October and Rohmer; Next Wave's "Following"; The 24 Hour Festival; and Air Canada is Back
Compiled by Eugene Hernandez
>> October Films Grabs New Rohmer Movie; Kusturica Picture Also Nabbed
Eric Rohmer's "Autumn Tale" which is screening as part of the Masters section here at the 1998 Toronto International Film Festival has been acquired by October Films, the company confirmed yesterday. Rohmer won the Golden Osella for Best Original Screenplay at the recently concluded Venice Film Festival.
Commenting in a prepared statement, October partners Scott Greenstein, Bingham Ray, and John Schmidt said, "Eric Rohmer is one of France's greatest directors, it is an honor to be involved with one of the best films of his extremely distinguished career."
The announcement follows October's deal for Emir Kusturica's new movie, "Black Cat, White Cat," which was acquired at the Venice Film Festival where it won the Silver Lion for Best Director. It will also screen as the centerpiece selection at the 1998 New York Film Festival.
>> Nolan's Low Budget "Following" Positioned to Pop
Of the 30 films screening in the Discovery program at the Toronto Film Festival, one that is getting a lot of attention here is Christopher Nolan's "Following." Coming into the festival on the heels of an announcement that the movie would receive finishing funds from the Independent Film Channel's Next Wave Films didn't hurt. Last week Next Wave President Peter Broderick made the announcement, and throughout the festival the Next Wave team has been shepherding Nolan around town in search of an
If that weren't enough, the film is also garnering positive critical notices. In an article for indieWIRE, writer Stephen Garrett called the black and white film a "major highlight" of "inspired drama" and local critics have also singled out the movie. No emerging filmmaker could imagine a better formula for success.
Broderick told indieWIRE that he first met Nolan at an IFP West panel discussion in Los Angeles about two months ago. The filmmaker gave Broderick a tape and before long discussions about a deal began. Nolan, flew below the radar in England while shooting "Following" on Saturdays for about 20 weeks, made the movie in 16mm for about $100,000. The film screened well at the San Francisco Film Festival, and a few weeks later Broderick was in London introducing the movie to British companies.
Nolan will use Next Wave funding to tweak sound and bump the film up to 35mm, in preparation for its life beyond the Festival circuit. Broderick told indieWIRE that he hopes to pick two more projects soon, but for now the focus is on getting the film an acquisitions deal. Next Wave is currently weighing a number of possible pacts according to Broderick, but he is not ready to make any announcements just yet.
>> Rogers TV Offers All Festival, All The Time
Festival-goers hanging out in their hotel rooms during down-time who are bored with the continuous CNN coverage of Bill Clinton's sexcapades have an alternative -- Rogers TV. The local public access channel is offering 24 hours of Toronto Film Festival coverage daily. Press conferences are broadcast in their entirety, reporters interview party-goers, and on the morning chat show filmmakers participate in cooking segments. Why deal with the crowds on Bloor when the festival is taking place on
>> Air Canada Back in the Air
"Welcome Back" the ad read in the Toronto Globe and Mail. The workers strike which plagued Festival sponsor Air Canada is over and as some Festival guests begin heading home, many are worried that the airline is not yet back on track. The airline confirmed that North American flights have resumed and the full network is expected to be up today. However, even yesterday, festival-goers trying to get back to New York were met with canceled flights and airport delays.