AFI Docs Festival Goes Online June 17-21, 2020

Posted on May 6, 2020 at 9:30 am

The American Film Institute’s annual Documentary Film Festival highlights the best non-fiction films of the of the year, and they are not going to let a COVID-19 get in the way. Instead of showing the films at their theater in Silver Spring, Maryland and venues in Washington, D.C. they are moving the festival online. The festival will run June 17–21 and films will be available to view on DOCS.AFI.com.

They’re describing it as an online film festival — “where the best seat is in your house, ” with AT&T returning as Presenting Sponsor for the seventh consecutive year. The festival will open with the Apple and A24 release “Boys State,” which follows a group of teenage boys at an annual civics program hosted by the American Legion in Austin, Texas. Attendees create a mock government and campaign for leadership and party platforms. Exploring politics through a coming-of-age lens, the result reveals American democracy and political division at its most hopeful and terrifying moments. The film, a Jury Prize winner at Sundance, was directed by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine. The Opening Night screening of “Boys State” will be held on June 17, followed by a Q&A.

“AFI is committed to the documentary art form in the best of times and in the most challenging of times,” said Michael Lumpkin, Director of AFI Festivals. “Now more than ever, we are dedicated to supporting extraordinary films because the world needs stories that educate, inspire hope and remind us of humanity’s strength. AFI DOCS is here to help.”

The AFI DOCS 2020 program will be presented in the following sections: Special Presentations, Features, Cinema’s Legacy and Shorts, as well as a virtual AFI DOCS Forum. Apple TV+, A24, Audience Network, HBO, National Geographic, PBS and The Atlantic will all have films in the festival. The full slate will be released on June 10.

Special Presentations will include the festival’s unique slate of special evening events, available to a limited audience for one-time viewing and featuring conversations and Q&A’s with the films’ directors and main subjects. Featuring exclusive films, many of which have not yet been publicly screened, the festival’s Feature Film program will include over two dozen films from the US and around the world.

The festival will also include a Cinema’s Legacy program, featuring historically notable non-fiction films that have made an impact on the documentary art form. In one of the most challenging general election years in modern times, this year’s program will be dedicated to films documenting landmark moments in our nation’s political history.

AFI DOCS Shorts Program will feature more than 20 documentary shorts screening in four curated programs. Each shorts program will be available to screen from June 18 through June 21.

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Documentary Festivals

TCM’s Virtual Film Festival — April 16-19

Posted on April 11, 2020 at 8:00 am

 

I’ve always wanted to go to the TCM Classic Film Festival and now I kind of can — it’s going to be virtual, and everyone is invited.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the TCM Classic Film Festival: Special Home Edition, an on-air celebration of TCM Classic Film Festival movies and moments from the past decade that fans can enjoy from the comfort of their homes. As a part of the Special Home Edition, TCM is proud to showcase films that have been a part of the TCM Classic Film Festival, both from years past and slated for this year’s event.

To provide additional context and insight, details are below that share when these films were screened at the Festival along with the special guests that attended these screenings. This special edition of the Fest begins April 16 at 8pm continuing until April 19 on TCM and will include TCM hosts, special guests and events to follow on-air and online.

 

All times EST

THURSDAY, APRIL 16
8:00 PM A Star is Born (1954)
Opening Night Film at the inaugural 2010 TCM Classic Film Festival, presented by Robert Osborne and Alec Baldwin.
11:00 PM Metropolis (1927)
Closing Night Film at the 2010 TCM CFF, this was the North American premiere of a restored version of the film with footage found in 2008 in Argentina, with live score by the Alloy Orchestra.
1:45 AM Luise Rainer: Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival (2011)
Recorded at the 1st TCM CFF in 2010 when Ms. Rainer, the first back-to-back Oscar winner for Best Actress, was 100 years old.
2:30 AM The Good Earth (1937)
Presented at the 2010 TCMCFF with Luise Rainer in attendance.
5:00 AM Neptune’s Daughter (1949)
Presented at the 2010 TCM CFF at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel pool on Opening Night, with Esther Williams and Betty Garrett in attendance and featuring a performance by the Aqualilies.
FRIDAY, APRIL 17
6:45 AM The Seventh Seal (1957)
Shown as part of a tribute to Max Von Sydow at the 2013 TCM CFF, with the actor in attendance.
8:30 AM She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
Introduced by Keith Carradine, at the 2016 TCM CFF.
10:30 AM Sounder (1972)
Presented at the 2018 TCM CFF with Cicely Tyson in attendance, who was honored prior to the screening with a hand and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX.


12:30 PM A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
This world premiere restoration was introduced by Alec Baldwin and Don Was at the 2014 TCM CFF.
2:00 PM Eva Marie Saint: Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival (2014)
Recorded in front of a live audience at the 2013 TCM CFF as part of a tribute to Eva Marie Saint.
3:00 PM North by Northwest (1959)
Presented at the 2010 TCM CFF with Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau in attendance.
5:45 PM Some Like It Hot (1959)
Presented at the 2010 TCM CFF with Tony Curtis in attendance.
8:00 PM Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (2015)
West Coast premiere at the 2016 TCM CFF, with Lillian Michelson and director Daniel Raim in attendance.
10:00 PM Deliverance (1972)
A cast reunion was presented at the 2013 TCM CFF, with Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Jon Voight and director John Boorman in attendance.
12:00 AM Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Presented in 3D at the 2018 TCM CFF, this was introduced by Dennis Miller.
1:30 AM Grey Gardens (1975)
Presented at 2014 TCM CFF as part of a tribute to Albert Maysles, who was in attendance.
3:15 AM Night Flight (1933)
Out of circulation for over 50 years, this was introduced by Drew Barrymore, granddaughter of the film’s star John Barrymore at the 2011 TCM CFF.
5:00 AM Kim Novak: Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival (2013)
Taped in front of a live audience at the 2012 TCM CFF, as part of a tribute to Kim Novak.
SATURDAY, APRIL 18
6:00 AM The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)
Presented at the 2011 TCM CFF with Nancy and Tina Sinatra and Vicki Preminger in attendance.
8:00 AM Mad Love (1935)
Introduced at the 2019 TCM CFF by Bill Hader with actress Cora Sue Collins in attendance in the audience.
9:15 AM Double Harness (1933)
Introduced at the 2016 TCM CFF, by James Cromwell, the son of director John Cromwell.
10:30 AM Vitaphone Shorts:
Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder (1929)
Don’t Get Nervous (1929)
Lambchops (1929)
Presented at the 2016 TCM CFF, as part of a program celebrating “90th Anniversary of Vitaphone,” by the founder of the Vitaphone Project, Ron Hutchinson.
11:00 AM Sergeant York (1941)
The first Festival program to screen at the newest venue of the TCM CFF, the Legion Theater at Post 43, this was introduced in 2019 by Andrew Jackson York, the son of Sergeant Alvin C. York and grandson, Gerald York.

Copyright Hal Roach 1924

1:15 PM Safety Last! (1923)
The first of four Harold Lloyd films presented at the TCM CFF, this was accompanied by live orchestra and music composed and conducted by Robert Israel, in 2010, and introduced by Suzanne Lloyd.
2:45 PM They Live by Night (1949)
Presented at the 2013 TCM CFF and introduced by Susan Ray, widow of director Nicholas Ray.
4:30 PM Faye Dunaway: Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival (2017)
Taped in front of a live audience at the 2016 TCM CFF, as part of a tribute to Faye Dunaway.
5:45 PM Network (1976)
Presented as part of a tribute to Faye Dunaway at the 2016 TCM CFF, with the actress in attendance.
8:00 PM Casablanca (1942)
A perennial favorite, this film has been presented three times at the TCM CFF, including a screening introduced by Peter Bogdanovich and Monika Henreid in 2010. Peter Bogdanovich will return to co-host this on-air screening.
10:00 PM The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Presented at the 2010 TCM CFF, it was introduced by Peter Bogdanovich and David Kamp. Peter Bogdanovich with co-host this on-air screening.
11:45 PM Night and the City (1950)
Presented at the 2012 TCM CFF by Eddie Muller.
1:30 AM Norman Lloyd: Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival (2016)
Recorded in front of a live audience as part of a tribute to Norman Lloyd, at the 2015 TCM CFF; Mr. Lloyd was 100 at the time of the taping.
2:30 AM The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Presented at the TCM CFF in 2013 with Norman Lloyd in attendance to talk about his friend, Alfred Hitchcock.
4:15 AM The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
The largest orchestral presentation to date at the TCM CFF was this 2016 screening, with live orchestra and the UC of Berkely Alumni Chorus (under the direction of Dr. Mark Sumner) performing an original score by Richard Einhorn.
SUNDAY, APRIL 19
6:00 AM Jezebel (1938)
Presented at the 2017 TCM CFF.
7:45 AM The Set-Up (1949) )
Introduced at the 2018 TCM CFF introduced by Noir Alley host Eddie Muller and actor/filmmaker Malcom Mays, who did a live reading of the poem the film is based on.
9:00 AM Peter O’Toole, Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival (2012)
Recorded in front of a live audience, and part of a tribute to Peter O’Toole at the 2011 TCM CFF.
10:00 AM Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Screened as part of a tribute to Anne V. Coates, ACE, at the 2015 TCM CFF, with the Oscar-winning editor in attendance.
2:00 PM Red-Headed Woman (1932)
Presented at the introduced by film historian and author Cari Beauchamp at the 2017 TCM CFF.
3:30 PM Auntie Mame (1958)
Presented at the 2012 TCM CFF, introduced by Todd Oldham.
6:00 PM Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Presented three times to date at the TCM CFF, in 2010, 2012 and 2017 editions, with guests over the years including: Debbie Reynolds, Stanley Donen, and Todd Fisher and Ruta Lee.
8:00 PM Floyd Norman: An Animated Life (2016)
Floyd Norman was slated to be honored with a tribute at the 2020 TCM CFF.
9:45 PM The Hustler (1961)
The 2020 TCM CFF included a tribute to the actress Piper Laurie.
12:15 AM Baby Face (1933)
Longtime festival guest Bruce Goldstein intended to present a special presentation at the 2020 TCM CFF, about the censorship of the film and footage added back in decades later, to this popular pre-Code film.
1:45 AM Bardelys the Magnificent (1926)
Serge Bromberg was scheduled to present this recently restored silent with musical accompaniment at the 2020 TCM CFF.
3:30 AM Victor/Victoria (1982)
Julie Andrews was slated to attend the screening of this film, at the 2020 TCM CFF.

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Festivals Film History Movie History Rediscovered Classic Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Middleburg Film Festival 2019

Posted on October 22, 2019 at 7:47 am

After just seven years, the Middleburg Film Festival has become a major cultural event, showcasing not-yet-released films likely to be on a lot of year-end ten-best lists, presented by filmmakers, all in one of the state’s most beautiful settings out in the countryside about 30 miles from Washington D.C. For me, the highlight every year is an event unique to Middleburg, a tribute to a film composer. Festival founder and visionary Sheila Johnson originally studied to be a concert violinist, and she says that without music, movies have no soul. She wants audiences to understand that film scores are not about what you hum as you leave the theater; the music helps to tell the story and reveal the characters. It helps you feel the feelings the people who made the movie wanted you to feel. The festival always includes a tribute featuring a full orchestra performing the composer’s work.

This year’s awardee was Terence Blanchard, who has composed the smoky, jazz-influenced scores for films including Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X,” “Clockers,” “BlackKklansman,” “Inside Man,” and “25th Hour” as well as Lee’s documentary that was very personal for Blanchard, who is from New Orleans, the Katrina documentary “When the Levees Broke.”

Blanchard also brought his own ensemble, the E Collective. He spoke about his career, including performing with Miles Davis, Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey, about going to music camp with Wynton and Branford Marsalis when they were children, about how he works with different directors, and about his long friendship with director Kasi Lemmons, from “Eve’s Bayou” to her newest film, “Harriet,” starring Cynthia Erivo, which was also featured at the festival. Blanchard and Lemmons have collaborated on an opera based on Charles Blow’s memoir, called “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.”

Another event I look forward to every year is the “Talk Back to the Critics” panel, when audience members get to ask us about movies and let us know when they disagree with our reviews. Sharing the stage with my friends Travis Hobson, Tim Gordon, Susan Wloszczyna, and Jason Fraley in the sunny courtyard of the Old Ox Brewery

“Harriet” was one of the highlights of the festival, the stirring story of Harriet Tubman, who escaped enslavement by running from Maryland to Pennsylvania without a map — and could not have read one if one existed. She then returned repeatedly to rescue more than 70 other enslaved persons, including elderly and an infant and then, during the Civil War, became the first — and still one of the very few — women to lead U.S. military forces in batter. Erivo’s performance is powerful and moving, and the superb cast includes “Hamilton’s” Leslie Odom, Jr., Jonelle Monae, and Joe Alwyn.

Writer/director Kasi Lemmons and producer Debra Debra Martin Chase at the Q&A

Probably the most anticipated film at the festival was saved for the last spot, which, as Festival director Susan Koch, had gone to the films later selected for Best Picture Oscars the previous two years. This time it was Martin Scorsese’s elegiac three and a half hour epic “The Irishman,” starring Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa and Robert De Niro as the title character, once Hoffa’s most trusted colleague, who later confessed to murdering him. We see the characters age over 40 years, with the help of computer imaging.

Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in a searing look at a deteriorating relationship. Each appeared in another high profile film in the festival, Johansson in “Jo Jo Rabbit,” about an Austrian boy in the last months of WWII — with writer/director Taika Waititi playing the child’s imagined version of Hitler, and Driver as the real-life investigator who wrote the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the torture of witnesses detained by the CIA.

Ira Sachs’ “Frankie” is the sensitively told story of a day in the life of an actress (Isabelle Huppert) vacationing with her family in Portugal. “Waves” is a poetic look at a family with two teenagers who have to deal with the aftermath of tragedy. My favorite, and I suspect the favorite of many others, too, was Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” Put it on your calendar to take the family to see for Thanksgiving. And maybe put Middleburg on your calendar for next year as well.

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Festivals

A Virtual Festival for Librarians, Book Nerds, and Fans of Graphic Novels, SF, and Fantasy

Posted on October 21, 2019 at 11:08 am

Copyright Library of Congress 2019

Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for our third annual LibraryCon Live! We’re excited to offer a day-long celebration of fandom-beloved stories and characters, featuring the creators behind mind-bending speculative fiction, innovative comics, and fan-favorite graphic novels. You’ll also learn from librarians and industry insiders on how to plan and host your own Comic Con-style event.

Plus, network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you’ll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. Whether you’re a public or school librarian, an educator of teens and young adults, or a superfan of graphic novels and sf/fantasy, don’t miss this chance to meet and interact with some of your favorite stars across these genres.

LibraryCon Live! is a free, completely virtual conference—no traveling and no cost!

Register now! We look forward to seeing you on November 6th. Can’t make the live date? No problem! All the sessions will be archived, and the virtual environment will be accessible for three months.

AGENDA

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM | Opening Keynote

Sam Maggs and Delilah Dawson in Conversation: Two comics writers discuss crafting narratives and characters for Marvel Action, writing for middle grade and YA readers, and being on both sides of the “fangirl” experience. Sam Maggs is the author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy and Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History. She is also currently writing a middle-grade “Marvel Action: Captain Marvel” series for IDW. Delilah Dawson, a NYT bestselling author, writes the “Marvel Action: Spider Man” series and is currently penning a YA series for IDW called “Star Pig.”

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM | Panel 1 | Fantastic World-Building

Mystical Viking warriors. China in 484 A.D. A ruthless galactic empire. A modern Gothic nightmarescape. A secret society of black magicians. While wildly different, each of the works highlighted by the authors and artists on this panel share a common trait: exemplary world-building. Creators discuss how they construct intricate and believable fantastic worlds.

Natasha Alterici, Heathen, Vol. 2 (Diamond)
Hannah Templer, Cosmoknights; GLOW vs. the Star Primas (Top Shelf/IDW)
Brandon Thomas, Excellence, Vol. 1 (Image)
Sherry Thomas, The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan (Lee & Low)

12:15 PM – 12:30 PM | Break

12:30 PM – 1:00 PM | Lunch Keynote

Henry Barajas, La Voz de M.A.Y.O Tata Rambo (Image)

In La Voz de M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo, Henry Barajas tells the true story of how his grandfather, Ramon Jaurigue (a.k.a. Tata Rambo), co-founded the Mexican, American, Yaqui, and Others (M.A.Y.O.) organization, which successfully lobbied the Tucson City Council to improve living and working conditions for members of the Pascua Yaqui and led to federal recognition of the Yaqui tribe.

1:00 PM – 1:45 PM | Panel 2 | Stories That Engage Young Readers (and Beyond)

Relatable heroes, adventure-filled journeys, and laugh-out-loud truisms define these narratives for middle grade and teen readers. In this panel, authors and artists will discuss how they craft the highly engaging stories that young readers crave.

Drew Brockington, “CatStronauts” series; Hangry (Little, Brown)
Will Henry, Snug Harbor Stories: A Wallace the Brave Collection (Andrews McMeel)
Lucy Knisley, Stepping Stones (RHCB)
Sarah Kuhn, Shadow of the Batgirl (DC)
Christine Taylor-Butler, The Lost Tribe: Trials (Move)
Jen Wang, Stargazing (Macmillan)

1:45 PM – 2:15 PM | Fast Learning Session 1: How the Arlington Public Library Does Their ComicCon Program

Thinking about hosting a ComicCon-style event at your library? Hear Tamera Miller, Program Specialist at the Arlington Public Library (TX), discuss her library’s highly successful model, and learn how to plan, market, and run your own Con.

2:15 PM – 2:45 PM | Fast Learning Session 2: Comics Nerd Expert Picks

Nicholas Allen, comics writer and co-founder of Rexco Comics, will talk about some of the must-have, under-the-radar new and forthcoming comics titles librarians need to know about, including his favorite web comics.

2:45 PM – 3:00 PM | Break

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM | Panel 3 | Portrait of the Artists

Though their styles and techniques vary greatly, the artists on this panel share a commitment to excellence in visual storytelling. This panel will offer a behind-the-scenes deep dive into their artistic processes.

Erin Nations, Gumballs (Top Shelf/IDW)
Becky Cloonan, Reaver; By Chance or By Providence (Image)
Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke & Key series; Tales from the Darkside (IDW)
Koren Shadmi, The Twilight Man: Rod Sterling and the Birth of Television (Humanoids)

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM | Closing Keynote

James Tynion IV, Something Is Killing the Children (BOOM! Studios)

Best known for his work on the “Batman” series with DC Comics, GLAAD Award-winning writer James Tynion IV now delves into horror with a brand-new limited series, Something Is Killing the Children, about “staring into the abyss to find your worst fears staring back.”

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Festivals

Middleburg Film Festival 2019

Posted on October 2, 2019 at 1:15 pm

The Middleburg Film Festival has surpassed itself again with a stunning line-up that includes some of the fall and winter season’s most anticipated and awards-likely films, including Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and Martin Scorsese’s epic crime drama “The Irishman” with Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel. Also on the schedule: Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” with Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman in “Harriet,” Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn,” based on the acclaimed novel, and Adam Driver in “The Report,” based on the true and very timely story of the Congressional investigation into torture of US prisoners.

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Festivals
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