Winners of The Independent Film Festival Boston have been announced

Photo courtesy of iffboston.com

The winners of the 2013 Independent Film Festival Boston have been announced in an official press release distributed by the festival:

The 2013 Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) came to a close on Tuesday night, April 30th, with a screening of the film IN A WORLD…with writer/director/star Lake Bell in attendance. Roughly 100 guest filmmakers, celebrities, and special guests were in attendance at the festival including new festival Creative Advisor Casey Affleck, actor Fran Kranz, director Bobcat Goldthwait, director James Ponsoldt, Writer/Actor/Director Lake Bell, Governor Deval Patrick, First Lady Diane Patrick and numerous others. Films were shown in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville over a total of 9 screens. This was the festival’s 11th year.

The jury and audience award prizes have been announced and are as follows:

Narrative Feature:
Grand Jury Prize Winner: THIS IS MARTIN BONNER directed by Chad Hartigan
Special Jury Prize Winner: HOUSTON directed by Bastian Gunther
Audience Award Winner: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING directed by Joss Whedon

Documentary Feature:
Grand Jury Prize Winner: DIRTY WARS directed by Richard Rowley
Special Jury Prize Winner: REMOTE AREA MEDICAL directed by Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman
Audience Award Winner: BEST KEPT SECRET directed by Samantha Buck
Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing: Francisco Bello for OUR NIXON

Short Film:
Grand Jury Prize Winner: THE LAST ICE MERCHANT directed by Sandy Patch
Special Jury Prize Winner: SLOMO directed by Joshua Izenberg
Audience Award Winner: WORLD FAIR directed by Amanda Murray

The Narrative Feature Jury was comprised of. Writer/director/actor Jonathan Lisecki, actress Kate Lynn Sheil, and propmaster David Gulick. The Documentary Feature Jury was comprised of Ben Fowlie (Camden International Film Festival/ The DocYard), Rebecca Richman Cohen (War Don Don, Code of the West), and Tim Cawley (From Nothing, Something). The Short Film Jury was comprised of filmmaker Kris Avedisian (Donald Cried), professor Zak Lee (Fitchburg State University), and writer/director Jody Lambert (Of All The Things, People Like Us).

Prizes included a a $500 cash prize from the Karen Schmeer Editing Fellowship (goes to Francisco Bello, OUR NIXON) and a choice of two of the following: HDCam, Blu-Ray for Projection, or DCP from Modulus Studios (goes to Sandy Patch, THE LAST ICE MERCHANT).

More information on the festival will be available shortly on the festival website at http://www.iffboston.org.

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Why We Watch (Part 4) Conclusion – Let’s wrap up on what we learned with a little podcast

Above I’ve embedded a podcast where I discuss what I discovered when I asked my fellow film bloggers “why we watch” what we watch.

I want to thank the blogs http://www.genkinahito.wordpress.com and http://www.scumcinema.com for discussing their passion in global cinema with me and for telling me why they watch.

Why We Watch: A Lost in the Miso Exclusive (Part 3) – Chatting with S.C.U.M. Cinema’s Monkey Fist, Topo Sanchez and Mountain Monkey

The Why We Watch interviews conclude with a chat with Monkey Fist, Topo Sanchez and Mountain Monkey – the creators of the blog and film society S.C.U.M. Cinema.

Editor’s Note: I conducted my interview with these three men via email. Some questions were answered individually and some answered as a whole. “S.C.U.M. (all)” denotes that the answer was given by all three interviewees.

First conceived in 2007 by Monkey Fist as simply S.C.U.M., S.C.U.M.’s main objective was to hold “regular public screenings of non-mainstream films for like-minded folks in Singapore.” Due to issues with “obtaining screening rights from copyright holders,” S.C.U.M. would collapse but would eventually resurface as S.C.U.M. Cinema and this time, Monkey Fist had his friends Mountain Monkey and Topo Sanchez by his side. Together, these three men have created a blog where they review cult films from around the world, new and old, and continue to work towards their ultimate goal of holding film screenings in Singapore.

I talked to them about why we watch films that are, as they say, “weird and the bizarre.” The answers they gave are interesting and quite humorous. They are undoubtedly extremely knowledgeable in cult film and I walked away from the interview with at least ten movies I’ve never heard of before that  I need to get copies of and watch!

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Why We Watch: A Lost in the Miso Exclusive (Part 2) – An interview with Genkinahito’s Jason M.

I begin my series of Why We Watch interviews with Jason M. from Genkinahito.

Jason, a blogger since 2009, tells of how he first get a taste for foreign films (spoiler: a heaping helping of Hong Kong Jackie Chan films and the diverse programming on UK television gave him the bug for global cinema) and what, in his opinion, are the best foreign film distribution companies at the moment. Jason also gives his opinion on the ethics of fan subtitled movies and whether he thinks his studying of the Japanese language has helped him understand Japanese films on a deeper level.

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Why We Watch: A Lost in the Miso Exclusive (Part 1)

Lost in the Miso exclusive: Film bloggers talk about their love of Japanese and other foreign film, the difficulties of pursuing a foreign film hobby and why they blog about it. Due to the sheer size of this content, I’ll be breaking it up into parts.

Why We Watch: Part 1
I always wanted to blog. For several years I mulled over the idea of making one, eventually I grew content just reading and enjoying other people’s blogs. “I’ll get to it eventually,” I told myself.

Fast forward to May 2013, and life’s a lot different. As part of a college assignment for a Writing for Online and Social Media class, I have had to create and maintain a blog for the last several months. When I first discovered my classmates and I would have to create a blog and integrate it with other social media sites, e.g. Twitter and SoundCloud, I was a bit stressed. What was I going to write about?!

Thankfully, I did not anguish over a topic for my blog for very long. My professor, a fellow blogger, gave our class the obvious answer: write about what you love.

So that’s pretty much how Lost in the Miso was birthed into existence. I love foreign and independent film, with an emphasis on Japanese cinema. So why the hell wouldn’t I write about it?

And I’m so glad that I have. I’ve done some really fun things for this blog: I have attended a film festival where I was able to interview a film director, trekked into Boston during a snowstorm to see an independent film so I could write a review for it, discovered how painless SoundCloud is to use and, most importantly, I’ve networked with several really passionate and helpful film bloggers.

I reached out to several foreign film bloggers, via email, to ascertain why they blog about this stuff: the wonderfully knowledgeable Jason M. from Genkinahito (he knows his Japanese films!) and three great guys from S.C.U.M. Cinema: Monkey Fist, Mountain Monkey and Topo Sanchez (don’t let their names fool you, these are three very courteous and humble guys!)

A fascinating thing about these two blogs is that they originate from two different parts of the world: The United Kingdom and Singapore. It became quite clear early on into my research on foreign film bloggers that a love and interest in exotic cinema is not exclusive to any particular region in the world. People from all around the world are inherently curious about other cultures. Art (film, literature, television and music) is a universal language and, no matter how different another culture’s customs may seem, it is imbued with certain similar characteristics that make it more palatable for the foreigners who seek to consume it.

In Part 2 of this Lost in the Miso exclusive, Why We Watch, I’ll interview Genkinahito blogger, Jason M., who discusses how he developed an interest in foreign film, how he goes about finding foreign films to blog (it’s not always easy, folks) and, most importantly, Jason M. tells us why he blogs on the topic.

Sion Sono’s ‘Why Don’t You Play In Hell?’ teaser trailer is deliciously demented!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Sion Sono is one of the most prolific directors in the world and, damn, he’s been on a roll the last few years.

The 34-second teaser trailer to Sono’s new film Why Don’t You Play in Hell? features samurai, yakuza, operatic music, guns, katana and blood. Oh lots of blood.

Sono’s last two films Himizu and Land of Hope, were rather tonally serious – both films dealt with the after effects of the 2008 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan.  Why Don’t You Play in Hell? is not, judging by this awesome blood-soaked 34 second teaser, a continuation of the mature themes found in his previous work. Oh hell no. This just looks like bloody good fun.

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? is opening in Japan on September 28.

Check out the trailer:

Source: Twitch

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ to star Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s taken nearly twenty-years but Martin Scorsese’s passion project, a film adaptation of Japanese author Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence, has received funding and will begin filming in the summer of 2014.

Scorsese has landed the talented Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man and Social Network) and Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai and Inception) to star.

Garfield will be playing Father Rodrigues, a Portuguese Jesuit priest – a role that was once rumored to be played by Daniel Day-Lewis and later Benicio Del Toro.

Silence tells the story of two 17th-century Jesuit priests, one of whom is Father Rodrigues, who journey to Japan during a time where Catholics faced great religious persecution.

Ken Watanabe will be playing the role of an interpreter to the two Jesuit priests.

The majority of the film will be in the Japanese language, Scorsese has said.

Source: Variety

 

Behind the scenes footage of Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Snowpiercer’

It’s been a long time coming but images and footage from Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer are starting to make their way onto the web.

Unfortunately, the video is only in Korean but it gives us a pretty good look at some intense scenes: a mutiny occurring on the Snowpiercer train and a breathtaking shot of the train itself beginning to lift off of the tracks while in motion.

Grimy and gloomy, this Sci-Fi film looks incredible. It’s hard not to get excited about a movie that is not only being directed by the great Bong Joon-ho (who also directed Mother and The Host) but stars an impressive ensemble cast: Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Song Kang-ho and Octavia Spencer.

The film, based on a French graphic novel entitled Le Transperceneige, takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting where Earth has been ravaged by global warming which triggered a new Ice Age. The only remaining members of the human race are stuck on board a train called The Snow Piercer. Very quickly a class system begins to develop on the train which sparks a rebellion.

The teaser footage says the film will be released “Summer 2013” so we should be seeing a proper first trailer sometime in the very near future.

Source: Twitchfilm

Images of Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Kaze Tachinu’ have hit the web!

Legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke) is getting ready to release his first film in five years and we’ve got three images from the film to prove it!

Based on a manga by the same name, Kaze Tachinu tells a fictionalized biography of Jirō Horikoshi, the real life designer of the World War II aircraft fighter jet the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. 

The other two images of Kaze Tachinu are below:

Kaze Tachinu, which will be titled The Wind Rises in English speaking countries, will open in Japan on July 20, 2013 and a trailer is expected soon.

New ‘Only God Forgives’ trailer

A new trailer to the greatly anticipated film Only God Forgives has surfaced.

The film reunites actor Ryan Gosling and director Nicolas Winding Refn (who worked together previously on the film Drive) and will be premiering at Cannes.

Kristin Scott Thomas also stars and her performance, judging by the trailer, will be menacing and electric.

Refn and Gosling look to have created a film that will be as divisive with audiences as Drive was.

According to IMDB, the synopsis to Only God Forgives is as follows:

Bangkok. Ten years ago Julian killed a cop and went on the run. Now he manages a Thai boxing club as a front for a drugs operation. Respected in the criminal underworld, deep inside, he feels empty. When Julian’s brother murders a prostitute, the police call on retired cop Chang – the Angel of Vengeance. Chang allows the father to kill his daughter’s murderer, then ‘restores order’ by chopping off the man’s right hand. Julian’s mother Jenna – the head of a powerful criminal organization – arrives in Bangkok to collect her son’s body. She dispatches Julian to find his killers and ‘raise hell’.

Only God Forgives opens in the U.S. on July 19, 2013.