Friday, January 4, 2013

The little movie, 'This Is Not A Film' makes Oscar's big list

Filmmaker Jafar Panahi
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 85th Academy Awards. 

A documentary film is defined as a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to "document" reality.

More real than anyone would care to imagine is Jafar Panahi's, This Is Not A Film, one of the 15 documentary motion pictures to make the Oscar's long list.

While under house arrest, the veteran filmmaker and his comrade, a cameraman who risks punishment himself, turn a depressing-as-hell situation into a powerful message of hope, strength and friendship using the only means at hand (one camera and a cellular phone). Shot over the course of a day in Panahi's Tehran apartment, the two prove victorious in creating the documentary about not being able to make a documentary, and smuggling it out of the country on a flash drive baked in cake. 

Watching the veteran filmmaker draw from his lifelong experience, heart, soul, to create a homemade documentary, which in itself shows the genius of creativity at work against an oppressing regime, was an experience everyone should enjoy.

As with many journalists covering the Toronto International Film Festival, I stumbled across this film by accident -- READ FULL STORY

Two Detroit documentaries make Oscar's long list
A scene from Detropia (photo: Loki Films)

Also in the 2012 Oscar Race listed below in alphabetical order by title with their production companies, are:  
* Detropia, Loki Films 
* Searching for Sugar Man, Red Box Films and Passion Pictures in association with Canfield Pictures
* Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Never Sorry LLC

* Bully, The Bully Project LLC

* Chasing Ice, Exposure

* Ethel, Moxie Firecracker Films

* 5 Broken Cameras, Guy DVD Films and Burnat Films Palestine

* The Gatekeepers, Les Films du Poisson, Dror Moreh Productions

* The House I Live In, Charlotte Street Films

* How to Survive a Plague, How to Survive a Plague

* The Imposter, Imposter Pictures

* The Invisible War, Chain Camera Pictures

* Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Jigsaw Productions in association with Wilder Film Projects and Below the Radar Films

* The Waiting Room, Open'hood

Members of the academy's documentary branch will narrow the list to five nominees. Nominations come out Jan. 10, with the Oscar show following on Feb. 24.

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