Barn Door, highbrow & Cinetic team for “Tickling Leo”
Barn Door Pictures’ first feature, “Tickling Leo” will simultaneously be released in theaters, on DVD and via digital download on September 4th. The company, formed in 2008 by Mary Stuart Masterson, her brother Peter C.B. Masterson and collaborator Steven Weismanwill, self-distribute the film theatrically in association with Ronald Guttman’s highbrow entertainment, while Cinetic Rights Management has come on board to handle the digital rights, which will be available for digital download on Amazon VOD in September. Written and directed by Jeremy Davidson, the film is a contemporary drama that follows three generations of one Jewish family whose secrets threaten to destroy its future. Barn Door will self-release the film on DVD.
Callender, Swank and Tarr on board for Goldwyn writing competition
Producer Colin Callender, Hilary Swank and story editor Catherine Tarr have been selected as the three judges for the 2009 Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards Competition, Samuel Goldwyn Jr. announced Tuesday. The awards were started by Samuel Goldwyn, Sr. in 1955 to “encourage young film, stage and television writers.” The $15,000 first prize, $7,500 second prize, $4,000 third prize, $2,000 and $1,000 honorable mentions will be awarded on Monday, November 2, at UCLA.
Panahi takes jury reins at 33rd Montreal Fest
Iranian director Jafar Panahi (“The Circle”) will preside over the international jury of the 33rd Montreal World Film Festival, taking place August 27 – September 7. Other members of the jury this year include Japanese actor-turned-director Eiji Okuda, Quebec actor-producer David La Haye, Spanish writer-director Fernando Mendez-Leite Serrano, French director Pascal Thomas, French film music composer Reinhardt Wagner, and Diane Demers of Montreal, who was chosen in a contest to represent the public on the official jury. For more information about the festival, visit their website.
13 titles for Latin American competition at 57th San Sebastian Film Festival
Thirteen films from different Latin American countries will compete for the Horizontes Award, carrying 35,000 euros, at the 57th San Sebastian Festival. Horizontes Latinos will kick off with “Sin Nombre,” a USA-Mexico co-production constituting one of the season’s first hits, receiving the Directing (Cary Joji Fukunaga) and Cinematography (Adriano Goldman) Awards at the Sundance Festival, followed by the Skillset New Directors Award at Edinburgh. For more information and a full list of Horizontes Latinos in competition at this year’s festival, taking place September 18 – 26, visit their website.
Making movies the old way: on film
At a time when many top-shelf Hollywood directors — names such as Michael Mann, Steven Soderbergh, David Fincher and Francis Ford Coppola — are proselytizing the advantages of shooting on high-definition digital video, a small, dedicated band of independent filmmakers is championing the seemingly outdated idea of actually shooting on film. “Beeswax,” which opens in L.A. on Friday at the Nuart Theatre, is the third feature by filmmaker Andrew Bujalski, all of them shot and edited on film. Mark Olsen reports in the Los Angeles Times.
Environmental movies have a green problem: money
But because ticket buyers prefer escapist fare these days, it’s not easy being green. Just as audiences have shied away from highbrow dramas, ticket buyers have been reluctant to swim to “The Cove,” a documentary on Japanese dolphin killing that has some of the year’s best reviews. Despite a ton of publicity, “The Cove” labored after expanding into limited national release last weekend. John Horn reports in the Los Angeles Times.
Inarritu, the Tokyo Film Festival and “The Cove”
This morning I wrote director Alejandro Gonzlaez-Inarritu (Biutiful, Babel, Amores perros) about two articles that may result in a problem starting next month, depending how things shake out. One was yesterday’s Variety piece announcing Inarritu’s position as jury president for the Tokyo Film Festival (10.17 through 10.25). The other was an 8.7 article by Salon’s Katherine Meiszkowski that stated at the finish that the festival “recently decided not to screen The Cove,” the doc about the wretched annual slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Jeffrey Wells suggests Inarritu gets another jury gig if the Japanese festival bans “The Cove.”
Cassel to Receive Tallgrass’ Ad Astra
Indie film actor Seymour Cassel will receive the 2009 Tallgrass film Festival Ad Astra Award, the Wichita Association for the Motion Arts unveiled today. Known as a contemporary and fellow traveler of John Cassavetes, Cassel was nominated for the 1968 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Cassavetes’ “Faces,” for which he also participated as one of seven crew members. The ceremony will take place Saturday, October 24, and will include a Q&A with Cassel. For more information, visit the festival’s website.
American Cinematheque offering courses in LA
Los Angeles’ American Cinematheque is offering a host of seminars for filmmakers, including topics ranging from navigating festivals, editing with Emmy noninees and more. For more information, visit the organization’s website.