Emotional Arithmetic, a drama about three Holocaust survivors who reunite after 40 years apart, will be the closing film at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, organizers announced Wednesday.
The film, shot in Quebec, portrays three children bonding in a detention camp on the outskirts of Paris during World War II.
They separate after surviving the ordeal but eventually reunite as adults at a dinner party in Canada.
"The inclusion of this powerful film reflects the robust nature of our industry,'' festival co-director Noah Cowan said in a release.
Emotional Arithmetic is based on a novel of the same name by the late Canadian writer Matt Cohen.
Directed by Paolo Barzman, the film stars Irish actor Gabriel Byrne, American actress Susan Sarandon and Swedish star Max von Sydow as the long-lost friends.
Christopher Plummer plays Sarandon's husband, and Canadian actor Roy Dupuis plays their son.
A launching pad for Hollywood's fall releases and awards contenders, the Toronto festival is where Jamie Foxx became Ray Charles in Ray, Eminem went from rapper to movie star in 8 Mile and Denzel Washington turned director with Antwone Fisher. The inclusion of Emotional Arithmetic comes one day after festival organizers held a news conference to announce the full slate of Canadian films, which will include David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises and Denys Arcand's Days of Darkness.
Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, hosting a film festival is controversial.
The screen got bigger this year and the luminaries slightly more illustrious.
Saudi Arabia, a country so socially conservative that it has no public cinemas, launched its second film festival this week with small but significant steps to overcome religious objections and follow the example of other Gulf Arab states where the public flocks to movie theaters.
"Of course, any time there is something like this going on I consider it a step forward, no matter how small the step is," said Dima Akhwan, a student studying in the US.
"This is something that fills young people's spare time. There isn't a single girl from my generation I know who doesn't want there to be cinemas here."
Saudi Arabia had some theaters in the 1970s but its powerful clerical establishment later managed to snuff the industry out, reflecting rising Islamist influence throughout the Arab region.
But in recent years dozens of young Saudis have begun making movies, running to catch up with their cousins in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait where films are made, festivals held, and theaters filled.
As Saudi Arabia's most liberal city, Jeddah is trying to push the boundaries with this week's cinematic offerings - though even the phrase "film festival" is still seen as too provocative.
"We hope this will be the beginning of creative and entertaining communications in harmony with the values and understandings of our society," said Jeddah mayor Adel Fakieh, choosing his words carefully at the opening of its Festival of Visual Art on Wednesday evening.
Nineteen Saudi films are competing for prizes for the first time in Saudi Arabia, alongside films from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Russia and Japan. Many are amateurish, but show a desire to explore an artistic medium long out of reach.
Moving from religious to political fanaticism, the rise of Mao Zedong (毛澤東) and communism in China is to be brought to the big screen by actor-director Robert De Niro, entertainment press reported this week.
The Oscar-winning star of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull has secured the rights to Chasing the Dragon: A Veteran Journalist's Firsthand Account of the 1949 Chinese Revolution written by reporter Roy Rowan, Variety reported.
Rowan, a former Shanghai-based correspondent for Time and Life who was one of the few Western journalists reporting from inside China at the time of Mao's rise to power, will act as a consultant on the film.
Filming was set to begin next week on The Hurt Locker, a Hollywood drama about the travails of a US army unit beset by bombers and snipers in Iraq, US entertainment media reported this week.
The movie, starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty and directed by Katherine Bigelow, follows an elite army explosive ordinance disposal team in present-day Baghdad.
Filming will take place in Jordan and Kuwait on the movie, which is inspired by actual events as well as recently declassified information, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"It's the first movie about the Iraq War that purports to show the experience of the soldiers," script writer Mark Boal told the Hollywood Reporter from Jordan.
Scott Saulters wasn’t sure if his film had just taken one of the two top prizes at a recent film competition. Although Saulters has been in Taiwan for 15 years and is proficient in Mandarin, the award ceremony for the inaugural “Bi Tian Iann” (眯電影) short film contest was conducted entirely in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), a language he can’t speak. “I thought I heard it, but I didn’t want to look too excited,” he says. Despite his limited command of the tongue, Saulter’s entry, Wu Yu Tzu (烏魚子, mullet roe), took first place in the amateur category of the
Since its launch in 2014, the Taiwan Season has increasingly become a “must-see” at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. So, when this year’s three-week Fringe became an early casualty of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Chen Pin-chuan (陳斌全) was determined that the Taiwan Season must continue in some form. Chen, director of the Cultural Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK, says that he and Taiwan Season curator and producer Yeh Jih-wen (葉紀紋) had been thinking of ways of growing and adding value to the season anyway. The crisis and the cancellation of the live performances brought those ideas forward as
The 22nd Taipei Arts Festival (臺北藝術節) opens tonight with three productions, a slightly scaled-down pandemic version that seeks to keep its tradition of big ideas, challenging programs and international connections alive and moving forward in an increasingly uncertain world. The theme of this year’s festival is “Super@#S%?” — as good a term as any when descriptives and superlatives seem not only inadequate, but somewhat irrelevant in a world where so many people cannot imagine being able to return to theaters, either as performers or audience members — they are too worried about having a job and their health. Technically, however, it is
Shuanglianpi (雙連埤) is both a Hakka outpost and a place of great ecological interest. The conjoined body of water from which it gets its name is the centerpiece of the 17.16-hectare Shuanglianpi Wildlife Refuge (雙連埤野生動物保護區). No waterways of significance fill or drain this scenic lake in Yilan County’s Yuanshan Township (員山鄉). During the 1895 to 1945 period of Japanese rule, the colonial authorities — struggling to secure Taiwan’s foothills — encouraged Han people to settle in areas adjacent to indigenous communities. Around 1910, a 49-year-old Hakka pioneer called Tsou Cheng-sheng (鄒成生) from what’s now Taoyuan decided to begin farming at