AFI Film Festival Highlight: “La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet”

LadanseFamed documentarian, Fredrick Weisman returned to Paris to shoot the documentary feature, “La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet”. “La Danse” is one of the documentaries highlighting the 2009 AFI Film Festival.

In the film, Weisman allows us to voyeur into the world of the ballet behind the scenes. We see rehearsals in the studios and on stage, the costume making department, and the administrative offices of the artistic director. He allows the audience us to sit in on meetings with the artistic director as she meets with budgeting committee, her choreographers and her teachers. We get an even more personal view as the artistic director has a heart-to-heart or one-on-one with one of her dancers, who at over 25,  is fearful of not being able to perform the demanded jumps and plies that a performance often requires. The director assures the dancer that she would not have to participate in every dance and that reassurance seems to be just what is needed.  The realities of putting on a costly production are looked at as well, as life as a dancer is shown as well. There is a company meeting where retirement packages for a dancer in the Paris Opera Ballet is discussed and reminded that a dancer’s life ends at 40.

Lovers of all dance genres will love this look at dancing. Shot in France with English subtitles, there are beautiful aerial looks at Paris. Final performances at the end, bring the film full circle.

Running Time: 2hr 38 min Production Company: Zipporah Films, Inc./Ideale Audience
Producer: Frederick Wiseman, Pierre-Olivier Bardet
Cinematographer: John Davey
Editor: Frederick Wiseman
Sound: Frederick Wiseman

In theaters, Wednesday, November 4th

Check out the trailer for the film below:

Hollywood Fest Honors Julianne Moore, Zachary Quinto, and Bradley Cooper

hollywood_film_festivalThe 13th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards, presented by Starz, are pleased to announce honorees who will be recognized for their outstanding achievements at the festival’s Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony.

Academy Award winners Robert Deniro and Hilary Swank will be honored with the “Hollywood Actor Award” and “Hollywood Actress Award” respectivealy. Academy Award-nominated actress Julianne Moore will be honored with the “Hollywood Supporting Actress Award,”  and Christopher Waltz will receive the “Hollywood Supporting Actor Award”. Actor Bradley Cooper will receive the “Hollywood Comedy Award,” producer Ryan Kavanaugh will get the “Hollywood Producer Award,” and actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, actress Melanie Lynskey, actor Paul Schneider, and actor Zachary Quinto will be honored with the Hollywood Spotlight Awards.

The gala ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on October 26, 2009.

DeNiro has won two Academy Awards for “The Godfather:Part II” and “Raging Bull”. He has appeared in numerous films, including “Cape Fear”, “Taxi Driver”, “Meet The Parents”, and “Goodfellas.”

Swank has won two Academy Awards for “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Million Dollar Baby.” She can currently be seen in “Amelia.”

Moore is the ninth person in Academy history to receive two acting Oscar(r) nominations in the same year — for her performances in “Far From Heaven” and “The Hours”. She has also appeared in “The End of the Affair” and “Boogie Nights.”

Waltz starred in “Inglourious Basterds” and will be seen in the upcoming “Green Hornet.”

Cooper was recently seen in the summer blockbuster comedy “The Hangover.” He will star in the upcoming “New York, I Love You” and “Valentine’s Day” in 2010.

Kavanaugh heads Relativity. Relativity is a media and entertainment company engaged in creating, financing and distributing first class, studio quality entertainment content and intellectual property across multiple platforms, as well as making strategic partnerships with, and opportunistic investments in, entertainment-related companies and assets. As a producer, Kavanaugh’s films include: “Brothers,” “Dear John,” “The Spy Next Door,” and “Nine.”

Aghdashloo earned an Academy Award nomination for “House of Sand and Fog.” She will be seen in the upcoming “In Northwood.”

Lynskey appeared in “Heavenly Creatures” and can be seen in “The Informant,” and in the upcoming “Up in the Air.”

Quinto appeared in “Star Trek,” and television’s Heroes on NBC.

For more information please go to

AFI Film Festival Hits Los Angeles October 30-November 7

"Fantastic Mr. Fox" directed Wes Anderson 20th Century Fox

"Fantastic Mr. Fox" directed Wes Anderson 20th Century Fox

“THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX”, directed by Wes Anderson and starring Jason Schwartzman is scheduled to open the AFI FEST 2009. The film is a stop-motion animated feature which will be screened at the festival’s opening night at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The film also stars the voices of  George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Wally Wolodarsky, Eric Anderson, Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Owen Wilson and Jarvis Cocker.

The Weinstein Company’s “A SINGLE MAN” has been selected as the closing night gala presentation.  Sony Pictures Classics’ “THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS” has been selected as AFI FEST’s Centerpiece Screening Gala presentation. The film will make its US Premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Monday, November 2, 2009.

“A SINGLE MAN” features the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford from his script adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s acclaimed novel. The film follows a day in the life of a gay British college professor in Los Angeles as he attempts to cope with the death of his partner. Ford’s work helming the project and Colin Firth’s lead performance in the film have received critical acclaim following screenings at the Venice and Toronto film festivals. Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode and Ginnifer Goodwin also star in the film. The Weinstein Company release is due in theaters on December 11. Ford, Firth and Moore are scheduled to attend.

“It is exciting to champion a talented artist like Tom Ford as he moves beyond the boundaries of one medium into another. In “A SINGLE MAN”, he delivers an elegant and beautiful personal story that will resonate with all audience members“ said AFI FEST Artistic Director Rose Kuo.

The Centerpiece Screening Gala presentation features the latest work by director Terry Gilliam. “THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS” follows the leader of a traveling theater troupe who, having made a deal with the devil, takes audience members through a magical mirror to explore their imaginations. The film stars Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Heath Ledger in his final role. The Sony Pictures Classics release is due in theaters stateside on December 25. Gilliam and Plummer are scheduled to attend.
“The mind-altering, looking-glass world that Terry Gilliam creates in “IMAGINARIUM” notes Director of Programming Robert Koehler, “is like a model for his ideal cinema, in which anything can happen and all rules are broken. If audiences thought that “THE DARK KNIGHT” was their last glimpse of Heath Ledger, then what Ledger brings to Gilliam’s fantasy-adventure will surprise them.”

AFI FEST has selected actors Christopher Plummer and Viggo Mortensen to receive tributes at this year’s Festival. Sponsored by the Skirball Cultural Center, Plummer’s tribute event will precede the screening of his film THE LAST STATION on Tuesday, November 3. Mortensen’s tribute will precede the US Premiere of the film THE ROAD on Wednesday, November 4. Both Tributes will take place at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

One of the world’s most respected actors, Plummer has won two Tony Awards (for CYRANO and BARRYMORE), three Drama Desk Awards, the National Arts Club Medal and two Emmys.

“THE ROAD” is adapted from the acclaimed novel by Cormac McCarthy.  The film stars Mortensen as a father making his way with his young son across the scorched landscape of a post-apocalyptic world. Directed by John Hillcoat from a script by Joe Penhall, the film also stars Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce and Molly Parker. The Weinstein Company release is due in theaters November 25.  Mortensen, Hillcoat and Theron are scheduled to attend.

Mortensen’s career highlights include notable films roles in “THE LORD OF THE RINGS” TRILOGIES and, “EASTERN PROMISES” for which he received Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.

“Viggo Mortensen and Christopher Plummer are two actors and film artists of the highest order,” said Kuo. “They share that rare trait of being looked up to by audiences and film fans around the world as well as being greatly respected by their peers.”

Other highlights among the complete film schedule announced today include Jonathan Demme’s music documentary “NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW” (with Demme and Young confirmed to attend) and the screening of two films connected by legendary art director and longtime AFI Conservatory Distinguished Lecturer Robert Boyle, who turned 100 on October 10. Those films are AFI Conservatory Alumnus Daniel Raim’s (Production Design ’99) documentary SOMETHING’S GONNA LIVE and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic NORTH BY NORTHWEST, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

On Monday, November 2, AFI FEST, in conjunction with Warner Home Video will present a special screening of Hitchcock’s NORTH BY NORTHWEST. The first Hitchcock film to be released on Blu-ray, the film has been restored and remastered for its 50th anniversary. As part of the Gala event, director William Friedkin will attend to moderate a Q&A with Boyle and the film’s stars Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau.

AFI FEST continues its unique and successful association with the American Film Market with 23 of the features in official selection at AFI FEST represented by distributors at AFM, unfolding concurrently with AFI FEST from November 4–November 11.

AFI FEST 2009’s overall lineup will showcase 67 features (54 narrative, 13 documentary) and 27 shorts for a total of 94 films from 32 countries.

The Festival is headquartered at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. All screenings from October 30–November 5 will take place at the Grauman’s Chinese and Mann Chinese 6 theaters in Hollywood with the final two days of the Festival (November 6-7) screening at the Laemmle’s Monica 4-plex in Santa Monica.

A limited number of free tickets to all Festival screenings are available online at or by phone at 866-AFI-FEST . Early entry to all screenings can be secured by becoming a patron of the Festival and purchasing an AFI FEST Patron Pass. For more details, visit

Pedro Almodovar’s ‘Broken Embraces’ opens the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival

Oscar Winner BrokenEmbracesPosterPedro Almodóvar’s new film “Broken Embraces” will open the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF). The film stars Academy Awards winner Penélope Cruz, Lluís Homar, Blanca Portillo, José Luis Gómez, Rubén Ochandiano and Tamar Novas.

Opening night is Sunday, October 11 at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (6925 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA).
Festival Co-Founder Edward James Olmos says, “Almodóvar is truly one of the greatest filmmakers of our time. A true maverick in our industry, whose films have inspired many filmmakers in our culture, have ignited the careers of some of our brightest stars and has opened so many doors in the industry.”

The 13th Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival will run from October 11-October 16  at Mann Chinese 6 Cinemas in Hollywood. The festival will present feature films, documentaries, shorts and special screenings. In addition, filmmakers and the public will be able to participate in workshops presented by LALIFF-2009-Official-Posterthe Writers Guild and Directors Guilds of America as well as musical and arts events.

Festival highlights include: feature film “Down For Life” (USA) Screening Time: Thursday October 15 @ 7:00 Grauman’s Chinese and documentary “Latino Music USA: Bridges- Chicano Wave” (USA) Screening Time:Wednesday October 14 @9:35 and Short Films in the comedy category:

EL TIO FACUNDO (MEX/CUB), Alejandro Cachoua,
NO SE PREOCUPE, (SPAIN) Eva Ungria Lupian
EL TRIP (USA), Ventura Montoya,
EL TUX    (USA), Paco Farias,

For more information on the LA Latino Film Festival and to purchase tickets, visit: LLFF

The West Coast premiere screening of Jackson 5 In Africa Saturday August 22 in Los Angeles

AfricaThe Downtown LA Film Festival will show “The Jackson 5 in Africa” for its closing-night gala. Director Mamadou Johnny Sekka documents the Motown sensations on their 1974 trip to Senegal, with father Joe as escort for their first African tour.   The unfinished film was cut short after investors ran out of funding. It sat around for decades until it was found and released by the Harlem-based nonprofit ImageNation Cinema Foundation.  To read more about the film, click: Jackson 5 in Africa.

Check out a trailer of the film below:

Andrew Miller’s “Imaginary Bitches” starring Eden Riegel to play at the ITVfest in Los Angeles

Eden Reigel and Elizabeth Hendrickson in 'Imaginary Bitches'

Eden Riegel and Elizabeth Hendrickson in 'Imaginary Bitches'

Imaginary Bitches on the big screen? Sort of,  kind of. The popular web series Imaginary Bitches will play in movie theaters as part of the ITVfest next week.  Join creator Andrew Miller as he, Eden Riegel (All My Children) and some of the cast will be doing a Q &A following the screenings of episodes 1, 4 & 11 on Monday, August 3 @2pm. On Thursday August 6, Andrew and Eden will be back to introduce the show as the episodes will screen again @4pm.

Imaginary Bitches was a labor of love for Miller that quickly turned into the little show that could, garnering a Daytime Emmy Nomination along side staples such as All My Children and The New York Times. “This nomination is beyond our wildest dreams”, said Miller when asked about the shows Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding New Approaches In Daytime. “When I asked our friends to come over and shoot some raunchy videos with my wife and me, the main reaction I got was fear. I only wish I could’ve told them they might win a Daytime Emmy award for their troubles”. (The Daytime Emmy Awards will be broadcast on Sunday, August 30 on the CW @8pm.)

Eden Riegel, who grew up in front of audiences on stage in “Les Miserables” and on our television screens as Erica Kane’s daughter Bianca on All My Children,  hopes that this appearance at the festival will give the show more exposure. Says, Riegel, “Imaginary Bitches is my proudest creative experience and I hope the ITV Festival will introduce the show to an even wider audience– I just want more people to see the Bitches!”

Here is a summary of the episodes to be shown:
Episode 1: “It not easy making new imaginary friends”– When Eden’s girlfriends are all too busy with their boyfriends to talk about the details of her amazing one night stand, she decides to create a a new friend to celebrate with.

Episode 4: “A New Leper in the Colony”–Jealousy erupts when Eden meets a new, single friend who’s very real.

Episode 11: “Only Crazy Girls Quife”–Eden thinks she’s found The One. The sex is amazing. But the part where she tries to keep him from thinking she’s crazy…not so great.

For more information on Imaginary Bitches: Imaginary Bitches For tickets to the ITVfest screening followed by the Q &A on August 3 or to the August 6th screening, visit: ITVfest tickets.

The Independent Television Festival is a festival for independently produced, original and innovative television pilotsItvfest and webseries. The only festival for independently produced television pilots in Los Angeles, ITVFest prides itself on being for and about the pilotmakers.

At ITVFest, creative people can not only showcase their work, but also gain notoriety and opportunity through their independent television efforts. Pilotmakers showcased at ITVFest have gone on to get script deals with NBC, web deals with, development deals at Leverage and Starz!, representation from UTA, 3 Arts and others and much more.

The ITVfest runs July 31st through August 6th at The Laemmle’s Sunset 5 at Sunset and Crescent Heights in West Hollywood.

For more information on the ITVfest:  ITVfest Website