Panorama Europe Film Festival Returns for its Seventh Year, with a Slate of Sixteen Outstanding New Movies

FESTIVAL to Run from May 29 – June 14, 2015 at Museum of the Moving Image and Bohemian National Hall

Festival Kick-Off Event and Party at Tribeca Cinemas on Thursday, May 28

Panorama Europe Film Festival 2015, the seventh edition of this vital festival of new European cinema (formerly known as Disappearing Act), presented by Museum of the Moving Image and the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), returns to the Museum and the Bohemian National Hall with a slate of sixteen new features from May 29 through June 14. The NY Portuguese Short Film Festival (NYPSFF), who since 2011, has presented  an annual two-day showcase of short Portuguese films (arteinstitute.org/nypsff), produced and hosted by Arte Institute at Tribeca Cinemas. This is the first year the festival is partnering with unnamedPanorama Europe.

The festival continues its mission of showcasing the best in European filmmaking by introducing a wide-ranging selection of contemporary cinema in varying genres that cover many current social and cultural themes. Panorama Europe offers New York audiences what may be their only chance to see these acclaimed films on the big screen. Some of the highlights of this year’s edition include Petr Václav’s 2015 Czech Lion best film THE WAY OUT, Panos H. Koutras’s multiple award-winning XENIA (Greece), Virág Zomborácz’s AFTERLIFE (Hungary), Ignas Jonynas’s THE GAMBLER (Lithuania), with star Oona Mekas attending, and BREATHE (RESPIRE) (France), the sophomore feature directed by the actress Mélanie Laurent (INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, BEGINNERS).

Pictured: Greece's Xenia | Photo courtesy of Strand Releasing

Pictured: Greece’s Xenia | Photo courtesy of Strand Releasing

The festival informally kicks off on Thursday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m. with a screening of short European films at Tribeca Cinemas, followed by a party, as part of the NY Portuguese Short Film Festival (NYPSFF). The opening weekend includes special screenings of GODS (Poland, 2014), with director Lukasz Palkowski in person on Friday, May 29, and BOTA (THE WORLD) (Albania, 2014), with co-director Iris Elezi in person, on Sunday, May 31. Both screenings will be followed by conversations with the filmmakers, and receptions. Other festival titles include films from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Spain. The Closing Night film is Bas Devos’s award-winning VIOLET (Belgium, 2014), which screened as part of this year’s New Directors/New Films Series. The screening will be preceded by live musc by the Flemish band St. Grandson in the Museum’s courtyard and followed by a reception.

This year’s Panorama Europe lineup is exceptional,” said Chief Curator David Schwartz, who programmed the festival. “Many of the films are fascinated with questions of identity and history, on both personal and national levels. And this year, many films use humor, often dark, to explore their subjects.

The full lineup of Panorama Europe 2015:

 Bota (The World), Albania, Dir. Iris Elezi, Thomas Logoreci / Opening Weekend Film & Reception

Gods, Poland, Dir. Lukasz Palkowski / Opening Weekend Film & Reception

Violet, Belgium, Dir. Bas Devos / Closing Night Film & Reception

Afterlife, Hungary, Dir. Virág Zomborácz

Age of Cannibals, Germany, Dir. Johannes Naber

Breathe, France, Dir. Mélanie Laurent

Cowboys, Croatia, Dir. Tomislav Mrsic

The Gambler, Lithuania, Dir. Ignas Jonynas

I Can Quit Whenever I Want, Italy, Dir. Sydney Sibilia

In the Basement, Austria. Dir. Ulrich Seidel and the short film Exterior Extended

In the Crosswind, Estonia, Dir. Martti Helde

Magical Girl, Spain, Dir. Carlos Vermut

The Tree, Slovenia, Dir. Sonja Prosenc

The Unexpected Life, Spain, Dir. Jorge Torregrossa

The Way Out, Czech Republic, Dir. Petr Václav

Xenia, Greece, Dir. Panos H. Koutras

SCHEDULE AND DESCRIPTIONS FOR PANORAMA EUROPE, MAY 29–JUNE 14, 2015*

Unless otherwise noted, screenings take place in the Sumner M. Redstone Theater or the Celeste and Armand Bartos Screening Room at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria, OR at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73 Street, Manhattan.

*Program may be subject to change

OPENING WEEKEND FILM
Gods
With Lukasz Palkowski in person, followed by reception

FRIDAY, MAY 29, 7:00 P.M.

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Poland. Dir. Lukasz Palkowski. 2014, 120 mins. With Tomasz Kot, Piotr Glowacki, Szymon Piotr Warszawski. This enormously entertaining biopic chronicles the groundbreaking work of Zbigniew Religa, the pioneering Polish surgeon who defied the Communist bureaucracy of the 1980s to perform the country’s first heart transplant. Told with wit, verve, and a fastidious attention to period detail, Gods is an engrossing portrait of a larger-than-life personality.

Afterlife
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2:00 P.M.

Also showing: Thursday, June 4, 7:00 p.m. at Bohemian National Hall
Hungary. Dir. Virág Zomborácz. 2014, 93 mins. With Márton Kristóf, László Gálffi, Eszter Csákányi. A pastor and son with a strained relationship get a shot at reconciliation—after the older man’s unexpected death. Part tender coming-of-age tale, part darkly comic ghost story, Afterlife is a surprising, poignant fable from one of the most distinctive new voices in Hungarian cinema.
The TreeThe Tree
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 4:00 P.M.

Slovenia. Dir. Sonja Prosenc. 2014, 90 mins. With Katarina Stegnar, Jernej Kogovsek, Lukas Matija. A mother and her two sons live as prisoners in their own home. But what is it about the outside world they fear? Told from three points of view, a riveting family tragedy gradually reveals itself in this acclaimed Slovenian chamber drama, which masterfully maintains an air of steadily mounting tension.

I Can Quit Whenever I Want
SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2:00 P.M.


Italy. Dir. Sydney Sibilia. 2014, 100 mins. With Edoardo Leo, Valeria Solarino, Valerio Aprea. A group of underemployed academics hope to earn quick cash by entering the drug racket. But when their new designer drug turns out to be all the rage, can they handle the success? One of the funniest Italian comedies in years, this ultra-entertaining box office smash plays like Breaking Bad meets Reservoir Dogs.

Xenia
SUNDAY, MAY 31, 4:00 P.M.

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Greece. Dir. Panos H. Koutras. 2014, 128 mins. With Kostas Nikouli, Nikos Gelia, Aggelos Papadimitriou. A gay teen and his older brother journey across Greece in search of their estranged father in this alternately surreal and stirring road movie. Juxtaposing the realities of present-day Greece with imaginative slips into dream logic, this bold coming-of-age saga swept this year’s Hellenic Film Academy Awards, winning Best Picture and six other awards. Continue reading

“YUJI AGEMATSU: WALK ON A,B,C,” MAY 6–MAY 11, 2015 AT THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Location: Floor Three
Susan and John Hess Family Theater

Yuji Agematsu (b. 1956), Walk On A,B,C,, 2014–15 (detail). Ten-carousel slide installation with approximately 600 handmade 35mm color slides, soundtrack, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist

Yuji Agematsu (b. 1956), Walk On A,B,C,, 2014–15 (detail). Ten-carousel slide installation with approximately 600 handmade 35mm color slides, soundtrack, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist

Since the late 1980s, the obsessive and visionary artistic practice of Yuji Agematsu has included daily walks through Manhattan’s streets, during which the artist documents and collects the flotsam and jetsam that, though often unnoticed, comprises much of our urban experience. The Whitney commissioned Agematsu to survey the Museum’s new building and its surrounding neighborhood during the second half of 2014. The products of these investigations are highly choreographed sequences of timed 35mm slides. These sequences map three routes the artist followed, labeled as A, B, and C. Collectively, they form an extensive durational portrait of the Meatpacking District, the Hudson River, Gansevoort Peninsula (Pier 52, currently operated by the NYC Sanitation Department), West 14th Street, the High Line, Chelsea, and Hudson Yards.

In these images, Agematsu explores both extreme surface details and wide open spaces. He deliberately avoided photographing people, finding instead an animate quality in places and things in order to produce what he thinks of as a form of urban portraiture. Shot with a range of lenses including a microscope and telescope, the images are at once generic and specific. Buildings, flowers, construction materials, water, pavement, traffic, discarded objects, and sky coexist and interact. Some images are meticulously collaged or superimposed, and at times include actual dirt or objects found in the street. Agematsu’s schematic drawings, printed in an accompanying brochure, trace his routes and detail how they have been mapped onto the space of the Whitney’s theater, where images are projected onto freestanding wooden screens that recall public kiosks, subway maps, and temporary construction walls. Walk On A,B,C, considers the boundaries between design and nature, the qualities of administered public space, and the exigencies of a neighborhood and city in active redevelopment and fundamental flux.

During the run of the show, Agematsu will perform live sound improvisations, manipulating field recordings made by the artist in his native Japan.

Yuji Agematsu was born in 1956 in Kanagawa, Japan. He lives in Brooklyn, NY. He studied with Tokio Hasegawa, a member of the band Taj Mahal Travellers, and the jazz drummer and choreographer Milford Graves.

Yuji Agematsu: Walk On A,B,C, is organized by Jay Sanders, Curator and Curator of Performance, with Greta Hartenstein, curatorial assistant. (Research and artist assistance by Gregor Quack.) The artist would like to give special thanks to Robert Snowden and Mark Lewis at Yale Union; Artspeak, Vancouver; Ben Manley and Woramon Jamjod; James Cleveland; Real Fine Arts. Support for the Whitney’s Performance Program is provided in part by the Performance Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

MARY HEILMANN: SUNSET AT THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Installation view of Mary Heilmann: Sunset (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, May 1, 2015–). Photograph by Marco Anelli © 2015

Installation view of Mary Heilmann: Sunset (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, May 1, 2015–). Photograph by Marco Anelli © 2015

To coincide with the opening of its new downtown home in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District on May 1, The Whitney Museum of American Art has commissioned Mary Heilmann to create a site-specific installation for its largest outdoor gallery, located on the building’s Fifth Floor. Mary Heilmann: Sunset comprises of three components: a pair of shocking pink geometric forms climbing the museum’s north facade, a group of forty sculptural chairs to be used by visitors, and a video Heilmann shot around the Museum’s neighborhood in 1982. The inauguration of the Fifth Floor Outdoor Gallery is sponsored by Deutsche Bank.

Miss Heilmann became known in the 1970s for vibrant paintings that married taut abstract forms with quivering line and vivid color. For more than thirty years, she has intermittently explored a stair-step motif brushed within rectangular fields or expressed through irregularly shaped canvases, which happen to rhyme with the dramatic setbacks and grid lines of the Whitney’s new building. This serendipitous connection inspired Heilmann to enlarge a detail of one such painting and print it on two large panels that playfully turn the building itself into her canvas and tweak its sharp geometries. Extending more than fifty feet up the facade, the panels are visible from the High Line, the streets to the north, and the West Side Highway.

Heilmann’s intervention extends to a group of sculptural chairs scattered on the terrace like a shower of confetti. Adapted from furniture she has displayed in homes and exhibitions, the chairs serve as elements in her larger composition and provide visitors with a space to lounge and chat with each other while taking in the majestic views of the Hudson River to the west and the Manhattan skyline. Looking down from the Museum’s higher terraces, the installation will resemble a a playful abstract composition on the paved floor below. “Museums are places to hang out,” Heilmann says, as are New York rooftops.

The final component of the installation is a large outdoor monitor that will screen the debut of Heilmann’s Swan Song. In 1977, Heilmann moved to Manhattan’s west side waterfront and documented the neighborhood the Whitney now calls home in her video Swan Song, made with Kembra Pfahler in 1982. Debuted here, this ode to a vanishing city provides glimpses of the light over the Hudson River, the destruction of the former West Side Highway, and the warehouses that dotted this ever-changing area and serves as a counterpoint to teh festive atmosphere created by the chairs; as well as offering a glimpse back in time of teh neighborhood the Whitney now calls its home.

Mary Heilmann: Sunset is organized by Scott Rothkopf, Nancy and Steve Crown Family Curator and Associate Director of Programs. The installation is Outside the Box programming which is supported by a generous endowment from The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA TO ATTEND WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART DEDICATION CEREMONY

First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama will be the special guest (and speaker) at the Dedication Ceremony and Official Ribbon-Cutting for the new downtown New York City home of the Whitney Museum of American Art (99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014) on Thursday, April 30, 2015, at 11 am. The Whitney’s new building returns the Museum to downtown Manhattan where it was founded in 1930 by artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. The 220,000-square-foot building in the Meatpacking District doubles the Museum’s exhibition space, enabling the Whitney to present its innovative exhibitions and programs in the context of the world’s foremost collection of twentieth-century and contemporary American art. The building opens to the public on Friday, May 1, 2015.

A view of the building from the High Line, November 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

A view of the building from the High Line, November 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

A view of the High Line and the building’s eastern face, December 2014. Photograph by Ed Lederman

A view of the High Line and the building’s eastern face, December 2014. Photograph by Ed Lederman

The new building viewed from across the Hudson River, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The new building viewed from across the Hudson River, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Other distinguished guests and speakers will include Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York; Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art; Renzo Piano, architect; Chairman and Founding Partner, Renzo Piano Building WorkshopRobert J. Hurst, Co-Chairman, Whitney Board of Trustees; Brooke Garber Neidich, Co-Chairman, Whitney Board of Trustees; Neil G. Bluhm, President, Whitney Board of Trustees and Flora Miller Biddle, Honorary Chairman, Whitney Board of Trustees, and granddaughter of Museum founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Other participants will include Matana Roberts, composer and alto saxophonist, performing a commissioned musical work, Incantation, The Wooster Group, renowned experimental theater company, performing the ribbon-cutting, and teens from the Whitney’s Youth Insights Program. Admittance to the ceremony is by invitation only but a live webcast will be available to the public at whitney.org/Dedication.

The Meatpacking District is a twenty-square-block neighborhood on the far West Side of Manhattan. Surrounding the meatpacking plants just north of Gansevoort Street are some of New York’s most notable restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, clubs, and hotels. The neighborhood is bordered to the north and east by Chelsea, renowned for its art galleries, cultural organizations, and educational institutions. To the south is the West Village and its nineteenth-century townhouses, charming streets, and unique shops. To the west is the Hudson River. (Photography by Timothy Schenck)

The Meatpacking District is a twenty-square-block neighborhood on the far West Side of Manhattan. Surrounding the meatpacking plants just north of Gansevoort Street are some of New York’s most notable restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, clubs, and hotels. The neighborhood is bordered to the north and east by Chelsea, renowned for its art galleries, cultural organizations, and educational institutions. To the south is the West Village and its nineteenth-century townhouses, charming streets, and unique shops. To the west is the Hudson River. (Photography by Timothy Schenck)

Situated between the High Line and the Hudson River in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, the new building will vastly increase the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space, offering the most expansive display ever of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Ed Lederman

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Ed Lederman

The High Line is New York City’s newest and most unique public park. Located thirty feet above street level on a 1930s freight railway, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street  in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street in Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. It features an integrated landscape combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings.

The High Line is New York City’s newest and most unique public park. Located thirty feet above street level on a 1930s freight railway, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street in Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. It features an integrated landscape combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings.

The fifth floor gallery’s east-facing window, seen from below, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The fifth floor gallery’s east-facing window, seen from below, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

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The new building in the evening, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The new building in the evening, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Workers constructing the exterior stairs, December 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Workers constructing the exterior stairs, December 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Upclose exterior view of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District.  Photograph by Ed Lederman

Upclose exterior view of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District. Photograph by Ed Lederman

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph © Nic Lehoux

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph © Nic Lehoux

Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the new building will include approximately 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries and 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space and terraces facing the High Line. An expansive gallery for special exhibitions will be approximately 18,000 square feet in area, making it the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City. Additional exhibition space includes a lobby gallery (accessible free of charge), two floors for the permanent collection, and a special exhibitions gallery on the top floor.

According to Mr. Piano, “The design for the new museum emerges equally from a close study of the Whitney’s needs and from a response to this remarkable site. We wanted to draw on its vitality and at the same time enhance its rich character. The first big gesture, then, is the cantilevered entrance, which transforms the area outside the building into a large, sheltered public space. At this gathering place beneath the High Line, visitors will see through the building entrance and the large windows on the west side to the Hudson River beyond. Here, all at once, you have the water, the park, the powerful industrial structures and the exciting mix of people, brought together and focused by this new building and the experience of art.”

The dramatically cantilevered entrance along Gansevoort Street will shelter an 8,500-square-foot outdoor plaza or “largo,” a public gathering space steps away from the southern entrance to the High Line. The building also will include an education center offering state-of-the-art classrooms; a multi-use black box theater for film, video, and performance with an adjacent outdoor gallery; a 170-seat theater with stunning views of the Hudson River; and a Works on Paper Study Center, Conservation Lab, and Library Reading Room. The classrooms, theater, and study center are all firsts for the Whitney.

A retail shop on the ground-floor level will contribute to the busy street life of the area. A ground-floor restaurant and top-floor cafe will be conceived and operated by renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group, which operated +Untitled+, the restaurant in the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer building on the Upper East Side, until programming there concluded on October 19.

Mr. Piano’s design takes a strong and strikingly asymmetrical form—one that responds to the industrial character of the neighboring loft buildings and overhead railway while asserting a contemporary, sculptural presence. The upper stories of the building overlook the Hudson River on its west, and step back gracefully from the elevated High Line Park to its east.

The campaign for the new Whitney goes far beyond the creation of a new museum facility that will showcase and safeguard the Museum’s irreplaceable collection. It is an investment in future generations of artists and the growing audiences who will engage with their work.  Continue reading

Las Vegas Celebrates The Return Of The King as Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

On the 59th anniversary of Elvis Presley‘s first Las Vegas performance, Graceland opened the doors to a multi-faceted, authentic Elvis experience that showcases the man, the performer and the music that revolutionized popular culture around the world. “Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience” opened on Thursday, April 23 at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the same hotel where Elvis performed more than 600 record-breaking, sold-out shows between 1969 and 1976 when it was the International Hotel and then the Las Vegas Hilton.

Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley unveil their personal treasures from the family archives at the Las Vegas opening of Graceland’s first permanent exhibition outside of Memphis.

Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley unveil their personal treasures from the family archives at the Las Vegas opening of Graceland’s first permanent exhibition outside of Memphis. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

Lisa Marie Presley and husband Michael Lockwood attend the red carpet premiere of “The Elvis Experience” musical production with Lisa Marie’s son and Elvis’ grandson, musician Benjamin Keough.

Lisa Marie Presley and husband Michael Lockwood attend the red carpet premiere of “The Elvis Experience” musical production with Lisa Marie’s son and Elvis’ grandson, musician Benjamin Keough. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley preside over the formal blue suede ribbon cutting ceremony, officially opening “Graceland Presents: Elvis” on April 23, 2015

Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley preside over the formal blue suede ribbon cutting ceremony, officially opening “Graceland Presents: Elvis” on April 23, 2015 (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

The first-ever permanent Elvis exhibition outside of Graceland encompasses more than 28,000 square feet and includes hundreds of artifacts from the Presley family’s treasured Graceland Archives. The exhibition takes visitors on an unprecedented journey through Elvis’ life and career, beginning with his early days in Tupelo, Mississippi through his first recording session in Memphis, rise to fame, Hollywood career, life at Graceland, the Las Vegas years and more. Graceland-produced videos immerse guests in the experience, concluding with a 26-minute retrospective film featuring Elvis’ greatest performances. Select artifacts will be rotated regularly with artifacts from the Graceland Archives to ensure the exhibit is constantly evolving and remains fresh. The exhibition is open seven days a week from 10 am to 10 pm.  Tickets are priced at $22 plus taxes and fees, and are available for purchase at www.Graceland.com/Vegas.

Exhibition Highlights:
—  Tupelo and Memphis. This collection of artifacts follows Elvis’ humble beginnings in Tupelo, Mississippi to his family’s move to Memphis, where Elvis’ discovery of gospel blues would influence his music and drive his rock & roll sound. Guests can peruse family portraits; the Presley family bible; Elvis’ 1950 and 1952 high school yearbooks, and graduation tassel; his mother Gladys’ poodle purse, dress shoes and social security card; family loan papers; and paystubs from Elvis’ first job as a delivery truck driver for Crown Electric.

The exhibit showcases Elvis’ beloved Graceland, with items such as Lisa Marie’s baby shoes, a silver tray etched with Elvis and Priscilla’s photo on their wedding day, their wedding china and more.

The exhibit showcases Elvis’ beloved Graceland, with items such as Lisa Marie’s baby shoes, a silver tray etched with Elvis and Priscilla’s photo on their wedding day, their wedding china and more. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

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Elvis’ colossal rise to fame is documented with a collection of his first singles on Sun record label, his 1955 RCA contract, gold record for his eponymous first album, and more. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

—  Elvis Mania. In 1956, Elvis released his first album on the RCA recording label and appeared on a variety of nationally televised shows, including the Ed Sullivan show. This is the same year that Elvis first graced the silver screen in his acting debut, “Love Me Tender,” and had a No. 1 hit by the same name. The Elvis Mania exhibit documents this rise to fame including personal copies of his first singles on the Sun record label,1955 RCA contract, a variety of Elvis Presley collectibles, his custom leather guitar case, the gold record for his eponymous first album, and wardrobe pieces from “Jailhouse Rock,” which was released in 1957.

— Elvis in the Army. From 1958 to 1960, Elvis took a break from his singing and acting career and proudly served his country in the U.S. Army. This marks a particularly poignant time in his life, as he met his future wife – Priscilla Beaulieu – while stationed in Germany. Guests in this exhibit see Elvis’ army fatigues, fan letters, a check written to Moulin Rouge from his time on leave in Paris, and iconic photos of his famous military haircut at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.

Graceland. At the young age of 22, Elvis purchased his first home where  he would live with his mother, father and grandmother. A 17,000-square-foot property sitting on 13 acres, Graceland was a place where Elvis could relax and get away from his busy life as a singer and actor. Later in life, Priscilla and Elvis would marry and raise their daughter Lisa Marie at Graceland, a home Elvis vowed to never sell.  Today, Graceland is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every  year. At the Las Vegas exhibit one area that showcases Elvis’ Memphis home allows guests to see baby Lisa Marie’s footprints and baby shoes, a silver tray etched with Elvis and Priscilla’s photo on their wedding  day, their wedding china and more.

Elvis’ Hollywood career is highlighted through movie scripts, posters and costumes including the coveralls worn in “Viva Las Vegas,” bomber jacket from “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” and more.

Elvis’ Hollywood career is highlighted through movie scripts, posters and costumes including the coveralls worn in “Viva Las Vegas,” bomber jacket from “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” and more. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

Elvis in Hollywood. Between 1958 and 1968, Elvis left live performance touring to serve in the U.S. Army and then focus on his movie career, starring in 31 feature films – such as “Jailhouse Rock,” “King Creole,” “Viva Las Vegas” and “Blue Hawaii” – and two theatrical musical documentaries, including Golden Globe winner “Elvis on Tour.”  This exhibit features a collection of scripts, movie posters, a pair of coveralls worn in “Viva Las Vegas,” his bomber jacket from “It Happened at the World’s Fair” and more.

—  Elvis in Las Vegas. For Elvis’ first stint in Las Vegas at the New Frontier in April 1956, Colonel Parker billed him as the “Atomic-Powered Singer.” This title would prove true as Elvis signed a deal with the International Hotel in 1969 and became the reigning king of live entertainment in Las Vegas, breaking all box office records for the city. Guests exploring Elvis’ Las Vegas history can see iconic stage costumes from Elvis’ live performances, Priscilla’s dress from Elvis’ opening night at the International Hotel, the suit Elvis wore when signing his 1969 contract, and never-before-displayed advertisements  placed by Parker throughout the city from bus stops to billboards. Of particular note is the gold-plated belt encrusted with diamonds, rubies and sapphires that Elvis received in 1969 for breaking Las Vegas breaking box office records and later wore for a meeting with President Nixon in the Oval Office; and a contract written by Parker on a table cloth – complete with coffee stains – when owners of the International Hotel agreed to initial terms on Elvis’ long-term engagement.

Guests to the Las Vegas exhibit can view can view cars from Elvis’ collection including a 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, 1962 Lincoln Continental and the 1971 prototype Stutz Blackhawk.

Elvis on the Road: Guests to the Las Vegas exhibit can view can view cars from Elvis’ collection including a 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, 1962 Lincoln Continental and the 1971 prototype Stutz Blackhawk. (Images courtesy of Elvis Presley Enterprises)

Elvis on the Road. Even before he became the king of rock & roll, Elvis loved anything with a motor that moved fast. This would become a theme in his life especially after he achieved fame. It’s estimated that Elvis purchased more than 200 cars – some for family and friends, others for strangers and dozens for himself – including Cadillacs, Rolls Royces, Mercedes and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Elvis was often behind the  wheel driving his band members for early tours and cross-country trips. Guests to this exhibit can view cars from Elvis’ collection, including a 1957 Harley Davidson motorcycle, 1962 Lincoln Continental and the 1971 prototype Stutz Blackhawk delivered to Elvis at the International Hotel. Continue reading

2015 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES IN COMPETITION AWARD WINNERS

VIRGIN MOUNTAIN, DEMOCRATS, MEN GO TO BATTLE, UNCERTAIN WIN TOP AWARDS IN JURIED WORLD COMPETITIONS; DOOR INTO THE DARK WINS THE BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® STORYSCAPES AWARD
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SWORN VIRGIN WINS THIRD ANNUAL NORA EPHRON PRIZE
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FESTIVAL AWARDS $175,000 IN CASH PRIZES

The 14th annual Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff, and presented by AT&T, announced the winners of its competition categories at a party hosted by Michael Rapaport at TFF’s creative hub, Tribeca Film Festival at Spring Studios. This year’s Festival included 101 features, 60 short films, five immersive storytelling projects from 38 countries.

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 at the ceremony 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. 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.

WORLD NARRATIVE COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

The jurors for the 2015 World Narrative Competition sponsored by AKA, were 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.
Virgin Mountain

Virgin Mountain

Director: Laura Bispuri Copyright: VIVO Film

Director: Laura Bispuri Copyright: VIVO Film

  • 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 FilmGunnar 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 firm Citrin 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 FilmHannah 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.

    Hannah Murray (Sara) & Josh O'Connor (Jamie) Photographer CREDIT: Magnus Jønck

    Hannah Murray (Sara) & Josh O’Connor (Jamie) Photographer CREDIT: Magnus Jønck

  • 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.
    Virgin Mountain

    Virgin Mountain

    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.”

WORLD DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

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), who received $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.
    Director: Camilla Nielsson

    Director: Camilla Nielsson

    Mwonzora & Mangwana. Cinematographer: Henrik Bohn Ipsen

    Mwonzora & Mangwana. Cinematographer: Henrik Bohn Ipsen

    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 Mention: In 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.
    Palio, 2013

    Palio, 2013

    Director: Cosima Spender (Palio) photo CREDIT is Valerio Bonelli.

    Director: Cosima Spender (Palio) photo CREDIT is Valerio Bonelli.

    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.”

BEST NEW NARRATIVE DIRECTOR COMPETITION:

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 DirectorZachary Treitz director of Men Go To Battle (U.S.A), who received $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.
    Henry Mellon (Tim Morton) Photographer: Brett Jutkiewicz

    Henry Mellon (Tim Morton) Photographer: Brett Jutkiewicz

    Director: Zachary Treitz Photographer: Christian Hansen

    Director: Zachary Treitz Photographer: Christian Hansen

    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 Mention: Stephen Fingleton for The Survivalist (Northern Ireland, U.K.).

BEST NEW DOCUMENTARY DIRECTOR COMPETITION:

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 AwardEwan 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 Mention: Erik Shirai for The Birth of Saké (U.S.A).

SHORT FILM COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

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

  • Best Narrative ShortListen, 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). Continue reading

2015 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES THE AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS, SPONSORED BY AT&T, KING JACK AND TRANSFATTY LIVES

The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) announced the winners of the two Audience Awards, sponsored by AT&T, at its wrap party sponsored by Vice in New York City. Two awards – one for narrative and one for documentary – were given to the audience choices for the best films. King Jack, directed by Felix Thompson, was chosen to receive the Narrative award and TransFatty Lives,directed by Patrick O’Brien, was chosen for the Documentary award. Each award comes with a cash prize of $25,000.  The runners-up were Song of Lahore, directed by Andy Schocken and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, for the documentary audience award and Sleeping With Other People, directed by Leslye Headland, for the narrative audience award. (Throughout the Festival, which kicked off on April 15, audiences were able to vote by completing nomination ballots upon exiting screenings of TFF films. Films in the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Viewpoints, Spotlight, and Midnight sections were eligible.)

King Jack: Jack (Charlie Plummer) escapes on his bike in the early morning. Photographer: Brandon Roots

King Jack: Jack (Charlie Plummer) escapes on his bike in the early morning. Photographer: Brandon Roots

King Jack, directed and written by Felix Thompson. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Growing up in a rural town filled with violent delinquents, Jack has learned to do what it takes to survive, despite having an oblivious mother and no father. After his aunt falls ill and a younger cousin comes to stay with him, the hardened 15-year-old discovers the importance of friendship, family, and looking for happiness even in the most desolate of circumstances.

TransFatty Lives: TRANSFATTY LIVES director and star Patrick Sean O'Brien in a photograph taken by Timothy Saccenti.

TransFatty Lives: TRANSFATTY LIVES director and star Patrick Sean O’Brien in a photograph taken by Timothy Saccenti.

TransFatty Lives, directed by Patrick O’Brien, co-written by Patrick O’Brien, Scott Crowningshield, Lasse Jarvi, Doug Pray. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Director Patrick O’Brien is TransFatty, the onetime NYC deejay and Internet meme-making superstar. TRANSFATTY LIVES is a brazen and illustrative account of what it is like to live when you find out you are going to die. In 2005, O’Brien began to document his life after being diagnosed with ALS and given only two to five years to live. A decade in the making, this unconventional documentary is Patrick’s personal reflection on the transformative effect of this disease, not only for himself but also for those around him.

Official Poster for TransFatty Lives

Official Poster for TransFatty Lives

As Patrick’s physical abilities diminish, his wit, humor, and ability to engage with others remains dutifully intact. He falls in love and even fulfills his dream of having a son. This “art project of his existence” is stylishly woven together. In particular, the sequences mixing footage and sound are built in such a way, as if to portray a life flashing before your eyes. Truly, a revealing journey into the depths of a cruel illness, and a stirring observation on the decision to remain alive.

 Song of Lahore: Character: Asad Ali Photographer: Mobeen Ansari

Song of Lahore: Character: Asad Ali Photographer: Mobeen Ansari

Song of Lahore, directed by Andy Schocken and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. (USA, Pakistan) – World Premiere, Documentary. Until the late 1970s, the Pakistani city of Lahore was world-renowned for its music. Following the Islamization of Pakistan, many artists struggled to continue their life’s work. Song of Lahore turns the spotlight on a group of stalwart musicians that kept playing and ultimately attracted listeners from around the world. In English, Punjabi, and Urdu with subtitles. Continue reading