Martin Scorsese to Honor Darren Aronofsky at First Time Fest

Darren Aronofsky Venice Film Festival - P 2011
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Darren Aronofsky Venice Film Festival - P 2011

The new New York-based film festival, set for March 1-4, will focus on first-time filmmakers.

Martin Scorsese will present the first John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema to Darren Aronofksy at the First Time Fest, which will take place in New York from March 1-4.

The freshman festival, which celebrates first-time filmmakers, was co-founded by Johanna Bennett and Mandy Ward and will be hosted by The Players, the club founded by actor Edwin Booth, author Mark Twain and artist John Singer Sargent in 1847 and located at Gramercy Park. Events will take place at the club, while screenings will be held at Loews Village VII on Third Avenue.

The festival will screen a dozen films in competition, and together, the jury and audience will select a grand-prize winner, who will be offered theatrical distribution and full international sales representation from the American film distributor Cinema Libre Studio.

The fest will also present a series of first films from filmmakers who went on to prominence, like Aronofsky’s Pi, John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon and Stanley Kubrick’s Killer’s Kiss.

Participants will include such critics and filmmakers as Christine Vachon, Fred Schneider, Sofia Coppola, Todd Solondz, Barbara Kopple, Scott Foundas, John Anderson, Eric Kohn, Emily Russo, Jenny Lumet, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Hal Hartley, Peter Saraf, Nancy Savoca and Amy Ryan.

The festival will also include a series of panels called “How They Did It,” plus one-on-one conversations with a number of the filmmakers.

The lineup of competition films consists of:

Blumenthal -- New York Premiere. USA. Written and directed by Seth Fisher. With Fisher, Brian Cox, Mark Blum, Laila Robins, Mei Melançon.

Headfirst (La Tete La Premiere) -- U.S. Premiere.  Belgium/France. Written and directed by Amelie van Elmbt. With Alice de Lencquesaing, David Murgia, Jacques Doillon.

Horizon Sky -- World Premiere. Belarus. Written and directed by Dmitry Marinin, Andrey Kureychik. With Leonid Pashkovsky, Tatyana Bovkalova, Viktor Rybchinsky, Anna Sirotina.

I Love You All (Los Quiero a Todos) -- U.S. Premiere. Argentina. Written, directed, and produced by Luciano Quillici. With Ramiro Aguero, Santiago Gobemori, Diego Jalfen, Valeria Louis, Leticia Mazur, Margarita Molfino, Alan Sabbagh.

Junction -- USA.  Written and directed by Tony Glazer. With Tom Pelphrey, Neal Bledsoe, Harris Doran, Summer Crockett Moore, Anthony Rapp, David Zayas, Michael O’Keefe.

Mongolian Bling -- U.S. Premiere. Australia/Mongolia. Documentary, directed by Benj Binks.

Sal -- New York Premiere. Chile/Argentina. Written and directed by Diego Rougier. With Fele Martínez, Patricio Contreras, Sergio Hernández, Javiera Contador.

Submerge -- World Premiere. Australia. Directed by Sophie O’Connor. With Lily Hall, Christina Hallett, Kevin Dee, Georgia Bolton.

Summertime -- New York Premiere. USA. Written and directed by Max Weissberg. With Lethia Nall, Eric Garcia, Rob Hollander, H.R. Britton, James Eason, Jenny Grace, Olivia Horton, Michele Cesari.

Uprising -- USA/Egypt. Documentary directed by Fredrik Stanton.

Urban Tale -- U.S. Premiere. Israel. Written and directed by Eliav Lilti. With Barak Friedman, Noa Friedman, Esti Yerushalmi, Zohar Shtrauss, Ohad Knoller, Michal Shtamler.

Zipper -- USA. Documentary directed by Amy Nicholson.