With Cannes just one week away now, it almost seems as if a good number of festivals feel the need to rush out a few announcements before the big one sucks all the air out of the room. At any rate, we begin with the International Film Festival Rotterdam, which has announced that Bero Beyer will be the new General and Artistic Director. The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Roxborough notes that Beyer will be replacing Rutger Wolfson, “who ran the Rotterdam fest for the past eight years, has been a divisive figure. Although he has boosted local attendance at the fest, many have complained his selections have put too much emphasis on obscure, non-commercial films and directors and done little to make Rotterdam more relevant for the industry. Beyer is a working producer, with credits that include last year’s Toronto festival entry Atlantic and the Oscar-nominated Palestinian drama Paradise Now (2005). His appointment sends a clear single that Rotterdam is looking to reach out to the industry.”
“The End of the Tour, about a Rolling Stone writer’s encounter with David Foster Wallace, and Queen of Earth, the second pairing of indie filmmaker Alex Ross Perry and star Elisabeth Moss, are among the highlights of the seventh annual BAMcinemaFest,” reports Stephanie Goodman for the New York Times. “Some selections overlap with those of another returning summertime staple, Rooftop Films. Both events will show Tangerine (the film, shot entirely on a modified iPhone, closes the Brooklyn event) and Krisha (a drama from the director Trey Shults featuring members of his family playing alternate versions of themselves).” And that big SXSW award-winner will screen at Critics’ Week on May 20 and 21.
Locarno‘s announced the twelve finalists for its co-production lab, Open Doors, dedicated this year to Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. The idea is “to support and highlight filmmakers from a region in the world’s South and East where independent cinema is vulnerable.”
With its 2015 lineup, the Sydney Film Festival (June 3 through 14) is expanding, notes Patrick Frater in Variety: 251 films, up from 183 last year. “They come from 68 countries, up from 47 last year and include 33 world premieres, up from 15 in 2014.” So the festival’s added two new venues.
“A retrospective of the works of Hollywood Golden Age directors Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack will be part of this year’s San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain.” The Hollywood Reporter‘s Benjamin Jones quotes the festival organizers: “Acclaimed for generations as the masterminds of the iconic King Kong (1933), Cooper’s and Schoedsack’s contribution to fantasy cinema didn’t stop at this chef d’oeuvre.” San Sebastian’s 2015 dates are September 18 through 26.