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Festival Dispatch

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    TORONTO '06 CRITICS NOTEBOOK: Verhoeven and Jia Offer Fest Surprises, Sarah Polley Shines

    Wednesday is technically the three-quarter-mark at the Toronto International Film Festival, but it might as well be its final hours. As of Thursday, most industry folks and critics have already hopped on planes back home, while those that haven't wish that they had. And pronouncements about the fest...

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    TORONTO '06 DAILY DISPATCH: Hal Hartley Back With "Fay Grim"; Eytan Fox' Latest, "The Bubble"

    Two filmmakers, both born in New York, are in the spotlight as indieWIRE looks at a pair of films that have struck a chord with Toronto International Film Festival audiences as the event heads into the final stretch: Hal Hartley's "Fay Grim" and Eytan Fox's "The Bubble." While "Grim" is set for domestic release next year from Magnolia (and worldwide sales are being handled by HDNet Films International), "Bubble" is still awaiting a U.S. deal, while a number of territories are already sold. Dealmaking continued in Toronto on Wednesday, with Lionsgate nabbing the U.S. rights to Sarah Polley's feature filmmaking debut, "Away From Her" (the lates...

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    TORONTO '06 DAILY DISPATCH: Trying To Make Sense of the Toronto Marketplace As Magnolia Nabs "Exiled

    After scoring deals for two acclaimed genre titles in Cannes, U.S. based Magnolia Pictures struck again, acquiring Johnny To's "Exiled," fresh from its recent world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and its North American premiere here at the Toronto International Film Festival. The deal, for all English-language rights to the action thriller, is a three-way pact which includes UK rights for Optimum Releasing and rights in Australia and New Zealand for Madman Entertainment (Magnolia will sub-distribute the movie to their partners as part of the arrangement). The news came at the festival's midpoint, with some buyers and sellers assessing t...

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    TORONTO '06 CRITICS NOTEBOOK: Immigrant Stories and Haitian Violence

    On Monday, September 11, the whole world was memorializing the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States. But here in Toronto, specifically at the film festival, discussions centered on other topics: Is Tarsem's "The Fall" a masterpiece or a disaster? What's the deal with th...

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    TORONTO '06 DAILY DISPATCH: Fest Launch Pad Boosts Fall Films -- "Last King," "Shortbus," "Volver"

    Toronto International Film Festival observers wondering what the hot films are this year need look no further than the cover of local weekly NOW, which last week sported "Shortbus" co-star Sook-Yin Lee on the cover and this week's boasts "Volver" star Penelope Cruz. While buyers bemoan the lack of hot new festival titles -- only a few films seems to be stirring biz buzz so far at the fest -- a number of films are using the event as a lauching pad into North American distribution. Among the hottest of those are a few Cannes films, along with a couple of premieres stirring awards buzz. Kevin Macdonald's "The Last King of Scotland" has garnered ...

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    TORONTO '06 DAILY DISPATCH: Weinsteins Wild Over "Vaughn" & "Lane"; Audience Digs "The Lives of Othe

    After the first weekend of movie-going at the Toronto International Film Festival buyers and moviegoers alike were buzzing about fest films. While audiences raved about Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's "The Lives of Others," which was nabbed by Sony Classics back in the Spring, The Weinstein Company nabbed the comedic doc, "Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights - Hollywood To The Heartland" after its Friday screening here in Canada and its Dimension Films division quickly grabbbed "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. Meanwhile, MGM nabbed North American rights to Werner Herzog's "Rescue Dawn," which also debuted here this week...

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    TORONTO '06 CRITICS NOTEBOOK: "Half Moon," "Venus," "Art of Crying" Focus on Death; "Escape" and "Fi

    With many of Hollywood's biggest offerings bombing here in Toronto (stay away from "A Good Year" and "All the King's Men"), critics have sought solace in half a dozen already proven Cannes favorites ("Volver," "Climates," "Babel") and a number of smaller, newer foreign discoveries and documentaries.

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    TORONTO '06 DAILY DISPATCH: Michael Moore Sneaks "Sicko" Clips; Cillian on Loach's "Barley"

    For nearly twenty years now, Michael Moore has used filmmaking as a means to directly tackle hot button issues and notable figures. Before that, he spent years working as a journalist and at a younger age even wrote a couple of plays. In "Fahrenheit 9/11," and at subsequent political rallies leading...

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    TORONTO '06 DAILY DISPATCH: Eyeing a Prize, ThinkFilm Toasts Five Years; And Kunuk Tries to Preserve

    Not long after Lions Gate Films shut down its New York office back in 2001, a group of company executives joined forces to launch the Toronto/NYC based ThinkFilm and Friday morning, at what has become a signature event, the start-up celebrated its 5th anniversary with its annual breakfast bash. Acknowledging that 80% of new companies fail within the first five years, CEO Jeff Sackman smiled as he welcomed a large crowd to Toronto's Windsor Arms Hotel and boasted, "I think its safe to say that no other company [in the past 5 years] has emerged from the pack as we have." Started with a group of just 10, ThinkFilm has expanded to a 35 person st...

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    TORONTO '06 DAILY DISPATCH: Politics As Usual? IFC Gets Election Doc, Fest Buzzes About D.O.A.P., an

    Politics may end up being one of the hot topics at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. While muckraker Michael Moore will be talking in the spotlight Friday night at the festival, with clips from two new films, IFC Entertainment has announced a deal for James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo's...

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