Nanking (2007) - News Poster

(2007)

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Michael Ware's Only the Dead claims Walkley

  • IF.com.au
Journalist Michael Ware's feature Only the Dead .has won the Walkley documentary award.

The film, which was recently bought by HBO Documentary Films is produced by Queensland-based Patrick McDonald (Predestination) and directed by Ware and two-time Academy Award-winning Us documentarian Bill Guttentag (Nanking, Twin Towers).

It is also vying for an Academy Award and is elibible to shortlisted for Best Documentary..

The shortlist will be announced in early December.

Only the Dead is a visceral and compelling documentary which follows Ware, a war correspondent reporting for Time Magazine and then CNN.

Ware finds himself launched into the Middle East following the geopolitical upheaval of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Ware, whose journalism career began at Queensland.s The Courier Mail, shot hundreds of hours of camcorder footage between 2003 and 2007 in war-torn Iraq. .

He was the first western journalist to get access to combat insurgents and as the nature of the war changed,
See full article at IF.com.au »

HBO acquires Australian doco Only the Dead

  • IF.com.au
.

HBO Documentary Films has bought the Us rights to feature documentary Only the Dead, which centres on Australian journalist Michael Ware.

The film is produced by Queensland-based Patrick McDonald (Predestination) and directed by Ware and two-time Academy Award-winning Us documentarian Bill Guttentag (Nanking, Twin Towers).

Only the Dead recently screened at Colorado.s 42nd Annual Telluride Film Festival.

The film is also vying for an Academy Award and is elibible to shortlisted for Best Documentary..

The shortlist will be announced in early December.

Only the Dead is a visceral and compelling documentary which follows Ware, a war correspondent reporting for Time Magazine and then CNN.

Ware finds himself launched into the Middle East following the geopolitical upheaval of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Ware, whose journalism career began at Queensland.s The Courier Mail, shot hundreds of hours of camcorder footage between 2003 and 2007 in war-torn Iraq. .

He was the first western
See full article at IF.com.au »

Ted Leonsis Takes on 'High Priests' of Film Industry at Middleburg Film Festival

A debate over the role of the traditional film industry in an increasingly democratized medium unfolded at the inaugural Middleburg Film Festival in northern Virginia. In the festival's Oct. 26 keynote address, Ted Leonsis, film producer and founding chair of Indiewire parent company SnagFilms, decried what he saw as the "high priest" model of production and distribution, which he says prevents new creative voices from being heard. "The high priests – the studios of the world, the newspapers of the world – are fundamentally failing a large generation of the next creative-class individuals," Leonsis said. "Because in a world where everyone is a filmmaker, everyone has a story to tell, and now has the tools to do it … still, the distribution system is analog." Speaking without notes, Leonsis framed his talk in the context of his own experiences producing independent features. In 2007, his production "Nanking" came off a debut at the Sundance Film
See full article at Indiewire »

Ted Leonsis: Why Sundance Tells Us Digital Distribution is the Future

This is a first-person piece from Ted Leonsis, founder and chairman of SnagFilms (and parent company of Indiewire). He asked if he could have the floor to lay out why he believes digital distribution platforms define the future for indie films. And while as a principal of SnagFilms he clearly has a horse in this race, his perspective echoes points that others have made on our site (including this week's very popular piece written by Greenburg Traurig partner Steven Beer.) How does all of this square with your thoughts on indie distribution? Tell us in the comments. -- The Editors Sunday marked the end of the Sundance Film Festival, the traditional launching point for a new year of independent films. I didn’t go to Park City this year, as I had when my films "Nanking" and "Kicking It" were in the festival, but I read the extensive coverage from Indiewire and others with interest.
See full article at Indiewire »

Toronto Fest: Flowers of War, Acquisitions Log Jam on Opening Weekend

Toronto Fest: Flowers of War, Acquisitions Log Jam on Opening Weekend
The opening weekend of Toronto is always a logjam of acquisition titles and this one is worse than usual, distribs complain. Saturday night is especially impossible, if key execs want to be positioned to make bids on Sarah Polley (pregnant!) title Take This Waltz, Jennifer Westfeldt and Jon Hamm's Friends with Kids, Oren Moverman's follow-up to The Messenger, Rampart starring Woody Harrelson, Australian cancer drama Burning Man, ensemble comedy The Oranges or Salmon Fishing in Yemen, starring Ewan McGregor. These are among the most anticipated fest pick-ups. Meanwhile every distributor in town turned up Friday for a screening of 20 minutes of gorgeous, horrifying footage of master auteur Zhang Yimou's once-titled Heroes of Nanking, starring Christian Bale as mortician in wartorn 1937 Nanking who steps ...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘City of Life and Death’

Reviewed by Jay Antani

(June 2011)

Directed/Written by: Lu Chuan

Starring: Liu Ye, Gao Yuanyuan, Hideo Nakaizumi, Fan Wei, Jiang Yiyan, Ryu Kohata, Liu Bin, John Paisley, Beverly Peckous, Qin Lan, Sam Voutas, Yao Di and Zhao Yisui

City of Life and Death” is among the greatest war films ever made. Rich in humanist themes and absolutely unflinching in its depiction of the moral chaos and physical violence of war, Lu Chuan’s film about the Japanese occupation of Nanking in 1937 isn’t merely one of the year’s best films, it’s a powerful work of art and a testament to the expressive essence of pure cinema.

Inevitable comparisons will be made between “City of Life and Death” and Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” Lu’s opening battle scenes between the Japanese invaders and a Chinese platoon — led by a stalwart patriot (Liu Ye) — have the complex staging,
See full article at Moving Pictures Network »

‘City of Life and Death’

Reviewed by Jay Antani

(June 2011)

Directed/Written by: Lu Chuan

Starring: Liu Ye, Gao Yuanyuan, Hideo Nakaizumi, Fan Wei, Jiang Yiyan, Ryu Kohata, Liu Bin, John Paisley, Beverly Peckous, Qin Lan, Sam Voutas, Yao Di and Zhao Yisui

City of Life and Death” is among the greatest war films ever made. Rich in humanist themes and absolutely unflinching in its depiction of the moral chaos and physical violence of war, Lu Chuan’s film about the Japanese occupation of Nanking in 1937 isn’t merely one of the year’s best films, it’s a powerful work of art and a testament to the expressive essence of pure cinema.

Inevitable comparisons will be made between “City of Life and Death” and Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” Lu’s opening battle scenes between the Japanese invaders and a Chinese platoon — led by a stalwart patriot (Liu Ye) — have the complex staging,
See full article at Moving Pictures Magazine »

SnagFilms Announces Multi-Platform Roll-out for Docs

SnagFilms, the advertising-supported site for documentaries online, announced today, on its second anniversary, a major expansion of its distribution infrastructure, bringing its library of 1,500 titles to a suite of new platforms. Among the new ventures: the creation of VOD offerings with Comcast, the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communication products; and with Verizon FiOS TV, the converged communications platform.

Founded by AOL Vice-Chair Emeritus and award-winning documentary producer Ted Leonsis (Nanking; Kicking It), SnagFilms has become the Web's largest and most broadly-distributed home for nonfiction films, with its library ...
See full article at International Documentary Association »

Free Documentary of the Week: 'Nanking'

Award-winning doc depicts harrowing tragedies of war.

All too often the faces of those who became senseless casualties of strife go forgotten.

With 'Nanking,' directors Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman bring to light one of the lesser-known travesties of World War II. In what has become historically known as "the rape of Nanking," Chinese citizens endured a brutal containment that caused over 200,000 deaths.

Featuring narration from Woody Harrelson, Stephen Dorff, and Mariel Hemingway, 'Nanking' is an award-winning documentary that's enlightening, emotionally devastating and ultimately uplifting. Watch the film in full, or snag it onto your own site, from SnagFilms.com.

Watch 'Nanking' FreeFiled under: Documentaries

Continue reading Free Documentary of the Week: 'Nanking'

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See full article at Moviefone »

Snag This: Nanking

The summer of 1937 brought the invasion of China by Japan. "By December 13th, they had defeated the Chinese army and invaded the nation's then-capital, Nanking," wrote Kim Voynar in January 2007, by way of introducing her review of the documentary Nanking, which played at Sundance that year. The film is now available for free online viewing, thanks to our friends at SnagFilms.

As you might expect, directors Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman use archival footage and interviews with survivors to flesh out the film, but they also include "staged reading of excerpts from journals and letters by a group of actors including Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemingway, Rosalind Chao and Jurgen Prochnow," as described by Voynar. She observed: "The scripted reading actually works more effectively than mere voiceover would have, bringing to life the people who were a part of the events that happened in Nanking during that time. War and violence are never pretty,
See full article at Cinematical »

Programmer Roundtable: Returning Documentary Filmmakers

Out of 88 directors, this year's Tribeca Film Festival was able to count over 20 filmmakers as repeat attendees. Tribeca Director of Programming David Kwok talked to five returning documentary filmmakers (Liz Mermin, The Beauty Academy of Kabul, Tff '04; Cathy Henkel, The Man Who Stole My Mother's Face, Best Documentary Tff '04; Marshall Curry, Street Fight, Audience Award Winner Tff '05; and Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, Nanking, Tff '07 [Guttentag also directed the feature Live!, Tff '07]) about their previous Festival experiences, Tff '09 projects, and the future of documentary filmmaking. The Burning Season David Kwok: How was your first experience at Tribeca and what have you been working on since then? Cathy Henkel (The Burning Season): Coming to Tribeca in 2004 was one of the highlights of my life. The Festival treated me so well, I loved New York, I got to meet and have dinner with Glenn ...
See full article at Tribeca Film »

'Lost,' YouTube among Peabody winners

'Lost,' YouTube among Peabody winners
ABC's "Lost," AMC's "Breaking Bad," Nickelodeon's "Avatar" and -- in a nod to the influence of the Web -- YouTube are among the winners of 2008 Peabody Awards unveiled Wednesday.

Others among the 36 television and radio programs or media institutions that garnered accolades for their excellence were NPR's radio reports from China on the earthquake in Chengdu, the Metropolitan Opera's performances in high-definition, CNN's presidential primary and debates coverage and "Saturday Night Live's" political satire.

For the first time, several Web-related entities received nods, including the New York Times' Web site and the Onion's news network as well as the recognition to YouTube for its impact on the media landscape. The latter was lauded for being "an ever-expanding archive-cum-bulletin board that both embodies and promotes democracy."

Although there were numerous radio and TV entries devoted to the financial meltdown of the past year, only one -- NPR's hourlong analysis in
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Tribeca Film Fest announces the rest of the lineup

And here's the rest, including the Midnight Section, all after the break.

Encounters

This collection of engaging and entertaining narrative features and documentaries, a mixture of dark comedies and lighter fare, offers work from returning filmmakers, established talent, and popular subjects, and includes 10 World Premieres. Included in Encounters are performances from Academy Award®-nominated actors Thomas Haden Church, Melissa Leo, Elisabeth Shue; directorial debuts from both Eric Bana and Cheryl Hines (from a screenplay by Adrienne Shelly); stories ranging from an ill-fated man's discovery of inspiration and happiness, dysfunctional families, and unrequited high school crushes to a doc on the emergence of New York’s independent film scene.

• Blank City, directed by Celine Danhier. (USA) - World Premiere, Documentary. Celine Danhier’s kinetic doc mirrors the urgent, anything-goes energy of her subject: the Diy independent film movement that emerged in tandem with punk rock in late ‘70s downtown New York.
See full article at QuietEarth »

Liberation, Netflix score 'Kicking' rights

Liberation, Netflix score 'Kicking' rights
PARK CITY -- Indie distributor Liberation Entertainment and Netflix's Red Envelope Entertainment picked up rights to the Sundance soccer docu "Kicking It".

In the low-to-mid six figure deal, Netflix will stream the film to its subscribers simultaneously with ESPN's airing after Liberation's theatrical release. Liberation will be handle North American and Central American theatrical, DVD and ancillary rights to the film, while Red Envelope will have domestic home video rights for Netflix.

Susan Koch's feature, produced by AOL vice chairman emeritus Ted Leonsis (last year's Sundance winner "Nanking"), follows seven homeless players from around the world who compete in the fourth annual Homeless World Cup.

ESPN picked up worldwide TV and digital distribution rights earlier this week. Leonsis and exec producer Rick Allen repped the earlier network deal.

CAA and Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment repped the Liberation and Red Envelope deal on behalf of the filmmakers.

WGA announce noms: Indies grab the majority of the noms

  • A lingering strike haven't kept the Writers Gild of America from naming the noms for the Best Original, Adapted Screenplays and Best Documentary screenplays of the year. A quick overview of the noms below shows that studio-based indie division delivered in quantity and quality. Here are the noms below for those who create narratives on paper. Winners are announced on February 9th.           Original Screenplay"Juno (2007)Juno
[/link]" - Written by Diablo Cody, Fox Searchlight"Michael Clayton" - Written by Tony Gilroy, Warner Bros. Pictures"The Savages" - Written by Tamara Jenkins, Fox Searchlight"Knocked Up" - Written by Judd Apatow, Universal Pictures"Lars and the Real Girl" - Written by Nancy Oliver, MGM                 Adapted Screenplay"No Country For Old Men" - Screenplay by Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, Based on the Novel by Cormac McCarthy, Miramax"There Will Be Blood" - Screenplay by Paul Thomas Anderson, Based on the Novel Oil by Upton Sinclair,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

WGA Nominees Announced

  • WENN
Nominees for the Writers Guild of America Awards have been announced, with a few suprises and notable omissions. Original Screenplay nods went to four comedies -- Juno, Knocked Up, Lars and the Real Girl, and The Savages -- and one drama, Michael Clayton, while the films up for Adapted Screenplay are four critical favorites -- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Into the Wild, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood -- and one surprising left-field contender, the thriller Zodiac, released back in March. Missing from contention were such high-profile films as Atonement, Charlie Wilson's War, and Sweeney Todd, which were also passed over for the Directors Guild of America awards. Documentary nominees were The Camden 28, Nanking, No End in Sight, The Rape of Europa, Sicko and Taxi to the Dark Side. The WGA Awards will be handed out on Saturday, February 9th.

Docu 15: Academy Awards shortlist is challenged

  • In recent years I've often criticized the Academy Awards for not having the foresight and fortitude to include docu films that have not only completely reinvigorated the genre, but have pushed the medium to new possible artistic and narrative terrains. This year's short list of 15 titles only further confirms that the Academy has tremendous difficulty in acknowledging the wider scope of films that merit year-end salutations. The formula for the docu-filmmaking and docu movie-going experience has significantly changed since Y2K, yet the most prestigious award film ceremony seems to come up short when it comes to new trends in storytelling and filmmaking. Today IndieWIRE reports AJ SchnackAj Schnack
[/link] will collaborate with online independent film distributor IndiePix to launch a new nonfiction filmmaking awards event, set for March 18, 2008 at IFC Center in New York City. Below you find a Top 15 list of films that will be nominated for eight categories,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Shortlist for docu Oscar unveiled

NEW YORK -- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday unveiled the 15 films on its 2007 documentary feature Oscar shortlist.

Four ThinkFilm releases made the cut, a record for the company and one of the biggest lineups ever for any distributor. They are Tony Kaye's abortion epic Lake of Fire, Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman's World War II expose Nanking, Alex Gibney's Iraq War study Taxi to the Dark Side and Sean Fine and Andrea Nix's look at a Ugandan musical competition War/Dance.

The biggest boxoffice hit among the bunch by far is Michael Moore's health-care expose Sicko, from the Weinstein Co., but other high-profile releases were left off the list. Jonathan Demme's Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains and Amir Bar-Lev's child prodigy study My Kid Could Paint That from Sony Pictures Classics were expected to make the cut but didn't. Other notable absentees were Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg's look at Darfur, The Devil Came on Horseback; Picturehouse's gamers study The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters; and ThinkFilm's space-themed In the Shadow of the Moon.

Aside from Taxi, other films covering the Iraq War that made the list included Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro's Body of War, Charles Ferguson's No End in Sight and Richard Robbins' Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience.

Features about other wars made the cut, too, including Steven Okazaki's White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen and Nicole Newnham's World War II art study The Rape of Europa.

Virtually all films on the list were topical, including Tricia Regan's look at special-needs children, Autism: The Musical

IDA finalizes entries for DocuWeek

IDA finalizes entries for DocuWeek
The International Documentary Assn. is featuring 12 feature-length documentaries and five short nonfiction films in its 11th annual Theatrical Documentary Showcase, DocuWeek, set for Aug. 17-23 at the ArcLight Hollywood and the Landmark West Los Angeles. Features appearing are Chops, Curt Kobain About a Son, In the Shadow of the Moon, Here and Now, "Larry Flynt: The Right to be Left Alone," Nanking, A Promise to the Dead, The Price of Sugar, Protagonist, Taxi to the Dark Side, "War/Dance" and We Are Together. The featured shorts are Angel's Fire, Gene Boy, Steps to Eternity, Salim Baba and Sari's Mother.

Leonsis' 'Nanking' looks to right a wrong

Leonsis' 'Nanking' looks to right a wrong
BEIJING -- Nanking, AOL vice chairman-turned-producer Ted Leonsis' documentary about the Japanese army's 1937 massacre of civilians in China's pre-war capital, will premiere Tuesday in Beijing.

Back in China's capital for the first time since AOL set up a research and development office here in April, Leonsis said Monday that he made the film with no profit motive and as a part of the "filmanthropy" mission he set out for himself when he stepped down from active duty at AOL in the fall.

Leonsis said he observes three Chinas: the poor agricultural interior of China that few in the West know about; the "formal" and governmental China represented by China Central Television and the Shanghai Media Group; and the new "rock 'n' roll China" of the Internet and Web 2.0, that is "more capitalistic than America now."

My intentions are pure, he said. "What China can do for me is make sure that one million people see this film by any means necessary. Free on the Internet, even on pirated disc."

Nanking, which was bought for distribution by ThinkFilm and Fortissimo at Sundance, was made with more than $2 million of Leonsis' own fortune.
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