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    DISPATCH FROM TEXAS | Newbie AFI Dallas Fest Kicks the Door In

    [EDITOR'S NOTE: The inaugural AFI Dallas International Film Festival continues through Sunday, April 1 in Texas.]

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    DISPATCH FROM GREECE | At a Doc Fest in Thessaloniki: Euro Premieres and "Troubled Innocence"

    Sitting in a smoky cafe outside the John Cassavetes theater, filmmaker (and fest honoree) Steven Bognar is holding forth on the differences between Greek and North American audiences. "Greeks are not afraid to ask confrontational questions. This gives a Q&A a sense of uncertainty that&...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: "The Prisoner Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair" co-directors Petra Epperlei

    Co-directors Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker's Toronto International Film Festival '06 doc "The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair" centers on a "freedom-loving" Iraqi journalist who is mistaken as British prime minister Tony Blair's would-be assassin and sent to the notorious Abu Ghra...

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    DISPATCH FROM ARGENTINA | A Showcase for Latin American Cinema, A Meeting Ground for Local Industry:

    In March of each year, during the international film festival here, Mar del Plata is a city in thrall to the movies. From early in the morning until well past midnight, the cinemas of this bustling Argentine beach resort are filled to capacity with a remarkably diverse range of people -- from university students to retired pensioners -- all enjoying an exceptionally well-curated selection of international films. It is in fact not unexpected to find people turned away from morning screenings of competition films like Otar Iosseliani's mordant satire "Jardins En Automne" (the jury's special prize winner here), for the 800 seats in the huge be...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: "Air Guitar Nation" Director Alexandra Lipsitz

    Director Alexandra Lipsitz's doc "Air Guitar Nation," which premiered last year at the SXSW Film Festival and also played in Toronto follows the birth of the U.S. Air Guitar Championships. Two aspiring rock stars strum and strut their way towards glory and the coveted national title. C. Diddy, a samurai warrior clad in a "Hello Kitty" breast plate and red kimono emerges as an early favorite, but his arch nemesis from New York's Lower East Side, Bjorn, is not far behind. As the film reaches its climax, the future of Air hangs in the balance. Will Bjorn's technical prowess, stage performance and airness be enough to take him to the top, or will...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" Director Scott Glosserman

    Scott Glosserman's suspense/horror "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" centers on a seemingly nice small-town guy whose aspirations are to become the world's next great psycho slasher in the vein of Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers. A true self-promoter, Leslie gives documentary filmmaker Taylor Gentry and her crew exclusive access to his life as he plans and executes his next great reign of terror over the sleepy town of Glen Echo, all the while deconstructing the conventions and archetypes of the horror genre for them. The film, which won the audience award at the 2006 Gen Art Film Festival in New York, opened in limited release Ma...

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    Music, the Disenfranchised and Twentysomethings: A Look at the 36th New Directors/New Films Series

    "The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative on the day after the revolution," wrote philosopher Hannah Arendt. If true, New Directors/New Films is a godsend, if we can call this a prerevolutionary era. It does include a few old-fashioned clunkers, but a majority of the 26 features in ...

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    SXSW '07 DAILY DISPATCH: Buzz Bands Stir SXSW: British and Euro Acts in Spotlight Alongside Music Le

    A host of British and European acts seemed to stir the most buzz at the 2007 SXSW Music Festival, a leading music event attended by recording industry executives, thousands of locals, numerous journalists, and a number of film folks who stuck around to catch some shows. But tackling the music festival can be daunting, considering that it features some 1400 bands playing over four nights at 65 competing venues around downtown Austin. Thankfully, some acts also perform at one of the many day parties or private gatherings that flesh out an SXSW attendee's jammed schedule. Even before the essential music event begins, press, blogs and attendees b...

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    SXSW '07 DAILY DISPATCH: SXSW Boasts Film and Music Convergence

    Music and film tend to converge at festivals throughout the year at events such as the Woodstock Film Festival and even the Sundance Film Festival has become a destination for bands, with daily music sets on Main Street in Park City. Still other fests are also looking to grow a music component these days, but the place where film and music naturally co-exist is SXSW in Austin. Dubbed the live music capital of the world, the South by Southwest Film Festival & Conference launched along with an interactive event in 1994, emerged as an outgrowth of the famed SXSW music event that began seven years earlier. The Music Conference & Festival annually...

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    SXSW '07 CRITICS NOTEBOOK | Quiet, Personal Moments Make Biggest Impact at 2007 SXSW Fest

    With an incredibly varied program offeatures put together by event producer Matt Dentler and panels and production manager Jarod Neece, one can easily find something to enjoy at the SXSW Film Festival. Obvious choices (and big ticket sellers) are films like the Morgan Spurlock produced potshot at co...

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