The film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, released last year, stars Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy, a young girl living in a southern Louisiana bayou with her father and with the weight of the universe on her small determined shoulders. The film was directed by Benh Zeitlin and adapted by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from Alibar's one-act play Juicy and Delicious. The score is by Zeitlin and Dan Romer.

This gorgeous and fantastical film was distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures and was nominated for 4 Academy Awards. The film’s aforementioned star, Quvenzhané Wallis, is the youngest person ever to be nominated for Best Actress in a motion picture. Zeitlin was nominated for Best Director - for this, his first full-length feature film; and he and Alibar were nominated for best adapted screenplay. The film was also nominated for Best Picture.

This Saturday, August 10th, MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA will present a screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild with live score performed by Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin, and the Wordless Music Orchestra. This is one of only two scheduled live-score presentations of the film - the first occurring on the 8th at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park.

  Over the past decade, producer Lynda Obst gradually realized she was working in a Hollywood that was undergoing a drastic transformation. The industry where everything had once been familiar to her was suddenly disturbingly strange.

Combining her own industry experience and interviews with the brightest minds in the business, Obst explains what has stalled the vast moviemaking machine.

    Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA is home to America's longest-running dance festival, is a National Historic Landmark, and is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Their 81st Season continues in Becket, MA through August 25th.

On July 26, the documentary film about Dancing at Jacob's Pillow: Never Stand Still, will air nationally on PBS Great Performances. Director of the film, Ron Honsa filmed interviews and performances at The Pillow over the course of several seasons.

BIFF - "Girl Rising"

May 31, 2013

    This Saturday night the documentary Girl Rising will screen at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA as part of The Berkshire International Film Festival. The screening and the following panel discussion is presented in cooperation with the Interdependence Movement and 10×10.

The thesis of Girl Rising is simple: educating girls in the developing world will bring about transformational change. Every day, millions of girls wake to a world that does not see them. But dollar for dollar, they are the best investment in the developing world. 

Girl Rising tells the stories of nine real girls from around the world - girls in Cambodia, India, Nepal, Egypt, Peru, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Haiti, and Sierra Leone. A female writer from each country has written the girl’s story and in the film, each vignette is narrated by an esteemed actress - including Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Kerry Washington. That’s 9 countries, 9 girls, 9 writers, and 9 actresses. In between each girl’s story, the filmmakers share statistical information in an engaging manner and those presentations are narrated by Liam Neeson. 

    The closing night film of the 8th Annual Berkshire International Film Festival is Noah Baumbach’s latest, Frances Ha. It was co-written by Baumbach and Greta Gerwig - who stars. Some of the other perfectly cast actors in the modern black-and-white comedy are Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Esper, Michael Zegen, Charlotte D’Amboise, and Grace Gummer.

Noah Baumbach’s previous films include Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, and Greenberg. He worked with Wes Anderson on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Fantastic Mr. Fox and co-wrote the screenplay for the Dreamworks animated film, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.

Frances Ha will screen at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA on Sunday, June 2nd at 7pm. Both Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig will be in attendance for a Q&A moderated by artist and Berkshire resident Gregory Crewdson.

    Tom Donahue’s documentary, Casting By, takes us through the last 50 years of Hollywood history from an entirely new perspective -- that of the casting director. Pioneers like Marion Dougherty and Lynn Stalmaster were iconoclasts whose exquisite taste and gut instincts helped to put an end to the studio system and usher in a new Hollywood. They broke away from traditional typecasting and brought actors like James Dean, Dustin Hoffman, Bette Midler, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, and Gene Hackman to the screen.

Tom Donahue combines personal narratives from actors, directors, and casting directors with extensive archival material to reconstruct the untold tale of Hollywood’s most invisible and unheralded profession.

Casting By will screen as part of The Berkshire International Film Festival on Sunday, June 2 at The Triplex in Great Barrington, MA. A Q&A will follow the screening with Casting Directors 
Gretchen Rennell and Elissa Myers.

    MASS MoCA’s Winter/Spring 2013 documentary film series, Compete!, celebrates films about winning, losing, and how you play the game.

This Thursday’s film, The Human Tower, explores the history and culture of one of the world’s most spectacularly unusual team endeavors - the building of multi-story human towers. The filmmakers follow teams from India, Chile, and Spain  - connected by the common themes of passion and teamwork that transcend race, age, and national borders.

  The Human Tower is co-directed by Ram Devineni and Cano Rojas. Rojas will be at MASS MoCA this Thursday for a Q&A following the screening of the film in their Club B-10 at 7:30.

    The documentary film, Buzkashi! is a story of three fascinating characters who are at the top of their sport of Buzkashi in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic nestled in the Pamir mountains. Donning their protective equipment – including tank helmets from previous wars – they steer their horses to join the hundreds of others playing on the plateaus of this mountainous country.

The rivalries, alliances politics and intrigues surrounding the sport put ancient values of honor and integrity head-to-head with ego-driven hunger for power and wealth.

The film is screening at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA tomorrow night at 7:30 as part of their Winter/Spring 2013 documentary film series, Compete!, the series celebrates films about winning, losing, and how you play the game.

Buzkashi! is written and directed by Najeeb Mirza. You may watch the trailer, here.

Rob Edelman: Panahi

Mar 25, 2013

A SEPARATION was one of the top films of 2011. In fact, it deservedly earned the Best Foreign Film Academy Award. I mention it now because its country of origin is Iran and, over a year ago, prior to the Oscar ceremony, I put forth a question: Should the current, seemingly endless hullaballoo surrounding Iran in any way impact on one’s view of this film-- or, if you are an Oscar voter, impact on your decision to vote or not vote for A SEPARATION?

popturfdotcom's photostream Flickr

BOSTON (AP) — Film companies have been awarded $44 million in Massachusetts tax credits for projects filmed in 2011, with nearly two-thirds of new spending generated by the productions going to individuals and businesses located out-of-state, including many individuals making more than $1 million.

That's a jump over the $18 million in credits in 2010.

The Department of Revenue report credited the increase on the return of multiple major feature films being made in Massachusetts.