March 2010

Last updated on March 2, 2010. Please check back later for additions.


Oscar Party: "And the Winner Is..."
The Cinema Lounge
Best of 2009 Results (Updated March 2)
Adam's Rib Previews the Oscars
The 18th Environmental Film Festival
The Rotterdam International Film Festival
We Need to Hear From You
Calendar of Events

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Last 12 issues of the Storyboard.

The 18th annual Oscar Party

Oscar Party: "And the Winner Is..."

Will your favorite flick win? Now that the Academy has chosen to expand the number of “Best Picture” nominations, will that spare us the articles that state “who was robbed?” Start guessing your favorite flicks now and join the Washington, DC Film Society for the 82nd Academy Awards broadcast at the annual viewing party, “And The Winner Is ...” The event takes place on Sunday, March 7, 2010 at Arlington Cinema ‘N’ Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA). Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Pre-show is at 7:00 p.m. and the Oscars ceremony gets underway at 8:00 p.m.

Local film critics Joe Barber and Bill Henry will be the hosts with the most … maybe they’ll even join in on the performance featuring “So You Think You Can Dance” winners! Then there’s the silent auction (cash or check only please) where you can bid on many items, including gift certificates, DVDs and great movie posters and scripts, including those signed by nominated directors, actors and actresses. Last, there’s the always popular “Predict the Winners” contest, as well as door prizes, just for SHOWING UP!

Tickets are $15 for DCFS Members, FREE for Gold Members and $20 for others.
Order now!

Vote for the Best of 2009 -- Results

The membership has spoken! Washington DC Film Society announces the results for the 9th annual vote for the Best of 2009.

Best Film: The Hurt Locker
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Best Foreign Language Film: White Ribbon

Thanks to everyone who voted!

The Cinema Lounge

The next meeting of the Cinema Lounge will be on Monday, March 15 at 7:00pm. Our topic is "Assassin Movies."

The Cinema Lounge, a film discussion group, meets the third Monday of every month at 7:00pm at
Barnes and Noble, 555 12th St., NW in Washington, DC (near the Metro Center Metro stop). You do not need to be a member of the Washington DC Film Society to attend. Cinema Lounge is moderated by Daniel R. Vovak, ghostwriter with Greenwich Creations.

Adam's Rib Previews the Oscars

By Adam Spector, DC Film Society Member

Who should win? Who will win? Who should have nothing at all to do with the Oscars? Adam's Rib answers these and other questions in
a new column.

Organic Food, Climate Change and Peter Matthiessen

The 18th Environmental Film Festival

The 18th annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, March 16 through 28, will present 155 documentary, feature, animated, archival, experimental and children’s films selected to provide fresh perspectives on environmental issues facing our planet. The vital connections between food and the environment are a major theme of the 2010 Festival, which features cinematic work from 30 countries and 66 Washington, D.C., United States and world premieres. Fifty-six filmmakers and 94 special guests will discuss their work at the Festival.

Two-time National Book Award winner Peter Matthiessen will speak about the impact of climate change on Arctic cultures; a cinematic portrait, Peter Matthiessen: No Boundaries, about the life and work of this renowned naturalist, author and explorer will also be shown. The Washington, D.C. premiere of a newly restored 35mm black and white print of Araya, a 1959 prize-winner at Cannes, portrays the “salineros” who worked in a Venezuelan salt mine before industrialization. The Venezuelan filmmaker, Margot Benacerraf, will attend the screening.

The Washington, D.C. premiere of GasLand, an award-winner from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, will screen on the Festival’s opening night with filmmaker Josh Fox in attendance. A special sneak preview of Turtle: The Incredible Journey traces the extraordinary lifetime journey of the loggerhead turtle as it navigates the globe. The D.C. premiere of Colony documents the crisis of colony collapse discorder within the beekeeping community. Oscar-nominated director Pete Docter will discuss his Disney/Pixar blockbuster Up following its screening.

The Music Tree, exploring the future of the threatened brazilwood tree, which has been vital in the manufacturing of fine violin bows since the age of Mozart, will receive the Festival’s first annual Polly Krakora Award for artistry in film at its Washington, D.C. premiere with Brazilian filmmaker Otavio Juliano. To the Sea (Alamar), also a D.C. premiere, captures a father-son trip to the Mexican Caribbean that reveals a subtle relationship between man and nature. Garbage Dreams profiles the impact of globalization on Cairo’s sustainable garbage collecting community, the Zabbaleen, known for their pioneering recycling methods. Sweetgrass follows the last sheepherders to trail their flocks up into Montana’s Beartooth Mountains.

What’s On Your Plate? focuses on food sources and Fresh on the growth of a sustainable food culture in America, while Seed Hunter spotlights the search for seed genes able to withstand global warming. Dirt! The Movie and Soil in Good Heart highlight the key role of topsoil in creating nourishing food. Nora! profiles Washington restaurateur Nora Pouillon, founder of the nation’s first certified organic restaurant. Who Killed Crassostrea virginica? investigates the decline of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

Building a carbon neutral house (in McLean, Va.), the construction of an entire green city in Kansas, restoring Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, the health effects of cellular technology, saving the Anacostia River, protecting rainforests and orangutans in Indonesia and the toxic effects of plastics on our global environment are among other topics examined in the 2010 Festival. Winners from the 2009 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival will also be shown, including The Legend of Pale Male about a red-tailed hawk living in New York City, with Belgian filmmaker Frederic Lilien.

The Environmental Film Festival has become the leading showcase for environmental films in the United States. Presented in collaboration with over 100 local, national and global organizations, the Festival is one of the largest cooperative cultural events in the nation’s capital. Films are screened at 56 venues throughout the city, including museums, embassies, libraries, universities and local theaters. Most screenings are free.

For a complete schedule,
visit the Festival Web or call 202-342-2564.

The 39th International Film Festival Rotterdam

By James McCaskill, DC Film Society Member

39th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFRR) was primarily a director's festival. You rarely find the Hollywood glitz at any IFFR but you will find highly accomplished international directors and producers descending on Rotterdam in January of each year. This year some 400 filmmakers attended, including Francois Ozon (Le refuge), Andrei Nekrasov (Russian Lessons), and Samiuel Maoz (Lebanon). Well known actors were here also, including Noah Taylor (Tomb Raider, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland), Eva Gabor (Europa, East) and Ugandan actor and activist Okello Kelo Sam (The Last King of Scotland, The Silent Army).

Rotterdam is highly respected for connecting films and distributors. I asked director Vladamir Paskaljevic (Devil's Town) why it was important for him to bring his film. He replied, "Well, for the film I think that it is prestigious to be in 'Bright Future' (Rotterdam's section for up and coming directors) and being here might encourage some world sales. (And we indeed got some offers after the Rotterdam festival.) Another thing, for me personally, it is important to be there to meet people from industy that worked on first films, because you never know who could be your partner in the future." That sentiment of possible sales and connecting with like minded filmmakers is the reason most are here.

Cinema has been called an art of the 20th Century that imposes itself as the privileged art and technique for writing history. Cinema is the motor and incentive of a profound revival of historiography. More people form their image of historical events from film than any other source. The 39th International Film Festival Rotterdam has culled some crucial films that will form our understanding of today's headlines. Shown this year were films on the Israeli 1982 invasion of Lebanon (Lebanon, Samuel Maoz, 2009), Russia's invasion of the Republic of Georgia (Russian Lessons, Andrei Nekrasov & Olga Konskaya, Russia/Norway, 2010), civil war in Sierra Leone (God No Say So, Brigitte Uttar Kornetzky, Switzerland/Sierra Leone, 2010), Japanese conquest of Nanjing (Nanjing! Nanjing! City of Life and Death, Lu Chuan, China, 2009) and America's early 20th Century attack on the Phillippines (Independencia, Raya Martin, Philippines/France/Germany/Netherlands, 2009) and the list goes on.

If you think that conflicts between nations run deep, just wait till you see Les deux de la Vague (Two in the Waves, Emmanuel Laurent, France, 2009). that documents the strong friendship between Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard that soured and turned very nasty. In 1959 Truffaut's Les quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows) was the talk of Cannes. They worked together on Godard's debut film, Breathless. Come the Paris riots in 1968 their relationship turned bitter as Godard's films moved toward radical politics and Truffaut stayed on pretty much the same path. Caught in the middle of this was the young star of The 400 Blows, Jean-Pierre Leaud, who later worked with both directors. 2010 is certainly Godard's year with a new film (Socialisme) and it finally looks like Antoine de Baecque will finish the biography. This is a Must See film for film fanatics.

IFFR is a multi-platform festival, with three major sections: Highly respected Tiger Awards competitors have their own section here. It is in this section that first or second feature films are highlighted and compete for three prestigious awards. Bright Futures is for filmmakers of tomorrow. It is in this section that the most important, idiosyncratic and adventurous new work by novice film makers from all over the world show off their first or second films. In the Spectrum section you find the works by experienced film makers and artists who provide an essential contribution to the international film culture. Films in this section set a high quality standard in substance and style.

This year films and filmmakers from Africa were given prominence with four special sections including an installation by Cameroon born artist Pascale Marthine Tayou. Africa, with its wide diversity of peoples, cultures, histories, and languages, is difficult to generalize but today we realize that something is brewing in African film making. Digital cinema is having a positive impact as it does not depend on large production companies and is available to many. Local demand for films that focus on local issues helps to drive the film making.

This year I saw more outstanding films than at any festival in recent memory making it difficult to sift through the films and come up with my recommendations.


  • The Ape (Apan, Jesper Ganslandt, Sweden, 2009). The Ape is a puzzle to the viewer, the character and the actor. Krister (Olle Sarri) awakes covered in blood. Very much a Dogme style, minimalist thriller. Whose blood is it and what brought Krister to this point in his life? The viewer must work along with Krister to discover what happened. Ganslandt kept Sarri in the dark as he never had the complete script, only the script for that day's shoot. How do you hold on when all is lost? What is left when the life you once had is completely gone? To reveal more would be a disservice to all.

  • Donkey (Kenjac, Antonio Nuic, Crotia/Bosnia and Herzegovina/UK/Serbia, 2009). When I interviewed the director, Antonio Nuic, I asked what inspired him to make this film. "I wanted a father-son relationship film. I did not learn from what my father did wrong. You do not realize how much of your behavior comes from watching your father. We repeat their mistakes rather than learn from them. I heard an anecdote about the trafficking of donkeys at the end of Operation Storm (1995). The word donkey in Herzegovina is not just a pejorative expression but also a person who is stubborn and a fool. In the film Boro is a donkey as are the characterized Pasko and Ante. The ass is their mute friend, their confessional priest, as they are not capable of saying what is on their minds. The film is set in Drinovdi, a village where my father was born and where we went every summer. There are elements of my family in this film."

  • Russian Lessons (Jvari, The Georgian Cross, Andrei Nekrasov & Olga Konskaya, Russia/Norway/Republic of Georgia). I asked director Andrei Nekrasov how this film came about. Nekrasov said, "The idea came before the war, as it was clear to us that it was likely to break out. We wanted to understand the reasons for it, after all Russia hadn't invaded anybody since Afghanistan in 1980. Georgia is a nation historically and culturally close to Russia, and it was therefore particularly disturbing to see the Russian government's war preparations. Looking into the recent history we found out about Russian inspired aggression against Georgians in Abkhazia (Georgia) in the early 1990s. As a result some 300,000 people, mainly Georgians, were ethnically cleansed out of their homeland, and a lot of them brutally murdered. This fact is widely unknown in the West, and forgotten in Russia--forgotten, for obvious reasons. One is rarely keen to admit wrong doing unless one is compelled to. And one is likely to re-offend if the crime is unpunished. We, especially Olga, felt ashamed about what was done in Georgia in the Russian people's name. And then another war breaks out. So, in a sad kind of way, we were prepared to make this film."

  • To the Sea (Alamar, Pedro Gonzales-Rubio, Mexico, 2009). Pedro Gonzales-Rubio now lives in Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Since he moved to what was once a fishermens' village it has now become the fastest growing urban center in Mexico at great cost to the environment. An extensive coral reef was destroyed to make a dock for cruise ships. Hectares of mangrove along the coast were destroyed to build big chain hotels, the sea has become polluted with sewage water. This film was made to counterbalance such destruction. In Alamar a young man with Mayan ancestry takes his five year old son to Banco Chinchorro to spend their last days together in a natural unspoiled setting. The son and his mother will soon be leaving for Rome. It is in this setting that they connect not only with each other but with their ancestors' way of life. An existence that brings harmony between man and nature and between father and son.

  • Woman With the 5 Elephants (Die Frau mit den 5 Elefanten, Vadim Jendreyko, Switzerland/Germany, 2009). Swetlana Geier is considered the greatest translator of Russian literature into German. Her new translations of Dostoevsky's five great novels, known as the "five elephants," are her life's work and literary milestone. Geier says, "The concept of transportation is not an adequate metaphor for translation. It is not transportation, since the luggage never arrives. I've always been interested in the losses. By what always has to be left outside that which has been newly created, the translation." Her work is characterized by a great and sensual feeling for language and uncompromising respect to the writers she translates. The standard she sets for her translations is that their encapsulated spirit must correspond to the essence of the author. At the same time, Geier is aware that every translation is, in the end, an incomplete work. This documentary brings together the story of Swetlana Grier's life, how a girl from the Ukraine came to live in Germany, and her literary work. A love of language that outshines all else.

    Yo, Tambien film still from the International Film Festival Rotterdam

  • Yo, Tambien (Me Too, Alvaro Pastor & Antonia Naharro, Spain, 2009). Yo, Tambien is an award winning (Goya's in Spain and Rotterdam's Audience Award) that will cause you to think about how we look at individuals with disabilities, Down's Syndrome in this case. All to often we treat them as infants and desexualize them, ignoring their human qualities. Daniel, played by Pablo Pineda - Europe's first male with Down's Syndrome to graduate from college, and Nuria, played by Lola Duenas (The Sea Inside) give depth and sensitivity to this film.


  • 10 to 11 (11'e 10 kala, Pelin Esmer, Turkey/France/Germany, 2009). Mithat Bey is a walking Compulsive/Obsessive with a mania for collecting just about everything. His collections range from every issue for the last 60 years of certain newspapers to alarm clocks. His apartment groans under the weight of these collections. So much so that with the number of earthquakes in Turkey there is real danger that it could bring down the building. Enter the custodian, Ali. This is more than a relationship film. It can be viewed as a metaphor for Turkey: what from the past to hold on to and what happens if Turkey becomes more European?

  • At the End of Daybreak (Sham moh, Ho Yuhang, Malaysia/Hong Kong/South Korea, 2009). Ho Yuhang focuses on people in trouble, often those who cannot understand their predicament. He is a superb observer of modern Malaysian realities. The femme fatale is only fifteen years old and the anti-hero is just 23 but this film is a modern Malaysian film noir.

  • C'est deja l'ete (Martin Maria Smits, Netherlands/Belgium, 2010). There is an inescapable Dardenne feel to this film, the grit of Seraing, Belgium, guarantees that. A broken family with each member living coldly and misunderstood in this Tiger Award competitor. What makes a family?

  • Devils Town (Djavolja varos, Vladimir Paskaljevic, Serbia, 2009). The director told me that "the idea for Devil's Town came from real life. Structured life like a multi-story building with multi-plots with characters whose paths cross. I worked on connecting these characters. I chose people who mirrored society and the time we live in." IFFR says this this is a "Black comic debut film about modern Belgrade in which a group of people cross each other's paths on the same day that Serbian tennis players play an international match at an international tennis tournament. The moral vacuum that was left after the nationalist conflicts in the area are reflected in the self-satisfied behavior of the characters."

  • Honeymoons (Medeni mesec, Goran Paskaljevic, Serbia/Albania, 2009). The first collaborative film effort by Serbia and Albania results in a story told in parallel montage of newlyweds from Serbia and Albania heading to Western Europe looking for happiness. Something is not easy for Balkan immigrants. Goran Paskaljevic is the father in the father/son filmmaking dynasty whose films are at Rotterdam this year.

  • Lourdes (Jessica Hausner, Austria/France/Germany, 2009). Hausner turns her camera on the everyday events in this award winning (four prizes at Venice) look at pilgrims desperately needing miracles at Lourdes. Is Lourdes a religous tourist attraction or a place for miracles?

  • Mama (Nikolay Renard & Yelena Renard, Russia, 2010). There is an extraordinary bond between the mother and son in this Tiger Awards competitor. An intimate bond connects the extremely overweight forty-something man and his aging mother. Filmed in a cramped, sparsely furnished apartment you are compelled to watch their relationship. The dialogue is as sparse as the furnishings. The mother, played by famed Russian actress Ludmila Alyohina, is constantly moving while her son (played by Sergey Nazarov who was discovered on the Internet) barely moves at all. Both are trapped in this small space, unable to escape. A Tiger Award competitor.

  • My Queen Karo (Dorothee van den Berghe, Belgium/Netherlands, 2009). Life in an Amsterdam squat in the 1970s as seen through the eyes of 10 year Karo. Karo along with her mother, Dalia, and her free-love practicing, radical father, Raven. Having moved from Brussels to free-wheeling Amsterdam where few people stay long in this squat puts Karo's world in constant flux. Only the swimming pool is a constant, providing the comfort she does not find at home. The director draws upon her own teenage years in 1970s Amsterdam.

  • Reykjavik - Rotterdam (Oskar Jonasson, Iceland/Netherland, 2009). An Icelandic crime caper with a sense of humor but without weapons. See this film before Hollywood gets their hands on it; Mark Wahlberg has bought the rights to this film. The original can be screened in the US, sometimes restrictions are placed on distribution. Kristofer (Baltasar Kormakur) is forced into smuggling booze from Reykjavik to Rotterdam. This film was Iceland's entry in the Oscar race. This entertaining fim is based on Iceland's most famous crime novelist, Arnaldur Indridason, who had a hand in writing the screenplay. Jonasson told me, "We both wrote the script. We did go through a lot of development. While the writing became complicated the structure was always basic. Much of the film takes place on the sea which makes shooting a film on a cargo ship difficult; ten floors, no elevators. We had to carry all the equipment all the time. It was difficult to shoot in narrow spaces."

  • The Temptations of St. Tony (Veiko Ounpuu, Estonia/Sweden/Finland, 2009). You can see the fingerprints of Dante and Hieronymus Bosch on this Tiger nominated film. Director Ounpuv has a dark and surrealistic style that is perfect for the black and white film. The opening sequence of a speeding car careening past a funeral process and tumbling into the sea sets the tone. This sequence follows a quote from Dante, "Midway upon the journey of our life. I found myself within a dark forest.", and leads to this film about the disintegration of a soul.

  • The Trotsky (Jacob Tierney, Canada, 2009). Not just another film about a quirky teenager, this takes an exceeding serious screenplay about a teen who knows he is channeling Trotsky and plays it for laughs. All of the milestones in this Russian leader's life have to be met by Leon Bronstein from organizing rebellion in his father's factory to meeting a particular girl. This film was screened in the Bright Futures section and it would seem that Tierney does indeed have that.

  • True Noon (Qiyami roz, Nosir Saidov, Tajikistan, 2009). Nilfur lives on one side of town and her fiancee lives on the other. No problem until soldiers arrive and string barbed wire splitting the peaceful mountain village in two. Hospital on one side, school on the other. An absurd story? Not according to the director. It really happened in Tajikistan, nestled as it is the mountainous region that includes Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and China. Everyone gets into this comedy of errors that results in an unexpectedly funny film from a region that has seen very few comedies.

  • Two in the Wave (Les deux de la Vague, Emmanuel Laurent, France, 2009). The gloves come off in this documentary about the Truffaut/Godard friendship that turned nasty. See above.


  • Air Doll (Kuki ningyo, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Japan, 2009). What is it to be human? In Kore-eda's examination of that question he has a vinyl sex doll (Bae Doo-na) gradually comes to life. "The doll was a good way to visualize an inanimate object becoming human. When the vinyl doll got cut and deflated, her loved one would blow her up with air. The breath of life. That was very erotic. I try to show all the human emotions. She's sad, she's happy, she's jealous."

  • Autumn Adagio (Inoue Tsuki, Japan, 2009). A Tokyo nun comes to grips with aging. Filmed in autumn-hued parks, Sister Maria matches the beautiful and sad feelings of autumn. In the film the nun encounters three males who play different roles in her slow emergence from a cloistered life. From playing the piano for a local dance class she encounters the handsome ballet instructor. She later consoles a young gardener grieving for his deceased mother. Rei Shibvakusa plays Sister Maria with great restraint.

  • Between Two Worlds (Ahasin wetei, Vimiukthi Jayasundara, France/Sri Lanka, 2009). Beautifully filmed in the lush countryside of Sri Lanka which masks the death and destruction that lurks in this civil war-torn country. This film was in competition at Venice.

  • Foxes (Listicky, Mira Fornay, Czeck Republic/Slovakia/Ireland, 2009). European cities do not always welcome immigrants and Dublin is not an exception. Two Slovakian sisters, with their own back story, are forced to live like the foxes that have roamed Dublin for a hundred years but are still unwelcome.

  • Mundane History (Jao nok krajok, Anocha Suwichakompong, Thailand, 2009). "Mundane suggests everyday life, whereas history is something far grander," the director said in Rotterdam. A young middle class man, Ake, is paralysed after an accident. Pun takes care of the embittered Ake. The film focuses on the gradual reawakening of Ake's internal life. A Tiger Awards film.

  • My Daughter (Li fa dian di nu er, Charlotte Lay Kuen Lim, Malaysia, 2009). This Malaysian Tiger Awards competitor goes against expectations. It is the mother here who is irresponsible and the daughter who is forced to be the sensible one. Chua Thien See, who has starred in other films as a much younger character, is wonderful here as the out of control mother.

  • R (Michael Noer & Tobias Lindholm, Denmark, 2010). In describing this prison film, Lindholm said, "The most important thing when we started writing the script was to make it as honest as possible. When we got to the prison, we decided to research among the guards and prisoners who had been in that prison (the recently abandoned Horsens prison) so that every story we'd tell would somehow be connected to that prison." Former prisoners and guards have featured roles in this realistic drama.

  • Running Turtle (Geo-buk-yi-dal-lin-da, Lee Yeon-Woo, South Korea, 2009). Another funny crime caper. Jo Pil-Sung's gambling addiction gets him summarily booted off the police force. The legendary martial arts strong man criminal Song Gi-Tae beats him up and robs him setting in motion Jo and his bumbling friends in their quest to get the reward and to get Jo returned to the police force. Running Turtle topped South Korea's box office last year, and it's easy to see why.

  • Swimming (Nadar, Carla Subirana, Spain, 2009). The search for family history hampered by her mother and grandmother's loss of memory sparks director Subirana's debut film. Wanting to know the truth about her grandfather's anti-Franco activities and subsequent execution during the Spanish Civil War sends Subirana on a four year quest she likens to swimming underwater in danger of drowning.

  • Vital Signs (Les signes vitaux, Sophie Deraspe, Canada, 2009). IFFR says, "Without becoming melancholy and without a trace of sentimentality, Vital Signs evokes questions about important things in life and tackles sensitive issues such as our relationship with the (decaying) body, putting an end to unbearable suffering and the feeling of power that can take the caregiver by surprise. Minimalist music accompanies the inner quest of Simone, whose role is beautifully performed with poise by the non-professional actress Marie-Helène Bellavance."

  • What You Don't See (Was dun nicht siehst, Wolfgang Fischer, Germany/Austria, 2009). In this horror thriller, 17-year-old Anton, his mother and her new boyfriend journey to a remote holiday cottage by the sea. In the middle of the deserted panoramas with woods, beach and sea, Anton becomes fascinated by a strange duo. Wolfgang Fischer said about his film:'I wanted What You Don't See to be a really anarchic, emotional film. What You Don't See looks into the abyss behind the idyllic façade of a vacation trip to show a dark dream full of enigmatic moments. What You Don't See is centered on a single, major theme: what happens when a suppressed, sinister and inexplicable level of life ruptures in a seemingly wholesome, secure world. The inexplicable, sinister and eerie aspect shows itself in What You Don't See as an outburst: the emotional expression of raucous, irrepressible youthful energy within a society that has become fragmented and incomprehensible.'

    And the Winners Are

    The Audience Award went to the Spanish film Yo, Tambien. The Dioraphte Award for the Hubert Bals Fund film held in highest regard went to Soul Boy by the Kenyan filmmaker Hawa Essuman, produced by Tom Tykwer. At the last minute Yo, tambien beat Swiss documentary The Woman with the 5 Elephants and the Venice Golden Lion-winner Lebanon. Yo, tambien, in which a graduate with Down's syndrome falls in love with a colleague, is one of the most surprising films of the last year with two spectacularly good protagonists. Other festival favorites were topical documentary Russian Lessons by Olga Konskaya & Andrei Nekrasov, Canadian talent Jacob Tierney’s The Trotsky, Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro and Tiger Award winner Alamar.

    Soul Boy follows Abila (age 14) who lives in one of the most miserable slums in Africa. His girlfriend Shiku belongs to a different tribe, and as a result he is not really allowed to fraternize with her. And then one drunken night his father gambled away his own soul. With support from Tom Tykwer, the Kenyan filmmaker Hawa Essuman turned it into a sparkling film.

    The three Tiger Awards went to Hubert Bals Fund supported films Agua fría de mar (Cold Water of the Sea) by Paz Fábrega (Costa Rica, France, Spain, Netherlands, Mexico) and Mundane History by Anocha Suwichakornpong (Thailand), and to Alamar by Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio (Mexico). In all, 15 directors and their first or second films competed for this award.

    The jury had this to say about the winning films: Agua fría de mar (Cold Water of the Sea): 'We are impressed by the film that presents in a convincing and poetic way the mysterious relationship between a woman and a young girl. The film takes the audience on an unusual trip into Nature that interacts in a magical way with humans. The superb editing builds organic flow of images while the strong directing creates an unnerving atmosphere and tension.' Mundane History: 'Constantly surprising, this film offers philosophical and political dimension of Thai society, while presenting a seemingly mundane story. To us, this film appeals to both intellect and spirituality. We are impressed by the film's accomplished way to interplay abstract ideas and harrowing reality.' Alamar (To the Sea): 'This naturalistic film stays true and honest to its subject and shows both the happiness of being a child and tragedy of growing up in separate upbringing. To us the simplicity applied by the maker is at the same time the greatest strength of the film that cuts straight to the heart while avoiding sentimentality. The bondage between humans and Nature is beautifully rendered and ultimately transforms the films’ documentary approach into a poetic image of childhood. Each Tiger Award comes with a prize of Euro 15,000.

    FIPRESCI Award (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique), went to Let Each One Go Where He May by Ben Russell (USA, Suriname, 2009). In making the award the jury said: "Let Each One Go Where He May creates, by pure cinematic tools, a vision about human nature in circumstances where past and present walk together, and makes us part of its characters lives."

    Movie Squad Award. The Rotterdam young people’s jury consisting of five teenagers chose I Killed My Mother (J’ai tué Ma Mère, Xavier Dolan, Canada, 2009) as the winner out of twenty competing films.

    Earlier in the festival, Anocha Suwichakornpong’s CineMart 2010 Project By The Time It Gets Dark (Thailand). was awarded the Prince Claus Fund Film Grant of 15,000.00 euros.

    We Need to Hear From YOU

    We are always looking for film-related material for the Storyboard. Our enthusiastic and well-traveled members have written about their trips to the Cannes Film Festival, London Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Palm Springs Film Festival, the Reykjavik Film Festival, the Munich Film Festival, and the Locarno Film Festival. We also heard about what it's like being an extra in the movies. Have you gone to an interesting film festival? Have a favorite place to see movies that we aren't covering in the Calendar of Events? Seen a movie that blew you away? Read a film-related book? Gone to a film seminar? Interviewed a director? Taken notes at a Q&A? Read an article about something that didn't make our local news media? Send your contributions to Storyboard and share your stories with the membership. And we sincerely thank all our contributors for this issue of Storyboard.

    Calendar of Events


    American Film Institute Silver Theater
    The Sixth Annual New African Films Festival runs from March 11-15. Nine films will be shown including No Time to Die from Ghana, Nothing But the Truth from South Africa, Sex, Okra and Salted Butter from Chad, Glorious Exit from Nigeria, Black to Our Roots a documentary by a local filmmaker, Adera from Ethiopia/South Africa, Football Fables, a UK documentary about African football players immigrating to Europe, In My Genes, a Kenyan documentary about an albino African, and From a Whisper, a commemoration of the 1998 terrorist bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi.

    For those who didn't get enough sports during the Olympics, here is a three-part sports film series with films from the 1960s, 70s and 80s. See North Dallas Forty (football) starring Nick Nolte, Downhill Racer (skiing) starring Robert Redford, and The Natural (baseball) also starring Robert Redford.

    The retrospective of films starring Jean Arthur ends in March with Shane, A Foreign Affair and The Devil and Miss Jones. The series of films directed by Clint Eastwood also ends in March but you can still see A Perfect World, Changeling, Unforgiven, The Outlaw Josey Wales and Bird. You can still see the remaining two films in the "Screen Valentines" series High Fidelity and Sense and Sensibility.

    "Archival Gotham: NYC on Film" is a short series of films set in New York City. Titles include East Side, West Side (Allan Dwan, 1927) with location shooting all over New York in the 1920s, Little Fugitive with location shooting on Coney Island in the 1950s, The Projectionist, Taxi Driver and a program of short films including animation, documentary and live action with The Hearts of Age, Orson Welles' first directorial effort at age 19.

    "British Noir" is a series of British noir films including Brighton Rock, It Always Rains on Sundays, The Fallen Idol, Peeping Tom and The Third Man.

    The AFI takes part in the Environmental Film Festival with the DC Premiere of Colony (beekeeping), Sweetgrass (Western sheepherders), Turtle: The Incredible Journey with underwater photographer Nick Caloyianis in person, Garbage Dreams with director Mai Iskander in person, and the DC Premiere of Garapa (hunger in Brazil). Also part of the EFF is a small series of Jacques Tati films: My Uncle, Holiday, Playtime in 70mm, Traffic and a program of short Tati films.

    "Larger Than Life: Orson Welles" is a near-complete retrospective of the films of Orson Welles, beginning in late March and continuing into May. During March you can see Me and Orson Welles with Christian McKay as Welles, Orson Welles: The One Man Band, a documentary by Welles' long time companion Oja Kodar, Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady from Shanghai, Journey Into Fear, and The Stranger.

    Other films at the AFI in March are Black Dynamite, an homage to blaxploitation films, The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights, a "roc-doc" about the White Stripes and No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson with director Steven James in person. These last two films are presented by Silverdocs.

    Freer Gallery of Art
    During March, the Freer shows films about Tibetan Buddhism. Titles include Buddha (David Gurbin, 2009) on March 12 at 7:00pm with the filmmaker in person. On March 14 at 3:00pm is a program of three short documentaries "The Karma Kagyu" with the producer present. On March 19 at 7:00pm is Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint (Neten Chokling, 2006); on March 21 at 1:00pm is The Silent Holy Stones (Wanma-caiden, 2005), shown as part of the Environmental Film Festival; on March 21 at 3:30pm is The Saltmen of Tibet (Ulrike Koch, 1997), also part of the Environmental Film Festival. On March 26 at 7:00pm is Wheel of Time (Werner Herzog, 2003); on March 28 at 1:00pm is the documentary Words of My Perfect Teacher (Lesley Ann Patten, 2003) and on March 28 at 3:30pm is Roots of Infinity (Ken'ichi Oguri, 1991), a documentary about a village in Nepal.

    National Gallery of Art
    "Salute to the Film Foundation at Twenty" celebrates the Foundation which has identified and funded the preservation and restoration of over 525 motion pictures. On March 13 at 3:00pm is Drums Along the Mohawk (John Ford, 1939); on March 14 at 4:30pm is The Red Shoes (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1948) and on March 28 at 4:30pm is Senso (Luchino Visconti, 1954).

    The Gallery takes part in the Environmental Film Festival with three films: on March 20 at 2:00pm and 4:00pm is Araya (Margot Benacerraf, 1959) about salt harvesters and fishermen on Venezuela's coast. On March 21 at 4:30pm is Home (Ursula Meier, 2008) and on March 27 at 3:00pm is Nomad's Land (2008) with filmmaker Gael Metroz following in the footsteps of 1950s travel writer Nicolas Bouvier.

    On March 7 at 4:30pm is director Jan Troell in person with Everlasting Moments (2008) shown with Troell's short film Pause in the Marshland (1965).

    On March 6 at 3:00pm is "The Black Maria: Selections from the Festival," documentaries and experimental short films with founding director John Columbus in person.

    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
    On March 4 at 8:00pm is A Girl and a Gun (Gustav Deutsch and Hanna Schimek, 2009), an assemblage of archival footage from the 1890s to the 1940s. On March 25 at 8:00pm is Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (Jessica Oreck, 2008), an exploration of a centuries-old Japanese subculture--people who collect insects. The director will be present to discuss this film which is part of the Environmental Film Festival.

    National Museum of African Art
    On March 20 at 2:00pm is The Vision of Sangari Maathai (Lisa Merton and Alan Dater, 2007), a documentary about the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the grassroots Green Belt Movement of Kenya. The director will be present for discussion; this film is part of the Environmental Film Festival.

    National Museum of the American Indian
    The museum takes part in the Environmental Film Festival with The Gift of Pachamama (Toshifumi Matsushita, 2008) on March 19 at 7:00pm. Filmmaker Toshifumi Matsushita will be present for discussion. A short film Indigenous Plant Diva (Kamala Todd, 2008) precedes the feature. Reservations are required.

    Museum of American History
    As part of the Environmental Film Festival on March 20 at 2:00pm is A Road Not Taken, a film about Jimmy Carter's solar panels. The filmmakers will answer questions. On March 21 at 2:00pm is Forever Wild: Celebrating America's Wilderness (Chelsea Congdon, 2009) and at 3:15 on March 21 is the world premiere of Butterflies and Bulldozers: David Schooley, Fred Smith and the Fight for San Bruno Mountain (Ann and Steve Dunsky, 2010), about San Bruno Mountain in the San Francisco area. The filmmakers will discuss their film.

    National Portrait Gallery
    For the Environmental Film Festival and as part of "Reel Portraits" is Peter Matthiessen: No Boundaries (Jeff Sewald, 2009) on March 20 at 2:00pm, a documentary about the environmental activist and author.

    Smithsonian American Art Museum
    To accompany the exhibit "Framing the West: The Survey Photographs of Timothy H. O'Sullivan" is the film The Misfits (1961) starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe on March 4 at 6:30pm. On March 11 at 6:30pm is Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau, 1922) with the Thad Wilson Group performing an original live score.

    National Museum of Women in the Arts
    As part of the Environmental Film Festival on March 22 at 7:00pm is Split Estate (Debra Anderson, 2004), about landowners with mineral rights under their land who find energy companies in their back yard. The filmmaker will be present for discussion. Reservations are required.

    Washington Jewish Community Center
    On March 23 at 3:00pm is Dirt! The Movie presented by ITVS Community Cinema Cafe. On March 23 at 7:30pm is the DC Premiere of Leap of Faith (Antony Benjamin and Stephen Friedman, 2009) about four subjects who convert to Judaism. The directors will be present for discussion.

    Goethe Institute
    "A Deeper Look," the film series exploring the earlier work of directors seen in the January festival of German film ends in March with First Kiss (Kai Wessel, 2003) on March 1 at 6:30pm and One Day in Europe (Hannes Stohr, 2004) on March 8 at 6:30pm.

    The Goethe Institute takes part in the Environmental Film Festival with the US Premiere of Exotic Homeland about foreign plants and animals invading and affecting the environment on March 17 at 6:00pm and The Last Giants--Oceans in Danger (whales) on March 17 at 7:15pm.

    On March 15 at 6:30pm is For Tomorrow (Eve Rennebarth, Gail Rosen and William Gilcher, 2009) is about Hilda Stern Cohen, holocaust survivor and poet. The filmmakers will discuss the film after the screening.

    "The Best of Okofilmtour" is a selection of films from the German festival. On March 22 at 6:30pm is Neuland (Daniel Kunle, 2007) about the transformation in East Germany. On March 29 at 6:30pm is Leroy (Armin Volckers, 2007) about a Afro-German boy and Neo-Nazi skinheads. Two more films in April.

    National Geographic Society
    The All Roads Film Projects presents "Women Hold Up Half the Sky," a three-part film series. On March 4 at 7:00pm is Niloofar (Sabine El Gemayel, 2008) from Iran. The director and co-producer will be present for discussion. On March 10 at 7:00pm is Shadows (Mary Ayubi and Polly Hyman, 2005), a documentary about women in rural Afghanistan. Filmmaker Mary Ayubi will discuss the film after the screening. The third film in the series is in April.

    Two films are presented as part of the Environmental Film Festival. On March 18 at 7:00pm is The Two Horses of Genghis Khan (Byambasuren Davaa, 2009), a documentary from Mongolia. On March 17 at 7:30pm is Fresh (Ana Sofia Joanes) about agriculture and food distribution. The filmmaker and others will be present for discussion.

    French Embassy
    On March 22 at 7:00pm is VHS Kahloucha (Néjib Belkadhi, 2007), a documentary about a Tunisian house painter who makes amateur films with his VHS Panasonic 3500.

    The Japan Information and Culture Center
    On March 3 at 6:30pm is Children of the Woods (Masaki Haramura, 2008), a documentary about Eijyu Miyazaki, director of a preschool who believes that children should play rough games, eat wild nuts and interact with animals. On March 10 at 6:30pm is Miyori in the Sacred Forest (Nizo Yamamoto, 2007), an anime film about environmental preservation. On March 17 at 6:30pm is Dear My Love (Yushihiro Fukagawa, 2009), based on 86,441 actual love letters submitted to the "Love Letters at 60" project in Japan. Reservations are required. See website for details.

    National Archives
    For Women's History Month, the film Amelia (2009), starring Hilary Swank, will be shown on March 27 at noon.

    The 82nd Academy Award Nominees program will screen all the documentary and short films nominated for Academy Awards. Documentary Feature Nominees: On March 3 at 7:00pm is Food, Inc. (Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein); on March 4 at 7:00pm is The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith); on March 5 at 7:00pm is The Cove; on March 6 at 7:00pm is Burma VJ (Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller); and on March 7 at 4:30pm is Which Way Home (Rebecca Cammisa). Live Action Short Film Nominees: On March 6 at noon. Animated Short Film Nominees: On March 6 at 3:30pm. Documentary Short Subject Nominees: On March 7 at noon.

    On March 24 at 7:00pm, as part of the Environmental Film Festival is Harvest of Shame, a television documentary from 1960 about the plight of migrant farm workers in the U.S.

    National Museum of Natural History
    As part of the Environmental Film Festival the museum will show a series of short films March 20 from 12:30pm to 4:00pm including Dirt! The Movie, Ladies of the Land, Soil in Good Heart and Seed Hunter On March 21 from 12:30 to 5:00pm is another series of short films including Homegrown, Ingredients, Honey for the Maya and Behold the Earth A number of the films have directors present for discussion. On March 27 from noon to 5:15pm are winning films from the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival including The Legend of Pale Male, Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life, The Forest: Realm of Shadows, Small Talk Diaries: Changelings and Green. On March 28 from 11:00am to 3:00pm are more winners from the Jackson Hole festival including Yellowstone: Winter; Swamp Troop; Frog, Chemical, Water, You and Gorilla King. At 3:30pm filmmaker Hedrik Smith will be present for discussion after Poisoned Waters: Puget Sound and Poisoned Waters: Chesapeake Bay.

    The Avalon
    On March 10 at 8:00pm is the award-winning film Normal, The Dusseldorf Ripper (Julius Sevcik, 2009) part of the "Czech Lions" series of films. As part of the 2010 Francophonie Cultural Festival is a film from Switzerland Petites vacances à Knokke-le-Zoute (Yves Matthey, 2009) on March 17 at 8:00pm.

    The Avalon takes part in the Environmental Film Festival with Mystery of the Wolf (Raimo O. Niemi, 2006) a film set in the wilderness of Finnish Lapland.

    The Corcoran
    On March 23 at 7:00pm is Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (Thom Andersen, 1975), a documentary about Muybridge (1830-1904) who used primitive photography to study human and animal movement. Thom Andersen will introduce the film and answer questions.

    Embassy of Austria
    On March 9 at 7:30pm is Café Elektric (Gustav Ucicky, 1927) with Marlene Dietrich in her first leading role. This silent film will be accompanied by the music of Austrian composer and silent-film pianist Gerhard Gruber. Reservations are required, see the website.

    Smithsonian Associates
    On March 6 at 7:00pm is a "sleepover" for kids with a film showing of Wild Ocean in 3D. See the website for details.

    On March 16 at 7:00pm is Arabia in IMAX 3D (Greg MacGillivray, 2009) as part of the Environmental Film Festival.

    On March 18 at 7:00pm is a film and discussion, Waking Sleeping Beauty (Don Hahn, 2009). This documentary covers the power struggles at Disney and how the studio regained its animation magic. The director and producer, both of whom worked at Disney, will share their insider knowledge.

    Solas Nua
    On March 22 at 7:00pm is The Tiger's Tail (John Boorman, 2006) starring Brendan Gleeson. Films are shown at Flashpoint, 916 G Street, NW.

    The Phillips Collection
    For the Environmental Film Festival is Georgia O'Keefe (Perry Miller Adato, 1977), a documentary about the painter. Perry Miller Adato will answer questions.


    The Annual VCU French Film Festival
    Now in its 18th year, the VCU Film Festival takes place March 25-28 in Richmond. See the website for the film titles, many directors will be present.

    The Environmental Film Festival
    See the story above. Films take place all around town and include archival and premieres, documentaries, shorts, animation, and features.

    The 12th Annual DC Independent Film Festival
    The festival takes place March 4-14 and includes more than 100 films from more than 25 countries. Seminars and workshops are also part of the festival. Films are shown at the Navy Memorial Museum, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. See the website for titles and schedule.

    The Williamsburg Film Festival
    The 14th Annual Williamsburg Film Festival takes place March 10-13.

    Francophonie Cultural Festival
    The Francophonie Cultural Festival includes films, concerts and seminars about topics in French-speaking countries. Films are held at various locations and include Normal, The Düsseldorf Ripper (Julius Ševcík, 2009, Czech) on March 10 at 8:00pm at the Avalon; Daratt (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, 2006, Chad) on March 11 at 7:00pm at the Letelier Theater; Petites Vacances à Knokke-le-Zoute (Yves Matthey, 2008, Switzerland) on March 17 at 8:00pm at the Avalon; VHS Kahloucha (Néjib Belkadhi, 2006, Tunisia) on March 22 at 7:00pm at the Embassy of France; Mon Cher Camarade (Pat Mire, 2009, Louisiana) on March 31 at 7:00pm at the Smithsonian Institution's S. Dillon Ripley Center Lecture Hall; and Under the Bombs (Philipe Aractingi, 2008, Lebanon) on April 7 at 7:00pm at the Smithsonian Institution's S. Dillon Ripley Center Lecture Hall.

    The Soul 4 Reel Film Festival
    The Soul Factory Theater (7702 Marlboro Pike, Forestville, Maryland) presents the first annual Soul 4 Reel Film Festival March 12-14, featuring 30 independent short films. See the website for details.

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