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October 12, 2000 2:00 AM
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DAILY NEWS: LA Shorts Fest Winners; Denver Fest Plans; Fine Line Changes; Hamptons Fest Opens

DAILY NEWS: LA Shorts Fest Winners; Denver Fest Plans; Fine Line Changes; Hamptons Fest Opens



by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE, with a report from Derek Horne

>>LA Shorts Fest Wraps Up its Fourth Year with Oscar Potential


(indieWIRE/ 10.12.00) -- The Los Angeles International Short Film Festival truly earned its Academy Award accreditation this year as it presented an excellent selection of shorts films, projected in state of the art facilities at the Los Angeles Film School.


The closing night program was a darkly entertaining group of short films,
two of which starred, appropriately enough, David Lynch and Grace Zabriskie of "Twin Peaks" fame and one, which was directed by former Lynch assistant,
Sid Montz, took home the Best American Short Award (presented by iCAST film channel, Shortbuzz.com.) In his misfits-on-the-run film "Puppy Love," the alluring Zabriskie transforms into a mysterious woman hiding from an
eccentric family with their precious white Pekinese puppy in hand. She
crosses paths with a sexy con artist who is also trying to escape his own
domineering mother played by Charlotte Stewart (also of "Twin Peaks" fame).


The other award winners were "Losing Touch" by Sarah Gavron for Best Foreign Film, "The Last Drawing of Canaletto" by Cameron McNall for Best Experimental Film, "The Periwig-Maker" by Steffen Scaeffler for Best Animation, "The Border" by Barbara Martinez-Jitner for Best Documentary, "Bad Dog" by Peter Freedman for Best Comedy, and "The Last Dream" by Emmanuel Jespers for Best Drama. Look to these films as possible Oscar nominees early next year.


The highlight of the themed programs was Saturday night's show entitled
"Bare Naked Ladies," which exposed the inner worlds and deeply layered lives
of women through stories from a female point of view. It offered up some of
the most daringly provocative and insightful work to be shown in both the
shorts and feature world.


Included in this sexually frank and explicitly honest lineup was "Might As
Well Be Swing
" by married couple Simon Brown and Shirley Moyers. It was an uproarious and uninhibited comedy which explored the differing points of
view between two open couples who plan a weekend of sexual experimentation.


Another themed program entitled "Dog Eat Dog" was a strong argument for how
a short film can be better than a feature film. Without the happy ending
requirement of a Hollywood budget or the television guarantee of a surviving
protagonist, a short film is more unpredictable and downright nerve-racking
when it comes to suspense. Will the desperate writer pull the trigger on
himself? Will the empathetic kidnapper harm his victim? Will the dog catch
the frisbee for the fifth time and save his master's life? These clever
films all answered the questions with surprising results and unforgettable
endings. [Derek Horne/Shortbuzz.com]


For more information on the festival, check out the website at:
http://www.lashortsfest.com.]


>> Denver Fest Singling Out MacLaine, Cassavetes, Denis, Dindo and Capra


(indieWIRE/ 10.12.00) -- The 23rd Denver Film Festival will open tonight
with David Mamet's "State and Main," starring Alec Baldwin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy and David Paymer, kicking off a lineup that includes more than 100 films -- 8 world premieres and 7 North American & U.S. premieres. On closing night the Festival will honor actress Shirley MacLaine with the Mayor's Lifetime Achievement Award. The Festival will also screen her directorial debut, "Bruno," starring
MacLaine, Kathy Bates, Gary Sinise and Jennifer Tilly.


Also honored at this year's festival will be actor Sean Penn. He will
receive the 10th Annual John Cassavetes Award from actress Gena Rowlands. To commemorate the 10th year of the prize, the Festival will offer the
world premiere of Charles Kiselyak's documentary, "A Constant Forge: An
Exploration of the Life and Art of John Cassavetes
." Additionally, the
Festival will present a panel discussion about the filmmaker with actors
Peter Falk and Seymour Cassel, director Kiselyak and writer Ray Carney. Additional tributes include a salute to French filmmaker Claire Denis, and tributes to documentarian Richard Dindo and filmmaker Frank Capra.


Among the notable films in the Festival lineup are: Stephen Daldry's "Billy
Elliot
." Ken Loach's "Bread and Roses," Paul Cox's "Innocence," Amos Gitai's "Kippur," Volker Schlondorff's "The Legends of Rita," Alejandro Gonzolez's "Amores Perros," Darren Aronofsky's "Requiem For A Dream," Robert Mugge's "Rhythm 'N' Bayous," Maggie Greenwald's "Songcatcher," Bahman Ghbadi's "A Time for Drunken Horses," Tonie Marshall's "Venus Beauty Institute," Francois Ozon's "Water Drops on Burning Rocks," Edward Yang's "Yi Yi," and Kenneth Lonergan's "You Can Count on Me."
[Eugene Hernandez]


[For more information, visit:
www.denverfilm.org.]


>> BRIEFLY: Fine Line Shuffles Distribution Division


(indieWIRE/ 10.12.00) -- Fine Line has announced a number of changes in its
distribution department. Executive Vice President Steven Friedlander
indicated yesterday that Marc Halperin has been promoted to Vice President,
General Sales manager, handling the "day-to-day distribution functions" for
the IndieWood company. Beth Scheffres, formerly of Fine Line parent New
Line
, has been brought in as Vice President, Sales Administration.
Meanwhile, Anna Osso has been upped to the position of Director of National
Print Services, Mark Eisner, also formerly with New Line, has joined the
company as Sales Manager and Pamela Schamberger is handling Theatrical
Accounts Receivable after moving to New York from a similar New Line job in
Dallas. Friedlander and Halerin are supported by Distribution Coordinators
Sejin Park and Lindsay Harrington.


In a prepared statement yesterday, Friedlander said, "I am very excited
about the team we have in place and am confident that their combination of
experience and enthusiasm will serve the company well as Fine Line continues
to expand its release slate." Upcoming releases include Julian Schnabel's
"Before Night Falls" and David Mamet's "State and Main."
[Eugene Hernandez]


>> Hamptons Kicks Off with "Songcatcher"


(indieWIRE/ 10.12.00) -- The 8th Hamptons International Film Festival kicked
off last night in East Hampton, NY with a screening of "Songcatcher." The
Festival runs through the weekend on Long Island. The event's Golden
Starfish
competition will offer winners a package of goods and services for
their next film.


FOR MORE INFORMATION READ indieWIRE's article about the Festival lineup:
http://www.indiewire.com/biz/biz_000927_briefs.html


[indieWIRE is on the scene at the Hamptons International Film Festival and
will report on the event in upcoming editions.]


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