It’s time once again to head to South by Southwest. The film festival portion of SXSW 2014 kicked off Friday in Austin, Texas, with over 130 features set to be screened at this year’s gathering, which draws an eclectic mix of artists to the Lone Star State every March.
Mayor Rob Ford says his jaunt down to Los Angeles was to promote the city’s film industry, but people in the movie business say appearing on late-night TV talk shows does little to bring the Hollywood dollars north. Greg Nott, Manager of Wallace Film Studios, says Ford has become a joke in the film business. “Rob Ford bringing major motion pictures to Toronto? I just don’t see it,” he said. “I don’t think he would help us at all.”
The 86th Academy Awards have been handed out, and they were basically as we expected: “Gravity” won the most awards with a whopping 7 (director, editing, cinematography, visual effects, original score, sound mixing and sound editing), but not the biggest prize. That went to Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave,” which won best picture along with best supporting actress (Lupita Nyong’o) and best adapted screenplay (John Ridley).
The winter lull for the city’s ever-expanding roster of film festivals may finally be giving way to the traditional spring surplus. Two sure signs are the events that both take place at TIFF Bell Lightbox this week.
“It’s time to take our place in the sun,” says Helga Stephenson, CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.
She is referring to a flashy cocktails-plus-red-carpet salute to Canadian talent set for the rooftop of L’Ermitage, a high-end Beverly Hills hotel, on Thursday, just 72 hours before the Oscars are handed out at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. About 300 guests are expected to attend.