DAILY NEWS: "Idiots" NYC Premiere; Return to "Paradise Lost"; Bolt and IFILM team
By Eugene Hernandez
>> "Idiots" Update, Von Trier's Censored Version to Debut in NYC This Weekend
(indieWIRE/3.3.2000) -- Lars von Trier's controversial Dogme95 film "The Idiots" will first screen in the U.S. this Sunday with only two screenings at the Film Society of Lincoln Center as part of their 12-film series, "Top of the World: Film Comment Selects the Most Important Films and Filmmakers of the Nineties." Film Society Program Director Richard Pena recently told indieWIRE, "('The Idiots') deserves to have a chance to be seen by the American public, and this will be the first opportunity for that to happen."
The screened print will not, as initially reported in our email edition, be the same version that screened at Cannes 1998 -- it which included an infamous orgy scene that distributor USA Films contractually cannot release theatrically because of its sexually graphic nature. The Film Society of Lincoln Center's Graham Leggat told indieWIRE Friday morning that the print is USA Films version, with the orgy scene slightly cut and with "black censoring bars" that obscure the more sexually explicit shots.
USA Films did not return calls seeking comment, but a company representative recently told indieWIRE that the distributor is looking to release an R rated version of the film theatrically this April. [Anthony Kaufman]
>> Amidst Talk of "Blair Witch 2" and New Projects, Berlinger and Sinfosky Unveil New Installment of "Paradise Lost"
(indieWIRE/3.3.2000) -- Filmmakers Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky have
re-teamed with HBO to explore the Robin Hood Hills murder case.
"Paradise Lost 2: Revelations" follows-up on their acclaimed 1995 feature
doc, "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills," which screened
at Sundance and numerous other festivals, before being self-distributed
and screening on HBO.
Sinofsky joined HBO Executive VP of Original Programming Sheila Nevins
in welcoming a group of family, friends, and industry to a special
screening and reception here in New York on Monday night. Introducing
the event at the HBO screening room, Nevins commented, "Its extraordinary
when fact rivals the energy of fiction -- the highs and lows, the ins and
outs, the rights and wrongs."
"Paradise Lost 2" focuses much of its time on Mark Byers, stepfather of
one of the children murdered at Robin Hood Hills. Byers, whose wife has
since mysteriously died, is a suspicious figure in the minds the "Free
the West Memphis 3 Support Fund," an internet group that believes
Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. are falsely
accused of the murders. The sequel follows the group as it attends
court appeals including potential new evidence and seeking to get Echols
off of death row. As the appeals continue, Byers discusses the charges
on camera and ultimately submits to a lie detector test on the subject
of the murders. The movie will air on HBO March 13th.
Commenting on the Monday night absence of Joe Berlinger, who was out
of town in preparation for directing the sequel to "The Blair Witch
Project," Nevins quipped, "(Joe) left fact for fiction...as scared as
he was of The Blair Witch, he was even more scared of my wrath."
Continuing she added, "I 'witch' Joe well."
Berlinger's "Blair Witch" follow-up is becoming the source of
speculation as the shoot date nears. In a report this week, Screen Daily
indicated that the story begins with a group of teenagers exploring the
Artisan Entertainment Internet site. "Intrigued by what they see,"
Screen Daily's Parick Frater reported, "The trio venture into the woods.
To their horror they discover that the witch is real." According to the
report, the sequel is more graphic and includes "a series of on-screen
Among the guests at Monday's screening were Larry Meistrich and a group
from The Shooting Gallery. Bruce Sinofsky is heading up the company's
documentary division and will begin a new doc project for Shooting Gallery
exploring the history of the famed company, Sun Records. Sinofsky told
indieWIRE yesterday that he is also overseeing production of a documentary,
"The Making of Julie Johnson," about the production of Bob Gosse's
new feature film which stars Courtney Love, Billy Zane and Lili
Taylor. He is also pursuing a narrative project.
As for Sinofsky and Berlinger's company, Creative Thinking, it remains
in tact. Sinofsky told indieWIRE that he and Berlinger intend to
make another documentary together. He also indicated that the pair
may pursue a follow-up to the story, dependent upon the outcome of
additional court procedures regarding the murders. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Bolt, and IFILM team up for "Bolt Indies," the first teens-only digital film festival
(indieWIRE/3.3.2000) -- Bolt ( http://www.bolt.com), one of the leading destinations
for teens on the internet and IFILM (http://www.ifilm.com), a web-based film
distribution outlet, have teamed up for the first teens-only internet
film festival. Films submitted to IFILM or Bolt will be digitized for
showcase on the Bolt site to be judged by it's members. Members will choose
the films they like best and actually make the decisions on the winning
movies. Members will also have the opportunity to post messages about
the films, giving the teen filmmakers peer and industry feedback.
Jane Mount (EVP, Product Development at Bolt) told indieWIRE that the
film festival will be one more step in "empowering teens" and encouraging
them to make their voices heard. The festival runs on a revolving 30-day
period at the end of which time the monthly winners will be screened at
the Anthology Film Archives in New York City where panelists and filmmakers
will be present for a Q & A. In addition, work of the finalists will
be showcased on the IFILM site and updated on a monthly basis.
Submission information for the festival can be accessed at