DAILY NEWS: Hello Again to "Ciao!
Manhattan," HBO's Short Picks, and MoMA Movies Move
by Brian Brooks and Wendy Mitchell/indieWIRE with an article by David Lieberman
>> Superstar Edie Sedgwick on the Scene Again with Re-Release of "Ciao! Manhattan"
(indieWIRE: 06.12.02) -- Rights to John Palmer and David Weisman's 1972
notorious cult classic, "Ciao! Manhattan," starring the late Warhol
superstar Edie Sedgwick have been acquired by Plexifilm, its CEO Gary
Hustwit, announced yesterday. "Ciao! Manhattan" follows the short life of
Susan, a seemingly fictional New York heiress whose story of a tragic short
life in the fast lane parallels Sedgwick's own tribulations as an acclaimed
fashion icon and party scenester during the heyday of the Warhol Factory
period. The film also features fellow Warhol superstars Paul America, Viva,
Brigid Berlin, and Baby Jane Holzer. Filmed cinema verite-style during the
final four years of her life, the film captures Sedgwick's life from her
reign as New York's "It Girl" through the downward spiral of disillusion and
drugs leading to her death (from an overdose) in California at age 28.
The film will open at New York's Cinema Village on July 19, exactly thirty
years after its world premiere in Amsterdam; it will roll out to
select cities over the next few months. In October, the company will
release a special-edition DVD with additional footage of the irresistible
Sedgwick, who is rumored to have been the inspiration behind Bob Dylan's
song, "Just Like a Woman," from more than 30 hours of 35mm outtake
footage from the film found recently by Weisman.
"It's astonishing to me how Edie is still with us, how she continues to
resonate today more than ever," said Weisman in a release. "She is able to
magically touch the lives of generations not even born at the time of her
passing because she eternally evokes a time of dreams, an effervescent
innocence of the mid-sixties, when anything seemed possible." New
York-based Plexifilm is a DVD production company and independent film studio
established in September 2001. Other upcoming releases include Sam Jones'
"I Am Trying to Break Your Heart," and George Ratliff's "Hell House." [Brian Brooks]
>> Six Filmmakers Vie For HBO Short Film Award
(indieWIRE: 06.12.02) -- HBO has selected five emerging black filmmakers as
finalists for its fifth annual HBO Short Film Award. HBO will bring the
nominees to Miami for the final judging, as part of a special screening during
the opening night of the sixth annual American Black Film Festival on June 26.
This year's finalists are "A Funeral at the Samba School," co-written and
directed by Dandara; "Quest to Ref," written and executive produced by Ben Watkins; "See the Truth," written and directed by Jerold Howard; "Ubuntu's Wounds," written and directed by Sechaba Morojele; and "Whispers," written and directed by Desha Dauchan. The winner, which will be announced June 29 at the ABFF closing ceremonies, will claim a $20,000 grand prize.
The HBO Short Film Award, created in 1998, is open to filmmakers of African
descent who have directed and written or produced original short fictional
films of 30 minutes or less. Last year's prize went to writer/director Joy
Phillips for her film "Kickin' Chicken," a satire about a woman's fried
HBO sponsors the American Black Film Festival, formerly the Acapulco Black
Film Festival, which is jointly presented by UniWorld Group and December
Ventures. [Wendy Mitchell]
[For festival information, visit http://www.abff.com>.]
>> MoMA To Continue Film Program At Gramercy Theatre this Fall
(indieWIRE: 06.12.02) -- The Museum of Modern Art announced plans to re-launch
its film and media program in early October at Manhattan's Gramercy Theater.
The museum had put its film series on hiatus this summer as it closed its
Manhattan gallery operations for a three-year renovation, and readies a
temporary home in Long Island City, Queens. The 499-seat Gramercy Theatre,
located on 23rd Street between Lexington and Park Avenues, was built in 1936
as a movie house, but since 1998, it has been used to house off-Broadway
This fall at the Gramercy, MoMA will present three different programs. To
Save and Project: The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation,
which is the lead program at the Gramercy, will include preserved works from
MoMA and other archives, including films by Kenji Mizoguchi, Ernst Lubitsch, and Max Ophuls. MoMA's second program, Delphine Seyrig: Variations on an Enigma, will be a retrospective of the renowned French actress who appeared
in Alan Resnais' "Last Year at Marienbad" and "Muriel." MoMA's final fall offering is Richard Rodgers: Isn't it Romantic?, which will feature several
lesser-known films with music by the composer as well as recent films like
"Moulin Rouge," which utilize Rodgers' work.
"It seems most appropriate to us to use this handsomely renovated building,
long a beloved movie house, just as the Museum has renovated the Swingline
factory as MoMA QNS, and as P.S. 1 had revitalized a former school," said
MoMA's Mary Lea Bandy, chief curator, film and media department. "While we
are constructing the new, it is great to reuse older -- and very adaptable
-- New York buildings."
MoMA QNS opens June 29, and the new MoMA in Manhattan should reopen in fall
2005. [David Lieberman]
>> TUESDAY IN indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: WGA Unveils Low-Budget Agreement, Box Office News, Newport Closes and Student Academy Award Winners
(indieWIRE: 06.11.02) -- The east and west coast offices of the Writers Guild
of America are targeting independent filmmakers, unveiling low-budget
agreements that will allow "writers to defer initial payment for scripts and
the first rewrite." Lot 47 Films' "The Fast Runner" (Atanarjuat) got off to
a quick start at the weekend box office as the film scored honors in Newport.
And, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the winners
in its 29th annual Student Academy Awards competition."
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