DAILY NEWS: Santa Barbara Winners; New InDigEnt Project
with articles by Matthew Ross and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> Santa Barbara Winners; New InDigEnt Project
(indieWIRE/03.05.02) -- A tribute to Sean Penn and awards closed the 17th
Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival with nods for best U.S.
and foreign feature presented to Tony Shalhoub's "Made Up" and Wang Chao's "Orpgan of Anyang." Matt Mafredi and Phil Hay's "Bug" won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature and "Shanghai Ghetto" by Dana Janklowicz-Mann and Amir Mann took the Audience Award for Best Documentary.
Henry Jaglom's "Festival in Cannes" opened the five-day event which had to be shortened this year due to financial pressures as a result of the slowing
economy. Cast members including Ron Silver, Zack Norman and Jenny Gabriel were present with the director who also took part in the fest's "Spotlight
on Directing" program. Other special events were a Salute to Anjelica
Huston and the Modern Master Award presentation to Sean Penn. Leonard
Maltin was on hand to moderate discussions with both stars, giving the
large audiences in attendance a broad overview of their work. The Penn
event also drew a large contingent of his celebrity friends to the
California seaside town with Garry Shandling, Vince Vaughn, John
Voight, David Spade and Bo Derek attending the presentation.
Screenwriters took center stage for the "It Starts with the Script" discussion
with Milo Addica ("Monster's Ball"), Julian Fellowes ("Gosford Park"), Akiva Goldsman ("Beautiful Mind"), Ted Griffin ("Ocean's Eleven), Christopher Nolan ("Memento") Michael Sloane ("The Majestic") and Gina Wedkos ("The Princess Diaries") entertaining the audience with their amusing insight. Closing the Festival was George Hickenlooper's "The Man from Elysian Fields" starring Mick Jagger, Julianna Margulies, Olivia Williams and James Coburn. [Brian Brooks]
>> InDigEnt Plays "House"
(indieWIRE: 03.05.02) -- Fresh on the heels of its triumphant Sundance 2002,
DV production outfit Independent Digital Entertainment (InDigEnt) is gearing
up for a new film, "Playhouse 91." Raymond De Felitta will direct the
project, with principal photography scheduled to begin later this month.
Described by De Felitta as "'My Favorite Year' meets 'War of the Worlds,'"
"Playhouse 91" is a dark comic thriller set in New York in 1950, during the
early days of live television, in which an attempt to mount a television
variety show is interrupted by a rogue transmission over the airwaves. The
film reunites De Felitta with his producer Adam Brightman, who also produced
De Felitta's acclaimed film, "Two Family House." De Felitta and David
Zeller-Ford co-wrote the screenplay.
"I think we'll be able to pull off some very interesting parallels between
the video world of yesterday and it's attendant complexities using the video
technology of today," said De Felitta in a prepared statement. "The people
at IFC and InDigEnt are making it possible for me to make a really
interesting offbeat movie without having to go through years of tiresome and
InDigEnt, which was created by IFC Productions, director Gary Winick and
John Sloss, made a huge showing at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, with two
of its films taking home several of the fest's top awards. Winick won best
dramatic director honors and a reported $5 million sale to Miramax for
"Tadpole," and Rebecca's Miller's "Personal Velocity" nabbed both the dramatic grand jury and cinematography prizes. The film is slated for release by United Artists later this year.
Last week, the company confirmed plans for its next slate of movies,
including a new movie by Peter Hedges. Recent InDigEnt productions include
Richard Linklater's "Tape," Campbell Scott's "Final" and the upcoming "Chelsea Walls," directed by Ethan Hawke. [Matthew Ross]