SHORT FILM REVIEW: ‘Marguerite’

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An ageing woman and her nurse develop a friendship that inspires her to unearth unacknowledged longing and thus help her make peace with her past.

Writer/Dir: Marianne Farley | Producer: Marie-Hélène Panisset | Cast: Béatrice Picard and Sandrine Bisson. 

Is it safe to say that the majority of us have missed out on opportunities that could have enriched our lives or, at the very least, led us down paths quite unlike the road we travel now? Truth be told in hindsight nothing is ever certain – but to look back on one’s life is to look back at the choices we did and didn’t make ultimately placing us where we are at this very moment.

Marguerite is a moment of stillness and pondering for the ‘what might have been’, a brief longing for a life unlived. For the titular character, now on the fringes of her life, we’re free make assumptions. We meet Marguerite as she’s bathed by her much younger and alluring carer. A crucifix around her neck and a visage akin to that of a pious aging sunday school teacher, Marguerite is battling an increasingly debilitating fight with diabetes, but against the warnings of her carer she’s resolute to accept medical care and ready for life’s end. After much ruminating through scenes of a life now bound by mundane routine and not much else, it’s immediately clear to the audience how much Marguerite adores her carer.  It’s a little sad, she has no one else it seems, but then it’s curious – why is she staring at her for so long?

When her carer reveals she is a relationship with a woman, it’s uncertain if her uncomfortable glances and hesitant questions are down to an aversion to modern living and ‘liberal’ values but Marguerite is a welcomed anomaly – a woman who perhaps missed out on a life she was never entitled to live in the first place. We’re left wondering, if we could go back and do it all again, how much of the constraints and limitations of our environment would allow us to change anyway? Is this ok, and how do we reconcile with knowing there is nothing much we can do?

A beautiful french film, minimal in dialogue and action but with a score and movement so poetically translated onto screen, Marguerite is a small comfort to the privileges we have now and a glaringly sobering look at opportunities we will undoubtedly miss out on in the future.

 

 

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short film review: ‘IAN’

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Ian was born with cerebral palsy. All he wants is to make friends, although it seems impossible to achieve when discrimination and bullying keep him away from his beloved playground.  However, this young boy is determined and won’t give up easily.

Director: Abel Goldfarb | writer: Gastón Gorali | producer(s): Gastón Gorali 

Award-winning director Abel Goldfarb helms this beautiful animated short film that shines a devastating light on disability and inclusivity.

 The red herring that children can be cruel, lacking in empathy towards things they do not understand is evident – but what Goldfarb and award-winning co-writer and producer, Gaston Gorali, want to draw our attention to here is an altogether more polarising problem.

Ian’s disability isn’t and shouldn’t be an issue – but without the tools in place that allows him to integrate and feel included, the repercussions are devastating. The film takes inspiration from an authentic source: Ian, a young Argentine boy with cerebral palsy, whose mother was so appalled by the bullying her son faced at his rehabilitation facility, challenged his school only to realise that no tools were in place to tackle the problem. So she penned a children’s book of the same name, in the hopes of kickstarting a conversation on the importance of tackling societal taboos and drawing awareness to making those with disabilities visible and included.

The message is clear: children will always be children, unaware and inexperienced unless lead.  Until the adults of the world open up a dialogue and educate on empathising, compassion and acceptance – then we are complicit in the exclusion of children like Ian from the everyday world.

A radiantly animated, heart-fluttering film, with a gorgeous and simplistic music composition, Ian is an empowering story with a strong sense of hope for a better future for the next generation. I for one, am here for it.

FLOWER starring 2018 breakout start ZOEY DEUTCH out now on VOD and Digital

FLOWER STARRING ZOEY DEUTCH, KATHRYN HAHN, TIM HEIDECKER & ADAM SCOTT

NOW AVAILABLE TO OWN ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS & AVAILABLE ON ALL MAJOR VOD PLATFORMS JUNE 12TH

 

“Wildly Entertaining” – The New York Times

“Even when the movie ends, we feel like we’re only scratching the surface.” – IndieWire

“Zoey Deutch shines” – Film School Rejects

June 5th, Los Angeles, CA – Following its successful theatrical release, FLOWER starring Zoey Deutch (Before I Fall, Why Him?) alongside Kathryn Hahn (I Love Dick, Bad Moms), Tim Heidecker (Tim & Eric, Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie) and Adam Scott (Big Little Lies, Parks and Recreation) is now available to own on Digital Platforms and will be available on all major VOD platforms staring Tuesday June 12th, 2018.

Mixing dark comedy and teenage angst writer-director Max Winkler (Ceremony) and co-writers Matt Spencer (Ingrid Goes West) and Alex McAulay (Eastbound & Down) elevate the teen movie genre to new heights with FLOWER and create a star vehicle for blossoming Zoey Deutch.

Rebellious, quick-witted Erica Vandross (Zoey Deutch) is a 17-year-old firecracker living with her single mom Laurie (Kathryn Hahn) and mom’s new boyfriend Bob (Tim Heidecker) in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. When Bob’s mentally unbalanced son Luke (Joey Morgan) arrives from rehab to live with the family, Erics finds her domestic and personal life overwhelmed. With Luke and her sidekicks Kayla (Dylan Gelula) and Claudine (Maya Eshet) in tow, Erica acts out by exposing a dark secret of high-school teacher Will (Adam Scott), with perilous results; their teenage kicks become a catalyst for growing up in unexpected and unpredictable ways.

FLOWER is a Diablo Entertainment & Rough House Pictures Production in Association with Metalwork Pictures.

 

PRESS RELEASE: THE TOSCARS 2018

The Toscars 2018 date has been announced… 

TOSCARS

 The red carpet is ready, the paparazzi are prepping their lenses, the stunning dresses are being chosen, and the golden awards are ready to be handed out to the lucky winners. Yes, it’s time again for the Toscars ceremony. No, that’s not a misprint. The Oscars are being held in March, but a few days before that on February 28th, Brits in LA’s 11th annual Toscars will be held in Hollywood at the Renberg Theatre.

This affectionate, spoofy homage is based around this year’s Oscar nominations for best movie. After the Oscar nominations are announced, in three weeks, parodies are made, judged by the Whacademy and then shown at the awards ceremony.

It has been said of this annual event that it is “like the Oscars, only funnier.” 

Past presenters and hosts have included Skeet Ulrich (Riverdale), Academy and Golden Globe nominee Eric Roberts, Alex Newell (Glee), Candis Cayne (Dirty Sexy Money), Craig Young (The Last Ship), Jai Rodriquez (Queer Eye), Brianna Brown (Dynasty), Asian Oscar winner Bai Ling, Sean Maguire (Once Upon a Time), DJ Paul Oakenfold, Academy Award Winners, Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Dynasty), Ruth Connell (Supernatural), Luke Evans (Dracula Untold), Rex Lee (Young and Hungry), Janina Gavankar (Sleepy Hollow), Emmy Winner Bruce Vilanch, Brit Award Winner Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama), Bradley Walsh (Law & Order: UK) and the BAFTA winning comedian Jim Tavaré. 

Who will take home the coveted ‘Golden Fist’ for Best Whactress, Best Whactor, Best Scribbler, Best Tunes and more? All will be revealed on February 28th.

Date: February 28th, 2018 What: The Toscars Where: Renberg Theatre, Hollywood

Past presenters and hosts have included Skeet Ulrich (Riverdale), Academy and Golden Globe nominee Eric Roberts, Alex Newell (Glee), Candis Cayne (Dirty Sexy Money), Craig Young (The Last Ship), Jai Rodriquez (Queer Eye), Brianna Brown (Dynasty), Asian Oscar winner Bai Ling, Sean Maguire (Once Upon a Time), DJ Paul Oakenfold, Academy Award Winners, Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Dynasty), Ruth Connell (Supernatural), Luke Evans (Dracula Untold), Rex Lee (Young and Hungry), Janina Gavankar (Sleepy Hollow), Emmy Winner Bruce Vilanch, Brit Award Winner Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama), Bradley Walsh (Law & Order: UK) and the BAFTA winning comedian Jim Tavaré. 

PRESS RELEASE: ALEX GIBNEY’S ‘NO STONE LEFT UNTURNED’ – ON VOD (2018)

“A must see… Gripping” – THE TIMES
“Long and detailed and frequently terrifying, Alex Gibney’s documentary about a 1994 massacre in a pub in Northern Ireland is investigative journalism at its rigorous best.” – SCREEN DAILY

Tuesday, 2nd January 2018, London, UK – Following its UK premiere at London Film Festival in October, Alex Gibney’s latest documentary feature No Stone Unturned will be available on UK VOD from Monday 8th January 2018, courtesy of Kew Media Group.

Ireland’s victory over Italy at the World Cup in New Jersey in 1994 remains a source of Irish pride. But it is haunted by memories of a massacre. On the evening of June 18th, 1994, in a pub in the small village of Loughinisland in Northern Ireland, six men watching the World Cup game were shot and killed by two balaclava-wearing men, and five others were injured. Remarkably, no one was ever charged for the crime. For more than twenty years the victims’ families have searched for answers. Now, at last, they have found them, but what they learn turns a murder mystery into bigger inquiry relevant for us all: what happens when governments cover up the truth?

In the film, Claire Rogan, the widow of one of the victims, recalls being told by authorities that there would be “no stone unturned” in bringing the killers to justice. “I don’t think they ever lifted a stone, never mind turned it,” she says.

With No Stone Unturned, Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney whose powerful investigative documentaries include Taxi to the Dark Side, Going Clearand Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, sets out to uncover the truth behind the Loughinisland Massacre and reveal why the case was not properly investigated. He ignites a fire under a cold case and a black mark on local police and British government.
Families were torn apart. Lives were ruined, or upended. Yet no one has even spent a single day in prison for this heinous crime. There was never any doubt about the motivations for the shootings – the Ulster Volunteer Force, the most powerful of the pro-British protestant militias and foes of the Irish Republican Army (seeking reunification with Ireland), had waged a long and bloody sectarian battle against Catholic interests in Northern Ireland. But rural Loughinisland had been, for all intents and purposes, set apart from the brutal sectarian battle zones in Belfast and Derry and along the Border with the Irish Republic. “You couldn’t have picked any more innocent,” says Aiden O’Toole, who was tending bar that fateful night, and became one of the wounded himself.

Through interviews with victims’ families, former terrorists, officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and other government officials, No Stone Unturned puts flesh and blood on a story that some would prefer to remain buried. By connecting dots on official documents, navigating previously uncharted leaks of information, and putting together what would be a prosecutor’s dream – or nightmare — Gibney connects the dots between mass murder and official malfeasance, between memory and sanctioned amnesia. The results are guaranteed to shock, appall, and resonate most resoundingly and hauntingly with audiences worldwide.

“The cover up was staggering in terms of its breadth and audacity, especially given the kind of evidence that was at their disposal. With the documents we were able to go through and make connections that were never able to be made before. And once that happened, we were able to dig a little deeper,” says Alex Gibney.

No Stone Unturned is a Fine Points Film in association with Jigsaw Productions and Kew Media Group, available on all major VOD platforms in the UK from Monday 8th January 2018.

SHORT REVIEW: The ZIM (2017)

Director:Alexander Bedria | Cast: Alexander Bedria, Tongayi Chirisa, Amanda Wing, Constance Ejuma and Shaun Baker
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A farmer struggles to protect his home and loved ones amidst the violent turmoil of the Zimbabwean land seizures.

Zimbabwe, like many African nations, has suffered its fair share of societal atrocities that are undeniably historically inherited, relentlessly and internally systemic and all in living memory.  Playing out to the rest of the world in an endless cycle of corruption, revolts and government coups, The Zim tackles a controversial, inconclusive subject matter head -on and with the same determination, confusion and frustration as the characters in the film.  Continue reading