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2 items from 2007

SXSW off in right direction

4 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Composer Moby and documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson are the first speakers confirmed for the 2008 South by Southwest Film Conference & Festival, set to take place March 7-15 in Austin.

Moby will participate in a session entitled "A Conversation with Moby", hosted and moderated by Doreen Ringer-Ross of BMI. The session, scheduled for March 11, will look at the musician's relationship with cinema, from composing original scores (Southland Tales) to contributing and licensing his music for film and TV projects (The Bourne Ultimatum, Heat). In addition, it will include a look at "moby gratis," the musician's new endeavor to offer some of his music free of charge to independent filmmakers.

Nelson, who directed Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple and The Murder of Emmett Till, will discuss his work, focusing on historical documentaries.

SXSW also announced the creation of Global Doc Days, an initiative formed to shine a brighter spotlight on documentary films produced worldwide. International film organizations will be invited to showcase some of their latest in nonfiction filmmaking. »

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Halo-8 letting 'Animals' out of their cage

13 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- Indie distributor Halo-8 Entertainment has acquired worldwide rights to Curt Johnson's animal-rights documentary Your Mommy Kills Animals, featuring appearances by Katherine Heigl, Moby, Joe Mantegna, Ben Stein and others.

The film from Indie Genius Prods. takes its cue from an FBI report labeling animal-rights activists as a top terrorist threat and attempts to take a balanced look at the issues surrounding their sometimes violent tactics. In addition to getting stars' views on animal rights, Johnson interviewed young members of the activist group SHAC7, who went on trial after their Web site promoted animal-rights protests.

Johnson was a producer on the 2002 Oscar-winning short docu Thoth. His upcoming directing projects include the docu Pets on Your Plate, which follows the quest of a man who alleges that the "food rendering" process takes dead animals and puts them into protein meal fed to livestock people eat.

After a one-week, docu-category Oscar-qualifying run this summer booked by producer-director Johnson before the acquisition, Halo-8 will distribute Animals theatrically in major markets in September and on video via WEA's Ryko Filmworks in November. »

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