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European director Susanne Bier (director of the Academy Award Nominated After the Wedding) makes her American directorial debut with Things We Lost in the Fire. The film centers around a recent widow played by Halle Berry (Catwoman) and her two children dealing with the loss of the families patriarch (played by David Duchovny). While grieving, Berry invites her husband’s drug addled best friend (Benicio Del Toro) to come live with the family while they both try to put their separate lives back together, even if she never understood why he and her husband were friends. What unfolds is not just a common story about coping with loss but an examination of what happens when people try and hold their worlds together, even as it falls apart around them. The film treads dark territory, but manages to take seemingly cliché ideas and turn them on their head.


Imagine committing suicide and finding yourself living amongst fellow suicide victims in a state of limbo (forget Dante's Purgatorio) that resembles everyday reality, only slightly worse. Wristcutters: A Love Story, directed by Goran Dukic and adapted from a short story by Etgar Keret, is essentially a creative spin on the road-trip genre with strange, supernatural elements involved. Featuring a highly talented but largely unrecognized group of actors led by Patrick Fugit (star of Almost Famous) and supported by Shannyn Sossamon, Shea Whigham, Tom Waits, Will Arnet and John Hawkes. It's not so often a film comes along which forces old issues to be examined under a new light, but Wristcutters does just that. A word-of-mouth hit at Sundance, this film is a darkened blend of comedy and drama in the most unorthodox vein (no pun intended), a clear challenge to the increasingly-derivative Hollywood standard.

The Vancouver International Film Festival closed out recently with a screening of Pierre Salvadori’s new French farce staring Amelie darling Audrey Tautou as a gold digger who hasset her sights on a less then wealthy bartender thinking he is a rich suitor. However, not everyone thought the film was Priceless. Rob Nelson takes a look at the movie and what film walked away from the fest with a hefty prize…


NYFF.45 #3

If you have yet to check out the Filmmaker Videos section of the site, you’ve been missing out. Jamie Stuart's returns with his third installment from the New York Film Festival, this time with I’m Not There director Todd Haynes.


Independent Filmmakers Eric Byler and Annabel Park are putting a new twist on documentaries, and they want your help. The two have set up a YouTube site where they post snippets of their latest project on immigration, and they're asking for viewer feedback as to where they should go next with the doc. Scott Macaulay takes a look at the truly interactive process.

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


IFP has announced a number of sales and financing deals which took place at – or immediately following – this year’s IFP Market.

Bari Pearlman sold US distribution rights for her documentary feature Daughters of Wisdom to Seventh Art Releasing. Danae Elon pre-sold her documentary The Evil Tongue to Finnish public television. Canadian public broadcaster CBC Newsworld announced that it made pre-sale offers, and is currently in discussions with, three of this year’s documentary works-in-progress, including Goold's Gold by Tucker Capps and Ryan Sevy, Cornered by Eric Drath, and If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, by Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman. Finally, San Francisco-based Chicken & Egg Pictures has also awarded completion grants of $10,000 each to three female documentary filmmakers. The awarded projects included Dee Rees’s Eventual Salvation, Luisa Dantas’s Land of Opportunity: The New New Orleans, and Yolanda Pividal’s Tijuana Nada Más


From commercial crab fishing in Alaska, to learning how to become a filmmaker in Peru, Aaron Woolf’s worldly experience makes him an ideal documentarian for PBS. His previous films — Dying to Leave: The Human Face of Global Trafficking, Greener Grass Cuba and Baseball and the United States — all aired on public television, but Woolf is proud to have his latest film, King Corn, get theatrical distribution.

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