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September 23, 2002 2:00 AM
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DAILY NEWS: 22nd Atlantic Film Fest; TLA in "Love" and Palm Cash

DAILY NEWS: 22nd Atlantic Film Fest; TLA in "Love" and Palm Cash



by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE


>> Nova Scotia Celebrates Cinema at 22nd Atlantic Film Festival; "Dogs" and "Columbine" Win Top Awards


(indieWIRE: 09.23.02) -- A series of fall Canadian film festivals that
launched with the Montreal World Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, continued last week in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with the 22nd Atlantic Film Festival. The festival, which kicked off on September 13 with
Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine," concluded this weekend with an award ceremony and a screening of Agnieszka Holland's "Julie Walking Home."


Thom Fitzgerald's "The Wild Dogs" was a big winner this year, taking the
$5,000 prize for best Canadian feature and also winning the best direction
prize in the Atlantic Canadian competition. The outstanding writer award
went to Daniel Maclvor for "Marion Bridge," while Victoria King's "White Thunder" won the Rex Tasker Award for Best Documentary.


Moore's "Columbine" was also a clear hit at this year's festival, winning
the event's top international prize, The People's Choice Award. In fact,
the picture was such a hit with the city's large college-aged audience on
opening night that a second screening of the movie was added. The film,
the subject of an in-depth discussion during Thursday's critics panel, has
local roots; it was produced by the Halifax-based company Salter Street
Films Limited
(a wholly owned subsidiary of Canada's Alliance Atlantis).
"I knew I would never be able to get the funding for this in America,"
Moore told Halifax's Daily News in advance of the opening night showing.
He immediately secured backing upon meeting with Salter Street chairman
and CEO Michael Donovan.


Other gala screenings in Halifax this year included Philip Noyce's "Rabbit
Proof Fence
," Deepa Mehta's "Bollywood/Hollywood," Weibke von Carlosfield's "Marion Bridge," David Cronenberg's "Spider," Tim Southham's "The Bay of Love and Sorrows," and a late-night showing of D.A. Pennebaker's "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars."


The week-long Nova Scotia Film Development Corp. (NFSDC) Industry Series
welcomed Canadian film community luminaries, as well as participants from
south of the border. Among the attendees were Tom Perlmutter from the
National Film Board of Canada, Los Angeles Canadian Consul General Colin
Robertson
, Emerging Pictures' Ira Deutchman, producer Jon Marcus ("Party Monster"), Charlotte Mickie from Alliance Atlantis, Canadian film critics Cameron Bailey from NOW & CBC Radio and Liam Lacey of the Toronto Globe and
Mail
, Harry Knowles from "Ain't it Cool News," actor Paul Gross, and producer and director John Martin, among others.


Perhaps as a true mark of its success, the Atlantic Film Festival has even
spawned an alternative fest. Dubbed the Salon des Refuses Atlantique, the
event was formed last year by local filmmaker Steven James May who was
rejected by AFF last year. It is back this year with a selection of films
shunned by the festival.


Other fall festivals in Canada include Cinefest, Sudbury's Interntional Film
Festival
which wrapped yesterday, the Vancouver International Film Festival
(September 27 to October 12), and Montreal's Festival International du
Nouveau Cinema
next month. [Eugene Hernandez]



>> TLA Sets Release of Pons' "Food of Love"


(indieWIRE: 09.23.02) -- TLA Releasing recently acquired Ventura Pons' "Food of Love," and will open the film next month in New York City followed by a
roll-out in other cities through January.


Adapted from David Leavitt's novel, "The Page Turner," the movie will debut at New York's Cinema Village on October 25. The movie will expand to Los
Angeles' NuArt on November 1, San Francisco's Opera Plaza the following week and theaters in Chicago, Detroit, Miami and Boyton Beach, Fla., at later
dates.


"Food of Love," directed by Spanish director Ventura Pons ("Beloved/Friend,"
"Caresses") is the story of a a young American pianist who is seduced by an
older man in Spain. The film debuted this year at the Berlin Film Festival
and also screened at international festivals in Moscow, Montreal, Istanbul,
and Osaka. It also screened at gay and lesbian film festivals in San
Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami, and Chicago. [Eugene Hernandez]


>> Palm Gets Cash Infusion

(indieWIRE: 09.20.02) -- Palm Pictures has secured a new round of funding
from its long-time investor Avalon Capital Group as well as from Latin
American media company Grupo Santo Domingo, Palm announced yesterday.
The new funds (amount not disclosed) will be used "to accelerate the growth"
of the company. In a prepared statement, Chris Blackwell, Palm Pictures
founder, CEO and chairman commented, "Palm Pictures' business model is based
on introducing our audience to a new generation of digital storytellers, who
use the full spectrum of current technology in their creation of
cutting-edge images and music." Blackwell founded the company in 1998,
focusing its operations on the DVD format and new digital technologies for
music and video production and distribution.


Palm's media properties operate under RES Media Group, which produces
RESFEST, the digital media event. The organization publishes RES Magazine and operates online sites including sputnik7.com, epitonic.com and res.com. Palm's successful Spanish film, "Sex and Lucia," by Julio Medem, is currently in theaters. [Brian Brooks]


[DISCLOSURE: indieWIRE Managing Member and Co-Founder Karol
Martesko-Fenster is part of the management team of Palm Pictures.]

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