DAILY NEWS: Madstone Filmmakers; Winstar's Two Pacts and Sundance Channel Numbers
by Eugene Hernandez /indieWIRE
>> Madstone Selects Three Filmmakers from 1,000 Entries
(indieWIRE/ 12.4.00) -- Madstone Films has announced the first three
directors for its unique new initiative. The filmmakers, each signed
to a two year deal with Madstone, are Swedish filmmaker Lisa Siwe,
Student Academy Award Winner Joan Stein and Canadian director Aaron
Madstone's package offers each filmmaker an annual salary, benefits and
a 401(K) plan, as well as financing for a digital feature film. The
recipients were selected from Madstone's first call for entries, which
yielded more than 1,000 submissions according to the company. Three
filmmakers are expected to be named twice each year. A call for
a second group of entries is expected soon.
"Madstone believes that when you put the world's most talented new
filmmakers into a collaborative setting with all the tools that digital
technology has to offer, great things will happen," commented Madstone
Co-CEO Tom Gruenberg. The company's production chief is Eva Kolodner, producer of "Boys Don't Cry." [Eugene Hernandez]
Filmmaker biographies, as provided by Madstone Films, follow:
Lisa Siwe's warm, humane style infuses all of her films. Her most recent
effort, "Happy Birthday" (1999, 28 min), tells the story of a young girl
wrestling with her father's alcoholism. The film showcases her ability to
use small, beautifully observed moments to tell a deeply personal story. It
won First Prize for Student Films at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in
Czechoslovakia and Best Script at the Munich International Student Film
When the Bosnian War broke out in 1991, New Yorker Joan Stein was living in
Budapest, Hungary and working as a business consultant. Deeply disturbed by
the "ethnic cleansing" occurring in the former Yugoslavia, Joan, the child
of Holocaust survivors, began volunteering in nearby refugee camps. Upon
returning to the United States she entered Columbia University's School of
the Arts to study directing. Her short "One Day Crossing" was awarded the
Student Academy Award for Best Narrative Film.
Multi-talented writer-director, Aaron Woodley brings a dark style and
incisive wit to his films. This year he wrote and directed the acclaimed
dramatic short film "Bed & Breakfast," (2000, 24 min) which won awards from
the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Festival and The Toronto Worldwide
Shorts Festival. Other writer-director credits include the animated short
film "Downpour" (2000, 7 min) and festival favorite "The Wager" (1998, 19
min) which screened at 25 film festivals in 9 countries; winning awards at
the Palm Springs and Austin film festivals, among others. A talented
animator, Aaron directed his first film at age ten.
>> Winstar Deals for Assayas and Dieckmann
(indieWIRE/ 12.4.00) -- Winstar has announced two deals, a theatrical pact
for Olivier Assayas' "Les Destinees Sentimentales" and a home video and DVD pact deal for Katherin Dieckmann's "A Good Baby."
Calling both filmmakers "auteur directors," Winstar's Senior VP of
Acquisitions Krysanne Katsoolis commented, "(The acquisitions) are in line
with our strategy to get the best indies and foreign films."
Katsoolis explained that Assayas' film is expected to be released in the
Fall of 2001. The film debuted at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Dieckmann's "Baby" opened Friday in New York as part of the American
Independent Visions series, for a week-long run at Lincoln Center.
RELATED ARTICLE @ indieWIRE.com:
+ INTERVIEW: Lost and Found, Katherine Dieckmann Raises "Good Baby"
>> Sundance Channel Announces Distribution Increase