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Friday, February 10, 2012

What will happen with Gay Marriage?

Dam Short Film Festival Schedule, Boulder City

2012 Schedule

Click the program titles to see detailed descriptions of films.
Click the event titles to see detailed descriptions of events.
KNPR radio personality and SAG National Board Member
Art Lynch to moderate  press conference and filmmakers panel.


Drama A (PG)
Collateral Damage

11:00 am – 12 noon

Documentary A (PG)
Odd Jobs

12:45 – 2:00 pm

Drama B (PG-13)
A Dramatic Life

2:45 – 3:45 pm

Showcase A (PG)
Films from Australia

4:30 – 5:30 pm

Press Conference
5:00 – 6:00 pm
Filmmaker/Press Lounge

Filmmaker Meet-n-Greet
6:00 – 7:00 pm
Filmmaker/Press Lounge

Sci-Fi (PG)
Past and Future Friends

6:30 – 7:30 pm

Drama C (PG-13)
A Different Kind of Love

8:15 – 9:15 pm

Horror (PG-13)
You’d Better Run

10:00 – 11:15 pm


Drama D (PG)
Unique Views

11:00 am – 12 noon

Drama E (PG)
Behaving Badly

12:45 – 1:45 pm

Documentary B (PG)
Around the World

2:30 – 3:30 pm

Drama F (PG)
International Stories

4:15 – 5:15 pm

Comedy (PG)
Laugh It Up

6:00 – 7:00 pm

8th Dam Year Mixer
7:00 – 8:30 pm
Boulder Dam Brewing Company

Showcase B (PG)
Nevada Filmmakers

8:30 – 9:30 pm

Underground (PG-13)
Strange Bedfellows

10:30 – 11:30 pm


Drama G (PG)
Kid Stories

10:15 – 11:15 am

Animation (PG)
Parallel Dimensions

12:00 – 1:00 pm

Filmmaker Panel
1:15- 2:15 pm
Filmmaker/Press Lounge

Drama H (PG)
Dreams and Desires

2:30 – 3:30 pm

Drama I (PG)
Love and Romance

4:15 – 5:15 pm

Awards Gala
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Boulder Theatre

Best of the Fest
8:00 – 10:00 pm
Boulder Theatre

Post-Awards Party
10:00 – 12:00 midnight
The Dillinger

Week 4 links...for study and review

Don' trust this man with a government appointment...No Jobs!

FBI releases Steve Jobs background report

(Credit: Apple)
(CNET) - Turns out that the FBI did a background check on Steve Jobs in 1991, when he was considered for an appointment on George H. W. Bush's President's Export Council.
According to the report, there were concerns about Jobs' past drug use and his lack of support for his eldest child, who was born out of wed lock.

Read more:;contentBody#ixzz1m05T2Aaz

What Jesus would not do...

Likeable Rick Santorum attracts independents

Is Mitt Romney the Republicans' man of destiny or will Rick Santorum finally get his moment in the sun?

You remember Rick Santorum, the guy who, in last summer’s Republican debates, was placed at the end of the row near the exit sign and never got asked any questions because Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain were so much more weirdly entertaining. Well, Santorum campaign staffers are playing up recent polls that suggest their candidate could beat President Obama.

A new GOP-leaning Rasmussen poll posits a general-election match-up in which Santorum beats the president by 1 percentage point, 45% to 44%, while Romney falls short by 4 percentage points and Newt Gingrich trails by eight. More immediately, other polls suggest that the former Pennsylvania senator may do well in today’s Minnesota caucuses and the nonbinding primary in Missouri.

National likeability surveys among independent voters, who are less driven by ideology and more inclined toward someone they’d want as fishing buddy, also favor Santorum, especially in swing states such as Ohio and Missouri. Among the same folks, Romney’s favorability rating is dropping fast, though it hasn’t reached the level of loathing independent voters have for Gingrich.

Santorum has also picked up quite a few endorsements from right-leaning opinion leaders and aging activists such as Pat Boone and Phyllis Schlafly (not exactly the voices of a new generation, but icons, nevertheless, among Christian conservatives).

Endorsements and ephemeral polling statistics have not really mattered much for anyone this year, of course. What has mattered is money and the attack ads money buys. The unrelenting barrage of smears from the Romney camp is what drove back Gingrich surges in Iowa and Florida, and reciprocal nastiness from the former House speaker seems to be contributing to Romney’s negatives among independents.

Santorum has not had enough cash to really be a full participant in this mud fight. But one thing that can be banked on in this otherwise unpredictable primary campaign is that Romney’s attack team will descend like a legion of smoke jumpers if Santorum begins to set off sparks with voters.

Up to this point, that has not been necessary. Gingrich has stood in Romney’s cross hairs while, simultaneously, blocking Santorum’s rise. Gingrich and Santorum have competed for votes from the same crowd of tea party supporters, evangelicals and take-our-country-back culture warriors.
Each man, claiming to be the best choice for purist conservatives, has told the other to call it quits and go home. For now, neither is budging.

Gingrich is mercurial enough that it is possible he might forsake his pledge to forge on to the bitter end. It is far more likely, though, that the transformative leader of monumental importance that he sees in the mirror every morning will not allow him to concede to what he believes is a lesser man.

Santorum, being much younger than Gingrich, could have another shot at this in four years if Obama wins in November, so dropping out now would not end his White House dreams. Still, now that he holds a central spot on the debate stage and sees these tantalizing bits of encouragement in the polls, Santorum has no strong motivation to quit. At a minimum, he’ll try to do well enough in the coming weeks that, next time around, he can grab the early attention and funding that eluded him in 2011.

After all, if Santorum had gotten more notice in July, Republican voters might have warmed earlier to this earnest, articulate fellow in the sweater vest. Independent voters, in particular, see in Santorum the friendly neighbor who loans his lawn mower and offers to drive the kids to Sunday school. Just don’t risk his disdain by mentioning your recent vasectomy. He’s that kind of family man.

From the LA Times on-line. Click here for more from the LA Times.

Vid sales down, Box Office per ticket price up, Twilight Trailer to premiere in March

The Hunger Games

Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in "The Hunger Games." Credit: Murray Close / Lionsgate.
 Source: LA Times Company Town Blog, click here for industry news.

Twilight and Synergy. The trailer for the fifth and final "Twilight" movie, "Breaking Dawn Part 2," will debut exclusively on "The Hunger Games" in March -- the first significant example of synergy between Lions Gate Entertainment and its new subsidiary Summit Entertainment.

When the studio acquired Summit in January, Lions Gate executives touted the opportunities that would come from bringing together two of Hollywood's hottest young adult franchises. Because fans tend to get excited about seeing the first trailer for a highly anticipated sequel, Lions Gate is betting it can bring the huge base of "Twilight" fans to the opening weekend of "The Hunger Games," which debuts March 23.

"'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2' trailer will debut exclusively on every 'Hunger Games' print on its opening night for what will be Lions Gate's largest release ever," Santa Monica-based Lions Gate's chief executive Jon Feltheimer said on a conference call with analysts Friday following the release of its financial results.

While anticipation for "The Hunger Games" is high, the film is still a risk for Lions Gate, which spent nearly $100 million to make the picture before the benefit of tax credits and international pre-sales. This is the studio's biggest film budget to date. The company is counting on a successful launch for the March release to not only generate immediate profits but create momentum for three planned sequels. "Breaking Dawn Part 2" will open in November.

A successful launch for "The Hunger Games" will help Lions Gate to replace Summit's "Twilight," which ends its run on the big screen with the fifth installment. Four previous movies have grossed a total of $2.5 billion worldwide and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in profits.

Asked on the conference call whether there could be a sixth "Twilight" film," Lions Gate motion picture group co-chairman and former Summit co-chief Rob Friedman said that was entirely up to Stephenie Meyer, author of the teen vampire books.

If she were to write a sixth book, he said, Lions Gate would eagerly support it with a big screen adaptation.

Video takes January dump.  Sales of U.S. video games and consoles plunged 34% in January to $750.6 million, compared with $1.14 billion a year earlier, according to market research firm NPD Group Inc.
Revenue from consoles such as the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and the Wii fell 38% to just under $200 million last month, down from $324 million in January 2010, NPD said in a report released Thursday. Console accessories, such as game controllers, slipped 18% to $195 million from $237 million.
Sales of games played on both personal computers and consoles ebbed 37% to $380 million, down from $603 million last year.
A dearth of new game releases last month made for the poor comparison with January 2011, when a flurry of new, high-profile games such as Dead Space 2 and DC Universe Online pumped up sales. All of the titles in the top 10 list for January 2012, for example, debuted last year.
Hard-core shooter titles remained popular, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3 and Saints Row: The Third taking top slots. Dancing and fitness games also continued to sizzle, with Just Dance 3 and Zumba Fitness 2 selling well.

Top-selling video games in January 2012
1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision Blizzard)
2. Just Dance 3 (Ubisoft)
3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks)
4. NBA 2K12 (Take-Two Interactive Software)
5. Battlefield 3 (Electronic Arts)
6. Madden NFL 12 (Electronic Arts)
7. Mario Kart 7 (Nintendo)
8. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (Activision Blizzard)
9. Zumba Fitness 2: Party Yourself Into Shape (Majesco)
10. Saints Row: The Third (THQ)
Source: NPD Group

Hugo Scorsese Movie Ticket Prices
Asa Butterfield plays Hugo Cabret in "Hugo" from Paramount Pictures. Credit: Jaap Buitendijk / Paramount Pictures

3-D Edges Average Movie Price Up. The average movie-ticket price in the U.S. climbed to an annual record of $7.93 in 2011, up from $7.89 the year before, the National Assn. of Theatre Owners said Thursday.

Rising prices paid by moviegoers reflect an increase in premium-priced tickets for 3-D movies, IMAX screenings and other specialty formats, said Patrick Corcoran, spokesman for the theater association.
In the fourth quarter, however, the average ticket price dropped to $7.83, down from $8.01 in the  last three months of 2010, as theater owners offered more specials and discounted tickets on Tuesday nights.

Total box office revenue last year slumped 4% from the year before to an estimated $10.2 billion, while cinema attendance dropped 5%.

Some analysts blamed rising ticket prices for the decline in box office revenue last year, but theater owners have cited other factors, including the types of movies Hollywood released. Business has rallied so far this year, however, with box office revenue up about 11% and attendance up about 12% compared with the same time last year.

The trade association's ticket-price figures are based on data from across the country and include lower-priced matinee and children's tickets.

 Source: LA Times Company Town Blog, click here for industry news.

iPad3 and iPad3 Mini....announcements expected in March

(CBS) - Apple's iPad 3 is expected to be announced the first week of March, according to various reports. But, it's the rumor of a 7-inch mini iPad 3 that has people buzzing.

Apple iPad 3 rumors, let's get real
Apple iPad 3 rumors: thicker, sharper, coming soon
Full coverage of Apple at Tech Talk

Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil boldly declared to Computerworld that Apple allegedly plans to release a 7-inch mini tablet. But, don't expect to hear about it at the upcoming iPad 3 event.

"I believe that's always been in the plan," Gottheil told Computerworld. "Actually that's a good form factor for some users, and although they will also charge a premium above other similar-sized tablets, they want to protect that price flank."

Gottheil's predictions could just be pandering to budget-conscious gadget lovers, however. Apple's co-founder and long-time chief executive officer, the late Steve Jobs, rejected idea of a 7-inch tablet. Both the original iPad and iPad 2 are 9.7 inches.

"7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad," Jobs said during a 2010 earnings call. 

Apple has no incentive to launch a cheaper version of the iPad. There's not lack of demand for the tablet. Releasing a mini iPad would only pull customers from regular iPads, not necessarily mini-tablets, like the Kindle Fire or Barnes & Noble Nook.

Why would Apple release a cheaper product to cannibalize its own market share?

The Kindle Fire is the current leader in the 7-inch tablet market, with an estimated 6 million units sold last quarter. But, compare that to 15.43 million iPads sold. It's tough to justify a mini iPad.

While I personally hope for this rumor to be a true, I wouldn't place any bets on Gottheil's prediction. Until Apple makes a formal announcement, it's all speculation.

From CBS News (click here).

How One George Lucas Fan Takes Fan Filmmaking Into His Own Hands

One of the posters promoting Jamie Benning's latest fan documentary, Raiding The Lost Ark.
Jamie Benning One of the posters promoting Jamie Benning's latest fan documentary, Raiding The Lost Ark.
Blame Jar Jar Binks.

If George Lucas had never created that annoying, slapstick-prone CGI character in The Phantom Menace, history would be different. No amount of "meesa so sorry" can make up for this abomination.

And to add insult to injury, Lucas is sending a 3D Jar Jar Binks into theaters on February 10th.

When The Phantom Menace first came out in 1999, Jar Jar became the focus of fan hatred and ridicule.

Jar Jar was meant to be comic relief for the kiddies, but he came to symbolize what fans saw as Lucas' flawed creative judgment. One fan was so incensed he re-cut the movie to minimize Jar Jar's presence. He then distributed VHS and DVD copies this "improved" version for free to other fans. It came to be known as "The Phantom Edit," and it gave Star Wars geek Jamie Benning his first taste of fan filmmaking.

"I think when 'The Phantom Edit' first came out of The Phantom Menace,' I think a lot of people realized that the ability for people to do this kind of thing had arrived," says Benning.

In 2006, Benning joined an online group petitioning Lucas to release the Star Wars trilogy in its original form. You know, the one where Han Solo — not bounty hunter Greedo — shot first. Lucas ignored their pleas.

So Benning, a professional editor in sports television and full-time Star Wars nerd, took matters into his own hands and created a fan film.

Benning's films are unofficial documentaries. He uses footage from the original movies without permission from Lucas. Benning follows the flow of the original films but expands them with things like alternate takes and interviews from commentary tracks. For example, Benning edits audio from a Star Wars radio drama over footage of deleted scenes while on-screen text explains that the grainy black and white images come from what's known as the "Lost Cut."

"When I made Star Wars Begins," Benning recalls, "and put that on YouTube, that seemed to touch a chord with people. I think people had become disillusioned with the Star Wars franchise as being spread too thin."

Benning's self-described "filmumentaries" are addictive. Once you start watching you can't turn them off — they overload your senses with trivia and behind the scenes information.

"Jamie Benning's 'Star Wars' documentaries are like DVD extras squared or even cubed," says Francine Stock, presenter of BBC 4's The Film Programme, and author of the book In Glorious Technicolor. "They're amateur in the true sense of being made by someone who really loves his subject."

But Benning's films are professional in terms of the craft. Images may be grainy, but the editing reveals meticulous skill and a geek's dedication to assembling every bit of information in the most enlightening way. Scott Weinberg, film critic for Fearnet, Twitch, and, says the fan docs remind people why they fell in love with Lucas' films in the first place and provide a total geek fix. "Oh heck yeah. It's impressive," Weinberg exudes, "and it's just a testament to fandom, to 'this is the way we would like our supplement material.' I think it speaks to a lack of satisfaction with the DVD industry."

Benning repurposes copyrighted material, but Weinberg doesn't see a problem with that. It's no different than someone making a mix tape and sharing it with friends. "This is a love letter," he insists, "It's not someone repurposing a film to make a quick dollar. That's not what it's about. I think it speaks to a passion and a skill that he's willing to do it for the love of it. You could call it a movie fan remix. A commentary remix — video, audio, textual commentary."

Benning spends close to a year on each documentary. He makes no money on any of the films, because copyright issues prevent him from distributing the films theatrically or on DVD. But Francine Stock says making these films isn't a hobby for Benning, it's a calling. "They are more of a compulsion," she says. "And they stand or fall on their energy and style."

Weinberg thinks the DVD industry should be hiring Benning to create bonus features that fans would genuinely embrace. Fans have already shown their love for Benning's films by sending the filmmaker more than 10,000 appreciative e-mails. In addition, his trilogy got more than 3 million views on YouTube. But just recently, the site requested he remove the films. Benning has now uploaded them to Vimeo. The new site reports that Star Wars Begins has already received hits from such diverse locations as occupied Palestine and Vatican City.

Fan films like Benning's place studios in a quandary. Legally, they feel an obligation to defend their copyright, but from a promotions perspective, they see how fan films generate and maintain interest in their products in ways that no amount of money can buy. Benning's latest fan doc is called Raiding the Lost Ark. It focuses on the first Lucas-produced, Steven Spielberg-directed Indiana Jones film.

"The new Raider documentary is the same blend of admiration, affection and a degree of appraisal," says Stock, "But it is more sophisticated in its use of material." This time around, Benning has created original elements like interviews with actors and technicians who worked on the film, as well as animated reconstructions of scenes that were never shot. Raiding the Lost Ark debuted February 6 on Vimeo and sounds like it will serve up another slice of geek heaven.

From NPR's Morning Edition, click here.

NPR historic retrospect on controseptive coverage

In 2002, state lawmakers in Massachusetts approved legislation requiring most employers to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. One of the groups pushing for the law was the Coalition for Choice, led by Melissa Kogut (center).
View caption Lawrence Jackson/AP

Rules Requiring Contraceptive Coverage Have Been In Force For Years

Many employer health plans have effectively been required to cover prescription birth control since 2000. And more than half the states have similar rules.

Las Vegas Sun's Hank Greenspun Remembered in Documentary Film

Greenspun college screens film on namesake Default Thumbnail

The Rebel Yell

Admirers hail life of Las Vegas publisher; no critics included

Hank Greenspun is an iconic figure said Lee Bernick, interim dean of the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs.

Bernick introduced the documentary Where I Stand: The Hank Greenspun Story, which premiered on Tuesday in the Greenspun Hall Auditorium.

The film narrated Herman Han Greenspuns life and accomplishments.

The movie began Hank Greenspuns story in Brooklyn, then documented his move to Las Vegas and his collaboration with famous characters such as Benjamin BugsySeigel, Howard Hughes and Frank Sinatra.

The documentary also chronicled Hank Greenspun's impact in world-famous events and issues such as Watergate, McCarthyism, the Palestine embargo and smuggling arms to the newly created state of Israel.

It dealt with breaking racial boundaries on the Strip, Israel peace treaties and nuclear testing.
The film also told the story of how Hank Greenspun came to own The Las Vegas Sun, and a television and radio station and how he bought land and developed the area of Henderson, Nev. known as Green Valley.

Hank Greenspun wrote the column Where I Stand in the Sun, which his son, Brian Greenspun, currently writes.

Brian Greenspun said that helping Israel was his father's greatest achievement. He called the effort Hank Greenspun’s “Red Badge of Courage.

The student organization Hillel Jewish Student Center hosted the screening with the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs.

I wanted our Hillel students to appreciate the fact that a leader in their local community helped give birth to the modern state of Israel said Hillel director Gil Kahn. “But it was his life story as whole that reminded [us] that we must always stand by our conviction and our sense of justice.

Brian Greenspun thinks of his father as a modern day hero.

“The message [of the film] is that anyone, if they stand up for what they believe in, could be a hero he said.

The film conveyed this message by showing the strength of Hank Greenspun's conviction even as he pursued illegal activities.

Brian Greenspun said that only one critic was interviewed for the project  officer Joe Yoblansky, a former FBI agent.

Brian Greenspun claimed that Yoblansky had a personal and professional feud with his father.
After the interview, it was deemed that the footage of Yoblansky did not fit in with the tone of the documentary, so it was left out of the final copy.

Where I Stand is not available for purchase, but the Greenspun family have traveled around showing the documentary in different forums.

We wanted a place to honor our parents, Brian Greenspun said about the donation for the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs. We couldn't think of any better way than educating Las Vegas youth. Hank always said never be afraid to stand up when you think you're right, Brian Greenspun said.

“The world needs more Hank Greenspuns Khan said.

Brian Greenspun's daughter, Amy Greenspun, helped produce the film. It will screen again at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival on March 14.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rochel Leah Goldblatt is a member of a Jewish student organization at UNLV.
Contact Rochel Leah Goldblatt at

 The Rebel Yell