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Festivity

What Would Carrie Bradshaw Think? Sarah Jessica Parker is NOT in Linda Lovelace Sundance Pic

Nice little exclusive from EW senior writer Anthony Breznican heading into the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He got word from the makers of Lovelace that after a lot of casting drama involving Sarah Jessica Parker for the role of Gloria Steinhem, it all wound up on the cutting room floor:

Parker was a last-minute addition to the film, which features Amanda Seyfried in the life story of the woman who starred in the 1972 X-rated movie Deep Throat. The Sex and the City actress was an emergency fill-in for Demi Moore, who dropped out of the movie in the middle of production after she suffered unspecified health problems and was hospitalized…

With the film now just days away from its debut at the Sundance Film Festival, directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman have told EW that it turned out they didn’t need the character after all. Parker, who played the role of feminist icon Gloria Steinem, has joined a long list of actors left on the cutting room floor.

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FIRST LOOK: Poster for Journalist Neil Drumming’s SLAMdance Feature Big Words

It makes a lot of sense for the feature-length debut of a veteran journalist to be titled Big Words. World premiering Friday night at the 2013 SLAMdance Film Festival, the drama is the work of Neil Drumming, formerly a staff writer at Entertainment Weekly (2002-2007) and currently a freelancer for such publications as Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Vibe. The movie tells the story of three former hip-hop group pals struggling with their feelings on the night of President Obama’s election in 2008.

Drumming blogged about the making of his film for The Atlantic. Here’s how he described the final day of shooting:

I can’t speak for every director, but without my crew around me, I feel alone in a profoundly disturbing way – like sitting in the middle of a vacuum waiting for someone to clap the slate. Maybe this is something you get over. But then again, maybe it isn’t. There appear to be many addictive things about being a filmmaker, and maybe this is one of them: You get hooked on the voices. You spend your career desperately chasing collaboration, art by committee. Fortunately for me, I still have weeks of post-production to get the film ready for festival submission. So I have plenty of time to get chummy with my editor.

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Anita Hill Documentary is Already SRO at Sundance

Along with being the editor of Southland Publishing’s Arroyo Monthly magazine, Irene Lacher continues to contribute provocative weekly celebrity “Sunday Conversations” Q&As as a freelancer to the LA Times. She was once a staffer for the paper. We covered the one she famously did some time ago with actor Thomas Jane and want to also highlight her intriguing January 13 discussion with Anita Hill.

All four premiere screenings in Park City of Anita, the documentary about Hill’s landmark sexual harassment battle, are already sold out. The only downside of Lacher’s interview is that at the time of the discussion, Clarence Thomas‘ former accuser had not yet seen the film. Hill explained how Anita came about:

“I had been approached by two or three filmmakers about doing a documentary, and for two or three years I simply said no, and Freida Mock had come back a couple of times. I wanted to work to make sure that if the story was told that at least I had some positive input. So after talking with Freida, I just felt that she was the right person to tell the story. She persuaded me in this very calm, clear way that I and the story would be in good hands. And that’s all she promised me.”

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Rotten Tomatoes Radio Will Ramp It Up for Sundance

SiriusXM program Rotten Tomatoes Radio just keeps on rolling.

Launched June 7 as a weekly Thursday live call-in show, it was expanded to two nights a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays) just three months later with an eye towards also covering each week’s DVD and VOD releases. Now comes word that the one-hour program will be going daily for the first weekend of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. From today’s announcement:

Rotten Tomatoes Radio will air from the Miami Lounge on Main Street in Park City on Thursday, January 17 at 6:00 pm, Friday, January 18 at 7:00 pm, Saturday, January 19 at 4:00 pm and Sunday, January 20 at 4:00 pm (all times ET) on SiriusXM Stars Too channel 104. Senior editor Grae Drake and Rotten Tomatoes’ international editor Luke Goodsell (live from Park City) together with editor-inc-chief Matt Atchity (live from Rotten Tomatoes LA headquarters) will report on all the latest news, buzz and deals and interview notable guests.

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Coachella Hinting at Rolling Stones for 2013?

Coachella is almost around the corner (scary, huh?) and the music festival might have dropped a hint about the headliner for the 2013 festival.

The above image of what could be a stone (or beach ball … but let’s just go with stone) is via the Coachella Facebook page, leaving many to speculate this is a subtle hint the Rolling Stones will be the headline act.

Mick Jagger and the rest of the wrinkled crew were first linked to Coachella last month when their official app listed the festival as an upcoming tour date before quickly deleting it.

The two-day, two-weekend festival is scheduled for April 12-14 and April 19-21. The full lineup will be announced later this month.

AFI Fest Announces 2012 Prize Winners

AFI FEST 2012 comes to a close today, and the winners of this year’s prizes are in. Sadly, we were only able to catch two of the winning films this time around: New Auteur Grand Jury Award winner Eat Sleep Die, a subdued but brilliant look at working class immigrants struggling to survive in Sweden; and New Auteur Audience Award winner A Hijacking, a hyper-realistic portrayal of protracted hostage negotiations between a Danish shipping company and the Somali Pirates who kidnapped a crew of sailors.

Both were brilliant and well worth viewing should they see a wider release.

Full list of winners after the jump.

Photo: Eat Sleep Die

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ArcLight Doc Fest Shines a Lightsaber on Fan Films

The 2nd Annual ArcLight Documentary Film Festival wraps up tonight with a screening of Backyard Blockbusters. The 119-minute feature, scheduled for 8:15 p.m. at the ArcLight Hollywood location, surveys the fascinating history of fan films.

Writer-director John E. Hudgens comes to the subject matter the best way possible. He won Audience Awards in 2003 and 2005 at the Lucasfilm Star Wars Fan Film Awards for his parodies The Jedi Hunter and Sith Apprentice. He can also claim to have worked on the franchise through his day job as an artist-animator and is known for his Babylon 5 spoof-tribute work as well.

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West of Memphis Plays AFI Fest on Eve of Death Penalty Vote

West of Memphis, Amy Berg‘s comprehensive documentary about the wrongly accused West Memphis Three, made its  debut at AFI Fest yesterday. There weren’t a whole lot of dry eyes in the audience. With today’s vote on Proposition 34 to end the death penalty in California, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  If you didn’t make the screening, do yourself a favor and at least watch the trailer above before you vote today.

Latest Found Footage Festival Features Blast from LA’s Public Access Past

The 2012 Found Footage Festival road show kicks off tonight in Arlington, Virginia. Although the closest the event will come to LA is Chico and San Francisco in December, this year’s edition showcases a critical City of Angels component.

As event co-founder Joe Pickett tells Big Hollywood’s Christia Toto, newly discovered VHS wonders include some sequel footage he and event partner Nick Pueher have been hunting down for some time now. The video in question dates back to a few years before their event’s launch in 2004:

“My personal favorite [this year] is a public access video from Los Angeles called Dancing with Frank Pacholski. This guy, Frank, shot two episodes in 1999, and we’ve had the first episode in our possession for a while. But recently we found the legendary second episode that’s 1,000 times weirder. Without giving too much away, it involves a man dancing around in Speedos, elderly people, salad dressing and raw chicken.”

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Somali Pirates Drama Claims Top Prize at TheWrap’s Short Film Fest

Culminating with an awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Backstage Theater on the Sony Lot, TheWrap’s inaugural ShortList short film festival recognized the top vote getters from a dozen hand-picked entries.

A judges’ panel consisting of Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen, producer Cassian Elwes, actor Zachary Quinto, producer Lynette Howell and Sundance Institute feature film program founding director Michelle Satter crowned Fishing Without Nets – a drama about Somali pirates told from the pirates’ point of view – as the Jury Prize winner. The audience vote, gathered via thewrap.com and MTV websites film.com and nextmovie.com, favored The Maker. From Lucas Shaw’s report:

[Fishing Without Nets] director Cutter Hodierne nets a $60,000 reward from Panavision to be used for a future filmmaking project… Hodierne and [The Maker director] Christopher Kezelos will receive a new Sony Alpha A77 DLSR Cameras, as well as a first-look deal with Cinedigm.

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