By Indiewire | Indiewire October 10, 2000 at 2:00AM
DAILY NEWS: Submarine Launches, Vancouver Winners and a Correction
by Eugene Hernandez and Jeffrey M. Barker/indieWIRE, with a report from Jason Margolis and Maureen Prentice
>> Submarine.com Cruises Into Internet-film Waters For the First Time
(indieWIRE/ 10.11.00) -- For its first major stab at interactive online
film, Submarine.com has designed what looks to be the first Web-based
interactive documentary series. And what better to catch the attention
of online film audiences than a series of documentaries about the making
of independent films, tied to John Pierson's Independent Film Channel
series, "Split Screen."
"Boys Don't Cry," "The Exorcist," "Ice Storm," "Gummo" and others
will be featured on the new series, "Oral Probe." The documentary
series is both Internet-based and a television segment that airs
on "Split Screen." While the television segments -- all edited
and waiting to be shown -- are only about seven minutes long,
the site features over an hour of exclusive footage for each film.
It's a pretty big first step into this realm for Submarine, whose
only other project was done while the company was still a side project
for Pete Callaro and Dan Braun, two employees of an advertising firm.
That project was Absolut DJ, Absolut Vodka's Website that has little
to do with vodka and a lot to do with DJs. It features a history of
the DJ movement, bios of several well-known DJs and a sound generator
where surfers can fiddle around with scratches and effects.
"That's a good example of what we're aiming for," said Josh Braun,
the twin brother of co-founder Dan Braun and the Submarine partner
with a significant television and film background. It's what Callaro
called a "brand experience -- where the personality of a company comes
through in the entertainment."
Atomfilms joined with Volkswagen in such a venture last month.
VW.com now hosts AtomFilms content as a part of how it is defining itself
as a brand. While Josh Braun said that Submarine would never sacrifice
the integrity of a piece of filmmaking (as was the charge, by some,
against Atomfilms for its deal), he did say that Submarine was headed
into the same terrain as the Atom/VW deal.
The founding partners are, by trade, advertising executives. Callaro
said he is actively seeking sponsors for Oral Probe -- and that
doesn't mean banner ads. Long time ago, Dan Braun declared banner
ads "creatively bankrupt," saying that advertising on the Internet
must be interactive.
What we should expect in the future is a blending of Oral Probe
into a large company's Website. For the site, which premiered this
week with footage from the making of "Rushmore," Submarine has what it
calls a "documentary generator." Viewers can sculpt their documentary
experience, choosing interviews with directors or actors or
concentrating only on behind-the-scenes footage -- or they can
watch everything, in any order they choose.
While this is a first voyage for Submarine, they will be getting
underway in the near future, to redesign Absolut's site and to
design interactive experiences for clothing labels Kate Spade
and Jack Spade. [Jeffrey M. Barker]
>>Vancouver Awards Czech, Locals, and "Yi Yi"
(indieWIRE/ 10.11.00) -- Prizes for the 19th Vancouver International Film
Festival were announced in two ceremonies, one on Thursday evening and the
other at the closing gala on Saturday night at the Vogue Theatre. The Air
Canada Award for the most popular film at the festival went to "Divided We
Fall", Czech director Jan Hrebejk's black comedy set in a small town
occupied by Nazis during the Second World War.
The Fedex Award for most popular Canadian film went to Gary Burns'
"waydowntown", an ensemble piece about four friends who have staked a
month's salary on a bet to see who can stay indoors the longest. Burns and
co-writer James Martin also picked up the Rogers Award for best western
Canadian screenplay, a prize that comes with a computer and screenwriting
software. Shirley Vercruysse, co-producer of "waydowntown" is the recipient
of the 2000 Women In Film & Video Vancouver Artistic Merit Award, which is
awarded to an exceptional British Columbian woman whose work is on display
at the festival.
German filmmaker Frieder Schlaich won the first Diversity in Spirit Award for "Otomo," the true life story of Liberian emigre Federick Otomo's
struggle with racism and intolerance in contemporary Germany. This juried
prize was presented by multiculturalism minister Sue Hammell, whose
department sponsored the award.
The Chief Dan George Award was given to "Yi Yi" ("A One and A Two"), the Taiwanese/Japanese film directed by Edward Yang. This Award is given to the
film determined to best espouse the humanitarian ideals of the late chief.
"Yi Yi" also won best director prize at Cannes this year.
First-time director Wisit Sasanatieng of Thailand won the Dragons & Tigers
Award for Young Cinema for "Fah Talai Jone." The award includes a $5,000
cash prize. Special mentions were given to Apichatpong Weerasethakul's
"Mysterious Object at Noon," also from Thailand, and Japanese director
Shinozaki Makoto's "Not Forgotten."
The $2,000 National Film Board Award for best documentary feature went to
James Ronald Whitney's "Just Melvin," a film about child abuse.
Two Vancouver directors won prizes. Ross Weber's debut feature "No More
Monkeys Jumpin' on the Bed" captured the $5,000 Telefilm Canada Award for
best emerging director of a feature film from western provinces. Simon
Capet's short "Evitrati" won the $4,000 Telefilm Canada Award for best
emerging director of a short or mid-length film from the western provinces.
[Jason Margolis and Maureen Prentice]
Jon Reiss' feature film, "Cleopatra's Second Husband," is being released
theatrically by Indican, not Cowboy Booking as was reported in indieWIRE.
Cowboy is merely booking the film for a run at New York's Screening Room.
We apologize for the error.