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    Gun Hill Road

    I am finally catching up with some of what I missed at Sundance -- just in time for Cannes!. This one I had heard about from a acting school colleague of Rashaad before Sundance was announced. Now I have finally seen the film! Wow! It is so strong and uncompromising, I actually had a tough time staying with these characters, so strongly into their own world were they. The realism of their characters, flaws and strengths, the realism of those rough South Bronx streets, the grittiness and proximity were palpable. This film will remain with me for a long time to come. Esai Morales and Judy Reyes were great. And the young man...who is he?...

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    Kill the Irishman Makes History

    Going out on two separate theatrical tracks -- specialized through Landmark (Sunshine in N.Y. and on 3rd Street in L.A., as well as commercially where it opened in Cleveland (the land of this legendary gangster and yet telling a story never told before putting The Irishman on a par with Al Capone in...

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    CJ Makes News from Asia

    The multi-lingual BoA is paired with Robert Hough, a dancer from U.S. TV show Dancing With The Stars.CJ Entertainment, the ubiquitous South Korean distributor, exhibitor (theaters in L.A., So. Korea, et al.), international sales agent, production company, whose vast parent company has so many other ...

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    Sundance By Numbers #3 (Final Tally)

    THE NUMBERS OF SALES AND ACQUISITIONS:39 titles were sold. See Anthony Kaufman's article on IndieWIRE which did not count the latest acquisition of ON THE ICE for which Coach 14 picked up international representation..$30m in deals and P&A commitments is reportedly the level of business done. Jonathan Dana says on February 1, 2011As ever, keep in mind that all eventual deals do not necessarily get done at Sundance, and that many of the “unsold” films will find proper homes and ultimate success. The notion that a film must be sold quickly to be deemed ‘valuable’ is in itself a longstanding myth, or at least an oversimplification of a process ...

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    Countdown to the Oscars: Biutiful

    Surprising in many ways, Biutiful is nominated for two Oscars. Not only is it one of the 5 nominees in the Best Foreign Language category (Mexico), Javier Bardem is also nominated in the Best Actor category. It played in Cannes last spring, where it won a Best Actor prize for Javier Bardem. Roadside Attractions distributing in the U.S. After its December 1 week qualifying run, it is the very first film to debut theatrically after screening at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Playing opposite Kaboom, the weekend’s other major specialty debut, it had a strong opening likely in large part to its somewhat surprising best actor nomination. On...

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    Sundance By Numbers #2

    >5 juries for competition films collectively are comprised of individuals from the global arts community, each of whom brings unique perspective and range of experience. Jury Members are Susanne Bier ♀, Matt Groening, Jason Reitman, America Ferrara ♀, Kim Peirce ♀.With my view of the film world business, more interesting than the Winners of the Competition for Narrative and Docs for the American Indies and the World Cinema Sections (The films themselves are all worth seeing by virtue of having been selected by Sundance) is the competition among Hollywood's agencies and producer reps in handling the sales of the films. This is akin to a hors...

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    Margin Call Closed Out to Trade

    Margin Call -- which was exec produced by Cassian Elwes who is repping with UTA for the U.S. -- screened for press and industry today and was the scene of a small though intensely angst-ridden uproar as industryites were shut out after waiting on line for an hour. Some in the closed-out crowd claimed attendees were specially selected to enter in order to make the U.S. sale especially hot. Those unable to see the film included press members scheduled to interview talents in the film and many of the smaller distributors. To name a few I saw lingering outside, trying to decide what to do next, since attending the next few films was now out of ...

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    The Art House Convergence Conference

    The Art House Convergence: January 17-20, 2011 is having its fourth annual meeting in Utah where Art house theater owners will converge to discuss the issues and new developments which concern their specialty niche in the independent film business. Chairman of the two year old event, Russ Collins, Executive Director of the Michigan Theater, (collins AT Michtheater.org, +1 (734) 646-0528 spoke to me at length about these concerns. Other theater owner friends have discussed the issue of staying solvent in a small universe when they must fight to wrest away the "larger" art house films from cineplexes which are increasingly adding 1 or 2 venues...

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    International Sales Agent of Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries): UTV

    Dhobi Ghat means "washing area" which explains so much more of this beautiful film than "Mumbai Diaries". The washing area epitomizes the man who washes and delivers laundry to a reclusive artist and also to a rich young American Indian photographer who meets and spends a night with the artist. The Mumbai Diaries epitomize a woman whose video diary is discovered by the artist when he moves into his new apartment, an artifact she left behind, and the photographs of Shai, whose father owns buildings in the neighborhood where the story of these four people takes place. This is a very special, unusually "western" story, not like the usual comm...

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    Palm Springs Film Festival Awards

    The 22nd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, January 6-17, 2011, screened 205 films from 69 countries, including 41 of the 65 foreign language entries for this year’s Academy Awards®.It has now announced its awards:The Whistleblower ♀ Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature (U.S. Goldwyn, ISA: Voltage) Also won at the Whistler Film Festival.The Whistleblower directed by Larysa Kondracki ♀ Louder Than a Bomb Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. Also won Best Doc at Austin Film Festival.Of Gods and Men Receives FIPRESCI Award (U.S.: SPC ISA: Wild Bunch). Tipped for Oscar Nomination Best Foreign Languag...

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