Sundance

‘Birth of a Nation’ Purchased by Fox Searchlight, Becomes Biggest Sundance Deal Ever

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Yesterday, The Birth of a Nation—a film about the 1831 slave revolt led by Nat Turner—premiered at Sundance Film Festival to instant acclaim. Our very own Jason Bailey described the drama as “a vital, stirring, and powerful film by and about people of color – and which arrives like a hand grenade in the midst of a deafeningly loud discussion about why that’s such a rarity in contemporary Hollywood.”
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Unsurprisingly, Kristen Stewart’s Rough “Diversity” Comments Were Misreported

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The media has been in a tizzy over the #OscarsSoWhite campaign happening all over the Internet. You can’t blame us, though, because it’s an important issue that needs constant attention in order for change to take place. Also, it’s just been a real glut of foot-in-mouth situations since the nominations were announced earlier this month. So when news came that Kristen Stewart had said something not-great, it seemed like just another case of someone talented saying something stupid. Only it wasn’t: it was Variety misleading the public as to the context of Stewart’s words.
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Watch the Ribald, Stylish Trailer for Quest-for-Sex Comedy ‘Brahman Naman’

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It’s a tale as old as time, as universal as sunshine: the teenager’s thirst for sex, and the absurd lengths that teenager will take to have it. It could be called a quest, even. In fact, the theme is so universal that many of the world’s most popular art (Superbad! Romeo and Juliet!) has built lasting narratives around it. And here’s another one: Brahman Naman, an Indian film that could very well be the year’s best low-brow comedy. 
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Sundance 2015: The Deals, the Awards, and When You Can See These Fabulous Films

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The 2015 edition of the Sundance Film Festival has come to a close, and if you’ve been following our coverage — and I know you have! — you may be wondering if and when you’ll get to see all these fabulous documentaries and terrific narrative features. And, well, it’s a little complicated. The “if” is fairly easy to figure out, at this point; a healthy chunk of the movies that play the ‘dance go in without a distributor in place, and come out with one. (Deal-watching is one of the many side spectator sports of the festival.) They don’t always announce when they’ll put those movies out, of course, but we can also take some guesses, so let’s round up the deals that have been made, and get an idea of what the art house will look like in 2015 and beyond.
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Exclusive: Alex Gibney on the Church of Scientology’s War on… Film Critics

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When the Church of Scientology took out full-page ads in The New York Times and other outlets slamming Alex Gibney’s Scientology exposé Going Clear in advance of its Sundance Film Festival premiere last week, many wondered if the church might send members to protest the premiere, or stir things up at the customary post-screening Q&A. But at that screening, and in the week of festival showings that followed, no protestors were seen and no scenes were caused. Instead, the Church is taking a less obvious (and perhaps more 21st-century) approach: social media outrage and emails to film critics, a campaign that director Gibney tells Flavorwire is “so ham-fisted and so predictable.”
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