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Film Festival News and Reviews: Sundance, Cannes and more

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    PARK CITY '08 DISPATCH | "Frozen River" and "Trouble The Water" Win Top Prizes at Sundance '08, "Man

    Courtney Hunt's "Frozen River" won the dramatic grand jury prize and Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's "Trouble The Water" won the documentary grand jury prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival tonight. The dramatic audience award went to Jonathan Levine's "The Wackness," while the documentary audience award went to Josh Tickell's "Fields of Fuel." In the world cinema documentary competition, James Marsh's "Man on Wire" won both the grand jury prize and the audience award, while the world cinema dramatic jury prize went to Jens Jonsson's "King of Ping Pong" ("Ping Pongkingen") and the dramatic audience award went to Amin Matalqa's "Captain Abu Raed...

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    PARK CITY '08 NOTEBOOK | Overlooked Frontier and Midnight Sections Offers Standout "Half Life" and W

    While the Sundance 2008 comes to close and the air clears around the buzz for the big sales out of the premiere and competition sections, the often wrongly overlooked New Frontiers and Midnight programs float to the surface as some of the year's most interesting offerings.

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    PARK CITY '08 REVIEW | Kicking and Screaming: Azazel Jacobs' "Momma's Man"

    The year's prevailing Sundance theme--young males kicking and screaming their way into acceptance of adult duties and/or downward mobility--finds one of its fullest expressions in "Momma's Man," director Azazel Jacobs's exceptionally tender, funny, and poignant New York indie. Like "Sugar," and "Ballast," the festival's other great narrative films, Jacobs's low-fi third feature forges unique stylistic territory for the American independent film while specifically recalling such disparate classics as Alexander Sokurov's "Mother and Son" and Albert Brooks's woefully underrated "Mother." Jacobs's work is a rare cinematic expression of heartfelt ...

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    PARK CITY '08 NOTEBOOK | Slamdance Docs "Dear Zachary" and "My Mother's Garden" Offer Personal Stori

    There's a certain intensity to low budget productions that often heightens their impact. At the Slamdance Film Festival, where singular vision overwhelms the importance of name talent and studio appeal, a number of sturdy entries achieve their cogent artistic intentions with focused minimalism. This...

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    PARK CITY '08 REVIEW | Cat's Out of the Bag: David and Nathan Zellner's "Goliath"

    "Goliath," co-directed by brothers David and Nathan Zellner, is an experimental film in appearance, tempo and most importantly spirit. Its tale, about a sad sack of a man (David Zellner) searching for his beloved lost cat Goliath, is something chancy filmmaker Harmony Korine would love. Yet, midway ...

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    iW NEWS | "The New Year Parade," "Song Sung Blue" Lead Slamdance's Awards

    The 14th annual Slamdance Film Festival has announced 15 film and screenplay prize winners in three categories who will share more than $200,000 in cash and prizes, plus, for one winner, guaranteed production of a feature film. The just-concluded festival received over 3,500 submissions from 25 countries for less than 100 programming slots. Notable winners include Tom Quinn's "The New Year Parade," which was awarded the Grand Jury Award for best narrative feature, and Greg Kohs' "Song Sung Blue," which won the Grand Jury Award for best documentary feature. Audience awards were given to Ryan Piotrowicz's "The Project" in the narrative feature...

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    PARK CITY '08 DISPATCH | Name Actors Not Needed: "Baghead," "Ballast," "Momma's Man" Shine in Park C

    Back in 2005 at the Sundance Film Festival, The Duplass Brothers' "The Puffy Chair" debuted rather quietly here in Park City. At the time, the low-budget indie reminded many of the sort of sleeper that specialty companies would have quickly plucked from the festival a few years earlier, yet it took ...

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    iW NEWS | "Sleep Dealer" Takes Sundance Prize

    The 2008 Sundance Film Festival announced that Alex Rivera's "Sleep Dealer" is the winner of this year's Alfred P. Sloan Prize. The prize carries a $20,000 cash award for the filmmakers, and is presented to "an outstanding feature film focusing on science or technology as a theme, or depicting a sci...

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    PARK CITY '08 REVIEW | Up, Up and Away: Paul Schneider's "Pretty Bird"

    Smart, sharp and lovely to watch, "Pretty Bird," premiering in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival, is all one can hope for from an actor making the transition to feature filmmaking. Paul Schneider may not be a household name due to his starring role in another Sundance film, David Gordon Green's 2003 romance "All the Real Girls," or supporting roles in studio films "Elizabethtown," "The Family Stone" and "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford." But by stepping behind the camera, writing and directing the lively huckster tale "Pretty Bird," Schneider enters a new chapter in his film career, one of promise, ...

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    PARK CITY '08 NOTEBOOK | Under Construction: The Nonfiction New Wave Takes Root at Sundance

    At the end of a recent blog posting, Premiere film critic Glenn Kenny wondered aloud about some of the documentaries he'd seen at the Sundance Film Festival. Summing up his thoughts on Nanette Burstein's hit "American Teen" Kenny wrote "Burstein's trim, fast-moving film utilizes tricks and technique...

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