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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    My Week in New York: Hugo, War Horse, Turin Horse, Parties, Marilyn, Book of Mormon

    Monday night's mystery screening of Martin Scorsese's work-in-progress 3-D Hugo (featurette below) marks my last screening at this year's New York Film Festival. The reason that the movie was shown without completed effects or a final score (by Howard Shore) is that it's a cinephile's dream, and the NYFF audience couldn't have been a more receptive crowd. While the movie should work with families over the Thanksgiving holiday, and producer Graham King (nervously pacing in the rear of the theater as ushers passed out 3-D glasses) assured me that they wouldn't have shown the film if the movie wasn't going to finish on time, Paramount wanted to build buzz for the film via the festival and this was the only way to do it.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    EFA Nominate Five for European Discovery Award: Directors of Breathing, Nothing's All Bad, Tilva Ros

    The European Film Academy announces five films nominated for their European Discovery 2011 - Prix FIPRESCI Award. The award goes to a young director with a first-time feature. The nominees are listed below. The 2,500 members of the EFA will vote for the winner, which will be announced at the 24th annual awards show in Berlin on December 3. Here's more.

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  • The Playlist
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    Martin Scorsese's Unfinished 'Hugo' Is An Enchanting Fairytale & Affectionate Loveletter To Cinema

    Filmmaker Introduces Work-In-Progress 3D Film At Surprise New York Film Festival ScreeningWhat else could it have been? When Monday's New York Film Festival "secret" screening was announced last week, speculation went into overdrive. Most missed the fact that the picture would be a 2011 release which greatly narrowed down the field. Clint Eastwood's "J.Edgar"? The NYFF/Eastwood relationship is a close one, but the picture is already promised to the AFI festival in early November. David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" was another big theory, but that film's still in the editing room. That left either Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" or one of Steven Spielberg's fall pictures, but considering Scorsese already debuted his George Harrison doc this month, it seemed rather obvious, even before the secret was unveiled this afternoon.

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  • The Playlist
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    'Precious' Filmmaker Lee Daniels To Direct Untitled LGBT Showtime Drama

    Director Lee Daniels continues to spend his post-"Precious" time stacking up projects. He's finally at work on his next full length picture, "The Paperboy" after his MLK project couldn't get off the ground due to financing and a lack of support from the civil rights leader's estate. As it goes for many high profile directors these days, television is proving to be a new and fertile creative ground, and for Daniels that's no less true.

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Guest Post: Women War & Peace: Bosnian Women Testify for Change By Pamela Hogan

    For eight years as a founding producer of PBS’s award-winning international documentary series WIDE ANGLE, I made it my mission to expand coverage of under-reported global women’s issues. I’m proud of the ground-breaking films we made, tackling stories almost no one else was talking about from maternal mortality in Africa to the worldwide crisis in access to education, especially for girls in developing countries. But I began to feel that overall we were paying too much attention to a “narrow angle” of war. There was plenty of press reflecting a masculine narrative: warlords, generals and border conflict. There was bountiful footage of men with guns, bombed homes and soldiers on tanks and trucks. But something was not being captured on film: the women.

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  • SydneysBuzz
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    TIFF 2011 and into AFM

    Another overdue blog, this time on the Toronto Film Festival: TIFF 2011 was also an indication of the upcoming AFM, now contemplating changes of its own - moving its venue from Santa Monica to downtown L.A. for example. As AFM seems to be defining itself more and more as an event to take care of the core business of film buying and selling rather than of discovery and new film adventures, although panel discussions continue as a sidebar, Toronto continues to roll out new features along with showcasing so many films it is impossible to take it all in. As for AFM this year, based on Toronto's activities, I predict fewer Europeans will come, more Asians will attend, continuing their own itinerary from Busan and TIFFCON, and Latin America will remain hovering in the background. For a growing territory, Latin America's profile remains nebulous. It will be interesting to see whether sales in that territory increase.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Academy Celebrates Rise of Nonfiction: Doc Panelists Bar-Lev, Guggenheim, Stern

    "The Rise of Nonfiction Movies," the latest in the Academy's John Huston Lecture series, will take place on October 26 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Panelists will discuss how feature documentaries have discovered a newfound popularity and cutting edge ways to brings stories to life, amid rapidly evolving modes of media consumption and distribution.

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  • The Playlist
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    Contest Giveaway: 'Sophia Loren Award Collection' & 'Great Italian Directors Collection' Boxsets

    Need a break from the awards season movies and fall blockbusters vying for your eyeballs and your dollars? How about some classic Italian cinema instead? Hitting stores today is the "Sophia Loren Award Collection" on BluRay and the "Great Italian Directors Collection" on DVD, and they should definitely scratch your itch for foreign cinema. Both sets are excellent collections featuring some great classics. The Sophia Loren set boasts three Vittorio De Sica films in high-definition including "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," "Sunflower" and "Marriage Italian Style" along with the omnibus "Boccaccio '70" with the box rounded out by a documentary on the life and legacy of director Vittorio De Sica.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Watch An Exclusive Sneak Peek Clip Of "Alaskaland" And Get To Know Chinonye Chukwu

    Emerging filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu's hard work will pay off soon as she puts the finishing touches on her first feature film, Alaskaland. We've been following her journey this year, from raising funds to post production, and anticipate covering her next phase of the festival circuit.

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  • The Playlist
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    'Weekend' Director Andrew Haigh Developing L.A.-Set Follow-Up 'Simon Is Waiting' With Film4

    We're literally about to head out the door to the BFI London Film Festival press screening of "Weekend," the second feature by British director Andrew Haigh, and we're firmly looking forward to it; ever since its premiere at SXSW earlier in the year, the indie gay romance has picked up glowing reviews, including ours, and has been doing quite nicely at the U.S. box office since it opened a few weeks back. It's definitely launched Haigh, a former assistant editor who worked on the likes of "Gladiator" and "Black Hawk Down", into the consciousness of film fans, and coincidentally, this morning brings news of his next project.

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