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Berlin Dealbook: EFM's Satisfied Buyers, Headshot, Blind Bastard Club, Stake Land, Happy (UPDATE)

Berlin market dealmaking continues, while reaction to the quality of the fest pics is mixed.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 17, 2011 6:29 AM
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Cold Weather's Katz & McFadden Talk Characters, Genre, Free Collaboration

TOH's Sophia Savage flip-cammed Cold Weather writer-director Aaron Katz and writer-producer Brendan McFadden. Here's her report; video is below):Cold Weather opens in Los Angeles February 11 at Laemmle's Sunset 5. This genre-bender is a meditation on human relationships dressed as a mystery-thriller. The film plays by its own rules, refusing to be rushed by short attention spans or pressured by mainstream expectations. The 2010 SXSW hit reminds us that any budget when combined with the will to get a great film made is better than a big budget and the will to fit in. Plus, collaboration is not only free -- it's a recipe for indie success. Here is indieWIRE's review and a scene explained by Katz.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 10, 2011 6:31 AM
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Trailer Watch: IFC's Peep World

Check out the trailer for Peep World, from director (and Coming to America, The Nutty Professor and SNL writer) Barry Blaustein. The film got picked up by IFC in Toronto last September. À la Little Miss Sunshine or Running with Scissors, the story follows a day in the lives of a dysfunctional family forced to come to terms with their intimate secrets, newly exposed with the publication of the youngest siblings's novel. Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Ben Swartz, Judy Greer, Kate Mara, Taraji P. Henson and Ron Rifkin star...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 2:00 AM
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White Material: Denis Dissects Black and White in Africa

Claire Denis' White Material is no Out of Africa. Take away the Hollywood studio gloss, the romance, the carefully framed vistas at magic hour. None of that. This is another look at Africa, up close and personal, a stripped down movie that manipulates you by withholding information and playing with your sympathy toward beautiful French actress Isabelle Huppert. White Material often frustrated me while I was watching it--who's that? What is their relationship? Is he/she crazy?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2011 2:50 AM
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IFC to Release The Other Woman, Starring Pregnant Natalie Portman

Just as we are all trying to get used to the idea of wraith-like Natalie Portman as a pregnant soon-to-be new mom, she turns up pregnant in a movie filmed two years ago that was recently picked up by IFC, The Other Woman. Written and directed by Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex) and produced by Marc Platt (Wanted), The Other Woman stars Portman as a woman trying not to be a wicked stepmom. See the trailer below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2010 10:26 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Carlos: IFC's Long-Form Experiment, Embraced by Critics, Globes

Carlos: IFC's Long-Form Experiment, Embraced by Critics, Globes
As movies become tougher and tougher to finance and release, more and more filmmakers are turning to long-form TV. One of the titles that has been a surprisingly strong winner in year-end voting is critic-turned-filmmaker Olivier Assayas's Carlos, a five-hour French/English viewing marathon which was financed and shown by Canal Plus in Europe and Sundance Channel in the U.S. and released in theaters stateside by IFC Films, which also distributed Assayas's Summer Hours and learned some lessons from another long-form experiment, Steven Soderbergh's Che, which sold out the Ziegfeld in New York for a week. "There's an audience out there for event films," says IFC chief Jonathan Sehring. Until Michael Winterbottom's thriller The Killer Inside Me, Che was IFC's most successful theatrical/VOD release, totaling between $3 and 4 million.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2010 7:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments

IFC Films to Re-Release Landmark Documentary Shoah

IFC Films is re-releasing Claude Lanzmann's nine-and-a-half hour landmark French documentary, Shoah to celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary. On December 10 the film will screen at New York City's Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and at the IFC Center on Christmas Eve; it will break nationally in the new year.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 2, 2010 5:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Lena Dunham Talks Tiny Furniture, Writing for Hollywood, Rudin, HBO

Lena Dunham Talks Tiny Furniture, Writing for Hollywood, Rudin, HBO
The discovery of this year's SXSW (and best narrative feature winner) was 24-year-old New York writer-director Lena Dunham, who shot her semi-autobiographical micro-budget film Tiny Furniture at her family's Tribeca loft with herself, her sister Grace and her artist mom Laurie Simmons (The Music of Regret) in leading roles, along with indie professionals Jemima Kirke, Alex Karpovsky and Merritt Wever, who she met at SXSW when she debuted her first film Creative Nonfiction there. Dunham's painter father Carroll didn't want to be in the film, she admits during our flip cam interview during LAFF at L.A.'s Four Seasons (below, with trailer). "I was exploring a more female-centric thing." Her family worked their butts off during fifteen days of filming (Jody Lee Lipes is her cinematographer) and are "quite proud of it. We all went through that artistic process together."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2010 2:02 AM
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  • 5 Comments

TIFF: Genre Films Sell in Toronto Buying Spree

As TIFF wound down, the weekend sale of Will Ferrell's $6 million dark comedy Everything Must Go to Lionsgate/Roadside marked a more frenetic Toronto sales market than last year, when many sales took months to close. Horror film Insidious also sold, to Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group, probably for 2011 Screen Gems release. "It's a genre distributor's wet dream," says IM Global's Stuart Ford, who wasn't worried about landing North American distribs for these and two more titles at Toronto this year--all were modestly-budgeted and pre-sold in foreign territories. "The market is still challenging, but healthier than it was a year ago. There's more supply and demand. While you're not seeing many movies sell on the spot, the stronger material is likely to find the right distribution home."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2010 5:16 AM
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Colin Fitz Comes Back from the Dead: A Tale of Indie Resurrection

Director Robert Bella went thousands of dollars into debt to get his debut film Colin Fitz, an absurdist comedy about a dead rock legend starring William H. Macy, into Sundance in 1997. He then spent the next 13 years getting himself and the film--which earned good reviews--out of hock. At one low point, when he got sick of sleeping on friends' couches, he moved into his own storage space.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2010 4:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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