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Independent Movies

February 25, 2007 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
"Little Miss Sunshine," the dark comedy about a dysfunctional family, won best feature at the 2007 Film Independent's Spirit Awards on Saturday. "Sunshine," which is nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture, won three other awards at the beachside event: best director for Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, supporting male actor for veteran Alan Arkin and best first screenplay for Michael Arndt.
JOHN SLOSS has been called independent filmmaking's consigliere. He's part lawyer, part salesman, part problem-solver who became an avid film buff watching a movie a day as a projectionist and usher while attending the University of Michigan. Honored films he's been involved with include "Boys Don't Cry," which won Hilary Swank her first acting Academy Award, best documentary Oscar winner "The Fog of War" and current best picture nominee "Little Miss Sunshine."
November 29, 2006 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
After several years of honoring more mainstream fare, Film Independent's Spirit Awards returned to their indie roots for many of the nominations announced Tuesday in Los Angeles. While one of the best feature nominees -- "Little Miss Sunshine" -- was a breakout hit and likely Oscar contender, the others -- "American Gun," "The Dead Girl," "Half Nelson" and "Pan's Labyrinth" -- had limited distribution or haven't been released.
October 1, 2006 | Sorina Diaconescu, Special to The Times
INDIE filmmaker Andrew Bujalski spent three years trying to bring his 2002 debut picture, "Funny Ha Ha," onto big screens. Low on plot and high on loopy, broken charm, it earned him a 2004 "Someone to Watch" Independent Spirit Award and critical praise when it was finally released in theaters last year.
June 27, 2006 | Robert W. Welkos, Times Staff Writer
It was, in all likelihood, one of the most depressing panel discussions to be held at this year's Los Angeles Film Festival -- or any film festival, for that matter.
May 21, 2006 | Rachel Abramowitz, Times Staff Writer
ON May 1, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu skipped out on the final mix of his film "Babel" to take his family to the immigration rallies in downtown L.A. While his absence might have given heartburn to the production staff hurtling to get the Brad Pitt-Cate Blanchett film ready for the Cannes Film Festival, to Gonzalez Inarritu, it was worth it. "It was like Simon Bolivar's dream -- people from all over Latin America," says the 42-year-old Mexican director. "I didn't feel any rage or any anger.
May 2, 2006 | Lorenza Munoz, Times Staff Writer
Hoping to cash in on the increasing popularity of so-called specialty films, the country's second-largest theater circuit is about to start showcasing independent films in theaters in markets where art house viewers are believed to reside. AMC Theatres will announce today that it has designated 72 theaters as AMC Select venues.
March 30, 2006 | Kevin Crust, Times Staff Writer
THE Method Fest, spotlighting breakthrough performances in independent movies, opens Friday with the romantic drama "Dreamland." Along with screenings of 22 features and 40 shorts, the festival hosts seminars and panels and will present lifetime achievement awards to Julie Harris and Ruby Dee. Like many of the films in the festival, "Dreamland" features a good cast of actors doing strong work in a film whose parts are greater than its sum.
March 5, 2006 | Kenneth Turan, Times Staff Writer
IT'S hard to say what the most examined, scrutinized and analyzed event in the civilized world might be, but around this time of the year in this part of the country it's got to be the Academy Awards. If we as a nation had paid even a fraction of this much attention to the prewar situation in Iraq, a lot of things would be different right now. But even focusing on a situation doesn't guarantee that observers will get things right, with those Oscars being a case in point.
March 3, 2006 | Lynn Smith, Times Staff Writer
If there are any filmmakers who really mean it when they say it's a thrill just to be nominated, that would be Marshall Curry, the producer, director, cinematographer and editor of the Oscar underdog "Street Fight," and his executive producers Liz Garbus and Rory Kennedy. The documentary, which describes the politically and even physically brutal 2002 mayoral race in Newark, N.J., was Curry's first feature film, shot almost all on his own and with his own money.
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