DAILY NEWS UPDATE: Berney Leaving IFC for Newmarket; Outfest's Winners and Indie/Specialty Box Office
by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> Newmarket Forming U.S. Distribution Company; Bob Berney Leaving IFC Films to Head New Outfit
(indieWIRE: 07.23.02) — Newmarket Capital Group has confirmed that it is
launching a new U.S. theatrical distribution company. The New York-based
outfit will be headed by Bob Berney, who has been named a partner and
president of the new venture.
Berney is leaving his post as SVP of distribution and marketing at IFC
Films. [Eugene Hernandez and Joe Leydon]
[Joe Leydon will be reporting on this story in tomorrow’s edition of
>> OUTFEST 20 Concludes Outdoors, with Prizes and “Cockettes”
(indieWIRE: 07.23.02) — SoCal’s largest arts and culture event, Outfest,
the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, concluded its 20th edition
with Laura Nix‘s “The Politics of Fur” winning the juried OUTstanding
American narrative feature prize. The audience awarded the HBO OUTstanding
first narrative feature to “AKA” by Duncan Roy. Presenting the honors
at L.A.’s outdoor John Anson Ford Amphitheatre were Peter Paige and Bobby Gant from Showtime‘s “Queer As Folk” along with Jennifer Coolidge (“Best in Show“), Paris Barclay (“NYPD Blue“), and T.C. Carson (“Living Single“) who awarded 15 winning films cash prizes totaling $11,000. Following the ceremony, the fest closed with the Los Angeles debut of Sundance and Berlin favorite “The Cockettes” by Bill Weber and David Weissman.
In other grand jury prizes, “Daughters of the Sun” by Mariam Shahriar took the international narrative feature award and “That’s My Face“
by Thomas Allen Harris won the documentary feature award. “Km.0” (Kilometer Zero) by Yolanda Garcia Serrano and Juan
Luis Iborra won the audience’s narrative feature prize and Deborah
Dickson‘s “Ruthie & Connie: Every Room in the House” took the documentary feature prize.
Other audience winners include “You 2” by Pascale Simons (narrative short)
and Melissa Regan‘s “No Dumb Questions” (doc short). Special programming acknowledgements went to Laura Muscardin for “Giorni” (emerging talent prize) and Moises Kaufman‘s Sundance 2002 opener “The Laramie Project” for artistic achievement.
“This has been a tremendous year for OUTFEST, not just in terms of our
anniversary but also because the caliber of films has been so high,” said
Stepehen Gutwillig, executive director, in a festival release. “We were able
to program an assortment of feature films, documentaries and short subjects
that certainly varied in scope and size, but yet their one main trait in
common was their overwhelming appeal to our audiences.” The event ran July
11 – 22 and featured 241 films and videos from 30 countries. [Brian Brooks]
>> “Tadpole” Debuts, “Lovely & Amazing” and “Sex and Lucia” Expand in Specialty Releases
(indieWIRE: 07.23.02) — It was a weekend in which a lengthy downtown
blackout in New York City forced the cancellation of numerous Saturday
showings at such venerable downtown Manhattan art houses as the Angelika
Film Center and Film Forum. Indie and specialty releases such as Focus‘
“Never Again,” Magnolia‘s “Read My Lips,” Sony Classics‘ “My Wife is An Actress,” Lions Gate‘s “Lovely & Amazing,” and IDP‘s “Me Without You” were among the films affected.
Lions Gate’s “Lovely and Amazing,” directed by Nicole Holofcener, neared the
$1 million mark, earning $535,201 in its expansion from 13 to 110 screens
this weekend. The film had a per-screen average of just under $5,000 and has
a new cume of $976,711. It is expected to continue expansion this weekend.
Meanwhile, Focus’ “Never Again” was much less hearty, earning $58,937 in
its expansion from five to 35 screens. The film had a per-screen of only
$1,668, for a new cume of $110,873. Focus, of course, has high hopes for
“The Kid Stays in the Picture,” Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen‘s doc about legendary producer Robert Evans, which it will unveil on four New York and Los Angeles screens this weekend.
Miramax‘s “Tadpole” debuted in NYC this weekend, earning a solid $80,682 on six screens in New York and Los Angeles. Gary Winick‘s DV movie is set to
expand to the top 20 markets this weekend, according to the distributor.
Julio Medem‘s Spanish film, “Sex and Lucia” (from Magic Lamp and Palm), grossed $41,036 on seven screens, for a per-screen that is just under $6,000
in its second weekend. According to the distributors, the film’s new total
of $118,579 has it approaching the nearly $150,00 gross that Medem earned
with his previous U.S. release, “Lovers of the Arctic Circle.” “Lucia” is
set to expand to Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., and San Francisco this
Weekend with other cities to follow.
Over at Sony Pictures Classics, “My Wife is An Actress” was in its second
weekend in release. The picture earned $63,193 on 12 screens, for a
per-screen of $5,266 and a new cume of $141,596. Among the company’s other
releases, “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing” passed the $2 million
mark, earning $147,915 on 57 screens in its ninth week (it has now
grossed $2,009,573), while “Sunshine State” gained $235,682 on 75 screens in
its fifth week, for a new cume of $1,400,360.
Finally, IFC Films saw its release of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” surpass the $30 million mark. The movie earned about $2.5 million on 530 screens, for a
new cume of $30,862,103. Also in release, “Y Tu Mama Tambien” is at more
than $13.5 million, while “Gangster No. 1” earned only $360 on one screen,
for a cume of $30,915.
Among the films opening this week, in addition to Focus’ “Kid,” are Zhang
Yimou‘s “Happy Times” from Sony Pictures Classics, Sam Jones‘ Wilco documentary, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” from Cowboy Pictures, Stanley Kwan‘s “Lan Yu” from Strand, and Chris Ver Wiel‘s “Who is Cletis Tout?” from Paramount Classics. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> MONDAY IN indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: Oscars Moving to February; NAATA Names Yee Honorees; and HBO Takes Doc Series to SF
(indieWIRE: 07.22.02) — The annual awards season that often catapults indie
and specialty films to compete with major Hollywood releases for end of the
year kudos is being completely re-defined; The National Asian American
Telecommunications Association (NAATA) has unveiled the honorees for its first
James T. Yee Mentorship program; HBO announced its documentary series, Frame
by Frame, will screen for the first time in San Francisco.”
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