DAILY NEWS: IFC Shuts Next Wave; Goldwyn Grabs Controversial Mexican Hit; IFP Sets Doc Line-Up
by Eugene Hernandez and Matthew Ross/indieWIRE
>> IFC Shuts Next Wave Films Arm
(indieWIRE: 08.22.02) -- IFC Entertainment has shut down its finishing funds
company, Next Wave Films. The closure is effective immediately, according to
an IFC statement late yesterday (Wednesday).
In a conversation with indieWIRE yesterday, IFC Entertainment president
Jonathan Sehring attributed the decision to a changing domestic and
international marketplace for low-budget films. "It's a distribution
market that is increasingly reliant on higher budgeted films, with name
cast," Sehring said. He added that IFC Films and InDigEnt will remain
active in their initiatives.
"Things have changed," Next Wave Films president Peter Broderick told
indieWIRE yesterday in a separate conversation. "Things have changed for
independent film in general -- the state of distribution is the hardest
it has been in years," He continued, "The studios are very dominant in
theaters right now."
Founded in 1996, Next Wave Films was created to provide finishing funds
for emerging filmmakers. Among the company's triumphs were Christopher
Nolan's first feature, "Following," and the Academy Award-nominated
documentary "Sound and Fury."
"Until something changes in terms of the distribution business," Sehring
told indieWIRE, "It's tough." Continuing he added, "It's a tough business,
it's finding a needle in a haystack, and [Peter] went through every straw
in the haystack looking for that gem."
Peter Broderick and a Next Wave Films team that included Mark Stolaroff
and Tara Veneruso became fixtures on the film festival circuit as Next
Wave grew. The group solicited films from independent filmmakers and
hosted seminars on low-budget and digital filmmaking. Broderick estimated
yesterday that his team screened some 2,500 movies for potential finishing
funds via Next Wave or its digital filmmaking arm, "Agenda 2000."
Other Next Wave projects include Henry Barrial's "Some Body," Judith
Helfand's "Blue Vinyl," the documentary "Paper Chasers," Jordan Melamed's
"Manic," David Shapiro and Laurie Gwen Shapiro's documentary "Keep the
River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale," Amir Bar-Lev's "Fighter,"
Ron Judkins' "The Hi-Line," Julie Money's "Envy," and Joe Carnahan's
"Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane."
"It has never been easier to make films, with the coming of digital
tools, but the distribution system has gotten much more difficult for
independents," Broderick explained in the conversation with indieWIRE.
"Now we need to think creatively about how to improve distribution for
independent films in general." Broderick is still in the early stage
of considering other options.
Concluding our conversation, Broderick offered that he appreciated the
opportunity to launch Next Wave Films. "I am extremely pleased to have
had the opportunity to work with the films and filmmakers," he said,
"It was a privilege -- we so much enjoyed helping filmmakers
maximize the possibilities for their movies." [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Goldwyn Grabs Controversial Mexican Hit "Padre Amaro"
(indieWIRE: 08.20.02) -- Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired all North American
rights to director Carlos Carrera's Mexican box-office smash "El Crimen de
Padre Amaro" (The Crime of Father Amaro). The film, which has drawn a wave
of protests from the Catholic Church, broke Mexico's opening box-office
record with $3.1 million last weekend, more than tripling the old record set
by 2001's "Y Tu Mama Tambien." It already ranks second on the all-time Mexican
box office list.
Set in contemporary Mexico, the film is adapted from an 1875 novel by
Portuguese author Jose Maria Eca de Queiroz. The story centers on a young
priest, played by Spanish-language star Gael Garcia Bernal ("Y Tu Mama
Tambien," "Amores Perros," "Motorcycle Diaries") assigned to a remote
provincial town, where he has a scandalous affair with a young woman.
The deal was negotiated by Goldwyn president Meyer Gottlieb and producer
Daniel Birman. The film was produced by Alameda Films in association with
Wanda Vision (Spain), Art Cam (France), Cinecolor (Argentina), Blu Films
(Mex), and the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE). Alfredo Ripstein and Daniel
Birman, the father and nephew of Mexican director Arturo Ripstein
respectively, served as producers.
"We are honored to be associated with this film," said Gottlieb in a
prepared statement. "It is a timely and bold story, representing the best
in Mexican filmmaking." "El Crimen de Padre Amaro" is slated for U.S. release
in late 2002. [Matthew Ross]
>> IFP Sets Doc Slate for 2002 IFP Market
(indieWIRE: 08.20.02) -- Ninety-two doc projects are set for the 2002 IFP
Market (September 27 to October 4). The line-up announcement rounds out the
program of projects accepted at this year's revamped IFP Market, including No
Borders and Emerging Narrative.
Of the 92 docs, 65 percent are works-in-progress, according to organizers.
Among the projects from established filmmakers are "Girl Hood," from director
Liz Garbus ("The Farm: Angola, USA"), "Bright Leaves" from Ross McElwee
("Sherman's March"), "The Dwelling Place" from Macky Alston ("Questioning
Faith") and Leonard Cox, and "The Big Picture," Peter Friedman ("Silverlake
Life"), and "Arisman Facing the Audience," from Tony Silver ("Style Wars").
"The quality and diversity of projects in the documentary section of the
IFP Market is remarkable," commented IFP New York executive director
Michelle Byrd in a prepared statement. "In the past three years, IFP Market
documentaries have garnered nine Academy Awards nominations, several
Sundance Film Festival grand prize awards, and have been released
theatrically to critical acclaim in a challenging theatrical marketplace.
We are excited to welcome back several award-winning filmmakers and to
present fascinating work from emerging directors." [Eugene Hernandez]
GET THE COMPLETE IFP MARKET LINEUP @ indieWIRE.com.
>> TUESDAY IN indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: Toronto Line-Up Announced; CUFF Goes "Proto-Punk"
(indieWIRE: 08.21.02) -- Organizers of the 2002 Toronto International Film
Festival have announced the lineup for next month's festival. Also today,
plans for the 2002 Chicago Underground Film Festival.
READ THE FULL STORIES @ indieWIRE.com.