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  • ReelPolitik
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    Oscar Street Fight: Michael Moore's War on Indie Docs

    Last week, news came out that new rule changes in the Academy Awards' Documentary category had created some unintended consequences: a huge deluge of eligible films, far more than members of the documentary branch would be likely to see. Michael Moore, the acclaimed docu-director, who was instrumental in rewriting some of the rules for the category subsequetly took to Twitter on Wednesday, criticizing the over-abundance of docs. "Over 130 'documentaries' have 'qualified' 4 this yr's Oscars. But as u all know, 130 docs were not released in theaters this yr. So now what?" he wrote. "Once again, scores of 'documentaries' which didn't get a REAL theatrical run have 'bought' their eligibility to qualify for the Oscars."

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Call For Filmmaking Proposals ($19 Million Initiative, Open To African, Caribbean Filmmakers)

    Information you can use, courtesy of an email from our friends at Screen Africa; it sounds like a combo filmmakers lab/co-production, distribution market:

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  • The Playlist
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    Aretha Franklin Says Taylor Hackford Is Directing Her Biopic; Wants Denzel Washington To Play Her Dad

    Unsurprisingly, an Aretha Franklin biopic is not exactly a new idea – it’s one that’s been tossed around for many years now yet has failed to get off the ground. As far back as 2008, Aretha herself was speaking out about the project, at the time expressing reservations about a non-chronological approach to telling her life story. Well flash forward four years and again it’s Aretha banging the drum about the biopic, and if she’s to be believed then it sounds like it’s a lot closer to becoming a reality than ever before.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Hamptons Top Prize Goes to 'Silver Linings Playbook,' Plus Cate Shortland's 'Lore,' Janet Tobias' 'No Place on Earth'

    David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" adds another feather to its awards cap with the top prize at the 2012 Hamptons International Film Festival. The film wowed audiences at Toronto in September, taking home the fest's coveted audience award, cementing its place among the most-likely 2013 Oscar contenders.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Russian Epic 'Waiting for the Sea' to Open Rome Film Festival, Jeff Nichols to Chair Competition Jury

    Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov's "Waiting for the Sea" will open the 7th Rome Film Festival on November 9. Russian director and screenwriter Khudojnazarov, known for "Luna Papa," spent six years creating and filming "Waiting for the Sea." The Festival, which runs until November 17th, will be presided over by screenwriter and director Jeff Nichols ("Take Shelter," "Mud").

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Penske Buys Variety for $25 Million UPDATED

    Well, the early reports are true. After seven months of negotiations, Penske Media Corp., backed by hedge fund Third Point, has won 107-year-old trade paper Variety for $25 million. Just months ago Variety was thought to be worth $50 mlllion, which was still substantially lower than its pre-recession peak value. Jay Penske, 33, outbid New York Hedge Fund Avenue Capitol and supermarket mogul Ron Burkle.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Robert Johnson Talks Image Ent/Acorn Media Acquisition; Wants To Emulate Tyler Perry’s Appeal

    With the recent announcement that Robert Johnson's RLJ Acquisitions had formally completed the purchase of Image Entertainment and Acorn Media, creating RLJ Entertainment Inc., a "formidable" indie distribution company, as they labeled it, in an interview after the October 3rd announcement, Robert Johnson talked in detail, in an interview, about the newly formed company's plans.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    'Lincoln' Early Reviews: Praise for Daniel Day-Lewis & Tommy Lee Jones, Spielberg Exercises Restraint

    Early reviews are coming in for Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," NYFF's secret screening on October 8, modestly praising Daniel Day-Lewis' performance and a "scene stealing" turn by Tommy Lee Jones as Thadeus Stevens. Critics are less impressed with...

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  • The Playlist
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    Brie Larson Lands Guest Spot On 'Community' As Season 4 Start Gets Delayed

    It hasn't been an easy ride for the critically loved, but mainstream-ignored "Community." After NBC put season three on a hiatus midstream, many wondered if the show would even return. And while it has (losing creator Dan Harmon, bitterly, in the process), it has come in the form of a shortened, thirteen episode season four, which seems to indicate it's the last gasp for the program. And the woes for the show may not be over, as the network are still trying to figure out what do with it.

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  • The Playlist
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    'Hitchcock' Gets Nifty Old School Poster

    So, how has the Oscar race changed since last night's unveiling of the "unfinished" "Lincoln" at the New York Film Festival? Not much, except that Steven Spielberg's historical drama might not be the multiple-category, firebreathing contender some said it was on paper. Best Picture, Supporting Actor, Director and perhaps Adapted Screenplay noms seem a lock, but even they do not look guaranteed as wins, not even Daniel Day-Lewis whose subtler turn might not be the showy performance voters expect. So, who could steal this thunder? How about Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in "Hitchcock"?

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