Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We're a "Must-See!" according to Eric Kohn at Indiewire!

5 Must-See Films at BAMcinemaFest

by Eric Kohn

Entering its third year, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) continues its intention of bringing many of the strongest sleeper hits of the American film festival circuit to appreciative crowds in Brooklyn. The opening night selection Thursday, June 16th is an interesting example: British director Andrew Haigh’s gay romance “Weekend” came out of nowhere to become the breakout hit of South by Southwest in March, but its positioning at BAM makes it one of the stars of the show. There are also plenty of mid-size productions that developed buzz out of Sundance, such as “Terri” and “Another Earth,” both of which will hit theaters later this year. However, the festival’s real strength comes from its selection of less widely acclaimed work that has slipped through the cracks or otherwise avoided the media spotlight. Here are a few memorable discoveries in that vein.

“On the Ice”

Although it played under the radar at Sundance in January, Inuit filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean’s tense thriller about a couple of rebellious teens in desolate Barrow, Alaska announces a new filmmaker with a firm grasp on the genre. When a drunken night results in an accidental murder, two young men must harbor a dark secret while the authorities traverse the barren terrain in search of the missing body. The scenario isn’t exactly original, but MacLean’s script benefits from making its edgy characters into figures of sympathy: Qalli (Josiah Patkotak) dreams of attending college while his friend Aivaaq (Frank Qutuq Irelan) hopes to settle down with his girlfriend. Their dreams give the movie’s film noir ingredients a real sense of peril, the marriage of high stakes and teen angst put a Hitchcockian twist on the typical John Hughes scenario, and the icy climate introduces an existential creepiness no less unsettling than the empty vistas in John Carpenter’s “The Thing.”

Here's the link to it online.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Winner of FIPRESCI Prize for Best New American Film!

June 12, 2011


Press Inquiries

SIFF Publicity Department




Jury, Audience Awards Given for Best Film, Documentary, Director, Actor and Short Film

SEATTLE – The 37th Seattle International Film Festival, the largest and most highly-attended event of its kind in the United States concluded today with the announcement of the SIFF 2011 Competition Awards and Golden Space Needle Audience Awards. The 25-day Festival, which began May 19, featured over 450 films from more than 70 countries, including 96 premieres (29 World, 42 North American, 25 U.S.) and over 600 screenings. Additionally, SIFF brought more than 300 directors, actors and industry professionals, including Tribute Honoree Ewan McGregor to Seattle, as well as hosted numerous digital Q&As via Skype with international filmmakers who were unable to attend in person.

“I'm gratified that Seattle audiences continue to embrace the Festival’s wide-ranging selection of films from around the world proving that Seattle filmgoers see more films per capita than any other city in the nation,” said SIFF Artistic Director Carl Spence. “For the second year in a row, we have surpassed one million dollars in ticket sales making this another record-setting year.”

SIFF Managing Director Deborah Person said, “2011 has been a monumental year for SIFF, as we've expanded our year-round exhibition programming at SIFF Cinema with record attendance and introduced the work of filmmakers from around the world to more than 10,000 students. With the exciting move into our new home at the SIFF Film Center, filmgoers will experience even more of the best in cinema which will carry on for future generations.”

SIFF 2011 FIPRESCI Prize for Best New American Film

SIFF is very pleased to announce its continued partnership with FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. FIPRESCI, in existence for more than 65 years, with members in over 60 countries, supports cinema as an art and as an outstanding and autonomous means of expression. SIFF is one of three festivals in the United States to host a FIPRESCI jury, and this year, FIPRESCI presented an award to Best New American Film selected from the New American Cinema program.


On the Ice, directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (USA, 2011)

Jury Statement: “For presenting a universal, near-Biblical tragedy set in a little known culture recreated with compelling detail. A story told with outstanding naturalistic performances with a confident, compelling narrative.”

The FIPRESCI jury was comprised of members of the International Federation of Film Critics: Peter Keough, USA; Gideon Kouts, France; and Lucy Virgen, Mexico

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Honorable Mention at Cine Las Americas

We were so happy to be a part of a co-presentation between Cine Las Americas and the Austin Film Festival where we won an Honorable Mention for Best Film! Here's the press announcement on their webpage:


Here's an interview that Andrew did while in Seattle for the Seattle International Film Festival.