Winners of the 2009 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films! 

I heart Palm Springs! Why not? It's my hometown :happy

And I equally heart the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films! Honestly, I like this better than the bloated International Film Fest in January. Why? Because this is more about the craft of filmmaking than the celebrities.

Also, the Short Fest is a good predictor of the Oscars for Best Short Film. So pay attention to the winners, and then next year, take a look at the nominees. Chances are, you'll hear about them again at the Oscars!

The 2009 Palm Springs International ShortFest award winners are:

Jury Awards

Best of Festival, "The Dinner" (Vacsora), Karchi Perlmann
Future Filmmaker Award, Katie Wolfe, "This is Her"
Panavision Grand Jury Award, "Jonathan's Home," Nathanael Carton

Audience Awards

Live Action Short, "Dandelion Dharma," Veronica DiPippo
Documentary Short, "Claiming the Title: Gay Olympics On Trial," Jonathan Joiner, Robert H. Martin
Animation Short, "Lost and Found," Philip Hunt

Jury Category Awards
Best Live Action Short under 15 minutes:
First place: "The Stars Don't Twinkle in Outer Space," Peter Thwaites;
Second place: "The Man Inside," Rory Bresnihan.
Best Live Action Short over 15 minutes:
First place: "The Taxidermist," Bert & Bertie;
Second place: "Love Hate," Dylan Ritson, Blake Ritson
Best Animated Short:
First place: "Cages," Juan Jose Medina;
Second place: "Juiced and Jazzed," Justin Webber.
Best Documentary Short:
First place: "Irene," Lindsay Goodall;
Second place: "Naming Pluto," Ginita Jimenez.

Student Categories

Best Student Live Action Short under 15 minutes:
First place: "Cigarette Candy," Lauren Wolkstein;
Second place: "My Four Inch Precious," Sou Yun Sim.
Best Student Live Action Short over 15 minutes:
First place: "The Lunch Box," Lubomir Mihailo Kocka;
Second place: "Gloria & Eric," Nicolas Calzada.
Best Student Animated Short:
First place: "The Incident at Tower 37," Chris Perry;
Second place: "The Incredible Story of My Great Grandmother Olive," Alberto Rodriguez.
Best Student Documentary Short:
First place: "Waiting for Women" (Esperando Mujeres), Estephan Wagnere;
Second place: "Nutkin's Last Stand," Nicholas Berger.
Kodak Award for Best Student Cinematography:
First place: cinematographer Alexa Caravia, "Rare Fish";
Second place: cinematographer Nathan Levine-Heaney, "My Four Inch Precious."

Special Awards
The Alexis Award for Most Promising Student Filmmaker, Steven Edell, "A Son's War."
Special mentions went to Brooke Sebold for "Brotherhood" and Lauren Wolkstein for "Cigarette Candy."
The Hard C High Five to Lo Fi Award for Most Entertaining Low Budget Short, "Marry, F***, Kill ," Douglas Lamore.
The Cinema Without Borders Best International Film Award, "Kingsland #1 The Dreamer," Tony Grisoni.

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Amy Adams to Join Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg for "Fighter" 

The fantastic Amy Adams (she's the sole bright spot of "Night at the Museum 2") is in final talks to co-star alongside Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg in "The Fighter."

David O. Russell, who hasn't directed a full-feature film since 2004's "I Heart Huckabees," is set to helm.

(For the full behind-the-scenes drama surrounding "The Fighter," click here)

The movie tells the tale of boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward (Wahlberg) and his trainer-brother Dick Eklund (Bale). Adams will star as Charlene, a tough-talking bartender from Massachusetts who ends up being Mickey's love.

The Academy-award nominated Melissa Leo (if you haven't seen "Frozen River" please watch it now!) will play Wahlberg and Bale's mother.

Now that the cast is shaping up, I'm looking forward to seeing this film!

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"An American Werewolf in London" the Remake! 

The 1981 John Landis horror classic "An American Werewolf in London" is being remade by Dimension Films.

Dimension has been in the horror-remake mood lately. The company is releasing "Halloween II" at the end of August, and is developing the reboot of "Hellraiser."

No writer or director has been set for "Werewolf" yet. The original, written and directed by Landis, was a creepily-funny flick that starred David Naughton and Griffin Dunne as two American tourists hiking in the Yorkshire moors attacked by a werewolf.

Take a look at the original trailer, and let's hope that the Dimension remake at least match the creativity of the cult classic:

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"Public Enemies" Movie Review! See What Crime the Filmmakers Commit! 

John Dillinger, America’s first Public Enemy Number One, is the subject of the new film by Michael Mann (“Heat,” Miami Vice”). The powerful director, who’s great in exploring criminal minds, tried to delve into the psyche of the Depression-era outlaw in “Public Enemies.” The result is a less than compelling film that is a bit tedious to watch, especially the first half.

I really want “Public Enemies” to be great! The players behind this film attract high expectations. It’s Depp! It’s Bale! It’s Mann! But as it turned out, Academy-award winner Marion Cotillard (“La vie en rose”) became the savior of the movie.

Johnny Depp, one of our most gifted contemporary actors, stars as Dillinger, a bank robber nicknamed “jackrabbit” for his many narrow getaways from police. The first time we see Dillinger, he’s trying to help his crew escape from Indiana State Prison. Read More...

[ 43 comments ] ( 1845 views )   |  permalink  |   ( 3 / 2009 )
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" Box-Office King! But Robots Could NOT Beat Batman! 

Heavy metal! Paramount is enjoying huge success with “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” The sequel has grossed an estimated $201.2 million since opening Wednesday. But, “The Dark Knight” still holds the crown with the best five-day haul ever, grossing $203.8 million when it opened last summer.

Estimating its total since Friday, “Transformers 2” grossed $112 million for the weekend.

By the way, “Dark Knight” and “Transformers 2,” both sequels, are the only two titles to make a huge leap to the $200 million in just five days. Now, can you blame Hollywood for giving us sequels after sequels?

Another new film to open this weekend, “My Sister’s Keeper” only grossed $12 million but it’s still a respectable opening considering it’s counter-programming to the giant robots.

But “The Proposal,” previous weekend’s No. 1 film enjoyed better reception, selling $18.5 million box-office tickets falling to No. 2. So far, the Sandra Bullock-Ryan Reynolds comedy has a total of $69 million in its first 10 days.

No. 3 is “The Hangover” with an estimated $17.2 million bringing its total to $183.2 million.

Meanwhile, Disney-Pixar’s “Up” came in at No. 4 with $13 million. The animated adventure beat “Star Trek” to become the highest grossing film of the year, taking in $250.2 million. “Star Trek” is the second best-selling film with a total of $246.2 million.
The best story of the weekend? “Away We Go,” in just 495 theaters, grossed $1.7 million for a total of $4.1 million.

Here’s the estimated Top 10 films at the box office for weekend of June 26th:

1. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” $112,000,000
2. “The Proposal” $18,466,000
3. “The Hangover” $17,215,000
4. “UP” $13,046,000
5. “My Sister’s Keeper” $12,030,000
6. “Year One” $5,800,000
7. “The Taking Of Pelham 123” $5,400,000
8. “Star Trek” $3,606,000
9. “Night At The Museum: Battle Smithsonian” $3,500,000
10. “Away We Go” $1,678,251

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