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Polls, Bailout Politics Shape Michigan Primary; Taliban Leaders Get Serious About Peace Talks; Derby City Film Festival Preview: Today on Here and Now

1:06pm: General Motors has announced its largest profit ever and is giving record $7000 profit-sharing checks to blue-collar workers. Still, there’s a poll from the Detroit News that shows half of conservative voters in Michigan say the anti-bailout positions that Republican presidential rivals Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have taken won’t affect their vote in the Feb. 28 primary.

1:12pm: Today, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that US and Afghan officials are in negotiations with the Taliban. President Hamid Karzai says he’ll ask for Pakistan’s help in any peace settlement. We’ll get an update.

1:35pm: The fourth annual Derby City Film Festival begins tomorrow at the Clifton Center. It’s an event that has quickly grown during a relatively short existence. When Louisvillians Kristopher and Ashley Rommel launched the festival in 2008, they received about 150 submissions from independent filmmakers. This year, that number grew to more than 400. WFPL’s Rick Howlett speaks with festival co-founder Kristofer Rommel.

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Derby City Film Festival Begins Friday

The fourth annual Derby City Film Festival begins Friday at the Clifton Center.

Fifty-six films from 16 countries will be screened at the three-day event, and awards will be presented in seven categories, including best feature, short, documentary and acting.

Co-founder Kristofer Rommel says there will also be panel discussions and workshops on everything from how to choreograph a fight scene to special effects makeup.

“This year the producers of Below Zero, they also run the Great American pitch fest out in L.A. They’re going to come in and do a pitch workshop for screenwriters and filmmakers who want to pitch their ideas to Hollywood,” he said.

Below Zero is one of the festival’s feature film entries. A lifetime achievement award will also be presented to veteran actor Lance Henrickson, who has a role in another entry, It’s in the Blood.

Another film festival is underway this week in Louisville. The 14th annual Jewish Film Festival continues through February 25.