November 18, 2009

BREATH MADE VISIBLE awarded at the 2009 Mill Valley Film Festival!

Filed under: Breath Made Visible

BREATH MADE VISIBLE awarded Special Mention in the documentary category at the 2009 Mill Valley Film Festival!
See the full press release below:

32nd  Mill  Valley Film Festival  Wraps with

Applause for  Another Successful Year

SAN  RAFAEL,  Calif. (October  19, 2009) The California Film Institute  wrapped its 32nd Mill Valley Film Festival (October 8–18,  2009) after a very successful 11-day run in Marin theatres. Even with a  tighter Festival and a reduced number of screenings, this year exceeded  expectation with more than 90 sold out screenings and events, a 7.5 percent  increase in box office totals and admissions of approximately 40,000. “We  were proud to offer another very successful year of not only the most highly  anticipated films of the awards season, but incredible independent features,  documentaries, and a strong representation of locally produced films. The  major issues of our time have not abated, and clearly great storytelling is  still what resonates with our audiences,” commented Mark Fishkin, MVFF  founder and director.
Award-winners  aplenty
Now in their  fifth year, the Audience Awards were closer than ever with immense  participation from the community, a reflection of the undeniable strength of  this year’s programming. After the ballots were counted, the Audience Award  for favorite US feature went to Lee Daniels’ Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by  Sapphire. The award for favorite world feature ended in a tie and  awarded to both Lone Scherfig’s An  Education (UK) and Jann Turner’s White  Wedding (South Africa). Rick Goldsmith and  Judy Ehrlich’s The Most Dangerous  Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the  Pentagon Papersgarnered the award for favorite documentary  feature and Stella and the Star of  the Orient, directed by Erna Schmidt, won favorite children’s  feature. Michelle Esrick’s Saint  Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie and Ruedi Gerber’s Breath Made Visible were  awarded Special Mentions in the documentary  category.

BAFTA/LA  (British Academy of Film and Television Arts/Los Angeles) annually  presents an award to an exceptional short film in collaboration with the  Mill Valley Film Festival. Thanks to support from Barbro Osher’s ProSuecia  Foundation, Swedish director Andreas Tibblin flew in from  Sweden to accept the award for  his film Good Advice, part of the shorts program 5@5: The  More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get. Certificates of Excellence go to Bragi  Schut Jr.’s Charlie Thistle, Ilan Amit’s Broken Time,  and Morning Echo directed by Hope Dickson  Leach.
Festival  closes with style; lots of buzz for fest  selections
The 32nd Mill  Valley Film Festival wrapped with style as the closing night  films, Looking for  Eric andThe Young  Victoria created a buzz  among Marin film-goers. At the Smith Rafael Film Center critically acclaimed  actress Emily Blunt introduced a packed house to her latest  film The Young Victoria,  directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. She kindly introduced an additional screening  that followed and attended the exciting Closing Night party aboard the  California Hornblower for a San Francisco Bay Cruise with her friends and  fiancé, John Krasinski.
There was  strong audience buzz for many titles throughout the festival. In addition to  the audience award winners, much of the program received raves, including  many films without distributors.Soundtrack for a Revolution, The Red  Machine, Red  Cliff, The Swimsuit  Issue, Hellsinki, The Strength of Water,  and Skin—as well  as Up In the  Air, The  Messenger, The Private  Lives of Pippa Lee and The Missing Person were among the  talk of the festival.
A stellar  array of guests attended the festival: directors Scott Hicks, Lee  Daniels, John Woo, Lone Scherfig, Oren  Moverman and Jason Reitman were among those introducing their  latest. Actors Clive Owen, Uma Thurman, Woody  Harrelson, Stacy Keach, Seymour Cassel, Jodie  Whittaker, Emily Blunt—as well as up-and-coming Precious star Gabourey  Sidibe with co-star Paula Patton–all attended the festival. Their  audience included festival attendees Peter Coyote, Bonnie  Raitt and Bryan Brown.
Industry  guests at the festival and participating in panels at the New Movies Lab  included Ryan Wernerof IFC, Ira Deutchman (Emerging  Pictures), Sara Rose (Apparition), Danae  Ringelmann (IndieGogo),Michael Lumpkin (International Documentary  Association) and Roadside Attraction’s Howard Coenand Eric  D’Arbeloff.
Tributes  & Spotlights: Clive Owen, Uma Thurman, Jason Reitman, and Woody  Harrelson feted
This year’s  Mill Valley Film Festival paid tribute to four talented individuals  including Academy Award® nominee and Golden Globe® winner Clive Owen,  who was honored at a special Spotlight event recognizing the exceptional  creative talents of a film artist as exemplified by their current work,  regardless of whether they are in early, middle or late career. Innovative  director Jason Reitman also received the Mill Valley  Film Festival Award for his upcoming release Up in the Air. Both spotlights  included an onstage conversation with MVFF director and founder Mark  Fishkin, as well as a clip reel acknowledging their current contributions to  the art of cinema. 
Academy  Award® nominees Uma Thurman and Woody Harrelson were  honored with a special onstage Tribute, a unique event designed to recognize  a career and legacy of work. Both actors were given the Mill Valley  Film Festival Award at the Smith Rafael Film Center after a conversation with MVFF  Director of Programming, Zoë Elton. Harrelson was honored for his dynamic  onscreen presence and the ease with which he is able to switch between  dramatic and comedic roles. The  Messenger, Harrelson’s newest film, screened after the interview  and a Q&A followed with both Harrelson and director Oren Moverman.  Uma Thurman’s 25-year film career also received recognition as she was  presented the MVFF Award for her remarkable work in cinema, including her  latest feature, Motherhooddirected by Katherine  Dieckmann. Both women participated in a Q&A with the audience while  Thurman graciously received her award.
Anna Karina,  the Danish-born, French actress, writer, singer, producer and director, was  originally among those to be honored in a special tribute event, though due  to a non-life threatening injury caused by an accident, she will accept  her Mill Valley Film Festival Award at an event next spring on a  date yet to be announced. Mme. Karina’s new film, Victoria screened as  planned at the Smith Rafael Film Center, with an appearance by  producer Héjer Charf.
Active Cinema  program continues to inspire
The Mill  Valley Film Festival’s Active Cinema program once again exceeded  expectations connecting the dots between activist films, interested  audiences and the individuals and organizations working for the causes and  issues represented onscreen. Inspired and passionate discussions between  audiences and filmmakers erupted at this year’s Fest, as special  guests Daniel Ellsberg, Wavy Gravy, Karina  Epperlein, John Knoop, Rick Goldsmith, Judith Ehrlich, Denise  Zmekhol and Chief Almir Suruipushed audiences to become active  through the art of cinema.  Some significant highlights included  the late addition of Active Cinema panelist, Jennifer Siebel Newsom,  filmmaker and wife of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who joined others in  brainstorming on strategies for change, and talked of her new film  project Miss  Representation, an exploration of women’s underrepresentation in  positions of power and influence in America. Additionally, at the  screenings of Saint Misbehavin’ The  Wavy Gravy Movie, Wavy Gravy presented the “Basic Human Needs  Award”, created by director Michelle Esrick,which celebrates  outstanding activists. The award went to two recipients: Amy Shirts, a  long-time staffer and volunteer for the amazing 30 year-old SEVA foundation;  and a posthumous acknowledgement to Claire Burch, the Berkeley artist and  activist.
Highlights –  Live events and Insight programs
Live events  thrived at 142 Throckmorton Theatre with world-class concerts performed in  honor of two extraordinary documentaries, Soundtrack for a Revolution,  featuring The Blind Boys of Alabama, Jimmy Pugh and Emma Jean  Foster of The Glide Memorial Choir, with Taj  Mahal joining in the grand finale; and Icons Among Us: jazz in the present  tense with musical contributions from Rob Wasserman,  Will Bernard, Dale Fanning, and surprise special guest Bob  Weir. A unique combination of jazz and rock-n-roll roared through the  theater with exceptional performances of classic Beatles, Grateful Dead, and  Bob Dylan tracks immersed within their original set list. The San  Francisco Mime Troupe celebrated its 50th anniversary with a screening  of Glenn Silber and Claudia Vianello’s inspiring 1985  documentary, Troupers,  and treated us to a sampling of their unique brand of physical musical  comedy, with longtime composer-lyricist Bruce Barthol. Wrapping up the  live events was A Sweeter Music: A Live Concert by Sarah Cahill with  Video by John Sanborn, a riveting performance by celebrated pianist,  writer and radio host Sarah Cahill of new works by contemporary  composers on the theme of peace. The works were performed against a live  video triptych by acclaimed video artist John Sanborn (also  Cahill’s husband)—with technical support by their teenage  daughter Miranda Sanborn.
John  Goddard’s Hi De Ho Show continued to be an audience favorite as  Goddard celebrated his 10th year of sold-out shows with the  MVFF.
Insight  programs at the 32nd Mill Valley Film Festival are designed to explore the  art and craft of master filmmakers. Henry Selick, director/screenwriter  of Coraline, discussed  his most recent stop-motion animated feature, his distinguished career and  the carefully nurtured art of stop-motion animation inHenry Selick and the  Art of Coraline.  Acclaimed character actor Seymour Cassel and iconic independent  filmmaker Rob Nilsson engaged in an intimate conversation in the  program The CasselTouch: Character Acting from Cassavetes to Now.  Seymour Cassel revealed a plethora of juicy tid-bits about his work with  legendary director John Cassavetes, including a note that Anthony Quinn, who  appeared in such classics as Zorba  the Greek and Lawrence of Arabia, was originally  cast as the lead role in 1968’s Faces, a part ultimately portrayed by  John Marley.
Special  Thanks to 32nd Mill Valley Film Festival  Sponsors
The  California Film Institute is proud to have achieved another  successful year building partnerships with a collection of high-caliber  companies, private foundations and individual donors dedicated to the  celebration and promotion of international and independent film and to the  vitality of the Marin community. 
The  California Film Institute welcomed nine new sponsors, including American  Airlines, The New York Times, Whole Foods Market, Bloomingdale’s, Larkspur  Hotels & Restaurants, San Domenico School, Ovation TV and popchips.  Continuing their valuable support, our returning Major Sponsors  include Wells Fargo, Qantas Airways, Zaentz Media Center – A Wareham  Development, Frantoio Ristorante & Olive Oil Co., Mareovich O’Shea  and Coghlan, PG&E and, our Distinguished Sponsor for  2009,  Bellam Self-Storage &  Boxes.
The Festival  is proud to acknowledge the generous contributions of major foundations and  individuals, led by Christopher B. & Jeannie Meg Smith, and including  the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Gruber Family Foundation, Jennifer Coslett  MacCready, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Marin Community  Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Christine Zecca Foundation and  the National Endowment for the Arts. The Academy of Motion Picture  Arts and Sciences dedicates its support in part  to the Children’s FilmFest, and to CFI Education program events during MVFF,  including the In-School Filmmaker program, a program for filmmakers from  this year’s Festival to present their films to Bay Area schools for exciting  classroom exchanges.
California Film  Institute
The California Film Institute  celebrates and promotes film as art and education through the presentation  of the Mill Valley Film Festival and year-round exhibitions at the  Christopher  B. Smith Rafael Film Center, and by building the next  generation of filmmakers and audiences through CFI Education. For more  information visit  or call  415.383.5256.
32nd Mill Valley Film  Festival
Presented by the California Film  Institute, the 32nd Mill Valley Film Festival runs October 8–18, 2009 at the  CinéArts@Sequoia (25  Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley), Christopher B. Smith  Rafael Film Center (1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael) and other venues throughout  the Bay Area. Tickets are $12.50 (CFI Members, $10) unless otherwise noted  and are available for purchase on September 20–23 for CFI members only, and  beginning on September 24 for the general public. Regular tickets may be  purchased online at For additional  information, please visit or call  877.874.MVFF.
As a nonprofit arts organization, MVFF  relies on the generosity of its community to sustain not only the festival,  but also the year-round programs of the California Film Institute. The  invaluable support of our sponsors, foundation, and individual donors  ensures our continued success as we celebrate our 32nd year. CFI is once  again proud to acknowledge the leadership support of Christopher B. and  Jeannie Meg Smith, and the continued major support of the Bernard Osher  Foundation, the Gruber Family Foundation, Jennifer Coslett MacCready, the  William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and  Sciences, the Marin Community Foundation, the Zecca Foundation, and the  National Endowment for the Arts. We are also fortunate to have the continued  contributions of the following Major Sponsors of the Mill Valley Film  Festival: Qantas Airways, Maroevich, O’Shea & Coghlan Insurance  Services, Frantoio Ristorante and Olive Oil Co., Zaentz Media Center/Wareham  Development, Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), and CFI  Membership Sponsor, Wells Fargo. Longtime friend and dedicated supporter of  the festival, Bellam Self Storage & Boxes, is also returning as a major  sponsor, and will be receiving this year’s Distinguished Sponsor  Award.


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