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    Mark Cuban and Movie Marketing

    Last week on his blog, Mark Cuban (owner of Landmark Theaters, HDNet, Magnolia Pictures, etc.) issued a call for new ideas about movie marketing, explaining:Only HDNet takes more time out my day than trying to solve this problem. Its the holy grail of the movie business. How do you get people out of the house to see your movie without spending a fortune. How can you convince 5 million people to give up their weekend and go to a theater to see a specific movie without spending 60mm dollars.His request for ideas generated 1,000 comments (all available online). And a follow-up post on his blog, a few days ago, has generated another 130+ comments...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Laura Poitras, director of "My Country, My Country"

    Director Laura Poitras' traveled to Iraq for her latest film, "My Country, My Country." She is known to doc fans for her work in "Flag Wars," co-directed with Linda Goode Bryant, which garnered awards at both Full Frame and the SXSW Film Festival in 2003 as well as a Peabody Award and Independent Sp...

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    Culture Crash: Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's "Quinceanera"

    What does it say about the state of American independent film when a movie like "Quinceanera" wins both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival? Perhaps nothing we didn't already know. That such an utterly bland movie can inspire enthusiasm from jurors and audiences...

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    LAT: Crossing This Line May Cost Gibson

    In the LA Times today, Robert W. Welkos and John Horn consider the impact of Mel Gibson's drunk driving arrest in Malibu this weekend, given the subsequent reports about his "anti-Semitic tirade" on the scene. Gibson, who has since apologized, admitted he is an alcoholic, and called his own remarks ...

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    SF360: Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer, from the Salton Sea to San Francisco

    The area surrounding the doomed Salton Sea is home to a singular collection of kooky characters, even by California standards. Fifty miles from Palm Springs, the "sea" is a manmade lake that was once a major Southland vacation spot and real estate developers' dreamscape. Now it's Nowheresville, populated by iconoclasts, free thinkers, and sunbaked lunatics. Yet they were kindred spirits, in some unexpected way, with San Francisco documentary filmmakers Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer. The duo's acclaimed debut, "Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea," brims with affection for these freaks and their freaky, freaky habitat. Michael Fox report...

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    Reuters: Michael Moore gets lots of Republican hugs

    Michael Moore -- gadfly filmmaker, liberal activist and political lightning rod -- says he finds himself being hugged by a lot of Republicans these days. On the streets of Traverse City, where Moore is working on last-minute preparations for a bigger-and-better sequel to the film festival he launche...

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    "War Tapes" and "37 Uses for a Dead Sheep" Take First BritDoc Fest Prizes

    "The War Tapes" by Deborah Scranton and Ben Hopkins' "37 Uses for a Dead Sheep" won the inaugural won the international competition and best British documentary prizes respectively over the weekend at the first annual BritDoc documentary festival in Oxford, England. "37 Uses" follows the travails of the Pamir Kirghiz people along their long journey from Russia, to China, Afghanistan in their quest to preserve their culture from Communism. They finallly settle in Turkey where they face a new foe, globalization. "War Tapes" is the first war film to be shot by soldiers on the frontline, showing life for a group of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Xiaolu G...

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    Fortissimo Inks UK Deals for "The Bridge"

    In the UK...ICA Films has nabbed theatrical and DVD rights to Eric Steel's "The Bridge," while Channel 4 has acquired TV broadcast rights. Fortissimo Films brokered the deals for the U.S. film and said today that Steel's doc, about suicides at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, will screen at this ...

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    "Sunshine" Golden in Debut

    Fox Searchlight's release of "Little Miss Sunshine" earned an estimated $357,000 this weekend on 7 screens, for an estimated debut per screen average of $51,000 (according to BoxOfficeMojo.com). In its first five days in release, the film has made nearly $450,000, according to the estimate.

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    INDUSTRY MOVES: Laura De Casto To Run Tartan USA

    Laura De Casto has been tapped to run Tartan USA, in addition to her UK responsibilities as Tartan Films' Managing Director. She has been with the company for eight years and will handle the LA duties primarily from the company's London office, traveling to LA as needed.

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