Sundance Programmer Discusses Festival, Deadline
Nears; AFI Announces Lineup For '98 Fest; Third World Celebrates Thirtieth
Compiled by Mark Rabinowitz
>> Sundance Programmer Discusses Festival as Deadline Nears
There will be some changes at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, with two new
audience award categories being added, one for the American Spectrum
and one for World Cinema. In addition, this year saw the continued use of
an early admission option for submissions. Cooper explained that the early
submission process allows programmers "to pick the films that definitely
are right for competition." He also confirmed that of the roughly 160 early
submissions, two films were chosen, and there are about 20 still being
considered for the festival. Cooper said that those filmmakers were told
that while they couldn't be promised a spot, the festival is interested.
The deadline for submission to the 15th Annual Sundance Film Festival is
imminent, with short films due this Friday, October 2nd and features due
on the following Friday, October 9th. Dramatic features must be over
70 minutes in length, while documentary features must be over 50 minutes.
When submitting to Sundance, filmmakers can also submit their work in
consideration for the American Spectrum, Frontier, Park City at Midnight
or World Cinema (for international films) sections. As far as awards go,
dramatic and documentary competition films are eligible for the Grand
Jury Prize (jury vote), Cinematography Award (jury vote), Audience Award
(popular vote), the Filmmaker Trophy (filmmaker vote) and the Directing
Award (jury vote). Also, films in the documentary competition are
eligible for the Freedom of Expression Award (jury vote), while dramatic
competition films compete for the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award (jury
vote). Foreign films are eligible for the aforementioned audience award,
and a film from Latin America will receive the Latin American Cinema
[The Sundance Film Festival can be reached at 310/394-4662 or
>> AFI Announces Lineup For '98 Fest
The American Film Institute has announced the lineup for AFI Fest '98,
to take place October 22-31 in the Los Angeles area, and it includes 21
U.S. and 14 world premieres, including John Landis' "Susan's Plan"
(world premiere) and Peter Gould's "Meeting Daddy" (world premiere).
Landis' film is his first independent film in over 20 years, and stars
Nastassja Kinski ("One Night Stand"), Billy Zane ("The Phantom"), Lara
Flynn Boyle ("Happiness"), Rob Schneider ("Saturday Night Live"),
Michael Biehn ("Terminator") and Dan Aykroyd ("Grosse Point Blank").
Gould's "Daddy" stars Beau Bridges, Josh Charles, Kristy Swanson,
Alexandra Wentworth and Lloyd Bridges in his last film role. This year's
official competition lineup contains two world premieres, Salvador
Carrasco's "The Other Conquest" (Mexico) and Roberta Hanley's
"Woundings" (U.S./U.K.). The remaining titles in the competition are:
"The big Mambo," by Michael Gwisdek (Germany); "The Book of Great
Wishes," by Slawomir Krynski (Poland); "Comedian Harmonists," by Joseph
Vilsmaies (Austria/Germany); "The Last Contract," by Kjell Sundvall
(Sweden); "Life is Beautiful," by Roberto Benigni (Italy); "Mr. Zhao,"
by Yue Lu (China); "Samurain Fiction," by Hiroyuki Nakano (Japan);
"Sekal Has To Die," by Vladimir Michalek (Czech Republic); "Sweety
Barrett," by Stephen Bradley (Ireland), and "The Swindle," by Claude
Some other films in the fest are Derek Cianfrance's "Brother Tied"
(U.S.), in the New Directions U.S. section; Gaspar Noe's "I Stand Alone"
(France), in the European Film Showcase; Samira Makhmalbaf's "The Apple"
(Iran), in the World Cinema section, and Nettie Wild's "A Place Called
Chiapas" (Canada), in the Documentary section.
[Tickets for the fest go on sale October 5th. For more information, call
323/520-2000 or check the festival web site at: www.afifest.com]
>> Third Wold Celebrates Thirtieth B'Day
From October 2-25, the Museum of Modern Art is presenting "Reversal to
Digital: Third World Newsreel at Thirty," a thirtieth anniversary
retrospective of the renown socially-conscious documentary distributor.
Newsreel was founded in the late 1960's as an alternative distribution
avenue for documentaries on leftist political and social issues, and was
re-named Third World Newsreel in 1973. The series begins on October 2nd
with two work-in-progress excerpts from new Third World productions,
Kara Lynch's "Black Russians" and J. T. Takagi and Hye Jung Park's "The
#7 Train From Main Street." "Russians" explores the lives of
African-Russians raised in the former Soviet Union, while "#7 Train"
examines the lives of four diverse immigrants who live in Queens and
ride the #7 train into Manhattan. Other programs include "Sewing Woman,"
by Arthur Dong (1983), Julie Dash's "Illusions" (1983), Charles
Burnett's "Killer of Sheep" (1977) and a 1969 prison interview with
Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale.
[For more information and schedule, please call 212/708-9480]