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    Arianna Bocco Named IFC Entertainment's New VP of Acquisitions and Production

    IFC Entertainment has named former Miramax acquisition exec Arianna Bocco as the company's vice president of acquisitions and production, IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring announced Monday. Bocco will report directly to Sehring. In her newly appointed role, Bocco is charged with "identifying and pursuing finished feature films that support the company's overall motion picture acquisition strategy of aggressively growing its theatrical release slate with larger, commercial films," in addition to "new projects that contribute to a diverse new production slate." Bocco will also spearhead the acquisition of twenty-four films a year fo...

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    AFP: Romanian film wins Golden Swan at Copenhagen film fest

    Romania's Corneliu Porumboiu has won the Golden Swan for best film at Copenhagen's fourth international film festival, for his film "12:08 East of Bucharest," the jury announced. The film, whose Romanian title is "A fost sau n-a fost?" is about a comic talkshow on local Romanian television looking back at how ousted dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fled Bucharest by helicopter on December 22, 1989 at precisely 12:08. The festival, which focuses on European cinema, closes on Sunday after 10 days in which 145 films have been screened, including leading Danish director Lars von Trier's latest, "The Boss of It All," which local critics panned. AFP repo...

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    AFP: French and Iranian films share top prize at San Sebastian

    "Half Moon" by Iran's Bahman Ghobadi and "Mon fils a moi" (My Son) by Frenchman Martial Fougeron shared the Golden Shell prize for best film at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival. Yet when the legendary French actress Jeanne Moreau, who chaired the jury, announced the prizes for Fougeron's film, t...

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    AFP: Iran chooses womens' rights film for Oscar bid

    Iran has selected a movie defending women's rights to represent the Islamic republic at the Academy Awards next year in the best foreign film category. "Cafe Transit" by Kambosia Partovi tells the story of a recently widowed woman who decides to run her husband's truck-stop restaurant near a border village while fending off solicitations of her brother-in-law, who according to tradition has to marry her as a second wife. A veteran film maker and writer, Partovi is best known for the screenplay of Jafar Panahi's "Circle" the 2000 Venice Golden Lion winner, as well as "I, Taraneh, 15 years old -- both depicting women's problems in Iran. Agence ...

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    AP: Italy enters film for Oscar contention

    A movie depicting the voyage of a Sicilian family from their homeland to America at the beginning of the last century was selected Monday as Italy's candidate for best foreign language film at the U.S. Academy Awards. The Anica association of film producers selected "Nuovomondo," also known by its English-language title "Golden Door," by Emanuele Crialese after a morning meeting at their Rome offices. "Nuovomondo" was shown in competition at last month's Venice Film Festival, where it won praise by Italian critics. It stars Charlotte Gainsbourg alongside a cast of mostly unknown Italian actors and is largely scripted in strict Sicilian dialec...

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    "Death of a President" Set for Oct. 27th U.S. Release

    Newmarket Films is planning to release its 2006 Toronto International Film Festival acquisition "Death of a President" nationally in U.S. theaters on Friday, October 27, 2006. In an announcement, the film is described as following, "the investigation of the fictional assassination of President George W. Bush in October 2007. Combining real archival footage with a credible but fictional story, "Death of a President" presents a fascinating and thought-provoking political thriller. Filmmaker Gabriel Range's previous film was the BAFTA TV nominee, "The Day Britain Stopped." The company released the film's trailer in 200 theaters today and also p...

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    New Yorker Gets Sissako's "Bamako"

    New Yorker Films has announced its acquisition of Abderrahmane Sissako's "Bamako," which is screening early next week at the New York Film Festival. The film, which has already screened at the Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals, will be released in Februrary 2007. Described as, "The intimate personal story of an African couple on the verge of breaking up is told alongside very public political proceedings. The country’s civil society is taking action against the international financial institutions whom they directly blame for Africa’s woes." It was executive produced by Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes of Louverture Films, who will join the dir...

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    AFP: Filmmakers face unimaginable difficulties in Iran: Director

    Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi, whose film "Half Moon" has been highly praised at the San Sebastian Film Festival, has said it is increasingly difficult to work in Iran, where his latest movie has been banned because a woman sings in it. "Half Moon" tells the story of a group of Iranian Kurd musici...

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    AP: Norway picks "Reprise" as Oscar entry

    The lighthearted film "Reprise," about life's realities intruding on youthful assumptions, is Norway's entry for the best foreign film Academy Award. Director Joachim Trier's debut feature film will compete to be one of five finalists for the Oscar. Nominations will be announced Jan. 23. Earlier thi...

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    AP: Movie sparks controversy in Egypt

    It's an odd choice for Egyptian popular entertainment: a bleak movie about corruption, torture and political stagnation in a country where cinematic happy endings are the norm. But audiences are packing the theaters. The crowds are going to see "The Yacoubian Building" both for the cast of all-star Egyptian actors and because the unusually in-your-face criticism of the government has struck a chord. In one scene, a police officer calmly tells a young man he's about to be tortured. Behind the officer, a portrait of President Hosni Mubarak hangs prominently on the police station wall -- an unsubtle hint at the blind eye that the government has ...

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