By Indiewire | Indiewire October 2, 2001 at 2:00AM
DAILY NEWS: Words of Determination at IFP's Market and Awards
by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
>> 39th NYFF Kicks Off Tonight with "Va Savoir"
(indieWIRE/10.02.01) -- If New York's loosely-defined filmmaking community
needed a catalyst, it probably came yesterday as the IFP Market kicked off
in earnest during the day and the annual IFP Gotham Awards drew celebrities
and honorees last night. However, if cocktail conversation is any indication, it will still certainly take filmmakers and others time to adjust to life after September 11th.
The tragedy of the recent terrorist attacks remained a primary topic of
conversation for many at the Gotham Awards, as attendees continued to share
their experiences on and after the 11th. The walk across the West Side
Highway to Pier 60 made the city's loss apparent to those whole looked
south, a view that once included the Twin Towers, while the evening's
cocktail party on the Hudson, complete with a stunning sunset, underscored
the loss. Comments of determination and healing were spoken throughout the
Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Robert DeNiro was clearly reluctant to
accept such an honor so soon after the tragedy, indicating in his comments
that he had hoped the show would be postponed. He soberly read a thank you
speech and then used his time to pay tribute to those committed to the
rescue and recovery effort, finally accepting the award "for the courageous
New York film icon Martin Scorcese introduced his close friend "Bob," with
words aimed at bolstering the community. Commenting on New York's trademark
"energy," Scorcese said, "Creativity is the outlet for this energy -- curiosity is the spirit of this city."
Attendees applauded IFP Executive Director Michelle Byrd for harnessing that
spirit this week in deciding to continue with plans for the annual Market
and Awards. Notably, Byrd and the IFP team will give attendees an
opportunity to share their thoughts on the tragedy at a special forum this
Earlier in the day, the energy of the annual IFP Market was unfazed. A
strikingly large crowd of filmmakers gathered in the lobby of the Angelika
Film Center to hype their projects and network.
Attendees kicked off the event with a panel at the Puck Building that
welcomed nominees for the Gotham's annual Open Palm Award -- nominees this
year were Henry Bean ("The Believer"), Michael Cuesta ("L.I.E."), Dan
Minahan ("Series 7"), John Cameron Mitchell ("Hedwig and the Angry Inch"),
Randy Redroad ("The Doe Boy"), and David Wain ("Wet Hot American Summer"). Bean and Mitchell shared the award, which was presented later that night.
Edet Belzberg won the Anthony Radziwill Documentary Achievement Award for "Children Underground," while actress Yolanda Ross, star of "Stranger Inside," was presented with the Breakthrough Actor Award. The Independent Vision Award went to the late Bill Nisselson.
Actress Uma Thurman, on hand to receive the Actor Award, evoked the words of
E. B. White during a warm acceptance speech that touched on her passion for
acting and her love of her family. Concluding with a determined tone, she
offered, "You can intimidate people out of many things, but you cannot
intimidate them out of what they really love." [Eugene Hernandez]
[EDITORS NOTE: The IFP Market continues throughout the week in New York.
indieWIRE readers can log on and catch 35 hours of seminars, webcast live
daily on the IFP website: www.ifp.org.]