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Film Festival News and Reviews: Sundance, Cannes and more

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    Sundance '10 | "Winter's Bone" Director Debra Granik Keeps It Real

    Winner of Sundance's Directing Award in 2004 for her harrowing drama "Down to the Bone", director Debra Granik premieres her second feature, "Winter's Bone", at this year's festival.

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    Sundance '10 | Director Tanya Hamilton's "Night Catches Us" Cuts Close to Home

    Director and writer Tanya Hamilton has nabbed some big industry names for her debut "Night Catches Us". The film stars Anthony Mackie (riding high on the success of "The Hurt Locker"), Independent Spirit Award nominee Kerry Washington, and features original music by The Roots.

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    Redford & Cooper Eye Future as Sundance Opens

    "The best and dearest thing to my heart is making art," said a rather jovial Robert Redford this afternoon in Park City during a conversation alongside new Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper and journalists sitting in the audience at the Egyptian Theatre. The hour-plus chat jumped from "going back to Sundance's roots," the regime change at the festival, Haiti, alternative distribution, ambush marketing and the ever present discussion of Sundance's role in independent film, but Redford appeared more relaxed and even told an impromptu story about dodging paparazzo Ron Galella on the set of one of his movies in New York back in the 70s....

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    Sundance '10 | Doc Legend Leon Gast Eyes a Paparazzo Superstar

    Leon Gast's filmography includes some of the most influential documentaries investigating American popular culture. He won an Oscar for directing the "Rumble in the Jungle" doc "When We Were Kings." He has pointed his lens at B.B. King, Celia Cruz, and the Hells Angels in other documentaries. For his new film, he focuses in on Ron Galella, the rambunctious celebrity photographer. "Leon Gast masterfully profiles Galella and places him at the center of the debate about the First Amendment right to privacy. Galella’s work and tactics have their critics, but his influence is undeniable. In a career defined by perseverance, he has created some ...

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    Sundance '10 | Diane Bell's "Obselidia" Makes Sure Nothing Goes Out of Style

    Diane Bell, after immersing herself in the Hollywood scriptwriting business, has had little luck with the scripts she's written under contract getting produced. Her first feature script to be produced has her at the reins of a low-budget feature with a fantastic premise: "Believing he’s the last door-to-door encyclopedia salesman in the world, George decides to write The Obselidia, a compendium of obsolete things. George believes that love, among other things, is obsolete. In his quest to document nearly extinct occupations, he befriends Sophie, a beautiful cinema projectionist who works at a silent movie theatre. Sophie believes that nothi...

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    Sundance '10 | "Skateland" Director Anthony Burns on Cutting Up His Film Baby

    "Skateland" (starring Ashley Greene of "Twilight" fame) marks the feature film directorial debut of Anthony Burns, who co-wrote the film along with Brandon and Heath Freeman. It’s 1983, and Skateland, the roller rink and local hangout of a small town, is becoming a fading memory of an earlier time, when disco and roller-skating were king. The party scene is getting stale, and 19-year-old Ritchie's romantic life is as cloudy as his future. He struggles to make sense of it all, and decisions do not come easily to the carefree young man. When tragedy strikes his friends and family, Ritchie must face the music—and make the biggest decision of his...

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    Into the Future: Anticipating the Good & Bad of Sundance 2010

    In "Bass Ackwards", one of the entries in Sundance Film Festival's recently launched low budget NEXT section, an unkempt loner (Linas Phillips, also the writer-director) -- having lost both his job and his girlfriend -- drives through a series of lush American landscapes in a cramped Volkswagen bus, hoping to find a better life. Considering that vehicle's now-famous association with "Little Miss Sunshine," a major Sundance breakout in 2006, the metaphor here writes itself: "Bass Ackwards," a comparatively small film not destined for the kind of massive bidding war among distributors caused by "Little Miss Sunshine," looks like a Sundance movi...

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    Sundance '10 | Stern & Sundberg Take On "Joan Rivers" Doc

    Veteran documentary filmmakers Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg return to the Sundance U.S. Documentary Competition with "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work." Their recent efforts, "The Trials of Darryl Hunt" and "The Devil Came on Horseback" also screened at Sundance and both films won the two both nominati...

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    Filmmaking in Afghanistan's Deadliest Valley: "Restrepo"

    U.S. doc competition feature "Restrepo" is the directorial debut for filmmaking duo Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, though this isn't their first foray into film. Hetherington was cinematographer in Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg's "The Devil Came on Horseback" (whose latest, "Joan Rivers: A P...

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    Sundance '10 | "One Too Many Mornings": Going Rogue and Growing Up

    Writer/director Michael Mohan arrives at Sundance with his first feature in the festival's new NEXT section - his first as director, although he has a few shorts under his belt. "One Too Many Mornings" is a comedy about two guys who are actually too old to be in the "coming-of-age" stage...

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