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DAILY NEWS: Newport Lineup; Cowboy Gets Toback Film, Human Rights Watch Plans and Lions Gate Buys "

DAILY NEWS: Newport Lineup; Cowboy Gets Toback Film, Human Rights Watch Plans and Lions Gate Buys "The Hard Word"



with articles by Eugene Hernandez and Matthew Ross/indieWIRE



>> Newport Fest Sets Lineup for 5th Festival


(indieWIRE: 05.14.02) -- Once the Cannes Film Festival wraps up later this
month, a series of regional film festivals will run throughout the month of
June in the United States. Among them is the acclaimed Newport Internatonal
Film Festival
(June 4 - 9) in Rhode Island.


"The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" will open the festival, while
Gary Winick's digital picture, "Tadpole," will close the festival. Special
screenings this year include Shunji Iwai's "All About Lily Chou Chou," Peter
Care's "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys," Zacharias Kunuk's "The Fast
Runner
," Martin Scorsese's "My Voyage in Italy," Randa Haines' "The
Outside
," and Dylan Kidd's Tribeca fest winner, "Roger Dodger."


Among the competition entries in the documentary selection are world
premieres of Bryan Gunnar Cole's "Boomtown" and Konstantine Valhouli's
"Curve," along with Johnny Symons' "Daddy and Papa," Alexandra Pelosi's
"Journey's with George," Steven Silver's "The Last Just Man," Marlo Pores'
"Mai's America," Lucia Small's "My Father the Genius," Rob Fruchtman and
Rebecca Cammissa's "Sister Helen," Whitney Dow and Marco Williams' "The Two Towns of Jasper," and Matthew Ginsberg's "Uncle Frank."


Screening in the narrative competition are Sherman Alexie's "The Business of
Fancy Dancing
," Pamela Corkey's "Easy Listening," Alan Taylor's "The
Emperor's New Clothes
," Joseph Gai Ramaka's "Karmen Gei," Gabriele Muccino's "Last Kiss," Don Boyd's "My Kingdom," Brian Flemming's "Nothing So Strange," Will Keenan and Gadi Harel's "Operation Midnight Climax," Jacques Audiard's "Read My Lips," and Mabak Payami's "Secret Ballot." [Eugene Hernandez]


[For more information, visit:
http://www.newportfilmfestival.com.]


>> Cowboy Pictures Set for "Harvard"


(indieWIRE: 05.14.02) -- Cowboy Pictures' has announced plans to release
James Toback's latest film, "Harvard Man." The movie, which screened over
the weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival, will open next month in NYC, followed by a rollout in theaters nationally.


Adrian Grenier stars in "Harvard Man," the story of a Harvard basketball
player lured by a "seductress" cheerleader (played by Sarah Michelle
Gellar
). Toback, a Harvard Man himself, is known for his work on "Black &
White
," "Two Girls and a Guy."


"James Toback is a truly original voice in cinema today," commented Cowboy
Pictures president John Vanco in a prepared statement. "We are honored and
thrilled to have the chance to work with him on this film. Toback sees the
world a little bit differently than the rest of us, and I look forward to
sharing that brilliantly skewed perspective with audiences." [Eugene
Hernandez]


>> Lions Gate Finds "The Hard Word"


(indieWIRE: 05.14.02) -- Lions Gate Films has acquired North American Rights
to the Australian crime drama "The Hard Word." Written and directed by Scott
Roberts
and starring Guy Pearce and Rachel Griffiths, the film follows the criminal exploits of three bankrobbing brothers who attempt to pull off one
last heist before getting out of the business.


The deal was negotiated by Peter Block, president of home entertainment and
acquisitions, and Jason Constantine, VP of acquisitions on behalf of Lions
Gate, with Hilary Davis and Roger Holmes of Alibi Films representing the film's producers. Davis is also an executive producer of the film.


"'The Hard Word' is a wildly entertaining tale of avarice and crime,
featuring two of the most talented young actors of their generation, Guy
Pearce and Rachel Griffiths," said Lions Gate Releasing president Tom
Ortenberg
in a prepared statement. "We are thrilled to be working with
writer/director Scott Roberts, producer Al Clark and the rest of the
filmmaking team, and look forward to bringing 'The Hard Word' to audiences
across North America."


Lions Gate plans to release "The Hard Word" in late 2002. Roadshow Film
Distributors
will open the film in Australia on May 30. [Matthew Ross]


>> Loach, Gavras To Kick Off 13th Human Rights Watch Fest


(indieWIRE: 05.14.02) -- Thirty three films will screen at this 13th Human
Rights International Film Festival
, which unspools June 14-27 in New York.
A co-presentation of Human Rights Watch and the Film Society of Lincoln
Center
, this year's event will open with a benefit gala at Alice Tully Hall
including a screening of Costa Gavras' "Amen" and a presentation of the 7th
annual Irene Diamond lifetime achievement award to director Ken Loach.


This year's festival will open with Fabrizio Lazzaretti and Alberto
Vendemmiati
's "Afghanistan Year 1380" and will close with "Skins," director Chris Eyre's Sundance 2002 entry. The Nestor Almendros Prize for courage and commitment in human rights filmmaking will be presented to Mexican-American filmmaker Lourdes Portillo, who will screen her documentary "Missing Young Woman." [Matthew Ross]


[For more information on the festival, please visit www.hrw.org/iff or www.filmlinc.com].

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