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See the star-studded trailer for a new film series about the economy

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Patton Oswalt, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Adrian Grenier, and Werner Herzog are among the more than 80 actors, directors, and academic and civic leaders who are collaborating on the digital series We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss. Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock’s Cinelan will produce the series of informative and entertaining films that tackle serious economic issues.

“At its core, the vision of this project is to fuse artistry and storytelling with economic expertise to engage the public in a truly informed dialogue about the U.S. economy,” says Carole Tomko, general manager and creative director of Vulcan. “This esteemed group of artists and thinkers galvanizes our mission of bringing innovation to the public discourse about the economy, and empowering people to make better economic choices in their own lives.”

Directors such as Adam McKay, Catherine Hardwicke, Joe Berlinger, Ramin Bahrani, Barbara Kopple, Albert Hughes, and Steve James recruited famous friends and sat down with Nobel laureates (Joseph Stiglitz), activists (Robert Kennedy Jr.), and economic insiders (CNBC’s Jim Cramer) for short films about crucial money matters.

On Oct. 21, the free series will launch across multiple platforms, including online, VOD, broadcast, mobile, and theatrical. READ FULL STORY

Indie Spirit Awards 2014: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon among presenters -- EXCLUSIVE

The day before the Oscars, smaller films are honored during the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, and EW has exclusively learned the first round of this year’s presenters.

Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Rosario Dawson, Angela Bassett, and Andy Samberg will all present at the 29th annual ceremony, which takes place Saturday, March 1. Hosted by actor/comedian Patton Oswalt, the daytime luncheon will broadcast later that evening at 10 p.m. ET on IFC.

12 Years a Slave leads all films with seven nominationsNebraska is right behind with six. Both films are in the running for Best Feature, alongside All Is LostFrances Ha, and Inside Llewyn Davis. McConaughey is also nominated for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Other nominees include Oscar front-runners Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, and Lupita Nyong’o.

Now in its 29th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made without a big Hollywood budget by filmmakers who embody independence and originality.

Patton Oswalt to host 2014 Independent Spirit Awards

Actor/comedian/Twitter enthusiast Patton Oswalt will host the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards. According to a press release from Film Independent, the 29th annual awards ceremony will take place on the Santa Monica beach Saturday, March 1, to air later that night on IFC. The Spirit Awards honor the best in the year’s American independent cinema, bestowing traditional awards such as Best Feature Film and Best Screenplay, as well as special awards like the John Cassevetes Award for the best feature film made under $500,000.

Ever the consummate self-deprecating comedian, Oswalt confirmed his hosting duties, tweeting:
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On the scene with Ben Stiller, Adam Scott, Kristen Wiig, and more at 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' NYFF premiere

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty made its world premiere as the New York Film Festival’s Centerpiece Gala Presentation on Saturday, Oct. 5. Directed by Ben Stiller, the film stars the actor in the titular role of a man with a penchant for “zoning out,” who goes on a fantastical journey to save his job at Life magazine along with the job of the woman of his dreams (Kristen Wiig). Stiller and the cast, including Wiig, Adam Scott, and Patton Oswalt, came out to celebrate the film’s premiere screening at Alice Tully Hall.

For producer John Goldwyn, the long road to a Secret Life of Walter Mitty remake started with Pursuit of Happyness scribe Stuart Conrad’s script. “In every other version, the script skewed closely to the original film, and his didn’t,” said Goldwyn, whose legendary grandfather produced the 1947 musical-comedy version. The modern Mitty is now less of a hapless daydreamer and more of a man who takes it upon himself to step out of his head and into real life. “It gave the character clarity. That’s what got Ben on board, Fox on board, got the thing moving down the track,” added Goldwyn.

Said Stiller, “We just wanted to honor the material and tell the story pretty simply. But I think there’s a lot beneath the surface in the Walter character, like the idea of what people have underneath. That’s something everybody in the cast related to.”

Adrian Martinez, who plays Hernando, Walter’s co-worker at Life magazine, marveled at Stiller’s work ethic. “I can’t even imagine directing a film of this size and performing and producing and being so conscientious of every detail and staying present with his fellow actors in every scene,” he said.

Scott, for his part, relished the chance to play a bearded baddie who’s heading a downsizing team at Life. (He currently stars as supportive husband and all-around good guy Ben Wyatt on Parks and Recreation.) “I really love A-holes,” said Scott. “I love watching them in real life, and I love watching pretend ones in movies. Heady s—heads are some of my favorite fake people to watch. I want to keep them out of my life, but I love watching them.”

Oswalt, who is featured in an undisclosed role (“I’m totally not being coy: Ben Stiller told me I can’t talk about it”), and newcomer Alex Anfanger, who plays one of Scott’s cronies, shared where they go in their minds whenever they “zone out.” Anfanger said, “I dream about what it would be like if I died. That’s a really morbid thing to say.” He quickly added, “It’s at least an epic, awesome death.”

Oswalt said his own daydreams involve imagining the continuation of scenes in movies. “I really would love to be Jerry Stiller, oddly enough, in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three when he’s standing next to Walter Matthau when the last robber sneezes and gives it away,” he said. “Matthau just puts his head back into the room like, ‘You just — Dude.’ Then they freeze it because they got him, but what happens [next]?”

Stiller’s wife, actress Christine Taylor shared a tidbit about a dream Stiller fans are hoping to see come true. When asked about the long-anticipated sequel to Zoolander, Taylor said, “Zoolander 2, you know, everyone wants to make it,” adding with a shrug, “There’s a script!”

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens nationwide on Dec. 25.

Casting Net: Bobby Cannavale heads to 'Annie'; Plus, Patton Oswalt, Rodrigo Santoro, more

Fresh off a memorable turn as Sally Hawkins’ sensitive mechanic boyfriend in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, Bobby Cannavale is set to try out the world of big-screen musicals in Annie, in which he’ll star alongside Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz, and Rose Byrne. He’ll play a political strategist who is helping Jamie Foxx‘s Benjamin Stacks run for mayor. Easy A director Will Gluck is taking another pass at the script before he begins shooting. The Emmy-winning actor (for Will & Grace) can also be seen in Lovelace; Jon Favreau’s Chef, alongside Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr.; and the upcoming Al Pacino movie Imagine. [Deadline]
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SXSW preview: 10 buzzy events, from 'Cabin in the Woods' to a conversation with Seth MacFarlane

Part musical festival, part film festival, part tech-head confab, SXSW is a unique event in the pop-culture firmament, bringing massive stars and indie up-and-comers in music, movies, and tech together in the Texas hill country of Austin. Running from March 9-17, the film festival has especially expanded its profile in the last few years: The 2011 SXSW fest featured premieres of Jodie Foster’s The Beaver, the doc Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller Source Code, the sci-fi comedy Paul, and the eventually Oscar-winning feature documentary Undefeated.

My colleague Karen Valby and I will be on the scene for this year’s fest, which definitely looks to have its share of major highlights. Here’s what’s catching the biggest buzz heading into this year’s SXSW:  READ FULL STORY

Laurence Fishburne as Mr. White! Inside the all-black (almost) 'Reservoir Dogs' reading

Imagine a very smooth, very self-satisfied rattlesnake.

That was what Terrence Howard brought to the role of Mr. Blonde, the casually homicidal madman of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs in a one-night-only live-reading of the script last night.

Now picture an older guy, who probably should be thinking about retirement, but realizes too late he has thrown in with the wrong thugs — and he left his medication at home. That was what Laurence Fishburne did with the part of Mr. White, originated by Harvey Keitel.

Up in the Air and Young Adult filmmaker Jason Reitman has been creating these events for the past five months, with one more to go in the series. This time around, he decided to take a movie that once featured an all-white cast and replace it with an entire group of black actors (with one exception.)

Though the event is not recorded, EW has this to share from the cinematic experiment …

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'Big Fan': Patton Oswalt and Kevin Corrigan fans unite!

I’m late to the game on Big Fan, I know–Robert Siegel’s tough, warm, up-close, compassionate, merciless little drama about the big football passions of a little shmo came and mostly went in early September. (Owen gave it love on the page.)  Me, I didn’t see the movie until just the other week, and I was knocked out by the utterly honest performances of Oswalt (a great comedian playing nakedly serious) and Corrigan (a great character actor throwing himself into the part with typical ferocity).

See it, is what I’m saying; I guarantee you’ll be hearing more about Big Fan on year-end best lists. Meanwhile, I’ve gotten to thinking about the wonderful, hype-free experience of coming to a movie in my own good time and becoming…a fan. The other day in a supermarket, I overheard a lady  talking to a friend about this great little movie she just Netflixed, called Lymelife, and weren’t Kieran and Rory Culkin terrific and how about that Alec Baldwin and…I almost forgot I needed to buy orange juice, I was so intent on eavesdropping. The movie, by the way,  had come and gone from most movie theaters in early Spring.

So this has led me to wondering: What have you discovered on your own this past year long after the publicity parade has passed by? What have you loved without benefit of current movie ads, and recommended to friends? Share.

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