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Festival Dailies

Haiti Crisis Adds Resonance To Sundance Docs

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   The recent tragic events in Haiti have given an unexpected resonance to a new documentary on child sponsoring that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past weekend. A SMALL ACT by Jennifer Arnold looks at the modern day phenomenon of Westerners sponsorship and adoption of third world children.   With the Haitian crisis generating hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from almost every nation of the world, often by exploiting images of ...

Slamdance FF Pacts With Microsoft

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  The Slamdance Film Festival, the scruffy cousin of the Sundance Film Festival, which is also happening in Park City this week, relishes its reputation as a truly independent festival that is less focused on glamour and more on the cutting edge expression of its filmmakers. Further expanding its reach, the Festival has announced a worldwide video content collaboration with Microsoft to offer a four-film package as video-on-demand premieres. Zune Video Marketplace will make the sele...

Sundance Veteran Nicole Holofcener

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  With the Sundance Film Festival in almost its third decade, it is no surprise that there are certain filmmakers who have become Park City regulars and veterans of the American indie scene. One of the most successful of the women directors that Sundance has nurtured is Nicole Holofcener, who is back at the Festival with her latest film PLEASE GIVE. The writer/director was first at Sundance with her 1996 romantic drama WALKING AND TALKING. Like that earlier film, PLEASE GIVE also...

Punk Rock Biopic Hit At Sundance

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Well into its first frenzied weekend, one of the standout premieres at this year's Sundance Film Festival is the musical biopic THE RUNAWAYS, based on the girl punk rock group of the same name. The film is adapted from the band's lead-singer Cherie Currie's book 'Neon Angel' - a reflection of her experiences as a rock star. The movie chronicles THE RUNAWAYS from 1975 - 1977 at the height of the punk rock revolution in the UK and the USA. Formed by teenage girls living near Hollywood, California,...

A New Chapter for Phillip Seymour Hoffman

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When you have already won an Oscar, have your own theater stage company and are one of the go-to acting talents in the business, there is a need for new horizons to keep oneself fresh. Such is the case  for actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, an Oscar winner for his role in the biopic CAPOTE, who debuted as a feature film director this past weekend at the Sundance Film Festival with his film JACK GOES BOATING. Hoffman was born in Rochester, New York on July 23, 1967. After becoming involved in hig...

Punk Rock Biopic Hit At Sundance

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  Well into its first frenzied weekend, one of the standout premieres at this year's Sundance Film Festival is the musical biopic THE RUNAWAYS, based on the girl punk rock group of the same name. The film is adapted from the band's lead-singer Cherie Currie's book 'Neon Angel' - a reflection of her experiences as a rock star. The movie chronicles THE RUNAWAYS from 1975 - 1977 at the height of the punk rock revolution in the UK and the USA. Formed by teenage girl...

Phillip Seymour Hoffman debuted as a feature film director in Sundance

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When you have already won an Oscar, have your own theater stage company and are one of the go-to acting talents in the business, there is a need for new horizons to keep oneself fresh. Such is the case for actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, an Oscar winner for his role in the biopic CAPOTE, who debuted as a feature film director this past weekend at the Sundance Film Festival with his film JACK GOES BOATING. Hoffman was born in Rochester, New York on July 23, 1967. After becoming inv...

Sundance Begins With A Howl

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  More than 50 years after its initial publication, the tone poem HOWL is still a shocking bit of humanism, a cry for tolerance and a yell for individual self-expression. The poem's author, the beat poet Allen Ginsberg, remained a controversial figure his entire life. The impact of this envelope-pushing literary classic and the bohemian philosopher who was its inspiration make for an appropriate opening night for this year's Sundance Film Festival, the mecca of independent a...

ENTRE NOS Sweeps FLIFF Awards

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ENTRE NOS, a hard-hitting drama of an illegal immigrant and her childrens' struggle for humanity on the mean streets of New York City, swept the top awards at the Fort Lauderdale International (FLIFF) , which ends its three-week run today with a marathon screening of award winners. Awards were announced on Sunday at the Festival's Closing Gala at its home base o the Cinema Paradiso. FLIFF President Gregory von Hausch hosted the presentation, honoring both American and international films that w...

ENTRE NOS Sweeps FLIFF Awards

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  ENTRE NOS, a hard-hitting drama of an illegal immigrant and her childrens' struggle for humanity on the mean streets of New York City, swept the top awards at the Fort Lauderdale International  (FLIFF) , which ends its three-week run today with a marathon screening of award winners. Awards were announced on Sunday at the Festival's Closing Gala at its home base o the Cinema Paradiso. FLIFF President Gregory von Hausch hosted the presentation, honoring both American and international...

World Cinema Treats At FLIFF

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  In an earlier article on this Dailies site, I wrote about the European films that make up the core of the World Cinema section at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, which is entering its final weekend. However, choice non-European films from around the globe are among this year's highlights. ADELA, by Filipino director Adolfo Borinaga Alix, won a Best Actress prie at the Cinemanila Film Festival for its lead actress, the octogenarian Anita Linda. She stars as Ade...

FLIFF Film In Focus: IN MY SLEEP

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  It is always tempting for a filmmaker who takes on the thriller to emulate the great master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. In fact, the term "Hitchcockian" is as overused as it is complimentary. However, in the case of IN MY SLEEP, a nifty thriller presented this evening at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, the parallels are there in spades. IN MY SLEEP, written and directed by Allen Wolf, takes on a very Hitchcockian subject: the fuzzy line between imagin...

Italian Cinematographer Mario Tosi Honored At FLIFF

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  It is a long journey from Nazi-occupied Rome to the sunshine glitz of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.....but this is the journey that cinematographer Mario Tosi has taken to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in Cinematography at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival on Wednesday evening prior to the screening of ITALIANS by writer/director Giovanni Veronesi.  Mr. Tosi has shot over 35 films including such Hollywood projects as HEARTS OF THE WEST (Jeff Bridges, Blythe D...

FLIFF Film In Focus: CHICAGO OVERCOAT

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  Tales of the Mafia continue to fascinate the public. Even after THE GODFATHER trilogy and television's THE SOPRANOS would seem to have covered every angle of this sub-genre, the new American Indie film CHICAGO OVERCOAT still finds some interesting life in the tales of the underground. The film has attracted strong audience response at its premiere at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival this week. A hit at the recent Chicago International Film Festival, the homegrown p...

Matthew Broderick Arrives In Fort Lauderdale

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  Ferris Bueller himself arrived in Fort Lauderdale today to receive a Career Achievement Award from the Fort Lauderale International Film Festival. Well, to be more accurate, the actor who embodied the teen rebel in the iconic 1980s film FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, the stage and screen thespian Matthew Broderick, is in town to receive the kudos and to introduce the screening tonight of the American indie film WONDERFUL WORLD. The son of acclaimed character actor James Broderick, the ...

European Cinema Shines At FLIFF

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  Penelope Cruz in BROKEN EMBRACES (Spain)  European cinema has always had a strong presence at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. This year is no exception as FLIFF showcases a strong collection of films from a mix of emerging and established European film talents.   Most of the European films are situated in the World Cinema section, which is not exclusively but overwhelmingly dominated by European titles. AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK, UK direct...

European Cinema Shines At FLIFF

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European cinema has always had a strong presence at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. This year is no exception as FLIFF showcases a strong collection of films from a mix of emerging and established European film talents. Most of the European films are situated in the World Cinema section, which is not exclusively but overwhelmingly dominated by European titles. AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK, UK director Richard Laxton’s biopic on gay icon and wit Quentin Crisp, focuses on the rac...

John Hurt reprises Crisp His Iconic Gay Role

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"I've played all kinds of roles, but the one that seems to have stayed in the imagination of the public was one I did way back in 1975", veteran British actor John Hurt shared with audiences at the Berlin Film Festival last winter following the premiere screening of AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK. "When I played real-life gay pioneer Quentin Crisp in the television film THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT, it made an immediate impact not only on my life but on that of Mr. Crisp himself." The television film, bas...

John Hurt Reprises His Iconic Gay Role

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  "I've played all kinds of roles, but the one that seems to have stayed in the imagination of the public was one I did way back in 1975", veteran British actor John Hurt shared with audiences at the Berlin Film Festival last winter following the premiere screening of AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK. "When I played real-life gay pioneer Quentin Crisp in the television film THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT, it made an immediate impact not only on my life but on that of Mr. Crisp himself...

Meet Michael Jai White

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  In his role as the avenging "brutha" in the blaxploitation spoof BLACK DYNAMITE, Michael Jai White is all muscle and attitude, sporting a trendy (for the time) Afro, polyester suit and thick moustache. But in person, White shows a more sensitive, aesthetic side, which he has demonstrated at various appearances at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival this weekend. Playing a part so convincing that is so unlike your real self....I guess that is what is known in the ...

Accent On Indies At FLIFF

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  As the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (affectionately known as FLIFF) enters its first weekend, its reputation as a supporter of American Independent cinema remains intact. FLIFF audiences love a good indie and this weekend's roster is as interesting and diverse as they come. The Opening Night film, TiMER, took an unusual look at romance in the near future, as tempered by a technological timer device that predetermined when the characters would meet their soul mates. ...

Accent On Indies At FLIFF

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As the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (affectionately known as FLIFF) enters its first weekend, its reputation as a supporter of American Independent cinema remains intact. FLIFF audiences love a good indie and this weekend's roster is as interesting and diverse as they come. The Opening Night film, TiMER, took an unusual look at romance in the near future, as tempered by a technological timer device that predetermined when the characters would meet their soul mates. As written and ...

FLIFF Opening Night: Stars Under The Stars

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  The 24th edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival kicked off this evening with the premiere of TiMER, a sci-fi romantic comedy set in the near future. The film's director Jac Schaeffer and lead actress Michelle Borth were both present for the gala screening. Prior to the film screening, awards were given to veteran actor Kevin McCarthy (FLIFF Lifetime Achievement Award), Mario Tosi (FLIFF Lifetime Achievement Cinematographer) and Michelle Monaghan, star of T...

Star On The Rise: Michelle Monaghan

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  For her gritty performance in the new American indie film TRUCKER, the rising actress Michelle Monaghan is getting the best reviews of her career and percolating some Oscar buzz in the bargain. She has become one of the most sought-after actresses of her generation in Hollywood. Michelle Monaghan will receive The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival’s Star On The Horizon Award on Friday evening and will attend a screening of TRUCKER on Saturday night. Monaghan made her...

Kevin McCarthy To Be Honored At FLIFF

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  For a classically trained actor, it has probably been a source of much amusement to him that he is best remembered for his role in a low budget sci-fi film that has since become a classic. As the lead in the 1950s film THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, Kevin McCarthy played a doctor who becomes alarmed when he discovers that the people in his small town have been transformed.....into aliens. The fact that the film, produced at the height of the McCarthy period, was a deep allegory...

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