"Curves" writer/producer debuts directorial effort "Dog Year"
HBO will debut writer/director George LaVoo's ("Real Women Have Curves") "A Dog Year" starring Oscar nominee Jeff Bridges Thursday, September 3 at 8pm. Based on the book by Jon Katz, the film tells the true story of a writer in the middle of an existential crisis who adopts an abused dog - a well-bred but high-strung border collie who turns his life upside down. Ultimately, the experience transforms both man and dog in meaningful, though unexpected ways. The film also stars Lauren Ambrose and Lois Smith.
Cinetic Rights Management Partners to Rep Titles from a Pack of Distributors
Digital content agency Cinetic Rights Management will handle digital distribution and programming duties for a string of partners and titles from arthouse distributors. This will include maximizing CRM's distribution operations and strategy for select titles in these libraries. The current list of distributors and titles, includes Kino International (including such films as Ti West's thriller "Trigger Man"), Palm Pictures (Olivier Assayas' psychological thriller "Demonlover"), Cinema Guild (Margaret Brown's documentary "The Order of Myths"), and Virgil Films & Entertainment (Mike Akel's teaching comedy "Chalk"). In North America, CRM distributes content via its FilmBuff label to iTunes, Hulu, Amazon VOD, and Netflix streaming. In addition CRM distributes films to VOD portals in Europe. "We're happy to work with these successful distributors on building their footprint in the VOD space," said CRM co-founder John Sloss in a statement. "The VOD audience increases every day, and we're in a wonderful position to help the selection of quality films increase along with it."
Sundance winner "El General" goes to Women Make Movies
Natalia Almada's doc "El General" has been acquired by Women Make Movies. In the doc, Almada takes a look at her great-grandfather General Plutarco Elias Calles, a revolutionary general who became president of Mexico in 1924. In his time, Calles was called "El Bolshevique" and "El Jefe Maximo" (the foremost chief). Today, he is remembered as "el Quema-Curas" (the Burner of Priests) and as a dictator who ruled through puppet presidents until he was exiled in 1936. Through his daughter's recordings, "El General" moves between the memories of a daughter grappling with the memory of her family life versus history's portrait of her father, and the weight of his legacy in the country today. The film, which won the U.S. directing award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, will screen at the Montreal World Film Festival and the upcoming Latinbeat series at Lincoln Center.
Outfest and American Cinematheque to showcase select shorts
From Liza Minnelli impersonators to Southern suburban teens, documentaries, dramas and comedies, the American Cinematheque and Outfest will screen a selection of shorts include a coming of age musical and Outfest '09 award winners on Wednesday, September 9. A discussion will follow the event with participating filmmakers. For more information, visit the Cinematheque's website.
LAT (Big Picture): Michael Moore and Oprah: 'A Love Story'?
When I called Overture Films, which is releasing the ["Capitalism: a Love Story"] later this month, eager to set up an interview with Michael Moore, I got bad news. The filmmaker was willing to do interviews after the film premieres in Toronto on Sept. 16, but Overture said that all interviews were embargoed until Sept. 23, the day of the film's release in New York and Los Angeles. Why? Because Moore is doing a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey, which won't air until Sept. 22. And if Oprah wants an exclusive, she gets it, since when it comes to books, movies or music, no one offers a better promotional platform than La Winfrey. Patrick Goldstein dishes all in his blog.
BBC: Film-maker killed in El Salvador
A French-Spanish film-maker who made a documentary about gang life in El Salvador has been shot dead there, officials say. Christian Poveda, who was in his 50s, was found dead in a car north of the capital, San Salvador, police said... According to local media reports quoted by Spanish news agency Efe, Poveda witnessed seven murders - three of them subjects of his film - in the course of making "La Vida Loca." BBC reports.
AFP: Feminist porn film funded by taxpayers opens in Sweden
A porn movie shot by a feminist documentary maker and funded by taxpayers was set for its premiere in the Swedish capital of Stockholm on Thursday night. "Dirty Diaries," a collection of 12 short pornographic films, shot by director Mia Engberg received 500,000 Sweden kronor ($69,000) in public funds from the Swedish Film Institute. AFP reports.
Advocate: Madonna Plans Return to Film
U.K. newspaper The Sun reports the singer-actress is planning to direct a musical film bio of Wallis Simpson, with Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett slated to star. Simpson, the American divorcee romanced by England's King Edward VIII, ignited what was arguably the biggest royal scandal of the 20th century when Edward famously abdicated his throne in December 1936 in order to marry "the woman I love." Madonna's feature directorial debut, "Filth and Wisdom," met with a tepid response upon its release in 2008, but the entertainer also wrote, produced, and narrated the wrenching documentary about Malawian AIDS orphans, "I Am Because We Are." Advocate.com reports.