DAILY NEWS: AMPAS Finalists Named and Buzz from the Week
by Eugene Hernandez and Wendy Mitchell/indieWIRE
>> AMPAS Selects 10 Finalists for Nicholl Fellowships
(indieWIRE: 10.11.02) -- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
(AMPAS) has announced the 10 finalists for the 2002 Don and Gee Nicholl
Fellowships. Each script is now competing for up to five $30,000
Finalists for 2002 are: Larry Brooks of West Linn, Ore. for "Darkness
Bound"; John Ciarlo of Brooklyn, N.Y. for "Bend in the River"; David Cowper of San Diego for "The Untutored Soul"; Jeffrey Robert Davis of Beverly Hills, Calif. for "A Simple Man with a Simple Plan"; Matt Harris of Burbank, Calif. for "Moon of Popping Trees"; Pamela Kay of Spokane, Wash. for "Nude and Naked"; Kurt Kuenne of Burbank, Calif. for "Mason Mule"; Barbara Marshall of Austin, Texas for "Assumption"; Annie Reid of Austin, Texas for "Revival"; and Creighton Rothenberger of St. Davids, Pa. for "The Chosin."
A record 6,044 scripts were submitted for consideration this year, with
finalists set to be judged by producer and chair Gale Anne Hurd and writers
John Gay, Susannah Grant, Fay Kanin, Hal Kanter, Dan Petrie Jr., Tom Rickman and Dan Taradash, cinematographer John Bailey, editor Mia Goldman, actor Eva Marie Saint, producers David Nicksay and Buffy Shutt, and agent Ronald Mardigian. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> IndieWIRE: BUZZ for Friday, October 11
indieWIRE presents its weekly column focusing on recent items on the radar
in the indie film community.
The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival has restructured its internal
operations and given some staffers new job titles. Phillip Matthews has been
named executive director of the festival, a new position. Carol Coombes has
been named Program Director, and Jaie Laplante has been named Festival
Manager (he served as festival coordinator in 2002).
"SUGAR" RUSH: Hip hop royalty was out Monday night for the premiere of Rick
Famuyiwa's "Brown Sugar," at New York's Ziegfeld (followed by a rocking
after-party at Laura Belle). In addition to stars Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Nicole Ari Parker, and Boris Kodjoe, indieWIRE spotted the likes of Fat Joe, Treach from Naughty by Nature, Ed Lover, Magic Johnson (the film's executive producer), and, strangely enough, David Arquette (who was checking out the mojito bar but didn't partake). BUZZ was delighted to chat with Mos Def's mom, and discuss her son's scene-stealing performance as an aspiring rapper in "Brown Sugar." Mama Def explained that Mos wasn't at the party because
he's in L.A. to shoot the remake of "The Italian Job," also starring Mark
Wahlberg. She tells us that acting, not music, is really Mos Def's first
love, and he first appeared on screen at age 13 before he became a rapper.
In a less exciting spotting, we saw Trevor from O-Town, sporting a Justin
Guarini-like 'do, grooving to the beats of DJs including Hot 97's Funkmaster
Flex. Fox Searchlight spared no expense for the bash, as evidenced by the
goody bags containing, among other treats, a queen-sized pair of Brown Sugar
Y "REAL WOMEN" TAMBIEN: Bob Berney and the crew from Newmarket joined forces with Colin Callendar and the team from HBO, along with the cast and crew of "Real Women Have Curves" last night, to celebrate next week's release of the Sundance 2002 hit. Hanging out at the BB King Blues Club
and Grill, Berney told indieWIRE that he will mimic the distribution
pattern of his hit release, "Y Tu Mama Tambien." When the Latina-themed
picture opens in Los Angeles next week it will debut on about 40
screens -- a mixture of art-house outlets as well as venues situated to
welcome larger Hispanic audiences. Cast members America Ferrera and Lupe
Ontiveros were among the real women dancing to the salsa beat at BB
Kings last night. Producer and co-writer George LaVoo was also in the
house but pregnant director Patricia Cardoso decided to stayed back in
Los Angeles -- the whole team will be on hand to celebrate together
next week at the film's even grander L.A. debut bash.
THE JUNE "BUG": The crush of film festivals every June may be easing up.
Both the Florida and Nashville fests have moved their schedules to run
before the annual Cannes Film Festival. Nashville will move from early June
to April 28-May 4; Florida jumps from early June to March 7-16. In recent
years, regional festivals (even top ones) have found it increasingly hard to
secure visits from top directors and actors because of all the competition
in June. The crop still slated for June includes Los Angeles, Lake Placid,
Atlanta, Newport, Nantucket, and CineVegas.
A MOVE FOR MoMA: The Museum of Modern Art's film department officially opens its doors at the Gramercy Theatre today. While its main midtown location is
being renovated until 2005, the MoMA art collection has moved to Queens and
the film programs will be at the historic Gramercy (123 E. 23rd St.). Some
star power will help kick off the new locale, with director Curtis Hanson
("L.A. Confidential," "Wonder Boys") introducing the opening night film,
Nicholas Ray's "In a Lonely Place." That screening will be followed by
Sidney Lumet's "Fail-Safe." Both are part of this fall's program "To Save
and Project: The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation." For
schedules and more info, visit moma.org.
STYLISH CINEMA: Esquire magazine is hosting a film series called "Celluloid
Style." Films continue every Tuesday in October, with designers introducing
classic films. The forthcoming flicks include Eddie Rodriguez presenting
"Bullitt" (October 15), John Bartlett presenting "American Gigolo" (October 22), and John Varvatos presenting "Pulp Fiction" (October 29). Screenings are at 7 p.m. at Manhattan's Chelsea Clearview Cinemas. Q&As with the designer and Esquire staffers follows each screening.
IN THE ZONE: New York's indie film royalty turned out Tuesday night at Abaya
for a party celebrating Tim Blake Nelson's Holocaust drama "The Grey Zone."
Rosie O'Donnell, Holly Hunter, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Frances McDormand, Christine Vachon, Karen Black, and John Turturro were there to toast Nelson's new film, about a group of Jewish prisoners forced to work the death chambers at Auschwitz. The cast was also on hand, including David Arquette (who's surprisingly impressive in his dramatic turn in "The Grey
Zone"), Mira Sorvino, Harvey Keitel, Natasha Lyonne, Allan Corduner, and David Chandler. Nelson and his wife, a very pregnant Lisa Benevides, milled around for the subdued party before the screening. The night's proceeds benefited the MCC Theater, which originally staged Nelson's play of "The
Grey Zone." Lions Gate opens the film in New York and L.A. on October 18,
with other cities to follow.
REMEMBERING GREATS: The Actors Studio is hosting a memorial celebration
later today for two of its members, Rod Steiger and Kim Hunter. Hunter, an original founding member of the Studio in 1947, appeared in films including
"A Streetcar Named Desire," "Planet of the Apes," and "Midnight in the
Garden of Good and Evil." Steiger appeared in "On the Waterfront," "In the
Heat of the Night," and "The Pawnbroker." The memorial will be held today at
2 p.m. at The Actors Studio in New York. For reservations, call
"I'll be honest with you, there are moments in this movie where I went
-- Actress Patricia Clarkson tells the Los Angeles Times about her
experience making Lars von Trier's forthcoming "Dogville."
Next week in indieWIRE: Following our Monday break for the Columbus Day
holiday, we'll offer a critical wrap-up of the 40th New York Film Festival,
a report on the Hamptons Screenwriting Conference, a Mill Valley Festival report, and an interview with Godfrey Reggio, the director of "Naqoyqatsi." [Wendy Mitchell]