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Festival Dispatch

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    At a Young Missouri Doc Fest, Exploring The Balance Between True and False

    For the third year in a row, more than 50 documentary filmmakers, producers and their subjects converged upon a mid-Missouri college town for an intriguing young film festival aimed at embracing the changing face of documentary and cultivating an audience for the films. The True/False Film Festival ...

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    "Grbavica" Wins Golden Bear At 2006 Berlinale; Winterbotton & Whitecross Win Directing Prize

    Jasmila Zbanic's "Grbavica won the top prize, the Golden Bear, at the 2006 Berlinale, awarded tonight at the festival's closing ceremony in Germany's capital city. The film, from Austria and Bosnia & Herzegovina, is the story of a mother and daughter set in post-war Sarajevo.

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    BERLINALE CRITIC'S DIARY: German Films Lead The Way at 2006 Berlin Fest; "Power," "Lenz" Also Worthy

    When Dieter Kosslick, the head of the Berlin International Film Festival, first announced that fully five of the nineteen films in competition at this year's Berlinale would be German films, the cinema world looked askance. Had Kosslick been overtaken by a sudden access of Teutonic nationalism? Or w...

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    DAILY DISPATCH FROM BERLIN: Mining for Meaning In More Berlinale Films: "Vendetta," "Container," "Do

    In a time of intense international strife, journalists and critics are especially sensitive to movies with messages, trying to decode the intentions of provocative directors. Films ranging from perhaps the seemingly smallest, like Lukas Moodysson's latest, "Container," to the largest, James McTeigue...

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    DAILY DISPATCH FROM BERLIN: Honoring And Remembering The Best of Queer Cinema

    While Sundance sets the tone for a host of urban and regional film American film festivals that pick and choose from the annual Sundance lineup when planning their own local slates, the Berlinale fuels an array of international queer fests. Each year programmers from gay, lesbian and transgender film festivals travel to Berlin to screen films -- mostly in the large Panorama section -- to find films for their own events later in the year. And a select group of those programmers watch all of the queer content to choose, at the end of the fest, the best films of the festival with the annual Teddy Awards (which will be awarded Friday night in Ber...

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    DAILY DISPATCH FROM BERLIN: Personal And Political, Winterbottom's "Guantanamo" Jolts Berlinale

    A timely new British film about the horrors of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is poised to be the buzz film of the Berlinale this year. "The Road to Guantanamo" screened for press this afternoon at the Berlin International Film Festival and will have its official world premiere to...

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    BERLINALE CRITIC'S DIARY: At Halfway Point, Competition Films Disappoint, But Delicate "Soap" and Sh

    For years, I've been trying to convince festival-going friends that the main competition at Berlin is at least the equal of its more famous rival at Cannes. As evidence, let me offer some of the films in last year's Berlin competition: "Paradise Now," "Sophie Scholl," "The Beat That My Heart Skipp...

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    DAILY DISPATCH FROM BERLIN: Altman's Latest, "Prairie"; Strand Gets "Sky"; Manson's Movie; and Parti

    It is hard not to watch Robert Altman's 37th feature, "A Prairie Home Companion" -- a film about the end of Garrison Keillor's long-running American radio program -- without thinking about the film as perhaps one of the last from the maverick filmmaker. In the movie, the main character struggles to avoid dealing with a major change in his own career. Not that any of those who cheered "Prairie" here at the Berlinale are hoping Altman will stop directing, but his age -- he will turn 81 years old next week -- was an issue for the backers of this latest feature. Paul Thomas Anderson was hired as a back-up director and had to be on set whenever Al...

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    DAILY DISPATCH FROM BERLIN: Gondry's "Sleep," Takashi Miike Goes Violent, and Cillian Murphy Talks "

    French director Michel Gondry traveled from Utah to Berlin - along with many others here - in support of his surreal love story, "The Science of Sleep" starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The mostly English-language film, shot in France, is the story of Stephane (Bernal) who returns to his hometown to take a job and begins a relationship with his neighbor. The job does not quite pan out as expected, but his relationship blossoms, fed by his fantastic dream-life. Although life seems to be on the upswing, his anxieties again manifest. The film uses a multi-tiered look inside the mind of the Bernal's character, filled with fear...

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    DAILY DISPATCH FROM BERLIN: German Chancellor's Visit Shines Even Greater Spotlight on Expanded EFM

    At the Berlinale on Friday, George Clooney caused a stir among media and fans over at Potsdamer Platz, but a power player whose influence trumps any of the buyers, sellers, or stars doing business in Berlin stepped onto the floor of the expanded European Film Market at Martin Gropius Bau. New German Chancellor Angela Merkel spent nearly 45 minutes touring the EFM and chatting with film industry attendees at the Berlinale at about 1 p.m. Friday afternoon. Accompanied by Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick, longtime EFM head Beki Probst and Germany's Minister for Media and Cultural Affairs Bernd Neumann, Merkel visited with a number of ...

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