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September 9, 1998 2:00 AM
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IFC Funds Films; New Doc Company; Miramax Aquisition; Lambert Joins Scenario; Palm Pictures To Relea

Lambert Joins Scenario; Palm Pictures To Release Concert DVD

Compiled by Eugene Hernandez and Mark Rabinowitz




>> IFC Films Funding Four Features

IFC Films, the one-year old film financing arm of Bravo Networks, has
announced that it is financing four movies through its IFC Productions
and Next Wave Films companies. IFC Films President Jonathan Sehring told
indieWIRE that IFC Productions is funding Errol Morris' "In The Middle
of Nowhere (and all by myself)
," Victor Nunez's "The Professor's Wife,"
and Tom Gilroy's "Spring Forward," while Next Wave has signed a deal
with emerging filmmaker Christopher Nolan for his film, "Following,"
which is set to screen at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival.


IFC will fully finance Morris' new documentary, a profile of self-dubbed
"execution technologist" and death machine designer Fred Leuchter. The
movie, which is currently in production, is being executive produced by
John Sloss. Among Morris' credits are the acclaimed documentaries
"Fast, Cheap and Out of Control" and "The Thin Blue Line." IFC is
putting up approximately a third of the money for Nunez's new film,
which is being produced by Jonathan Demme's Clinica Estetico along with
Nunez ("Ulee's Gold") -- the film is expected to begin principal
photography in February. As for Gilroy's "Spring Forward," which is
currently in production, IFC is financing about 50% of the movie which
is being produced by Gill Holland's cineBLAST! and Jim McKay & Michael
Stipe's C-Hundred Film Corp. According to Sehring, the company may
announce deals for two other films before the end of the year.


IFC Productions and Next Wave Films were launched last March. It
co-financed John Sayles' "Men With Guns," which was distributed by Sony
Pictures
, while Next Wave Films provided finishing funds for the
upcoming Lions Gate release, "Blood, Guts, Bullets, & Octane," which
screened at the 1997 IFFM and premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film
Festival. Commenting on "Following," Next Wave President Peter
Broderick said, "'Following' is a remarkable debut. Chris turned an
intriguing idea into a smart script." [Eugene Hernandez]

>> Garbus and Kennedy Forming Doc Company

Documentary filmmakers Liz Garbus and Rory Kennedy have announced the
formation of Moxie Firecracker Inc., a New York based production company
that will focus on making documentaries for network, cable and
theatrical & home video markets. The two, who first met while they were
attending Brown University, are currently working together on "Different
Moms
," a project for Lifetime Television, set to air in January.


In a conversation with indieWIRE, Garbus explained that she and Kennedy
began developing projects together in February. Viewing their company
as a "documentary cooperative," they intend to pitch projects to the
cable television documentary units, while at the same time seeking
funding from foundations. The company will incorporate projects that
the two create together, as well as movies that Garbus and Kennedy will
produce. Garbus, co-directed the 1998 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury
Prize winner, "The Farm," while Kennedy is know for her work on the
award-winning documentary video and AIDS prevention campaign, "Fire in
the House
." She also made the PBS program, "Women of Substance."


"When you are [making] a documentary film, you sort of feel like you are
the only one doing it -- its a tough world," explained Garbus, "It makes
one feel comfortable and inspired to know that there are other people
out there -- (we) wanted to encourage that community, (it is) a
combination of wanting that community and also wanting to find a way to
develop it." [Eugene Hernandez]

>> Miramax Picks Demme Flick

Miramax Film has acquired video, television and non-theatrical U.S.
rights to Ted Demme's latest effort, "Monument Ave." The U.S. theatrical
release of the crime drama are being handeled by Lions Gate Releasing,
which will issue the pic on September 25th. The film stars Denis Leary
("Wag the Dog"), Famke Janssen ("Rounders"), Ian Hart ("Backbeat"),
Billy Crudup ("Inventing the Abbotts"), Colm Meany ("The Van," TV's
"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"), Martin Sheen ("The American President,"
"Wall Street") and Jeanne Tripplehorn (the upcoming "Very Bad Things,"
"Sliding Doors"). The film was produced by Ted Demme and Joel Stillerman
of Spanky Pictures, Jim Serpico of Apostle, Nicolas Clermont of Filmline
International
and Elie Samaha of Phoenician Films, and was written by
Mike Armstrong.

>> Lambert Leaves FILMMAKER For Post at Scenario


Ted Lambert, Director of Corporate Relations for FILMMAKER Magazine, is
leaving his post at the indie publication to become Managing Director of
Scenario, The Magazine of Screenwriting Art. He is replacing Jeffrey
Altschuler, who left the publication to produce feature films. Lambert
had been with FILMMAKER since 1996. Scenario publishes several complete
screenplays in each issue using the writer's preferred draft, and made
its bow in 1995. In addition, each issue includes interviews with the
writer and commissioned original illustrations for each script. Some of
the recent scripts published include Waldo Salt's "Midnight Cowboy,"
Buck Henry's "To Die For," Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks' "Young
Frankenstein
" and Darren Aronofsky's "Pi." In addition, Scenario has
published several unproduced screenplays by notable writers including
Ring Lardner, Jr. and Dalton Trumbo, Christopher Isherwood and Edward
Gorey.

>> Palm Pictures To Release Concert DVD

With what is one of the first live concerts filmed, recorded and mixed
specifically for DVD, Palm Pictures will soon release Senegalese pop
superstar Baaba Maal's "Baaba Maal Live at Festival Hall." Recorded
digitally on July 13th at London's Royal Festival Hall, the show
featured Maal's band Daande Lenol (Voice of the People) and special
guests virtuoso guitarist Ernest Ranglin from Jamaica and Sinead
O'Connor's backing vocalists, The Screaming Orphans. The concert was
shot with 6 digital cameras and the sound was recorded using Sony
48-track digital equipment. The DVD will also feature an interview with
Maal, with more to be announced shortly. The anticipated release date is
January 6th, 1999. Palm Pictures' web site is
www.islandlife.com

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