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  • The Playlist
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    Sony Picks Up Michael Winterbottom's 'Bailout' Starring Jack Black, Filming To Start In January

    Film About The Amanda Knox Trial Also Still In The WorksWhen you're an independent filmmaker like Michael Winterbottom, who generally has a few projects on the go at any given time, it usually comes down financing and support to determine which film goes next and what remains on the backburner. And sometimes those decisions are made lightning fast. When we spoke to the director's frequent producing partner Andrew Eaton at the BFI London Film Festival last month, he was reserved about "Bailout" getting made saying, "That’s a juggling act between Jack Black’s schedule and whether we can do enough pre-sales to make it happen." Well, they need not worry. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has landed the film for North America, South America, Australia, South Africa and Scandinavia and more kicking "Bailout" into gear with shooting begin in January.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Film Independent Spirit Awards' Jameson Grant: Accepting Submissions for Find Your Audience Award

    Film Independent's Spirit Awards is now accepting submissions for the Jameson FIND Your Audience Award, one of four filmmaker grants. The Jameson grant, in its second year and funded by Jameson Irish Whiskey, is designed to help build an audience for a feature length narrative or documentary filmmaker. In addition to the $40,000 grant, the winner will be featured at the Independent Spirit Awards on February 25 and will receive ongoing consultation from FIND. Jeff Malmberg's excellent documentary Marwencol was last year's winner.

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  • The Playlist
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    Soundtrack Details For 'We Bought A Zoo' Revealed, Includes Collab Between Jónsi & Cameron Crowe

    Also Features 2 Brand New Songs From JónsiCameron Crowe has always been known for his keen ear for music, curating each of his films with a carefully selected soundtrack, but the forthcoming "We Bought A Zoo" marks the first time he's handed over the reins to a single artist. Over the summer it was revealed that Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi would be tuning up the film, but little did we know, Crowe himself would be lending an assist for one of the pieces for the movie.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    AFM IN THE WORKS: Edgerton, Kidman, Dujardin, Del Toro, Cotillard, Watts, Wright, Wahlberg, Ibsen

    Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, James Frecheville (Animal Kingdom) and Xavier Samuel are on board to star in Anne Fontaine's (Coco Before Chanel) The Grandmothers, adapted from the 2003 novella by Nobel Prize-winner Doris Lessing by-- it's getting better--Christopher Hampton (Atonement, Dangerous Liaisons). In the story, two childhood friends/neighbors (Watts, Wright) each fall in love with the other's son, to the disgust of their wives. Sounds bizarre (and a bit like Toronto title The Oranges). Amazon sheds more light on it:

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Castles Made of Sand: Genevieve Yue reports from the 2011 Abu Dhabi Film Festival

    bu Dhabi isn’t exactly a superlative city, save, perhaps, for its interest in superlatives. As the glitzy, modern capital of the UAE, a country that gained independence only 40 years ago, Abu Dhabi is an exceptionally recent invention, having constructed much of its air-conditioned environment within the past five years. While it can’t claim distinction through ancient cultural heritage, it has aggressively tried to make up the difference through grandiose titles designating things as largest, tallest, or most opulent. Take, for example, the Emirates Palace Hotel, the most expensive hotel in the world, and site of last year’s Abu Dhabi Film Festival, or, the plasma signs in the Marina Mall prominently displayed during the fest, which read “Guinness World Record Achievement for Road Safety Awareness,” whatever that means. Sadly, many of the honors have ceded to neighboring Dubai or Doha, including, at the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, what used to be the largest (and, possibly, the most bedazzled) chandelier. Luckily the mega-mosque can still lay claim to the world’s largest rug.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Online Constellation Launches TOP DOCS Screenings, Q & As

    Constellation, the new Virtual Theatrical Exhibition and online social media platform, is launching their first lineup of documentaries, TOP DOCS. It's a curated program for doc filmmakers to discuss their recent works via live online screenings. TOP DOCS launches November 3 with director Albert Maysles hosting a Q&A of Ellen Hovde's Grey Gardens (pictured).

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Synopsis and Promo Poster For Steve McQueen's "12 Years A Slave" Released

    Just coming out of the American Film Market (AFM) (via Collider); the already highly anticipated Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave has released a first synopsis and promo poster.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Steve Jobs Biography Selling Like Hotcakes, Did Nora Ephron Know Jobs?

    Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography is flying off the shelves, both literal and digital, selling 380,000 copies in one week in the U.S. alone. It's the 18th best selling book of 2011, ahead of John Grisham's The Confession. The U.K. also marked strong sales of the book, 37,244 copies.

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  • The Playlist
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    Joel Edgerton Also Offered Starring Role In Steven Soderbergh's 'Man From U.N.C.L.E.'

    We once described rising Australian actor Joel Edgerton as the "thinking man's Sam Worthington" and, while as unfair as that may sound, we're thinking Hollywood is starting to share our views on him as well.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: 'Marathon Boy' A Shocking, Unbelievable & Fascinating Tale Of A Slumdog Runner

    When we sat down to watch this documentary, we had some chips and a tall glass of Coke at the ready, but when it was revealed early on that Budhia Singh -- the tiny, former slumdog dweller turned runner -- has completed 48 full marathons by the time he was four years old, we promptly wiped the crumbs off our shirt and closed up the bag of salty snacks. And then we promised to hit the gym more often. But even that minor fact is just a small part of the utterly riveting and true tale spun by director Gemma Atwal in "Marathon Boy," a film that starts off masquerading as your standard uplifting sports movie and then goes in directions you never see coming.

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