January 2012 - Posts

SnagFilms Acquires Digital Rights to "Kinyarwanda"

SnagFilms has acquired digital rights to "Kinyarwanda," winner of the World Cinema Audience Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The film is nominated for three NAACP Image Awards, including Outstanding Independent Motion Picture, Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Writing for a Motion Picture. "Kinyarwanda" will make its digital debut via SnagFilms’ transactional partners, including Comcast Xfinity, FiOS, DIRECTV, iTunes, Amazon and VUDU.   Directed and written by Alrick Brown, produced by Darren Dean and Tommy Oliver, and co-produced by Deatra Harris and Joshua Rodd, "Kinyarwanda" is based on true accounts of the Rwandan genocide, interweaving six perspectives to tell the complex story of human resilience and life during the genocide. The story was written by executive producer Ishmael Ntihabose.     Roger Ebert selected the film as no. 6 in his Top 20 Films of 2011. The film opened in theaters via...
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Berlinale 2012: The Complete Competition Lineup

The 62nd Berlin International Film Festival has completed its competition program today with the addition of Wang Quan'an's "Bai iu yuan" (White Deer Plain). In total, 18 films will be vying for the Golden and Silver Bears in the Berlinale Palast. A total of 23 films will be showing in the Competition programme. There will also be two special screenings in the Berlinale Palast. The full list below: A moi seule (Coming Home), directed by Frederic Videau (France) Aujord'*** (Tey), directed by Alain Gomis (France, Senegal) Bai iu yuan (White Deer Plain), directed by Wang Quan'an (China) Barbara, directed by Christian Petzold (Germany) Bel Ami, directed by Declan Donnellan and Nick Oremerod (UK) - out of competition Captive, directed by Brillante Mendoz (France, Philippines, Germany, UK) Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die), directed by Paolo & Vittorio Taviani (Italy) Csak a szei (Just The Wind), directed by...
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'Silent House,' 'Wanderlust' & James Franco's Re-Cut of a Gus Van Sant Classic On Tap for Film Comment Selects 2012

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the schedule for the 12th edition of Film Comments Selects (February 17 - March 1), Film Comment magazine's film festival. The lineup boasts both films not yet in theaters and ones previously released. Highlights out of the 32 selected films include: Kenneth Lonergan's acclaimed "Margaret"; "Silent House," the other Elizabeth Olsen movie nabbed at last year's Sundance Film Festival; "Wanderlust" starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston; Yorgos Lanthimos' follow-up to "Dogtooth," "Alps"; and Australia's controversial serial killer thriller "Snowtown," (winner of a special jury mention at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival). One of the most interesting draws will no doubt be "My Own Private River," James Franco's personal re-edited version of Gus Van Sant's classic, "My Own Private Idaho," that features unused footage...
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'Drive' Tops Indiewire's 5 Picks for the Best Films on DVD/Blu-ray This Week

This week on DVD/Blu-ray: "Drive," arguably the best action film of the year; Ami Canaan Mann's scorching debut "Texas Killing Fields"; the late Anthony Minghella's most beloved film; the Jamie Foxx-approved documentary "Thunder Soul;" and four Italian crime classics from master Fernando Di Leo. 1. Critic’s Pick: “Drive” (DVD and Blu-ray) Sure, “The Tree of Life” was the big winner at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, but the film that got the pulses of the jury racing was “Drive,” Nicolas Winding Refn’s steely cool homage to the best action flicks of the ‘80s. He beat three of the most celebrated living auteurs (Terrence Malick, Pedro Almodovar and Lars von Trier) to walk away with the festival’s directing prize. And for good reason. Upon catching the film on La Croisette, Eric Kohn wrote, “Combing a memorably gritty Ryan Gosling performance with the breakneck tempo...
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Finding Real Numbers in Imaginary Movies: The Distribution X Panel at Sundance 2012

Distribution panels have it tough: There's always an audience for the information, but the panelists are always loath to give up real numbers. So this year Sundance tried to have it both ways with "Distribution X," a January 21 panel that asked top distributors to spill the numbers on imaginary projects. The panelists were very real: independent producer Karin Chien acted as moderator for veteran sales agent Josh Braun of Submarine; New Video co-president Susan Margolin; Tom Quinn, co-president of TWC's new label RADiUS; distribution strategist Peter Broderick and filmmaker Tiffany Shlain ("Connected"). Pitching the mock movies were producer Alicia Van Couvering ("Tiny Furniture") and filmmaker Senain Kheshgi ("Project Kashmir"). Jay Van Hoy, executive producer of Sundance 2012 selection "Keep the Lights On," also presided, weighing in and doing the math. Chien asked for "real numbers" and that...
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Why New York is Celebrating Experimental Filmmaker Bill Morrison (Give This Man a Gallery!)

A few years ago, when I was leaving the Edinburgh Film Festival, a journalist asked if I had a single film that encapsulated my term there. I answered, without hesitation: "Bill Morrison’s 'Decasia.'"   There were a number of reasons for this: It was one of the first films I’d programmed in my first year as director and it spoke, eloquently and conspicuously, to a number of my own preoccupations: cinema as both a cultural artifact and a physical medium; the decline of analogue technologies and the extinction of particular crafts associated with them; the reconciliation of avant-garde aesthetics with broader narrative satisfactions. Considered on a sensory level, it was tremendously impressive, offering spectators an immersive, almost transfigurative experience. And it happened to be a masterpiece—one of the greatest American films, I think, of the last quarter-century.   Ten years on, that film’s reputation has only...
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From Kelly Reichardt to the Arab Spring, Highlights from the Rotterdam's CineMart and the Rest of the Fest

The 41st International Film Festival Rotterdam, which opened this past Thursday with the world premiere Lucas Belvaux’s "38 Temoins" (38 Witnesses), kicked into gear on Sunday morning with the opening of the festival’s annual CineMart. One of the world most preeminent co-production and financing markets for feature film projects looking to get under way in the new year, this year CineMart includes 36 projects, up from last year’s total of 33, but down from years' past when CineMart routinely included well over 40 projects. “We had to pass up a lot of projects we really love,” said Tobias Pausinger, co-selector of this year’s CineMart with manager Jacobine van der Vloed. This year’s pool was culled from 465 submissions. Between the parties, lunches and panels, the core element of CineMart is four full days of "speed date" meetings between project producers and potential financiers, sales agents,...
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Project of the Day: How Far Will One Man Go to Survive?

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite.   In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments. Dawn of Man Tweetable Logline: Our environment and the instinct to survive shapes us, but how would you develop completely secluded from the world? Elevator Pitch: It is a short film that takes place on one set built to be a 'habitat' where our main character has spent his entire life unaware of what lies beyond his reflection in one way glass through which he is studied. His first encounter with another human is when a woman is introduced to the environment. He is put through a series of tests to determine how far the man will go to survive, and if he will take the life of another person out of fear for his own life. Production Team: Writer/Director/Producer: Henry Schneider Cinematographer: Matt Kane ...
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Project of the Day: Angry Video Game Nerds!

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite. In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments. Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie Tweetable Logline: Highest Funded Narrative Film on a Crowdfunding Website Elevator Pitch: I thought you would be interested to know that funding for "The Angry Video Game Nerd" series to become a movie has now become the highest funded narrative film on IndieGoGo – raising $213,167 so far with 21 days left. Contributors who help fund the project can also gain special perks such as autographed photos, a copy of the film's script, and even their name in the end credits. Production Team: James Rolfe About the Production: "Over the past 7 years, my "The Angry Video Game Nerd" series has amassed a huge internet audience worldwide. The show generally...
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Rotterdam Chooses Three Short Films for 8th Annual Tiger Awards

The eighth annual Tiger Awards at the International Film Festival Rotterdam went to Makino Takashi’s "Generator" (Japan), Mati Diop’s "Big in Vietnam" (France) and Jeroen Eijsinga’s "Springtime" (Netherlands). Each Tiger winner received a prize of 3,000 Euros. Charlotte Lim Lay Kuen received a special jury mention for "I'm Lisa"(Malaysia). Separately, the International Film Festival Rotterdam short film nominee for the European Film Awards 2012 is "Im Freien" ("In the Open") by Albert Sackl (Austria). Winners were selected from 21 films, ranging in length from five to 56 minutes. Jurors were documentarian Rania Stephan (The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni"), film curator and writer Andréa Picard from Canada and film critic/screenwriter Dana Linssen from the Netherlands. Details on the winners and jury statements follow: GENERATOR by Makino Takashi, Japan, 2011 ...
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SUNDANCE REVIEW: Why Eugene Jarecki's War-On-Drugs Doc 'The House I Live In' Won the Grand Jury Prize

"The war on drugs" has been a part of the national vernacular for so long that it seems old fashioned. Eugene Jarecki's Sundance-winning documentary "The House I Live In" unravels that overused term and if his approach is  exhaustive and sometimes overbearingly detailed, it also  reveals a troubling and paradoxical system of hierarchical, lower-class oppression. Constructing a vast collage of voices from virtually every facet of the drug world, from dealers to officers and the people impacted by both sides, Jarecki  examines every shard  to reveal a severely broken system. Extending beyond talking heads, Jarecki inserts himself into the narrative to explain his reasons for making the movie. An introductory segment touches on the impact of the Holocaust on his family and why the "never again" philosophy that came out of that experience should have universal application. It's a questionable...
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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the 2012 Sundance Film Festival

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival closed this weekend with "Beasts of the Southern Wild" beating out a formidable crop of U.S. Dramatic contenders to nab this year's Grand Jury Prize. We reported on the breaking acquisitions, reviewed the hottest titles, interviewed established and breakthrough talent; and partook in the debauchery. Below, find all of Indiewire's coverage of the festival. NEWS The Sundance Film Festival 2012 Award Winners Sundance Announced Jury Prizes in Short Filmmaking Bingham Ray's Poker Buddies Write Eulogy Read at Sundance Ceremony "West of Memphis" Reveals New Witnesses in WM3 Murder Case Notes From Opening Night "The Pact" Filmmakers and Financiers Reach Deal for Six More Scary Movies Sundance Opening Press Conference Sundance is the Only Purely Independent Film Festival? Robert Redford Thinks So. REVIEWS 27 Sundance 2012 Films...
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The 11 Fresh Faces of Sundance 2012

For newcomers to the indie film scene, there's no better place in North America to make your big debut than the Sundance Film Festival. Among the artists that have the festival to thank for launching their careers: Quentin Tarantino, Elizabeth Olsen, Wes Anderson, Kevin Smith, Gabourey Sidibe, Bryan Singer, Jennifer Lawrence and Steven Soderbergh. Indiewire's Futures section is always out to profile the newest and most talented actors and filmmakers and at Sundance 2012 we profiled 11 breakouts that we believe have staying-power potential. Below, find our picks for the 11 fresh faces of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. ACTORS Mati Diop, "Simon Killer" Why She's On Our Radar: In Antonio Campos' "Simon Killer," 29-year old Diop plays a prostitute opposite Brady Corbet's titular character. The French actress - who also works extensively as a filmmaker - made her impressive on screen debut in Claire Denis' "35 Shots of...
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Here's the 27 Films that Indiewire Reviewed at Sundance 2012

Indiewire was on the scene at this year's Sundance Film Festival checking out this year's crop of new independent films. Here's all of our reviews from the festival. 'Searching for Sugar Man' When 1970s Mexican-American singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez faded from view, he'd never had much visibility in the first place. Typically known only as "Rodriguez," the musician's gentle pop tunes and activist spirit came through in a handful of albums that were barely noticed in the U.S. However, "Searching for Sugar Man," documentarian Malik Bendjelloul's remarkable chronicle of Rodriguez's neglect on his home turf and unexpected stardom in South Africa, compellingly argues for his place in the canon of great American rock stars, whether or not he wants the spot. 'Queen of Versailles' The allure of boundless wealth provides fertile ground for documentarian Lauren Greenfield in "The Queen of...
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From Fortune Cookies to 'Used' Tampons, the Movie Swag of Sundance 2012

How do you make sure your audience leaves your Sundance film and remembers to tell their friends about it? Give the audience members a memorable (if not useless) keepsake. Here's a photo gallery of some of our favorite examples of Sundance 2012 movie swag:
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