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DAILY NEWS: Berlinale Weekend Report; Atlanta Fest News; French Fest Slate

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire February 11, 2002 at 2:0AM

DAILY NEWS: Berlinale Weekend Report; Atlanta Fest News; French Fest Slateby Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE>> BERLIN 2002: Biz Scene Mixed as First Weekend Passes in Berlin; "8 Femmes" Unveiled
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DAILY NEWS: Berlinale Weekend Report; Atlanta Fest News; French Fest Slate



by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE



>> BERLIN 2002: Biz Scene Mixed as First Weekend Passes in Berlin; "8 Femmes" Unveiled


(indieWIRE: 02.11.02) -- Not surprisingly, conflicting reports began to
punctuate industry conversation as the first weekend of the 52nd Berlinale
and the European Film Market came to a close. One distributor bemoaned what
he said was a lack of movies worth seeing here in Berlin, while an
acquisitions exec at a competitor called this a good year at the festival.


Few major deals were set at press time but "Screen," the Berlinale Daily
reported yesterday that First Look had nabbed North American and Canadian
rights to Petter Naess' "Elling," from Trust Film Sales. Trust was also in the spotlight later in the day when it unveiled its competition entry,
"Minor Mishaps." Other anticipated films remain to be screened, with U.S.
distributors awaiting the premiere of Costa-Gavras' competition entry,
"Amen."


Celluloid Dreams has been selling Francois Ozon's latest, "8
Femmes
" (8 Women); the sales agent has been making deals for distribution
in various territories.


"We would appreciate your not revealing the family's secrets, thanks," reads
the writing on the last page of the full-color booklet distributed this
weekend to promote "8 Femmes." Its world premiere Saturday, among the most
anticipated of the Berlinale, was warmly received by some at the afternoon
press screening, although other queried in an informal poll were left
puzzled.


The hook of "8 Femmes" is a gathering of some of the finest French
actresses working today. On a cold, snowy winter day in the French
countryside in the 1950's, eight women, stranded by a holiday storm
are left to solve a murder mystery in which each is a suspect. Catherine
Denueve
, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Beart, Fanny Ardant, Virginie Ledoyen, Firmine Richard, Danielle Darrieux, and Ludivine Sagnier star in a stylized movie that offers surprise musical numbers and choreography alongside with its revelations about the secret that each woman is trying to hide.


Reviewing the film for indieWIRE today, critic Peter Brunette calls the
movie, "At once delightful, problematic and very, very French." Later he
summarizes the picture as a "lovely, imaginative valentine," but wonders
about its prospects in the American marketplace. [The complete review is
available at indieWIRE.com.]


Known for his features "Sous Le Sable" (Under the Sand), "Gouttes D'eau Sur
Pierres Brulantes
" (Water Drops on Burning Rocks), "Les Amants Criminels"
(Criminal Lovers), and "Sitcom", the thirty-five year old Ozon is currently
finding fortune with "8 Femmes" back in France. The movie opened to big box
office numbers last week in his home country. USA Films has acquired the
movie for distribution in the United States and a rep for the movie
indicated that the film is due for release later this year. [Eugene
Hernandez in Berlin.]


[indieWIRE will be reporting from Berlin all week. indieWIRE
Editor-in-Chief Eugene Hernandez and Associate Editor Brian Brooks can be
reached at the Grand Hyatt in Potsdamer Platz, or by email at:
editor@indiewire.com.]


>> Marchant Tapped to Head Atlanta Fests


(indieWIRE: 02.11.02) -- IMAGE Film & Video Center, Atlanta's non-profit
media arts center, has named Savannah, GA native Paul Marchant its new
Festivals Director. A recent Membership Director at AIVF in New York,
Marchant was a founder of the Kudzu Film Festival in Athens, GA. He will head
IMAGE's two annual festivals, the 26th Atlanta Film & Video Festival (May 31
- June 8) and the 15th Out On Film: Atlanta's Gay & Lesbian Festival in
November.


"We are pleased to welcome Paul to the staff of IMAGE," commented IMAGE
Executive Director Brian Newman in a prepared statement. "His experience
with film festivals and with the Association of Independent Video and
Filmmakers in New York will help our two festivals attract better films and
serve our audiences as we enter an exciting period of growth." [Eugene
Hernandez]



>> Film Society Sets 2002 Rendez-vous Slate


(indieWIRE: 02.11.02) --The annual Rendez-vous with French Cinema returns
for the seventh year to Lincoln Center next month (March 8 - 17) with a
lineup that includes fourteen New York premieres of new French films. Among
those attending this year's festival are actresses Emmanuel Beart & Isabelle
Huppert
and directors Mathieu Amalric, Olivier Assayas, Jacques Audiard, Pascale Bailly, Yamina Benguigui, Bertrand Bonello, Christian Carion, Etienne Chatiliez, Josee Dayan, Benoit Jacquot, and Claude Miller.


The full lineup of films for the festival includes: "Sur mes levres" (Read
My Lips), directed by Jacque Audiard, which screened in the Berlin and
Toronto Festivals and was nominated for 9 Cesars; "Dieu est Grand, je suis
toute petite
" (God is Great, I'm Not), directed by Pascale Bailly; "Le Stade
de Wimbledon
" (Wimbeldon Stage), directed by Mathieu Amalric, which played
in Rotterdam and Locarno; "Cet amour-la," directed by Josee Dayan, which
screened at the festivals in Toronto and Venice; "Le Pornographe" (The
Pornagrapher), directed by Bertrand Bonello, which screened in Cannes and
Toronto; "Inch, Allah dimanche" (Thank God For Sunday), directed by Yamina
Benguigui, which screened in Cannes and Toronto; "Chaos," directed by Coline
Serreau, which screened Berlin and was nominated for 5 Cesars; "Loin" (Far
Away), directed by Andre Techine, which screened in Toronto and Venice;
"Tanguy," directed by Etienne Chatiliez, which was nominated for 2 Cesars;
"Les Destinees," directed by Olivier Assayas, which was at Cannes and
Toronto; "La Chambre des officiers" (Officers, Ward), directed by Francois
Dupreyon, which screened in Toronto; "Une Hirondelle a fait le printemps"
(The Girl from Paris), directed by Christian Carion, which was nominated for
2 Cesars; "Betty Fisher et autres histories" (Betty Fisher and Other
Stories), directed by Claude Miller, which screened at the Montreal and
Chicago festivals and was nominated for 2 Cesars; and "Tosca," directed by
Benoit Jacquot, which screened in Toronto and Venice. [Eugene Hernandez]