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Documentary

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    DISPATCH FROM MARYLAND | Silverdocs: Telling the Truth

    If there's an aesthetic lesson conveyed by the premieres at AFI Silverdocs this year, it's that cinema verite continues to thrive -- and the classical approach to documentary filmmaking hasn't frayed with age. Not that it had been showing signs of a slow demise, but the ongoing talk of meager box office prospects for the form -- coupled with Herzogian declarations of "ecstatic truth" and projects like "Chicago 10" trying to take the practice in new directions -- suggested a demand for evolution that doesn't actually exist. As it turns out, great stories work when they're told well. That shouldn't come as a surprise, but last year's oft-repeat...

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    iW NEWS | "Garden" Leads SILVERDOCS Winners

    SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival announced its award winners Sunday, culminating the weeklong Festival activities that included screening 108 films representing 63 countries. Winning filmmakers received over $70,000 in combined cash and in-kind prizes. The Audience Award winners will be announced Monday. SILVERDOCS Sterling Award for a US Feature went to Scott Hamilton Kennedy's "The Garden." The director will receive $10,000 cash and $5,000 in film stock from Kodak. This year's inaugural SILVERDOCS Sterling Award for a World Feature went to Geoffrey Smith's "The English Surgeon," while the award for a Short Film was g...

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    Alex Gibney v. ThinkFilm: Claiming Botched "Taxi" Release, Oscar Winning Filmmaker Seeking $1 Millio

    Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney is seeking more than $1 million in damages from ThinkFilm, distributor of his recent Oscar-winning film, "Taxi to the Dark Side." Late last week X-Ray Productions, producers of Gibney's film, charged that ThinkFilm fradulently hid the fact that it could not properly...

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    iW NEWS | Zeitgeist Gets "Stranded"

    As it prepares to celebrates its 20th anniversary with a retrospective at MoMA this week, Zeitgeist Films has announced a deal for U.S. theatrical and home video rights to Gonzalo Arijon's "Stranded: I've Come From a Plane the Crashed in the Mountains." Uruguayan director Arijon's film is the story the story of the survivors of a plane crash in the South American Andes 35 years ago, profiling the survivors, who subsisted the ten weeks in the freezing weather by consuming the remains of those who died after the plane went down. Winner of the jury prize at last year's International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (where indieWIRE first repo...

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    LAT | Documentaries lose box office muscle

    "Despite critical acclaim, such films as 'Bigger, Faster, Stronger*' and 'Young@Heart' can't draw moviegoers," reports the LA Times, "Critically acclaimed films about provocative subjects struggle to make money all the time, but rarely have so many lauded documentaries consistently failed to connect...

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    DISPATCH FROM MARYLAND | Considering the Confounding State of Nonfiction: Spike Lee and Alex Gibney

    The truth is out there, but only certain people know where to find it. In downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, that's the driving sentiment behind AFI Silverdocs, a healthy alternative to the industry festivities currently unfolding on the other coast at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Now in its fifth year, the calmest of the AFI-branded gatherings hosts a refreshingly specific program of discussions, workshops, and screenings featuring many of the finest recent accomplishments in nonfiction cinema. Where other festivals derive much of their appeal from a sense of discovery, Silverdocs feels more like an annual canonization of the documentary f...

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    HR | HBO's Polanski film causes dispute

    "Did judge insist that any court hearing be televised?," wonders Gregg Kilday in a Hollywood Reporter article about Marina Zenovich's new doc, "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired."

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Kicking It" Director Susan Koch

    Director Susan Koch's Sundance '08 doc "Kicking It" (co-directed by Jeff Werner) centers on the Homeless World Cup that was established in 2001 with the idea to give homeless people the opportunity to better their lives through sports. In the five years since its creation, 20,000 people have compete...

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    iW NEWS | First Run Takes "Midway"

    First Run Features has announced the acquisition of film critic Godfrey Cheshire's "Moving Midway, and will release the film in New York on September 12, 2008, followed by wider openings in the South and around the country in the fall. In the film, Cheshire takes a closer look at his own family, exploring their decision to physically relocate their North Carolina plantation home. In the words of a description, "Through movies and music, Cheshire examines the Southern plantation in American history and culture, and how the racial legacy from the past continues into the present." "We're very pleased to be distributing Godfrey's wonderful debut...

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    iW NEWS | Sundance Institute Announces Fellows

    The Sundance Institute announced the selection of eight Documentary Film Fellows representing four projects to participate in the Documentary Film Edit and Story Laboratory from June 21-28 in Utah. "Sundance is welcoming a group of non-fiction artists, who we believe will both contribute and learn ...

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