2016 Academy Award Nominated Short Program, Carter Pilcher

2016 OSCAR SHORT POSTER 

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Since founding Shorts International in 2000, Carter Pilcher has worked to make his company the world’s leading short movie entertainment company. Shorts International has become the first choice distributor, broadcaster and producer for hundreds of films. Carter has extensive experience in short movie production and short movie entertainment. He is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a member of the Short Film and Feature Animation Branch of The US Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) – the guys who pick the Oscars. Carter talks to us about the fifteen wonderful films nominated for the Live Action, Documentary and Animated Short Film 2016 Academy Awards.

* ** Mustang, Director Deniz Gamez Ergüven

MUSTANG Film poster 

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Based on the personal life of the film’s director Deniz Gamze Ergüven personal life Mustang tells the story of five free-spirited teenage sisters living in a village in Northern Turkey. As the sisters splash about on the beach with their male classmate their innocent fun a neighbor reports what she considers to be illicit behavior to the girls’ family.  The family overreacts, removing all “instruments of corruption,” like cell phones and computers, and essentially imprisoning the girls, subjecting them to endless lessons in housework in preparation for them to become brides.  As the eldest sisters are married off, the younger ones bond together to avoid the same fate.  The fierce love between them empowers them to rebel and chase a future where they can determine their own lives in Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s debut, a powerful portrait of female empowerment. Mustang was selected as the French entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, making the December shortlist of nine films. The film was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Director Ergüven’s joins us for a conversation on her beautifully rendered story of five young women who refuse to be shackled by a repressive social system.

For news and updates go to: mustang

* Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film

** Spirit Award nomination for Best International Film

Official Selection – France – 2016 Academy Awards
Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival 2015 Directors’ Fortnight
Special Presentation – Toronto International Film Festival 2015
Winner – Heart of Sarajevo Award, Sarajevo Film Festival 2015
Winner – Europa Cinemas Prize, Cannes Film Festival 2015
Winner – Audience Award, Chicago International Film Festival 2015
Winner – Best First Film Award, Philadelphia Film Festival 2015

“Part of a welcome international wave of films made by women directors that focus on girls growing up in worlds of men – and on what they look like when no one’s looking.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe 

“It’s a moving portrait of sisterhood, a celebration of a fierce femininity and a damning indictment of patriarchal systems that seek to destroy and control this spirit.” – Katie Walsh, LA Times

“’Mustang’ is the début feature of Deniz Gamze Ergüven, and it’s quite something: a coming-of-age fable mapped onto a prison break, at once dream-hazed and sharp-edged with suspense. – Anthony Lane, New Yorker

Newport Beach Film Festival, CEO and co-founder Gregg Schwenk

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The Newport Beach Film Festival seeks to bring to Orange County the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. Committed to enlightening the public with a first-class international film program as well as providing a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the Festival focuses on showcasing a diverse collection of both studio and independent films. The Festival supports the creation and advancement of innovative and artistic cinematic works from both emerging and seasoned filmmakers and proudly embraces the passion, vision, and independent spirit of these talented artists. With the integration of the local community and educational institutions, the Festival stimulates an interest in the study and appreciation of film and encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to participate. Since its inception in 2000, the Festival has presented many acclaimed films such as the U.S. Premiere of  Gregg Schwenkn NBFFCrash and other notable films including (500) Days of Summer, The Cove, Waitress, Son of Rambow, Paprika, Broken English, American Teen, Fugitive Pieces, Death Note: The Last Name, The King of Kong, Layer Cake, The Illusionist, Art School Confidential, Emmanuel’s Gift, Mad Hot Ballroom, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Spellbound, Castle in the Sky, Born into Brothels, and Pieces of April. Through tributes, special screenings and seminars, the Festival has honored film industry notables, including Aaron Sorkin, Haskell Wexler, Robert Wise, Henry Bumstead, Elmer Bernstein, John Waters, Alan Arkin, Bruce Brown, Richard Sherman, Penelope Spheeris, and McG. Co-founder and CEO Gregg Schwenk stops by to talk about the 2015 edition of NBFF, the opening night film, The Water Diviner, directed by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe and many of this year’s special screenings and events.

Newport Beach Film Festival – Thursday, April 23rd – Sunday April 30th

For the latest news and updates go to: newportbeachfilmfest.com

Academy Award nominated Short Doc, Our Curse, Director Tomasz Śliwiński

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Our Curse is the very personal film of director, Tomasz Śliwiński and his wife, Magda Hueckel, dealing with a very rare and incurable disease afflicting their newborn child, Leo, – the Ondine’s Curse is also known as CCHS, congenital central hypoventilation syndrome. The very, very rare disease causes its victims to stop breathing during sleep and require lifetime mechanical ventilation on a ventilator. Tomasz’s first short movie The Curse was presented at many film festivals, such as Nowe Horyzonty in Wrocław and Etiuda & Anima in Kraków (where he received a distinction of FICC Jury). His next film Our Curse premiered at the 66th Locarno International Film Festival and was screened at over 45 international film events, winning 30 prizes including awards at International Festival of Short Films Aspen Shortfest, Raindance Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest and nominations for the Silver Eye Award at East Silver Market 2013 and Best of IDFA at IDFA – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Together with Magda Hueckel (as Muzungu-art group) he creates a subjective, personal photographic document from various travels all over the world. Tomasz joins us to talk about his very personal decision to film his family life and the intimate conversations between he and his wife, Magda, have as they come to terms with a challenging new chapter of their lives.

For news and updates on Our Curse go to: leoblog.pl/en/our-curse-the-movie/

Awards:

Oscar nominated, Short Film Program, Documentary

Official Selection – Festival Del Film Locarno

Nominated for IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary 2013

Audience Award for Best Short Film – Indie Lisboa

Winner – Sheffield Doc/Fest – Student Doc Award 2014

Winner – 2014 Heartland Film Festival

* Academy Award winner for Live Action Short Film – Phone Call, Director Mat Kirkby

Phone Call film poster 

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Heather works in a helpline call centre. When she receives a phone call from a mystery man, she has no idea that the encounter will change her life forever. ‘The Phone Call’ was shot on location in London in May 2013, with Sally Hawkins having just completed filming on Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine’. Despite the fact that Sally and Jim Broadbent have both starred in Mike Leigh films, this was the first time that they had actually worked together. Mat Kirkby is a commercials/music video director workinPhone Call poster IIg out of Ridley Scott Associates in London, although he spends much of his time writing Screenplays and eating cake. His work includes videos for Adele, Basement Jaxx and Muse and adverts for Nike and Playstation. Mat appeared on the cover of Screen International as a ‘UK Star of Tomorrow’, (although the other ‘stars’ such as Gemma Arterton, Andrew Garfield and Felicity Jones all actually became stars). He is currently developing 3 features, the psychological thriller ‘Call Girl’, biopic ‘Hair of the Dog’ and comedy ‘Wingman’. Mat’s greatest achievement still remains setting the Guinness World Record for ‘most consecutive bikini-waxes in a 24 hr period’ for the Fatboy Slim video ‘Bushes’. Director Kirkby joins us for a conversation on the making of his riveting and moving film.

For news and updates on Phone Call go to: thephonecallfilm.com

Academy Award nomination for Live Action Short Film program

Academy Award Nominee, The Bigger Picture – Director / Writer / Animator Daisy Jacobs

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You want to put her in a home; you tell her; tell her now!’ hisses one brother to the other. But Mother won’t go, and their own lives unravel as she clings on. Innovative life-size animated characters tell the stark and darkly humorous tale of caring for an elderly parent. Daisy Jacobs is a British animation director, based in London. She studied at the National Film and Television School and at Central St Martins School of Art. The Bigger Picture is her MA graduation film. Previous films include Don Justino de oscars-posters-300x213Nevem (2011) and Tosh (2012). In her films, Daisy has moved from 2D hand-drawn animation to a hybrid of stop- motion and life-size painted animation. In The Bigger Picture, two-metre tall 2D and 3D painted characters interact with real sets. Director / writer / animator Jacobs stops by to talk about her unique and compelling animated masterpiece.

Awards:

2014 – Edinburgh International Film Festival, Innovation Award

2014 – Festival de Cannes (Cinefondation), Troisieme Prix,

2014 – Manchester KinoFilm Festival, Best Short Animation

2014 – Annecy Animation Festival, Cristal for a Graduation Film

2014 – Edinburgh International Film Festival, Innovation Award

2014 – Hiroshima Film Festival, Grand Prize, Oscar Qualifying

* Academy Award Winner – Animated Short Film, FEAST, Director Patrick Osborne

Feast film poster 

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FEAST is a new short from first-time director Patrick Osborne (Head of Animation, PAPERMAN) and Walt Disney Animation Studios, is the story of one man’s love life as seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog, Winston, and revealed bite by bite through the meals they share. Osborne is behind Walt Disney Animation Studios’ new short FEAST, taking the film from conception to completion. Osborne joined Disney as an animator on the 2008 feature film BOLT and went on to work on the PREP & LANDING movies andDisney’s 2010 hit TANGLED. Osborne served as Head of Animation for Disney’s’ OSCAR®-winning short PAPERMAN, and acted as Co-Head of Animation for the upcoming feature BIG HERO 6 prior to assuming full-time directing duties for FEAST. Prior to joining Disney, the Cincinnati, Ohio, native was lead oscars-posters-300x213character animator on THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. He also worked as an animator on I AM LEGEND, SuRF’S uP and OPEN SEASON. Osborne, who earned a BFA with a focus in computer animation from Ringling College of Art and Design, got his start as a kid making movies with his brothers on their parents’ camcorder. His fascination with visual effects was elevated to a career goal when his dad gave him a book about the making of JURASSIC PARK. Director Osborne joins us to talk about Oscar nominated film and the challenges and rewards of having the final say on his own animated film.

Awards:

2015 Annie Awards Nomination

Audience Award Winner: 2014 Hamptons International Film Festival

Ernest and Celestine, Director Benjamin Renner

Ernest and Celestine film poster 

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Based on the classic Belgian book series by Gabrielle Vincent, Ernest & Celestine won France’s César Award for Best Animated Feature, and nominated for this year’s Oscar for Best Animated Feature, tells the story of a mouse named Celestine, an artist and a dreamer who forms an unlikely bond with a troubadour bear named Ernest. But it isn’t long before their friendship is put on trial by their respective bear-fearing and mice-eating communities. Like a gorgeous watercolor painting brought to life, a constantly shifting pastel color palette bursts and drips across the screen, while wonderful storytelling and brilliant comic timing draw up influences as varied as Buster Keaton, Bug Bunny and the outlaw romanticism of Bonnie and Clyde. Bringing it all together is the on-screen chemistry between the two lead characters – a flowing, tender and playful rapport that will put a smile on your face and make your heart grow. Co-director Benjamin Renner stops by Film School for a conversation on his beguiling collaboration with co-directors Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier.

For more on Ernest and Celestine: www.gkids.tv/ernest

“MAGICAL! ENCHANTING! AN ABSOULTE DELIGHT!”
“From its inventive visuals to its unruly heroes, Ernest & Celestine is an equal pleasure for children and adults. A modern-day period piece, a fabulous fable, a most fortunate use of animation artistry!” – Los Angeles Times

“EXTRAORDINARY!”
“To call it one of the most beautiful animated films in recent years is not enough. It is simply enchanting!” – Le Monde

“AN UTTER SUCCESS!”
“Sublimely elegant, endearing, gorgeous, delightful! This is an artful, handcrafted, and unforgettable piece of animation!” – IndieWire

100% FRESH – ROTTEN TOMATOES!

35th Anniversary of… The Stunt Man – Director / Writer Richard Rush

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In THE STUNT MAN, Vietnam veteran Cameron (Steve Railsback) is on the run from the police when he stumbles onto the set of a war movie directed by megalomaniac Eli Cross (Peter O’Toole). But when the young fugitive is forced to replace a dead stunt man, he falls in love with the movie’s leading lady (Barbara Hershey) while trying to avoid getting arrested or killed. Is Eli trying to capture Cameron’s death on film? And what happens to a paranoid stunt man when illusion and reality change places? Completed in 1979 but unreleased until 1980, this innovative dramatic comedy/action thriller has become one of the most acclaimed cult hits of our time. Director, writer and Oscar nominated filmmaker Richard Rush joins us for an engaging conversation the challenges of making a movie about making a movie and the rewards of working with one of cinemas all-time greats, Peter O’Toole.

** Landmark Theatres and Reel Talk with Stephen Farber present the Anniversary Classics Series, returning to The Landmark LA on Wednesday, February 19 at 7:00pm with THE STUNT MAN, celebrating the film’s 35th Anniversary, with in person guests director Richard Rush, lead actor Steve Railsback, and others to be announced.

“THE STUNT MAN is a virtuoso piece of kinetic moviemaking.” – Pauline Kael, New York Times

“Richard Rush’s inventive narrative about the blurred lines between movie reality and factual reality is vastly entertaining, boasting Peter O’Toole in a diabolical, delicious Oscar-nominated performance.” – Emanuel Levy

“At the 1980 San Francisco Film Festival, François Truffaut was asked to name his favorite director. He replied, ‘I don’t know his name, but I just saw his picture last night. It’s called The Stunt Man.’” – Mark Bourne, DVD Journal

Oscar Nominated, Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Jack Hall – Director Edgar Barens

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Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall is a moving cinema verité documentary that breaks through the walls of one of Americas oldest maximum security prisons to tell the story of the final months in the life of a terminally ill prisoner, Jack Hall and the hospice volunteers, they themselves prisoners, who care for him. The film draws from footage shot over a six-month period behind the walls of the Iowa State Penitentiary and provides a fascinating and often poignant account of how the hospice experience can profoundly touch even the forsaken lives of the incarcerated.  Director Edgar Barens stops to talk about his moving film and the tens of thousands of Jack Halls that are dying right now in prisons all over the United States.

“The only truly great film in this category… The 2013 Short Documentary you shouldn’t miss. – Salon.com film critic Andrew O’Hehir

“Terribly CAPTIVATING. GALVANIZING. GRIPPING.” “SHOULD WIN” the Academy Award for Best Doc Short Subject. – SLANT Magazine

“The film is most moving as a case study of one man, a decorated WWII vet and German POW who killed his late son’s drug dealer. Hall’s a tough bird and so are the volunteers, convicted murderers all, who care for him in his final illness, but “Prison Terminal” turns out to be a profoundly tender experience.” – Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

For More on Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Jack Hall go to: http://www.prisonterminal.com/

Oscar Nominated – The Lady in Number 6 – Director Malcom Clarke

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The Oscar nominated Short Live Action film The Lady in Number 6 is one of the most inspirational and uplifting stories of the year.  As the world’s oldest pianist and holocaust survivor, 109 year-old Alice Herz Sommer shares her views on how to live a long and happy life. She discusses music, laughter and how to remain optimistic come what may. The film features beautiful photographs and rare film footage that truly brings Alice’s extraordinary story to life. The director of The Lady in Number 6, Malcolm Clarke joins us to talk about the remarkable life an times of a gifted artist and resilient human being.

“Herz-Sommer’s story is remarkable. Born in Prague to a family focused on the arts, she recalls, as a child, going for fun walks with her mother’s great friend Franz Kafka — the brilliant existentialist author not necessarily known as being a fun guy — or sitting on the knee of Gustav Mahler, the world-renowned composer and a close acquaintance of her kin. But it was another luminary, classical pianist Artur Schnabel, who encouraged her to pursue a concert career.” –  Bill Brownstein, Montreal Gazette

Oscar Nominated Live Action Short – Cavedigger, Director Jeffrey Karoff

Cavedigger poster III 

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Ra Paulette has dug 14 caves in the sandstone cliffs of Northern New Mexico Paulette using only hand tools — a pickaxe and wheelbarrow strapped to his back, each project taking months, sometimes years to complete. Paulette digs cathedral-like, ‘eighth wonder of the world’ art. Each creation takes him years to complete, and each is a masterwork. Paulette’s process is wholly intuitive — he creates arches, pillars, rooms, doorways, steps, benches with carving as detailed as a cathedral. But patrons who have commissioned caves have cut off nearly all of his projects due to artistic differences. Paulette is the subject of filmmaker Jeffrey Karoff’s Academy Award nominated Live Action Short, CaveDigger. Director Karoff joins us to talk about the challenges of capturing the Paulette’s particular vision and spectacular works on film.

“Akin to Andy Goldsworthy—who also painstakingly creates fleeting beauty in the wilderness, but mainly reaches his audience through photographs of those creations—Paulette may benefit from being the subject of Jeffrey Karoff‘s intriguing doc portrait.”  – Aaron Hills, Village Voice

For more on Cavedigger news and screenings go to: cavediggerdocumentary.com/