Olivia Cooke Talks ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, Roles for Women and Amy Winehouse (Exclusive, Uncut Audio Interview)

Olivia Cooke Talks ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, Roles for Women and Amy Winehouse (Exclusive, Uncut Audio Interview)

Olivia Cooke brings a vitality to the role of Rachel that is sure to touch youngsters who are coming of age — whether they’re in the grips of normal hormonal changes or life-threatening diseases. In this interview she speaks about women’s roles in cinema and the importance of not playing the victim or becoming reedits of roles written for men. Listen to the exclusive, uncut audio.

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Andrew Morgan on THE TRUE COST, Fast Fashion and Making Films That Matter (Exclusive, Unedited Audio Interview)

Andrew Morgan on THE TRUE COST, Fast Fashion and Making Films That Matter (Exclusive, Unedited Audio Interview)

In this exclusive and unedited audio interview, Andrew Morgan discusses his eye-opening documentary, The True Cost, about how ‘fast fashion’ – you know, those stylish little frocks that H&M and other branded purveyors sell by the millions for $9.99 each — impacts our global economy, shatters local cultures, causes political unrest and poses a serious threat to the environment. Surprise: H&M is just about on a par with Monsanto in its sacrifice of human well-being for the sake of profit. Read on and listen to the interview.

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Thomas Vinterberg on FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, Dogme and Feminism (Exclusive Audio Interview)

Thomas Vinterberg on FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, Dogme and Feminism (Exclusive Audio Interview)

In this exclusive audio interview, Vinterberg talks about FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, cinematic truth beyond dogme, feminism and the importance of devotion. Jennifer Merin interviews — while, due to YouTube’s odd posting protocols, birds fly across a lake, their caws, cries and comments silenced by a mute button. To listen to the interview, click here

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Carey Mulligan on Playing Strong Female Characters, Working with Women Directors and FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD — Exclusive Interview

Carey Mulligan discusses playing Bathsheba Everdene, the independent heroine in the new cinematic version of Thomas Hardy’s FAR FROM A MADDING CROWD, portraying classic female characters created by Hardy and Jane Austen, her female director wish list and what is today’s madding crowd. Watch the exclusive interview for more….

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‘Paradise Lost Trilogy, The Complete West Memphis Three Case,’ on DVD

‘Paradise Lost Trilogy, The Complete West Memphis Three Case,’ on DVD

If the ongoing, well-publicized West Memphis Three murder case eluded you, it is a harrowing example of injustice that was covered intensively by filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky in their trilogy of documentaries, “Paradise Lost,” now available on DVD. The justice defying ordeal for three West Memphis, Arkansas, teenagers began back in 1994, following the grizzly murder of three eight-year old boys in their hometown. Profiled as ‘Satan worshipers,’ the three highschoolers were picked up, arrested, tried and convicted of the gruesome crime, with what were highly questionable — and now proved wrongful — procedures and evidence.

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NORDISK PANORAMA Names New Director

NORDISK PANORAMA Names New Director

Søren Steen Poulsen has been appointed managing director of Nordisk Panorama, the premiere festival and marketplace for documentaries and shorts produced and/or co-produced in the Scandinavian countries of Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Poulsen joins the Nordisk Panorama team on May 1, replacing Katrine Kiilgaard, who leaves the organization at the end of March, after having run it successfully for 15 years.

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8th Annual Salem Film Fest Announces Outstanding Doc-Only Program

8th Annual Salem Film Fest Announces Outstanding Doc-Only Program

The 8th annual all-documentary Salem Film Fest (March 5-12, 2015) will have its largest line-up ever – 38 films by filmmakers representing 10 different countries telling stories from around the world. Twenty-nine of these films will be making their North American, US, East Coast, New England or Massachusetts premiere. Spread out over eight days with screenings at both CinemaSalem and the Peabody Essex Museum, the festival kicks off with the thoughtprovoking STRAY DOG, about Vietnam veteran and biker Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, which is directed by Oscar nominated director Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone)

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Kirby Dick Talks About Filmmaking and Outrage

Kirby Dick Talks About Filmmaking and Outrage

Documentary filmmaker Kirby Dick, known for tackling controversial and challenging subjects — such as the ‘outing’ of closeted gay politicians in Outrage (2009), exposing sexual abuse in the military in The Invisible War (2012), and ripping the lid off rape on college campuses in The Hunting Ground (2015) — thinks of each of his films as an ongoing experiment, an investigation of subject and form that he’s never satisfied with, never quite finished with. He is, it seems, incessantly indignant about the social issues represented in his films.

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New Stats on Women in Film Show Cinema is Still A Man’s World

It should come as no surprise to anyone whose been paying attention — even marginally — to 2014′s crop of films and the film industry’s record of production that there is no such thing as gender equality of opportunity in Hollywood, or in any other segment of the moviemaking business.

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Advocacy for THE CASE AGAINST 8 – Movie Review

Advocacy for THE CASE AGAINST 8 – Movie Review

The Case Against 8 chronicles activists’s efforts to overturn California’s Prop 8, the civil rights-squashing ban on same sex marriage. Filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan White’ behind-the-scenes access shows how civil rights activists from both sides of the aisle — most notably the ultra-conservative GW Bush backer Ted Olson and strongly liberal Al Gore backer David Boies, and their respective law partners – joined forces to fight legislation putting individuals’ rights, as guaranteed by the US Constitution, under the decision-making control of the government.

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Now’s the Time To Establish Your Documentary Viewing Club

There is a constant complaint among documentary fans: “We can’t find the film we want to watch at our local theater. And,no matter how often we request the manager to program documentaries, we can’t get the films we want to see on the schedule.” That, unfortunately, is the reality of current film distribution. The situation may change in the future, but at present very few documentaries get wide theatrical releases — even though nonfiction film has constantly growing fan base. It’s frustrating for filmmakers, too. There is a remedy. Read on…

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Movie Review: LAST WILL AND EMBEZZLEMENT

Movie Review: LAST WILL AND EMBEZZLEMENT

There’s a pressing need to protect the elderly against economic abuse, which is more prevalent than anyone would like to admit. Predators are blatantly taking advantage of senior citizens who’ve lost their capacity to responsibly handle their financial affairs, and getting away with it. The specific scenario may differ from incident to incident, but basically the scams are quite similar and follow specific patterns. This heartbreaking cautionary documentary traces cases and alerts viewers to specific dangers. Read on…and pay attention!

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CUTIE AND THE BOXER – Movie Review

CUTIE AND THE BOXER – Movie Review

Filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling follows the daily routines of Ushio Shinohara and Noriko Shinohara, Japanese fine artists who moved to New York during the 1960s, got married in 1979, and have been living and working together in their crowded loft in Dumbo (that’s an artsy part of Brooklyn, for those who don’t know the ins and outs of New York neighborhoods)for the past 27 years. They’re a couple of strong individuals. They’re both dedicated to making art, and their interests sometimes clash. Read on…

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Movie Review: THE INVISIBLE WAR

Movie Review: THE INVISIBLE WAR

Filmmaker Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War presents staggering evidence of the frequent incidence of the rape of soldiers — men and women, but mostly women — in the U.S. military, and exposes the systematic cover-up of reported rape and sexual harassment incidents and the ongoing victim persecution by U. S. military authorities. While authorities claim to have and administer a zero tolerance policy and the military acknowledges awareness of the complaints that have been filed, there is continued incidence of rape and sexual abuse throughout the military establishment. Read on…

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Filmmaker Kirby Dick Outs Sexual Bias and Abuse

Filmmaker Kirby Dick Outs Sexual Bias and Abuse

In his documentaries, filmmaker Kirby Dick takes on tough issues related to sexual bias, violence and abuse. He challenges institutions, authorities and media those who would hide the outrageous statistics related to rape on college campuses nationwide and across the breadth of the US military establishment, and outs hidden bias towards homosexuality and bad behavior directed towards homosexuals. His incessant righteousness in filmmaking makes us want to know more about him. Hence, this profile. Read on…

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Ally Derks Talks About IDFA and Documentary Film Trends

Ally Derks Talks About IDFA and Documentary Film Trends

Ally Derks has been the director of IDFA, aka the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, for a quarter of a century, and has grown the annual event into the documentary film industry’s preeminent showcase, not only offering filmmakers opportunity to pitch projects and make distribution deals for their finished films, but providing an extraordinary program of socially relevant films for documentary watchers from around the globe. In the documentaries realm, what Derks thinks matters. Read on…

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IDFA, aka Iternational Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – An Overview

IDFA, aka Iternational Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – An Overview

IDFA is the documentary realm’s pre-eminent cutting edge film festival, acclaimed for presenting trend-setting ‘creative documentaries,’ with ‘creative’ roughly defined as expressing the filmmaker’s point of view in a creative and cinematic manner– one which may challenge or push the envelope on established forms in nonfiction filmmaking.

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Best Documentary Hybrids – A Curated List

Best Documentary Hybrids – A Curated List

Although documentarians claim to represent truth in filmmaking and narrative moviemakers tout their ability to entertain and transform through fantasy, the line between truth and fiction in filmmaking is — and always has been — blurry. This is a list of hybrid documentaries in which narrative filmmaking techniques — reenactments, special effects, animation and other such elements — are used effectively to deliver story elements essential to conveying the film’s subject and theme. Collectively these outstanding films illustrate the many ways in which narrative filmmaking techniques can be used in documentary filmmaking without compromising the genre’s standards of authenticity, transparency and journalistic ethics.

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Movie Review: THE COVE

Movie Review: THE COVE

This Oscar-winning animal rights documentary plays like a thriller thanks to the dramatic use of infra red night vision photography and other cinematic effects that authentically represent actual events as protagonist Richard O’Barry campaigns to save dolphins from the annual hunt and slaughter taking place in Taiji, Japan. The film’s mission and position are substantiated with ample verite coverage of International Whaling Commission conferences, and on camera testimony from animal experts and politicians.

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Movie Review – BLESSED IS THE MATCH: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF HANNAH SENESH

Movie Review – BLESSED IS THE MATCH: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF HANNAH SENESH

Blessed Is The Match – The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh is the heartbreaking World War II story of a young Jewish women, Hannah Senesh, who emigrated from Hungary to Palestine, but later tried to sneak back to her home country in a valiant attempt to save Jewis–including her mother–from death at the hands of Hungarian Nazis. Filmmaker Roberta Grossman creates a truly moving memorial to Hannah by using archival footage, photographs and reenactments that show us how her comfortable well-to-do childhood changed with the death of her father and increasing influence of fascism in Hungary. Hannah was joyful and courageous, a gifted poet and diarist. Her death is a Holocaust tragedy.

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Movie Review: THE ARBOR

Movie Review: THE ARBOR

In her first documentary feature, London-based artist Clio Bernard experiments with nonfiction form, using actors to lip sync to audio-only recordings of interviews she’d made with playwright Andrea Dunbar’s surviving family and the circle of acquaintances who knew her and shared her difficult circumstances in ‘The Arbor,’ a tough working poor ‘estate’ neighborhood of Bradford in the North of England. The effect of the perfect lip syncing is eerie, especially since the entire film was shot on location in Bradford, at the very places frequented by Dunbar and her circle.

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Kathryn Bigelow’s PSA for Saving Elephants

Kathryn Bigelow’s PSA for Saving Elephants

Filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow has directed her enormous talents to address a huge issue. Bigelow has made an effective and affecting three-minute PSA to support the cause of saving elephants in Sub-Sahan Africa, where poachers are slaughtering entire herds of the wonderful creatures for their ivory tusks — although international trade in ivory is universally illegal. Entitled Last Days, the PSA premieres at New York Film Festival on September 27 at Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at NYC’s Lincoln Center.

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Review: TABLOID on DVD

Review: TABLOID on DVD

It’s easy to see why Errol Morris, known for intimate and revealing profiles of famously controversial figures, would find former beauty queen Joyce McKinney an intriguing subject. Her take on life is odd in the extreme, but she’s smart and articulate, and has no compunctions about speaking out — or ranting. Documentary filmmakers aren’t responsible for saving their subjects from themselves, but the best profiles show some compassion and an attitude of considerate restraint. That those qualities are lacking in Tabloid renders the documentary an arrogant, obscene, inexcusable example of tabloid exploitation. Read on…

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Sharon Greytak and ARCHAEOLOGY OF A WOMAN

Sharon Greytak and ARCHAEOLOGY OF A WOMAN

During our chat about Archeology of A Women, indie filmmaker Sharon Greytak brought up the idea that films can ‘out’ social issues, secrets and taboos. That idea intrigues and appeals to me. I find that most of the films I find most interesting — be narratives of a dramatic or documentary nature — do actually ‘out’ issues, either by introducing them to public awareness or exploring them in such a way that audiences are forced to reevaluate, rethink what they know about them. Archeology of A Woman is, in fact, such a film.

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Movie Review – KOCH (Now on DVD)

Movie Review – KOCH (Now on DVD)

During the three terms he served as NYC’s Mayor, Ed Koch was notoriously brash and theatrical, outspoken, blunt, wily and hilariously humorous. As a public figure, Koch wasn’t afraid to show his sharp side, or to play the clown, poke fun at himself to disarm critics with charm. Koch’s inimitably gutsy style and refusal to compromise on policies and positions he believed best for the city and his constituents gained him avidly loyal followers, as well as legions of detractors. Neil Barskey’s fascinating biodoc tells all!

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