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Documentary

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    REVIEW | Jesus Fish in a Barrel: Larry Charles's "Religulous"

    Bill Maher has had quite a run. Fourteen years have passed since "Politically Incorrect" saved him from Shannon Tweed vehicles and endless stand-up. A Washington meets Hollywood twist on the McLaughlin Group, "PI" proved surprisingly durable for Comedy Central before losing steam (and some bite) on ...

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    iW NEWS | Sundance Channel Goes To "Prison"

    Marc Evans's "Prison My Whole Life" has been acquired by Sundance Channel. The film follows William Francome's investigation into the arrest of Mumia Abu Jamal, famed death-row prisoner and award-winning Black Panther journalist. The film will premiere on Sundance Channel on Monday, December 8th. ...

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    Youssou NDour Doc Coming to America; Oscilloscope Gets U.S. Rights

    Chai Vasarhelyi's doc about Senegalese musician Youssou NDour and his struggle to release his controversial "Egypt" album has been acquired by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's Oscilloscope Pictures. Fresh from the Telluride and Toronto film festivals where the documentary debuted in conjunction with live co...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell" Director Matt Wolf

    Matt Wolf makes his feature directorial debut with the documentary "Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell." The film celebrates Arthur Russell, an important figure from New York's downtown music scene of the 1970s and 1980s. The film features commentary from people such as Allen Ginsberg, ...

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    iW NEWS | Oscilloscope Makes Oct. 31st Date for "Dear Zachary"

    Oscilloscope Pictures has acquired North American rights to Kurt Kuenne's "Dear Zachary." The Slamdance Film Festival debut, which also screened at SXSW, is described as "a uniquely intense and personal documentary," in the form of a letter to the filmmaker's father, "about the murder of [the filmmaker's] oldest friend and the unbelievable legal and emotional madness that ensued." It is the first film under the MSNBC Films banner and recently qualified for Oscar consideration after screening at IDA's DocuWeek last month. Josh Braun of Submarine repped the filmmaker and negotiated the deal with David Fenkel for Oscilloscope. The film is set fo...

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    IW NEWS | "World" To Open Fall "Stranger Than Fiction" Series

    "Stranger Than Fiction," the weekly documentary film series at New York's IFC Center programmed by Thom Powers, will launch its eighth season on September 23, 2008 with a sneak preview of Dan Stone's "At The Edge of the World." "World" is one of three STF titles playing as sneak previews following their world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival. The others are Richard Parry's "Blood Trail" (on October 14) and Keven McAlester's "The Dungeon Masters" (on November 11). The STF fall season takes place at the IFC Center every Tuesday night at 8 pm for ten weeks, through November 25. For a season schedule, please visit this webs...

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    REVIEW | Unanswerable Questions: Koji Masutani's "Virtual JFK"

    An inevitable byproduct of the study of history is the "What if?" game, the second-guessing of key events and decisions in light of the disasters that followed. One of the great American "What if?"s of the twentieth century is of course born from the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the cutting short of the promise of Camelot and all the youthful hope it embodied. Of course, Kennedy came to embody much of that youthful hope once he was immortalized by untimely death, and the romanticization of his presidency by the public in the last four decades has often had less to do with what he actually did in office than what he symbolizes as a lastin...

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    REVIEW | Troubling the Water: Irena Salina's "Flow"

    To the long and ever growing list of pressing environmental concerns we can add the global water crisis. Despite its indispensability for human survival, water hasn't gained traction as a political issue (at least not in America), and so filmmaker Irena Salina interjects "Flow" into the conversation as a corrective; she wants her film to do for the world water crisis what "An Inconvenient Truth" did for climate change. While the facts revealed in the documentary, as conveyed in interviews with numerous activists and scientists, are not exactly stunning revelations -- or maybe at this point I'm just unsurprised by tales of apathetic governmen...

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    iW NEWS | Finneran Joining Sundance Doc Program

    Silverdocs festival director Patricia Finneran is leaving the festival and heading to New York City to join the Sundance Institute as the organization's new senior consultant for the Documentary Film Program. She will rep the program internationally and work on the Institute's Sundance Doc Fund and the Skoll Foundation's Stories of Change: Social Entrepreneurship in Focus Through Documentary. Finneran told indieWIRE today that she will start at Sundance in November and plans to build a new business aimed at developing and distributing, "media that promotes social engagement, with an emphasis on partnering with both non-profits and corporate m...

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    iW NEWS | Celluloid Dreams Gets "Soul"

    Celluloid Dreams has snapped up all international rights Jeffrey Levy-Hinte's documentary "Soul Power." Submarine Entertainment is repping the film and negotiated the deal with Celluloid at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film documents the 12-hour, three-night long concert held in Kinshasa, Zaire in 1974 that featured BB King and James Brown, among others. "We are delighted to represent this crowd pleasing document of an extraordinary moment in musical history," said Celluloid Dreams' Hengameh Panahi in a statement. Celluloid noted that they already has offers in major territories and is expecting to close deals later this wee...

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