Deal for "Chisholm," Full Frame Plans, Nerve Films & More
by Wendy Mitchell
INDUSTRY MOVES: Sandy Spencer, most recently deputy director at the AIVF, has been hired as managing director of Downtown Community Television Center. Spencer replaces outgoing Managing Director, Matt O'Neill, who begins a Pew Fellowship for International Journalism in Washington D.C. and Venezuela.
Madelyn Wils has been named president and CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute. Wils will assume the position in February and she will oversee year-round, non-festival-related programming and educational activities of the Institute. Wils will continue to serve as Chairperson of Community Board 1, representing the Financial District, Battery Park City, The Civic Center, Tribeca, and The South Street Seaport. She also serves on the board of directors of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and is a trustee of the Alliance for Downtown New York. Additionally, she is a director of The Hudson River Park Trust and a trustee of the Conservancy for Historic Battery Park as well as The Gateway School in New York. She is an award winning television producer.
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced several appointments, all effective immediately. Jessica Kamphorst has been promoted to director of sponsorship; Maxine Bailey has been promoted to director of public affairs; Maureen Oxley has been promoted to director of marketing & customer service; Anthony Holl has been appointed campaign director of individual gifts; Steve Gravestock has been promoted to associate director, Canadian special projects (he will continue his other programming duties as well); and Elizabeth Muskala has been promoted to associate director of programme administration.
MOVEMENT FORWARD: As it moves into its second year of business, Film Movement has announced its partial slate of 2004 releases, including its most recent buy, of the Sundance screening doc "Chisholm '72 - Unbought & Unbossed." Film Movement has the North American rights to Shola Lynch's doc about a black Congresswoman from Brooklyn who made a bid for the presidency in 1972, "Chisholm" is a co-production of P.O.V./American Documentary Inc. and the Independent Television Service. Other fortchoming Film Movement releases will include Mina Shum's "Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity" starring Sandra Oh (Canada), Imanol Uribe's "Carol's Journey" (Spain), Jacques Doillon's "Raja" (France/Morroco), Vicente Amorim's "Middle of the World" (Brazil), and Rolf de Heer's "Alexandra's Project" (Australia). Deals for other films are in the works.
BLASTING: Gill Holland's cineBLAST! LLC has merged with New York-based LaSalle Management Group. The name of the new management/production company is LaSalle/Holland Inc. The company has two films shooting in May and June, "sexy romp," "Everything's Fine," and Tim Kirkman's "Loggerheads," about a son she gave up for adoption 25 years earlier.
MAKING THE BAND: "Tribute," the doc about tribute bands that has been a hit on the fest circuit, has landed a distribution deal with Showtime Networks, which now has an exclusive-two year run for the film, starting with a premiere in April. Filmmakers Kris Curry and Rich Fox said a DVD is also in the works.
SOME NERVE: "Literate smut" publishing powerhouse Nerve says it is in the final preparations for its third film, "Cordless." Oren Moverman ("Jesus' Son") will write and also make his directorial debut with the project, which has product and post-production support from Sony Electronics. The cast will include Malcolm McDowell as well as minor appearances by Steve Buscemi and brother Mike, along with Fisher Stevens. Nerve hopes to start shooting in 2004. The two other Nerve projects, Miramax/Dimension's "Buckwild" and Revolution's "Tonic" are both in active development.
GETTING FULL: North Carolina's Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has announced that its opening film will be the HBO doc "Elaine Stritch at Liberty." Other announced highlights for the April 1-4 event in Durham, NC, will be a theme program "hybrid" devoted to slippery boundaries between fact and fiction, a new award sponsored by Walter Moseley, and a program with Harry Shearer. Marcel Ophuls will be attending to receive the 2004 career award at Full Frame. For more info, visit www.fullframefest.org.