By Indiewire | Indiewire October 19, 2001 at 2:00AM
DAILY NEWS: Avatar Gets "Kandahar"; Sony Signs Almodovar
by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
>> Makhmalbaf's "Kandahar" Coming to Theaters in America
(indieWIRE/10.19.01) -- Avatar Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights
to acclaimed Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's new film, "Kandahar" (The Sun Behind The Moon). The film, which has already set box office records in
Italy, was made on the border between Afghanistan & Iran, offering a look at
life under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
In a conversation with indieWIRE yesterday, Avatar President Robin Lim
called the film "a very powerful, slice of life in Afghanistan that no one
has really seen before." It was described in a prepared statement yesterday
as "the story of a young female journalist named Nafas who escaped
Afghanistan with her family but must return and race against time in an
attempt to rescue her sister." Lim added that his company intends to release
the movie early next year.
"I was shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible events of September 11th
in the United States," director Makhmalbaf said in a prepared statement sent
to indieWIRE yesterday. "I hope that through 'Kandahar,' Americans will see
the suffering of the Afghani people as a mirror image of their own tragic
loss and reach out to help their fellow humans."
Concluding he offered, "I hope that in my film, Americans and Afghanis are
brought together in the simple decency of their common humanity." The film,
which has screened at the Cannes, Montreal and Toronto festivals, has yet to have its United States premiere.
Makhmalbaf is best known in this country as the director of "Gabbeh" and the
writer of "The Day I Became a Woman." [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Almodovar in Post on New Film, Makes Deal with Sony Classics
(indieWIRE/10.19.01) -- Sony Pictures Classics has nabbed North American
rights to Pedro Almodovar yet-to-be completed next movie, "Hable Con Ella" (Talk to Her). Good Machine International and Sony announced the pact
yesterday, signing a deal that puts SPC back in business with Almodovar
after hitting it big with the director's previous movie, "Todo Sobre Mi
Madre" (All About My Mother). Almodovar also teamed with Sony Classics on
"The Flower of My Secret."
In a prepared statement, the new film was described as "a story about the
friendship of two men, about loneliness and the long convalescence of the
wounds provoked by passion."
Among Good Machine International's upcoming projects are Spike Jonze's
"Adaptation," Todd Solondz's "Storytelling," Oliver Parker's "The Importance of Being Earnest," and Robert Harmon's "They." [Eugene Hernandez]
>> YESTERDAY in indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: Hamptons Fest Opener Hardly Dampened by Bomb Scare
(indieWIRE/10.18.01) -- As if attendees' nerves weren't already frayed enough
by ongoing terrorist threats, the 9th Hamptons International Film Festival
kicked off last night with a bomb threat."