Johnny English Strikes Again : Review

When the names of all the active undercover agents in Britain are compromised through a massive cyber attack, Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is dragged out of retirement to find this hacking mastermind. Having become a geography teacher after he outing as a spy, life has seemingly become rather mundane, save for him training his students on the side in the art of spying and tactics.

With the aide of his trusty assistant, Bough (Ben Miller), Johnny English sets off, much to the dismay of the Prime Minister (Emma Thompson – Beauty and the Beast, Alone in Berlin), who is very much trying to win over the favour of tech genius Jason (Jake Lacy – Rampage).  As he bungles he way through spy work, English meets a lemme fatal Ophelia (Olga Kurylenko) who he must quickly size-up, lest she outplay him, with terrible consequences.

Johnny English is the spy we all love, yet wonder just how he manages to come out on top in the end. We know he will, it’s frustrating to see the solution before us, and yet as a viewer, it is clear to see, that in the end, he shall prevail. With an engrossing story, some predictable parts on the side of English and his misguided ways, and yet, entertaining none the less. While some viewers might not appreciate this sort of situational humour, it’s not all slapstick and silliness. The film has a real, well rounded story to it, with an endearing quality that grows ever more stronger, the funnier the moment.

A film full of fun, action, and talent, this might not be the next epic tale in the vein of Bond, but one would not expect as much. Keep a stiff upper lip as you guffaw at the British way of their agent.

Johnny English Strikes Again is a spy story with laughs. Thoroughly enjoyable. It opens Friday 21 September 2018, in South African cinemas.

What Does Money Really Cost – ‘I Blew It’

SOMETIMES MONEY COSTS TOO MUCH!

This October, Mzansi Magic takes a thought-provoking look into the lives of South Africans who received an unexpected windfall, and in an instant, blew it all.

This sometimes-humorous, often tragic documentary, takes a deep look into the psyche of ordinary South Africans and how they’ve acted when presented wealth beyond their wildest dreams. I Blew It explores the heady intoxication of life with no monetary restrictions, and the sudden change in relationships and family dynamics.

The show creates a dialogue about the psychology of money and the influence or wealth it comes with, through the stories of ordinary people.

Each episode covers the story of a single participant, starting with their unexpected acquisition of wealth, followed by how the money was “blown”, ending with where the person is now – very often finding themselves in a worse financial state than before.

Take, thirty-two-year-old Nonhlanhla who received a lumpsum pay-out of R1 million in 2017. She blew the money in less than a year. She did minor renovations to her family home (owned by her grandmother) and took her mother’s advice to invest in a VW Caravelle Kombi. Then she went on a spending spree, indulging her whole family on an extravagant shopping spree at Maponya Mall.

Then there’s Thabo, who won R 1.8 million in the national lottery when he was 30 years old.  He blew the money within three years but has great memories of his high balling lifestyle.

M-Net’s Director of Local Entertainment Channels, Reneilwe Sema commented on the appeal of this brand new format, “I Blew It tackles some important sociological questions most of us have often caught ourselves asking: 1. What would I do if I suddenly became wealthy overnight? 2. How does one manage to blow millions of rands in such a short space of time, often becoming poorer than before? The subject matter is truly fascinating and many of the characters and their stories are so uniquely South African, that our viewers will identify from the onset.”

This original M-Net format is produced by Bonngoe TV in collaboration with Media 360°. Catch I Blew It season one, every Saturday  on Mzansi Wethu DStv Channel 163 starting on 6 October at 7:30PM.

Follow the conversation on FacebookTwitter and at mzansimagic.com.

‘The Exorcist’ 45th Anniversary, ‘The War Room’ 25th Anniversary, ‘A Christmas Story’ Headline The Academy’s Fall Screenings

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its fall programming lineup for both Los Angeles and New York. A full event schedule and ticket information can be found here: www.oscars.org/fall-at-the-academy.

Schedule is as follows; participants listed will be in attendance (schedules permitting):

SEPTEMBER

Edgar G. Ulmer’s “Detour” (1945) – September 17, 7:30 p.m.
Linwood Dunn Theater, Hollywood
With special guest Arianne Ulmer Cipes.  Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation in collaboration with Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique, the Museum of Modern Art and the Cinémathèque Française. Restoration funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

Women in Indie Animation – September 21, 7 p.m.
Academy at Metrograph, New York City
With filmmakers Signe Baumane, Emily Hubley, Candy Kugel and Debra Solomon.  Moderated by Oscar®-winning producer Peggy Stern.

“Food, Inc.” (2009) – September 24, 7:30 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills
With Oscar-nominated director Robert Kenner, Oscar-nominated producer Elise Pearlstein, film subject Carole Morison, chef Roy Choi, Food Forward founder and executive director Rick Nahmias.  Moderated by chef, author and radio host Evan Kleiman.  Presented in partnership with the International Documentary Association (IDA), Participant Media and River Road Entertainment.

“Salesman” (1969) – September 27, 7:30 p.m.
Linwood Dunn Theater, Hollywood
With special guest Rebekah Maysles.  Featuring a 35mm print restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.  Presented in partnership with the International Documentary Association (IDA).

OCTOBER

4th Annual Careers in Film Summit – October 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills
Academy members and film professionals share their expertise on careers in the motion picture industry in this day-long series of panel discussions.

“The War Room” (1993) 25th Anniversary – October 9, 7:30 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills
With Oscar-nominated directors Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, and producers R.J. Cutler, Wendy Ettinger and Frazer Pennebaker.  Additional panelists to be announced.

45th Student Academy Awards – October 11, 7 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills
The winning student filmmakers will receive their medal placements – gold, silver, bronze – in seven award categories. Gold medal-winning films will be screened after the ceremony.

An Evening with special effects artist Tom Savini – October 13, 7 p.m.
Academy at Metrograph, New York City
In-person appearance by producer, actor and special effects artist Tom Savini (“Dawn of The Dead”), featuring clips from his films and onstage conversation.  Followed by a presentation of “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996).

“The Exorcist” (1973) 45th Anniversary – October 22, 7:30 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills
With Oscar-nominated director William Friedkin and Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Burstyn.

NOVEMBER

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards & Live Read – November 8, 7:30 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills
An ensemble of actors (to be announced) will read selected scenes from the winning scripts.

“The Barefoot Contessa” (1954) – November 16, 7 p.m.
Academy at Metrograph, New York City
With film critic and author Karina Longworth.

DECEMBER

“A Christmas Story” (1983) – December 10, 7:30 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills
With actor Peter Billingsley.

Tickets for Los Angeles-based events are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid I.D. and will be available online at Oscars.org.  Tickets to “Academy at Metrograph” events can be purchased via Metrograph’s website and are $15.  Doors open one hour prior to each event.  All ticketed seating is unreserved.  For more information, visit Oscars.org or call (310) 247-3600.

CTIFMF Presents 61 Short Films In Official Selection

The Cape Town International Film Market and Festival has selected 61 short films that will screen across 10 programs at select venues at the V & A Waterfront between October 10th and 19th.

Short films are an integral part of the CTIFMF and Festival Director Leon van der Merwe has always recognized the importance of this genre, “Short films are a necessity to keeping the entire film industry healthy. They fulfill two irrefutable roles,  firstly, they allow up and coming talent the chance to get noticed and refine their style, and secondly, they also help to encourage creativity and originality that includes new ways of telling stories.

The time has come for movie lovers everywhere to support short films. To start with, they should go and watch these films at the festival and onther short film festivals. the industry needs to lobby the cinemas to get short films back into movie theatres. Short films could be shown prior to a feature film as it used to be the case years ago. This would not only justify audiences choosing to watch them but would also help justify local cinema’s ticket prices.”

Amongst the films are 17 South African shorts that include award winning director Reabetswe Moeti’s Mma Moeketsi Mma Moeketsi that stars Keketso Semoko known for her role as Ma Agnes on Isidingo. She is a domestic worker from rural Lesotho working for a suburban family in Johannesburg. Her son, Moeketsi, is an illegal miner at the North West mine. In the wake of the wage strike, Moeketsi’s phone is off and he is nowhere to be found.

Fatima is another short from a South African director (Imran Hamduly), that tells the story of a young woman defies her family’s wish to enter into an arranged marriage and suffers a tragic consequence thereof, whilst Masqerading: To Hell and Back is Sofia de Fay’s bittersweet tale of a letter written by a 58 year old Cape Coloured drag queen, Sandra Dee to her best friend, Samantha Fox celebrating their complicated 30-year friendship. The letter takes us on a funny and poignant journey through their shared memories, Sandra Dee reminisces about their struggle to survive the Apartheid regime and the adventures and misfortune that befell them because of their color and their transgender identity.

Another notable film is Cast Iron Can’t Be Welded, a short set in rural South Africa during the 1970’s and directed by Buks Rossouw. A farmer transporting a broken cast iron stove learns something about humanity from a hitchhiking schoolboy – but only after dropping him off.

Shorts from Zimbabwe, Spain, Brazil, Austria, Belgium, Australia, the USA, China, Egypte and Denmark amongst other  countries will be screened throughout the festival.

Below is a full list of short films selected for this year’s CTIFMF.

Shorts 1      
Speaking Daggers 2017 Australia Sally McLean
The Victory of Charity 2017 Austria Albert Meisl
Waly’s Problem 2017 Belgium EL HADJI GUEYE
A Low-Budget Film 2018 Brazil Paulo Leierer
SNAFU 2018 Canada Mark Datuin
30 2018 Cyprus Constantinos Patsalides
The Lightkeeper 2017 USA Zach Bandler
       
       
Shorts 2      
Sunken Plum 2017 China Xu Xiaoxi, Roberto F. Canuto
No Problem (Kein Problem) 2017 Denmark Magnus Millang
Major Tom 2017 Egypt Khaled medhat moeit
Red Velvet 2017 Egypt Mahmoud Samir, Youssef Mahmoud
Mma Moeketsi 2018 South Africa Reabetswe Moeti
Elo 2017 Estonia Helen Takkin
I.O.C. 2017 United States Gerardo Soto
       
       
Shorts 3      
Stardust 2017 Mexico Aldo Sotelo Lázaro
A Woman’s Right To Shoes 2017 New Zealand Robyn Grace
The Last Lullaby 2018 Not Specified Birgit Käsper
Map to the stars 2018 Paraguay Pedro Jaen R.
Nuclear Shadows 2017 Poland Marek Leszczewski
One More Day 2018 Ukraine Aleksandr Shymko
Lumiére 2017 Uzbekistan Hristina Belousova, Dante Rustav
       
       
Shorts 4      
An Autobiography (En Autobiografi) 2017 Finland Mari Mantela
Those who can die 2017 France Charlotte Cayeux
Hunters and Gatherers 2018 Germany Andreas Ramm
AYA 2017 Tunisia Moufida Fedhila
When the fishes sang 2018 Italy Giuseppe Schifani
       
       
Shorts 5      
The Man With The Bicycle (Der Mann Mit Dem Fahrrad) 2017 Germany Levan Tsintsadze
Anchorwoman 2018 Greece Ioannis Monastiropoulos
The Inner Side –  A Belsa Oldal 2017 Hungary Dániel Reich
Gandhi V/S Justice  In-Justice We Believe 2018 India Pratik Khandhadiya
Are You Volleyball?! 2017 Iran Mohammad Bakhshi
Are We Good Parents? 2017 USA Bola Ogun
2 Angels 2018 Russian Federation Ramazi Baranov
       
       
Shorts 6      
Manicure 2018 Iran, Islamic Republic of arman fayaz
Probably Fine 9/1/2016 Israel Tslil Tamim
Bismillah 2018 Italy Alessandro Grande
ViZA   Togo Roger Komla B. Gbekou
The Shield that I Carry 2017 Lebanon Basma Farhat
Diapers for Melquiades 2017 Mexico Gandhi Ramos
       
       
Shorts 7      
Fatima 2018 South Africa Imran Hamduly
Love Motel 2017 South Africa Samantha Nell
Vir Ontbyt      
Cast Iron Can’t Be Welded 2017 South Africa Buks Rossouw
Skrywers Anoniem      
The Crossing 2018 South Africa Jaak Erasmus
Change 2018 South Africa Almarida Kraak
       
       
Shorts 8      
Diphiri Le Makunutu 2018 South Africa ObettMotaung
Skin Diver 2018 South Africa Katya Abedian
Muse 2017 South Africa Siyabonga Mkholo
Runner 2018 South Africa Mike McDougall
       
       
Shorts 9 – Docs      
Masquerading: To Hell and Back 2017 South Africa Sofia de Fay
Give a Man a Mask and He will Tell You the Truth 2017 Zimbabwe Eric Gauss
Footprints 2017 South Africa Sarah Duff
The Water Dancers 2018 South Africa Robyn Palmer
Skeikima 2017 Spain Raquel Larrosa
The Sheikh of Mussafah 2016 United Arab Emirates Waleed Al Madani
 
       
Shorts 10      
SOL 2016 South Africa Ndiyathemba
A Legal Affair 2018 South Africa Aviwe Komsana
Bonobo 2018 Switzerland Zoel Aeschbacher
Heels on Wheels 2018 South Africa Heath Fynn
Under the Rainbow 2018 South Africa  

From the 10th -19th of October, 80 Feature Films, 20 documentaries and 61 short films will be screened at various venues at the V & A Waterfront. Full schedules and ticketing information can be found  on the the website, www.filmfestival.capetown.

The Cape Town International Film Market and Festival is proudly hosted by the City of Cape Town.

Idols SA: Top 10 Performs Judges’ Playlist

The all-new glamorous Top 10 were unveiled tonight, bringing some pop star allure to the Idols stage. The contestants were styled by a glam squad that saw them outfitted in some of the best threads and accessories Truworths has to offer, with perfect hair and make-up to match.

This evening’s theme was the Judges’ Playlist, an on-going friendly match to see which judge will have the most songs picked by the contestants. The honour went to Unathi, whose tally of five songs picked dethroned last year’s winner Somizi.

The show got off to an up-tempo start when a red-clad Nosipho performed Lady Zamar’s pop hit, Collide. Randall said it reminded him of Kylie Minogue, but she needed to “turn it up” more. Somizi, on the other hand, predicted it to be a forgettable performance.

Next up was Mthokozisi, who looked spiffy in a tuxedo jacket, taking on Maxwell’s Ascension, a decision applauded by Unathi who said: “To attempt a falsetto with such a deep voice is commendable.” An unimpressed Somizi put it bluntly: “There was no dynamic, no colour. It was bland. It wasn’t nice.”

Lincoln came on stage in a flamboyant floral outfit that he said was inspired by Somizi. His rendition of Ringo’s Sondela was “respectful”, according to Unathi. Randall felt he brought soul to the song, and Somizi said he killed it.

The judges agreed that the diminutive Xae brought some fire with her vocals on Shekhinah’s Please Mr, but needed to go “big” and show off more personality on stage instead of sorely relying on her voice.

The contestant who likes to “smile with my eyes” took on Ed Sheeran’s Perfect. Niyaaz received some mixed reviews, with the judges pointing out the song had started off well, but he had over-sang it by the end. “You don’t need to over-emote; the song’s lyrics are enough,” advised Randall.

Self-confessed tomboy, Ntokozo, took on the uplifting gospel anthem Fill Me Up by Tasha Cobbs. Unathi called her attempt “fearless” while Randall felt the song itself was going to save her for this week.

Thato brought it back home with I Got You by Encore. “You are the first performer so far this evening to have presence. You know that this is a competition,” was Randall’s compliment. “You are the full package,” concurred Somizi. “You have charisma, charm and confidence. Your tone went hand in hand with that song.”

The petit Thando took on the big guns with Aretha Franklin’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. Unathi and Somizi gave their critique, but all everyone heard was Randall. “Blah blah blah! Finally, we have a competition!”

Blouse-loving King B had all eyes on him as he sang Love On The Brain by Rihanna, with just a piano for accompaniment. “You are a true example of honesty and self-acceptance. You are not just a voice, you are honesty and we love that honesty,” said Somizi. “You are also a great singer. You do melodrama well.” Unathi summed it up: “You killed it! This is one of my favourite performances so far.”

Teen wonder Yanga closed off the show with a superb rendition of Amazulu by Amanda Black, that left Unathi emotional. “I had specifically chosen that song for you and hoped you’d pick it. You have done it justice; avulekil’amazulu.”

With the judges having made their song choices and their voices heard, it’s now up to the voting public to keep their favourite on the show.

Let’s get voting!

Idols SA season 14 is on Mzansi Magic, DStv Channel 161 on Sundays at 17h00. For more information visit our website: www.idolssa.tv

You can also join the Idols SA conversation via social media on… Facebook: Idols South Africa (www.facebook.com/IdolsSA) , Twitter: @IdolsSA #IdolsSA Instagram: @IdolsSA

A Quiet Place (DVD) : Review

Film

Some months after a catastrophic, global event takes place, and here we get a look into the lives of a family who are now forced to live in silence lest they attract any one of the many creatures, with ultra-sensitive hearing, now causing death and destruction worldwide.

Family members Lee Abbott (John Krasinski – Detroit, Monsters University), Evelyn (Emily Blunt – Sherlock Gnomes, The Girl On The Train), Regan (Millicent Simmonds), Marcus (Noah Jupe – Suburbicon, The Man with the Iron Heart), and Beau (Cade Woodward) have fallen into a routine by the time we meet them, going out to get supplies, and having the farm where they stay strewn with various means to alert them to potential danger, and to assist them in making as little sound as possible.

A Quiet Place, by its very namesake, is a film where sound plays a very important role. There is very little dialogue, yet the sounds from the characters, creatures, and nature serve to not only build the tension in the story, but to inform the viewer of current events, and give a glimpse into the current emotional state of each character. The cast are incredibly talented, and this would be needed to pull of a story where emotion and expression are paramount.

The film’s story is gripping, prompting the viewer to imagine their own reaction in the current situation. Yet, the film’s backstory is a little sparse. We find out small bits of information as the story progressing, but this does lead to a bit of predictability, and many might wonder why the entire situation with these foreboding creatures was not sorted long ago, and instead left to a pretty normal family needing to find ways to avoid or fight them.

A Quite Place is an entertaining horror film, with a good dose of tension, and an entertaining story. Not just a film for horror fans, despite a few short-comings in the story.

Disc

Overall, the disc is of a good technical quality, with an enjoyable main feature. It is, however, scares on bonus features, including just the one short featurette.

A Quiet Place is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on-screen. Colours are vibrant, with no visible colour bleed. Detail and contrast are good in the several darker scenes. Fast paced scenes maintain a good amount of detail too.

Viewers with the necessary hardware or software could scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish.

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and with a film such as A Quiet Place that is so scarce on dialogue, audio from the environment plays a rather important role. The little dialogue there is, is clear via the centre speaker. The use of the surround channels, and discrete sounds and panning between channels helps immerse the viewer in the story. A set of full range, high quality speakers is a must to fully enjoy the audio, and appreciate the handful of jump scares one would expect.

Navigation

After choosing the desired menu language, one is taken directly to the main menu, which is a static menu and no accompanying background music. There are text links to play the main feature, audio options, subtitles, special feature, and scene selection.

Audio options takes the viewer to a sub-menu with a text list of four languages to choose from.

The subtitle sub-menu has a list of thirteen languages, or none, to choose from.

The special feature sub-menu has a link for the only bonus feature on the disc.

The scene selection sub-menus each have four large, colour, static thumbnails, for a total of fifteen chapters. There are direct links to the various pages provided on a navigation bar at the bottom of screen. While the thumbnails are numbered, they are not labelled, nor is there a chapter listing included in the disc packaging, so navigation to a specific part of the main feature would require some guesswork.

Bonus Features

Creating The Quiet – Behind the Scenes of A Quiet Place – A look at the film, with interviews by cast and crew, from conception to screen, and how the filmmakers worked to get the setting of the film, and set design, just right, for the movie.

While this featurette is short, it does contain a plethora of interesting facts, that are sure to appeal to both the average viewer and budding filmmakers alike.

Packaging

Packaging is a rather standard DVD Jewell case, with a poster and lead cast listing on the front. The back has a short synopsis, a few stills from the film, and the usual technical information and logos.

There are no package inserts in the case, such as chapter listing, etc.

Blackmagic Design Announces Advanced New Blackmagic RAW Codec

Revolutionary new and modern codec that’s easier to use and much better quality than popular video formats, but with all the benefits of RAW.

Blackmagic Design today announced the public beta of Blackmagic RAW, a new and very modern codec that combines the quality and benefits of RAW with the ease of use, speed and file sizes of traditional video formats. Blackmagic RAW is a more intelligent format that gives customers stunning images, incredible performance, cross platform support and a free developer SDK.

The Blackmagic RAW public beta will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design IBC 2018 booth at #7.B45. Customers can download the public beta for use with URSA Mini Pro cameras via the Blackmagic Camera 6.0 Beta Update. In addition, DaVinci Resolve 15.1 Update, which includes support for Blackmagic RAW, is also available free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website.

Blackmagic RAW has been in development for years and is a next generation codec that features multiple new technologies such as an advanced de‑mosaic algorithm, extensive metadata support, highly optimized GPU and CPU accelerated processing and more. It can be used from acquisition throughout post production for editing and color grading, all from a single file.

Traditional RAW codecs have large file sizes and are processor intensive, making them hard to work with. Video file formats are faster, but suffer quality problems due to the use of 4:2:2 video filters that reduce color resolution. Blackmagic RAW solves these problems with an intelligent design that moves part of the de-mosaic process into the camera where it can be hardware accelerated by the camera itself. This results in incredibly efficient encoding that gives customers the same quality, bit depth, dynamic range and controls as RAW, but with much better performance and smaller file sizes than most popular video codecs. Because the processor intensive partial de-mosaic is done by the camera hardware, software such as DaVinci Resolve doesn’t have to do as much work decoding the files. In addition, GPU and CPU acceleration make decoding of frames incredibly fast, so you get extremely smooth performance for editing and grading.

Blackmagic RAW is much more than a simple RAW container format. Its intelligent design actually understands the camera and the sensor. This means the image data, along with the unique characteristics of the image sensor, are encoded and saved into the Blackmagic RAW file, giving customers much better image quality, even at higher compression settings, as well as total control over features such as ISO, white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation and more.

In addition, Blackmagic RAW uses Blackmagic Design Generation 4 Color Science for superior imaging that results in reproducing extremely accurate skin tones and gorgeous, lifelike colors that rival those of cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars more. Images are encoded using a custom non-linear 12-bit space designed to provide the maximum amount of color data and dynamic range.

Blackmagic RAW also makes it easy for any software developer to access all this technology. The free developer SDK lets any third party software application add Blackmagic RAW support on Mac, Windows and Linux. The Blackmagic RAW developer SDK automatically handles the embedded sensor profile metadata, along with Blackmagic Design color science, for predictable and accurate image rendering that yields consistent color throughout the entire pipeline.

Blackmagic RAW features two types of file compression. Customers can choose either constant quality or constant bitrate encoding options, depending on the kind of work they are doing. This lets them prioritize image quality or file size. Constant quality uses variable bitrate encoding so complex frames are encoded at higher data rates to preserve detail and maintain the highest possible quality. Blackmagic RAW Q0 has minimum quantization and yields the highest quality, while Blackmagic RAW Q5 uses moderate quantization for more efficient encoding and a smaller file size. Blackmagic RAW 3:1, 5:1, 8:1 and 12:1 use constant bitrate encoding to give customers the best possible images with predictable and consistent file sizes. The ratios are based on the unprocessed file size of a single frame from the camera’s sensor, making it easy to understand the relative amount of compression being used.

The pristine camera native quality of Blackmagic RAW Q0 and 3:1 are perfect for effects heavy feature film and commercial work. Blackmagic RAW Q5 and 5:1 are extremely high quality making them great for episodic television and independent films. Blackmagic RAW 8:1 and 12:1 offer high quality and speed, making it suitable for productions that wouldn’t normally consider shooting RAW. Now, more customers than ever will be able to use high quality RAW images in an incredibly efficient way that was impossible before.

“Blackmagic RAW could entirely change the workflow going from camera through post production,” said Kees Van Oostrum, Director of Photography and President of the American Society of Cinematographers. “A superb image quality, fine detail and incredibly small file sizes could possibly make Blackmagic RAW the go to format for filmmakers. It will be an important change for post because the editorial team can work with the camera original files, which are fast enough to use for everyday editing. That means less confusion in regards to creative choices I make at the camera. The images can now travel throughout the entire workflow because we’re shooting, editing and grading with the same files! Blackmagic RAW could be a game changer in the way films, television shows and commercials are made.”

Blackmagic RAW dramatically simplifies and speeds up post production workflows. DaVinci Resolve 15.1, which was also released today, includes full support for Blackmagic RAW. The performance of Blackmagic RAW is much faster in DaVinci Resolve than any other RAW format. This makes editing, color correction and visual effects incredibly fast. In addition, working with single files instead of folders full of still image sequences greatly simplifies media management. When the RAW settings are changed in DaVinci Resolve, a .sidecar file can be generated or updated if one already exists. When opened in other software applications that support Blackmagic RAW, the .sidecar file, which contains the RAW settings made in DaVinci Resolve, will be automatically used to display the image. If the .sidecar file is removed then the file will be displayed using the embedded metadata instead. This innovative new workflow gives customers a non-destructive way to change RAW settings while working between different applications.

Featuring a fully scalable design and completely modern CPU and GPU acceleration, Blackmagic RAW is optimized for AVX, AVX2 and SSE4.1 enabled processors, multi-threaded, works across multiple CPU cores and is GPU accelerated with support for Apple Metal, CUDA and OpenCL. Frame decoding and image processing is extremely fast, making it super smooth for editing, color correction and visual effects in DaVinci Resolve. Another benefit of media being stored as single files, and not image sequences, is it makes media management easier and file copying much faster.

The free Blackmagic RAW Developer SDK is available on Mac OS, Windows and Linux. This SDK takes care of all the work for developers, so adding support for Blackmagic RAW to third party software applications is easy and fast. Developers get access to GPU and CPU accelerated algorithms for decoding files, along with unique information about the camera’s image sensor so their applications can accurately decode and display the files. The SDK features highly descriptive and flexible metadata options designed to support today’s modern workflows. Metadata is embedded directly in the .braw file or it can be stored in a .sidecar file. Metadata is important because it contains the RAW settings along with information for the slate, iris, focus, focal length, white balance and a lot more. The metadata in .sidecar files can be used on top of the embedded metadata without overwriting it. Blackmagic RAW also supports frame based metadata so customers can access values, such as focus distance, that often change on a frame by frame basis.

“Blackmagic RAW is the world’s only truly modern, high performance, professional RAW codec that is open, cross platform and free,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “It’s exciting because customers can get the visually lossless image quality of RAW with the speed of traditional video workflows. Best of all, there are no hidden licenses or ongoing fees. Blackmagic RAW has been designed to provide the industry with an open, elegant and standardized high quality image format that can be used across products and in customer workflows absolutely free!”

Availability and Price
Blackmagic RAW is available today as a public beta via the Blackmagic Camera 6.0 Beta Update for URSA Mini Pro. The final release of Blackmagic RAW is expected to ship in several weeks’ time once further testing is complete.

The DaVinci Resolve 15.1 Update, which features support for Blackmagic RAW, has also been released and can be downloaded today free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website.

Press Photography
Product photos of URSA Mini Pro, and all other Blackmagic Design products, are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/sa/media/images

About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com/sa

CTIFMF Announces Audience Development Selection

ENGAGE Selection Announced

The 2018 edition of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival will take place from October 9th – 19th 2018 at venues across the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town. This year’s industry program is focused on opportunities that will have tangible beneficial outcomes for the film industry through various mechanisms.

The CTIFMF announced its ENGAGE program to specifically address the crucial elements of audience development and film promotion, often the biggest challenges for even the most well funded and well produced films.

This seven-day workshop under the guidance of international expert Valeria Richter has been designed specifically for the South African market and will empower delegates with the most relevant tools to promote films and develop audiences.

At the end of the workshop, each participant will be assigned a project from the WIP and will be expected to deliver an Audience Design Strategy, with a cash prize awarded to the most prolific two of the lot to craft an Audience Design Strategy in collaboration with the Festival Board for CTIFMF 2019.

The following professionals have been selected to take part in the program:

  • Carolyn Carew, Executive Producer – Free Women Films
  • Faye Kabali-Kagwa, Founder –  Six Degrees from Home
  • Motheo Matsau, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer – Sterkinekor
  • Moses Serugo, Journalist & African Movie Night – Kampala Founder
  • Nolwazi Magwaza, Account Executive/Co-owner – Versfeld & Associates/Memeza Communications
  • Sarah Summers, Filmmaker/ Programmer – Black Filmmakers Festival
  • Sean Drummond, Creative Producer/ Writer/ Co-Founder – Be Phat Motel Film Company / Shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival
  • Thandeka Zwana, Production and Development Executive – Indigenous Films

In response  to her selection, Thandeka Zwana has this to say: “What I see in this opportunity is space to grow, learn, turn it into a sustainable and effective business model.”

Sean Drummond is also excited about the opportunity, “I’m honoured and excited to take part and look forward to learning, expanding my networks and getting to be involved in ground level on some incredible projects.”

“I have attended festivals as a guest and only worked on the DIFF and it’s market DFM, so the opportunity of being one of the eight Audience Engagement Strategists has got me excited, but most importantly knowing I am adding value to the South African film industry fills my heart,” explains Nolwazi Magwaza.

According to Cape Town International Film Market Elias Ribeiro, “The strong group of professionals we have assembled for our ENGAGE program will have an impact in how local films are delivered to audiences in the long run. The collective brain power we have between different disciplines involved in distribution, exhibition, publicity, creative producing and festival programming is remarkable. We hope this will be the start of a lasting and strategically planned rise in popularity of locally crafted cinema.”

For more information on the CTIFMF, to secure delegate badges to the industry program or for tickets, please visit www.filmfestival.capetown

Cinemark Wins At The Most Awards 2018

Cinemark bagged the first place in the Cinema category at this year’s 10th Annual MOST Awards celebration, another win for the group for four consecutive years.

The MOST Awards is a celebration of excellence in the media sector. The winners were announced at a prestigious event on Thursday, 13 September 2018 at The Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg.

The MOST Awards recognises the ‘best of the best’ in the media industry and is based on independent, robust research conducted by Freshly Ground Insights (FGI). The survey provides an opportunity for media agencies and media owner sales teams to anonymously vote on the quality of the service delivery, knowledge and innovation of their counterparts based on various criteria.

“It is a great achievement for our team to have won this accolade for the fourth year running. Having been voted the winner in the cinema category again in 2018. This is testimony to the hard work and dedication of the sales team in a highly-competitive environment. We would like to thank the industry for paying tribute to our winning sales team with this award,” says Leslie Adams, Head of Sales of Ster-Kinekor Theatres, who accepted the MOST Award together with the Cinemark team.

The Cinemark team displayed determination and innovation in its approach in positioning clients’ brands on the big screen. Their success reinforces cinema as a captive media platform that delivers superlative audience attention and influences consumer behaviour towards advertised brands. The medium offers fewer distractions – in fact, research shows that adverts are regarded as part of the overall cinema entertainment package.

Through thorough understanding of their own platform, the Cinemark team translates this into gaining in-depth knowledge about client brands and focusing their efforts on offering solutions that achieve a client’s business objective or sales target. “Our unique approach of offering our clients different ways of buying cinema, results from our understanding of their specific requirements. We pride ourselves in creating highly targeted campaigns in cinema that guarantee audience numbers to provide business solutions,” added Adams. “Let us create a tailored cinema campaign for one of your brands or products to achieve a specific business goal, and we think you will be delighted with the results.”

CTIFMF Proudly Celebrates LGBTQ Films

Official Selection Announced

Once again, the CTIFMF is proud to present a series of films focused on LGBTQ stories from around the world. This diverse selection of films speak to the diversity of experiences from within the LGBTQ community and yet also resonate strongly with universal themes of love, acceptance, and self-discovery.

Two African films, one from South Africa and one from Nigeria, will have red carpet premieres during the festival and tickets will be available via the website, filmfestival.capetown.

The South African Premiere of the film Kanarie on October 10th at 8:30pm SK Nouveau V&A Waterfront (www.kanariefilm.com) The film, directed by Christiaan Olwagen and starring Schalk Bezuidenhout has won numerous awards

Set in South Africa in 1985 against a backdrop of apartheid, religion, and war, Kanarie follows a teen boy, Johan Niemand, who has always been bullied in his small town for his flair for British new wave music and love of Boy George. After he gets called on by the military and auditions for the Kanaries (the South African Defence Force Church Choir and Concert Group), he believes the choir will be his ticket out of fighting the war, but he begins to see the role he plays in the oppression and injustice around him. On tour, he develops feelings for a fellow Canary and he starts to question everything he knows about himself, leading to a confrontation with his commanding officers.

Kanarie is a love story. A film about finding individuality in a world of the oppression and uniformity.

The Nigerian / UK co-production Walking with Shadows will have its World Premiere at the CTIFMF on 12 October 8:00pm @ Nu Metro5. Based on the novel by Nigerian author Jude Dibia, the film tells the story of a man who has to come to terms with his dark secret and choose between keeping his family or accepting a life of possible loneliness and rejection.

Hot off its USA theatrical release, and a win at the Sundance Film Festival, The Miseducation of Carmen Post is based on the celebrated novel by Emily M. Danforthand ollows Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) as she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night.

Cape Town International Film Festival Director Leon van der Merwe describes this year’s selection this way: “Queer cinema has never offered a more richly complex and diverse characters and stories than we have seen recently  and that shines through in the quality of films that the program team have put together. This diversity of films reflects shifts in cultural conversations around identity, but also the festival’s own spirit as welcoming and inclusive.

We try to forget the labels and look for queerness in all kinds of films. It really works because this section of the festival is very successful within the community but also for an audience who’s just interested in seeing these films.”

Below is the full list of films competing within the LGBTQ category of this year’s Cape Town International Film Festival:

  • Girl – Belgium,Netherlands – Lukas Dhont
  • I Miss you when I see you – Hong Kong – Simon Chung
  • Just Friends – The Netherlands – Ellem Smit
  • Kanarie – South Africa – Christiaan Olwagen
  • Malila:The Farewell Flower – Thailand – Anucha Boonyawatana
  • Mario – Poland – Marcel Gisler
  • Postcards From London – UK – Steve McLean
  • Retablo – Peru / Germany / Norway – Alvaro Delgado Aparicio
  • Soldiers Story From Ferentari – Belguim, Romania,Serbia – Ivana Mladenovic
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post – USA – Desiree Akhavan
  • Walking with Shadows – Nigeria, UK – Aoife Kelly, Funmi Iyanda

From the 10th -19th of October, 80 Feature Films, 20 documentaries and 66 short films will be screened at various venues at the V & A Waterfront. Full schedules and ticketing information can be found  on the the website, www.filmfestival.capetown.

The Cape Town International Film Market and Festival is proudly hosted by the City of Cape Town.