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Festival Dispatch

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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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    DISPATCH FROM IDFA | New DocAgora Considers Distribution and Digital Media at 1st Event

    The first annual DocAgora forum convened Thursday morning at theInternational Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Conceived by organizers Peter Wintonick, Amit Breuer, Fleur Knopperts and Joan Morselt as a compact one-day conference on creating, funding and distributing docs in the age of digital ...

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    DISPATCH FROM AMSTERDAM: Inside the Forum, Pitching New Docs and Scoring The Euros

    While audiences make their way in and out of IDFA screenings at the City Theaters on Amsterdam's busy Leidseplein, a select group of festival attendees have spent the last few days down the street at the Paradiso, a popular local concert venue. On the first level of the auditorium, seated at tables arranged to form a wide hexagon ringing the floor of Paradiso, are a handful of international commissioning editors -- Nick Fraser from BBC Storyville, Cara Mertes from Sundance Institute, Nancy Abraham from HBO (and so on). The funders listen intently as independent filmmakers and producers (sometimes alongside other commissioners who have already...

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    DISPATCH FROM AMSTERDAM: "Together" Tops at IDFA (So Far); and Berliner's Best

    A number of films have stirred audiences and industry alike here at IDFA this year and based on informal surveys of insiders attending the festival, the taste of general attendees seems to be in line with that of the professionals. Perhaps the most buzzed about title at mid-week is Paul Taylor's deb...

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    DISPATCH FROM AMSTERDAM: At a Leading Doc Festival, Surveying the Global State of Documentary Film

    Some 600 Q & A sessions are ongoing throughout the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, yielding a considerable amount of doc talk at a festival with the slogan, "Film For Thought." Organizers kick-started the chatting over the weekend with a special "UnDebate" on the state of document...

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    DISPATCH FROM AMSTERDAM: Talking about "Elements" As 19th IDFA Kicks Off in The Netherlands

    Documentary filmmakers, buyers, sellers & funders of non-fiction films, festival programmers, journalists, and large general audiences have converged upon The Netherlands for the 19th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) this week. The leading documentary festival offers hundreds...

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    DISPATCH FROM BRAZIL | Getting Bigger and Better, Mix Brasil Walks the Line Between Experimental and

    Turning 14 years old, the Mix Brasil Film and Video Festival of Sexual Diversity has grown from a fringe showing of alternative Brazilian cinema to a popular international queer film festival. Its flagship showing was Nov. 9-19 in Sao Paulo, but the event will also tour to Rio de Janeiro, Niteroi, ...

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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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