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June 18, 2001 2:00 AM
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DAILY NEWS: Moretti at Miramax; Atlanta Fest Wrap; Seattle Winners; NY Film/Video Fest

DAILY NEWS: Moretti at Miramax; Atlanta Fest Wrap; Seattle Winners; NY Film/Video Fest



by Eugene Hernandez, Anthony Kaufman/indieWIRE


>> Miramax Gets Moretti's Cannes Winner, "The Son's Room"


(indieWIRE/06.18.01) -- Miramax has acquired Nanni Moretti's "The Son's Room," Variety is reporting today (Monday). The mid-six-figure pact,
according to the Hollywood trade publication, is for the U.S. and
English-speaking Canadian rights to the film, which won the Palme d'Or at
last month's Cannes Film Festival.


According to Variety, "The Son's Room" has earned grosses of almost $6
million in Italy. The movie was also the winner of the Best Film prize at
the Donatello Awards. [Eugene Hernandez]


>> Probst Wins Space Needle Prize in Seattle; Polish Brothers Win New American Cinema Award


(indieWIRE/06.18.01) -- The 27th Seattle International Film Festival's
survivor on awards night was "Survivor" TV show host Jeff Probst. The
first-time director won the 2001 Golden Space Needle audience award
for "Finders Fee." The Best Director prize this year went to Tim
Blake Nelson
for "O," while the award for Best Documentary was
presented to George Butler's "The Edurance: Shackleton's Legendary
Antarctic Expedition
."


In juried prizes, the New American Cinema award went to Michael
Polish
's "Jackpot," while the New Director's Showcase award was
presented to Luka Moodysson's "Together."


John Cameron Mitchell won the Golden Space Needle audience award
for his performance in his first-feature, "Hedwig and the Angry
Inch
," while Thora Birch won the Best Actress award for "Ghost World." Finally, the Golden Space Needle award for Best Short Film went
to Glen Gaylord's "Boychick," [Eugene Hernandez]


[indieWIRE was ON THE SCENE at the Seattle International Film Festival
and will publish a report from the event in an upcoming edition.]


>> ON THE SCENE: Docs Big at 25th Atlanta Festival; Locals Take Many Top Awards


(indieWIRE/06.18.01) -- Local filmmakers were popular with jurors and
audiences at IMAGE Film & Video Center's 25th Annual Atlanta Film & Video
Festival
, which wrapped this weekend. While Monteith McCollum's festival
favorite doc, "Hybrid," won the event's Grand Jury Prize, movies by
Atlanta-based directors were among the top honorees. Ryan Deussing's new
non-fiction movie about the battle over the Confederate flag, "Confederacy
Theory
," shared the top documentary award with "T-Shirt Travels," an ITVS project that explored the selling of second-hand clothing in Africa. Ray
McKinnon
's short film, "The Accountant," was a big hit, nabbing the best
narrative short prize and the coveted Southeastern Mediamakers Award.
Finally, the audience award was shared by new Atlanta resident Eric
Saperston
for his documentary "The Journey" and Doug Pray for "Scratch."


The festival achieved record attendance in its 25th year, doubling last
year's 6,500 attendees to top 13,000 this year. "It really exceeded our
expectations," Festivals Director Genevieve McGillicuddy told indieWIRE
yesterday. She touted an increase in films by Georgia-based filmmakers as
part of the reason for the jump in numbers, not to mention an increased
amount of overall screenings.


Naturally, hot and humid weather greeted guests who flew in for the popular
regional fest. Among the out-of-towners who arrived mid-week for the
anniversary event were jurors Yvonne Welbon ("Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis
at 100
"), IFP Market Director Milton Tabbot, and former IMAGE Executive Director Robin Oppenheimer. AIVF's Michelle Coe and Sundance Channel's Ian Bricke were also among those who made the trip from New York City to participate in panel discussions.


John Cameron Mitchell, writer, director and star of the upcoming "Hedwig and
the Angry Inch
," in Atlanta from Manhattan, spent time around town before
heading out on a press tour that will take him around the country before his
movie opens next month. The Festival kicked off with a screening of "Hedwig"
and following the crowded showing, guests gathered at eleven50, where
Mitchell hit the stage to perform alongside an array of local drag queens.


Among the other crowd-pleasing events was the mid-week screening of "The
Journey
." Director Eric Saperston's documentary includes interviews with
notable personalities and corporate executives. Doc interviewees were among
those who attended the screening and an after-party at the Dark Horse
Tavern
.


"The documentary genre was extremely strong this year," McGillicuddy told
indieWIRE, underscoring the success of docs from locals, adding, "There is a
very strong doc community here in Atlanta."


On Friday night, while Catherine Crouch screened "Stray Dogs" for numerous local family and friends at the Regal Cinema venue, Christopher Munch was in Midtown at the High Museum of Art showing "The Sleepy Time Gal," along with Athens, GA resident Michael Stipe, who co-produced the film with Jim McKay, Munch and Ruth Charny. John Cameron Mitchell returned to Atlanta for the evening showing and then hit the stage again that night, this time at
GlitterDome. As a number of festival-goers, jurors, and organizers cheered,
Mitchell, wearing only a ratty pair of cut-off denim shorts, sang a
rambunctious version of "Angry Inch." Bouncing and belting out his songs in
Iggy Pop style, Mitchell ended up diving directly into the surprised
audience.


Attendees were up early on Saturday morning for a full day of seminars as
the event came to a close. Prior to a screening of Takeshi Kitano's
"Brother" at the High Museum, an all-day session of panel discussions drew
local filmmakers.


It would be local filmmaker Ray McKinnon who would walk away later that day
with perhaps the greatest prize. His 38-minute short wowed attendees with
its distinctive story of the title character (portrayed by the filmmaker),
determined to get a Southern farmer back on the right track. On awards
night, McKinnon explained that it was his dream to get the movie into the
Atlanta festival and he and producer Lisa Blount were clearly thrilled at
the win. "The Accountant" was considered a true discovery by many who missed
it at Slamdance, and the Southeastern Mediamakers Prize, which will give the
filmmaker $100,000 in goods and services for his next movie, not only puts
the director on the map, but makes him one to watch. [Eugene Hernandez]


[indieWIRE Editor-in-Chief Eugene Hernandez served as a member of the jury
and a panelist at this year's Atlanta Film & Video Festival.]



>> New York Video Fest Unveils Latest Cumming, Saks, Ahwesh and Minh-ha


(indieWIRE/06.18.01) -- Now in its 10th year, the New York Video Festival
continues to hold on to its modest roots, screening the latest cutting-edge
video work, both in digital video and analog formats. Running July 13 - July
19, the festival will give its opening evening slot to two favorites of the
Lincoln Center programmers, American self-satirist Joe Gibbons and Canadian chronicler of the weird, Donigan Cumming. Gibbons will show the 30-minute "Confessions of a Sociopath, Part I," a Super 8 and video "mini-epic," and a
5-minute short called "Final Exit." Cumming's latest "My Dinner with Weegee"explores a pathetic man who once knew famed New York photographer Weegee.


Other notable entries include Alfred Leslie's feature-length "The Cedar
Bar
," an examination of the relationship between critics and artists, Irit
Batsry
's experimental narrative "These are Not My Images (Neither There Nor
Here)
," and new works from avant-garde luminaries Peggy Ahwesh, Eric Saks, Michael Goedecke, and Trinh T. Minh-ha. New York Press film critic Armond White will again be on hand to deliver his latest program of music video screenings and analysis, featuring the works of Spike Jonze, Francis Lawrence, David Meyers and Paul Hunter. [Anthony Kaufman]


For more information, go to the Film Society of Lincoln Center website:
<http://www.filmlinc.com>.

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