Mill Valley Film Festival Opens, 7 First-Timers
The 20th Mill Valley Film Festival opens on October 2nd, with the world premiere of "An Allan Smithee Film:
Burn, Hollywood, Burn," a Joe Eszterhas penned film. The picture chronicles the life of fictional director,
Alan Smithee, the name added to movie credits when either the director or writer wants their names removed from
the film. Ironically, this film is actually credited to Smithee, due to original director, Arthur Hiller begging
off the pic. This caused the DGA to consider changing the pseudonym, as the film has brought too much attention
to the name. Additional world premieres at the fest include: Nell Cox's "Hudson River Blues," Anna Nicholas'
"Univers'l" and actor Michael O'Keefe ("Caddyshack")'s directorial debut, "Raising The Ashes,"
a documentary. Other American indies playing the fest are Nick Gomez's "Illtown," Mark Waters' "The House
Of Yes" (Parker Posey, Genevieve Bujold) and John Gallagher's "The Deli."
In addition, the fest features a series of international films including "Dinner At Fred's" by Canadian
helmer Shawn Alex Thompson and starring Parker Posey and Gil Bellows; Ireland's "How To Cheat In The Leaving
Certificate" by Graham Jones, and the world premiere of "The Sixth Happiness" from the UK's Waris
Hussein. Other features of the fest include: a series of works done on video and other electronic media, several
short films (including "The Spirit Of Christmas," the short that inspired TV's "South Park"), and seminars
with guests ranging from Oscar winner Saul Zaentz (prod. "The English Patient"), to Barry Levinson
("Diner," "Avalon"), to musician Thomas Dolby Robertson.