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Festival Dispatch

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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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    DISPATCH FROM NYFF: Clooney, Miller, Baumbach and Yoji Yamada Share Fest Spotlight

    One insider calls it New York's own "Oscar Night" and others refer to it as indie film's annual prom; the opening night of the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center followed by the traditional party at Tavern On The Green is a glittering night out for the film community. The New York Film Festival, a highly curated seventeen day event offering a main program of just two dozen feature films includes a mix of the best from other festivals and new films about to open in theaters. This year's fest kicked off Friday night with George Clooney's look at the battle between CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow and U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s,...

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    Clooney Speaks Out About Journalism and Filmmaking As NYFF Opens

    The 43rd New York Film Festival will open tonight with a gala Lincoln Center screening of George Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck,” followed by the traditional glittering after-party at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. Clooney's new movie is a look at a seminal time in the early days of broadcast journalism when reporter Edward R. Murrow took on Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin for his role in communist witch-hunts during the red scare of the 1950s. “I thought it was a good time to raise the idea of using fear to stifle political debate,” explained director & co-writer Clooney after a screening of...

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    At The New York Film Fest (not Toronto), World Cinema Gets its Due and Looks For Distribution

    Finally, world cinema gets the chance to shine. As the 43rd New York Film Festival kicks off tonight at Lincoln Center, about two dozens films from around the globe will get the attention they deserve -- unencumbered by studio junketeering and high-priced acquisitions news.

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    Scenes From Independent Film Week: Incentives, Acting, and Mixing At The IFP Market

    Who could have imagined that IFP's new Independent Film Week would come at such a fitting moment, during a week when local New York theaters are literally jammed with debuting specialty and independent releases all competing for an audience. "Its really crazy," noted the head of a leading studio spe...

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    Critics Notebook: Exploring Heaven & Hell At the Toronto Festival

    Much has been inked about Ang Lee’s breathtaking "Brokeback Mountain" and Bennett Miller’s insightful "Capote" (the latter movie’s strength emerging from its fine performances rather than great directorial skill). Like many highly anticipated films, both front-ended Toronto, but they did more. Their protagonists set the tone for a recurring theme that ran throughout many of the fest’s most provocative offerings. They reside in some hell- or heaven-like place, sometimes both at the same time. Their position is more often than not of their own making. In "Brokeback Mountain," Heath Ledger’s macho, emotionally chall...

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