A Doc for Dubya & Co.; More Premieres in Montreal; Blackout Films & More
by Wendy Mitchell
INDUSTRY MOVES: THINKFilm has promoted Daniel Katz to the post of VP of acquisitions. He has worked at THINKFilm since its inception in 2001, most recently serving as director of acquisitions.
Tiffany Bair has joined Samuel Goldwyn Films and Roadside Attractions as director of publicity. In the new position, Bair will coordinate West Coast publicity, working with New York-based RJ Millard, VP of publicity & marketing. Bair previously worked at First Look Pictures and Bumble Ward & Associates.
Showtime has created a new Talent Relations and Special Events division, which will be headed by VP Nikki Ferraro. Ferraro will continue to be based in Los Angeles; she had been Showtime's director of special events. Also working in the division are Kate Meyer, Brad Setting, Kelly Tsutumi, and Jennifer Weiss.
Frank Pierson has been re-elected to his fourth term as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Sid Ganis was re-elected first VP for the PR and Arthur Hamilton was elected to the other VP post. Kathy Bats was re-elected treasurer while Donald C. Rogers was re-elected secretary. Also, Fay Kanin has been re-elected president of the Academy Foundation.
IN MEMORIAM: Leading New York film editor Geraldine Peroni died on August 3. Peroni, who had been working on Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain," worked regularly with Robert Altman on such films as "The Company," "Dr. T & The Women," "The Player," and others. Among her many film credits as editor are Sande Zeig's "The Girl," Rose Troche's "The Safety of Objects," Alison Maclean's "Jesus' Son," and the recent TV program, "The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan." Peroni grew up in New York City and studied film at Hunter College. According to news reports, her family is disputing a medical examiner ruling that the death was a suicide.
Actor Andrew Noble, star of the recent queer fest hit "Sugar," died on July 30th. THINKFIlm is releasing "Sugar" in Canada and TLA Releasing will distribute the movie in the U.S. this fall. Born in Newfoundland, Noble studied at the Sir Wilfred Grenfell School of Fine Arts. His feature film debut was in the role of "Adam" in Jacob Tierney's "Twist," which played at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. While on an outdoor hiking trip in Canada, Noble was inadvertently poisoned by a plant and died.
GRAND OLD SCREENING: Distributor Roadside Attractions is planning to host a special screening of gay marriage doc "Tying the Knot" during the Republican National Convention on August 31. Roadside is working with Republican leaders and other groups to invite delegates to see the film, Jim de Seve's award-winning personal look at marriage equality. "We invite convention delegates to these free screenings of 'Tying the Knot' in the spirit of hospitality, as has been encouraged by NYC Host Committee spokesperson Ed Koch, and in the spirit of open debate," said Roadside president Howard Cohen in a prepared statement. "Marriage equality is perhaps this season's most divisive issue, and we passionately believe that 'Tying the Knot' is a must-see if you think you know where you stand, even more so if you don't." Roadside will release the film in theaters October 1.
BABIES ON BOARD: Congratulations go out to two pairs of new parents who gave birth this week. Former indieWIRE editors Mike Jones and Maya Churi welcomed their newborn son August Churi Jones, while longtime indieWIRE web team member Jim Rhoades and his wife Magee welcomed daughter Lily Kate Rhoades.
CLOUDS OVER MONTREAL: The Montreal World Film Festival has added yet another world premiere to this year's event. The fest will offer John Duigan's "Head in the Clouds," a wartime romance starring Charlize Theron, Penelope Cruz, and Stuart Townsend, will have its world premiere in Montreal ahead of its special presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival. Five other new features were added to the Montreal line-up: "The Life I Wish For" by Giuseppe Piccioni, Gregory Jacob's "Criminal," Danny Verete's "Metallic Blues," Thom Best's "Ice Men," and Fernando Solanas' "A Social Genocide."
BLACKOUT FEST: Last summer's big blackout lives on in our fond memories of drunken Big Apple camaraderie, warm beer, and candelit bars. Now Blackout Films and L Magazine are commemorating the anniversary with a Blackout Film Festival, to be held at sundown at OfficeOps in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Indie films screenings will be followed by a party. For details, visit www.blackoutfilmfest.com.
INDIE TV: Slamdance is going small screen: the group has launched its first original teleplay competition. The competition seeks to find the best original one-hour dramas, mini-series, and half-hour comedies written by new writers. Winning teleplays will be presented as part of the 2005 Slamdance on Stage reading series. For applications, rules, and details, visit www.slamdance.com.
INDIEFEST WINNER: "Most High" swept a number of awards at the recently concluded Chicago Indiefest. The film won best picture, best director, best actor, and the Sundance audience choice award. Marty Sader, who directed and co-wrote the film, also stars as a young man battling crystal meth addiction. Laura Keys and Kenyon Robertson also star.
CONVENING AT KODAK: The Republican National Convention seems likely to disrupt a number of aspects of life for New Yorkers; filmmakers included. Kodak, whose office is near the convention site at Madison Square Garden, announced some changes in its pick-up hours. During convention week, Kodak hours will be 8-2 on Monday and Thursday, 8-4 on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 8-5 on Friday. ID and documentation will be required to enter the area around the building. The company will not be able to make any shipments from NYC during the convention time frame. For questions, call 1-800-621-3456.