Die Geschichte vom weinenden Kamel (2003) - News Poster

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Paladin Goes For Great Directors

New York-based independent film company Paladin, formed last fall by distribution veteran Mark Urman, announced today that it will release Angela IsmailosGreat Directors, a celebration of films and filmmaking starring ten of the world’s most acclaimed, provocative, and individualistic living directors. The documentary had its world premiere at the 2009 Venice Film Festival, and was produced through Ismailos’ Anisma Films. Paladin will open the film in NY, Los Angeles, and other top markets in late Spring.

A deeply personal and intimate look at the art of cinema and the artists who create it, Great Directors features original, in-depth conversations with world-class filmmakers Bernardo Bertolucci (The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, The Last Emperor, The Dreamers), David Lynch (The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive), Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, The Queen, High Fidelity), Agnes Varda (Vagabond/Without Roof or Rule), Ken Loach (Hidden Agenda, Land and Freedom, Land and Freedom
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Hamptons walks with 'Dog'

Hamptons walks with 'Dog'
NEW YORK -- Byambasuren Davaa's The Cave of the Yellow Dog swept several top honors at the 13th annual Hamptons International Film Festival's Golden Starfish Awards on Saturday night, taking home awards for best narrative feature, best original movie score and best cinematography. In East Hampton's Guild Hall, HIFF executive director Denise Kasell, board chairman Stuart Match Suna, programr Rajendra Roy and emcee Bob Balaban presided over the ceremony, which presented more than $150,000 in goods and services to the top prize winner, Cave, while Daniel Schoenauer's cinematography and Dagvan Ganpurev's score earned $6,000 and $5,000, respectively, in further goods and services. Their awards were presented by Kodak's Mary Manard Reed and Artemis Records' Daniel Glass. Davaa garnered a documentary Oscar nom this year for co-directing The Story of the Weeping Camel, another film shot in Mongolia using nonactors. Cave is about a girl who finds a puppy and how it affects her nomadic family.

Toronto's Farnel tapped for Hot Docs duty

TORONTO -- The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival on Wednesday said it has hired Sean Farnel away from the Toronto International Film Festival to become its first-ever director of programming. Farnel, who most recently programd documentaries at the Toronto festival since 2000, will join Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival, in November. Over the last five years, Farnel brought a host of award-winning docs to TIFF, including Spellbound in 2002, The Story of the Weeping Camel and The Yes Men in 2003, and Gunner Palace last year. In between his TIFF duties, Farnel programd Hot Docs' monthly documentary series, Doc Soup, which he will continue to do. The 13th edition of Hot Docs is set to run from April 28 to May 7.

Eastwood Becomes Oscar Favorite After DGA Win

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Clint Eastwood has become the odds-on favorite to claim the Best Director Oscar next month after beating rival Martin Scorsese again at the Directors Guild Awards (DGA) on Saturday. Eastwood claimed the Best Picture prize over Scorsese, Taylor Hackford, Marc Forster and Alexander Payne for his acclaimed boxing movie Million Dollar Baby. Only six DGA winners in the past 57 years have failed to go on to win Oscar gold. Other directors who were recognized by the Guild jury at this year's awards ceremony were Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni, whose gripping Story Of The Weeping Camel earned them the Documentary prize; Walter Hill, who claimed the honor of Best Dramatic Series for TV western series Deadwood; and Tim Van Patten, who was honored in the Best Comedy Series category for Sex And The City. Meanwhile, longtime Oscars producer Gil Cates, a former DGA president, became only the third recipient of the DGA Presidents Award at the Beverly Hilton hotel gala.

Clint Eastwood KO's Directors Guild

Clint Eastwood KO's Directors Guild
In something of a surprise victory, Clint Eastwood took home the Directors Guild award this weekend for the up-and-coming boxing drama Million Dollar Baby. It was the strong signifier that Baby, which just opened wide this weekend on the heels of seven Oscar nominations, is becoming a force to be reckoned with at this year's Academy Awards, where it's up for Best Picture, Actor, Actress, and Director among others. It was also the first major stumbling block for Martin Scorsese, whose The Aviator, with 11 Oscar nominations, is considered by many to be the movie to beat this year. Most everyone was considering this year to be the one for Scorsese, who has yet to win an Academy Award, and his surprise DGA loss puts a damper on the upcoming fortunes for The Aviator this awards season. While the DGA isn't a 100% reliable predictor, it's a pretty darn accurate barometer of who's going to win the Best Director Oscar, as only six of its past 56 winners haven't gone on to take home the Academy Award. Adding insult to injury, Scorsese has been nominated for the DGA award six times but has never won; Eastwood has been nominated three times, and won previously for Unforgiven.

Other DGA winners including feature documentary The Story of the Weeping Camel (which bested Fahrenheit 9/11) and over on the TV side, three efforts from HBO: TV movie Something the Lord Made, drama Deadwood and now-gone comedy Sex and the City. Genius: A Night for Ray Charles won the TV musical variety award.

DGA nominates 5 docus' helmers

The DGA named the nominees Wednesday for its documentary filmmaker award, a field that includes the most profitable docu ever, Fahrenheit 9/11. The nominees were Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni for The Story of the Weeping Camel; Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski for Born Into Brothels; Ross McElwee for Bright Leaves; Michael Moore for Fahrenheit 9/11; and Jehane Noujaim for Control Room. All but Noujaim are first-time nominees for this award. It was Noujaim's second nomination; she won the award in 2001 for Startup.com. The winner will be announced Jan. 29 at the 57th annual DGA Awards dinner at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

'Head-On' wins Bird editing honor

'Head-On' wins Bird editing honor
BERLIN -- Fatih Akin's Golden Bear winner Head-On picked up another honor Wednesday when the film's editor Andrew Bird was nominated for Germany's top editing award, the Schnitt Prize. Bird will go up against Natali Barrey for her work on Jan Krueger's Rotterdam Tiger winner En Route; Bettina Bohler for Christian Petzold's thriller Wolfsburg; Christian Lonk for rural melodrama Hierankl from director Sebastian Steinbichler; and Jurgen Winkelblech for Norbert Baumgarten's east-west comedy Liberated Zone. In the documentary category, Anja Pohl was nominated for editing the sleeper hit The Story of the Weeping Camel; alongside Mona Brauer for Pepe Danquart's Tour-de-France doc Hollentour; Benjamin Ikes for Jorg Siepmann's music documentary Golden Lemons; Inge Schneider for Andres Veiel's drama school portrait Addicted to Acting; and Valerie Smith for 7 Brothers by director Sebastian Winkels. Winners of the Schnit Prize -- which is backed by regional subsidy board Filmstifftung NRW and film association VG Bild-Kunst -- will be announced at a ceremony in Cologne on Nov. 29.

New Directors slates 'Spring,' 'DIG!'

New Directors slates 'Spring,' 'DIG!'
NEW YORK -- A host of faves from festivals over the past year -- including the Sundance standout DIG! and Toronto pickups Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring and The Story of Weeping Camel -- have been selected to screen in this year's New Directors/New Films Festival, thrown by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The festival launches March 24 -- with Jim McKay's Everyday People, from HBO Films, serving as the opening-night feature -- and runs through April 4. A total of 22 features were selected.

Foreign-language choices defy conventional wisdom

NEW YORK -- "Flabbergast" is not a foreign word -- it's etymology is unknown -- but it certainly can be used to describe some of the likely reactions to choices -- and omissions -- the Academy made this year in the foreign-language film category. Canadian helmer Denys Arcand's The Barbarian Invasions (Miramax Films) and Ondrej Trojan's Zelary (Sony Pictures Classics) from the Czech Republic had been bandied by those following the foreign film race as likely shoo-ins to nab nominations. But Wolfgang Becker's German feature, Good bye, Lenin! was also expected to find a place in the class photo too, but it was nowhere to be found when the noms were unveiled. In fact, a whole host of titles that have begun developing a following were among the missing. Among them, Bent Hamer and IFC Films' Kitchen Stories (Norway); Byambasuren Davaa, Luigi Falorni and ThinkFilm's The Story of the Weeping Camel (Mongolia) and Kim Ki-duk's and SPC's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring (Korea).

Manga gets Shaw pics, Dendy picks 'Camel,' Nordisk deals

Manga gets Shaw pics, Dendy picks 'Camel,' Nordisk deals
MILAN -- Hong Kong licenser Celestial Pictures has sold Spanish television, home video and DVD rights for its Shaw Brothers collection of classic martial arts films to Spain's Manga Film, the two companies said Tuesday at MIFED. The deal follows a similar agreement inked Monday with South Korea distributor Spectrum DVD at the Milan market (HR 11/10). "Thanks to the huge success of films such as 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, ' 'The Matrix' and most recently 'Kill Bill-Vol. 1, ' the world has developed an increasing interest and appetite for Hong Kong cinema," Manga Films vp Xavier Catafal said. ... Australian distributor Dendy has picked up hot indie documentary The Story of the Weeping Camel from Neil Friedman's Menemsha Entertainment, Menemsha said Tuesday at MIFED. The German-Mongolian co-production, directed by Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni, was a surprise hit in Toronto and has been picked up by THINKFilm for the United States and Canada, ARP for France, UGC for the United Kingdom and ProKino for Germany. Set in southern Mongolia, Camel is an emotional tale of a baby camel whose mother refuses to nurse her. The local herdsmen enlist a violinist to coax the mother to care for her offspring. Mongolia's official Academy Award entry, the picture has also been nominated for best documentary at the European Film Awards. ... Danish sales group Nordisk Film has signed multiple territory deals for Christoffer Boe's Reconstruction and Mikael Hafstrom's Evil, the official foreign-language Oscar entries from Denmark and Sweden, respectively, on Tuesday at MIFED. Reconstruction sold in all-rights deals to A. Film Distribution for the Benelux territories, the Korea Film Arts Center for South Korea, Alfa Film for Argentina and Chile and Cineplex for Mexico and Central America. Cineplex also picked up all Spanish-speaking rights in Latin America for Evil. New Age Entertainment nabbed the dark comedy for Portugal as well as taking all rights in the territory for Nordisk's The Green Butchers, from director Anders Thomas Jensen.

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