Friday, July 25, 2008

Heart of Two Nations by Nouritza Matossian

Heart of Two Nations: Hrant Dink
2007, 40min.

Prod./Dir.: Nouritza Matossian, Dir. of Phot.: Tolga Aksac, Garo Berberian, Nouritza Matossian, Levent Kurumlu, Compos.: Mannik Grigorian, Hagop Matossian, Rolf Gehlhaar, MEG Recordings, Edit.: Levent Kurumlu, Jonathan Stokes.

Production Company
Tarmak Films
Address: Unit 2002, Spitfire Studios, 63-71 Collier Street, London, N1 9BE, UK
Tel/Fax: +44(0)20 7713 0070

Nouritza Matossian (born 1945) is an Armenian writer, actress, broadcaster and human rights activist. She writes on the arts, contemporary music, history and Armenia.
Matossian published the first biography and critical study of the Greek composer Iannis Xenakis, the source book on his life, architecture and music based on ten years' collaboration with him. She later adapted it into a 50-minute documentary for BBC2, entitled Something Rich and Strange.
Matossian's 1998 book Black Angel, A Life of Arshile Gorky was written after twenty years' research. Ararat, the award-winning film by Atom Egoyan and Miramax, was partly inspired by Black Angel. She acted as consultant to Egoyan who modelled the female lead role Ani on her. Matossian also wrote and performs a solo show on Gorky's life from the viewpoint of his four beloved women with images and music. It has been produced worldwide over 80 times at venues including the Barbican, Tate Modern, London, New York, Los Angeles, the Edinburgh Festival, Cyprus, Paris, Lebanon, Iran, Romania and Georgia. In Armenia she performed it simultaneously in two languages.
Matossian broadcasts on the BBC and contributes to several newspapers and magazines, including The Independent, The Guardian, The Economist, and The Observer. She was Honorary Cultural Attache for the Armenian Embassy in London from 1991-2000.
She spent her childhood in Cyprus with her Armenian family. Educated in England, she graduated with Honours in Philosophy (B.Phil) from Bedford College, University of London, then studied music, theatre and mime in Dartington and Paris; she has a command of nine languages.

Azize Tan in Golden Apricot 2008 Jury

Jury of the Golden Apricot 2008 Feature Section

Dariush Mehrjui (Iran)

As an Iranian New Wave cinema icon, Mehrjui is regarded to be one of the intellectual directors. Dariush Mehrjui was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1939. As an adult, he moved to the United States and entered the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Department of Cinema. He switched his major to philosophy and graduated from UCLA in 1964. Returning to Iran in 1965, he almost immediately embarked on a filmmaking career. He made his debut in 1966 with Diamond 33. His second featured film, Cow (1969), brought him national and international recognition. In 1971, the film was smuggled out of Iran and submitted to the Venice IFF, where, without programming or subtitles, it became the largest event of that year's festival. The film was a turning point in the history of Iranian cinema. The public received it with great enthusiasm, despite the fact that it had ignored all the traditional elements of box office attraction. In 1973 Mehrjui began directing what was to be his most acclaimed film. The Cycle was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Culture but encountered opposition from the Iranian medical establishment and was banned from release until 1977. It was universally admired abroad. The film won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Berlin IFF in 1978. In 1981, he traveled to Paris and remained there for several years, during which time he made a feature-length semi-documentary for French TV, Voyage au Pays de Rimbaud (1983). Feeling homesick, he returned to Iran to film The Tenants (1986), a comedy of conflict between apartment tenants and a realtor seeking to throw them out. In Hamoun (1989), a portrait of an intellectual whose life is falling apart, Mehrjui sought to depict his generation's post-revolutionary turn from politics to mysticism. The '90s also found Mehrjui releasing films dealing with women's issues. Banoo (1991, released in 1998) more or less brought Luis Buñuel's Viridiana to Iran. Sara (1993) did the same for Ibsen's A Doll's House. Pari (1995), a transplanting of Salinger's Franny and Zooey, attracted the attention - and the threat of a lawsuit - from the reclusive author. Leila (1996) was all Mehrjui's own and the first to receive any sort of wide theatrical release in the West. The story of a marriage undone by infertility and a meddling mother-in-law, it earned Mehrjui raves. Outside of festivals and a career-spanning retrospective by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in late 1998, his films remain largely unseen outside Iran, an oversight that will hopefully be corrected with the passing of time.

Ulrich Seidl (Austria)

Born November 24, 1952 in Vienna. Ulrich Seidl is the director of numerous award-winning documentaries such as Jesus, You Know, Models and Animal Love. His work methods, achieving the greatest possible authenticity and showing people in the most solitary and personal moments, has aroused intense debate. His first fiction feature, Dog Days, won the Grand Jury Special Prize at the 2001 Venice IFF. Seidl’s second feature film Import/Export has been sold to 20 countries. The film has won three prizes (Bangkok, Golden Apricot – Yerevan (Armenia) and Palic Tower (for the best acting ensemble Palic (Serbien). The film has been invited to about 80 festivals so far: for example Munique, Moscow, Karlovy Vary, Jerusalem, Sarajevo, Toronto, London, Kopenhagen, Sao Paolo, Seoul. Two retrospetives (in La Rochelle and Sarajevo) have shown Ulrich Seidls previous work, two further retros in Belgium and Sweden.

Goran Paskalevic (Serbia)

Born in 1947 in Belgrade, one of the most distinguished directors from the former Yugoslavia, is a member of the so-called “Prague school” of FAMU graduates. He became known for his short documentaries, but it was his feature films which classed him among leading European directors, whose style, themes and tragicomic aura bore traces of the influence of the Czech New Wave. He received international recognition particularly for his films Beach Guard in Winter (1976), Special Treatment (1980 – Golden Globe nomination), Twilight Time (1983 – Main Prize at the Chicago IFF), The Elusive Summer of ‘68 (1984), Guardian Angel (1987), Time of Miracles (1989), The Powder Keg (1998 – FIPRESCI prize at the Venice IFF), How Harry Became a Tree (2001) and Midwinter Night’s Dream (2004 – Grand Jury Prize at the San Sebastian IFF). His new film The Optimists was premiered in the autumn of 2006.

Azize Tan (Turkey)

Born in 1971 in Istanbul. She received her MA degree from Bosphorus University in Istanbul. She works for the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts organizing five international festivals (Film, Theatre, Music, Jazz and Biennial) since 1993. She worked as the coordinator of the 5th, 6th and 7th Istanbul Biennials and became the deputy director of the Istanbul IFF in 2003. She is the director of the Istanbul IFF since 2006. She also organizes the Istanbul Autumn Film Week for the last seven years. She is a member of NETPAC and Asia Pacific Screen Awards Nominations Council.

Ashot Adamyan (Armenia)

Born in 1953 in Yerevan. Adamyan studied at the Department of Architecture, the Vocational School after Alexander Tamanyan in 1968-1972. In 1972-1974 Adamyan served in the Soviet Army. He graduated from the Department of Direction, School of Culture, the Yerevan Pedagogical University (class of Henrik Malyan) in 1979. Adamyan worked as an actor, stage director and artistic manager in the Theater after Henrik Malyan from 1981 to 1998. In 1988-1991 Adamyan took the Advanced Courses for Film Directors in Moscow (the class of Rolan Bykov). Adamyan is a cinema actor beginning 1978 having played in more than two dozens of films including characters as noticeable as that of Torik (in A Piece of the Sky [Ktor my yerkinq] directed by Henrik Malyan), Oberon (The Song of the Old Days [Hin oreri yergy] by Albert Mkrtchyan) and the Driver ( Calendar by Atom Egoyan).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Best Director Awart to N.B.Ceylan at Cinefan 2008

Best Director

"Nuri Bilge Ceylan For the film Three Monkeys For his cinematic treatment of intense internal human conflicts in difficult situations and for his deep understanding of human nature and excellent handling of actors."

In-Tolerance Award to Handan Ipekci

Cinefan 2008 In-Tolerance Award
Best Film Award
Hidden Faces by Handan Ipekci from Turkey. For dealing with the pressing issue of 'honour killings' with a well-crafted and profound cinematic language that can reach large audiences

Gönül Dönmez-Colin in Cinefan 2008 Jury

The festival this year comprises a large number of electric and innovative sections. The Asian competition has been broadened to include Arab cinema. The Indian Competition consists of films made in the last one year in the country, while a new competition has been introduced for First Films. The regular sections include Cross-Cultural Encounters (films that tackle cross-cultural themes), Frescoes (recent films from Asian and Arab countries), Indian Mosaic (the best of the previous year�s productions in India but not in competition) and In-Tolerance (films that reflect on the intolerance of our times and hold a mirror to the past and present)

In-Tolerance Jury Members:

Saeed Ebrahimifar - Actor, director, producer and screenwriter Saeed Ebrahimifar was born in Tehran in 1956. He studied civil engineering and communication in the US. His cinematic career began in 1984 and he made his first feature, Pomogranates and Cane, in 1989. A poet of cinema, his film Lonesome Trees shared the Special Jury Award with Making Of at Osian’s-Cinefan last year.

Bappaditya Bandopadhyay - Born in 1969, award-winning filmmaker Bappaditya Bandopadhyay graduated in Sociology from Calcutta University. In 2003, he received the Most Prominent Director Award from the Bengal Film Journalists Association, while his leading actress, Debashree Roy won the Kalakar Award in Bengal for her performance in Colours of Hunger. He writes regularly on cinema and is also a poet of repute. His award-winning films, Barbed Wire, Devaki and Our Time have had their world premieres in Osian’s-Cinefan.

Gonul Donmez-Colin - Writer, critic, researcher and lecturer, Gönül Dönmez-Colin studied at the Universities of Istanbul, Concordia and McGill. She has taught in Montreal and Hong Kong, having done field research in Iran, Turkey, India and Central Asia. She is the author of Women, Islam and Cinema, Cinemas of North Africa and Central Asia (ed.), and Turkish Cinema and Politics of Identity. She has written widely on the cinemas of Central Asia and Greece, been on juries, curated programmes on national cinemas, and is the Artistic Advisor of Mannheim-Heidelberg and the Kerala International Film Festivals.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

N.B.Ceylan to head Sarajevo 14 Jury

Nuri Bilge Ceylan President of the Jury
The 14th Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug 15-23) has announced that Cannes Critics Week Grand Prix winner Snow by Bosnian Aida Begic will officially open the festival at the Heineken Open Air with capacity of 3,000 seats.

Other films to screen at the prestigious venue include Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky, Ari Folman's Waltz With Bashir and Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Three Monkeys. Ceylan will also serve as the president of the jury which will also be comprised of British director Hugh Hudson, Croatian actress Marija Skaricic (Das Fraulein, the best film of Sarajevo 2006 and best actress in Sarajevo 2004 for That Beautiful Night In Split), founder and director of Match Factory Michael Weber, and Deborah Young, the artistic director of Taormina Film Festival. Ceylan, Leigh, Terry George and Slavoj Zizek, influential Slovenian phylosopher, sociologist and critic, will be among the lecturers at the second Sarajevo Talent Campus.

In its 14th edition and within its Competition Programme – Features, the Sarajevo Film Festival will present the best films from the region. This year again, the Competition Programme Jury will include some of the leading, internationally recognised filmmakers and film professionals, who will decide on the following awards:

• Heart of Sarajevo for Best Film
• Special Jury Award
• Heart of Sarajevo for Best Actress
• Heart of Sarajevo for Best Actor

Nuri Bilge Ceylan is one of the most relevant film authors of our time. He is a versatile author who selects his topics most carefully. Critics usually describe his films as realistic images of our world today, particularly because his characters are almost always the ‘ordinary people’ whose lives and stories the audience finds easy to identify with. His work has received numerous prestigious awards from leading festivals across the world – Berlin, Cannes, Chicago, San Sebastian... His first short film KOZA was screened at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, and two years later his feature debut KASABA was received with considerable success, leading Ceylan to numerous film festivals. His next film, CLOUDS OF MAY, received the FIPRESCI European Film Award, and success continued with his film UZAK. The awards this film won included the Jury Grand Prix and the France Culture Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. He also won the FIPRESCI award at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival for his film CLIMATES, which also won the international film critics and film professionals’ award, as well as five awards at the Antalya Film Festival the same year. At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, his latest feature, THREE MONKEYS, won him the Best Director Award.
Hugh Hudson is the director of the cult film CHARIOTS OF FIRE which won as many as four Academy Awards. Before this extraordinary success with his debut feature, Hudson had directed numerous outstanding documentaries. After that, in 1970 he teamed up with Ridley Scott, with whom he directed a host of TV commercials. Hugh Hudson’s work includes titles such as REVOLUTION, which starred Al Pacino, Donald Sutherland and Nastassja Kinski, LOST ANGELS with Donald Sutherland, and I DREAMED OF AMERICA with Kim Basinger, Vincent Perez, Daniel Craig, MY LIFE SO FAR with Colin Firth...
Marija Škaričić is one of the most successful Croatian actresses of the younger generation. His role in Arsen Ostojić’s film THAT BEAUTIFUL NIGHT IN SPLIT won her the Heart of Sarajevo for Best Actress at the 10th SFF. Two years later she was again the winner of the Best Actress Award, and the Heart of Sarajevo was won with her role in Andrea Staka’s FRAULEIN. She delivered notable roles in a number of films produced in Croatia – SALESLADY WANTS TO GO TO THE COAST, WHAT’S A MAN WITHOUT A MOUSTACHE, ALBERT EINSTEIN’S GREATEST MISTAKE, SOCIETY OF JESUS, 100 MINUTES OF GLORY, IT’S NOT BAD...

Michael Weber is the founder and director of one of the most successful world sales companies in Europe - Match Factory. Match Factory represents established authors as well as the new names in this form of art. Films represented by this renown company include some of the most highly awarded titles of the past two years: GRBAVICA by Jasmila Žbanić, THE EDGE OF HEAVEN by Fatih Akin, TAKVA by Ozer Kizilatan, YELLA by Christian Petzold, EL CUSTODIO by Rodrigo Moreno, MADEINUSA by Claudia Llose, TOUGH ENOUGH by Detlev Bucka, LOVE AND OTHER CRIMES by Stefan Arsenijević... At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Match Factory presented five films: WALTZ WITH BASHIR by Ari Folman, CLOUD 9 by Andreas Dresen, O'HORTEN by Bent Hamer, LIVERPOOL by Lisandro Alonso and TULIPAN by Sergey Dvortsevoy, which also won the Un Certain Regard award.
Deborah Young is Taormina Film Festival artistic director. Since 1980, she wrote film reviews for the Variety. Deborah Young is an American citizen, although she has been living in Rome for several years now. Presently she is the editor for Italy of New York magazine “Cineaste”. And since 2005 she has been an advisor for Tribeca Film Festival also in New York. She’s the artistic director of New Italian Cinema Events (N.I.C.E.), a showcase for new indie Italian cinema in New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Moscow. In 1988 she collaborated at the Venice Film Festival selections.

Dorsay to head Fipresci Jury in Sarajevo 14

FIPRESCI Prize at the 14th Sarajevo Film Festival

Along with the Heart of Sarajevo Awards for Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Special Jury Award and CICAE Prize, films of the Competition Programme – Feature Film of the 14th Sarajevo Film Festival, will also compete for the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique).

The FIPRESCI Jury at the 14th SFF will include renowned film critics: Atilla Dorsay from Turkey (Sabah), Mike Goodridge from USA (Screen International) and László Kriston from Hungary (Magyar Hirlap, Vox Mozimagazin, Magyar Marancs, Mozinet).

The organisations of professional film critics and film journalists, established in different countries for the promotion and development of film culture and for the safeguarding of professional interests, constitute the International Federation of the Cinematographic Press (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique - FIPRESCI) - an institution founded on the 6th of June 1930.

The purpose of the International Film Critics Awards (the FIPRESCI Prize) is to promote film-art and to encourage new and young cinema.

The FIPRESCI Prize is awarded at international film festivals or at film festivals of particular importance including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Locarno, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Pusan, Montreal, Toronto, London…

This year Sarajevo Film Festival joins this family of festivals that host the FIPRESCI Prize, presented by the renowned film critics.