Compiled by Mark Rabinowitz
>> New "Nights of Cabiria" Hits Canadian Screens
Red Sky Entertainment has acquired the Canadian theatrical rights to
Federico Fellini's masterpiece, "Nights of Cabiria" ("Le Notti di
Cabiria"), and is scheduled to re-release the film in Toronto, Montreal
and Vancouver in January, 1999, followed by runs in other key markets.
In "Nights of Cabiria," which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign
Film in 1957, Fellini's wife Giulietta Masina stars as a feisty
prostitute in Rome who uses humor, intelligence and often her fists to
protect her dignity and self-respect. Her powerful performance earned
her the award for best actress at the Cannes Film Festival.
The film, which was later adapted as the Broadway musical "Sweet
Charity," that was in turn adapted for film by Bob Fosse, has only been
seen on 16 mm prints for the last four decades. New 35 mm prints will be
made from a fully restored negative with many improvements over the
earlier version. Retranslated laser subtitles will allow for more
detailed dialogue, including street talk written by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
The new print will also include the famous "Man with the Sack" sequence
that was mentioned in Fellini biographies but thought to be lost.
Fellini was reportedly forced to cut the sequence, which features a
saintly wanderer bringing gifts to the homeless, because the Catholic
Church claimed it questioned the Church's role in providing for the
Red Sky Entertainment acquired the distribution rights from New York
based Rialto Films, a distributor that specializes in reissues, such as
the recently released "Contempt," by Jean-Luc Godard.
>> Sony Launches New Division for Mid-Level Pics
Sony Pictures Entertainment has announced the launch of a new
distribution division for small to medium-budgeted films, Variety
reported yesterday. Called Screen Gems, the new company will produce or
acquire six films per year that it will also release and market, the
trade also noted. Additionally, films will be developed at all aspects
of development, from script to finished film. "Screen Gems will provide
a haven for a type of film that falls between those typically released
by our highly valued Sony Pictures Classics and the wide-release movies
that are more traditionally developed and released by Columbia
Pictures," SPE chairman and CEO John Calley told Variety. Sony's
Classics division has released such indies as "Dancing at Lughnasa" and
foreign fare as "Central Station" while corporate giant SPE is
distributing "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer." Execs told
Variety that Screen Gems will not tread on the terrain of Classics's
low-budget terrain. Variety also reported that the title of the new
division comes from the name given to a Columbia Pictures TV subsidiary
back in 1948, which later grew into Columbia Pictures Television.
>> Winners Of MIFF Announced
The Minnesota Film Board and IFP/North have announced the winners of the
4th annual Minnsota Independent Film Fund, with Mark Edgington's
"Satellites," Karla Ekdahl and Frances Wilkinson's "Hollow Mack" and
Peter Olsen's "Ice Nine" each winning development funds up to $25,000
per project, depending on "artistic vision and production feasibility."
The winners were chosen from a group of 42 entrants, with ten finalists
chosen last month. The winners were chosen by a panel which included
Cielo Cerezo from Good Machine, Lisa Bellorno from Robert Redford's
South Fork Pictures and director Tom Kalin ("Swoon").
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>> EFAs Handed Out, Benigni + Zonca Films Win Two Apiece
The 1998 European Film Awards were handed out on Friday, December 4th,
and Roberto Benigni's "Life is Beautiful" ("La vita e bella") and Erick
Zonca's French film "The Dreamlife of Angels" ("La vie revee des anges")
picked up two awards apiece, and British actor Jeremy Irons received a
Special Award. The Italian-language "Life is Beautiful" film took home
the Best European Film and Best Actor awards for Benigni, while Zonca's
film picking up awards for Best European Actresses (Elodie Bouchez and
Natacha Regnier) and the Fassbinder-Prize, which was a tie with Thomas
Vinterberg's "The Celebration" ("Festen") from Denmark. Peter Howitt
picked up the Best Scriptwriter award for the British production
"Sliding Doors," and the Best Camera award went to Adrian Biddle for his
work on Neil Jordan's "The Butcher Boy." The Best European documentary
filmmaker award went to Claudio Pazienza, and the Best European Short
Film went to "Un Jour" by Marie Paccou.
Stellan Skarsgard was awarded for European contribution to World Cinema,
for his acting in "Amistad" and "Good Will Hunting," and the Screen
International Prize (for a non-European movie) went to Peter Weir's "The
Truman Show." The European Award of the Critics (Prix FIPRESCI) went to
"Bure Baruta" ("The Powder Keg"), by Goran Paskaljevic from Yugoslavia.
A trio of American studio films picked up the Prizes of the Public, with
Roland Emmerich picking up the directing award for "Godzilla," actor
Antonio Banderas winning for "Zorro" and Kate Winslet winning the best
actress award for "Titanic."
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