.

dark nature is a visceral experience in the best and worst ways. A job to do if you’ve experienced trauma in the same way, the way Berkley Brady wrote and captured episodes of PTSD on screen and the way actresses portray them feels all too real. It’s raw and unsettling, with a shifting perspective on reality that adds chaos to the trauma. If there’s one movie this year that made me want to get out of my skin, it’s this one. A true testament to Brady’s understanding that horror is sometimes real experience and fruitful ground for cultivating a larger narrative. Not to mention a twisted final act best left untouched.

dark nature screened at the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival.

dark nature

8/10

TL;DR

dark nature is a visceral experience in the best and worst ways. A job to do if you’ve experienced trauma in the same way, the way Berkley Brady wrote and captured episodes of PTSD on screen and the way actresses portray them feels all too real. It’s raw and unsettling, with a shifting perspective on reality that adds chaos to the trauma. If there’s one movie this year that made me want to get out of my skin, it’s this one.

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Goodbye Don Glee! Review – Fantasia International Film Festival https://cannesfest.org/goodbye-don-glee-review-fantasia-international-film-festival/ Sat, 16 Jul 2022 18:00:06 +0000 https://cannesfest.org/goodbye-don-glee-review-fantasia-international-film-festival/ Reading time: 2 minutes I’m a sucker for coming-of-age stories, especially when they’re animated. So, Goodbye Don Glee! is right up my alley. Animated by Studio Madhouse and distributed in North America by GKIDS Films, Goodbye Don Glee! is the directorial debut of Atsuko Ishizuka, which she also wrote. It shows the small town blues […]]]>
Reading time: 2 minutes

I’m a sucker for coming-of-age stories, especially when they’re animated. So, Goodbye Don Glee! is right up my alley. Animated by Studio Madhouse and distributed in North America by GKIDS Films, Goodbye Don Glee! is the directorial debut of Atsuko Ishizuka, which she also wrote. It shows the small town blues and promises of the future that summer brings, and how our lives change when summer ends.

Two boys at the bottom of their high school social hierarchy, Roma and Toto, are best friends. But with nothing to do in this small farming town and no friends outside of themselves, they call themselves the “Don Glees”. Equipped with a fort in the woods, the duo find joy in each other. But while Toto is at school in Tokyo, a new member has joined him. Named Drop, the young addition to their group is irresponsible and fun-loving, albeit a bit wistful beneath the surface. Celebrating summer with their own tradition of fireworks is exciting, but when a wildfire breaks out, the boys of Don Glees are the ones to blame with only a missing drone as proof of their innocence. As they head for the mountains, they embark on a life-changing adventure that will ripple through their lives.

Studio Madhouse’s animation is immersive with the background animation as much a spectacle as the characters in the foreground. The places highlighted in Goodbye Don Glee! feel lived in, the lush forests feel real beyond belief. The solid backgrounds allow the character to come out of it with a vibrancy that adds to every emotion we see on screen.

Goodbye Don Glee! is a coming-of-age story that focuses on the ripples that emanate from any given moment. It has humor, it has friendship, and in its final act, heartache. But more important, Goodbye Don Glee! is to celebrate life and have the courage to jump in and see things you’ve missed before. It’s a story of hope after loss and how the impact we have on people lasts long after we’re gone.

With awe-inspiring landscapes and warm connections, Goodbye Don Glee stirs the soul. It starts small – a story we’ve seen before about a group of irresponsible friends trying to right their mistake – and grows into something lasting. For her feature debut, Ishizuka pulled out all the narrative stops and created a story that builds itself bigger through small moments. Leaving me to cry at the end, Goodbye Don Glee! has a heart and a purpose that showcases the magic of animation. While the first two acts are typical of the genre, the finale is where the film hits a new high.

Goodbye Don Glee! tasks its characters and audience, in the final act of the film, to take the risk, go on an adventure, and live your life, however fleeting, to the fullest extent possible. He asks you to jump without looking and never be afraid to see your life and the lives of others from a different perspective. At just over 90 minutes, Goodbye Don Glee! packs a punch in the gut while providing balm to the soul at the same time.

Goodbye Don Glee! screened at the 2022 Fantasia International Film Festival.

Goodbye Don Glee!

8.5/10

TL:DR

At just over 90 minutes, Goodbye Don Glee! packs a punch in the gut while providing balm to the soul at the same time.

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