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(Spoilers ahead for season 1 of “Hunters” on Amazon Prime Video, specifically for parts involving the nun Sister Harriet)

Probably my favorite character on “Hunters” is Sister Harriet (Kate Mulvaney), the resident British assassin in the Nazi-hunting group that the series is focused on. She’s cranky and doesn’t mince words, and she only cares about results, which she usually manages to get.

And she also is lying to the other hunters. Season 1 sorta very gradually builds up a mystery around Harriet, showing that she is also working for somebody other than Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino). Who that person or group is remains unknown, though we can make a pretty solid guess about it. So let’s dig in.

Also Read: 'Hunters': Were Those Nazi Concentration Camp Flashbacks Based on True Stories?

Sister Harriet is introduced as a nun who used to work for MI6 before joining this band of Nazi hunters, though we’re not given much background beyond that in the early going. The first sign that something is off about her comes in the third episode, when we very briefly see her make a call from a phone booth — in German. “They’re getting closer,” she says to whoever is on the line.

This was a weird thing for her to do, especially with the German, but it’s an obvious red herring. The Nazis very clearly have no idea what the hunters are doing, and there would be no advantage in stringing them along with a spy instead of just having Harriet wipe out the group. So if she’s a traitor, it’s certainly not for the main group of Nazis.

Then we get some more big confusion in the fifth episode, when part of the group heads to Huntsville, Ala. to hunt some Nazis who had joined NASA back in the day.

They find a whole pile of them, celebrating the Fourth of July with a giant Confederate flag and some fireworks. Once they establish that one specific Nazi is present at this gathering, Harriet finds the guy, tells him the Jews are trying to kill him, and then runs off with the guy without telling anybody else on the team what’s going on.

Also Read: 'Hunters': Did the Government Really Bring a Bunch of Nazis to America in 'Operation Paperclip'?

It looks an awful lot at that point like she’s a traitor, and a secret Nazi. But after a while it seems like she’s actually doing some kind of ruse to pump this guy for information about the Nazi’s plans. Though it’s not at all clear why she would take this approach and not tell anyone she’s doing it — her fellow hunters think she’s betrayed them.

Shortly after this, we learn Harriet’s backstory. She was from Germany originally, and her real name was Rebekah, and she’s Jewish. And when she was a kid living under the Nazis, her parents shipped her off to, apparently, a monastery in Britain, where she was given the name Harriet by her new caretaker, Sister Colin (Anna Holbrook), and presumably became a nun.

The next big scene in this arc comes when the hunters are trying to figure out what the Nazis are up to with their “solution.” So Sister Harriet takes a sample to someone she knows in the Center for Disease Control for testing. This person, very interestingly, was someone Harriet grew up with in the monastery, and she makes a crack about how surprising it is that the other hunters haven’t figured out yet that Harriet has her own secret and separate agenda.

But since this CDC woman is actually helping the hunters foil the big Nazi plot, this conversation is certainly not evidence that Harriet the nun is a traitor.

Also Read: 'Hunters' Creator Defends Fictionalized Accounts of the Holocaust Condemned by Auschwitz Memorial

The mystery continues in one of the final scenes of the season 1 finale. We see Harriet once again in a phone booth, this time waiting for a call. She picks up when it rings, and says, “It’s important to draw open the curtains now and then. See that light still shines in the world.” She then says this was something the woman on the other end of the line always used to tell her.

After Harriet gets the woman up to date on recent events, this unknown woman says something curious. “How will you foll Offerman’s bandits to carry out our plan?” And the woman calls her Rebekah, her real name.

In the next scene, Harriet is back with the other hunters, and she proposes a new plan based on a dossier she had just received: head to Europe and hunt down some Nazis who are up to no good there. The implication being that this is the plan that the woman on the phone mentioned, or it’s closely enough related.

There’s really only one logical guess as to who Harriet is really working for: Sister Colin. It’s tough to compare voices with the telephone distortion, but there are three big clues. 1. That the woman on the phone called her Rebekah, a name that no one other than the sisters at the monastery would know. 2. Harriet spoke to her as if she was a mentor, and Sister Colin is the only mentor we know of that she ever had. 3. Harriet is actively working with at least one other sister from the monastery.

There’s no other conclusion to draw because there are no clues that point in any other direction. So either Sister Harriet is working for Sister Colin, who is in charge of some kind of spy group, or Harriet is working for some entity that hasn’t yet been introduced. But if it’s the latter, then Harriet’s childhood flashbacks would serve no real purpose.

So I feel safe concluding that Sister Colin is the boss here, though I have no clue what that situation is. Are the sisters another clandestine vigilante group of Nazi hunters? Are they a secret division of MI6? Since the hunters are apparently going to Europe next, presumably this will be explored in season 2 if the show gets renewed.

www.thewrap.com | 2/25/20

Amazon has released the trailer for Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn’s latest fashion competition series, “Making the Cut.”

The 10-episode series, which features 12 fashion designers vying for a million-dollar grand prize to invest in their brand, and the opportunity to sell their own exclusive fashion line on Amazon, premieres March 27 on Amazon Prime Video. Two episodes will premiere each week until the finale on April 24.

Watch the first trailer for the new series above.

Winning looks from each episode will also be available for purchase on Amazon in the “Making the Cut” store. Designers whose looks don’t “make the cut” will be eliminated during the course of the season until only one winner remains. Designers will travel to the world’s fashion capitals of New York, Paris, and Tokyo, where they will complete challenges that will test their design skills and business savvy.

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Judges include Naomi Campbell, Nicole Richie, Joseph Altuzarra, Carine Roitfeld and Chiara Ferragni.

“Making the Cut” is executive produced by Sara Rea, Page Feldman, Klum, Gunn and Jennifer Love. Ramy Romany directs. The series is produced by Amazon Studios and SKR Productions.

Read the bios for all 12 contestants below:

Also Read: 'Hunters': Did the Government Really Bring a Bunch of Nazis to America in 'Operation Paperclip'?

Sander Bos, 24, Hasselt, Belgium: Featuring avant-garde inspired looks, Bos is a young designer who runs his namesake line. Raised in a small town in Belgium, he is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and is eager to make his mark on a global scale.

Rinat Brodach, 35, New York City: Brodach was a fan of fashion from an early age while growing up in Israel and later came to the US to study design. Her eponymous line features a minimalist chic, gender-free aesthetic, reflecting her own straightforward personality. She recently dressed Billy Porter for the Critics’ Choice Awards and her designs have also been worn by Laverne Cox and Adam Lambert.

Ji Won Choi, 26, New York City: The Parson graduate is a designer of elevated, active streetwear that she sells under her namesake brand and has collaborated with Adidas, with pieces worn by Beyoncé and Kendall Jenner. Born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in Oklahoma, and educated in New York City and Paris, her work is a reflection of how Choi sees herself in the world.

Also Read: Rainn Wilson Joins Cast of Amazon's 'The Power' Series

Jasmine Chong, 31, New York City: Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Chong is the owner of her self-titled feminine ready-to-wear line, has previously shown at NYFW and her line has been featured in a number of fashion magazines. Inspired by her seamstress grandmother and her fashion designer mother, she is focused on creating beautiful clothing that appeals to all body types.

Jonny Cota, 35, Los Angeles, CA: The self-taught owner of the elevated streetwear brand Skingraft, Cota produces two men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections yearly and has shown five times at New York Fashion Week. In addition, he has dressed celebrities including Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé.

Martha Gottwald, 28, Richmond, VA: The Louisiana native and mother of two is the owner of the womenswear brand Neubyrne and has been featured in British Vogue and shown at NYFW. Like Gottwald herself, Neubyrne embraces color and whimsicality. The survivor of a near-fatal car accident that taught her about strength and endurance, she is a relatively new designer who was inspired by artisans she met in Singapore.

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Troy Hul Arnold, 34, New York City: An adjunct professor at Parsons, Hul Arnold was born in Trinidad and Tobago before coming to the US as a child. His brand, Hul Arnold, features minimalist, avant-garde menswear-inspired looks for women; one of his designs was worn by Sarah Jessica Parker on Glee. Hul Arnold takes an artisanal approach to his fashion, and he refers to his pieces as functional sculptures.

Joshua Hupper, 38, Shanghai, China: Founder of BABYGHOST, a wildly successful e-commerce fashion brand based in China, Hupper’s designs have been featured in Vogue and on runways around the world. His line features youthful, feminine ready-to-wear fashions for the “mischievous girl.” Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Hupper’s talents were shaped by his artistic upbringing and internships with Diane Von Furstenburg and Thakoon.

Esther Perbandt, 43, Berlin, Germany: Founder and namesake Esther Perbandt was born and bred in Berlin, toughened up in Moscow and polished in Paris. Owner of her eponymous line, which features edgy, menswear-inspired separates, Perbandt has created more than 30 collections over the brand’s 15-year history and has been running her highly successful boutique in Berlin for ten years. As an artist, she has also collaborated on countless music, film and theatre projects.

Will Riddle, 31, New York City: Riddle’s design skills, featuring a modern take on old glamour, have led to a series of impressive jobs, including Atelier Director at Oscar de la Renta, 3.1 Philip Lim, and now men’s designer at Kith – a far journey from growing up in a trailer park in Ohio. With an impressive resume under his belt, Riddle is ready to start his own label.

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Sabato Russo, 64, Milan, Italy: A seasoned designer with a 25-year career in the industry, Russo is the owner of the brand Satorial Monk, which focuses on high-end simplicity. A former model who is able to speak four languages, Russo has a global point of view that is reflected in his sophisticated, timeless looks. Russo is currently working on his “Made in Italy” line entitled Sabato Russo.

Megan Smith, 38, Los Angeles, CA: Born and raised in Kansas City, KS, Smith first discovered her love of fashion design while creating clothes for her Barbie dolls. After designing the private label for several major brands and retailers, Smith branched out and launched her own line “Megan Renee.” The response to her first runway show during Los Angeles Fashion Week was so overwhelming, she launched her online boutique to sell her collections to customers worldwide. Her line features feminine, 70’s inspired cocktail attire.

“Making the Cut” premiers March 27 on Amazon Prime Video.

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www.thewrap.com | 2/24/20

“Hunters,” the new series from Amazon Prime Video which dropped on Friday, is a work of historical fiction. Which means the actual plot is made up, but the story is firmly rooted in real historical events.

Those roots manifest in many ways on “Hunters.” Like the flashbacks to Nazi concentration camps. The very real 1977 New York City blackout that was not just a freak accident in this version of history. And, of course, the United States government sweeping up a bunch of prominent Nazis and giving them important jobs in America.

Though so far as the public record goes the Nazis did not make a concerted effort to establish the Fourth Reich in the US, it is true that after the war the government brought a large number of Nazi scientists to America instead of punishing them. A lot of important folks got a free pass because of their skills, most notably Wernher von Braun, who got a high placement at NASA and has lots of stuff named after him. Von Braun was just one of many Nazis who worked at NASA back in the day.

This whole thing, dubbed Operation Paperclip, is the spark of the plot in “Hunters,” which is all about a squad of vigilante spies, basically, verifying these folks and taking them out. Though in this version of history those Nazis weren’t just hanging out living their lives — they were plotting to take over the country.

Also Read: 'Hunters' Creator Says We're Currently Facing 'an Epidemic of Anti-Semitism' Not 'Seen in Decades'

If you want to know more about Operation Paperclip, you’ve come to the right place. Below we’ll run down the basics of the real-world version of Paperclip, but we’ll avoid spoilers for the sake of those who aren’t finished with “Hunters” season 1 yet.

So despite a reputation in popular culture for almost science fiction level technology, Nazi Germany actually lagged far behind its rivals in several key fields, like nuclear physics.

But in some other fields, particularly rocketry, Nazi German scientists were actually ahead of the U.S. and USSR. In the latter months of World War II Germany developed the first guided ballistic missiles, which they used to attack cities in England and Belgium, among others. By contrast, the otherwise far more advanced America had to use standard issue bomber planes to deploy the first nuclear bombs.

After Nazi Germany surrendered in May, 1945, the country was divided up under zones of US and Soviet control, who ended up with custody of a lot of those scientists. This is where it gets complicated.

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The German scientists were of course Nazis, in many cases high ranking Nazis. Which meant there was a high probability they were personally involved in Nazi atrocities like biological weapons research, concentration camp deaths, slave labor and human experimentation.

This was less of a problem for the Soviets, whose zone of control included the site where Germany developed its most advanced rockets, giving them a huge advantage just as relations with the US were turning sour. The USSR reverse engineered the whole thing and rebuilt it inside Soviet borders. They also forcibly conscripted more than 2000 scientists.

The situation was different for the US, who was in the process of very publicly declaring itself the defender of human rights in the postwar era. No matter — America wanted to get an advantage over the USSR, and also had real concerns that Nazi scientists might take their skills to other countries (there were several nations that didn’t participate in WWII but nonetheless were Nazi allies).

In late 1946 President Truman issued a secret directive authorizing “operation overcast,” which fast-tracked immigration papers for more than a thousand former Nazi scientists. It was later renamed “Operation Paperclip” because a paper clip would be attached to someone’s file, indicating they were to be allowed in without too much scrutiny.

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Once in the US, they formed the core that developed America’s nuclear missile array during the 1950s — they also developed weapons for America that almost certainly violated international law.

In 1960, they were reassigned to newly-created NASA, where they oversaw the staggering scientific and engineering advances during the space race. Among them was Wernher von Braun, Germany’s top rocket scientist during the war. He designed the rocket that sent Apollo 11 to the moon.

But about those aforementioned war crimes: Operation Paperclip, ahem, papered over the records of recruited Nazi scientists, some of whom were outright monsters. Here are just a few examples:

-According to Annie Jacobson in her 2014 book Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America, Walter Schreiber, a medical researcher who served as a key witness for the prosecution in the Nuremberg trials, was brought to the US under Paperclip in 1951. Just weeks later the Boston Globe exposed his ghastly human experimentation research at Ravensbrück concentration camp, and he fled to Argentina (with US military help).

-Rocket scientist Arthur Rudolph was brought into the US in 1945 and for the next 40 years served US military and scientific interests. He became a US citizen and even received NASA’s highest award. Then in 1984 it came out that he made heavy use of slave labor from Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp during World War II. Rudolph renounced his US citizenship and left the country in order to avoid a war crimes trial.

-Hubertus Strughold, former head of medical research for the Luftwaffe, came to the US in 1947 and through his subsequent work was honored as “the father of space medicine.” The Aerospace Medical Association even named its most prestigious award after him. Unfortunately he almost certainly conducted insidious experiments on humans, including children, at Dachau concentration camp. While he was never punished during his lifetime, the SMA retired the Strughold Award in 2013 following a Wall Street Journal expose of his crimes.

-As for von Braun, there is some evidence he also participated in war crimes, and he was accused of personally selecting slave labor. And, of course, he was a card-carrying member of the Nazi Party. But he also ran afoul of Nazi authorities, who suspected him of sedition and communist sympathies. In later life he consistently denied any direct participation in Nazi war crimes and said he felt helpless to do anything about the war crimes he knew about. His complicated legacy aside, he remains a revered NASA founding father with awards, buildings, streets and even a crater on the moon named after him.

So yeah, Operation Paperclip is certainly not a fictional thing that was made up for “Hunters” or the “Captain America” movies — you may recall that Hydra took over SHIELD as a result of Paperclip. The reality of it is, so far as we know, just a bit more mundane than these fictional tales.

www.thewrap.com | 2/22/20

To keep “Homeland” alive, co-creators Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon used the same playbook they deployed for “24,” the Fox anti-terrorism drama that reshuffled its deck around star Kiefer Sutherland every year.

“You have an intelligence officer out there combating terrorism,” Gansa told TheWrap. “That that can continue for a long time.”

But “24” was centered more around a premise — an entire season that takes place within one day, with each episode spanning one hour. “Homeland” was initially presented as more a specific story: What happens when a POW who had been presumed dead returns, but a CIA officer suspects him being a terrorist?

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That narrative propulsion drove the first season to critical acclaim and multiple Emmys wins. But it was short-lived.

The first three seasons of “Homeland” centered around the relationship between Claire Danes’ CIA officer Carrie Mathison and Damian Lewis’ ex-soldier Nicholas Brody. But it appeared to run out of gas during that third season, which finally put an end to the Brody-led storyline, when the character was killed off.

It was retooled for Season 4, moving Carrie to the Middle East and a virtual overhaul of the cast. That would end up being the case in subsequent seasons as well, which saw Carrie head to Germany, then back to the U.S. (first in Washington, D.C. then later Brooklyn). She begins the eighth and final season released from a Russian prison.

After Brody, the show’s creative team re-centered the series around the relationship between Carrie and her mentor, Saul Berenson, who has been the only other main castmember to stick around through the show’s entire run. “Saul and Carrie, actually, really was always the axis of the series,” Gordon says.

Also Read: 'Homeland': How Carrie Mathison Spends the Final Season in Nick Brody's Shoes

Gansa argues that the Saul-Carrie story was “the story we always meant to tell from the very beginning.” He recalled the very first scene between the two in the pilot episode, when Carrie first tells Saul she suspects Brody has been turned against the U.S.

“There was a moment where, I swear, I knew that we had a show. And that was the very first Carrie-Saul scene,” he said. “Five lines into the into the scene, I was like, this is gonna work.”

After a two-year hiatus, “Homeland” kicks off its endgame on Sunday. Though the show has driven so far past its original premise, Gansa found a way to bring Carrie full circle. She is suffering trauma and falls under suspicion from the U.S. government that she may have been turned into a Russian spy, after spending time as a Russian prisoner.

“We had Carrie herself in captivity for eight or nine months. And that just naturally led to the idea that she would become Nick Brody in a way,” he explained. “For her, the roles were reversed. She’s suspicious of herself.” And with Saul now the National Security Adviser, it puts him potentially at odds with his former mentee.

“This would really be the ultimate test of that relationship,” Gordon says.

When “Homeland” ends it run in a few months, it will exit as the only series in Showtime history to win the Emmy for either Best Drama or Comedy, which it did in stunning fashion in 2012 for its much-celebrated first season. It nearly swept the drama category that year, with both Danes and Lewis taking home the lead actor trophies. Danes would win again in 2013 and get nominated three more years after that.

“Homeland took Showtime to another level. It just did,” said Gary Levine, president of entertainment for Showtime. “I think it took TV to another level but it certainly took Showtime along with it.”

“Homeland” Season 8 premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.

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www.thewrap.com | 2/7/20
A month after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps fired numerous ballistic missiles at U.S. troops in Iraq, Germany’s government is slated to celebrate the founding of the Islamic Republic, prompting a public rebuke from America’s highest-profile ambassador in continental Europe.
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A vote in the state of Thuringia has caused outrage and shame in Germany, Jenny Hill reports.
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As smartphones have become more and more ubiquitous, German teenagers are spending increasing amounts of time online. This is damaging their health, according to a new report by a German government agency.
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As smartphones have become more and more ubiquitous, German teenagers are spending increasing amounts of time online. This is damaging their health, according to a new report by a German government agency.
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The AfD helps a liberal politician come to power, in what is seen as a big taboo in German politics.
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Meat is getting cheaper and cheaper in Germany and while customers profit from the trend, farmers and environmentalists are angry over discount supermarket prices. The government wants to talk with farmers and retailers.
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Protesters have broken into a German coal plant, saying plans to open it this summer were "a nail in the coffin for our future." The government's coal commission has advised against opening the plant.
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Anti-drone measures to protect German air traffic will cost €30 million per airport, the federal government has admitted. Security officials say their ability to deal with drones is limited without a huge investment.
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Protests against India's Citizenship Amendment Act are now also sweeping across Europe. So how do the government's naturalization plans affect the Indian diaspora in Germany?
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Marathon talks have produced an agreement between the government and Germany's coal-producing states on phasing out its coal-fired energy plants at the latest by 2038. Some plants will already be shut down this year.
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Germany's decade of growth may be coming to an end, the latest data shows. Experts blame Brexit and trade conflicts, while Merkel's government has come under pressure to eschew its no-new-debts policy and spend more.
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Representatives from Fridays for Future, Greenpeace and others are planning to lodge a complaint with the Constitutional Court to force the German government into action over climate protection.
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Germany ended 2019 with a budget surplus of €13.5 billion. The government wants to spend on infrastructure and other projects, but critics say the money isn't getting where it needs to go.
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Once a motley crew of peace activists, Germany’s Green party is now a firm pillar of mainstream politics. All told, the Greens can look back on a successful journey as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.
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Legal resistance to wind farms has become more common in Germany as the country switches to renewable energy. The Social Democrats have suggested direct financial compensation for those who live near a windmill.
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Train travelers in Germany have an extra reason to celebrate entering 2020 — the national railway company Deutsche Bahn is cutting prices for long-distance rides. The government wants more people to take the train.
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The auto insurance industry has called for further scrutiny of proposals for a nationwide speed limit. A government commission has proposed a speed limit, saying it could help reduce Germany's carbon emissions.
www.dw.com | 12/30/19
So far, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has not been particularly ambitious with regard to EU affairs. But next year provides ample opportunity to make real progress.
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Festive government stats show German Christmas tree exports took a hit in 2018, while domestic tourism and the retail sector fared well. Germany also imported more decorations and presents than ever, mostly from China.
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Germany is desperately in need of nurses, IT experts and other skilled workers — and is looking outside the EU to recruit them. The government and business leaders have now agreed a plan to make the process easier.
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Germany's former foreign minister discussed politics, sports, retirement and the trans-Atlantic relationship with the basketball legend in a special one-on-one discussion in Berlin.
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www.bbc.co.uk | 12/3/19

The Slamdance Film Festival unveiled its 2020 lineup of microbudget films Monday that will premiere at the Sundance alternative, among of which include projects about Chernobyl, a brainwashing camp, drag queens and a taxidermist looking for Bigfoot.

All films in competition during its weeklong celebration in Park City from Jan. 24-30 have no U.S. distribution and a budget of under $1 million. Films from 10 countries will participate: U.S., Belarus, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, and South Africa.

“Slamdance is above all a place of discovery,” said Slamdance Co-founder and President Peter Baxter. “Every year filmmakers break out of the festival because the industry at large recognizes the need for new voices. With a record breaking 8,231 submissions this year, our artist-led organization brings a lineup full of wonderful risk taking and unique storytelling. That’s the spirit of Slamdance 2020.”

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“Avengers: Endgame” directors Anthony and Joe Russo will once again provide a $25,000 fellowship through their AGBO Films production company to enable a deserving filmmaker the opportunity to continue their journey with mentorship from the filmmaking duo. The Russos and Slamdance have a long history together, as the two directors premiered their first film, “Pieces,” at the festival in 1997.

2019 winner Hannah Peterson, received the fellowship for her short film “East of the River,” which she screened at Tribeca in April. She has since been signed by Paradigm and hired by the Duplass Brothers to direct the Disney Channel web series “Shook.”

Among the films that have premiered at past Slamdances include Steven Soderbergh’s Netflix film “High Flying Bird,” Christopher Nolan and Bong Joon-ho’s debut films “Following” and “Barking Dogs Never Bite,” and the first installment in the horror series “Paranormal Activity.”

Check out the full 2020 lineup below:

Also Read: 'Dollhouse' Leads 2019 Slamdance Awards Winners

NARRATIVE FEATURES

“1986” – (Germany, Belarus) North American Premiere
Director/ Screenwriter: Lothar Herzog

While Elena repeatedly has to drive into the forbidden zone of Chernobyl in order to make
deals for her father, her life seems more and more contaminated by a destructive force…

Cast: Daria Mureeva, Evgeni Sangadzhiev, Vitali Kotovitski, Alexei Filimonov, Helga Filippova,
Alexei Kravchenko

“A Dog’s Death” – (Uruguay, France, Argentina) North American Premiere
Director: Matías Ganz

Veterinarian Mario and his wife Silvia enjoy a bourgeois life in Montevideo but two events will disturb their tranquility. A dog surgery goes wrong for Mario and Silvia discovers retirement. They will be dragged from paranoia to violence and from violence to nonsense.

Cast: Guillermo Arengo, Pelusa Vidal, Soledad Gilmet, Lalo Rotaveria, Ruth Sandoval, Ana
Katz

“Beware of Dog” – (USA, Russia, Germany) World Premiere
Director/ Screenwriter: Nadia Bedzhanova

Three young adults experience parallel struggles with mental health and identity. In Moscow a woman struggles with severe OCD, while her cousin in Berlin tries to build a romantic relationship ignoring her own mental condition. Meanwhile in New York City, a heartbroken boxer faces addiction and lack of self-worth in the aftermath of a break-up.

Cast: Marina Vasileva, Buddy Duress, Paula Knüpling, Marina Prados, Kevin Iso, Pavel
Tabakov

“Murmur” – (Canada)
Director/ Screenwriter: Heather Young

While performing community service at an animal shelter, an older woman begins compulsively adopting pets to ease her loneliness.

Cast: Shan MacDonald

“Majnuni” – (Bosnia i Herzegovina, USA) North American Premiere
Directors: Kouros Alaghband, Drew Hoffman Screenwriters: Kouros Alaghband, Drew Hoffman,
Adnan Omerovi?

After stalking a broken family through the night in the war-torn city of Sarajevo, Adnan snaps into an altered state of consciousness where his identity becomes entangled in the lives he is following.

Cast: Adnan Omerovi?, Dina Hebib, Barry Del Sherman, Nela Baždar, Emil Ivancic, Mel
Flanagan

“Residue” – (USA) World Premiere
Director/ Screenwriter: Merawi Gerima

A young filmmaker returns home after many years away to write a script about his childhood,
only to find his neighborhood unrecognizable and his childhood friends scattered to the wind.

Cast: Obinna Nwachukwu, Dennis Lindsey, Taline Stewart

“Sanzaru” – (USA) World Premiere
Director/ Screenwriter: Xia Magnus

When a mild Filipina nurse is hired by an elderly woman declining into dementia, the walls between this world and the next crumble as she uncovers her employer’s shocking family secret.

Cast: Aina Dumlao, Justin Arnold, Jayne Taini, Jon Viktor Corpuz

“Shell and Joint” – (Japan) North American Premiere
Director/ Screenwriter: Isamu Hirabayashi

A wild ride into a world of ideas, alternately profound, shallow, funny and horrific, conveyed by outspoken characters in powerful static compositions, in and around a capsule hotel.

Cast: Mariko Tsutsui, Keisuke Horibe, Kanako Higashi, Aiko Sato, Hiromi Kitagawa, Atsuko
Sudo, Ayano Kudo, Naoto Nojima

“Tahara” – (USA) World Premiere
Director: Olivia Peace

At the funeral for a Hebrew school classmate who took her own life, two best friends find themselves distracted by the teenage complications of lust, social status and wavering faith.

Cast: Rachel Sennott, Madeline Grey DeFreece, Shlomit Azoulay, Daniel Taveras, Bernadette
Quigley

“Tapeworm” – (Canada) US Premiere
Directors/ Screenwriters: Milos Mitrovic, Fabian Velasco

A hypochondriac, a failed comedian, a loner and two naive stoners seek an escape from their pitiful and mundane existence.

Cast: Adam Brooks, Alex Ateah, Milos Mitrovic, Sam Singer, Stephanie Berrington, Jennifer
Mauws, Julie Simpson, Sandro Dibari

“Thunderbolt in Mine Eye” – (USA) World Premiere
Director: Sarah Sherman, Zachary Ray Sherman Screenwriters: Jason Loftus, Caylan Ford

A brainy 14-year-old embarks on an awkward but heartfelt first love relationship with her brother’s best friend, while exploring her budding feminism and a gender double-standard at their high school.

Cast: Anjini Taneja Azhar, Quinn Liebling

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

“An Ordinary People” – (South Africa, Eswatini, Namibia ) World Premiere
Director: Ernest Nkosi

Born out of crime and largely marginalized by mainstream society emerges the story of Car Spinning in South Africa.

“Ask No Questions” – (Canada) World Premiere
Directors: Jason Loftus, Eric Pedicelli

A former Chinese state TV insider is held in a brainwashing camp and compelled to accept the official narrative on a fiery public suicide, which he believes was a government plot.

“Bastards’ Road” – (USA)
Director: Brian Morrison

Coming home from war is just the beginning.

“Big Fur” – (USA)
Director: Dan Wayne

If World Champion taxidermist Ken Walker can’t find Bigfoot, he’ll make one.

“Higher Love” – (USA) World Premiere
Director: Hasan Oswald

A blue collar father tries to rescue his pregnant, heroin-addicted girlfriend from the dangerous streets of Camden, New Jersey. Once their son is born, a new journey begins for the fate of the baby and the family’s sobriety that may split them apart forever.

“Jasper Mall” – (USA) World Premiere
Directors: Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb

A year in the life of a dying shopping mall.

“Lovemobil” – (Germany)
Director: Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss

Along the country roads of rural Germany, prostitutes from foreign countries work in old caravans when mysteriously one woman is murdered and fear begins to spread into an already dark and surreal world.

“Maxima” – (USA, Peru)
Director: Claudia Sparrow

A multi-billion-dollar corporation meets their match in a fearless Indigenous woman who remains uncowed after years of violent intimidation.

“Queen of the Capital” – (USA)
Director: Joshua Davidsburg

DC Bureaucrat by day, drag queen by night, Muffy Blake Stephyns follows her dream of leading a group of vibrant drag performers on a crusade for the community.

BREAKOUT FEATURES

“Close Quarters” – (Mexico) North American Premiere
Director/Screenwriter: Andres Clariond

In a time in which it is essential to question gender roles, this film explores, confronts and breaks apart man’s darkest insecurities and vices.

Cast: Paulina Gaitan, Jose Pescina, Jorge Jimenez

“The Penny Black” – (USA) World Premiere
Director: Joe Saunders

The estranged son of a con man fights temptation, paranoia, and his own nefarious legacy as he searches for the rightful owner of a mysterious, million-dollar stamp collection.

“The Wind: A Documentary Thriller” – (Poland, Slovakia)
Director/ Screenwriter: Michal Bielawski

A multi-thread story on a clash between people and the forces of nature, woven into a documentary thriller.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Dollhouse' Leads 2019 Slamdance Awards Winners

'For Sama,' Renee Zellweger Win Big at British Independent Film Awards

Graham Norton to Host 2020 BAFTA Film Awards

www.thewrap.com | 12/2/19
The German government has denied reports that it has decided to impose a blanket ban on the Lebanese militia. Does Hezbollah wield too much power for Berlin simply to ban it?
www.dw.com | 12/1/19
With the fate of Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government on a knife-edge, her center-left partners have elected new leaders. The Social Democrats now face a decision on whether to remain in the government.
www.dw.com | 11/30/19
With the fate of Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government on a knife-edge, the Social Democrat junior partners have elected two new leaders. They now face the huge task of reviving support for the embattled party.
www.dw.com | 11/30/19
The Bundesrat approved most of the government's climate package but is seeking a compromise on cost sharing between Berlin and states. The measures aim to ensure Germany meets its carbon emissions goals
www.dw.com | 11/29/19
The upper house approved most of the government's climate package, but is seeking a compromise on cost sharing between Berlin and states. The measures aim to ensure Germany meets its carbon emissions goals.
www.dw.com | 11/29/19
A new study concludes that Afghans deported from Germany and EU countries are at risk of death, economic hardship and radicalization. The government is seeking to streamline deportations in 2020.
www.dw.com | 11/27/19

(Spoilers ahead for, you know, the ending of “The Man in the High Castle.” Like the headline says.)

After four seasons, Amazon’s ambitious but often scattered “The Man in the High Castle” has finally wrapped up. It wasn’t a “clean” ending, exactly — it’s one of those endings, like that of “Game of Thrones,” where we got a conclusion to the big picture story arcs that the show has focused on this whole time, but the story for the surviving characters is far from over. It’s not a “they lived happily ever after” kind of situation. It’s a “the world continued spinning” ending.

But certainly things are looking up in the, ah, Prime Earth of this story. The Japanese have abandoned North America, and the Black Communist Rebellion is setting up a new, presumably much better government. The east coast has autonomy from Germany, and is now being run by a guy who clearly wants the Nazis gone. John Smith (Rufus Sewell), perpetrator of so many crimes against humanity, is finally dead and gone. These are all good things.

Also Read: Here's Everything New Coming to Amazon Prime Video in November

But after all that happened, there was still one last scene for “The Man in the High Castle.” The final scene takes us to the portal the Nazis built so they could travel to alternate universes. Something weird has been going on there all season, with the portal turning itself on a couple times and giving Juliana (Alexa Davalos) weird feelings that something is about to happen with it.

So in this scene, the American resistance has taken the facility where the portal is located from the Nazis, and we’ve got Juliana, Hawthorne (Stephen Root), Wyatt (Jason O’Mara) and a bunch of others hanging out in the portal room as it fires itself up. And once the portal stabilizes, out walks a whole bunch of people. These folks just stroll right through the room, not really acknowledging the people who were already present. And Hawthorne, the Man in the High Castle himself, walks through the crown and into the portal.

It was a very moving moment for me to watch, even though I honestly do not understand what it means. Juliani says these people are coming from “everywhere” but that’s obviously very vague. Was this some kind of metaphor, with the souls of those killed in the past two decades of atrocities around the world returning? Or was it really, literally happening?

Also Read: 'Jojo Rabbit' Film Review: Taika Waititi Insists That Nazis Can Be Funny

“The Man in the High Castle” doesn’t really provide anything in the way of setup for this turn of events, either way. It never established firm details about the travelers who had been bringing those alternate universe films to this version of Earth, and those films came from many more Earths than just the one the Nazis had been using the portal to travel to.

Was there some kind of parallel universe organization affecting events in this world the way the Nazis had been interfering in that other world they kept visiting? And they decided that now was the time to pay it a visit? Or maybe these were refugees who had fled this reality and were now returning?

Over at Entertainment Weekly, showrunner David Scarpa said the scene was intentionally ambiguous. “Part of the intention was to invite the audience to have their own interpretation of what they’re seeing on screen.” Though he does offer a tantalizing detail. “The portal is, essentially, open and it is going to remain open. In effect, what that means is two worlds have become one. There’s a doorway from one world into the next, and now people can move freely between them.”

Since the show is over now, that might be a detail I didn’t need confirmed, because it might keep me up at night as I try to figure out what that means. But since the show is over now, we’re probably never going to get a more real or informative answer than that. But even though I don’t get it, I like the scene a lot anyway. I like the vibe of it.

It feels like victory.

Related stories from TheWrap:

How 'Man in the High Castle' Grapples With Its Frightening Real-World Relevance In Season 3

www.thewrap.com | 11/20/19

The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, based on representative democracy. The Chancellor is the head of government, while the President of Germany is the head of state which holds a ceremonial role but substantial reserve powers. Executive power is vested in the Federal Cabinet (Bundesregierung), and federal legislative power is vested in the Bundestag (the parliament of Germany) and the Bundesrat (the representative body of the regional states). There is a multi-party system that, since 1949, has been dominated by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The judiciary of Germany is independent of the executive and the legislature. The political system is laid out in the 1949 constitution, the Grundgesetz (Basic Law), which remained in effect with minor amendments after 1990's German reunification. The constitution emphasises the protection of individual liberty in an extensive catalogue of human rights and also divides powers both between the federal and state levels and between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. In many ways, the 1949 Basic Law is a response to the perceived flaws of the 1919 Weimar Constitution, which did not prevent the rise of the Nazi party in 1933.


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