By Bryce J. Renninger | Indiewire September 15, 2009 at 7:18AM
"Basketball Diaries" Scribe Jim Carroll Dies at 60
Jim Carroll, the poet whose novel "The Basketball Diaries" was immortalized as a scapegoat for negative media effects and school shootings, has died of a heart attack at age 60. Carroll, who was esteemed by such greats as Patti Smith and was featured as a musician singing his poetry in a three album deal and on the "ET" soundtrack. The complete New York Times obituary is here.
The New York Times Profiles Toronto's Hard Times
In an assessment of the dreary financial market's effect on the independent film market, the New York Times has an article about the lack of "overnight sales" and new methods of distribution that Toronto filmmakers are facing. Sound familiar? Sure. This kind of talk's been going on for a while. On the subject of a film not at the festival, "Paranormal Activity," the Times reports that the filmmakers are trying to create something like an organic, DIY buzz, "The film, from the director Oren Peli and the producer Jason Blum, among others, is not at the festival. But an accumulation of tweets and Internet postings points to an underground marketing campaign — possibly with late-night screenings for the college crowd here — just like those used by the filmmakers who can’t get a studio interested in their pictures." Read the full article here.
London Film Festival Announces Industry Program
The Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival in association with Skillset, is pleased to announce that producer, screenwriter, and frequent Ang Lee collaborator James Schamus ("Taking Woodstock") will talk on the following theme on Tuesday October 27: “My Wife is a Terrorist: Lessons in Storytelling from the Department of Homeland Security." The festival will also feature industry events such as the development program "Think-Shoot-Distribute," the tech-film industry meeting place "Power to the Pixel: The Cross-Media Film Forum," the industry primer for young people "Working Your Future," and the Production Finance Market.
Woodstock Fest Announces Music Lineup
As one of the festival calendar's leading provider of music and music films, the Woodstock Film Festival has announced its music programs. On Friday October 2, the festival will feature a screening of "Mighty Uke," which will be paired with a concert featuring some of the world's most exciting ukulele players, including rapper/songwriter Jon Braman. On Saturday October 3, in conjunction with the East Coast Premiere of "The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n Roll," directed by Scott Rosenbaum, a quartet of veteran bluesmen who are featured in the film will celebrate the roots of American blues and rock music at the film’s after-party! Films with a music focus featured at the fest will include Jonathan Demme's "Neil Young Trunk Show," Tom DiCillo's "When You're Strange," and William Jennings's "Harlem Aria." Tickets for the Woodstock Film Festival can be purchased on the fest's site.
Ken Loach to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at European Film Awards
British film and television director Ken Loach, winner of the 2006 Cannes Palme d'Or for "The Wind that Shakes the Barley," is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work "as a politically and socially committed filmmaker." Loach sprung onto the film scene with such work as "Kes" and "Family Life" in 1970 and 1971. He is perhaps best known, though, as a pioneer of British television, with his work on the made-for-TV series "The Wednesday Play, for which he contributed many films.
The Weinstein Company and Vivendi Strike Up an Exclusive Deal for the Home Market
The Weinstein Company and Vivendi Entertainment (VE) announced today a home entertainment partnership that will make Vivendi Entertainment the exclusive distributor of The Weinstein Company library and grant VE the rights to distribute 20 new direct-to-DVD titles from TWC over the next year. The announcement was made today by Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairmen of TWC, and Tom O’Malley, President of Vivendi.
The library includes Academy Award winners "The Reader" and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," as well as the "Dragon Dynasty" series, featuring Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and George A. Romero's "Diary of the Dead."
Participant Media and Submarine Entertainment Strike Up Deal for New Slate of Documentaries
Participant Media has entered into an agreement with Josh Braun’s Submarine Entertainment to handle North American sales and consult on worldwide sales of its upcoming slate of documentary features. These include new documentaries by Davis Guggenheim ("An Inconvenient Truth"), Lucy Walker ("Blindsight") and Brian Hill ("Songbirds"). In addition, Braun will serve as a consultant to Participant on business and general strategy relating to its documentary films. Recently Submarine has handled the sales for such films as "Humpday," "Valentino: The Last Emperor," "Soul Power," "The Mystery Team," "Burma VJ," and "Man on Wire."
Diane Weyermann, Participant’s Executive Vice President of Documentary Production, speaking in a prepared statement, said “We are delighted to formalize this arrangement with Josh for our upcoming docs. With his expert knowledge of the independent film business and passion for documentaries, he will be an invaluable asset as we look to secure distribution for our next slate of docs.”