Festival Exclusive – Sundance 2014 Dramatic Film Selections Announced

The Sundance 2014 selections for the U.S. Dramatic Competition have officially been announced. These films all have various unique storylines and focus on different aspects of the genre. From this list of selected films, there are six that are already generating a lot of buzz.

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Kristen Stewart in “Camp X-Ray”

The first film that is gaining attention stars Kristen Stewart and is currently titled Camp X-Ray. Stewart plays a soldier who has been stationed to work at Guantanamo Bay. However, while working there she befriends an Muslim inmate. This could be a breakthrough role for Stewart’s transition back into dramatic films and definitely one to watch for.

Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader in "The Skeleton Twins"
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader in “The Skeleton Twins”

The other films that are generating early buzz include Life After Beth starring Aubrey Plaza and Dan DeHaan, The Skeleton Twins starring Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, and Low Down starring John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Lena Headey, and Peter Dinklage.

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Elle Fanning in “Low Down”

Plus, Cold in July starring Michael C. Hall and Sam Shepard, and God’s Pocket starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, John Turturro, and Christina Hendricks are also generating early buzz. Read more details about these films on Yahoo! Movies and The Wrap.

Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro in "God's Pocket"
Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro in “God’s Pocket”

Here is the full list of films selected for the 2014 Sundance U.S. Dramatic Competition:

Camp X-Ray
Cold in July 
Dear White People Fishing Without Nets
God’s Pocket
Happy Christmas
Hellion
Infinitely Polar Bear
Jamie Marks Is Dead 
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
Life After Beth
Low Down
The Skeleton Twins
The Sleepwalker
Song One
Whiplash

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival will be held in Park City, Utah, from January 16 to 26. What do you think of these films that have been selected for this portion of the festival? What do you think of the casts involved in these projects?

Sources: Yahoo! Movies and The Wrap

TIFF 2013 – Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” Wins Toronto Audience Award

The Steve McQueen-directed historical drama 12 Years a Slave was awarded top honours today at the  2013 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The highly awaited film was awarded the Toronto Audience Award today during the awards luncheon.

Other films that have won this award include Oscar-winning films American Beauty, Silver Linings Playbook, and Slumdog Millionaire. This is a very prestigious award and often winning this award leads to other nominations and to potential Oscar wins .

Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, and Chiwetel Ejiofor

12 Years a Slave is base off of the true story of Solomon Northup’s life as a slave. Northup was a free man living in upstate New York, until he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 and eventually freed in 1853.

This film has an absolutely stellar cast that includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Quvenzhané Wallis, and Alfre Woodard. If you have not seen the trailer, be sure to watch it here.

12 Years a Slave - poster

Do you think 12 Years a Slave will win any Oscars this year? Are you interested in seeing this film when it is theatrically released on October 18, 2013?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Film Festival Coverage – Official Schedule and Guest List Released for TIFF

One of the biggest film events of the year, and the biggest film event in Canada, is the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)! So far it looks like it is going to be an amazing festival and a recently announced lineup revealed there are some highly anticipated films set to premiere.

Today there were some exciting new announcements made regarding the official schedule and the stars that will be attending the festival. The Toronto International Film Festival website has the official schedule available for you to download and read through here. On the first day of the festival, films such as Blue is The Warmest Colour, The Big Chill, Unbeatable, The Fifth Estate are premiering.

Entertainment Tonight Canada shared the exclusive guest list and announced who would be attending the prestigious  festival.  As it is every year, the TIFF Red Carpet is going to be absolutely star-studded. The guest list includes, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close, Marion Cotillard, Alice Cooper, Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zac Efron, Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, James Franco, Chris Hemsworth, Matthew McConaughey, Colin Firth, Jennifer Garner, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Keira Knightley, Mila Kunis, Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon, Emma Thompson, Mia Wasikowska, Daniel Radcliffe, and Owen Wilson.

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There will also be many directors, producers, and other production team members present at the festival to support their work. Some of the directors that are on the guest list include Atom Egoyan who directed Devil’s Knot and Jason Reitman who directed Labor Day. Paul Haggis will be attending to premiere his film Third Person and Oscar-winning director Ron Howard will be there to premiere his documentary Made in America. In addition to these talented directors, Jason Bateman will be debuting Bad Words and Ralph Finnes will be unveiling The Invisible Woman. Denis Villeneuve will show his film Enemy, Steve McQueen has 12 Years A Slave already generating buzz, and Eli Roth will bring The Green Inferno. Finally, Bill Condon has claim to the opening spot of the festival for his highly awaited and controversial film, The Fifth Estate.

Toronto Film Festival - logo

Be sure to tune in for more exclusive coverage of TIFF! Are you looking forward to the festival? Are you surprised by this year’s guest list? Are you interested in seeing any of the films that will be premiering at the festival? 

Source: Entertainment Tonight Canada and TIFF.net

Film Festival Coverage – Toronto International Film Festival Lineup Announced

The film lineup for the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was officially announced today and there are some amazing films included in this list. Some of these films also premiered at Cannes earlier this year and are generating some award season buzz already.

According to Entertainment Weekly, there are several films that are generating buzz, including the John Krokidas-directed biography Kill Your Darlings, which also premiered at Sundance. The John Wells-directed adaptation, August: Osage County, which stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, is also generating a lot of buzz. Plus, 12 Years a Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejofor, Michael Fassbender, and Benedict Cumberbatch and The Fifth Estate are also going to be premiering at TIFF and are gaining some attention.

Alfonso Cuaron’s awaited space thriller Gravity and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon will also be premiering at the festival. The  the Palme d’Or-winning film, Blue Is the Warmest Color is going to be shown in a Special Presentations category.

Toronto Film Festival - logo

Here is a list of the other films premiering in the first round of the festival:

All Is By My SideAmerican Dreams in ChinaThe Art of the StealAttila MarcelBad WordsBelleBurning Bush,Cannibal (Canibal)Cold EyesDallas Buyers ClubDevil‘s KnotDom HemingwayThe DoubleFelonyThe Fifth EstateFor Those Who Can TellGloriaGoing Away (Il est parti dimanche)The Grand SeductionThe Great Beauty (La Grande Belezza)Half of a Yellow SunHateship LoveshipIdaL’IntrepidoThe Invisible Woman,JoeLabor DayLife of a CrimeLike Father Like SonThe Love Punch, The LunchboxMan of Tai Chi, Mandela: Long Walk to FreedomMARY Queen of ScotsMystery RoadNight MovesOmarOne ChanceOnly Lovers Left AliveParklandThe Past (Le Passe)PhilomenaPioneer (Pioner)PrisonersQuai d’OrsayThe Railway Man,The RealThe Right Kind of Wrong, RushShuddh Desi RomanceStarred UpSupermensch The Legend of Shep GordonThird Person, Those Happy Years (Anni Felici)TracksUnder the SkinVioletteVisitorsWalesa. Man of Hope. (Walesa. Czlowiek z nadziei.), We are the Best! (Vi ar bast!), Le Week-End, You Are Here, Young and Beautiful (Jeune & jolie).

What do you think of the film lineup for the festival this year? Are you interested in seeing any of these films?

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Cannes 2013 – “Blue Is the Warmest Color” Earns Prestigious Palme d’Or Award

French director Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is The Warmest Color (or La vie d’Adèle) received top honors during the closing ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival and won the Palme d’Or Award.

This year, the jury included Oscar winners Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee, Christoph Waltz, and Steven Spielberg; who was also jury President. Plus, Daniel Auteuil, Cristian Mungiu, Lynne Ramsay, Vidya Balan, and Naomi Kawase were also members of this year’s festival jury. All nine members were responsible for choosing the award winners among 20 different films that premiered at the festival.

Spielberg presented the Palme d’Or award and stated that he felt the jury took an  “exceptional step” of awarding it to not only the director, Kechiche, but also to the lead actresses Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux. This is quite unusual to also acknowledge the actresses’ work with the Palme d’Or. However, those present at the ceremony cheered and supported this decision and agreed that the actresses also deserved the award.

Here is a complete list of the award-winners for the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival:

Palme d’Or: Abdellatif Kechiche, Blue Is The Warmest Color

Grand Prix: Coen Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis

Best Director: Amat Escalante, Heli 

Best Screenplay: Jia Zhangke, A Touch of Sin

Best Actress: Berenice Bejo, The Past

Best Actor: Bruce Dern, Nebraska 

Jury Prize: Hirokazu Kore-eda, Like Father, Like Son 

Camera d’Or: Anthony Chen, Ilo Ilo

What do you think of the award results? Do you think these films will generate more buzz during the 2014 award season? Do you think the jury members made the right decisions? Are you interested in seeing any of these films?

Abdellatif Kechiche, Léa Seydoux, and Adèle Exarchopoulos with their Palme d'Or Award.
Abdellatif Kechiche, Léa Seydoux, and Adèle Exarchopoulos with their Palme d’Or Award.

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter and IMDbPro

Cannes 2013 – Red Carpet Photos from amfAR’s Annual Cinema Against AIDS Gala

The 20th Annual amfAR Cinema Against AIDS Gala was held last night at the Cannes Film Festival. The amfAR foundation is non-profit organization dedicated to supporting AIDS research and raising AIDS awareness.

Many Hollywood names attended this event last night in support of the organization. Some Hollywood names that attended include Jessica Chastain, Chris Tucker, Milla Jovovich, Sharon Stone, Kristin Scott Thomas, Harvey Winstein, Christoph Waltz, Adrien Brody, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Plus, there were also some musicians that attended such as, Janet Jackson, Kylie Minogue, and Duran Duran. Certain Regard jury member Ziyi Zhang was also present for the gala.

Have you been following the events of the 66th Cannes Film Festival? Are you looking forward to seeing any of the films that are premiering at Cannes this year? What do you think of the red carpet fashion this year?

Cannes - amfAR Against Aids Gala - #9
Jessica Chastain

Source: IMDbPro

Cannes 2013 – Red Carpet Photos from “Blood Ties” Premiere and Photocall Events

The Guillaume Canet-directed film Blood Ties premiered at the 66th Annual Cannes film festival yesterday along with James Franco’s As I Lay DyingCanet also wrote the screenplay for this film and adapted it from the novel by Bruno and Michel Papet. Set in the 1970s, this film follows two brothers who face off over organized crime in Brooklyn. 

Blood Ties stars actors Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, Marion Cotillard, Lili Taylor, and James Caan. Most of these cast members were present for a photocall and big premiere event at Cannes. If you have not seen it yet, watch an exclusive trailer for Blood Ties here.

Do you think Blood Ties sounds like an interesting film? What do you think of the casting choices made by the production? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Clive Owen, James Caan, Guillaume Canet, Billy Crudup, and Alain Attal
Clive Owen, James Caan, Guillaume Canet, Billy Crudup, and Alain Attal

Sources: IMDbPro and YouTube