DAILY NEWS: Another Director Refused Entry; "Dischord" Deal; and IDFA Doc Fest Set
by Matthew Ross, Brian Brooks/indieWIRE with an article by Chritopher Henderson
>> Bush Administration Continues Visa Refusals to Visiting Directors
(indieWIRE: 11.11.02) -- Fresh from its triumph in last week's elections, the
Bush Administration has continued it recent trend of denying visas to visiting
artists from countries that have been deemed threats to the United States. Last
week, Cuban director Humberto Solas was refused entry to the U.S. to attened a
screening of his film "Honey for Oshun" and as well as a tribute in his honor
at the Latino Film Festival, which is currently underway in the San Francisco
Last month, Cuban artist Salvador Gonzalez, subject of a documentary by Bette Wanderman, was denied an entry visa into the U.S. for the October 11 premiere
of the film about his life. The State Department, under the Enhanced Border
Security and Visa Reform Act, requires applicants from seven countries,
including Cuba, to undergo extra background checks, because they're named as
"state sponsors of terrorism."
Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami was denied a visa earlier this autumn to
attend the screening of his film "Ten" at the 40th New York Film Festival
under the same Act. The world film community has responded critically to
the visa denials, with Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki boycotting the NYFF
screening of his film "The Man Without a Past" in protest of Kiarostami's
"Solas has been around the world and is an internationally known director,"
said festival co-founder Sylvia Perel in a prepared statement. "It is a shame
that recent world events have made it more difficult for artists to share in
U.S. based international programs such as ours." The 6th Latino Film Festival
runs through November 21st at seven venues throughout the Bay Area, screening
64 films from 12 countries. [Brian Brooks]
>> Artistic License Picks Up "Dischord"
(indieWIRE: 11.11.02) -- N.Y.-based independent distributor Artistic License
Films has acquired U.S. rights to "Dischord," the debut feature from writer-
director Mark Wilkinson. Thomas Jay Ryan, Annunziata Gianzero, Dick Bakalyan, and Andrew Borba star in the film, which tells the story of the relationship between a tormented murderer and his brother's wife, who also happens to be a famous rock violinist.
"'Dischord' is a riveting and beautiful film and Mark is an extraordinarily
talented filmmaker," commented Artistic License's Sande Zeig in a prepared
statement. "We're thrilled to be working with him on the release. The deal
was brokered by Sande Zeig for Artistic License Films, and Mark P. Binder of
Westin, Garou & DeWitt for Mark Wilkinson. Artistic License will open
"Dischord" in New York and Los Angeles on February 21, 2003. [Matthew Ross]
>> IDFA To Showcase Moore, Films Transit
(indieWIRE: 11.11.02) -- The 15th International Documentary Film Festival
Amsterdam has announced that it will open with Michael Moore's Cannes winner "Bowling for Columbine." The event, which runs from November 21- December 1, will screen over 200 films. Moore will also be honored with a career
Brazilian directors Walter and Joao Moreira Salles selected the IDFA's annual
"Top Ten" program, which includes John Huston's "The Battle of San Pietro"
about the liberation of Italy in World War II and "Reminiscences of a Journey
to Lithuania," a chronicle of filmmaker Jonas Mekas' return to the country of
Additional special programs include "What do you believe in?," a series of
twenty films exploring the theme of believing. The series will be split into
two programs, one featuring portraits of people with extreme convictions and
another emphasizing the belief in media.
The festival will also screen six films from Canada-based documentary
distributor Films Transit in honor of the company's 20th anniversary.
Selections include Terry Zwigoff's "Crumb," Jaap van Hoewijk and Rikkert Boonstra's "Procedure 769: Witness to an Execution," and Rob Epstein and Jeffery Friedman's "The Celluloid Closet." [Christopher Henderson]
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