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Documentary

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    REVIEW | True Dedication: Ilana Trachtman's "Praying with Lior"

    No film critic would dare print a negative word about a film as well-intentioned as Ilana Trachtman's affable, purposely enriching documentary "Praying with Lior"; the reassuring news is that they'd have no reason to. One may be compelled to note the film's unremarkable visual textures, yet more apropos to mention would be Trachtman's commendably unintrusive style, both in her film's shooting and construction. And certainly such tender subject matter warrants this gingerly approach: an assured, straightforward video portrait of a devout Jewish prepubescent with Down syndrome, the film manages to avoid exploitation of its subject matter at eve...

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    AFP: Abu Ghraib documentary to premiere at Berlinale

    A picture about the prisoner abuse scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail will become the first documentary ever to enter the competition at the Berlin Film Festival next month, organisers said Tuesday. "Standard Operating Procedure" by Oscar-winning director Errol Morris uses recovered footage, reenactm...

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    iW NEWS | First Run/Icarus Takes on "Operation Filmmaker"

    "Operation Filmmaker" by Nina Davenport has been picked up by First Run/Icarus Films, the company's president Jonathan Miller announced Tuesday. The film, which will have its theatrical run beginning June 4 at the IFC Center in New York, was negotiated by Miller and Films Transit International's Dia...

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    PARK CITY '08, 3:01 p.m. | "Man on Wire" Stir Audiences, Buyers

    Doc buzz continues... Buyers were drawn to a Noon time Sundance Film Festival screening of James Marsh's accaimed BBC Storyville/Discovery documentary "Man on Wire" at the Holiday Village theater today. Spotted in the audience were execs from Picturehouse, Warner Independent Pictures, and Sony Pictures Classics. The film, being sold at Sundance by Sumbarine, captures the dramatic tightrop walk of Philippe Petit atop a wire stretched 200 feet between the two World Trade Center towers in 1974. Enthusiastically received at Saturday's screening, Petit smiled and proclaimed to the crowd, "I am an artistic criminal." Insiders are weighing offers on...

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    iW NEWS | "Kicking It" Links Theatrical, DVD, Streaming, and TV Pacts with Liberation, Netflix/Red E

    Jay Boberg's Liberation Entertainment has acquired North American theatrical rights to Susan Koch's doc, "Kicking It" at the Sundance Film Festival, joining forces with Netflix's Red Envelope Entertainment and ESPN for the film's release. In a unique deal brokered by CAA and Submarine, immediately following the theatrical release Netflix will distribute the film to its subscribers on DVD and via online streaming simultaneous with the ESPN broadcast. The sports network, which announced its acquisition of worldwide broadcast rights at the start of this year's Sundance festival, will work closely with Netflix to cross promote the day-and-date r...

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    PARK CITY '08 NOTEBOOK | Under Construction: The Nonfiction New Wave Takes Root at Sundance

    At the end of a recent blog posting, Premiere film critic Glenn Kenny wondered aloud about some of the documentaries he'd seen at the Sundance Film Festival. Summing up his thoughts on Nanette Burstein's hit "American Teen" Kenny wrote "Burstein's trim, fast-moving film utilizes tricks and technique...

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    iW NEWS | Palm Gets "We Are Together"

    Palm Pictures has announced its acquisition of North American rights to Paul Taylor's "We Are Together," the acclaimed documentary about orphans in Africa striving to overcome hardship and become achieve success as a singing group. A festival favorite, the film was an audience award winner at IDFA, Tribeca, Edinburgh, and other festivals. It is set for a May 2008 theatrical release. Produced by Taylor and Teddy Leifer, the film is a RISE films production in association with HBO Documentary Films and The Channel 4 British Documentary Film Foundation. It is receiving support from Alicia Keys and her Keep A Child Alive Foundation, as well as pro...

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    PARK CITY '08 NOTEBOOK | Docs Shine at Sundance; "Teen," "Polanski," and "Myths" Among Hyped Titles

    The buying frenzy that has engulfed a number of nonfiction films at Sundance 2008 is all the more remarkable for the fact that 'A,' everyone was predicting a hands-off approach to docs after a lackluster 2007 for theatrical documentary and 'B,' not a single narrative film -- as of this writing early on Tuesday -- had landed a distribution deal. While it's a well-worn idiom that the Documentary Competition lineup at Sundance is usually superior to the Dramatic Competition, that gulf feels especially profound this year. In fact, a number of industry insiders have been saying that many of the nonfiction titles in the Slamdance lineup are superio...

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    iW NEWS | Cinema Eye Honors Announces Inaugural Nominees

    Nominations for the inaugural Cinema Eye Honors For NonFiction Filmmaking were announced today by 2008 Award Co-Chairs Thom Powers, Documentary Programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival, and filmmaker AJ Schnack, director of "Kurt Cobain About A Son." Films nominated for best picture include: Philip Groenin's "Into Great Silence," Tony Kaye's "Lake of Fire," Jason Kohn's "Manda Bala (Send A Bullet)", Pernille Rose Gronkjaer's "The Monastery - Mr. Vig and the Nun," and Charles Ferguson's "No End In Sight." "Into Great Silence" and "Manda Bala" lead with six nominations each, while "Lake of Fire" has five. The full nomination list ...

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    iW NEWS | HBO Confirms "Polanski" Deal; Plans Oscar Qualifying Run

    HBO Documentary Films confirmed it has picked up all U.S. rights to writer/director/producer Marina Zenovich's Sundance Film Festival doc competition film "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" and the company confirmed that plans to will give it an Oscar qualifying this year. The film, which had its...

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