DAILY NEWS: Myriad Backs Zoetrope Pix; Floating Film Fest
with articles by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> Myriad Signs to Finance Five Zoetrope Films
(indieWIRE: 02.27.02) — Myriad Pictures has announced a pact to finance
five new features by Francis Ford Coppola‘s American Zoetrope. Among the new movies is author Russell Banks‘ screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac‘s novel “On The Road.” It will be directed by Joel Schumacher.
Among the other movies in the deal are “Kinsey,” a biopic about human
sexuality scientist Alfred Kinsey. Bill Condon (“God’s and Monsters“) is set to direct the movie from his own script. Finally, “My Dark Places” which
will be directed by Robert Greenwald, is based on James Ellroy‘s
autobiographical look at his mother’s murder.
North American distribution on the pictures will be handled by MGM/UA, as
part of Zoetrope’s output pact with the studio. Myriad is handling international distribution rights for the five movies.
Coppola’s American Zoetrope is the renowned producer of such films as
“American Graffiti,” “The Godfather, Parts 2 & 3,” “The Outsiders,” “Peggy Sue Got Married,” “The Conversation,” “Apocalypse Now,” and “The Virgin Suicides,” among others. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> “Lagaan” Floats Two Top Prizes Aboard World’s Smallest Film Festival
(indieWIRE/02.27.02) — Rushing to and from one over-crowded decrepit venue
to another may characterize some festivals on the yearly circuit, but the
Floating Film Festival, this year taking place aboard Holland America’s luxury
ship MS Statendam, sailed film buffs and critics alike aboard a unique event
from San Diego to Mexico’s Pacific coast.
No doubt ports of call such as Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco
provided some distraction, but shipboard attendees resoundingly gave best
foreign film Oscar nominee “Lagaan” (India) the Jay Scott Audience Award
as well as the critics’ prize. The film by Ashutosh Gowariker follows the
fate of Indian villagers during the raj who accept a challenge from their
ruthless British rulers to a game of cricket in order to avoid paying a
debilitating tax on their land.
Other critic nods went to Fred Schepisi’s “Last Orders” and John McKay’s
“Crush” which tied for second place. On the second day of the cruise Lake
Placid Film Forum Artistic Director Kathleen Carroll hosted a tribute to
Oscar-winning actor Cliff Robertson (“Charly,” “PT-109”) with clips of his
work followed by a Q & A. Also in attendance at FFF, which describes itself
as the world’s smallest film festival, was wunder-critic Roger Ebert who
left the journey early in order to have a malignant thyroid tumor removed.