Ally Derks Talks About IDFA and Documentary Film Trends

allyderksAlly Derks has been the director of IDFA, aka the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, for a quarter of a century, and has grown the annual event into the documentary film industry’s preeminent showcase, not only offering filmmakers opportunity to pitch projects and make distribution deals for their finished films, but providing an extraordinary program of socially relevant films for documentary watchers from around the globe. In the documentaries realm, what Derks thinks matters. Read on…

read more

GONE GIRL – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

gonegirlposter

Ruins itself as even high-toned cinematic junk food when its justifiable cynicism morphs into something manipulative and dangerously disingenuous. Read more>>

read more

Jerusalem Film Festival 2014: Top Awards to Female Filmmakers – Jennifer Merin reports

jerusalemfilmfestlogo60,000 viewers who attended the 2014 Jerusalem Film Festival (July 10-20, 2014) enjoyed an outstanding program of local and international cinema.despite heighten concerns for security in Israel. Many of the programmed films use character-driven narratives to explore current social and political trends in Israel. A wide range of 24 awards with a cash value of some $80,000 indicate festival highlights. And, most unusual, a majority of the awards went to female filmmakers. Read more>>

read more

Kathryn Bigelow’s PSA Targets Elephant Poachers – Jennifer Merin reports

kathrynbigelowcinemacitcroppedFilmmaker Kathryn Bigelow has directed her enormous talents to address a huge issue. Bigelow has made an effective and affecting three-minute PSA to support the cause of saving elephants in Sub-Sahan Africa, where poachers are slaughtering entire herds of the wonderful creatures for their ivory tusks — although international trade in ivory is universally illegal. Entitled Last Days, the PSA premieres at New York Film Festival on September 27 at Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at NYC’s Lincoln Center. Read more>>

read more

The Jennifer/Penny Chronicles: Making HISSS – Part One – Martha P. Nochimson comments

Jennifer Lynch and Penny Vozniak

Jennifer Lynch and Penny Vozniak

This is the first installment of an eight part exploration of the failure of the American-East Indian co-production of Hisss (2010), filmmaker Jennifer Lynch’s greatly anticipated third feature film. Despite Lynch’s previous cinematic successes, Hisss, a tale about the Indian snake goddess Nagin, turned into an artistic and box office disaster that derailed its talented director. The making of Hiss and the aftermath for Lynch are the subject of Despite the Gods, an intimate documentary by Penny Vozniak, whose feminist perspective offers rare insight about the troubled production and its outcome. Read more>>

read more

THE EQUALIZER – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

equalizerposter

Yet another artifact of the long stagnation of Hollywood, which has been remaking the same movies over and over and over again for the past 30 years. Read more>>

read more

AWFJ Movie of the Week, Sept. 22-28: PRIDE

hr_Pride_1 copyOpening Sept. 26, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Pride, directed by Matthew Warchus and written by Stephen Beresford. Inspired by the true story of what happened when a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists decide to raise money for mineworkers’ families during the union strike in the summer of 1984. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all. The movie features Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and Paddy Considine in an uplifting, crowd-pleasing story in the vein of The Full Monty and Billy Elliot. Read on…

read more

THE MAZE RUNNER – Review by Susan Granger

How many dystopian, young adult survival thrillers will movie-goers support? After “The Hunger Games” and “The Giver,” among others, that’s the question facing this screen adaptation of James Dashner’s post-apocalyptic adventure. Read on…

read more

September Opening Movies, Part Two – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

fortbliss1Fort Bliss stars Michelle Monaghan as a U.S. Army medic who returns home from deployment in Afghanistan and find it difficult to resume her life as the single mom of a 5-year-old son who’s all but forgotten her while she was away. Just as she succeeds in reestablishing their bond, she’s called to another tour of duty in Afghanistan. , a compelling war drama from writer/director Claudia Myers’s compelling war drama is a heartbreaking look at soldiering from a woman’s perspective. Read more>>

read more

TIFF 2014 Top Picks – Reviews by Julide Tanriverdi

My personal viewing program at TIFF 2014 included 32 films, and of those, I’ve picked five as my top favorites. Add them to your viewing list as they open in time for the upcoming awqrds season.
Read on…

read more