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Festival Dispatch

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    PARK CITY '07 DAILY DISPATCH | $15 Million Dealmaking Day at Sundance; Also, Inside "Rocket Science"

    As the first weekend came to a close, bloggers and industry journalists continued to brand this year's Sundance a bust, saying that biz activity was off in Park City and trying to justify pre-fest predictions that the market this year would be soft. Yet dealmaking continued at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, heating up on Monday with millions of dollars in deals announced. Fox Searchlight announced two pacts, perhaps spending as much as $9 million for both Waitress", a comedy written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly and George Ratliff's competition feature "Joshua." Warner Independent jumped into the action, nabbing Cherie Nowlan's "...

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    PARK CITY '07 DAILY DISPATCH | UPDATE: From Serious to Silly, A Range of Emotions Evoked During Sund

    As the opening weekend of Sundance 2007 came to a close, buyers were circling a number of new festival films. As usual, the first few of days saw a number of acquisitions. As announced on Sunday in indieWIRE, The Weinstein Company quickly jumped on James C. Strouse's Sundance dramatic competition feature "Grace is Gone," nabbing worldwide rights for $4 million and making it the fest's first on-site deal announcement. Meanwhile, Magnolia Pictures has just confirmed its mid-six figure pact for Dan Klores's Sundance dramatic competition feature "Crazy Love." In other deals, Fox Searchlight is preparing to announce its acquisition of George Ratlf...

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    PARK CITY '07 SHORTS NOTEBOOK | With a Strong Emphasis on Storytelling, Columbia University Filmmake

    [EDITORS NOTE: This is part one of two features that indieWIRE is publishing about the 2007 Sundance Film Festival's shorts program.]

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    PARK CITY '07 DAILY DISPATCH | Doc Deals Dominate Sundance So Far

    Among the first deals to emerge from this year's Sundance Film Festival, Magnolia Pictures will likely make a pact for Dan Klores' doc "Crazy Love," which had its world premiere in Park City on Friday evening. Though the film was rumored to have been screened for some buyers prior to the festival's opening, in addition to a scheduled press and industry screening earlier on Friday, a few distributors sent reps to the official public showing last night and the screening was met with strong applause. Magnolia is the company most likely to score the "Crazy Love" deal, on the heels of what has been a robust start for documentaries at this year's S...

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    PARK CITY '07 DAILY DISPATCH | Sundance Courts Online Community of Film Lovers; Fest Hits Busy Openi

    With the opening night festivities finished, Friday saw the first full day of screenings in Park City as large crowds descended upon the many theater venues in town. Reviews are beginning to seep out and discussions about the merits of individual films are underway, just as the party scene heats up ...

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    PARK CITY '07 DAILY DISPATCH | With a Spirit of Protest, Sundance and Redford Open '07 Fest

    "Well, hello," Robert Redford casually told a packed Egyptian Theater as he walked onto the stage Thursday afternoon in Park City, UT. Without fanfare or an introduction of any sort, he made his way over to a chair and -- holding a cup of coffee as flash bulbs popped furiously -- Redford leisurely reflected on what the Sundance Film Festival has become, during a press conference. Later on Thursday, in front of a full house at the Eccles Theater for the 2007 Sundance Film Festival opening night screening, Redford evoked a few memories of past festivals, but quickly added more provocative comments in line with the spirit of protest seen in Bret...

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    PARK CITY '07 DAILY DISPATCH | With a 'Focus on Film', Sundance Set For "Chicago 10" Opening; Let th

    Inside the Sundance Film Festival HQ at the Park City Marriott on Wednesday afternoon, as staffers and volunteers here in Utah hung signs and made final arrangements behind the scenes, a big brown box of promotional buttons sat awaiting the many festivalgoers who will check-in Thursday. The large, r...

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    DISPATCH FROM HAVANA: At A Fest in Cuba, Linking Films and The Current Political Climate

    Last week, as Cuba's leader apparently lay dying, the populace was remarkably calm about the future. Not coincidentally, the largest U.S. congressional delegation since Fidel Castro's revolution, 10 bipartisan anti-embargo members of the House, arrived for talks about trade and travel sanctions and ...

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    DISPATCH FROM DUBAI: In the United Arab Emirates, Cultivating a First Generation of Filmmakers

    Chatting informally during one of the receptions earlier this week at the Dubai International Film Festival, an attendee noted that older generations in the Emirates frown upon filmmaking as a legitimate profession. A career in the movies is not seen as distinguished, according to the Emirati. In fact, just as in some other countries, a career in a such a creative field can seem shortsighted to older family members. Particularly in the United Arab Emirates where there is no tradition of local filmmaking. But as Dubai begins to lure production to its ambitious Studio City project, alongside the growth of its new film festival, it is inspiring ...

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    DISPATCH FROM DUBAI: At a Film Fest in Dubai, Asking the Question, 'What is Arab Cinema?'

    Much has been written about the city of Dubai and its intended status as a new global capital. Rapidly growing along the Arabian Sea, the mostly modern city has literally sprouted up over the past decade and become a growing force here in the Middle East. Paralleling the rise of this United Arab Emirates city is a film industry anchored here, in part via the development of the Dubai Studio City development, one of many vibrant zones emerging in Dubai's many new districts. Three years ago, organizers launched the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), an exceptionally well-funded new event, hoping to create a destination on the annual festi...

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