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Film Festival News and Reviews: Sundance, Cannes and more

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    "Three Burials" and "World's Fastest Indian" Set for U.S. Centerpiece Debuts at AFI Fest

    AFI Fest has released more details of its program including two centerpiece films that will have their U.S. debuts at the festival, which takes place at the ArcLight in Hollywood November 3 - 13. The festival's lineup will showcase a total of 92 features (75 narrative, 17 documentaries) and 35 short...

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    Who Is Philippe Martinez?

    With a reported $200 million investment, Philippe Martinez has moved to Los Angeles to, in his not so modest words, build "the number one independent U.S. distributor." Continuing, he told the New York Times, "To get ahead of Lions Gate we have to do $350 to $400 million of business a year. We have less money than they do, and fewer employees. But I have my passion. That's what's going to make the difference." The exec, fresh from a European jail (as detailed in the Times piece), had his company, Bauer Martinez Distribution, pay the big bucks and beat out competitors for David Ayer's "Harsh Times" at this year's Toronto International Film Fes...

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    SXSW Unveils A Few '06 Panel Plans

    "A Conversation with Peter Bart" is among the panel discussions set for the 2006 SXSW Film Conference & Festival, according to organizers. The conference, set for March 10-18, will also include the session, "A Landmark Business," looking at Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner's many properties, including Lan...

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    Two New Documentaries Feature Filmmakers Focusing on Their Fathers

    At this year's Toronto International Film Festival two very different documentaries celebrated their world premieres, each with a similar premise -- a filmmaker son turns the lens to his father in a quest to understand and honor their complicated relationship. Thomas Allen Harris' "Twelve Disciples ...

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    DISPATCH FROM NYFF: Clooney, Miller, Baumbach and Yoji Yamada Share Fest Spotlight

    One insider calls it New York's own "Oscar Night" and others refer to it as indie film's annual prom; the opening night of the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center followed by the traditional party at Tavern On The Green is a glittering night out for the film community. The New York Film Festival, a highly curated seventeen day event offering a main program of just two dozen feature films includes a mix of the best from other festivals and new films about to open in theaters. This year's fest kicked off Friday night with George Clooney's look at the battle between CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow and U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s,...

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    Clooney Speaks Out About Journalism and Filmmaking As NYFF Opens

    The 43rd New York Film Festival will open tonight with a gala Lincoln Center screening of George Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck,” followed by the traditional glittering after-party at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. Clooney's new movie is a look at a seminal time in the early days of broadcast journalism when reporter Edward R. Murrow took on Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin for his role in communist witch-hunts during the red scare of the 1950s. “I thought it was a good time to raise the idea of using fear to stifle political debate,” explained director & co-writer Clooney after a screening of...

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    At The New York Film Fest (not Toronto), World Cinema Gets its Due and Looks For Distribution

    Finally, world cinema gets the chance to shine. As the 43rd New York Film Festival kicks off tonight at Lincoln Center, about two dozens films from around the globe will get the attention they deserve -- unencumbered by studio junketeering and high-priced acquisitions news.

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    At The Market in Toronto This Year, Smaller Films in The Shadow of Big Deals

    A battle between two Indiewood companies and a handful of big budget acquisitions deals marked the business side of this year's Toronto International Film Festival. The fight between Paramount Classics and Fox Searchlight over the rights to Jason Reitman's "Thank You For Smoking," which may still le...

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    Critics Notebook: Exploring Heaven & Hell At the Toronto Festival

    Much has been inked about Ang Lee’s breathtaking "Brokeback Mountain" and Bennett Miller’s insightful "Capote" (the latter movie’s strength emerging from its fine performances rather than great directorial skill). Like many highly anticipated films, both front-ended Toronto, but they did more. Their protagonists set the tone for a recurring theme that ran throughout many of the fest’s most provocative offerings. They reside in some hell- or heaven-like place, sometimes both at the same time. Their position is more often than not of their own making. In "Brokeback Mountain," Heath Ledger’s macho, emotionally chall...

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    South Asian Films at Toronto

    Several South-Asian-centered films are trying to gain wider exposure at Toronto, including Shonali Bose's "Amu," about the massacre of Sikhs after the 1984 assassination of Indira Gandhi; Paul Mayeda Berges' "Mistress of Spices," based on Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's bestselling novel, and Buddhadev...

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