DAILY NEWS: Sundance Online Lineup; Pusan Winners; "Fluffing" in NYC
by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> Sundance Announces Lineup for Online Fest
(indieWIRE/11.19.01) -- While the anticipated announcement of the film
lineup for the 2002 Sundance Film Festival is still at least a week away,
organizers have unveiled the 21 projects that will screen at the Sundance
Online Film Festival. This year's event will begin its online showings next
month, concluding on the final day of the Sundance Film Festival in January.
The projects will also be showcased at the Festival's Digital Center on Main
St. in Park City. Animated works will show as part of the Festival's
Screening in the Live Action category are: "A Big Issue," directed by Sara
Mast; "Guerilla New Network" (3 episodes: "The War Conspiracy", "When the Smoke Clearz", "Crack the CIA"), directed by Stephen Marshall; "Murmur," directed by Virgil Wong and Andrea Kleine; "Inside," directed by Tom Flemming; "Documenting the Face of America," directed by Jeanine Isabel Butler; "Behind the Startup: Ice Van.com," directed by Kal Deutsch.
Offered in the Animation section are: "Gina & TL" (1 episode: "Singapore
Airlines"), directed by Geoff Farr; "Add Boiling Water," as directed by
Motomichi Nakamura; "Braingirl" (3 episodes: "Fishing", "Eye Test", and "Braingirl's Brain"), as directed by Marina Zurkow; "Gold-n-Boy," as directed by Bill Cahalan; "Places," directed by Kinya Hanada; "Between," directed by Tom Flemming; "Twin Killing," directed by Chris Ferrantello; "Karma Ghost," directed by Billy Blob; "Julius and Friends" (1 episode: "Yeti, Set, Go"), directed by Paul Frank; "Gone Bad" ("Episode 2"), directed by Marco Bertoldo.
While the New Forms section will present: "Priviledge," directed by Jay
Murphy; "More Inc.," as directed by Wesley Meyer; "Fossil," as directed by Brian McClave; "Carny Tales," as directed by Scott Smith; "360 Degrees," as directed by Sue Johnson and Alison Corn.
Viewers who log on to view projects will be able to submit ratings to
determine the winners of he Viewer's Awards which will be announced at the
Sundance Festival in Park City.
"We are excited to continue exhibiting and supporting the work of new media
artists, and by doing so we can begin to understand the vast potential of
the internet as a serious avenue for creative expression." commented
Sundance Institute programmer Trevor Groth in a prepared statement. "The dynamic quality of this year's group shows that these artists have arrived
and are going to leave their mark on this new frontier."
AtomFilms is on board as the principal sponsor for the 2002 Sundance Online
Film Festival, providing site design, hosting and promotion for the fest.
>> "Flower Island" Blooms in Pusan
(indieWIRE/11.19.01) -- Song Il Gon's "Flower Island" was the runaway
favorite at the 6th Pusan International Film Festival (Nov. 9-17), the
world's premier event for new Asian film held each year in Korea which ended
on Saturday. "Flower Island" won the $10,000 New Currents Award for an
emerging Asian filmmaker "for its adventurous and complex exploration of
women's strength in modernizing Asian societies," according to a press
release. The film also won the festival's Audience Award and received the
FIPRESCI Prize for "its remarkable direction in creating the interior
universe of three women, and for its fine performances," according to a jury
Other honorees included Jeong Jea Eun's "Take Care of My Cat," another tale of contemporary women, which was a special mention in the New Currents
section and winner of Best New Korean film. Hur Jun Ho's "One Fine Spring
Day," was a FIPRESCI runner-up. Yim Soon Rye's "Waikiki Brothers" and Kim Ki-duk's "Bad Guy," both received special mentions in the race for Best Korean film. Kim Jeong-Gu's "Hard Romance" won the prize for best short and Hwang Yun's "Farewell" was named best documentary.
Festival attendance dropped by 40,000 from last year, with 201 films
screening from 60 countries. During the Pusan Promotion Plan, a 4-day
market, approximately 400 meetings took place, according to the festival,
with financial awards given out to promising projects: Korean director Kim
Ki-duk's next project "Bow" and Taiwanese director Lin Cheng-sheng's "The Moon Also Rises" were co-awarded the $10,000 Pusan Fund award. Hong Kong
director Danny Pang's "Nothing to Lose" received the $10,000 KTB Award and Iranian director Kambozia Partovi's "Truck" received a $10,000 grant. The Kodak Award, worth $20,000 in services, went to Chinese director Liu
Bingjian's "Cry Woman" and Korean director Lee Chang-dong's "Oasis" won the Mybi Award, worth 10,000,000 Korean won. [Anthony Kaufman]
>> Partying Down and Chatting Up "The Fluffer"
(indieWIRE/11.19.01) -- "Everybody's a fluffer," retorted writer-director
Wash West who wrote, and along with Richard Glatzer, directed First Run Features and TLA Releasing's "The Fluffer," during an event for the New York opening of the film at a Gotham club late last week. The film, starring
Michael Cunio ("Motorcrossed") and Scott Gurney ("The Socratic Method") centers on recent L.A. transplant Sean (Cunio) who mistakenly rents a porn
and subsequently finds himself hypnotized by adult superstar Johnny Rebel
(Gurney). Of course, this is the city of dreams and Sean gets a gig working
as a camera boy for the same production company that produces all of Rebel's
During a shoot in the Hollywood Hills one afternoon, Sean nervously
approaches Rebel who, during a break between scenes, is engaged in an
activity to maintain his "stamina." Fearing his efforts are not working,
Rebel asks Sean for some help. The eager fan naturally falls to his knees
and obliges, thus, taking on the role of Johnny Rebel's fluffer. The plot
thickens as Sean's obsession with the porn star grows complicated by the
fact Rebel has a beautiful pregnant stripper girlfriend (Roxanne Day), not
to mention a degenerating drug habit.
While the term "fluffer" is most often associated with the porn industry,
West manages to raise the ante a notch. In a conversation with indieWIRE at
one of Manhattan's gay mega-bars, Splash, the director explained, "'Fluffer'
is sort of a metaphor. Waiters are fluffing for tips and everyone is
fluffing for something." When asked how the activity 'to fluff' became of
interest to him, Westmoreland, who was born in the U.K. and recently became
a U.S. citizen, explained that he learned about it at age 29 while reading
porn legend Linda Lovelace's book, "Ordeal."
Still, Wash Westmoreland seemed especially enthralled with the idea of
'fluffing' in a macro sense, concluding, "Tony Blair (the British Prime
Minister) is George Bush's biggest fluffer." The film is currently screening
at the Quad on 13th Street. [Brian Brooks]