AFI Fest Winners, Thessaloniki Lineup, "Windhorse"
Compiled by Rebecca Sonnenshine, Anthony Kaufman and
>> AFI International Film Festival Award Winners
The 12th annual AFI International Film Festival came to a close on
Friday evening with an awards ceremony at the Los Angeles County Museum
of Art. The Best Student Short Film Award, presented by FILMMAKER
Magazine, went to "My Mother Dreams the Satan's Disciples in New York,"
directed by Barbara Shock. The award for Best Short Film went to Eric
Paesel for "Zoltar From Zoran." Sabine Brose picked up the Best Editing
Prize for her work on "The Little Girl Who Fell From A Tree."
The Best Actress prize went to Dahlia Mindlin for her role in "Last Days
of May," and Patrick Fischler nabbed the Best Actor prize for his role
in "The Week That Girl Died." The WGA presented an award for Best New
Screenwriter to Mark A. Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett for "Free
Enterprise." Sean Travis picked up the Best New Director Award for "The
Week That Girl Died."
"Free Enterprise" also picked up the Studio Prize, awarded to the best
feature film in the New Directions section of the festival. "The Polish
Bride," a film from The Netherlands, was awarded the European Film
Prize, and Finland's stunning "Fire-Eater," directed by Pirjo Honkasalo,
won the Grand Jury Prize for the best film in the Official Competition.
.Roberto Benigni's "Life is Beautiful" and Nettie Wild's "A Place Called
Chiapas" picked up the Audience Awards for best feature film and best
documentary film, respectively.
>> Thessaloniki Kicks Off Next Week
The 39th International Thessaloniki Film Festival, to be held Nov. 13-22
in Thessaloniki, Greece, recently announced an extensive line-up of
films from around the world. Competing for the Golden Alexander and a
cash prize of $50,000 and the Silver Alexander (a $30,000 purse), are 12
films from the festival circuit, new and old, including "Buttoners"
(Czech Republic), "Passion" (Hungary), "The Apple" (Iran), "Spring in my
Hometown" (Korea), "Fishes in August" (Japan), "Pi" (USA), "Short Sharp
Shock" (Germany), "God's Got my Number" (France), "The Flight of the
Bee" (Korea-Tajikistan), "Last Night" (Canada), and two films from
Greece, "Shores of the Twilight" and "From the Edge of the City."
In addition, the festival will showcase 6 US independents, from Scott
Ziehl's "Broken Vessels" to Lodge Kerrigan's "Claire Dolan," as well as
a collection of films produced by New York production company, Good
Machine, in a program titled "In the Shadow of the Beast" with producer
Ted Hope scheduled to attend. Titles include Hannah Weyer's "Arresting
Gina," Hilary Brougher's "The Sticky Fingers of Time," and Todd
Also screening in the Northern Greek city are its 3 X 3 section,
profiling the work of Spain's Ventura Pons, Switzerland's Marcel Gisler,
and France's Francois Ozon. A strong collection of Balkan films
returns, among them, Lucien Pintilie's Venice premiere, "Last Stop
Paradise" and Toronto screener, "The Wounds." Tributes to Ken Loach,
Peter Greenaway, and Akira Kurosawa will also reel. This year, the
festival also boasts a new screening venue, a multiplex centrally
located within the city.
>> "Windhorse" Returns To Hawaiian Paddock
"Windhorse," Paul Wagner's award-winning film about Chinese-occupied
Tibet, will screen at the 1998 Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF)
after all, according to both Wagner and the HIFF. In a prepared
statement, Wagner explained that "by reinstating 'Windhorse,' we will be
able to focus attention where it should have been focused all along --
on the policies of the Chinese government." In a release issued by the
HIFF, Festival Director Christian Gaines said, "We're very pleased that
the people of Hawaii will have an opportunity to see this important
film," adding that "audiences will have a chance to hear from Paul
Wagner in person how difficult it was to make the film."