Suntan @calgaryfilm #CIFF2016

Saturday, 24 September, 2016

Suntan trailer

Suntan info via CIFF: //On the small Greek island of Antiparos, new town doctor Kostis (Makis Papadimitriou, CHEVALIER) leads a solitary life – until he treats an injured tourist named Anna (Elli Tringou). Middle-aged and awkward, Kostis becomes immediately enamoured by the much younger woman and her easy charm. But when he tries to tag along with Anna and her partying friends, Kostis’ attempts to woo her become increasingly uncomfortable. As Anna’s friends grow tired of Kostis and the summer vacation draws to an end, the doctor’s efforts to relive his youth and win Anna’s love threaten his entire career.

The latest in Greek New Wave, SUNTAN is a deadpan comedy/thriller that offers uncomfortable truths about how we see each other.//

‘Suntan’: Rotterdam Review | Hollywood Reporter

‘Suntan’ Review: Searing Drama Puts Flesh on Display | Variety


How To Prepare For Prison @calgaryfilm #CIFF2016

Friday, 23 September, 2016

How To Prepare For Prison trailer

How To Prepare For Prison info from CIFF: //Director Matt Gallagher and producer Cornelia Principe in attendance at both screenings! (K Note: Will be very cool to meet the director and producer.)

HOW TO PREPARE FOR PRISON examines the lives of three very different convicts as they navigate the legal system from conviction through sentencing. The cases aren’t considered in terms of guilt or innocence, but rather pragmatically in terms of each convict’s unique life and emotional landscape.

Director Matt Gallagher (IN HER FOOTSTEPS, GRINDERS) follows Joe, Courtney and Demario (respectively charged with marijuana trafficking, fraud and felony assault) over a period of three years as they work with lawyers and prison consultants to anticipate the needs of their families and emotionally prepare for the physical rigours and threats of incarceration. Gallagher also interviews Lee (sentenced to 40 years for armed robbery) whose open and frank discussion of his experience begs the viewer to consider the difference between the humiliation of punishment and constructive rehabilitation.//

Digital Journal: “Review: ‘How to Prepare For Prison’ is an intense tearjerker


Hooligan Sparrow (with extra) @calgaryfilm #CIFF2016

Friday, 23 September, 2016

Hooligan Sparrow (流氓燕) Trailer

Hooligan Sparrow (流氓燕) info from CIFF: //Chinese activist Ye Haiyan already had a reputation as an agitator when six schoolgirls went missing in her province in 2013. A prominent women’s rights activist, she had made a name for herself protesting for the rights of sex workers while blogging under the name of “Hooligan Sparrow.” So when two school officials are investigated for kidnapping and sexually abusing six schoolchildren, Ye’s fierce protests quickly go viral.

Documentarian Nanfu Wang chronicles the resulting harassment, eviction and violence that Ye endures while also investigating corrupt public servants, plain-clothed policemen that suddenly turn their intimidation efforts towards her. A harrowing whistleblower story shot mostly on a hidden camera and smuggled out of the country, HOOLIGAN SPARROW is a testament to the bravery of both the subject and the filmmaker.//

HOOLIGAN SPARROW – Uncovering China’s Child Sex Abuse Scandal with Director Nanfu Wang (excellent and in depth interview at Sundance)

Hooligan Sparrow Gets Enthusiastic Response at Sundance Premiere

Hooligan Sparrow Movie Review (2016) | Roger Ebert site review

Nanfu Wang’s Remarkable Documentary Debut Hooligan Sparrow – IndieWire Sundance Review

From Ai Weiwei 2010年08月26日对叶海燕(流氓燕 Hooligan Sparrow)的采访 – August 26, 2010, Interview with Ye Hai Yan – 草场地 (35 minutes, Mandarin only, no English subtitles)

蘋果日報 – 2011-04-21 – 「我和艾未未的故事」《一虎八奶圖》女角:願以命撐 (Cantonese news of Hooligan Sparrow with Ai Weiwei with Chinese subtitles, no English)

P.S. 7 minutes video from Guardian.Wang Yu was the most high profile of the lawyers arrested in July 2015 in a crackdown on rights campaigners in China. She was held on suspicion of inciting subversion after one of her last cases, a sexual assault involving six underage girls and their school headteacher in Wanning City. Despite pressure on the girls’ parents to stay quiet, Wang Yu took up their case, risking her safety to inform the public about their rights, and fighting for the incident to be classified as rape.


It’s Only The End of The World (with extra) @calgaryfilm #CIFF2016

Friday, 23 September, 2016

It’s Only the End of the World Trailer | Festival 2016


It’s Only The End of The World CIFF2016 info: //IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD tells the heartbreaking story of Louis, a writer who must confront his past near the end of his life. Twelve years after leaving his hometown, Louis receives an invitation from his family to return home for a meal – but he brings with him news of his terminal diagnosis and impending death.

Directed by Canadian festival darling Xavier Dolan, IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD features a star-studded cast of French acting talent like Marion Cottiard (LA VIE EN ROSE), Vincent Cassel (LE HAINE), Léa Seydoux (SPECTRE), Nathalie Baye, and Gaspard Ulliel. The film was named the Grand Prize of the Jury winner at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival while Dolan received a Palme d’Or nomination.//

JUSTE LA FIN DU MONDE – Press Conference – EV – Cannes 2016 (51:35 with English translation)

Reuters report: //27-year-old Canadian director Xavier Dolan returns to Cannes with family drama ‘Juste la fin du monde’ (It’s Only the End of the World). Rough cut (no reporter narration).//

Guardian review: “It’s Only the End of the World review: Xavier Dolan’s nightmarish homecoming is a dream


Burn Your Maps (with extra) @calgaryfilm #CIFF2016

Friday, 23 September, 2016

Burn Your Maps info from CIFF 2016: //Director Jordan Roberts in attendance at the screening on September 23! (K Note: I very much looking forward to watch the film and the CIFF2016 Q&A.)

Eight-year-old Wes (Jacob Tremblay, ROOM) has always felt a little bit out of place. After a family tragedy, Wes comes to realize that he’s not truly a young American boy – he’s supposed to be a Mongolian goat herder, and was born in the wrong place. Enlisting the help of an Indian filmmaker and a crowdfunding campaign, they set off to the steppes of Asia with Wes’ family in tow. Against all odds, trekking across the other side of the world might be just what they need in order to be close together again.

Co-written and directed by Jordan Roberts (BIG HERO 6) and starring Vera Farmiga (BATES MOTEL, SOURCE CODE) and Martin Csokas (NOAH), BURN YOUR MAPS is an comedy-drama filmed in Alberta that highlights the indomitable spirit of humanity, hope and finding your place in a big, crazy world.//

TIFF 2016 Burn Your Maps Intro and Q&A

BURN YOUR MAPS Press Conference | TIFF 2016

(warning: very funny!) VERA FARMIGA & JACOB TREMBLAY Casting for Star Wars | TIFF 2016


2013 CIFF interviews short film directors of “Computer Potato” and “The Hunt”

Wednesday, 18 September, 2013

Here are two of my 2013 CIFF interviews with Alberta Spirit award nominated short film directors of “Computer Potato” and “The Hunt”.

“Computer Potato” director Todd Kipp interview

“The Hunt” director Spencer Estabrooks interview


Interview with CIFF documentary Bending Steel director Dave Carroll

Saturday, 7 September, 2013

The 2013 Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF), running September 19-29, just announced the moving documentary Bending Steel is having its Alberta premiere on Sept 20th & 21st (CIFF info & tickets purchase), a film that world-premiered at Tribeca, selected by Hotdocs and has received praises from The Hollywood Reporter, Indiewire, and Toronto Standard. Bending Steel‘s trailer is quite moving . It is a documentary “about an introverted man who decides he wants to become an old-time strongman.” Director Dave Carroll said, “The conflict in the film is when he tries to get out and perform in front of people, he is really up against some of his greatest fears, interactions with people and judgement, and it becomes quite a problem, something he has to overcome.

Bending Steel is Carroll’s documentary directorial debut funded out of his and award-winning producing partner Ryan Scafuro‘s own pockets with friends’ help and money from a $25,000 Kickstarter project. Carroll first met the documentary introverted subject Chris “Wonder” Schoeck when he and his dog heard a noise while doing laundry in the basement of the building he and Schoeck lived in and  that “startling” chance encounter lead to an idea for a short documentary which turned into a feature-length documentary project that spanned 2.5 years and generated 200+ hours of footage.

Have a watch of my interview with Bending Steel director Dave Carroll, which has made me want to watch Bending Steel even more. Carroll told me that Schoeck and producer Scafuro plan to attend CIFF so you may get to meet them.

I love the spirit contains this excerpt from Schoeck‘s “Why Bend?” blog entry (with emphasis added), “Always remember constant progress. Grab a tougher bar and push with everything you got. The bar may not go at first, but remember if it flexes it can be bent. Through time you will bend it. The struggle forces you to reach deep into your mind. Remember its all about the journey. Soon you pity those that have early success. They miss out on that journey.” Have a watch of Schoeck doing some cool steel scrolling! Love it!

Here is Bending Steel‘s short synopsis via CIFF,

“Introverted, middle-aged Chris Schoeck has lived in the New York City borough of Queens his entire life. He feels no sense of home or belonging—until he starts bending steel, transforming himself into an old-time strongman. Suddenly, his life changes.

Bending Steel follows Chris as he prepares for a major performance at Coney Island. As he trains Read the rest of this entry »


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