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    Paramount Classics Names Israel as New EVP of Production and Acquisitions

    Paramount Classics president John Lesher announced the appointment of Amy Israel as executive vice president of production and acquisitions at the studio's specialty film label. Israel joins Paramount Classics from The Orphanage, a film, TV, animation VFX company, where she has served as head of production and as a producer since 2003. She recently produced "Griffin & Phoenix," directed by Ed Stone. Israel recently co-executive produced "Shall We Dance" for Miramax Films, directed by Peter Chelsom and "Hysterical Blindness" for HBO, directed by Mira Nair. Prior to becoming a producer, Israel was co-head and senior vice president of the acqui...

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    Sundance Channel Sets Fest TV Host

    The Sundance Channel has announced that Whitney Cummings from TV's "Best Week Ever" and "Punk'd" will host the cable network's "Festival Dailies" on-air coverage of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival later this month. Daily coverage will air at 9 p.m. ET from January 20 - 29, for 30 minutes each day.

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    Directors Guild Names Nominees for Directors Award

    The Directors Guild of America's vice president Betty Thomas today announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2005. The nominees are: George Clooney, "Good Night, and Good Luck"; Paul Haggis, "Crash"; Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain"; Benne...

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    Jon Stewart Named Host of 78th Academy Awards

    "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart has been set to host the 78th Academy Awards telecast, producer Gil Cates announced today. This will be Stewart's first stint as Oscar host. "I'm truly honored to be hosting the show," said Stewart in a statement. "Although, as an avid watcher of the Oscars, I can't help but be a little disappointed with the choice. It appears to be another sad attempt to smoke out Billy Crystal." Stewart has appeared in several motion pictures, including "Death to Smoochy," "Big Daddy," "The Faculty" and "Playing by Heart." Prior to taking over "The Daily Show" in 1999, Stewart's television credits included a one-hour HBO co...

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    DVD & Cable Windows Narrowing

    In a piece for the Wall Street Journal, a trio of writers explore the likely upcoming overlap of cable and DVD release windows for movies. They write, and we excerpt:

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    SAG Picks Its Nominees

    The Screen Actors Guild has named the five films nominated for its outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, selecting "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote," "Crash," "Good Night, and Good Luck," and "Hustle & Flow". [Eugene Hernandez]

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    "Match Point" Shines in Debut Week, Tops First '06 BOT

    The New Year has started off as a great one for Woody Allen, as "Match Point" shows signs of being the comeback film that has long eluded the veteran director.

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    "Dust" and "Smoking" Bookend 21st Santa Barbara International Film Fest

    The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has unveiled details of its upcoming 21st edition, including 20 world premieres and 11 U.S. premieres, which will screen in the picturesque California seaside town February 2 - 12, 2006. The newly-expanded 11-day fest will begin with the world premiere s...

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    MORE: Lineups
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    Production Report: "Dedication", "Legit", "Party", "Rain", "The Substance of Things Hoped For"

    [EDITOR'S NOTE: indieWIRE's monthly production report looks at independent films in various stages of production. If you'd like to tell us about a film in production for future columns, please contact us.]

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    PGA Picks Smaller Films

    The Producers Guild of America has announced its nominees for the best movie of the year, picking five films and their producers: "Brokeback Mountain" (James Schamus, Diana Ossana), "Capote" (Caroline Baron, William Vince, Michael Ohoven), "Crash" (Paul Haggis, Cathy Schulman), "Good Night, and Good...

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