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Thompson on Hollywood

Dubai Festival Diary 3: 'New Arab Films' Panel, 'Wadjda,' 'Detroit Unleaded,' 'Chaos Disorder'

There are only two screening slots scheduled for today, both in the evening, so in the afternoon I attend one of the industry panels that are part of the buzzing Film Market. This one is entitled “New Arab Films: A Story of Success,” although after listening to a broad spectrum of views, it seems that the panel could also have been entitled: “As William Goldman famously said, Nobody knows anything.”
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • December 14, 2012 11:25 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Dubai International Film Festival: Arab Films Panel Hails 'Wadjda,' Laments Obstacles to Arab Film Success in North America

It was only shot last spring and premiered at Telluride and Venice a few months later, but already Haifaa al-Mansour's "Wadjda" is being hailed as a beacon for successful Middle Eastern filmmaking and a role model for other regional films and filmmakers. It dominated the discussion at New Arab Films: A Story Of Success panel at the 9th Dubai International Film Festival, where the film is having its Middle Eastern premiere.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • December 14, 2012 6:20 AM
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Dubai Festival Day Two: Disappointing 3-D 'Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away,' Must-Sees 'Me and You' and 'Here and There'

After an unsuitably lavish breakfast, I catch a Mall of the Emirates-bound shuttle by the skin of my teeth and scuttle through the Mall --which looks just like a mall, only bigger, to paraphrase the well-known joke of what the unimpressed woman said to the flasher – arriving at the theater screening “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” in 3-D, just before it starts. I’m underwhelmed. After Werner Herzog’s amazing 3-D “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” exploring the 20,000-year-old paintings in the Chauvet caves of southern France, and Wim Wenders’ glorious 3-D “Pina,” featuring the dances of Pina Bausch, it seemed that 3-D had claimed its place as a valid art form. The presence of James Cameron as an executive producer of “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away,” also seemed to indicate seriousness.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • December 14, 2012 1:08 AM
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Sundance Festival Slots Four Late Entries

As usually happens every year, the Sundance Film Festival has added four late entries to its 2013 lineup.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 13, 2012 4:28 PM
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Berlinale Announces First Six Competition Titles; 'Promised Land' & New Films from Hong Sang-soo and Ulrich Seidl

The 63rd Berlin International Film Festival (February 7-17) has announced the first six titles in its competition lineup. Productions and co-productions from Germany, France, Austria, the Republic of Korea, Chile, Romania, Spain and the U.S. are included, with Gus Van Sant's "Promised Land" and the new film by Hong Sang-soo, "Nobody's Daughter Haewon," and the third in Ulrich Seidl's "Paradise" trilogy ("Paradise: Hope"), part of the program.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 13, 2012 11:32 AM
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Dubai International Film Fest Day 1: 'Bekas' & 'Life of Pi' Gala

The breakfast buffet at the Beachcomber restaurant just past the more impressive of the two impressive swimming pools of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is overwhelming. My judgment collapses in the face of its multiple offerings -- Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, western. Somehow I find myself consuming excellent chicken curry, roti bread with sambal, dim sum, smoked salmon with garnishes, assorted French cheeses, fresh fruit with yogurt, a couple of tiny pastries – and I still only sampled a fraction of its possibilities.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • December 11, 2012 11:17 AM
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Sundance 2013 Films Will Screen Across Country: 'The East,' 'Aint' Them Bodies Saints'

The Sundance Institute announces titles from its 2013 edition that will screen in indie theaters across the US on January 31 as part of the Sundance Film Festival USA initiative.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 10, 2012 5:07 PM
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  • 1 Comment

ICE ICE Baby! En Route to the 9th Dubai International Film Festival

It might make sense to try to sleep as much as possible during the 16-hour direct flight from San Francisco to Dubai via Emirates. Especially since one hadn’t slept much the night before, and had dutifully arrived at the check-in counter three hours before departure time, as instructed on one’s e-ticket.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • December 9, 2012 9:07 PM
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Venice Film Festival Announces 15 Shortlisted Projects for Biennale College-Cinema

Fifteen projects representing 12 countries have been selected for the Venice Film Festival's Biennale College-Cinema. Each team is composed of a director and producer, and will take part in a 10-day workshop held in Venice in January 2013.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 5, 2012 2:01 PM
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Sundance 2013: The Shorts -- Works from Edgerton, Garai, Spurlock and Arriaga in the Mix

The Sundance Film Festival reveals 65 short films chosen for the 2013 programme running January 17-27. They were selected from a record 8,102 submissions, and will screen in US Narrative, International Narrative, Documentary, Animated and New Frontier categories. Head of programming Trevor Groth states: "The selections represent the immensely varied and dynamic approaches to storytelling that will inspire audiences with their huge accomplishments within a limited timeframe.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 4, 2012 3:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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