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Sundance: Famous Behind & In Front Of The Camera

On its fourth day, the Sundance Film Festival is wall to wall with some of Hollywood’s best known actors and actresses — and we don’t mean the ones who show up just to party hop. While the festival can be a great launching pad for emerging filmmakers, Park City has never been shy about letting the already well known show their wares there too. It was created by Robert Redford after all. This year sees a number of famous faces and names get behind the camera with new films. As buyers begin to dig in, expect to see these marquee names generating some serious interest as they play out of their regular position. And then there’s the plethora of Oscar winners and nominees, blockbuster and TV stars and indie superstars in front of the camera — check out our comprehensive list below.

James Franco – Executive Producer, kink; Co-director, Interior. Leather Bar.  - Actor, director, conceptual artist, grad student and failed Oscar host, Franco wears many hats. This year, he’s adding producer and co-director for two separate films for Sundance. Franco produced kink, a documentary directed by Christina Voros about the Internet’s biggest producer of BDSM. Franco also co-directed Interior. Leather Bar with Travis Matthews. The film seeks to re-create the 40 minutes of Gay S&M footage rumored to be cut from 1980’s Cruising staring Al Pacino to avoid an X rating. Sure the sexual subject matter of both films is similar but Franco’s ambition is wide ranging. Franco also makes an appearance in front of the camera in Interior. Leather Bar and Lovelace.

Alicia Keys – Executive Producer, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete - The multi-platinum singer/songwriter is no stranger to cinema. More than a few films feature her tunes on their soundtracks and Keys was in front of the camera in 2006’s Smokin’ Aces. However, this Sundance is Keys’ debut as a producer. Directed George Tillman Jr. and starring Skylan Brooks, Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson and Anthony Mackie, the coming of age film could be the start of a whole new career for Keys.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Director/Writer, Don Jon’s Addiction He sings, he dances, he starred in The Dark Knight Rises and Looper last year, and now Gordon-Levitt slips into the director’s role on the comedy Don Jon’s Addiction. The actor’s directorial debut, which he also wrote the script for, stars Gordon-Levitt himself as a lady’s man who begins seeking a more fulfilling emotional life. Scarlett Jonansson, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson and Tony Danza co-star in the film.

Related: Sundance: Fleming Q&As Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Dave Grohl – Director/Producer, Sound City - No stranger to movie soundtracks, the Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer has now moved into the director’s chair with his debut documentary Sound City.  Debuting early in the Festival, the film is about the famous Van Nuys studio where Nirvana, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Guns and Roses and others have recorded. Even before the Festival began, Gravitas Ventures acquired worldwide VOD to Grohl’s movie.

Related: Sundance: Dave Grohl’s ‘Sound City’ Concert Rocks Park City

Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke – Writers, Before Midnight - This one’s a bit of a cheat because the duo are actually on both sides of the camera at this year’s Sundance. Premiering tonight, the Richard Linklater directed Before Midnight sees Delpy and Hawke return to their roles as Jesse and Celine from 1995’s Before Sunrise and 2004’s Before Sunset. The onscreen duo also retuned to their off screen roles as writers. Like Before Sunset, which was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay, Delpy and Hawke crafted Before Midnight’s script with Linklater. This year marks the second time the trio have premiered their tale of the perpetually unfulfilled lovers to Sundance –Before Sunrise debuted at the Festival in 1995. Read More »

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Clear Channel Goes Gaga With Live Concert Festival To Relaunch Web Music Service

Bob Pittman has always loved splashy events, and his planned two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival certainly qualifies. Clear Channel says it will stage “the biggest live concert festival in radio history” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sept 23-24, with Ryan Seacrest hosting hitmakers including Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Steven Tyler, The Black Eyed Peas, Kenny Chesney, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Usher and Sting. The goal is to “celebrate the launch of the New iHeartRadio,” Clear Channel’s online radio streaming service, with  a festival that will reach “the largest combined U.S. radio and online audience ever,” says Pittman – a former MTV and AOL Time Warner honcho who’s now the No. 1 radio company’s chairman of media and entertainment platforms. The event, he adds, ”underscores Clear Channel’s transformation to a dynamic integrated media and entertainment company with an unmatched reach in the U.S.” Video and audio streams will be accessible at iHeartRadio.com and at all websites for Clear Channel’s radio stations. The New iHeartRadio will offer broadcast radio stations as well as Pandora-like free, customized services that will have no commercials at least to the end of this year. Seacrest calls the concert “a once-in-a-generation gathering of artists and fans from all over the country.” Tickets to the live event will go on sale July 16.

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Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Demi Moore and Patty Jenkins To Direct Lifetime Movie

By | Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ 10:22am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Demi Moore and Patty Jenkins have signed on to direct the Lifetime original movie Project Five, an anthology of five short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives.  Aniston, Marta Kauffman, Paula Wagner, Kristin Hahn, Kevin Chinoy and Francesca Silvestri will executive produce the movie, which reunites former Friends star Aniston and co-creator/executive producer Kauffman  for the first time since the end of the hit NBC series. Sony Pictures TV is producing.

Kauffman developed the interconnected story arc of Project Five, which will mix drama and comedy to explore the effect that breast cancer and its diagnosis have on women and their relationships. The five short films in Project Five were written under Kauffman’s supervision by Stephen Godchaux (Spin City), Jill Gordon (Cupid), Howard Morris (Women are Crazy), Deirdre O’Connor (The Electric Company) and Wendy West (Dexter). Aniston, Keys, Moore and Jenkins will each direct one short, with a fifth director expected to be announced soon. “Our hope with Project Five is to entertain, inform and inspire dialogue, research and prevention,” Aniston said. “Otherwise, our goals are small — we want these films to move people and empower those affected by breast cancer to stand tall through this challenge, which impacts ALL of our lives, no matter who we are.”

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