venice film festival

Everything is delayed, canceled, or on hold at the moment due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), which means that film festivals are having to make some tough choices. Cannes is postponed. SXSW was canceled, but they recently announced they would try to put together an online film festival with Amazon Prime Video. TIFF has yet to make a decision one way or another, but festival runners Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey mentioned last week that they were considering a potential digital festival. Digital film festivals are a distinct possibility in several locations, but there’s one fest that has flat-out refused to go digital: the Venice Film Festival.

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Bored Review

(The SXSW Film Festival may have been cancelled, but our coverage will go on with reviews of films and TV shows made available to our critics.)

There’s this weird in-between time when you’ve put in the work for a thing but the work for said thing hasn’t paid off just yet. That feeling manages to be one of the most nagging, frustrating sensations on the spectrum of nagging and frustrating sensations. It’s the time of doubt, confusion, fear, a whole gamut of questions that all ultimately end in “did I waste all of my time and make a terrible mistake?”

That’s exactly where Jamie (Coral Amiga) finds herself at the beginning of Georgia Oakley’s pilot of for the new series Bored, which is currently looking for a home (and will hopefully find one).

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sxsw online

SXSW was canceled this year – a move that was entirely unprecedented and left the future of the festival in some question. However, SXSW may be down, but it’s not out yet. Amazon Prime Video is teaming with SXSW for Prime Video presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection, a one-time online film festival showcasing films from the SXSW 2020 lineup. And oh yeah, it’s free.

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Virtual Tribeca Film Festival in the Works

Virtual Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival was supposed to run April 15 – 26 this year – but obviously, things have changed. The coronavirus caused the fest to postpone those dates, with alternative dates left up in the air. Now, it looks like Tribeca has found a solution: a virtual festival. Details are extremely slim at the moment, but Jane Rosenthal, the CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, made the announcement via social media.

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film festival at home editions

Film festivals have long been a place where movie lovers can congregate and share their love of cinema together, often in a ritzy theater where a movie star may make an appearance. But the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has all but halted the film festival season, and many have been forced to postpone or cancel completely to curb the spread of the virus. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate cinema from the comfort of our couches.

The TCM Classic Film Festival and The Found Footage Festival are holding special at-home editions of their festivals for fans of classic films and bizarre VHS discoveries, respectively. Here’s how you can participate in these film festival at home editions.
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SXSW Film Awards

The South by Southwest Festival was one of the first major film and tech festivals to be hit hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with the city of Austin canceling the event entirely out of abundance of caution. But the cancelation, which came merely a week before the Austin festival was set to run from March 13 through 22, left filmmakers scrambling for a place to showcase their films. Independent filmmakers, and especially short film filmmakers, were even more at a loss without access to resources that would allow them wider distribution. But a local drive-in theater in Austin has stepped in to rescue the short films from their fate.

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SXSW 2020 award winners

Amid growing concerns about the coronavirus, the city of Austin, Texas ended up cancelling this year’s SXSW Film Festival. But the event wasn’t a complete loss. Many films were sent out to reviewers virtually, so even though the surge of coverage was nowhere near what it would have been under normal circumstances, you’ve probably seen sites like /Film posting reviews of the movies we managed to cover from afar.

And even though the festival couldn’t happen in person, juries still gathered remotely to bestow awards on some of the movies that were accepted into this year’s competition. Check out the full list of winners below. Read More »

Once Upon a Time in Uganda Review

In Hollywood, independent cinema is mostly made up of auteur filmmakers, producers, financiers, and up-and-coming talent who want to take a chance on a movie becoming a surprise hit or sparking a career that will bring them into the big leagues of Tinseltown. But in Wakaliwood, a makeshift production studio in Uganda, independent cinema is purely a passion driven by determined filmmaker Isaac Nabwana (or Nabwana I.G.G.), who continually rounds up volunteer actors, homemade props, crudely constructed camera equipment, and self-made computers, all so he can make blockbuster action movies.

Once Upon a Time in Uganda (formerly known as Lights, Camera, Uganda) is a new documentary that follows American actor and festival programmer Alan Hofmanis as he abandons his life in New York City to help the man known as “Africa’s Tarantino” get on Hollywood’s radar with his unique, bombastic brand of action comedy movies made possible by a passionate community in the slums of Uganda. Read More »

For Madmen Only Review

You may not know the name Del Close, but you are undoubtedly familiar with the comedians he taught. Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Dratch, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Bob Odenkirk, Amy Sedaris, Chris Farley and many more all received improvisational comedy training from Del Close, but in a rather unconventional way.

For Madmen Only is a new documentary that chronicles the life of Del Close as he goes through the process of creating a DC Comics title called Wasteland, a horror anthology series that took cues from Close’s life, but exaggerated them into gnarly, surreal tales of terror. But perhaps more importantly, it follows his never-ending ambition to turn long-form improv into an art form that was not only accessible to audiences, but could also be taught to generations of comedians. Oh, and you should probably know that Del Close is absolutely insane, and everyone who knew him confirms that here. Read More »

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Critical Thinking Review

There are plenty of movies where inner-city kids with troubled lives get inspired by their teachers. But you’ve never seen one like Critical Thinking, which takes that formula and puts a different kind of intellectual twist on it by focusing on a group of Black and Latinx kids in 1998 who were determined to become national chess champions. In the face of underwhelming support by school administrators, troubled family dynamics, and a world that never gives them the opportunities they deserve, these kids were driven to be better than the criminals or underachievers everyone expected them to be. And it’s all thanks to a teacher who never gave up on them. Read More »