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Sundance digest: Shine promoting docu works

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PARK CITY -- With its first film, "War/Dance," a documentary about displaced children in Uganda taking part in a dance festival -- part of this year's U.S. Documentary Competition here -- Shine Global has announced a contest to promote and fund the development of docu films. Shine Global, the nonprofit subsidiary of producer Albie Hecht's Worldwide Biggies founded by Hecht and his wife Susan MacLaury, said that beginning last Friday, it would solicit treatments and budgets from established and first-time docu filmmakers interested in making films consistent with Shine Global's mission statement of ending the exploitation and abuse of children around the world. After a review of the proposals, at least one filmmaker will be awarded a stipend to fund an expanded treatment and the production of a 10-minute trailer. At that point, Shine Global might elect to produce a feature film based on the submission. The winner of the competition will be announced in May.

Maverick supporting horror efforts

PARK CITY -- The Slamdance Film Festival, currently taking place here, is getting on the contest bandwagon. Slamdance's Peter Baxter and Angel Baby Entertainment's Gregory Segal said Sunday that Maverick Films is lending its support to the Slamdance Horror Screenplay Competition. Maverick will annually finance and co-produce, with Slamdance and Angel Baby, a feature film based on the prize-winning entry. Maverick also said that it is launching a new division, Maverick Red, to focus on horror films. Maverick Films recently signed a deal with Angel Baby to finance and co-produce three films during a three-year period.

Cumming hosting 'Festival Dailies'

PARK CITY -- Actress-comedian Whitney Cumming has returned as host of the "Festival Dailies," now airing on the Sundance Channel through Jan. 28. The daily program also includes "HP Snapshot Diaries," a series of one-minute vignettes offering first-person accounts of the Sundance Film Festival. Participants in the segments will include Amir Bar-Lev, director of "My Kid Could Paint That," artist and short film maker Martha Colburn, and Crystal Frazier, the subject of the documentary "Miss Navajo." The "HP Snapshot Diaries" also will run on SundanceChannel.com, HP.com and on the Sundance-branded channel on YouTube.com.

Tribeca All Access among fest screenings

PARK CITY -- Three filmmakers from Tribeca All Access, the Tribeca Film Institute program that fosters the careers of under-represented filmmakers, will premiere new work at this year's Sundance Film Festival. They are Alfredo de Villa, who will debut his feature "Adrift in Manhattan," starring Heather Graham and Victor Rusak; Billy Luther, who will bow the documentary "Miss Navajo" and Sterlin Harjo, who will premiere the feature film "Four Sheets to the Wind." The Tribeca All Access program, now in its fourth year, selects 30 directors and screenwriters annually and offers them one-on-one meetings with industry insiders designed to generate exposure for their work.

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