DAILY NEWS: Viz Films, Tidepoint To Distribute Japanese Films; Zeiger Goes Back To High School
by Maya Churi
>> Viz Films Teams with Tidepoint Pictures to Distribute Japanese Feature Films in North America
Two San Francisco based companies have entered into a partnership that will
be dedicated solely to the distribution of live-action Japanese films to
U.S. and Canadian markets. The two companies released last year's highly
acclaimed "Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald" which is still being exhibited in
theatres around the U.S. and is planning on distributing several more films
in 2000. Next year's line-up includes "The Most Terrible Time in My Life"
by Kaizo Hayashi, starring Masatoshi Nagase ("Cold Fever," "Mystery Train") and "We Are Not Alone" by Yojiro Takita, starring Tsutomu Yamazaki ("Ran," "Tampopo"). Following the films' theatrical distribution, Viz Films will release the titles on video. Viz Films is the live-action feature film division of Viz Communications, a leading U.S. publisher of
Japanese animation and comics. Tidepoint Pictures has been a production
and distribution company of Japanese and American films for more than 15 years.
>>2000 The Year of The Highschool
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has given the greenlight (in the
form of a $600,000 production grant) to "Senior Year," an extensive
documentary project which will match six recent graduates from UCLA and USC film schools with a diverse group of Fairfax High School teenagers in order to document their senior year. The project is being Executive Produced and
Directed by filmmaker David Zeiger ("The Band"). According to a prepared release about the project, Fairfax High in Hollywood is "the most
ethnically and culturally diverse high school in Los Angeles," with a student body that includes Anglo, Latino, African American and Asian students. Among the many students Zeiger and his team are following are: a first generation Mexican American graffiti artist; an exceptionally bright student diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder; a student who plans on finding her father who she hasn't seen since she was six; a Russian immigrant who is also a top student, and a gay male student from the Philippines who is both a cheerleader and an ROTC cadet. In its final form "Senior Year" will be presented as a series. Zeiger's production company, Displaced Films, is also in post-production on "Funny Old Guys," a documentary about a group of aging Hollywood television writers.