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CANNES, France (AP) — The Cannes Film Festival opening-night premiere of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s “Everybody Knows” coincided almost exactly with President Trump’s announced withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. For Farhadi, the multi-Oscar winner and one of the foremost filmmakers in international cinema, Trump’s declaration colored the celebration with a familiar melancholy. In 2017, he boycotted the Academy Awards where his “The Salesman” won best foreign language film in protest of Trump’s travel ban of seven Muslim-majority nations, including Iran. Farhadi has also been critical of the Iranian regime and chafed at its censorship of artists like himself. On…

IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE CITY is the debut feature of filmmaker Tamer El Said. It tells the fictional story of a filmmaker from downtown Cairo played by Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner, The Square) as he struggles to capture the soul of a city on edge while facing loss in his own life. Shot in Cairo, Beirut, Baghdad and Berlin during the two years before the outbreak of revolution in Egypt, the film’s multi-layered stories are a visually rich exploration of friendship, loneliness, loss and life in cities shaped by the shadows of war and adversity. Below is…

Custody, a film by Xavier Legrand, is about a separated couple and their young child. Miriam and Antoine Besson have divorced, and Miriam is seeking sole custody of their son Julien to protect him from a father she claims is violent. Antoine pleads his case as a scorned dad and the appointed judge rules in favor of joint custody. A hostage to the escalating conflict between his parents, Julien is pushed to the edge to prevent the worst from happening. Custody was screened at 2018 COLCOA  and Austin Film Society’s French Cinema Week  https://youtu.be/ad-R39q_c2E Xavier Legrand, director of Custody, was…

On Saturday March 24th Cinema Without Borders and East Los Angeles College celebrate the 4th edition of their annual International Animation Day. The 2018 event is called Latin American Animation Day. Jaime Cañas, a Chilean animation artist is among individuals that has helped to make this event happen. Here is our video interview with Mr. Jaime Cañas about his work and state of animation in Chile. https://vimeo.com/257283888 Jaime Cañas was born in Santiago of Chile. After some design studies he moved to Germany, where Jaime studied animation at the “Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen, Konrad Wolf”, in Postdam, near Berlin. In…

The Silence is a short film written and directed by Ali Asgari and Farnoosh Samadi, Iranian-born filmmakers, also responsible for Disappearance, which we discussed when it appeared at this year’s Toronto film festival. (At the latter event, Asgari was credited as director and Samadi as co-screenwriter on Disappearance, but the pair apparently consider themselves co-directors of their various films.) The Silence, which showed at the Cannes Film Festival, has been nominated for and won numerous awards. Asgari was born in Tehran, but studied and graduated from film school in Italy. Samadi was also born in Iran and graduated from the Fine Arts Academy in…

POP AYE premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for screenwriting and is the official foreign language Oscar entry from Singapore for the 90th Academy Awards. On a chance encounter, a disenchanted architect bumps into his long-lost elephant on the streets of Bangkok. Excited, he takes his elephant on a redemptive journey across Thailand, in search of the farm where they grew up together – only to discover the truth about himself. Kirsten Tan is a writer/director with a penchant for visual storytelling and off-beat humor. Spotlighted by CNN’s “Ones to…

‘Disappearance’ the first feature film of Iranian director Ali Asgari, was a huge step in the direction of feature films after having seven short films to his credit. And even more challenging was the fact that he made a film based on a true incident, as he was quite excellent at making films in fiction. “This is a true incident that happened to one of the friends of my co-writer. It wasn’t exact the same one; we’ve added a little fiction. However, the basic story is a true incident.” ‘Disappearance’ is the story of a young couple in modern Tehran.…

Ishwaku’s winter seems cursed. Pushpendra Singh’s Ashwatthama, an allusive narrative that is finding much appreciation in the film festival circuit, follows the childhood mysteries and discoveries of Ishwaku, a nine-year boy who visits a relative’s village after his mother was killed by dacoits. Pushpendra says his child protagonist inherits a lot of his own experiences and he is fascinated by myths that shape our daily lives and how they are constructed even out of contemporary events. “Child as a subject always inspired me and my love for child protagonist goes back to Victor Erice’s Spirit of Beehive, Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali, François Truffaut’s 400…

GOD’S OWN COUNTRY is the story of Johnny Saxby that works long hours in brutal isolation on his family’s remote farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex. When a handsome Romanian migrant worker arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself having to deal with emotions he has never felt before. An intense relationship forms between the two which could change Johnny’s life forever. Here is the video of our interview with Francis Lee, writer and director…

Last Thursday, was the opening night of Under the Smoky Roof, a social drama directed by Pouran Darakhshsnde at the Fine Arts Theater, Los Angeles. We had the opportunity to interview the director after the screening. Under the Smoky Roof, is the story of a broken family, Shirin who has problems with her husband and child is searching for a way to communicate with them and solve her family problems but she can not succeeded in that so reaches a crisis. Her second try to get out of this crisis makes her to confront new challenges. https://youtu.be/IQqaf3vAY6M Cast: Farhad Aslani, Merila…

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