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Thompson on Hollywood

Cine Foundation International Launches Protest Film Campaign, Calls for Panahi Release

Cine Foundation International was launched on December 10 as both a non-profit film company and human rights NGO aiming to "empower open consciousness through cinema." They are wasting little time, having announced a campaign calling for the release of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. The campaign will include protest films that speak to human rights issues in Iran and throughout the world, six of which are commissioned feature-length, plus twenty shorts. Participating filmmakers may act anonymously or through pseudonyms since voicing their stories can be dangerous. The films, which will address themes of nation, identity, self, spiritual culture, censorship and imprisonment, will be aimed for public, web and various exhibition media.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 3, 2011 8:45 AM
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Fest Preview: Berlin Adds 24 Panorama Picks

In February, between Sundance (see IW's preview) and South by Southwest, comes the venerable Berlinale, which sets out a rich smorgasbord of titles for international critics and buyers. Monday the Berlin Fest revealed 24 of the eventual 50 films to be screened in the Panorama sidebar to the 61st main event. (Here's Variety and The Playlist.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 3, 2011 6:44 AM
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Trailer Watch: Unstable Elements Focuses on Beleaguered Belarus Free Theater Group

Madeleine Sackler (director of the 2010 Oscar short-listed documentary The Lottery) recently shot footage of the Belarus Free Theater group in the hopes of making a feature documentary highlighting the human rights infractions that are happening in Belarus. Last July, Sackler and cinematographer Daniel Carter interviewed Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Kolyada, the husband and wife team that leads the group, among others.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2010 8:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

WikiLeaks Reveal Bush Administration Attacks on Michael Moore

Michael Moore is nothing if not paranoid, but it looks like he has reason to be. When he reads through all the WikiLeaks cables, his own name crops up, more than once. It seems that the Bush administration was genuinely threatened by the damage that Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 could do. But the more the White House tried to hurt the movie, the more it fueled its success, Moore writes. Another WikiLeaks Cable from the Bush Administration About My Movies ...a note from Michael Moore
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2010 6:45 AM
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Alliance of Women Film Journalists Nominees

Alliance of Women Film Journalists Nominees
The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has posted its nominees for the 2010 AWFJ EDA Awards (full list is below). Nominated for Best Film are Black Swan, Inception, The King's Speech, The Social Network and Winter's Bone. Oddly, The Kids Are All Right received 16 nominations-- but not best picture. Helen Mirren (RED) got five.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2010 11:23 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Palm Springs Int'l Film Fest Opens with Deneuve and Depardieu's Potiche, Closes with First Grader

The new year's festival offerings kick off in Palm Springs on January 6. The international festival runs through January 16 and includes 193 films (59 premieres) from some 68 countries. The Premieres, Galas and Special Presentations, announced today, are listed below. This year's selection of films have "a notable emphasis on personal vision, rather than films that utilize genre conventions or stereotyped characters," says festival director Darryl Macdonald.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 22, 2010 5:15 AM
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Exit Through The Gift Shop's Banksy Named Torontoist 2010 Hero; Talks Art, Film To Change The World

Exit Through The Gift Shop's semi-subject and director Banksy has been named one of the Torontoist's 2010 Heros (they've got Villains, too). In May, the mysterious street artist created seven pieces throughout the city (by now most are gone, the inevitable fate of street art). But, as Torontoist's Nick Mount writes, "the main virtue of Banksy's North American tour is simply that it got some of us out of our homes and into what's left of our public spaces on a collective scavenger hunt, searching for Banksy and often finding each other." Torontoist says of the seven gifts to their city, "That Toronto fucked them up was too bad, but what mattered most is that they were ours to find in the first place."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 21, 2010 3:11 AM
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EXCLUSIVE: First Athena Film Festival Line-Up: Miss Representation, Desert Flower, Mo

EXCLUSIVE: First Athena Film Festival Line-Up: Miss Representation, Desert Flower, Mo
The Athena Film Festival has lined up its first program of narrative and documentary films, which will unspool February 10 to 13, 2011 on the Barnard Campus in New York City.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 15, 2010 8:29 AM
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Oscar Talk: 2010 Ten Best Lists, from "Another Year" to "Winter's Bone"

Oscar Talk: 2010 Ten Best Lists, from "Another Year" to "Winter's Bone"
On Oscar Talk this week, as promised, Kris Tapley and I count down, defend and debate our rather diverse and distinctive top ten films of 2010. While we both include The Social Network and Toy Story 3, we agree to disagree on one of my faves, Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right and Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, which Kris admires. Notable omissions from both lists: 127 Hours, Rabbit Hole, Blue Valentine, Get Low, The Town, Inception, The Fighter and The Ghost Writer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2010 8:14 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Economist Film Project Selects Docs for PBS

The Economist Magazine is launching a collaboration with PBS News Hour called The Economist Film Project. The year-long initiative, which starts in January, seeks to showcase thoughtful and provocative documentary films from around the world. The Economist will select short and feature length films from established and emerging filmmakers on subjects that are in line with the mag's interest in economics, the environment, social and human rights, government and politics, religion, media and culture. Selected film segments will air on PBS NewsHour and online for the following year, and will be put in context with related Economist articles. The magazine's deputy editor, Gideon Lichfield, says the project:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 6, 2010 7:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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