Briefs for the week of 01/04/99
Compiled by Mark Rabinowitz
>> 1999 New York International Children’s Film Festival Expands
Into Second Year
The not-for-profit New York International Children’s Film Festival
(NYICFF) is set to bow for its second year from February 6-13, with an
expanded sophomore slate and sponsorship on board from Nickelodeon, Old
Navy, HBO, MGM, NYU, the New York Times, Kodak and Krispy Kreme.
Alongside the 42 films in competition, the festival will feature
retrospectives, side bar events, filmmaker Q&As, and award ceremonies
and receptions, according to NYICFF co- directors Eric Beckman and Emily
Shapiro. The festival slate includes 27 premieres of children-focused
features, shorts, animation, live action, documentary and experimental
works in 35mm, 16mm and video.
“Our goal is to promote interesting, creative, provocative works and not
the candy-coated projects that are normally associated with kids
events,” said co- director Shapiro in a prepared statement. To that
end, the NYICFF has installed a diverse Board of Advisors, including
Spike Lee, Madonna, Ethan Coen, Gus Van Sant, Rob Minkoff, Chevy Chase
and Linda Ellerbee. The festival culminates with the selection of the
Grand Prize winner, chosen solely by all festival-going children.
Some festival highlights include the US premiere of the UNICEF-award
winning documentary “Children of the Fishing Boats,” and US premieres of
animated films “La Sagra” from Italy, and “Mambo” from Denmark. There
will also be a screening of animator Hayao Mayazaki’s feature “Kiki’s
Delivery Service,” and a retrospective of Mickey Mouse creator Ub
Iwerks’ films from the 1920s and 30s.
The festival program will include a series of films especially for
teenagers, while Nickelodeon will be premiering new pilots for their
upcoming season, and HBO Family will present a selection of films and
videos made by children. There will also be an encore showing of last
year’s NYICFF Grand Prize winning documentary, “Kumari — The Living
Goddess,” with the subject of that film, Rasmila Shakya of Nepal, on
hand as an exclusive guest.
Screenings will take place at Cantor Film Center, at 36 East 8th Street
in Manhattan. New films in competition show on three screens, 10:30 am
to 8:00 pm on February 6 and 7. Retrospectives, side bars and the 1999
NYICFF Awards Ceremony are scheduled 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm on February
13. Tickets are $8.00 per program and $15.00 for the Awards Ceremony.
For complete schedule information, call the NYICFF at 212.677.6478.
>> Benigni Retrospective Set for New York and LA
Martin Scorsese and Vittorio Cecchi Gori are joining together to present
a bi-coastal retrospective of the films of Roberto Benigni, set to run in
New York and Los Angeles from January 6-14. Entitled “Beyond
‘Beautiful’: The Films of Roberto Benigni, the series includes three
films starring, co-written and directed by Benigni: 1991’s “Johnny
Stecchino“, 1994’s “The Monster” (“Il Mostro“) and 1988’s “Little Devil“, a
pairing with Walter Matthau.
Also included in the retrospective is the film that Benigni wrote, directed and
starred in with Massimo Troisi, “Nothing Left To Do But Cry,” from 1984. As
for Benigni’s acting roles, they will be represented by Federico Fellini’s
last film, 1989’s “The Voice of the Moon,” along with two films by Jim Jarmusch,
1986’s “Down By Law” and 1991’s “Night on Earth.”
The New York screenings will take place at the City Cinemas/Crown Gotham
Cinema, while the L.A. screenings will be at the Landmark Cecchi Gori Fine
Arts Theatre in Los Angeles. A portion of the proceeds from the screenings will
go to The Film Foundation for film restoration.