Subversive Films, More Cannes, The “City of Ghosts” and “Manic” Premieres, Oprah’s Dad, and Promotions at Fox and SXSW
by Wendy Mitchell
INDUSTRY MOVES: Megan Colligan is trading in her New York publicity post at Fox Searchlight to move to Los Angeles as their VP of national publicity. Her new post is effective May 1.
South by Southwest (SXSW) has promoted Matt Dentler to the new role of Film Conference and Festival Producer. Dentler will oversee the daily operations of the SXSW Film Festival as well as the SXSW Film Conference and Panels for its events in March. He will be responsible for the programming of films and panels. He has worked at SXSW since 2000 as a programmer and publication editor.
Randall Cole has joined Independent Television Service (ITVS) as publicity manager. He had been senior publicist at KQED Public Broadcasting in San Francisco.
Owen Roizman has been named Kodak Cinematographer in Residence at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Theater, Film and Television. Roizman will teach a series of workshops for UCLA students focusing on the aesthetic role the cinematographer plays in visual storytelling. Roizman is known for films including “The French Connection,” The Exorcist,” “the Addams Family,” and “Tootsie.” Previous Kodak cinematographers in residence have been Allen Daviau, ASC, Dean Cundey, ASC and Conrad Hall, ASC.
CANNES CRITICS LINEUP: Organizers of Cannes’ Critics Week section have announced the lineup for their annual festival sidebar. Screening in the section will be Enrique Colina’s “Entre Ciclones” from Cuba, Siegrid Alnoy’s “Elle Est Des Notres” from France, Allan Mindel’s “Milwaukee, Minnesota” from the U.S., Christoffer Boe’s “Reconstruction” from Denmark, Julie Bertuccelli’s French/Belgian film “Depuis Qu’Otar Est Parti,” Bernard Emond’s “20H17, Rue Darling” from Canada, and Mamad Haghigat’s “Deux Fereshte” (Two Angels) from Iran. Campbell Scott will open the section with “Off the Map” while Edoardo Gabbriellini’s “Bags Banny & Il Cormorano” will close the section, which will include a special screening of Rodrigo Vasquez’ “Condor: Les Axes Du Mal.”
“GHOSTS” WORLD: New York’s indie glitterati turned out on Monday night to support hometown boy Matt Dillon with his directorial debut, “City of Ghosts.” At the screening at Chelsea West, and after-party at Man Ray, Dillon celebrated with his brother Kevin Dillon, actors Kevin Bacon, Griffin Dunne, and Fisher Stevens, and fashion designer Cynthia Rowley. The evening’s festivities were a benefit for Refugees International. Also making the scene were UA’s Bingham Ray, Jack Turner, and Dennis O’Connor, producer Ben Berenholz, Tribeca Film Festival programmer David Kwok, ContentFilm’s Sofia Sondervan and Jasmine Stodel, celeb lensman Patrick McMullan, publicist Gary Springer, Wellspring’s Rob Williams, screenwriter Mike Jones, and the crew from Falco Ink.
“MANIC” WEDNESDAY: IFC Films celebrated the New York City premiere of its upcoming “Manic” with a screening at Loews Village 7 followed by a party at CB’s Gallery on Bowery. The powerful new film, produced by the company’s former Next Wave Films division, features music by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. The rocker, with his wife and bandmate Kim Gordon in the audience, performed a terrific set of music that eventually won over the loudly chatting massses near the front of the club. After the set, Moore chatted with star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, co-star & co-writer Michael Bacall and director Jordan Melamed. Others in attendance included actress Sara Rivas, Madeleine Gavin, the film’s editor (and Melamed’s wife), and Jonathan Sehring and crew from IFC. The film opens today.
SEEKING SUSAN: Susan Sarandon will be honored at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual gala tribute, scheduled for May 5. Guests will watch clips from her film career, and her peers including David Bowie, Geena Davis, Goldie Hawn, Tim Robbins, Jonathan Demme, and Paul Schrader will be in attendance. A black-tie supper will follow the gala.
CROATIAN CREATION: Any film lovers out there looking for an excuse to go to Croatia? The Croatian town of Dubrovnik is hosting the first Dubrovnik International Film Festival from May 29-June 1. The fest will open with Franco Zeffirelli’s Maria Callas biopic “Callas Forever,” starring Fanny Ardant, Jeremy Irons, and Joan Plowright. Other features in the line-up include “Miranda,” starring Christina Ricci and “Leo” starring Joseph Fiennes. The fest will show a mixture of features, docs, and shorts, and the fest also touts the town’s “magical atmosphere scented by fig, almond, and bitter orange orchard trees.” Sounds like a much better aroma than what we get on the New York subway. For details, visit www.dubrovnikiff.org.
BABY BOOM: Congrats to Cinetic’s Micah Green and his wife Vardit Green, who welcomed twins Elijah Ryan Green and Emma Zoe Green earlier this week. Also, Jennifer Morris, Festival Co-Director of the 27th San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, became a mom on Monday. Her partner, Darlene Weide of the San Francisco STOP AIDS Project, gave birth to a boy named Eli Morris-Weide.
RIGHTING WRONGS: Talk about a relevant film series: “World Gone Wrong: Subversive Films at the Pioneer” will include what the Pioneer Theater calls “wholly imbalanced…emotionally charged, intellectually challenging films.” Films playing April 30-May 6 at the downtown NYC arthouse theater include Taran Davies’ “Afghan Stories,” a doc about war-torn Afghanistan, playing with the short “Voice of the Prophet,” a prophetic interview with WTC victim Rick Rescorla. Other films in the series are Eugene Jarecki’s “The Trials of Henry Kissinger,” John Junkerman’s “Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky In Our Times,” and John S. Friedman’s “Stealing the Fire: The Secret Story of Iraq and the Bomb.”
LOVE FEST: Jennifer Dworkin has racked up yet another impressive award for her doc “Love and Diane.” The jury at Prague’s One World festival awarded it the best film prize, and called it “testimony to the transcendent power of struggle and hope, and a testimony to engaged filmmaking.”
PROUD PAPA: You’d think Oprah’s dad could buy his way into Hollywood, but he’s making his film debut in an indie, “Charlie’s War,” which will debut on May 2 at the Nashville Film Festival. Florida-based Christabel Films produced the feature this summer, with shooting in and around Nashville with local director David Abbott. Vernon Winfrey, a former town councilman in Nashville, has a small part in the film, which also stars Olympia Dukakis, Diane Ladd, and Lynn Redgrave. Oprah is expected to attend the premiere with Vernon and his wife, Dr. Barbara Winfrey.