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    NY Times: Reading from Left to Right

    The studios themselves, especially after the stunning success of Mel Gibson's independently financed "The Passion of the Christ," have tried to strengthen their connection with religious and social conservatives, who represent not only a political constituency but a large and powerful segment of the...

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    INDUSTRY MOVES: Young Names WGAW Interim Exec. Dir.

    Writers Guild of America, West President Patric M. Verrone and the board of the WGAw have appointed David Young, the guild's top organizer, as its Interim Executive Director effective immediately. The board also appointed a search committee to replace outgoing executive director John McLean.

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    Two New Documentaries Feature Filmmakers Focusing on Their Fathers

    At this year's Toronto International Film Festival two very different documentaries celebrated their world premieres, each with a similar premise -- a filmmaker son turns the lens to his father in a quest to understand and honor their complicated relationship. Thomas Allen Harris' "Twelve Disciples ...

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    Romar Aims for Studio-style Releases for Indies

    A newly formed distribution initiative from Romar Entertainment, with actor Billy Zane joining company founder Jim Schramm, is aiming to offer what it says are, "studio-style, wide releases via major theater chains to indie filmmakers for a fraction of what it would normally cost." As part of the model, filmmakers raise P & A (prints and advertising) money for a release and retain all rights to the film. Romar will handle the theatrical release and take a commission on the media buy for the theatrical distribution, along with a portion of ticket sales. The company will target national releases at 300 screens and higher. A DVD distribution dea...

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    Chicago International Film Festival Unveils 41st Edition Lineup; Opens with "Elizabethtown"

    The Chicago International Film Festival, one of North America’s oldest film events, will launch its 41st edition October 6th, with 100 features and 42 shorts from 34 countries slated to screen through October 20th in the windy city. The lineup includes three world, 11 North American and 34 U.S...

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    MORE: Lineups
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    Miramax Set to Strike Again With "Tsotsi"

    Miramax Films is reportedly set to make its second acquisition under the new leadership of Daniel Battsek. The company is expected to close a deal for North American rights to the Edinburgh and Toronto fest winner "Tsotsi" by Gavin Hood. During the Toronto fest, Miramax acquired rights to the doc "The Heart of the Game". Hood's "Tsotsi", based on Athol Fugard's novel, was described by the Toronto festival as tracing "six days in the lonely, violent life of Tsotsi (meaning 'thug'), a ruthless, young gang leader." Miramax neither confirmed nor denied the pact this weekend. As of late Sunday night a company spokesperson emphasized in a brief sta...

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    Next Reel Int'l Fest Underway at NYU

    Now underway in New York is the re-named Next Reel International Film Festival, a biannual international film showcase that will offer screenings of some 111 films from 25 countries at New York University. Previously known as the NYU International Student Film Festival, the event is running now through October 1st at IFC Center and the Tisch School of the Arts in downtown Manhattan. David Lynch, Todd Solondz, and Lodge Kerrigan are among the filmmakers participating in discussions at the event. Also on tap is a panel discussion, organized by the Tribeca Film Festival, entitled, "Next Steps: Using Your Short Film to Achieve Your Career Goals."...

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    Reuters: Montreal film fests battle for funds, movie buffs

    Reuters reported this weekend on the New Montreal Film Fest:

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    Observer: LA confidential

    A few days before power PR firm PMK/HBH opens its London office, the Observer offers a profile of publicist Pat Kingsley:

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    Tell Laura We Love Her: Ira Sachs' "Forty Shades of Blue"

    It feels like precious little happens in “Forty Shades of Blue” -- surprising for a film so fraught with disintegrating relationships and more than its fair share of infidelity. This isn’t meant to be an indictment, but praise: Ira Sachs’ ostensibly sensational narrative is m...

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