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October 23, 1998 2:00 AM
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Fishburn + Toback Start Shooting Projects; Joe Pantoliano Joins Cast Of "The Life Before This"; Hyle

Pantoliano Joins Cast Of "The Life Before This"; Hyler And Niven Work On
Doc

Compiled by Kevin Dreyfuss



>> Fishburn To Begin Shooting Debut

Laurence Fishburne (the upcoming "Matrix") is gearing up production in New
York on his writing/directing debut, "Riff Raff," based on his own stage play
of the same name. Fishburne stars along with his costar from the stage
version Titus Welliver ("Mullholand Falls"). The Shooting Gallery production
details the aftermath of a botched heist, when a group of friends take out
their anger, fear and frustrations on each other.

>> Toback Begins Shooting On New Pic

James Toback ("Two Girls and a Guy") has begun production on his latest effort
in New York, "Black and White." Toback writes and directs, with producer
Edward R. Pressman ("Two Girls and a Guy," "Wall Street") along for the ride
again. The story involves a group of teens from wealthy, white New York
families who hang out at uptown hip-hop clubs and get mixed up in the murder
of a teenage black boy. The diverse cast includes Elijah Wood ("Deep Impact"),
Ben Stiller ("Permanent Midnight"), Gaby Hoffman ("200 Cigarettes"), Claudia
Schiffer ("The Edge"), Brooke Shields ("The Misadventures of Margaret"),
Robert Downey, Jr. ("Two Girls and a Guy") and Joe Pantoliano ("Bound").

>> Pantoliano Joins "Life Before"

The busy Joe Pantoliano also joins a cast of Sara Polley ("The Sweet
Hereafter"), Stephen Rea ("The Butcher Boy") and Catherine O'Hara ("Waiting
for Guffman") in "The Life Before This," an Alliance Production from
writer/director Gerard Ciccoritti ("Graveyard Shift"). The film tells the
story of a casino heist gone awry, and its impact on a group of innocent
bystanders.

>> Hyler And Niven Working On Saint Doc

Variety is reporting on an intriguing project forthcoming from manager Joan
Hyler and documentarian Andrea Blaugrand Niven ("Still Kicking"). An idle Yom
Kippur chat between the two led to Niven beginning production on a feature-
length documentary on Edith Stein, who was recently canonized by the Catholic
Church as Saint Theresia Benedicta of the Cross. Stein was a German Jew
converted to Catholicism who died in Auschwitz, and her sainthood has caused
considerable controversy. Niven has already shot footage of the canonization
ceremony in Rome, including interviews with the ambivalent Stein family and a
little girl who claims she was pulled out of a deadly coma due to miraculous
intervention by the Saint. Production is ongoing, and Niven and Hyler will
co-produce.


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