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    Fifteen Projects to Receive Money from the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund

    The Sundance Institute Documentary Fund announced its first round of grantss for 2006 with 15 feature-length documentary films receiving a total of $605,000. The fund supports U.S. and international docs that "focus on current human rights issues, freedom of expression, social justice, civil liberties, and exploring critical issues of the time." Films that are works in progress receiving grants are: "Bombhunters" by Skye Fitzgerald (US/Cambodia); "Made in L.A." by Almudena Carrecedo and Robert Bahar (US); "Miss Gulag" by Maria Yatskova, Irina Vodar and Raphaela Neihausen (US); "My American Dream" by Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini (US); ...

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    Mann's "Rat Fink" Set for U.S. Release

    Abramorama has acquired Ron Mann's animated biopic "Tales of the Rat Fink," about Hot Rod Legend Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, creator of the anti-Mickey Mouse icon, Rat Fink. The film, featuring the voices of John Goodman, Jay Leno, Ann-Margret, and Brian Wilson, among others, had its world premiere earlier this year at SXSW and includes classic archival footage of the golden age of hot rods and the surf rock soundtrack of The Sadies. According to the announcement, Catherine Tait of Duopoly brokered the distribution deal between Ron Mann's Sphinx Productions and Abramorama, which released Mann's previous movies, "Grass" and "Go Further." "Tales of th...

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    Magnolia Eyeing Both Sides of the Aisle with "Jesus Camp" Doc

    "Jesus Camp," the new documentary about three Missouri kids who travel to Pastor Becky Fischer's "Kids on Fire" evangelical summer camp, has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures for a September theatrical release that will target both conservative Christian and liberal doc audiences alike. Heidi Ewing...

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    Museum of the Moving Image to Fete Will Smith at Fundraiser

    Actor Will Smith will be honored by New York's Museum of the Moving Image at its annual black-tie Salute, the chairman of the museum's board of trustees, Herbert Schlosser announced Wednesday. The event will be held on Sunday, December 3rd in the grand ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The event is held as a fundraiser for the museum and its educational programs, and includes highlights of the honoree's career. Past recipients include James Stewart, Sidney Poitier, Robert DeNiro, Barbara Walters, Steven Speilberg, Dustin Hoffman and Ron Howard. Tables for the event are going for $25,000 or $15,000 and individual tickets are set at $2,500...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Gela Babluani, director of "13 (Tzameti)"

    First-time director Gela Babluani has made quite a splash in the festival circuit with his thriller, "13 (Tzameti)." The film, starring his brother, George Babluani, took the world cinema - dramatic prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival as well as prizes last year in Venice and his native Georgia...

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    Microcinema Lands 3 Wegman Titles

    Earlier this month, Microcinema International announced a three-picture deal with photographer William Wegman, gaining distribution rights to three of the artist's kids titles. The pact includes "Alphabet Soup", "Fay's 12 Days of Christmas", and "The Hardly Boys in Hardly Gold". Microcinema is plann...

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    The Guardian: The Long Good bye (for France's Luc Besson)

    A few years ago, France's most successful living director (Luc Besson) announced his intention to quit while he was ahead. He would, he said, make 10 films and then get out of the game. At the time few people took him seriously. But with "Angel-A" and "Arthur and the Minimoys," he has reached his l...

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    SF360: Screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga on the weight of words

    As debuts go, Guillermo Arriaga's explosive screenplay for "Amores Perros" is hard to beat. "21 Grams," his follow-up with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, provided more than enough emotional red meat for Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts to carve into Oscar nominations. For his next trick, Arriaga nabbed the prize for best screenplay at Cannes 2005 for "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," a modern Western about friendship, responsibility and the unintended effects of violence. "Babel," which stars Brad Pitt and garnered the best director award for Inarritu this year at Cannes, opens in the fall. Michael Fox speaks with Arriaga for ...

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    NY Times: "Crash" Principals Still Await Payments for Their Work

    When a movie costs $7.5 million to make and takes in $180 million around the world, it seems logical to think that the people who created the film would have become very rich. With "Crash," this year's Oscar winner for best picture and last year's sleeper hit at the box office, that has not been the case. The movie's co-writer and director, Paul Haggis, has so far made less than $300,000 on the film, a pittance by Hollywood standards. The eight principal actors in "Crash," including Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon and Don Cheadle, have been expecting large checks for months, after deferring their usual fees in exchange for a percentage of the fil...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Keith Fulton, Co-Director of "Brothers of the Head"

    "Lost in La Mancha" directors Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's "Brothers of the Head" first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last September (where IFC Films acquired the title), and then made its way to the Berlinale in February. The film is the story of conjoined twins who were take...

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