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DAILY NEWS: "Spellbound" Deal, Film Movement Gets Three, and Kaurismaki Boycotts NYFF

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire October 2, 2002 at 2:0AM

DAILY NEWS: "Spellbound" Deal, Film Movement Gets Three, and Kaurismaki Boycotts NYFFby Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
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DAILY NEWS: "Spellbound" Deal, Film Movement Gets Three, and Kaurismaki Boycotts NYFF



by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE


>> "Spellbound" Finds a Home at THINKFilm


(indieWIRE: 10.02.02) -- THINKFilm has confirmed its acquisition of Jeff
Blitz
's documentary, "Spellbound." The film, which was a hit at the recent
Toronto International Film Festival, won a special prize this summer at
the Los Angeles Film Festival.


The story of a group of kids each vying to win the National Spelling Bee,
"Spellbound" was repped in the deal by Cinetic Media and Submarine
Entertainment
.


"'Spellbound' is a sensational film, full of laugh-out-loud humor,
nail-biting suspense and lots and lots of heart," THINKFilm distribution
chief Mark Urman said yesterday in a prepared statement. "It was the most
entertaining movie we saw in Toronto and the fact that it is a documentary
is almost incidental." The company intends to release the movie next
Spring.


"Spellbound" started its festival journey at SXSW this year where it won the
best doc award. It went on to win the aforementioned LA Film Fest prize,
the best doc award at the Woodstock Film Festival, and the audience
award at San Francisco Docfest. [Eugene Hernandez]


>> Film Movement Adds Trio to Slate


(indieWIRE: 10.02.02) -- Film Movement, the DVD subscription service for
indie films that was recently launched by Larry Meistrich, has acquired
a trio of films. New on the company's slate are Yamina Benguigui's
"Inch'Allah Dimanche," Eric Eason's "Manito," and Giuseppe Picconi's "Light of My Eyes."


"Dimanche" won the FIPRESCI critics award at last year's Toronto
International Film Festival
, while "Manito" won a top award at the
Tribeca Film Festival after its debut at Sundance. "Light" won the
top actor and actress awards in Venice last year.


Each film will receive a limited theatrical release at the same time
that it is distributed to Film Movement subscribers. [Eugene
Hernandez]


>> Kaurismaki Boycott's NYFF, In Support of Kiarostami


(indieWIRE: 10.02.02) -- Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki has decided to
boycott the current New York Film Festival in support of Iranian
filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami who was denied entrance to the United States
last month.


Kaurismaki, whose Cannes grand jury winner "The Man Without a Past" is
screening at the NYFF, announced that he would not attend the festival
in protest of Kiarostami's treatment by U.S. officials.


Acknowledging that the festival is one of the best in the world, the
director maintained his solidarity with Kiarostami. "If the present
government of the United States of America does not want an Iranian,
they will hardly have any use for a Finn, either," Kaurismaki said
in the statement, "We do not even have the oil."


"I consider the Geneva Convention as the last hope of mankind, and as a
private citizen (of) Finland, I accuse the Government of the United States
of violating it," Kaurismaki said in his statement, "Meanwhile, I would
like to invite the present U.S. Secretary of Defense to a visit to
Finland. We could take a walk in the woods and pick mushrooms. That
might calm him down.


Concluding his statement, which was sent to indieWIRE yesterday, Kaurismaki
said, "If international cultural exchange is prevented, what is left?
The exchange of arms? Somewhere, someone said that every man is created
equal." [Eugene Hernandez]