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Nashville Film Festival Is Music to the Eyes

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The Nashville Film Festival turned 40 last year, and while "41" doesn't cut the same dash, the South's oldest film festival should keep crowds plenty fortified over its eight days. Running April 15-22 at Regal Green Hills Cinemas, NaFF 2010 has a lineup of 230 films. Adrien Grenier Naturally, music themes bloom brightly among these. Titles in the popular "Music Films/Music City" competition include several non-fiction films. There's The Bass Player, N...

If You're Going to San Francisco ... International Film Festival

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If You're Going to San Francisco ... International Film Festival Four thousand film festivals populate the globe. But more than many, the San Francisco International Film Festival may satisfy a collective hunch of what such a gathering should be. Perhaps age has something to do with it; at 53 years old, SFIFF, held this year from April 22 to May 6, 2010, is the oldest film festival in the Americas. The festival logo, inside the historic Castro TheatreThen there's the topography of San Francisco,...

Aspen Shortsfest - An Embarrassment of Riches

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  As the 17th-century philosopher Francis Bacon argued, "Rather to excite your judgment briefly than to inform it tediously." Aspen Film would appear to agree. Its acclaimed Aspen Shortfest showcases films two and 27 minutes in length.   The 19th round takes place April 6 to 11, 2010 at Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, Colorado, and at the Crystal Theatre in nearby Carbondale.   This year Aspen Film cherrypicked 85 competition contenders out of the 2,500 submissions that poured...

Newport Beach Festival will close with Letters to Juliet

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Ranked by Portfolio.com as America's richest city, Newport Beach, Calif., can afford to throw a serious party. Newport Beach Film Festival is known to do just that, and even its Web site touts it as a "leading lifestyle" event. So revelers and cinemaphiles are primed for another Orange County-class fiesta this April 22 to 29. Despite lingering economic challenges, NBFF Executive Director and CEO Gregg Schwenk hopes to build on last year's record attendance of 51,000 strong. Run a...

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival opens with Kings of Pastry

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For its 13th installment, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival opens with Kings of Pastry, about a French chef competition. The gastronomic theme pairs well with Full Frame's closing barbecue, a tradition that incarnates the Southern hospitality associated with this Durham, N.C., event, taking place April 8 to 11. Yet not so long ago, a film celebrating quiche-eaters might not have enjoyed such a visible U.S. premiere. That this Gallic bakeoff by husband-and-wife filmmakers D.A. P...

Newport Beach to show more than 400 films from some 50 countries

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Ranked by Portfolio.com as America's richest city, Newport Beach, Calif., can afford to throw a serious party. Newport Beach Film Festival is known to do just that, and even its Web site touts it as a "leading lifestyle" event. So revelers and cinemaphiles are primed for another Orange County-class fiesta this April 22 to 29.Despite lingering economic challenges, NBFF Executive Director and CEO Gregg Schwenk hopes to build on last year's record attendance of 51,000 strong. Run almost entirely by...

Sarasota Film Festival Brings Gems to the Gold Coast

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Sarasota, Florida is considered ground zero for the recent real estate crash. But any darkness that prevails during April 9-18, 2010 will envelope the inky cinemas where the 12th annual Sarasota Film Festival will unfold. Bookended by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman’s The Extra Man and James Franco’s Saturday Night, the Gold Coast cotillion spans 168 films. Thirty countries are represented, yielding what director of programming Holly Herrick tallies as the Festival's most diverse li...

Guadalajara Film Festival Notches 25 Years

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Love, betrayal, death, machismo - as neatly as these themes suit mariachi music, they flatter Latino cinema even more. Happily, there's room for both in Guadalajara, the birthplace of mariachi music, of the tequila that often fuels it and of Mexico's ultimate cinema showcase.   Scene from Rodrigo Garcia's Mother and Child.     For its 25th milepost, the Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara returns March 12 - 19, 2010 with a tally of 250 films. The venerable Festiv...

Nature documentaries are boring.

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If you believe that, set aside 40 minutes and prepare to be astonished. It's the running time for "Rabbit à la Berlin," a history of the Wall told from the POV of wild rabbits who lived between East and West Berlin. Heavily guarded, grassy and predator-free, the Death Zone they called home for 28 years let them to do what rabbits do. They flourished. But in time some tried escaping their safe animal farm for West Berlin. And since the fall of the Wall, the furry rodents have bee...

Leo Hurwitz and the New York School of Documentary Film Storm Anthology Film Archives

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For many Americans, "terrorism" is an anthropological term meaning dark foreigners. They might be surprised to learn that it was how a U.S. Senate committee once described corporate America's tactics to crush labor unions.   Social documentarian Leo Hurwitz reenacted findings from that official body — the La Follette Senate Civil Liberties Committee — in his 1942 feature film, Native Land. The hybrid documentary raised the specter of fascism and called exploited workers to action....

Miami Fest shoots for high marks

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Not counting The Cocoanuts 's Marx brothers, any fool can thrive in Florida during boon times. To ride a bust takes vision, though, which must be what the Miami International Film Festival has. For its 27th edition (March 5-14, 2010), the Festival has reportedly seen a 35 percent bump in advance ticket sales, and surely that makes it a seer. The MIFF is produced and hosted by Miami-Dade College. With jobs down and campus admissions up, the only major film festival with such academic credentials...

Rotterdam@BAM Brings Best of Fest to Brooklyn

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Rap music and urban renewal aren't the only things Brooklyn, New York, and the Dutch city of Rotterdam have in common. Both advance a version of the Rotterdam film festival.On March 3-9, 2010, a month after curtains closed at the 39th International Film Festival Rotterdam (January 27—February 7), the Brooklyn Academy of Music rolls out Rap music and urban renewal aren't the only things Brooklyn, New York, and the Dutch city of Rotterdam have in common. Both advance a version of the Rotterdam f...

The 24th Israel Film Festival

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The saga of early Israeli cinema is the saga of selfless heroes building a nation, both onscreen and off. Glimpse these mythical creatures in A History of Israeli Cinema, a look back at the country’s 70 plus years of moviemaking. Raphaël Nadjari’s two-part documentary will have its American premiere at the Israel Film Festival (December 5-13 in New York), which has overlapped with 24 of those years.As if to underscore how far the national film culture has come from since its birth, 2009 IFF...

Karlovy Vary Marks 20 Years of Freedom

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Where were you when the Berlin Wall cracked? Two decades after Communism fell on its scythe in Eastern Europe, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is remembering in grand style. For its 44th edition (July 3-11), this Czech shindig looks back on "20 Years of Freedom" in a salute to the Velvet Revolution and other Warsaw Pact overthrows. Viewers of the world unite!  It's only fitting that Karlovy Var y would throw a Bloc party. One of the festival's hallmarks is its...

Karlovy Vary Marks 20 Years of Freedom

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Where were you when the Berlin Wall cracked? Two decades after Communism fell on its scythe in Eastern Europe, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is remembering in grand style. For its 44th edition (July 3-11), this Czech shindig looks back on “20 Years of Freedom” in a salute to the Velvet Revolution and other Warsaw Pact overthrows. Viewers of the world unite! It’s only fitting that Karlovy Vary would throw a Bloc party. One of the festival’s hallmarks is its “East of the W...

ZINEBI 50: Bilbao festival of nonfiction and tapa sized films

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The Bilbao International Festival of Documentary and Short Film (ZINEBI) jubilates its 50th birthday November 23-29, making it one of the world’s oldest showcases of the seventh art. Who knew? A mere hour from San Sebastián—home to Spain’s premier fest--this year’s juried meet in the heart of Basque country drew 2,849 contenders from 85 countries for its coveted Mikeldi Award. Eighty of these survived Selection Committee scrutiny, which includes the criterion that films and video produc...

MIAAC 2008: New York’s Indian Film Festival

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One day after the historic election that promised to dewax America’s ears, New Yorkers amped up the global love-in with a celebration of Indian cinema. The eighth Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival, running November 5-9, features independent arthouse fare made on Indian soil as well as Indian-themed productions made abroad, either by Indian or non-Indian filmmakers. Its mantras of reaching out beyond national borders and bridging diverse tastes and traditions vibe perfectly with...

Films with a political or socially conscious pulse at DOCLISBOA

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“The Whole World Fits in Lisbon” is the rallying cry of Doclisboa’s sixth annual blitz of international documentaries that rains down on the Portuguese capital October 16-26. Rousing words indeed for Lisbon audiences who, still hungover from Portugal’s Age of Discovery, crave global stories that the inward-looking media tends to eschew.And that’s the big seduction of the country’s sole festival dedicated to nonfiction films. In its short trackrecord, Doclisboa has cultivated a public...

An Interview with IDFA director Ally Derks

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As International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam puts finishing touches on its 20th edition, set to launch November 22-December 2, festival director Ally Derks takes a moment to muse on this year’s standout themes, the joys of playing with a three-million-euro budget and the merry mischief of hiding a fake film for audiences to smoke out. Filmfestivals.com reached her in Amsterdam during the calm before the storm. FF: Is it a challenge to program a documentary festival that comes a week af...

News from 4th Big Apple Film Festival

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Three days after the Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival wraps up on November 11, the Big Apple Film Festival kicks off downtown, leaving plenty of time to change out of Berkinstocks and into those Tory Burches. Now entering its fourth year, BAFF showcases New York indie cinema in addition to work from elsewhere in the country and world. Some 54 titles—ginned from 600 submissions--will be screened from November 14th to 17th at Tribeca Cinemas.Opening the four-day bash are two directorial debu...

IFDA: Amsterdam's other peep Show

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International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam will celebrate its 20th incarnation November 22-December 2 in the Dutch city dubbed the “Venice of the North.” Though relatively unknown in the States, IDFA is a critical stop on the documentary festival circuit. The 10-day fest will screen more than 300 documentaries in 20 sections, starting out with Richard Robbins’ Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience. A collage of letters, essays, poems and diary excerpts by U.S. soldier...

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