...the release of the acclaimed documentary "Waste Land" in Los Angeles this weekend! The film is also currently playing in New York, and it will open in theaters nationwide over the next two months.
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Nominee for the 2010 International Documentary Association's Distinguished Feature Award, Winner of the Audience Award for Best World Cinema Documentary at Sundance 2010, and Winner of the Audience Award for Best Film at the Berlin International Film Festival 2010, "Waste Land" is an emotional and uplifting story of the power of art, of human dignity in an oft bleak world, and of transformed lives.
Filmed over nearly three years, "Waste Land" follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of "catadores" -- self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz's initial objective was to "paint" the catadores with garbage.  However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives.
Lucy Walker, director of the film, is an acclaimed filmmaker with many festival awards and Emmy nominations to her credit. With "Waste Land" and "Countdown to Zero" in release in 2010, with the success of these two films on this year's festival circuit, and with her previous experience and credits (including the award-winning documentaries "Blindsight" and "Devils Playground"), Lucy is quickly becoming one of the film world's more important directors.
Pedro Kos, the film's editor, has collaborated frequently on documentaries with Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock and Sundance winner Jessica Sanders, both as an editor and as a second unit director. He most recently completed Ms. Mock's new documentary "Sing China!" serving both as the editor and as the second unit director. And previously, he was the second unit director on Ms. Sanders new film "March of the Living". Pedro is currently editing a feature documentary about the President of the Maldives and his quest to save his nation from the rising seas due to the impact of global warming.
Indie Sound managed the audio post for the film, with Sam Lehmer and Gary Alexander handling Re-recording mixing duties of the film's dialogue, effects, and music by Moby.  The film was mixed on Stage A at Lotus Post in Santa Monica.

"Waste Land" opens this Friday, November 5th, at the Landmark Nuart in Los Angeles (with Lucy Walker in person opening weekend!), and the film is currently playing in New York at The Angelika. The movie continues to play festivals internationally through the end of the year, and opens in cities throughout the USA during November and December. Please visit www.wastelandmovie.com for cities and dates!
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Over the last year and a half, I was lucky to have worked on four wonderful docs that played at the Hawaii International Film Festival.  I had never been to Hawaii, so I had to go, right?  The four films were "Lt. Watada", "March of the Living", "Sing China!", and "Waste Land".  Spending time on the beach during the day, seeing movies at night, and experiencing the Hawaiian cuisine was indeed paradise! [MS]
(from L to R) Michael Sable, Erik Daarstad (dp. "Sing China!" and "Lt. Watada"), Terry Sanders, Freida Lee Mock (dir. "Lt. Watada" and "Sing China!"), Brian Johnson (editor "Lt. Watada" and "March of the Living")
Last week, Turner Classic Movies previewed the first two episodes in a seven-part documentary series at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles. Tracking the history of the movie studios from 1898 to 1969, "Moguls and Movie Stars" provides an entertaining, but in-depth look at those who created and built the movie and studio business. I highly recommend the series, especially to those interested in learning about the entrepreneurial and creative men and women, many from humble and immigrant backgrounds, who built the American film industry. [MS]
Starting this week, the series will air for seven Mondays (at 8 PM ET), with repeats on Wednesday nights (at 10 PM ET). Visit TCM.com to learn more!
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