DAILY NEWS: Italians Invade Lincoln Center, Nantucket Gears Up and CUFF Names Fund Recipients
by Matthew Ross, Brian Brooks and Wendy Mitchell/indieWIRE
>> Italians Return for Annual Tribute Series at Walter Reade
(indieWIRE: 05.31.02) -- As the hugely varied sampling of new work at Cannes
2002 proved yet again, the advent of cinematic traditions in new territories
continues unabated. From Argentine to Turkey to Thailand, national renaissances
and neo-renaissances are popping up everywhere.
But not many of these nascent, vibrant film cultures have much on the
Italians in terms of a pedigree. To help remind us that Italy hasn't lost a
beat on the world film scene, the Film Society of Lincoln Center presents
its annual Open Roads: New Italian Cinema series, which kicks off today and
runs through June 12.
"I was very pleased that Cannes this year had a very strong presence of
Italian film," said FSLC programming director Richard Pena, who curated the series with Antonio Monda, with help from Giorgio Gosetti and GriseldGuerrasio. "There's a good new generation of filmmakers in Italy working
"One of the things that strike me this year is that there are more stories
that focus on the experience of a single character," added Pena. "Italian
cinema seems to be moving towards more psychologically geared stories rather
than the wider-ranging social portraits that the Italians are so well known
The series features 13 films, including " L'Ultimo Bacio" (The Last Kiss),
director Gabriele Muccino's 2002 Sundance audience award winner; Giuseppe Piccioni's "Luce Dei Miei Occhi" (Light of My Eyes), which took home the best actor and actress prizes at the 2001 Venice Film Festival, as well as a
special screening of Ermanno Olmi's "Il Mestiere Delle Armi" (The Profession of Arms), which screened in competition at Cannes 2001. Olmi was the subject
of a Film Society retrospective last year.
"I think it's a good moment for Italian cinema," said Pena. "In the next
couple of years, I think we're going to see the emergence of two or three
major new talents from Italy." All films will screen at the Walter Reade
Theater. [Matthew Ross]
>> Nantucket is "Made Up" and Ready to Go
(indieWIRE: 05.31.02) -- The summer film festival season is gearing up with
the slate of June events taking shape including plans for the Nantucket Film
Festival which will celebrate its 7th annual event on the posh Massachusetts
island June 20 - 23. Festival director Jill Goode and artistic director
Mystelle Brabbee revealed the slate of films yesterday, including 20 features
and 43 shorts with Tony Shalhoub's directorial debut "Made Up" opening the event. "Divining Mom" by George Kachadorian and "Last Call" by John Stanton will make their world premieres during the festival along with two U.S. premieres, six East Coast premieres and four New England premieres.
Paramount Classics' "Mostly Martha," written and directed by Sandra Nettlebeck, will screen as the centerpiece film and Fox Searchlight's "The Good Girl" by Miguel Arteta and writer Mike White will close the event. Additionally, NFF will host "Underground Zero," 13 short works selected from a pool of films made by 150 filmmakers, related to the September 11th attacks and their aftermath. Also new this year is "Ten Years Later: A Look at the Ten Best Screenplays of
the Past Decade" hosted by Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum and Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers who will present their choices for the most important screenplays of the last decade. "Spotlight on New England,"
presenting filmmakers from New England, and "Featuring Latin America" with work
from Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Cuba and Argentina are two fest sidebars this
year while the popular "Morning Coffee With" will make its return. Hosted
by Steve Hamilton, editor of "Henry Fool" and "The Chateau," "Morning Coffee With..." features a different guest participant each day of the festival who
sits for an informal hour of conversation.
This year's NBC Screenwriter Tribute will go to Oscar-nominated James Schamus ("The Hulk," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"). Jury members for the event's writer/director award are Rosie Perez, Ted Hope and Paul Speaker and the jurors for the Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting sponsored by Showtime include Bobby and Peter Farrelly, Adrienne Shelly and Oren Moverman.
"After 9/11, we thought we were going to have to cut the festival dramatically
but it's now looking as if the festival is loaded with more events than ever,"
said Brabee in an event release. "The exciting new programs -- all opportunities
for festival guests to look at stories in new ways -- coupled with a strong film
slate are the perfect combination for the distinct vision of our festival."
>> Chicago Underground Film Fest Awards Funds to Six Projects
(indieWIRE: 05.31.02) -- The Chicago Underground Film Festival has announced
the recipients of its fourth annual Chicago Underground Film Fund. Each of the
six winners (chosen from 200 applicants) will receive between $500 and $2000 to
complete his or her project. This year's grant winners are Julian Goldberger
("The Eulipion Chronicles"); Carl Weidemann ("Fundamentals of the Stoma"); Doug Wolens ("Riding Ray's Roller Coaster"); Todd Verow ("Take Away"); Jennifer Montgomery ("Threads of Belonging"); and Jason Blalock ("Tongues of Stone").
"The film fund is one of the most important aspects of CUFF's mission,"
festival director Bryan Wendorf said in a prepared statement. "Through the
fund we aim to give back to the independent film community and insure that
smart, creative and daring work continues to be produced."
Since the fund started in 1999, it has been awarded to 25 projects. The
ninth annual Chicago Underground Film Festival will be held August 22-28.
[For more information, visit www.cuff.org]
>> THURSDAY IN indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: Ziggy's Back; and Cinema Tropical Plans
(indieWIRE: 05.30.02) -- 'Look out you rock & rollers!' as Cowboy Pictures
announces the theatrical return of Pennebaker-Hegedus Films and RZO Music's
"Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars"; Cinema Tropical, the New York-
based micro distributor has acquired U.S rights to Argentine director Adrian
Caetano's film "Bolivia."
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