Japan’s Good Morning to the World has won the Vancouver International Film Festival’s 17th annual Dragons and Tigers Award. The drama by 23-year-old filmmaker Hirohara Satoru edged out seven other films from Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, China and Singapore to win the award, which is given to young filmmakers from Asia.
Special mentions were given to the features Don’t Be Afraid, Bi!, directed by Phan Dang Di from Vietnam, and Rumination, directed by Xu Ruotao from China.
Good Morning to the World will receive an additional screening on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Pacific Cinematheque. Satoru takes home a $10,000 cash prize along with the award.
How Avatar’s heavy CGI needs turned Neil Blomkamp back to Vancouver studios for his digital team. Nominated for 4 Oscars tomorrow night. How many will the film carry off?
March 5, 2010 By POV
Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) in Peter Jackson and Neil Blomkamp’s film District 9 (TriStar/Sony Pictures)
District 9 is the science-fiction film that came out of nowhere to become a sleeper hit and a surprising contender at this year’s Academy Awards. The largely made-in-B.C. FX wizardry earned the film one of its four Oscar nominations.
Co-writer and director Neill Blomkamp was just beginning to work with the Weta Workshop and Digital teams that had created the splendours of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy when he ran into another hitch — a little film called Avatar. James Cameron’s behemoth-in-the-making was soaking up CGI resources available in New Zealand, so Jackson told Blomkamp he’d have to look elsewhere for FX talent.
Vancouver has long been home to Blomkamp, whose family moved there from South Africa when Blomkamp was a teenager. He’s a former student of the Vancouver Film School, whose 3D Animation and Visual Effects program created a valuable pool of techies for his film.
Read the entire article here.
BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL TOUR TRAVELS TO KALISPELL
Nice video trailer on the Festival tour home page!
The small Alberta town of Banff, where the population is only slightly higher than the elevation, may seem an unlikely candidate to spawn the largest mountain film festival in North America. But if you look closer, at its illustrious Banff Centre of arts and culture, at its stunning mountainous surroundings, perhaps it all makes sense.
From Oct. 31 to Nov. 8, more than 10,000 moviegoers crowded into theaters throughout Banff, a town of just over 8,000 in Alberta, for the famed Banff Mountain Film Festival. From 277 total entries, 62 films were chosen for the festival. Screenings included outdoor adventure films and documentaries serving as in-depth cultural examinations. Winners in various categories were named.
The event is held by the Banff Centre, an institution that film festival director Shannon O’Donaghue describes as a “leading center for professional development for artists” in Canada. Roughly 5,000 artists from across the world train at the center annually, in fields such as mountain culture, aboriginal arts, drama, opera, dance and literary arts, among others. The center is geared toward “mid-career artists,” O’Donaghue said, differing from traditional university art schools.
“We have a lot of residencies and workshops,” O’Donaghue said. “It’s a really special place, actually. There’s nothing like this in another small town in Canada.”
Just days after the festival ended, two vans – equipped with top-of-the-line digital projectors – embarked on a mission to show 25 selected films across Canada and the United States. The films will also be taken to countries across the globe as part of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, which will hold more than 500 screenings in 30 countries, O’Donaghue said.
Outside of Canada, the first stop for the tour is Montana. On Nov. 13, films will be shown in Great Falls, followed by back-to-back screenings in Kalispell at Flathead High School on Nov. 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. As in past years, the Flathead Nordic Ski Patrol is organizing the Kalispell event as a fundraiser for the nonprofit.
Read the entire article here.
In Rossland, winter promises a flurry of skiers and snowboarders not just on the slopes, but on the big screen as well. Cued to roll November 19 – 22, the 10th annual Rossland Mountain Film Festival will usher locals and visitors alike into screening rooms throughout town for four days of film, visual arts, music and multi-media productions.
Screening work from up-and-coming Kootenay filmmakers, photographers and visual artists (think: reel upon reel set to immortalize a region where powder is king), this marquee event kicks off Thursday with cool beats and plenty of libations during a gala gathering in the town’s Old Fire Hall. Friday follows with screenings for all ages, and late night festivities for the older set, complete with feature films and a live band.
Congrats to the Vancouver Film School where filmmaker Neill Blomkamp, his co-writer Terri Tatchell, Visual Effects Executive Producer Shawn Walsh, and 40 other members of District 9’s visual effects team were all trained …
District 9, a gritty, low-budget space alien movie set in South Africa with a cast of unknowns, opened as Hollywood’s No. 1 film, grossing more at the box-office its first weekend than it cost to make.
The sci-fi action thriller depicting extra-terrestrials as unwanted immigrants stranded in Johannesburg took in $37 million in North America, distributor Sony Pictures said on last Sunday.
It said District 9 cost less than $30 million to make, a modest budget by Hollywood standards.
Read the entire article here.
by Kyle Rupprecht | Published August 13, 2009
This week, Vancouver Film School (VFS), Canada’s premier entertainment arts institution, is celebrating the release of District 9. The highly anticipated sci-fi thriller, produced by Peter Jackson, is directed/co-written by VFS graduate Neill Blomkamp, making his feature debut. The entire VFS community congratulates Blomkamp—and the 24 VFS Animation & Visual Effects alumni who worked on the film—for their impressive, exciting achievement.
District 9 depicts a settlement of extraterrestrial refugees marooned in Johannesburg, South Africa. Living in slum-like conditions, they unexpectedly find a kindred spirit in a government agent (Sharlto Copley) exposed to their biotechnology. The movie, which has been steadily building buzz for months, is already being praised by critics for its deft blend of action and intelligence. The Hollywood Reporter calls it “smart, savvy filmmaking of the highest order” and, in a cover story, Entertainment Weekly deems District 9 “the must-see movie of the summer.”