DAILY NEWS: Avatar's Robin Lim Dies; Box-Office Numbers; Karlovy Winners; and Wellspring's "Carnage"
by Eugene Hernandez, Matthew Ross and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> Robin Lim, Co-Founder of Avatar Films, Passes Away at 33
(indieWIRE: 07.16.02) — Robin Lim, the president and co-founder of Avatar
Films, passed away recently. He died unexpectedly in New York at the age of
33, according to an announcement issued yesterday by his company. The cause
of death was not specified.
Created in 2000, Avatar is an indie distributor based in New York City that
has released Mohsen Makhmalbaf‘s “Kandahar,” Cesc Gay‘s “Nico and Dani,” and Betsey Blakenbaker‘s “New York in the Fifties,” among others. Last Friday, it opened Benoit Jacquot‘s “Tosca.”
Lim was born in Singapore, where his funeral was recently held. He received
his MBA at Columbia University and worked at Tapestry International from
1996 to 1997, and IN Pictures from 1997 to 1999.
According to the announcement yesterday, Avatar will remain active. “Avatar
Films will continue to pursue Lim’s vision of bringing high quality art
house films to the U.S., including the national release of ‘Tosca’ and other
new projects.” [Eugene Hernandez]
[Condolences for the Lim family may be sent in care of Avatar Films,
150 West 28th Street, #1803, New York, NY 10001.]
>> “Perdition” Slows Indie/Specialty Box Office
(indieWIRE: 07.16.02) — By all accounts, DreamWorks‘ successful release of
Sam Mendes‘ “Road to Perdition” affected this weekend’s indie and specialty
box-office. Attendance was reportedly down at key venues like New York’s
Angelika Film Center while “Perdition” was on the road to its more than $20
million studio gross.
Sony Pictures Classics‘ “My Wife is An Actress” earned $49,204 on seven
screens in New York and Los Angeles in its opening weekend, for an average
of $7,029, while “Sex and Lucia” from Palm Pictures and Magic Lamp nabbed $47,591 on seven screens in the same two cities for an average of $6,799.
Cowboy Pictures unveiled two films over the weekend, “All About Lily
Chou-Chou” from Japan and a re-release of the classic Pennebaker doc, “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” While “Lily” earned $3,064 in one New
York City run, “Ziggy” came in with $6,816 in its debut at Manhattan’s Film
Forum for a total so far of $9,616 (it opened on Wednesday).
Focus Features earned just over than $33,000 for its debut of “Never Again.”
The film opened on five screens for an average of more than $6,500. Lions
Gate earned $67,508 on 13 screens in its second weekend of release for
“Lovely & Amazing.” The film had a $5,193 per screen average for a total of
more than $400,000 so far in two weekends. On two screens in its second
weekend, Magnolia‘s “Read My Lips” earned $22,089, for a new total of
Finally, Lot47 earned $136,994 with its release of “The Fast Runner“
(Atanarjuat). The grosses came from 43 U.S. venues, for an average of
$3,186. Worth noting is the fact that the film’s new $1,890,572 cume
includes totals for the movie’s strong showing in Canada earlier this year.
The movie, an Inuktitut-language drama, earned $990,000 before opening in
the United States on June 7.
All eyes will be on Miramax this coming weekend, the Indiewood studio
will unveil its $5 million DV Sundance acquisition, Gary Winick‘s
“Tadpole.” [Eugene Hernandez]
>> “Devil” Wins Big at Karlovy Vary
(indieWIRE: 07.16.02) — Czech director Peter Zelenka‘s “Year of the Devil“
was awarded the Crystal Globe prize at the 37th Karlovy Film Festival, which came to close on Saturday after 10 days of screenings and events.
The film — a mix of fiction and non-fiction — follows the exploits of a
Czech rock band. The fiction competition jury, which was headed by
actor-director Jean-Marc Barr (who was also the subject of a retrospective
program), also included American critic Roger Ebert, Assumpta Serna, Ibolya Fekete, Jan Mali, and Kaynam Myung.
Other fiction winners at Karlovy Vary included a special jury prize for
Caroline Link‘s “Nirgendwo In Afrika” (Nowhere In Africa), best director
honors for Asghar Massombagi for “Khaled,” and special jury mentions for Min Boung-hun‘s “Gwenchana Uljima” (Let’s Not Cry), and Julio Wallovits and Roger Gual‘s “Smoking Room.” William H. Macy took home the best actor award for his role in Neil Slavin‘s “Focus,” while Ugla Egilsdottir won the actress prize for her performance in Agust Gudmundsson‘s “Mavahlatur” (The Seagull’s Laughter).
Japanese director Kaoru Ikeya‘s “En’an No Musume” (Daughter from Yan’an) was voted best documentary over 30 minutes in length, while Filip Remunda‘s “Obec B.” (Village B.) took home the short documentary prize. Lucy Walker‘s “Devil’s Playground” and Andrei Osipov‘s “Ochota Na Angela Ili Cetyre Ljubvi Poeta I Poricatelja” (Hunting Down An Angel or Four Passions of The Soothsayer Poet), both received special mentions.
For a complete list of winners, visit the festival’s website at
http://www.iffkv.cz. [Matthew Ross]
>> Wellspring Grabs Gleize’s “Carnage”
(indieWIRE: 07.16.02) — New York-based film, television, and video
distributor Wellspring Media has acquired U.S. rights to Delphine
Gleize‘s directorial debut “Carnage,” the company’s senior VP of
acquisitions, Krysanne Katsoolis, announced yesterday. The film, featured
in the Directors Fortnight section of the 2002 Cannes Film Festival,
is described by Wellspring as “a boldly stylish and darkly comic story that
traces the unexpected connections forged between characters of widely
different backgrounds in the aftermath of a tragic bullfight.”
Gleize has received much acclaim for her short films, including a Cesar in
2000 for best short for “Sale.” Wellspring acquired “Carnage” from Wild
Bunch after catching the attention of Katsoolis and her associate Marie
Therese Guirgis during this year’s Cannes Film Festival; the deal was
negotiated with Gael Nouaille of the Paris-based group.
“This is a stylish and entertaining film, showcasing a bold new talent,”
Katsoolis said in a prepared statement. “Each year, we want to release at
least one film from a new filmmaker. The film’s sophistication and mastery
immediately struck us. Gleize is definitely a talent to foster.” “Carnage”
stars Chiara Mastroianni and Angela Molina.
Wellspring currently has “Notorious C.H.O.” in release, which expanded to
eight screens over the July 4th weekend where it has enjoyed a $10,789
per-screen average and a cumulative total of $109,092 over two weeks. [Brian
>> MONDAY IN indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: Palm Gets “Edge City,” and Sundance Channel on Video
(indieWIRE: 07.15.02) — Edge City,” the voyeuristic examination of fast-living
kids in Philadelphia, has been acquired by Palm Pictures; And, The Sundance
Channel has become the latest media outfit to enter the home video business.”
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