Su-City Pictures East, LLC

Screenplay & Film Consulting By Susan Kouguell

Month: September 2013

Susan’s piece from the Locarno Int’l Film Festival: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and Arthur Cohn



Locarno International Film Festival: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and Producer Arthur Cohn

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Il giardino dei Finzi-Contini) was presented in the Piazza Grande under the stars at the Locarno International Film Festival’s ‘pre-Festival’ show.

Directed by Vittorio De Sica in 1970, the film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. The film was introduced by three-time Oscar winner and producer of the movie, Arthur Cohn, who spoke about his work with Vittorio De Sica.  “He taught me three points: 1) Anytime you make a movie don’t necessarily go with known actors; 2) Always insist to shoot the scene in the original, intended location; and 3) Always do what you feel; listen to your instinct and not what others tell you.”

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Matt Johnson‘s first feature, The Dirties, (Slamdance Best Narrative Feature winner) is gaining the kind of buzz that every film student dreams    of. But more about film school later. Unapologetically confronting issues of high school bullying with a distinct visual style and pathos, and just the    right balance of humor, this film will certainly provoke a discourse about accountability and violence.

I sat down with Canadian filmmaker Matt Johnson at the Locarno Film Festival where his film was included in the Concorso Cineasti del presente, to talk about the making of The Dirties, his filmmaking background, and more.

Read more of my interview from the Locarno Film Festival with THE DIRTIES director Matt Johnson for INDIEWIRE/SYDNEYSBUZZ

Owen Williams and Matt Johnson after their SRO screening at the Locarno Film Festival

Susan’s piece: WERNER HERZOG MASTER CLASS at Locarno Film Festival

Master Class with Werner Herzog at the Locarno Film Festival

German director, screenwriter, producer and actor Werner Herzog was awarded the Pardo d’onore Swisscom at the Locarno Film Festival on the Piazza  Grande on 16 August. In addition to the screenings of his films during the Festival, Herzog conducted a Master Class hosted by Grazia Paganelli, author of Sinais de Vida: Werner Herzog e o Cinema    .

The intensive Master Class covered a wide range of topics — from shooting on celluloid versus digitally — to the challenges of working in fiction and    documentaries — to recounting compelling and often humorous anecdotes, including his voiceover acting role on the animated series The Simpsons.

To read more of my article:

Herzog showing film clip of his documentary

Herzog showing film clip of his documentary



Susan’s Indiewire piece on (Herzog) Cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger


Award-winning Cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger
Speaks to Locarno Summer Academy Students.

Thank you to Summer Academy Director Stefano Knuchel for inviting me to attend.

Left to Right:Stefano Knuchel, Peter Zeitlinger, Werner Herzog, Nevina Satta.

Since 1996, award-winning cinematographer, filmmaker, screenwriter and editor, Peter Zeitlinger, has worked with Werner Herzog as his director of photography on many films, including Encounters at the End of the World, Grizzly Man, Into the Abyss,    Cave of Forgotten Dreams, The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans, On Death Row, and From One Second to the Next    . The Czech born Zeitlinger fled the country as a child in 1968, during the Soviet occupation and moved to Austria.

Werner Herzog joined Peter Zeitlinger for the beginning of the seminar for students of the Summer Academy moderated by Academy Director Stefano Knuchel and    Documentary Summer School Lab and Artists Workshop Director Nevina Satta. Hours later on the Grande Piazza stage, before an audience of thousands, Peter    Zeitlinger presented Herzog with the Festival’s Pardo d’Onore Swisscom award.

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Ask the Screenplay Doctor: Getting Recognized

Breaking into the Business…

Readers’ Questions…My Answers…Read the article:

Photo credit: Jeezny/Flickr


Susan’s NewEnglandFilm Interview with Manakamana directors

Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez, the filmmakers behind Manakamana

During the Locarno International Film Festival in August, I interviewed Manakamana filmmakers Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez where their film had its world premiere: at the Festival’s Concorso Cineasti del Presente (Cinema of the Present competition), which is dedicated to emerging directors from all over the world. Just days after our interview, Manakamana was awarded the Golden Leopard, the top prize in its category

To read more of my Interview from the Locarno Film Festival with Manakamana award-winning filmmakers Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez…

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