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Festival Dailies

Canadian Films In The Spotlight

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor The 34th Toronto International Film Festival which opens on Thursday evening is a golden opportunity for Canadian filmmakers, producers and distributors to showcase their latest work for the international guests that will begin arriving. A stunning number of new Canadian films are making their debuts at the event. Most are World or North American Premieres. No Canadian survey is complete without a film from Canada's film laureate Atom Egoyan. His...

Festroia Film In Focus: ENTRE NOS

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor   It takes a tremendous amount of courage and insight to make a film that cuts so close to the bone, but in ENTRE NOS, an American Independent film screening at FESTROIA, the actress/writer/director Paola Mendoza delves into her own troubling past to create a universal story of perseverance and triumph.   Mendoza, who co-wrote and co-directed the film with Gloria La Monte, also stars as Mariana, a Colombian refuge...

Spotlight On Czech Cinema at FESTROIA

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Each year, FESTROIA shines its spotlight on a different film producing country. This year, it is the turn of the Czech Republic, which has been at the forefront of international filmmaking since its celebrated heyday in the 1960s. One of its best known films of that era, CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS by Jiri Menzel was screened here on Sunday evening, with the 76-year-old director in attendance. A gentle satire on Czech life du...

North American Independents Competition at FESTROIA

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  LYMELIFE (Derek Martini, USA) by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Eight celebrated American and Canadian feature films by emerging filmmakers that were first showcased at such prestigious film events as Sundance, Tribeca, Rotterdam and Toronto, will compete in the North American Independents Competition of the 25th edition of FESTROIA: The Troia International Film Festival. The Festival, the oldest and largest in Portugal, runs from September 4 to 13 in the coas...

Toronto FF Offers Canadian Cream Of The Crop

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  CHLOE (Atom Egoyan)  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor While the Toronto International Film Festival, which opens next week, is the very definition of an international event, with almost every filmmaking country on the planet represented somewhere in its vast program, it has a special place in its heart for its homegrown cinema. Not only does the Festival embrace its native talents but it realizes that it provides an important showcase for visiting distributo...

European Films Dominate FESTROIA Competition

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  MAMMOTH (Michelle Williams and Gael Garcia Bernal) by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor The Golden Dolphin Competition at the 25th edition of FESTROIA, the oldest and most prestigious film event in Portugal, is reserved for films from countries whose yearly output does not exceed 30 films. That gives worthy films from somewhat smaller film industries a chance to shine and not be overshadowed by films from larger film-producing countries. Smaller is definitely mor...

European And Asian Films Dominate New Horizons Competition

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  HELEN (UK)  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival  Dailies Editor The heart of the 9th edition of the ERA NEW HORIZONS International Film Festival, which begins its 12 day marathon of film premieres, special events and music concerts on July 23, is the NEW HORIZONS International Competition. This year’s program includes a selection of 14 premieres of a truly international roster of filmmakers, covering a mix of genres and styles to offer a survey of the best in international c...

Cannes Palme d'Or Winner To Open ERA New Horizons International Film Festival

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor THE WHITE RIBBON, the celebrated Austrian film by auteur Michael Haneke, which recently won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, will open the 9th edition of the ERA NEW HORIZONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, to be held in the city of Wroclaw, Poland from 23 July to 2 August. The film, which also won the prestigious FIPRESCI International Critics Prize in Cannes, is set in a small town in northern Germany just before World War...

The Wacky And The Weird At SILVERDOCS

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The SILVERDOCS International Film Festival, which is entering its final weekend, is by most accounts a very sober affair. After all, many of the films are about challenging subjects of human rights abuse, political exploitation, ecological ruin and the inhumanity of men and their regimes. But the programmers of the event have made sure to season this sober brew with some films whose premises are a bit "out there". However, instead of simply being comic relief for what is mostly a rather serious ...

2009 SILVERDOCS Award Winners

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Coming to a climax after a week full of screening premieres, information sessions, special events and networking parties, the 2009 SILVERDOCS Documentary Film Festival, co-presented by the American Film Institute and The Discovery Channel, announced its award winners this past weekend, spreading the wealth amongst a diverse group of documentary titles. This year, the Festival screened over 120 films representing 58 countries and incl...

World Premieres Grace Silverdocs

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Nothing is more prized at a film festival than a World Premiere, the first go out of the gate of a film that can trace its origin to that very film event. It is what builds reputations for festivals and captures the attention of media professionals and press with special attentiveness. The Silverdocs International Film Festival, which ends on Sunday, has a good number of World Premieres to tantalize. Chief among them is tonight's Closing Night Gala screening of THE NINE LIVES OF MARION BARRY, a ...

World Premieres Grace Silverdocs

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Nothing is more prized at a film festival than a World Premiere, the first go out of the gate of a film that can trace its origin to that very film event. It is what builds reputations for festivals and captures the attention of media professionals and press with special attentiveness. The Silverdocs International Film Festival, which ends on Sunday, has a good number of World Premieres to tantalize. Chief among them is tonight's...

Honoring Documentary Royalty At Silverdocs

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 by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies EditorIn a theater full of documentary filmmakers and film lovers, the appearance of an eminence grise the likes of Albert Maysles is the equivalent of having a member of documentary royalty in your midst. Maysles, along with his late brother David, was responsible for some of the most iconic documentaries of the past fifty years and has served as a mentor to hundreds of filmmakers.Albert Maysles is widely recognized as a pioneer of “direct cinema” a...

The Wacky And The Weird At SILVERDOCS

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor The SILVERDOCS International Film Festival, which is entering its final weekend, is by most accounts a very sober affair. After all, many of the films are about challenging subjects of human rights abuse, political exploitation, ecological ruin and the inhumanity of men and their regimes. But the programmers of the event have made sure to season this sober brew with some films whose premises are a bit "out there". However, i...

Obama On Film And On The Web

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor President Barack Obama is, if nothing else, very telegenic.....the camera simply loves him and cannot get enough. This fact plus his historic ascendancy in a mere two years from junior Senator to the top political leader of the world is an astounding one that will certainly be the stuff of legend in years to come. But for the moment, we are living that legend and the media fascination on and surrounding Obama is electric. Afte...

Media Maven Looks Into The Future

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor "The future is strange", declared Silverdocs International Documentary Conference Keynote Speaker Tom Bernard, the co-founder and co-President of Sony Pictures Classics (SPC). Drawing on a 30 year career where he has marketed and distributed some of the most celebrated American independent and world cinema films, Bernard is one of the true film mavens with a commanding intellect and a deep understanding of the cinema busines...

Muhammad Ali In The Spotlight

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor Perhaps it is only a coincidence or a kind of cinematic convergence that sometimes happens at a film festival, but the boxing legend Muhammad Ali is the subject (or at least the subtext) of several of the most anticipated films showing here at the Silverdocs Documentary Film Festival. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion and one of the most colorful sports figures of the past 50 years is the focus of FACING ALI, which recei...

Documentaries At The Crossroads

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor As SILVERDOCS, the nation's most prominent documentary film festival, begins to hit its stride, it is worth mentioning that the documentary film has not had the charmed life at the box office as we saw earlier in the decade. While not every film can hope to reach the stratosphere of FAHRENHEIT 911 (which had a record-shattering $120 million international box office gross in 2004), the recent crop of documentaries coming to theaters ...

Film In Focus: DEFAMATION

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor With the Washington DC area still reeling from last week's shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in the heart of the nation's capital, a hot-button documentary explores the nature of anti-semitism in both the United States and overseas. Israeli director Yoav Shamir, whose incendiary films on the Israeli/Palestine conflict won major awards at Sundance, Berlin and other festivals, brings a somewhat light-heartened tone to DEFAMATION...

More than a game opens SilverDocs

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The sports documentary MORE THAN A GAME, a tale of inspiration set in the hardknock basketball courts of Akron, Ohio, opens the 2009 edition of the SILVERDOCS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL, prior to its theatrical release in October 2009 by Lionsgate. Directed By:Kristopher BelmanProduced By:Harvey Mason, Jr., Kristopher Belman, Matthew Perniciaro, Kevin MannStarring: LeBron James, Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, Willie McGee, Romeo Travis, Coach Dru Joyce IIScreenplay By:Kristopher Belman & Brad HoganF...

The Good Pitch At SILVERDOCS

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The SILVERDOCS Documentary Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film events devoted to the non-fiction form, has joined forces with UK's Channel Four BRITDOC Foundation (www.britdoc.org/goodpitch) and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (www.sundanceinstitute.org/docsource) to present the North American tour of THE GOOD PITCH, a co-production market initiative that will be part of the Festival's industry events this week. The initiative received over 300 applications, with the ...

MORE THAN A GAME Opens SILVERDOCS

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor The sports documentary MORE THAN A GAME, a tale of inspiration set in the hardknock basketball courts of Akron, Ohio, opens the 2009 edition of the SILVERDOCS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL, prior to its theatrical release in October 2009 by Lionsgate. Directed By:Kristopher BelmanProduced By:Harvey Mason, Jr., Kristopher Belman, Matthew Perniciaro, Kevin Mann Starring: LeBron James, Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, Willie McGee, Rome...

The Good Pitch At SILVERDOCS

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor The SILVERDOCS Documentary Film Festival, one of the most prestigious film events devoted to the non-fiction form, has joined forces with UK's Channel Four BRITDOC Foundation (www.britdoc.org/goodpitch) and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (www.sundanceinstitute.org/docsource) to present the North American tour of THE GOOD PITCH, a co-production market initiative that will be part of the Festival's industry events this...

A Love Affair With Non-Fiction At SILVERDOCS

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For lovers of non-fiction film, it doesn't get much better than the SILVERDOCS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL, which begins its week-long love affair with documentaries next week. Boasting some of the finest achievements from the world of documentary film, the Festival is sponsored by the American Film Institute and The Discovery Channel. Its home base at the AFI Silver Theater, one of the finest arthouse venues in the country, brings even more allure to the ambitious slate of films. SILVERDOCS bring...

A Love Affair With Non-Fiction At SILVERDOCS

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  by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor For lovers of non-fiction film, it doesn't get much better than the SILVERDOCS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL, which begins its week-long love affair with documentaries next week. Boasting some of the finest achievements from the world of documentary film, the Festival is sponsored by the American Film Institute and The Discovery Channel. Its home base at the AFI Silver Theater, one of the finest arthouse venues in the country, brings even...

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