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Andy Fickman's DON'T TURN OUT THE LIGHTS Acquired by Quiver Distribution for North America

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Quiver Distribution Takes North American Rights 
on Terrifying New Horror Film, 
DON’T TURN OUT THE LIGHTS (fka Blue Light), 
From Acclaimed Director Andy Fickman (Race to Witch Mountain, The Game Plan, Heathers: The Musical, She’s The Man)
 
 Fans of horror movies can brace themselves for a spine-chilling new film that is set to amaze audiences with a unique take on a trusted genre based on true and terrifying unexplained events, and a new hardcore ARG site, designed by the creator of “The Tinman,” where fans can put themselves in the movie.
 
 
 
Could sit alongside Bodies, Bodies, Bodies and Talk to Me
– The Hollywood News
Pulls off some brilliantly effective scare moments
– The Hollywood News
 
Plays a game with viewers and characters alike
– Projected Figures
 
CANNES (May 17, 2024) – Quiver Distribution acquires North American rights on Film Mode Entertainment’s spine-chilling horror film based on true and terrifying unexplained events, DON’T TURN OUT THE LIGHTS (fka BLUE LIGHT), directed by the acclaimed Andy Fickman, who has grossed nearly $1B at the worldwide box office and has had a storied career with hits like Race to Witch Mountain, Parental Guidance, The Game Plan,  Heathers: The Musical and She’s The Man. The deal was negotiated between Clay Epstein of Film Mode Entertainment and Larry Greenberg of Quiver Distribution.
 
“We’re excited to be working with our good friends at Quiver on Don’t Turn Out The Lights,” said Clay Epstein, President of Film Mode Entertainment. “They are a fantastic group of individuals who can always be relied upon to do an amazing job.” 
 
“It’s hard to believe that Don’t Turn Out the Lights is inspired by a real-life encounter, but we are glad that Andy Fickman made it out in one piece to be able to tell this chilling story,” said Quiver Distribution Co-Presidents Berry Meyerowitz and Jeff Sackman. “Being able to partner up again with Clay and the team at Film Mode on another film is an added benefit.”
 
The ensemble cast includes Bella DeLong (The Winchesters, Wuthering Heights, Twelfth Night with the Montana Shakespeare Company), Amber Janea (Lifetime’s A Predator Returns), Daryl Tofa (Two-Bit in The Outsiders on Broadway), Ana Zambrana (La Traición en la Amistad), Crystal Lake Evans (Starz’s Hightown), Jarrett Brown (Netflix’s Colin in Black and White), John Bucy (CBS/Paramount’s Frasier Reboot), and Finley Rose Slater (Days of Their Lives, The Idol) who worked previously with Fickman on Playing with Fire.
 
DON’T TURN OUT THE LIGHTS is a horror film based on true and terrifying unexplained events. The film follows a group of friends on a road trip who soon realize something terrifying and unworldly is threatening their lives. 
 
Producers include Andy Fickman (Anaconda), Todd Slater (King of Killers), Grant Sla

“YOUR MONSTER” WINS AUDIENCE FAVOURITE AWARD AT SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: LONDON 2024

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(L-R: Cast: Melissa Barrera, Director, Producer & Screenwriter: Caroline Lindy and Producer & Cast: Kayla Foster)

London, 09 June 2024 — Picturehouse and the nonprofit Sundance Institute announced tonight that Sundance Film Festival: London’s 2024 Audience Favourite Award is presented to Your Monster, directed, produced and written by Caroline Lindy and produced by Kayla Foster. The cast features Melissa Barrera, Tommy Dewey, Meghann Fahy, Edmund Donovan and Kayla Foster.

After her life falls apart, soft-spoken actress Laura Franco finds her voice again when she meets a terrifying, yet weirdly charming, monster living in her closet.

Your Monster had its UK premiere at Sundance Film Festival: London following its World Premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A earlier this year. 

Festival-goers voted in the thousands for their favourite films across the four-day event at Picturehouse Central for this Audience Favourite Award.

The festival ran from 6 to 9 June and had a busy line-up featuring 11 exciting feature films; the UK short film programme made up of seven shorts showcasing the best of emerging UK filmmaking talent; the dedicated Industry Talks Programme and Interactive Pitch Panel; plus three thought-provoking public talks featuring top filmmakers and industry experts.

Numerous filmmakers and actors attended the festival to introduce their films and participate in audience Q&As including: writer and director Rich Peppiatt whose Irish-language film, Kneecap opened the festival and was joined by featured rappers DJ Próvaí, Mo Chara and Móglaí Bap alongside cast members, Michael Fassbender, Josie Walker, Jessica Reynolds and Fionnuala Flaherty. Academy Award® nominated director Sean Wang and producer Carlos López Estrada closed the festival with Didi (弟弟), acclaimed directors David and Nathan Zellner attended with their film Sasquatch Sunset, Chiwetel Ejiofor introduced his adaptation of Jeff Hobbs’ bestselling and critically acclaimed biography Rob Peace, director Caroline Lindy and producer Kayla Foster attended with their wholly original debut Your Monster with cast members Melissa Barrera and Meghann Fahy, director Shuchi Talati along with actor Preeti Panigrahi and cinematographer Jih-E Peng introduced their film Girls Will Be Girls, winner of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic and World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting presented to Panigrahi earlier this year and Thea Hvistendahl introduced her chilly, disturbing Handling the Undead from Norway, winner of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Original Music presented to Peter Raeburn at this year’s Festival.

Documentary filmmakers in attendance included multi-Emmy award-winning filmmaker Jeff Zimbalist, co-director Maria Bukhonina and producer Tamir Ardon with their documentary Skywalkers: A Love Story and Never Look Away director Lucy Lawless attended the festival with producer Matthew Metcalfe.

The short film programme dedicated to UK productions consisted of seven titles and filmmakers in attendance included Xenia Glen for Alo, Yero Timi-Biu for Essex Girls, Tom Stuart for Good Boy, Aephie Chen for Mamu, Mario Radev for [S], Read more

Review | Inspired

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Movie name: Inspired Director names: Nebal Shafi

 

Inspired: A Thriller You Cannot Miss!

This movie by the director, Nebal Shafi, is a masterpiece. However, it is definitely not for the faint-hearted. You need to be strong and love thriller movies to be able to sit and watch this masterpiece. The movie revolves around two artists. One of the artists is successful and is the source of inspiration for her. However, what meets the eye is far from the truth. In this movie, the inspiration turns out to be a nightmare, which is a shocker. As the saying goes, ‘all that glitters isn’t gold’, the same holds true for this movie. The life of a successful painter is not all rosy, and in fact, dark elements are unbearable when the truth comes out in the open.

Nebal Shafi is a fanatic director, as he comes up with thrillers that will send a chill down your spine. This thriller is sure to amaze you, and the twist and turn of fate are definitely going to be a treat for the viewer. The actors do an amazing job of making the thriller worth watching. Inspired is definitely an inspiring story, and the method of storytelling by the director is truly amazing. The psychological thriller, Inspired is a wonderful short film but not for someone who is sensitive and can’t bear to watch thrillers. However, if you are game for surprising things and love to watch stuff that is out of the box and can get you thinking, then Inspired is the best movie for you.

However, when you watch the movie, the fun fact is that almost everyone is inspired by someone or another. Jane, who is the successful painter, is inspired by serial killers, while the struggling artist Aaron is inspired by Jane, not knowing the real picture behind the picture-perfect success she flaunts. However, when Aaron comes to know the reality of Jane, things take a turn, and the character undergoes a major transformation. As Aaron is inspired by Jane, he expects everything to be perfect in her life. He has a fanboy impression of her, but reality strikes hard, and Aaron faces the real picture of Jane, who is nothing like what he had imagined and thought of.

Aaron and Jane are two sides of the same coin, and their lives get entwined together as Aaron decides to follow Jane to know the reason behind her inspiration. While Aaron himself is inspired and smitten by Jane’s glory and success, reality hits very differently. Although the story does resonate with what the director Nebal once faced, it is in no way personal or related. The director pays homage to certain characters who have profoundly influenced his life, and in this movie, he explores the complexities of human psychology and the personalities of the characters. The thriller is definitely a fulfilling endeavor, and the characters play a wonderful role in bringing out the raw emotions.

This short film is crafted in such a way that it will leave a lasting impact on the minds of the audience. The movie is thoughtful and unique, and the unexpected turn of events makes it a must-watch. The director is excellent at bringing out the best in his actors, and the dialogue delivery, movement of the characters, and portrayal of emotions are precise and to the point. The only downside is that it’s a short movie; the film needed to be long as it w

Jeffrey Dean and Famke Janssen star in the crime thriller "The Postcard Killer" for Director Renny Harlin

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Highland Film Group Handling Worldwide Sales

Cannes, France (May 15, 2024) – Jeffrey Dean Morgan (AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” Zach Snyder’s The Watchmen), Famke Janssen (MGM/UA’s GoldenEye, 20th Century Fox’s XMen and Taken), Naomi Battrick (Amazon’s “Jamestown” and “A Very English Scandal”) and Denis O'Hare (FX’s “American Horror Story,” Focus Features’ Dallas Buyers Club) are set to star in the crime-thriller The Postcard Killer, it was announced today. The sequel to The Postcard Killings, the film is directed by Renny Harlin (20th Century Fox’s Die Hard 2, Columbia TriStar’s Cliffhanger, Lionsgate’s The Strangers: Chapter 1) and written by Luke Garrett, based on the N.Y. Times #1 Best Selling novel of the same name by acclaimed authors James Patterson (‘Along Came a Spider’) and Liza Marklund (‘The Bomber’).

The Postcard Killer is produced by Miriam Segal (City of Lies starring Johnny Depp and Forrest Whitaker, The Infiltrator starring Bryan Cranston and Diane Kruger) of Good Films Collective and executive produced by James Patterson, Bill Robinson, Patrick Santa, Kia Jam, Roman Kopelevich, Ricardo Neri and Vladimir Artemenko, JP Pettinato, Johanna Harlin and Highland Film Group.

Highland Film Group is co-financing the film and handling worldwide rights, launching sales at the Marché du Film in Cannes. Production is set to start on the The Postcard Killer this fall on location in London, Madrid, Florence and Latvia. The first film, The Postcard Killings, started streaming on Netflix in January and was one of the streamers’ most watched films (original or licensed), peaking at #1 for multiple days.

“Every page of this screenplay is channeling Hitchcock and Brian de Palma. This is the genre I’ve loved since childhood. Our sexy European locations will provide a backdrop for a visual feast. With our first rate cast I know that we will create a spellbinding thriller,” commented director Renny Harlin.

“We are pleased to be reunited with the production team that succeeded so well with the original film,” added James Patterson.

“We are delighted to team up again with the brilliant Renny Harlin who is the ideal director to helm this new chilling story drawn from James Patterson and Liza Marklund's iconic characters,” said Highland Film Group CEO Arianne Fraser. “Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Famke Janssen will return to embody the multi-faceted protagonists they originated in this tense cross country race against time. The Postcard Killer promises an edge-of-the-seat experience filled with stellar locations and we are eager to see this crime-thriller brought to life this fall,” added Highland Film Group COO Delphine Perrier.

In the chilling sequel to The Postcard Killings, NYPD detective Jacob Kanon (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) faces new terror. Haunted by his daughter's murder, Jacob is thrust back into the fray when his ex-wife Valerie (Famke Janssen) is kidnapped by a new “Postcard Killer,” who is on a brutal murder spree across Europe. The case spirals when Jacob confronts his old nemesis, Simon Haysmith (Denis O’Hare), to track down the elusive criminal and initiate a manhunt. With only cryptic postcards for clues, Jacob must navigate a deadly maze to decipher the killer’s vengeful plot and rescue Valerie, before she becomes the next victim of the reborn fine art killer.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan most recently, reprised his role of Negan in the spin-off series “Dead City,” following the conclusion of “The Walking Dead.”  Additionally, Morgan will be joining the cast of Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys” in the highly anticipated fourth season. Other recent projects include Friday Night in with

Lou Ferrigno Plays Cannibalistic Pig Farmer in Horror ‘The Hermit,’ With Scatena & Rosner Selling in Cannes – First Look (EXCLUSIVE)

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Los Angeles-based Scatena & Rosner Films has acquired worldwide rights to horror film “The Hermit,” starring Lou Ferrigno as a cannibalistic pig farmer in his first role playing a creature since CBS TV series “The Incredible Hulk.” They will be launching sales on the chiller, which is now in post, at the Cannes Marché du […]

The Best Shorts Competition Announces Latest Winners! March 2024

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Rick Prickett, Competition Director

858-779-9544

BestShorts.net

Info@BestShorts.net

The Best Shorts Competition Announces Latest Winners!

La Jolla, CA, April 2024 – The Best Shorts Competition is proud to announce the latest winners. The Best Shorts Competition puts filmmakers first and provides a direct opportunity for recognition and publicity for high quality productions. It is international in scope and has granted awards to producers in Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Mauritius, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.

~ Best of Show ~  Paul Hendy – The Choice

Paul Hendy (United Kingdom), The Choice, Film Short – Paul Hendy’s astute direction brings depth to “The Choice,” a haunting psychological drama about a famous TV personality whose life unravels when confronted by a mysterious visitor. Rita Simons (EastEnders, The Krays) delivers a powerful performance, while BAFTA-nominee Alex Macqueen’s portrayal of pure evil adds chilling depth. The film keeps audiences guessing until the end, making it a compelling and relevant story that explores themes of favoritism, identity, and the consequences of our choices. BAFTA-winner Whitnall’s compelling script, coupled with Hendy’s nuanced direction, creates a captivating narrative that lingers long after the credits roll.

 

 

~ Outstanding Achievement ~ Marko Bosanac – New Idea

 

Marko Bosanac (Serbia), New Idea, Animation – A whimsical animated short that dives into the inner workings of creativity. Pensilio, Loopito, and Lensio, embodying creativity, research, and production, embark on a quest for a new idea. Their journey is fraught with obstacles mirroring the creative process – from distractions to self-doubt. The twist comes as the adventure unfolds within a teenage girl’s mind, adding layers to the narrative. With utterly charming characters, brilliant animation and universal themes, “New Idea” is a delightful exploration of creativity’s complexities, leaving audiences inspired and uplifted.

 

~ Award of Excellence Special Mention ~

Jaclyn Lehrer (USA), Johnny Johnny, Film Short – A darkly comedic short follows a homeless comedian seeking revenge on those he deems unfunny. It delves into friendship and resilience in a society overlooking those in need. Lehrer’s deft direction blends humor with shocking twists, challenging stereotypes. Engaging performances by Sencere Tucker and Alexandria Sanders add dep

The Un Certain Regard Jury of the 77th Festival de Cannes

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The Un Certain Regard Jury of the 77th Festival de Cannes

The Canadian actor, director, screenwriter and producer Xavier Dolan will be the President of the Un Certain Regard Jury of the 77th Festival de Cannes. He will be joined by French-Senegalese screenwriter and director Maïmouna Doucouré, Moroccan director, screenwriter and producer Asmae El Moudir, German-Luxembourg actress Vicky Krieps, and American film critic, director, and writer Todd McCarthy. They will be in charge of awarding prizes for the Un Certain Regard section, which showcases art and discovery films by young auteurs.

This year, 18 films have been selected, including 8 first films. The 2023 Un Certain Regard top prize went to director Molly Manning Walker's debut feature How to Have Sex.

When the Light Breaks by Rúnar Rúnarsson will open the Un Certain Regard section on Wednesday May 15, 2024.

Xavier Dolan © Shayne Laverdière / Maïmouna Doucouré © Sacha Meric / Todd McCarthy © Rebecca Sapp / Vicky Krieps © Virgile Guinard / Asmae El Moudir © Ammar Abd Rabbo


XAVIER DOLAN - President

Actor, director, screenwriter, producer

Canada

Dolan_NL.jpg
© Shayne Laverdière

An actor since the age of four, Xavier Dolan directed and starred in his first feature film, I Killed my Mother, which was a big hit at the Directors' Fortnight in 2009. This was followed by Heartbeats and Laurence Anyways, presented at the Festival de Cannes in 2010 and 2012 at Un Certain Regard, where they were enthusiastically received. In 2013, Tom at the Farm was screened at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the FIPRESCI Prize. With Mommy, he is awarded several prizes, including the Jury Prize at the 2014 Festival de Cannes and the César for Best Foreign Film. Grand Prize winner at the 2016 Festival de Cannes with It’s Only the End of the World, he returns to Competition with Matthias & Maxime in 2019. After a few notable roles with other filmmakers, such as his performance in Xavier Giannoli's Lost Illusions in 2021, for which he was nominated for a César for Best Supporting Actor, in 2022 he directed the series The Night Logan woke up. Xavier Dolan was a member of the Jury in 2015, and now chairs the Un Certain Regard Jury.


MAÏMOUNA DOUCOURÉ

Screenwriter, director

France, Senegal

Doucoure_NL.jpg
© Sacha Meric

Her first professional short film, Maman(s), was selected for nearly 200 festivals around the world and won more than 60 awards, including the Jury Prize at Sundance, the Best Film Award in Toronto and the 2017 César for Best Short Film. In 2019, Maïmouna Doucouré receives the Gold Fellowship Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures. Released in 2020, Cuties, her first feature film, wins the Best Director Award at Sundance and a Special Mention from the International Generation Jury in Berlin. The film's lead actress, Fathia Youssouf, won the César for Best Actress. Her second feature-length film, Hawa, produced in 2022 with Prime Vidéo, was also presented in Toronto. Maïmouna Doucouré is currently working on her next feature film about the legendary Joséphine Baker.

Frontières: Fantasia Film Festival & Marché du Film Announce 2024 Selection

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Frontières Platform, the genre-focused event co-organized by Fantasia Film Festival and the Marché du Film, reveals its 2024 selection to be presented in Cannes from 18-19 May.

Frontières is delighted to unveil its latest lineup of films, spanning the realms of horror, magical realism, and comedy, showcasing the most vibrant talents in today’s genre film industry. From mythical water spirits and creepy vampire landlords to chilling tales of astral possession and supernatural headless nuns, get ready to see the world through another lens!

7 projects in advanced stages of financing will be presented in the Proof of Concept pitching session (18 May), in front of prospective financiers, sales agents and distributors, while 6 works-in-progress will be presented in the Buyers Showcase (19 May) in front of international distributors, festival programmers and sales agents.

Buyers Showcase

ABOVE THE KNEE (Norway)

Director: Viljar Bøe | Producers: Varde Film

DEAD BY DAWN (Poland)

Director: Dawid Torrone | Producers: Kinga Tasarek, Katarzyna Kostecka (LARMO Sp. z o. o.)

DELIVERY RUN (Finland)

Director: Joey Palmroos | Producers: Arctic Renegades: Joey Palmroos, Pekka Ollula & Aleksi Hyvärinen

LANDLORD (USA)

Director: Remington Smith | Producers: Filmsmith Productions

NESTING (Canada)

Director: Chloé Cinq-Mars | Producers: Nicolas Comeau (1976 Productions), Jean-Marc Fröhle (Point Prod)

SCARED SHITLESS (Canada)

Director: Vivieno Caldinell | Producers: Lewis Spring (Happy Cat Productions)

Proof of Concept

BUG BOY (Austria)

Director: Peter Hengl | Producers: Lola Basara (Capra Film)

COUGAR (United Kingdom)

Director: Jennifer Handorf | Producers: Grace Sargeant (Graceless Productions)

MY STALKER (Spain, Mexico, USA)

Director: Xavier Rull | Producers: Xavier Rull (Monster Box), Jack Zhaga (Avanti Pictures), Orlando Pedregosa (Ingredient X)

OSTRICH BOY (USA, Canada)

Director: Ricardo Bonisoli | Producers: Rooxter Films

SENTINEL (Canada, USA)

Director: Phil Tippett | Producers: Colin Geddes, Katarina Gligorijevic, Gary Mundell

SISTER INCONNUE (Canada)

Director: Anouk Whissell | Producers: Maja Jacob (Maja Jacob Films Ltd.), Tina Pehme (Sepia Films)

THE GIRL WITH THE GREEN EYES (The Netherlands, Italy, Norway, others)

Director: Yfke van Berckelaer | Producers: Monique van Kessel (Make Way Film)

Reality Slips Away in the Eerie “I Saw the TV Glow”

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PARK CITY, UTAH – JANUARY 18: Jane Schoenbrun introduces the 2024 Sundance Film Festival “I Saw the TV Glow” premiere at the Library Center Theatre in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Chad Salvador/Shutterstock for Sundance Film Festival)

By Annie Lyons

Time blurs at the edges in I Saw the TV Glow, washed away by the neon pink gleam of a television screen, the green tint of a fish tank, and fluorescents casting a chilly light on the produce aisle. Starting in 1996 and spanning decades, the visually striking Midnight film chronicles Owen’s (Justice Smith) shifting connection to Maddy (Brigette Lundy-Paine) and The Pink Opaque, the late-night television show about two demon-fighting teenagers that they mutually obsess over. The years seem to move all too fast. 

“When you’re trans, your perception of time is specific,” writer-director Jane Schoenbrun shares before the film’s January 18 premiere at the Library Center Theatre in Park City, Utah. “I remember when I wrote this film, I had been on hormones, I think for three months, and was dealing with the overwhelming calamity of blowing up your life in such a way that you have to when you come out. [I was] reappraising what reality is, what home is, what family is, and really wanting to put something on the page that could really articulate what I was experiencing in that moment. 

“But by the time we got to production like a year later, I was just walking on sunshine,” they say with a smile. “I was really good in my body and surrounded by amazing people and getting this opportunity to make something, and I remember feeling like I need to honor who I was when I wrote the script but I also need to honor who I am now. A year-plus later, being here in this room with all of you is incredibly moving. This too is part of that journey and change, and the film now will exist.” Schoenbrun’s emotion is met with resounding applause. 

During the film’s post-premiere discussion, Schoenbrun expands on their creative process and how they muse over why something obsesses them for years and then they uncover a new project very fast. “This time, it was something about the TV shows of my youth and growing up in the suburbs, and loving those shows so much, maybe to the detriment of reality,” the writer-director says. “And the way that my understanding of this random place where I had been dropped into existence was so intertwined with what the TV shows were selling me about what youth was supposed to be.” 

Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine share a hug in front of a 2024 Sundance Film Festival backdrop.Co-leads Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine share a hug at the “I Saw the TV Glow” premiere. (Photo by Chad Salvador/Shutterstock for Sundance Film Festival)

That personal inspiration resounds deeply with Owen and Maddy’s own bond with The Pink Opaque. Owen feels increasingly at odds with himself, but finds solace in his near-ritualistic viewings of the VHS tapes that Maddy makes him. One day, Maddy, struggling with an abusive homelife, abruptly disappears. When the pair reconnect years later, there’s something troubling about Owen’s memories. 

Schoenbrun’s directorial debut, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, premiered at the 2021 Festival in th

Udine FEFF 26 closed with Zhang Yimou

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On Thursday 2 May the legendary Chinese director received the Golden Mulberry and hosted a masterclass.

 

The last two days are packed with unmissable titles: from cult Philippine comedy Becky and Badette

to the world premiere of high-octane Hong Kong actioner Customs Frontline!

 

 

 

A whole year of preparation for nine days of programming: nine joyful, intense days which, once the countdown starts, slip away at the speed of light... Yes, it's already time to announce the Closing Night of FEFF 26. Actually, scratch that - it's already time to announce the Closing Day, because the flames will be burning brightly right from the morning. And what flames they'll be. Thursday the 2nd of May 2024 is more than just a space on the calendar: it's the date when Zhang Yimou will be taking the stage at the Teatro Nuovo “Giovanni da Udine” theatre!

When we talk about him, we're talking about a legend - an auteur around whom there is a "before" and an "after". Talking about him means talking about two Golden Lions in Venice, a Golden Bear in Berlin, a Grand Prix in Cannes and three Oscar nominations - and that's not even all. Talking about him means talking about the giant of cinema who on Thursday the 2nd of May will be receiving the Golden Mulberry Lifetime Achievement Award on the stage of the Teatro Nuovo "Giovanni da Udine" theatre and will also be hosting a masterclass which will be open to all!

“For us,” say FEFF founders Sabrina Baracetti and Thomas Bertacche, “Zhang Yimou's cinema represents two absolutely fundamental turning points. The first was the one that opened our eyes to the cinematic wonders of mainland China when we were little more than kids. The second is that it was one of the sparks, one of the driving forces, which first brought our festival to life! That's why presenting Zhang Yimou with the Golden Mulberry means something more than just recognition of his genius: it's also our way of saying "Thank you, maestro" and of symbolically giving him back some of what he has given to us."

A leading member of the "Fifth Generation", the famously creative group of filmmakers who revolutionised the aesthetics of 1980s China, Zhang Yimou has always pursued a free and total vision of cinema, identifying his own personal aesthetic in the push towards change. A cinema that, without ever surrendering its auteur essence and thematic depth, manages to use the most diverse languages, expressing itself through, and above all going beyond, genres: from rural drama and wuxia to period thrillers and big budget blockbusters. A cinema where individual stories have always been and continue to be a cultural, ethical and political mirror of collective history.

Over the years the FEFF has documented the nuances of Zhang Yimou's gaze multiple times (Red Sorghum, Under the Hawthorn Tree, Cliff Walkers and Full River Red were all screened in Udine) and will be doing so again this year with the presentation of three titles: thriller Under the Light (Wednesday the 1st of May at 14:30) and the world premiere of the restored versions of Raise the Red Lantern (Thursday the 2nd of May at 9:30, as a prelude to the masterclass) and To Live (Thursday the 2nd of May at 19:30

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