An oft quoted factoid that you hear in Edinburgh is that the city has more pubs per capita than anywhere else in Scotland. There's no shortage of places to drink, with bars at every turn. So you can understand why a recent proposal by arthouse cinema chain City Screen to convert Edinburgh's oldest cinema into a large bar and restaurant met with such widespread protest and disbelief.
Steamy Brazilian film Lower City went down a storm in the Un Certain Regard section at this year's Cannes. An assured and memorable directorial debut from South American Sergio Machado, it depicts a love-triangle set in the urban low-life surroundings of Brazil's Northern Salvador del Bahia.
Lower City has already made a deep impression on critics, but what's Machado's take on his own film?
Self-distribution is often seen as the last resort of a producer who can't get a distribution deal. Producers say they would rather be making films than organising day-to-day screenings with theatre bookers, the auditing and collecting of box office receipts, organising advertising and marketing on a limited budget, not to mention the difficulty in coming up with a successful strategy when you have little experience in the distribution field. Sure, filmmakers are more than happy to turn up for a Q&A at a screening, but self-distribution is sheer, hard work.
Distribution consultant Peter Broderick says filmmakers should consider new strategies for distributing their films to avoid future disappointment.This is the last in a series of articles that came out of the Vancouver International Film Festival Trade Forum that ended last month. Peter Broderick President of Paradigm Consulting was speaking at the closing day of the festival - the New Filmmaker's Day - about alternative distribution channels and we spoke subsequently by phone.
In the right hands, there are few video and photo editing tasks that Adobe Premiere and Adobe Photoshop can't handle. Still, one of the frequent complaints that you hear from inexperienced users is that there is just too much to take on board in these heavyweight packages.
If the steep learning curve isn't enough to deter even the dedicated hobbyist, there's also the not inconsiderable price tag.
The Times BFI London Film Festival ended on a memorably high note with actor/director George Clooney, appearing in support of the closing film Good Night and Good Luck with his girlfriend Lisa Snowdon.
Clooney's film about the real life tussle in the 50's between CBS broadcast journalist Ed Morrow and communist witchhunt campaigning senator Joseph McCarthy, nearly didn't get made with Clooney damaging his back during the filming as a result of his actions on another project Syriana
You may have noticed how much Wal-Mart has been appearing in your news feeds recently. The world's largest retailer - it owns the UK's second biggest supermarket chain Asda - has announced a number of initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases and environmental pollution, to introduce new health insurance for its employees, and a surprising decision to lobby for a higher minimum wage in the States. What's up with Wal-Mart?
In an industry where people often take themselves too seriously, Neil LaBute's self-deprecating humour comes as a breath of fresh air. The burly writer-director and playwright has been lavished with critical praise for his edgy, disconcerting screenplays ever since he made a splash with his low-budget debut In The Company of Men in 1997. However, speaking at the Vancouver International Film Festival Trade Forum earlier this month he quickly put that all aside.
A family drama looking at the deep political divisions in modern Israeli society through the eyes of Schlomo, a nine-year-old Ethiopian boy was voted most popular film at this year's Vancouver International Film Festival. In Rahu Mihaileanu's Live and Become (Va, vis et deviens) young Schlomo is part of a program that returned Ethiopian Jews to Israel. The film follows the boy, whose secret is that he is not Jewish and not an orphan, as he grows up with a new family in a new land.
Here are some more notes from three panels at the excellent Vancouver International Film Festival Trade Forum.
Dennis Gassner, production designer for Bugsy, Waterworld, The Truman Show and a succession of Coen Brothers films, said the way he works is not much different from method acting. "I like to get to that point where you're just creating the feeling," he said.