Vishal Bharadwaj to make Shakespearean Comedy trilogy?

Vishal Bharadwaj (L) with Art Shrian (R)

Vishal Bharadwaj is a very simple man. With him, it’s “what you see, is what you get”. He’s soft spoken, modest and very down to earth. Not something you see a lot in a celebrity from entertainment world, who has 6 National Awards amongst many, and his movies have done multi-millions in business. He’s also very intelligent, a person who’s very clear as to what he wants and what kind of work he wants to do. With his Shakespearean Trilogy of Maqbool (Macbeth), Omkara (Othello) and Haider (Hamlet), he has wowed audience all over the globe. We got a chance to talk to him recently, here are the excerpts

Art Shrian: You have brought Shakespeare to everyday Indian in such an authentic, but still very Indian way. As a filmmaker, what motivates you to make such amazing films?

Vishal Bharadwaj: I always say a film actually represents inner being of a filmmaker, whatever he wants to say, whatever he wants to be. Director is one person who becomes completely emotionally naked. He’s commenting on social environment, whatever he sees and feels, the issues, issues with father, girlfriend, wife, sister, anything. He brings his inner being.

Art Shrian: Your movie also have been great hits and very successful financially. How important is that to you?

Vishal Bharadwaj: Financial aspect is important to the effect that you’re able to make your next film (laughs). If you make such a bad film that people lose their money, nobody is going to put their money on you next time. So it’s important at least to that extent.

Art Shrian: You tell great stories through your films. And you have constantly picked great stories from Shakespeare to Ruskin Bond; and made them even better through your films. What inspires you to accept an existing famous story and convert it into a film? Adaptation v/s original Writing...

Vishal Bharadwaj: It’s a very selfish reason for me. If you judge your work very honestly and if you don’t live in fool’s paradise, then you know if something is better than what you can write originally. I chose those stories which I think are great, timeless, entertaining, juicy, and great characters. To write something like Macbeth will take me 400 yrs.

Art Shrian: Well, I’m sure if Shakespeare was around, he’ll love your adaptations of his work. Specially Maqbool and making Lady Macbeth and Macbeth as unmarried lovers, it just adds such a depth to the characters and the story. But now there is lot of expectations from you and your films. So, do you feel a burden while doing these Shakespearean adaptations?

Vishal Bharadwaj: No, I don’t feel any such burden; the burden is within my own work. I remain honest with my inner feelings, and I know if I’m honest, everything will be taken care of.

Art Shrian: So talking about your latest adaptation Haider, it was amazing how you brought such a complicated story into today’s world. Making such complex characters alive, including the ghost, and in a beautiful setting of Kashmir. It does not seem like a Shakespearean adaptation at all, it’s so relevant and current. But there was also some controversy around the film and its agenda. Did you want to make any kind of statement with the film or was it just your honest adaptation of Hamlet?

Vishal Bharadwaj: I never want to make a statement; I just want to make my honest films. The only film I tried to make a statement with, was “Matroo ki Bijli Ka Mandola”; about condition of farmers and people trying to take their lands and making ugly concrete jungle of multiplexes and malls. That was my most political movie. In Haider, I was trying to explore human conditions of a particular area, where people have gone through a lot, area which has seen violence for more than 25 yrs. So what happens to a family, or a common man, whose roots are not clear on either side? There was lot of controversy, but I’m not part of it. I filmed or showed nothing that was not true. I just made my honest film.

Art Shrian: I think I’ll have to watch it a second time, with less bias (laughing). So, any plans on adapting the funny and comedic side of Shakespeare? I would love to see that and can take credit for that suggestion (laughing).

Vishal Bharadwaj: In the near future, there’s no plan. But definitely after 1 or 2 films I would love to do such comedies. A trilogy of Shakespearean comedy would be great (with a big smile!).

Art Shrian: That will be amazing, can’t wait to see that. Thanks a lot Vishal for making such wonderful films, and we all look forward to continuing to enjoy your work. All the best!

New York Indian FIlm Festival 2015 | Celebrating the best of Indian & South Asian cinema

The New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), the country’s most prestigious, longest-running South Asian film festival, announces its movie award categories, esteemed panel of jurors and CLOSING NIGHT FILM. The six-day festival (May 4 to 9) will showcase more than 30 shorts, documentaries and feature films, along with special events, networking parties and Q&A sessions with directors, actors and producers. For the entire festival schedule & locations, please go HERE. To purchase tickets for the gala, buy festival passes or score individual screening tickets, please go HERE.
NYIFF 2015 Award Categories & Nominees Are (Drum Roll, please…):


Best Picture

  1. City Lights
  2. My Big Fat Bride
  3. Gour Hari Dastaan
  4. Labour of Love
  5. Margarita, with a Straw
  6. Saari Raat

Best Actor

  1. Ayushmann Khurrana (My Big Fat Bride)
  2. Dulal Sarkar (Chotoder Chobi)
  3. Rajkumar Rao (City Lights)
  4. Vikram Gokhale (Siddhant)
  5. Vinay Pathak (Gour Hari Dastaan)
  6. Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Haraamkhor) 

Best Short

  1. Bloody Moustache
  2. Hechki
  3. Nayantara's Necklace
  4. Seek & Hide
  5. Zor

Best Screenplay

  1. Chauranga
  2. Choteder Chobi
  3. Haraamkhor
  4. Labour of Love
  5. Margarita, with a Straw

Best Director

  1. Aditya Vikram Sengupta (Labour of Love)
  2. Ananth Mahadevan (Gour Hari Dastaan)
  3. Aparna Sen (Saari Raat)
  4. Hansal Mehta (City Lights)
  5. Sharat Katariya (My Big Fat Bride)
  6. Shonali Bose (Margarita, with a Straw) 

Best Actress

  1. Bhumi Pednekar (My Big Fat Bride)
  2. Debalina Roy (Chotoder Chobi)
  3. Kalki Koechlin (Margarita, with a Straw)
  4. Konkana Sen (Gour Hari Dastan)
  5. Konkana Sen (Saari Raat)
  6. Tannishtha Chatterjee (Rough Book)

Best Documentary

  1. A Moment of Misgiving
  2. Being Bhaijaan
  3. Daughters of Mother India
  4. Meet the Patels
  5. Placebo

 Best Child Actor

  1. Archit Dewadhar (Siddhant)
  2. J. Vignesh & Ramesh (Kaakaa Muttai)
  3. Shameem Khan (Yeh Hai Bakrapur)
  4. Shrirang Mahajan (Elizabeth Ekadashi)
  5. Soham Maitra & Riddhi Sen (Chauranga)

***Winners in each category will be announced at the closing night awards ceremony on Saturday, May 9 AFTER the closing night film, which will be Yash Raj Films’ MY BIG FAT BRIDE, directed by Sharat Katariya and starring Ayushmann Khuranna & Bhumi Pednakar. It’s a heartfelt story about a mismatched couple trying to find themselves and each other between their own complexes and dysfunctional, yet endearing, families. 

NYIFF 2015’s Panel of Jurors Includes (in alphabetical order, by last name):

  • Parag Amladi
  • Ashish Avikunthak
  • Dev Benegal
  • Tejaswini Ganti
  • Udayan Gupta
  • Le Frances Hui
  • Poorna Jagannathan
  • Joseph Mathew
  • Myrna Moncayo-Iyengar
  • Claus Mueller
  • Muriel (Mike) Peters
  • Zenobia Shroff
  • Nilita Vachani

For a complete bio and more information on each juror, please go HERE.

About the Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC):

The Indo-American Arts Council is a registered 501(c) 3 not-for-profit, secular service and resource arts organization charged with the mission of promoting and building the awareness, creation, production, exhibition, publication and performance of Indian and cross-cultural art forms in North America. The IAAC supports all artistic disciplines in the classical, fusion, folk and innovative forms influenced by the arts of India. We work cooperatively with colleagues around the United States to broaden our collective audiences and to create a network for shared information, resources and funding. Our focus is to work with artists and arts organizations in North America as well as to facilitate artists and arts organizations from India to exhibit, perform and produce their works here. 

About the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF):
The New York Indian Film Festival (originally the IAAC Film Festival) opened their doors in 2001 following the devastation of the September 11attacks on New York City. This festival creates an awareness and better understanding of the people and stories from the Indian Diaspora by bringing the most acclaimed feature films, documentaries, and shorts from that region to America's biggest and most remarkable city. Merchant-Ivory's Shakespearewalla was the festival's Opening Night, while Mira Nair's 'Monsoon Wedding' closed IAAC’s first film festival before its worldwide theatrical release. Since then, the festival has provided first-looks at many acclaimed films, including Deepa Mehta's Oscar-nominated 'Water,' and 'Midnight's Children', Nair's 'The Namesake,' and 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' and the New York Premiere of Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire' which won eight Oscars including Best Picture. Some of the artists who support the festival include Mira Nair, Salman Rushdie, Madhur Jaffrey, Padma Lakshmi, Shabana Azmi, Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh Kapoor, Shashi Tharoor, Sarita Chaudhury, Sakina Jaffrey, Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, Mani Ratnam, Aparna Sen, the late filmmakers Ismail Merchant and Rituparno Ghosh. NYIFF's 15th anniversary will include premiere film screenings, discussions, industry panels, nightly networking parties, special events, an awards ceremony, and red carpet galas. The festival will run May 4th to 9th at a variety of prestigious New York City venues, including the Skirball Center for Performing Arts, the Paris Theatre and the Village East Cinemas. For the latest news, updates and information about The 15th Annual New York Indian Film Festival, presented by The Indo-American Arts Council, please visit

• @TribecaFilmFest | @MontyPython: The Meaning of LIVE (4/4) #TFF2015

I for one have never been a HUGE fan of Monty Python, unlike many others. I have not seen lot of there work either. I watched the HOLY GRAIL last year, and wasn’t super impressed. It was funny, it was good, but I didn’t find it amazing. But how could I say NO to an opportunity to watch these legends LIVE at Tribeca Film Festival’s American Express Card Member exclusive world premiere of Monty Python: The Meaning of Live. And I have to say, it was amazing, it was awesome!

What makes Monty Python so great? What makes them a phenomenon? What makes them a legend? This is a documentary film, which does give you a feeling that you understand these questions better. You see them, like you may not have seen them ever before. And I don’t just mean older. I mean, as people with true passion for what they do, love for comedy and performing art and zeal to break barriers and do that has or was never done. And they did it like no one else probably ever could. There’s a moment in this film, when they show Mike Myers appearing on stage for there last show at O2. When asked who’s his best & most favorite ever in comedy, with tears he says, Monty Python, no one even comes closer. And you believe that for yourself. And for more, you’ll have to watch it for yourself.

This wonderful event was even made more special by their presence and Q&A at the end. I got to see that these people are not just funny and brilliant when it’s scripted; they are genuinely amazing in person as well. While watching the movie, I heard some huge laughter next to me. And I turned to see, that person sitting 2 seats from me was none other than John Cleese himself, truly enjoying watching this documentary for the first time. And there were the 2 other Pythons Eric Idle and Michael Palin. It was quite an honor to enjoy this wonderful film siting besides these true legends. Now it’s time for me to go back and watch all of Monty Python from beginning, till end… while hoping that these legends live on and it never ends!

While perhaps best known for its eminently quotable films, Monty Python has performed its signature, surreal humor in live shows since the group’s earliest days. Dive into the history of Python’s stage work and the genesis of some of its most well-known pieces as they prepare for their last-ever live show. Monty Python: the Meaning of Life is a hilarious and illuminating survey of the process behind the Python.


Year: 2014

Length: 94 minutes

Language: English

Country: U.K.

Premiere: International


Director: Roger Graef, James Rogan

Producer: Jim Beach, Holly Gilliam, Lindsey Jex

Editor: Simon Barker, David Atkinson

Executive Producer: Lucy Ansbro

Cast: Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, with Graham Chapman



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Last afternoon, I got an email in my inbox from Lapacazo with an invite for the Tribeca Film Awards party, announcing the winners of its competition categories. Well, how could we say no? We canceled whatever else was on our calendars and arrived at TFF’s creative hub, Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios. With a very intimate cocktail party preceding the award show, environment was abuzz with enthusiasm, joy and free booze. I caught up with Lapacazo who was chatting with Marco Kalantari and Danny Shayler from wonderful short film from the festival Shaman. And soon after the hilarious Michael Rapaport was on stage, who was hosting this wonderful event.

The winners of the narrative and documentary competition were awarded from the World Narrative and World Documentary sections of the official Festival lineup, which consists of 12 narrative and 12 documentary films from 19 countries. Best New Director prizes were awarded to first-time directors in the narrative and documentary categories, from a pool of 26 feature films. It was also announced that, beginning this year, the new name of the Best New Documentary Director Award going forward will be called The Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award, which was awarded tonight by Philip Maysles and Sara Maysles, the beloved filmmaker’s children.

Awards were also given for the best narrative, best documentary, and student visionary films in the short film competition.

In addition, the Festival announced The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Storyscapes Award, created in collaboration with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, and the Nora Ephron Prize, sponsored by Coach.


This year’s Festival included 101 features, 60 short films, five immersive storytelling projects from 38 countries.

The winners of the Audience Awards, sponsored by AT&T, which are determined by audience votes throughout the Festival, will be announced on April 25.

“We are proud to honor the winning filmmakers, artists, and creators tonight,” said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder, Tribeca Film Festival. “Their stories have inspired all of us—and our audiences. We thank them for sharing their work at Tribeca.”

Screenings of the award–winning films will take place throughout the final day of the Festival: Sunday, April 26, at various venues. Specific times and ticketing information are available at

In addition to cash awards and in-kind services provided by sponsors including AKA, AT&T, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin, Citrin Cooperman, Coach, Inc., Company 3, CreativeFuture, The Walt Disney Studios, Freixenet, Paul Hastings LLP, Netflix, Shutterstock, and Soundtrack Film and Television–New York. The Festival presented the winners with original pieces of art created by eight contemporary artists: Daniel Arsham, Robert Bordo, Elizabeth Colomba, Stephen Hannock, Prune Nourry, Jean Pagliuso, Clifford Ross, and Piers Secunda.

The winners, awards, and comments from the jury who selected the recipients are as follows:


The jurors for the 2015 World Narrative Competition sponsored by AKAwere Paul Attanasio, Sophie Barthes, Whoopi Goldberg, Dylan McDermott, and Burr Steers.

         The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – Virgin Mountain, written and directed by Dagur Kári [Iceland, Denmark]. Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by AT&T, and the art award “Ash Eroded Film Reel” by Daniel Arsham. The award was given by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal joined by Marissa Shorenstein, President, AT&T New York

                Jury Comment: “With its mixture of humor and pathos, this film captured our hearts.                Beyond the deceptively small frame of a mismatched love story, the film deals with the    issues of bigotry, loneliness, bullying, mental illness, and ultimately the triumph of the            human spirit and the meaning of love.”

         Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film –Gunnar Jónsson as Fúsi in Virgin Mountain (Iceland, Denmark). Winner receives $2,500 sponsored by Citrin Cooperman. The award was given by Dylan McDermott and Arnie Hermann, lead partner, Entertainment Practice of the firmCitrin Cooperman.

                Jury Comment: “The film was aided in no small measure by a performer whose mixture of     comedy and sadness evokes Chaplin and Keaton, with a complete lack of tricks, pretense, or             condescension. This performer relies instead on subtlety, timing, and naked honesty,   creating an indelible portrait of a man fighting to be seen in a world that judges him by his     appearance.


         Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film – Hannah Murray as Sara in Bridgend (Denmark). Winner receives $2,500 sponsored by Citrin Cooperman. The award was given by Sophie Barthes and Diana Mahiques, Business Development Manager, Citrin Cooperman.

Jury Comment: “An actress who captured the hopelessness of a lost generation. With bravery and guilelessness, this young actress led us in a descent into a world gone mad, as well as a journey into the protagonist’s own inner darkness.”

         Best Cinematography – Cinematography by Magnus Jønck for Bridgend (Denmark). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Shutterstock. The award was given by Sophie Barthes and Derick Rhodes, Footage Marketing, Shutterstock.


Jury Comment: “Soulful and searing images, a daring use of composition and light, and an evocative sense of place.


         Best Screenplay – Virgin Mountain written by Dagur Kári (Iceland, Denmark). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Freixenet. The award was given by Dylan McDermott and Tom Burnet President, Freixenet USA.

Jury Comment: “The writer of this film is also the director, and is credited as one of the editors, and also performed the music, and runs the director’s program at the National Film School of Denmark, leading us to wonder when he has time to go to the bathroom. His intricately designed, beautifully observed, and bravely conceived screenplay consistently defies expectations, avoids sentimentality, and never strikes a false note.


●      Best Narrative Editing – Bridgend edited by Oliver Bugge Coutté (Denmark). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Soundtrack Film and Television-New York, and $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3. The award was given by Sophie Barthes and Rob Cavicchio, owner Soundtrack NY.

Jury Comment: “Impeccable rhythms and expert balancing of many divergent narratives.”


The jurors for the 2015 World Documentary Competition sponsored by Santander Bank, N.A., were Diego Bunuel, Tine Fischer, David Gelb, Joshua Rothkopf, and Gloria Steinem.

         Best Documentary Feature – Democrats, directed by Camilla Nielsson (Denmark). Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by Netflix, and the art award “Immersion (From the Holy River Series)” by Prune Nourry. The award was given by Gloria Steinem.

Jury Comments: “For its choice of an important, universal subject; for filming in conditions where simply to be present is a triumph; and for prioritizing dignity, courage, and our common struggle for humanity, we give this year’s Best Documentary Feature award to Camilla Nielsson for Democrats.”


Special Jury MentionIn Transit , directed by Albert Maysles, Nelson Walker, Lynn True, David Usui, and Ben Wu. (U.S.A)

         Best Documentary Editing – Palio, edited by Valerio Bonelli (U.K., Italy). Winner receives $5,000.  The award was given by Diego Bunuel.

Jury Comments: “This film viscerally transported us into an event and turned life into art. For subtly placing us behind the scenes; and for general technical excellence, this year’s award for Best Editing in a Documentary goes to editor Valerio Bonelli for Palio.”


The jurors for the 2015 Best New Narrative Director Competition were Mark Boal, Minnie Driver, Don Hertzfeldt, Cobie Smulders, and Joana Vicente.

         Best New Narrative Director – Zachary Treitz director of Men Go To Battle (U.S.A). Winner receives $25,000 sponsored by The Walt Disney Studios, $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3, and the art award “Trees II” by Clifford Ross. The award was given by Don Hertzfeldt and Joana Vicente.


Jury Comments: “Zachary Treitz presented us with a combination of approaches not all that easy to put together: a unique and sincere vision, alongside off-beat humor, alongside historical and emotional authenticity.”

                Special Jury MentionStephen Fingleton for The Survivalist (Northern Ireland, U.K.).


The jurors for the 2015 Best New Documentary Director Competition were Rachel Boynton, Lola Kirke, Will Patton, Alison Pill, and Michael Rapaport.

         Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award – Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandilands for Uncertain (U.S.A). Winner receives $25,000 sponsored by Netflix, and the art award “Athena” by Elizabeth Colomba. The award was given by Alison Pill along with Philip Maysles and Sara Maysles.

Jury Comment: “This year we recognize a beautiful character study that explores violent natures, redemption, and what it takes to tame the self. A perfect balance of simplicity and mystery, this American story examines humanity, and how it can unwittingly destroy not just landscapes but livelihoods.”


                Special Jury MentionErik Shirai for The Birth of Saké(U.S.A).


The 2015 Best Narrative Short Competition jurors were Hank Azaria, Mamie Gummer, André Holland, Arian Moayed, Sheila Nevins, and Dan Silver.

         Best Narrative Short – Listen, directed by Hamy Ramezan and Rungano Nyoni (Finland, Denmark). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Paul Hastings, LLP, and the art award “Caw (42)” by Robert Bordo. The award was given by Sharon Badal, Director of Short Film Programming and Initiatives Tribeca Enterprises, and Luke P. Iovine, III, Partner at Paul Hastings, LLP.

                Jury Comments: “This year’s winner for Best Narrative Short was emotionally compelling      and by far the most affecting of the pieces we screened, with the filmmakers displaying a                 clear emotional connection with the narrative. To say that we had a healthy debate is an      understatement.”


                Special Jury Mention Statistical Analysis of Your Failing Relationship directed by Miles Jay              (U.S.A, Canada).

The 2015 Best Documentary and Student Visionary Award jurors were Steve Buscemi, Debi Mazar, Katherine Oliver, Theo Rossi, and Vanessa Williams.


         Best Documentary Short – Body Team 12 directed by David Darg (Liberia). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by AKA, complimentary time in a.cinema, AKA's private screening room, and the art award “Black #19” by Jean Pagliuso. The award was given by Steve Buscemi, Debi Mazar, and Theo Rossi.

Jury Comments: “The winning film is a spiritual and inspiring story of personal courage and commitment. The filmmaking team takes us on a fearless journey that restores our faith in humanity and inspires viewers to be optimistic despite facing the most extreme challenges.”

Special Jury MentionWe Live This directed by James Burns (U.S.A).

         Student Visionary Award – Catwalk directed by Ninja Thyberg (Sweden). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Creative Future. The award was given by Steve Buscemi, Debi Mazar,  Theo Rossi, and Brett Williams, director, Creative Community and Youth Outreach, CreativeFuture.

Jury Comments: “An effective look at peer influence not peer pressure.  A creative explanation of what young people are experiencing as a result of social media threads and trends. Beautifully shot, and cast with a profound message that promotes individuality and vulnerability amongst the girls and parents, this year’s Student Visionary Award goes to Ninja Thyberg for her film Catwalk.”

Special Jury MentionKingdom of Garbage, directed by Yasir Kareem (Iraq, U.K.).


The 2015 BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Storyscapes Award, which recognizes groundbreaking approaches in storytelling and technology, jurors were Andrew Golis, Shari Frilot, and Charlie Phillips.

●      BOMBAY SAPPHIRE ® Storyscapes Award: Door Into the Dark created by Amy Rose and May Abdalla at Anagram (U.K.). Winner receives $10,000, presented by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin. The award was given by Andrew Golis, Shari Frilot, and Maria Dao, Brand Manager of House of Bombay Gin.

Jury Comments: “In an overwhelming media environment in which we struggle for control, we recognize a work that viscerally reconnects us with the value of letting go. It offers a meticulously crafted storyworld that allows us to cerebrally, emotionally, and quite literally leave our baggage behind and step into the void. In that void we become disoriented, take risks, make choices and find ourselves again, changed. Ambitious, simple, and profound, this work marks a fresh and promising direction for the field of immersive theater. It evoked a euphoria that stayed with us long after we left it.”


The 2015 Nora Ephron Prize jurors were Rachael Harris, Kevin Corrigan, Katja Blichfeld, Christine Lahti and Talya Lavie.

         The Nora Ephron PrizeSworn Virgin, directed by Laura Bispuri and written by Francesca Manieri and Bispuri (Albania, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Switzerland). Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by Coach. The award was given by Rachael Harris, Kevin Corrigan, Katja Blichfeld, Christine Lahti, Talya Lavie, and Iana dos Reis Nunes, vice president of public relations for Coach.

Jury Comments: “We are awarding a film that is exquisite in its broadness and its intimacy, with a truly original story that touches on gender identity and oppression in a way that members of this jury have rarely seen before. The film constantly surprised us and made us question our own positions through a confident, passionate, and beautifully nuanced vision that showed a real respect for the audience.”

Special Jury MentionBeing 14 directed and written by Hélène Zimmer (France).


World Narrative Feature Competition:

         Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature: 12 films

         Best Actress in a Narrative Feature:  13 actresses

         Best Actor in a Narrative Feature: 14 actors

         Best Cinematography in a Narrative Feature:  12 films

         Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature:  12 films

         Best Editing in a Narrative Feature: 12 films

World Documentary Feature Competition:

         Best Documentary Feature: 12 films

         Best Editing in a Documentary Film:  12 filmmakers

New Director Competition includes first time directors across all feature sections with films making their North American, International, or World Premiere

         Best New Narrative Director: directors selected from 14 films

         Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award: directors selected from 12 films

Short Films in Competition:

         Best Narrative Short: 28 films

         Best Documentary Short: 21 films

         Student Visionary Award: 11 films

Storyscapes Projects in Competition:

         BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Storyscapes Award: 5 projects

Nora Ephron Prize:

         Awarded to a female director or screenwriter. Selected from 12 eligible films, with seven female writer-directors, three female writers, and two female directors


Narrative Films

Bridgend, directed by Jeppe Rønde, co-written by Jeppe Rønde, Torben Bech, and Peter Asmussen. (Denmark) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Sara (Hannah Murray) and her dad arrive in a town haunted by a spate of teenage suicides. When she falls in love with Jamie (Josh O’Connor), she becomes prey to the depression that threatens to engulf them all. Jeppe Rønde's debut is based on the real-life Welsh county borough of Bridgend, which has recorded at least 79 suicides since 2007.

Democrats, directed and written by Camilla Nielsson. (Denmark)– North American Premiere, Documentary. In the wake of Robert Mugabe’s highly criticized 2008 presidential win, a constitutional committee was created in an effort to transition Zimbabwe away from authoritarian leadership. With unprecedented access to the two political rivals overseeing the committee, this riveting, firsthand account of a country’s fraught first steps towards democracy plays at once like an intimate political thriller and unlikely buddy film.In English, Shona with subtitles.

Men Go to Battle, directed and written by Zachary Treitz, co-written by Kate Lyn Sheil. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Kentucky, 1861. Francis and Henry Mellon depend on each other to keep their unkempt estate afloat as winter encroaches. After Francis takes a casual fight too far, Henry ventures off in the night, leaving each of them to struggle through the wartime on their own.

Sworn Virgin (Vergine Giurata), directed and written by Laura Bispuri, co-written by Francesca Manieri. (Albania, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Switzerland) – North American Premiere, Narrative. As a young woman living within the confines of a Northern Albanian village, Hana longs to escape the shackles of womanhood, and live her life as a man. To do so she must take an oath to eternally remain a virgin. Years later, as Mark, she leaves home for the first time to confront a new set of circumstances, leading her to contemplate the possibility of undoing her vow. In Albanian, Italian with subtitles.

Uncertain, co-directed and co-written by Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandilands. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. An aquatic weed threatens the lake of the small American border town of Uncertain, Texas, and consequently the livelihoods of those who live there. As some of the men in town attempt to figure out their future, they confront a past that haunts them.

Virgin Mountaindirected and written by Dagur Kári. (Iceland, Denmark) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Fúsi is a mammoth of a man who at 43-years-old is still living at home with his mother. Shy and awkward, he hasn’t quite learned how to socialize with others, leaving him as an untouchable inexperienced virgin. That is until his family pushes him to join a dance class, where he meets the equally innocent but playful Sjöfn. In Icelandic with subtitles.


Door Into the Dark

Project Creators: Anagram

"This is a labyrinth.” Find out what it means to be lost in an age of infinite information.

Using groundbreaking locative technology, this immersive documentary combines captivating storytelling with a visceral physical experience: feel your way into the dark—blindfolded, shoeless, and alone— along a taut length of rope that leads to a vivid aural world of real people who have been profoundly lost. Your encounter with these characters takes you deep into their sensations, risks, and illusions. To find your way into the light you must surrender to the unknown.


Body Team 12, directed and written by David Darg, co-written by Bryn Mooser. (Liberia) - World Premiere, Documentary. Body Team 12 a team is tasked with arguably the most dangerous and gruesome job in the world: collecting the dead at the height of the Ebola outbreak.

Catwalk, directed by Ninja Thyberg, written by Ninja Thyberg. (Sweden) - North American Premiere, Narrative. Nine-year-old Ella’s classmates are playing in the schoolyard in full adult dress-up, and she wants to be part of that world in Catwalk.

Listendirected by Hamy Ramezan, Rungano Nyoni, written by Hamy Ramezan, Rungano Nyoni. (Finland, Denmark) - New York Premiere, Narrative. In Listen a foreign woman in a burqa brings her young son to a police station to file a complaint against her abusive husband, but the translator assigned to her seems unwilling to convey the true meaning of her words.

For more information on all of the films in the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, please visit

@TribecaFilmFest | Imagination goes wild with Tribeca Talks Imagination #TFF2015 #TFF

April 22, 2014 was day of Silicon Alley, in our own New York City in Spring Studios. Forget TED, forget tech expos, and forget Silicon Valley. This truly amazing day, which will blow your mind away, was Tribeca Talks Imagination Day, powered by The Hatchery. Some of the most influential, provocative and creative minds came together for an all-day summit that asks: what happens when our wildest dreams become reality and what will that reality will be in our not-so-distant future? We got to experience the wonder and inspiration of new technologies, as tech’s thought leaders revealed what is just beyond the horizon through multisensory storytelling.

Here is the list of geniuses who adorned the stage and a peek in to what they talked about.

  • You can change your face, right in front of many eyes. It’s supposed to be possible, although we didn’t get to see that. Reason was disctance, says Natasha Tsakos, who was the host and presenter of the evening. She is known for pioneering ways of integrating technology with live performance. She is the President of NTiD: a creative powerhouse dedicated to inspiring and activating imagination through theatrical experiences with work for Cirque du Soleil, Super Bowl, Pharrell Williams, Miami Heat, Coachella Festival, Nickelodeon, MTV, BBC, and 900 TV shows and feature films with 2 books. TED speaker and Finalist for the World Technology Awards presented by CNN, Time, Fortune, and Kurzweil Ai.
  • Wanna ride a car without needing to drive it? And be safe secure and more efficient too. It’s not too far, told Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots, who oversees Google[x] moonshot factory for building magical, audaciously impactful ideas that can be brought to reality through science and technology. He shared the wonderful work his group at Google, Google[x] is doing in the field of emerging technologies, with the goal of solving problems, innovatively and making things at least 10 times better. Like spreading internet to the remotest parts of this world through balloons and connecting this world together even better. Making quick deliveries throughAnd the Driverless Cars, which have become a reality and probably will be in our hands (without steering wheel!) very soon.
  • You can get out of your house, get in your car, take it to a nearby “heli-pad” kinda flying terminal, and just fly away. And still pay same for gas as your car, and be 4-5 times faster. Yes, I’m talking of a FLYING CAR! And he can make it happen in less than a decade, says Carl Dietrich, CEO of Terrefugia. He is an expert in liquid bi-propellant rocket propulsion, aircraft design & fabrication, as well as plasma physics & fusion energy. As an aerospace industry entrepreneur, Dietrich raised over $12 million of private capital, grew Terrafugia through the successful development of airworthy prototype vehicles, and built a $30 million order backlog for Terrafugia’s launch product, the Transition®.
  •  Robots of future may not REALLY kill us all. They could be neurotic and may not follow our commands all the time.  But they will be more empathetic and nice. Doing baby sitting, taking care of elderly. And they will be able to feel. This was shared by Anthony Lewis who is Senior Director, Technology at Qualcomm leading biologically-inspired computing and robotics. Dr. Lewis is an expert in robotics and neuromorphic engineering with more than 80 publications and patents in these fields. Dr. Lewis directed a multi-faculty robotics lab focused on cooperative robotics at UCLA, and developed high-performance control systems for robotic hands and force feedback exoskeletons as a member of the technical staff for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He also founded Iguana Robotics, a private research company, where he spearheaded the development of biologically inspired robots.
  •  Let’ stalk of some reality now. Robots talking to kids, listening to kids and responding intelligently. Answering there questions, playing games. Playing jeopardy, analyzing millions of data points in few seconds. Learning engineering, medicine and working on field with other engineers & doctors in remotest part of worlds. IBM’s Watson, is already doing that and possibilities are endless. And you may not believe, but IBM is sharing this technology for free, with innovators to find more innovative uses for this. Lauri Saft, shared some amazing information about the Watson project. She is Director of the IBM Watson Ecosystem program. In her current role she is responsible for developing  a network of partnerships consisting of entrepreneurs & established companies who will build their applications on a foundation of cognitive computing.  These companies will take advantage of the natural language processing and deep QA capabilities of Watson in order to serve their customers in new ways.
  •  One of the oldest Tech giants and pioneers of the world and one of the earliest startups, General Electric, is not any behind when it comes to imagination and innovation. There robots are talking with people, interacting, learning on the spot (like, how to poke!) and doing things like sorting & cleaning rooms, to working on assembly lines in production, to hazardous environments as well. GE’s goal is to make robotics and innovative technology, work side by side with humans to compliment things they do and save time & improve quality. This was shared by Alex Tapper who is Managing Director in GE’s Ventures group, where he focuses on growth strategy and venture investments in Robotics and other disruptive technologies. Prior to that role, Alex was GE’s Global Director of Innovation where he worked across all the GE businesses and the Global Research Center to design and bring to market breakthrough products and new business models. He is also the co-founder of the GE Open Innovation (crowd-sourcing) Center of Excellence.
  • You can become Superman, fly over cities and save a child’s life. And you can make you more helpful towards other. Or you can embody a woman’s body, or body of a person of different race, and experience the prejudice and bias. And that can make you more empathetic towards there realities. How? Through Virtual Reality! And that’s just couple of the many amazing things VR can do. We listened to Jeremy Bailenson, who is founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Bailenson’s main area of interest is the phenomenon of digital human representation, especially in the context of immersive virtual reality. He explores the manner in which people are able to represent themselves when the physical constraints of body and virtually-rendered behaviors are removed. He designs and studies virtual reality systems that allow physically remote individuals to meet in virtual space, and explores the manner in which these systems change the nature of verbal and nonverbal interaction.
  •  Any of you who thing AOL is dead or a thing of past, may need to rethink. They are not just around, but they are still BIG, they are still GREAT and they are doing amazing things, like no one else. Adapting and defining how media is consumed today via internet and handheld devices; shows for mobile, shot on mobile, presenting relevant advertising content, which is dynamic and adjustable to individual; ability to reach out and read millions of household in USA; that’ sjust few things AOL is capable of and doing it like no one else. AOL is redefining new media content, shared Tim Armstrong, the Chairman and CEO of AOL which serves nearly 250M global consumers and is a leader in the digital content, video, and advertising industries. Armstrong served as an executive of multiple internet and media companies, including President of Google's Americas Operations, Snowball, Disney's ABC/ESPN Internet Ventures, and Paul Allen's Starwave Corporation.
  • Did you ever imagine you could just print pancakes for your mother or child or loved ones, remotely, without being with there. Yes, you can print a delicious meal, without needing to cook it. Just print it! Sounds crazy? Well, not as per Ping Fu, the Chief Entrepreneur Officer of 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) works on the cutting edge of 3D printing at scale. Honored as Inc. magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Fu co-founded Geomagic, a 3D imaging software company, which was acquired by 3D Systems. The 3D technologies they developed were created to fundamentally change the way products are designed and manufactured around the world. She serves on the NACIE (National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship) at the Department of Commerce.
  • To talk about future of medical technology was Efi Cohen-Arazi is CEO of Rainbow Medical which is at the forefront of implant technologies to restore and heal. Cohen-Arazi has over 25 years of experience in the medical and biotech industry. Cohen-Arazi served as CEO of IntecPharma Israel, General Manager & VP at biotech giant Amgen, Senior VP at Immunex and General Manager, and VP at the Merck-Serono.
  • How many of you saw landing of NASA’s Curiosity on Mars? Are you aware of amazing findings and research that they are able to do to explore this universe? And not just that, are you aware of the technology that made this happen and its wonderful uses that we may be able to see in our daily lives? Are you aware of how NASA has changed the world we live in and is still changing it? We heard about some of that from Ashwin Vasavada, Project Scientist for NASA, who is a planetary scientist leading work on Mars. He has participated in several NASA spacecraft missions including the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Cassini mission to Saturn.

This was truly an awesome day of imagination, innovation and inspiration. To see what technology of future can do, not just for techies, but for all of us is amazing. How it can and it will impact our daily lives and the way we do things, is inspiring. Tribeca Film Festival has crossed a new mark by bringing this amazing event to New York City.

@TribecaFilmFest | Karen, therapist by app, at the Tribeca Film Festival #TFF2015 #TFF

If you’re a New Yorker who loves film then you are likely attending parts of the Tribeca Film Festival, which started April 15 and runs through April 26. And if you don’t live here, take heart knowing that many of these outstanding films will be hitting a cinema near you, or Netflix.

I caught up on Sunday with journalist Lapacazo Sandoval, who is covering the film festival for myNewYorkeye and interviewing filmmakers. As Lapacazo went off to interview a film producer, I decided to hit the Storyscapes Exhibit and Lounge on 50 Varick Street.

A collaboration between the film festival and Bombay Sapphire Gin, Storyscapes showcases five distinctive interactive projects vying for a festival award in groundbreaking approaches in storytelling and technology. For 2015, Storyscapes is all about “full spectrum storytelling” from virtual reality to immersive audio, apps and personalized web series, according to the festival flier.

Life coaching over tea. Does Karen need you or do you need Karen?


One such project is Karen, an app that mixes gaming, storytelling and psychological profiling. Created by British art group Blast Theory, the app engages you in a dialogue with Karen Elliott, a fictional life coach played by British actress Claire Cage.

Yesterday, I joined a group of five people who stood in line to play the game, listen to Karen’s life story,  and answer questions ranging from attitudes toward relationships to what top she should wear on a date. I chose the boring peach blouse because it was better than the tacky white sweater with sequins, and now wonder what she would think of my judgment call.

Is therapy telling Karen what top to wear?

“I love the idea of a life coach that goes wrong,” said Ingrid Kopp,  director of interactive at the Tribeca Film Institute and curator of the competition, in an interview with Frank Rose of The New York Times. “And I thought it would particularly appeal to New Yorkers.”

The conversation with Karen is murky, and weird. At certain points, I felt that she asked certain questions not so much to learn about me or another player but because she wanted to know our opinion of her.

Several of us remarked that Karen resembles the storyline of Her, the 2013 movie about Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with an operating system named Samantha (Scarlett Johansson.) Rose in his article observed the similarity, too, noting that the app “develops boundary issues and leaves its users feeling distinctly uncomfortable.”

Calling Karen

The video below captures an early moment in the relationship. Karen is walking home,  out of breath and rushed like most urbanites after a long day.  “Great!” she exclaims, finding you on her doorstep. “I’ve been expecting you.”

In this short clip, she whispers to you from bed although she appears alone. How would you answer her question?

From a storytelling perspective, I think the idea is brilliant. It’s immersive and interactive, and that is where all forms of story are headed. It left me wanting to know more about her and myself. But playing the game for 20 minutes is certainly not enough to arrive at profound answers.

You have to stick it out because as Karen says early on, “If you share with me, I can help you find out things about yourself you might not even realize.” The Times’ Rose pointed out that you won’t know what Karen thinks about you until the end of the game, at which point you will be asked to pay $3.99 for an “extensive–not to say invasive–psychological provide compiled by the app itself.”

I think I will fork over the cash. Just out of curiosity, of course.

Sally O’Dowd is founder and CEO of Sally On Media, a strategy, branding and communications company serving media and tech companies. Sally On Media is sponsoring My New York Eye’s promotional efforts during the festival; we have sponsored post cards to increase brand awareness and website traffic. We do this because we believe in the site’s creative mission and love to see media sally on  with entrepreneurial vigor.

@TribecaFilmFest | Ludacris Announced as Special Performer at TFF Opening Night | #TFF2015


Tickets on sale now for world premiere of “Saturday Night Live” documentary followed by a special concert at The Beacon Theatre

New York, NY – April 10, 2015 – The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) announced today that rapper/actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges will perform at the opening night of its 14th edition on Wednesday, April 15, at the Beacon Theatre, presented by AT&T.  The concert will follow the world premiere of the documentary Live From New York!, which explores 40 years of American politics, tragedy and popular culture through the comedic lens of SNL, directed by Bao Nguyen and produced by JL Pomeroy and Tom Broecker. Tickets for the TFF 2015 Opening Night Gala are on sale at The Tribeca Film Festival runs April 15 to April 26.

“This year’s Tribeca Film Festival is a true celebration of the convergence of music and filmand Ludacris is an artist who embodies that cultural collaboration,” said Paula Weinstein, EVP, Tribeca Enterprises. “As both a TFF and SNL alum, he is the perfect entertainer to help us open the Festival and celebrate a beloved institution.” 

“Appearing on “Saturday Night Live”– both as a host and a musical guest –were some of the most thrilling moments of my career,” said Ludacris. “I’m excited to be a part of this premiere and the Tribeca Film Festival Opening Night. As a storyteller through music and acting, it is especially meaningful for me to participate in an event that is centered on spotlighting great stories.” 

Ludacris, a multi-talented recording artist and acclaimed actor, has sold more than 15 million albums domestically, thanks to the blockbuster success of such singles as “Stand Up,” “Get Back,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Number One Spot,” “Money Maker” and “My Chick Bad.” All of these records were accompanied by ingenious videos that demonstrated Bridges’ far-reaching imagination, and his willingness to stretch the boundaries of what rap videos should look and feel like.

He recently released his 8th studio albumLudaversal and starred in Furious 7, the seventh instalment in the global box-office hit franchiseHis other feature film credits include Universal Pictures’ Fast & Furious 6Fast Five;  2 Fast 2 Furious; Garry Marshall’s ensemble comedy New Year’s Eve; and Ivan Reitman’s romantic comedy, No Strings Attached, opposite Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, and he has given acclaimed performances in film, (CrashHustle & Flow), and television, (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit).

Visit for more information about TFF’s 2015 programs and the full line-up of films.

Connect with Tribeca: To keep up with Tribeca, visit Like the Tribeca Film Festival Facebook page at Follow us on Twitter @TribecaFilmFest and on Instagram @tribeca and join the conversation by using the hashtag #TribecaTogether or #TFF2015.

Connect with Live From New Yorkat Like the Facebook page at Follow the film on Twitter at @lfnymovie and on Instagram @lfnymovie

About the Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival helps filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors.

Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001, following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling.

The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,600 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 4.9 million attendees, and has generated an estimated $900 million in economic activity for New York City.

"The young hearts of Team Oscar 2015"

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Wizard of Oz: A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.

Memory is a tricky, fickle and funny thing. How we choose to remember key events in our lives is selective but it’s always curious, to me, how that is such a big part of successful movies. Helping souls to connect to our memories.

Think about it? When an audience, i.e. you/me/we/they find a resounding cord of truth we lash on to it, examining it again through our own shards of personal inventory as laid out on a screen big or mobile small.

Think about it?  We/you/me/they use tv, books, movies, music as mirrors. We do despite admitting it or even thinking close about it.

What are we trying to get a closer glimpse of? I think it’s eternity.

I think that’s why the cave dwellers took such effort to find an instrument that could record a chapter of their existence. I think even the tinniest flea wants to be remembered, to leave some evidence of their flea existence.

This is what I think about the flea and humankind but this is what I know about myself. I want to be remembered long after I’ve vacated the real estate legally known as Lapacazo Margarita Sandoval Bhagchandani.

Remembered well but remembered well for what?

"I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do,” said Hal in 1968’s "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968).

This is my strange intro to sincerely requesting that you take a moment and look at  “TEAM OSCAR®” WINNERS 2015.

This year producer/actor Channing Tatum is the point person for the lucky team of six who will deliver Oscar statuettes to celebrity presenters at the 87th Oscars on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.

Team Oscar winners were selected by Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, Tatum, and the Academy, based on a creative 60-second video on the subject, “The best piece of advice I’ve ever received.”

"Now in its third year, our Team Oscar program has become a real tradition for The Academy.  We love giving these incredibly talented young film-makers the experience of what it’s like to be on the Oscars stage, and making sure that everyone on that stage is connected to the future of film," says Zadan and Meron.

The Team Oscar winners are:

Chris Carmona – Home-town: Bell, CA

Justin Craig – Home-town: Ballston Spa, NY

Kelly FitzGerald – Home-town: Geneva, NY

Justin Floyd – Home-town: Compton, CA

Rhianna Shaheen – Home-town: Virginia Beach, VA

Patrick Walker – Home-town: Atlanta, GA

The winners’ videos can be viewed here:

“I'm so impressed by the creativity, passion and hard work that went into this year’s Team Oscar submissions,” said Tatum. “It was difficult to pick just six winners, but I’ll be proud to share the Oscars stage with these talented, young film-makers in a few weeks.”

Team Oscar was open to U.S. citizens, ages 18 to 30. Film-makers submitted, through the Academy’s Facebook page, a creative 60-second video on the subject “The best piece of advice I've ever received.”

United Airlines, the official airline sponsor of the Academy and of the Oscars telecast, will roll out the red carpet to fly the winners to Los Angeles to participate in Team Oscar.

In addition to their appearance on the Oscars, the winners will have a chance to explore the renowned collections at the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, tour motion picture studios, and participate in meet-and greets-with film-makers at Oscar Week events.

More from the Team Oscar winners but for now please take a peek at their work and ponder just why you love the movies and that golden man called Oscar!

Here is the link again ( and your social media guide for all things Oscar. 

87th Oscars Social Media Guide 

Host - Neil Patrick Harris:

Oscars Producers - Neil Meron:

Craig Zadan: 











January 14-29, 2015


Some of the best opportunities to see great film at the beginning of 2015 is with the 24th Annual New York Jewish Film starting January 14 to 29.   Full details are available on the site by visiting, follow @filmlinc on Twitter, and download the FREE Film Society app, now available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices.

Opening Night 

The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer

Asaf Galay & Shaul Betser, Israel, 2014, 72m

English, Hebrew, and Yiddish with English subtitles

Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer was a charming enchanter both on the page and in his romantic life. This surprising and unflinching documentary explores, through poignant interviews and exclusive archival footage, the unknown history of one of his most vital sources of creative inspiration: his translators. Dozens of women throughout Singer’s life worked with him to open the doors to his singular Yiddish prose for the rest of the world to enjoy, and his relationships with many of them blurred the lines between the professional and the personal. This is their story, and his—as well as a story of the arts of literature, translation, love, and life itself. U.S. Premiere

Wednesday, January 14, 4:00pm & 8:45pm (Q&A with Asaf Galay and Shaul Betser at both screenings)

Closing Night

Felix and Meira

Maxime Giroux, Canada, 2014, 105m

French, English, and Yiddish with English subtitles

In the Mile End neighborhood of Montreal, hipsters and Hasidim coexist amicably but independently. When Meira, an Orthodox wife and mother with an undercurrent of rebelliousness, meets Felix, a middle-aged atheist adrift without family ties, a slow-booming affair takes shape that will present Meira with a difficult fork in the road. Felix and Meira unfolds like a classic forbidden-love novel, stylized by cinematographer Sara Mishara’s shadowy, underlit lensing and set on overcast wintery streets. An Oscilloscope Laboratories release.

Thursday, January 29, 3:30pm & 9:00pm (Q&A with Maxime Giroux at both screenings)

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

Ronit & Shlomi Elkabetz, Israel/France/Germany, 2014, 115m

Hebrew and French with English subtitles

Israel’s Foreign Language Oscar submission, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem is a dramatic adaptation of a harrowing true story set in a Mizrahi Orthodox enclave in Israel. The title heroine has spent five years in a stalemate fighting for a divorce that, according to religious law, requires her husband’s full consent. As he continues to refuse, Viviane fears that her life may never proceed freely, and the courtroom struggles grow increasingly surreal. Ronit Elkabetz (who co-directed with her brother) delivers an unforgettable performance in the lead role. A Music Box Films release. New York City Premiere

Wednesday, January 21, 3:15pm & 9:00pm (Q&A with Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz at both screenings)

The King of Nerac

Guy Natanel & Annie Sulzberger, UK/Denmark, 2013, 76m

David Breuer-Weil’s vast, apocalyptic canvases stare unflinchingly at the horrors of 20th-century history, and his colossal, dynamic sculptures dominate public spaces around the world from London to Jerusalem. This pure and meditative film takes advantage of unique access to illuminate a thoughtful portrait of its fascinating, reclusive subject: a modern-day Gauguin who gave up a career as one of the world’s leading art dealers to embark on a life of creativity and contemplation. World Premiere

Tuesday, January 20, 9:00pm (Q&A with Guy Natanel, Annie Sulzberger, and producer Paul Goldin)

Wednesday, January 21, 1:00pm (Q&A with Guy Natanel, Annie Sulzberger, and producer Paul Goldin)


Led by Claudia Gould, Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director, and located on Museum Mile at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, the Jewish Museum is one of the world's preeminent institutions devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture from ancient to contemporary, offering intellectually engaging and educational exhibitions and programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Museum was established in 1904, when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains a collection of over 30,000 works of art, artifacts, and broadcast media reflecting global Jewish identity, and presents a diverse schedule of internationally acclaimed temporary exhibitions.

For more information, visit


Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year’s most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, NewFest, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema and Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment magazine, the Film Society recognizes an artist's unique achievement in film with the prestigious Chaplin Award, whose 2015 recipient is Robert Redford. The Film Society’s state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year-round programs and the New York City film community.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, Jaeger-LeCoultre, American Airlines, The New York Times, HBO, Stella Artois, The Kobal Collection, Variety, Trump International Hotel and Tower, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

For more information, visit, follow @filmlinc on Twitter, and download the FREE Film Society app, now available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices.


2015 is starting with a "golden-bang" as the film award season biggest event, the OSCARS® announces that the nominations  voting (for the 87th Oscars) will close on Thursday, January 8, at 5 p.m. PT.

Then it's time for the "fun part" ---tabulating and verifying the votes which is done by the  international accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Then the creative film community holds "its' breath" and crosses their "fingers" until mid January when the  87th Oscars Nominations Announcement are made which, this year, will be held on Thursday, January 15, at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Then the luck nominees will embark on the big race to win the Oscar.  Fun!

This year, the Oscars for outstanding film achievements of 2014 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.  The Oscars, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

In case you didn't know, now you know.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards—in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners — the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.  


Time to mark your calendars for 2014. Starting January 14-29, 2015 it’s time for the 24th Annal NY Jewish Film Festival

SALVATION ARMY (L’armée du salut)

Abdellah Taïa, France/Morocco/Switzerland, 2013, DCP, 81m
French and Arabic with English subtitles
Like the book it’s based on—Abdellah Taïa’s own 2006 landmark novel—the Moroccan author’s directorial debut is a bracing, deeply personal account of a young gay man’s awakening that avoids both cliché and the trappings of autobiography. First seen as a 15-year-old, Abdellah (Saïd Mrini) habitually sneaks away from his family’s crowded Casablanca home to engage in sexual trysts with random men in abandoned buildings. A decade later, we find Abdellah (now played by Karim Ait M’hand) on scholarship in Geneva, involved with an older Swiss professor (Frédéric Landenberg). With a clear-eyed approach, devoid of sentimentality, this wholly surprising bildungsfilm explores what it means to be an outsider, and with the help of renowned cinematographer Agnès Godard, Taïa finds a film language all his own: at once rigorous and poetic, worthy of Bresson in its concreteness and lucidity. A New Directors/New Films 2014 selection. A Strand Releasing release.
Opens January 23 for exclusive one-week engagement

Opening Night
The Muses of Isaac Bashevis Singer
Asaf Galay & Shaul Betser, Israel, 2014, 72m
English, Hebrew, and Yiddish with English subtitles
Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer was a charming enchanter both on the page and in his romantic life. This surprising and unflinching documentary explores, through poignant interviews and exclusive archival footage, the unknown history of one of his most vital sources of creative inspiration: his translators. Dozens of women throughout Singer’s life worked with him to open the doors to his singular Yiddish prose for the rest of the world to enjoy, and his relationships with many of them blurred the lines between the professional and the personal. This is their story, and his—as well as a story of the arts of literature, translation, love, and life itself. U.S. Premiere
Wednesday, January 14, 4:00pm & 8:45pm (Q&A with Asaf Galay and Shaul Betser at both screenings)
Closing Night
Felix and Meira
Maxime Giroux, Canada, 2014, 105m
French, English, and Yiddish with English subtitles
In the Mile End neighborhood of Montreal, hipsters and Hasidim coexist amicably but independently. When Meira, an Orthodox wife and mother with an undercurrent of rebelliousness, meets Felix, a middle-aged atheist adrift without family ties, a slow-booming affair takes shape that will present Meira with a difficult fork in the road. Felix and Meira unfolds like a classic forbidden-love novel, stylized by cinematographer Sara Mishara’s shadowy, underlit lensing and set on overcast wintery streets. An Oscilloscope Laboratories release. U.S. Premiere
Thursday, January 29, 3:30pm & 9:00pm (Q&A with Maxime Giroux at both screenings)
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
Ronit & Shlomi Elkabetz, Israel/France/Germany, 2014, 115m
Hebrew and French with English subtitles
Israel’s Foreign Language Oscar submission, Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem is a dramatic adaptation of a harrowing true story set in a Mizrahi Orthodox enclave in Israel. The title heroine has spent five years in a stalemate fighting for a divorce that, according to religious law, requires her husband’s full consent. As he continues to refuse, Viviane fears that her life may never proceed freely, and the courtroom struggles grow increasingly surreal. Ronit Elkabetz (who co-directed with her brother) delivers an unforgettable performance in the lead role. A Music Box Films release. New York City Premiere
Wednesday, January 21, 3:15pm & 9:00pm (Q&A with Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz at both screenings)
The King of Nerac
Guy Natanel & Annie Sulzberger, UK/Denmark, 2013, 76m
David Breuer-Weil’s vast, apocalyptic canvases stare unflinchingly at the horrors of 20th-century history, and his colossal, dynamic sculptures dominate public spaces around the world from London to Jerusalem. This pure and meditative film takes advantage of unique access to illuminate a thoughtful portrait of its fascinating, reclusive subject: a modern-day Gauguin who gave up a career as one of the world’s leading art dealers to embark on a life of creativity and contemplation. World Premiere
Tuesday, January 20, 9:00pm (Q&A with Guy Natanel, Annie Sulzberger, and producer Paul Goldin)
Wednesday, January 21, 1:00pm (Q&A with Guy Natanel, Annie Sulzberger, and producer Paul Goldin) 
Now playing, until January 11th 
December 19 – January 11
Let There Be Light: The Films of John Huston, is a retrospective spanning five decades of the filmmaking legend’s iconic works, mostly as director, but also as screenwriter and actor. Huston was one of the greatest filmmakers of Hollywood’s golden age: an artist of great toughness, conviction, and eloquence; a master storyteller; a hardened cynic; a reluctant romantic; a stellar director of actors, and a brilliant actor himself.
Long before striding in front of the camera to show Jack Nicholson’s character in Chinatown what men at the right place and time are capable of, John Huston established himself as one of the 20th century’s most accomplished film artists. With over a decade of writing credits by the time he assumed the director’s chair, he would later add producing and acting to his arsenal, racking up 15 Oscar nominations. His father, Walter, and daughter Anjelica both earned statuettes under his baton as director, making for one of the medium’s most formidable and collaborative dynasties. They are the only family to win Oscars in three successive generations.
Huston received his first Academy Award nomination for writing Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet in 1940, and in 1941 he directed his first feature, the film noir masterpiece The Maltese Falcon, quickly securing his place among Hollywood’s great directors (as well as turning Humphrey Bogart into a leading man; Bogart would routinely be cast in Huston’s next few films). In 1948, he won Academy Awards for writing and directing The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (which also netted his father a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), and in 1951 earned two more Oscar nominations and a Best Actor Oscar for Bogart in The African Queen.
Across his career, Huston directed over 40 films, wrote more than 20, and acted in nearly 30, including his notorious turn as villain Noah Cross in Roman Polanski’s crime masterpiece, Chinatown, in 1974. He experimented with different genres and in 1982, at the age of 76, he directed his spirited first musical, Annie. His magisterial final work, The Dead (1987), starred his daughter Anjelica (two years after she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for his crime caper Prizzi’s Honor).
Huston has been called “cinema’s Ernest Hemingway… never afraid to tackle tough issues head on,” and though he was by no means a “message man” like Stanley Kramer, a glance at his filmography reveals incisive treatments of racism, sexual identity, religion, alcoholism, psychoanalysis, and war. A renaissance man unbound to genre, Huston was also a painterly stylist attuned to the look of each scene. His films continuously circle back to questions of faith and doubt, concealment and revelation, failure and victory, empathy and the limits of consciousness. And though one of Huston’s great talents was for finding robust, flexible cinematic vocabularies for literary texts, his films were consistently imbued with a wise, reflective, open-minded voice entirely his own.