DAILY NEWS: "Titus" to Searchlight"; HBO/IDA Showcase Docs in NYC; FilmArts Fest in SF
by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
>> Fox Searchlight Nabs Taymor's "Titus"
Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired the domestic distribution rights to
Julie Taymor's feature film directorial debut, "Titus." Searchlight and
Paul G. Allen's Clear Blue Sky Productions, which produced and financed the
film, announced the pact yesterday. Co-Executive producers Ellen and
Robbie Little of Overseas Filmgroup are handling the film's sales. The
movie was executive produced by Paul Allen. The deal marks a reunion of
sorts for Taymor and Fox Searchlight President Lindsay Law who produced the
director's TV, "Hop-Frog," when he was president of American Playhouse.
"Titus," which was produced by Clear Blue Sky president Jody Patton,
Conchita Airoldi and Julie Taymor, stars Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange,
Alan Cumming, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Angus Macfadyen, Harry Lennix and
Matthew Rhys. It is set to open later this year and expand early next year.
Taymor won two Tony Awards for the Broadway version of "The Lion King" and
she directed the 1995 stage version of Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus."
>> HBO and IDA Team for Second "Frame by Frame" Doc Showcase
Twenty-three documentaries will be showcased over the next two weeks as part
of an event at the Screening Room in New York City, presented by HBO and
the International Documentary Association (IDA). Dubbed, "Frame by Frame,"
the program will offer screenings of new docs by established and
up-and-coming docmakers. Most of the movies have either been produced by
HBO, or will air on HBO or Cinemax. Rory Kennedy's "American Hollow,"
which debuted at Sundance, will kick off the event at a special invitation
only event tonight -- it debuts on HBO next month.
In a conversation with indieWIRE yesterday, HBO's vice-president of
original documentary programming Nancy Abraham explained that the event is
a rare opportunity to showcase documentaries in a theatrical environment.
In creating an event to complement IDA's LA "Doctober" showcase, HBO is
seeking to "cultivate a bigger audience, or a new audience for these
films," explained Abraham, "New York seemed like the right place to do
it." Additionally, HBO will use the event as an opportunity to meet
Academy theatrical screening requirements for a handful of movies that will
be eligible for Oscar consideration, including William Whiteford's "King
Gimp," Henry Corra and Grahame Weinbren's "George," Joanna Lipper's
"Growing Up Fast," Haskell Wexler's "Bus Riders Union," Michael
Wilkerson's "The Tulsa Lynchings of 1921: A Hidden Story," and Dan Collison
and Tom Jennings' "Scenes from a Transplant."
Other films set to screen are Alan and Susan Raymond's "Children in War,"
Paola di Florio's "Speaking in Strings," Dean Ward's "Let Me In, I Hear
Laughter...A Salute to the Friars," Bennett Miller's "The Cruise," Doug
Block's "Home Page," and Nick Broomfield's "Kurt and Courtney," among
[For more information, call (212) 512-7660 or visit the festival's website at:
>> S.F. Film Arts Fest's Apocalyptic Lineup
With program themes like "Paranoia," "Sabotage" and "Crackpots," the 15th
Annual Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema is sure to go off with a
millennial bang. The doggedly experimental festival opens November 3rd in San
Francisco with Craig Baldwin's appropriately apocalyptic found-footage
thriller "Spectres of the Spectrum," and closes November 10th with a surprise
multimedia meltdown by the silt group.
Presented by the venerable Film Arts Foundation--currently celebrating its
23rd year as the hub of Bay Area indie filmmaking--the fest has scheduled
85 new works made by northern Californian directors. Eight of the 72 shorts
and one feature were made with the backing of the FAF Grants Program.
Among the world premieres are two documentary features of a less
experimental nature: Brian Lanker's "They Drew Fire," a film detailing the
lives of several World War II soldiers commissioned to paint battle scenes
from the front lines; and David L. Brown's "Surfing for Life," which
follows six elderly surf veterans still searching for the perfect wave.
Other preems include Kurt Keppeler's "Metalman," Sharif Nakhleh's
"Motel," and Khmasea Hoa Bristol's "Industrial Bodies." [Carl Russo]
[For more information visit the Film Arts Festival web site at: