By Indiewire | Indiewire June 26, 2002 at 2:00AM
DAILY NEWS: Deutchman's Digital Plans; Nantucket Winners and a Report from Maui
by Brian Brooks and Wendy Mitchell/indieWIRE
>> Florida Shorts Now Oscar-Worthy
(indieWIRE: 06.26.02) -- The Florida Film Festival has been accepted by the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival for short
film awards. The St. Louis International Film Festival will also be considered
a qualifier for the 75th annual Academy Awards in 2003.
The Academy currently lists 47 festivals as qualifiers for the short films
awards, including usual suspects like Cannes, Toronto, and Sundance plus regional fests including Atlanta, Austin, and Santa Barbara, alongside international events including Berlin, Bilbao, Sydney, among others.
Florida's winner of the grand jury award for best narrative short can now
automatically qualify for the live action short film Oscar if it
meets all of the Academy's official rules. This year's Florida jury winner
for best narrative short, Dayyan Eng's "Bus 44," about a bus driver and
passengers who encounter highway robbers, will be eligible to enter for the
2003 Oscar competition. "Bus 44" is an 11-minute U.S./Hong Kong film that
made its east coast premiere in Orlando.
"The longevity and the current quality of the Florida Film Festival's
award-winning selections has persuaded this committee to add it to the
prestigious international list recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences," said Jon Bloom, chair of the short films and feature
animation branch executive committee.
In more news from the recently-wrapped festival in Orlando, the audience
award for best international feature was bestowed upon "The Emperor's New
Clothes," a U.K. film directed by Alan Taylor. The audience award for best
international short went to "Hamilton Mattress," a U.K./Denmark production
directed by Barry Purves. The Florida Fest's attendance from June 7 to 16
totaled 20,500. [Wendy Mitchell]
>> MediaRights.org's Media That Matters Fest
(indieWIRE: 06.26.02) -- Socially conscious organization MediaRights.org has
launched its second annual Media That Matters Film Festival with a juried
selection of 12 shorts and five new media works that address current events.
The festival is a year-round online presentation designed to titillate any
politico's fancy. Co-produced by the Human Rights Watch International Film
Festival, the site allows viewers to follow links to sign petitions to
Congress, donate to organizations and learn more through online
informational resources as well as MediaRight.org's library of more than
4,500 social-themed documentaries. Viewers can also watch the films on Free
Speech TV through July 14, with a slate made up of young filmmakers as well
as established professionals. Included in the line-up is "Speak Truth to
Power" by Liz Garbus and Rory Kennedy, which focuses on human rights abuses as well as Oscar-nominated director/producer Nina Rosenblum's investigation of the Rockefeller drug laws in "Unintended Consequences."
In the autumn, MTMFF will launch a focus on youth with "reActions: Get Into
the Issues," co-hosted with Web Lab and YouthNOISE. The program is an online discussion centered on youth-made films in the festival where young viewers
will respond to the work presented in small online groups. Also this year,
Connect for Kids will sponsor the fight family poverty award. This year's
recipient is the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families' "My Family, My
Neighborhood, My Story," a personal film about a woman's dreams for her
family as she fights conditions in her working class community in Milwaukee.
MediaRights.org was founded in July 2000 as a non-profit media arts and
activist organization to promote documentaries as a means to encourage
action and inspire dialogue on timely social issues. [Brian Brooks]
[Visit their web site at: http://www.mediarights.org]