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April 2, 1998 2:00 AM
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Philly Fest Loads Up On Tributes, Fest Indies

Philly Fest Loads Up On Tributes, Fest Indies

by Mark Rabinowitz



The 1998 Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema (PFWC) kicks off on April
29th (closing on May 10th) with a screening of Shane Meadows' upcoming
Bob Hoskins starrer, "TwentyFourSeven" and will feature tributes to
acclaimed Canadian stage and film director Robert Lepage ("The
Confessional
," "Le Polygraphe"), singer, actor, political activist, and
author, Paul Robeson and New York-based indie production company, Good
Machine
.


The Lepage tribute features the Philly premiere of "The Confessional"
("Le Confessional"), "Le Polygraphe," Peter Mettler's adaptation of
Lepage's stage play "Tectonic Plates" and "The Seven Streams of the
River Ota," a "series of snapshots from the lives of a handful of people
connected somehow to the bombings at Hiroshima," according to a festival
press release. The tribute will also feature Q&A's at the screenings
with those involved in the films, including "Le Polygraphe" co-writer
Michael Mackenzie and co-writer and star of "Le Polygraphe" and "The
Seven Streams of the River Ota" Marie Brassard, both long-time members
of Lepage's theater company.


Good Machine, the independent production company founded in 1991 by
co-presidents James Schamus and Ted Hope will be represented at the
festival by three films, Hanna Weyer's "Arresting Gena," Frank Grow's
digital feature "Love God" and Hilary Brougher's "The Sticky Fingers of
Time.
"


Paul Robeson, an opera singer, actor, world-class athlete, law school
graduate and civil rights activist was born in Princeton, New Jersey in
1898, as part of a city-wide celebration of what would have been his
100th birthday, the PFWC will screen Oscar Micheaux's silent classic
"Body and Soul" with live accompaniment by Honk Wail and Moan, Dudley
Murphy's "The Emperor Jones and Thornton Freedland's "Jericho."
Robeson's brilliant career was derailed by U.S. Government objection to
his open support of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party, and his
subsiquent blacklisting, which included the temporary revocation of his
passport.


For the seventh year, the festival will also incorporate the Festival of
Independents, a showcase of independent video and filmmakers from the
Philadelphia region. The "Fest Indies," as it's called, existed on its
own for six years before becoming part of the larger festival seven
years ago. This year's Fest Indies kicks off with "Relationships," a
series of four narrative shorts, and continues with several Philadelphia
premieres, including Eugene Martin's "Edge City" and Kevin DiNovis'
Slamdance Grand Prize and New York Underground Film Festival Best
Feature winner, "Surrender Dorothy"; two documentary programs, "Women's
Realities" and "Beneath the Surface" and two programs of shorts,
"Personal Explorations & Community Issues" and Relationships." In all,
the Fest Indies will feature twenty-one works produced in the
Philadelphia-area.


Other films screening at the PFWC include: Best Foreign Language Oscar
winner, Mike van Diem's "Character," Takeshi Kitano's "Fireworks"
("Hana-bi") from Japan, Tony Gatlif's "Gadjo Dilo" (France), Pal
Sletaune's "Junk Mail (Norway), Susan Skoog's "Whatever" (U.S.A.) and
Carlos Marcovich's "Who the Hell is Juliette?" ("Quien Diablos es
Juliette?") from Mexico.

[For advance tickets and Film Fan passes, call: (215) 569-9700. For
information about the festival, call: 1-800-WOW-PFWC (969-7392) or check
out their web site at:www.libertynet.org/ihouse ]

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