F I L M F E S T I V A L S
Dawn Hudson was in a tough spot.
As executive director of Film Independent, she had spent eight years building the Los Angeles Film Festival into one of the organization's signature events, only to have it sullied by the controversy surrounding longtime fest director Richard Raddon's resignation. (Raddon resigned after it was revealed that he had donated $1,500 to support California's Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative.)
So now it was March, and a wide search through the festival and film communities had failed to turn up a viable candidate to succeed him. Then she realized the right person was sitting right across the conference table -- fellow board member Rebecca Yeldham.
The following year, I discussed plans for the 2010 edition of the fest with Yeldham and Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) in this article from The Hollywood Reporter.
Also check out my sidebar on the Argentine director Leopoldo Torre Nilsson (1924-78), a cinematic giant who is a veritable unknown -- even to hardcore cineastes.
Asif Kapadia, director of "Senna."
Read my profiles (the other credited author merely supplied the photos) of ten of the hottest directors at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival -- Paddy Considine ("Tyrannosaur"), Philip Cox ("The Bengali Detective"), Zack Godshall ("Lord Byron"), Asif Kapadia("Senna"), Andre Ovredal ("Troll Hunter"), Jesse Peretz ("My Idiot Brother"), Andrew Rossi ("Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times"), Athina Rachel Tsangari ("Attenberg"), Amy Wendel ("Benavides Born") and Jim Whitaker ("Project Rebirth").
When fledgling director Philip G. Flores heard about the Netflix Find Your Voice Film Competition in January 2009, he was skeptical. It was a new contest, with no track record, but it did promise funding and equipment for the winner's feature film project.
"We just applied on a lark, not thinking we'd win," says Flores,
who collaborated on the project with producer Chase Kenney, a
fellow MFA graduate from USC's film and television production
program in 2008.
Win they did, and now the coming-of-age script they submitted (co-written by Flores and Max Doty) has been transformed into a full-length feature titled "The Wheeler Boys." It will have its world premiere June 25 at the Los Angeles Film Festival, which is produced by the contest's co-sponsor Film Independent.
Click here to read the entire article from The Hollywood Reporter.
Click here to read my 2010 Summer Film Festival Planner for The Hollywood Reporter, giving a rundown of the cinematic happenings at the Aruba, Edinburgh, Karlovy Vary, Galway Film Fleadh, Locarno and Venice fests.
Whether they're racing to do business in China or to find a hot new director from Thailand, Japan or South Korea, it seems everyone in the entertainment industry has their sights set on Asia. But the Far East's cinematic riches are nothing new to the Louis Vuitton International Film Festival...
Click here to read my article about the 25th anniversary of the fest featuring observations from longtime participant Roger Ebert.
I explore the creative process with Hollywood Film Festival honorees, including actress/director Jodie Foster and screenwriter Robert Towne ("Chinatown," "Shampoo," "The Last Detail") in this article from The Hollywood Reporter.
The decision to dub this year's CineVegas Film Festival "The World's Most Dangerous Film Festival" isn't that outrageous, given its nonstop 24-hour-party setting and edgy lineup of films. But as intimidating as the fest might be for mainstream multiplex patrons, it isn't threatening to displace the Sundance Film Festival, the Festival de Cannes or the Toronto International Film Festival as one of the world's top marketplaces for film acquisitions. Sure, attendees might lose their shirts at the blackjack table or their lunch at a screening of Czech director Jan Svankmajer's Sileni (Lunacy) -- which features a long list of depravities including an orgy in a church and stop-motion-animated raw meat -- but if they've come to hawk a movie they've made, they're not in much danger of scoring a distribution deal.
Click here to read my full article on the 2006 CineVegas Film Festival from The Hollywood Reporter, featuring Dennis Hopper, Teller (of Penn & Teller), Christina Ricci and director Taylor Hackford.
Also check out my previews of the 2007 (and its Cinema Caliente sidebar) and 2008 editions of the fest.
Read my interviews with four Oscar-nominated actors -- John Hawkes ("Winter's Bone"), Lesley Manville ("Another Year"), Hailee Steinfeld ("True Grit") and Jacki Weaver ("Animal Kingdom") -- and one that should've been, Andrew Garfield ("The Social Network"), here in The Hollywood Reporter's special report on the 2011 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.