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The filmmaker behind Innocence of Muslims uncovered
Innocence of Muslims, an anti-Islam film blamed for violent demonstrations in Egypt and Libya, has been connected to Nakoula Basseley Nakoulav, according to AP.
Filmed and released in Southern California, Innocence of Muslims launched its 14-minute trailer on Youtube in June and was screened to a small audience in Hollywood, according to the film's script consultant, Steve Klein. The film's highly offensive and negative portrayal of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad caught the attention of Muslim viewers, however, when it was translated into Arabic in the days leading up to the 11th anniversay of September 11. With mob attacks on U.S. Missions in Egypt and Libya, and an attack on the U.S. embassy in Yemen, the film's influence in sparking violence has drawn media attention to its obscure origins, with no clear links to shooting locations, production offices, and the producers themselves.
With no evidence as to whether a full-length version of the film exists, the only discovery unearthed about the making of Innocence of Muslims came from the actors and film crew, who were duped into believing they were making a film titled Desert Warrior, with dialogue re-recorded in post production without their knowledge. Under an alias—Sam Bassiel - the director of the film was interviewed by AP and consequently had his phone number traced back to Nakoula Basseley Nakoulav—a Coptic Christian who is currently on probation after being convicted of bank fraud.
Questions surrounding film permits, and law enforcement issues have arisen as a result of the film's largely unknown production process, and its impact on the situations in Libya and Egypt have drawn a shocking reflection on the availability of film in an online environment.
IFC Films to distribute Frances Ha
The Playlist reports that IFC Films have started negotiations to acquire Noah Baumbach's seventh feature, Frances Ha—one of the official selections for the 50th New York Film Festival. A hit at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals, Frances Ha is a black-and-white comedy-drama starring Greta Gerwig, who also co-wrote the screenplay.
Magnolia Pictures acquires rights to No Place on Earth
After its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Monday, the documentary No Place on Earth has been quickly snapped up by Magnolia Pictures, which has acquired the U.S. theatrical distribution rights from History Films, which has the film's U.S. TV rights. As the directorial debut of former 60 Minutes and Nightline producer Janet Tobias, No Place on Earth follows the remarkable story of 38 Ukranian Jews who survived World War II by taking refuge in caves. With theatrical release set for 2013, No Place on Earth is an addition to Magnolia's extensive history in acquiring and releasing documentaries.
IFC acquires The Reluctant Fundamentalist
According to an announcement made on Thursday, the North American rights to director Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist have been acquired by IFC Films. The latest from the director of Monsoon Wedding stars Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland and Riz Ahmed. The film opened this year's Venice Film Festival and had its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. The Reluctant Fundamentalist was IFC Films' second acquirement at the Toronto Film Festival, with Neil Jordan's Byzantium being their first nab.