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Documentary

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    FIRST PERSON | John Pierson: An Open Letter to Michael Moore

    There is no percentage in me, or anyone for that matter, criticizing you. And since you've effectively become America's conscience, it must be awfully hard to pause for a moment and examine your own. And I would never have become part of an attempt to make you do that if not for a classroom full o...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" director Taggart Siegel

    In Taggart Siegel's doc, "The Real Dirt on Farmer John", a family farm becomes a mirror on American cultural revolutions. Eccentric and way ahead of the curve, John Peterson raised eyebrows in the small town of Caledonio, Illinios by embracing hippies, building an art commune, creating performance ...

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    iW NEWS | With "Sicko" Opening Sooner Than Expected...Moore Meets the Press

    Media coverage of Michael Moore's "Sicko" in recent days has concerned full-length pirated versions of the movie that have appreared on internet video sites like YouTube and Google Video. Asked about the development during a Tuesday news conference in New York, the director wondered aloud who might have a vested interest in hurting the film, but when pressed he refrained from making any public accusations and admitted a general distaste towards tight copyright restrictions. "I am glad that people are able to see my movie," Moore admitted, adding, "I am not a big believer of our copyright laws, I think they are too restrictive." And he added, ...

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    iW NEWS | "Vote" Wins Top Prize at SILVERDOCS (Updated)

    Weijun Chen's "Please Vote For Me," about the campaign to become third grade class monitor in a Chinese school, won the Sterling Award for Best Feature at the SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival in Silver Spring, MD, while Sam Green's "Lot 63, Grave C" won the Sterling prize for best short film. AJ Schnack's "Kurt Cobain About A Son" won the festival's Cinematic Vision Feature Award, while Erlend Mo's "My Eyes" won the Cinematic Vision Short Award and the music documentary award went to Raul De la Fuente's "Nomadak TX." The Witness Award at SILVERDOCS went to RIcki Stern and Annie Sundberg for "The Devil Came on Houseback" ...

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    FESTIVALS | Silverdocs Goes Deeper into Democracy and Documentary

    Think deeper. Silverdocs, the AFI/Discovery Documentary Festival, held from June 12-17, invited guests to ponder faith, music, democracy and war, in their program of 100 films from 42 countries, in addition to explorations in documentary craft and the future of the business of documentary through th...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Unborn in the USA" co-Directors Stephen Fell and Will Thompson

    Directors Stephen Fell and Will Thompson's documentary is a revealing and provocative look into the deep secrets and deep pockets of the pro-life movement, "Unborn in the USA: Inside the War on Abortion" weaves a story from more than 70 exclusive interviews with pro-life activists and seldom-seen archival footage to document one of the most controversial social movements in American history. The duo gained unprecedented access to pro-life groups, movement icons, fundraising machines, and even university students being specially groomed to carry the pro-life message for college credit, traveling across 35 states to bring this eye-opening and o...

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    iW NEWS | Sundance Doc Program Selects 25 Features for Funding

    A record number twenty-five feature films have been chosen to receive financial grants from the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Fund, the organization announced today. In the words of The Sundance Institute, the organization supports U.S. and international documentaries that "explore the issues of our time with innovative, compelling storytelling." Films selected for funding include: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's "Howl" ($10,000), Christopher McLeod's "Losing Sacred Ground" ($10,000), Caveh Zahedi's "The Prime Minister, The Shah, The Ayatollah and I" ($7,500), Jean-Marie Teno's "The Fo and I" ($10,000), Susan Stern's "Our Oil" ($10,0...

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    iW NEWS | Lorber and Hidden Treasures Launch Specialized Doc Distribution Company

    Koch Lorber's Richard Lorber and production outfit Hidden Treasures Productions, Inc are launching Lorber HT Digital, a new specialized documentary distribution company. Lorber will remain at Koch Lorber and Chairman of the Board of Film Forum while serving as the president and CEO of the new company. Lorber HT Digital will initially focus on secular spirituality, in the words of an announcement, "stimulating and intelligent 'aha!' titles - programs dwelling in a terrain of inquiry between belief and reason - in the domains of mind, spirit, culture and the frontiers of science." The company will emphasize targeted distribution via digital de...

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    DOC COLUMN | Flying: Confessions of International Co-Production

    The phrase "international co-production" sparks a variety of responses from US independent filmmakers. Some think "essential strategy to fund a film," or "I wish I knew how to do that," while others (probably the lion's share) think "international what?" After watching Jennifer Fox's opus "Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman", a 6-hour series that uses Fox's personal life (her indecision between two lovers) as the springboard for a prescient discussion with women from around the world about modern womens' issues, I understood that this film couldn't have been made relying on American financing. But the "why" was more elusive. Style? Length?...

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    iW News | Silverdocs Unveils '07 Competition

    The SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival announced the competition films for its upcoming edition, taking place June 12 - 17 outside Washington, D.C. This year's competition line up includes one world, two North American premieres as well as one U.S. debut. The overall line up for this year's event will include 100 films representing 41 countries with nine world, six North American, four U.S. and 11 East Coast premieres. Films slated for Silverdoc's Sterling Award feature competition include: Doug Pray's "Big Rig" (U.S., East Coast debut); Eva Mulvad's "Enemies of Happiness" (Denmark, East Coast debut); Shimon Dotan's "Hotho...

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