MIFF Director Jaie Laplante Scopes Flicks at Toronto International Film Festival

Categories: Film Fiend
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Film Fiend features dispatches from Miami International Film Festival Director, Jaie Laplante, as he scopes flicks on the indie film festival circuit.

The 36th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Queen Bee film festival of the Americas, kicked off yesterday with 300+ films vying for attention from press, industry and public alike. The power and breadth of TIFF has become, of course, legendary. Four out of the past five years, Best Picture Oscar winners have been launched here.More »

MIFF Director Jaie Laplante on Palme d'Or Contenders at Cannes

Categories: Film Fiend
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Film Fiend features dispatches from Miami International Film Festival Director Jaie Laplante as he scopes flicks on the indie film festival circuit.

As another Cannes Film Festival winds down, all the chic cineastes here on the Croisette are pretending not to care about the Grand Jury prizes, awarded in a glitzy ceremony before the festival's closing-night film, Christophe Honore's The Beloved. But apathy, says the Film Fiend, is the refuge of the powerless -- and certainly one understands the frustration of trying to predict the jury's selection process, which is often fraught with politics and compromises.

It's very often the case that the Palme d'Or winner, at least, will reflect the personality of the jury's president, which this year is Robert De Niro. Given his artistic personality and icon-of-American-cinema status, does that give the edge to Terrence Malick's symphony of Americana, The Tree of Life?  More »

MIFF Director on Bonsai, Beauty, and Bob Marley Docx at Cannes

Categories: Film Fiend
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Film Fiend features dispatches from Miami International Film Festival Director, Jaie Laplante, as he scopes flicks on the indie film festival circuit.

A "melancholy" mood has set over the Cannes Film Festival today: in a few hours, Film Fiend and 2,299 of his closest personal friends will settle into the Lumiere Theater for the eagerly awaited premiere of Lars von Trier's epic new film, Melancholia. Film Fiend has never seen people more excited, dazzled, and happy to be clutching tickets to a movie with such a sad title.  

The hype of the film, with an all-star cast that includes Kristen Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skaksgard and Udo Kier, has only become more stratospheric due to the early-morning advance reviews by trade publications Variety ("mind-blowing") and Indiewire (who graded the film "A", the only film of the Festival to earn this score thus far).More »

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Porfirio and Walk Away Renee Shine at Cannes Film Festival 2011

Categories: Film Fiend
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Film Fiend features dispatches from Miami International Film Festival Director, Jaie Laplante, as he scopes flicks on the indie film festival circuit.

Although Film Fiend is over his jet lag, a peculiar feeling of fatigue at the Cannes Film Festival persists. Too many parties? It can't be, I get even less sleep at the Toronto International Film Festival every year, and have enough stamina to see 50+ feature films in 10 days.

Finally it occurs to me: Cannes may be 28 years older than TIFF, but there's one distinct advantage North America's premiere film event has over Croisette glamor: coffee in the cinemas. You can't bring in or even buy coffee once you are inside Cannes venues, and seeing this many films in this short of a time requires a virtual I.V. drip of caffeineMore »

Miami International Film Festival Director, Jaie Laplante, Checks in From Cannes

Categories: Film Fiend
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Film Fiend is a new series featuring dispatches from Miami International Film Festival Director, Jaie Laplante, as he scopes flicks on the indie film festival circuit.

Cannes is hot this year. The venerable Grand Dame of film festivals worldwide is buzzing with an upswing of stars and a recently re-energized industry contingent (the feeling is that some actual, '90s-style bidding wars are bubbling under the surface), but more than that, it is really HOT. Typical Film Fiend, I brought all the wrong clothes.  I use the internet for nearly every convenience in life, but I can't ever remember to check weather-at-destination before I board a plane.

The lineups in the Festival's 2011 official selections are exciting, but the line-ups at the 2011 venues are much less so. You can sense the relief of the Festival organizers as they proudly proclaim a 10% increase in attendance from 2010's nerve-wracking spaciousness, and you can sure feel that 10% -- it takes more time to get through every door, every transaction.More »
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