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THE HUNTING PARTY
Following the same tongue-in-cheek flavor of his previous film, The Matador, Richard Shepard's newest outing focuses on another collection of flawed but fascinating characters, this time in the form of a trio of reporters tracking down an elite criminal in war-torn Bosnia. Richard Gere, who's been making something of a comeback as of late, leads the pack as a disgraced, alcoholic journalist putting himself desperately on the line in an attempt to gain back credibility. At his side is Terrance Howard (Hustle & Flow) as veteran camera operator Duck and Jessie Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale) as impressionable reporter Benjamin. The Hunting Party is as black a comedy as you'll find these days, simultaneously hilarious, historical and disturbing, Shepard shows his strong devotion to inciting debate amongst his audience while still entertaining.

VANAJA
Written and director by first-timer Rajnesh Domalpalli, Vanaja is a sensitive, unfiltered portrayal of a young girl's attempt to break out of her poverty-stricken life in rural South India. 14-year-old Vanaja, played by newcomer Mamatha Bhukya, is the lively, precocious daughter of a poor fisherman. She works for a controlling landlady (Urmila Dammannagari) but isn't afraid to keep quiet about her long-time dream of becoming a successful dancer. This fully-fledged ambition, in addition to a romantic fling with the landlady's promising politician son (Karan Singh), ultimately spells trouble for her. A true sense of time, place and characters (not to mention social divisions) lend to this colorful film's integrity, intensity and originality.

REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA
And now... for fans of the baroque, gothic-industrial nightmare that was Saw III...

Lionsgate has just announced that ethereal/classical singer Sarah Brightman will be starring as Blind Mag in the upcoming feature, Repo! The Genetic Opera. Brightman has just finished recording the soundtrack, and will commence filming in mid-Sept.

Repo! is an avant-garde, horror/rock opera movie directed by director Darren Lynn Bousman, notorious for directing Saw II, III and (forthcoming) Saw IV.

 
     
 

RYAN IS FETED
Over at his blog, Anthony Kaufman posts a letter from Ted Hope saluting Mike Ryan, who was named one of Variety's 10 Producers to Watch.

 
     

TORONTO: SEX IN THE CITY

I simply can not view a lot of films and socialize much at big festivals, but once in a while, I feel the urge and accept the best offer, if there is an offer to accept. I didn’t make the cut for last night’s IFC dinner, so I halfheartedly agreed to attend a more casual affair organized by a prominent sales agent for about 10 people—all male. There were trade journalists, filmmakers, and publicists at the table in a restaurant that was selected not for its considerable ambience and delicious cuisine but for its proximity to a club on Yonge Street called Remington’s (with the sub-title “Men of Steel”).


Read the complete stories at Filmmakermagazine's Blog...

   
 

IFP'S ANNUAL INDEPENDENT FILM WEEK
2007 Independent Film Week, the jam-packed annual celebration of independent film culture and community, kicks off this weekend. Held in New York City, the event combines the public Filmmaker Conference, the 29 th Annual IFP Market for industry professionals; and the IFP Awards Luncheon. Selected as the Opening Night film of Independent Film Week is Honeydripper , John Sayles’ latest feature which just premiered in Toronto and will be released theatrically via Emerging Pictures later this year. The Opening Night screening will be followed by a reception celebrating the 15 th anniversary of FILMMAKER Magazine, with noted filmmakers who have been featured in the pages of the magazine over the years in attendance.


 

THE DIRECTOR INTERVIEWS - JOHN TURTURRO, ROMANCE & CIGARETTES
John Turturro has the distinction of being both a director's actor and an actor's director. A favorite of both Spike Lee and the Coen brothers, over the past 20 years Turturro has marked himself out as one of the most interesting and talented actors in film, and whether it is a blocked writer (Barton Fink), a socially-awkward chess master (The Luzhin Defense) or a grief-stricken widower (Fear X), he adds a depth and humanity to the characters he inhabits. In 1992, he directed his first film, Mac, about three Italian American brothers who band together to start a construction firm, a story which was inspired by Turturro's own father's experiences as a carpenter. He followed it up with, Illuminata (1998), a tragicomic farce about a Manhattan theater troupe in the early 20th Century. A true multihyphenate, Turturro also co-wrote both films with Brandon Cole, and played the principal lead in each.

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