By Indiewire | Indiewire April 24, 2000 at 2:00AM
DAILY NEWS: SFIFF 2000; Bermuda Winners
Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE, with a report from Carl Russo
>> Beneath the Icing, SFIFF Offers Rich World Cinema
(indieWIRE/4.24.00) -- The 2000 San Francisco International Film Festival
repeats its proven strategy for grabbing headlines with arguably frivolous
fare: a Winona Ryder tribute and star-studded bookend galas of Sofia Coppola's
"The Virgin Suicides" and Michael Almereyda's "Hamlet." But Bay Area fest
fanatics are drooling over the rich world cinema that lies beneath the icing.
The 43rd annual installment -- running now through May 4 at the Kabuki, Castro
Rafael, and Pacific Film Archive theaters -- is presenting a slate of 190 films
from 48 countries, much of it a survey of films hot off the foreign festival
circuit, including all three Leopard Prize winners from Locarno 1999: Helene
Angel's "Skin of Man, Heart of Beast" (France), Noeimie Lvovsky's "Life
Doesn't Scare Me" (France/Switzerland), and Valery Ogorodnikov's "Barracks"
SFIFF programmers raided the catalog of the recently wrapped New
Directors/New Films fest, unspooling eight of its features
including Alison Maclean's Lions Gate release "Jesus' Son," Zhang Yang's
"Shower,"Yesim Ustaoglu's "Journey to the Sun," and Emmanuel Finkiel's
While only one feature is enjoying a world premiere here -- Maureen Gosling's
documentary "Blossoms of Fire" about the egalitarian Mexican village of
Juchitan -- some 24 full-length works are seeing their US debuts, including
Alice Nellis' "Eeny Meeny" (Czech Republic), Jean-Marie Teno's "A Trip to
the Country" (Cameroon), Atef Hetata's "The Closed Doors" (Egypt), Joao
Cesar Monteiro's "God's Wedding" (Portugal), and Romed Wyder's "No Coffee,
No T.V., No Sex" (Switzerland).
Early buzz surrounds two of the preems: the hardcore s/m love story "Lies,"
which landed filmmaker Jang Sun-Woo in jail for violating South Korean
censorship laws, and Tsering Rhitar Sherpa's spiritual domestic drama "Mask
of Desire," the first film to be fully produced in Nepal.
Additional awards and tributes await Hollywood mermaid Esther Williams,
veteran Italian helmer Pietro Germi, Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami,
animator Faith Hubley and, in a joint fete, film restorer David Shepard and
distributor Donald Krim. Winners of the Golden Gate Awards, Skyy Prize and
Audience Awards will be announced May 4. [Carl Russo]
[For more information call (415) 931-FILM or visit the web site at
>> "Human Traffic" Wins Top Bermuda Award; "Genghis Blues " Wins Two Prizes
(indieWIRE/4.24.00) -- Justin Kerrigan's debut feature, "Human Traffic,"
won the top Jury Prize at the third Bermuda International Film Festival,
while acclaimed documentary "Genghis Blues" won the Audience Choice
award and a special jury award. The festival screened 14 feature films
and 15 shorts from April 14th - 20th.
"Human Traffic," which was acquired by Miramax at the Toronto International
Film Festival, will be released next month by Miramax. "Genghis Blues" has
won numerous awards on the festival circuit and was recently nominated for
an Academy Award.
The Festival's award for Best Short went to Jarl Olsen's "Omar the Short and
Prizes were selected by jurors George Segal; filmmakers Alison Swan and
David Birdsell, producer/director Reimar Fiedler, and Elliot Grove, director
of London's Raindance Film Festival. [Eugene Hernandez]