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The PBS documentarian Ken Burns has been working for six years on The War, a soldier’s-eye view of World War II, and those who have seen parts of the 14-plus hours say they are replete with salty language appropriate to discussions of the horrors of war.

What viewers will see and hear when the series is broadcast in September 2007 is an open question.

A new Public Broadcasting Service policy that went into effect immediately when it was issued May 31 requires producers whose shows are broadcast before 10 p.m. to adhere to tough editing requirements when it comes to coarse language, to comply with tightened rulings on broadcast indecency by the Federal Communications Commission.

Full New York Times Story

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I once asked Fleiss what she liked about the sex business. “I don’t like anything about the sex business,” she said, “but it’s all I know how to do.” For doing what she knows how to do and otherwise, she has a motto: “Maximize and capitalize.” One of the ways she’s been maximizing and capitalizing lately involves HBO. See, Fleiss filed for bankruptcy a few years back. She told me the government got every penny of her madam money, that those secret Swiss bank accounts weren’t all that secret once Uncle Sam got involved. Originally, for her stud farm, she’d planned on getting investors, but then she changed her mind. “I’m Heidi Fleiss,” she said. “I don’t need investors.”

Nope, but she needed HBO. She needed them because they agreed to pay her for the rights to make a documentary about her attempt to open a stud farm. Rumors were they’d put up a hundred grand. “No,” she said, “it’s a little more than that.” But they’d paid up-front, and Fleiss said she was sinking the money into her new establishment. What interested me was that Time Warner owns HBO, which meant that one way or another, Time Warner was helping to pay for the nation’s first stud farm. I called HBO to confirm this, and while they would admit to making a documentary about the stud farm (it will air next fall), they wouldn’t discuss finances.

Click for the full article in LA Weekly.

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From a letter sent out to supporters:

Back in February, I asked if people would send me letters describing their experiences with our health care system. I received over 19,000 of them. It was truly overwhelming as we literally took a month and read them all. To read about the misery people are put through on a daily basis by our profit-based system was both moving and revolting. That’s all I will say right now.

We’ve spent the better part of this year shooting our next movie, “Sicko.” As we’ve done with our other films, we don’t discuss them while we are making them. If people ask, we tell them “Sicko” is “a comedy about 45 million people with no health care in the richest country on earth.”

But like my other movies, what we start with (General Motors, guns, 9/11) is not always what we end with. Along the way, we discover new roads to go down, roads that often surprise us and lead us to new ideas — and challenge us to reconsider the ones we began with. That, I can say with certainty, is happening now as we shoot “Sicko.” I don’t think the country needs a movie that tells you that HMOs and the pharmaceutical companies suck. Everybody knows that. I’d like to show you some things you don’t know. So stay tuned for where this movie has led me. I think you might enjoy it.

At this point, we’ve shot about 75% of “Sicko” and will soon begin putting it together. It will be released in theaters sometime in 2007.

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“Blood Of Eden”, a new feature film documentary written and directed by Ziad Hamzeh, has begun principal photography in Washington, DC and Damascus, Syria. Conjuring up the visual feeling of the classic battle scenes and majestic beauty of Arabia that was masterfully created by David Lean in “Lawrence Of Arabia”, “Blood Of Eden” follows, explores and experiences the lives of extraordinary Arab women as they raise the stakes in the fight against religious fanaticism, societal barriers, political domination and archaic traditions all aimed to curtail the freedom of Arab women.
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“Punto de Vista”, the Navarra International Documentary Film Festival, is now inviting submissions for the next edition of the festival which will take place 23th February – 3rd March 2007, in Pamplona (Spain).
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Downtown Community Television is proud to host the first annual 24 Hour Film Festival, 24 straight hours of independent (including a number of documentaries).  The festival takes place at the historic DCTV firehouse in downtown Manhattan, July 7th at 7:30pm, followed by 24 hours of films, food, rooftop screenings, special guest programs and more.

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IMAX continues to dominate the documentary box office category with its built in theater base and gimmicky innovative presentation. A few recent non-IMAX documentaries have made significant returns at the box office (Fahrenheit 9/11 and March of the Penguins), but as the list below shows, the trend of box office receipts contributing to the bottom line is still for few films at minimal levels. But these theatrical releases are positive. Receipts in the low millions contribute to awareness which drives the DVD market. Theatrical release regardless of ticket sales also provides the possibility of seeing documentaries beyond the film festival circuits.

Top grossing documentaries at the box office (IMAX excluded):

  1. Fahrenheit 9/11
  2. March of the Penguins
  3. Bowling for Columbine
  4. Madonna: Truth or Dare
  5. Winged Migration
  6. Super Size Me
  7. Mad Hot Ballroom
  8. Hoop Dreams
  9. Tupac: Resurrection
  10. Roger and Me

Top 75 Including IMAX/3D and Comedy(Lee Movie Information)

Chronologically (The Numbers)

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SAN FRANCISCO A new documentary financed by W-G-B-H-T-V in Boston is shedding new light on cult leader Jim Jones and the mass murder-suicide of his followers nearly three decades ago.

Stanley Nelson’s documentary uses rare home videos showing the construction of the Jonestown compound.Nelson interviewed 30 survivors and family members who shed light on why Jones’ followers believed in him until the very end. More than 900 people died in the Peoples Temple incident in the jungle of Guyana in 1978.
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