biff blog

Bermuda Film Blog

Category Archives: Announcement

One More BIFFlix Screening This Sunday Before BIFF 2013

(Hamilton, Bermuda – March 20, 2013) – BIFF today announces that the final instalment of the BIFFlix film series before the 16th annual Bermuda International Film Festival in April will take place this Sunday (March 24), 5.30pm, at The Tradewinds Auditorium in the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

The film screening is “Lore,” an unconventional take on the Holocaust legacy. The film is multi-award winning and nominated on the international film festival circuit. Infused with lush cinematography and an evocative, haunting mood, it centres upon 14-year old German girl Lore and five siblings left to fend for themselves after their father and mother, staunch Nazi believers, are killed by the victorious Allies at the end of World War II.

The young group undertake a harrowing journey that exposes them to the reality and consequences of their parents’ actions. They set out on a journey across a devastated country to reach their grandmother in the north.

After meeting the charismatic Thomas, a mysterious young refugee, Lore soon finds her world shattered by feelings of both hatred and desire as she must learn to trust the one person she has always been taught to hate in order to survive. Tickets are available in advance at www.ptix.bm or purchase at the door on the day from 4:30pm with cash, check, or credit card.

Tickets are priced at $15. The Film is in German with English subtitles and runs 106 minutes.

See the BIFF highlights here exclusively

This article was originally published in 3/15/2013 edition of the Bermuda Sun; Writer Sarah Lagan

A man’s transformation into a woman, life as a double amputee and a scandalous betrayal are just some of the themes visited in this year’s Bermuda International Film Festival offerings.

Today the Bermuda Sun can exclusively reveal the festival highlights as well as information on the new interactive festival guide.

The 16th annual film festival takes place from April 12 to 18 and includes 50 local and international screenings.

For the first time there will be themed packages on certain days. This year’s categories include World Cinema — Narrative, World Cinema — Documentary, Local flavours, Across the Pond (foreign), Rule Britannia (British), Fantastical Moments (sci-fi fantasy), Global Visions and Festival Jewels.

This year the festival has partnered with two organizations  — Chewstick and the Rainbow Alliance — in a bid to attract more young and LGBT audiences.

For the first year, the festival has a fully searchable online guide with trailers and synopses.

It was created by www.festivalgenius.com which creates the guides for the other industry film festivals around the world.

You can now search by film, category, country and date and can even plot out your own schedule to print off or transport it to your phone using iCalendar.

Festival director Andrew Stoneham told the Bermuda Sun: “It is more comprehensive than we have ever had in the past it is more interactive and easier to navigate.” See the festival database here:www.bermuda.festivalgenius.com/2013/films.

The films will also be printed in a physical guide produced by the Bermuda Sun/Island Press.

Another first for the festival is the inclusion of a Centrepiece Film to mark the middle of the festival. The idea comes from other industry film awards around the world. The centrepiece film is Unfinished Song “a touching and joyful story about overcoming despair and learning to live in the moment.

The festival has decided to screen all films after 4pm this year so more people can go along — the majority of the screenings will be at Liberty Theatre with the exception of the local offerings which will screen at BUEI.

There will be social events sponsored by MEF throughout the festival including a Wrap Party. The events will take place at Margarita Grill on Victoria Street, Hamilton.

Ginger and Rosa (Opening):

The opening film is categorized as Sweet 16 tying in with the festival’s 16th anniversary and the film being a coming of age movie to attract a younger audience.

It is by established filmmaker Sally Potter OBE and is said to have a universal appeal.

Ginger and Rosa was nominated at the British Independent Film Awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.

The festival’s Alison Hicks said: “It tells the story of two teenage girls who were best friends since they were toddlers driven apart by a scandalous betrayal.

Set in 1960s London it tells of a story of friendship set against a backdrop of nuclear destruction. It is about the usual struggles with dealing with your parents when you are younger.”

Amour (World Cinema: Narrative):

Amour, by Michael Haneke, was the winner of Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars and Golden Globes and it won Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Actress in a Leading Role, Directing, Writing — Original Screen Play.

Festival director Andrew Stoneham said: “We have a huge Michael Haneke audience here — we screened his past two films here to sell out audiences.

“It’s a relationship drama about a long-married musical teachers living out their final years together when she has a stroke.

“She becomes debilitated and the husband has to care for her and it puts a great strain on their relationship. If you liked A Separation would probably come out to see this film.”

Laurence Anyways (World Cinema: Narrative):

This film won the Queer Palm and Un Certain Regard Award, Best Actress at Cannes and Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto Film Festival.

“I thought this film was brilliant,” said Stoneham. “It is by Quebecian filmmaker Xavier Dolan. He is only 24-years-old and all his films have premiered at Cannes.

“Set in the late 1980s and mid 1990s, it chronicles the ten-year relationship of a couple. The man realises he really wants to become a woman and how it explores how it affects the relationship.

“The woman leaves him for a little while but comes back as if nothing ever happened and goes on with her relationship with this man as he transforms into a female.

“It is shot really interestingly some scenes are really stunning. I really love it. It makes sexuality irrelevant — it never seems totally abnormal — some films make it the biggest issue of the story but not in this case — it’s no big deal really.

“That aligns with what the Rainbow Alliance stands for so they are on board. It is definitely one of the best films in the line-up.”

Rust and Bone (Festival Jewels):

This film won Golden Globe nominations for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actress plus a slew of industry nominations.

Stoneham said: “This is the third film by Jacques Audiard we have screened to sold out audiences. The Prophet in 2010 was one.

“It is another relationship movie — it is a dramatic love story about how two people meet when they are both broken down.

“It shows how in that situation they are able to form this strange but really intimate bond and it helps them to get through the difficult times in their lives. The guy is broke — he has a kid from his first marriage and he is this underground boxer. The girl is a killer whale trainer and she loses her legs at the sea park.”

Local offerings:

The local films include Bayard Outerbridge’s short film Checkpoint about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Robert Zuill’s Appetite for Extinction documentary about the lionfish invasion in Bermuda’s waters and Milton Raposo’s Osbourne’s Day Out about the aquarium shark. A former Bermuda artist in residence Kev Lombard has made a documentary on Bermuda sea glass called Entry By Sea and Kara Smith has entered a “mockumentary” called Life about an urban drug addict in London. Smith has been up for numerous writing awards in LA. Lucinda Spurling’s Hour of Victory will be screened with different music than the version being shown at the current BermudaDocs festival.

Finally Dawn Zuill produced a film by director Emmanual Itier, Femme, about Bermuda’s female Premiers Dame Jennifer Smith and Dame Pamela Gordon.

The festival is still seeking sponsors and patrons to help fund this year’s coming event. For more information visit: www.biff.bm. The online guide is available at www.bermuda.festivalgenius.com/2013/films. For more stories like this follow me on Twitter @sarahlaganlife

BIFF 2013 Announces Full Line-Up and Launches Interactive Online Film Guide

(Hamilton, Bermuda – March 15, 2013) – BIFF today announces the line-up for the 16th annual Bermuda International Film Festival taking place from April 12-18. Over 50 feature-length and short narratives and documentaries will be screened this year at Liberty Theatre and Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. The BIFF 2013 programme combines the very best in world cinema with local filmmaking talent and a full cross-section of genres, styles and subject matter to ensure that there is something for all tastes.

This year BIFF has partnered with Festival Genius, the premier scheduling platform, to offer a fully searchable and interactive online film guide at: http://bermuda.festivalgenius.com/2013. The guide offers detailed synopses and trailers and you can create a log-in profile in order to add films to your personal calendar, as well as rate and review films.

To mark BIFF’s Sweet 16, the festival opens with “Ginger & Rosa,” a riveting coming-of- age story about two teenage girls growing up in the sixties in London. The two, played by Elle Fanning and Alice Englert, were best friends since they were toddlers until a scandalous betrayal drives them apart.

The backbone of the programme is the World Cinema category with narrative features from across Europe, the Middle East and North America. Leading the pack is this year’s Academy and Golden Globe ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ award winner, “Amour.” This universally acclaimed masterpiece paints a portrait of a Parisian couple dealing with old age that is as compassionate as it is merciless.

Other World Cinema narrative highlights include Cannes award-winners: “Beyond the Hills” (Best Screenplay, Best Actress); “The Angel’s Share” (Jury Prize); “The Hunt” (Best Actor) and “Laurence Anyways” (Queer Palm, Un Certain Regard). “The Attack,” set in Tel Aviv in the dramatic aftermath of a suicide bomb, rounds out the section.

The equally well-regarded World Cinema documentary selection covers a diverse range of subject matter: Indonesian paramilitary leader Anwar Congo and his dedicated followers in “The Act of Killing”; killer whales that kill in captivity in “Blackfish”; the persecution of albinos in Tanzania, “In the Shadow of the Sun”; the biased judicial system of West Bank, “The Law in these Parts”; Afghan television network, TOLO TV, in “The Network”; familial myths and memories in “Stories We Tell”; and gross miscarriage of justice in “West of Memphis.” BIFF 2013 ANNOUNCES FULL LINE-UP 

For the first time this year and in-keeping with a popular film festival custom, BIFF will be marking the middle of the festival with a Centrepiece Film. The touching and joyful “Unfinished Song” was selected for this honour. It brings together two icons of British cinema, Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp, as a married couple struggling to cope with her terminal illness, but finding light relief and solace singing in the somewhat unconventional local seniors’ choir.

Also new this year is the Festival Jewels category for which BIFF’s programmers selected two recent big hits from the international festival circuit: “Chicken with Plums” and twice Golden Globe nominated “Rust and Bone.”

Our From the Onion Patch screening offers cinemagoers another chance to catch the latest offering from local filmmakers, Lucinda Spurling and Andrew Kirkpatrick, “In the Hour of Victory,” on the big screen. A documentary which tells a tragic love story set amid the turmoil of World War II, the film will screen for the first time at BIFF 2013 with a brand new soundtrack composed by Steve Gallant who was raised in Bermuda.

This year’s Special Presentation of “Femme: Women Healing the World” also has a local connection. Director by BIFF regular, Emmanuel Itier, it is a quest to find and interview the most important and influential women around the world. Among those interviewed are former Premiers of Bermuda, Dame Jennifer Smith and Dame Pamela Gordon (a long-time supporter of BIFF).

As BIFF is one of only a small number worldwide of Academy Award Qualifying festival for the Short Film – Live Action Oscar, there will also be a varied narrative shorts lineup screening in competition for the coveted Bermuda Shorts award presided over by an esteemed judging panel (to be announced). There will also be a number of though- provoking and highly regarded short documentaries for your viewing pleasure. The shorts will screen either in one of four themed packages or prior to feature presentations. The “Local Flavours” package comprises four short film from Bermudian filmmakers: Robert Zuill, Kara Smith, Karli Powell, Kev Lombard and Milton Raposo.

The festival will close with “Girl Most Likely,” a wildly quirky and optimistic comic comedy study featuring Kirsten Wiig, Annette Benning, Matt Dillon and Glee’s Darren Criss.

The BIFF 2013 online box office will open on March 25 and the physical box office will open on April 8. BIFF Patrons and Sponsors will be contacted directly next week and offered priority access to purchase tickets before the general public.

To keep up to date with all the BIFF 2013 news as it breaks, ‘like’ us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BIFF.bm. More information is also available on our website: www.biff.bm.

A night at the Oscars? Well… Bda style

This article was original published in 2/20/13 edition of the Bermuda Sun; Writer Sarah Lagan

The Bermuda International Film Festival is creeping up and a host of film related events have been announced for this coming week.

The warm-up weekender launches with a special February edition of the monthly BIFFlix film series on Saturday evening, a fundraising walk on Sunday morning and a glamorous “Live from the Red Carpet” event on Sunday evening.

In celebration of the 2013 Academy Awards, BIFF has again teamed up with MEF to present this Oscars event at Margarita Grill in Hamilton.

The Oscars will be shown live from Hollywood and party guests are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite Oscar
winner.

This year’s film festival will be held from April 12 to 18 and all money raised will go towards staging BIFF 2013.

For more information about any of the events, please email info@biff.bm or call 293-3456.

The following information was supplied by the Bermuda International Film Festival:

– BIFFlix February Special Edition — Saturday, February 23 at 5:30pm:

The February instalment of The Bermuda International Film Festival’s film series, BIFFlix, is Beloved. The latest film from modern musical director Christophe Honore, the film was the closing night selection of 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The film will screen at The Tradewinds Auditorium in the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, 40 Crow Lane, Pembroke.

Starring Catherine Deneuve and (her real-life daughter) Chiara Mastroianni, this sly and exquisitely romantic musical drama from Christophe Honoré (Love Songs, Dans Paris) spans over three decades as it follows a mother and daughter’s misadventures in love. In the 60s, Madeleine (Ludivine Sagnier) leaves Paris to re-join her Czech husband Jaromil (Rasha Bukvic) in Prague, but his infidelities and the arrival of Russian tanks in the city lead her back to France.

Thirty years later we follow the romance of Madeleine’s daughter, Vera, who falls in love with a musician (Paul Scneider) in London who is incapable of devoting himself to her. Meanwhile in Paris, a re-married Madeleine (Deneuve) has rekindled her love affair with Jaromil (Milos Forman). Louis Garrel and Paul Schneider also star in this light-hearted but ultimately moving exploration of the changing nature of relationships.

Tickets are available in advance at http://www.ptix.bm or purchase at the door on the day from 4:30pm with cash, check, or credit card. Tickets are priced at $15. The film is in French and runs 139 minutes.

To view trailer, visit: http://www.biff.bm/events/bifflix.

– Argus Walks the Walk — February 24 at 8:30am:

The BIFF team is urging fans of the Bermuda International Film Festival to support its fundraising efforts by taking part in the Argus Walks the Walk 5K event on February 24. For the equivalent cost of a cinema ticket and snacks, you can support your local film festival. Money raised will go straight into putting on BIFF 2013, a week-long film extravaganza of features never seen before in Bermuda. Argus Walks the Walk is a one-of-a-kind event in that you can choose the charity you want your $25 entry fees to benefit. For everyone that walks for BIFF, there is a free BIFF t-shirt. Register online at: www.racedayworld.com.

– Live from the Red Carpet — February 24 at 7:30pm:

For the finalé, BIFF has once again teamed up with MEF to host a night of glitz, glamour and film talk at the 2013 Live From the Red Carpet event. The event is being held at Margarita Grill on Bermudiana Road in Hamilton on the night of the 85th Academy Awards. The awards will be broadcast live from LA in Margarita Grill and guests can attempt to predict the winners and play games to win prizes. The event starts at 7:30pm to allow guests to catch footage of the celebrities themselves arriving at the Oscars at 8pm local time. Join us for happy hour drinks specials, a fabulous Tapas menu, spectacular Oscar-themed cocktails, trivia, a best-dressed competition, red carpet photos and more. Tickets are priced at $35. Complimentary special drink is included in admission. Buy your ticket at www.ptix.bm. Email margaritas@mef.bm for any table reservations.

BIFFlix French Romantic Musical Drama

The February installment of The Bermuda International Film Festival’s film series, BIFFlix, will be “Beloved.” The latest film from modern musical director Christophe Honore, the film was the closing night selection of 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The film will screen on Saturday February 23, 5:30pm, at The Tradewinds Auditorium in the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, 40 Crow Lane, Pembroke.

Starring Catherine Deneuve and (her real-life daughter) Chiara Mastroianni, this sly and exquisitely romantic musical drama from Christophe Honoré (Love Songs, Dans Paris) spans over three decades as it follows a mother and daughter’s misadventures in love. In the ’60s, Madeleine (Ludivine Sagnier) leaves Paris to re-join her Czech husband Jaromil (Rasha Bukvic) in Prague, but his infidelities and the arrival of Russian tanks in the city lead her back to France.

Thirty years later we follow the romance of Madeleine’s daughter, Vera, who falls in love with a musician (Paul Scneider) in London who is incapable of devoting himself to her. Meanwhile in Paris, a re-married Madeleine (Deneuve) has rekindled her love affair with Jaromil (Milos Forman). Louis Garrel and Paul Schneider also star in this light-hearted but ultimately moving exploration of the changing nature of relationships.

Tickets are available in advance at www.ptix.bm or purchase at the door on the day from 4:30pm with cash, check, or credit card. Tickets are priced at $15. The film is in French with English subtitles and runs 139 minutes.

“The music is enchantingly low-key, the fashions are gorgeous, and the emotions both tragic and real-this is one of the year’s best films.” – Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

Oscar Nominated The Silver Linings Playbook

(Hamilton, Bermuda – January 28, 2013) The Bermuda International Film Festival presents The Silver Linings Playbook on February 3rd at the Liberty Theatre. This is a fundraising event with the film screening at Liberty Theatre for one night only starting at 6pm.

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper, “The Hangover”) has lost everything – his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver, “Animal Kingdom”) and father (Robert DeNiro, “Raging Bull”) after spending eight months in a state institution on plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet-and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence, “ Winter’s Bone”), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both their lives.

Featuring an all star cast including; Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Jackie Weaver, Julia Stiles and Chris Tucker who makes his first film appearance in five years. Winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and nominated for a total of 8 Academy Awards including: Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Picture. Silver Linings Playbook is one of the most talked about films of the year.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to screen the latest film from celebrated director David O’Russell, the film has already won numerous awards and is bound to win an Oscar or two,” says David O’Beirne, Acting Chair of BIFF. “Audiences from previous years will be sure to enjoy this quirky romantic comedy which is similar to previous BIFF opening night selections such as Barney’s Version (BIFF 2011) and Darling Companion (BIFF 2012).

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at Premier Tickets. Tickets will be available on the day of at the door from 5pm. Proceeds to support BIFF programmes and the 2013 festival.

Next BIFFlix is one for the Downton Abbey Fans

“You’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ve just stumbled into a lost episode of Downton Abbey” – Time Out

“A sustained balancing act between dry upper-crust cynicism and pent-up passions” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Crowd Pleasing” – Indiewire

(Hamilton, Bermuda – January 20, 2013) – BIFF today announces that the January instalment of The Bermuda International Film Festival’s film series, BIFFlix, will be “Cheerful Weather for the Wedding.” Much compared to the popular British period drama television series, “Downton Abbey,” the film will screen on Sunday January 27, 5.30pm, at The Tradewinds Auditorium in the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, 40 Crow Lane, Pembroke.

The film premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival and is set on a gorgeous morning in England in 1932. A young bride, Dolly (Felicity Jones, “Cemetery Junction,” “Like Crazy”), should be overjoyed at the wonderful day about to unfold. But instead she’s locked up in her room with a bottle of rum day- dreaming about the time she spent last summer with a wonderful man; who is not her fiancé.

The bride’s mother, Hetty, is played by Academy award-winning Elizabeth McGovern, who actually appears in “Downton Abbey” as Cora, Countess of Grantham, a role that earned her a ‘Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film’ Golden Globe nomination in 2011. Hetty scurries about the house trying to placate the arriving stream of cousins, aunts and assorted family that are beginning to chatter about the missing bride. Hetty has planned out the day to the final detail, but the one thing she can’t plan on is the arrival of Joseph (Luke Treadway), Dolly’s brash best friend, throwing everything into disarray.

A combination of delightful light comedy, passionate romance and gorgeous settings make “Cheerful Weather for the Wedding” a warm-hearted joy.

Tickets are available in advance at www.ptix.bm or purchase at the door on the day from 4:30pm with cash, check, or credit card. Tickets are priced at $15. The Film is in English and runs 93 minutes.

page1image25072

007 is For Your Eyes Only in Bermuda

This article was originally published in 1/11/2013 edition of the Bermuda Sun; Writer Sarah Lagan

FRIDAY, JANUARY 11: Think you know your Licence to Kill from your View To A Kill?

Die-hard Bond fans will have the chance to really test their knowledge of the iconic spy thriller films at the screening of a new documentary next Friday.

Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007, highlights the struggle between the original James Bond producers, Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman in bringing the Bond books to the big screen.

It includes rare archive footage and interviews with most of the leading protagonists.

Mr Saltzman’s daughter Hillary will be at the screening as the festival’s special guest and will be on hand for a question and answer session hosted by Bruce Barritt after the film.

On the evening of the screening, BIFF is holding a fundraising cocktail reception where guests will receive a Bond cocktail (courtesy of Bacardi) and there will be a raffle at the end of the evening.

The screening and fundraiser will be in the Earl Cameron Theatre City Hall on Friday, January 18.

The reception begins at 7pm and the screening is at 7:30pm.

Tickets are $50 and are available from premierticketsglobal.com. Guests are encouraged to attend in their best black tie outfit. Proceeds from the event will go towards the Bermuda International Film Festival.

Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007

The Bermuda International Film Festival presents Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 January 18th at the Earl Cameron Theatre City Hall. This is a fundraising event with an opening reception at 7pm followed by the documentary screening at 7:30pm. Tickets are $50 which is inclusive of one specialty James Bond Cocktail.

Everything Or Nothing focuses on three men with a shared dream Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli, Harry Saltzman and author Ian Fleming. Its the thrilling and inspiring narrative behind the longest running film franchise in cinema history which began in 1962. With unprecedented access both to the key players involved and to Eon Productions extensive archive, this is the first time the inside story of the franchise has ever been told on screen in this way. Director Stevan Riley follows a story that begins with a ground-breaking spy thriller and continues six Bonds and five decades later. While Bond was saving the world from chaos and catastrophe on screen, this compelling documentary draws back the curtain to reveal the battles, threats and real stakes unfolding behind the camera.

We are delighted to have with us Hilary Saltzman, daughter of Harry Saltzman who will participate in a Q&A discussion after the screening with our very own Bruce Barritt.

Cash bar is available before and after the screening. There will be door prizes and a raffle.

Proceeds will benefit The Bermuda International Film Festival’s programming initiatives. PURCHASE TICKETS HERE!

Film Foreign Language Oscar Shortlist

Nine new foreign language films are vying for the top prize in international cinema at the 85th Oscars. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences narrowed the list after receving 71 entries from various countries around the world.

The five nominees for the Foreign Language Film Award will be chosen by a committee and the nominations will be announced on January 10, 2013. The Oscars will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Check out the shortlist below.

Austria, Amour, Michael Haneke, director
Canada, War Witch, Kim Nguyen, director
Chile, No, Pablo Larraín, director
Denmark, A Royal Affair, Nikolaj Arcel, director
France, The Intouchables, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors
Iceland, The Deep, Baltasar Kormákur, director
Norway, Kon-Tiki, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors
Romania, Beyond the Hills, Cristian Mungiu, director
Switzerland, Sister, Ursula Meier, director