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Festivals

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    DISPATCH FROM LOS ANGELES: Mountains, Music, Genocide and More True Stories in AFI Fest Doc Competit

    As is often the case at U.S. film festivals, the documentary competition can present some of a festival's strongest works. A number of acclaimed new non-fiction films are having their U.S. premiere at AFI Fest 2006, alongside a selection of world premieres. From the Toronto International Film Festiv...

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    AFI Fest Invites Audience Feedback

    In a partnership with Audience by Withoutabox (a new online social network), AFI Fest is inviting its festival attendees to rate films, post comments, and review films after event screenings. Visitors can visit the new interactive website and keep blogs or access the social software via the on-site "Blog Bar" inside the box office at the fest's Arclight Cinemas Rooftop Village. The festival continues through November 12th. In a statement, festivals director Christian Gaines said:Our audiences are discoverers and tastemakers. It's wonderful for us to know what they think of the films we program, and for our filmmakers to get broader feedback. ...

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    DISPATCH FROM LOS ANGELES: Foreign Films Get AFI Fest Star Treatment

    AFI Fest rightfully styles itself as an international festival, showcasing foreign films from around the world in a city that is not always receptive to overseas fare. Though non-U.S. work may have difficulty at the box office during their regular rollouts in L.A., screenings are often full for fore...

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    Sundance Unveils Global Short Film Project

    Sundance Institute announced today a plan to join forces with the GSM Association to create the Sundance Film Festival: Global Short Film Project. The pilot program will develop short films for mobile users worldwide, starting with work from Sundance fest alums who have been tapped to launch the initiative. Five new short films will be created by Sundance vets Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris ("Little Miss Sunshine"), Justin Lin ("Better Luck Tomorrow"), Maria Maggenti ("Puccini For Beginners"), Cory McAbee ("The American Astronaut") and Jody Hill ("The Foot Fist Way"). The shorts will debut at the 3GSM World Congress event in Barcelona in Feb...

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    Sundance at 25: Celebrating the Institute and Examining its Future

    While Paul Newman, 81, carried around a bucket full of beers, collecting tips amounting to $450, other actors, from Parker Posey to Uma Thurman to Stanley Tucci, served wine to attendees. It was their way of saying thanks to the Sundance Institute, which celebrated its 25th anniversary at a fundrais...

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    LA Weekly: Film Critics' Picks at AFI Fest

    "Directed by John Ford," "Family Law," "Full Grown Men," "The Host," "Inland Empire," "Ten Canoes," "12:08 East of Bucharest," and "Who Loves the Sun" among the critics' picks at the LA Weekly. The films are currently screening at the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival, which continues thro...

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    DISPATCH FROM LOS ANGELES: The Lure of Hollywood: Art and Commerce at AFM & AFI

    An actor from a successful indie film is paying the bills working in the restaurant at Hollywood's upscale ArcLight Cinemas complex, while upstairs an AFI Fest filmmaker is taking a few days off of work as an underpaid set P.A. to double as a "real filmmaker" while his latest film screens at the fes...

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    Strand Takes US Rights to Bosnia Herzegovina Oscar Entry "Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams"

    US rights to Jasmila Zbanic's "Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams" have been picked up by Strand Releasing from Match Factory Films, the Los Angeles-based distributor announced Monday. The film, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale in February, is Bosnia and Herzegovina's official entry for the 2006 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. The deal was negotiated by Strand's Jon Gerrans and Match Factory's Michael Weber at the American Film Market (AFM), currently underway in Santa Monica, CA. The film screens Tuesday night at AFI Fest, also underway in Los Angeles. Set in a contemporary Sarajevo still reeling from the aftermath of war, t...

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    Regent Releasing Takes Worldwide Rights to "Freshman Orientation"

    Regent Releasing has acquired the worldwide rights to Ryan Shiraki's comedy "Freshman Orientation," with Regent Worldwide Sales handling international sales at this year's American Film Market (AFM). The film, produced by Element Films, will be released in Spring 2007. The film centers on a typical Midwestern 18-year-old freshman (Sam Huntington) at a large state university eager to begin his wild college party life, but he instead discovers that school is not the beer-driven, sexual fantasy of his imagination. Determined to do anything to win over a beautiful sorority girl, he decides to pose as gay in order to entrench himself in her life. ...

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    DISPATCH FROM LOS ANGELES: Penelope Cruz in Spotlight at AFI Fest Tribute

    After nearly six months of critical attention and acclaim for her lead performance in Pedro Almodovar's "Volver," actress Penelope Cruz stepped into Hollywood's spotlight on Thursday night, accepting this year's AFI Fest tribute on the second night of the festival. A veteran of some 40 films in just...

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