Film Forum Set To Premiere Agnieszka Holland’s “Green Border”

green-borderWinner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2023 Venice Film Festival, “Green Border” immediately drew controversy from the Polish government for its depiction of the European migrant crisis on the Poland-Belarus border.

Shot in stark black-and-white, this riveting thriller explores the intractable conflict from multiple perspectives: a Syrian family fleeing ISIS caught between cruel border guards in both countries; young guards instructed to brutally reject the migrants; and activists who, at great risk, aid the refugees.

Holland (three-time Academy Award® nominee for Angry Harvest, Europa Europa, and In Darkness) brings an unflinching eye and deep compassion to this blistering critique of a humanitarian calamity that continues to unfold.

The Museum of the Moving Image will present a series of films by Agnieszka Holland from June 7–21, 2024.

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Japan Society Announces May Screening Events: Sans Soleil, Lumberjack the Monster, and Tampopo

tampopo-janus-filmsJapan Society, a 116-year-old nonprofit organization bridging the U.S. and Japan, today announced it will host three special screenings in May spanning classic Japanese cinema, a lauded documentary, and a major North American premiere. Japan Society is a storied institution that has presented Japanese art and culture for over a century, and its robust Film Program presents over 60 screenings from the silent era through to contemporary cinema all across the year.

Japan Society’s May events begin on May 1 with French filmmaker Chris Marker’s influential 1983 documentary Sans Soleil presented on rare imported 35mm. Driven by the desire to “capture life in the process of becoming history,” Marker traveled the globe and made a sprawling body of work that ruminates on the nature of memory and time. Of the several films he made in Japan, Sans Soleil remains the late director’s greatest achievement.

An unnamed woman narrates the poetic letters and philosophical reflections of an invisible world traveler accompanied by footage of Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Iceland, Paris, San Francisco, and, most significantly, Tokyo—a city whose people, streets, malls, and temples inspire the traveler’s richest observations.
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Sloan Science in Cinema Initiative Spotlights Three SFFILM Festival Titles

SFFILM-2024Today, SFFILM announced the program slate of the Sloan Science in Cinema Initiative at the 67th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM Festival) which runs April 24–28. Presented in partnership between the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and SFFILM, this year’s programs include three films and participation by Sloan Fellows and grant recipients at events throughout the Festival. 

“We are thrilled to partner with SFFILM on our continuing Science in Cinema initiatives,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “This year’s program features three original films, each of which recounts a very personal journey that links to broader scientific themes and addresses universal questions. We’ll be joined on the ground by the 2023 SFFILM Sloan Science in Cinema Fellows, and recipients of our Stories of Science Development Fund grantees who are all at the screenwriting phase of filmmaking. I am excited to have filmmakers from every part of the process together to benefit from each other and from audience interaction.”

Curated programs include three titles, selected by Jessie Fairbanks, SFFILM’s Director of Programming. “It is thrilling to present such a strong slate of Sloan titles at the festival.
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Comic Book Legend Rob Liefeld to Release Memoir “Robservations” in Early 2025

Comic-Book-Legend-Rob-LiefeldComic book legend Rob Liefeld, known for his groundbreaking contributions to Marvel and the revolutionary formation of Image Comics, is set to unveil his highly anticipated memoir, “Robservations,” in early 2025 through BenBella Publishing. Offering a rare peek into his remarkable career, Liefeld’s memoir promises to provide readers with an intimate look at his journey from a pastor’s son in Orange County, CA, to becoming one of the most celebrated figures in the comic book industry.

From his beginnings as a teen sensation at DC Comics to becoming one of the industry’s most celebrated figures, Liefeld’s journey has been nothing short of legendary. In the early 90’s at Marvel Comics, he introduced the world to iconic characters such as Deadpool, Cable, and X-Force, catapulting sales to unprecedented heights with record-shattering single book sales of 5 million copies of X-Force #1.
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Charles Crichton’s Classic Caper Comedy THE LAVENDER HILL MOB New 4K Restoration

THE-LAVENDER-HILL-MOBCharles Crichton’s THE LAVENDER HILL MOB (1951), a classic heist comedy starring Alec Guinness, will run in a new 4K restoration at Film Forum from Friday, May 10 through Thursday, May 16.

“It’s a good job we’re both honest men,” remarks seedy Cockney knickknack manufacturer and hustler Stanley Holloway (13 years later, My Fair Lady’s Alfred Doolittle) as he gets the gist of fastidious bank clerk Guinness’ scheme: to smuggle Bank of England gold bullion out of the country by melting them down into seemingly tacky Eiffel Tower souvenirs.

One of the highlights of the golden years of British comedies from Britain’s famed Ealing Studios, THE LAVENDER HILL MOB was an international smash hit that won screenwriter T.E.B. Clarke an Oscar for Best Writing and a Best Actor nomination for Guinness, as well as a BAFTA Award for Best British Film. Its dénouement atop the real (filmed on location) Eiffel Tower features the most dizzying comedy chase ever.
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Oscar Micheaux and the Birth of Black Independent Cinema 15-Film Festival Opens May 3 at Film Forum

Oscar-Micheaux-and-the-Birth-of-Black-Independent-CinemaOscar Micheaux and the Birth of Black Independent Cinema, an 18-film festival, including 7 new restorations, of work by the prolific independent director whose pioneering explorations of contemporary Black life paved the way for generations, will run at Film Forum from Friday, May 3 through Thursday, May 9.

Operating on shoestring budgets, Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951) directed and produced more than 40 films between 1919 and 1948, shifting from silent to talkies, and depicting such complex and taboo subjects as religious hypocrisy, interracial marriage, police violence, and lynching, often with all-Black casts and producers. His work explored the Black experience with nuance and depth, often challenging the negative stereotypes so commonly portrayed in films of the era. Micheaux’s films were the first made by a Black filmmaker to be shown in white cinemas, and they were often hugely successful, with Micheaux working directly with theater owners to finance, distribute, and market them.
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LAIKA and Portland Community College Announce Landmark Partnership to Foster Diversity in Animation

Laika-and-portland-community-college

At LAIKA’s studios. From left, Multimedia Instructor Eric Fauske, PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings, Chief Marketing and Operations Officer David Burke and Production Supervisor Jesselee Kahaloa

Portland Community College has announced a transformative partnership aimed at fostering diversity and inclusivity in the animation industry with LAIKA, the renowned film studio known for its groundbreaking and award-winning animated films “Coraline,” “ParaNorman,” “The Boxtrolls,” “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “Missing Link.” This collaboration reaffirms PCC and LAIKA’s commitment to supporting educational initiatives and promoting equity within the creative arts.
 
The cornerstone of this partnership is a $60,000 pledge from LAIKA to the PCC Foundation. Over two years, LAIKA will contribute annual gifts of $30,000 to support the newly established LAIKA Scholarship and program funds. This funding aims to create an associate degree in Animation & Motion Graphics, enhancing educational opportunities for aspiring animators in Oregon.
 
PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “This collaboration aligns with PCC’s commitment to providing accessible, culturally responsive education. By working closely with LAIKA, we can ensure that our students receive the training and support they need to succeed in the animation industry.”
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Joel McHale Returns to Host 51st Annual Saturn Awards

saturn-awards 2024The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films has announced that actor, comedian, and host Joel McHale (star of Animal Control and Community), will return as host of the 51st Annual Saturn Awards on Sunday, February 4, 2024 at the L.A. Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel.

The Saturns will once again be live-streamed on Electric Entertainment’s premium OTT app and FAST channel, ElectricNOW, and will include exclusive interviews from the Red Carpet, from the winner’s press walk, and from behind-the-scenes with genre luminaries.

Presented and produced by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films in collaboration with Electric Entertainment’s ElectricNOW, the Saturn Awards are the only awards show that has been honoring the best in genre entertainment since 1972.

Academy President Robert Holguin and Saturn producers Bradley and Kevin Marcus comment, “We are thrilled to have Joel McHale host the Saturn Awards for the second year in a row. With his remarkable talent, dry wit, and acerbic humor, he embodies the spirit of the Saturn Awards tradition as Hollywood’s entertaining and irreverent awards show. The Academy is truly fortunate to have him as the host for this momentous 51st annual celebration.

This year’s show is dedicated to the memory of the Saturn Awards’ dear friends, acclaimed actor and former Saturn Awards host, Lance Reddick, (most well-known for his roles in “Bosch” and the “John Wick” franchise) and legendary filmmaker William Friedkin, (Oscar winning director of “The Exorcist,” and “The French Connection”).

In addition to the annual award categories, the award show will present Special Saturn Awards Honorees from past, present, and future winners. Christopher Nolan will receive The Visionary Award, presented by Emily Blunt at the Awards show. Other special awards will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Bradley Cooper To Receive Outstanding Performer of the Year Award At SBIFF

Bradley-Cooper-SBIFFBradley Cooper will receive the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award at the 39th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Cooper will be honored on Thursday, February 8, 2024 for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Leonard Bernstein in MAESTRO from Netflix.

Bradley Cooper, born in Philadelphia, is an acclaimed actor, filmmaker, writer, and producer. A nine-time Oscar nominee, Grammy winner, and Tony nominee, Cooper’s directorial debut A STAR IS BORN, which he co-wrote, produced, starred and directed garnered 8 Oscar nominations. Following the success of his producorial work, Cooper started his production company Lea Pictures in 2020, which includes his much-anticipated film MAESTRO.

“Nine-time Oscar® nominee Bradley Cooper has proven to be an actor of incredible range and versatility. What has impressed me the most is that he has grown to be one of the most indelible directing voices . He’s a renaissance man – an outstanding performer indeed!” SBIFF’s Executive Director Roger Durling noted.

MAESTRO is a towering and fearless love story chronicling the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein. A love letter to life and art, MAESTRO at its core is an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love.
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NAVA to Present Seth Green With Inaugural Voiceover Icon Award Dec 6th

seth-greenThe NAVA Foundation has announced Seth Green as their 2023 Voiceover Icon Award recipient.

Seth has had an extensive voiceover career starting when he was just a kid in 1987 on the TV show Comic Strip. From there he has voiced iconic characters including Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jeff “Joker” Moreau in the video Game Mass Effect, and Chris Griffin on Family Guy.

As the creator, writer, and producer of Robot Chicken, Seth has not only lent his voice to dozens of characters, but he has also created work and opportunities for voice actors.

Seth will receive his award on stage at the NAVA Foundation Benefit Gala on December 6th.

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