DAILY NEWS: Venice 2002 Line up; Sony Gets Shane Meadows' Film; and the LA Latino Fest Winners
by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE with an article by David
>> "Frida" Set to Open 59th Venice Festival; de Hadeln Sets Slate for Revamped Event
(indieWIRE: 07.31.02) -- The 59th Mostra Internazionale d'Arte
Cinematografica, also known as the Venice Film Festival, will kick off on
the Lido in Venice on August 29 with Julie Taymor's latest, "Frida." Franco Bernabe of la Biennale di Venezia and new Venice Film Festival director Moritz de Hadeln unveiled plans for the re-defined event at a press
conference in Rome yesterday.
Moritz de Hadeln, who joined the Venice fest team just a few months ago,
admitted in an prepared introduction yesterday that organizing the fest on
such short notice was a supreme challenge. "As of February everything -- or
almost -- was in a semi-lethargic state," offered de Hadeln, a 22-year
veteran of the Berlin Film Festival. With regard to the film selections, he
added, "Above all, we have given priority to quality, originality and
talent, without being influenced by prejudices."
Five sections make up this year's Venice Film Festival: Venice 59 (Venezia
59), Upstream (Controcorrente), New Territories (Nuovi Territori),
International Critics' Week (SIC Settimana Internazionale della Critica),
and The Venice Screenings. De Hadeln has decided to maintain the parallel
competitions created by previous festival director Alberto Barbera, with the
new "Controcorrente" section offering films that are "of a more innovative
Among those in the two competition sections this year are Stephen Daldry's
"The Hours," Stephen Frears' "Dirty Pretty Things," Agnieszka Holland's "Julie Walking Home," Takeshi Kitano's "Dolls," Patrice Leconte "L'homme du Train," Tonie Marshall's "Au Plus Pres du Paradis," Sam Mendes' "Road to Perdition," Peter Mullan's "The Magdalene Sisters," Taymor's "Frida," Claire
Denis' "Vendredi soir," Lukas Moodysson's "Lilja 4-Ever," Arturo Ripstein's "La Virgen de la Lujuria," and Stephen Soderbergh's "Full Frontal."
The Venice Screenings section is a section for industry attendees. "Cinema
is both art and industry, and consequently cannot ignore economic trends,"
offered de Hadeln, "Whence the idea of Venice Screenings, organized by the
Industry Office for the buyers in attendance, hopefully in increasing
numbers. Even though the Mostra comes under the Biennale, the film market
cannot be ignored."
Among the special screenings at this year's Venice Film Festival are Kathryn
Bigelow's "K-19: The Widowmaker," Clint Eastwood's "Bloodwork," John Malkovich's "Dancer Upstairs," Edoardo Ponti's "Between Strangers," and the anticipated new film from Todd Haynes, "Far From Heaven."
All eyes will be on de Hadeln and the other Venice organizers this year, in
light of the recent political upheaval that lead to the departure of
Barbera. Commenting on the planning, and begging the patience of cynics, de
Hadeln added with trademark frankness, "As regards the organization, some
areas will undeniably remain shady. In the often Byzantine meanders of the
old traditions of the lagoon, the weight of routine and bureaucracy are not
easily transformed in four or five months!" [Eugene Hernandez]
GET THE VENICE 2002 FILM FEST LINEUP @ indieWIRE.com
>> Sony Classics Picks Up Rights to "Once Upon a Time in the Midlands"
(indieWIRE: 07.31.02) -- Sony Pictures Classics acquired the rights to Shane
Meadows' romantic family saga "Once Upon a Time in the Midlands" from FilmFour for distribution in North America, New Zealand, Australia, and Latin America, the companies announced recently. The British comedy is described in a
release as "social realism meets the spaghetti western."
Starring Robert Carlyle, Rhys Ifans, Kathy Burke, and Shirley Henderson, the film screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival. The film portrays a love-triangle in which Dek (Ifans) embarrasses Shirley (Hendersen) with a proposal via television, which results in her
refusal. Ex-boyfriend Jimmy (Carlyle) then arrives in town to win her back,
but faces Dek, eager for a confrontation.
"Shane Meadows is a truly gifted storyteller," said Paul Webster, chief
executive of FilmFour Ltd., in a prepared statement. "You've only got to
look at his name to know he knows how to shoot a Western, even if it is set
in the wild East Midlands of England." The film is produced by Andrea
Calderwood of Slate Films with financing from FilmFour.
FilmFour's parent, Channel 4, recently announced it will greatly reduce the
size of its British-based film unit. [Brian Brooks]
>> "La Fuga" Takes Top Honors At LA Latino Fest
(indieWIRE: 07.31.02) -- Argentinian director Eduardo Mignona's "La Fuga"
(The Escape) won the best picture and best script prizes at the sixth annual
Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, which ended on Sunday. The film
tells the story of a group of inmates who manage to escape from the National
Penitentiary in Buenos Aires. The LALIFF's best director award went to Brazil's
Luis Fernando Carvalho for his film "Lavoura Arcaica" (To the Left of the
Father), which illustrates the struggles of a family of Lebanese immigrants
in Brazil. Felix Zurita's "El Chogui" was awarded best documentary.
Festival cofounder Edward James Olmos was onhand at the closing night event
to announce winners.
For more information about the Latino International Film Festival and this
year's festival winners log on to www.latinofilm.org. [David Lieberman]
>> TUESDAY IN indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: Evans Atop Specialty Box Office; "Flute Player" Doc Wins Grant
(indieWIRE: 07.30.02) -- A pair of docs were among the new indie/specialty
films that debuted over the weekend. Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen's "The
Kid Stays in the Picture" from Focus Features, earned blockbuster limited
release grosses on opening weekend; And, And, Christine Courtney and Jocelyn
Glatzer are the recipients of the eighth annual Roy W. Dean film grant for
their documentary "The Flute Player."
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