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74th Cannes Closing Film Announced
The organisers of the 74th Cannes International Film Festival have said that OSS 117, Alerte rouge en Afrique noire (From Africa With Love), directed by Nicolas Bedos, will be shown at the edition’s final screening on July 17 in the Grand Théâtre Lumière. According to the authoritative filmfestival.com, by renaming the closing film as the ‘Final Screening’, the Festival de Cannes aims to rekindle the tradition of the last screening, drawing inspiration from huge evening galas gone by like the screening of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (in the old Palais in 1982) or Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise (in the new Palais in 1991). The Festival de Cannes will open on Tuesday, July 6 with Leos Carax’s film, Annette. The awards will be announced on Saturday, July 17 by the jury, which will be presided over by the American filmmaker, Spike Lee. Other members of the jury include Director Mati Diop (France, Senegal), Singer Mylene Farmer (Canada, France) and Maggie Gylenhaal, an actress, producer, screenwriter, and director from Etats-Unis. The only African on the list Mati Diop shuttles between Paris and Dakar. Her first feature Atlantics (2019) was selected in the official competition at the Festival de Cannes, where it was awarded the Grand Prix. The film was later shortlisted as one of the 10 best international films at the Oscars. She has also directed several short films and medium-length films including Atlantics (2009), Snow Canon (2011), Big in Vietnam (2012), A Thousand Suns (2013), and In My Room (2020), which were also nominated and awarded in many international festivals

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TIFF 2021 Opens September 9
THE organisers of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) have announced that they are ready to receive movie audiences from all over the world from September 9, 2021. The festival will last 10 days, and as the organisers have assured, it will be exceptional with unparalleled events featuring acclaimed industry guests and TIFF’s industry conference. Recognised as the world’s largest public film festival, TIFF, according to the statement from the festival secretariat, is poised to bring the theatrical experience back to life and continue its reputation as both a leader in amplifying under-represented cinematic voices and a bellwether for programming award-winning films from around the globe. In-person screenings at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Roy Thomson Hall, the Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre, and Festival Village at the iconic Ontario Place punctuate this year’s festival. Already, TIFF has announced 12 films as a sampling of what is to come in the Festival’s Official Selection for 2021. The films include Le Bal des Folle, directed by Mélanie Laurent (France) from Amazon Studios, Benediction, directed by Terence Davies (United Kingdom) from Bankside Films and Belfast, from director Kenneth Branagh (United Kingdom) from Focus Features. However, the Festival’s Gala and Special Presentations presented by Visa will be announced on July 20 while films selected for TIFF’s programmes — Contemporary World Cinema presented by Sun Life, Discovery, TIFF Docs presented by A&E Indie Films, Midnight Madness, Primetime, and Wavelengths — will be announced July 28. TIFF Short Cuts and the Platform Programme will be announced on August 11. 

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Berlinale Summer Special: A Fantastic New
Beginning for Cinema

THE 71st Berlin International Film Festival was brought to a successful close on June 20. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 Berlinale was split up into two events: The first stage of the festival held online from March 1 to 5 and was aimed primarily at film industry professionals and the press. The Berlinale Summer Special, which received support from the Berlin Senate, as a pilot project with mandatory testing, gave Berlin audiences the chance to finally see the Berlinale films on the big screen. “We are very pleased that we held onto our plan for a summer event. After months of cultural standstill, the Berlinale Summer Special was truly a grand event and a total success. The demand was phenomenal and the festival atmosphere was consistently enthusiastic and inspiring. We thank the audiences and the filmmakers for their active participation and remarkable reception. A special thanks also go out to all participating Berlin cinemas, whose collaboration helped us kick off a wonderful Berlin summer of cinema with the Summer Special. And last but not least, we thank Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters for the additional funding through Neustart Kultur, which made the two-stage Berlinale concept possible in the first place,” comment the Berlinale directors, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian. One hundred and twenty-six films (126) were shown in 193 screenings at 16 venues all over Berlin during this year’s programme. 60,410 tickets were sold, bringing the total usage to 92.16 percent. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, numerous film teams – more than 330 guests – travelled to Berlin to present their films and engage in dialogue with the audience. The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 10 to 20, 2022.

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