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DAILY NEWS: Shea Back at DGA; Athens, GA Fest Signs R.E.M.

DAILY NEWS: Shea Back at DGA; Athens, GA Fest Signs R.E.M.

by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE

>> Jack Shea Re-Elected DGA Prez

Director Jack Shea has been re-elected President of the Director’s Guild of
America (DGA). This will be his second two-year term. Ed Sherin was
re-elected the group’s National Vice President, former guild President
Gilbert Cates was re-elected Secretary-Treasurer, and Martha Coolidge was
re-elected First Vice President.

Looking ahead at his next term in a prepared statement, Shea commented that
he will focus on diversity, saying, “The level of employment for women and
minorities in our industry is nowhere near where it should be, we must find
a way to convince producers and showrunners that diversification is of vital

Shea also singled out his committent to indie filmmakers, explaining, “Since
I was first elected, we’ve revamped our low budget agreements to the point
where virtually any film can be done under a Guild contract — the work of
our recently-formed Independent Directors Committee has gone a long way
towards showing filmmakers who operate outside of the studio system that the
Guild is their home, too.”

[For more information on the DGA, visit their website at:]

>> Athens’ Kudzu Film Festival Welcomes R.E.M. and Georgia Film & Video for 1999 Event

On the heels of the successful Eye-Ball Music Video Showcase over the
weekend, organizers in Athens, GA are now setting their sights on the 1999
Kudzu Film Festival. Prometheus X, which runs the annual event, confirmed
that Athens natives R.E.M. and The Georgia Film & Videotape Office are
on-board as sponsors of the festival which will run October 13 – 16, 1999.
The band sponsored the first Athens Film Festival in 1997, but sat out last
year as organizers re-grouped and re-named the event. Also on board for
1999 are Seattle Post Affiliates which will give a $12,000 post-production
services prize to the maker of the top 16mm festival film.

Organizers confirmed yesterday that they are currently accepting entries in
all categories for the 1999 Festival.

“Athens has long been lacking a visual arts frontier, since there is no art
house cinema in town,” Festival co-director Paul Marchant explained in a
conversation with indieWIRE, “So I think it is important to show works
that people in the Southeast rarely get a chance to see.”

If the festival’s first two years are any indication, the event is achieving
its goals. Local film & video makers, musicians, and photographers have
embraced the festival, clearly relishing the opportunity to catch film
festival favorites and off-Hollywood features and shorts during screenings
at the historic Morton Theater. Organizers intend to once again include
concerts by local musicians at the famed 40 Watt Club and will showcase
under a dozen features and a handful of short films during the weekend

Sean Gullette who attended the event last year with his closing night
film, “Pi,” glowed, “Athens is the perfect environment for a film festival;
a bonfide, year-round crossroads of creative activity with a sincere, art
first attitude.” Obviously flattered by the compliments, Marchant summed
up the local event simply, “We love film and we recongize that people in
the community would like to see more of it.”

[Eugene Hernandez was a juror at the 1998 Kudzu Film Festival.]

[For more information call 706/227-6090, or visit the festival website at:
http://www. The early submission deadline is August
1st, with a final deadline on August 15th.]

SUBMIT A BRIEF suggestion by email, or to the office at:


110 W. 57th St.

New York, NY 10019

Phone 212/581-7642

Fax 212/581-1857.

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