News & Events

The Judge Official Trailer ~ In theaters October 10!

Massachusetts made THE JUDGE was filmed in Ashfield, Attleborough, Belmont, Boston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Dedham, Milton, Plymouth, Shelburne Falls, Sunderland, and Worcester in 2013.


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The Equalizer Official Trailer ~ In theaters September 26th

Massachusetts made THE EQUALIZER was filmed in Boston, Cambridge, Canton, Chelsea, Haverhill, Quincy, Salisbury, and Swampscott in 2013.


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First look at Robert Downey Jr. movie ‘The Judge,’ filmed in Massachusetts

By Ray Kelly
June 11, 2014

June 6, 2013 - Shelburne Falls, Mass. - Actors Robert Duvall, left, and Robert Downey Jr., in between takes on the set of The Judge, a Warner Brothers movie, in Shelburne Falls Thursday. (Michael S. Gordon /The Republican)

June 6, 2013 – Shelburne Falls, Mass. – Actors Robert Duvall, left, and Robert Downey Jr., in between takes on the set of The Judge, a Warner Brothers movie, in Shelburne Falls Thursday. (Michael S. Gordon /The Republican)

The first glimpse of “The Judge” – shot partially in Shelburne Falls, Sunderland and other Bay State communities last year – has surfaced online at Entertainment Weekly.

The still shows Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall in a courtroom. Downey stars as a Chicago defense attorney who returns to his small town to represent his hostile father (Duvall) in a murder case.

“Against his own instincts and desire, he ends up staying to defend his dad from what may or may not be an intentional vehicular manslaughter case,” Downey told Entertainment Weekly. “His father is a pillar of the community. Everybody knows a dad like the judge,” the actor adds. “Every community has one, and every family has either heard of or been under that kind of patriarchy. It’s this very American story. But it’s also a story about family, and reconciliation, and law, and justice.”

During filming, along Route 47 in Sunderland near Smiarowski Farm Stand, Worcester, Boston, Attleboro, Belmont and Dedham

Set for release on Oct. 10, “The Judge” is directed by David Dobkin and also stars Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Leighton Meester and Billy Bob Thornton.

Ray Kelly can be reached at Follow him on Twitter.

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‘The Judge’: Robert Downey Jr. fights the law, and his father — FIRST LOOK

By Anthony Breznican
Entertainment Weekly
June 11, 2014

(Credit: Claire Folger)

(Credit: Claire Folger)

How do you defend someone who never defended you? That’s the heart of this thriller/family drama (out Oct. 10) starring Robert Downey Jr. as a Chicago defense attorney who returns to his small town to represent his hostile father (Robert Duvall) in a murder case.

Duvall plays the imperious title character: a living symbol of justice in their community and a tyrant in his own household — factors that compelled his son to flee years before. A family funeral brings Downey’s character home, but it’s another death that keeps him there.

“Against his own instincts and desire, he ends up staying to defend his dad from what may or may not be an intentional vehicular manslaughter case,” Downey says, flashing his eyebrows on those last few words.

“His father is a pillar of the community. Everybody knows a dad like the judge,” the actor adds. “Every community has one, and every family has either heard of or been under that kind of patriarchy. It’s this very American story. But it’s also a story about family, and reconciliation, and law, and justice.”

Downey’s character doesn’t just clash with his father, but also his brutish older brother, played by Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Men In Black) — who stands by the old man’s side in all matters. Less confident, but no less devoted to the pater familias, is the Fredo-esque youngest brother (Jeremy Strong, Zero Dark Thirty). “He, uh … he still lives at home,” Downey explains. “Slow learner.”

The film has flashes of humor, but it’s definitely more of a dramatic turn for director David Dobkin, best known for Wedding Crashers. And it’s the first project from Team Downey, the new production company founded by the actor and his wife, longtime Silver Pictures producer Susan Downey (the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes films, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang).

Team Downey had several films inching forward in development, including a big screen version of Perry Mason, and a drama about the aftermath of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II. The Judge, with its genre-mixing script by first-time screenwriter Bill Dubuque and Nick Schenk (Gran Torino) was “the greyhound that got its eye on the rabbit first,” as the actor puts it.

In her previous role at Silver Pictures, the dedication was to amped-up action pictures. So what kind of brand does Team Downey hope to establish? “If the type is good, that’s the brand I’d go for,” she says, saying they’re looking for the offbeat and heartfelt — though not the ultra-niche or esoteric.

“Our storytelling is character-driven but on a commercial level,” Susan says. “We wanted to do something outside the big movie tentpole projects.”

So no Iron Man suit — just emotional armor this time.

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Discovering & Developing Writers since 1998

2015 BlueCat Screenplay Competition
Final Deadline: November 15th, 2014

The 2015 BlueCat Screenplay Competition is ready for your submissions!

Since 1998, the BlueCat Screenplay Competition has provided a community for the unknown screenwriter to develop their work, giving undiscovered talent a path to professional success.

BlueCat accepts both feature length and short screenplays, and in keeping with our longstanding tradition, every screenplay will receive one written analysis, with our best screenplays receiving over $40,000 in cash prizes.

All submissions received by June 15th will receive their written analysis by July 1st.

Students will be eligible to submit their short screenplay at a special rate of $35.


Grand Prize Winner
Four finalists $2,500

Grand Prize Winner
Three finalists $1,500

The Best Feature Screenplay from the UK

Best Feature Screenplay from outside the USA, Canada or the UK

Three Winners: $250 each
All screenplays entered by August 1 are eligible


BlueCat Screenplay Competition
Weekly Newsletter:

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Warner p2

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Film, TV productions flocking to Massachusetts; tax credit is big draw

By Sara Hamedy
Los Angeles Times
May 21, 2014

"Tumbledown" stars Jason Sudeikis, left, and Rebecca Hall talk with director Sean Mewshaw during a film shoot in Concord, Mass. The indie movie's budget was roughly $4 million. (Seacia Pavao)

“Tumbledown” stars Jason Sudeikis, left, and Rebecca Hall talk with director Sean Mewshaw during a film shoot in Concord, Mass. The indie movie’s budget was roughly $4 million.
(Seacia Pavao)


Desi Van Til describes her film “Tumbledown” as a love letter to her home state of Maine..

Van Til wrote the indie movie that stars Jason Sudeikis and Rebecca Hall and is based on her life growing up in Farmington. She envisioned filming at some of the small rural town’s landmarks — the old Farmington Diner, the Boiler Room Tavern, her best friend’s lake house, and even Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers, where she once worked.

“I was still living in Los Angeles when I began writing early drafts,” she said. The script “came initially out of a place of nostalgia or even homesickness for western Maine.”

At the time, Van Til, now 37, said she was “living in a sprawling city and trying to figure out from afar what it was exactly that made my childhood seem so special to me.”

But Van Til and husband Sean Mewshaw, who directed the movie, had to give up on their dream of filming in Maine.

“Tumbledown” filmed for about a month and wrapped April 25. The movie follows Hannah (played by Rebecca Hall), who is writing a biography of her late husband — an acclaimed musician — with the help of New York City writer Andrew (played by Jason Sudeikis). Above, a scene from the film. (Seacia Pavao)

“Tumbledown” filmed for about a month and wrapped April 25. The movie follows Hannah (played by Rebecca Hall), who is writing a biography of her late husband — an acclaimed musician — with the help of New York City writer Andrew (played by Jason Sudeikis). Above, a scene from the film.
(Seacia Pavao)

It was just too expensive, she said, because Maine’s film tax incentive couldn’t offset their roughly $4-million budget much. Shooting in California was too far away from Maine and couldn’t provide a New England feel. New York proved to be slightly over-budget.

So, like a growing number of filmmakers these days, she turned to Massachusetts. The Bay State, which some boosters call “Hollywood East,” has become a fast-growing hub for film and TV production, joining dozens of states that have cut into a business once concentrated in the Golden State.

“Within an hour of downtown Boston, we found the closest match for the Maine architecture, the forest, the classic New England antiquity and charm of the small rural town we were trying to replicate,” Van Til said. “Plus, Massachusetts had the benefit of a robust film incentive program.”

The Massachusetts Film Office touts a program offering filmmakers who spend more than $50,000 in the state a 25% tax credit to offset the costs of paying actors, building sets and other expenses. It’s among the more competitive film incentive programs in the country.

And there has been a stream of notable films that have shot scenes in the state.

Oscar-nominated “American Hustle” filmed all over Massachusetts. “Captain Phillips” filmed in Lincoln and Sudbury. “Ted,” the raunchy bear comedy, filmed in Boston, Canton, Chelsea, Everett, Norwood, Somerville and Swampscott. The sequel also is expected to film in the state.

There were 21 movies that shot in Massachusetts last year, more than double the number in 2011, according to the state’s film office. Film and TV productions spent $313 million in 2012, up from $176 million in 2011. The state paid out an estimated $78.2 million in film tax credits in 2012, according to the state department of revenue.

desi Van Til quote“It was a great place to film,” “Ted” director and writer Seth MacFarlane said of Boston. “You get the tax benefits, but it’s also a really beautiful city.”

In addition to the financial incentive, Massachusetts touts a deepening crew base and a sprawling film studio in Devens that opened in January.

New England Studios is the biggest studio in the state. The $41-million studio boasts four soundstages, 20,000 square feet of office space, 16 dressing rooms, and two hair and makeup rooms.

“We now say that Massachusetts offers everything for film, television and digital media — from soup to nuts,” said Lisa Strout, director of the state’s film office.

Massachusetts has a rich history of film production that dates to 1903. But it was “Good Will Hunting,” written by Cambridge natives Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, that put the state on Hollywood’s radar in 1997.

The hit film, directed by Gus Van Sant, generated a lot of buzz and took home Oscars for best screenplay and best supporting actor (Robin Williams).

Since then, the filmmaking duo have returned to their home state for several other projects, including the 2010 Boston crime drama “The Town” that premiered at Fenway Park.

Aside from the tax incentives, filmmakers are lured to Massachusetts because of its flexibility as a backdrop.

“Massachusetts has a wide variety of eras and looks because it’s one of the earliest settled states in the country. It has industrial, urban, farms and forest landscapes,” said Mark Kamine, a production manager for “American Hustle,” “Ted” and “The Fighter.”

For instance, David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” was largely set in New York. But the movie used various locations in the Boston area, including the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, to stand in for the Big Apple.

The ability to go into a nearby studio has also been an attraction for filmmakers. New England Studios is located about 40 miles outside of Boston.

“We’re the only game in town,” said Chris Byers, director of operations at New England Studios.

“Tumbledown” is based on Desi Van Til's life growing up in Farmington, Maine. The filmmaker gave up on her dream of filming "Tumbledown" in Maine because the state's film tax incentive wouldn’t offset the movie's budget much. Above, "Tumbledown" stars Rebecca Hall and Jason Sudeikis. (Seacia Pavao)

“Tumbledown” is based on Desi Van Til’s life growing up in Farmington, Maine. The filmmaker gave up on her dream of filming “Tumbledown” in Maine because the state’s film tax incentive wouldn’t offset the movie’s budget much. Above, “Tumbledown” stars Rebecca Hall and Jason Sudeikis.
(Seacia Pavao)

“Tumbledown,” which Byers called the studio’s “guinea pig,” was the first production to use the studios for office space. It also used one soundstage.

“Versatility for filming here in Massachusetts is exceptional,” said Byers, a Lowell, Mass., native who spent almost 30 years in the film business. “I started thinking we really need stages here.”

“Tumbledown” filmed for about a month and wrapped April 25. The movie follows Hannah (played by Hall), who is writing a biography of her late husband — an acclaimed musician — with the help of New York City writer Andrew (played by Sudeikis).

“We have tumbled down,” Sudeikis joked on the last day of filming after being asked to do another take on a key scene with Hall.

Folk music played in the background of the emotional scene as Hall and Sudeikis’ characters looked through relics and reminders of Hannah’s late husband, including old records he left behind.

In addition to the soundstages of New England Studios, the film shot scenes in a privately owned wood cabin in Groton, KJ’s Airport Diner in Shirley and a boutique store in Concord, “Tumbledown” producer Kristin Hahn said. They were locations that emulated Van Til’s memories of Maine.

With “Tumbledown” now wrapped, there’s buzz about what films will shoot in the state next. Byers said eight clients are interested in filming at the studios.

One movie has already generated excitement among Bostonians.

In April, a casting studio put out a call for extras for the James “Whitey” Bulger biopic “Black Mass.” Last week the first images of Johnny Depp, who will play the notorious Boston mobster, surfaced on the Internet. The movie reportedly began filming Monday.

Times staff writer Rebecca Keegan contributed to this report.

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Worcester Film Scene Gets Boost from Local Talent

By Nicholas Handy
Go Local
May 3, 2014

Production is currently underway for a new Worcester film which will blend a mix of both Hollywood celebrities and emerging local actors and actresses.

The independent film, titled “The Case Against Sam,” is a drama starring Khandi Alexander (Scandal and CSI: Miami), Malik Yoba (New York Undercover), Makenzie Vega (The Good Wife). Local television personality, Kayla Harrity, who is best known for her appearances on NESN and Dirty Water TV, is one of many locals to have a role in the movie.

“Every movie that I work on, I try to get a good mix of both Hollywood actors and local talents,” said Andrea Ajemian, producer of “The Case Against Sam.” “That is part of the reason why enjoy making movies so much; I love giving people an opportunity to shine and make an impact.”

“The Case Against Sam” is being directed by Jason Winn, who is best known for directing “The Fat Boy Chronicles,” and is about a girl named Sam who is assaulted and tries to bring justice to the situation after no one believes her. The film is currently about half way through filming and has been shot exclusively in the Worcester and Clinton area.

Mixing Hollywood and Worcester

Andrea Ajemian a producer for Aritgo Ajemian Films, has been working with films in the Worcester area for over a decade now, ranging from small commercials all the way up to films with quarter to half of a million dollar budget. Although spending time in Los Angles, Ajemian always seems to come back to Worcester where she was born and raised.

“I am super passionate about Worcester and that is why I keep coming back here to make films,” said Ajemian. “I love making movies here and it is really awesome to see that others are starting to catch on to the area as a great place to make a film.”

Worcester is a great place to film a movie for a variety of reasons. Tax credits for filming, increased access to parking, and being much cheaper than filming in a major city are just a few of the reasons that makes Worcester a great place for a movie.

“Worcester has this ability to be able to pass as a lot of other cities,” said Ajemian. “Worcester really has a lot going for it in terms of being a great place to film a movie. It is just a really easy city to film a movie in.”

Ajemian also enjoys working with movies filmed in Worcester because it gives her the ability to tap into the local talent pool. While still bringing in popular actors and actresses to bring traction to the movie, she enjoys using the local talents to show that you don’t have to be from Hollywood to make it big.

The talent pool that has been created in Worcester can be a direct result of the wealth of schools in the area. Ajemian also says that due to the smaller community that Worcester possesses offers a chance to work with people multiple times.

“I usually have people start as interns or as extras in films,” said Ajemian. “With Worcester being such a small community, I can remember everyone. There are a lot of people that I have worked with who started out with smaller parts and through continually working with me have graduated onto much larger roles which makes it all worth it for me in the end.”

A Hotbed for Films

With more and more films make their way to the city for filming, Worcester is certainly becoming a hotbed for the film industry. This increase of film industry popularity has helped to bring something back to Worcester that had been missing for almost a decade: a film festival.

Heading into its second year, The Worcester Film Festival is a blend of showcasing local talent – whether on the production or acting side – and national level films. James Lewis, the festival’s founder, created the event not only because of his passion for film, but also because it was something that just needed to be done.

“The past few years I have been doing my homework about the film industry in Worcester,” said Lewis. “We have had a lot of really big and successful movies filmed here. One of the first films produced here was a documentary about trolleys in 1919 so I would definitely say that we have a film history here. I started thinking about how we used to have a film festival here and I began to think that we really should have one.”

Lewis acknowledges the format of his festival to be slightly different than that of a traditional festival. Rather than having people send in submissions to sift through, he handpicks each of the films that will be playing. And because of last year’s success, the festival was able to get some sponsors to help bring in higher profile films to mix with the local level films.

“Last year, I would say that the festival was a 50/50 split,” said Lewis, in reference to the mix of local and higher profile films that are featured on the nation festival circuit. “Support has surpassed my expectations; this is definitely something that works in Worcester. Because of having sponsors this year, I have the ability to pay for some more expensive films, but I will still feature the local films.”

This year’s film festival is set to feature a higher ratio of national films, about 80-percent according to Lewis, which is mostly because he wants to expand the festival into a larger operation.

Is Worcester becoming a hotbed for the film industry?

Is Worcester becoming a hotbed for the film industry?

The expansion of the film festival, although still in its infancy, is just one of the many reasons why Worcester could be considered a hotbed for the film industry. While many have already realized the potential that Worcester has in terms of the film industry, Lewis admits that the film scene is something all Worcester residents should support and rally behind.

“Worcester is certainly a hotbed for the film scene,” said Lewis. “Worcester is a place known for a lot of history and bad things. I think that the film industry is something that can be a very positive thing for Worcester. I also think that this is something everyone in the city can benefit from; it has the potential to touch the entire city. Worcester has a real chance to define itself here; it just needs to continue to support films.”

Massachusetts Growth

While the film industry has grown quite rapidly over the past few years in Worcester, Massachusetts as a whole has also seen a growth. This statewide expansion in the film industry could be attributed to both the success of films like “American Hustle” and also the state’s film tax credit program, which offers a 25% production credit, a 25% payroll credit, and a sales tax exemption if the filming meets proper criteria.

Lisa Strout, the director of the Massachusetts Film Office, has seen a large growth in the Massachusetts film industry since 2011, where only nine major productions – which is considered any film with a budget of $250,000 or over – occurred throughout the state. Massachusetts saw 14 major productions in 2012 and saw 21 last year.

“The film industry is definitely growing in Massachusetts, creating more and more jobs for Massachusetts residents,” said Strout. “We don’t consider each city as having its own industry since crew, actors, and vendors from all over the state are hired. But as you know, Worcester has been used as a location in a number of films.”

And while 21 major productions seems like a high number of films for one state, Strout acknowledges that many other types of films are shot and made in Massachusetts. These films range in size and budget and can include documentaries, small budget and independent films, short films, and even commercials.

Having a film come to any city can be very beneficial to both the community and the economy. And with Worcester becoming an alluring location for filmmakers, the film industry could be the fuel needed to be added to the fire to make Worcester’s economy great.

“Worcester has a lot of character and a great number of period locations which draw the interest of filmmakers,” said Strout. “Film & television productions have unique spending patterns and tend to rent and purchase goods and services from the vicinity in which the production is taking place. As a result the community benefits from the infusion of new money into the local economy. Depending upon the storyline of course, some films create an increase in the exposure of the community which can affect tourism and other visitation.”

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‘Top Chef’ Moves to Boston for 12th Season

By Francesca Bacardi
April 30, 2014


Boston will be serving up a whole lot more than baked beans this year, as “Top Chef” is set to film its 12th season in the City upon a Hill this spring.

Host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and judge Gail Simmons will return for the culinary competition, which will also feature guest judges, including Boston-based chefs and celebrities as well as culinary stars. While names have not been released, it’s probably worth noting that past cheftestants with ties to the city include season 11 winner Nicholas Elmi, who hails from Boston-adjacent West Newbury, Mass., and season 10 winner Kristen Kish, who works in the area.

“Boston has always been at the top of our wishlist as a location for ‘Top Chef,’ not only because of its rich historical significance, but also because of its robust and ever-growing culinary scene,” said Shari Levine, Bravo senior VP of current production, in a statement.

Season 12 of “Top Chef” will premiere this fall on Bravo.

Francesca Bacardi @originalfresca

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ONE DAY IN BOSTON Starts This Saturday April 26th!


To participate, click on the image for more!

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Not just a cameo appearance

By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston Globe
April 6, 2014

maeda_06wefilm_we2Cast and crew from the movie “Tumbledown” use Concord Center as a backdrop while filming a street scene Wednesday morning. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)

Devens is getting its first taste of Hollywood, with New England Studios gearing up for its film production debut since opening its doors late last year.

“Tumbledown,” a romantic comedy starring Jason Sudeikis and Rebecca Hall, has set up camp at the $41 million studio complex on the grounds of the former-Army-base-turned-corporate-park off Route 2 in Ayer, Harvard, and Shirley.

The indie film is using its offices as a headquarters, and plans to use the movie complex’s sound stage and production facilities during a two-day shoot slated for later this month, said Chris Byers, marketing director for New England Studios.

Meanwhile, the film’s crew and cast of 120 have been shooting scenes in area communities, taking over a women’s clothing shop in downtown Concord on Tuesday afternoon, a few days after shooting scenes at an isolated home on a lake in Groton.

For New England Studios, booking “Tumbledown” is an important step toward starting to fill its calendar, Byers said, adding, “We made a deal with them — they are going to be our test show.”

While the production is relatively modest by Hollywood standards, it will provide a real-life trial run that will help work out any remaining bugs, he said.

Since opening last fall, the studio has hammered out a number of glitches, including spotty cellphone reception inside the hall.

“I think it would probably calm a few nerves, coming in,” Byers said. “There are so many things you have to do, bugs to get worked out, when you open a building like this.”

New England Studios is hoping to follow up on its success by booking other productions, with leads including an entire cable television series and, in another case, the pilot for a new cable series, he said.

Lisa Strout, director of the Massachusetts Film Office, said there are already hopeful signs that word of the Devens complex is getting out to the Hollywood executives who decide where projects get made.

In a recent trip to Los Angeles, Strout said, she met with executives at various movie companies who mentioned the Devens studio complex and were eyeing what films might make a fit.

“New England Studios was a big topic,” she said.

Meanwhile, “Tumbledown” is getting lots of local attention as the producers and cast turn up to film scenes on location.

The romantic comedy is cast in the Maine woods, with Hannah (played by Hall) struggling to move on after the death of her famous musician husband, of whom she’s writing a biography. In strides Andrew (played by Sudeikis), a brash, professorial type from New York, to help with the book, according to a description by the production company, British Columbia-based Bron Studios.

The two pair up and sparks fly as Hannah and Andrew “begin to write the next chapter in their lives together,” the promotional material reads.

Other notable names include former “Glee” cast member Dianna Agron, Griffin Dunne, Blythe Danner, and Joe Manganiello, according to a statement by the studios. “Tumbledown’’ is director Sean Mewshaw’s first feature, and was written by first-time screenwriter Desiree Van Til.

The filmmakers shot some scenes in a home in the woods on Lost Lake in Groton, said Dawn Dunbar, executive assistant to the town manager.

That was followed by two days filming in Concord. Tuesday’s shoot took place inside the French Lessons shop on Walden Street, with its exterior remade into a book store, said Christoper Whelan, Concord’s town manager.

The production shut down the intersection at Main and Walden streets Wednesday morning to get street scenes.

To compensate the town for the disruptions, “Tumbledown” agreed to pay for the costs of extra police needed to control traffic at the scene, he said.

Movie executives also agreed to donate $2,500 to a town fund for promoting the community to tourists and other visitors, Whelan said.

Businesses lost some parking spaces but gained some attention and foot traffic from members of the crew, he said.

“It’s a little inconvenient, but I think it’s great to encourage the Massachusetts film industry, so we try to help out,” Whelan said.

Scott Van Voorhis can be reached at sbvanvoorhis@

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BOSTON- March 23, 2014 – The Massachusetts Film Office announces the filming of Tumbledown will begin principal photography in Massachusetts today. Tumbledown stars Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers), Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3, The Town), Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike, True Blood), Griffin Dunne (House of Lies, Dallas Buyers Club), and Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents, The Lucky One).

Sean Mewshaw will make his directorial debut of the script written by Desi Van Til.

Tumbledown is produced by Kristin Hahn, Aaron Gilbert and Margot Hand. Executive Producer is Desi Van Til.

“We are so happy to have this film come to fruition in North Central Massachusetts where we have found the same authentic and kind-hearted spirit as the small Maine town that we aim to replicate in the film,” said Desi Van Til. “We have been so warmly welcomed by the community here and we are honored to be the first production in the incredible facility of the New England Studios in Devens.”

The film revolves around a young widow (Hall) struggling to cope with the death of her husband, an acclaimed folk singer. Her life is interrupted when an unwelcome writer from New York (Sudeikis) comes to her rural Maine town to research her husband and his music, which changes her life in ways she never expected.

“We thank Desi Van Til and her producing partners for choosing Massachusetts, “says Lisa Strout, Director of the Massachusetts Film Office, “and we are pleased that so many of our residents are being hired to work on the film.”

Tumbledown is the second major production to be filmed in Massachusetts in 2014.


About the MFO
The Massachusetts Film Office is the official state agency charged with assisting movie-making in Massachusetts and marketing the state to national and international audiences. It is located at 10 Park Plaza, Boston – within the Mass. Office of Travel + Tourism. Lisa Strout, Director. Phone # 617-973-8400 Website:

For further information please contact:
Contact: Lisa Simmons
Director of Communications
Massachusetts Office of Tourism, Sports & Film

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Los Angeles, CA – Applications are now being accepted for the Women In Film Foundation’s 2014 Film Finishing Fund grants. The application period runs through June 6, 2014. Winners will be announced in October 2014.

Women In Film will give up to $15,000 in cash, in-kind and consultation grants for the selected entries. Women In Film International is making a great contribution for the 2014 grant cycle.

The Film Finishing Fund is run by Committee Co-Chairs Betsy Pollock and Nancy Rae Stone, and was started 29 years ago. Since its inception, the Film Finishing Fund has awarded more than $2 million worth of grants to over 170 films from all over the world. The Film Finishing Fund has an impressive track record selecting films for completion that went on to win major awards, distribution and network deals, including:

Cynthia Wade’s Freeheld, the 2008 Academy® Award-winner for Best Documentary Short Subject
Freida Lee Mock’s Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, the 1994 Academy® Award-winner for Best Documentary
Esther Robinson’s A Walk Into The Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory, 2007 Teddy Award Winner at the Berlin Film Festival
Maryam Keshavarz’s Circumstance, the 2011 Sundance Audience Award winner


To qualify for entry, submitted projects must be by, for or about women. Filmmakers must have completed at least 90% of principal photography, and have a rough cut at the time of application.

The program funds both short and long formats in all genres: narrative, documentary, educational, animated and experimental. Entrants do not have to be Women In Film members to apply for a grant, and WIF encourages international applications.

Detailed criteria for each category and a download of the application can be obtained at

Women In Film published an interview series on with notable Film Finishing Fund recipients called “Grant Winners Talk”. The interviews are available at

2013 grant winners include Pelin Uzay, producer of The Bravest, the Boldest, nominated for the Short Film Grand Jury Prize At Sundance 2014

The 2014 Women In Film Foundation Film Finishing Fund Committee:

Betsy Pollock, Associate Dean of Production, American Film Institute Conservatory
Nancy Rae Stone, Producer

Lisa Gewirtz
Ellen Olivier
Chevonne O’Shaughnessy
Marion Rosenberg
Cathleen Summers

Women In Film (WIF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women achieve their highest potential within the global entertainment, communication and media industries. WIF’s fundamental belief is that entertainment created by and for women should represent 50% of all content worldwide, in sync with the voice of the population itself. WIF’s mandate is to ensure gender parity for women in management positions as well as in front of and behind the camera, and to preserve the legacies of all women within the media industries. Founded in 1973, WIF and its Women In Film Foundation provide for members camaraderie, networking opportunities, educational programs, scholarships, grants, film finishing funds, access to employment opportunities and mentorships, as well as enabling members who exhibit advanced and innovative skills numerous practical services, as well as participation in the organization’s film and television shadowing programs and its award-winning PSA program. For more information visit

Press Contact:
Catherine Olim / PMK*BNC / / 310-289-6200

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Five Travel Destinations From This Year’s Oscar Hits

By Samuel Faktorow
Huffington Post
March 6, 2013

Oscar nominated and Oscar winning actors, writers, directors, technicians, and other artists are riding high on waves of praise right now following the 86th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday. What is beyond the performances, costumes, and music, though? As they say in real estate: location, location, location.

The settings for this year’s most honored films were as varied as their themes and ideas. New York City roars with orgiastic ferocity in The Wolf of Wall Street while the Great Plains quietly hum their lonely requiems in August: Osage County. Locations become characters of their own in many movies. Plan your next trip to one of these star-studded Oscar locales.

1. Roscrea, Ireland from Philomena


Founded in the 6th century and known as Ros Cré in Irish Gaelic, this historic market town in County Tipperary is only an hour and a half drive from Dublin, making it a great place for a day trip. It is a designated Irish Heritage Town due to so many of its buildings being incredibly well preserved and maintained. Some of the most famous locations include the remains of the 15th century Franciscan Friary and Monaincha and Sean Ross Abbeys, as well as other towers and castles dating as far back as the 13th century

2. Tiburon and Belvedere, California from Blue Jasmine


Occupying the Tiburon Peninsula in affluent Marin County, Tiburon and Belvedere are small towns outside of San Francisco that are easily accessible by ferry, bike, or car. City law prohibits restaurants and stores from opening in Belvedere in order to preserve its natural beauty. Two yacht clubs, the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere and the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, allow for a thriving sailing community in the area. Tiburon is also home to many specialty shops and hosts “Friday Nights on Main,” an alfresco dining festival that takes place every Friday evening in spring and summer.

3. Loup Rivers Scenic Byway, Nebraska from Nebraska


Nebraska Highway 11 and Nebraska Highway 91 meander through the Sand Hills in central Nebraska from Dunning to Wood River via Burwell. Tiny farming communities and miles of empty road make this trek seem long and lonely, but the Sand Hills and abundant prairie and grassland wildlife make for breathtaking panoramas of Middle America. Make Grand Island your jumping off point as you explore the North, Middle, and South Loup Rivers; working guest ranches; and Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park.

4. The Fairmont Copley Plaza, Massachusetts from American Hustle


Located in Boston’s famous Back Bay, The Fairmont Copley Plaza is recognized as one of the Historic Hotels in America after being built on the original site of the Museum of Fine Arts in Copley Square. The history doesn’t stop there; the Fairmont Copley has hosted every single U.S. president since Taft, royalty from around the world, Frank Sinatra, and Elizabeth Taylor. Also in the neighborhood are other architectural marvels, including the John Hancock Tower, Henry Hobson Richardson’s Trinity Church, and Charles Follen McKim’s Boston Public Library.

5. Space from Gravity


Space tourism is a rapidly growing industry as more and more people are standing behind this new travel trend and movement. So far, only the Russian Space Agency has sent tourists to space, but startups like Virgin Galactic and Space Adventures are looking to send people to space later this year using specially designed spacecraft by companies like Bristol Spaceplanes. Pinch your pennies, though, because one ticket for a seat on Virgin Galactic costs $250,000.

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American Hustle’ puts Boston back in Oscar spotlight

By Gayle Fee
Boston Herald
February 19, 2014

From left, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence in a scene from American Hustle.

From left, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence in a scene from American Hustle.

When the Academy Awards are handed out a week from Sunday, “American Hustle” has a shot at being only the second made-in-Boston flick to score the big one: Best Picture.

But David O. Russell’s Abscam flick, the prohibitive favorite in the best pic race when it picked up back-to-back Golden Globe and SAG Awards, has seen its fortunes fade over the past few weeks. It is now seen as running behind “12 Years A Slave” and dead even with “Gravity” in the race for the gold guy.

With 10 nominations, “Hustle” has a chance to score in every one of the major categories. Besides the aforementioned Best Picture contest, Christian Bale is nominated for Best Actor, Amy Adams for Best Actress, Russell for Best Director, Bradley Cooper for Best Supporting Actor and Jennifer Lawrence for Best Supporting Actress.

So there should be at least one or two additions to the Hub’s Academy Award trophy case when the curtain closes well after midnight Sunday.

But it remains to be seen if Oscar Night 2014 can top 2006, when “The Departed” scored the Best Picture win and Martin Scorsese nabbed his first Best Director statuette.

Unlike “Hustle,” which was filmed in Boston but set in New Jersey, “The Departed” was loaded with local color including home-grown stars Matt Damon as a John Connolly-esque cop and Mark Wahlberg, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Not to mention Jack Nicholson who played a rip-roaring version of Southie crime lord Whitey Bulger.

Other locally made flicks have come close to the big one, including 2010’s “The Fighter,” also directed by Russell and starring Wahlberg as Lowell boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo took home supporting trophies but the film lost out to “The King’s Speech.” (Also nominated for Best Picture that year was “The Social Network,” which was partially shot in Cambridge.)

In 2003, the Clint Eastwood-directed “Mystic River,” based on the novel by Boston writer Dennis Lehane, couldn’t knock off “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” But Sean Penn and Tim Robbins won in their respective acting categories. In 1999 the made-in-western-Mass. “Cider House Rules” fell to “American Beauty.”

But at least local flicks were part of the Oscar conversation. Because until 1997, when two kids from Cambridge made the blockbuster “Good Will Hunting,” which scored nine Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Boston films weren’t getting regular invites to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. “GWH” lost out to “Titanic” that year but Robin Williams won a Best Supporting Actor statue and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck famously took home the Best Screenplay award, launching a decade and a half of nearly non-stop movie-making in the Bay State.

And that, as they say, is a wrap.

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Joyce Maynard Teaches the Labor Day Stars How to Bake a Pie

By Joyce Maynard
Parade Magazine
January 18, 2014

(Dale Robinette)

(Dale Robinette)

In the summer of 2012, I traveled to a town in Massachusetts to teach actors Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet how to make a pie. I had my favorite wood-handled pastry blender and my mother’s rolling pin packed in my suitcase along with my lucky apron. Maybe I’d never star in a movie, but my pie would.

A few years back I wrote a novel called Labor Day, about a convict on the run who hides out in the house of a lonely single mother with a 13-year-old son. When I thought about how to get across the tender side of this man, Frank, a picture came to mind. He’d show the boy, Henry, and his mother, Adele, with whom he’s falling in love, the art of pie making.

I bake a good pie myself—crust in particular. So when I got to the part in my novel where Frank explains how it’s done, his instructions are the ones I always give: Add only the bare minimum of cold water and don’t overhandle the dough. Roll out on wax paper. … Above all else, relax. We’re talking pie, not soufflé.

My pie-teaching days began the summer my mother—a great baker herself—was dying of cancer. Nearly every day over those months, as friends came by to see her, I baked a pie. ­After her death, I started teaching others, using her method.

Homemade pie is a gift of love. You don’t need fancy equipment or expensive ingredients. If you’re lucky, you pick the fruit, or someone gives it to you. In fact—getting back to Labor Day—that’s how Frank comes by his pie filling: A neighbor stops by with a bucket of overripe peaches.

“I’ll have to throw these out,” Adele says to Frank.

“I have a better idea,” he tells her, reaching for a bowl.

Not long after Labor Day was published, the director Jason Reitman called to say he wanted to make my novel into a movie. And would I teach the actor playing Frank to make the pie? Months passed before I got the news that Kate Winslet had been cast to play Adele, with Josh Brolin in the role of Frank.

When I arrived in Shelburne Falls, Mass., the ingredients for the lesson had all been laid out in a local resident’s kitchen: bowls of fresh peaches, flour, sugar, salt. As Frank explains in my book, Crisco makes a flakier crust, but butter gives more flavor. So we had both on hand.

Kate Winslet showed up first, even though she wouldn’t be the primary baker in the film; she said she’d never made a pie and wanted to learn how. But my focus that day would be on the man who had to look, onscreen, as if he had complete command of pie crust.

I knew Josh Brolin only from movies where he played the tough guy. But that day, rolling out the dough, he talked about his mother—who’d died young, like mine—and about her baking. You could tell he was a natural the moment he started peeling those peaches, using a straight-blade knife, not a parer, and handling it like a pro.

We made three pies that ­afternoon and ate them on the spot. Josh told me later that he made a pie almost every day that summer—same as I had, so many summers earlier, in my mother’s kitchen.

When I saw the movie with my two sons, and we got to the pie scene, my older son grabbed my arm. “That’s just how you do it, Mom,” he said.

In fact, it’s just how my mother did it. This may be why I always cry when I get to that part in the movie. I think of her and I like to imagine that when people come home from seeing Labor Day, they too may feel inspired to bake a pie.

To read an excerpt from the novel Labor Day, click here.

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Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2014

By Mark Sells
MovieMaker Magazine
January 10, 2014

It’s MovieMaker’s 2014 edition of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker! We’re counting down through our Top 10 Big Cities, Top 5 Small Cities, and Top 5 Towns—releasing one location a day for the entire month of January. The full list, published in MovieMaker‘s Winter 2014 issue, will be available on newsstands January 28.

Unlike previous years where locations were pitted against each other in a single pool, this year we separated the list into three distinct categories: Big Cities (pop. 500,000 and up), Small Cities (pop. 100,000 to 500,000), and Towns (pop. 100,000 and under). After months of research, interviews, and mathematical formulas, we boiled the rankings down to the essential elements. All locations were rated according to six criteria: Film Production in 2013 (shooting days, number of productions, dollars generated), Film Community and Culture (film schools, festivals, independent theaters, film organizations), Access to Equipment and Facilities, Tax Incentives, Cost of Living, and a General category that included lifestyle, weather, and transportation. Did your place of choice make the list? If not, maybe you should choose again if you’re serious about rooting yourself in a location that’s conducive to your career and life goals – or drop us a comment proposing a place we overlooked this year!

Top 10 Big Cities

#6. Boston

Thanks largely to the influence of Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, and a few other talented filmmakers, the presence of Boston on the big screen has never been more noticeable. Starting with Good Will Hunting (1997) and running through the last decade, some of the most compelling and memorable films have emerged from the city proper, capturing its heart and soul: The Boondock Saints, Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, The Town, The Social Network, The Fighter, Labor Day, and of course, Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning masterpiece, The Departed.


As one of the oldest cities in the US, Boston, Massachusetts is divided into 21 diverse neighborhoods, with Irish and Italian influence, and deeply rooted in American history. After all, it’s the birthplace of the American Revolution—the Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Battle of Bunker Hill, etc. Boston is also a city of many firsts: the site of the first public school, the first subway system and the oldest park in the US (Boston Common). A world leader in innovation, there are more than 100 colleges and universities in town, many with film schools, like Boston University, Boston College, Brandeis, Clark, and Harvard. Take your pick.


Under the Massachusetts Film Office and Boston Film Bureau, filmmakers may receive several tax incentives, including a 25 percent production credit on a $50K minimum spend (no project cap or residency requirements) and a 25 percent payroll credit and a sales tax exemption. Even though Boston has one of the highest costs of living in the US, you can’t beat the uniqueness of its culture, language (Boston English), architecture, community, and place in history.

For more information about filming in Boston, visit the Massachusetts Film Office.

Check back every day for the rest of January to see what other places made the list!

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10 Outstanding Motion Pictures and Television Programs Inducted
into the AFI Almanac of the Art Form

December 9, 2013 – The American Film Institute (AFI) today announced the official selections of AFI AWARDS 2013 – 10 outstanding films and 10 outstanding television programs deemed culturally and artistically representative of the year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image.

An almanac documenting works of excellence that mark a moment in time, AFI AWARDS is also the only national honor for the community’s creative ensembles as a whole, acknowledging the collaborative nature of the art form. Honorees are selected based on works which best advance the art of the moving image, enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form, inspire audiences and artists alike, and/or make a mark on American society.


“AFI AWARDS is a moment for the most accomplished storytellers of 2013 to pause and be appreciated – not as competitors, but as a community,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “Acknowledging their collective contributions to America’s rich cultural legacy is both AFI’s national mandate – and our honor.”

Marking the 14th chapter in the American Film Institute’s ongoing chronicle, AFI AWARDS selections are made through AFI’s unique jury process in which AFI members, scholars, film and television artists, critics and AFI Trustees determine the most outstanding achievements of the year, as well as provide a contextual rationale for each selection.

This year’s juries – one for film and one for television – were chaired by producers and AFI Board of Trustees Vice Chairs Tom Pollock (former Vice Chairman of MCA, Chairman of Universal Pictures) for the movies and Rich Frank (former Chairman of Walt Disney Television, President of Walt Disney Studios, President of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) for television, and includes award-winning artists such as Jon Avnet, Anne V. Coates, Roman Coppola, D.C. Fontana, Nancy Meyers and Noah Wyle; film historian Leonard Maltin; scholars from prestigious universities with recognized motion picture arts programs (Princeton, Syracuse, USC, Wesleyan); AFI Board of Trustees; and critics from leading media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone Magazine, Time Magazine, TV Guide, USA Today and more.

AFI will honor the creative ensembles for each of the selections at an invitation-only luncheon on Friday, January 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Verizon Digital Media Services is the Digital Sponsor of AFI AWARDS and luncheon. Audi of America has supported AFI for the past 10 years and is proud to return as a major sponsor of the event. Additional sponsors include Stella Artois and American Airlines, the official airline of the American Film Institute, providing travel support throughout the year.

Additional information, including awards criteria, can be found at later today. Press coverage of the AFI Awards luncheon is very limited and by invitation only. Photos will be available online through AFI by 5:00 p.m. immediately following the event on January 10, 2014.

About Verizon Digital Media Services
Verizon Digital Media Services offers enterprises a suite of robust and flexible end-to-end video solutions for best-in-class TV Everywhere and superior over-the-top experiences. Built on one of the world’s most advanced networks with a video-optimized platform, Verizon Digital Media Services delivers a vast range of content management and delivery services with carrier-grade quality, reliability, security and scale. For more information about Digital Media Services, visit

About Audi
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016; AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products, facilities and technologies. Visit, or for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

About the American Film Institute
AFI is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film – now in its 42nd year; AFI Awards, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year; AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI Fest presented by Audi, AFI Docs presented by Audi and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world renowned AFI Conservatory, recognized for the quality of its instructors and speakers and its notable alumni. For more information about AFI, visit or connect with AFI at, and

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Newport Beach Film Festival 2014 – Call for Entries

The 2014 Newport Beach Film Festival will spotlight over 350 films from over 50 different countries, as well as premiere galas, an industry seminar series, spotlights, and question and answer sessions with filmmakers. Submit your film now for the chance to be part of the 2014 Newport Beach Film Festival!

Key Submission Deadlines:
• November 22, 2013
• December 20, 2013
• January 24, 2014

To submit, visit

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Lincoln is attracting more film-makers

By Katherine Mierzwa
The Lincoln Journal
November 14, 2013

A sign directs production crew members to their destination.(COURTESY PHOTO / KATHERINE MIERZWA). Follow us: @LincolnJournal1

A sign directs production crew members to their destination.
Follow us: @LincolnJournal1

Lincoln — Another feature film crew was shooting in Lincoln this week – did you notice?

Probably not.

That’s because the film crews and Lincoln town officials work to keep things low-key when crews are shooting in town. And the production crew is keeping both the name of the film and its stars hush-hush for now to facilitate filming.

A hayride scene was filmed on Monday and Tuesday at Drumlin Farm, but the only thing you might have seen was a parking lot full of rental trucks in the parking lot, or lots of cars belonging to the crew and extras parked at the deCordova’s lot, or a black-and-white “Crew Parking” sign at the corner of Weston Road and Lincoln Road.

Earlier this year scenes from the movie “Captain Phillips” with Tom Hanks were shot at Matlock Farm on Old Lexington Road. In 2009, a fight scene for Mel Gibson’s “Edge of Darkness” was shot in a private modern house on Tabor Hill Road. Highway scenes along the road into Hanscom Field appeared in the movies “Mall Cop 2” with Kevin James and “Grown Ups 2” with Adam Sandler. And scenes for the 1990 movie “Mermaids” starring Cher were shot here, too.

“I love Lincoln,” says Charlie Harrington, a 30-year veteran film location manager. “It’s a really special place with old New England homes that are still owned by their original families. It’s got a large selection of 20th century modern homes and it has lots of beautiful open land that can look like Vermont or New Hampshire, but it’s only 15 miles from Boston as the crow flies.”

That’s important to a film production whose administrative offices are in Boston and whose crew and cast are housed in Boston hotels.

“We want locations that are within 30 miles of Boston so we can minimize our travel time and costs,” says Mark Fitzgerald, Boston’s leading Hollywood film location manager and scout. “We also need a place with lots of parking for our big equipment trucks, along with car parking for cast, crew, and lots of extras.” In Lincoln the deCordova Museum and the DPW lot on Lewis Street have taken the overflow parking for recent films, said Town Administrator Tim Higgins.

Both location managers say that Lincoln has another good thing going for it — it’s very “film friendly.” Fitzgerald said that Police Chief Kevin Mooney and Lt. Kevin Kennedy have been great to work with – helpful and accommodating to the needs of the production crew. Kennedy is equally complimentary about the location managers that he has dealt with.

Our job is protect public safety in Lincoln when these crews come to town. It’s always been a pleasure to deal with these location managers who respect our town and are cognizant of our residents,” he said

And we’ll probably be seeing more filming in Lincoln in the future. The Massachusetts Film Office promotes filming in the state by offering a good package of tax incentives to attract film and TV production to Massachusetts. Once here, the office works closely with location scouts to find the potential perfect filming location.

Think your house or property belongs in a film?

You can check a list for film, TV or commercial production possibilities on the website

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