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    SF Chronicle: Happy birthday, Woody Allen

    Woody Allen turns 70 today, and the weakness -- or, in some cases, the comparative weakness -- of his recent films obscures the fact this is one of the great American filmmakers. We take him for granted, think of him as a cottage industry producing little boutique films, one a year, like clockwork. ...

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    Reuters: MTV makes AIDS film and offers it for free

    MTV, whose inception in 1981 coincided with the first reported case of AIDS, has made a film and released it to broadcasters for free on Thursday to educate young people about the epidemic. The feature-length "Transit" tells the story of eight young people whose lives are intertwined, and through a ...

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    Reuters: Philippine gay romance wins Asian film fest honors

    "The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros," a gay love story set between the squalor and corruption of Manila slums and the corridors of law and order, won best film at the inaugural Asian Festival of 1st Films in Singapore Wednesday. The Philippine film was directed by Raymond Lee and Auraeus Solito. The ...

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    Lawrence Kasdan to Receive 2006 Screen Laurel Award

    Lawrence Kasdan will be honored with a Screen Laurel Award at the 2006 Writers Guild Awards. The Writers Guild of America presents the award to someone who has "advanced the literature of the motion picture and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the screenwriter." The first screenplay that Kasdan sold was for the movie "The Bodyguard." He wrote the screenplay for "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and co-wrote the screenplays for "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." Kasdan also directed from screenplays that he wrote or co-wrote, including the movies "The Big Chill," "The Accidental Tourist" and "Mumford." The Writers G...

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    Weinstein Company Takes Rights to Produce "The Equalizer"

    The Weinstein Company has acquired the rights to develop and produce a feature film based on the original hit television series "The Equalizer" in which Robert McCall, a veteran covert operative seeking redemption for his darker exploits, quits a CIA-like agency and puts an advertisement in the newspaper that reads, "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call 'The Equalizer.'" The announcement was made today by Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company. Mace Neufeld ("The Sum of All Fears," and "Clear and Present Danger") Tony Eldridge and Michael Sloan will serve as producers on the film. The rights were acquired from Michael Sloan a...

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    IDFA Award Nominees

    From the IDFA website, the nominees for this year's IDFA prizes are: For the VPRO Joris Ivens Award - the best long documentary: "China Blue" by Micha X. Peled (USA, 2005), "My Grandmother's House" by Adan Aliaga (Spain, 2005), and "Le Voyage des Femmes de Zartale" by Claude Mourieras (France, 2004). For the Silver Wolf, the award for the best short documentary: "Before flying back to the Earth" by Arunas Matelis, (Lithuania, Germany, 2005), "Chicken Elections" by Goran Radovanovic (Serbia, Montenegro, 2005) and "Svyato" by Victor Kossakovsky (Russia, 2005). And nominations for the First Appearance Award, the best debut, are: "The Angelmakers...

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    AP: Rampling to Head Berlin Film Fest Jury

    Charlotte Rampling will head the jury at next year's Berlin International Film Festival, which will run Feb. 9-19. Rampling "has come to stand for unconventional and memorable cinema," festival director Dieter Kosslick said Wednesday. The 59-year-old actress has starred in films such as Francois Ozo...

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    Thessaloniki Sees a Regime Change; Spotlights Newcomers

    "I don't believe in God, but I believe in John Huston," Patrice Chereau noted last Tuesday in Thessaloniki, a northeastern port-city in Greece at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival.

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    Program Additions at Gen Art

    Gen Art, which organizes an annual film festival, recently announced some program additions. The group will begin hosting Cinema Circles for its top members. These will be special quarterly screenings followed by a discussion with cast and crew. For the 11th edition of its film festival, Gen Art is introducing the Stargazer Award for excellence in acting. Gen Art has also released the names of those on its 2006 film festival programming committee: Jake Abraham (producer, InDigEnt), Will Battersby (partner/producer, Safe House Pictures), Sofia Sondervan (senior vice president, feature films for Sony BMG), Linda Maglionico (festival freelancer ...

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    Holofcener's "Friends" To Open Sundance; Fest's Premieres Lineup Unveiled

    Nicole Holofcener's "Friends With Money" will open the 2006 Sundance Film Festival on January 19th in Park City, UT. The festival's closing film will be Nick Cassavetes' "Alpha Dog." Sundance organizers made the announcement today, also unveiling the roster of high-profile, often star-driven, titles...

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