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DAILY NEWS: Lucas Confirms Digital Is A Go; PlanetOut Partners with IFILM; BIAF Awards

DAILY NEWS: Lucas Confirms Digital Is A Go; PlanetOut Partners with IFILM; BIAF Awards



By Eugene Hernandez & Maya Churi/indieWIRE, with a report from Filmnet


>> Lucas Confirms Digital Plans for New "Star Wars"


(indieWIRE/4.11.00) -- After months of testing new "24 frame progressive
high definition" digital cameras, George Lucas has confirmed that he will
shoot the next episode of "Star Wars" digitally. According to Lucas'
announcement, the decision was made after Lucasfilm Ltd and Industrial Light
& Magic
(ILM) compared the new Sony-modified Panavision cameras with tests
made on motion picture film.


"The tests have convinced me that the familiar look and feel of motion
picture film are fully present in this digital 24P system and that the
picture quality between the two is indistinguishable on the large screen,"
explained George Lucas in a prepared statement.


Continuing, Lucas offered, "It's an exciting step that we are taking, and
working with Sony and Panavision, we plan to further advance this system
over the coming years."


According to "Star Wars" producer Rick McCallum, the new movie will begin
shooting in Australia in June. Echoing Lucas' comments, McCallum said in a
prepared statement, "This is the exciting dawn of a new era in moviemaking.
There is no turning back. We intend to cut through all of the industry angst
and thrust 24P digital HD squarely onto the moviemaking stage. Star Wars:
Episode II will do just that."


"We start shooting Episode II in Australia in June," McCallum noted. "All of
the sets are in final stages of construction. In August the shooting will
move to Italy and to Tunisia. We will shoot for a total of three months and
then we plan to spend about 18 months in postproduction." [Eugene
Hernandez]





>> PlanetOut Partners with IFILM to present Movie Awards


(indieWIRE/4.11.00) -- PlanetOut announced yesterday that they have
partnered with IFILM to create the first ever online movie awards for
Gay & Lesbian Filmmakers entitled "Queer Short Movie Awards," which
will distribute $15,000 in prizes. Filmmakers will have the opportunity
to reach an international audience via online exhibition of their work
on www.planetout.com and www.ifilm.com. According to Jenni Olson,
PlanetOut's Entertainment Producer, "it is extremely difficult for
gay and lesbian people to find positive representations of themselves
in the movies. Now, all you need is a computer and a modem to be able
to access great gay and lesbian short films."


Winners of the fest will be announced at a ceremony at Outfest:
The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
which is held July 6-16.
The prize winning filmmakers will be flown in for the awards ceremony
and will have their film previewed by SND Films (an international sales
company specializing in gay and lesbian shorts), for a possible
international distribution deal. The jury for the fest will be a mix
of celebrities such as writer/actress Guinevere Turner ("American Psycho,"
"Go Fish"), Marcus Hu (co-president, Strand Releasing) and Shari Frilot (Sundance and Outfest programmer), as well as the viewing audience.


PlanetOut is a leading internet media company for the gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgender community, and IFILM, is an online resource
for film fans, filmmakers, and film industry professionals.
[Maya Churi]





>> Estonian Film Leads BIAF Awards


(Filmnet/4.11.00) -- Estonian writer/director Janno Poldma's film, "On the
Possibility of Love
," was named the winner of the $2000 Pacific Film and
Television Commission
Grand Prize in the Brisbane International Animation
Festival
awards on Sunday. Poldma's win was in the BIAF International
Competition, where Australian animator Anthony Lucas scored both the $1500
BEEPS National Award and the $500 OSKA People's Prize with his "Slim
Pickings
."


Winner of the inaugural BIAF National Commercials Competition was "Captain
Pecker
," a commercial made for Free FM/Sydney Gay and Lesbian Broadcasters
Inc.
by Brainwash Films. The $3000 Best Commercial prize is to be shared
between agency Young & Rubicam Sydney and the artists. The Brainwash team
responsible for the film are director Wez Werrin, writers Shaun Branagan
and Pete Buckley, and animator Scott Wilcox, with post-production by
Videolab.


Festival audiences chose "Close Encounters of the Yogo Kind" as their
commercial favourite, winning it the Alias Wavefront Audience Award Best
Commercial prize of a year's Maya Software license. The Yogo commercial was
produced for agency Whybin Tbwa & Partners by Flying Gherkin International,
with Margot Ger (producer), Nick Donkin (director), Susan Stitt (DP),
Michael Syme (writer), Bruce Baldwin (art director) and post-production by
Claude Lucci @ Digital Pictures.


Russian director/animator Svetlana Filippova won the $1000 Griffith
University QCA Debut Award in the International Competition with her film
"The Night Has Come." Another $1000 International Competition award, the
STA Travel Jury Prize, went to the Canadian entry, "Village of Idiots,"
directed and animated by Eugene Fedorenko and Rose Newlove from a script by
John Lazarus. Jury members Otto Alder, Dennis Tupicoff and Max Bannah also
made Special Mention of "The Hangnail," a very short comedy of less than
two minutes, from American writer/director/animator Shane Acker, with music
by Randy Jones.


The $500 Courier-Mail What's On Critics Prize for International Competition
entries was won by the English film "Pleasures of War," written by Sara
Maitland
, and directed and animated by Ruth Lingford.


Selections from the BIAF International and National Commercials
Competitions are included in the touring festival program to be screened in
Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth from Friday. [Gawain McLachlan]


[Additional information on this new festival can be accessed at
http://www.movieawards.planetout.com]

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