AFA-MIFF REVIEW BY DR. MARTHA HART FOR MOVIE MEANINGS - Mar. 3rd 2020
The 17th Angel Film Awards - Monaco International Film Festival 2020 is now in the books and it was absolutely fabulous!! I really enjoyed watching the exquisite films from all over the world. AFA-MIFF is a wonderful platform that allows international filmmakers to congregate and share their love of filmmaking with the backdrop of non-violence.
Monaco Awards Celebration on stage Jury President James Tumminia US 2019 Emmy award nominee producer, Dr. Martha Hart AFA-MIFF Vice President. The 2020 Jury board: Italian actress Antonella Salvucci, Scottish actress Vivien Taylor, South Korean director Eun OH & the AFA-MIFF founders, director, producer Rosana Golden, Dean Bentley.
THE AFA-MIFF is the perfect format for this endeavor and promotes veteran and upcoming filmmakers to flourish. On this point, it is important to remember that although Hollywood is often thought of as the gold standard when it comes to filmmaking there are so many great filmmakers globally who want to make movies in their own native language and it’s nice to honor their craft. That said, given that I love true stories it’s no surprise that the festivals’ documentaries and movies that focused on factual events were a big hit with me.
2) Winner Best Actress in a feature film Yoshiko Sengen from Japan on red carpet with Rosana Golden & Dean Bentley the founders of the Angel Film Awards Monaco Int'l Film Festival.
To begin, I loved Claudia Adams documentary LIKE NO OTHER, which thanks to the profile this film received at the AFA-MIFF will now be shown later this month at the United Nations in New York City at the Socially Relevant Film Festival that focuses on Climate Change and Women. This documentary (39:45 min) centers on the 2010 Pakistan floods caused by a combination of global warming and climate change which was the worst natural disaster in Pakistan’s history. Using “never before seen footage,” LIKE NO OTHER shows the world, first-hand, what happens to victims during and after a disaster of this unimaginable magnitude.
Second, I loved former NFL Detroit Lions starting tackle turned stunt man (6 foot 7 inches 315 pounds) Jim Warne’s documentary entitled 7th GENERATION (52:00 minutes extended cut). The film is about Oglala Lakota tribal member Jim Warne’s efforts to help Tribal Nations find a way to succeed in a contemporary American system and still remain Indian at heart. The film exposes the atrocities that occurred via the Wounded Knee Massacre and Lakota medicine man Black Elk’s prophecy that it would take 7 generations to heal the sacred hoop, which has now arrived.
3) The Angel Film Awards ceremony marked its final celebration night and the respected Angel Monaco Int'l jury board awarded to the film that best conveyed the ‘SPIRIT OF THE FESTIVAL’ the acclaimed golden Angel trophy 'THE REAL EXORCIST' feature drama Japan.
This informative heartbreaking film is brilliant, and in my opinion, should be shown in all American schools (and possibly Canadian schools as well). Thankfully this film is making its rounds at a number of renowned film festivals and getting the message out in the public domain. Film Synopsis: The film is to help the public understand the hardships felt by Indian Country since those times, what really happened in the boarding school era, the historical trauma that tribal members still deal with today, what Mt. Rushmore looks like through a Lakota lens and the history behind Paha Sapa the Black Hills. This film covers generations of history, including the perspectives of Jim Warne.
4) AFA Monaco red carpet with the Italian actress & TV personality Antonella Salvucci host of the 2020 Monaco Angel Film Awards and Dean Bentley festival founder & producer.
Third, the short historical drama entitled REMEMBRANCE (11:00 min) written and directed by the famed Kevin James O’Neill who has had a long career in the entertainment industry in film but also TV, working on many popular television shows including “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman”, “Beverly Hills 90121” and “Highway to Heaven” to name a few, with lead American actor Jordan Woods-Robinson of The Walking Dead & Homeland fame was spectacular. This short film centered on Dachau survivors of the Holocaust and takes place in a facility for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, most of whom are Jewish, where professional actor Dirk Kramer (played by Jordan Woods-Robinson) plays piano and sees a way he can use his acting talents at the facility. This film is a lovely unique picture of redemption and forgiveness.
5) The Angel Monaco jury board, director, producer, vice president, AFA team from left Vivien Taylor, Rosana Golden, Virginia Xavier, Dean Bentley, Ravshaniya from Russia (artist & newcomer in filmmaking) ; Vice President Dr. Martha Hart, Eun OH
Other notable mentions include the Finnish film ONE HALF OF ME (100 min), which tells the true story of Finnish woman athlete/mother of two kids Jaana Kiviaki who suffered a spinal injury and went on to compete in Para-Equestrian Dressage. Also, I really enjoyed the romantic drama
TOKYO WINE PARTY PEOPLE (101 min). Directed by Japanese Director Hideki Wada and wine connoisseur who firmly believes wine connects people; this film equates great love to great wine. I agree! Director Wada generously shared his prized bottle of Château Margaux 1990 with me, which I truly appreciated beyond belief. This incredible wine is rated the best wine in the world and the only wine that has ever scored 100 on the famed Robert Parker wine-scoring scale. I will be forever grateful and thankful to Director Wada for his true kindness and for such an unforgettable memory and experience. In thanks I gifted Director Wada a MONACO Mug and told him that every time he drinks from that cup to remember how truly thankful I am that he shared his precious wine with me. Bless.
6) 17th Angel Film Awards Monaco Int'l Film Festival winners on stage! Our congratulations to all the 2020 nominees & winners in all categories!
Lastly, I really enjoyed the Japanese Drama THE REAL EXORCIST (108 min) that took home the top Angel Awards coveted trophy and rightfully so. This film really epitomized the AFA message of non-violence by focusing on the increasing problem of suicide in the Japanese culture. Given that I am professionally trained in suicide prevention I can tell you that suicide is the most violent act one can commit on the self and it is a serious yet highly understated problem in Japan. Well done Director Shokyo Oda for bringing this important social issue to light and congratulations to lead actress Yoshiko Sengen for picking up the much deserved Best Actress Award in a Feature Film. The take-away message of this movie is to surround yourself with light so that you do not let deadly dark negative self-talk into your head and heart. Amen.
A future film to watch out for is the true story of therapy support dog Tommy who was himself rescued from a terrible fate in India by writer Monique Golda Neman. Neman went on to write an award-winning screenplay entitle KING TOMMY about this amazing dog and brought this very special K9 to the AFA -MIFF for all of us to meet. How lovely and what a magnificent duo. This is a true story of tragedy and triumph that I can’t wait to see on the big screen.
7) from left red carpet photo-call with the festival director and co-founder Rosana Golden, AFA-MIFF vice president Dr. Martha Hart, AFA-MIFF co-founder & producer Dean Bentley, VIP guest OJ Hart, Virginia Xavier, Screenplay host Tammi Christopher (Canadian journalist).
In closing, I would like to say I had endless fun with my OHF Committee Members Virginia Xavier, Tammi Christopher, and late comer Oje Hart, along with AFA-MIFF Founders and best friends Rosana Golden and Dean Bentley (with adorable pup Lola). Our time together is much too short, but I value every minute we spend together and enjoy our shared vision of a less violent world promoted through our love of film. Also, a big thank you to our fabulous hard-working jury panel Emmy Nominated Producer and Jury President James Tumminia (LOVE, GILDA released by Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films 2019 – a documentary on the late Saturday Night Live star Gilda Radner), lovely Scottish Actress Vivien Taylor, beautiful Italian Actress Antonella Salvucci, and stunning EUN OH international Director, Writer, Producer, Composer & Editor from Seoul, Republic of Korea. What fun we had. I miss you already! Until next year when we all hopefully meet again. Bless.
AFA-MIFF 2020 Winners/Categories are listed below.
2020 Feature Film - Winning Categories:
THE ANGEL TROPHY AWARD
FOR THE FILM THAT BEST EXPRESSES THE SPIRIT OF THE FESTIVAL
"THE REAL EXORCIST" (JAPAN)
Best Feature Film: "THE REAL EXORCIST" (JAPAN)
The Angel Peace Award: “7TH GENERATION” (DOCUMENTARY FILM) (USA)
The Best Humanitarian Angel Film Award: CLAUDIA C. ADAMS; AZIZ AHMED “LIKE NO OTHER” (USA)
The Best Environmental Awareness Angel Film Award: “LIKE NO OTHER” Short Documentary film (USA) DIRECTED BY AZIS AHMED; WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY CLAUDIA C. ADAMS
Best Cinematographer: SHUNSUKE TARA “BULLET TRIP” (JAPAN)
Best Male Actor: KATSURA MAIGUMA "BULLET TRIP" (JAPAN)
Best Female Actor: YOSHIKO SENGEN “THE REAL EXORCIST” (JAPAN)
Best Director: TUUKKA TEMONEN "ONE HALF OF ME" (Finland)
Best Ensemble Cast: SAYURI MATSUMURA; ITO ONO; HYATO ONOZUKA; YOSUKE SHOJI; SAYAKA FUJIOKA; RISA SUDOU; KOSUKE KUJIRAI; YULI KUBOTA "TOKYO WINE PARTY PEOPLE” (JAPAN)
Best Producer: TUUKKA TEMONEN "ONE HALF OF ME" (Finland)
Best Male Supporting Actor: VILLE MYLLYRINNE "ONE HALF OF ME" (Finland)
Best Female Supporting Actor: RIN KIJIMA "THE REAL EXORCIST" (JAPAN)
Best Film Editing: JUHA KLAKKAINEN “ONE HALF OF ME” (Finland)
Independent Spirit Award: HIDEKI WADA “TOKYO WINE PARTY PEOPLE” (JAPAN)
Best Visual Effects: SHUJI ASANO “THE REAL EXORCIST” (JAPAN)
Short Film - Winning Categories:
Best Female Actor: ASHLEY BELL “DEAR GUEST” (USA)
Best Male Actor: JORDAN WOODS-ROBINSON “RESEMBLANCE” (USA)
Best Cinematographer: VICE & IZZY VAUGHAN “SECOND CHILDHOOD” (FRANCE/UK)
Best Director: KEVIN JAMES O’NEILL “RESEMBLANCE” (USA)
Best Costume Design: JANICE FISHER “RESEMBLANCE” (USA)
Best Ensemble Cast: TANDI WRIGHT; STEPHANIE WILKINS; KEIRA LANGRIDGE; ELYSA LANGRIDGE; TINIHUIA LEE-LEMON; MIRIAMA MCDOWEL; MOANA MANIAPOTO “LET YOUR SISTERS BE” (US/NEW ZEALAND)
Best Short Film: “RESEMBLANCE” (USA)
BEST NEWCOMER (SHORT FILM): TINIHUIA LEE-LEMON (US/NEW ZEALAND)
Best Producer: BETHANNE LEE WEISS “RESEMBLANCE” (USA)
Best Original Music: MARY SEWELL “LET YOUR SISTERS BE” (US/NEW ZEALAND)
Best Female Supporting Actor: NOUREEN DEWULF “DEAR GUEST” (USA)
Best Film Editing: HUNTER M. VIA “RESEMBLANCE” (USA)
Special Mention Angel Film Award: “AND THE WALTZ GROWS LAUDER” (RUSSIA)
Independent Spirit Award (short film): HIROYUKI YOKOYAMA “ON THAT DAY” (JAPAN)
Best Arthouse Film Award: CHRIS & MADS OSTERGAARD HOLM “MYKORRHIZA” (DENMARK)
Best Original Story (short film): MEGAN FREELS JOHNSTON “DEAR GUEST” (USA)
Feature Documentary Film - Winning Categories:
Best Feature Documentary (Extended Cut): “7TH GENERATION” (USA)
Short Documentary Film - Winning Categories:
Best Producer: CLAUDIA C. ADAMS “LIKE NO OTHER” (USA)
Short Animation Film: Winning Categories:
Best Independent Spirit Award (animation): MARK WARHOL “WHERE IS FLEURI ROSE?” (USA)