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DAILY NEWS: IFC Deal for "Strangers"; Miramax Explores its Roots and Directors Take a Shot At Wed Mo

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire March 29, 2001 at 2:0AM

DAILY NEWS: IFC Deal for "Strangers"; Miramax Explores its Roots and Directors Take a Shot At Wed Moviesby Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
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DAILY NEWS: IFC Deal for "Strangers"; Miramax Explores its Roots and Directors Take a Shot At Wed Movies



by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE


>> Stettner and IFC Are In Business With "Strangers"


(indieWIRE/03.29.01) -- Patrick Stettner's "The Business of Strangers,"
which debuted earlier this year at Sundance, has been acquired by IFC Films, the company announced yesterday. The movie, which stars Stockard Channing ("The West Wing") and Julia Stiles ("Save the Last Dance"), is set for a late fall release.


IFC acquired all US rights to the film from i5 Film, a San Francisco
company. Susan Stover produced the movie with i5's Robert Nathan. Filmmakers Scott McGehee and David Siegel ("The Deep End," "Suture") were executive producers.


"We are extremely excited to be working with the IFC," commented Susan Stover
in a prepared statement. "It is a company that, over and over again, puts its
money where its mouth is -- supporting independent filmmakers by producing,
acquiring and distributing distinctive and original independent films."


Stettner developed the movie at the Sundance Institute Lab. Sloss Law
repped the movie in its deal with IFC. Upcoming IFC Films include "The
King is Alive
," Jim McKay's "Our Song," Lukas Moodyson's "Together," and Brad Anderson's "Happy Accidents," as well as Sundance acquisitions "Jump Tomorrow" and "Go Tigers." [Eugene Hernandez]


>> Re-emphasizing its Indie Roots, Miramax Launches a Film Series


(indieWIRE/03.29.01) -- Miramax is making a push to regain its indie cred.
Having recently announced a deal with Good Machine, and on the heals of the
acquisition of Sundance debut, "In The Bedroom," the company has set its
sights on a new film series that bears striking resemblance to the
successful Shooting Gallery Film Series.


Even though many details have yet to be unveiled, Miramax has announced
"The World Film Series," a program that will release 10 films from around
the world, including American movies, in the top 20 U.S. markets. The
company has also announced a partnership with Landmark to distribute the
movies and, like the Shooting Gallery program, it will secure sponsorship
of the series from corporate partners.


Miramax is consciously emphasizing its "indie roots" with this new series
at a time when the IndieWood studio has become less known for its indie-
minded work. While the company has certainly offered such smaller films as
"Hamlet" or "Butterfly" of late, it has focused primarily on higher profile
movies and pushed its "artsier" movies during awards season, with mixed
results.


"If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, we are spectacularly
flattered," quipped Shooting Gallery's Eamonn Bowles, "Because it sure is
imitation." The executive knows his likely competitors very well, having
served as the Sr. VP of Acquisitions and Marketing at Miramax back in
the mid-90's.


Bowles, who indicated that his company has already secured a majority of
the films for its fall series, added, "Ultimately the proof is in the
pudding, the proof is in the films. It is really the films that make
the things work -- we are going to keep doing what we are doing."
[Eugene Hernandez]



>> Ritchie Added to Group of Directors Creating Series of Web Movies


(indieWIRE/03.29.01) -- Guy Ritchie has joined the list of filmmakers
creating web-based movies for a new series that is being executive produced
by director David Fincher ("Fight Club"). Ang Lee, Wong Kar-Wai, and John Frankenheimer are already on board to helm films for the series, dubbed "The Hire," with a fifth filmmaker yet to be announced.


"The Hire" features actor Clive Owen ("Croupier") as a recurring character
in the series. While the entire project is being underwritten by BMW,
spokespeople for the series were unable to offer details on how or if the
car company would be represented in the movies. The films will debut next
month on bmwfilms.com.


The series is being produced by Anonymous Content, a production and
management company that is headed by producer Steve Golin ("Being John
Malkovich
," "Nurse Betty"), formerly of Propaganda Films. David Fincher serves as Creative Director for the outfit. [Eugene Hernandez]