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Festivals

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    DISPATCH FROM LOS ANGELES: International Stories Take Top Prizes as AFI Fest Wraps

    One week after announcing its U.S. distribution deal at the American Film Market, Jasmila Zbanic's "Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams" won the narrative grand jury prize at AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival. Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlinale in February, the film is Bosnia and Herzegovina's official entry for the 2006 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award and Strand Releasing is planning a 2007 release of the acclaimed feature film. Set in a contemporary Sarajevo still reeling from the aftermath of war, the film is the story of a single mother who lives with her rebellious twelve-year-old daughter in the Grbavica district...

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    AFI Fest Honors "Grbavica" and "Buddha's Lost Children" With Top Jury Prizes

    AFI Fest 2006 awarded its prizes Sunday in Los Angeles with Jasmila Zbanic's "Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams" winning the narrative grand jury prize at the festival. Bosnia and Herzegovina's official entry for the 2006 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, the film was recently acquired by Strand Releasing. Mark Verkerk's "Buddha's Lost Children" won the documentary grand jury prize. Feature audience awards went to Carla Garapedian's "Screamers" and Lucy Walker's "Blindsight" (tie, documentary) and Fredi M. Murer's "Vitus" (narrative). The festival will close tonight (Sunday) with the world premiere of Zhang Yimou's "Curse of the Golden ...

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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 foreign films at the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival. In fact the festival has added three new sections this year, including a world cinema, African Voices and a "genre bending" Dark Horizons sidebar that includes science fiction/thriller titles from the U.K., U.S. and Asia. Additionally, this year's AFI is screening over a dozen best forei...

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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 fundraiser Monday night. At the gala benefit at New York's Metropolitan Pavilion, with tables costing upwards of $25,000 a pop, Sundance co-founder Robert Redford suggested modestly that he had no idea what Sundance would become 25 years ago. "I didn't know where it was headed," he said. "Now I'm interested in the future and more opportunities," he continu...

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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 festival. Meanwhile out in Santa Monica, would-be producers trade business cards and buzz inside the crowded lobby of the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel at the American Film Market. Here in Los Angeles, more than in any other American city, the dream of making it in the movies seems to be on display everywhere you turn. Sit by the pool at your hotel a...

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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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