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and Cooper Thornton
From Nashville to Montreal...
When young Joe finds out that the cartoon character he’s in love with is based on a REAL LIVE GIRL, he drags his single father Alex on a road trip to track her down. So what happens when a pit stop in New York sends them off course...?
Saturday, September 26
*Signed, limited edition movie posters will be for sale.
For tickets go to https://cartoongirl.eventbrite.com
The night she won the Golden Globe for her warm, funny and versatile work as the kindhearted title character in the CW comedy "Jane the Virgin," Gina Rodriguez brought her whole family — Mom and Dad, her two older sisters and their husbands — to the celebrity-filled InStyle after-party at the Beverly Hilton. They hung out for about an hour, people watching, but Rodriguez mostly sat with her parents while her sisters Iveliss and Rebecca tracked down Channing Tatum for a selfie.
While you’d be forgiven for thinking that behind every great film is a limitless budget, it would surprise many to learn that you can actually create an excellent, ripe-tomato-of-a-film on a small budget.
A little ingenuity mixed in with perseverance and good, honest hard work can go a long way: Just look at Paranormal Activity. With a paltry budget of $15,000, it ended up grossing $3.5 million worldwide — what a margin!
Here are our tips for great filmmaking on a shoestring:
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An ethnically diverse cast is paying off in a big way for Furious 7.
The Universal movie opened to a franchise-best $384 million over the weekend at the global box office, including $143.6 million domestically — the biggest debut since The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in November 2013 ($158 million). More impressive, its global bow was the fourth-best of all time.
According to Universal, 75 percent of the audience in North America was non-Caucasian, generally in line with previous installments. Hispanics, the most frequent moviegoers in the U.S., made up the majority of ticket buyers (37 percent), followed by Caucasians (25 percent), African-Americans (24 percent), Asians (10 percent) and other (4 percent).
"The importance of diversity of the ensemble cast in the Fast and Furious franchise has been an integral part of the success of the brand," said Rentrak box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "There is literally someone within the cast that is relatable on some level to nearly every moviegoer around the world, and this has paid big dividends at the box office and also in terms of how casting decisions will be made in the future for these types of large-scale action epics."
Dergarabedian and other box office pundits are hard-pressed to think of another franchise that is as ethnically diverse, even as Hollywood in general is criticized for a lack of diversity both behind and in front of the camera.
Furious 7's ensemble cast includes Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, JasonStatham, Dwayne Johnson and, of course, the late Paul Walker. Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges, martial artist Tony Jaa and Djimon Hounsou also star.
"Someone that I admire quite a lot recently said this is a franchise that really looks like America, and there are characters that everyone can relate to. I think that's a big plus," said Universal president of domestic distribution Nicholas Carpou.
Overseas, Furious 7 opened to $240.4 million, the No. 3 foreign opening of all time — also pointing to the broad appeal of the cast. The movie delivered huge results in Latin America, Europe and Asia (Mexico led with $20.8 million, followed by the U.K. with $19 million). In 26 countries, the movie delivered the biggest opening weekend of all time, including Mexico and Taiwan ($10.3 million).
The desire to see Walker one last time no doubt contributed greatly to Furious 7's stunning performance. Universal intended to open the seventh installment on July 11, 2014, but production was halted in November 2013 when Walker died in a tragic car crash during a Thanksgiving hiatus.
Check this out on www.hollywoodreporter.com
Since President Obama eased tensions with Cuba late last year, the film community in the island nation has been optimistic, if cautiously so, about striking new relationships with its counterpart in Hollywood, and hopeful it can reform the Cuban film industry to compete on the world stage.
“Many (American) directors have expressed — more or less privately — their interest in filming in Cuba,” says Luis Barrera, senior advisor at the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Arts and Industry (ICAIC), the government-run film commission that, in essence, acts as the sole movie studio in Cuba. “On the other hand, Cuba has its own tradition in cinema, and is among the leading lights in the Caribbean region,” he adds. Helmers like Alejandro Brugues (“Juan of the Dead”) and Daniel Diaz Torres (“La Pelicula de Ana”) are some filmmakers who’ve gained international recognition.
Barrera notes that it’s also important for Cuba to build an efficient and competitive infrastructure, with professional crews experienced not only in local productions, but in co-productions with Europeans. “This is one aspect we can quickly work on, as well as looking toward investments and joint ventures, including tax rebates and other incentives to attract U.S. filmmakers,” Barrera says.
Local filmmakers, though, worry that ICAIC will prioritize the needs of foreign productions that want to film in Cuba over the needs to develop those of the nation’s own creative talent.
“The first step should be to see how Cuban cinema can flourish from this relationship on its home turf, and hopefully not get swallowed up by the great machinery of the U.S. film industry,” says Carlos Quintela, whose second film, “The Project of the Century,” about three generations of a Cuban family living near an abandoned Soviet nuclear power station, won a Tiger award at Rotterdam after being acquired for international sales by Berlin-based M-Appeal.
Filmmaker Yassel Iglesias, who made 2012 doc “The Chosen Island,” about Jewish emigres in Cuba, which ultimately brought him to the U.S., sees progress coming only after regulations ease. “I think that (reform) will definitely help the production of Cuban films,” says Iglesias, “but I can’t use the phrase ‘Cuban film industry’ yet, because so far there have been no reforms or laws that recognize new independent companies, and the only ‘industry’ is ICAIC, which many Cuban filmmakers refuse to work with.”
Many Cuban filmmakers have had to seek funding overseas. Quintela, a former student at the Intl. Film and Television School (EICTV) in Havana, started a production company in England and raised coin for “Project of the Century” from Argentina (with production shingle Rizoma Films), as well as tapping coin from the Rotterdam fest’s Hubert Bals Fund.
At its heart, Cuba is a warm, welcoming nation full of vast promise and rich potential, yearning for opportunity, both economically and artistically. Despite its communist roots, the country has an entrepreneurial spirit, built of raw necessity plus a desire to make its own way, without an intrusive government or an overbearing next-door neighbor.
For now, the greatest obstacle to rebuilding the local film industry may well be the lack of freedom of expression. The promise that a diplomatic thaw would change that took a blow when Boris Arenas Gonzalez, a professor at EICTV, was fired after being jailed for attempting to participate in a free-speech-themed performance-art event. Especially troubling is that the school, which has an international charter, has been a beacon of free speech in Cuba for students and filmmakers from around the world.
The hope is that this is a momentary blip on the radar, and that the thawing of relations with the U.S. will bring more free expression and less government intervention. “I think it’s a historical change that presents opportunities and challenges to both nations,” says Barrera.
Quintela agrees. “If we were to combine the shared histories of both countries, there would be enough material to create movies of great significance.”
For Iglesias, who just finished shooting his latest film, “Lois” in Havana, the future is already beginning to take shape. “There’s more hope, and Cubans need that. A year ago, nobody thought of change, and to find a smile on the streets was harder. Today people scream, ‘Ya somos amigos de los Yuma!’ — Now we are friends with the Americans! And there is laughter, and rum … of course.”
Check this out Variety.com
The 5th Annual Cinema Tropical Awards have announced the 2015 nominations that recognize international Latin American filmmakers and their work. NALIP is proud to announce that dominating the Best U.S. Latino Film category are 3 out of 5 NALIP members:
CESAR’S LAST FAST
(Richard Ray Perez, USA, 2014)
(Cristina Ibarra, USA, 2014)
PURGATORIO: JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF THE BORDER
(Rodrigo Reyes, USA/Mexico, 2013)
You can get learn more about these nominated films and the filmmakers at nalip.org under our ‘Members Work’ section.
The Cinema Tropical AWARDS, created in 2010 to honor excellence in Latin American filmmaking, is the only international award entirely dedicated to honoring the artistry of recent Latin American cinema. Visit CinemaTropical.com to check out the accompanying nominees.
The NALIP family is excited and proud to congratulate Gina Rodriguez for her Golden Globe nomination in the category of Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical for her lead performance in CW's Jane the Virgin. A well deserved recognition for arduous and talented work, a true representation of the quality of our Latino artists and creators out there.
Chris Rock is at it again! The Top Five comic star talks more about race in his cover essay for The Hollywood Reporter. He specifically focuses on race in Hollywood and the struggles still faced by minority actors. Rock even touches on the slave state of Mexicans in La La Land.
“But forget whether Hollywood is black enough. A better question is: Is Hollywood Mexican enough? You're in L.A, you've got to try not to hire Mexicans. It's the most liberal town in the world, and there's a part of it that's kind of racist—not racist like ‘F— you, n----r’ racist, but just an acceptance that there's a slave state in L.A. There's this acceptance that Mexicans are going to take care of white people in L.A. that doesn't exist anywhere else. I remember I was renting a house in Beverly Park while doing some movie, and you just see all of the Mexican people at 8 o'clock in the morning in a line driving into Beverly Park like it's General Motors. It's this weird town.
You're telling me no Mexicans are qualified to do anything at a studio? Really? Nothing but mop up? What are the odds that that's true? The odds are, because people are people, that there's probably a Mexican David Geffen mopping up for somebody's company right now. The odds are that there's probably a Mexican who's that smart who's never going to be given a shot. And it's not about being given a shot to green light a movie because nobody is going to give you that—you've got to take that.
The shot is that a Mexican guy or a black guy is qualified to go and give his opinion about how loud the boings are in Dodgeball or whether it's the right shit sound you hear when Jeff Daniels is on the toilet in Dumb and Dumber. It's like, ‘We only let white people do that.’ This is a system where only white people can chime in on that. There would be a little naiveté to sitting around and going, ‘Oh, no black person has ever green lighted a movie,’ but those other jobs? You're kidding me, right? They don't even require education. When you're on the lower levels, they're just about taste, nothing else. And you don't have to go to Harvard to have taste.”
What do you think of Rock’s comments? Let us know below!
Check this out at Latina.com
By Boyd van Hoeij | Indiewire
Another year, another major Mexican director abandoning his home country for the U.S. But not every talented Mexican filmmaker is looking to leave.
Last year, the Morelia International Film Festival (or FICM, as its Spanish acronym runs) opened with Alfonso Cuaron’s "Gravity." This year, that honor went to "Birdman," by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Paired with "Pacific Rim" director Guillermo del Toro, these Mexican filmmakers known as "the three amigos" have done a lot to raise the profile of Mexican cinema around the world.
But now they all make films in English. What does this mean for the younger generation that’s making films in Mexico right now?
Connecting the Dots of Mexican Talent
Some answers could be found in this year's Morelia lineup. The competition of Mexican films at FICM consisted of 12 films, most of them first or second features. Only two of the films had premieres at high-profile international festivals before premiering at home: "Güeros," from director Alonso Ruizpalacios, which premiered in the Panorama section of the Berlinale, and "The Absent" from Nicolas Pereda, which premiered in Locarno in the new (and somewhat obscure) Signs of Life sidebar.
Though the films are almost polar opposites in their approach to cinema and narrative, they do both suggest that current cinema from Mexico thrives on strong individual voices.
"Güeros," a black-and-white doodle about two aimless siblings during the 1999 student protests in Mexico City, is clearly indebted to the French New Wave, a connection that’s easy to make since one of the key moments in the lives of the New-Wave generation were the strikes and protests of May 1968. In his first feature, Ruizpalacios shows he has a great eye for offbeat humor and camera angles, while alternating playful and more melancholic sequences in a way that’s strongly reminiscent of French New Wave films. But "Güeros" is also very consciously part of the Mexican film landscape, as the film’s divided into chapters named after the Mexico City neighborhoods where the characters find themselves as the story progresses: The brothers and their friends even end up at the swanky premiere party of a Mexican film that the slacker protagonists make fun of sight unseen.
If "Güeros," which means blond or fair-skinned, can be described as ebullient and aimless, "The Absent" from veteran filmmaker Pereda is perhaps one of those arthouse movies that the kids in "Güeros" are making fun of: an extremely slow-moving and contemplative film in which meaningful dialog -- the main motor of Ruizpalacios’ film -- is almost entirely absent. Continuing in the vein of his other festival darlings, including Venice Horizons winner "Summer of Goliath," and with his regular actor Gabino Rodriguez in one of the main roles, "The Absent" again mixes the grammar and tools of documentary and fiction into a striking but opaque, almost enigmatic whole that’s made up of minutes-long sequence shots that invite viewers to scrutinize every corner of the image for meaning. What little story there is seems to involve an old man’s unwilling removal from his home, and the memories that come flooding back to him (Rodriguez’s character could be the old man in his younger days) as he’s forced out of his own house.
"Güeros" won both a shared best actor award for its male ensemble, and the best first or second feature prize in Morelia, as well as the audience award and the critics’ prize, suggesting its breath-of-fresh-air quality was well-appreciated across the board. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that Pereda’s film isn’t less commendable, just that it is not an easy crowdpleaser in the way Ruizpalacios’ first film is.
A potent mix of documentary and fictional elements is also a key aspect of Carlos Armella’s "En la estancia," which looks at a non-fiction filmmaker who documents the lives of a father and son who are the last two inhabitants of a godforsaken village in the mountains. It would be a spoiler to reveal how the two types of cinema create a revealing back-and-forth, though suffice to say that Armella tries to do something that’s both radically cinematic as well as telling about certain socio-political and demographic changes that are happening in the oft-forgotten countryside.
The always welcome Gabino Rodriguez can not only be seen in Pereda’s film but is also a supporting player in another enigmatic and entrancing film: "I Am Happiness on Earth," the fourth feature of Julian Hernandez ("Raging Sun, Raging Sky," "Broken Sky"). The gay filmmaker’s penchant for intricately choreographed camerawork and balletic choreography instead of dialogue to tell a story here finds its most literal expression, as the protagonists are actually a ballet dancer and a filmmaker specialized in dance films (and with a sideline in more erotic films). While from a technical standpoint, the film’s terrifically crafted, the screenplay is rather weak and confused.
Diversity is Key
However, the presence of "Happiness" (which opened in very limited release in the U.S. back in August) in Morelia does suggest a willingness on behalf of the festival to be inclusive of many different voices and different kinds of artistic expression (also evidenced by the inclusion in competition of the mainstream, crowd-pleasing comedy "Eddie Reynolds y los Angeles de Acero," from Gustavo Moheno, about a group of old rockers who get together again after U2 becomes interested in buying the rights to one of their hits).
Hernandez's film is one of two titles with queer protagonists, the other being the eventual winner of the festival’s best film honors: "Carmin Tropical," from director Rigoberto Perezcano, who also made the 2009 festival darling "Northless" ("Norteado").
His film is a mystery of sorts about a "muxe," a physical male who dresses like a woman, who returns to her village of birth in the state of Oaxaca when one of her muxe friends has gone missing and later turns up dead. The film zooms in on the search of the protagonist, who’s a lonely nightclub singer, for the truth about her friend and is refreshingly devoid of a lot of the stereotypes one would associate with a story of this kind, essentially presenting the story as a kind of personal investigation that runs parallel to the one conducted by the police. Expect this to turn up at a major festival soon (perhaps in Berlin, which has the queer Teddy awards?).
Though Gael Garcia Bernal is one of the associate producers of "Güeros" and "Miss Bala" director Gerardo Narajo was one of the producers of "Plan sexenal," the first film of Santiago Cendejas that rather surprisingly went home empty-handed, the film in competition with the biggest internationally recognizable name was without a doubt "Sand Dollars," from the directorial duo of Israel Cardenas, a Mexican, and the Dominican-born Laura Amelia Guzman. Their film stars Geraldine Chaplin as an aging European woman who’s been in a relationship of sorts for three years with a young and poor Dominican woman for whom affection is less of a incentive than money.
Though it is a story and a dynamic we’ve seen before, in films such as Laurent Cantet’s "Heading South" and more recently in Ulrich Seidl’s "Paradise: Love," the narrative here feels more even-handed and finely etched than those earlier efforts, perhaps because Guzman as a Dominican manages to bring an insider perspective to the proceedings (something she also did in the couple’s previous film, "Jean Gentil").
Money and, more often, the tension and unhealthy power relationships that develop between members of the poor and working classes on the one hand and the well-off bourgeoisie on the other is a recurring theme that informs not only "Sand Dollars," but also many of the remaining films in competition. These include "The Beginning of Time," in which a couple of grandparents is forced to sell food on the street when their pension is cut off — until it seems they might be rescued by their well-off if estranged adult son.
Read More at Indiewire.com.