Tromadance Film Festival Press Conference at the 2012 American Film Market

American Film Marker (AFM) icon BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — CineTel Films CEO — and Chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) — Paul Hertzberg will join distinguished guests who will speak at the 14th annual TromaDance Film Festival press conference, scheduled to take place at the 2012 American Film Market (AFM), at the Loew’s Santa Monica Beach Hotel, in the AFM Studio (behind the Ocean and Vine restaurant) at 11 o’clock in the morning of November 2.

Writer-producer-director Mark Neveldine — GHOSTRIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE, GAMER, the “Crank” series — is also a confirmed, inspirational speaker on the panel. The master of ceremonies will be the beloved American icon of porn, Ron Jeremy.

Founded in 1999 by Lloyd Kaufman — President of Troma Entertainment, and creator of The Toxic Avenger, and inspired by Trey Parker (“South Park”), whose first film CANNIBAL: THE MUSICAL! was a Troma release — TromaDance enjoyed ten successful years in Park City, Utah.

In 2010, a larger TromaDance came home to New Jersey, home of Tromaville and The Toxic Avenger. The response TromaDance received from the people of Asbury Park and the media was overwhelmingly positive.

Unlike mainstream festivals, TromaDance does not charge film makers to submit their films; entrance to all screenings is free and open to the public. There are no VIP reservations or preferential treatment regarding films, panels, or parties of any kind given. The organizers of TromaDance believe that films are meant to be seen, especially when it comes to new filmmakers. Art — in all its forms — is for the people.

Zenith Foundation fosters Arab independent cinema, music, culture

More Information icon BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — The Zenith Foundation aims to provide a platform for Arab independent cultural production, including cinema, sound, thought, and culture, throughout both the Arab region, and the Arab diaspora.

The not-for-profit organization was incorporated in London in 2002 by a BBC producer (and lawyer), Mona Deeley; and a musician, Seth Ayyaz.

In the 2012 Open City Docs Festival in London, the foundation presented two documentaries relating to the revolutions in Tunisia and in Egypt: ROUGE PAROLE, by Tunisian director Elyes Baccar; and TAHRIR 2011: THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE POLITICIANS, by Egyptian director Tamer Ezzat. Zenith Foundation Arab Film Festivals were presented at Britain’s National Film Theatre in 2004, and at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Cofounder Mona Deeley is a producer for Cinema Badila: Alternative Cinema on BBC Arabic TV. The weekly program spotlights independent short films, and includes interviews with filmmakers.

In addition to its cultural programs, the Foundation operates two online businesses: a Zenith Shop, which sells movies and music; and the Zenith Image Library, a specialist resource which offers archive and contemporary stills and clips representing the Arab region.

Zenith cofounder Mona Deeley will participate in a panel discussion, Arab Cinema in the UK: The Present and the Future on 2012 September 21 Friday at the ICA on the Mall in London. The Friday Forum will be part of Safar: A Journey Through Popular Arab Cinema, organized by the Arab British Centre in partnership with the ICA and Dubai International Film Festival.

Zenith Foundation resources

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Trailer for Manoel de Oliveira’s latest film, GEBO ET L’OMBRE | GEBO AND THE SHADOW

BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — Here is the trailer — in French, with Portuguese subtitles — for GEBO ET L’OMBRE | O GEBO E A SOMBRA | GEBO AND THE SHADOW, starring Michael Lonsdale, Claudia Cardinale, Jeanne Moreau, Ricardo Trêpa, Leonor Silveira, and Luís Miguel Cintra.

This fifty-ninth film by Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira will be screened as part of the 69th Venice Film Festival, before its releases in France 2012 September 19, and in Portugal, September 27. The 91-minute feature was filmed entirely on studio sets in Paris in autumn 2011. It was produced by O Som e a Fúria (Portugal), co-produced by MACT Productions (France).

• Read the review of the film by Boyd van Hoeij.

The indefatigable filmmaker — at age 103, Manoel de Oliveira is the oldest working director in the world — is currently preparing his sixtieth film, A IGREJA DO DIABO | THE CHURCH OF THE DEVIL.

The story

Still from GEBO AND THE SHADOW: Oliveira and Cardinale

The screenplay by Manoel de Oliveira is an adaptation of a play, O Gebo e a Sombra | “The Hunchback and the Shadow,” by Raul Brandão.

Despite age and infirmity, Gebo continues his profession as an accountant, in order to feed his family. He lives with his wife, Dorothea, and their daughter-in-law, Sophie; but it is the absence of their son, John, that preoccupies them. Gebo seems to hide something about this, particularly from Dorothea, who lives in passionate expectation of the return of their child. For her part, Sophie awaits the return of her husband with apprehension. When John returns suddenly, everything changes.

GEBO ET L'OMVBRE Poster

Manoel de Oliveira’s late-blooming career

Manoel de Oliveira began working in films in the 1920s. Although he directed his first film, a documentary, in 1931, his career didn’t take off until the 1970s (the end of Portugal’s 44-year Estado Novo dictatorship in 1974 may have contributed to this development). The majority of his fifty-nine films have been made since his seventy-fifth birthday. Since his hundredth birthday in 2008, Manoel de Oliveira has completed seven films.

His work has been celebrated at film festivals around the world, including Cannes and Venice.

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PIERRE RISSIENT: MAN OF CINEMA documentary by Todd McCarthy screening in Hollywood 2012 June 23

BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — Legendary champion of Asian film Pierre Rissient will be present for Q+A with John Powers, following the screening in Hollywood of Todd McCarthy’s documentary PIERRE RISSIENT: MAN OF CINEMA on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at 10:10 AM at the Chinese 6 Theatres, 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.

The event will be presented by the Look East Film Festival in honor of M. Rissent’s contributions to international cinema and his lifelong interest in Asian filmmaking. He has been particularly influential in the current Western interest in Korean cinema.

LA Femme Fest 2010. Tippi Hedren to introduce THE LAST ELEPHANTS OF THAILAND by Michelle Mizner, Don Tayloe

BY AUSTIN BURBRIDGE. LOS ANGELES (CINEMA MINIMA) — Movie star and animal-rights activist Tippi Hedren will introduce THE LAST ELEPHANTS OF THAILAND when it screens at the LA Femme Film Festival 2010 October 16 Saturday 6 PM in Hollywood. The movie documents the abuse of elephants in Thailand and elsewhere, while it tells the story of the first elephant hospital in Thailand.

In 1900 that Asian country boasted a hundred thousand elephants; in 2010, less than five thousand remain. THE LAST ELEPHANTS OF THAILAND retails the controversy about the fate of those few remaining Thai elephants. Some want to exploit them — making the great creatures perform tricks, parade in the streets, paint pictures, etc. Others want to protect the pachyderms from abuse and exploitation.

Michelle Mizner — a California filmmaker — directed the movie with Don Tayloe, an American physician. It has been shown at the San Antonio Film Festival, the Bangkok IndieFest, and the Venice Green Screen Film Festival; it will compete at the United Nations Association Film Festival at Stanford University.

The LA Femme Film Festival runs 2010 October 14 – 17 in Hollywood. Tickets for the festival can be purchased online or at the box office.