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Film School

ENTERTAINMENT
May 11, 2012 | By Gary Thompson, Daily News Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA NATIVE Rel Dowdell had a fairy-tale baptism in the world of independent film. While at film school at Boston University, Dowdell pitched his idea for a student short film to Esther Rolle, expanded that to a feature called "Train Ride," released it on DVD and saw it heralded as one of the top 10 titles of the year for 2000. That's the good news. The bad news: Dowdell had exhausted his lifetime supply of good news. He was about to discover firsthand just how hard it is to make and distribute a truly independent movie.
NEWS
May 9, 2012 | Annette John-Hall
Before Philadelphia's invited movers and shakers even arrived at the red-carpet premiere of Changing the Game, Rel Dowdell's urban tale of corruption and redemption, moviegoers were instructed to leave their smartphones in their cars or turn them over to security before entering the Van Pelt Auditorium at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. After all, it took Dowdell seven long years to birth his baby, and to miraculously land a nationwide distribution...
ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 2012 | By GARY THOMPSON, thompsg@phillynews.com
"DIE HARD" goes condo in "The Raid: Redemption," a frenzied Indonesian action movie whose action credentials are through the roof. Here's the brutally simple premise: A team of heavily armored cops enters the ground floor of an apartment high-rise owned and occupied by a crime kingpin protected by several floors of armed thugs. It's an action movie in three acts - automatic weapons, blades, then fists. The higher the cops go, the more elemental the combat. In truth, though, most of the officers don't go very high.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 1, 2012 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer
BEFORE Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim were famous for being funny, they were Temple film geeks, watching David Lynch movies and David Byrne videos. "At that point in our lives, the idea of comedy was not something that seemed possible; in fact, it wasn't even a cool thing to think about. We were in bands, or doing film installations. It wasn't like we were ever part of a sketch group," said Heidecker, whose decidedly weird first comedy, "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" opens tomorrow.
NEWS
February 20, 2012 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Members of the Stetson Shutterbugs stepped outside their middle school in Kensington and began sizing up the late afternoon sunlight slanting down on bustling Allegheny Avenue. "Take a look at the way the light is now," teacher Anthony Rocco told the students in his photography club. "You get some really strong shadows. " Clutching donated cameras, the young teens set off down B Street to take pictures of the neighborhood to share with their "photo buddies" in a tiny town in Colombia.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 2011 | By Kellie Patrick Gates, For The Inquirer
Hello there In 2002, Rebecca, who hails from Abington, and Mike, who grew up near New Orleans, shared a Northwestern University freshman poetry class. "Once we started talking, it felt like we could just talk forever," said Rebecca, who majored in theater and English. Rebecca tried for more conversational opportunities with frequent visits to a friend who lived across the hall from Mike and carefully timed trips to the dining hall. After a year discussing books, movies, and current events, Mike, a film major, asked Rebecca to attend a student play.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 22, 2011 | By NICOLE SPERLING, Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES - It's noon on a warm July day, and filmmaker Will Gluck is worried that he's become a cliche. The 39-year-old writer-director behind the new romantic comedy "Friends With Benefits," starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, is wondering whether he should have hung a framed poster for the 1948 Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn movie "State of the Union" in his sparsely furnished new office at Sony Pictures. The poster, a gift from Kunis, is a bit of a gag, Gluck said - the actress knows how much the boyish-looking New York native detests Hollywood-types who display old movie posters in their offices.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 5, 2011 | By GARY THOMPSON, thompsg@phillynews.com 215-854-5992
WHEN JOHN Carpenter made the sci-fi hit "Starman" in 1984, the pinnacle of his Hollywood success, he may have been telling a little of his own story. One that began in western Kentucky, where his family moved from New York state when he was 5. This was the early 1950s, a conservative time, and Kentucky was to Carpenter a conservative place. "We were a Yankee family in the South, strangers in a strange land. To me, this was a crazy, Bible Belt place. They didn't understand me, and I didn't understand them," said Carpenter, who'll be honored Monday by the Philadelphia Cinefest with its Phantasmagoria award.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2011 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Columnist
George Nolfi , the man behind the just-released Matt Damon - Emily Blunt thriller The Adjustment Bureau , graduated from a different kind of film school than most folks in the business. There's no name or campus, and the admissions policy is highly selective. It does help to have written a few screenplays - say, an espionage action franchise, maybe ( The Bourne Ultimatum ), or one of those cool A-list heist pics ( Ocean's Twelve ). "I had a couple of really big advantages," concedes Nolfi, who has degrees in public policy (Princeton)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2010 | By HOWARD GENSLER, gensleh@phillynews.com 215-854-5678
At the Toronto International Film Festival, members of the media interview people from all over the world, but it's rare to interview them while they still have their luggage. Gareth Edwards was at TIFF to talk about his new movie, "Monsters" (opening tomorrow), and the Daily News caught up with him in the bar at the Hyatt Hotel, moments after he'd arrived from London. Fortunately, Edwards was able to sleep on his flight. With "Monsters" appearing in so many festivals, he's become accustomed to snoozing on planes.
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