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Maldives President Featured in The Island President Documentary Outsted In What He Called A Coup

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Mohamed Nasheed featured in the documentary 'The Island President' has been ousted from his post as president of the Maldives.

Nasheed says he expects to be jailed after being ousted from his post earlier in the week in what he said was a coup at gunpoint.

The Vice president Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik was installed as president.

Protests against Mr Nasheed's government started after he ordered the military to arrest the criminal court chief justice.

The Maldives officially Republic of Maldives also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 700 kilometres (430 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka and 400 kilometres (250 mi) south-west of India.

The Island President tells the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced–the literal survival of his country and everyone in it.

After leading a twenty-year pro-democracy movement against the brutal regime of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, surviving repeated imprisonments and torture, Nasheed becomes president at 41, only to encounter a far more implacable adversary than a dictator–the ocean. Considered the lowest lying country in the world, a rise of a mere three meters in sea level would inundate the 1200 islands of the Maldives, rendering the country practically unlivable. Unless dramatic changes are made by the larger countries of the world, the Maldives, like a modern Atlantis, will disappear under the waves.

The Island President captures Nasheed’s first year of office, a time when he influences the direction of international events in a way that few leaders have ever done, even in countries many times the size of the Maldives. Nasheed’s story culminates in his trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, where we get a rare insider’s look at the political deal-making that goes on at such a top-level global assembly. Nasheed is unusually candid about revealing his strategies–leveraging the Maldives’ underdog position, harnessing the power of media, and overcoming deadlocks through an appeal to unity with other developing nations. When all hope fades for any kind of written accord to be signed, Nasheed makes a stirring speech which salvages an agreement. While Copenhagen is judged by many as a failure, it marked the first time in history that China, India, and the United States agreed to reduce carbon emissions.

Two Documentary Filmmakers Working With Director James Cameron Killed in Helicopter Crash

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Two filmmakers, Mike deGruy, a biologist and conservationist, and Andrew Wight, a pilot and underwater cave diver, working with filmmaker James Cameron and National Geographic on a documentary film, were killed in a helicopter crash in Australia on Saturday.

Andrew Wight, 52, was the documentary-producing partner of James Cameron and the two recently co-produced Andrew’s first feature film, Sanctum 3D.

Mike deGruy, 60, spent 30 years producing and directing documentary films about the ocean and was the director of undersea photography for Cameron’s Last Mysteries of the Titanic.

Reacting to the deaths, Cameron said, “Mike and Andrew were like family to me. They were my deep-sea brothers, and both were true explorers who did extraordinary things and went places no human being has been. They died doing exactly what they loved most, heading out to sea on a new and personally challenging expedition, having fun in the way they defined it for themselves, which was hardship and toil to achieve something never done before. They were passionate storytellers who lived by the explorer’s code of humor, empathy, optimism, and courage. Their deaths are a tremendous loss for the world of underwater exploration, conservation, and filmmaking.”

Cameron added, “Andrew was kind and loyal, full of life and a sense of fun, and above all, a careful planner who stressed safety to everyone on his team every single day. It is cruelly ironic that he died flying a helicopter, which was second nature to him, like driving a car would be to most people.”

RIP Actor Ben Gazzara Died in NY at 81

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Actor Ben Gazzara, known for his strong performances on film, television and on Broadway including his role in "The Big Lebowski," died Friday in Manhattan, New York at the age of 81.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, his lawyer, Jay Julien, said.

Gazzara made his movie debut in 1957 in Calder Willingham's "The Strange One," and followed that film with "Anatomy of a Murder"

In addition to the "The Big Lebowski,"other films included Spike Lee’s “Summer of Sam” in 1999, where he played a mobster. He also spent time acting in movies in Italy, where he appeared in Marco Ferreri’s 1981 adaptation of Charles Bukowski’s “Tales of Ordinary Madness”; “Il Camorrista” (1986), directed by Giuseppe Tornatore; and Stefano Mignucci’s “Bandits” (1995).

Documentary Filmmaker Josh Fox Arrested in Washington DC

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Documentary filmmaker Joshua Fox was arrested on Wednesday as he reportedly tried to film a House Science Committee hearing without proper media credentials.

According to the NY Times, Josh Fox, whose HBO documentary “Gasland” raised questions about the safety of the natural gas drilling technique known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was handcuffed and charged with unlawful entry.

Mr. Fox is preparing a sequel to “Gasland  and brought a crew to film a hearing of the energy and environment subcommittee that was looking into an Environmental Protection Agency finding that fracking was probably responsible for groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyo.

Mr. Fox was released by the Capitol police shortly after 1 p.m. with a misdemeanor citation. A court date is set for Feb. 15.

Film Exec Bingham Ray Died After Suffering Stroke at Sundance Film Festival

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San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Bingham Ray passed away on January 23 after suffering a stroke while attending the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah'

The San Francisco Film Society regrets to announce that Executive Director Bingham Ray passed away on January 23 while attending the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

"The board of directors and staff of the Film Society are stunned and deeply saddened by the untimely death of our executive director Bingham Ray. We at the Film Society and the entire film community have lost far too early an energetic and visionary impact player who has helped shape the independent film industry for decades in so many important and valuable ways," said Pat McBaine, SFFS board president. "He shall be dearly missed. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to Bingham's family and his legions of friends and colleagues all over the world who loved and respected him."

Ray brought his well-developed creative and business acumen to the running, reimagining and reinvigorating of a major nonprofit arts organization. Since taking the helm on November 7, 2011 he oversaw and crafted a cohesive plan to strengthen the Film Society's exhibition, education and filmmakers services programs, including its most successful fall season to date; addressed the strenuous financial concerns facing nonprofit arts organizations today; focused particular attention on the operation of SF Film Society Cinema; connected to the local education community; broadened the outreach and impact of the project development and grants programs; and was well into plans for the 55th San Francisco International Film Festival.

He immediately became a part of the SF film world, hosting a reception at Tosca Café to introduce himself to the community; a special screening of California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown, attended by Governor Jerry Brown and his wife Anne Gust; and a preview of Pina with his old friend Wim Wenders, attended by Francis and Eleanor Coppola, Les Blank, Phil Kaufman and Tom Luddy.

"When Bingham took the job, we were ecstatic," said SFFS board co-vice president and film producer Jen Chaiken. "It was an enormous vote of confidence for the organization that he was compelled to uproot his life to come run the Film Society. Bingham felt this job honored and tapped into the experience he'd garnered over the past 30 years. Bingham was one of those rare few who everyone knew on a first name only basis. He was one of a kind and will be deeply, deeply missed."

Ray came to the San Francisco Film Society from New York City, where he recently served as the first run programming consultant to the Film Society of Lincoln Center, executive consultant to the digital distribution company SnagFilms and adjunct professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Ray cofounded October Films in 1991 and served as its copresident until its sale to USA Networks in 1999. October was one of the foremost independent film companies of the 1990s, winning two Oscars and garnering 13 Oscar nominations and top prizes at the Cannes Film Festival on three occasions. Some of October Films' credits include the internationally acclaimed Secrets & Lies, The Apostle, Cookie's Fortune, The Celebration, Lost Highway, The Last Seduction and Breaking the Waves.

In September 2001, Ray assumed the post of president of United Artists. During his tenure at UA, the company acquired and/or produced many highly acclaimed films such as No Man's Land, winner of the 2001 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine, winner of the 2002 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary and the 2004 Academy Award-nominated Hotel Rwanda. Other United Artists films successfully released during Ray's tenure include Jeepers Creepers 1 & 2, Nicholas Nickleby, Ghost World, Igby Goes Down and Pieces of April.

In 2007 Ray joined the Los Angeles-based production company Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and held two posts during his three-year tenure, president of Kimmel Distribution and president of creative affairs. In the first post Ray supervised all marketing and distribution plans for the original Death at a Funeral, Talk to Me, Lars and the Real Girl and Synecdoche, N.Y., among others. In the latter he was responsible for the development and production activities of the remake of Death at a Funeral, as well as supervising the development of a seven-film production slate.

Bingham Ray began his career in 1981 as manager/programmer of the Bleecker Street Cinema. He has been on the juries of the Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival and the Film Independent Spirit Awards. He has lectured on film production and development at the City College of New York's Graduate Film School, Columbia University and New York University.

Ray is survived by his wife Nancy King, their children Nick, Annabel and Becca, and his sisters Susan Clair and Deb Pope.

San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Bingham Ray Hospitalized at Sundance Film Festival

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San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Bingham Ray reportedly suffered a stroke while at the Sundance Film Festival and remains hospitalized.

In a press release, the SFFS says The San Francisco Film Society regrets to announce that Executive Director Bingham Ray has been hospitalized while attending the Sundance Film Festival.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Bingham for a speedy and full recovery and our sympathies go out to his family and his many friends and colleagues at Sundance and throughout the independent film world," said Pat McBaine, SFFS board president.

Indie filmmaker Jonathan Parisen Charged in NY Train Incident

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Indie filmmaker Jonathan M. Parisen, 40, of East Orange, NJ, who wrote, produced and directed “Stairwell: Trapped in the World Trade Center” was charged Monday with trespassing and endangerment in New York City.

According to published reports, an intoxicated Parisen jumped onto the Staten Island Railway tracks early Sunday to retrieve a lost shoe. When he struggled to get back up, good Samaritan Steven Santiago jumped on the tracks to help and was struck in the head by a train.

Parisen and Santiago are both being treated at Staten Island University Medical Center.

 

Actor Christian Bale Starring in Chinese Film The Flowers of War Roughed Up in China

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Actor Christian Bale who is in China for the premiere of his latest movie, “The Flowers of War,” was reportedly roughed up by Chinese government-backed guards on Thursday when he tried to visit lawyer, Chen Guangcheng who has been  imprisoned in his home by authorities, along with his wife and child, since his release from prison in September 2010.

The incident was captured by a CNN camera crew who accompanied Christian Bale on the eight-hour drive from Beijing to Dongshigu village, to visit Chen Guangcheng who is blind.

“What I really wanted to do was to meet the man, shake his hand and say what an inspiration he is,” Mr. Bale said.

According to the NY Times, Mr. Chen, a self-taught lawyer, crossed Chinese authorities after he took on the case of thousands of local women who had been the victims of an aggressive family planning campaign that included forced sterilizations and abortions. In 2006, he was sentenced to four-and-a-half years during a trial that his legal defenders described as farcical. The charges included destroying property and organizing a crowd to block traffic, crimes allegedly orchestrated while he was under house arrest.

The whole incident may prove tricky for Chinese authorities as Christian Bale is currently starring in the Chinese film, The Flowers of War, which is also the Chinese official foreign film submission for the Academy Awards. Directed by Zhang Yimo, the film depicts Japanese atrocities during their 1937 occupation of Nanjing; and  Christian Bale plays a Catholic priest who tries to save young Chinese women who have taken refuge in a Catholic boarding school during the Japanese invasion.

The film opens this week in China, and on December 23 in the United States and Europe.

 

 

Bollywood actor Dev Anand Dies In London After Heart Attack

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Legendary Bollywood actor Dev Anand, the 'Evergreen Romantic Superstar' of Indian cinema, died after a heart attack in a London hotel on Saturday night. He was 88.

Dev Anand, who was reportedly not feeling well, was in London for a medical checkup. His son Sunil was with him when he passed away.

"It is with great sadness that the family of Mr Dev Anand announces his death," his British representative Kenny Muir said in a statement.

"He passed away in his sleep last night from a sudden cardiac arrest. The family requests privacy until further announcements are made."

Dev Anand made his debut as an actor in 1946 in "Hum Ek Hain" and had many hits such as "Paying Guest", "Baazi", "Jewel Thief ", "CID", "Johny Mera Naam", "Amir Garib", "Warrant", "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" and "Des Pardes".

His latest film 'Chargesheet', in which he acted and directed was released this year.

 

Renowned 89 year-old Cinematographer finds inspiration in current Occupy movements

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Haskell Wexler, an 89 year-old Academy Award Winning cinematographer, is turning his camera on the Occupy LA movement for his latest political and social documentation.

The groundbreaking cinematographer and film director has been in the business since the early 1960s, starting out with documentaries, then breaking into Hollywood with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, for which he won his first Oscar. He went on to shoot such famous and well respected films as In the Heat of the Night and One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest. But healso continued to make documentaries and socially relevant films, such as Medium Cool, which he directed, and stands out as a lesser-known film renowned for its realistic and almost journalistic style in capturing the atmosphere leading up to the The Democratic National Convention in 1968.

Now Wexler has seemed to found a new subject of inspiration and filmmaking with the Occupy movement spreading throughout the country, focusing on LA, where he lives. He has already generated press for his videos (which are being posted online, on various sites) from such publications as The Huffington Post and the LA Times. Vimooz looks forward to what could turn into a full-length documentary. Although Wexler is older and seemingly at the end of a long and great career, it seems he is by no means ready to sit back and stop filming. As he told the LA Times, “You can take that insulation and figure you're an old guy and you [already] did your thing, and then something inside me gets reminded that my 'thing' is what makes me alive — to be able to have a camera and an idea and an urge that gives me pleasure."

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