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Hot Docs 2021, Toronto, Context and Productions

Hot Docs (HD) is the largest documentary festival in North America and responded to the pandemic like other prominent international film festivals such as Berlinale and Sundance which set the stage for an effective transition to an online virtual festival. HD screened in 2020 more than 135 films, drawing more viewers  from Ontario, participants to its professional market, and a growing subscription audience. The  expectations for 2021 by the organizers were met. In its 28th edition, ...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Review by Siraj Syed: Mind-boggling 2,734 VFX shots in 136 mins

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Review by Siraj Syed: Mind-boggling 2,734 VFX shots in 136 mins French director Luc Besson has made the most expensive French/European film ever. It is also the most expensive independent film, at about $200 million. From initial responses, it looks like the film will fall far short of recovering its cost, and that will be a pity. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets adds a new, fresh feel to the sci-fi, interplanetary, inter-galactic, alien...

Beauty and the Beast, Review: Beauty LIVES in the eyes of the beholder

Beauty and the Beast, Review: Beauty liVes in the eyes of the beholder Rarely does a fairy-tale manage to pack-in all the ingredients that would appeal to a cross section of audiences--stunning visuals, great special effects, mind-blowing CGI--and also portray characters as credible, in spite of being part of a fable. Beauty and the Beast is one such laudable attempt. That it comes not from Disney (who made it in 1991) or Pixar or any of the regular cartoon/animation studios is a marvel. That...

How CGI Became the Main Character in Hollywood Movies & Do We Care?

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent In a Screenwriting Galaxy Far, Far, Away, the Writers Guild Foundation (https://www.wgfoundation.org) once held “Words Into Pictures,” a series of conferences that brightened the years 1997, 1999, and 2002, with debates about everything from character development to story-craft. Around about 1999, David Koepp (writer of Jurassic Park, The Panic Room and more) and Stand By Me’s Rob Reiner got into it over VFX vs Storytelling. &...

James Cameron and Zoe Saldana Give the Rundown on AVATAR

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AVATAR'S writer/director/producer James Cameron and Zoe Saldana, who plays Neytiri in the movie, spent some time after a 3-D screening in Hollywood to discuss the project. This screening was hosted by The Wrap and sponsored by Google.  This ultimate AVATAR interview gives you a glimpse into the making of what has become the biggest money maker in film history. Now you'll even know what the mythic substance "unobtainium" really is from director James Cameron's own personal tales be...

James Cameron and Zoe Saldana give the rundown on AVATAR

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AVATAR'S writer/director/producer James Cameron and Zoe Saldana, who plays Neytiri in the movie, spent some time after a 3-D screening in Hollywood to discuss the project. This screening was hosted by The Wrap and sponsored by Google. This ultimate AVATAR interview gives you a glimpse into the making of what has become the biggest money maker in film history. 0000 Now you'll even know what the mythic substance "unobtainium" really is from director James Cameron's o...

And the winner is The Hurt Locker...

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For those of you who forgot...here is the list of the nominees... As for the winners, well, you will have to wait a bit more... Independent Spirit Awards had a Precious night, will it be The Hurt Locker's night? Will Avatar stay blue, cold or go Gold...? This is our bet anyway. Watch the 82nd Academy Awards telecast on Sunday, March 7 at 5 p.m. PT/ 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Best Picture "Avatar" James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers "The Blind Side" ...

AVATAR and THE HURT LOCKER Lead the 82nd Academy Awards Nominations

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By Maria Esteves - February 2, 2010 The 82nd Academy Awards nominations were announced by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) President Tom Sherak and 2008 Oscar nominee Anne Hathaway, on Tuesday, February 2, 2010. AVATAR, directed by James Cameron and THE HURT LOCKER, directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Cameron's ex-wife) picked up nine Oscar nominations including best picture and best director. The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony presented by AMPAS for outstanding film achieve...

3D Gaming Invades Sundance

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  James Cameron may not be playing a film at Sundance, but that didn't stop his smash-hit Avatar from stealing the spotlight.  At a private party hosted by Film Utah Magazine, Ubisoft and XBox revealed a sneak peek of the world's first game to be played in 3D.  The game allows you to travel through the make-believe world of Pandora as you fight off enemies in your Avatar.  You have to wear 3D glasses, but the experience is very cool: http://www.youtube.com/wat...

Oscar Snubs and Surprises

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    Yes, we all expected AVATAR and THE HURT LOCKER to have good showings for this morning's Oscar nomination announcements (they are both tied at 9 nominations each) and we were not surprised when the names George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep were intoned at the 5:30am ceremony in Los Angeles. And yes, even the six nods for PRECIOUS (including well-deserved nominations for Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, director Lee Daniels and screenwriter Geoffrey Flet...

Bush was most dangerous president in history: Oliver Stone

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BANGKOK ~ Oliver Stone said he’d seen the lies of the Reagan administration in the ‘eighties, and how the USA had intervened in 60 or 70 countries, but nothing had prepared him for the Bush years. “This has been the worst decade of my life” Stone told reporters in Bangkok yesterday. The film-maker, in Thailand to deliver a series of talks organised by the International Peace Foundation, said “Bush was the most dangerous president in history,” because of his policy on ...

The nominations for the Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2010

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The official nominations for the Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2010                           BEST FILM AVATAR - James Cameron, Jon Landau AN EDUCATION - Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey THE HURT LOCKER - Nominees TBC PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE - Lee D...

Avatar scores best Golden Globes

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FILM   BEST FEATURE - DRAMA WINNER: "Avatar" "The Hurt Locker" "Inglourious Basterds" "Precious" "Up in the Air" BEST FEATURE - COMEDY "(500) Days of Summer" WINNER: "The Hangover" "It's Complicated" "Julie & Julia" "Nine" ACTOR - DRAMA WINNER: Jeff Bridges - "Crazy Heart" George Clooney - "Up in the Air" Colin Firth - "A Single M...

2010 Oscars: Been There, Done That

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  Well, after watching the Golden Globe Awards ceremonies last evening, I had the distinct feeling: who needs the Oscars? I've already seen the winning films, directors and actors and heard their acceptance speeches. The Oscar ceremony, which is not scheduled until six weeks from now, seems quite besides the point. Except for the fashion ("who are you wearing?" is the question of the moment), I am imagining that last night's Golden Globe winners will be simply re-doing their &...

The Global Film Village: DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film

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By Marla Lewin     Directors Guild of America President Taylor Hackford announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2009.   The nominees are (in alphabetical order): Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker (Summit Entertainment) James Cameron Avatar (Twentieth Century Fox) Lee Daniels Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire (Lionsgate) Jason Reitman Up In The Air (Pa...

Avatar tops $1 billion worldwide and is bound to become the second highest BO grosser ever (at least)

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Twentieth Century Fox's "Avatar" closed the year with a worldwide cume Box Office over $1 billion worldwide, James Cameron's movie is bound to become the second highest grosser ever, just behind Titanic (1,8), ahead of  "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" ($1.12 billion) and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" ($1.07 billion). Of course we are talking Box Office, not admissions and the Avatar ticket is significantly more expensive (3D...) ...

The Global Film Village: 15 Features Vying for VFX Oscar®

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films have been selected as semifinalists for Achievement in Visual Effects for the 82nd Academy Awards®. The films are listed below in alphabetical order: “Angels & Demons” “Avatar” “Coraline” “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” “District 9” “G-Force” “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” “Sherlock Holmes” “Star...

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