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12 items from 2013

2014 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Louie Psihoyos’ The Heist

19 November 2013 10:00 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

We’re not sure if Redford’s character in All is Lost spent much time visiting the ocean floors, but he might have noticed that some fish friends were absent. Louie Psihoyos blasted into public consciousness with single issue/Oscar winning docu The Cove and his “sequel” promises to stir up auds and promisingly address issues that the Al Gore docu An Inconvenient Truth mysteriously left out. The problem with damn documentary filmmakers are productions don’t have clear “end” dates – and while mention of the project initially began in 2012, we could be another year away from The Heist materializing into the high buzz docu it promises to be. In the mean time…stick to eating plants.

Gist: Written by Mark Monroe, although largely ignored by the media and politicians, collapsing biodiversity critically undermines society. Our civilization is founded on planet earth’s ecosystems. As species are lost, ecosystems change. »

- Eric Lavallee

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The Summit – The Review

11 October 2013 6:54 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

One in four climbers who successfully summits K2, will die on descent. These overwhelming odds are the basis for director Nick Ryan’s The Summit – an incredible story of courage and heroism.

Commonly known as Savage Mountain, K2 is an extension of the northwestern Himalayan Mountain range, and is located in the remote region between Pakistan and China, though most mountaineers won’t risk climbing the more hazardous side of China.  It has rightfully earned the title of the second most murderous mountain.

With any high risk sport comes the love of the challenge and in August 2008, 22 climbers from several international expeditions converged on High Camp of K2, the last stop before the summit. 48 hours later, eleven had been killed. When a climber falls or wanders off the trail, the unwritten code of the sport is to leave them for dead. Survival depends on self-preservation at all costs.

The Summit »

- Melissa Thompson

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With a Himalayan Peak as its Killer, The Summit Is a Documentary with the Pulse of a Horror Film

1 October 2013 9:00 PM, PDT | Village Voice | See recent Village Voice news »

Coming down is the hard part, most mountain climbers will tell you, a maxim proved to tragic effect in August 2008, when 11 of 25 experienced adventurers from five different countries perished while descending from the top of K2, the mighty Himalayan peak. The 11 died, one by one, in a series of mishaps that defy climbing logic. In this enthralling if slightly uneven documentary, director Nick Ryan and screenwriter Mark Monroe (The Cove) use survivor testimony, footage shot by the climbers themselves, and seamlessly integrated reenactments to create a plausible scenario for what might have happened. The Summit is at its most powerful when the filmmakers simply tell the tale, which gradually develops the unsettling suspense of a horror movie, with K2 cast as the implacable »

Permalink | Report a problem Hookup: 50 Pairs of Passes to Sundance Winner ‘The Summit’

29 September 2013 4:52 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chicago – In the latest Hookup: Film with our unique social giveaway technology, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the Sundance Film Festival winner “The Summit”!

The film tells the story of the deadliest day (Aug. 1, 2008) on the world’s most dangerous mountain when 11 climbers mysteriously perished.

The Summit,” which is rated “R” and opens on Oct. 11, 2013 in Chicago, stars Christine Barnes, Hoselito Bite, Marco Confortola, Niall Foley, Stefan Grossniklaus, Christo Mitzkov, Johannes Moser and Lochlainn O’Mearain from director Nick Ryan and writer Mark Monroe. Note: You must be 17+ to win and attend this “R”-rated screening.

To win your free “The Summit” passes courtesy of, just get interactive with our unique Hookup technology below. That’s it! This screening is on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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New DVD Blu-ray: 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' 'Peeples'

10 September 2013 8:30 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week

"Star Trek Into Darkness"

What's It About? J.J. Abrams' second "Star Trek" installment follows the Enterprise crew when they're called back home and find an unstoppable force of terror within their own organization. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads the Enterprise against a one man weapon of mass destruction. Why We're In: This sequel is exhilarating from start to finish with tons of spectacle and a solid narrative. Abarams' film perfectly mixes classic references that will excite any "Star Trek" fan, but won't make newbies feel left out. "Star Trek Into Darkness" was one of Moviefone's Best Movies of 2013 (So Far).

Watch: Get a behind-the-scenes look at the special effects of "Star Trek Into Darkness" (Video)

Rt & Follow to win a @StarTrekMovie #IntoDarkness Blu-ray & movie poster autographed by Jj Abrams and cast! Rules:

- moviefone (@moviefone) September 10, 2013

Moviefone's »

- Erin Whitney

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Doc Fixer Monroe Explains Writing 'Summit,' 'Sound City,' 'Who is Dayani Cristal?'

4 September 2013 11:05 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Mark Monroe came to the 2013 Sundance Film Festival as the writer of three distinctly different documentaries--"Sound City," "Who is Dayani Cristal?" and "The Summit," which opens October 4 (trailer below). The writer of Oscar-winning "The Cove" and this year's Oscar-shortlisted "Chasing Ice" is proving to be a valuable asset. Not every documentary filmmaker is a writer-director like Alex Gibney, who brought "We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks" to Sundance 2013. Some filmmakers need help organizing complicate features, such as Nick Ryan of "The Summit," "The Cove"'s Louie Psihoyos or "Chasing Ice"'s Jeff Orlowski. That's where broadcast journalist Monroe comes in. He's also a filmmaker, but he's proving so adept at helping others realize their projects that he's got writing gigs lined up like airplanes at La Guardia. Check out the new trailer for "The Summit," after the jump. Anne Thompson: Give me, from your end, the calls from »

- Anne Thompson

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'Sound City' review: Dave Grohl gets his groove back

15 March 2013 9:00 AM, PDT | Pop2it | See recent Pop2it news »

You almost need to see Dave Grohl's documentary "Sound City" with headphones on. That's the best way to pick up the nuances the legions of legendary musicians are talking about in this ratty old recording studio where some of the greatest rock records ever made were cut from the 1970s through the '90s.

When Grohl, drummer with Nirvana and later Foo Fighters frontman, and other drummers such as Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac) talk about the presence, the unique sound that drums carried out of this dump of a studio in Van Nuys, Calif., headphones are the best way to sample that difference, that analog "oomph" that Sound City gave them.

And as Fleetwood, Grohl and the others -- from Tom Petty and Kevin Cronin (Reo Speedwagon) to Rick Springfield and Neil Young -- will tell you, if you get the drums right, the rest just falls into place. »


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Best of the Week: Rise of 'Argo' at PGA and SAG, Interviews, Super Bowl Ads, 'House of Cards' and More

1 February 2013 1:34 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The best stories of the week from Toh! Awards: Oscar Talk: 'Argo' vs. 'Lincoln,' PGA, SAG and DGA; Affleck and Day-Lewis Hit Santa Barbara PGA Awards: "Argo" Wins Big, Plus "Sugarman," "Homeland," "Modern Family"; Tributes to Weinsteins, Abrams and Working Title SAG Awards: With Critics Choice, Globes, PGA and SAG Wins, "Argo" Now Challenges "Lincoln" [Video] Interviews: "Side Effects": Soderbergh Q&A and Review Roundup [Video] Lena Dunham Talks Success, Image Misconception, Franco, Fey and Poehler in New EW Sundance Doc Writer Mark Monroe Talks "Summit," "Sound City," "Who Is Dayani Cristal?" and "Chasing Ice" Reviews: Netflix's "House of Cards" Is Classy, Campy and Diabolically Watchable [Trailer] Now and Then: The Soul of Netflix's New Series? The BBC's "House of »

- TOH!

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Sundance Mainstay Diamond Docs Pivots From Fixing Movies to Making Its Own

25 January 2013 11:56 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Diamond Docs has brought movies to Sundance five years running, beginning with "The Cove" in 2009 and continuing with three this year -- "The Summit," "Who is Dayani Cristal?" and Dave Grohl's "Sound City."  Up until now, though, the company has come onto a project that was someone else's -- more often than not, one that needed a tweak. And that includes 2009's "The Cove": After seeing a 40-minute piece of the documentary that included the horrifying slaughter of a dolphin, creative partner Mark Monroe helped craft a narrative for the »

- Lucas Shaw

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Sundance Selects Picks Up Climbing Doc 'The Summit'

19 January 2013 9:12 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Sundance Selects has acquired North American rights to Nick Ryan’s documentary “The Summit,” which world premiered Friday at the Sundance Film Festival to a packed house and rousing applause. Our review is here. The film explores what happened when 24 climbers ascended to the top of K2, widely considered the most dangerous mountain on Earth, and only 13 returned. One out of four K2 climbers expires on the way down from the summit. Go-to writer Mark Monroe ("The Tillman Story," "The Cove," "Chasing Ice") also wrote Sundance titles "Sound City" and "Who is Dayani Cristal?" and Andrea Arnold's cinematographer Robbie Ryan ("Fish Tank" and "Wuthering Heights") delivers gorgeous digital photography. The film mixes CG reenactments of what happened --shot on a soundstage with actors as well as surviving climbers --with archive footage (and audio) and interviews. A sister division of IFC »

- Anne Thompson and Jay Fernandez

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Watch: Sundance Documentary 'The Summit' Looks at 'Deadliest Day in Modern Mountain Climbing History'

17 January 2013 9:18 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Check out this clip for Nick Ryan's documentary "The Summit," premiering at Sundance on January 18. The film chronicles "the deadliest day in modern mountain climbing history," a still-unresolved 2008 expedition in which 18 of 24 climbers reached the summit of K2. In 48 hours time, 11 of the climbers had either been killed or disappeared into thin air. The film is produced by John Battsek ("Searching for Sugarman," "The Imposter") and written by Mark Monroe ("The Cove"). This is director Ryan's first feature-length film. From the Sundance programming notes: Although K2 is only the second-highest peak in the world, it is renowned as the most dangerous and revered by mountaineers as their ultimate challenge. In August 2008, 18 of 24 climbers reached the summit of K2. Forty-eight hours later, 11 people were dead. What happened on that fateful day has never been resolved. Utilizing found footage, interviews with »

- Beth Hanna

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Mitchell Block Direct: Vol. I Issue 4: Alex Gibney, Paperman, and The Academy Awards Animation Shorts Nominations

3 January 2013 6:30 AM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Vol. I Issue 4

Join us twice weekly.  Send us links to your sizzle reels and film sites. 

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God 

Directed by Alex Gibney

In Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Oscar®-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney examines the abuse of power in the Catholic Church through the story of four courageous deaf men who, in the first known case of public protest, set out to expose the priest who abused them. The film follows a cover-up that winds its way from the row houses of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, through the bare ruined choirs of Ireland's churches, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican.

Like Woodward and Bernstein covering the story of Watergate, Gibney uses the keyhole of the first known protest against clerical sexual abuse in the Us to show that the Pope knew (or should have known) that there is wide spread child abuse within the ranks of Catholic priests, not just in the U.S. but worldwide.  Not exactly a pretty picture. This powerful, beautifully crafted film builds a case that screams out for reform of an institution that, like our military, is run by men with little or no outside supervision. One feels that like Nixon after the proven Watergate charges, the Pope should resign along with others who have allowed this outrageous behavior and its cover up to be so institutionalized.

Gibney’s films have a logical clarity that reinforces their intelligence. Smart, clear and wrenchingly powerful they explore institutions and the people who are part of them. From governors to prison guards he shows little patience for lies and incompetence. The chain he establishes in Maxima Culpa links the victims to the priests to their supervisors and on to Rome to the office formally run by the man who is now the Pope. What can you say? They knew, they had to know, the links are compelling.  Why would this institution shelter these men (and women) who were abusing children and in some cases adults? Who would tolerate this behavior? Why would the Church tolerate this behavior? Yet the cover up continues.

In a year of films dealing with institutions, such as government officials slowly trying to find a cure for HIV/AIDS, or the military dealing with women being abused, or the Israel army ignoring the rights of the provocative Palestinians or even government failures to act on global warming, this is the best and it should be one of the nominees.

The Filmmaker

Alex Gibney is the founder of Jigsaw Productions. An Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy Award-winning producer, he is well known for producing one of the highest grossing documentaries of all time, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.  

His work as a writer and director includes the recent hit Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, as well as the 2006 Oscar-nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and the 2008 Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side.  Alex attended the film program at UCLA.


Director/Producer/Writer: Alex Gibney

Producers:Trevor Birney, Alexandra Johnes, Ruth O’Reilly, Kristen Vaurio, Jedd Wider, Todd Widler

Executive Producers:  Jessica Kingdon, Sheila Nevins, Lori Singer

Writer: Mark Monroe

Cinematography: Lisa Rinzler

Original Music Composer: Ivor Guest

Editor: Sloane Klevin

Production Companies: Jigsaw Productions, Wilder Film Projects, Union Editorial

Distribution:  Content Media, HBO Documentary Films, HBO

Paperman a short animated film by John Kahrs

Paperman is an original seven-minute-long short animated film produced by Disney Animation.

It tells the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him.

Director John Kahrs was the animation supervisor on Tangled, an animator on Bolt and Ratatouille, and worked on Pixar’s The Incredibles, Mike’s New Car, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 2 and A Bug’s Life. Kahrs now gets his break as a director at Disney. 14 years of work in the animation department at Pixar, that’s paying dues! Now, I understand why this “Disney” animation film looks and feels like a “Pixar” film.  It’s brilliant, polished, and elegant and, like the Simpson short, silent. Expressive muted black and white images with a slight color tint in this perfect short film dramatizes love at first sight. Tasteful, romantic and above all beautifully executed, I look forward to Kahrs’ feature film debut. A little Pixar goes a long way and this work is expressive of adult feelings that any child could enjoy. No need to dumb the story down, it works for audiences of all ages. A perfect 10.

Original music by Christophe Beck (who has 105 scoring credits) this work is produced by Kristina Reed (from Disney) and Executive Produced by Pixar’s John Lasseter. Written by Clio Chiang and Kendrelle Hoyer, it shows that “less” can be plenty. Short films don’t get better than this! 


Directed by: John Kahrs

Produced by: Kristina Reed

Executive Producer: John Lasseter

Art Direction: Jeff Tuley

Written by: Chio Chiang and Kendelle Hoyer

Music by: Christophe Beck

Film Editing: Lisa Linder

Produced by:  Walt Disney Animation

Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Running time: 7:00

Short Notes and Update:

The Invisible War is on the New York Times' and Christian Science Monitor's and Newsweek's 10 Best Films of 2012.  The Gate Keepers is on the Wall Street Journal’s 10 Best Films of 2012.

Academy announces 10 animated films shortlisted for the Animation Short Film Nomination

The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all 57 eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting at screenings held in New York and Los Angeles. I’ve seen all of the films and this is one of the strongest group shortlisted in years, from the elegant Pixar/Disney film Paperman to the wildly funny Simpsons’ Daycare. These films are a treat for the eyes and mind. Stunning, moving, original, powerful and frankly amazing they will both amuse and entertain and each of the 10 films is special. The styles range from traditional animation to computer designed. A number of students made it with entries which are testimony to their vigorous programs and their talent. This is a year where handicapping is impossible. 

At screenings of the short listed films, Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members have selected three to five nominees from among these 10 titles for its nominations. 

The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. Pst in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. 

Adam and Dog, Minkyu Lee, director (Lodge Films)

Web Link:

Length: 16 min.

Language: none

Country: USA

Combustible,Katsuhiro Otomo, director (Sunrise Inc.)

Web Link: None available

Length: 13 min.

Language: none

Country: Japan

Dripped, Léo Verrier, director (ChezEddy)

Web Link:

Length: 8 min.

Language: none

Country: France

The Eagleman Stag, Mikey Please, director, and Benedict Please, music scores and sound design (Royal College of Art)

Web Link:

Length: 9 min.

Language: none

Country: England

The Fall of the House of Usher, Raul Garcia, director, and Stephan Roelants, producer (Melusine Productions, R&R Communications Inc., Les Armateurs, The Big Farm)

Web Link:

Length: 17 min.

Language: none

Country: USA

Fresh Guacamole, Pes, director (Pes)

Web Link:

Length: 2 min.

Language: none

Country: USA

Head over Heels, Timothy Reckart, director, and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, producer (National Film and Television School)

Web Link:

Length: 10 min.

Language: none

Country:  England

Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare, David Silverman, director (Gracie Films)

Web Link:

Length: 5 min.

Language: none

Country: USA

Paperman, John Kahrs, director (Disney Animation Studios)

Web Link: 

*note this about the technology in this film, but not a true trailer

Length: 7 min.

Language: none

Country: USA

Tram, Michaela Pavlátová, director, and Ron Dyens, producer (Sacrebleu Productions)

Web Link:

Length: 7 min.

Language: none

Country: French



Volume 1  Issue 3  In Chasing Ice the film was edited by Davis Coombe (and not Mark Monroe); Distributor (Us) Submarine Deluxe (not National Geographic).


Block Doc Workshops in Los Angeles

The International Documentary Association will be hosting Documentary Funding and Documentary Tune Up Workshops with Block on February 9/10.

Mitchell Block specializes in conceiving, producing, marketing & distributing independent features & consulting. He is an expert in placing both completed works into distribution & working with producers to make projects fundable. He conducts regular workshops in film producing in Los Angeles and most recently in Maine, Russia and in Myanmar (Burma).

Poster Girl, produced by Block was nominated for a Documentary Academy Award and selected by the Ida as the Best Doc Short 2011. It was also nominated for two Emmy Awards and aired on HBO. He is an executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Carrier, a 10-hour series that he conceived & co-created. Block is a graduate of Tisch School and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He is a member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Television Academy, a founding member of BAFTA-la and has been teaching at USC School of Cinematic Arts since 1979. Currently Block teaches a required class in the USC Peter Stark Producing Program.


©2012Mwb  All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved. All information and designs on the Sites are copyrighted material owned by Block. Reproduction, dissemination, or transmission of any part of the material here without the express written consent of the owner is strictly prohibited.All other product names and marks on Block Direct, whether trademarks, service marks, or other type, and whether registered or unregistered, is the property of Block.


- Mitchell Block

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12 items from 2013, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

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