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Festival Dispatch

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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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    DISPATCH FROM L.A.: Hoping for Oscar Attention, A Trio of Foreign Language Titles Win Over Audiences

    This year's AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival, screening ten foreign-language titles submitted for Oscar consideration, includes a trio of titles that in the first half of the event have each been a hit with festivalgoers. Marc Ruthermond's "Sophie Scholl - The Final Days" and Gavin Hood's "Tsotsi were popular over the festival's first weekend and over the past two days, crowds have embraced Jean-Marc Vallee's "C.R.A.Z.Y." Other foreign submissions to the Academy Awards(R) playing at this year's AFI Fest include France's "Merry Christmas" (Joyeux Noel), Georgia's "Tblisis-Tblisi," Hungary's "Fateless," Israel's "What a Wonderful Pl...

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    "Transamerica," Buscemi, "Cavite," "Baraka," Sloss, "Miner," and Music Highlight Woodstock '06

    In Woodstock, NY this weekend, and in a few nearby towns, organizers staged the 6th annual Woodstock Film Festival, offering a lineup boasting some of the best from a number of recent festivals along with a selection of premieres. Adam Rapp's "Winter Passing" and Shane Meadows' "Dead Man's Shoes" ki...

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    DISPATCH FROM REYKJAVIK: Kiarostami Honored for a Lifetime of Achievement

    Celebrated Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami (director of "Taste of Cherry" and writer of "Crimson Gold") received the recognition of a nation Monday in Iceland. The President of the North Atlantic island nation, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson presented the director with a lifetime achievement award as part...

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    RESFEST 2005, Keeping It Curious

    For some, it's hard to imagine a festival which can program and fill a theater with festivalgoers watching 90 minutes of commercials, music videos, or a documentary about sneakers. Long ago, the folks at RESFEST recognized the appeal, evolution and dramatic advances in media and commercial art and the market that wants to see what's new in those fields. Kicking off its 9th year, as a touring festival, RESFEST offered an ambitious line-up of screenings, panels, product demos and guided tours in the TriBeCa district of New York City. Having dropped its "Digital Film Festival" tagline, RES organizers asserted that their name now can stand alon...

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    Dispatch From Brazil: Short Films In Abundance at Sao Paulo's Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metra

    "A long life for Brazilian cinema!" was the ironic cheer of the night at the opening of the 16th Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens de Sao Paulo, the largest short film festival in Latin America. Despite being an invitation-only event, the theater was so full on opening night that guests filled the aisles and huddled into corners to watch the evening's selection of films. The scene repeated itself throughout the course of the festival: theaters filled to capacity with their fair share of organizational and technical snags, which were forgiven by the diversity and sheer volume of films on offer to the public. The ten-day festival, whic...

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