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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

F3PR: Two world premieres, Bruised and Swan Song, added to AFI FEST 2021 lineup

Film Flam Flummox



Feature Directorial Debuts from
Academy Award® Winners Halle Berry and Benjamin Cleary
to Screen at the TCL Chinese Theatre

Los Angeles, CA, September 28, 2021 — Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced that AFI FEST 2021 will include the World Premieres of Academy Award® winner Halle Berry’s directorial debut Bruised from Netflix and Academy Award® winner Benjamin Cleary’s feature directorial debut Swan Song from Apple Original Films. Both World Premieres will screen in-person at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre on Saturday, November 13 and Friday, November 12, respectively.

Bruised stars Berry as a washed-up MMA fighter who struggles for redemption as both an athlete and a mother. Swan Song stars two-time Oscar® winner Mahershala Ali as a man diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor, portrayed by eight-time Oscar® nominee Glenn Close, to shield his family from grief. The film also stars Oscar® nominee Naomie Harris, BAFTA Award nominee Awkwafina and Adam Beach.

“Now more than ever it is important to lift up and shine a light on new voices and new stories that inspire empathy,” said Sarah Harris, Director of Programming at AFI Festivals. “Halle Berry and Benjamin Cleary are vital artists whose visions we are proud to celebrate at AFI FEST.”

The films join the previously announced titles which include Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick… BOOM! and Reinaldo Marcus Green’s King Richard starring Will Smith. AFI FEST 2021 takes place from November 10–14 in Los Angeles. Tickets and passes will be available soon on

About the Films

Jackie Justice (Halle Berry) is a mixed martial arts fighter who leaves the sport in disgrace. Down on her luck and simmering with rage and regret years after her fight, she’s coaxed into a brutal underground fight by her manager and boyfriend Desi (Adan Canto) and grabs the attention of a fight league promoter (Shamier Anderson) who promises Jackie a life back in the octagon. But the road to redemption becomes unexpectedly personal when Manny (Danny Boyd, Jr.), the son she gave up as an infant, shows up at her doorstep.

The film marks the directorial debut of Academy Award® winner Halle Berry and also stars Adriane Lenox, Sheila Atim, Valentina Shevchenko and Stephen McKinley Henderson in a triumphant story of a fighter who reclaims her power, in and out of the ring, when everyone has counted her out. The film is helmed by Berry from an original screenplay written by Michelle Rosenfarb, and produced by Thunder Road Pictures, Entertainment 360 and Romulus Entertainment. Bruised will air on Netflix on November 24.

Swan Song is set in the near future and told through the eyes of Cameron (two-time Academy Award® winner Mahershala Ali), a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor (eight-time Academy Award® nominee Glenn Close) to shield his family from grief. As Cam grapples with whether or not to alter his family’s fate, he learns more about life and love than he ever imagined. Academy Award® nominee Naomie Harris, BAFTA winner Awkwafina and Adam Beach also star in the ensemble cast. The film is helmed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Benjamin Cleary (Stutterer), from an original screenplay written by Cleary and produced by Anonymous Content and Concordia Studio. Producers are Adam Shulman (Defending Jacob) and Jacob Perlin (The Amazing Johnathan Documentary) on behalf of Anonymous Content; Jonathan King (Stillwater, Dark Waters) on behalf of Concordia Studio; Rebecca Bourke (Wave); Mahershala Ali and Mimi Valdés (Hidden Figures) through Know Wonder. Swan Song will be released in select theaters and premiere globally on Apple TV+ on December 17.

As previously announced

AFI FEST 2021 takes place from November 10 – 14, 2021 in Los Angeles. The World Premiere of Netflix’s tick, tick… BOOM! directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda will open the festival, and Warner Bros.’ King Richard directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green will close the festival.

This year’s hybrid festival will feature both in-person screenings and events, as well as virtual screenings, showcasing transformative stories from groundbreaking artists.

With health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated.

Top Sponsors for AFI FEST 2021 include AT&T, Apple Original Films, National Geographic Documentary Films and Dell.

Tickets and passes to AFI FEST 2021 will be available soon on AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the festival. To become an AFI member, visit

About the American Film Institute (AFI)

The American Film Institute (AFI) is a nonprofit organization with a mandate to champion the moving image as an art form. Established in 1967, AFI launched the first comprehensive history of American film and sparked the movement for film preservation in the United States. In 1969, AFI opened the doors of the AFI Conservatory, a graduate-level program to train narrative filmmakers. AFI’s enduring traditions include the AFI Life Achievement Award, which honors the masters for work that has stood the test of time; AFI AWARDS, which celebrates the creative ensembles of the most outstanding screen stories of the year; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive that preserve film history for future generations. AFI exhibition programs include AFI FEST, AFI DOCS and year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Maryland. Other pioneering programs include workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community, including the AFI Directing Workshop for Women and the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women. AFI’s newest program is AFI Movie Club, a daily global engagement for those who love the movies. Read about all of these programs and more at and follow us on social media at,, and


Now in its 35th year, AFI FEST is a world-class event, showcasing the best films from across the globe. With an innovative slate of programming, the five-day festival historically presents screenings, panels and conversations, featuring both master filmmakers and new cinematic voices. This year’s edition takes place in-person and online November 10-14, 2021. The festival includes Special Presentations of high-profile films with Q&As featuring the films’ cast and crew and a robust lineup of fiction and nonfiction features and shorts presented in established AFI FEST sections. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at Connect with AFI FEST at,, and

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Friday, September 24, 2021

F3Stage Review: The fiery passions & voices of LA Opera's Il Trovatore triumph over a muted design

Film Flam Flummox

Il Trovatore

Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore is a tale of fiery, often conflicting, passions--that of an intense romance; that of an unrequited love; that for revenge--so it makes sense that actual flames notably figure in the physical design of LA Opera's big return to the live stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. But what really ignites the production is the figurative fireworks set off by voices and performances by the leads, who ultimately shine far brighter than the imposing physical production.

Louis Désiré's design for director Francisco Negín's production is hard to ignore from the initial curtain raise, but not for the extravagant opulence one typically associates with opera; rather, quite the opposite. Ironically, such a tale of emotions run amok--the love and devotion between the troubadour of the title, Manrico (Limmie Pulliam in performances through October 3; Gregory Kunde from October 6 through 10) and Leonora (Guanqun Yu); the Count DiLuna's (Vladimir Stoyanov)'s pathological pining for Leonora; Manrico's mother Azucena's (Raehann Bryce-Davis) quest to avenge her mother's death--plays out in a stark, stone cold grey box with a heavily raked floor. Perhaps reflecting the heavy burdens all the principals carry, there's even a vertical pillar upstage that's occasionally pushed by the leads across the stage length while in song. Undoubtedly, the stark set makes for some occasionally striking stage pictures when working in tandem with other elements (case in point, pictured below, the cross that forms during a scene taking place in a convent) and Bruno Poet's lighting design, and the overall dearth of color makes the pyrotechnic elements all the more punctuating, especially the memorable finale. But with Désiré's costumes similarly muted for the leads and the chorus members, the latter not only additionally done up in anonymous white face makeup, but also literally hiding in the walls much of the time, visually the show becomes a bit monotonous.

Thankfully, though, Verdi's music--and, thus, the emotion of the piece--under the ever-reliable baton of James Conlon is thrilling. Most of the lead quartet is nothing short of exquisite. Yu's Leonora has a luminous soprano to match her graceful stage presence, and her chemistry with the commanding and charismatic Pulliam makes the central romance consistently resonate. Perhaps the real star here is Bryce-Davis, who is simultaneously, appropriately menacing and heartbreaking as Azucena; her ever-simming anger, and the sadness behind it, is mesmerizing as it ultimately consumes all in her path. Stoyanov does not make quite the lasting impression in the less showy role of Count DiLuna, but he is a more than adequate foil to his co-stars. And despites its everlasting ubiquity across all media, the most famous passage of the opera, the "Anvil Chorus," retains its melodic, infectious punch in a live music hall.

And that, right there, underscores how valuable it is to have LA Opera back in season, and even with this Il Trovatore making some unconventional, maybe even questionable, choices, what does work exemplifies how nothing quite matches the creativity and excitement of the live performing arts.

Limmie Pulliam as Manrico, Guanqun Yu as Leonora,
Vladimir Stoyanov as Count di Luna, Morris Robinson as Ferrando
(photo by Cory Weaver)

LA Opera's production of Il Trovatore will have four more performances, on Saturday, September 25; Sunday, October 3; Wednesday, October 6; and Sunday, October 10, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles. The October 3 and 6 performances will also be available for livestream at the LA Opera On Now digital platform.

(Special thanks to LA Opera)

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The Movie Report #1138 - September 24, 2021

The Movie Report

#1138 - September 24, 2021

  • Venus as a Boy ***

The Movie Report wants to attend and cover all your film events and press junkets! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

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Thursday, September 23, 2021

F3PR: The Pasadena Playhouse announces Head Over Heels cast

Film Flam Flummox



Tickets Now on Sale

Tuesday, November 9 to Sunday, December 12
Opening Weekend: November 13 & 14, 2021

PASADENA, CA (September 23, 2021) – Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theater of California, announces initial casting – Alaska 5000 (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black), Yurel Echezarreta (Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story), Tiffany Mann (Be More Chill), George Salazar (Little Shop of Horrors), Emily Skeggs (Fun Home), and Shanice Williams (“Dorothy” in NBC’s The Wiz Live!) – for Head Over Heels, with music of The Go-Go’s, which kicks off the Playhouse’s 2021-2022 season. The historic Pasadena Playhouse will be fully transformed for the production creating an experience with both traditional reserved theater seats and a general admission dance floor. Performances are scheduled from November 9 through December 12; the press opening weekend is November 13 and 14. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $30, at

Cast Overview:
  • Alaska 5000 (Queen Gynecia) is the winner of the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars and runner-up on the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race.
  • Lea DeLaria (King Basilius) has had a multi-faceted career as a comedian, actress, and jazz musician, spanning decades, including her three-time SAG Award-winning role as “Carrie ‘Big Boo’ Black” in Orange is the New Black.
  • Yurel Echezarreta (The Player) was in the Broadway production of Head Over Heels, as well as Moulin Rouge!, Aladdin, Matilda, and La Cage aux Folles, and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.
  • Tiffany Mann (Pamela) appeared on Broadway in Be More Chill and is a Lucille Lortel Award winner for Jerry Springer the Opera.
  • George Salazar (Musidorus) was last seen as “Seymour Krelborn” at Pasadena Playhouse in Little Shop of Horrors and starred as “Michael” in the Broadway production of Be More Chill (Lucille Lortel winner and Drama Desk Nominee for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical).
  • Emily Skeggs (Mopsa) was nominated for both a Tony and Grammy Award for her work in the Broadway award-winning production of Fun Home.
  • Shanice Williams (Philoclea) is best known for her portrayal of “Dorothy” on NBC’s The Wiz Live!

The remaining role of “The Oracle” will round out the cast of eight and will be announced at a later date.

In addition, Pasadena Playhouse announces the full creative team. The production is being directed, choreographed, and conceived by Jenny Koons and Sam Pinkleton and features music direction by Kris Kukul, scenic design by David Meyer; costume design by Hahnji Jang; lighting design by Stacey Derosier; sound design by Danny Erdberg and Ursula Kwong Brown; casting by Ryan Tymensky of The Telsey Office, and stage management by Sara Sahin. Head Over Heels, with songs by The Go-Go’s, is based on The Arcadia by Sir Philip Sidney, conceived by and features an original book by Jeff Whitty, and adapted by James Magruder.

About the Show and Design Concept

Head Over Heels is a musical comedy, set to the music of the iconic LA-based female rock band The Go-Go’s, that follows a royal family in search of a purpose, lovers in search of each other, and a whole kingdom in search of a beat. Featuring the hit songs "Our Lips Are Sealed," "Vacation," Belinda Carlisle’s "Heaven is a Place on Earth," and "Mad About You," among others, the audience will be whisked away through a world of exuberance and wit from the first notes of "We Got the Beat" to the final celebratory curtain call.

Head Over Heels has been reimagined for the Playhouse by Director/Choreographer Jenny Koons and Director/Choreographer Sam Pinkleton in an all new experiential production. Originally produced for a traditional proscenium stage on Broadway in 2018, the Playhouse’s 90-minute, intermission-free production puts the audience in the middle of a non-stop, dance-filled joyride through magic, merriment, and mischief. With the actors performing all over the converted theater, every seat, or spot on the dance floor, will have a unique vantage point and an experience to remember. Patrons will be required to be fully vaccinated and wear masks when entering the theater.

Whether you prefer to watch this play as a traditional theatrical experience or to be in the middle of all the action, the Playhouse will ensure that you will have a good time. Danny Feldman, Pasadena Playhouse Producing Artistic Director said, “We return to the stage with a party for all. There’s been nothing like it in our 100+ year history. Our historic theater will be turned on its head as the audience joins in on the exuberant celebration. This is a live musical experience created just for this moment, this theater, and this community."

Tickets for Head Over Heels start at $30 and are available at, by phone at 626-356-7529, and at the Box Office at 39 S. El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101.

COVID-19 and Patron Safety Guidelines

Pasadena Playhouse’s HVAC system is in the process of a complete overhaul and modernization. The new air filtration and ventilation system along with other strict COVID-19 safety protocols will ensure a safe return to the theater for Head Over Heels. Pasadena Playhouse will follow all safety protocols put forth by Los Angeles County and the City of Pasadena. At this time, the following safety plan will be in place upon our return to stage:

  • All patrons will be required to wear a mask fully covering their nose and mouth at all times while in the theater.
  • Ticket holders will be required to be fully vaccinated and will need to provide a photo ID and proof of vaccination (physical vaccination card, a picture of vaccination card, or a digital vaccination record). Guests under 12 will not be admitted.
  • Guests who need a reasonable accommodation for medical reasons or due to a sincerely held religious belief must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to entering the theater.

Pasadena Playhouse will continue to address these guidelines as we approach performances. The most up-to-date requirements can be found at

About the Pasadena Playhouse

The Pasadena Playhouse is a place where people have gathered for 100 years to experience bold and important theater. It is one of the most prolific theaters in American history with a legacy of profound theatrical impact and courageous new work. In 1937, the Playhouse was officially recognized as the State Theater of California for its contribution and commitment to the dramatic arts. Today it continues that tradition of excellence under the helm of Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman. Dedicated to enriching lives through theater, community programs, and learning initiatives, Pasadena Playhouse is a living force in the community.

The Movie Report wants to attend and cover all your live stage productions! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

F3PR: Animation Is Film Festival announces 2021 slate

Film Flam Flummox



Netflix's The Summit of the Gods
Kicks Off Opening Night,
Followed by GKIDS' Belle as Centerpiece,
with Neon's Flee Closing the Festival

4th edition of AIF Will Be In-Person October 22-24
and Returns to the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood

LOS ANGELES (September 22, 2021) – ANIMATION IS FILM (AIF) announced today the competition line-up and other special events for its fourth edition, which takes place in-person October 22-24 and returns to its home at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. The festival kicks off Opening Night on Friday, October 22 with the North American premiere of the highly anticipated Netflix feature, The Summit of the Gods, followed by an in-person Q&A with award-winning director Patrick Imbert (The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales). On Saturday, October 23, the Centerpiece film features the West Coast Premiere of GKIDS’ Belle, directed by Oscar® nominee Mamoru Hosoda (Mirai) who will also do an in-person Q & A following the premiere. The West Coast Premiere of NEON’s award-winning Flee, directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, will close the festival Sunday, October 24. Tickets for ANIMATION IS FILM are now on sale at

"This year’s Animation is Film lineup represents the very best feature animation from around the world, bringing to Hollywood world premieres as well as critically acclaimed, prize-winning titles from the Cannes, Annecy, Sundance, Telluride and Toronto festivals. After last year’s hiatus due to COVID, the Los Angeles animation and film communities are clamoring to gather together to see these films on the big screen, and we at AIF are enormously proud to present them," says Matt Kaszanek, Director of AIF.

AIF partnered up with multiple industry organizations to present this year’s festival: ASIFA-Hollywood, Cartoon Network, Crunchyroll, Dreamworks, ELMA, Fathom Events, Funimation, Illumination, Laika, Netflix, Paramount Animation, Pixar, Shout! Factory, Sony Pictures Animation, Unifrance, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Warner Animation Group (WAG), and Warner Bros. Animation. The festival, founded by GKIDS and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, presents a selection of new animated feature films from Asia, Europe, South America and North America, with both juried and audience prizes. This year, AIF proudly presents 12 features in competition, 20 programs overall with shorts, and Behind-the-Scenes presentations of Disney’s upcoming Encanto presented by its director in person.

AIF will also host the North American premiere of Funimation’s My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission, the third feature film in the global hit anime franchise, offering a sneak peek to fans ahead of its U.S. theatrical release on October 29, 2021. The Festival is also proud to present Studio on the Big Screen, a slate of studio titles that were not able to screen in a theatrical setting upon release and will be offered to cinema-going public for the first time in Los Angeles: Pixar’s Luca, presented in-person by director Enrico Casarosa and producer Andrea Warren; and Sony Pictures and Netflix’s The Mitchells vs the Machines, presented in-person by producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and co-director Jeff Rowe; and Vivo, presented in person by directors Kirk DeMicco and Brandon Jeffords.

Other special sections include the popular Best of Annecy: Female Directors shorts block, presented in partnership with Annecy and Women In Animation. In addition to on-screen programming, AIF is proud to include, for the first time, a special in-lobby exhibit. Award-winning animation studio Laika will display a variety of puppets and sets in the lobby of the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, available to all audiences, for the duration of the Animation is Film weekend.

Said Marcel Jean, Artistic Director, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, “Animation is back in Los Angeles and that's excellent news! As one of the festival’s co-founders, we are thrilled to support the fourth edition of Animation is Film. This year’s lineup is exceptional by its quality and its diversity: more than ever, animation is film!”



Opening Night – Netflix’s The Summit of the Gods (France / dir. Patrick Imbert, North American premiere)

Animation is Film alumnus, Patrick Imbert (AIF '17, The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales) returns with the Opening Night selection The Summit of the Gods (Le Sommet des Dieux) based on the manga by Jirô Taniguchi and Baku Yumemakura. Seventy years after George Mallory and Andrew Irvine climbed to the top of Mt. Everest, an old Kodak camera, allegedly belonging to Mallory, winds up in the hands of an outcast climber believed missing for years. Obsessed with proving its authenticity, a Japanese reporter enters a world of obsessive mountaineers hungry for impossible conquests on a journey that leads him, step by step, toward the summit of the gods.

* Director Patrick Imbert will appear in person

Centerpiece -- Belle (Japan / dir. Mamoru Hosoda, West Coast premiere)

Visionary director Mamoru Hosoda (AIF '18, Mirai) returns to Animation is Film with Belle, a GKIDS release. Suzu is a 17-year-old high school student living in a rural village with her father. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. One day, she enters “U,” a virtual world of 5 billion members on the Internet. There, she is not Suzu anymore but Belle, a world-famous singer. She soon meets with a mysterious creature. Together, they embark on a journey of adventures, challenges and love, in their quest to become who they truly are.

* Director/Producer Mamoru Hosoda will appear in-person.

Closing Night -- Flee (Denmark / dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen, West Coast premiere)

Flee tells the story of Amin Nawabi as he grapples with a painful secret, he has kept hidden for 20 years, one that threatens to derail the life he has built for himself and his soon to be husband. Recounted mostly through animation to director Jonas Poher Rasmussen, he tells for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan. A NEON release.

The Crossing (France / dir. Florence Miailhe, North American premiere)

A small village looted in darkness; a family forced to flee. The two oldest children, Kyona and Adriel are quickly separated from their parents facing the road of exile alone. They embark on a heroic journey which takes them from childhood to adolescence in search of shelter, peace, and the hope of finding refuge and their family. These courageous siblings survive incredible challengers, before reaching a new world, free at last.

The Deer King (Japan / dir. Masashi Ando & Masayuki Miyaji, West Coast premiere)

The Deer King, a GKIDS release, is a sweeping fantasy epic, and the directorial debut of acclaimed animator Masashi Ando, whose work on such landmark films as Spirited Away, Paprika, and Your Name. helped shape the world of modern Japanese animation.

Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (Japan / dir. Ayumu Watanabe, U.S. premiere)

Ayumu Watanabe (AIF '19, Children of the Sea) returns to Animation is Film. The story revolves around a mother named Nikuko and her daughter, Kikuko. Both live on the same boat due to different circumstances. Daily life under this umbrella will lead them to live different types of problems and experiences that will help them grow as a family.

I Am What I Am (China / dir. Haipeng Sun, North American premiere)

Young Juan is awestruck by the artistry of a traditional Chinese Lion Dance. Inspired to become an artist himself, he joins forces with a strange group of friends, and even stranger teacher (a once promising star turned fishmonger), to form the most unlikely lion dance troupe. Together, the group works to achieve the impossible.

Josep (France, Spain, Belgium / dir. Aurel, Los Angeles premiere)

February 1939. Spanish republicans are fleeing Franco’s dictatorship to France. The French government-built concentration camps, confining the refugees, where they barely have access to hygiene, water and food. In one of these camps, separated by barbed wire, two men will become friends. One is a guard, the other is Josep Bartoli (Barcelona 1910 – NYC 1995), an illustrator who fights against Franco’s regime.

Nahuel and the Magic Book (Chile, Brazil / dir. German Acuña, Los Angeles premiere)

Nahuel is a curious boy who has a deep fear of the sea. One day, he come across a mysterious book that seems to be the solution to his trouble. What he doesn't know is the book is really magical, and Kalku, an ambitious warlock is after it.

Pompo the Cinephile (Japan / dir. Takayuki Hirao, U.S. premiere)

Pompo is a talented, gutsy, and unapologetic movie producer. She works on her filmmaking day and night in the movie capital Nyallywood. Gene is tasked with directing the next script for his boss, will he succeed his first time as a director and create a “masterpiece”? He sets out to find out, with a script built around the legendary aging actor Martin Braddock (think Brando) and a young actress seeking her first big break. Feature is a GKIDS release.

Poupelle of Chimney Town - English dub (Japan / dir. Yusuke Hirota, World premiere)

It is the story of young Lubicchi living among the thick smoke from the chimneys of his isolated town, yearning to see the “stars” — to know the truth — his father always told him about. One Halloween night he meets Poupelle, a man made of garbage, and together they look to the sky as their adventure begins. This feature is an Eleven Arts release.

* Virtual Q+A with director Yusuke Hirota and screenwriter Akihiro Nishino

Where Is Anne Frank (France, Israel, Belgium, Netherlands / dir. Ari Folman, U.S. premiere)

Oscar® nominated director, Ari Folman’s latest follows the journey of Kitty, the imaginary friend to whom Anne Frank dedicated her diary. A fiery teenager, Kitty wakes up in the near future in Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam and embarks on a journey to find Anne, who she believes is still alive, in today's Europe. While the young girl is shocked by the modern world, she also comes across Anne's legacy.


Encanto (dirs. Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Charise Castro Smith)

Be among the first to experience exclusive, never-before-seen footage from Walt Disney Animation’s latest. As your guides, the filmmakers behind this adventure take you on a wondrous journey through the mountains of Colombia, to a magical place called Encanto. Featuring behind-the-scenes insight and footage from the upcoming film, this exclusive sneak peek will cast its spell on audiences of all ages.


My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission (dir. Kenji Nagasaki, U.S. Premiere)

U.A. High School students Izuku Midoriya, Shoto Todoroki, and Katsuki Bakugo face the greatest crisis in My Hero Academia history, with only two hours to save the world! During their internship with the number one Pro Hero Endeavor Agency, Deku and his new friend Rody find themselves wanted nationwide for a crime they didn’t commit. Can Deku and his friends stop Humarise’s global plans of eliminating all Quirks?

* Special guests TBD


Returning for its third straight year, Animation is Film is proud to present this essential showcase featuring some of the best animated shorts directed by women in 2021. Programmed in partnership with Annecy and Women In Animation, this special program features a diverse array of beautiful, thought-provoking short films from around the world.


Luca (dir. Enrico Casarosa)

Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s original feature film Luca is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca (voice of Jacob Tremblay) shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, Alberto (voice of Jack Dylan Grazer), but all the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water’s surface.

*Director Enrico Casarosa and producer Andrea Warren in-person

Raya and the Last Dragon (dir. Carlos Lopez Estrada, Don Hall)

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Raya and the Last Dragon travels to the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons lived together in harmony long ago. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, that same evil has returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than a dragon to save the world—it’s going to take trust and teamwork as well.

The Mitchells vs the Machines (dirs. Mike Rianda, Jeff Rowe)

When Katie Mitchell (voiced by Abbi Jacobson), a creative outsider, is accepted into the film school of her dreams, her plans to meet “her people” at college are upended when her nature-loving dad Rick (voiced by Danny McBride) determines the whole family should drive Katie to school together and bond as a family one last time. Katie and Rick are joined by the rest of the family, including Katie’s wildly positive mom Linda (voiced by Maya Rudolph), her quirky little brother Aaron (voiced by Mike Rianda), and the family’s delightfully chubby pug Monchi for the ultimate family road trip. Suddenly, the Mitchells’ plans are interrupted by a tech uprising: all around the world, the electronic devices people love – from phones, to appliances, to an innovative new line of personal robots – decide it’s time to take over. With the help of two friendly malfunctioning robots, the Mitchells will have to get past their problems and work together to save each other and the world!

*Producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, co-director Jeff Rowe, and Lindsey Olivares (production design/lead character design) will appear in-person

Vivo (dir. Kirk DeMicco)

Vivo follows a one-of-a-kind kinkajou (aka a rainforest “honey bear,” voiced by Lin-Manuel Miranda), who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively square with his beloved owner Andrés (Buena Vista Social Club’s Juan de Marcos). Though they may not speak the same language, Vivo and Andrés are the perfect duo through their common love of music. But when tragedy strikes shortly after Andrés receives a letter from the famous Marta Sandoval (three-time Grammy-winning Latin pop legend Gloria Estefan), inviting her old partner to her farewell concert with the hope of reconnecting, it’s up to Vivo to deliver a message that Andrés never could: A love letter to Marta, written long ago, in the form of a song. Yet in order to get to Marta, who lives a world apart, Vivo will need the help of Gabi (newcomer Ynairaly Simo) – an energetic tween who bounces to the beat of her own offbeat drum to fulfill his owner’s wishes.

*Directors Kirk DeMicco & Brandon Jeffords, editor Erika Dapkewicz, Wendell Dalit (art director), and Carlos Romero (story artist) will appear in-person


In order to provide a safe environment for our filmmakers, visitors and attendees, Animation is Film requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry to all festival events. Vaccine and test documentation will be verified on-site by CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) to maximize a safe and healthy festival for all. For more information, please visit


ANIMATION IS FILM fills a gap in the U.S. market with an established world-class animation festival on par with the major events in Europe and Asia, and based in the world capital of animated filmmaking—Los Angeles. Embracing the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form akin to live action, the festival is an international advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their work to the fullest range of the medium’s artistic expression. AIF is produced by GKIDS in partnership with Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Major industry and media sponsors for 2021 include: ASIFA-Hollywood, Cartoon Network, Crunchyroll, Dreamworks, ELMA, Fathom Events, Illumination, Laika, Netflix, Paramount Animation, Pixar, Shout! Factory, Sony Pictures Animation, Unifrance, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Warner Animation Group (WAG), Warner Bros. Animation.

The Movie Report wants to attend all your film festivals and special events! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

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Monday, September 20, 2021

F3PR: HBO Sports and Uninterrupted present an all-new edition of The Shop: Uninterrupted, debuting September 24

Film Flam Flummox



Featuring Naomi Osaka, Wanda Sykes,
Kevin Love, Jadakiss, and Paul Rivera

The Sports Emmy® Award winning series The Shop: Uninterrupted returns Friday, September 24 (9:00-9:30 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max.

Joining Maverick Carter are four-time Grand Slam tennis singles champion Naomi Osaka; actor, comedian and writer Wanda Sykes; NBA All-Star from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love; multi-platinum hip-hop artist Jadakiss; and the SpringHill Company’s chief marketing officer Paul Rivera.

The Shop: Uninterrupted, staged periodically throughout the year, offers conversation and debate between a unique ensemble of some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment. Past guests include Tom Brady, Jay-Z, Drake, Snoop Dogg, Naomi Osaka, Mary J. Blige, Lena Waithe, Diddy, Jimmy Kimmel, Patrick Mahomes, Lil Nas X, Will Smith, Megan Rapinoe, Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Gronkowski, Stacey Abrams and former President Barack Obama.

The Shop: Uninterrupted is presented by HBO Sports and UNINTERRUPTED; executive producers, LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson, Devin Johnson and Philip Byron; directed by Robert Alexander; produced by Kevin McGrail, Brandon Riley and Rob Roediger; co-executive producer, Camille Maratchi; created by Paul Rivera and Randy Mims.

The Movie Report wants to attend all your special events! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

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Friday, September 17, 2021

The Movie Report #1137 - September 17, 2021

The Movie Report

#1137 - September 17, 2021


The Movie Report wants to attend and cover all your film events and press junkets! Please send any and all invitations to this address. Thanks!

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Instagram: @twotrey23

Twitter: @twotrey23