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    SF360: Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer, from the Salton Sea to San Francisco

    The area surrounding the doomed Salton Sea is home to a singular collection of kooky characters, even by California standards. Fifty miles from Palm Springs, the "sea" is a manmade lake that was once a major Southland vacation spot and real estate developers' dreamscape. Now it's Nowheresville, populated by iconoclasts, free thinkers, and sunbaked lunatics. Yet they were kindred spirits, in some unexpected way, with San Francisco documentary filmmakers Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer. The duo's acclaimed debut, "Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea," brims with affection for these freaks and their freaky, freaky habitat. Michael Fox report...

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    Reuters: Michael Moore gets lots of Republican hugs

    Michael Moore -- gadfly filmmaker, liberal activist and political lightning rod -- says he finds himself being hugged by a lot of Republicans these days. On the streets of Traverse City, where Moore is working on last-minute preparations for a bigger-and-better sequel to the film festival he launche...

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    "War Tapes" and "37 Uses for a Dead Sheep" Take First BritDoc Fest Prizes

    "The War Tapes" by Deborah Scranton and Ben Hopkins' "37 Uses for a Dead Sheep" won the inaugural won the international competition and best British documentary prizes respectively over the weekend at the first annual BritDoc documentary festival in Oxford, England. "37 Uses" follows the travails of the Pamir Kirghiz people along their long journey from Russia, to China, Afghanistan in their quest to preserve their culture from Communism. They finallly settle in Turkey where they face a new foe, globalization. "War Tapes" is the first war film to be shot by soldiers on the frontline, showing life for a group of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Xiaolu G...

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    Fortissimo Inks UK Deals for "The Bridge"

    In the UK...ICA Films has nabbed theatrical and DVD rights to Eric Steel's "The Bridge," while Channel 4 has acquired TV broadcast rights. Fortissimo Films brokered the deals for the U.S. film and said today that Steel's doc, about suicides at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, will screen at this ...

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    "Sunshine" Golden in Debut

    Fox Searchlight's release of "Little Miss Sunshine" earned an estimated $357,000 this weekend on 7 screens, for an estimated debut per screen average of $51,000 (according to BoxOfficeMojo.com). In its first five days in release, the film has made nearly $450,000, according to the estimate.

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    INDUSTRY MOVES: Laura De Casto To Run Tartan USA

    Laura De Casto has been tapped to run Tartan USA, in addition to her UK responsibilities as Tartan Films' Managing Director. She has been with the company for eight years and will handle the LA duties primarily from the company's London office, traveling to LA as needed.

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    Locarno 59 Goes Leaner; Introduces "Filmmakers of the Present" Competition

    Michael Mann's "Miami Vice" is on tap to usher in the 59th International Film Festival Locarno, taking place in the picturesque lakeside Swiss town August 2 - 12. The festival, one of the oldest in the world, will fete 25% fewer films this year, screening 170 titles compared with 250 in 2005, though...

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    LAT: Francois Ozon, Always a Leading Ladies' Man

    In the Los Angeles Times, Mark Olsen profiles director Francois Ozon and explores his many movies showcasing top female actors, from Jeanne Moreau in his new film "Time to Leave," to Charlotte Rampling in "Under The Sand," as well as Catherine Deneuve, Fanny Ardant, Isabelle Huppert, Rampling, Virgi...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, Co-Directors of "Quinceanera"

    Made for just $400,000 in the filmmakers' own Los Angeles neighborhood, Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's "Quinceanera" stars a newcomer cast. The film, its title taken from the traditional Latino ritual of elaborately celebrating a young woman's fifteenth birthday, is the coming-of-age story ...

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    "Inconvenient Truth" at $20 Million

    With estimated grosses of $772,909 this weekend, Paramount Classics' "An Inconvenient Truth" will pass the $20 million mark today, according to the company. The film is in 346 locations this weekend, with an estimated average of $2,234 and an estimated cume of $20,180,021. In a statement today, the ...

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