DAILY NEWS: New SAG President; Tribeca Series' New Chief, "American Movie" Premiere; New Line Online
by Eugene Hernandez, Mark Rabinowitz and Maya Churi
>> Daniels Unseats Masur as SAG President
Actor William Daniels has been elected the new President of the
Screen Actors Guild, replacing two-term President Richard Masur, Reuters reported this weekend. The race, which in part revolved around residuals contract negotiations, was labeled "contentious" by the news service. Reuters
indicated that Daniels was critical of Masur's handling of the negotiations, while Masur labeled Daniels as underqualified for the position.
>> Tribeca Film Center's First Look Series acquires a new program director
Sam Maser has been appointed as the new program director of First Look, replacing Mary Glucksman in that position. First Look is a film screening series devoted to the presentation of films by emerging filmmakers. The series, according to Trina Wyatt (CFO of the Tribeca Film Center was started to "help support promising independent films and filmmakers... With Sam Maser on board, we are excited to take the program to a new level." Maser has served as program director at the London Jewish Film Festival as
well as at the Hamptons Film Festival and has worked as a consultant to various festivals and filmmakers since 1996. Says Maser, "I am thrilled to be able to showcase independent filmmakers at such a highly regarded facility as the Tribeca Film Center and I relish the challenge of finding fresh work to show."
This month, First look will be presenting the world premiere of "Auditions," a comedy by first-time director Michael Tierno, about three loser guys from Queens who decide to hold auditions for a fake film in order to meet women. Two screenings will bookend a reception catered by the Tribeca Grill. [Maya Churi]
[For more information on First Look call 212.941.4011]
>> Bowling At The "American Movie" Premiere, Or, One Toke Over The Line
Last Tuesday's benefit preem of Chris Smith's new doc "American Movie" put the word "fun" back into "movie premieres." Ok, ok, so "fun" isn't actually part of that phrase, but forgive me, it's been a long week. Benefiting the
Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the evening began at a pre-screening sponsor's reception at downtown Manhattan's La Belle Epoque. Unfortunately, the evening was rather monsoon-like as far as the weather was concerned, and I arrived at the reception completely drenched.
The warm feeling emanating from those gathered inside soon made me forget about my potential march toward pneumonia, however, as the filmmakers, Sony Classics team and assorted guests gathered to toast the opening of this highly anticipated documentary.
Director Chris Smith and producer Sarah Price were on hand, along with the film's stars Mark Borchardt and his friend Mike Schank, as well as the film's co-producers Jim McKay (and an AIVF board member), and Michael
Stipe. Also attending to congratulate the film's team were former AIVF executive director and Creative Capital topper Ruby Lerner, "Split Screen" creator John Pierson and his wife Janet. The champagne and most of the food
were excellent...however, I'm not quite so sure about the deep fried hearts of palm and artichoke. Mushy.
After the reception and screening, guests converged on Bowlmor Lanes, one of the last remaining bowling alleys in Manhattan. Joining the aforementioned guests were actors Ethan Hawke, Frank Whaley and Woody Harrelson, filmmaker (and AIVF board member) Richard Linklater, and the
Sony Classics team of co-presidents Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, and VP's Tom Prassis and Dylan Leiner. Also present were filmmakers Tina Di
Feliciantonio and Jane C. Wagner ("Girls Like Us") and The Shooting Gallery's Ryan Werner. As far as I can tell, almost everyone was bowling, including indieWIRE's own Diane Becker, who promptly kicked our lane's collective asses. As the evening wore on, the telltale smell of a certain herb wafted over the throng. Towards the end of the evening, a few of the
attendees were spied by yours truly, smoking a rather hastily made
cigarette. All I'm willing to do now is congratulate the smoker on
practicing what he preaches. Wink, wink.
>> New Line Cinema Invests On-Line
New Line Cinema, a subsidiary of Time Warner, has bought a multi-million dollar stake in the online media company Snowball.com as part of a multi-year marketing partnership. Realizing that the "audience spends more time on the web," according to Executive Vice President Jim Rosenthal, in a
prepared statement, "the company needs to focus on promotions there." Rosenthal stated that "There's also a lot of talent gravitating toward the new media world. We want to develop relationships with them and transform their ideas back to our medium." The investment will go towards marketing and e-commerce as well as product placement. The site will promote New Line products by posting trailers, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, as
well has hosting advertising space. As part of the partnership
Snowball.com's network of online channels, ChickClick, PowerStudents.com and InsideGuide.com, will appear in feature films via product placement and will be advertised on New Line videos.
Snowball.com, who has offices in Los Angeles and New York, sets up and recruits sites to become affiliates to its content. It recently acquired Vault Network and High School Alumni.com to expand its traffic base.