Short films - Brief encounters of the increasingly popular kind

Short films are the fastest-growing section of the movie business, with major directors, big brands, and web guerillas all using them to reach big audiences.

Aamir Khan: the Tom Cruise of Bollywood

The actor, director and producer talks to The Independent Online about his new film 'Peepli (Live)', a satire on the mass farmers' suicide problem facing India.

Toronto's arrived, and the British are coming

Kaleem Aftab on an amazing 10 days at the world's buzziest film festival

The great British hope: How Andrea Riseborough took the film world by storm

With starring roles in three very different films at this week's Toronto Film Festival, Andrea Riseborough is being hailed as cinema's most exciting and versatile newcomer. James Mottram meets her

Never Let Me Go, Toronto Film Festival

The age of the principal protagonist in this adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel has been reduced from 31 to 28 to facilitate the use of the cream of young British acting talent – Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield.

First Night: 127 Hours, Toronto Film Festival

Uncomfortable viewing, but a compelling piece of work

Brighton Rock, Toronto Film Festival

It coasts along quite nicely

First Night: Hereafter, Toronto Film Festival

Eastwood may be 80 – but latest film shows he's not stuck in his ways

The Town, Venice Film Festival

Three years ago, actor turned director Ben Affleck surprised critics with his highly accomplished debut feature, Gone Baby Gone, a disturbing, morally ambiguous drama about the search for an abducted kid. The Town, a thriller about Boston bank robbers, is a more conventional assignment, but it underlines Affleck's credentials as an actor's director. The plotting is strictly formulaic. What gives the film heft and pathos are the character performances and Affleck's vivid use of his Boston locations.

First Night: I'm Still Here, Venice film festival

Phoenix emerges from the flames – but is new film real?

First Night: A Letter To Elia, Venice Film Festival

Scorsese on communists and prostitutes' sons

British films prove a hit at Venice

Isaac Julien joins veterans Martin Scorsese and Catherine Deneuve on the Lido

Miral, Venice Film Festival

American artist-turned film-maker Julian Schnabel follows up on his intimate and claustrophobic The Diving Bell and the Butterly (about a stroke victim) with a full-blown epic looking at the Palestinian struggle from 1948 until the mid-1990s. Miral is plodding at times, choppily edited and unevenly performed. It has very little of the aesthetic polish of Schnabel's earlier work and the director is bound to be accused by his critics of political naivete. However, it's also a courageous and groundbreaking film. There aren't any other movies that spring to mind from Oscar-nominated directors that look at post-war Middle Eastern history from the point of view of Palestinian women.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee