Paolo Sorrentino (1970 – present)
Italian film director and screenwriter
Sorrentino is considered among the most audacious contemporary filmmakers today. His work has been critically acclaimed across international film festivals and the global film community. The themes he depicts in his cinema have led him to be compared to Frederico Fellini, Ettore Scola and Michaelangelo Antonioni.
His film The Great Beauty scored a hat-trick, when in 2014 it won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film, BAFTA award for Best Film Not in the English Language, and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, after being nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Dustin Lee Hoffman (1937 – present)
American actor and film director, with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960.
Hoffman has been known for his versatile portrayals of anti-heroes and vulnerable characters. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1980 for Kramer vs. Kramer, and in 1988 for Rain Man. Widely considered one of the finest actors in history, Hoffman first drew critical praise for starring in the play, Eh?, for which he won a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award. This achievement was soon followed by his breakthrough 1967 film role as Benjamin Braddock, the title character in The Graduate. Since that time, Hoffman’s career has largely been focused on the cinema, with sporadic returns to television and to the stage.
Along with 2 Academy Award wins, Hoffman has been nominated for 5 additional Academy Awards, and he was nominated for 13 Golden Globes, winning 6 (including an honorary award). He has won 4 BAFTAs, 3 Drama Desk Awards, a Genie Award, and an Emmy Award.
Films of Note: The Graduate (1967), Midnight Cowboy (1969), John and Mary (1969), Little Big Man (1970), Straw Dogs (1971), Papillon (1973), Lenny (1974), All the President’s Men (1976), Marathon Man (1976), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Tootsie (1982), Rain Man (1988), Hook (1991), Outbreak (1995) and Wag the Dog (1997), Meet the Fockers (2004), Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006), Kung Fu Panda 1, 2 and 3 (2008, 2011 and 2016/voice of Master Shifu)
In a plain and drab school somewhere in an unknown country with a strict authoritarian regime, a regular day is completely turned around with a ridiculous announcement – the school has changed all the rules and every students is ordered to comply without question.
Not understanding the implications of resisting this authoritarian shift, the seemingly identical students find it difficult to understand why logic and truth are being thrown out of the window, while the preposterous new lesson is supposed to be the new truth. Anyone who protests has a heavy price to pay. Naturally, there are voices of dissent; and the spark of revolution to overthrow a tyrannical regime is ignited.Two & Two is an allegory for the absurdness of dictatorship and tyranny – and the resilience of the human spirit.
The best thing about this short film is that it ends with hope fro those of us who love to fight censorship with resistance. People will fight dictatorships in their own way. Expression finds new outlets whenever there is a curb on it. Look at Iranian cinema, for example.
This short film by Babak Anvari was nominated for a BAFTA in the Best Short Film category. This resonates with so many voices today as they try to find a space to speak freely and without fear.
Heywood “Woody” Allen; born Allan Stewart Konigsberg (1935 – present)
American actor, writer, director, comedian, playwright and jazz clarinetist
Part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmakers of the mid-1960s to late 1970s
Has more screenwriting Academy Award nominations than any other writer, and has won nine BAFTAs
Films of note: Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (1979), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Midnight in Paris (2011), Blue Jasmine (2013)