March 19 – 30
At Tower City
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Events + Updates
In 2003 at the 27th CIFF we launched our Someone to Watch Award series. The purpose of this program is to showcase the work of mid-career filmmakers who we believe are rising stars in international filmmaking. Over the years we have celebrated filmmakers whose talent has been embraced at movie theaters across the country and around the world. This year is no different.
Nic Balthazar, born in 1964 in Ghent, Belgium, is a truly multi-faceted talent. In addition to his skills as a film director (Festival regulars still talk about BEN X from the 32nd CIFF), he is a writer, producer, and a popular Belgian TV and radio personality. His first feature film, BEN X, which he also co-wrote, was released in 2007. It won the Grand Prix des Ameriques, Most Popular Film, and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 2007 Montréal World Film Festival. It also garnered the Audience Award at the Sedona International Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Istanbul International Film Festival. His second film, TIME OF MY LIFE, was released in 2012 and has also garnered much praise. He is well-known in Flanders as a film critic and television presenter. In his presumably small amount of spare time, he is a vegetarian and environmental activist!
Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, also one of our Focus on Filmmakers, is a writer, producer, editor, and director whose primary focus for her talents is the documentary form. Kristy's first feature film was the acclaimed GOING ON 13, which followed the lives of four adolescent girls over a period of four years. It was an official selection at both the Tribeca and Silverdocs Film Festivals. It also received funding from ITVS and was broadcast on Public Television in 2009. Her second feature film, WONDER WOMEN! THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICAN SUPERHEROINES, investigates how popular depictions of powerful women often mirror society's anxiety about women's liberation. It will make its television premiere in April on the award-winning series Independent Lens, hosted by Stanley Tucci, after CIFF festival-goers have the thrill of seeing it here! Kristy has an M.F.A. in Film Production from San Francisco State University and is currently an Assistant Professor at Diablo Valley College.
Going On 13 (USA)
Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroins (USA)
Tom Gustafson and Cory Krueckeberg
Tom Gustafson and Cory Krueckeberg are the co-founders of SPEAKproductions, a company dedicated to giving a voice to people who are often ignored. SPEAK's work has won over 30 awards and been screened in over 200 film festivals around the world. Tom Gustafson made his first film at age nine. He graduated cum laude from Northwestern University. His first freelance job in Hollywood was Key Additional Casting Assistant on "The Road To Perdition." He was Location Casting Director on such films as the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series and "The Dark Knight" before directing his first feature. Cory Krueckeberg is an actor, lyricist, writer, producer, production designer, and director. He has a B.F.A. from the Professional Actor Training Studio at the University of Illinois and is as comfortable in front of the lens as behind it. Cory is active in live theater and is currently working on a number of projects, as befits a self-proclaimed "Visionary Guru."
Martin Lund was born in Oslo in 1979. Having trained as an art director at Westerdal's School of Communication, he graduated from the Norwegian Film School in 2008. He promptly established himself as a significant talent with his first short film, "Home Game," which was nominated for Norway's Amanda Award for Best Short Film and took the Audience Award at the Leuven International Short Film Festival. His feature film debut, TWIGSON TIES THE KNOT, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and was a theatrical hit in Norway. It was a highlight at the 2010 Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children. His second feature film, THE ALMOST MAN, which he also wrote, won both the Best Actor and Crystal Globe awards at the 2012 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Previous Recipients of the CIFF's Someone to Watch Award are:
2011 – Dave Boyle, Ed Gass-Donnelly, Lisa Gossels
2010 – Emily Abt, Jesper Ganslandt
2009 – Ramin Bahrani, Gerardo Naranjo
2008 – Brillante Mendoza, Helen Hood Scheer
2007 – Matt Bissonnette
2006 – Ann Marie Fleming, Hiner Saleem
2005 – Ronit Elkabetz, Catherine Gund, Khyentse Norbu, Hans Weingartner
2004 – Josef Fares, Gaylene Preston, Pen-ek Ratanaruang
2003 – Alexei Balabanov, Susanne Bier, Agust Gudmundsson