July 2011 - Posts

Box Office: Miranda July's "The Future" Leads Strong Batch of Indie Openers

A parade of new specialty releases debuted this weekend, and with a lot of good news resulting. According to estimates provided by Rentrak earlier today, Miranda July's "The Future" led the pack, grossing a fantastic $28,185 from its exclusive debut at New York's IFC Center. The main evening shows on both Friday and Saturday were sold out for distributor Roadside Attractions, which will open the film in LA, Boston, Chicago ...
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INTERVIEW | Meet Ameena Matthews, One of Chicago's Gang "Interrupters"

If you get to see Steve James' new documentary "The Interrupters" (which opened this week and is produced by writer Alex Kotlowitz), one woman strikes the viewer as so incredibly genuine, so effectively focused on making change in the streets, it is impossible to watch her on screen without getting chills. Ameena Matthews is a reformed woman from a checkered past; her father is Jeff Fort, a notorious Chicago gang ...
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BAMcinématek's 10 Years of Magnolia Pictures Schedule Released

From August 24-31, BAMcinématek at the Brooklyn Academy of Music will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of Magnolia Pictures, the pioneering independent film distribution company founded in 2001 by Bill Banowsky and Eamonn Bowles. The scheduled films were unveiled Friday. Highlights include screenings of Steven Soderbergh's underrated "The Girlfriend Experience" and Luca Guadagnino's lush melodrama "I Am Love," as well as "Let the Right One In," "The Host" and "Man ...
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Traverse City Film Festival Weekend Highlights

Looking for a film event this weekend? Check out the Traverse City Film Festival, which opened Tuesday night with Nigel Cole's "Made in Dagenham" and Icíar Bollaín's "Even the Rain." Highlights for this weekend begin with Friday night's midnight screening of Evan Glodell's zombie buddy drama "Bellflower." On Saturday, check out Vera Farmiga's directorial debut "Higher Ground," SXSW favorite, "Conan O'Brian Can't Stop" and a midnight show of the Norwegian ...
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iPOP | This Week on the Scene: NewFest Closes, Premieres & More!

This week was a busy one on iPOP. From festival events to glitzy premieres, the film world's party scene was in full swing and showed no signs of slowing down despite the dog days of summer. Among the highlights: NewFest, New York's premiere LGBT film festival, wrapped on Thursday with their closing night film "Gun Hill Road;" Rachel Weisz was seen getting cozy with her new hubby Daniel Craig at ...
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Argentine Filmmaker Lucrecia Martel in Sarajevo: "Avoiding obviousness I discover other things"

Writer/director/producer Lucrecia Martel was born in the northern province of Salta, Argentina. After relocating to Buenos Aires, she directed a series for Argentine television and a few short films. One of them, "Dead King" (1995), won an award in the Havana Film Festival, earning her some notoriety. In 2001 Martel released her first feature film, "The Swamp," and won the Alfred Bauer award at the Berlin International Film Festival that ...
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Christina Kounelias Named the First Chief Marketing Officer for the Motion Picture Academy

Former New Line Cinema Executive Vice President of Marketing, Christina Kounelias, has been named to the newly created post of Chief Marketing Officer for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. In this new position, Kounelias will oversee all planning, strategy and marketing execution of Academy initiatives including the Oscar telecast, the Governors Awards and year-round educational outreach and screening programs. Kounelias will assume her new role on August ...
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California Film Commission Doubles Applicants for Film Incentives, Other States to Shoot In

Applications to the California Film Commission more than doubled in the current fiscal year (176 vs. 70 last year), showing just how attractive keeping production at home can be for film and TV tax credits. On June 1st, the CFC used a lottery to select 29 projects that received the combined $100 million yearly bounty. Applications will continue to be accepted and wait-listed in the event other projects withdraw due ...
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Roman Polanski's "Carnage" to Open 49th New York Film Festival

The North American premiere of Roman Polanski's latest film, "Carnage," will open the 49th New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which produces the anticipated annual event, said Friday. Based on Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage," the 2009 Tony Award-winner for Best Play, "Carnage" follows the events of an evening when two Brooklyn couples are brought together after their children are involved in a playground fight. Produced ...
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NewFest Closes with "Gun Hill Road"

NewFest executive director Lesli Klainberg and Narrative Jury member Wilson Cruz caught up at the event's closing night screening of "Gun Hill Road" last night at the Walter Reade Theater. Before the film kicked off, Cruz along with his fellow jury members, awarded Best Film to Maryam Keshavarz's "Circumstance." Go here for the full list of winners. [Photo by Brian Brooks]
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"Hit So Hard" Team at Closing Night of NewFest

"Hit So Hard" producer Todd Hughes (left) and director P. David Ebersole (right) hit up the NewFest closing night screening of "Gun Hill Road" with NewFest's director of programming (and indieWIRE contributor) Bryce J. Renninger last night at the Walter Reade Theater. Ebersole's documentary takes an in-depth look at the life of Patty Schemel, the drummer of the band Hole. The film screened at the festival. [Photo by Brian Brooks]
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From the iW Vaults | Parker Posey's Diary from the Set of "Suburbia"

This month indieWIRE turns 15. In honor of our decade and a half in the game we’ve dug through our vaults to uncover some old goodies. Every day this month check back on indieWIRE for some old classics. Today we'll step back to 1996, when Parker Posey provided indieWIRE with her diary entries from the set of Richard Linklater's coming-of-age comedy "Suburbia." Published here is her first entry. At the ...
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Monterey Media Gets Lance Kawas' "Restitution"; Plans Fall 2011 Release

Monterey Media has acquired North American rights to writer-director Lance Kawas' "Restitution," starring Mena Suvari, Tom Arnold, C. Thomas Howell, Willian Sadler and Mark Bierlein. Monterey plans a limited release in September/October 2011. Here's the synopses for this revenge action-thriller: In a picturesque city on the shores of Michigan, a series of mysterious murders all have an unlikely but common thread – Bryan Spikes, a hired insurance fraud investigator who ...
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iW's Online Video of the Day: Jon Stewart Rips GOP for Screening "The Town"

You've probably heard something about this story by now. In an effort to get Tea Party representatives behind John Boehner's debt plan, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy did something pretty bizarre. He screened a short clip from the 2010 film "The Town," in which Ben Affleck asks Jeremy Renner to help him hurt some people, to which Jeremy Renner responds, "Which car are we gonna take?" First of all, the ...
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Critic's Notebook | There Are Three Versions of "The Interrupters," But Only One Movie. Here's Why.

When Steven James first premiered "The Interrupters," his compelling look at activists working to prevent Chicago street violence, the initial reaction at the Sundance Film Festival was uniformly positive. The indomitable buzz machine reported that the "Hoop Dreams" co-director had made another galvanizing portrait of inner city struggles, this one based on a New York Times Magazine article by Alex Kotlowitz. Following the travails of CeaseFire Interrupters, a group predominantly ...
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