By Stephen Garrett
Starting February 1st, fXM: Movies from Fox will debut a new short film
at the beginning of each month, culled from a growing library of shorts
the nascent cable network has produced in-house since 1997. The first
film to premiere, Eugenia Ives' "Ladies Room," will also play
theatrically at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, before screenings of
the feature "Tumbleweeds," as well as this month's Seattle Women in
Cinema Film Festival.
A 5-minute comedy about a bunch of women peeing, "Ladies Room" marks the
third straight year that fXM shorts have been represented at Sundance,
following last year's "Phil Touches Flo," directed by David Birdsell; as
well as "Better Late," directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Jessica
Yu, and "78," from director Noah Edelson, both in 1997. Sundance is
only the most recent venue to accept fXM shorts, which have been
screened at over 130 film festivals around the world over the past two
"Ladies Room" is the first in a new batch of five shorts that fXM
produced last Fall, which includes new films from Russell DeGrazier,
who wrote the award-winning short "Mad Boy I'll Blow Your Blues Away"
caught people's attention at last year's L.A. Independent Film Festival; and
from Jason Reitman, whose "Operation" played at Sundance in 1998.
DeGrazier's latest, "A Fine Day for Flying," will debut March 1st on
fXM, while Reitman's "H@" will premiere April 1st.
Following these three films on May 1st will be "Bleeker's Crossing," a
dark comedy from Robbie Consing about a car accident and a shady
ambulance-chasing lawyer; and on June 1st, Greg Booker's "Birthday," a
comedy/drama about an entertainer at a kid's birthday party. Each short
premiere on fXM will be accompanied by an interview with its director.
Four more fXM shorts are presently in production this winter, to be
finished by Spring 1999, bringing the total number of fXM shorts to 21,
which, after their debuts, will find repeated play on the cable network
between features as part of interstitial programming that also includes
entertainment news and celebrity gossip.
Since its shorts production began two years ago, fXM has been unique in
its relentless support of young filmmakers and in giving them not only
access to 20th Century Fox's 35mm film equipment, wardrobe and
production designers, but also constant exposure at festivals and on
cable. FXM shorts alumni have gone on to work on feature films,
including Pat Verducci ("Smoked"), who just finished directing the
feature "True Crime," with Alicia Silverstone and Kevin Dillon;
DeGrazier, who will helm the feature "Stalk," executive produced by
Oliver Stone; Josh Gordon and Will Speck (co-directors of "Angry Boy"),
who will write and direct a feature for Fox 2000.
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