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This week on the #HIGHLYRELEVANT podcast, we talk #TomCruise. At 54, can he still deliver a great action film?:…

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Jack Rico


2012/04/17 at 12:00am

Ibero-America has its first Online Film Festival

04.17.2012 | By |

Ibero-America has its first Online Film Festival

On April 16, 2012, the First Ibero-American Online Film Festival, promoted by, came to a close. Internet users across Ibero-America were able to see, free-of-charge, legally and online, a selection of fourteen films which have participated previously or have received awards at other film festivals, such as San Sebastian, Venice and Sundance.

For the three weeks the festival took place, its website had more than 126,000 visitors from all countries which make up the Ibero-American region, with the greatest numbers coming from Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.

Award Winners

Medianeras (Sidewalls), by Argentine director Gustavo Taretto and produced by Rizoma Films (Argentina) Eddie Saeta (Spain) and Pandora Films (Germany), has won the Critics’ Award, selected by the First Edition Jury, composed of the film journalists and critics Hugo Chaparro Valderrama, Jean Christophe Berjon, Joel Poblete, Marcelo Stiletano, Nicolás Kusmin and Toni Ulled Nadal.
The film, an Argentine, Spanish and German co-production, stands out for the ability with which its director and script-writer, Gustavo Taretto, defends humor as one of the most efficient mechanisms to portray the dramas of modern human kind: the lack of communication in large cities, the loneliness not out of choice, the fruitless search for love and the second, third, and even fourth chances. Performing in the film’s leading roles are Javier Drolas and Pilar López de Ayala.
The film’s producer, Hernán Musaluppi, will be an honored guest at the EGEDA Ibero-American Audiovisual Forum, being held April 24-26, 2012 in Panama City, Panama, where he will receive an award that comes with $3,000 in prize money.
Contracorriente (Undertow), by Javier Fuentes-León and produced by El Calvo Films (Peru), Dynamo (Colombia), La Cinefacture (France) and Neuecameofilm (Germany), has won the People’s Choice Award, with this film receiving the highest number of votes by users via a facebook app voting system created especially for the Festival.

This film, which is the Peruvian filmmaker’s debut work, tells the story of Miguel, a young fisherman living in a coastal town in northern Peru whose love is divided between his wife and a gay painter.

All festival film viewers participating in the selection of the People’s Choice Award were included in a raffle before a notary public for a trip to Los Angeles to attend the 18th annual Recent Spanish Cinema series and ten year-long passes for free viewing of the online movie portal

The list of raffle winners can be found on the festival’s website:

Results from participation in the Festival during the three weeks it was held show the success of this first edition of, a pioneering initiative of, with support from the ICAA (Spanish “Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts”), FIPCA (acronym in Spanish for the “Ibero-American Federation of Cinematographic and Audiovisual Producers”) and the Instituto Cervantes.

Jack Rico


2011/12/11 at 12:00am

New York Film Critics Online chooses ‘The Artist’ Best Pic

12.11.2011 | By |

New York Film Critics Online chooses 'The Artist' Best Pic

The digital film organization that I am a member of, the NYFCO (New York Film Critics Online), voted today for the best of the best in film for 2011.

There were some surprises for me, in particular, the animated category. I voted for Rango as the best, but the rest of my collegues felt strongly for Spielberg’s Tintin. I agree that on a visual, Tintin is extraordinary, but as a whole movie, the film dragged to point of boredom. Rango was intellectual, funny, unique, and had very adult themes.

Also interesting was Michael Shannon for ‘Take Shelter’ in the Best Actor category. He wasn’t  a favorite, but nevertheless, I’m happy he took the award as opposed to undeserved Clooney. Shannon is one hell of an actor. He was excellent in Revolutionary Road and was the best part of The Runaways. He should’ve been nominated for Best Supporting actor at the Oscars in 2010.

So many more deserved and surprising moments such as Melissa McCarthy for ‘Bridesmaids’ over Octavia Spencer from ‘The Help’ in the Supporting Actress category. Read on and enjoy the beauty that is film criticism during award season.

“The Artist”

TOP PICTURES OF 2011 (alphabetical)
“The Artist” (The Weinstein Company)
“The Descendants” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“Drive” (Film District)
“The Help” (Walt Disney Pictures)
“Hugo” (Paramount Pictures)
“Melancholia” (Magnolia Pictures)
“Midnight in Paris” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Take Shelter” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“The Tree of Life” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“War Horse” (Dreamworks Pictures)
Michael Hazanavicius for “The Artist”
Michael Shannon for “Take Shelter”
Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady”
Albert Brooks for “Drive”
Melissa McCarthy for “Bridesmaids”
“The Tree of Life” – Emmanuel Lubezki
“The Descendants” – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
“A Separation”
“Cave of Forgotten Dreams”
“The Adventures of Tin Tin”
“The Artist” – Ludovic Bource
Jessica Chastain for “The Tree of Life, “The Help,”The Debt,” “Take Shelter”
Joe Cornish for “Attack the Block”

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