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Documentary

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    REVIEW | Cold Comforts: Werner Herzog's "Encounters at the End of the World"

    "Encounters at the End of the World" is the latest missive from world cinema's Marco Polo / Jack London / Great White Image Hunter, Herr Werner Herzog, out for a deserved large-screen airing before entering its inevitable Discovery Channel rotation. The spoils of Herzog's latest expedition are an enjoyably idiosyncratic series of home movies. Lured by ethereal underwater scenes shot beneath Antarctica's ice, and funded by the National Science Foundation, Herzog disembarks to the tamed final frontier, on the trail of Ernest Shackleton, whose expedition haunts the film in gray archival footage, and whose preserved base of operations is visited ...

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    iW PROFILE | "My Winnipeg" Director Guy Maddin

    "I was going in the direction that all indie directors go," said filmmaker Guy Maddin, reflecting on his career. "It was fun to do a U-turn and go in the opposite direction. Ironically, if I go to Hollywood, I'd be happier going this way. I'll get there on my own strengths, if I get there at all." M...

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    Human Rights Fest Sets '08 Slate, Launches Youth Program

    Co-presented by Human Rights Watch and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the 19th annual Human Rights Watch International Film Festival will run from June 13 to 26, featuring 19 feature-length films and 13 shorts from 20 countries, including 31 New York premieres. The festival will open with Peter Raymont's "A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman," with the film's subject and renowned author of "Death and the Maiden" present to introduce the documentary. The two closing night films are "Letter to Anna," which tells the story of the life and tragic death of crusading Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, and "USA vs. Al-A...

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    REVIEW | Troublemaker: Erik Nelson's "Dreams with Sharp Teeth"

    In a 1978 essay, Harlan Ellison enumerated what he deemed "The 3 Most Important Things in Life": Sex, Violence, and Labor Relations. Such a succinct list doesn't encompass all of the writer's many facets -- Ellison the political activist, Ellison the anti-anti-intellectual, Ellison the (self-describ...

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    REVIEW | Everything Is Deracinated: Nina Davenport's "Operation Filmmaker"

    Thanks to a steaming pile of liberal-minded good will, Muthana Mohmed, a 25-year-old aspiring filmmaker was brought from Baghdad to the Czech Republic to intern on the set of an American movie production. Muthana received the invitation after having been spotted in an MTV-produced documentary about ...

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    6th Silver Docs Fest Offers 108 Films From 63 Countries

    The 6th annual SILVERDOCS documentary film festival announced its programming for its June 16-23, 2008 event, which takes place in Silver Spring, MD,. The festival will present 108 films representing 63 countries selected from 1,861 submissions with six world, eight North American, six U.S. and seve...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Bigger Stronger Faster*" Director Chris Bell

    After making an award winning short film just after graduating from USC's School of Cinematic Arts, Chris Bell makes his feature directorial debut with the documentary "Bigger, Stronger, Faster*." As one might imagine, the characteristics of the steroids subculture are imbedded in a few pieces of th...

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    iW NEWS | IFP Selects Doc Lab Projects

    On Thursday, organizers of IFP's Independent Filmmaker Lab announced the ten documentary projects selected to participate in the event. Created to support independent projects before they submit to film festivals, the program brings first-time feature filmmakers to leading industry mentors through its Documentary Lab in May and its Narrative Lab in June. The selected projects include Cambria Matlow and Morgan Robinson's "Burning in the Sun," Augusta Palmer's "The Hand of Fatima," Geralyn Pezanoski's "Mine: Taken By Katrina," Ngawang Choephel's "Ocean Song and Dance," Troy Word's "The Presence of Joseph Chaikin," Xavier Marrades Orga's "The St...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Hollywood Chinese" Director Arthur Dong

    Documentary director Arthur Dong has been working since the early 1980s, when one of his first shorts, "Sewing Woman," was nominated for an Academy Award. Since then, he has directed a series of docs on political and social issues, including 1994's Peabody Award winning "Coming Out Under Fire" and 1997's Sundance favorite "Licensed To Kill," which took a chilling look at the lives of people convicted of violent hate crimes against gay men (Dong himself was a victim of gay bashing in 1977). His latest work, "Hollywood Chinese," goes in a different but certainly not less imperative direction, examining the placement of Asian-Americans in Hollyw...

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    DOC COLUMN | Arts Engine Celebrates 10 Years

    Ten years can either be a blip or an eternity depending on your perspective. The year 1997 saw President Bill Clinton inaugurated for his second term, James Cameron's "Titantic" was the top movie and a book about a young wizard named Harry Potter first hit shelves. It was before the Internet stock bust and "information superhighway" was still a promise. The world of documentary in the U.S. was one of foundation funding, public television broadcast and educational distribution with precious few docs breaking into any kind of commercial success. It was in that entrenched world that then-new filmmakers Katy Chevigny and Julia Pimsleur felt like ...

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