DAILY NEWS: Atom Films Creating Studio; Margaret Meade Fest; Tokyo Winners
by Maya Churi and Anthony Kaufman
>> AtomFilms acquires PixelWave to Launch Industry’s First Studio
AtomFilms, a leading distributor of short film over the internet, has
announced it’s acquisition of PixelWave, an on-line animation content
developer. Through this acquistion Atom plans to form “Atom Studio,” which
will be host to a new on-line animated series. They will also acquire
PixelWave’s original content for online and offline distribution.
According to Mika Salmi, Founder and CEO of AtomFilms “The formation of the Atom Studio directly benefits our independent animators looking to increase
the value of their content. There is overwhelming demand to create online
animated content for both consumers and businesses.” According to their
press release ‘Atom Studio,’ will be a fully operational, in-house
production facility, allowing for the development of MacroMedia Flash and
streaming media animations. The content on the site will be integrated with
online sponsorhip, and allow for syndication and advertising opportunities.
>> Margaret Meade Film & Video Fest Launches
Touted as the largest showcase for international documentaries in the
United States, The Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival kicks off its
latest installment Friday night at New York’s American Museum of Natural
History. Opening the program is Canadian director Allan King‘s “A
Married Couple,” a 1969 tour de force of cinema verite, whose portable
16 mm camera, sound equipment, and the newly-found intimacy it afforded
filmmakers, is being celebrated at the festival along with a number of
contemporary uses of the mode. In contrast, the festival goes hi-tech
with a showcase of recent developments in HDTV (high-definition
television); a roundtable discussion with featured artists and
specialists in the field will be held, and work from Kohei Ando and
Dyanna Taylor will be screened.
In addition to exhibiting celebrated work from 1999 such as Chantal
Akerman‘s “South” (Cannes), Zhang Yuan‘s “Crazy English” (Toronto), Andrzej Fidyk‘s “Battu’s Bioscope” (docfest), Thierry Michel‘s “Mobutu, King of Zaire” (New York) and Jonathon Berman‘s “My Friend Paul” (Slamdance), the program includes a number of works devoted to religious
and spiritual topics, such as James Rutenbeck‘s “Raise the Dead,” about
tent ministries, Christa Whelan‘s “Otaiya: Japan’s Hidden Christians,”
Sergio Myers‘ “Heaven’s Gate: The Untold Story,” Dan Alexe‘s “Howling for God,” about Islamic Dervishes in Macedonia, and Marije Meerman‘s “Lost and Found: Journey of the Ark,” about various religious groups battling for possession of a recently discovered religious artifact.
The festival will also include a trio of works about the Roma people
(a.k.a. Gypsies): Katrin Seybold‘s acclaimed 1982 film “The Lie,” the
New York premiere of Jasmine Dellal‘s “American Gypsy,” and Mira
Erdevicki‘s “Black and White in Colour,” a portrait of the famous Romani
singer, Vera Bila. In conjunction with a special exhibition at the
museum titled Body Art: Marks of Identity, the Mead will also feature
five programs “that explore how individuals and communities use the body
as an expression of aesthetic, political, and social practices.” The Margaret Meade festival closes on November 20 with the world premiere of Arlene Donnelly‘s “Naked States,” about the cross-country artistic pursuits of photographer Spencer Tunick in his quest to capture nude bodies of all races, shapes, and sizes. [Anthony Kaufman]
[For more information, call 212-769-5200 or visit their website at
>> Chang’s “Darkness and Light” Big Winner at Tokyo Fest
According to the Hollywood Reporter, The Tokyo International Film Festival has awarded four of it’s biggest prizes to Chang Tso-chi and his feature film “Darkness and Light,” about a teen who falls for a notorious gangster, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Tso-chi was awarded the Grand Prix, the Tokyo Gold Prize (which comes with a $94,000 cash award) and the Asian Film Award.
Other winners this year, according to the trade paper, included Park
Chong-won‘s “Rainbow Trout” (Korea), about five urbanites who visit a trout farm, which walked away with the special jury prize and Martha Fiennes, who won for Best Director for her feature “Onegin,” starring her brother Ralph.
Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov won the prize for Best Artisitc Contribution for his
film “Luna Papa,” and the Spanish film “Alone” picked up Best Actress and Actor awards for it’s two leads, Maria Galiana and Carlos Alvares-Novoa. One of the big highlights of this years festival was the premiere of
“Godzilla 2000: Millenium,” the new Japanese film about the classic monster
(which Hollywood humiliated last year). Over 100,000 people attended this
years festival with over 140 screenings.