TIFF2015 :: 28 Hand Picked Films From A Toronto Film Festival Director

by Shannonn Kelly
September 10, 2015 03:25AM EST

 Colin Farrell,  John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw in "The Lobster" by Greek director  Yorgos Lanthimos
Colin Farrell, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw in “The Lobster” by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos

360 days ago, I took a break from blogging, to focus on writing and editing my Screenplays and also work on a few documentary projects.

But alas, the big Monster is back that is the Toronto International Film Festival and it’s the 40th Anniversary. So It’s a little hard to ignore. And since last season I saw Justin Long turned into a Walrus, this year I want to see Colin Farrell turned into a *Lobster* (winky face)…

 

 

Here are my Picks for #TIFF15
Continue reading “TIFF2015 :: 28 Hand Picked Films From A Toronto Film Festival Director”

Taking a Break From Blogging

Blogger Break
Blogger Break

Monday September 15, 2014, 05:32AM, EST

Hello Readers:

I just completed a great Toronto International Film Festival and have lots of images and some stories to share. Also, I networked with some awesome people who talked to me about wanting to see my scripts.

Being especially propelled by my excellent placement in this year’s Academy Nicholl’s Fellowship (besting my previous placement by a HUGE percentage), I feel I need to take a break from blogging for awhile and concentrate a little more on my screenwriting.

I might come back to blogging in a couple of weeks or a few months or a year. But until I do, I just want to Thank you for reading my indie blog and letting me write about things big and small and somewhere in between. I have much gratitude to those of you who reached out and commented on my blogs or advanced their reading via Social Media.

I’ll keep in touch on Social Media and you can always find me on FaceBook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram.

Stay Healthy and Creative…

Thanks kindly,
Shannonn

 

Women Working Behind The Scenes in Hollywood Lower Now Than in 1998

by Shannonn Kelly
07:04AM, EST, January 15, 2014

Where_Da_Ladies_At
Image kindly borrowed from Eden Sher’s Article: “I’ve Spent 12 Years Surrounded by Hollywood Peen. Where Are the Women Directors?”

Twenty-two year-old Eden Sher who plays Sue Heck in ABC’s “The Middle“, wrote a great article about that lack of female directors in Hollywood called, “I’ve Spent 12 Years Surrounded by Hollywood Peen. Where Are the Women Directors?” In part she wrote:

“Having women steer the ship makes all the difference in the world.

For example, I worked on a show in 2006 (another sitcom for ABC) that was created and run by men. There were only two female staff writers. All the producers were male. Every director, too. But despite the bro-heavy environment, these guys were not bad or misogynistic — in fact, they were awesome, progressive and kind. And yet nary a woman in sight.

So what was the problem? Why did this show reek of peen? It wasn’t because of some deep-seated aversion to women in the workplace. Rather, the problem was that these guys seemed to only hire people who were exactly like them: guys. And while working with what’s comfortable and familiar is all well and good, if your goal is to create an honest story about men and women interacting with one another — as was the aim of this particular show — you’re definitely going to miss the mark if you don’t have any input from a real, live female.

The show was canceled after twelve episodes”.

Well, now there’s some hard data to back her position and many more under employed women in the film industry.

A new study by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D. has been published that maintains the “Celluloid Ceiling” still exists for women working behind the scenes in Hollywood and it’s gotten worse.

According to Lauzen’s Study
(The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind the Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2011
by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D. Copyright© 2012 –All rights reserved.)

In 2011, women comprised 18% of all directors, executive producers,producers, writers, cinematographers,and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films. This represents an increase of 2 percentage points from 2010 and an increase of 1 percentage point from 1998 (see Figure 1).

Celluloid_Ceiling
Women accounted for 5% of directors, a decrease of 2 percentage points from 2010 and approximately half the percentage of women directors working in 1998.

The following summary provides employment figures for 2011 and compares the most recent statistics with those from previous years.

Findings
This study analyzed behind the scenes employment of 2,636 individuals working on the top 250 domestic grossing films (foreign films omitted) of 2011.

  • 38% of films employed 0 or 1 woman in the *Scene roles considered
  • 23% employed 2 women,
  • 30% employed 3 to 5 women,
  • 07% employed 6 to 9 women.

Scenes Roles* includes directors, writers, executive producers editors, and cinematographers.

Women comprised 5% of all directors working on the top 250 films of 2011. Ninety four percent (94%) of the films had no female directors.

According to Actress turned Screenwriter Ariane Sommer:

“What needs to happen is to continue to forge the new paradigm, as evidenced by Kathryn Bigelow’s masterful direction, and allow women to express themselves beyond the female-centric and family fare. On an executive level, I think we are doing that, as for years we have been seeing high-powered women that are killing it. Sherry Lansing, for example, ran Paramount Studios for years and has forged the way for many others.”

It’s no surprise to any of us women in other non-Hollywood markets that this is the case. Even in filmmaking communities where I live, even though, they say they are an ‘equal opportunity employer’. If the job is in the film industry and it’s not in Craft Services, you can bet they are not….

What’s your feeling…? Film industry Men or Women…I’d love to know your thoughts.

  • For the complete and very excellent article by Eden Sher, please click Here.
  • To read the executive summary from the Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D study, please click Here.
  • To read a like minded article by Rebecca Pahle, please click Here.

Award Season :: 2014 Golden Globes :: Winners List :: ReCap

by Shannonn Kelly
03:51AM, EST, January 13, 2014

Updated 06:43PM, EST, January 13, 2014

Winners of "12 Years A Slave", "Dallas Buyers Club", "American Hustle"

Just 10 minutes into last night’s (okay, 3 hours ago) Golden Globes,  I tweeted #TamyFoehler ( they are a couple aren’t they 😉 ) are already killing with the laughs at the #GoldenGlobes.

I wasn’t drinking. Had no fancy dinner. Was sitting in my ‘schooshy pants’ in my Italian recliner, but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made me feel like I was right there with them at the boozey Golden Globe® Ceremony.

The Academy Award® extravaganza is the Grand Daddy of all the award shows, but I relish presenters and nominees half in the bag on live broadcasts. Sometimes a little sloppy – – but always fun.

There’s an English saying, “Start as you mean to go on”, and that’s exactly what Fey and Poehler did. Their almost 10 minute opening monologue was hilarious. Continue reading “Award Season :: 2014 Golden Globes :: Winners List :: ReCap”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 11 :: Last Chance Films – BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award

by Shannonn Kelly
00:25AM, EST, Sunday September 15, 2013

Today is the last day the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival. I can barely see straight with all the long hours I put in. But all for a worthy cause. Seeing film and informing my readers about the best film picks and the fun moments at TIFF 2013.

Winners will be awarded in three main categories today: BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award; BlackBerry® Documentary Award; and BlackBerry® Midnight Madness Award. Other awards will be announced as well from Canadian Shorts and Feature Juries when announce their picks starting at 12 Noon today.

TIFF2013 Tip: Get in line at The Ryerson Theater  (44 Gerrard Street East) early because at 6:00PM, the Blackberry People’s Choice Award Winner will be screened and it is *free* to the public. Many people start lining up well before 12 Noon today at Ryerson, where tickets will be handed out to audience members waiting in line. Once the number of tickets needed to fill the house are given out, there is NO getting into the screening.

My picks for the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award is “Gravity” starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney or “12 Years a Slave” starring Chiwetel Ejiofore. Bullock and Ejiofore are among my 2 picks for Best Actress and Best Actor nods for the Academy Award® 2014

TIFF 2013 BlackBerry® People's Choice Award Winner might be "Gravity" starring Sandra Bullock or "12 Years a Slave" starring Chiwetel Ejiofor
TIFF 2013 BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award Winner might be “Gravity” starring Sandra Bullock or “12 Years a Slave” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor

Today is Day 11 and this is your last chances to see films big or small. Please try to see films that do not have distribution. Please Support Independent Film. Happy TIFF-ING! 🙂
Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 11 :: Last Chance Films – BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 10 :: What To See at TIFF Today

by Shannonn Kelly
05:33AM, EST, Saturday September 14, 2013

Today is the big closing night Gala at the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival. Look for complete pandemonium at the 6PM Gala Premiere for “Life of Crime” directed by  starring , , , , , and , in the Elmore Leonard adapted screenplay about a kidnapping that goes horribly wrong.

"Life of Crime" closes the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival
“Life of Crime” closes the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival

 

Today is Day 10 and these are some of your last chances to see the smaller independent films that still do not have distribution. Please support independent film. Happy TIFF-ING! 🙂

Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 10 :: What To See at TIFF Today”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 5 :: What To See at TIFF Today –

by Shannonn Kelly
01:27 AM, EST, September 09, 2013

Sunday was a big Canadian film day at the Toronto International Film Festival – Snapped this picture of director Bruce McDonald for fun as we were crossing the street together.

Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald
Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald

I watched the premieres of 3 Canadian films on Sunday starting very early in the morning: Peter Stebbings “empire of Dirt”, documentary Burt’s Buzz and Don McKellar’s stellar debut of the English-speaking version of ‘Seducing Dr. Lewis called, “The Grand Seduction” starring Brendan Gleeson and Gordon Pinset.

My favorite films of the day were “Empire of Dirt”, where I tweeted: “Peter Stebbings gracefully directs a superbly realistic cast in @EODthemovie, proving again #FirstNations talent is sadly underused in #film“, “The Grand Seduction” for different reason’s maybe than critics might say, “Parkland” by Peter Landesman about the people behind the scenes of the day JFK was shot (superb cast) and the raw and under-doggish “FAT”, by Mark Phinney.

Today for Day 5, here are my picks for what to see. Happy TIFF-ing 🙂

Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 5 :: What To See at TIFF Today –”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 4 :: What To See at TIFF Today

by Shannonn Kelly
02:42AM, EST, September 08, 2013

There’s nothing more I hate than the combination of TIFF+Rain. What an ugly day to be running around between cinemas and screenings. When it rains it shaves even more time off your schedule and consequently you forget to do things like eat. My first meal was at 10:50PM since starting out at 7:30AM…

The 3 Stars of "Bad Words" the Jason Bateman directorial debut with Kathyrn Hahn and Rohan Chand at TIFF 2013
The 3 Stars of “Bad Words” the Jason Bateman directorial debut with Kathyrn Hahn and Rohan Chand at TIFF 2013

The good news is I got to see not once but twice! (Yes, still a hopeless HP fan) Radcliffe has grown into such a fabulous actor, taking all sorts of roles from the risky to the mainstream to shed the 10 years of making Harry Potter.

I also saw “Lucky Them” by director Megan Griffith, but missed the Q&A with Toni Collette to rush to another screening. Collette plays a rock journalist who’s getting a little long in the tooth (but still with a rockin’ bod)  who’s is given an assignment to hunt down a highly regarded musician who was once her lover but mysteriously appeared to have dropped off the face of the earth until she learns people all over the world have posted sightings of him. She’s joined in the hunt by IPO Multi-millionaire Thomas Haden Church who hates music, but has recently taken a course in ‘documentary filmmaking‘. Thomas Haden Church never disappoints and he was in full form in that ‘Sideways’ way in this film. 🙂

My favorite film of the day however was “Bad Words“, the feature film directorial debut by Jason Bateman.

Today for Day 4, here are my picks for what to see. Happy TIFF-ing 🙂 Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 4 :: What To See at TIFF Today”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 3 :: What To See at TIFF Today

by Shannonn Kelly
01:18AM, EST, September 07, 2013

Jason Bateman as a 40 year-old Spelling Bee contestant in his directorial debut "Bad Words"
Jason Bateman as a 40 year-old Spelling Bee contestant in his directorial debut “Bad Words”

 

Unexpectedly, my final film tonight was “Triptyque” (Triptych), by co-directors Robert LePage and Pedro Pires – Not originally on my Top 100 but I’ve heard so much about the play, that I decided to go see it since it was in close proximity to my previous film. The cinematography by co-director Pedro Pires was gorgeous. The story simple. The cast perfect. The overall feeling was very organic from storytelling to editing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have never seen a bad film from Quebec. I could go watch ‘Triptyque’ again right now. It was what I would call “poetically artful”.

I also saw “12 Years a Slave” – – Stunning, beautifully acted narrative of appalling historical fact… Chiwetel Ejiofor is ready for his Oscar! A **Must See**

My Picks for Day 3 at TIFF 2013 are as follows. Happy TIFF-Ing 🙂 Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 3 :: What To See at TIFF Today”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 2 :: What To See at TIFF Today

by Shannonn Kelly
02:14AM, EST, Friday September 06, 2013

Too pooped to party (and not really that interested after going there and people watching), I decided to just get in front of my computer and write my blog early, since every other day I’ll be penning it sometime past 3AM.

As the opening night of the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival, before the gala premiere at the Elgin, we were treated to a short film among many commissioned by the Elgin/Wintergarden theater to celebrate it’s centennial. A post-apocalyptic piece with great set design that turned the Elgin into a decrepit temple of doom cloaked in darkness, cobwebs and a hosteling a hidden society.

The next unexpected bittersweet treat was a short retrospective on Roger Ebert’s (sadly missed) presence at TIFF> Years of archival footage and stills woven together to celebrate a critic that truly loved the voice of film.

Tonight I saw the much anticipated “The Fifth Estate“, the WikiLeaks Julian Assange story starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role.. Some timely and sly references from the characters of , , some cold but interesting graphics, ‘The Fifth Estate’ is part geek-heaven-globe-trotting information espionage, part contentious ‘Bro-mance’ between Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg played solidly by .

I’m too tired to read any reviews, but I’m sure they will be mixed as audience reaction seemed mixed as well. I was thinking about a lot of the technical aspects of the film while watching. However, the acting all around was very strong.

I went to the ‘early’ premiere. Director  was present but not nor .

  • “12 Years A Slave”, dir. Steve McQueen (USA) I’ll say it right now – Look for an Oscar worthy performance by Chiwetel Ejiofore
  • “Attila Marcel”, dir. Sylvain Chomet same director who brought us Triplettes of Belleville with his firat live action feature.
  • “Parkland”, dir. Peter Landesman directs Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jacki Weaver in an ensemble piece that looks at the day and the people involved the day JFK was shot.
  • “Prisoners”, dir.
  • Denis Villeneuve (Incendies) directs Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman in a thriller about the disappearance of two young girls.

  • “Bad Words”, dir. Jason Bateman
  • directs and stars as a 40-something high-school dropout who, through some weird loophole enters a national children’s spelling bee that he lost out on years previous when he was a kid.

  • “Horns”, dir.
  • Daniel Radcliffe stars in this horror/supernatural thriller as a guy blamed for the brutal murder of his girlfriend (Juno Temple) and realizes he’s been marked as the murderer when he awakes to find a pair of horns growing from his head.

  • “Abuse of Weakness”, dir. Catherine Breillat’s
  • Based on the director’s own almost unbelievable story about an filmmaker (Isabelle Huppert) who suffers from a stroke, and as she begins to recuperate puts here faith in a con-man who bilks her out out almost a million dollars after she commissions him to write a screenplay for her

  • “What is Cinema?” Dir. Chuck Workman
  • The question is the reason you should see this documentary

  • “Love is The Perfect Crime”, dir. Jean-Marie Larrieu and Arnaud Larrieu’s
  • A womanizing professor complicated life takes a turn for the worse following the disappearance of a student. Stars Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 2007)

  • “Triptyque” (Triptych), dir. Robert LePage, Pedro Pires – Not originally on my Top 100 but I’ve heard so much about the play, that I’m hopefully going to see it
  • “Tim’s Vermeer”, dir.
  • Penn of “Penn and Teller” directs this unusual documentary that investigates how Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer painted such photo-realistic paintings

  • “All About The Feathers”
  • Dir. Neto Villalobos from Costa Rico directs his first film about a security guard who wants to get into the cockfighting but becomes inseparable from his rooster Rocky.

  • Midnight Madness: The Station
  • dir. Marvin Kren His film Rammbock from 2010 had a virus spread across a city that turned people into mindless homicidal maniacs. This time his thriller takes place with a remote weather research station crew in the German Alps that discover a glacier turning the local wildlife into “ravenous biological monstrosities”.