By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire March 6, 2010 at 12:24AM
THIS WEEK IN NEWS: Ever the traveling enterprise, iW is in Los Angeles this week to cover the upcoming Spirit and Academy Awards. In preparation for the upcoming South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW), iW has posted interviews with directors from this year's fest.
OSCARS: The Oscar race will finally come to a close following what has seemed like an interminable showdown between ex-spouses James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow. The question remains: will the lowest grossing Best Picture nominee in quite some time scoop the award from the biggest film of all time? Come Sunday, millions will be watching on pins and needles.
In case you're placing bets on who will win what, consider Oscars 2010: Who Will Win and Who Should Win a godsend. indieWIRE was kind enough to conduct a poll with a slew of critics and industry vets, and the results speak for themselves. With the awards literally just around the corner, news sites have been going into overdrive, pumping out a barrage of controversy leading up to Sunday's ceremony. Juiciest of all was the Academy's decision to shun "The Hurt Locker"'s producer Nicolas Chartier from the festivities, following his controversial email to voters, that urged them to vote for his film over "Avatar."
Amid all the pandemonium that circles around the Oscars, no one experiences more of a whirlwind than the nominees themselves. iW interviewed many of this year's contenders to gain insight on how they're dealing with the journey of a lifetime. Subjects include: the Coens, Carey Mulligan, "Food, Inc."'s Robert Kenner and Anna Kendrick.
SPIRITS: With all the media attention lavished upon the Oscars, lets not forget the 2010 Film Independent Spirit Award, taking place this Friday, that honor the best in the independent film industry. The night promises to be a raucous time with comedian Eddie Izzard taking reigns as the night's host.
Again, in case you, your loved ones (or not so loved) are placing bets, make sure to view the poll we conducted for the awards, similar to the one compiled for the Oscars.
And to feel closer to the nominees, read our interviews with directors Robert Siegel ("Big Fan") and Kyle Patrick Alvarez ("Easier with Practice").
SXSW '10: The next major festival lined up, SXSW, is primed to flow to the front of our coverage following the Academy and Spirit Award ceremonies. In anticipation of the festival, iW has been posting interviews with directors who have films competing in this year's lineup. Directors include Etienne Sauret ("Dirty Pictures"), Geoff Marslett ("Mars") and Amy C. Elliot ("World's Largest").
To stay ahead of the game, IFC has tapped five of their festival titles to screen nationwide via cable VOD during the SXSW. Cinetic Rights Management has followed suit by acquiring digital rights to two festival contenders.
For more of this week's news check out the links below...
UPDATE: Tribeca Moves Into Distribution, Launches Virtual Film Fest
In the major announcement today, DeNiro and Rosenthal’s Tribeca Enterprises, the for-profit wing of the umbrella group that produces the annual Tribeca Film Festival, unveiled Tribeca Film today as, “a comprehensive distribution and marketing platform for independent film.”
Woody Allen’s Latest at Sony Classics
“I love working with [Sony Pictures Classics co-Presidents] Michael Barker and Tom Bernard and I know my films are in good hands with them,” Allen said, in a statement.
Florida Film Festival Reveals Competition Lineup
“The scope of cinematic expression in this year’s festival is found not simply in terms of the volume of submissions or its demographics but in the variety of types of filmmakers and the issues they explore,” said Matthew Curtis, Florida Film Festival Programming Director in a statement.
ActionFest Rises In North Carolina; “Centurion” To Open
ActionFest will be four days of “heaven for fans of adrenaline fueled cinema,” with a full list of films to be announced on Monday, March 22nd.
San Francisco International Fest Names Doc & New Directors Competitions
SFIFF will award $60,000 for docs in three categories: Investigative documentary feature ($25,000), documentary feature ($20,000) and Bay Area documentary feature ($15,000).
Canada’s Genies Toast “Polytechnique,” Snub “Mother”
Perhaps the most discussed Canadian film on the festival circuit last year - and its submission to the Academy Awards, Xavier Dolan’s “I Killed My Mother,” was almost entirely snubbed at this morning’s announcement of the 30th Annual Genie Awards, Canada’s version of the Oscars.
Lincoln Center To Honor Michael Douglas With Chaplin Award
“Throughout his career, Michael has entertained audiences both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, and it will be an honor to showcase his diverse body of work.”
“Avatar” Wins Big With Visual Effects Society
The Visual Effects Society announced the winners of the 8th Annual VES Awards tonight at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Unsurprisingly, James Cameron’s “Avatar” emerged as the major winner at the ceremony, taking home six awards including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture.
“Shrek” Sequel Opening Tribeca Fest
“We have always sought to open our Festival with films that are captivating and strike an emotional chord with movie-goers,” said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, in a statement.
Eugene Hernandez: The *new* Miramax?
Film festivals have started to fill a gap left by the Hollywood studio specialty divisions that pulled back from releasing indie, foreign and doc titles to niche audiences. In fact, it’s safe to say that festivals will increasingly compete with distribution companies to acquire new movies.
Tim Burton Showcase: At MoMA Galleries & in Theaters with “Alice in Wonderland”
You only have to look back at Burton’s stylized oeuvre to gleam his macabre yet whimsical sensibilities. His Gotham City was a foreboding city inhabited by colorful misfits and castaways, while the suburbia he conjured up in the fairytale “Edward Scissorhands” was an off-kilter mix of old-school horror and Douglas Sirk melodramas.
DISPATCH FROM LOS ANGELES: Doc Night Draws Famous & Infamous
The celebration, simply dubbed DOCS!, featured photo ops with a giant Oscar stature at an evening cocktail party—a buffet, cocktails and dessert—followed by clips and panels showcasing the non fiction feature and short films nominees.
Eugene Hernandez: Megabucks v. Made on a Shoestring or “Avatar” v. “Hurt Locker”
Last night on “60 Minutes,” Lesley Stahl characterized the Academy Awards race between ex-spouses Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron as an old fashioned David v. Goliath battle.