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Thompson on Hollywood

AFI DOCS 2014 Unveils Opening and Closing Night Films

The American Film Institute’s documentary film festival, AFI DOCS, has revealed the opening and closing night films for its 2014 edition of the fest. The world premiere of Scott Teems’ “Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey” will kick off the festival, while Steve James’ portrait of Roger Ebert, “Life Itself,” is the closer.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 15, 2014 12:42 PM
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WATCH: Striking Trailer for Petra Costa's Doc 'Elena,' on the Haunting Disappearance of Her Sister

An arresting trailer has arrived for Petra Costa's stunning-looking personal documentary "Elena." The film touches on a very painful subject for Costa, who investigates the disappearance of her older sister, who made the big move to New York when the director was only seven years old, only then to disappear, as letters home became more infrequent and then eventually ceased entirely.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 9, 2014 3:53 PM
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Gibney's 'Finding Fela' Nabbed by Kino Lorber; Dino Doc 'Dinosaur 13' Gets Summer Release Date

News today for two hot docs out of this past Sundance: Alex Gibney's "Finding Fela," on the revolutionary creator of Afrobeat music, now has North American distribution from Kino Lorber, while Todd Miller's "Dinosaur 13," scooped up in Park City by CNN Films, has a theatrical day-and-date set from Lionsgate.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 7, 2014 2:11 PM
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WATCH: Trailer for Documentary 'Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia' Gets the Last Word

A first official trailer has arrived for the doc "Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia," which premiered at last year's Tribeca Film Festival, and now has a limited stateside release set for May 23. Directed by Nicholas Wrathall, the film features candid interviews with the iconic American writer, essayist, intellectual and first-rate feuder.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 6, 2014 1:02 PM
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'James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge 3D' Diving Into Theaters This Summer

DisruptiveLA has scooped up stateside rights to the documentary "James Cameron's Deep Sea Challenge 3D," following the "Avatar" director's lifelong dream of becoming an explorer. As in his films, Cameron does nothing in small measure -- this doc captures him making history by becoming the first person to travel solo to the deepest point of the ocean (and planet).
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 6, 2014 12:01 PM
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Must-See E.R. Doc 'Code Black' Hits NY and LA (TRAILER)

A buzzy title that scooped up the Best Documentary prize at both last year’s Los Angeles and Hamptons International film fests, “Code Black” hit New York’s IFC Center on June 20 and opens Los Angeles's Landmark Theatre on June 27. Watch the trailer for this intense doctor's eye view of our medical system in crisis below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 1, 2014 5:53 PM
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Busy Amy Berg's Janis Joplin Doc to Be Shopped at Cannes

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg has a lot going on these days. Not only did her first narrative feature, "Every Secret Thing" (with a screenplay by Nicole Holofcener), just premiere at Tribeca (where it was, unfortunately, panned by critic John Anderson for Indiewire), she also has a documentary in the works tracking sex abuse within the film industry, notably focusing on the still unraveling Bryan Singer case.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 1, 2014 2:01 PM
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Alex Gibney Is the Guggenheim Honoree for AFI DOCS 2014

The American Film Institute’s documentary festival, AFI DOCS, will honor Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) as its 2014 Charles Guggenheim honoree during the fest’s 12th edition, running June 18-22 in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, Maryland.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 1, 2014 11:00 AM
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Morgan Spurlock Inks One-of-a-Kind Deal with Associated Press, Partners with Virgil and Abramorama UPDATED

When you've got a brand, use it. Morgan Spurlock has made himself a name in documentaries. He's one of those prolific larger-than-life personalities who knows how to work the systems, and his indie production company Warrior Poets has now sealed a one-of-a-kind deal with Associated Press.
  • By Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
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  • April 29, 2014 4:47 PM
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Tribeca Review: In Powerful Doc 'Virunga,' Gorillas Caught in the Crosshairs of Corporate Greed

If corporations are people, my friends, they’re the kind of people who make great movie villains. Especially in “Virunga.” Which unfortunately isn’t a fiction.
  • By John Anderson
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  • April 24, 2014 3:12 PM
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