DAILY NEWS: "Lagaan" Wins Big; Showtime's Queer Plans; "Hollywood Ending" in San Francisco; and Scorsese in Cannes
with articles by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> “Lagaan” Tops Indian Academy Awards; Acclaimed Film to Hit America in May
(indieWIRE/04.10.02) — “Lagaan,” the acclaimed Indian film, has swept the
annual Indian International Film Awards (IIFA) winning 10 prizes, among them
best film, best director, best actor, best lyrics, and best music direction.
Set to open in New York City on May 10th, the 225 minute film will also be
released in select cities later this year by Sony Pictures Classics.
Written and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, “Lagaan” features Bollywood star Aamir Khan, a producer of the movie. A Sony announcement yesterday called
the movie “one of the most technically ambitious Hindi productions in cinematic history.”
Shot on location for six months, followed by a year of post, the film is the
first Hindi movie to use sync sound in over 40 years, according to the
announcement. Additionally, it offers “elaborate song-and-dance numbers,
which incorporate hundreds of extras and weeks of choreography.” [Eugene
>> Showtime To Boost Gay Programming
(indieWIRE/04.10.02) — Showtime plans to increase its offering of gay-
targeted content, the network has announced, with a new programming block on
the premium channel’s sister station, SHO TOO, part of the Showtime Unlimited
package. The four-hour block, to be called “Night Out on SHO TOO,” will
broadcast every Wednesday at 9pm (ET/PT) beginning May 22 with a repeat on
Saturday at 10pm.
“Night Out on SHO TOO” will be one of the first nationally distributed
programming blocks providing regularly scheduled gay-oriented entertainment.
The network plans to present program hosts including such as New York
actress and performance artist Tammy Faye Starlite and drag/lounge duo Kiki
and Herb, and Five Lesbian Brothers. The program will begin
each week with “Gay Cinema,” a feature film from Showtime’s theatrical hits
and Showtime Original Pictures.
After the feature, short-form entertainment will follow with programming
that will include the cult cartoon, “Queer Duck,” created by Emmy winner
Mike Reiss. The celebrated fowl was named as one of OUT Magazine’s top 100 influential personalities. SHO TOO will then air the hit series “Queer as
Folk” during its final themed hour. The series, Showtime’s highest-rated
show, follows the lives of a group of young gays and lesbians living in
Pittsburgh. Showtime Networks Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom
Inc. [Brian Brooks]
>> “Hollywood” Set for Ending of 45th San Francisco Fest
(indieWIRE/04.10.02) — Woody Allen‘s “Hollywood Ending” will close the 45th San Francisco International Film Festival on May 2, just two weeks before
it opens the 55th Cannes Film Festival. The Dreamworks film, featuring
George Hamilton, Tea Leoni, Debra Messing, Mark Rydell, Tiffani Thiessen and Treat Williams, also stars writer/director Allen.
The event marks the first for the new programming team, with Executive
Director Roxanne Messina Captor on board for her second Festival.
“Celebrating our 45th year and as the oldest U.S. film festival, we are
pleased that our programming team, made up of Carl Spence, Linda Blackaby and Roger Garcia, along with our International Advisory Board and myself,
have selected a strong array of films from around the world that reflect the
integrity of the Festival while also broadening its scope,” commented
Roxanne Messina Captor, the new executive director of the San Francisco
International Film Festival, in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled with
how the Festival has come together and cannot wait for all of San Francisco
to enjoy these wonderful films.” [Eugene Hernandez]
[For more info, visit:
>> Scorsese to Head Cannes Short Film and Cinefonation Jury
(indieWIRE/04.10.02) — Organizers of the Festival de Cannes have announced
that Martin Scorsese will serve as president of the event’s Short Film and
Cinefondation jury. Previous presidents include Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre
Jeunet, Thomas Vinterberg, and Erick Zonca.
“I have never made any secret of my love for movie history — for me it’s
inseparable from my moviemaking, and from my life as well,” Scorsese said,
commenting on the appointment in a prepared statement. “I try to do for
others what my own teachers did for me: to help me find a pathway that I
hadn’t known was there and that I could then call my own.” [Eugene