Organizers of The Sydney Festival Announces the 2014 Program

 

Every January, Sydney Festival (January 9-26, www.sydneyfestival.org.au) enlivens and transforms Sydney (Australia) with a bold cultural celebration based on the highest quality art and big ideas. The program is kaleidoscopic in its diversity, from burlesque circus to New York rap to Russian theatre; from contemporary dance to family programs to traditional Indigenous arts practice. In all, the program comprises around 300 performances and around 100 events performed by over 1,000 artists in at least 20 venues each year. Inclusive programming, a broad range of free events and accessible pricing policies for the ticketed shows means that Sydney Festival is open to all, welcoming Sydneysiders and visitors from wherever they live. Tickets to all performances are available on the day for only $25 at the Tix for Next to Nix booth in Martin Place in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

There’s also the famous free concerts in The Domain or Parramatta. Summer Sounds has featured the sounds of Brazil, Gypsies, New Orleans and Mali and is followed the next weekend by the orchestral power of the Sydney Symphony. Throughout January the Festival Garden is home to the Spiegeltent with a captivating program of burlesque and music which makes the most of the summer nights in the atmospheric setting of Hyde Park and Paradiso at Town Hall resonates with the energy of bands and DJs until late at night.

More than any other cultural event, Sydney Festival defines Sydney’s personality. For over three decades they have presented international artists who guarantee headlines, and whose presence in Sydney adds to the Festival’s buzz and prestige. Names like Björk, Brian Wilson, Grace Jones, Manu Chao, Elvis Costello, AR Rahman, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Robert Lepage, Peter Sellars and Sir Ian McKellen alongside some of the world’s great companies – Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance, Cheek by Jowl, Gate Theatre and the Schaubühne Berlin to name only a few – share the Festival with the most exciting artists and companies in Australia.

Sydney Festival’s audacious contemporary programming positions it at the forefront of arts practice in Australia and up there as one of the most wonderful festivals in the world. Sydney Festival relies on a mix of government funding; corporate, media and production partnerships; as well as philanthropic giving

Festival Director Lieven Bertels and the Sydney Festival team revealed the full program for Sydney Festival 2014, an explosion of exceptional theatre, dance, music, visual arts, film and more that will bring the harbour city to life from January 9-26.

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s 15-metre high yellow Rubber Duck made quite the splash in Darling Harbour, so it's back for the 2014 Festival.

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s 15-metre high yellow Rubber Duck made quite the splash in Darling Harbour, so it’s back for the 2014 Festival.

Sydneysiders and visitors know Sydney Festival is one of the most wonderful summer festivals in the world – a claim underpinned by the city’s lustre and charisma, making it an ideal showcase for the world’s great artists.

The Sydney Festival 2014 is comprised of 104 events, a staggering 21 of which are free. With 372 performances across 33 indoor and outdoor venues, Sydney Festival 2014 features 722 artists from 80 companies across 17 countries. With 10 world premieres, 4 Australian premieres and 13 Australian exclusives, summer in our beautiful city is absolutely not to be missed.

If you are really into your arts, Sydney Festival will not disappoint, with opera, dance, theatre and music acts from across Australia and the world.” says Festival Director, Lieven Bertels.

Against a backdrop of some of the world’s greatest theatre and dance, new Australian works of magnitude and cultural importance dominate this year’s theatre program. The world premiere of Black Diggers (directed by Wesley Enoch and written by Tom Wright) unfolds the untold stories of 1000 Indigenous soldiers who fought in World War One, whilst Michael Kantor and Tom E. Lewis’ indigenous re-working of King Lear in The Shadow King has recently premiered to a rousing reception by audiences in Melbourne, Australia.

Internationally acclaimed choreographer Shaun Parker returns to the Sydney Festival with the world premiere of Am I, whilst Halina Reijn performs the lead role in the retelling of the 1927 monologue by Jean Cocteau in the voyeuristic La Voix Humaine. Philip Glass presents a live score to Godfrey Reggio’s Visitors to follow its premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and after a five month sell out season on London’s Southbank LIMBO returns to heat up the 1920s Speigeltent in the wildly expanded Festival Village.

A main highlight of the 2014 program is Henry Purcell’s great romantic tragedy Dido & Aeneas in Sasha Waltz’s wondrous reimagining of the great opera, featuring stunning choreography, a prologue performed in a giant fish tank underwater, and celebrated baroque orchestra Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Reigning queen of contemporary German dance-theatre, Sasha Waltz, stages a radical re-telling of Henry Purcell’s Baroque masterpiece, Dido & Aeneas. The oldest love story in English opera, this tragic tale of unrequited love is brought to life by sixty exceptional dancers, singers and musicians at the Sydney Lyric from 16 to 21 January 2014. Dido & Aeneas is set to be as big an operatic sensation in the 2014 Sydney Festival as Semele Walk was in 2013.

Waltz casts both a dancer and singer in each role and tells the story of Dido, Queen of Carthage, who reluctantly falls in love with the shipwrecked Aeneas. Later, Dido is brutally rejected when he is deceived into leaving her, and she takes her own life.

Dido and Aeneas

Dido and Aeneas

As it’s the sea that brings Aeneas to Dido and takes him away again, it is not surprising that Waltz uses water as a central motif in her realisation of the myth. Waltz opens the show in a visually arresting fashion – an aquatic prologue, where a giant water tank, almost spanning the entire width of the stage, is raised several metres off the floor. From a ladder, dancers climb to the top of the tank to gaze and point at the audience, and then plunge in ducking, diving and weaving their steps, staying submerged for impossibly long times. Continue reading

The 57TH Annual BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL Announces Line Up Of Public Events Including Talks With RALPH FIENNES and ALFONSO CUARÓN

The 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® is pleased to announce this year’s program of events, including SCREEN TALKS with filmmakers HIROKAZU KORE-EDA, CATHERINE BREILLAT and RALPH FIENNES; MASTERCLASSES with director ALFONSO CUARÓN and VFX Supervisor TIM WEBBER, cinematographer BARRY ACKROYD,2013 BFI Lonodn Film Festival Logo and composer CLINT MANSELL. Talks will include a BFI-hosted panel celebrating the UKs rich variety of filmmaking ‘British Cinema – Home-grown and all grown up’ and ‘William Faulkner: Film Noir & Nobel Prizes’ a talk from Adrian Wootton prompted by James Franco’s AS I LAY DYING.

These sit alongside the previously announced talk with acclaimed artist Stan Douglas; and Sonic Cinema events, the special performance by celebrated British composer Michael Nyman, and a one-off live show by Angolan Kuduro act Buraka Som Sistema at Village Underground.

Screen Talks

The BFI warmly welcomes Hirokazu Kore-eda whose Cannes Jury Prize winning LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON screens in Official Competition. The Japanese director, producer, screenwriter and editor exploded onto the world stage with his debut Maborosi for which he won best director at Venice, swiftly followed by Award winning Afterlife with further accolades and acclaim for Nobody Knows.

Hirokazu Kore-eda's Cannes Jury Prize winning LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Cannes Jury Prize winning LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Hirokazu Kore-eda's Cannes Jury Prize winning LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Cannes Jury Prize winning LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Award winning French filmmaker Catherine Breillat discusses her impressive career and latest film ABUSE OF WEAKNESS (Abus de faiblesse) which screens in Official Competition. Powerful, provocative chronicler of female sexuality and intimacy, Brelliat has enjoyed strong critical acclaim for previous works such as Romance and Fat Girl. The BFI is delighted to welcome her to the festival to discuss her illustrious career.

Catherine Breillat's ABUSE OF WEAKNESS (Abus de faiblesse)

Catherine Breillat’s ABUSE OF WEAKNESS (Abus de faiblesse)

BFI Fellow Ralph Fiennes’ second directorial offering THE INVISIBLE WOMAN receives its European Premiere as the Festival Gala; the film sees Fiennes both behind and in front of the camera for a striking and refined examination of Charles Dickens’ illicit, long term affair with young actress Nelly Ternan. The BFI proudly welcomes Fiennes to the Festival to discuss his substantial body of work as actor, and latterly as one of the UK’s assured directorial voices.

The Festival Gala is the European Premiere of Ralph Fiennes’ second directorial feature THE INVISIBLE WOMAN staring Fiennes as Charles Dickens, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander.

The Festival Gala is the European Premiere of Ralph Fiennes’ second directorial feature THE INVISIBLE WOMAN staring Fiennes as Charles Dickens, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander.

Masterclasses

Director Alfonso Cuarón presents his 3D sci-fi thriller GRAVITY as the LFF American Airlines Gala. Ecstatic reviews followed the film’s premiere at Venice, most singling out the extraordinary technical and creative achievement of a film almost entirely created with digital effects. For a first in depth look at the extraordinary process of creation, more than 4 years in the making, we welcome Cuarón and his VFX Supervisor Tim Webber from London’s Framestore. Continue reading

The Museum of Modern Art’s 2013 Film Benefit Honors Tilda Swinton on November 5

The Museum of Modern Art’s 2013 Film Benefit, to be held on November 5, will honor actress Tilda Swinton, an Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actress for Michael Clayton (2007). Swinton has starred in a wide range of films including Orlando (1992), The Deep End (2001), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2007), Julia (2008), Burn After Reading (2008), I am Love (2009), We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011), and Only Lovers Left Alive (2013). Throughout her career, Swinton has worked with notable artists/filmmakers including Doug Aitken, Lynn Hershman-Leeson, Derek Jarman, Olivier Saillard, and Isaac Julien as well as conceiving her performance art piece The Maybe which she first performed at the Serpentine gallery in London in 1995 and most recently—in 2013—at MoMA.moma-logo

The honorary co-chairs for the 2013 Film Benefit are Marie-Josée Kravis, President, and Jerry I. Speyer, Chairman, of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. The event’s co-chairs include Wes Anderson, David Bowie, Ralph Fiennes, Karl Lagerfeld, and Anna Wintour.

The Film Benefit will be highlighted by a tribute recognizing Swinton’s acclaimed work and a gala dinner. The event is generously sponsored by Chanel.

Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at MoMA, states: ”As traditional boundaries between artistic practices have faded, and the influence of the avant-garde and art world-based moving image makers has infiltrated every area of film production, Tilda Swinton has been a standard-bearer for innovation and risk. Her multihyphenate talents—actor, performer, activist, muse—have made her a leading light across a spectrum of cinematic endeavors.”

MoMA’s vast film collection includes a number of films featuring Swinton: Aria (1987), Friendship’s Death (1987), Blue (1993), Das Offene Universum (1993), Conceiving Ada (1997), Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), Adaptation (2002), Teknolust (2002), Strange Culture (2007), Derek (2008), and We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011).

The Film Benefit raises funds for the acquisition and preservation of great film works, as well as providing support for upcoming film exhibitions at MoMA. Previous honorees include Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodóvar, Kathryn Bigelow, Tim Burton, and Baz Luhrmann. Tables to the Film Benefit are available for $75,000, $50,000, and $25,000 and may be reserved by calling (212) 708-9680.

Organizers Announces the Complete Line-Up of Films, Documentaries and Events for the 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®

The British Film Institute has announced the complete program for the 57th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®, with BFI’s Head of Cinemas and Festivals, Clare Stewart returning for her second year with a rich and diverse programme of international films and events from both established and upcoming talent over a 12 day celebration of cinema.

As Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive, BFI remarked in the Festival Introduction Letter on the BFI London Film Festival lff13-artworkwebsite, “The BFI London Film Festival is a brilliant achievement – and I think it’s okay for me to say that! Every year, without fail, I get a sense of excitement and anticipation that is heightened the minute I finally get to see the programme laid out in its entirety. Our Festival team has scoured the globe to set it before us. It is the BFI doing what it does best – completing the perfect circle from taking that initial act of confidence to invest in a film as yet unformed, to believing in the vision of filmmakers and writers, both established or as yet untried; igniting the imagination and minds of audiences with one of the richest and most imaginative cultural programmes in the world. We give film a powerful expression. The BFI London Film Festival celebrates new voices, new stories and new ideas and brings them not only to audiences across London, but increasingly UK-wide over a range of platforms. There are films that will dazzle, entertain, educate and astound; we have filmmakers who have picked up a camera for the first time, and established auteurs with more magic to unveil. It really is brilliant and it’s all for you.”

Stewart also took the opportunity to celebrate the life of her predecessor, who recently passed away: “On a more sombre note, I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, the ground-breaking Sheila Whitaker who was LFF’s Festival Director from 1987 to 1996, as well as head of programming for the National Film Theatre (now BFI Southbank) from 1984. Sheila, who remained an exemplary friend to our programming team, sadly passed away this August. All at the LFF acknowledge her legacy, and proudly carry it forward. It is timely that, during this year’s Festival, we will launch a new BFI Southbank strand – Discover Arab Cinema – and Sheila, whose speciality was in this field, had a guiding hand in establishing this important new programme.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: CEO of the BFI Amanda Nevill and BFI Head of Cinema and Festivals Clare Stewart attend a photocall for the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04: CEO of the BFI Amanda Nevill and BFI Head of Cinema and Festivals Clare Stewart attend a photocall for the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Director Paul Greengrass attends the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch Photocall at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04: Director Paul Greengrass attends the 57th BFI London Film Festival Press Launch Photocall at Odeon Leicester Square on September 4, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)

The Festival will screen a total of 234 fiction and documentary features, including 22 World Premieres, 16 International Premieres, 29 European Premieres and 20 Archive films. There will also be screenings of 134 live action and animated shorts. A stellar line-up of directors, cast and crew are expected to take part in career interviews, master classes and other special events. The 57th BFI London Film Festival will run from 9-20 October 2013.

Taking place over 12 days, the Festival’s screenings are at venues across the capital, from the West End cinemas – Odeon West End, Vue West End, Odeon Leicester Square and a new addition this year the Cineworld Haymarket; central London venues – BFI Southbank; the ICA, Curzon Mayfair, and Ciné Lumière; and local cinemas – Ritzy Brixton, Hackney Picturehouse, Renoir, Everyman Screen on the Green and Rich Mix. Additional screenings and events will take place at the Curzon Chelsea, BFI London IMAX and Village Underground.

BFI PLAYER

The BFI London Film Festival experience can be enjoyed UK- wide with the upcoming launch of the BFI Player, the BFI’s new web VOD service, featuring a Festival digital channel showing regular red carpet action and film maker interviews. BFI London Film Festival content will be a key attraction in the first range of services on the BFI Player and will also be available on the recently launched BFI Samsung smart TV app.

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips," a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures’ “Captain Phillips,” a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

L-r, Barkhad Abdi, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed star in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips", a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

L-r, Barkhad Abdi, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed star in Columbia Pictures’ “Captain Phillips”, a high-stakes thriller based on true story of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates

Continue reading