Bérénice Bejo Named to Berlin International Film Festival Competition Jury

Bérénice Bejois reporting for jury dury…

The 70th Berlin International Film Festival has unveiled its juries, with the 43-year-old Argentine actress and Oscar nominee earning a spot.

Bérénice Bejo

In addition to Bejo, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her supporting role in The Artist, producer Bettina Brokemper (Germany), director Annemarie Jacir(Palestine), playwright and director Kenneth Lonergan(USA), actor Luca Marinelli (Italy) and film critic and director Kleber Mendonça Filho(Brazil), will join president Jeremy Irons

They will award prizes including the Goldenand the Silver Bears to the 18 films in this year’s Competition line up.

The festival’s new competitive section Encounters will see Dominga Sotomayor(Chile), Eva Trobisch(Germany) and Shôzô Ichiyama(Japan) award three prizes: Best Film, Best Director and a Special Jury Award.

The youth-focused Generations strand has two juries. The Kplus section will be overseen by Abbas Amini (Iran), Jenna Bass (South Africa) and Rima Das. The 14plus competition will be overseen by Marine Atlan (France), María Novaro (Mexico) and Erik Schmitt (Germany).

The international short film jury will feature animation filmmaker Réka Bucsi (Hungary), curator Fatma Çolakoğlu (Turkey) and filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese.

The winner of the festival’s documentary prize, which encompasses the Competition, Berlinale Special, Encounters, Panorama, Forum, Generation and Perspektive Deutsches Kino sections, will be selected by Gerd Kroske (Germany), Marie Losier (France / USA), and Alanis Obomsawin (Canada).

Finally, the jury for the Best First Feature Award, which also encompasses multiple programs, will be Ognjen Glavonić(Serbia), Hala Lotfy(Egypt) and Gonzalo de Pedro Amatria(Spain).

The festival winners will be announced at the Berlinale Palaston February 29.

Sebastián Lelio to Serve on Berlin International Film Festival Competition Jury

Sebastián Leliois ready to judge…

The Berlin International Film Festival, which gets underway next week, has revealed the competition jury for its 2019 edition, with the 44-year-old Oscar-winning Chilean-Argentine director earning a spot on the panel.

Sebastián Lelio

Lelio, who won an Academy Awardfor Best Foreign Language Film for helming A Fantastic Woman, will be joioned by German actress Sandra Hüllerand producer-director Trudie Styler.

They’ll join jury president Juliette Binocheto decide winners of the Goldenand Silver Bear awards.

Rounding out the jury are LA Times critic Justin Chang and Rajendra Roy, the Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Filmat New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman premiered at the festival in 2017 on its way to winning the 2018 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

Binoche is a Berlinaleregular, having appeared in several competition films, including Lasse Hallstrom’s Chocolat in 2001 and Isabel Coixet’s Endless Night, which opened the festival in 2015. 

Music Box Films Acquires Distribution Rights for the Chavela Vargas Documentary “Chavela”

The life of Chavela Vargas will be hitting the big screen later this year…

Music Box Films has secured distribution rights to Chavela, the documentary on the late Costa Rican-born Mexican singer-songwriter, who was known as “la voz áspera de la ternura,” the rough voice of tenderness.

Chavela Vargas

Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi, the documentary features interviews and performance footage from the late singer, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 93. According her official Facebook page, her last words were “I leave with Mexico in my heart.”

Music Box, who has rights in all platforms in the U.S., will release the film theatrically in October.

Chavela Vargas

The documentary premiered to critical acclaim at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.

Vargas, the muse to Oscar winning filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Recording Academy at the Latin Grammys in 2007.

Trailer Released for Cruz’s “The Queen of Spain”

Prepare to be royally impressed by Penélope Cruz

The official trailer has been released for Fernando Trueba’s The Queen of Spain, starring the 42-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actress.

Penélope Cruz

Ricardo Mario, Darin Bas, and Antonio Fernandez Resines also star in this film about Spanish actress Macarena Granada, who returns home to Spain in the mid-1950s having enjoyed a successful career in Hollywood.

She is to play Queen Isabella the First of Castille in a prestigious period drama. At the studio she meets her former friends and colleagues, falls in love with a handsome crew member, leads a madcap expedition to free a resistance fighter and proves herself to be truly regal during an encounter with the fascist leader Francisco Franco, whom she despises.

The Queen of Spain will premiere on February 13 as part of the Berlinale Special Series at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Kino Lorber Acquires Rights to Bustamante’s Drama “Ixcanul”

Jayro Bustamante’s critically acclaimed project is headed north of the border…

Kino Lober has picked up the North American rights to the Guatemalan director’s drama Ixcanul from Film Factory Entertainment, who are selling the title worldwide.

Jayro Bustamante

The feature debut from Bustamente, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, where it won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer prize. It screens in the Toronto International Film Festival’s Discovery sidebar on Wednesday, September 16.

The dream-like drama focuses on two Mayan lovers living on a coffee plantation on the foothills of an active volcano who flee their homes for the United States.

Ixcanul

Ixcanul is Guatemala’s official entry for the 2016 best foreign-language film Oscar, the first-ever submission from the country.

Kino Lober plans a limited theatrical release for Ixcanul in 2016 followed by a video on demand and DVD roll-out.

Padilha to Co-Write and Direct “Mindcorp” for Warner Bros.

Jose Padilha isn’t about to mind his own business…

Warner Bros. has purchased Mindcorp, a science fiction thriller based on a short story by the 47-year-old Brazilian film director, producer and screenwriter that he’ll direct.

Jose Padilha

Dwain Worrell has been set to write the script with Padilha. It’s the second studio gig for Padilha after his Robocop remake.

The studio is keeping the logline under wraps, but in broad strokes it’s a high-concept intense thriller involving next-generation mind-body experimentation and a priest who becomes responsible for the survival of humanity.

Padilha won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for Elite Squad in 2008.

Marques-Marcet Named to Variety’s “10 Europeans to Watch” List

It could turn out to be Carlos Marques-Marcet’s breakout year…

The 31-year-old Spanish filmmaker has been named to Variety’s “10 Europeans to Watch” list.

Carlos Marques-Marcet

Marques-Marcet’s feature directorial debut 10.000 km won a long list of prizes at several international festivals, including Best Film at the Málaga Spanish Film Festival, as well as awards at the Sant Jordi Awards and the Seattle International Film Festival.

The group, which consists of exciting new talents across various disciplines, will be honored February 7 at a reception hosted by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg during the Berlin International Film Festival. Best First Week by

Here’s a look at the complete list:

The 10 Europeans to Watch:

Yann Demange, director
The Londoner’s film “’71,” above, stars Jack O’Connell and was a prize-winner at the 2014 Berlinale and is rolling out in the U.S. this month via Roadside Attractions.

Cara Delevingne, actress
The British supermodel and Vogue staple is making a successful transition to acting; she landed the lead in the next John Green adaptation, “Paper Towns,” among other plum roles.

Mara Eibl-Eibesfeldt, director-writer
With “Spiderwebhouse,” the German filmmaker makes her debut; pic plays in Berlin’s German Film Perspective.

Ginevra Elkann, producer
The Italian producer has landed two films in Berlin’s Generation section: Duccio Chiarini’s “Short Skin” and Lamberto Sanfelice’s “Chlorine.”

Veronika Franz, screenwriter/director
She co-directed (with Severin Fiala) Venice festival hit “Goodnight Mommy,” and in her role as a screenwriter, the Austrian has collaborated with Ulrich Seidl on his “Paradise” trilogy.

Ole Giaever, director/writer
The Norwegian filmmaker returns to Berlin with his latest feature, “Out of Nature,” one of the first pics selected for Berlin’s Panorama section.

Helene Hegemann, novelist, filmmakerThe German writer staged her first play at 15, published a sensational novel at 17 and now at 23 is embarking on an adaptation of her novel “Axolotl Roadkill.”

Carlos Marques-Marcet, director
The Spanish director’s feature directorial debut “10.000 KM” won a slew of prizes at several international festivals.

Gian-Piero Ringel, producer
With his Neue Road Movies, the German producer has been behind Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive,” and produced Wim Wenders’ groundbreaking “Pina” and “Everything Will Be Fine,” among other pics.

Tom Sommerlatte, director
The actor (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Belle and Sebastian”) makes his feature debut with “Summer Downstairs,” which plays in Berlin’s German Film Perspective.

Luna’s “Chavez” Claims an Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival

The future looks like bright for Diego Luna’s biopic on Cesar Chavez

The 34-year-old Mexican actor-turned-director’s film Chavez about the life of the life of Mexican American labor leader and civil rights activist earned an audience award at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival.

Cesar Chavez

Chavez, which stars Michael Peña, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson and John Malkovich, took home the audience prize in the Narrative Spotlight category.  

The film premiered in the Berlinale Special Galas section of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival last month.

Here’s a look at the SXSW Film Festival Audience Award winners:

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITIONAudience Award Winner: Before I Disappear
Director: Shawn Christensen

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITIONAudience Award Winner: Vessel
Director: Diana Whitten

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHTAudience Award Winner: DamNation
Director: Ben Knight & Travis Rummel

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT Audience Award Winner: CESAR CHAVEZ
Directors: Diego Luna

VISIONSAudience Award Winner: Yakona
Director: Anlo Sepulveda & Paul Collins

MIDNIGHTERSAudience Award Winner: Exists
Director: Eduardo Sánchez

EPISODICAudience Award Winner: Silicon Valley
Director: Mike Judge

SXGLOBALAudience Award Winner: The Special Need
Directors: Carlo Zoratti

FESTIVAL FAVORITESAudience Award Winner: The Case Against 8
Director: Ben Cotner & Ryan White

SXSW Film Design Awards EXCELLENCE IN POSTER DESIGN

Audience Award Winner: Big Significant Things
Designer: Corey Holms

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN Audience Award Winner:  True Detective
Designer: Patrick Clair for Elastic

Lucchesi’s “Ciencias Naturals” Wins Crystal Bear Award at Berlin International Film Festival

Matías Lucchesi’s latest project is the crystal clear winner in Berlin…

Matías Lucchesi

The Argentine director’s full-length feature debut Ciencias naturales (Natural Sciences) has won the Crystal Bear for best film in the Generation Kplus sidebar for children’s films at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.

Lucchesi not only directed the film, he also wrote the critically acclaimed screen play.

Natural Sciences/Ciencias Naturales

The coming-of-age story about a young girl who goes on the hunt for her absent father, took the top prize awarded by the Generation Kplus international jury, who called it “a captivating tale with wonderful acting and a clear vision. Strong in its simplicity, the film touched our hearts.”

The Generation Kplus children’s jury consisted of a group of young people who watched all the films in the section’s under-14 category.

Lucchesi’s previous credits include the short films Savannah and Distances.

Luna’s Cesar Chavez Biopic to Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival

Diego Luna’s latest directorial effort is set to premiere in Germany…

The 34-year-old Mexican actor/director’s biopic Cesar Chavez: An American Hero will have its world premiere next month at the Berlin International Film Festival, according to the movie’s production company.

Diego Luna

The film about Latino icon Cesar Chavez (1927-1993) will be entered into the festival’s official program in the Berlinale Special section, which presents recent works by contemporary directors, as well as cinematic portraits of renowned personalities, Canana Films, which Luna co-owns with fellow Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, said in a statement.

The cast of the biopic is led by Michael Peña, who portrays the late migrant farmworkers’ leader and civil rights activist.

Michael Pena as Cesar Chavez

Golden Globe winning actress America Ferrera portrays Chavez’s wife, while Rosario Dawson plays Dolores Huerta, Chavez’s partner in founding the National Farmworkers Association (later renamed to the United Farm Workers).

“Cesar Chavez represents the largest non-violent protest movement in U.S. history; his goal was to achieve basic human rights for the more than 50,000 farm workers in California,” said the production company’s statement.

“We think the film will send the message that change is in our hands. Chavez did something that everyone thought was impossible with courage that inspired an entire nation.”

Cesar Chavez, which will hit U.S. theaters on March 28 and arrive in Mexico on May 2, was filmed in the United States and the northern Mexican state of Sonora.

It marks Luna’s second foray into directing, after his hit 2010 comedy/drama Abel.