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Thompson on Hollywood

EXCLUSIVE: Red Flag Opens 8: The Mormon Proposition in Thirteen Markets Day-and-Date with VOD

New distributor-on-the-block Red Flag Releasing--led by two ex-Warner Independent execs, Paul Federbush and Laura Kim--is embracing both the digital future and the theatrical past with its first release, the controversial hot-button Sundance doc 8: The Mormon Proposition.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 16, 2010 5:39 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Tribeca: Gibney Brings Three Pics to Fest, Sells My Trip to Al-Qaeda to HBO

Tribeca: Gibney Brings Three Pics to Fest, Sells My Trip to Al-Qaeda to HBO
At a time when filmmakers the world over are struggling for funds and distribution outlets, a documentary filmmaker is doing well to sell his movie before it debuts at a fest like Tribeca. Now more than ever, as the breakout documentary hit is largely confined to the likes of pop culture entertainers Morgan Spurlock and Michael Moore, often the best sale to make is to HBO Documentary Films, which pays serious upfront dollars, throws you a premiere, and even markets your movie. That's more than most distributors are coughing up in this DIY era.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2010 12:22 PM
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  • 3 Comments

U.S. Army Closes Afghanistan Outpost Restrepo

The U.S. Army has finally closed the remote Afghanistan Restrepo outpost in the deadly Korangal Valley, where some 42 American service men have died. Named after a soldier who died in Afghanistan, the post was the setting for Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's unforgettable documentary Restrepo, which debuted at Sundance and will be released in July by National Geographic Films under new president Daniel Battsek.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 14, 2010 8:41 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Age of Stupid Self-Release Spawns Good Screenings Site

Indie filmmakers take note.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 26, 2010 10:12 AM
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  • 1 Comment

#SXSW: Kashmere Band Doc Thunder Soul Builds Buzz

Film Festival rule number one: ask people what they like, and when two in a row say the same film, get thee to the next screening.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 21, 2010 8:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

#SXSW: Tiny Furniture, Brotherhood Win Dramatic Jury and Audience Awards

At the SXSW closing awards ceremony Tuesday night, Lena Dunham's offbeat autobiographical drama Tiny Furniture won the narrative feature jury prize. Shot in November and edited in December, the filmmakers finished the micro-budget drama last Monday, and flew into Austin with a tape in hand. Dunham also won the Emergent Narrative Woman Director Award.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 17, 2010 1:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Backstage: Short Subjects

The three short films, animated, live action and doc, did not go the way I expected. I thought Logorama--a must-see clever short made up entirely of commercial logos-- would be too hip for the Academy, which would go for Nick Park for the second time, but they must have gotten tired of Wallace & Gromit being nominated five times before. The live action short The New Tenants was my favorite and I shouldn't have listened to the people telling me why it couldn't win! So much for winning any Oscar pools. The five films vying for doc short were all strong, but I admit that HBO's Music by Prudence, about a disabled South African singer, haunted me for days.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 2:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Indie Spirits: Precious Sweeps, Izzard and LA Live Fizzle

Indie Spirits: Precious Sweeps, Izzard and LA Live Fizzle
Take the Independent Spirits back to the beach!
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 6, 2010 5:24 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Berlinale 60 Day Nine: En Familie, The Killer Inside Me, Rock Hudson, Making the Boys

Berlinale 60 Day Nine: En Familie, The Killer Inside Me, Rock Hudson, Making the Boys
Our Berlin correspondent Meredith Brody experiences highs and lows as the festival winds down, from the skillfully-made documentary Making the Boys to the huge yet hugely disappointing Nine:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 23, 2010 8:13 AM
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  • 4 Comments

#Sundance: Mark Lewis Gets Down with 3-D Cane Toads

#Sundance: Mark Lewis Gets Down with 3-D Cane Toads
With 1988's Cane Toads: An Unnatural History, Australian documentary filmmaker Mark Lewis (The Natural History of the Chicken) introduced Sundance audiences to the cane toad--an amphibian imported Down Under in 1935 to control sugar cane larvae. Of course, the cane toad did nothing of the kind, and turned out to be a remarkably adaptable--and toxic-- creature, capable of killing dogs and pets with its poison glands. This time with Cane Toads: The Conquest, Lewis celebrates the toad as he tries to restore the balance by suggesting it's not all the toad's fault. He takes us from the toad 16 million years ago, through Puerto Rico and Hawaii to Australia and the evolution of the new and improved 3- D "Ava-Toad."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 30, 2010 8:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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