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Sundance: It's Not Just American Indies

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  While the name Sundance immediately is linked with the American Independent film movement, in the past number of years, international titles have found a home base in the ski resort of Park City. By creating competition sections for both narrative and documentary films from around the world, the Festival has not only expanded its scope but has forged a link between international producers, distributors and financiers across the globe in a real and tangible way. In terms of the marketpl...

Spotlight Initiative Awards At Sundance

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  The stars were out in force earlier this week at the Sundance Film Festival when The Creative Coalition, a national advocacy organization for the arts and entertainment, gave out their 2011 Spotlight Initiative Awards at a gala ceremony in Park City. Academy-Award winning actor Alan Arkin received a special award for his career contribution and for his latest film THE CONVINCER, which premiered at the Festival earlier this week. Arkin returns to Park City for the first time since LI...

Sundance Documentaries: An Eye For Quality

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  Savvy filmgoers at the Sundance Film Festival know that the roster of documentaries on tap are generally of more consistent quality and interest than their narrative cousins. For that reason, and the increased boxoffice potential of reality-based films at the theatrical box office, attention is being paid to the American films competing for Best Documentary honors at the event. They include: Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (Director: Michael Rapaport)...

Sign Petition To Support Jafar Panahi

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  Amnesty International, the human rights organization, is building a petition campaign to protest the sentence of Jafar Panahi, a leading Iranian filmmaker and human rights activist. Panahi, an internationally celebrated film director who won the coveted Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival for his 2000 film "Dayareh" (Circle), has been sentenced to six years in prison plus a twenty-year ban on all his artistic activities—including film making, writing scrip...

Sundance Alerts: The Buzz From Park City

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  As the Sundance Film Festival enters its mid-way point and there is an obvious thinning in the ranks of both celebrities and professionals, here is a rundown of some of the buzz, information and deals that are making noise in Park City this week. FILMMAKER MAGAZINE OFFERS NO GLITZ SUNDANCE COVERAGE If you believed what you read in most newspapers and see on television entertainment magazines, Sundance seems to exist merely as a playground for fabulous celebrities where they...

Sundance Alert: ScheinMedia Joins Forces With Film Festival Today

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  The Sundance Film Festival is not only a place to screen new films, make distribution deals and party like it's 1999. It is also a particularly strong environment for announcing new intiatives and alliances that will expand the reach of film and new media in the months to come. Such an announcement was made at the start of the Festival by ScheinMedia, a media marketing firm based in New York. ScheinMedia has announced that it has acquired an operating interest in FilmFestivalTod...

Actress Vera Farmiga Returns To Sundance As Debut Director

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  Actress Vera Farmiga, who was nominated last year for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as George Clooney's love interest in the zeitgeist comedy UP IN THE AIR, has returned to the Sundance Film Festival with her feature directorial debut HIGHER GROUND, which is competing in the American Independents Narrative section. The film, in which she stars as a woman coping with a crisis of faith. had its initial screenings this weekend and is already one of the standout titles ...

Going For The Brass Ring At Sundance

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  For American Independent filmmakers (and increasingly, international ones too), the Sundance Film Festival is an opportunity to put one's project on the world stage and, hopefully, end up with a delicious distribution deal. Of course, truth be told, less than 5% of the 250 films on offer here will create any sort of noise after the Festival concludes (well, push that up to 10% if you include the films that will eventually be asked to participate on the international film festival circ...

OK....It's Sundance Time Again

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Mohammed moves to the mountain as the 2011 edition of the Sundance Film Festival, the only world class film event to take place at a ski resort, kicks off tomorrow, with not one film but a cross-section of some of the Festival's strongest and most buzzed titles. John Cooper, the new Sundance honcho since last year, has done away with the traditional single Opening Night Gala and replaced it with a series of films. "It was almost impossible to find a film that represented the entire p...

SXSW To Premiere Mel Gibson Film

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  Mel Gibson may be slightly persona non grata in Hollywood, but Austin, Texas is rolling out the red carpet for him come March. Gibson's newest film, THE BEAVER, in which he co-stars with the film's director Jodie Foster, will receive its World Premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) in mid March prior to its theatrical release later that month by producer/distributor Summit Entertainment. In the drama, Ms. Foster's third film as a director, Gibson stars as a depres...

Iran Outrage: Jafar Panahi Jailed

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  International reaction is building as news emerges from Iran that Jafar Panahi, one of that country's most internationally respected film artists, has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term. The Berlin International Film Festival is the first of many film institutions around the world to sharply condemn the harsh sentences handed down to the renowned Iranian director Jafar Panahi and his directing colleague Mohammed Rasulof. Accused of spreading “propaganda against the system”,...

THE SOCIAL NETWORK To Be Feted In Palm Springs

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  THE SOCIAL NETWORK, which is the current favorite for Oscar gold, will be feted at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the first major international film festival event of 2011. The Festival Awards Gala will present the Ensemble Performance Award to the film’s cast, including Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer and Rooney Mara, who are all expected to attend.  The film’s director, David Fincher, will present the award.   THE SOCIAL...

A World Of Film In South India

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  Kerala, in the southwest corner of India, is a truly magical place that contains majestic mountains, lush backwaters, golden rice paddies, towering coconut palms and a gorgeous coastline in what is India’s most cine-literate and culturally discerning state. Therefore, the yearly International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which is currently running in the city of Trivandrum through December 19, is a much anticipated film event that brings together filmmakers and appreciative...

Ethiopian Oscar Contender Set For Palm Springs

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  The Palm Springs International Film Festival, the first major film event of the 2011 film calendar, is known, among other things, for its embrace of films being considered for the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. The Festival routinely screens most of the films eligible, screening the films that the countries themselves have put forward for nomination. This offers a wide and diverting survey of the state of world cinema. One interesting title this yea...

Gregory Von Hausch: The Spirit of FLIFF

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  The 25th edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival wraps tomorrow night after a record-breaking 28 days of world cinema, special events and tribute evenings. The "official" wrap was on Sunday evening, with the local premiere of CASINO JACK, the final film of  director George Hickenlooper, who died last week at the very young age of 47. FLIFF President and CEO Gregory von Hausch dedicated the evening to Hickenlooper, who had been a guest of the Festival sever...

FLIFF Film In Focus: BENEATH THE BLUE

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  Florida has more coastline than it does land mass, so it makes sense that Floridian film audiences love films that accentuate the seas and the creatures that inhabit it. They also have a sense of urgency about the threats to their tropical paradise (as evidenced by the recent Gulf of Mexico oil disaster), so a film like BENEATH THE BLUE appeals to audiences a the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival not only for its underwater photography, its natural beauty but its strong ecolo...

Jane Russell: The Brunette Bombshell

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  The number of film stars who embodied the golden age of Hollywood who are still here to tell the tale are few and far between. However, this evening the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) will have one such diva in their presence, Miss Jane Russell. The busty, brunette bombshell who set pulses racing in the 1940s and 1950s made only 25 films in a two decade career, but she was one of the iconic figures who defined Hollywood glamour. The discovery of millionaire Howard H...

International Voices At FLIFF

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  WOMEN WITHOUT MEN (Shirin Neshat, Iran)  At the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF), which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, bringing international cinema to the attention of local audiences is a major priority. Since most of the films presented will never find traditional theatrical distribution, their showings are FLIFF are (unfortunately) a rare occurrence and maybe the only opportunity for a film to be seen on the big screen. The lack of ...

Claire Bloom To Be Honored At Fort Lauderdale Film Festival

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  The 25th edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) comes to a climax this weekend. Among the special events is a hommage to English stage and screen actress Claire Bloom, who will receive a Career Achievement Award on Saturday evening for her 60 years in show business. The Festival, centered at the Cinema Paradiso art theater, will screen the actress' film debut, a role for which she won a BAFTA Award as Best Newcomer. She was chosen to play the crippled...

FLIFF Film In Focus: SEDUCING CHARLIE BARKER

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  The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) has a reputation for showcasing the best new films from the American indie movement. With the difficulties of the theatrical market and the overall economic slump in the industry, film festivals have become a prime outlet for these kinds of films. This evening, the breezy comedy SEDUCING CHARLIE BARKER by Amy Glazer, will make its Southeast Premiere at the Festival, followed by a swanky after-party. The film tells the tale ...

25 Years And Counting For FLIFF

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  The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (affectionately known as FLIFF) has become one of the significant regional showcases of world cinema and American indie films. This year, FLIFF is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and despite the economic downturn in south Florida, is pulling out all the stops for a no-holds-barred celluloid celebration. The Festival comes to its nearly four-week climax this coming weekend.      The festivities began on October ...

BFI London Film Festival Award Winners

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  The BFI London Film Festival held a special awards ceremony on Wednesday evening to honor films and personalities that have made this year’s LFF the most attended in the Festival’s long history. HOW I ENDED THIS SUMMER by Russian director Alexei Popogrebsky, was awarded the Best Film prize in an unexpected shocker (buzz in the air was that the award would go to perennial Mike Leigh for his film ANOTHER YEAR). The film observes the intense relationship between two men who wor...

London Film Festival Points To The Oscars

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  Inevitably, any major film festival that occurs in the Fall season has a role play in determining eventual Oscar nominees and even winners. It all starts off at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, where Oscar hopefuls get their debuts, and continues into the season, presumably climaxing with nominations that come at the first of the year. With the Academy’s recent expansion of the Best Picture category to include 10 films, it is very likely that several of the films present...

John Lennon's Love Affair With New York

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  It was a slightly surreal experience being in London on Wednesday evening and watching the new documentary film LENNONNYC , an account of famed musician and activist John Lennon’s final ten years in his adopted city of New York. While the London Film Festival crowd was certainly enthusiastic about a film that brought them closer to one of their icons, the barbs from Lennon and his wife and artistic collaborator Yoko Ono were far from flattering about John’s native country. ...

BFI: Celebrating Film 52 Weeks A Year

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  Inviting the international press to a special preview screening and delectable lunch at the chic The Hospital Club in Covent Garden, the British Film Institute (BFI), the sponsoring organization of the BFI London Film Festival, wanted to emphasize that they provide outstanding film programs throughout the entire year. The BFI has the goal of educating and entertaining the British public by providing a voice for cultural film, from both its homes shores and overseas, via festival...

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