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Tribeca Film Festival Opens With Controversial 9/11 Docudrama

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The 5th annual Tribeca Film Festival opened on Tuesday evening with the world premiere of a controversial 9/11 docudrama. United 93, which opens nationally in theaters this Friday via Universal Pictures, is a dramatized version of the events that occurred on September 11th, 2001, when Al Qaeda terrorists took over a US airplane that was meant to crash into the White House, on the same day that other airplane hijackings attacked the Pentagon in Washington DC, and brought down New York’s World T...

Miami G&L kicks off gay Fest season

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The 8th edition of the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, which opens this weekend, is the official kick off of the US gay film festival season, which will see similar events in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and more than 15 other cities in the coming months.But Miami is the first out of the gate…setting the standard with an intoxicating and provocative mix of dramatic features, documentaries and short films that will make the rounds of the gay film festival circuit.The ...

Gen Art Film Festival: seven films, seven parties

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Seven film, seven parties. That’s the user-friendly concept behind the Gen Art Film Festival, one of New York’s most popular film showcases, which ran from April 5th to the 11th at the recently renovated Clearview Cinema in New York’s trendy Chelsea area.The Festival is only one of the diverse programs produced by the Gen Art organization, which is a leading national arts and entertainment entity dedicated to promoting emerging talents in fashion, film, art and music. With offices in New Y...

Sarasota comes into its own

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The 8th Sarasota Film Festival concluded this past weekend, with a flurry of parties, special events and an impressive roster of Hollywood names receiving career tributes. The Festival, which has been growing in reputation in the past few years, has really come into its own this year as a major destination for filmmakers and film buffs. Kudos to longtime Executive Director Jody Kielbasa, who has been able to attract high level sponsors, patrons and honorees to the event, and to Tom Hall, the Fes...

2006 Florida Film Festival Award Winners

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A weekend of awards and tributes at the 15th Florida Film Festival close the 10-day long event, held in Orlando, Florida. At Friday evening’s Festival Revel celebration, held at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando, the first-ever Florida Film Festival American Visionary Award was presented to legendary director John Waters. Dubbed the "Pope of Trash" by William Burroughs, John Waters has gained phenomenal international renown as writer and director of wildly original, irreverent, and offbeat p...

Martin Scorcese to be honored at Silverdocs festival

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Veteran director Martin Scorsese will be honored at SILVERDOCS: The AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival, the most prestigious showcase for non-fiction films in the United States.Scorsese will receive the Festival’s highest honor at the Charles Guggenheim Symposium on June 15th, during the Festival’s six-day mix of screenings, seminars and tributes to be held at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Springs, Maryland, in the suburbs of Washington DC. The Festival, a collaboration between th...

Florida Film Festival begins this week end

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The Florida Film Festival, one of the most respected regional festivals in the US, kicks off this evening, bringing more than 141 films over to the next 10 days to its home city of Orlando, Florida. The Festival is headquartered at the Enzian Theater, a not-for-profit arthouse cinema that brings adventurous independent and international programming to Orlando audiences throughout the year.This year, the Festival is presenting 51 feature films (33 narrative films and 18 documentaries) and a stagg...

New Directors New Films opens this week end

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New Directors/New Films, one of the most anticipated film events on the New York film calendar, opens this week end. The program, jointly presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Department of Film and Media of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), will unspool 25 feature films and 5 shorts from March 22 through April 2, 2006. The program opens with the East Coast Premiere of HALF NELSON, a Sundance sleeper about a committed teacher in New York’s public schools, played by rising star...

South by Soutwest Film Festival Winners

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The South By Southwest Film Festival and Conference, which opened last week in the Texas capital of Austin, has presented over 150 films and nearly 50 professional seminars. Last evening, at a typically laid-back awards ceremony, the Festival announced its 2006 Festival Award Winners.LIVE FREE OR DIE, co-directed Gregg Kavet and Andy Robin (former executive producers and Emmy-winning writers of the hit comedy series SEINFELD), won the Narrative Jury Award. The film, shot in New Hampshire and sta...

New Directors/ New Films announce program slate

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New Directors/New Films, one of the most anticipated film events on the New York film calendar, celebrates its 35th year, presenting the works of new directors from around the world. The festival will unspool 25 feature films and 5 shorts from March 22 through April 2, 2006. The program is presented jointly by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Department of Film and Media of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Screenings will be held at the Walter Reade Theater, the Film Society’s year-r...

Edward James Olmos and William H. Macy at Cinequest FF

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Academy Award-nominated actor/director Edward James Olmos will receive the Maverick Spirit Award at the Cinequest Film Festival, which opens on today in the city of San Jose, California. Nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for his role as a tough-love principal of a Los Angeles inner city high school in the film STAND AND DELIVER (1988), Olmos has received many awards for his theater, film and television work.Olmos began as a rock musician, forming several “garage bands...

Rendez-Vous with French Screens Uptown and Downtown NY

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The French are coming, the French are coming….again. The annual RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA, a leading showcase for new French films, returns to New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center for an eleventh year. The program of fifteen new features will screen at the Society’s Walter Reade Theater in uptown New York, and, for the first time, have parallel screenings at the IFC Center Theater in Greenwich Village. Festival dates are March 10 to 19.The series is co-presented by Unifrance USA,...

Ben Kingsley and William H. Macy at Cinequest Fest

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Sir Ben Kingsley, an Oscar winner for his lead role in GANDHI and an Oscar nominee for his role in SEXY BEAST, will receive the Maverick Spirit Award at the Cinequest Film Festival, to be held in the city of San Jose, California from March 1 to 12.Kingsley will present An Afternoon with Sir Ben Kingsley at the historic California Theater in downtown San Jose on March 5th. He will speak about his television, stage and film careers, which have made him one of the most distinguished actors of our t...

Sundance announces new arthouse initiative

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Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford and Festival Director Geoff Gilmore took the stage yesterday at the Kimball Art Center in Park City for the first Sundance press conference of this year’s event. Redford and Gilmore were joined by Nicole Holofcener, the director of the Festival opener FRIENDS WITH MONEY.Redford announced a major new initiative for the Institute, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The Sundance Institute Art House Project is collaborating with leading a...

Meryl Streep to receive Coolidge Award

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Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep has been chosen to receive the prestigious Coolidge Award in Boston on April 5. The annual event, recognizing a selected film artist whose work advances the spirit of original and challenging cinema, was launched in 2004. The first film auteur so honored was Chinese director Zhang Yimou in 2004 (HERO, THE HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, RAISE THE RED LANTERN).Last year’s honors went to Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, whose long list of cinema masterpieces ...

Wim Wenders to be honored at Miami Film Festival

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German auteur director Wim Wenders will be feted with the Career Achievement Tribute by the Miami International Film Festival, which will be held from March 3 to 12. Wenders joins a distinguished roster of Festival honorees including actress/director Liv Ullmann, Spanish director Carlos Saura and Brazilian director Hector Babenco.“We are proud to pay tribute to this legendary director, writer, and producer whose contribution to the spirit of independent cinema continues to inspire filmmakers a...

Sydney Pollack's Documentary Adventure

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Oscar-winning director Sydney Pollack tries his hand at the non-fiction format in SKETCHES OF FRANK GEHRY, his intimate film portrait of one of the world’s most successful and creative architects.Pollack, whose directorial career dates back to the 1960s, and includes such legendary films as THEY SHOOT HORSES DON’T THEY, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, TOOTSIE and the multi-Academy Award winner OUT OF AFRICA, is one of a handful of directors who is also a prolific producer (THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY,...

European Film Promotion in the US Bi Coastal screenings

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EUROPEAN FILM PROMOTION BI-COASTAL SCREENINGSEuropean Film Promotion (EFP), the trans-European organization that represents the interests of European film promotion agencies in 30 countries, concluded a bi-coast promotion effort to bring an exciting group of new European filmmakers to the attention of US distributors, programmers and the press.EFP began its efforts earlier this month with a special program entitled NEW FACES OF EUROPEAN CINEMA, presented in conjunction with the AFI Fest in Los A...

Fort Lauderdale Film Festival concludes with awards

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The Fort Lauderdale Film Festival concluded its 20th edition this past Sunday, with the announcement of its awards. The Festival, which has the distinction of being the longest in the world, running almost 40 days, had a year like none other; having survived a Category 3 Hurricane and a week of no electricity, phone service or internet connection.The Festival, which featured over 200 films, premiered on October 14 with the premiere of THE MATADOR, starring Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear. Closin...

Undiscovered Gems receive theatrical distribution in the US

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While an astonishing number of American independent features and documentaries are receiving at least a token theatrical distribution in US theaters, there are many deserving films that are falling through the cracks. These films may have won a slew of awards at prestigious festivals, been invited all over the world to screen outside their home country, and even secured enthusiastic reviews in the trade press, but in the end, they go undistributed.A group of six of these “Festival orphans” a...

Fort Lauderdale Fest (almost) Gone With The Wind

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A film festival is formidable enough. Hundreds of film prints moving, sometimes uneasily, from Point A to Point B. Thousands of demanding audience members to be pleased. Dozens of high maintenance invited filmmakers, sponsors and special guests to be accommodated. A film festival is, for its organizers, a hurricane unto itself.But what if your event, which takes a year of planning, cajoling, fundraising and sheer nerve, meets up with a true force of Nature….a Category 3 Hurricane that suspends...

Hollywood Film Festival mixes Star Power with discoveries

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The Hollywood Film Festival, which ended its six day run on Sunday, is a unique event that mixes the high profile of the Hollywood film industry with new discoveries from the worlds of American independent film and international cinema.Screenings were held at Hollywood’s Arclight Theaters, a major venue for specialty cinema (and also the home of next month’s AFI Film Festival). The Festival, which celebrates its ninth anniversary under the direction of its Founder and Executive Director Carl...

Isabelle Huppert conquers Manhattan

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Isabelle Huppert, one of international cinema’s greatest and most enigmatic actresses, is single handedly conquering Manhattan this month, as the screen icon makes her American stage debut and is feted by the Museum of Modern Art with a staggeringly impressive survey of her best cinematic accomplishments.Ms. Huppert, who turns 50 this year, yet maintains an ageless beauty and mystery to her screen persona, can be seen both in the flesh and on the screen at different venues in New York. At the ...

New York Film Fest announces film slate

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The New York Film Festival, the Big Apple’s oldest and most prestigious film event, announced the 24 features for its 43rd edition, which will run from September 24 to October 9 at its home base of Lincoln Center.The Festival will open with GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK, the directorial debut of actor-turned-director George Clooney, following its debut screenings at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. The film chronicles the story of legendary American broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, whose groundb...

Japanese animation focus of NY Moma film series

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JAPANESE ANIMATION FOCUS OF MOMA FILM SERIESBeginning July 10 and running through September 5, the Museum of Modern Art, one of New York’s venerable film institutions, will present the most comprehensive overview of Japanese animation yet seen, in a 33 film series that includes many films and television works that have never before been seen in the United States.With anime master Hayao Miyazaki’s HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE currently captivating international audiences and his Oscar-winning SPIRI...

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