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Film Festival News and Reviews: Sundance, Cannes and more

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    DISPATCH FROM L.A.: Hoping for Oscar Attention, A Trio of Foreign Language Titles Win Over Audiences

    This year's AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival, screening ten foreign-language titles submitted for Oscar consideration, includes a trio of titles that in the first half of the event have each been a hit with festivalgoers. Marc Ruthermond's "Sophie Scholl - The Final Days" and Gavin Hood's "Tsotsi were popular over the festival's first weekend and over the past two days, crowds have embraced Jean-Marc Vallee's "C.R.A.Z.Y." Other foreign submissions to the Academy Awards(R) playing at this year's AFI Fest include France's "Merry Christmas" (Joyeux Noel), Georgia's "Tblisis-Tblisi," Hungary's "Fateless," Israel's "What a Wonderful Pl...

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    Gigolos in Hollywood

    A Guardian Unlimited blog post by Jon Morrison from Punk Cinema (producers of the "The Gigolos") in the U.K. details the early reactions to their AFI Fest debut, and has the filmmakers chasing Paris Hilton and Andy Garcia in Hollywood:"Improvised publicity moment" is one way of describing our behavi...

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    AP: "Housewives" Come out for "Transamerica"

    Emmy winner Felicity Huffman got by with a little help from her "Desperate Housewives" friends at the Hollywood premiere of her big-screen headlining debut in "Transamerica." Screened Sunday night at AFI Fest 2005, the dark comedy appears to be on the Oscar fast-track, with wide praise for Huffman's...

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    For U.S. Buyers at AFM (and AFI Fest), Not A Lot of Dealmaking But Still Announcements to Make

    Buyers from American distribution companies have been taking meetings, popping in and out of screenings, and power-lunching in Southern California for the past few days, but most have stayed well west of the 405 Freeway, mingling and networking in Santa Monica with European, Asian, and Latin America...

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    "Farce of the Penguins"...THINKFilm Says Yes

    An insider commenting on a press release received today by indieWIRE doubted that it was legit, but here it is...THINKFilm has announced the acquisition of a new movie dubbed "Farce of the Penguins." The movie, by Bob Saget (featured in "The Aristocrats" and star of "Full House"), is described as "comedic adventure that will combine spectacular and heartwarming wildlife photography with an irreverent and decidedly R-rated theme and soundtrack." In the spirit of his voiceovers from "America's Funniest Home Videos," Saget will give life to penguins images after coming up with the idea "organically" -- "I was watching the "March" movie at a scre...

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    AFI Fest 2005: It Takes a Village

    The Cinerama Dome and ArcLight Hollywood will be a bustle of activity starting Thursday night with a gala screening of James Mangold's "Walk the Line" from 20th Century Fox, kicking off the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival, including a slate of 92 features and 35 shorts. Films, of course,...

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    Its AFM Time, But What Does That Mean?

    In Santa Monica, CA today, the American Film Market (AFM) opens for the first time as solo Fall event. Today's Hollywood trades offer a range of insights on this year's market with Hollywood Reporter writing, "film buyers and sellers attending the meet, which runs through Nov. 9, say they are anticipating a busy market" and Variety offering, "North American buyers say they aren't expecting much from the new pics unspooling at AFM this year, but the mart will still yield valuable schmoozing and a sneak peek at pics coming to Sundance early next year." The event is underway today and will coincide again this year with AFI Fest which will open t...

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    THINKFilm Takes "The Big Question" to Theaters Next Spring

    THINKFilm has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to Francesco Cabras and Alberto Molinari's doc "The Big Question," the Film Sales Company, which handled the negotiation, confirmed Friday. The company's head, Andrew Herwitz represented the film on behalf of the filmmakers, while Daniel Katz and Richa...

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    Sundance Fest Remaining Anchored in Park City, Institute Moving to Mountain Town

    While the Sundance Film Festival recently announced a decision to expand its presence in Salt Lake City, UT, the festival will remain anchored in Park City, UT for the next 12 years. As part of a pact approved yesterday, next fall Sundance Institute will move its year-round administrative HQ from Salt Lake City to Park City. Under an agreement approved by the Park City Council last night, Sundance Institute will move into a renovated historic building at the base of the Park City Mountain Resort, according to an announcement today. The deal will also keep the Sundance Film Festival in Park City through 2018. There is also an option to renew t...

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    Dentler, Levin Join Austin Film Society Board

    South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival Producer Matt Dentler and producer Jordan Levin have joined the Austin Film Society's board of directors. Entertainment lawyer Rick Triplett, who joined the board in 2000, has been elected to succeed filmmaker Marcy Garriott as board president. Dentler oversees programming and coordination for the annual SXSW festival. He has also participated on panels, served on film festival juries, given lectures and currently appears on TV as host of the PBS series "SXSW Presents." Levin joined The WB network prior to its launch and helped to develop some of its most popular shows. When Levin was 33, he was...

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