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Viacom Halts ‘Padmavati’ Release After Religious Uproar

19 hours ago

India’s Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions have halted the global release of much-anticipated costume drama “Padmavati.” Controversy was sparked by the idea that it features a cross-faith Hindu-Muslim romance.

The film had been set for a Dec. 1 release in India. Related company, Paramount Pictures was recently announced as handle the worldwide distribution, in a day-and-date date release, coordinated with the outing in India.

While announcing a “voluntary deferment” of the film’s release, Viacom18 said that it had faith in legal process. And that it expected to announce a new date soon. »


- Naman Ramachandran

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Idfa: Brazilian Indigenous Peoples Doc ‘Piripkura,’ Awarded Amsterdam Human Rights Award (Watch Trailer)

1 hour ago

Brazil’s “Piripkura” has won the Amsterdam Human Rights Award at this year’s International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (Idfa). Recognition for a devastating chronicle, the award comes with a cash prize of €25,000 ($29,000).

The jury said of the film: “With this poignant, exceptional story, the filmmakers tackle a broad series of issues that should be high up on the international human rights agenda. The filmic quality of this documentary left us no choice but to award the Amsterdam Human Rights Award to ‘Piripkura.’”

The film was produced by Brazil’s Zeza Filmes with Maria Farinha Filmes and Grifa Filmes as associate producers.

Zeza Filmes focuses on projects which have a personal human approach. They are currently working on a fiction series titled “Incógnita,” and the documentary film “Meu Querido Supermercado,” with producer Casa Redonda. The later received the Idfa Bertha Fund in 2015.

Farinha Filmes produces and distributes stories meant to raise awareness about social issues which will affect »


- Jamie Lang

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Idfa Film Review: ‘Golden Dawn Girls’

1 hour ago

Perhaps no few seconds of video — plus the ethical debate that shot up around them — encapsulates 2017 better than the mid-interview shot of American white supremacist Richard Spencer getting punched in the face by a furious protester: a base act of moral retribution that, in a glum year for left-wing politics, many a dispirited liberal has secretly repeat-watched on YouTube as a kind of stress-ball for the eyes. Even such cold comfort is in short supply, however, in “Golden Dawn Girls,” Norwegian docmaker Håvard Bustnes’s troubling, grimly compelling study of the rapid rise of neo-Nazism in contemporary Greece, in which any sense of comeuppance is held strictly in limbo.

With white nationalist politics depressingly ascendant in Europe and America alike, Bustnes’s unabashedly subjective, sometimes despairingly comic doc is sure to strike a chord with festival programmers, distributors and audiences following its Idfa world premiere, despite a few ragged technical edges; the presence of Nick Broomfield as executive »


- Guy Lodge

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Idfa: The Bertha Fund At 20 – ‘Bringing In New Voices, Other Stories’

1 hour ago

Amsterdam — As Idfa turns 30, its partners at the Bertha Fund are quietly celebrating its 20th, capping this milestone year by taking the festival opening night slot – with Mohamed Siam’s “Amal” – for the first time since 2013’s critical hit “Return To Homs,” by Talal Derki. Committed to supporting documentary filmmaking in developing countries, the fund receives nearly 1,000 submissions a year, of which it can financially support around 30 projects, offering a boost to films from Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Middle East, as well as certain countries in Eastern Europe that are not part of the E.U.

“We operate like a regular fund,” says Isabel Arrate Fernandez, its managing director. “We have selection rounds, and we give grants for development, we give grants for production, which is really just cash.”

Depending on the projects and what they need, Bertha also tries to fit them into either Idfa’s Forum market, or its training »


- Damon Wise

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Idfa Golden Dawn Girls Director Håvard Bustnes, ‘The Far Right Movement Is Marching Again’

2 hours ago

Amsterdam — Test screenings are a tricky business at the best of times, but when the subjects of Håvard Bustnes’s documentary sat down to watch their big-screen debut last week, it’s fair to say the exit scores were always going to be in the low numbers. Filmed over four years, the film would, they’d thought, show them as “normal people with families”, but instead it paints a disturbing view of modern-day neo-Nazism, lifting the lid on the controversial Greek nationalist party through the lives of three women whose menfolk make up its central core.

Bustnes soon received word that they were not happy, and security was duly increased for last night’s premiere, which took place at a very fractious point in modern European history, following a large right-wing rally in Poland last week and smaller incidents in Holland recently. With the spectre of Charlottesville still also very much in the news – indeed, a Vice documentary »


- Damon Wise

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Korea Box Office: ‘Justice League’ on Top as Foreign Films Dominate

2 hours ago

Opening on Wednesday (Nov. 15), “Justice League” debuted on top of the South Korean box office. The Warner Bros. release earned $8.74 million from 1.14 million admissions over five days.

Happy Death Day” remained in second, earning $2.2 million between Friday and Sunday for a total of $7.62 million after two weekends on release. “Thor: Ragnarok” slipped to third from the previous week’s top spot, with a drop of 65%. The Disney release earned $1.28 million for a total of $33.9 million after four weekends. The three non-Korean films accounted for 74% of the total weekend box office altogether.

Another Wednesday opener, Lotte Entertainment’s “Room No. 7” debuted in fourth place. The comedy drama about a worker who finds a corpse and his boss who tries to sell the venue to cover up the incident, earned a five-day total of $1.92 million. Directed by Lee Yong-seung, “No. 7” was the opening film of this year’s Bucheon fantasy festival.

Korean duo, “The Bros” and »


- Sonia Kil

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Idfa DocLab’s Caspar Sonnen: ‘We Can No Longer Just Blame Technology For Everything’

3 hours ago

Amsterdam — The most noticeable aspect of this year’s DocLab is that, although it still has a presence, Virtual Reality finally seems to have settled down – turn a corner, go through a corridor of film posters, and there’s a bespoke Vr cinema, with twin seating arrangements to make the process just a little more social. It’s very matter of fact: Vr doesn’t seem to be trying so hard to be noticed this year.

Caspar Sonnen, Idfa’s head of new media, downplays that suggestion, citing instead the finite space at DocLab’s home at the Brakke Grond arts center, but it does seem that the technology once deemed the future of film is, well, no longer so futuristic.

“I think last year was peak Vr,” said Sonnen. “Even though only a third of the projects were Vr, it’s just the thing that everybody sees or looks for –even the people who hate the »


- Damon Wise

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Charles Manson Dies at 83

3 hours ago

Charles Manson, the notorious leader of the Manson Family cult that murdered actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969, died Sunday in a Bakersfield, Calif., hospital. He was 83.

The California Department of Corrections released a statement reading, “Inmate Charles Manson, 83, died of natural causes at 8:13 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2017, at a Kern County hospital.”

Manson returned to the hospital in mid-November after being hospitalized in January. He was transferred out of Corcoran State Prison, where he had been serving nine life sentences. He had been denied parole 12 times. 

The shocking murders brought the carefree hippie era of the late 1960s to a dark end, with Manson and his followers becoming infamous cultural figures. Though he didn’t commit the Tate and Labianca murders himself, the Corrections Department said “On December 13, 1971, Manson received a first-degree murder conviction from Los Angeles County for the July 25, 1969, death of Gary Hinman and another first-degree murder conviction for the August »


- Dave McNary

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‘Los Perros’, ‘To Let’ win Kolkata Festival

5 hours ago

Chilean-French “Los Perros,” directed by Marcela Said, won the best picture prize in the international competition of the 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival. Iceland’s Asa Helga Hjorleifsdottir won best director for “Swan.”

In the Indian competition, Chezhiyan Ra’s “To Let” was awarded best film while Dr. Bijukumar Damodaran won best director for “Sound of Silence.” The jury gave a special mention to Panchakshari’s “Pathumma”.

Akanksha Sood Singh’s “Mrityubhoj – the Death Feast” won best Indian documentary while Amritanshu’s “Chaahat Ke Gubbare” won best Indian short.

Despite inclement weather, the festival was extraordinarily well attended with all screenings, talks and masterclasses witnessing capacity crowds.

This year the focus country was the U.K. and noted British academic Rachel Dwyer delivered the annual Satyajit Ray memorial lecture, named for the late Oscar-winning Kolkata director of seminal films such as “Pather Panchali” and “Days and Nights in the Forest.” Dwyer discussed »


- Naman Ramachandran

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Idfa Film Review: ‘Amal’

7 hours ago

For most young adults, coming of age feels like a fight against stasis. As your body, emotions and perspective rapidly change from month to month, the world often feels too still and too staid to support your new, unruly self-in-progress. For the eponymous subject of Mohamed Siam’s tight, perceptive documentary “Amal,” however, the dynamic is rather different and more disorienting: As her adolescence is irrevocably shaped by the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, her personal growth and her country’s violent upheaval complement each other in their turbulence.

Checking in annually on Amal’s unpredictable progress over five tough years, Siam’s bittersweet film elegantly maintains its dual personal and political narrative without undue contrivance. The engrossing, quietly upsetting result should travel widely — as befits its multinational provenance — on the festival circuit following its prominent premiere as this year’s Idfa opener. Meanwhile, the multi-platform distribution appeal of a film that touches intersectionally on topical matters of gender »


- Guy Lodge

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The Kids Are Given a Mission in New ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Trailer

7 hours ago

Disney has released a new trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” as well as four first look photos.

The trailer depicts even more of the strange worlds that Meg Murray (Storm Reid), her younger brother Charles Wallace Murray (Deric McCabe), and school friend Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller) enter after Charles Wallance and Meg’s father (Chris Pine) mysteriously disappears. Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, and Reese Witherspoon also make appearances as Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Whatsit. The Mrs. Ws narrate the trailer, explaining that they think the Murrays’ father is still alive, and that it’s up to the children to save him and potentially the world.

A Wrinkle in Time” is the first book in L’Engle’s “Time Quartet” series that also includes “A Wind in the Door,” “Many Waters” and “A Swiftly Tilting Planet.”

Ava DuVernay is directing the film from an screenplay »


- Erin Nyren

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China Box Office: ‘Justice League’ Makes $52 Million Debut

8 hours ago

Justice League” opened widely in China and comfortably topped the box office with an opening score of $51.7 million. Over three days, it enjoyed a two thirds share of revenue for all top ten movies.

The film opened on some 20,500 screens, giving 115,00 screenings per day, according to data from local analysts at Ent Group. It scored $15.2 million on Friday, $21.0 million on Saturday and $14.5 million on Sunday. Including previews and midnight screenings, it has a cumulative of $52 million.

Warner Bros. said that is its second biggest opening in China, behind only “Batman vs Superman.” It was also a shade lower than the opening two weeks earlier of “Thor: Ragnarok,” which debuted with $54 million.

Within that total, the film played on 453 IMAX screens for a $6.15 million haul. That was the second best Friday to Sunday weekend for IMAX in China, behind “Doctor Strange.”

Second placed over three days in China, was comedy-fantasy “The Golden Monk.” With close to »


- Patrick Frater

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