DAILY NEWS: AFI Fest Sets Slate; Indie Writers Caucus Launches
by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE with an article by Caroline Wells
>> AFI Fest 2002 Announces International Line Up
(indieWIRE: 10.23.02) -- The AFI Fest, L.A.'s longest running film
festival, has announced its line up of 134 films from 37 countries. The
event, which runs November 7 - 17, will screen six world premieres and
48 U.S. premieres, including its opening night film, Denzel Washington's
directorial debut "Antwone Fisher" The event will also present the U.S.
premiere of Canadian writer/director Atom Egoyan's look at the Armenian
massacre, "Ararat," as part of the Centerpiece Gala November 12.
World cinema will be featured prominently in the lineup, which includes
three international competition sections (features, docs, and shorts) and a
number of sidebars for Asian, European, and Latin films. "AFI Fest has
become the festival of record for international cinema here in Los Angeles
each year," said festival director Christian Gaines in an event release.
"Our 2002 program is remarkable in the diversity of voices and visions from
all corners of the world and the way it reflects the diversity of Los
World premieres include "7th Street," Josh Pais' documentary about the
evolution, death and rebirth of the East Village's 7th Street; "Prom Night
in Kansas City" by Hali Lee, a doc that revisits the director's own
disastrous prom by following a diverse group of teens preparing for their
own special night in his hometown; "Evenhand," director Joseph Pierson's
police story; and "West Bank Brooklyn" by Gazi Albuliwi, which follows
a group of young Arab Americans attempting to fit into U.S. society.
AFI will also showcase its Special Screenings series with "Only the Strong
Survive", D.A. Pennebarker and Chris Hegedus's documentary about the R & B soul performers who helped develop the Motown sound. Also featured in the series is Phillip Noyce's "The Quiet American," whichs starring Michael Caine as a man caught in a love triangle set against the French-Indochina War. AFI will also host a special tribute hosted by Leonard Maltin to Caine as well as a retrospective of six of the actor's films.
AFI Fest also announced its headquarters will now be located at the ArcLight
Hollwood theater at Sunset and Vine. The new facilities will include a
'festival village' complete with a box office, a lounge for pass holders,
filmmakers, and press, andfive festival only screening rooms in the upstairs
lobby. Live entertainment and music will liven festival attendees in the
ArcLight courtyard. AFI Fest will close with a gala presentation of famed
Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's latest "Hable con Ella." [Brian Brooks]
>> WGAw and IFP/West Create Indie Writers Caucus
(indieWIRE: 10.23.02) -- The Writers Guild of America (West) and IFP/West
have partnered to create the Independent Writers Caucus, a new organization
whose goal is to nurture new talent in the independent screenwriting community.
In a prepared statement, Howard Rodman, co-chair of the Independent Caucus, explained the goal of the IWC: "For years, there's been a robust community of
independent filmmakers who wrote, but never quite considered themselves
'writers' and a community of professional screenwriters who did strong
individual work outside the studio system, but who never quite had a place
to go as 'independents.' Now those two communities can join together and
accomplish things that neither could on its own."
The first meeting of the IWC was held on Thursday, October 10 at the WGA
headquarters in Los Angeles and was attended by over 100 filmmakers as well
as emerging writers from a number of established industry screenwriting
The IWC hopes to increase the number of writer/filmmaker memberships in the
WGA, provide guild benefits, and use WGA agreements to expand writers'
coverage. "The Writers Guild is not just another Hollywood bureaucracy to
be avoided;" commented Rodman, "the guild is here to help you get your voice
up there on the screen." [Caroline Wells]
[Information on the IWC, eligibility requirements and applications can
be found at www.wga.org or by calling the WGAw's Independent Film Program
at (323) 782-4511.