Weekly Roundup: March 28, 2008

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Poster for the film 'Body of War'
Cinematical reviews the Iraq War documentary Body of War, directed by former talk show host Phil Donahue and filmmaker Ellen Spiro. Read an interview with the filmmakers, along with Tomas Young, the Iraq War veteran who is the subject of the film, at Democracy Now!

The New York Times reviewed Benson Lee‘s Planet B-Boy, a documentary about break dancers who compete in an international competition. The Times calls the film “fun, sometimes thrilling and packed with illuminating details and striking personalities.” In a longer review, film blog The House Next Door describes the various rivalries that erupt at the international break dancing championships, and says that Lee’s “sense of pacing may be straight out of an ESPN highlight reel, but his dramatic scope is novelistic.” Planet B-Boy is playing in New York and Los Angeles.

PBS program Frontline is airing Bush’s War, a two-part special that tells the story of how the Iraq war began and how it has been fought, both on the ground and deep inside the government. Watch the full program on Frontline’s website.
Independent Magazine has a number of articles on distribution for independent filmmakers. Michele Meek reviews four few internet distribution venues, including MovieFlix and Jamon, to gauge how favorable they are to filmmakers. Erin Trahan interviews Patrick Kwiakowski, CEO of indie distributor Microcinema, about how to get a short film distributed, and why he still believes in DVDs. Finally, Cynthia Close, the executive director of Documentary Education Resources, writes an open letter to filmmakers seeking distribution with useful advice about doing their research and submitting to festivals.

And finally, SpoutBlog interviews AJ Schnack, founder of the Cinema Eye Awards, and Jason Kohn, maker of the Cinema Eye Award-winning Manda Bala, on its podcast, FilmCouch.

Ruiyan Xu
Ruiyan Xu
Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.