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    Interview: Makoto Shinkai Talks His Animated Oscar Contender ‘Your Name’

    In an awards season short on genuine shocks, LAFCA’s announcement of “Your Name” as their Best Animated Film winner was practically seismic. And no one was more surprised than its director Makoto Shinkai. Recently I interviewed Shinkai to discuss this dazzling anime, which addresses topics of culture, history and modern society. Below is an edited […] More

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    Oscars: Predicting the 2016 Foreign Language Film Shortlist

    After months of screenings involving volunteer members of the Academy, the 85-film longlist of Foreign Language Oscar submissions will soon be whittled down to nine. From Albania to Yemen, Oscar dreams are about to be made and crushed with the annual shortlist. The process has undergone several changes over the years, but things have stabilized […] More

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    Film Review: ‘Your Name’ Is a Beautiful Cosmic Trip

    We don’t immediately think of animation when we mention good sci-fi or fantasy films. But of course, the medium has certainly provided some of the most thought-provoking concepts over the years. One such example that merits discussion is “Your Name” from Japanese director Makoto Shinkai, a moving anime adventure about space, time and matters of […] More

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    Interview: Elite Zexer Talks ‘Sand Storm’ and Inspiring Women

    As Roger Ebert once said, movies are a machine that generates empathy. And Elite Zexer’s “Sand Storm” certainly fits the bill. This impressive debut feature gives us an insightful look at a Bedouin culture many are unfamiliar with. Set in a patriarchal society, it follows the travails of a young woman who challenges the rules […] More

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    Interview: Lorenzo Vigas Talks Venezuela’s Oscar Submission ‘From Afar’

    After winning the top prize at the 2015 Venice Film Festival with his debut feature “From Afar,” Lorenzo Vigas has emerged as one of Latin America’s most promising filmmakers. Centered around an unlikely relationship between two men, his distinctly Venezuelan film explores themes surrounding homophobia, the generation gap and the class divide with impressive formalist control. […] More

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    2016 Foreign Oscar Guide: Viva Europa!

    Welcome to Awards Circuit’s 2016 Foreign Oscar Guide. This weekly series will shine a spotlight on this year’s Oscar race for Best Foreign Language Film, looking at all 85 submitted films and their interesting trends and regional perspectives. We’ve now come to the end of this year’s Foreign Oscar Guide and as always, we close […] More

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    Film Review: ‘Sand Storm’ Delivers a Nuanced Portrait of Bedouin Life

    The ideological tug of war between tradition and modernity has long been one of the most pervasive struggles throughout society. In some cases, it can lead to outright war, and in others, it leads to systemic oppression of certain groups of people. For her debut feature “Sand Storm,” Israeli director Elite Zexer highlights the latter, […] More

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    Film Review: ‘Ukrainian Sheriffs’ Is an Effortlessly Observant Documentary

    In a small village tucked away in the Ukrainian countryside, there’s a new sheriff in town. Two to be exact. In Roman Bondarchuk’s illuminating new documentary “Ukrainian Sheriffs,” a pair of simple men are handed an important task. Representing the police, they are expected to maintain the peace in a town on the brink of […] More

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    2016 Foreign Oscar Guide: Female Directors Make History

    Welcome to The Awards Circuit’s 2016 Foreign Oscar Guide. This weekly series will shine a spotlight on this year’s Oscar race for Best Foreign Language Film, looking at all 85 submitted films and their interesting trends and regional perspectives. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that this year’s Foreign Language Oscar race includes […] More

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    Interview: Boo Junfeng on the Controversial Humanity of ‘Apprentice’

    Tackling a controversial social issue like the death penalty is always a risky proposition for any filmmaker. But when such a topical subject is handled by a thoughtful director like Singapore’s Boo Junfeng, then you know you’re in good hands. I recently spoke with this up-and-coming director, whose latest film “Apprentice” examines the personal and […] More

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