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Film Festival News and Reviews: Sundance, Cannes and more

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    LAT: SXSW is Swelling

    Judging from the number of high-profile studio films in this year's lineup and listening to movie industry executives here, South By Southwest's Film Festival and Conference finally is coming out from under its reputation as poor cousin to its revered sister music fest. Chris Lee reports.

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    SXSW '08 NARRATIVE NOTEBOOK | The Latest from Austin: "Nights and Weekends," "Medicine for Melanchol

    When South by Southwest film festival producer Matt Dentler introduced "Nights and Weekends" on Sunday night with the observation that some people have started referring to the festival as "South by South Swanberg," he was only half-joking. As the makeshift figurehead of a movement loosely held together by the term "mumblecore," Joe Swanberg -- the idea, not the man -- was born here, where his rambling, virtually plotless accounts of white young people hanging out strike familiar notes year after year. "Nights and Weekends" is technically his first collaborative directorial effort -- he shares the credit with "Hannah Takes the Stairs" star Gr...

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    SXSW '08 DISPATCH | "Sister Dorothy" and "Wellness" Big Winners at SXSW

    Daniel Junge's documentary "They Killed Sister Dorothy," about the murder of a devoted nun who fought to protect the Amazon and tirelessly supported the region's poor, won the top two doc prizes at the SXSW Film Festival, which continues through this weekend in Austin, TX. The film won the documentary grand jury prize and the festival's doc audience award as the event's film conference came to a close on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Jake Mahaffy's "Wellness," a film about the chaotic journey of one man trying to succeed in a business that doesn't exist, won the narrative grand jury award. It recently debuted at the Rotterdam International Film Festiva...

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    SXSW '08 DOC NOTEBOOK | Sex, War, Bullfights and High School: SXSW Docs Run the Gamut

    This year's South By Southwest Film Festival boasts an impressive range of subject matter among the films screening in the Documentary Competition. Last year the fest circuit was filled to capacity with Iraq war docs, so it's a refreshing change to see films on so many topics competing at this fest. "Sex Positive" is about Richard Berkowitz, a former gay S&M hustler turned AIDS activist, who spearheaded the safe sex movement in the gay community some 25 years ago. Back when AIDS was a new disease spreading like wildfire in the gay communities in cities like New York, San Francisco and London, Berkowitz was one of the few voices advocating s...

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    SXSW '08 INTERVIEW | "The Lost Coast" Director Gabriel Fleming

    EDITORS NOTE: This is part of a series of interviews, conducted via email, profiling directors who have films screening at the 2008 South By Southwest Film Festival.

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    INSIDE WORD | "Four Eyed" Monsters In The Home Stretch with IFC and DVD Deals

    At an indie distribution panel today at SXSW, "Four Eyed Monsters" filmmakers Susan Buice & Arin Crumley revealed that they will sell a DVD of their film, bundled with five brand new video podcast episodes, at Borders stores on April 29th. In a deal with IFC TV, they indicated that they will also b...

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    SXSW '08 NOTEBOOK | Notable Narratives: "Humbolt County", "Explicit Ills", "Natural Causes", and "A

    While the goofball stoner antics of "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay" and the sheen of the new Kevin Spacey vehicle "21" might help raise the profile of the South by Southwest Film Festival, its soul comes from filmmakers operating out of sheer creative impulses. Many of the entries cont...

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    SXSW '08 INTERVIEW | "Explicit Ills" Director Mark Webber

    EDITORS NOTE: This is part of a series of interviews, conducted via email, profiling directors who have films screening at the 2008 South By Southwest Film Festival.

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    SXSW '08 INTERVIEW | "We Are Wizards" Director Josh Koury

    EDITORS NOTE: This is part of a series of interviews, conducted via email, profiling directors who have films screening at the 2008 South By Southwest Film Festival.

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    Variety: SXSW Fest Gets Hot with Directors

    Even after 15 years, the South By Southwest Film Festival is no threat to Sundance -- but it is the festival Slamdance always wanted to be. Dana Harris and Michael Jones report.

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