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Slamdance Film Festival announces winners

The 20th annual Slamdance Film Festival, which runs concurrently to Sundance in Park City, Utah, has announced its film winners.

The Jury Award for Narrative Feature went to Rezeta, directed by Fernando Frias De La Parra. Rezeta follows a “21-year-old model born in Kosovo, arrives in Mexico City after living off of her beauty in many different countries. Soon she meets Alex, the guy in charge of cleaning her trailer during her first commercial gig in Mexico. Their friendship unfolds naturally, but after two failed attempts at dating stereotypical Mexican males Rezeta becomes romantically interested in Alex” and the film chronicles their love story, according to a press release. READ FULL STORY

Slamdance 2014: Joe Manganiello's male stripper doc bares all -- EXCLUSIVE TRAILER


True Blood star Joe Manganiello never thought he’d be making a documentary about male strippers. But after his turn as the firefighter-suit-clad dancer Big Dick Richie in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, he found himself wanting to know more about the club scene.

“I had zero interest in male stripping prior to Magic Mike. As a straight male, I had a lot of misperceptions about the industry,” Manganiello tells EW.  “I had a really good friend who once mumbled under his breath that he’d been a male dancer in the 90s. I just let that one go, I didn’t pry at all, I didn’t want to know anything. But when I got the offer from Steven to do Magic Mike, he was my first phone call. When I sat down with him, the stories that he told were nothing of what I expected, and really just mind-blowing. It was sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. It was the rock star lifestyle.”

Following Magic Mike, Manganiello and his brother Nick, who’s also his producing partner, decided to shoot some footage at Dallas male strip club La Bare and created a sizzle reel for what they thought was going to be a reality TV show. But urged by Soderbergh to tell a deeper story about the iconic Dallas dance club, they turned it into a documentary, La Bare, which premieres at the Slamdance Festival in Park City, Utah this week.

“People would walk out of Magic Mike saying  ‘I loved it but I wish there was more of the guys. I wish I knew more about them, where they live, who they go out with, what their lives are like.’ So I knew there was a lot left on the table,” Manganiello says of his inspiration for the documentary, which he funded with his own money.

For a taste of the film and the dancers Manganiello met in Dallas, check out the exclusive trailer premiere for La Bare, below.

Neil Drumming's 'Big Words' finds distribution label


ARRAY, the distribution label of the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM), has acquired  the 2013 Slamdance film Big Words. Written, directed, and produced by former Entertainment Weekly writer Neil Drumming, the movie tells the story of three former members of a hip-hop group who run into each other on the eve of President Obama’s election.

”Neil has created a poignant study of black masculinity and friendship set against the beauty of hip hop and the community it can foster,” said ARRAY’s Managing Director Tilane Jones in a press release. Southland‘s Dorian Missick stars along with America’s Next Top Model‘s Yaya Alafia.

Read more:
Sundance 2013: Exclusive EW Portraits, Day 4
Sundance 2013: The deal report
Tribeca 2013: 13 must-see movies

Ralph Macchio is still 'Way More Famous Than You.' See the Karate Kid get a NSFW wax-on invite -- VIDEO

It sort of blew my mind when I realized that Ralph Macchio is 51 years old, especially since Pat Morita was the same age when they worked together for the original Karate Kid. (To repeat: Daniel is now as old as Mr. Miyagi. More importantly, this means you are also much, much older than you care to admit.) Both actors are forever associated with their roles in that 1984 film, a point underscored by Macchio’s cameo in the upcoming indie, He’s Way More Famous Than You. He plays himself — still baby-faced and not looking a day over 31 — a mid-level celeb who is targeted by Halley Feiffer to help jump-start her movie project. Feiffer’s seduction includes a sexualized take on the wax-on, wax-off bit from Karate Kid, which is certainly more sensual and less graphic than a kinky crane-technique reference.

Watch the NSFW clip below: READ FULL STORY

'He's Way More Famous Than You': Michael Urie previews Slamdance 'train wreck' -- EXCLUSIVE

After four years starring on Ugly Betty, Michael Urie knows his way around women on the verge of a nervous breakdown. So it only seems right that He’s Way More Famous Than You — his debut directing a narrative feature film, which premieres at the Slamdance Film Festival this weekend — centers on precisely that topic.

In Famous, Bored to Death alum Halley Feiffer, who co-wrote the film with Urie’s partner Ryan Spahn (above, left), plays a version of herself — an embarrassingly desperate version, mind you. She loses her boyfriend, agent, and career in one day and sets about on a wild adventure to turn her life around. That’s where Urie comes in — plus Mamie Gummer, Ralph Macchio, Jesse Eisenberg, and Natasha Lyonne. (You know, the usual suspects.) Urie told EW exclusively, “The story is based around the idea that Halley’s life is crumbling… Famous people keep falling into her lap, [but it’s] in a ‘too bad for them’ way because they waltz into the movie and immediately get attacked by Halley.” Below, Urie shares another exclusive image and talks up a few of his directorial inspirations.


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