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Thompson on Hollywood

TIFF Buys: HBO Docs Takes TV Rights to 'Casting By'; Trapero's 'White Elephant' Goes to Strand

TV rights to Tom Donahue's "Casting By" have been acquired by HBO Documentary Films, following its premiere at Toronto. The film shines a light on casting directors, the "unsung heroes" of filmmaking, and offers a new perspective on Hollywood history...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 13, 2012 11:57 AM
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TIFF Roundup: New Deals & Partnerships, Incl. Drafthouse, 'Leviathan,' Backup Media & Groupe 1, Plus eOne Buys Alliance

A roundup of news from the Toronto fest...
  • By Sophia Savage and Beth Hanna
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  • September 7, 2012 2:07 PM
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Documentary Community Calls for Release of Syrian Filmmaker Owra Nyrabia

A statement released by the International Documentary Association, signed by several major film organizations and filmmakers, is requesting the immediate release of Syrian filmmaker and festival director Owra Nyrabia...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 7, 2012 12:14 PM
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Telluride Forges Bonds, Affleck's 'Argo' Hits, Burns and Loyola Marymount Launch Doc Grad Program

Telluride is a place where people get to know each other. Without Telluride, I would not have dug into the Sight & Sound Top 50 with Alexander Payne (at the annual opening day Patron's Brunch), who agrees with me that "Citizen Kane" should be number one, not "Vertigo," and that Akira Kurosawa is the greatest filmmaker who ever lived.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2012 5:00 PM
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Venice Film Festival: Spike Lee Rocks the Biennale with 'BAD25'

Venice is buzzing this year with superb documentaries from high-profile film figures. Jonathan Demme’s “Enzo Avitabile Music Life” was a spirited portrait of the Neopolitan singer-songwriter who may not be widely known but whose zeal, talent and exhilarating performances with other figures in his field had me reappraising my assumptions about that woollily defined genre called world music; and more on Sarah Polley’s revelatory “Stories We Tell” later. But it was Spike Lee who rocked the Lido today with his rousing, passionate, breathlessly paced and frequently moving paean to Michael Jackson, which focuses intently on the creative process that went into generating the songs and videos for his third album, BAD – an album which spawned some of the greatest pop hits of all time, including its title track, ‘Man In The Mirror’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • August 31, 2012 1:44 PM
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Documentary 'The Act of Killing' Premieres at Telluride, Screens at Toronto

  • By Maggie Lange and Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2012 8:01 AM
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TIFF Concerned by Disappearance of Syrian Filmmaker Nyrabia: 'Filmmakers Must Be Allowed to Express Themselves'

The Toronto International Film Festival has expressed concern over the arrest of Syrian filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia, who was detained by security services loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad at the Damascus airport on August 23...
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 30, 2012 12:34 PM
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Tribeca Film Institute Awards New Media Grants

The Tribeca Film Institute announces the grant recipients for its second annual TFI New Media Fund. The grants are designed for an assortment of interactive, non-fiction, transmedia projects, and range from $50K to $100K apiece, with funding effective immediately. List of recipients below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • August 22, 2012 12:58 PM
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'Side by Side': Keanu Reeves Talks Film vs. Digital Divide with Cameron, Fincher and More [Clips, Q & A with Director Chris Kenneally]

With "Side by Side," producer/interviewer Keanu Reeves and director Chris Kenneally decided to document the film industry's radical change and transformation. "We had questions that we wanted answers to and decided to go out and ask the great artists and technicians involved in moviemaking," says Kennealy. So he and Reeves interviewed the likes of David Fincher, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Wally Pfister, David Lynch, Danny Boyle and Lena Dunham, and each argues the case for film and/or digital cinema.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 16, 2012 3:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Queen Concert Pic 'Hungarian Rhapsody: Live in Budapest '86,' from Freddie Mercury's Last Tour, Will Rock the Big Screen

Screenvision will be bringing Queen to the big screen with "Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest '86," a concert doc with footage originally filmed 26 years ago at their gigantic show in Hungary. This show was part of the famous Magic Tour, the last tour for the band with late lead singer Freddie Mercury.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • August 15, 2012 4:01 PM
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