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Documentary

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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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    DISPATCH FROM DENVER | Filmmakers Descend Upon DNC: Schnack's "Convention" Unites Top Doc Directors;

    Alongside the thousands of journalists reporting on the Democratic National Convention here in Denver, teams of filmmakers have been fanning out across the city to tell stories that might otherwise be overlooked. AJ Schnack ("Kurt Cobain About a Son") has tapped a cadre of acclaimed indie filmmakers...

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    iW NEWS | "Blindness" and "Summerhood" Bookend 28th Atlantic Film Festival

    Canadian/Brazilian co-production "Blindness" by Don McKellar will open the 28th Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, NS September 11, ushering in the 10-day festival featuring 254 films. Also screening among AFF's eleven galas is local filmmaker Michael Melski's debut "Growing Up," Atom Egoyan's "Adoration," Jennifer Chambers Lynch's "Surveillance" and Cannes 2008 favorite "Une Conte de Noel" by Arnaud Desplechin. "The Book Lady," a documentary about Dolly Parton's campaign for children's literacy from Natasha Ryan and Brad Horvath is also on tap. Favorites making the festival cirucit rounds including "Patti Smith: Dream of Life" and "Otto: Or,...

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    iW NEWS | Fortissimo Acquires "Food"

    Fortissimo Films has announced its acquisition of the documentary feature "Food, Inc.," which will have its world premiere at next week's Toronto International Film Festival. Produced and directed by Robert Kenner, the Participant Media-River Road Entertainment presentation draws upon Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan's investigation into "the growth of big business and the ways in which it has impacted upon how and what we eat." The deal, for worldwide rights excluding North America, was brokered between Fortissimo's Senior Vice President, Sales and Acquisitions Winnie Lau, Participant Media's Executive Vice President, Business Affairs Jeff...

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