Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Up-Coming: Mill Valley Film Festival 38

Tuesday evening I was at the press announcement for the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival. Executive Director Mark Fishkin, Director of Programming Zoë Elton, & Senior Programmers Karen Davis & Janis Plotkin gave an overview of the festival, which runs October 8 - 18. 107 features & 76 shorts will play on 13 screens in 4 Marin County cities, with over 300 filmmakers in attendance. The 1st announcement was that Ian McKellen will receive a tribute on Sunday, October 11, though they have not yet determined the film they will show at his appearance.

The 2 opening night films are The Danish Girl, an historical drama starring Eddie Redmayne as one of the 1st people to receive gender reassignment surgery, & Spotlight, a drama about The Boston Globe investigation of child molestation within the Catholic church. Closing night is Suffragette, a British drama about the early members of women's suffrage movement, with Meryl Streep as Emmeline Pankhurst.

Many selections come from the Cannes & Berlinale Festivals. I'm excited that Andrew Haigh's new film 45 Years is playing, as well as Taxi, another covert film by banned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. The programming panel was enthusiastic about 2 films from Iceland, Rams & Virgin Mountain, & I'm intrigued by Ixcanul, a Guatemalan film in the Mayan language, & Mardan, a film from "Iraqi Kurdistan" directed by Batin Ghobadi, a younger brother of Bahman Ghobadi.

Films with big names include Bridge of Spies, directed by Steven Spielberg & starring Tom Hanks; Youth, directed by Paolo Sorrentino & starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda; Wondrous Boccaccio, an adaption of the Decameron by the Taviani brothers; & Greenery Will Bloom Again by Ermanno Olmi. Documentary filmmaker Marcel Ophuls will receive a tribute along with a screening of his Ain't Misbehavin'. The Sorrow & the Pity will also be shown. Senegalese author & filmmaker Ousmane Sembène is remembered by the documentary Sembène! & a screening of his film Black Girl.

In response to the dismal underrepresentation of women directors in Hollywood, the festival is highlighting films & panels under the rubric "Mind the Gap," as well as offering a tribute to director Catherine Hardwicke. 2 films, Son of Saul & The Sorrow & the Pity, will be shown in 35mm. Non-film events include 9 nights of live music at the Sweetwater Music Hall, a nature hike & an exhibit celebrating Ingrid Bergman.

§ Festival Web Site | On-line Brochure | Films | Venues | Ticket Info | Festival Pass

§ Mill Valley Film Festival
October 8-18, 2015

§ Press Conference for the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival
Tuesday, September 15, 6p
Dolby Labs