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indieWIRE's Weekend Recap: Here Are Nine Stories You May Have Missed

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire August 15, 2011 at 2:32AM

In case you were away from your computer this weekend, here's a tidy package of our weekend coverage that includes interviews straight from the Locarno Film Festival, box-office reports, a first look at Jason Reitman's latest and much more.
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In case you were away from your computer this weekend, here's a tidy package of our weekend coverage that includes interviews straight from the Locarno Film Festival, box-office reports, a first look at Jason Reitman's latest and much more.

Box Office: “Senna” Scores Year’s Best Doc Debut (UPDATED)
Asif Kapadia’s acclaimed documentary “Senna” found glowing numbers in its limited debut this weekend. Released via the Producers Distribution Agency (the company’s second release after forming for “Exit Through the Gift Shop”), the film scored $73,497 from its 2 theaters ($40,713 in LA and $32,784 in NY), according to final numbers. That gave it a fantastic average of $36,749 (well above its estimated $33,038).

Weekend Box Office: Apes Dominate For Second Week as "The Help" Rises
August summer box office showed some breadth, as studios battled for weekend dominance with pictures appealing to a range of audience segments, from women ("The Help") to tweens ("Glee") and holdover prequel "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," reports Anthony D’Alessandro.

Being a Provocateur Without Being a Bad Guy: Locarno Artistic Director Olivier Pére
Last year, Paris-based festival programmer Olivier Pére made the dramatic transition from head of Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes to Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival. Now he looks a little more comfortable in his role, wearing the same blindingly white suit (he owns several versions, he claims) each night when he introduces outdoor films on the festival’s Piazza Grande in front of 8,500 people.

Nick Broomfield is Raising $30,000 on Kickstarter to Release “Sarah Palin: You Betcha!”
Documentarian provocateur Nick Broomfield’s latest project, “Sarah Palin: You Betcha!” already has a world premiere berth at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. However, Broomfield is already taking distribution into his own hands.

Will "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" or "Iron Lady" Land New York Film Festival Berth?
A lot of folks expected Working Title’s John le Carre thriller "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" to wind up with a key New York Film Festival slot. In fact, it was in the running for opening night, but Focus and the NYFF weren’t able to come to terms on exactly who (Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy are both currently filming "The Dark Knight Rises") would show up for the glamorous black tie Lincoln Center event on September 30.

“Big Man Japan” Hitoshi Matsumoto is Tired of TV Comedy, But Loves “Columbo”
Hitoshi Matsumoto’s name may not mean much in American households, but in Japan he’s a television superstar. Mainly known as one half of the comic duo Downtown, Matsumoto took his career in a new direction a few years ago when he started directing movies. Like his comedy acts, Matsumoto’s work as a director is zany, surreal and hard to describe in simple terms.

First Look: Charlize Theron In Jason Reitman’s "Young Adult"
While the adult drama is seemingly endangered thanks to the hegemony of brand-based franchises and tentpoles there are still a few directors managing to convince the studio system to work within these limits. Sure, you can probably count them on one hand, but Jason Reitman, the filmmaker behind “Up In The Air,” and “Juno” is one of these directors.

LOCARNO REVIEW | Jia Zhang-ke Producing Credit Can’t Salvage Offbeat “Mr. Tree”
The role of Chinese filmmaking giant Jia Zhang-ke as producer of first-time writer-director Han Jie’s “Hello! Shu Xian Sheng (Mr. Tree)” doesn’t properly convey its offbeat vibe. While loaded with considerably interesting ideas, it lacks the requisite energy to link them together.

Meet the Toronto International Film Festival Programmers, In Their Own Words
We’re happy to present the Toronto International Film Festival as the first non-U.S. event in our ongoing series spotlighting festival programmers. Among its bragging rights are it’s an Oscar launching pad (the festival hosted the debuts of “The King’s Speech” in 2010 and “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2009); it’s a major acquisitions market; and it’s enormous, presenting more than 300 films each year. And now it has a spankin’ new home in downtown Toronto, the TIFF Bell Lightbox.