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From Sundance to the multiplex: Women directors are taking the spotlight

Long before she directed the summer comedy The To Do List, Maggie Carey was a Division I soccer player at the University of Montana. That was back in the 1990s, when for the first time in her life, she had a female coach.

“It was really refreshing to see a woman in a leadership role and that kind of clicked with me – maybe there was something missing that I wasn’t aware of. And I think seven of the girls [I played with] went on to coach,” Carey says.

Now, as a film director, Carey finds herself at the helm in a profession also historically dominated by men. But like the sea change she witnessed playing soccer earlier in her life, Carey sees things opening up for women who want to get behind the camera.

“The next generation of [soccer] players,” she says, “they’re not going to even think twice about having a female coach. With access and filmmaking, girls who are in high school now aren’t going to think twice about [becoming directors] because they’re going to see women in those positions. It won’t be a barrier because they won’t know there was a barrier.”

Maggie Carey is one of a small group of up and coming female filmmakers in Hollywood who are starting to gain recognition for their work. But it is still a very small group.
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'Arcadia': Oscar-nominee John Hawkes on the lyrical, mysterious family road trip indie

When you’re a young teenager and your dad tells you that you’re moving across the country to California, you kind of have to listen. Even if your mother is mysteriously not joining.

In Arcadia, director Olivia Silver takes viewers on an atmospheric, sun-soaked road trip with Greta (Ryan Simpkins), Caroline (Kendall Toole), and Nat (Ty Simpkins) and their father Tom, played by Oscar-nominee John Hawkes. The reason for the move is cloaked in secrecy. There’s a job in California, and they have to go, but it’s not entirely clear why their mother isn’t there. As the middle child, 12-year-old Greta is the most shielded, and the most aware that something is off. Her older sister knows something she didn’t, and Nat is young enough to blindly accept what he’s told. The quiet film shows a generally happy, but broken family in transition. Eventually we discover along with Greta why their mother isn’t coming.

Arcadia is out on DVD on Tuesday, July 23, with a bonus inclusion of Silver’s 2008 Sundance Film Festival-accepted short Little Canyon. Check out EW’s interview with John Hawkes after the jump about his low-budget passion project.

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Sundance fires up NEXT WEEKEND summertime film festival

Sundance = cold. Usually.

The January indie movie festival held in the snowy mountains of Utah is synonymous with winter, but organizers have decided to heat things up a bit.

The film festival has announce plans for a summertime spin-off, with a program of 10 feature films, 10 short films, and special events to be held in Los Angeles on the weekend of Aug. 8-11.

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'Sweetwater' trailer: January Jones is anything but sweet -- VIDEO

Remember that episode of Mad Men where Betty shoots her neighbor’s pigeons? Now substitute pigeons for Jason Isaacs, and about half the Wild West, in the upcoming Sweetwater.

January Jones stars as a homesteader whose husband is killed by Isaacs’ character, a fanatical religious murderer. Ed Harris stars as a lawman on the hunt for the same man — but with different motives.

The film is ultra-violent, featuring Jones performing ruthless acts of justice throughout. With a distinct flavor taken directly from a certain other western that did well critically and at the box office (True Grit, anyone?), the trailer lauds the film as a take-no-prisoners revenge fest.

Check it out below:
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'The Lifeguard' trailer: Kristen Bell's endless summer -- VIDEO

Everyone’s worst nightmare is that they’ll revert back to their former self, becoming a self indulgent, moody teenager. Right? Well, not exactly.

In the new trailer for The Lifeguard, Kristen Bell is thrilled to move back to her childhood bedroom, reclaim her high school job, and sleep with a minor — to find herself.

Apparently, according to this trailer, she just needed a life do-over in order to be able to become her best 30-year-old (or is it 29-year-old?) self.

Click below to watch a fully grown adult with a college degree have a coming-of-age summer:
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Octavia Spencer on 'Fruitvale Station': 'It's not a 'black' story, it's a human story'

When Oscar Grant was shot while coming home from New Year’s Eve celebrations on January 1, 2009 at a public transit stop in Oakland, Calif., it made headlines, not only in Northern California but across the country. The news of a young, unarmed African-American man shot by police — and the event captured on cell phone videos and social media — illustrated racial tensions and police brutality in Oakland and many other communities, but for Fruitvale Station‘s writer/director Ryan Coogler, the story didn’t end after it left the newspapers.

“I was angry, frustrated, scared, and more than anything filled with questions as to how this could happen….Fortunately enough I have filmmaking as an outlet, which I thought was something that was positive, something that I figured could maybe help in a preemptive way,” Coogler says of his film in the clip below.  Fruitvale Station chooses to focus most of its energy on the story of Grant’s life and his family, rather than the circumstances of his death. “Hopefully in the film people can see in Oscar’s personal relationships, see their own relationships… and how they view people that they normally would pass by or open up in the paper and not really care about,” Coogler says.

Michael B. Jordan, who plays Grant, echoes Coogler and notes that Oscar’s story signifies more than just the one incident. “Oscar Grant represents a lot of kids from the inner city who are trying to do the right thing.”

Oscar winner Octavia Spencer stars as Grant’s mother. “We all make mistakes, that doesn’t mean that every man shouldn’t get a second shot at redemption,” she says of the film. “The story itself isn’t a quote unquote ‘black’ story, it’s a human story and the message is very universal.” Spencer also notes that the film received a similar reception from audiences abroad at Cannes as it did at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic earlier this year. READ FULL STORY

'Lovelace' trailer: Amanda Seyfried is a blossoming porn-star flower -- VIDEO

In the whirlwind of a new trailer for Lovelace, Amanda Seyfried plays porn sensation Linda Lovelace — from her humble beginnings to her glamorous life as the star of Deep Throat and ending with her activist days when she spoke out against the industry that made her famous.

Peter Sarsgaard plays Chuck Traynor, Lovelace’s husband and abuser, the man who takes the good girl out of her sheltered home and shows her the world. After his turn in a similar role opposite Carey Mulligan in An Education, Sarsgaard is really starting to creep me out.

Check out the trailer for glimpses of Adam Brody in a mustache (as Harry Reems, Lovelace’s costar in Deep Throat, the film that changed the porn industry forever) and James Franco as Hugh Hefner.
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'In a World...': Lake Bell on creating her comedy dream team -- POSTER EXCLUSIVE

It’s impossible to read the title of Lake Bell’s feature directorial debut In a World… without mimicking the iconic voice of Don LaFontaine, the godfather of movie trailers. While trailers have moved from in-theater events to online exclusives, Bell says in our short-attention span culture they serve as a way to get people excited and engaged.

“A good trailer is a good trailer, there’s no arguing that, whether you’ve seen it online, whether you’ve seen it in the theater,” Bell told EW from the set of the upcoming comedy Million Dollar Arm. “We culturally are very in tune to trailers and turned on by them because they are like mini movies and they satisfy even the shortest attention span.”

The film follows the story of Carol Solomon (played by Bell), a struggling vocal coach who happens into a string of voiceover successes — something the voiceover experts, including her father, Sam Sotto (Fred Melamed, A Serious Man), the presumed king of the voiceover after the passing of LaFontaine, deem impossible for a woman. The father-daughter competition is surrounded by a host of supporting cast, including Carol’s sister Dani (SNL regular Michaela Watkins) and brother-in-law (Rob Corddry).

Check out the poster for the upcoming film exclusively below:
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Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch in 'Prince Avalanche' -- EXCLUSIVE POSTER

There’s nothing like spending a summer painting road lines on a desolate Texas road to really get to know someone. In Prince Avalanche, Alvin (Paul Rudd) and his girlfriend’s brother Lance (Emile Hirsch) do just that. It’s the summer of 1988 and the mismatched pair are on the job out in the middle of nowhere for the duration.

Directed by David Gordon Green, Prince Avalanche premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was adapted from the 2011 Icelandic film Either Way. Though Green started his career making lyrical odes to the overlooked classes and places with films like George Washington and All the Real Girls, more recently, Green has found success (and failure) with star-studded broad comedies like Pineapple Express and Your Highness. Based on the trailers and early reviews, Prince Avalanche promises both poignancy and comedy and seems to be an amalgam of Green’s diverse tastes.

Click below to take a look at the new poster for the film, which opens in theaters and VOD on August 9.

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'The Way, Way Back': Behind the scenes of the summertime coming-of-age comedy -- EXCLUSIVE

Steve Carell has made you cringe before, but usually it’s in service of being awkwardly funny.

Not this time. READ FULL STORY

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