Thursday, September 18, 2008

Academy Award Update

Submissions for Best Foreign Film are due to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scienes by Oct. 1.

So far 21 submissions have been announced and the submissions from three of our seven Sister City countries are in.

Germany has submitted “The Baader Meinhof Complex” (Der Baader Meinhof Komplex) directed by Uli Edel. The film stars

Hungary has submitted “Iska’s Journey” (Iszka utazása) directed by Csaba Bollók.

Japan has submitted “Departures” (Okuribito)directed by Yojiro Takita. 

Mexico is considering 11 films to represent the country: Arrancame La Vida, Cochochi, Cumbia Callera, Déficit, Dos Abrazos, El Viaje de la Nonna, Familia Tortuga, La Zona, Lake Tahoe (film), Partes Usadas and Quemar Las Naves.

AMPAS awards the Best Foreign Language Film to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue. The diaglog, however, does not have to be the native language of that country. An AMPAS committee reviews submissions and generally narrows the list of submissions by late fall. Then nominees will be announced Jan. 22, 2009, with the winner announced at the Feb. 22 awards ceremony in Hollywood.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Edge of Heaven in Center of Dallas

Fatih Akin's Lola Award-winning film has rolled into Dallas at the Angelika. The film was Germany's nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, edging out one of my favorites of 2008 -- "Four Minutes." 

I haven't seen "Edge" but Star-Telegram film critic Christopher Kelley told me at the time that this was a film worthy of accolades. 

Akin is no stranger to the award circuit. "Edge of Heaven" received the best screenplay award at Cannes 2007 and he previously was recognized at Cannes for his film "Head-On."

So head on over to the Angelika this weekend and check out Akin's latest.

Edge of Heaven 

Directed by : Fatih Akin

From the director of Head-On andCrossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul.

Nejat initially disapproves of his widower father Ali`s choice of prostitute Yeter for a live-in girlfriend. But the young professor warms to her when he learns that most of her hard-earned money is sent home to Turkey for her daughter’s university studies. After Yeter`s accidental death, Nejat travels to Istanbul to search for Yeter`s daughter Ayten. Political activist Ayten has fled the Turkish police and is already in Germany. She is befriended by a young woman, Lotte, who invites rebellious Ayten to stay in her home, much to the displeasure of her conservative mother, Susanne. When Ayten is arrested and her asylum plea denied, she is deported and imprisoned in Turkey. Passionate Lotte abandons everything to help Ayten. A tragic event brings Susanne to Istanbul to help fulfill her daughter`s mission.

Winner – Best Screenplay Award, Cannes Film Festival 2007.
Winner – Best Screenplay Award, European Film Awards 2007.
Winner – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing 2008 German Film Awards (LOLA)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hungary Wins Tax Breaks

Last year I wrote a lot about Hungary's efforts to pass tax breaks for film production and the impact it would have on the booming studio business, particularly in Budapest.

Well those breaks passed the final hurdle recently with EU approval.

John Nadler's article in Variety gives the full story.

BUDAPEST -- After months of uncertainty the Hungarian film industry
breathed a sigh of relief following a recent European Commission (EC)
decision to approve its tax-incentive program.
Industry insiders admit there was concern the EC might not ratify an
amended Hungarian Film Law passed in June because of its tax scheme.

But Brussels surprised Hungarian producers by ratifying the 20% rebate
contained in the original law, and ordering Budapest to extend tax
incentives to include costs incurred by productions while shooting outside

"Frankly, I think the new scheme is an improvement," says Andras Simonyi,
chairman of Korda Filmstudio, Hungary's largest studio complex, located
just west of Budapest. "In this competitive world, the expanded incentives
(of national and foreign tax deductions) are a good combination."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

El Orfanato

It's been months since I last posted -- I feel like this is a confessional.
While on a vacation to Miami recently, I pursuaded my wife to watch 'El Orfanato' the Spanish film with a connection to Del Torro that I haven't quite figured out.
Anyway, my wife can't stop talking about it and recommending it.
It's a great film, out on DVD now.
It's in the vein of old thriller movies. Not bloody and not hokey. A great, enjoyable film.
So check it out.