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San Sebastian Film Festival 2015: Charlie Kaufman Masterclass

A highlight for many at this year's San Sebastian-Donostia film festival was the presence of screenwriting ace Charlie Kaufman who notably wrote such idiosyncratic gems as Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

More recently he's forayed into direction and carried his originality a stage further. Synecdoche, New York, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, was his first directorial outing, which garnered more respect than acclaim. He then went on to write an experimental theatre piece called Anomalisa, now turned into a feature film that, after its Venice and Telluride screenings last month, has thus far maintained a 100% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Anomalisa is an odd, dark, dredging of the human soul. That it should do this with such probingly uncomfortable insight - and be made in stop-motion animation - is testimony to Kaufman and to animation specialist Duke Johnson, who co-directed. In the San Sebastian catalogue, Anomalisa is simply described in one sentence (in Basque, Spanish and English): "A man struggles with his inability to connect with others". This belies the fact that our hero is a British inspirational speaker in Cincinnati to give a talk to about his book to adoring fans.

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San Sebastian Film Festival 2015 – Rural Icelandic Drama Takes the Top Prize

San Sebastian Film Festival may not be as high on the A list of film festivals as Cannes is, but its vast city centre beaches beat Cannes' into a cocked hat. It's only normal then that their prizes are called shells, or Concha, as in seashells, in shades of gold for best film and three silver for runner up categories.

This year's gold, the Concha de Oro, went to Sparrows, written and directed by Runar Runarsson. Sparrows is an intricate coming of age story that takes place in rural Iceland. 16-year-old Ari is shunted to remote Westfjords from Reykjavik by his mother. She's off to save Africa, and he now has to contend with his dead-beat dad, country life and sexual awakenings in a place where there's not much to do. So far, so thematically predictable, but, by all accounts, the quality of the filmmaking and its narrative finesse turned it to gold in Donostia (the Basque name for the town). It's worth observing for a country as small as Iceland that this is the second rural drama with zoological title to get a major award this year. Rams took the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes 2015.

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What to Consider Before Accepting an International Job Offer

 

Careers are an important aspect of our lives, which means we sometimes have to make sacrifices in order to progress - like moving abroad for a great job opportunity.

Such a decision should not be taken lightly. The process of moving abroad, the culture of your new country and even the job itself might not be what you were expecting. If you're thinking of moving abroad for work it's certainly worth seeking a great deal of career advice before confirming acceptance and packing one's cases - these are the six things you need to consider before accepting the position.

1) Visa

Your future employer will be well aware of the lengthy visa process if one is required, so ask as many questions as you can. For example, question the likelihood of your/their success in securing a visa for you in this position. In many countries, such as Australia and the US, companies have to prove that there are no nationals who can do the job instead of you. Ask the employer whether they have a good case for hiring you, before you get your hopes up only to discover there are in fact many nationals with your skillset.

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Distance and Flexible Learning Opportunities in the UK

 

Whether you're a European citizen or an international student looking to study at one of the UK's many acclaimed institutions, the option of distance and flexible learning is a great opportunity to propel your education forward whilst pursuing other life goals.

So how can distance and flexible learning benefit you over enrolling in full-time education? Well, there is a wide variety of class and scheduling options that can fit around your current schedule, but to understand the benefits fully, and see if this type of learning is suited to you, let's take a look at how it can help you achieve the academic results you want, with the lifestyle you have.

What types of scheduling options are available?

Many students seeking flexible education do so because they are simultaneously pursuing a career, a passion, another form of education, or because they're located in a distant geographic area. You will find that there are usually two main routes in flexible studying, and each have their own merits:

1. Online Learning

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Cannes 2015: The Winners

 

Our guest film correspondent Séamas McSwiney with his final report from the Cannes 2015 film festival.

The perfect sun shines down on Cannes, as the packed wagons get in line to trek out of town after Cannes 68, a revolutionary number that did not really live up to its significance.

While the 1968 festival was abandoned mid-stream through protest by enraged French cineastes such as Godard, Truffaut et al, and though the last two years brought tempests, the high winds and rain also brought with them some great films. Alas, this year's balmy weather brought cinematic doldrums and few reel pleasures in the form of artistic turbulence. In the end, even the prestigious jury presidency of Joel and Ethan Coen did little to enhance the spotty selection by coming up with a puzzling palmarès.

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