SYRFILM 09 Gets Ready to Launch

Although printed schedules are widely available, plus inserts in the Syracuse "New Times" and the "Post-Standard" Sunday "Stars" magazine, Shapiro cautioned that the website will continue to be most accurate. For example, the Serbian film "Tears for Sale" has since been added (it screens Sunday, 4/26 at 8:45 PM at the Eastwood Palace).

Shapiro noted that many parts of the program are family and youth oriented -- the downtown Drive-in movies, animation programs at the MOST in Armory Square and others so labeled in the program - as well as a section of the program devoted to CNY filmmakers.

But he called three films in particular "controversial" in their content: "Exhausted," which just won South Korea's grand festival prize, "United Red Army" and "Tableau." The program also labels some other screenings as "adult."

Shapiro said that pioneering indie filmmaker Rob Nilsson receives a special tribute mini-retrospective for his 40 years of filmmaking, including his acclaimed "Northern Lights." Nilsson will be on hand at e four thscreenings of his films plus speak at a panel about politics and Hollywood.

SYRFILM also honors Italian producer-director Gian Vittorio Baldi with special screenings (check the festival website as this morning's "Post-Standard" lists the Baldi screenings incorrectly). Baldi arrives this week and will also meet with film students and others before the festival officially gets underway next Friday.

Milcho Manchevski's "Shadows" -- Macedonia's Oscar entry this year -- also screens in the fest.

Asked what would be the two or three "must-see" films, Shapiro at first said that was difficult.

"Subtitled movies are hard for people and that's probably the first impediment. But we have some really good films here and I guarantee if people will give them a try, they'll forget they're reading subtitles. But I'd have to ask people what they're curious about -- for example, do they want to know how people from Russia view the world?"

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