DAILY NEWS: First Run Deal; "Baby" News; and Sundance Semifinalists
by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
>> First Run Knocked Out By "Split Decision"
(indieWIRE/ 10.20.00) -- First Run Features has announced the acquisition of Marcy Garriott's documentary, "Split Decision." Following in the footsteps of other recent boxing stories, "Decision" follows the rise of boxer Gabriel Jesus Sandoval Chavez. This story, however, has a bit of a twist.
"Split Decision," which will open early next year, includes Chavez' battle with the United States' INS department after he is deported for a crime that he committed as a youth. The Dallas Observer calls Chavez' story "mystifying and terrifying," adding, "His cool savagery and elegance between the ropes makes his halting, confused life outside the gym even more haunting." [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Dieckmann's "Baby" Selected for New York Run
(indieWIRE/ 10.20.00) -- The Film Society of Lincoln Center and the IFP have announced the selection of Katherine Dieckmann's "A Good Baby" as the fourth film to screen as part of its American Independent Visions series. The movie will have a week-long run at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center.
The film, described as an "exquisite southern fable," stars Henry Thomas as a recluse who discovers an abandoned newborn in the woods. The film co-stars Cara Seymour, playing a woman that Thomas' character encounter's while searching for the baby's mother. Also appearing is David Strathairn, who plays a traveling salesman.
The film, based on the novel by Leon Rooke, was shot by Jim Denault ("Boy's Don't Cry") and produced by Tom Carouso ("Drunks") and Lianne Halfon ("Crumb"). It will screen as part of the series December 1 - 7, 2000. Other films that have screened in American Independent Visions are Lodge Kerrigan's "Clare Dolan," David Williams' "Thirteen," and Ed Radtke's "The Dream Catcher." [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Sundance Announces Award Semi-finalists
(indieWIRE/ 10.20.00) -- The Sundance Institute has announced the semi-finalists for its annual Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award. The prize, created in 1996, honors "filmmakers from the next generation" who are from four regions: The U.S., Europe, Latin America and Japan. The semi-finalists were chosen on the basis of past work and a new script. Winners will receive $10,000 cast, a Japanese TV rights deal with NHK and they will work closely with the Institute to develop and finance their projects.
"The semi-finalists for 2001 all possess the originality, talent and vision that this Award was created to recognize," said Sundance Institute Feature Film Program Founding Director Michelle Satter, in a prepared statement. "Their unique voices offer a window into the thematic and aesthetic directions being pursued by filmmakers in the international arena."
Recent projects include Walter Salles' "Central Station," Rodrigo Garcia's "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her," and Fernando Perez' "Life is To Whistle."
A Complete list of semi-finalists follows (Source: Sundance Institute):
"Boring Angels" -- Czech Republic
Screenwriter/ Director: Alice Nellis
"Halima's Paradise" -- Holland
Screenwriter/ Director: Fatima Jebli-Ouazzani
"Panic Beach" -- UK
Screenwriter: Laurence Coriat
Director: Simone Horrocks
"Where is the Hand of the Headless Man" -- France/ Belgium
Screenwriter: Guillaume and St