Monday, March 30, 2009

Documentary Films For And About Peace, Justice And Human Rights



There has been a resurgence of independent feature documentary films regarding peace and conflict resolution. The independent documentary filmmaker has stepped up to replace the old school journalism that use to explore issues in depth and without trying to condense issues into 15 second sound bites and glossed over summations.

Some news we now find out from documentary filmmakers, would not be available if it were not for their research and courage to present multisided detailed factual information. Many of these films start out as "labor of love" projects in which the documentary filmmaker has a passion for the subject material and desire to make the truth of the issue(s) he or she is exploring to be known.

"Peacemaking Strategies In Postmodern Times: A Multilogue On Human Rights" documentary was taped during the Pax Christi Regional Conference in Los Angeles. Pax Christi USA strives to create a world that reflects the Peace of Christ by exploring, articulating, and witnessing to the call of Christian nonviolence. This work begins in personal life and extends to communities of reflection and action to transform structures of society. Pax Christi USA rejects war, preparations for war, and every form of violence and domination. It advocates primacy of conscience, economic and social justice, and respect for creation.

Pax Christi USA commits itself to peace education and, with the help of its bishop members, promotes the gospel imperative of peacemaking as a priority in the Catholic Church in the United States. Through the efforts of all its members and in cooperation with other groups, Pax Christi USA works toward a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world. Pax Christi is a section of Pax Christi International, the Catholic peace movement.


The Globilization of Racism and Militarism


From "Peacemaking Stategies in Postmodern Times"
A Documentary by Don Haderlein


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sundance Film Festival And The 2009 Festival Winners


The Sundance film festival has become the premier independent American film festival and film market. The film festival started in 1978 as a way to attract more visitors to Utah. The focus of the festival has been to showcase independent films from filmmakers outside the Hollywood mainstream.

The Sundance Film Festival has since grown into a large American film market where many Hollywood celebrities attend films that are now backed by major Hollywood studios through their subsidiaries. The list below are the winners of the 2009 festival.

The Sundance film festival still remains a good way for a relatively unknown independent feature film director to get noticed by distributors. It is best to attend Sundance having won some other awards and with a "buzz" proceeding your film's arrival.

The 2009 winners of the Sundance Film Festival are listed below.


U.S. Cinema - Dramatic Films

Jury Prize - Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire

Audience Award - Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire

Directing - Cary Joji Fukunaga, Sin Nombre

Screenwriting - Nicholas Jasenovec and Charlyne Yi, Paper Heart

Cinematography - Adriano Goldman, Sin Nombre


U.S. Cinema - Documentary

Jury Prize - We Live in Public

Audience Award - The Cove

Directing - Natalia Almada, El General

Editing - Karen Schmeer, Sergio

Cinematography - Bob Richman, The September Issue


World Cinema - Dramatic Films

Jury Prize - The Maid

Audience Award - An Education

Directing - Oliver Hirschbiegel, Five Minutes of Heaven

Screenwriting - Guy Hibbert, Five Minutes of Heaven

Cinematography - John De Borman, An Education


World Cinema - Documentaries

Jury Prize - Rough Aunties

Audience Award - Afghan Star

Directing - Havana Marking, Afghan Star

Editor - Janus Billeskov Jansen, Thomas Papapetros, Burma VJ

Cinematography - John Maringouin, Big River Man


Special Jury Prizes

Originality - Benoit Delepine, Gustave de Kervern, Louise-Michel

World Cinema Documentary - Tibet in Song

World Cinema Acting - Catalina Saavedra, The Maid

U.S. Documentary - Good Hair

Acting - Mo'Nique, Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire

Spirit of Independence - Humpday


Short Films

U.S. Jury Prize - Short Term 12

International Jury Prize - Lies




Monday, March 23, 2009

Independent Spirit Awards 2009


The Independent Spirit Awards began in 1984. They are awards given to independent filmmakers and their films. The original award show was called the FINDIE. The Independent Spirit Awards changed their name again in 2005 from IFP West to the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Below are the nominations and winners for the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards.


Spirit Award Best Feature Nominees

* The Wrestler WINNER
* Ballast
* Frozen River
* Rachel Getting Married
* Wendy and Lucy

Spirit Award Best Director Nominees

* Tom McCarthy for The Visitor WINNER
* Ramin Bahrani for Chop Shop Movie
* Jonathan Demme for Rachel Getting Married
* Lance Hammer for Ballast
* Courtney Hunt for Frozen River

Spirit Award Best First Feature Nominees

* Synecdoche, New York WINNER
* Afterschool
* Medicine for Melancholy
* Sangre De Me Sangre
* Sleep Dealer

Spirit Award Best Male Lead Nominees

* Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler WINNER
* Javier Bardem for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
* Richard Jenkins for The Visitor
* Sean Penn for Milk
* Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker

Spirit Award Best Female Lead Nominees

* Melissa Leo for Frozen River WINNER
* Summer Bishil for Towelhead
* Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married
* Tarra Riggs for Ballast
* Michelle Williams for Wendy and Lucy

Spirit Award Best Supporting Male Nominees

* James Franco for Milk - WINNER

* Anthony Mackie for The Hurt Locker
* Charlie McDermott for Frozen River
* JimMyron Ross for Ballast
* Haaz Sleiman for The Visitor

Spirit Award Best Supporting Female Nominees

* Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona WINNER
* Rosemarie DeWitt for Rachel Getting Married
* Rosie Perez for The Take
* Misty Upham for Frozen River
* Debra Winger for Rachel Getting Married

Spirit Award Best Screenplay Nominees

* Woody Allen for Vicky Cristina Barcelona WINNER
* Anna Boden and Ryan Flick for Sugar
* Charlie Kaufman for Synecdoche New York
* Howard A Rodman for Savage Grace
* Jenny Lumet for Rachel Getting Married

Spirit Award Best First Screenplay Nominees

* Dustin Lance Black for Milk - WINNER
* Lance Hammer for Ballast
* Courtney Hunt for Frozen River
* Jonathan Levine for The Wackness
* Jenny Lumet for Rachel Getting Married

Spirit Award Best Foreign Film Nominees

* The Class WINNER
* Gomorra
* Hunger
* Secret of the Grain
* Silent Light

Spirit Award Best Documentary Nominees

* Man on Wire WINNER
* The Betrayal
* Encounters at the End of the World
* The Order of Myths
* Up the Yangtze

Spirit Award Best Cinematography Nominees

* Maryse Alberti for The Wrestler WINNER
* Lol Crawley for Ballast
* James Laxton for Medicine for Melancholy
* Harris Savides for Milk
* Michael Simmonds for Chop Shop

John Cassavetes Award

* In Search of a Midnight Kiss, Alex Holdridge, Seth Caplan and Scoot McNairy WINNER
* Prince of Broadway, Sean Baker and Darren Dean
* The Signal, David Bruckner, Dan Bush, Jacob Gentry and Alexander Motlagh
* Take Out, Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou
* Turn the River, Chris Eigeman and Ami Armstrong

Robert Altman Award

* Synecdoche New York

Piaget Producers Award Nominees

* Heather Rae for Frozen River, WINNER
* Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy for Treeless Mountain, I'll Come Running
* Jason Orans for Goodbye Solo, Year of the Fish