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Interviews

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    indieWIRE Interview: Mark Becker, director of "Romantico"

    Hailed by indieWIRE as one of the ten best films of 2005 without U.S. distribution, Mark Becker's acclaimed documentary "Romantico" is hitting theaters nearly two years after the filmmaker first got the call that his movie would debut at the '05 Sundance Film Festival. On indieWIRE's best undistributed list the film was decribed as, "A touching portrait of a mariachi musician who heads back to Mexico to be with his family, Becker's debut employs an old school verite approach a la the Maysles brothers. Originally about San Francisco street musicians, the project narrowed when Becker discovered Carmelo Muniz Sanchez and traveled with him to his...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Billy Corben, director of "Cocaine Cowboys"

    Billy Corben's doc "Cocaine Cowboys" takes place in a place often though synonymous with the drug--Miami, Florida. Set in the 1980s when the Colombian coke barons moved into Miami with a ruthlessness not seen since Prohibition-era Chicago, the film is a true story of how Miami became the drug, murder and moneyed epicenter of America told by the people who took part in building the illicit empire. Corben won a special jury prize in 2002 (shared with producer Alfred Spellman) for "Raw Deal: A Question of Consent," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He shares with indieWIRE his ideas on film distribution, his insatiable desire to co...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Barbara Kopple, co-director of "Shut Up & Sing"

    Barbara Kopple is anything but a stranger to the world of documentary film, having accomplished notoriety in the genre, directing "Harlan County, U.S.A.," which won the Academy Award for best documentary feature in 1977. Kopple again took the Oscar for best doc (shared with Arthur Cohn) in 1991 for ...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Doug Block, director of "51 Birch Street"

    With the alluring tagline, "Do you really want to know your parents?" Through a close examination of his own family, filmmaker Doug Block explores universal questions about our own mothers and fathers in his new film "51 Birch Street." As indieWIRE documentary columnist Jonny Leahan wrote about the ...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Amy Berg, director of "Deliver Us From Evil"

    With a background in network television news, "Deliver Us From Evil" director Amy Berg is an Emmy Award winner for her work, tackling such topics as sexual assault, women in prison, clergy abuse, battered women, unsafe public playgrounds, poverty, illegal drug dispersion, illicit medical doctors and...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Freida Lee Mock, director of "Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner"

    Set against the backdrop of tumultous years in America between 9/11 and the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Freida Lee Mock's "Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner" looks at life and work of acclaimed playwright (and activist) Tony Kushner ("Angels in America," "Caroline, or Change"), including his focus on global issues, his work on the AIDS crisis and exploration of being gay, and also looks at his own Jewish heritage. Mock, an Oscar winner for her documentary "Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision," studied at Berkeley and has received widespread acclaim for numerous films, including "Sing!," "Rose Kennedy: A Life to Remember," "Never...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: John Cameron Mitchell, director of "Shortbus"

    Director John Cameron Mitchell first made a splash in the filmmaking scene after creating the cinematic version of a gender-bending character he developed in the New York nightclub world. It eventually became a popular stage act, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and the film version, which came together via Mitchell's participation in the Sundance Labs, later won the audience and directors prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival followed by similar accolades along the festival circuit. His latest film, "Shortbus" continues the talented director's penchant for breaking barriers. The feature is a raw look at the lives of a group of New Yorkers as t...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin, co-directors of "loudQUIETloud: A Film About

    Co-directors Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin's doc "loudQUIETloud: A Film about the Pixies," which premiered in March at the SXSW Film Festival, caputres the 2004 reunion tour of American band the Pixies from their rehearsals through to their final show one year later. The film depicts interaction between the normally press shy band members as well as their day to day lives with their families and personal dramas. The film provides an "insider's perspective" of a touring band's life, from the loud, emotional highs of performing to sell out crowds, to renewed friction that arose between band members in addition to the striking concert footage...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Dito Montiel, director of "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints"

    Dito Montiel directed "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints," which screened in the Independent Film Competition: Dramatic section at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The film, starring Robert Downey Jr., Shia LaBeouf, Chazz Palminteri, Dianne Wiest and Rosario Dawson, is based upon his memoir of the same name, about a boy growing up in a tough New York neighborhood and the people he left behind after moving to Los Angeles. After a return home, he finds friends on a downward spiral or even dead, and begins to believe he has been saved from their fate by figures he recognizes as his "saints." Montiel participated in both the Sundance Screenwrite...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Paul Rachman, director of "American Hardcore"

    Veteran filmmaker Paul Rachman has returned to his film music roots with his latest work, 2006 Sundance Film Festival doc, "American Hardcore." Based on the book by Steven Blush ("American Hardcore: A Tribal History"), the film takes a look back at the flourishing punk scene of the early 1980s in the U.S. and Canada. The kids and bands, such as Black Flag, Bad Brains and Minor Threat, took part in a diffused social movement that was a reaction to the prevailing Reagan-era conservatism and conformity of the day. Music from the era helped spawn such later bands as Nirvana, Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers, which, arguably, may not have ga...

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