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Review: ‘Zion, Auto-Emancipation’

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Following his impressive fiction feature “Kadosh” at Cannes this year, prolific Israeli helmer Amos Gitai returns to the documentary in “Zion, Auto-Emancipation,” a mix of the director’s family recollections and interviews with oldsters and historians.

Spielberg making magic

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Steven Spielberg may soon make some magic of his own, reportedly opting to make J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” his next project.

Review: ‘Rock Opera’

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A Crashcam Cineproductions presentation. Produced by Barna Kantor. Executive producers, Bob Ray, Nicole Ray. Co-executive producers, Kantor, Tamas Kovacs, Kurtis D. Machler, Victor Soares. Directed, written, edited by Bob Ray. Camera (color, video), Jackson W. Saunders; art director, Tony Linder; music, sound, Kurtis D. Machler; assistant director, A.C. Gonzo; additional editors, Shannon Valderas, Viet Nguyen, Scott Rhodes. Reviewed at San Francisco Independent Film Festival, Jan. 11, 2000. Running time: 90 MIN. With: Jerry Don Clark, Ted Jarrell, Chad Holt, Paul Wright, Luis Olmeda, Rob Gasper, Mike Guihan, Bob Ray.

New Films strikes Euro distrib deal

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Entering the theatrical arena for the first time, Gotham-based New Films Intl. has reached a deal with Miramax to distribute 89 of the mini major’s features across Eastern Europe.

Virtual film classroom

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In a display of the Web’s growing importance as an educational medium for aspiring entertainment industry professionals, veteran legal and business executives Judith Merians and Bill Josey have launched an Internet film school, the Hollywood Experts Online (THEO).

Sam Jaffe

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Longtime talent agent and producer Sam Jaffe, whose career stretched back to the 1930s when his clients included such stalwarts as Humphrey Bogart, died Monday of natural causes in Los Angeles. He was 98. In addition to being one of Hollywood’s top agents during the ’30s and ’40s, Jaffe produced several notable films, including 1944’s… Read more »

Moore gets ‘Break’

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“Unbreakable,” M. Night Shyamalan’s follow-up to “The Sixth Sense,” is scheduled to start shooting April 17 in Philadelphia with Julianne Moore in the leading role.

Nets deny gov’t control

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Execs at several major webs are emphatically denying a report suggesting they gave government officials creative control of programs in order to sharply reduce the number of anti-drug spots sold at a bargain rate.