VENICE – Our intrepid Studio Exec has braved the screening rooms of the Darsena, the Sala Grande and even the dreaded plastic cavern that is the Palabiennale and now is here to give you his critical opinion.

The awards are out and the results are – as is traditional – baffling and underwhelming.

Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson should have won the Golden Lion, but instead got the runner up Grand Jury Prize for Anomalisa. It’s like an R-rated Wallace and Gromit film, but with Gromit dead and Wallace really unhappy and perhaps mentally ill. The best director prize went to El Clan which was the best Argentinian Martin Scorsese film of the last year. The winner was Venezuelan film From Afar, which is okay. But a quick glance at some past winners will show how often a fairly twee choice will trump better films. Does anyone remember Scra GRA? Somewhere? Did anyone see Faust? Or the Pigeon Sitting on a Branch Contemplating Existence, which won last year? The last two were actually good films, but Somewhere? How did that win? How did Quentin Tarantino’s ex-girlfriend Sofia Coppola’s rather drab film impress the head of the jury Quentin Tara… oh.

There is a chance that Venice were copying Cannes who awarded Dheepan the Palme d’Or despite the fact it was only a bit better then How to Train Your Dragon 2.

The Venice Film Festival is done. I hope you enjoyed our coverage which is all available here.


CANNES – The Cannes Film Festival runs from 13th of May until the 24th of May in the beautiful seaside town of Cannes, but what do we really know about it?

We sent The Studio Exec FACT squad to the Croissette to find out.

1. The Cannes-Cannes dance originated at the Cannes Film Festival. It was invented by Francious Truffaut as an expression of joy when his debut film Les Quatre Cents Coups (400 Blows) won the best director award in 1959. It then became customary for ever winner to do the dance before their acceptance speech. The practice was eventually banned in 1991 after the Coen Brothers used their celebratory dance – on winning a rare sweep of the major awards for Barton Fink – to kick their arch rivals the Baldwin brothers in their faces.

2. Lars Von Trier was declared Persona Non Grata by the Cannes Film Festival following his Nazi-y remarks at the press conference for Melancholia. Cannes authorities were particularly upset because noted Jew Mel Gibson was also at the festival starring in Jodie Foster’s porn film The Beaver.

3. Clint Eastwood was the President of one of the most lively juries in Cannes history. The arguments between the jurists led in some instances to punch ups and in others to marriage. In the end the Jury awarded the Palme d’Or to Pulp Fiction. Eastwood justified his choice by saying ‘Although I didn’t care for the picture’s violence and profane dialogue, the furniture was really sexy!’

4. The red carpet down which the stars and directors walk before every major premiere is dyed red from the blood of last year’s losers, each of whom have to donate three pints of blood before they are allowed to leave the Cote d’Azure.

5. The Cannes Film Festival is divided into several different sections. There’s the main competition, then Un Certain Regard sidebar, The Director’s Fortnight and the Dardennes Brothers section, which is devoted to the films of the Dardennes Brothers.

For more FACTS click HERE.


TORONTO – The Toronto International Film Festival has just concluded with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave pipping Riddick to the post for the top honors, but organizer Cameron Bailey has already unveiled a series of ambitious new plans for next year’s festival.

A tired looking Bailey spoke EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec and this is what he had to say: 

The first thing we’re going to change is the location. Toronto is a nice enough country but it’s really small and being wedged in-between Canada and Alaska like this … it’s kind of uncomfortable so we’re going to move the festival to Canada and just have done with it. But don’t worry: we’ll be keeping the name. 

What other changes can we expect to see?

The date. Few people know this but TIFF got its name not as an acronym but because we had a tiff (or an argument) with the Venice Film Festival and that’s what led to our overlapping schedules. But it’s ludicrous and childish, so from now on we’re going to start on the last Wednesday in August and go on for about ten days.

But doesn’t that mean you’ll actually overlap completely with the Venice Film Festival?

Does it? I never thought of that. Ha ha. Well, what do you know.

The quality of the films has gone up. How do you intend to maintain that high level?

Almost impossible to after this year, I’d say. So next year, we’ll just be showing video games. No films at all. Just video games and perhaps one or two YouTube videos. Like that one Jimmy Kimmel did. That was fucking awesome. Did you see that? I mean her pants were on fire and I was like woah, but then it was all a gag. Good old Jimmy. Now that is art. 

The Toronto Film Festival will take place in Canada from August to September 2014.