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Monday Roundup: Eastman House to join film-fest biz; Cinematheque screens Focus on Female Directors program; Moore, Garlin to launch Comedy Arts Fest

December 28, 2009 | 11:33 am


Oscar-winning director Michael Moore and Emmy winner, comedian and producer Jeff Garlin have teamed to establish the Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival, a three-day event featuring stand-up performers as well as comedy films and even a children's program.

The fest, Feb. 19 to 21 in Moore's new hometown of Traverse City, Mich., is designed to give the region's flagging economy a boost during the winter months. Moore previously brought independent film to the area with his Traverse City Film Festival, The fest, to be held July 27 to Aug. 1, marks its sixth year in 2010. The lineup of talent and features for the Comedy Arts Festival will be announced in January.

Meanwhile, two venerable institutions in the film preservation and festival worlds -- the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film and the 360/365 Film Festival -- have joined forces to establish the 360/365 George Eastman House Film Festival. It's the latest in a decade-long series of collaborations between Eastman House and the fest and is designed to boost the latter's standing on the festival circuit.

The team-up, which will take place from May 5 to 10 in Rochester, N.Y., will continue to focus on contemporary American independent and arthouse features,shorts and documentaries, as well as a new program devoted to women in filmmaking. The fest  also will take advantage of Eastman House's vast and acclaimed motion-picture archives with a series of preservation screenings. The 360/365 Eastman House Film Festival marks the first time a major film archive has partnered with a film festival.

Speaking of women who are filmmakers, the American Cinematheque has announced the lineup for its 5th Annual Focus on Female Directors program, which highlights acclaimed and award-winning shorts from international female directors. This year's program, which takes place at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on Jan. 14, includes Juanita Wilson's harrowing "The Door," which is on the short list for the Oscar nomination for best live action short film. Steph Green's "New Boy," which received a nomination for that category in 2008, will also be screened, along with Jane ("Bright Star") Campion's Palm d'Or-winning "Peel" from 1982 and "The Kinda Sutra,"  the latest from Oscar-winner Jessica Yu ("Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien," which took the Oscar for best documentary short subject in '97). The program will be followed by a discussion with filmmakers Patricia Cardoso ("Real Women Have Curves"), Robyn Simms and Janet Grillo, each of whom have shorts in the lineup.

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: Jeff Garlin. Credit: Getty Images

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