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Ashland Independent Film Festival Runs April 7-11, Awards Shearer, Spurlock

Ashland Independent Film Festival Runs April 7-11, Awards Shearer, Spurlock
Thursday I'm heading up to Oregon's Ashland Independent Film Festival (the tenth), where I'll be interviewing this year's AIFF Rogue Award winners, Harry Shearer (This is Spinal Tap, The Big Uneasy) and Morgan Spurlock (The Greatest Movie Ever Sold). I will also check out Measure for Measure and Julius Caesar at the famous Ashland Shakespeare Festival. I'm on the film fest's doc jury, along with filmmaker/blogger A.J. Schnack and doc PR master Judy Arlington. We'll hand out awards Sunday night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 7, 2011 5:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Film Society's Lincoln Center Cinema Adds Bingham Ray as Program Consultant

New Yorkers can celebrate the imminent arrival of two new art-house cinemas in a city that has long been underserved by movie theaters. Here are reports by indieWIRE and the the NYT on the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunn Munroe Film Center, which opens June 17 with Andrew Rossi’s film circuit doc Page One: Inside The New York Times (Magnolia).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2011 10:50 AM
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Weintraub Talks His Way: from Presley, Sinatra, the Mafia and Soderbergh to His Two Women

Jerry Weintraub is one of those larger-than-life Hollywood figures who helped to define the image of what a movie producer is. At age 73 he 's enjoying a resurgence of sorts that began with Steven Soderbergh's Oceans Eleven series and continued with his autobiography When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead (back on top of paperback bestseller lists) and now, the entertaining Doug McGrath TV doc His Way, which debuts on HBO April 4.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2011 7:15 AM
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Must See Doc: How the Japanese Tsunami Happened

This smart C4 documentary explores what happened--talking to scientists and collecting reportage--during the 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan and the subsequent devastating tsunami. Posted by Film Detail, which collects some mind-boggling facts (below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 2, 2011 8:23 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Sundance Hit Steve James Doc The Interrupters Lands Distributor

U.S. rights for Sundance documentary favorite, The Interrupters, have gone to the The Cinema Guild. The film, from director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and author, producer and collaborator Alex Kotlowitz (bestseller, There Are No Children Here and author of the 2008 NYT article that inspired the film, Blocking the Transmission of Violence), follows three "Violence Interruptors" in Chicago -- former gang members who intervene in violent situations as they unfold in order to protect their community. The film will have a theatrical release this summer, followed by a PBS Frontline broadcast and a digital release by PBS Distribution in 2012. The Interrupters premiered at Sundance and won the Doc Grand Jury Prize at the Miami International Film Festival and True/False's 2011 True Life Fund.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 28, 2011 4:04 AM
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Weekend Preview: Sucker Punch and Wimpy Kid vs. Indies

The weekend brings few mainstream releases -- just Sucker Punch and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (each mark 27% of Fandango's pre-sales, as of Thursday). If you are seeking something new, you may want to check out indie offerings from well-reviewed doc My Perestroika to Francois Ozon's delightful 70s feminist comedy Potiche starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu. Details, reviews and trailers are below.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 25, 2011 1:52 AM
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Tribeca Films to Release Movies During Festival, Including Bang Bang Club

This year Tribeca Films is going forward with its long-term experiment to release some films day-and-date with the Tribeca Film Festival, in its 10th year (April 20-May 1). While some industry insiders question the wisdom of any filmmaker putting a movie on video-on-demand--much less streaming it-- before its theatrical options have been explored, Tribeca's Geoffrey Gilmore fervently believes that this sort of experimentation has to take place, while admitting that branding and marketing new films from less-known filmmakers, even with American Express advertising, is a continuing challenge. We spoke at a Tribeca party this week at the W in Hollywood that brought together L.A. filmmakers and indie execs to celebrate the upcoming fest, from David O. Russell and Gregg Araki to Roadside's Eric D'Arbeloff and Strand's Marcus Hu.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 24, 2011 8:44 AM
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Tribeca 2011: Family Drive-In, Festival Street Fair, Sports Day Soccer with Pele and Pros

This year's Tribeca Film Festival free events include the return of their drive-in, a family festival street fair and sports day with ESPN. The Tribeca drive-in will feature The Muppets Take Manhattan, Fame and Haitain documentary When the Drum Stops Beating (including a live performance of Haitian-Caribbean-Jazz fusion band Septentrional) between April 21-23. For the first time, NYFest, on April 23, will have NYC's first film and entertainment soccer tournament (organized by Sony Pictures Classics' Dylan Leiner), a partnership between Tribeca and Umbro, featuring a five-on-five game with film, music, entertainment and sports pros -- all kicking off with a coin toss by soccer legend Pele (pictured).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 24, 2011 5:51 AM
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Trailer Watch: Morgan Spurlock's Greatest Movie Ever Sold

After Morgan Spurlock's fast-food expose Super Size Me turned into an Oscar-nominated Sundance doc hit (and SnagFilms' best ever performer), he followed with Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? His latest, product-placement investigation The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, was bought by Sony before it played well at both Sundance and SXSW. I'll catch up with it and Spurlock at the Ashland Film Festival on April 8 before Sony Pictures Classics releases it April 22. Check out the trailer below:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 22, 2011 4:22 AM
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Errol Morris Talks Tabloid and Other Strange Topics

Errol Morris's Tabloid was one of my fave films at the Toronto Film Festival, from which Sundance Selects eventually acquired the truth-is-stranger than-fiction doc. It's screening at SXSW. Morris discovered the nugget of this story, about Joyce McKinney and her obsessive love with a man she tries to save from a cult, buried in the jump of a Boston Globe article. Only Morris would see the potential in it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 14, 2011 7:55 AM
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