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Thompson on Hollywood

Online French Film Festival Returns for Second Go-Round, Mounts Online Competition

Following the success of its online festival last January, the French Film Festival will host a second installment from January 12 to February 1, 2012. The festival will pit ten feature films and ten shorts in competition for three prizes.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • December 20, 2011 3:49 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Adds Four New Titles to 2012 Program, 'This Must Be the Place,' Starring Sean Penn

Cannes Preview: This Must Be the Place Stars Sean Penn as Aging Rock Star
The 2012 Sundance Film Festival selection is officially closed. Fest programmers have added four new titles to wrap up their slate unveiling January 19 through January 29. Often the festival waits to see if filmmakers can complete their films in time.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 19, 2011 4:01 PM
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Lawrence Kasdan's Darling Companion to Open Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Lawrence Kasdan's return to director's chair after eight years, "Darling Companion," starring Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline, will open the Santa Barbara Film Festival on January 26.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 19, 2011 12:27 AM
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Dubai Festival: Herzog Wins Life Achievement Award, Talks Watts as Queen of the Desert

While accepting a Lifetime Achievement award at the 8th Dubai International Film Festival, Werner Herzog gave an update on his biopic about Gertrude Bell, the turn-of-the-century English writer, traveler and archeologist he calls "the female Lawrence of Arabia."
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • December 14, 2011 4:24 PM
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Scorsese Gets American Riviera Award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival

Martin Scorsese is not in love with awards campaigning. But accepting awards--that's a relatively painless part of the Oscar campaign process. Thus he is going to attend the 27th Santa Barbara Film festival tribute to him on January 30 to receive the American Riviera Award.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 12, 2011 6:43 PM
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Awards Circuit: Octavia Spencer Gets PSIFF Breakthrough Performance Award; Dujardin and Bejo Share SBIFF Cinema Vanguard Award

Film festivals play a key role in highlighting Oscar contenders during this crowded and noisy awards season. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor "The Artist" actors Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo with their Cinema Vanguard Award on February 4. The award recognizes "an actor who has forged his/her own path - taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film." Past winners include Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga and Ryan Gosling. SBIFF's exec director Roger Durling states: "In an age of sight and sound spectacle, there is great risk in a silent film. Jean and Bérénice's acting is an amazing pas des deux both physically and emotionally - recalling classic Hollywood pairings like Hepburn and Tracy, and of course indelibly Ginger and Fred." Dujardin notes the rest of the film's ensemble -- James Cromwell, John Goodman, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle and Malcolm McDowell --and adds, "This award is just as much for them as it is for us.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 7, 2011 12:07 PM
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Sundance Short Films 2012: "Outrageously Distinctive with Uncompromised Spirit"

The Sundance Film Festival selected 64 shorts from 7,675 submissions for its 2012 Short Film program of US and foreign films, in Narrative, Animated and Documentary categories, as well as the New Frontiers section.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 6, 2011 4:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Premieres: Features and Documentaries, Actors Behind Camera

Brit Marling, watch out! Women are front and center at the Sundance Film festival this year, including the Premieres section, which features more well-known players than the other sections---and many actors behind the camera.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 5, 2011 3:59 PM
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Sundance Film Festival: Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, NEXT and New Frontier Slates

Thursday the Sundance Film Festival announced the out-of-competition line-up for 2012, in the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, NEXT <=> and New Frontier sections. The Fest runs from January 19 through 29 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. See the complete line-up so far here. Much of these more innovative selections reflect the taste of director of programming Trevor Groth: “In many ways, the extremes of the Festival’s program are most readily apparent in our out-of-competition sections, which showcase the wildest comedies, the most terrifying horror films and uncompromised visions from singular voices springing up from around the country and the world. We hope audiences experiment with their film selections to an equal degree as these filmmakers have experimented with their storytelling.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2011 4:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Announces Competition Line-Up

Most of the Sundance Film Festival competition films announced Wednesday for the upcoming Park City festival January 19 - 29 are films that few have seen or heard of. That's what's exciting about Sundance, especially under the leadership of director John Cooper and programmer Trevor Groth. They are not playing games with agencies or managers --who wish they didn't have to wait to get the news along with everyone else earlier this week--they are really looking for discoveries, excitement, new news. It's about emerging talent.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 30, 2011 4:06 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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