Rendez-Vous With French Cinema 2014

Kurt Brokaw reviews his top choices from the 19th annual showcase of contemporary French film.

Deneuve in the driver's seat in Emmanuelle Bercot's "On My Way."

"You may not be persuaded by a minute of it, but if you have a sweet tooth for French neo-noir, you can’t help but believe your lying eyes." That's senior critic, Kurt Brokaw, on his fourth consecutive year choosing a critic's choice from Rendez-vous With French Cinema. Curious about which one he's talking about? Read more.

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw is viewing all 24 features in the 2014 Rendez-vous With French Cinema lineup. The series screens March 6-10 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Young & Beautiful
(François Ozon. 2013. France. 95 min.)

Postcard from DocsBarcelona

Northeast Spain hosts an impressive documentary festival and pitch session every May.

From the web doc, "Alma, A Tale of Violence."

Documentarian Greta Schiller takes in the 16th year of DocsBarcelona and its array of global docs ranging from the traditional to the cutting edge. Violence emerged as an important theme and many docs Schiller saw handled the topic with gripping storytelling approaches.

Last year I had the great privilege to live and work in Barcelona, a city that has regenerated itself in spectacular ways since I first visited in 1986 to present my debut documentary Before Stonewall.

Rendez-Vous With French Cinema 2013 - Critic's Choice

Kurt Brokaw reviews his top choices from the 18th annual showcase of contemporary French film.

Candy-colored nails sweeten "Populaire's" typists' chance at victory.

From speed typing to horse jumping, the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Rendez-vous With French Cinema serves up its 18th year from February 28th through March 10th. Kurt Brokaw chooses his favorites, at least one, he says, may make your heart melt "into your knees."

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw is viewing the main slate of the 2013 Rendez-vous With French Cinema showing February 28th through March 10th at the Walter Reade Theatre, BamCinematex, and IFC Center. His critic’s choices include:

(Régis Roinsard. 2012. France. 111 min.)

Film Festival Scholarship and Professional Networks on the Rise

The Film Festival Academy and Film Festival Research Network are two examples of how scholars and festival professionals are sharing knowledge and tools.

Film Festival Academy is a membership network of festival professionals and scholars.

According to Film Festival Academy co-founder Tomas Prasek, "I have seen so much useless competition in areas where collaboration would have benefited both parties...everybody says, ‘How do other festivals deal with that?’ and that's exactly what people should be asking through some kind of platform." He recently told The Independent's Courtney Sheehan why professionals could benefit from playing on the same team.

As international film festival circuits become increasingly visible online, scholarly interest in festivals as objects of study, particularly outside the US, continues to grow. At the same time, festival professionals are realizing the potential in forming collaborative partnerships through membership networks.

IDFA 2012: Documentary as an Event Born by Accident

LJ Kessels reports on music documentaries, how they come about, and the added emphasis on events at IDFA 2012.

After seeing "A Band Called Death," LJ Kessels started listening to their music. A lot.

Focusing on this year’s music documentary programming, LJ Kessels observes the accidental nature of finding one’s subject and the attention a filmmaker needs to have to bring about the story. This year she found a common theme among music docs: redeeming forgotten artists.

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) celebrated its 25th edition with an unforgettable program.

Arnon Goldfinger Opens the Door to Moral Dilemmas in "The Flat"

Family archival documents play a key role in Arnon Goldfinger's THE FLAT.

Hailed as one of the most important Israeli documentaries of recent years, Arnon Goldfinger's The Flat exposes family secrets and raises moral questions which Goldfinger recently discussed with a non-fiction theory class taught by USC's Michael Renov. Reported by Wendy Dent, who premieres her family-inspired film December 25 at IDFA.

Documentary filmmaking often means opening wounds. And that means wrestling with moral dilemmas. For documentary filmmakers, those issues can be the most unsettling.

Rendez-Vous With French Cinema 2012 - Critic's Choice

Kurt Brokaw reviews his top choices from the 17th annual showcase of contemporary French film.

Tahar Rahim in Ismael Ferroukhi's "Free Men."

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw brings us a second consecutive year of critic's choices from Rendez-Vous With French Cinema, running March 1-11, 2012. His picks include Free Men, Unforgivable, Untouchable, 17 Girls, 38 Witnesses and The Well Digger’s Daughter.

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw is viewing the prescreened main slate of the 2012 Rendez-vous With French Cinema showing March 1-11, at the Walter Reade Theatre, BamCinematex, and IFC Center. His critic’s choices from among 20 films include:

Free Men (Les Hommes Libres)
(Ismael Ferroukhi. 2011. France. 99 min.)

IDFA 2011 - Int'l Perspectives on Digital Distribution and Doc Financing

Courtney Sheehan reports from Amsterdam.

Ross Ashcroft's "Four Horsemen" suggests that capitalism is working perfectly. And that's the problem.

Even though funding and distributing your doc can feel like a confusing quagmire, to some it's the new sexy. IDFA panelists have their say on the evergreen questions, including an announcement of a new source for financial support: BRITDOC.

Rembrandtplein, Amsterdam - A square crowded with coffee shops and clubs (and therefore crawling with tourists) is the proud center of the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the world’s largest doc fest and the beating—and oftentimes bleeding—heart of the documentary industry.

Casting His Bell

Personal documentary maker Nedžad Begović intermixes images and sound from his cell phone in "Mobitel (A Cell Phone Movie)."

Nedžad Begović culled "Mobitel (A Cell Phone Movie)" from images and sound captured on his cell phone.

The premise sounds like either a miracle or a gimmick: thousands of hours of visual and audio footage off a cell phone turned into a meaningful personal documentary. Yet Bosnian filmmaker Nedžad Begović's Mobitel (A Cell Phone Movie) manages to make cell phones ring like they're centuries old.

Bosnian filmmaker Nedžad Begović has a knack for taking his own life as a point of departure for films that end up being about much more. And he’s not shy about his intent or the company he wants to keep.

State of the Film Industry in Southeast Europe

Courtney Sheehan reports from the third annual Cinelink forum at the Sarajevo Film Festival.

Oleg Novkovic's "White White World" is a transnational production of Serbia, Sweden, and Germany.

Tax incentives. Public and private funding. Transnational co-productions. During a year abroad to study regional film festivals and exhibition, Courtney Sheehan takes in Southeast Europe through the lens of presenters at the third annual industry Cinelink forum during the Sarajevo Film Festival.

For the past three years, film professionals from all over Southeast Europe have gathered at the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) to discuss the state of the regional film industry during the Cinelink forum, the track of the festival established for that purpose.

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