Sevigny’s Next Movie, Biz Deals, Partying in Brooklyn, and Our New Friend Nikki
by Wendy Mitchell and Eugene Hernandez
INDUSTRY MOVES: David Mueller has joined United Artists in Los Angeles. He is working for Dennis O’Connor in marketing at the company. Mueller, previously based in New York, has worked for Bob Berney in exhibitor relations and distribution at IFC Films and for Eamonn Bowles in acquisitions and distribution at Shooting Gallery.
Wally Schlotter has been named chairman of the board of the San Diego Film Foundation. Local legend Schlotter served as the San Diego Film Commissioner for two decades and has consulted for the Hollywood Film Festival, the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, the Latino Film Festival, Outfest, and the San Diego Black Film Festival.
DARLING NIKKI: Imagine our surprise when a gigantic 200-pound, refrigerator-sized wooden crate arrived at the indieWIRE office on Wednesday afternoon. Unable to fit it through our office door, the delivery man was forced bring it around a side entrance and we had to open it with a screwdriver. Lo and behold, lying naked inside the crate was a life-sized model of a woman. Nikki, the anatomically accurate silicone sex doll (from realdoll.com), is best known for a co-starring role in “Love Object,” a new film debuting next week at the Tribeca Film Festival. In the film, Desmond Harrington stars as Kenneth, a writer who develops an unhealthy relationship with the doll. Nikki drew a number of visitors to her lair during her 24 hours at indieWIRE, some colleagues from neighboring companies here on the 11th floor of the Starrett-Lehigh Building even came back on Thursday to visit her again before she left us. The film was written and directed by Robert Parigi and also features Rip Torn and Udo Kier. It was produced by ContentFilm.
SEVIGNY AS A NUN ON THE RUN: Call them the Catholic pinups: first hottie Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal went from playing a horny teenager in “Y Tu Mama Tambien” to playing a town’s conflicted priest in “The Crime of Father Amaro.” Now sexy Chloe Sevigny is psyched to play a nun in Thom Fitzgerald’s (“The Event,” “The Hanging Garden”) “Three Needles,” shooting later this month in the “Wild Coast” of South Africa. “I’m very excited…I’ve always wanted to play a nun,” Sevigny told indieWIRE this week. “I think because I was raised Catholic and I’ve always had a view of them representing some kind of purity.” She plays a little less pure in the Cannes competition entry “The Brown Bunny,” co-starring and directed by Vincent Gallo.
DEALS, DEALS, DEALS: “Party Monster,” the new film from Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato that debuted at Sundance this year, has been acquired by Strand and Blockbuster. Strand will release the film in theaters in September, and then Blockbuster will handle home video. Pedro Almodovar’s latest, “Bad Education,” has found a home at Sony Pictures Classics, while Richard Day’s “Girls With Be Girls” will be released by IFC, and Samuel Goldwyn has acquired “Mambo Italiano.”
“SLOW BURN” SET: GreeneStreet and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment will co-finance Wayne Beach’s “Slow Burn.” The thriller, starring Ray Liotta and LL Cool J, will be produced by GreeneStreet’s John Penotti and Tim Williams along with Kimmel and Bonnie Timmerman. Among Beach’s other projects are “Ten Good Men,” which he is writing for Radiant Films. Other credits include “Murder at 1600” and “The Art of War.”
“BOYS” PRIZE: Sundance screener “The Boys of 2nd Street Park,” about a group of boys who grew up in Brooklyn in the ’60s, took the top doc prizes at the fifth annual RiverRun Film Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C. (which, coincidentally, gentle reader, is the birthplace of indieWIRE’s Wendy Mitchell). The doc, co-directed and co-produced by first-time filmmakers Dan Klores and Ron Berger, captured the best doc feature prizes from both the jury and the audience. The doc will air on Showtime on September 28. Other winners at RiverRun included “Standard Time” (audience award for best feature) and “Yaarath” (Truth) (jury award for best feature).
WHAT, NO HOT DOGS? Note to party planners: if you’re calling your event a “gala” and promising hors d’oeuvres, you may not want to have the masses fighting over a tiny platter of hummus. Oh well, at least the crowd was friendly (despite the dearth of gift bags) and the space (at the Brooklyn Museum of Art) was lovely. The sixth-annual Brooklyn International Film Festival kicked off on Monday with a screening of Andrew Litvack’s “Merci Docteur Rey,” a Merchant Ivory production, follwed by a rather sedate reception. Although there were a few brave folks who tried to dance to the DJ’s tunes, most people sat at tables and wondered what might taste good mixed with Campari. indieWIRE was happy to chat with Chris Patak, the co-director of “Footlong,” a doc screening in Brooklyn that covers America’s obsession with frankfurters. Patak was even bold enough to tell us a few hot dog brands that he wouldn’t recommend after seeing their processing plants (with summer BBQ season approaching, we think it better to withhold that information). The Brooklyn fest continues through Sunday.
BRING ON THE PIEROGIES: The Polish National Home, in hipster haven Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is already home to a cool rock club, Warsaw. Now the Home welcomes Cinema Warsaw, a screening room that seats 200 people, boasts a 20-foot screen, and will show films two to three nights per week. Cinema Warsaw kicks things off in style this weekend with films from Polish heroes Roman Polanski and Andrzej Wajda. The venue plans to branch out into other international offerings after the Polish series. For details, visit www.cinemawarsaw.com.
DC FEST CONTINUES: Filmfest DC, which runs through May 4 in Washington D.C., will close with Alan Rudolph’s “The Secret Lives of Dentists.” The director will be on hand for the closing-night event. The annual fest, this year exploring politics in film, will also welcome Sydney Pollack, who will discuss “Havana.”
BAILEY & BARBATO HONORED: The 2003 Frameline Award will be presented by the 27th San Francisco International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival to directors B>Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. The filmmakers are best known for the work on “Party Monster” (feature and doc), “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” and recently, “School’s Out: The Life of a Gay High School in Texas,” and “Dark Roots: The Unauthorized Anna Nicole Smith Story.” The award will be presented on June 25 during the festival.