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Festival Dispatch

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    PARK CITY '06 BIZ DAILY: Managing (Biz) Expectations as Sundance '06 Begins

    With the Sundance Film Festival opening tonight, 'expectations' were the buzz amongst buyers and sellers checking in at the Park City Marriott this morning. An informal survey indicated that industry are taking a wait-and-see approach, trying to keep hype in check and not letting those expectations ...

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    PARK CITY '06: With Challenge of Keeping It Brief, A Preview of Standout Shorts at Sundance

    For a quarter century the Sundance Film Festival has strived to become and remain a preeminent showcase for short filmmaking. This year, the short film programmers chose from an astounding 4,327 entries. For every film that made it, nearly 60 did not, and as usual with any film festival, the 73 selected narrative, documentary, animated and experimental shorts contain some real gems -- examples of why short filmmaking can be such a satisfying use of the medium. As the continued proliferation of inexpensive digital cameras and editing software makes filmmaking more accessible to all, the best shorts still show why fitting the perfect amount of ...

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    DISPATCH FROM IDFA: Shamir's "5 Days," Inside The Tense -- But Bloodless -- Battle For Controversial

    Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's recent decision to remove Jewish settlers from land in the Gaza Strip is a move that has had a significant impact on the elusive Israeli-Palestinian peace process, even leading Sharon to leaving the ruling Likud party just a week ago. A new film that debuted at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) this week takes an inside look at how the country's Israeli Defense Force, with 40,000 troops, evicted 8,000 settlers from their homes, but maintained a pledge that no Jewish blood would be shed in the process. U.S. cable networks beamed sensational and emotional images live to the States as t...

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    DISPATCH FROM IDFA: Talking Distribution and Sundance During an Industry Session in Amsterdam

    The pending announcement of Sundance's competition lineup weighed heavy on the minds of some attendees at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) Monday night local time as a sizeable group of people sat in wooden bleachers in a community center near festival's headquarters for a panel on documentary distribution moderated by indieWIRE's Eugene Hernandez. Americans and European insiders including Bjorn Koll from Salzberger/Cinema Net Europe in Germany, Jan Rofekamp from Films Transit, Stan Van Engelen from VPRO/Holland Doc here in Amsterdam, producer Bart Simpson ("The Corporation"), and Diane Weyermann from Participant Produc...

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    DISPATCH FROM IDFA: Celebrating Democracy and Rebellion With "Sisters in Law", and More

    The International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) opened its 18th edition on Thursday evening here in Amsterdam amidst an Arctic blast from the North Sea that sent shivers through the canal city, nevertheless, crowds turned up for the start of the event -- one of the world's leading, and large...

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    Dispatch from Brazil: Mix Brasil Celebrates Record Attendance With Innovative Programming

    It is one of Brazil's greatest contradictions that a deeply religious country is also one of the most sexually liberal societies in the developing world. Despite the influence of Catholicism and other fastly growing religions (Brazil is home to the world's largest number of Catholics), sexual minorities have a visibility in Brazil that makes it an anomaly among Latin countries. In such a unique context, the growing success of the Mix Brasil Film and Video Festival of Sexual Diversity - which celebrated its 13th year with record attendance in Sao Paulo from November 10-20 (and will tour abridged programs to Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia) - is an...

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    Starz Denver International Film Festival: A Best-Kept Secret No Longer

    Starting with a lineup of films expertly curated by co-founder and artistic director Ron Henderson and program director Brit Withey, this year's 28th Starz Denver International Film Festival was a rare jewel in the film festival world: a well-organized large fest in a large city that treated filmmakers and guests with courtesy and respect. The fest was bookended by screenings of two much-heralded December releases: Roger Donaldson's "The World's Fastest Indian" opened the fest while Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" closed the event. Interestingly, both films will be released in some theaters on December 9th. Accompanying "Indian" to Denver was ...

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    More Than Feminism and Chick Flicks, High Falls Film Festival Spotlights Women in Film

    As the home of suffragette Susan B. Anthony and headquarters for film company Eastman Kodak, it was only a matter of time before the two ideas came together to beget the High Falls Film Festival. Set upstate in Rochester, New York, the five year old festival is a celebration of women in film.

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    "Kissed By Winter" "Refugee All Stars" "Tsotsi" and "C.R.A.Z.Y." Honored as AFI Fest Concludes

    The AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival capped off its 2005 edition with an awards ceremony atop the Hollywood ArcLight parking structure at the event's festival village, awarding Norway's "Kissed by Winter" its grand jury prize in the international feature competition, while the audience aw...

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    DISPATCH FROM L.A.: Four-Letter Word Film Explores the Etymology of an Expletive

    A provocative new documentary premiering at the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival this week has a title too racy to be listed on the large digital marquee inside Hollywood's Arclight cinemas. Yet, movie tickets here at AFI Fest boldly proclaim its title: "Fuck." The origins of the four-letter word, the prevalence of its usage in movies, on TV and in music, and the tightening of restrictions regarding free expression in this country are among the topics explored in Steve Anderson's new film. Through animated segments by Bill Plympton, and conversations with late author Hunter S. Thompson, filmmaker Kevin Smith, critic Michael Medved,...

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