Toronto Winners & Festival Biz; AMMI Cinematography; and indieWIRE: BUZZ
by Eugene Hernandez, Wendy Mitchell and Erin Torneo/indieWIRE
>> ON THE SCENE TORONTO 2002: 27th Toronto International Film Fest Wraps with Awards
(indieWIRE: 09.15.02) -- The 2002 Toronto International Film Festival
ended with an awards brunch this morning at the Four Seasons Hotel
in Toronto. The winner of the People's Choice Award, the festival's top prize,
was presented to Niki Caro's "Whale Rider." Runners-up were Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" and Gurinder Chadha's "Bend it Like Beckham."
The Discovery Award, selected by the press, went to Peter Mullan's "The
Magdalene Sisters." Film critics presented the Fipresci prize to Gael
Morel's "Les Chemins de l'oued," with an honorable mention for Susanne Bier's "Open Hearts" (Dogme). The Visions Award went to Russian filmmaker
Alexandr Sokurov for "Russian Ark," with a special citation for Fernando Meirelles' "City of God" and Gus Van Sant's "Gerry."
David Cronenberg's "Spider" won the award for best Canadian feature, while
the award for best Canadian first feature went to Wiebke von Carolsfeld's
"Marion Bridge." And, Ann Marie Fleming's "Blue Skies" won the award for best
Canadian short film. [Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks in Toronto]
[A full report on the final weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival
will be published in tomorrow's edition of indieWIRE.]
>> ON THE SCENE TORONTO 2002: Buying On Bloor (and on Bay); Industry Keeps Busy Amidst Fest Changes
(indieWIRE: 09.13.02) -- Deal-making continued in Toronto as the business
week came to a close. Chen Kaige's "Together" was acquired in the biggest
deal of the festival so far. United Artists chief Bingham Ray confirmed the
pact in a conversation with indieWIRE last night. Trade reports pegged the
contract at $1.5 million.
Among other deals this week, IFC Films nabbed Jean-Pierre Limosin's "Novo"
from Celluloid Dreams in advance of last night's first public screening. The
movie, from a screenplay by Christophe Honore and Jean-Pierre Limosin, stars
Eduardo Noriega as a photocopy clerk with no long-term memory.
Newmarket's new distribution company was active in its first festival.
Headed by Bob Berney, the company sealed deals for Jonas Akerlund's "Spun"
and Susanne Bier's "Open Hearts" (Elsker dig for evigt) from Denmark.
Films expected to close North American deals out of the festival
include Jim Simpson's September 11 story, "The Guys," Tian Zuangzuang's
"Springtime in a Small Town" (Xiao Cheng Zhi Chun) from China, "The Eye"
(Gin Gwai) from twin directors Oxide and Danny Pang, Jeff Blitz' doc
Spellbound," and Alan Rudolph's "The Secret Lives of Dentists." Larry Clark
and Ed Lachman's "Ken Park" remains a question mark for U.S. distribution,
given its explicit sex scenes.
It was a year of change for the biz side of the Toronto International Film
Festival. The Rogers Industry Centre, home of all biz activity, moved to the
Sutton Place leaving the event without a heart as press facilities remained
a 15- to 20-minute walk away over at the Four Seasons. Many European buyers
and sellers were housed at the Sutton Place while American industry types
lodged near the Four Seasons, at the Hotel Intercontinental, and at the Park
Hyatt, last year's industry center home. Professional attendees grumbled
about the split and remain hopeful that a unified venue will be found for
"There were growing pains this year," one leading industry exec told
indieWIRE yesterday, citing logistical problems and overcrowded screenings.
"The festival is partly a victim of its own success." Yet, the player
remained confident that organizers will react quickly and make changes as
they have in the past.
Wouter Barendrecht of Fortissimo Film Sales saw a jump in business in
Toronto this year and noticed a long-anticipated optimism in the market. "A
year after September 11, people are back and buying films," Barendrecht told
indieWIRE yesterday. "Finally we seem to slowly get this past us." [Eugene
Hernandez in Toronto]
>> AMMI Set To Kick Off Cinematography Bonanza
(indieWIRE: 09.13.02) -- Beginning tomorrow, the American Museum of the
Moving Image in Queens, New York will begin its second annual "Master Class:
The Art of Cinematography." Four leading cinematographers will participate
in the intensive series of screenings and discussions, held every Saturday
and Sunday through the end of the September. The program will pay tribute to
such legendary directors of photography as Gordon Willis (best known for
"The Godfather" films), who will present and discuss his work on "Pennies
from Heaven," "All the President's Men," and "The Purple Rose of Cairo"; and
Conrad Hall ("Road to Perdition," "American Beauty"), who will introduce
"Day of the Locust," "In Cold Blood," and "Searching for Bobby Fischer".
Representing the younger generation of innovative cinematographers are Ed
Lachman and Ellen Kuras. Lachman, who collaborated on Todd Haynes' upcoming
festival fave "Far From Heaven," will introduce Steven Soderbergh's "The
Limey" and show clips from other recent films. Ellen Kuras will present
Sundance double-winner "Personal Velocity" and "Summer of Sam," and talk
about her collaboration with Spike Lee, her award-winning forays into
digital video and her work on other studio projects.
"The cinematographers featured in this year's Master Class have worked both
inside and outside the Hollywood system, yet each has maintained a distinct
voice and style," said chief film curator David Schwartz in a prepared
statement. "The master class series offers a unique opportunity for the
public to meet these remarkable artists, and see some of their finest work."
Tickets are available at $16/day for the public, $10 for Museum members. A
special $40 series ticket good for all screenings is available for members
only. For a complete schedule of programs, visit www.ammi.org or call
As part of a special three-part series on female cinematographers, indieWIRE
will feature in-depth interviews over the next few months with Master Class
participants Kuras, Lisa Rinzler ("Three Seasons," "Pollock," "Love
Liza"), and Maryse Alberti ("Poison," "Crumb," "The Guys"), discussing their
most recent projects. [Erin Torneo]
>> indieWIRE: BUZZ for Friday, September 13
indieWIRE presents its weekly column focusing on recent items on the radar
in the indie film community.
P.O.V. VISITS JASPER: The doc "Two Towns of Jasper," which has been drawing
steady acclaim on the festival circuit, has been picked up by PBS' "P.O.V."
and will have its broadcast premiere on January 22. Whitney Dow and Marco
Williams directed "Jasper" and used an unusual filming approach. To study
the emotional and political climate of Jasper, Texas, during the trial for
the murder of James Byrd, Jr., Williams filmed the black community while Dow
filmed the white community. The National Black Programming Consortia is also
helping to present the broadcast, and the NBPC is also co-presenting
P.O.V.'s final film of the season, "Brother Outsider: The Bayard Rustin
GOTHAM FOR GRABS: Finally, all that money you're wasting on eBay could
benefit a cause close to your heart. The IFP Gotham Awards Online Charity
Auction is running on eBay through October 1 (and there will also be several
items up for silent auction during the September 26 Gotham Awards). Items
currently up for bid include a trip to AMC's Movie Camp (a one-week
movie-making course from AMC and the New York Film Academy), Tribeca Film
Festival memorabilia, and an IFC "Dinner for Five" poster signed by Jon
Favreau (amusingly touted as "A must for the collection of any autograph
seeker!"). Other offerings may include signed scripts, premiere tickets, or
wardrobe items. All proceeds benefit the IFP New York's diversity
initiatives such as Project Involve/New York and the Gordon Parks
Independent Film Award. For details, visit ifp.org and click on the Gotham
Awards Auction button.
THE JOHN & ROSIE SHOW: In other Gotham Awards news, the IFP announced that
John Turturro and Rosie Perez will host this year's event (marking the
first times the ceremony has had co-hosts). The organization named
fashionista Miuccia Prada the Gotham honorary chair. The awards ceremony
will be held September 26 at Chelsea Piers in New York, and it will air on
Bravo on September 29. Last year's host was the inimitable Andy Dick.
GRANTS THE "HARD" WAY: Cynthia Plaster Caster, the groupie/"outsider artist"
who is known for her famed castings of rock star genitalia, has created a
not-for-profit organization to raise money for artists, musicians, and
filmmakers. Money for the Cynthia P Caster Foundation's grants will be
raised from straight donations as well as sales of T-shirts, drawings and
her infamous castings, including a Jimi Hendrix member that starts at $1500.
(Feminists will be happy to hear that Ms. Caster is also now casting
breasts.) Interested art enthusiasts looking for something new for the
mantel, or filmmakers looking for funds, can visit cynthiapcaster.org for
FUNDS IN FLA.: Florida's Enzian Theater, one of a very few certifiably cool
things in Orlando, has been awarded a $30,000 grant by the Darden Restaurant
Foundation. The theater will use the money for renovations and to continue
to produce Popcorn Flicks in Winter Park, a series of screenings of classic
movies (with free popcorn). Scheduled renovations at the Enzian, which hosts
the annual Florida Film Festival, include seat replacements. The theater has
been around for more than 17 years, and says it has served more than 900,000
SPOTTED IN TORONTO
Outside of the Church of the Redeemer in Toronto, filmmaker Francis Ford
Coppola with United Artists chief Bingham Ray. The pair posed for a quick
photo for indieWIRE's iPOP section (see today's iPOP page), and Coppola
signed a few autographs before heading off to a late-night meeting with Ray
to discuss a new project.
French superstar Catherine Denueve holding court in a booth at Rosewater,
for Focus Features' intimate party following the gala screening of Francois
Ozon's "8 Women." We commented that this beautiful diva could teach a course
in how to smoke a cigarette.
Sundance Film Festival director Geoff Gilmore and Sony Pictures Classics
co-president Tom Bernard in a heated conversation over late-night drinks at
Toronto watering hole Bistro 990. We also spotted Gilmore kissing Sony
Pictures Classics co-president Tom Bernard on the cheek at Sony's party at
Gus (see iPOP photo) a day later.
"Oh, they look at you as though they're listening to you, the writer, as you
make the sounds we associate with speech; but really they're waiting,
thinking private thoughts about fingernail colors and evening traffic on the
Ventura Freeway, waiting to see if the director is listening to you. And
then they listen to the director."
-- In the New York Times, "Traffic" writer and "Abandon" director Stephen
Gaghan writes about how screenwriters get no respect.