DAILY NEWS: Wellspring's Cho Plans; Cowboy/Prlexifilm Pick up Wilco Pic; The Figures for Last Week and AFF Plans
with articles by Eugene Hernandez, Brian Brooks, Wendy Mitchell and Jacque Lynn Schiller/indieWIRE
>> "Notorious C.H.O." is the One That Wellspring Wants
(indieWIRE/04.23.02) -- Wellspring Media has announced their second
collaboration with comedian Margaret Cho, acquiring the worldwide rights to
her new film "Notorious C.H.O." The film was shot during Cho's 2001-2002 North
"The film is raunchy and wickedly funny," commented Wellspring's Senior Vice
President of Acquisitions, Krysanne Katsoolis. "Her performance is filled
with smart, raw material."
"Notorious" will debut in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco on July
4 before expanding to cities nationwide throughout the summer.
[Jacque Lynn Schiller]
>> Cowboy, Plexifilm Acquire Wilco Documentary; Plan July Opening
(indieWIRE: 04.23.02) -- Cowboy Pictures and Plexifilm have jointly acquired Sam Jones' "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart," and the companies plan to open the film in New York City on July 26, with a national rollout to follow in August and September. The black-and-white documentary about the
alternative-country/pop band Wilco was produced by Fusion Films in
association with Experience Music Project. Cowboy and Plexifilm jointly
acquired rights for U.S. and Canada, and Cowboy will handle the theatrical
Jones, a magazine photographer and commercial director making his feature
debut, set out to make a documentary about the Chicago-based band's progress
in the course of recording its anticipated fourth album, "Yankee Hotel
Foxtrot." But the film soon took on a new level of drama when Wilco parted
ways with two original band members and when its record label, Warner Bros.
subsidiary Reprise, rejected the album and the band was forced to search for
another label to release it. (Nonesuch, which is ironically also a division
of AOL Time Warner, releases "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" today). The film's title
is taken from the album's first song.
"This is a movie about a band with a rabid fan base, but it's not a film
just for the fans," said Cowboy partner John Vanco in a prepared statement.
"Because of the dramatic real life events that Sam ran across when he was
shooting, the film's narrative arc, topicality, energy, and mature aesthetic
sense make it work, without qualification, as a great film for film fans in
general -- not just Wilco fans."
Wilco was formed by frontman Jeff Tweedy, one of two leading songwriters for
the pioneering alt-country band Uncle Tupelo, which disbanded in 1994. Wilco
also appeared in the documentary "Man in the Sand," about Wilco and Billy
Bragg's collaboration to record "lost" Woody Guthrie songs for two albums,
the Grammy-nominated "Mermaid Avenue" and its follow-up, "Mermaid Avenue Vol. 2." Tweedy also recently scored Ethan Hawke's "Chelsea Walls." [Wendy Mitchell]
[For more information about the film, visit www.wilcofilm.com or for more
information about the band, visit www.wilcoworld.net.]
>> "Y Tu Mama" Approaching $6 Million; "Nine Queens," "World Traveler," and "Chelsea Walls" Debut
(indieWIRE/04.23.02) -- IFC Films continued its success with the expansion
of the Spanish language hit "Y Tu Mama Tambien" this weekend, earning more
than $1 million on 243 screens. The Alphonso Cuaron film has a cumulative
gross of $5,849,751 since opening on March 15th.
Talking with indieWIRE yesterday, IFC senior vice president of marketing and
distribution Bob Berney expressed his satisfaction with the strength of the
film, adding that he expects the movie to stay strong amidst the coming
onslaught of studio blockbusters. "The core runs will grind all summer," he
offered. IFC also released "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" on 108 screens in 8
markets and earned nearly $600,000. The film was boosted by a major national
media campaign, including an appearance on "Live with Regis and Kelly" last
week by producer Rita Wilson.
Sony Pictures Classics opened its Argentine film, "Nine Queens," on five
screens, two in New York and three in Los Angeles. The movie earned $40,724,
about $8,000 per screen. Less successful were the debuts of ThinkFilm's
"World Traveler" and Lions Gate's "Chelsea Walls." Bart Freundlich's "Traveler," with Billy Crudup and Julianne Moore, grabbed $17,062 on 6 screens, while "Walls" earned $10,003 on 3 screens. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Atlanta Unveils Name Change and Line Up for Sixth Edition
(indieWIRE/04.23.02) -- The Atlanta Film Festival recently unveiled its
program for next month's event, which opens May 31 with a roster showcasing
150 works from around the world as well as retrospective films, awards, and
panels. Opening the nine-day fest at the Rich Auditorium is Finn Taylor's
("Dream with the Fishes") "Cherish," starring Robin Tunney ("Vertical Limit"). According to organizers, "Tunney plays a not-quite-fitting-in
semi-professional with a love for the pop songs of the 70s and 80s. In a
dead-end job with a bitchy boss (Liz Phair), she develops a serious interest
in a super-stud coworker (Jason Priestley) and her attempt to get to know
him becomes part romantic comedy, part thriller and part serious drama."
Other highlighted films set to screen at AFF, which changed its name this
year from the Atlanta Film & Video Festival, include youth-themed films such
as Peter Care's "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys," and Gary Winick's Sundance award-winning "Tadpole." Also screening is French director
Jacques Audiard's "Read My Lips" (Sur Mes Levres), described in a release as a film involving a hard working woman played by Emmanuelle Devos who uses a co-worker just released from jail to channel her aggressions and ambitions
as he uses her as a player in his plots and efforts for revenge. Also
screening is Toronto favorite "Hell House" by George Ratliff, which
documents Dallas' Pentecostal Trinity Assembly of God's Halloween event
designed to scare kids from sin by depicting scenes of AIDS deaths, botched
Abortions, and school massacres.
AFF will also present its Southeastern Media Award, created to promote
regional filmmaking. Past winners include the 2002 Academy Award winner
"The Accountant" by Ray McKinnon, a short that became eligible for an Oscar