DAILY NEWS: Ebert's Overlooked Fest; "Promises" Subjects Still in U.S.
with articles by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> Ebert's Fest Sets Slate of Overlooked Films
(indieWIRE/04.15.02) -- Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival kicks off
next week in Champaign, IL, running April 24-28 at the Virgina
Theater. Films selected to screen at the annual event are programmed by
Ebert on an invitation-only basis.
Among the movies set to for this year's festival are David Gordon Green's
"George Washington," Paul Cox' "Innocence," Dan Cohen's "Diamond Men," James Ivory's "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries," Michael Gilio's "Kwik Stop," and Tamineh Milani's "Two Women," among others. A number of filmmakers will be on hand for the event, which will include panel discussions that are free and open to the public and other special events.
Ebert, who programs and hosts all screenings, organizes the event with
executive producer Nancy Casey and festival director Nate Kohn. The fest is
designed to showcase films that Ebert feels have been overlooked by critics,
distributors or audiences. It will open this year with the screening of a
70mm print of "Patton."
[For more information visit]
>> "Promises" Subjects Stuck in the U.S. As Violence Continues Back Home
(indieWIRE/04.15.02) -- Two teenage Palestinian girls featured in the film
"Promises" are stranded in the U.S., unable to return to their home at the
Dheishe refugee camp in Bethlehem due to ongoing violence in the area.
Sanabel Al-Fararja and Kayan Al-Saify traveled via Amman, Jordan and
Amsterdam to Los Angeles on March 19 to attend the Academy Awards with the
filmmakers and two Israeli boys also featured in the Oscar-nominated film.
"Promises," by Justine Shapiro, Carlos Bolado, and B.Z. Goldberg, currently in release in the U.S., documents the lives of seven Palestinian and Jewish
Israeli children living in or near Jerusalem who share their lives while
growing up around conflict and violence. The film vividly portrays the
emotional distance that separates the Jewish children from the Palestinian
children although they live very close to each other.
Both Sanabel and Daniel, one of the Jewish Israeli boys featured in the
film, had prepared 15 second speeches had the film won the Oscar, however
when "Murder on a Sunday Morning" received the Oscar, she burst into
tears. She was later comforted by actress Kate Winslet, star of one of
Sanabel's favorite film, "Titanic."
Shortly after the Academy Awards, Sanabel and Kayan were to fly home to
the Dheishe refugee camp, but due to ongoing violence back home, the
girls were not able to safely return. Currently, they are staying with
friends of the filmmakers in San Francisco. They are scheduled to appear
in Washington, DC at Visions Cinema Bistro Lounge for a question and
answer session following a screening of "Promises" this Wednesday, April 17.
ny Palestinian refugees are in a position to visit the United
States," said Sanabel in a prepared statement. "Even though we're concerned
for our families, we know this is a unique opportunity to meet Americans and
show them that we are human beings."
The film, released by New York-based Cowboy Pictures, is currently in
theatrical release in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington, DC.
It will soon open in San Francisco and Chicago with additional cities to
be added throughout the summer. [Brian Brooks]
[For more information on the film]