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Marvel's 'The Avengers' - Over 13.7 Million Views in 24 Hours!

Marvel Studios announced on Friday that its new trailer for this winter’s most highly anticipated movie, Marvel’s The Avengers, was viewed over 13.7 million times in the first 24 hours of its debut, setting a new record for the most viewed trailer on iTunes and the iTunes Trailers app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

The new trailer, unveiled Wednesday, February 29, exclusively on iTunes, gives fans an exciting look at Marvel's The Avengers - an action adventure of a lifetime - based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series The Avengers, first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since.

In Marvel’s The Avengers the world’s greatest superheroes assemble when Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) join S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to protect the world from the dangerous and powerful villain, Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

An exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects,  Marvel’s The Avengers is produced by Kevin Feige and directed by Joss Whedon from a story by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon with the screenplay by Joss Whedon.

The Avengers will be released on April 26, 2012 in cinemas nationwide.

Oscars 2012: Winners and Losers

The Academy Awards have been accused of being boring and predictable. This may be true of the event as a spectacle, but award ceremonies should be more concerned with credibility than accessibility. This year's nominations featured a number of surprises in the wake of The Golden Globes with a number of snubs. Here are this year's winners and losers with a brief commentary on the results.

Best Picture

Winner: The Artist

Nominees: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Hugo, Moneyball, Midnight in Paris, The Descendants, The Help, The Tree of Life, War Horse

The Best Picture category was an interesting one. The Artist was the most superior film, an original -rounder and fully deserved the accolades. However, it wasn't a particularly strong year for film and most of the main competition were either not in the running or flawed. Hugo and War Horse lacked the performances, The Help lacked in the technical department, Moneyball was a baseball version of The Social Network, Midnight in Paris was too comedy, The Tree of Life was too experimental and didn't power home, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was a fluke nomination and The Descendants wasn't distinctive enough.

Best Actor

Winner: Jean DuJardin - The Artist

Nominees: Demian Bichir (A Better Life), George Clooney (The Descendants), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Brad Pitt (Moneyball)

While the 2012 Oscars may have been a bit predictable, the awards should be bestowed upon the best and not the most popular or hard-working. This probably explains why actors like Brad Pitt and George Clooney were overlooked. They managed to earn a nomination, but their cumulative work speaks louder than any individual performance. Pitt had a fantastic year with Moneyball and The Tree of Life and if it were based on aggregates, he should have clinched it.

Best Actress

Winner: Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady

Nominees: Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis (The Help), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn)

While a solid category of nominees and despite several dark horse contenders, this was really between Viola Davis and Meryl Streep. Davis was superb in The Help, but the legendary Streep carried a middling biopic on her performance. Streep's previous Oscars may have given the Academy reason to award Davis, who has turned in a string of solid performances. However, it's been too many nominations and years between Oscar two and three... and with an Oscar-worthy reply to Helen Mirren's The Queen it was time to win again.

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: Christopher Plummer - Beginners

Nominees: Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn), Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Nick Nolte (Warrior), Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)

In possibly the most intriguing acting category, Plummer had the edge over Nolte's comeback in a film that deserved a place in the limelight. Jonah Hill's nomination was a tip of the hat. Max von Sydow's silent performance was acknowledged and Kenneth Branagh is always a safe bet, but didn't have enough screen time to ratchet an award-winning performance.

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Octavia Spencer - The Help

Nominees: Berenice Bejo (The Artist), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs)

Another set of interesting supporting nominations, this one was a lock from the start with the funny, heart-on-sleeve performance from Octavia Spencer, who probably would've won up against her co-star, Viola Davis in a similar dynamic to Precious. Chastain had the best year on aggregate and as a newcomer, Berenice Bejo was up to the task with a winning film behind her and Melissa McCarthy's comic performance would've been quite an upset.

Best Director

Winner: Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist

Nominees: Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Hugo (Martin Scorsese), Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen), Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life)

The Artist managed a sweep with five big Oscars, including Best Directing, in one of the most heated categories. Payne's deeply human The Descendants wasn't distinctive enough, Scorsese's magical tapestry didn't have the performances, Allen's Midnight in Paris was a bit too light and Malick's The Tree of Life was genius, but a bit too unhinged. The Artist's fresh angle and strength across the board made it the least flawed with a throwback to old Hollywood and silent movies. Ambitious... but it didn't overreach.

Best Animated Feature Film

Winner: Rango

Nominees: A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita, Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda 2

The Adventures of Tintin may not have featured in the Best Animated Feature section, opting for a number of solid entries... the most artistic, credible, original, unusual and talent-filled being Rango.

Cape Town, Chronicle, Safe House and F.I.L.M...


Cape Town was the prime location of two February blockbuster box office hits released a week apart in America. Chronicle, which opened on 3 February 2012, topped the notoriously slow Super Bowl weekend with a $22m opening, while Safe House, released last Friday, 10 February 2012, raked in $40.2m.

Cape Town doubled for Seattle in the Josh Trank sci-fi adventure Chronicle, but had a rare starring role as itself in Safe House, a gripping, CIA action thriller starring Denzel Washington and Ryan ReynoldsChronicle was shot with South African production company Film Afrika Worldwide, while Safe House was filmed with Moonlighting Films.

Cape Town is not the only common denominator between Chronicle and Safe House; both films used trainee crew from The Film Industry Learner Mentorship (F.I.L.M.) programme, a Section 21, not-for-profit enterprise created by leading Cape film production and servicing companies to ensure mentorship, training and skills development in the South African film industry.

84th Academy Awards Nominees Announced...

Awards season is upon us again with the 84th Academy Awards ceremony ready to capture the world's attention as nominees prepare to feel their hearts in their throats and millions watch on in anticipation.

This year's crop of nominations is interesting with some big surprises! South Africa's Skoonheid didn't get through in the foreign-language film category, probably due to its heavy content and it seems they've gone in favour of films broaching lighter subject matter. This explains the omission of Ryan Gosling, who had a great year with high hopes for his performance in Drive. Ironically, Martin Scorsese's lightest film to date... Hugo, has garnered the most nominations.

Other upsets include The Adventures of Tintin and Cars 2 being ousted in favour of Rango, Puss in Boots and Kung Fu Panda 2 in the best animated feature and Leonardo DiCaprio missing a best actor nod after featuring at the Golden Globes for his age-spanning character portrait, J. Edgar. Many Harry Potter fans and filmmakers must have felt slighted by so few nominations for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, possibly a comment on it being a Part 2?

Film Festivals in South Africa

Every year South Africa hosts a number of local and international film festivals at independent and commercial cinemas around the country.

Cape Winelands Film Festival

A window on World Cinema, which celebrates past and present achievements in international filmmaking and for new voices in South African cinema.

When? From 14 March

Where? Cape Town and surrounds

Climate Justice Film Festival

An exhibition of leading climate and social justice films from around the globe.

When? Last week of November to first week of December

Where? Durban

Durban International Film Festival

South Africa’s longest-running film festival, the Durban International Film Festival, presenting over 250 screenings of current films from around the world, with strong focus on South African and African cinema.

When? 19 to 29 July, 2012

Where? Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Nu Metro - Cinecentre Suncoast, Ster-Kinekor -Musgrave, Cinema Noveau - Gateway, Durban

Encounters - South African International Documentary Film Festival

Africa's most prestigious documentary film festival.

When? 7 to 24 June, 2012

Where? Cape Town and Johannesburg

Every Human Has Rights Online Film Festival

An online international film festival commemorating and celebrating International Human Rights Day on 10 December through a selection of films to raise awareness and consciousness.

When? 1 to 10 December

Where? Online

Horrorfest - South African Horror Film Festival

An annual horror film and media festival that runs over Halloween with screenings and events dedicated to all things horror.

When? Last week of October to first week of November.

Where? Labia Theatre, Cape Town

Jozi Film Festival

An annual film festival dedicated to Jozi and her inhabitants.

When? 10-12 February, 2012

Where? Bioscope Independent Cinema at Main Street Life in Maboneng Precinct and Kensington Club, Ivanhoe Street, Kensington

Out in Africa - South African Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Out in Africa showcases films from around the world in order to stimulate and promote a home-grown film industry and promote a sense of belonging and pride – films that explore our particular identity, lifestyles and concerns.

When? 23 March to 1 April, 2012 | 27 July to 5 August, 2012 | 19 to 28 October,2012

Where? Nu Metro - V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, Nu Metro - Hyde Park, Johannesburg

Transforming Stories - International Christian Film Festival

The Transforming Stories International Christian Film Festival (TSICFF) has a vision to transform cultures through storytelling. Last year 181 films were submitted from 19 countries representing 5 continents of the world, making Transforming Stories a truly global film festival.

When? December to March, 2012

Where? Throughout South Africa

Tri-Continental Film Festival

The Tri-Continental Film Festival is an annual, national festival that focuses on documentary and narrative films from or about Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Middle-East. The overall objective of the Festival is to showcase outstanding Cinema that deals with socio/political and human rights themes pertinent to these regions.

When? September

Where? Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria


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