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Documentary Focus as Purin Pictures Unveils Se Asian Film Funding

  • Variety
South East Asian film fund, Purin Pictures has again handed out $170,000 of finance for a fistful of movie projects. The Spring grants include production support for three feature films, production support for a documentary, and post production aid for another documentary.

Launched in 2017 and operating an open submissions process for the second year, the fund received an increased number of funding applications. “The fact that we continue to see many strong projects from the Philippines and Singapore in particular tells us that these two countries have the most solid support structures for independent filmmaking within the region,” said fund director Aditya Assarat.

The fund will provide production grants of $30,000 each to: drama “Anatomy of Time,” to be directed by Thailand’s Jakrawal Nilthamrong, sand produced by Mai Meksawan; “Ajoomma,” a dramedy about a Korean TV obsessed widow, directed by He Shuming and produced by Tan Si En; “Yuni,” directed by
See full article at Variety »

‘Hotel Mumbai,’ ‘She Who Must Be Loved’ win Aff audience awards

Hotel Mumbai’ cast and crew at the Aff premiere.

Anthony MarasHotel Mumbai was voted best film and Erica Glynn’s She Who Must Be Loved best documentary at the Adelaide Film Festival audience awards.

Matthew Bate’s The Art of the Game, a hybrid documentary produced by Katrina Lucas, which follows two of Australia’s most innovative photographers – Trent Parke and Narelle Autio – as they bring together the worlds of art and sport in their first ever moving-image work Summation of Force, was deemed best short.

All three were supported by the Adelaide Film Festival Fund.

Icon plans to launch Hotel Mumbai, the thriller about those trapped in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in the 2008 terrorist attacks, starring Armie Hammer, Dev Patel, Jason Isaacs and Tilda Cobham-Hervey, in April following the Us release via Bleecker Street, which is likely to be in March.

Co-commissioned by Nitv, Glynn’s film profiles her mother Freda Glynn,
See full article at IF.com.au »

‘The Seen and Unseen’, ‘Island of the Hungry Ghosts’,’The Unknown Patient’ win in Adelaide

Kamila Andini.

There’s an Australian connection among each of the competition winning films at this year’s Adelaide Film Festival.

The prizes for the best fiction feature, documentary and Vr films were presented yesterday evening at the festival, ahead of the Australian premiere of Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy.

Indonesian writer-director Kamila Andini’s The Seen and Unseen, a co-production between Indonesia, the Netherlands, Australia and Qatar, took out the $20,000 prize for International Feature Fiction Competition. Set in Bali, the film follows a young girl who seeks out imaginative ways to cope with the death of her twin brother, and it has also won 2017 Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Youth Feature and the Crystal Bear in Berlin.

The award was presented by director Scott Hicks, on behalf of the International Jury, which also comprised of Paolo Bertolin, filmmaker and selector for Venice and selection committee for Cannes Directors Fortnight,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Interview with Kamila Andini: That is why you want to make films, just to create

Kamila Andini, who was born in 1986, has studied sociology. Her interest in social affairs is also present in her work: Andini has said that in her films, she wants to explore diverse Indonesian identities. Her first full length feature film “The Mirror Never Lies” was a visually impressive coming of age story of a young fatherless Bajau girl in a fishing community. “The Seen and Unseen”, is Andini’s second full length feature film, in addition she has directed two short films. Kamila Andini’s father, Garin Nugroho, is perhaps the most famous Indonesian film director, and he has been involved in producing Andini’s films.

On the occasion of The Seen and Unseen screening at Helsinki Cine Aasia Film Festival 2018, we speak with her about her family ties, her studies, the philosophy behind the film, child actors, and many other topics

You are the daughter of Garin Nugroho, one
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Film Review: The Seen and Unseen (2017) by Kamila Andini

“A young girl seeks out imaginative ways to cope with the death of her twin brother” is how the film is described on IMDb. This is not a wrong way to summarize director Kamila Andini’s third work, “The Seen and Unseen”, but I guess most of the people who’ve watched the film will agree with me that this tagline simplifies the complex experiences the movie presents to us.

If the story happened in the U.S., we might see the main character, a girl named Tantri inventing her own peculiar routines or rituals to cope with the condition of her brother Tantra. Yet, this is not the case here. In director Andini’s world, all the main characters are deeply enmeshed in their culture, in this case, a Balinese way to life. Tantra will put on a shadow play, or play some traditional keyboard music for his sister.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Berlinale 2018: The Netherlands Has Six Titles Screening with Hubert Bals Funding or CineMart…

Berlinale 2018: The Netherlands Has Six Titles Screening with Hubert Bals Funding or CineMart…
Berlinale 2018: The Netherlands Has Six Titles Screening with Hubert Bals Funding or CineMart Backing‘The Seen and Unseen

Six titles is a record number for a small country like The netherlands

Adina Pintilie’s Touch Me Not is in the running for the prestigious Golden and Silver Bears, as it will have its world premiere in the Berlinale Competition. The co-production between Romania, Germany, Czech Republic and Bulgaria was part of CineMart in 2011, where it won the Arte France Cinéma Award with a value of €10,000.

The Seen and Unseen is the second feature film by Kamila Andini. She received a contribution towards the development of this project from the Hubert Bals Fund in 2011. This Indonesian production was finished in 2017 and premiered in Platform Competition at Toronto International Film Festival, after which it had its Asian premiere in Busan. The European premiere of the film will take place in Berlin,
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

17 Films By and About Women to Check Out at Tiff 2017

Unicorn Store

The 42nd edition of the Toronto International Film Festival will kick off in just two days, and as always, there is an overwhelming amount of amazing-sounding films screening at the fest. We’ve collected some of the titles by and about women that have us most excited. This list is by no means exhaustive — there are plenty of other films written, directed, and about women in the program. These are just some of the highlights, which include directorial debuts, Oscar hopefuls, and more.

Tiff runs from September 7–17. Be sure to check out our interviews with women directors screening films at the fest, which will start rolling out today.

All summaries and images courtesy of Tiff.

Lady Bird” — Written and Directed by Greta Gerwig

What it’s about: A rebellious young woman (Saoirse Ronan) navigates the pressures and constraints of Catholic school and life in Sacramento.

Why we’re interested: Loosely based on writer-director Greta Gerwig’s own experiences, “Lady Bird” marks her solo directorial debut. She previously co-helmed “Nights and Weekends.” We’ve been fans of Gerwig’s writing in oddball comedies “Mistress America” and “Frances Ha” and it’s great to see her penning another female-led story, this time starring Saoirse Ronan, one of the most exciting actors of her generation. In a soon-to-be published interview with us, Gerwig said that the worst advice she received was “Women don’t really have the right personality traits to be directors.” We’re glad she didn’t listen.

“Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami” (Documentary) — Directed by Sophie Fiennes

What it’s about: Filmed over the course of a decade, the new documentary from director Sophie Fiennes (“The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology”) offers a stylish and unconventional look at the Jamaican-born model, singer, and New Wave icon.

Why we’re interested: “‘Grace Jones’ exists almost as a cultural construction — a visual fetish,” director Sophie Fiennes told us in a soon-to-be-published interview. “The film was a unique opportunity to explore the person beyond that fascinating surface.” Like another Tiff film, “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” “Grace Jones” looks like it will push past the public figure everyone thinks they know to present a real-life woman who is just as compelling as her persona.

Kings” — Written and Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven

What it’s about: A recluse (Daniel Craig) helps a woman (Halle Berry) and her multiple children when riots erupt in Los Angeles following the 1992 acquittal of the policemen charged with assaulting Rodney King.

Why we’re interested: Like so many others, we were bowled over by “Mustang,” Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Oscar-nominated debut about oppressed sisters living in a small village in Turkey. “Kings” marks her first project in English, and is set during an important chapter in history that hasn’t received nearly enough attention. We’re also looking forward to seeing Halle Berry in a meaty dramatic role. The Oscar-winning actress has revealed that she herself hopes to start directing and also to produce more projects. “I want to start being a part of making more opportunities for people of color,” she said. “We have to start telling stories that include us and if stories don’t include us, we have to start asking, ‘Why can’t that be a person of color? Why can’t that white male character be a black woman? Why can’t it?’ We have to start pushing the envelope and asking these questions.”

Unicorn Store ”— Directed by Brie Larson; Written by Samantha McIntyre

What it’s about: Brie Larson stars in her directorial debut about a dreamer reluctant to abandon her childish wonder who is offered the most magical gift she can imagine.

Why we’re interested: A feel-good movie about an unconventional young woman who follows her dreams is just what the doctor ordered in these troubled times. When we asked star and director Brie Larson what drew her to the project in a soon-to-be-published interview, the Oscar winner said, “For me, the idea of going after this unicorn was dreaming the impossible dream. The fact that I wanted to be an actor for so long and was told ‘no’ so many times kind of made me feel a little crazy; I was like a person going after a unicorn. There were all these people scratching their heads and going, ‘Why are you doing this? This is obviously never going to work out,’” she recalled. “So, this is, in some ways, an homage to my life and my journey and hopefully a way to inspire others to keep going on their path, whatever their unicorn is.” The “Room” actress added, “It’s not an easy time in the world right now, so I hope that, in the spirit of film’s traditional escapism and a way to dream, this film can do that.”

“I, Tonya”

What it’s about: Margot Robbie stars as controversial Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in this alternately tragic, hilarious, and absurd look at one of the biggest scandals in U.S. sports history.

Why we’re interested: “I, Tonya” focuses on Tonya Harding and her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly’s attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. The buzzy script for the film landed on 2016’s Black List. We’re hopeful that the movie doesn’t just play the story for laughs. When the iconic pop culture moment is rehashed, most overlook Harding’s allegations of her ex-husband’s abuse. Harding has claimed that the attack was his idea, and she didn’t report his plan to the police because she was worried he’d try to kill her if she tried. We’re looking forward to seeing Robbie in a role unlike any we’ve seen her in. The “Suicide Squad” star is also producing the project.

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts ”— Co-Written and Directed by Mouly Surya

What it’s about: A young widow violently turns the tables on her would-be attackers, in this powerful, provocative, and visually stunning Indonesian take on the “feminist western” genre.

Why we’re interested: Director Mouly Surya calls “Marlina” “a celebration of women power” — a far cry from the usual female revenge fantasy, which usually includes a woman becoming completely unhinged with rage and a thirst for blood. According to Surya, Marlina is a woman “on her way to redemption.” That’s a fresh perspective for a genre that’s usually plagued with vigilantes, victims, and little else.

Dark River ”— Written and Directed by Clio Barnard

What it’s about: Ruth Wilson stars in British filmmaker Clio Barnard’s atmospheric and layered drama about the old wounds and bitter new grievances that come to light when a woman returns home to settle the tenancy of her family’s Yorkshire farm.

Why we’re interested: Sibling drama, old grudges, and gendered societal expectations collide in “Dark River.” In a soon-to-be-published interview, Barnard told us that “it is a film about how damaging it is to be silenced and to bury the past, about how as children we can feel we failed to protect our siblings and can carry misplaced guilt with us for the rest of our lives. It is also about acceptance, putting the past to rest.”

“My Days of Mercy” — Directed by Tali Shalom-Ezer

What it’s about: The daughter (Ellen Page) of a man on death row falls in love with a woman (Kate Mara) on the opposing side of her family’s political cause.

Why we’re interested: Political arguments usually last a scene or two in film — and they hardly ever occur between two people in a romantic relationship. “My Days of Mercy” promises to be groundbreaking because it not only depicts two people with very different opinions falling in love, it depicts two women on opposite sides of an issue falling in love. Ellen Page’s Lucy has a father on death row and is vehemently against the death penalty, while Kate Mara’s Mercy supports capital punishment. “I wanted to explore the beautiful dynamic between Lucy and Mercy, which I believe is an expression of the transformative, healing power of love,” Tali Shalom-Ezer told us in an as-yet unpublished interview.

Disobedience” — Co-Written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz

What it’s about: Sebastián Lelio (“A Fantastic Woman,” “Gloria”) directs Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams in this adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel about a woman who returns home to her orthodox Jewish community in London and rekindles a romance with her cousin’s wife.

Why we’re interested: Lelio received raves for “Gloria,” his 2013 film about a vibrant older woman looking for passion and love. It appears that he’s helmed another story about an unconventional female protagonist with “Disobedience.” Even before Ronit (Rachel Weisz) embarks on an affair with her cousin’s wife (Rachel McAdams), she is considered a rebel; she lives a secular life far away from her devout family. “Disobedience” promises to be a nuanced take on women, faith, family, and living life on your own terms.

“The Seen and Unseen ”— Written and Directed by Kamila Andini

What it’s about: A 10-year-old girl retreats to a fantastical, evocative dream space to deal with the impending loss of her twin brother in this imaginative film from Indonesian director Kamila Andini.

Why we’re interested: “The Seen and Unseen” depicts a holistic culture and — unlike most other movies that do so — doesn’t present it through white, privileged characters. Instead, the film uses the philosophy of Sekala Niskala as a way to examine family, connection, and grief. “Bali is a place where holism is still strongly felt in daily life,” director Kamila Andini explained to Women and Hollywood in an as-yet unpublished interview. “The Seen and Unseen — or Sekala Niskala — is the philosophy they believe in life; life is in harmony with all the seen things, and the unseen as well.”

Woman Walks Ahead” — Directed by Susanna White

What it’s about: Jessica Chastain stars in the true story of Catherine Weldon, a 19th-century Brooklyn artist who travelled to the Dakota Territory and became the confidante of legendary Sioux chief Sitting Bull.

Why we’re interested: Jessica Chastain consistently delivers amazing performances, and it seems like “Woman Walks Ahead” handles its subject matter with respect and self-awareness. “In making this movie I was very conscious, of being, like Wheldon, an outsider. While I could relate to being a woman in late 19th century New York, I knew I had a huge amount to learn about Native American culture,” director Susanna White explained in an upcoming interview with us. “I asked for help from the community and had an amazing experience.” “Woman Walks Ahead” has a white protagonist but it doesn’t seem like it’ll present yet another white savior narrative. It’s based on a true story and White revealed she was “very moved when [the project’s] Lakota language adviser, Ben Blackbear, watched the movie and said he hoped it would change the way history was taught in schools because it was telling a story his community usually didn’t get told.”

“Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” (Documentary) — Directed by Tracy Heather Strain

What it’s about: Filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain delivers a moving account of the life of Black playwright, communist, feminist, lesbian, and outspoken trailblazer Lorraine Hansberry (“A Raisin in the Sun”).

Why we’re interested: Tony winner Anika Noni Rose provides the voice for Lorraine Hansberry’s writing in this documentary. The film also features interviews with Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, and Louis Gossett Jr., all of whom acted in versions of Hansberry’s most famous work, the segregated Chicago-set play “A Raisin in the Sun.” While “Raisin” is a classic of literature and theater — and movingly portrays the struggles of a black family in the pre-Civil Rights era — it is far from the writer’s only accomplishment. “Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” shines a much-needed spotlight on Hansberry’s entire story and legacy.

I Am Not a Witch ”— Written and Directed by Rungano Nyoni

What it’s about: Part magic realist fable and part gendered social critique, Rungano Nyoni’s debut feature focuses on a young girl who is banished from her village in Zambia and sent to a camp for exiled witches.

Why we’re interested: It’s rare to see a feature center on a young girl, and this fascinating project is not entirely a work of fiction. “These witch accusations are actually illegal in most parts of Africa, but it still continues. The practice of witchcraft is also illegal but it still continues,” writer-director Rungano Nyoni told us in an interview. “Sometimes people get very precious about it, they’re like, ‘You’re laughing at these witch accusations and that’s cultural tradition.’ We said, ‘No it’s not.’ You have to call it out for what it is, because it’s mostly aimed at women, and it always has been throughout history so we can’t wrap it in cotton wool. It’s misogyny — that’s all it is. I don’t know how else to express it. We have to embrace that truth before we can do something about it.”

Mary Shelley” — Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour; Written by Emma Jensen

What it’s about: Elle Fanning stars in this scintillating biopic of the “Frankenstein” author, chronicling her tempestuous marriage to dissolute poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and the fateful night at a Swiss chateau that inspired her most famous creation.

Why we’re interested: Haifaa Al-Mansour is following up her critically acclaimed debut narrative “Wadjda” with another female-led story, this one starring the fabulous Elle Fanning. “When I read Mary Shelley’s story I felt an instant connection with it. She grew up in this very conservative culture, where women’s roles were much more rigid and opportunities were extremely limited. But she rose above it, and wrote a story that continues to capture the imagination of readers to this day,” Al-Mansour explained in an upcoming interview with us. “What I love is that she chose to write a book that was so outside of the ‘acceptable’ realms of literature for women, and created a genre — science fiction — that continues to be dominated by male voices. She wrote a book that challenged religious doctrine and raised new ethical questions about the impact uninhibited scientific experimentation would have on a society.” Shelley’s trailblazing story is important, and we’re even happier to bear witness to it since it’s Al-Mansour and Fanning bringing it to the big screen.

Ava” — Written and Directed by Sadaf Foroughi

What it’s about: A 16-year-old girl’s relationship with her family is challenged after her mother takes her to a gynecologist in order to ensure she’s still a virgin.

Why we’re interested: Young women’s sexuality is still very much a taboo subject around the world. It definitely is in the world of “Ava,” in which the titular Iranian girl is forced by her mother to undergo a physical examination to confirm that she hasn’t had sex. After Ava’s is subjected to the invasion of privacy, she begins to see the hypocrisy and misogyny everywhere. This is the beginning of her feminist awakening.

The Children Act

What it’s about: Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci star in this adaptation of the novel by Ian McEwan, about a high-court judge (Thompson) who finds personal and professional crises colliding when she is asked to rule in the case of a brilliant 18-year-old boy who is refusing the blood transfusion that would save his life.

Why we’re interested: Last seen as Mrs. Potts in the live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” it’s been awhile since Emma Thompson has had a starring vehicle. In a story reminiscent of real-life medical ethics cases, “Children Act” sees Thompson playing Fiona Maye, a judge coping with a troubled marriage and guilt over a past verdict when the new case is put on her desk. A successful, intelligent woman who’s conflicted and overwhelmed, but determined to do her job and do it well? We can’t think of a better character to showcase Thompson’s talents.

“Number One” — Directed by Tonie Marshall; Co-Written by Tonie Marshall and Marion Doussot

What it’s about: In this whip-smart drama about corporate sexism, top French star Emmanuelle Devos plays a high-ranking female executive who is forced to consider her options and marshal her forces when she realizes that the glass ceiling is fast approaching.

Why we’re interested: Like Meera Menon’s “Equity,” “Number One” explores a corporate culture from a female perspective — and shows how the professional world isn’t always a welcoming place for a woman, no matter how capable she is at her job.

17 Films By and About Women to Check Out at Tiff 2017 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

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