DAILY NEWS: Controversial Pix Nabbed, 9/11 Remembered and Tribeca Scripts
by Eugene Hernandez, Matthew Ross and Wendy Mitchell/indieWIRE
>> ON THE SCENE TORONTO 2002: Controversy Sells in Canada, Miramax and
Lions Gate Get New Pix
(indieWIRE: 09.10.02) -- Lions Gate's new slogan, "Five Proud Years, One
Independent Spirit," was waved proudly yesterday as president Tom Ortenberg
announced the acquisition of one of the most controversial and shocking films
currently playing on the festival circuit. Meanwhile, Miramax has nabbed a
controversial film that was just honored with the top award in Venice.
While Lions Gate nabbed U.S. rights to Gaspar Noe's "Irreversible," a movie
that caused an uproar when it debuted this year in Cannes, Miramax was said
have nabbed a controversial film which was just honored with the top award
at the Venice Film Festival, "The Magdalene Sisters."
Cannes festival-goers walked out on "Irreversible's" violent moments,
including an extended rape scene, while in the case of Peter Mullan's
award-winning new film, the Catholic Church in Italy has come out against
"Gaspar Noe has created a cinematic masterpiece, "Irreversible" is
brilliant and controversial and will be a perfect complement to the
Lions Gate theatrical release schedule," Ortenberg said yesterday
in a prepared statement.
Screening in the Toronto Film Festival's Visions section, "Irreversible"
will screen for press and industry today (Tuesday) and will be unveiled for
the public on Thursday, while "Sisters" is set to debut here in Toronto
tomorrow. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Indie Film World Remembers 9/11: Programming Highlights
(indieWIRE: 09.10.02) -- Those looking for alternatives to the big TV
networks' remembrances of September 11, the independent film community
offers some alternatives. Here are some highlights of programs this week:
*At the Toronto International Film Festival, which was scarred by the
tragedy during its 2001 festival, organizers are presenting a gala screening
of "The Guys." This dramatic feature is based on Anne Nelson's play about a
writer helping a firefighter craft eulogies for his colleagues that were
killed at Ground Zero. Jim Simpson directed "The Guys" and his wife
Sigourney Weaver stars, alongside Anthony LaPaglia. The other September 11
gala in Toronto is "11'09"01," a compilation of shorts from 11 directors
including Amos Gitai, Shohei Imamura, Ken Loach, Mira Nair and Sean Penn.
Related programming in other Toronto sections includes Nancy Savoca's "Reno:
Rebel without a Pause," Robert Edwards' "The Voice of the Prophet," and Jay
Rosenblatt's "Prayer." The Toronto Fest will also go dark until 11 a.m.
*The CameraPlanet documentary "Seven Days in September" has been playing in
theaters in New York since Friday and opens in Los Angeles this Friday (with
a national rollout to follow). This doc includes footage and remembrances by
28 filmmakers and ordinary New Yorkers, and it chronicles the September 11
attacks and six days of the aftermath that followed. All net proceeds from
the screenings will go to three World Trade Center-related charities. "Seven
Days in September" also will screen at the New York Historical Society, the
Boston Film Festival, and the Smithsonian.
*Another theatrical release is Carol Ann Francis' one-hour doc, "These Men
of Conscience," about New York firefighters. The movie opened Saturday at
New York's Quad Cinema.
*At the Kitchen art gallery in Chelsea, viewing stations are set up all
month to show episodes related to September 11 from WNET's "Reel New York"
*At New York's American Museum of the Moving Image, a program on Wednesday
includes "WTC Uncut," by Steven Mudrick and Bryan Kortis. "WTC Uncut" takes
an unusual approach by presenting a single, continuous video of the towers
on September 11, accompanied by various news reports and interviews. The
public debut of the film will be at the New York Historical Society on
Tuesday, and a shorter 30-minute version of the film will be shown daily
after September 11. Outside of New York, the work will be shown at the Gene
Siskel Film Center at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Indianapolis Museum
of Art, Montana's Myrna Loy Center for the Performing and Media Arts, the
University of Missouri, Kansas City's Tivolil Cinema, Seattle's 911 Media
Arts Center, and Carnegie Mellon University.
*At New York's Film Forum, they are presenting a film about "the other
September 11." Film Forum will premiere "The Pinochet Case," about the
Chilean revolution of September 11, 1973.
*The Brooklyn Academy of Music's Rose Cinemas are honoring September 11 by
offering three free screenings on Wednesday of Woody Allen's "Manhattan."
*The Screening Room will be showing Jason Kliot's short "Site" with its
feature presentations for the week. "Site" shows the shocked faces of New
Yorkers after September 11, accompanied only by composer Arvo Part's
"Spiegel im Spiegel."
*In San Francisco, the San Francisco Film Society is hosting a roundtable
discussion, In Conversation: Bay Area Filmmakers and September 11,
tomorrow and September 18. Participating filmmakers include Caveh Zahedi,
Lynn Hershman Leeson, Henry Rosenthal and Sophia Constantinou. Proceeds from
the event will benefit the Twin Towers Orphan Fund.
*In Vancouver, the Pacific Cinematheque will screen the collective film
project "Underground Zero," which has been popular on the festival circuit
this year. "Underground Zero" includes 13 diverse short works programmed by
filmmakers Jay Rosenblatt and Caveh Zahedi. Also, the Cinematheque is
hosting a series called "in/tangible cartographies: new arab video."
*As for the TV networks devoted to independent film, the Independent Film
Channel has been hosting what it calls its Tribute to the Human Spirit, with
five nights of films about the strength of humanity. Tonight through
Wednesday, selections include John Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath," Bille
August's "Les Miserables," George Stevens' "The Diary of Anne Frank," John
Sayles' "Passion Fish," and Robert Redford's "The Milagro Bean Field War."
On September 11, the Sundance Channel will present "9 Views: 9/11," a
program of nine shorts inspired by September 11, 2001.
*Online, ITVS presents the Web program "Face to Face," produced by filmmaker
Rob Mikuruyi, about the affect of Pearl Harbor on Japanese Americans. Also
online is "9.11 moments," 34 diverse one-minute spots. Those sites can be
found at www.itvs.org. [compiled by Wendy Mitchell]
>> Tribeca, Sloan Partner for Science-Themed Script Development Program
(indieWIRE: 09.10.02) -- Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, co-founders of
the Tribeca Film Institute, have issued a call for scripts with scientific
or technological themes to be considered for development under a new
partnership the Institute has struck with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
The Tribeca/Sloan Film Program will consider scripts that have a scientific
or technological theme and story line or have a leading character who is a
scientist, engineer, or mathematician. Each submission should include a
feature-length script, a short synopsis of the script (no more than two
pages), and a resume/bio of the writer. The program will not accept science
fiction story lines.
In the program's first year, two writers will be chosen to participate and
will be provided with financial support and insight from an advisory panel
of leading filmmakers and experts in science and technology. At least one
script will be read at the second-annual Tribeca Film Festival in spring
2003, and the completed film will be screened at the 2004 Festival.
The Tribeca/Sloan Film Program builds on the initial partnership between the
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Tribeca during the first Tribeca Film
Festival in May 2002. The Foundation supported the Science and Technology
Film Series as well as two panel discussions. [Matthew Ross]
[Scripts should be submitted to the Tribeca Film Institute, 375 Greenwich
Street, New York, NY 10013 -- Attn: Tribeca/Sloan Film Program, and they
will be accepted through November 1.]