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August 22, 2000 2:00 AM
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DAILY NEWS: Vancouver Fest; and Considering the Future As Indies Embrace Online Opportunities

Vancouver Fest; and Considering the Future As Indies Embrace Online Opportunities




by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE, with a guest editorial by Jeremy Kehoe and a letter from a reader


>> Vancouver Fest Unveils Plans for 2000 Event

(indieWIRE/ 8.22.00) -- Organizers of the 19th Vancouver International Film
Festival
announced that their event will open on September 21st with a
screening of Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." While the Festival will close with the Canadian premiere of Lars von Trier's "Dancer in the
Dark
" on October 5th.


"These two films will book-end the festival in exceptional style," commented
Festival Director Alan Franey in a prepared statement. "Although they could
not be more different from each other, they are both spectacles of movement
and feeling. Aiming to brace and entertain, they celebrate and reinvent the
grand traditions of the cinema."


The 2000 Vancouver Fest will offer five main programs, according to Franey:
Dragons and Tigers: The Cinemas of East Asia, Canadian Images, Nonfiction
Features of 2000, Cinema of Our Time, and Walk on the Wild Side. Also
included will be a spotlight on Iranian cinema. [Eugene Hernandez]


[For more information, visit:
http://www.viff.org.]


>> GUEST EDITORIAL Challenges for Internet Movies in the post-Napster Entertainment Industry


by Jeremy Kehoe


(indieWIRE/ 8.22.00) -- In the film, "The Jerk," Steve Martin rushes giddily through his front yard screaming with unabated glee as a delivery truck rolls away, "The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!"


Over the past half-decade, hordes of entrepreneurs have gushed onto the
Internet with much the same enthusiasm, selling everything from scrub
brushes to stock tips, and promising to use the Web to "revolutionize" their
respective industries.


But as promises of profitability cede to shareholder demands for solid
returns, the self-proclaimed industry cognoscenti have begun to shy away
from their bold NASDAQ ventures back to their I-told-you-so,
brick-and-mortar Dow Jones blue chips.


Nowhere is this shuffle more evident than in the entertainment industry,
where the much-ballyhooed recent "dot-coming" of the Cannes Market has
created as much skepticism as optimism as the market struggles to cope with
a new host of technological and economic challenges.


Look no further than the music industry. There, at the behest of the
Recording Industry Assn. of America (RIAA), a U.S. federal judge's ruling to
prohibit Napster from allowing users to download and swap songs from its
site could likely force that company to close its doors.


That ruling, however, has created a groundswell of grassroots backlash and a
flurry of site traffic, with some users actually taking a sick day from work
just to download music from Napster before the initial, court-imposed
deadline.


While an appeals court has awarded Napster a stay of execution, the RIAA now
finds itself with the unenviable task of, "What now? Do we spend the next 12
months hunting down Napster substitutes and teaching them the current
copyright restrictions? Can we litigate against every site?"


The global film industry has much to learn from the RIAA's thumb-in-the-dam
victory by addressing the challenges of a digital future, exploiting the
opportunities and resisting the ostrich-in-the-sand, don't-play-with-my-toys
business model as the world gets wired.


Lawsuits are not the answer. The digital age is here, and as technology
tears down time zones and eliminates distribution barriers, there will be
enough room for everyone

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