DAILY NEWS: LA Fest Screenings; Sci-Fi Show; and Creative Planet Update
by Eugene Hernandez, Brian Brooks and Maud Kersnowski/indieWIRE
>> LA Festival Adds Two Screenings
(indieWIRE/03.30.01) -- The Los Angeles Film Festival has added two
screenings to this year's event (April 20 - 28). Dominik Moll's "With
a Friend Like Harry" has joined the fest, along with Takeshi Kitano's
"Brother." Both are west coast premieres.
"Harry" stars Laurent Lucas, Sergi Lopez, Mathilde Seigner and Sophie Guillemin, while "Brother" features Kitano, Omar Epps, Claude Maka and Masaya Kato.
Yesterday, the festival also announced screenings by high school filmmakers
as well as a program of music videos. Among the video set to screen are
works by Lance Bangs, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze and Mike Mills.
[Tickets for the fest are on sale at: www.lafilmfest.com or by
>> "405" and "Lucas" "Exposed" in SCI FI Series' Top Five
(indieWIRE/03.30.01) -- This Sunday, the Sci-Fi Channel will present the
"Best of Season One" from its signature series, "Exposure," a countdown
of the five highest-rated short films from the program's first season as
voted by viewers to the show's web site, www.Exposure.scifi.com. Hosting
the episode is actress Terry Farrell ("Deep Space Nine," "Becker") who will present the top five as a "provocative intergalactic mix of
"Barbarella" and "Felicity Shagwell.'"
Included in "Best of Season One" will be a sneak preview of season two
with the network premiere of "405: The Movie," a desktop digital film
about LA's 405 freeway becoming an emergency runway, directed by Bruce
Branit and Jeremy Hunt. The film won Best Picture at recent Online Movie
Awards presented by IFILM (the site where the film debuted last year).
Another multiple winner at the Online Movie Awards, "George Lucas in
Love" by Joe Nussbaum, parodies George Lucas' days while a student at
USC. Also rounding out the top is the critically acclaimed Björk video, "All Is Full of Love" by Chris Cunningham and the edgy "Star Wars" spoof "Tripping the Rift" by co-creators Chuck Austen and Chris Moeller. Also, from France, is the computer animated, "Antebios," by Francois Baranger about a UFO which crashes on a faraway planet in addition to "More," by Oscar nominee Mark Osbourne. The film is an account of a factory worker who dreams of being an acclaimed inventor.
"Exposure" was launched on the SCI FI Channel in April 2000 as a weekly
program showcasing short film. It includes interviews as well as
presentations of original work from up-and-coming filmmakers utilizing
new technology. The episode will air on Sunday April 1st at 11pm (EST).
>> Creative Planet Cuts Staff, But Core Software is Safe
(indieWIRE/03.30.01) -- The deep staff cuts at Creative Planet Tuesday
will not affect service to their leading products, the Movie Magic suite
of software and ASP applications, according to the company. The 70
employees laid off, leaving about 150 to run the outfit, were pulled from
every department, but the biggest affect on consumers may be a dwindling
in the launch of broad, new web experiments by the company. The focus is
being increasingly narrowed to those core profitable products, like Movie
Magic budgeting software, which are practically an industry standard.
"The areas we're pulling back from are longterm Internet ventures that are
potentially going to make money sometime in the future," a company
spokesperson told indieWIRE. "Slowing down our ASP or software development
is the last thing we're going to do."
Even with the current economic situation Creative Planet, which recently
raised $30 million, had been relatively financially secure. But by March
business had slowed down, as Hollywood strikes became more and more likely.
"These reductions will help ensure Creative Planet's health through
broadening pressures, including an impending industry strike that would
impact our bottom line directly, and an economic downturn that constricts
banking," commented Allen DeBevoise, Creative Planet's CEO.