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Documentary

Trump Interview Crowns Scottish Doc Sequel

ShutterstockTrumpTowerBuzz is starting to build for A Dangerous Game, Anthony Baxter‘s follow-up to his Michael Moore-style 2011 documentary You’ve Been Trumped. In that original movie, the filmmaker chronicled some eventual local resistance to a luxury golf course resort development ushered in by The Donald.

The sequel recently premiered at film festival events in Sheffield, England and Edinburgh, Scotland. As part of the latter unveiling, Baxter spoke with the Scottish Daily Record about the climactic centerpiece of his new movie – an interview with Trump. The billionaire did not participate in the first movie and in fact, when the BBC announced plans to broadcast the film, he initially tried to have that airing blocked. From Baxter’s conversation with Record reporter Brian McIver:

“I went to Trump Tower and it was quite a strange experience,” said Baxter. “It was good in the sense we were able to put questions to him that were still remaining from the first film but new questions also emerged in the making of the second film. It was an extraordinary encounter and an important one in terms of being able to put to him directly the issues the residents have endured for so long.”

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The ‘French George Clooney’ is Simply Magnifique!

Kickstarter project updates don’t get much more fun than this.

After raising $92,386 to cover some unavoidably hefty international travel and accommodation expenses, director Paul Mariano has updated donors on his latest pit stops for a documentary profiling the many international movie-dubbing voices of George Clooney. India’s VO George is a TV series regular; Turkey’s version starred in the country’s most successful sitcom.

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But when it comes to the completely extraneous physical side of a voice-over artist, the guy who mouths the words for GC in France is almost Gravity-defying:

Samuel Labarthe (pictured) looks like he came straight out of the French casting department. He is tall, handsome and debonair… as only the French can be. And yet, he was a quiet and unassuming man.

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A Screening Dedicated to a Late, Great Journalism Prof

Tonight at the Tri-State Museum in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, there will be a very special screening of PBS documentary The Last Cowboy. The event is being held in the name of one of the movie’s champions, William “Bill” Kunerth, a retired journalism professor who passed away last December.

From a recent bit of coverage in the Butte County Post:

The ranch-raised, nationally-recognized journalism professor hoped someone would show the real life of a cowboy in a modern setting. The 6:30 p.m. showing will be free or by donation in memory of the longtime volunteer and museum supporter…

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Jose Antonio Vargas: ‘Journalism is Everything I’ve Ever Had’

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Jose Antonio Vargas introducing his film, Documented, at the Museum of the Moving Image on Thursday.

Last night, Jose Antonio Vargas‘ film Documented premiered in New York at the Museum of the Moving Image. The documentary, written and directed by the Pulitzer Prize-winner, chronicles his journey from outing himself as an illegal immigrant in The New York Times and his cross-country campaign for immigration reform. “This is not the film I envisioned to make, but it’s the film I needed to make,” Vargas said, when he introduced the film.

Vargas’ piece in the Times made waves when it was published back in 2011, recounting how he was smuggled into the U.S. from the Philippines at the age of 12, and how he built a successful career as a journalist. The film shows the behind-the-scenes planning that went into the whole ordeal and the consequences that followed. “I thought I could write my way into America, that was my plan,” he said.

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The Many International Voices of George Clooney

Shutterstock_GeorgeClooneyLast week, it was an Indiewire “Project of the Day.” This week, thanks to public-vote support, Being George Clooney became the site’s “Project of the Week,” alongside a separate write-up in The Hollywood Reporter.

When your Kickstarter project revolves around the charismatic bachelor-king of Hollywood and features his full name in the title, it’s almost guaranteed to be The Perfect [PR] Storm. Even more so when the idea at the film’s core is so genuinely appealing:

Helmed by Paul Mariano, the co-director of documentary These Amazing Shadows, the film explores audio dubbing of Hollywood films for foreign markets by visiting the men who are the international voices of Clooney. Among them are a German actor, a Brazilian ER doctor, a Japanese man who studied to be a lawyer and a children’s book author.

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Internet Privacy Documentary Gets Off to Roaring Start in Sonoma

After world premiering at SLAMdance in January, Cullen Hoback’s documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply re-upped on the film festival circuit this past weekend at the Sonoma International Film Festival. And in what is likely the first of several such prizes, it snagged the event’s Best Documentary Feature nod.

In the coming weeks, this scary look at how much Internet users typically give up when they accept website terms and conditions will screen at film festivals in Newport Beach (April 26-May 2), Toronto (April 26-May 3) and Belgium (May 4-8). Helping feed the buzz are the recognizable names up on screen:

Terms and Conditions May Apply features interviews with musician Moby, futurist Ray Kurzweil and science-fiction author Orson Scott Card, as well as a privacy-invading ambush of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

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Searching for a Great Sugar Man Follow-Up? Rolling Stone Has It

Before Argo, both in real life and at the 84th Annual Academy Awards, there was Searching for Sugar Man. The winner of the Documentary Feature prize is just about the most entertaining in-search-of doc since Michael Moore was in his GM, George W.-tracking prime.

Rolling Stone associate editor Andy Greene delightfully keeps the vibe going with today’s “10 Things You Didn’t Know…” feature. God love Sixto Rodriguez, a guy who opted not to attend the Oscars and then nonchalantly skipped his moment of Academy triumph from afar:

“I was asleep when it won, but my daughter Sandra called to tell me,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t have TV service anyway.”

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Hearst Documentary Highlights Life, Legacy of California’s Greatest Media Baron

This weekend, the “H” in William H. Macy will stand for not just “Hall” but also “Hearst.” That’s because the Oscar-nominated actor does a very capable job as narrator of the feature documentary Citizen Hearst, opening Thursday at Laemmle movie theaters in Beverly Hills (Music Hall), Pasadena (Playhouse 7), Encino (Town Center) and Claremont (Claremont 5).

After highlighting the life exploits of William Randolph Hearst, the movie really hits its stride once it gets to the post-World War II era and success of magazines like Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan. It’s fun to hear interview subjects recall how Helen Gurley Brown‘s stewardship hit town “like a thunder clap.” Here for example is a recollection in the film from Kate White, Cosmo editor-in-chief from 1998 to 2012:

“Helen’s first cover is still an inspiration to me, it’s so sexy. The woman, a blonde, buxom. The little hint of Brigitte Bardot… One of my favorite all-time [first cover] lines is, ‘THE NEW PILL THAT PROMISES TO MAKE WOMEN MORE RESPONSIVE.’”

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LAT Article Leads Filmmaker to $101,000 Documentary Prize

The LA Times and Kickstarter deserve equal amounts of credit for something that happened in San Antonio this past weekend.

It was a June 2011 LAT article by Southeast Asia correspondent John M. Glionna that first made filmmaker Brian Ivie aware of a South Korean pastor caring for unwanted disabled children. Inspired by the piece, Ivie that fall raised a relatively modest sum to make a feature documentary about the extraordinary man profiled by Glionna and on Saturday The Drop Box claimed a $101,000 Jubilee Award from the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival:

Judge Curtis Bowers, who won “Best of Festival” in 2010 for his film Agenda, remarked: “We saw in this young man [Ivie] someone who loved life so much; that loved the truth; that was willing to defend those that no one cares about and wants to get rid of. If he’s that passionate about that in a movie that he didn’t know if it’s ever going to make money or not . . . we could tell: That’s a young man we want to invest in, because he’s going to change the world with his films.”

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Trailer O’ the Day: Sellebrity

Just caught this trailer for the new documentary Sellebrity last night at a screening of Holy Motors at USC. Seems pretty timely, what with the recent death of paparazzo Chris Guerra, who was struck by an SUV while shooting Justin Bieber, as well as the proposed legal changes to celebrity photography still being bandied about here in Los Angeles in the wake of Guerra’s death.

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