DAILY NEWS UPDATE: Pop.com/IFILM Deal is Off, Also Telluride Reveals Pix and the IFP Plans Its Market
by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
>> IFILM and POP Deal Off; Dotcom Biz Buzzing Over Fate of Pop.com
(indieWIRE/ 9.1.00) -- An email message from IFILM CEO Kevin Wendle to
his staff today touched off a round of speculation as the executive
indicated that the negotiations with with Pop.com have ended without
"As you know, we have been in discussions with Pop.com," Wendle wrote
in an email message to his staff which was sent to indieWIRE. "Those
discussions have ended and have not resulted in a transaction."
Perhaps referring to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, a financer behind
both Pop.com and IFILM, Wendle continued, "The companies will continue
to enjoy many overlapping shareholding and personal relationships."
As word spread throughout the dotcom and entertainment communities,
many speculated about the future of Pop.com and its catalog of short
films and other work. While a deal with AtomFilms has been rumored
on numerous occassions, Atom CEO Mika Salmi put that to rest, telling
indieWIRE that his discussions with the yet-to-launch site did not
result in a pact. While not commenting on past negotiations in detail,
he made it clear that a deal between Pop.com and AtomFilms is not
likely in the future.
Another rumored suitor for Pop.com if the IFILM pact died, according
to Hollywood trade reports, was CreativePlanet.com. However in a
conversation with indieWIRE late this afternoon, CEO Allen DeBevoise
clearly indicated that no such deal is likely.
"We have actually never talked with them," DeBevoise told indieWIRE,
"We are a business to business player, I don't know what we would do
With the Labor Weekend underway and a number of execs out of the
office early on Friday, additional details were not easy to come by.
A request for comment from Pop.com was not returned by the end of
the day. [Eugene Hernandez]
[The next edition of indieWIRE will be publised on Tuesday,
>> Telluride Unveils Lineup for Labor Weekend Festival; Debuts from Burns, Pacino and Others
(indieWIRE/ 9.1.00) -- Aficionados and executives are again converging on
the small mountain village of Telluride, Colorado for a weekend of movies
and tributes. As the Labor Day tradition enters its 27th year, organizers
revealed the secret lineup yesterday afternoon.
Among the debuts are Ken Burns' latest documentary, "Jazz" -- a world
premiere of the twenty hour musical history project. Among the other debuts are Al Pacino's "Chinese Coffee," co-starring Jerry Orbach, Phillip Kaufman's "Quills," starring stars Geoffrey Rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, and Michael Caine, Bob Giraldi's "Dinner Rush," surveying a look at a day at a TriBeCa restaurant, and George Butler's "The Endurance," about the first successful crossing of Antartica by ship.
"The Telluride Film Festival is known for its feeling of family and
community. As we enter the new century this year, many of our family
members such as Ken Burns, Barbet Schroeder, and Paul Schrader have come home to introduce their new projects. At the same time, we are also thrilled
to welcome filmmakers like Bob Giraldi and Bahman Ghobadi; new faces who we hope will continue to return year after year," commented Festival Director
Bill Pence. "Plus we are honored that Elmore Leonard has chosen to
celebrate his birthday here at the Festival with a once-in-a-lifetime
Honorees at this year's Festival will include filmmakers Ang Lee, director
of "Wedding Banquet," "Sense and Sensibility," "The Ice Storm" and the upcoming "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," actor Stellan Skarsgard
("Breaking the Waves," "Amistad"), accompanied by his new film, "Aberdeen," and also a tribute to Korean director Im Kwon-Taek ("Come Come Upwards," "The Taebeck Mountains"), with a screening of his new film, "Chunhyang." Also set to be honored is producer Serge Silberman, known for his work with Luis Bunuel ("The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie").
Other highlights include Guest Director Edgardo Cozarinsky's presentation of
a selection of films examining "issues of dislacement" and a celebration
with Elmore Leonard on-hand to mark his 75th birthday, including a
discussion and a selection of clips from adaptations of his work: "Out of
Sight," "Get Shorty," and "3:10 To Yuma."
Among other films set to screen this weekend are E. Elias Merhige's "Shadow
of the Vampire" along with a showing of F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu," John Berry's "Boesman and Lena," Bahman Ghobadi's "A Time of Drunken Horses," Barbet Schroeder's "Our Lady of the Assassins," Paul Cox' "Innocence," Kristian Levring's "The King is Alive," Kevin Macdonald's "One Day in September," Patrice Leconte's "The Widow of St. Pierre," Edward Yang's "Yi Yi," and a screening of the restored William Wyler film, "Hell's Heroes."
>> Sporting a New Name and More Works in Progress, "The Market" Gears Up
(indieWIRE/ 9.1.00) -- The changes may seem subtle, hardly noticeable to
the naked eye, but in two weeks the IFP will kick-off a somewhat different
Market. One that offers less finished work and one that is actively
embracing online opportunities even as the impact that the dotcom will have
on festivals and markets remains a big question.
First off, the name has quietly changed. No longer is the annual Market
known as the IFFM (or Independent Feature Film Market), now it is called
simply, The IFP Market. A matter of branding and to avoid confusion
explained IFP Market Director Milton Tabbot in a conversation with
"It happened this year, we've gone through a period where we are developing
a new corporate image," offered Tabbot, "Some people haven't even known the
difference bettween the IFFM and the IFP."
Works-in-Progress are without a doubt a big story this year, according to
Tabbot. While The Market trimmed its overall selections last year, more than
70 dramatic and nearly 80 doc works-in-progress will screen this year. In
part the move came as a result of more video screening space at the
Angelika. Of course, as Tabbot admits, with the onset of more and more
digital video (DV) production, the definition of what is a work-in-progress
and what is a finished project can be debatable -- an issue that he
explained the IFP will have to address in the future.
Again this year,IFP market organizers are singling out a handful of
works-in-progress for the "Rough Cuts" section. Five films from each group
of works-in progress (narrative and documentary) will comprise the IFP
Market Rough Cuts. In the doc section are Stephen Ives' "The Amato Opera," Alexandra Shiva, Sean Macdonald and Michelle Gucovsky's "Bombay Eunuch," Edet Belzberg's "Children Underground," Mitko Panov's "Comrades," and J.J. Martin's "The Self-Destruction of Gia." While in the narrative section are Eva Ilona Brzeski's "Last Seen," Jim Swaffield's "The Legend of the Cornbomb Space," Christopher Hermann's" Martha's World: A Legend Never Dies," Yale
Strom's "On the Q.T.," and Joe Maggio's "Virgil Bliss."
"This is one of the few places where we single out (projects)," explained
Tabbot, discussing the Rough Cuts section, "Because we think there is
something special about them -- they are marketable or there is something
inherently interesting about them in some way."
Notably, The Market will explore dotcom opportunities this year, making its
first major move online. In conjunction with Reelplay.com, the IFP is
offering detailed info, and in many cases streaming clips or trailers, of
all Market projects. Additionally, according to Tabbot, The Market will
offer an "Online Showcase," streaming two complete shorts, two complete
works-in-progress and 20 minutes each from a narrative feature and a
documentary -- with all six projects available on the Internet to anyone
anywhere during the three days of The Market.
As Festivals, and now markets, come to terms with their future in the dotcom
environment, the challenges are quite apparent to organizers including
"We are all wondering what the market of the future will be," commented
Tabbot. "Increasingly there will be some sort of online version of The
Market, but this is first time we are doing this."
To accommodate increasing interest from dotcom companies, The Market will
expand its new media lounge and move it to Soho's Puck Building, with
sponsoring companies offering displays and demos at a site that will double
as a "hangout space" for attendees, Tabbot indicated. Organizers are also
moving seminar to the Puck this year.
In total, The Market will offer nearly 500 projects this year (features,
works-in-progress, scripts) for the more than 400 registered companies and
selected press attending. [Eugene Hernandez]