Gotham Honorees, Tribal Films Launches, IDA Series and More
by Wendy Mitchell
INDUSTRY MOVES: Five new governors have been elected by their branches to represent them on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: Caleb Deschanel (cinematographers), Larry Gordon (producers), Kevin O’Connell (sound), Tom Sherak (executives), and Bruce Broughton (music branch). In addition, nine incumbent members have been reelected; all terms start August 1.
Kathy Fischer, a recent grad of the UCLA Graduate School of Film and Television, has been named the first recipient of the David and Lynn Angell Humanitas Comedy Fellowship, which comes with a $10,000 stipend.
Canada’s The New VI has launched a new commercial production unit, Pandora’s Box Productions. Susan Kerschbaumer has been promoted to manager of community and public relations, and Doug Slack has been named manager of the division.
GOTHAM GREATS: The IFP/New York announced the recipients of its 2003 IFP Gotham Awards: actors Glenn Close and Steve Buscemi, Focus Features’ co-president David Linde, and producer/ContentFilm co-head Ed Pressman. The 13th annual gala will be held on September 22, aired on IFC on September 23 and on Bravo on September 28.
IRISH TIMES: At this week’s Galway Film Fleadh, Will Silke launched Irish theatrical and video distribution company Tribal Films, with a screening of its first acquisition, the Hungarian fest fave “Hukkle.” Silke, who previously worked for Offline Releasing, Miramax Films, and The Shooting Gallery, aims to secure deals covering the Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland for the indie/art-house market as well as to rep Irish films for U.S. deals. Currently, the Irish market is often covered as part of larger deals with U.K. distributors. “They’re not in touch with the cultural psyche here the way we are,” Silke says of his U.K. counterparts. “They just don’t know the market demographics the way we do.” The company aims to acquire 10-20 titles per year, and it will release “Hukkle” on January 1. Stu Little, who had been head of Ireland’s Cosmic Sounds, will run Tribal’s Dublin office.
REMEMBERING ROBERT KELLER: Many members of New York’s indie film community were shocked and saddened by the death of Robert Keller, 29, a former screenings coordinator for the IFP Market and associate producer of the IFP Gotham Awards, as well as a staffer at Dalzell Productions. Keller died on June 29 due to complications from injuries he sustained at a fire in his Brooklyn apartment two weeks earlier. Friends and colleagues who would like to honor his memory are invited to attend a celebration of Keller’s life on Sunday from 6-8 p.m. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, his former colleagues are encouraging people to make donations to one of his favorite hangouts, the Housing Works Used Book Cafe (www.housingworks.org/usedbookcafe/).
TYING CONTINUES: “Tying the Knot,” an indie doc about equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians, is back in production, aiming for a wrap date in September if funding holds out. (A fundraiser is being planned for September in New York City.) Director Jim de Seve tells indieWIRE that he was spurred on to continue the documentary after Canada recently became the third country in the world to end sex-discrimination in marriage. For details on the film, visit www.1049films.com.
GETTING KINKY: Enough of these do-gooder film festivals where you learn about the world’s problems — here’s a new one that should offer something a bit more, well, titillating than docs about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. CineKink NYC will kick off October 9-12, promising “a specially selected program of films and videos that explore and celebrate a wide diversity of alternative sexuality.” CineKink co-directors Michael Ashack and Lisa Vandever, both veterans of the New York S/M Film Festival, will select the program. No word yet on what the fetish dress code will be for the opening gala. Stay tuned to www.cinekink.com.
DATE NIGHT: In potentially related news, we’d like to point out that Lions Gate is planning an August 5 release date for the DVD of “A Date with Anna: The Making of the Anna Kournikova Calendar.” Plan your social calendar accordingly.
FACT FINDER: The International Documentary Association announced the 19 docs to be shown at its InFact series, often used for Oscar qualification, at L.A.’s ArcLight from August 22-28. (The showcase was formerly known as DOCtober.) The 11 feature-length docs are “Breakfast With Hunter,” “Beah: A Black Woman Speaks,” “Bus 174,” “Cosmic Africa,” “Gabriel Orozco,” “Inheritance: A Fisherman’s Story,” “The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt,” “Liberty: 3 Stories About Life & Death,” “Refugee,” “Sunset Story,” and “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.” Shorts will be “America’s Deadliest Storm: Galveston Island, 1900,” “An Unlikely Friendship,” “Beyond Words,” “Chernobyl Heart,” “Ferry Tales,” “Love in an Elevator,” “Milton Rogovin: The Forgotten Ones,” and “Olivia’s Puzzle.” For details, visit www.documentary.org.
LUNA WINNERS: LunaFest 2003, the traveling festival of films by, for, and about women, announced its winners: Tiffany Shlain’s “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” Stephanie Morgenstern’s “Remembrance,” Erin Flannery’s “Judy’s Time,” Grace Lee’s “Barrier Device,” Eva Saks’ “Colorforms,” and Daniela Zanzotto’s “Kissed by Angels.”
CORRECTION: In last week’s BUZZ, we reported that Owen Moverman wrote the script for “Jesus’ Son” among other films. In fact, the script was co-written by Elizabeth Cuthrell, David Urrutia, and Oren Moverman. indieWIRE regrets the error.