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Specialty Box Office: Quartet of Debuts Find Respectable Numbers, But They're No Match For 'Quartet'

27 January 2013 2:57 PM, PST

Despite not getting any traction this awards season, Dustin Hoffman's senior-audience skewing "Quartet" continued to find very impressive numbers at the specialty box office, which has been off to a slow start for newcomers this month. "Quartet" -- starring Maggie Smith and featuring a "Best Exotic"-like plot involving retired opera singers, expanded from 32 to 163 theaters in its third weekend and managed an excellent $1,149,000 gross -- averaging $7,049. That made for the highest per-theater-average of any film in release except for another film starring folks over 75, Michael Haneke's very much Oscar- nominated "Amour." Sony Classics expanded "Amour" -- nominated for 5 Oscars -- slowly but surely from 36 to 64 theaters and saw a 29% jump in grosses, taking in another $481,000 to average $7,516. With a month left to reap the benefits of the Oscar nominations (and then potentially more time after that if it -- »


- Peter Knegt

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Sundance 2013: Lake Bell Wants to Vanquish "Sexy Baby Talk" Via Her Directorial Debut 'In a World...'

27 January 2013 9:29 AM, PST

Lake Bell, the tall and lanky comedienne best known for her work on Adult Swim's "Children's Hospital" and HBO's now-defunct "How To Make It In America," proved herself to be a quadruple threat last week when "In a World...," her feature writing-directing debut (which she also co-produced and stars in), world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to a rave response from the packed house at the Library Theatre. The comedy, which stars "Children's Hospital" castmates Ken Marino and Rob Corddry, centers on Carol (Bell), an aspiring voiceover artist struggling to make a name for herself in a male-dominated industry where her father, a voiceover vet, rules the roost. The day following the raucous premiere, a giddy Bell sat down with Indiewire to discuss her personal ties to the project (she tried to make it as a voiceover artist before landing on-screen acting roles), how to change the way our society speaks and the. »


- Nigel M Smith

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Sundance Review: Does Kyle Patrick Alvarez's David Sedaris Adaptation 'C.O.G' Work If You Don't Know the Source Material?

27 January 2013 9:11 AM, PST

Touted as the first feature-length adaptation of comic writer David Sedaris' work, Kyle Patrick Alvarez's "C.O.G" arrived at the Sundance Film Festival with plenty of hype generated by fans of the original. A short story from the author's anthology "Naked," it's the kind of low key, reflective story that opens up well to the written word: The plot, fairly thin and random, comes secondary to the internal journey of the main character. But movies rely on images, sounds and real experience that don't necessarily imitate the written word. Some reviews of "C.O.G" have singled out the way that Alvarez (with his sophomore effort following the sleeper hit "Easier With Practice") has nailed Sedaris' tone. But does make it a good movie? The curious thing about "C.O.G" is that it doesn't play like a straightforward adaptation. Much of the mood comes from ingredients »


- Eric Kohn

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Sundance 2013: Candid Party Shots of Daniel Radcliffe, Jane Lynch, Michael C. Hall and More in Park City

27 January 2013 9:02 AM, PST

With Utah bidding adieu to the 2013 Sundance Film Festival today, take a look back at some candid shots of celebrities who made Park City their home over the past week. The photos were all taken over the four nights of the Next Generation Filmmaker Dinner Series, a slate of nightly events hosted in honor of four films that played at this year's festival: "Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes," "Kill Your Darlings," "Afternoon Delight" and "In a World." Have a look below: All photos courtesy: Seth Browarnik/World Red Eye. »


- Nigel M Smith

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Sundance 2013: RADiUS-twc Falls for Competition Doc 'Cutie and the Boxer'

27 January 2013 8:53 AM, PST

In its fifth acquisition of the Sundance Film Festival, RADiUS-twc has acquired North American and French rights to Zachary Heinzerling’s “Cutie and the Boxer.” The competition film won the U.S. documentary directing award Saturday night at the festival’s awards ceremony. “Cutie and the Boxer” looks deeply into the lives, complex relationship and work of Japanese artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara. Lydia Dean Pilcher, Patrick Burns and Sierra Pettengill produced. Kiki Miyake is the executive producer. "The beauty and complexity of the Shinoharas’ love affair and their art is nothing short of stunning,” said RADiUS co-president Tom Quinn. “Zachary has made a mesmerizing and unforgettable portrait of artistic genius." Submarine Entertainment handled the sale for the filmmakers.  Earlier in the festival, RADiUS picked up North American rights to “Twenty Feet From Stardom” and »


- Jay A. Fernandez and Anne Thompson

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Sundance 2013: Oscilloscope Adopts Andrew Dosunmu's 'Mother of George'

27 January 2013 8:33 AM, PST

Oscilloscope Laboratories picked up its first film of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Saturday by grabbing North American rights to Andrew Dosunmu’s “Mother of George.” The drama premiered in the U.S. dramatic competition of the festival. Danai Gurira and Isaach De Bankolé star in the story of a Brooklyn woman who struggles with getting pregnant after marrying a local restaurant owner. Yaya Alafia and Tony Okungbowa co-star. Darci Picoult wrote the screenplay. Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy of Parts & Labor produced along with Matt Parker & Carly Hugo, Picoult, Chris Maybach, Saemi Kim and Okungbowa. Executive producers include Saerom Kim of Maybach Film Productions; Ron Simons of SimonSays Entertainment; Jerry Tankersley, Laura Bernieri & Joseph Sorrentino of Fried Alligator Films; and Rhea Scott & Fady Salamé. “We couldn’t be more excited to be releasing ‘Mother of George’ — it is exactly »


- Jay A. Fernandez and Anne Thompson

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Sundance 2013: Phase 4 Films Pockets Shaka King's 'Newlyweeds'

27 January 2013 7:50 AM, PST

Phase 4 Films has acquired North American rights to Shaka King’s feature debut “Newlyweeds,” which had its world premiere in the Sundance Film Festival’s Next <=> section last week. The company plans a day-and-date theatrical and VOD release this summer. Amari Cheatom and Trae Harris star as a repo man and his young girlfriend as they struggle to maintain their romantic relationship, their dreams and their obsession with getting stoned. Tone Tank, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Tonia Pinkins, Colman Domingo, Hassan Johnson, Adrian Martinez and Anthony Chisholm so-star. Read More: Sundance 2013: Behind the Scenes as 'Newlyweeds' Does the Sundance Scramble Jim Wareck, Michael Mathews, King and Gbenga Akinnagbe produced, with Andy Sawyer and Neil Katz serving as executive producers. “We are thrilled to be working with Shaka on his first feature,” said Phase 4 president and CEO Berry Meyerowitz. “‘Newlyweeds’ »


- Jay A. Fernandez and Anne Thompson

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Sundance 2013: 'Escape From Tomorrow' Director Randy Moore Says "I'm a Product of Disney World"

27 January 2013 5:00 AM, PST

Few movies generated more chatter at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival than Randy Moore's "Escape From Tomorrow," a movie shot on location in Disney World without permission. The filmmaker's scrappy black-and-white feature follows a family around on their last of vacation while strange events transpire around them. Before the festival, few people were anticipating "Escape From Tomorrow," which premiered in Sundance's Next section, but it has since become a national news story as many wonder if Disney will attempt to prevent it from finding distribution. Whatever happens, "Escape From Tomorrow" shows the results of a highly unique and daring production process along with one of the more original indictments of corporate entertainment to come along in years. Still getting a handle on all the attention, Moore sat down with Indiewire during the festival to talk about the project and his future expectations for it. A lot of the attention that. »


- Eric Kohn

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'Argo' Tops PGA Winners

26 January 2013 10:50 PM, PST

Ben Affleck's "Argo" continued its surge toward potentially managing a best picture Oscar despite its director Ben Affleck being snubbed by the Academy tonight by winning the Producers Guild of America's top prize. Full list of winners below. 2013 Producers Guild Of America Award Winners The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures Argo (Warner Bros.) Producers: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures Wreck-It Ralph (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) Producer: Clark Spencer The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures Searching For Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics) Producers: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama Homeland (Showtime) Producers: Henry Bromell, Alexander Cary, Michael Cuesta, »


- Peter Knegt

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2013 Sundance Film Festival Awards (In Progress)

26 January 2013 4:38 PM, PST

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is announcing its juried and audience awards tonight at a ceremony in Park City, Utah, and Indiewire is on the scene. Complete list of announced winners below: Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic: "Fruitvale," directed by Ryan Coogler; Grand Jury Prize, Documentary: "Blood Brother," directed by Steve Hoover; World Cinema Jury Prize, Dramatic: "Jiseul," directed by Muel O; World Cinema Jury Prize, Documentary: "A River Changes Course," directed Kalyanee Mam ; Dramatic Audience Award: "Fruitvale," directed by Ryan Coogler ; Documentary Audience Award: "Blood Brother," directed by Steve Hoover ; World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award: "Metro Manila," directed by Sean Ellis ; World Cinema Documentary Audience Award: "The Square," directed by Jehane Noujaim ; The Best of Next Audience Award: "This Is Martin Bonner," directed by Chad Hartigan ; Directing Award, Dramatic: Jill Solloway, "Afternoon Delight" ; »


- Peter Knegt, Eric Kohn and Nigel Smith

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Sundance 2013: Kristen Bell Discusses Her Sexy, Smile-Free Performance In 'The Lifeguard' (and the End of 'Gossip Girl')

26 January 2013 10:00 AM, PST

Generally regarded as a master of snark, Kristen Bell made it very clear she's capable of much beyond that at the Sundance Film Festival this year, portraying  a crumbling, depressive 29-year-old in Liz W. Garcia's affecting "The Lifeguard." The film -- screening in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the festival -- sees Bell's character Leigh quitting her job as a New York City reporter and moving back to her parents' house in Connecticut. She reunites with her high school best friends (Martin Starr and Mamie Gummer) and romances a similarly melancholic 16-year-old boy (David Lambert).  It doesn't hold back when they inevitably start having sex: A scene set in the changeroom of the pool definitely stands out as one of Sundance's sexiest. A very pregnant Bell sat down with Indiewire a few days after the film premiered, discussing said sex scene, the challenges of taking on a very dramatic role and, »


- Peter Knegt

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Sundance Interview: 'Blackfish' Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite Discusses Suffering Orcas, Trainer Death, and Why SeaWorld Hasn't Seen the Movie

26 January 2013 9:57 AM, PST

A lot of documentary filmmakers make movies about the causes that consume their lives. For "Blackfish" director Gabriela Cowperthwaite, however, the discovery of SeaWorld's lack of safety measures for both its trainers and the whales themselves caught her off-guard the same way it did many people: In 2010, head trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by Tillikum, a SeaWorld orca captured in the wild in the early eighties and responsible for several violent incidents since then. The movie digs behind the scenes for the whole story. "Blackfish" culls from shocking footage of killer whales at SeaWorld showing their frustration over poor captivity conditions while including candid testimony from ex-trainers. Both an activist cause and a wakeup call for anyone who has attended SeaWorld in the past, the movie instantly got people to start talking when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and landed distribution with Magnolia Pictures. Cowperthwaite talked to »


- Eric Kohn

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Sex and the (Park) City: Considering An Atypically Sexual Sundance Film Festival

26 January 2013 9:52 AM, PST

Sex and the Sundance Film Festival is not a new equation. In fact, sex and this Sundance Film Festival isn't a new equation. It's been a talking point since before the festival even started. Leading into this year's festival, The Sutherland Institute, a super-conservative group (even for super-conservative Utah), said that state funding for Sundance should be cut on the grounds that its sexually explicit content doesn't jive with Utah’s "family values." In this blog post a week before the festival kicked off, Sutherland public policy director Derek Monson said: "For the sake of public decency and encouraging a free, moral society, the state of Utah should end its 'complex relationship' with the Sundance Film Festival. The festival’s organizers can continue to promote their goals without being dependent on taxpayers, and Utah taxpayers do not have to endorse films that are obscene and contrary »

- Peter Knegt

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Sundance Review: Ashton Kutcher Does A Solid Steve in 'jOBS,' But Is This Tame Biopic a Lost Cause From the Start?

25 January 2013 9:59 PM, PST

The first scene of "jOBS" plays like an Apple commercial. Set in 2001 at an Apple town hall meeting, the introductory sequence finds company visionary Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) addressing staffers by revealing the first edition of the iPod. With John Debney's symphonic score emboldening Jobs' optimistic delivery, the man describes the iPod as "a tool for the heart" and the room applauds. The lack of irony borders on the creepy. From there, 'jOBS' relates the three decades leading up to that triumphant moment, revealing the ups and downs of Jobs' career trajectory with a less rosy perspective. The tone, however, remains oddly consistent: Jobs may barrel forward at the expense of nearly everyone around him, but even while portraying Jobs' ruthless streak, director Joshua Michael Stern maintains a worshipful perspective of his famous subject. The movie is constantly at war with attempts to provide an honest portrayal, almost as if its. »


- Eric Kohn

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Sundance Video: Jessica Biel and Her 'Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes' Team Discuss the Dreamy Drama

25 January 2013 3:44 PM, PST

Touted by many as this year's Felicity Jones-type breakout at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, relative newcomer Kaya Scodelario ("Wuthering Heights," TV's "Skins") gives it her all as the titular troubled character in the U.S. Dramatic contender, "Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes." In the coming-of-age drama, directed by "Tanner Hall" co-helmer Francesca Gregorini, Scodelario stars as a motherless young woman who takes a strange fascination to a new neighbor (Jessica Biel) who happens to resemble her dead mother. Little does Emanuel know that the woman next door harbors a huge secret. Biel, Scodelario and Gregorini sat down with Indiewire in Park City to discuss Gregorini's close ties to the material and Biel's sisterly love for her younger co-star. »


- Nigel M Smith

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Sundance Video: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke (via Phone) Discuss Festival Critical Darling 'Before Midnight'

25 January 2013 3:25 PM, PST

One of the most discussed and acclaimed films of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight" brings Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy back into their roles of Jesse and Celine for the third time, following 1995's "Before Midnight" and 2004's "Before Sunset." Read More: Masterful 'Before Midnight' Reunites Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy For the Best Installment of Richard Linklater's Trilogy Linklater, Delpy and -- via a phone call from Europe -- Hawke sat down with Indiewire for a video interview during the festival, discussing why they decided to go for round three, and what it's like coming back to Sundance 18 years after "Sunrise" made its debut here: »


- Peter Knegt

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Vote for Project of the Week! Will It Be 'Shadowland,' '...ish,' 'Abigail' or 'Liar'?

25 January 2013 2:52 PM, PST

Vote below for this week's Project of the Week. The winning filmmaker will receive a digital distribution consultation from SnagFilms and will become a candidate for Project of the Month. That winner will be awarded with a creative consultation from the fine folks at the Tribeca Film Institute! The four projects up for the prize: "Shadowland," "...ish," "About Abigail" and "An Honest Liar: The Amazing Randi Story." Voting will end on Monday January 28, at 11Am Eastern. Note:  Votes are confirmed by email.  After voting, please look for an email from Poll Daddy and confirm your vote.  Indiewire nor PollDaddy use your email address after the confirmation, but if you do want to sign up for our newsletter, why Don't you mosey on over here and do so! Which project do you most want to see? »

- Indiewire

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Sundance 2013: Robin Weigert On Playing a Lesbian Housewife Gone Wild In 'Concussion'

25 January 2013 2:41 PM, PST

Robin Weigert is best known for her incredible role on the late, great HBO series "Deadwood" as drunken, foul-mouthed Calamity Jane. But fans of that series -- and anyone else, for that matter -- are about to see a very different side. Her bold, complex turn in Stacie Passon's "Concussion" has definitely been one of the highlights of Sundance, and with The Weinstein Company is now on board to release the film. In "Concussion," Weigert plays Abby, a fortysomething lesbian who's married with two kids and lives in the New Jersey suburbia. But after being hit in the head by her son's baseball, Abby begins to unravel and through a series of events finds herself with a new double life: Lesbian housewife by night, high-end lesbian prositute by day. It's a sexy, uncomprising and unique take on the cinematic mid-life crisis that works in large part because of Weigert's peformance. »


- Peter Knegt

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Don't Be a Victim: How to Avoid Getting Duped By a Disreputable Film Festival

25 January 2013 1:56 PM, PST

As any filmmaker can tell you, rejection from a film festival stings. But it shouldn’t be because the festival is operating as a sham. The overwhelming majority of film festivals are legitimate forums for independent films that are run by professional directors and programmers that adhere to the highest ethical standards — and definitely are not profit-driven.  Unfortunately, there are a few disreputable “so-called” festivals that prey on innocent and/or naïve filmmakers. As Jason Guerrasio observes in “An Iw Investigation: The Dark Underbelly of the Film Festival Circuit” (Jan. 16 & 17), some festivals engage in disreputable business practices such as accepting submissions from filmmakers but never screening any movies, or demanding and even receiving money from filmmakers for “awards.” Ultimately, the problem of disreputable »

- Laurie Kirby

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How to Win an 'End of Watch' Prize Pack That Includes a Blu-ray Copy of the Film

25 January 2013 1:37 PM, PST

Last year's surprise hit, the cop drama "End of Watch," landed on DVD and Blu-ray earlier this week. The Independent Spirit Award-nominated film, stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as two confident officers who uncover the dark underbelly of the drug trade in south central Los Angeles. Thanks to Universal Home Entertainment, you have a chance to get in on the action by entering our contest to win one of three "End of Watch" prize packs that includes a Blu-ray copy of the film and a car dash grip. Fill out the form below to enter:   Fill out my online form. var m7p9m3;(function(d, t) { var s = d.createElement(t), options = { 'userName':'allabouteat1', 'formHash':'m7p9m3', 'autoResize':true, 'height':'423', 'async':true, 'header':'show', 'ssl':true}; s.src = ('https:' == d.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + 'wufoo.com/scripts/embed/form.js'; s.onload = s.onreadystatechange = function() { var rs »


- Nigel M Smith

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