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January 20, 2001 2:00 AM
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PARK CITY 2001 BUZZ: The Sundance Market; Dotcom Features; Strand's "Kiss"; Sundance Opening

PARK CITY 2001 BUZZ: The Sundance Market; Dotcom Features; Strand's "Kiss"; Sundance Opening



by Maud Kersnowski /indieWIRE


>> Sundance Market Kicks Off


(indieWIRE/01.20.01) -- The market side of Sundance began in full gear
yesterday with the screenings of Patrick Stettner's drama, "The Business of
Strangers
" and Sandi Simcha Dubowski's documentary about Hasidic and
Orthodox Jewish gays, "Trembling Before G-d."


The Library yesterday morning was so packed with industry heavies for the
"Strangers" screening that when Sundance's John Cooper introduced the film
he commented, "I think I know everyone in this auditorium and the other's I
slept with."


Virtually every distributor turned out for this first big screening. And
while Miramax was represented, a private screening is rumored to be in the
works for company notables who haven't arrived yet.


indieWIRE's Senior Editor Anthony Kaufman described "Strangers" as a
precisely directed film by "a male writer/director writing very insightfully
about women."


"We are being very aggressive with this film and not in a hurry to make a
deal," commented Micah Green of Sloss Law which represents the film, "We are feeling very confident."


An hour later, after the house lights were turned up at the Holiday Village,
"Trembling Before G-d" had three offers on the table, according to rep
Michael Roban. Two of the companies Roban described as bonafide. "We got a
very strong endorsement from the distributors that this film will get a
theatrical release," Roban told indieWIRE. Discussions mentioned a 15-20
city deal. "They don't feel it's a film that is just for television."


>> Park City Dotcom Previews Online Features


(indieWIRE/01.20.01) -- CinemaNow, a Lions Gate spin-off, will begin
streaming their parent company's features on-demand as they're made
available on traditional cable pay-per-view. If you're looking for a sample
of what's coming to your computer soon drop by the Interactive Lounge at
Harry-O's and check out the TV monitors and plasma screen. Or try to get
into the digital screening room which is using a digital projector for the
films fed in over a T1 line.


The features at the Interactive Lounge and CinemaNow's video-on-demand site
both use Windows software and security systems. "Microsoft is umbrella-ing
75% of online feature film distribution," Jim Steele, ShowBiz DATA's EVP
says.


The films in the screening room are streamed over the net, downloaded and
then projected by a technology that will be available later this year
according to Steele. CinemaNow is contributing "Shadow Of The Vampire,"
"Eve's Bayou," and "Steal This Movie" to the Interactive Lounge. Other
films include Jetcast's "On Any Sunday" featuring Steve McQueen, "The Third Man" (1949) and Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934) and shorts from Alwaysi, Intertainer, and MediaTrip.


>> Strand to "Kiss" Again


(indieWIRE/01.20.01) -- Indie classic "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1985) is
looking forward to a fully restored, theatrical re-release by Strand
Releasing
and Independent Cinema Restoration Archive LLC (ICRA). Producer David Weisman describes the film as one that fell through the cracks of
entertainment industry studio mergers for over 15 years. When the rights
reverted back to him much of the supporting material had been lost, most
notably four foreign language dubs. Although, he received a number offers
for the film Weisman held out for the perfect deal and got it. ICRA bought
the film for an amount Weisman describes as "more than industry blue book"
for their first project agreeing to fully restore "Kiss", put it back in
theaters and bring on Weisman to oversee the project. "They're willing to
make an investment in the future, because this film is going to be worth a
lot, rather than milking it for the present."


>> Where Was Bob? Again


(indieWIRE/01.20.01) -- Sundance officially opened Thursday night at Salt
Lake's Abravenal Hall with the warmly received premiere of Christine Lahti's directorial debut "My First Mister". Geoff Gillmore introduced the film
proclaiming, "This film is as independent as they come. Five years in the
making and independently financed." Lahti likened the process of making the
film to "pushing a house up a hill."


Redford, who is on location in Morocco, sent his best wishes via Fest
co-chief Nicole Guillemet, "As a filmmaker he's doing what a filmmaker loves
to do most: to work."

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