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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "My Best Friend" Director Patrice LeConte

    French director Patrice LeConte's "My Best Friend" (Mon meilleur ami) centers on Francois, a middle-aged antique dealer with a stylish apartment and a fabulous life. At a dinner with a group he considers his dearest acquaintances, he is blindsided by the revelation that none of them actually like him. He's arrogant, self-centered and harsh, and they don't believe he knows the meaning of friendship. His business partner Catherine makes him a bet: if he can produce a best friend, she will let him keep a massive Greek vase he acquired that afternoon on the company tab. If not, it's hers... LeConte won a BAFTA as well as French Cesar Awards for h...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox" Director Sara Lamm

    Whoever thinks enlightened can't be found on a soap label hasn't looked closely at that text-heavy blue bottle in the Trader Joe's aisle. From afar Dr. Bronner's unadorned, institutional-like bottles look as if they're covered with warnings (one of the big ones: DILUTE!). Rather, they are packed with mind-twisting moral teachings. Even looking for some instructions gives you a healthy dose: "Enjoy body rub to stimulate body-mind-soul-spirit and teach the essene moral ABC uniting all free in the shepherd astronomer Israel's greatest all-one-god-faith!" Sara Lamm's documentary about Dr. Emanuel Bronner, master soapmaker, self-proclaimed ra...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Drama/Mex" Director Gerardo Naranjo

    In Mexican director Gerardo Naranjo's "Drama/Mex," two interlaced stories unfold over the course of the same long, hot day in the once lush and now decadent resort town of Acapulco. The first involves the beautiful and cool Fernanda, who is forced to deal with the sudden emergence of her ex-lover, Chino. Her boyfriend, Gonzalo, must now compete with the intense sexual tension Fernanda and Chino share. The second story concerns Jamie, an office worker with hidden indiscretions, attempting suicide in a beachfront hotel-until a precocious and equally dishonest teenage girl disrupts his plan. "Drama/Mex" debuted at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, ...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Colma: The Musical" director Richard Wong

    If John Hughes were to make a film of small-town teenagers who occasionally burst into song, he still would be miles away from Richard Wong's little-indie-that-could, "Colma: The Musical". Written by HP Mendoza and directed by Wong, "Colma" is a musical loveletter to their hometown and to teenagers...

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    + DISPATCH FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC | Five Films (+1) to Watch From The '07 Karlovy Vary Festival

    The 42nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) wrapped up on Saturday night in the Czech Republic and how this festival has remained a virtual secret to the American film community boggles the mind. Here is a major international film festival, complete with world and international premieres that is screaming for acquisition execs, filmmakers and programmers and yet the number of guests from the U.S. numbered under 50, including Czech-based reps of U.S. publications and non-American stringers for American press outlets. Pretty poor, really. Contrary to popular opinion, I am not always hyperbolic and on this one, I maintain that Amer...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Joshua" director George Ratliff

    [EDITORS NOTE: This interview was originally published in January as part of indieWIRE's coverage of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.]

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    DISPATCH FROM FINLAND | Moviegoing at the Midnight Sun Film Fest

    A one-hour flight north of Helsinki and 120 kilometers by road through softly rolling pine-covered countryside dotted with bracing lakes fed by rivers from which countless Reindeer drink, in the Lapland region of Finland well within the Arctic Circle, lies the small town of Sodankyla. In this p...

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    LAFF '07 | International Stories, Some Set in the U.S., Find Audiences at L.A. Film Fest

    "People in this town are coming to realize that Los Angeles needs a world class film festival," proclaimed Rich Raddon, a former film producer who has lead Film Independent's Los Angeles Film Festival since 1999 when it was still known as the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. "We need it in our backyards," he added, thanking attendees and touting the event during Thursday's Spirit of Independence event in Westwood. Of course, the 10-day festival isn't the only international festival in Los Angeles, LAFF shares that stature with AFI FEST, the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival in autumn as well as Outfest, opening later this mont...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman" Director Jennifer Fox

    Director Jennifer Fox's "Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman" is a six hour-long film (divided into one hour episodes) that maps the world of female life and sexuality today--from the dramatic turns in her own life to the stories of women around the globe that shed light on the "universal issues all...

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    FIRST PERSON | John Pierson: An Open Letter to Michael Moore

    There is no percentage in me, or anyone for that matter, criticizing you. And since you've effectively become America's conscience, it must be awfully hard to pause for a moment and examine your own. And I would never have become part of an attempt to make you do that if not for a classroom full o...

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