DAILY NEWS: Sony Gets "Backbone"; Winstar in Toronto; NYC PR News
by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> Sony Pictures Classics Picks “The Devil’s Backbone
(indieWIRE/08.30.01) — Sony Pictures Classics has picked up the rights to
“The Devil’s Backbone” by director Guillermo del Toro. The film, which will screen next week in the Toronto International Film Festival‘s Contemporary
World Cinema section, was written by del Toro and stars Eduardo Noriega,
Marisa Paredes and Federico Luppi. Sony Classics intends to release the
movie this November.
Spanish director/producer Pedro Almodovar (“Todo Sobre Mi Madre“) and
brother Agustin Almodovar‘s Madrid-based El Deseo produced the film which screened recently in Locarno and Edinburgh. The movie is described by Sony Classics as “an unusual horror film set against the background of the
Spanish Civil War. After losing his father, ten-year-old Carlos (Fernando
Tielve) arrives at the Santa Lucia School which shelters orphans of the
Republican militia.” Slowly, Carlos discovers dark secrets about the
school. Eventually, an “unpredictable ghost story” unfolds with metaphoric
connections to the raging war outside the school’s walls. Del Toro’s
credits include “Cronos,” “Mimic,” and the upcoming “Blade 2.” “The Devil’s Backbone” is in Spanish with English subtitles. [Brian Brooks}
>> Winstar Preps Three Films for Toronto 2001
(indieWIRE/08.30.01) — More news as the Toronto Film Festival approaches.
Winstar, which has three films at the Festival, has announced release plans
for a pair of productions, following its recent acquisition of Tsai
Ming-Liang‘s “What Time is It There?” The company is regaining its profile
within the specialty film business as it prepares to finally announce a deal
that will give it independence from its bankrupt corporate parent.
Company Sr. VP of acquisitions Krysanne Katsoolis confirmed that early next
year Winstar Cinema will release Paul Cox‘ Toronto world premiere
“Nijinsky.” The company has also announced that next Spring it will release
Fanta Nacro‘s “Bintou,” one of six movies the company produced for a series called “Mama Africa.”
Winstar holds the worldwide rights to “Nijinsky,” outside of the other
producing territories, according to Katsoolis. She indicated that Winstar
is currently fielding sales interest, including offers from several TV
broadcasters in the United States. “Bintou” won a Kodak short film award
after its Directors Fortnight screening at Cannes. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> New York PR News as Fall Fests Loom
(indieWIRE/08.29.01) — Every so often, typically before a major film
festival, word of shifts in New York City’s PR community spreads. In this
case, a new company on the scene is picking up steam and another outfit has
announced a promotion.
Yesterday indieWIRE reported that Miramax has tapped NYC PR vet Hiromi
Kawanishi as a new publicity VP, and now just in time for the Toronto
International Film Festival, New York-based specialty film PR shop Falco Ink
has announced the promotion of Erin Bruce to the position of publicist.
Bruce works with partners Jeff Hill, Shannon Treusch, Janice Roland, Gary Hill and publicist Steve Beeman.
Before joining Falco Ink two years ago, Bruce worked at Clein + White and in
literary PR at Dutton/Plume. Falco was formed in 1999 when Hill, Treusch, et
al left Clein + White to form the firm (the group took their name from the
Tony Curtis‘ Sydney Falco character in “The Sweet Smell of Success“).
Meanwhile, a company unveiled six months ago during the Berlin Film
Festival, 15minutes, is emerging on the scene. Founded by former executive
director of New York’s New Festival, Wellington Love is setting his sights
primarily on the independent film community. Love told indieWIRE yesterday
that he is on board to rep a trio of 7th Art releases, as well as a few
projects that will screen at next month’s IFP Market. Recent clients include
mediarights.org and Heavy Light Digital post-production.
Love, who spent four years with Electronic Arts Intermix prior to his
six-year tenure with The New Festival, told indieWIRE that he is also hoping
to develop a festival and event side for his upstart outfit.