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    Reuters: First Saudi film festival opens despite clerics

    The first Saudi Arabian film festival opened this week, but the silver screen remains so controversial in the conservative kingdom that the word "cinema" does not even appear in the title. The Jeddah Visual Show Festival kicked off on Wednesday night with two hours of home-grown short films. The public can see the films three times a week for a month. Public movie screenings are taboo in Saudi Arabia, where puritanical scholars believe any depiction of the human form is forbidden in Islam and see the U.S.-dominated film industry as an immoral force driven by sex and violence. "The Ministry of Information and Culture said let's not call it cin...

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    Withoutabox Acquires Film Finders; Embarks on Relationship with Rightsline

    Independent film community networkWithoutabox, Inc. has acquired film production and rights database and consulting company Film Finders, Withoutabox CEO and co-founder David Straus announced Thursday. The company plans to "fully integrate their established business model and operations into Withoutabox's diversified businesses." As part of the acquisition, Film Finders founder and president Sydney Levine and EVP Peter Belsito will become executives of Withoutabox while they continue to run the Film Finders division. In a related move, Withoutabox has entered into a strategic partnership with Rightsline, a provider of enterprise-grade rights ...

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    With a Popular Film Fest, And a New Movie In The Works, Michael Moore Remains in Spotlight

    While Michael Moore works to complete his upcoming feature film, "Sicko," the director is also prepping the second annual edition of his Traverse City Film Festival in Northern Michigan, an event that has generated a tremendous amount of local attention in only its second year. The fest will take pl...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW: "Edmond" director Stuart Gordon

    Starring William H. Macy and Julia Stiles, director Stuart Gordon's ("Re-Animator") "Edmond" is the story of a successful businessman who abandons his wife and family after a fateful visit to a fortune-teller. Following her musings, he leaves on a voyage to New York's seedy underworld in a quest for...

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    Landmark to Open "Largest Independent Film Center" at LA's Westside Pavilion in '07

    West Los Angeles' Westside Pavilion and Landmark Theatres are collaborating to create what the two describe as "the largest independent film center in the country," the groups revealed Thursday. The new Landmark Film Center at Westside Pavilion also will partner with the Los Angeles film industry and area film schools to "promote the education and training of those pursuing careers in the film industry, and to provide a venue for screening the works of up-and-coming filmmakers." The new Landmark Film Center at Westside Pavilion will be three-stories complete with restaurants on the ground floor, while the second and third floors of the center...

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    Lionsgate Gets "Deliver Us From Evil"

    Lionsgate has announced its acquisition of Amy Berg's "Deliver Us From Evil," winner of the Target Documentary Award for best doc feature at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival last month. A release this fall is planned. [Eugene Hernandez]

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    NYAFF Crowds Choose "Always"

    Audiences at the 2006 edition of the New York Asian Film Festival have selected Takashi Yamazaki's "Always" from Japan as the winner of the audience award at the event. The film is described by the festival as a "sprawling drama about the citizens of a beat-down neighborhood in Tokyo during the 1950...

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    "Another Gay Movie" Ushers In 12th Philadelphia Gay Fest

    Todd Stephens' "Another Gay Movie" will open the 12th Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Thursday night. The event, one of the largest gay fests on the east coast, continues through July 25 and will screen five world, one North American, three U.S. and six east coast debuts. Th...

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    Pressman Sells ContentFilm Shares

    Prolific indie producer Ed Pressman has fully divested from ContentFilm, the company he co-founded with John Schmidt in 2001. While he left the outfit a year ago, he remained on the board.

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    Roy & Koury Promoted at Hamptons Fest

    Rajendra Roy has been promoted to Artistic Director at the Hamptons International Film Festival and Josh Koury has been upped to Programming Manager/Shorts Programmer, the festival announced today. Also at the event, set for its 14th installment October 18 - 22 this year, Gerry Byrne and Denise Wohl...

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