By Indiewire | Indiewire August 11, 2000 at 2:00AM
Shooting Gallery Series Take 2; Hollywood Fest Winners
by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> Shooting Gallery Following Success of "Croupier" with Second Film Series; Slate of Six Set to Screen Starting in September
(indieWIRE/ 8.11.00) -- Explaining that "the distribution framework
for smaller films has broken down," Shooting Gallery Films President
Eamonn Bowles spoke with indieWIRE about the company's recent success
with its new Shooting Gallery Film Series and its plans for round two.
Building on the success it achieved with its debut effort, the Series
will return next month.
Mike Hodges' "Croupier" was certainly the breakaway hit of the
first series -- having recently crossed the $4 million mark in
domestic box office receipts showing on 139 screens. The film's
performance will undoubtedly make it one of the most successful
films to be distributed by an indie company this year.
Bowles explained that the new series, kicking off on September 1st,
will offer six more films screening during a 12 week period. First
up is Roger Michell's "Titanic Town" starring Julie Walters,
followed by Laurent Cantet's French film, "Human Resources" on
September 15th. Jason Priestley's Barenaked Ladies documentary,
"Barenaked in America," will kick off on September 29th, followed
by Tony Barbieri's debute feature, "One" on October 13th. Bahman
Ghobadi's first feature, "A Time for Drunken Horses" will open on
October 27th and Sabu's "Non-Stop" rounds out the series on
November 10th. The slate was acquired and programmed by Bowles
and company Director of Acquisitions & Distribution Ryan Werner.
A collaboration with Loews Cineplex Entertainment, the second
Shooting Gallery Film Series will screen in Baltimore, Boston,
Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles,
New York, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, suburban Philadelphia,
Tucson and Washington D.C.
Beyond the success "Croupier" has seen in theaters, perhaps the
greatest achievement is that each of the films has screened
independently outside of the series. Eric Mendelsohn's
"Judy Berlin" was another notable success, it has garnered nearly
$500,000 so far at the box office. Other series films earned near
or above the $100,000 mark.
"I don't know who to blame, because the economics of doing these
films is so bad right now, we are just trying to find some way
around that," offered Bowles. For the series, the company is seeking
"complex smaller films" that have found critical success.
Deals with Blockbuster and Encore/Starz guarantee additional
revenues. "We have some level or protection for the films. We can take a chance because we know we are not gonna get hurt (financially)," explained Bowles.
The Shooting Gallery intends to keep the program alive for the
time being and a third Film Series is scheduled for February 2001.
"In our minds we have started something here that we plan to
continue for many years to come," added Bowles.
[For more information on the series, visit:
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>> BRIEFLY: Hollywood Fest Picks Winners
(indieWIRE/ 8.11.00) -- Held Wednesday night before a capacity crowd of 1,200 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the 4th Annual Hollywood Film Festival Awards were presented in addition to special honors to Richard Dreyfuss and Morgan Freeman "for their contributions to the art of film." German director Joseph Vilmaier took home the Best Feature prize for "Marlene" about legendary screen star, Marlene Dietrich. Kaspar Rostrup of Denmark won Best European Feature for "A Place Nearby" about a staunchly devoted mother's love for her autistic son. Best Latin Film went to Noel Quinones for "Flight of
Fancy" while Craig Brewer's "The Poor and Hungry" garnered
Best Digital Movie.
The Hollywood Film Festival was founded in 1997 by 'New York Times' best-selling authors Carlos de Abreu and Janice Pennington.
In a prepared statement at the conclusion of the Festival, Mr. de Abreu
commented, "We are delighted by the response we have received from
Hollywood and the independent filmmaking community during the course
of this past week." [Brian Brooks]