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Oscar Talk: Shorts and Documentary, BAFTAs and Scripters, Spielberg vs. Lee, Lawrence vs. Riva and More

On this week's Oscar Talk Podcast, Kris Tapley and I discuss live-action and documentary shorts as well as the documentary feature race. We look at the influence of last weekend's BAFTAs and USC Scripters Awards, and talk a few too-close-to-call categories: Steven Spielberg or Ang Lee for Best Director? Jennifer Lawrence or Emmanuelle Riva for Best Actress? Supporting actor, cinematography and production design are also in the mix.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 15, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Alex Gibney Reacts to Pope Resignation, Talks HBO's 'Mea Maxima Culpa,' Exposing Institutional Protector the Catholic Church UPDATED (VIDEO)

One of the villains in documentarian Alex Gibney's takedown of the Roman Catholic Church, "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God," is the Pope, who February 11 announced his plan to resign at age 85. Did his long-term role --as Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope Benedict XVI--in covering up pedophile priests contribute to this decision?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2013 2:07 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Berlin Market: Match Factory Picks Up Documentary on Legendary Director Robert 'Altman'

Match Factory has acquired worldwide rights from Submarine Entertainment for Ron Mann's documentary "Altman." Match Factory is pre-selling the film at this year's Berlinale market.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 11, 2013 2:49 PM
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'Paul Bowles' Doc Goes to First Run Features

First Run Features has acquired all US rights to Submarine Entertainment's "Paul Bowles: The Cage Door is Always Open," from director Daniel Young. Canadian rights have gone to Films We Like. A release will be coordinated between then and First Run Features later this year.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 11, 2013 12:58 PM
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Watch Berlin Trailer for Documentary 'GMO OMG' on Corporate Takeover of Seeds

Check out the trailer for documentary "GMO OMG," the opening night film for the Berlinale's Culinary Cinema section. The film follows first-time feature director Jeremy Seifert as he investigates genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in seeds and the subsequent effects on health, biodiversity and the global agriculture industry.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 11, 2013 11:54 AM
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Watch and Listen to Ravishing Trailer for Indie Spirit Doc Nominee 'Leviathan'

Cinema Guild has released the trailer for Lucien Castaing-Taylor ("Sweetgrass") and Verena Paravel's ("Foreign Parts") festival favorite doc "Leviathan." The film is nominated for the Indie Spirit's Truer Than Fiction award and will be released theatrically March 1 at NYC's IFC Center, followed by a national rollout.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 7, 2013 2:18 PM
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Oscar Watch 'How to Survive a Plague': From a Tale of Disease, a Primer for Empowerment

David France didn't set out to make a film about the AIDS crisis. He didn't even set out to be a filmmaker. Speaking to me from Los Angeles on the afternoon before the Directors Guild of America Awards—for which he was nominated for his first documentary, "How to Survive a Plague"—France told me that the project (also nominated for the documentary feature Oscar) grew out of his feeling that a crucial chapter of the history of AIDS in America had been lost. That story, he knew from personal experience, was one of activism and empowerment, one that had changed the United States forever. France wanted to bring it back.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • February 6, 2013 2:53 PM
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BBC to Release Documentary 'One Life' from Creators of 'Earth' -- Daniel Craig Narrates

BBC Worldwide announces a limited engagement run of documentary "One Life," narrated by Daniel Craig. From the creators of "Earth: the Movie," the fifth highest-grossing documentary to date, the film follows the spectrum of the human journey from birth until the "delivery of the next generation."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 6, 2013 1:47 PM
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Oscar Watch: West Bank Man with '5 Broken Cameras' UPDATED

"I film to heal," says Emad Burnat, a Palestinian filmmaker and activist living in the West Bank, towards the end of "5 Broken Cameras," the disturbing and intricately layered documentary composed predominantly of Burnat's footage, which he crafted into a film along with Israeli director Guy Davidi. To forget, Burnat says, is to allow the wounds to fester in some hidden place; it is memory—and documentation—that are necessary to experience true recovery.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • January 31, 2013 2:52 PM
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Oscar Watch: 'The Gatekeepers' Pops the Lid Off the Israeli/Arab Conflict, Dror Moreh Q & A (VIDEO)

Things aren't getting any easier in the Middle East. Filmmaker Dror Moreh decided to look at the Israeli/Palestine conflict from another angle. He went to the six living men who have run Shin Bet, Israel's Secret Service, from 1980 through 2011. Backed by Israel, France, Germany and Belgium, "The Gatekeepers" was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and has been a hit on the festival circuit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 31, 2013 1:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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