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Sundance FF

Sundance Film Festival final wrap

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The 2008 edition of the Sundance Film Festival is now history and a few assessments are now in order. First of all, griping aside, the Festival's venue, a ski resort high in the Wasatch Mountains, is severly limited in many respects. Not only is traffic a nightmare, accomodations scarce and ridiculously overpriced, and transportation between screening theaters rickety at best, the Festival lacks any credible center (other than a hotel lobby). With more than 50,000 visitors crowding into the haml...

Sundance Final Wrap

 Monday, January 28----------The 2008 edition of the Sundance Film Festival is now history and a few assessments are now in order. First of all, griping aside, the Festival's venue, a ski resort high in the Wasatch Mountains, is severly limited in many respects. Not only is traffic a nightmare, accomodations scarce and ridiculously overpriced, and transportation between screening theaters rickety at best, the Festival lacks any credible center (other than a hotel lobby). With more than 50,000 v...

Final Deals At Sundance

 Monday, January 28---------With filmmakers and professionals back at their home bases, a few last minute deals for this year's Sundance season were still announced on the Festival's final day. Sony Pictures Classics, who have been unusually active this year, has closed a deal for North American rights to Jonathan Levine's THE WACKNESS, which stars Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley as a New York City pscyhiatrist who trades therapy for marijuana. The film, which won the Feature Audience Award...

FROZEN RIVER Wins Top Sundance Prize

 Sunday, January 27-----------FROZEN RIVER, a film about a struggling single mother in upstate New York who teams with a Mohawk woman to smuggle people across the Canadian border, has won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, a debut feature from writer/director Courtney Hunt, is adapted it from her own 2004 short of the same name. The film was one of a handful to actually be picked up by a major distributor during the Festival......having found a home with arthouse di...

Frozen River wins top Sundance Prize

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FROZEN RIVER, a film about a struggling single mother in upstate New York who teams with a Mohawk woman to smuggle people across the Canadian border, has won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, a debut feature from writer/director Courtney Hunt, is adapted it from her own 2004 short of the same name. The film was one of a handful to actually be picked up by a major distributor during the Festival......having found a home with arthouse distributor Sony Pictures Classics ...

Slamdance Film Festival Winners

Saturday, January 26---------Of all the parallel film events that have mushroomed (and withered) in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival three-ring circus, none has been more enduring and continually evolving as the Slamdance Film Festival. Founded by disgruntled filmmakers who had been closed out from the Sundance proceedings, the Festival has evolved into an important showcase of new indie talents that has continueD to maintain its considerable indie cred. In addition, Slamdance has r...

SLEEP DEALER Wins Alfred P. Sloan Prize

 Saturday, January 26----------Let the Sundance awards begin.......After announcing the winners of the Sundance/NHK Filmmakers Awards, the Festival disclosed yesterday that the futuristic film SLEEP DEALER, directed by Alex Rivera, has won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize. The honor, which carries a $20,000 cash award to the filmmaker provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is presented to an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, enginee...

Sundance En Espanol: Celebrating Latin Cinema

 Friday, January 25----------The Sundance Institute has a long history of support for Latin films. This year, they have launched  Sundance en Español, a celebration of Latin films and filmmakers participating in the Sundance Film Festival. This year, the program features a collection of six Spanish Language films and four films in English by Hispanic and Latino directors. The films were selected to screen in Salt Lake City, which has a sizable Spanish-speaking community. Earlier this week, ...

Sundance en Español : Celebrating Latin Cinema

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The Sundance Institute has a long history of support for Latin films. This year, they have launched Sundance en Español, a celebration of Latin films and filmmakers participating in the Sundance Film Festival. This year, the program features a collection of six Spanish Language films and four films in English by Hispanic and Latino directors. The films were selected to screen in Salt Lake City, which has a sizable Spanish-speaking community. Earlier this week, a press conference, information p...

Sleep Dealer Wins Alfred P. Sloan Prize

user
Let the Sundance awards begin.......After announcing the winners of the Sundance/NHK Filmmakers Awards, the Festival disclosed yesterday that the futuristic film SLEEP DEALER, directed by Alex Rivera, has won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize. The honor, which carries a $20,000 cash award to the filmmaker provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is presented to an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a scientist, engineer or mathematician as a major char...

Late Deals As Sundance Eases Into Final Weekend

 Friday, January 25---------Although the Sundance Film Festival continues through this Sunday, with the culminating Awards Ceremony to be held on Saturday night, many film professionals have already skipped town, mulling the films they have seen (bid or passed on) and, frankly, warming up their external digits after 9 days of frigid weather. What began as a barren landscape for dealmaking has made a rebound, although Festival veterans have described this year's event as very lowkey compared to ...

Sundance/NHK International Fimmakers Awards Winners

 Thursday, January 24---------The first Sundance awards were announced today, beginning a process that will culminate with the announcement of the major awards in the US Independent and World Cinema categories on Saturday evening. The Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards were created in 1996 to honor visionary film directors from four global regions (Europe, Latin America, the United States and Japan) in realizing their next projects. The prizes are a collaboration between the Sundan...

Focus On European Documentaries At Sundance

 Thursday, January 24----------The explosion and recent box office clout of documentary features is very much a worldwide phenomenon. No longer tethered to television, many more non-fiction films are making a splash on the big screen. The poster boy for this movement is most probably Michael Moore, whose trifecta of BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, FAHRENHEIT 911 and this year’s  nominated SICKO, were film phenomena in their own right, often outpacing Hollywood features and hyped indie dramatic gems. ...

Late Deals As Sundance Eases Into Final Weekend

user
Although the Sundance Film Festival continues through this Sunday, with the culminating Awards Ceremony to be held on Saturday night, many film professionals have already skipped town, mulling the films they have seen (bid or passed on) and, frankly, warming up their external digits after 9 days of frigid weather. What began as a barren landscape for dealmaking has made a rebound, although Festival veterans have described this year's event as very lowkey compared to earlier years (a result of th...

The first Sundance awards were announced

user
The first Sundance awards were announced today, beginning a process that will culminate with the announcement of the major awards in the US Independent and World Cinema categories on Saturday evening. The Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Awards were created in 1996 to honor visionary film directors from four global regions (Europe, Latin America, the United States and Japan) in realizing their next projects. The prizes are a collaboration between the Sundance Institute and NHK, the Japan Br...

Hot Deals In Frozen Park City

 Wednesday, January 23---------With temperatures going south and the wind chill severe enough to rattle the bones, Park City in January is an acquired taste (at least for this New Yorker-former-Floridian). But while the thermometer was dipping and a fresh blanket of snow has fallen (the skiers love it, I guess), talk around town has centered on two things: the shocking death of actor Heath Ledger in New York City yesterday and the sudden emergence of some very hot deals in frozen Park City.With...

Academy Award Nominees At Sundance: Past And Present

 Tuesday, January 22-------With the announcement this morning of the Academy Award nominations, the Sundance Film Festival Press Office sent out an interesting release on the films, performers and creatives nominated this year who were represented at Sundance, past and present.Two films with multiple nominations had their premieres at last year's Festival. AWAY FROM HER, by Sarah Polley, has been nominated for Best Actress (Julie Christie) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Sarah Polley). THE SAVAGES...

Docs The Word At Sundance FF

 Monday, January 21----------With the dramatic feature films that have opened so far falling rather flat with critics and industry, the action here in Park City are the non-fiction films on tap at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. So far, documentary films have definitely dominated the proceedings, stirring the most buzz and making concrete business deals. In fact, the activity began on the opening day last Thursday. Zeitgeist Films, a New York-based specialty distributor, kicked off the pr...

Docs are hot at Sundance

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With the dramatic feature films that have opened so far falling rather flat with critics and industry, the action here in Park City are the non-fiction films on tap at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. So far, documentary films have definitely dominated the proceedings, stirring the most buzz and making concrete business deals.In fact, the activity began on the opening day last Thursday. Zeitgeist Films, a New York-based specialty distributor, kicked off the proceedings with an announced acq...

Academy Award Nominees At Sundance: Past And Present

user
With the announcement this morning of the Academy Award nominations, the Sundance Film Festival Press Office sent out an interesting release on the films, performers and creatives nominated this year who were represented at Sundance, past and present.Two films with multiple nominations had their premieres at last year's Festival. AWAY FROM HER, by Sarah Polley, has been nominated for Best Actress (Julie Christie) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Sarah Polley). THE SAVAGES, which had its world premie...

The New European Cinema At Sundance: Dramatic Features

Sunday, January 20-------While the Sundance Film Festival is internationally known as a launching pad for American independent cinema, the past few years has seen the Festival organization pay more attention to world cinema. While international films have always had a place at the table, it was just two years ago that they rated two separate Competition categories, one for narrative features, the other for documentary features. Sundance has positioned itself to be a film event on the par with Ca...

Sundance Mixes Indies And Hollywood

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While the bulk of film professionals and hopefuls who have crowded into the ski resort of Park City for this week's Sundance Film Festival represent the high and low of the independent film world (those with VIP connections, and those scrambling to get meetings and into lavish parties), Sundance has become a place for Hollywood producers and bigshots to hobnob with their contemporaries and, heaven forbid, young filmmaking talent. This makes for a very odd mix, since these communities rarely ever...

Biz Buzz: First Major Deal of the Sundance FF

 Saturday, January 19--------Well, it didn't take very long for the first major deal of the Sundance Film Festival to make the rounds. ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED AND DESIRED, a film by Marina Zenovich, has been acquired for international distribution by The Weinstein Company. The international deal excludes all U.S. and Canadian rights, as well as U.K. television rights. An announcement for the remaining rights is expected to close today in Park City. The film had its world premiere last night at...

Sundance Mixes Indies And Hollywood

 Friday, January 18------------While the bulk of film professionals and hopefuls who have crowded into the ski resort of Park City for this week's Sundance Film Festival represent the high and low of the independent film world (those with VIP connections, and those scrambling to get meetings and into lavish parties), Sundance has become a place for Hollywood producers and bigshots to hobnob with their contemporaries and, heaven forbid, young filmmaking talent. This makes for a very odd mix, sin...

Sundance FF Opens Tonight With IN BRUGES

Thursday, January 17---------------The build up is over and it's now time to begin the Sundance Film Festival marathon. The Festival, which runs through January 27th in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah, opens this evening with the world premiere of  IN BRUGES, the directorial debut of Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. The film, which stars Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson is, according to the Festival release, "a twisted tale of two London hit men who ar...

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