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How to Fund a Documentary: Eight Takeaways from the Film Independent Forum

Geared to giving up-and-coming indie filmmakers the tools they need to get their films made and seen, this weekend's Film Independent Forum provided many practical, business-minded takeaways. All the conversations at the documentary panels led back to the vital but soul-crushing topic of financing.
  • By Nora Chute
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  • October 28, 2013 3:14 PM
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Watch: EXCLUSIVE Trailer for Doc 'Maidentrip,' Following Teen Laura Dekker's Record Breaking Sail Around the World

Jillian Schlesinger's documentary "Maidentrip," which follows Dutch 14-year-old Laura Dekker's seabound excursion to become the youngest person to sail around the globe solo, has been snapped up for US distribution by First Run Features. Check out the film's first trailer below, exclusively on TOH!
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 28, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 2 Comments

In the Works: Robert Zemeckis to Direct 'Marwencol,' Based on Terrific 2010 Documentary (TRAILER)

Fascinating news today from director Robert Zemeckis. He's on board to helm a new drama based on Jeff Malmberg's stunning 2010 documentary "Marwencol." The doc is centered on one Mark Hogancamp, who dealt with the trauma of being beaten up by a group of teenagers -- and his complete memory loss, as a result -- in a very unique way. Hogancamp built a one-sixth scale model of a World War II-era Belgian village, populated by action figurines.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • October 25, 2013 2:19 PM
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Filmmaker Noujaim Talks Sundance Winner Egyptian Revolution Doc 'The Square' (TRAILER)

When director Jehane Noujaim brought her spectacular documentary on the Egyptian Revolution, “The Square,” to Sundance this year it knocked critics out, and won the Audience Award too (no small feat). TOH! caught up with Noujaim in Cairo this past July, where she was updating her open-ended movie. The updated version hits theaters October 25.
  • By John Anderson
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  • October 23, 2013 2:18 PM
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Review: Killer Whale Doc 'Blackfish' Exposes the Deadly Side of SeaWorld

One of the most harrowing film sequences you are likely to see this year is in “Blackfish," Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s gripping documentary on SeaWorld’s captivity of orca whales, and the lethal consequences that have arisen from keeping this awesome species in cement pools for the enjoyment of water park visitors. (The film airs on CNN October 24.)
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 23, 2013 1:41 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Review: Music-Making Eco-Doc 'Musicwood' (EXCLUSIVE CLIP)

Sometimes it seems that inside every successful filmmaker there’s an embryonic rock star -- Johnny Depp, David Lynch and producer Thomas Tull (who was behind “It Might Get Loud”) are among Hollywood’s bigger guitar freaks and unlike a lot of guitar freaks elsewhere they can actually afford the merchandise.
  • By John Anderson
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  • October 22, 2013 12:41 PM
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James Toback Talks HBO Cannes Doc 'Seduced and Abandoned,' Entertaining Double Act with Alec Baldwin

Last May, James Toback descended on Cannes with cohort Alec Baldwin to shoot in ten days the documentary "Seduced and Abandoned" (HBO, October 28). This May, Toback returned to Cannes to screen the film and discuss it with interested parties. Of which I am most definitely one, having thoroughly relished his supremely entertaining and frequently illuminating portrait of the sorry state of the film business today.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • October 20, 2013 2:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Michel Gondry's DOC NYC Closer, an Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky, Goes to Sundance Selects

Sundance Selects is acquiring North American rights to Michel Gondry’s animated conversation with philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky "Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?" before it closes the DOC NYC festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 18, 2013 3:45 PM
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'Strongman' Director Zach Levy Takes Distribution Into His Own Hands (TRAILER)

Zach Levy must hold some kind of lofty status in the pantheon of DIY film distribution: In 2010, he took his documentary “Strongman” on a 450-mile tour of small theaters and one-night stands in Maine, doing what he had to get his film not only in front of audiences but -- just this week -- an overdue release on DVD.
  • By John Anderson
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  • October 18, 2013 2:28 PM
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DOC NYC Kicks Off November 14 with 131 Films; Opens with Errol Morris, Closes with Michel Gondry World Premiere

DOC NYC, the largest documentary festival in the US, will return for its fourth year to the IFC Center with an expansive lineup of films, panels and guests. Running November 14-21, the fest will showcase 131 films and events, including screenings of 72 feature-length films and 39 shorts, as well as 20 doc-related panel discussions and masterclasses.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • October 17, 2013 1:45 PM
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