Sundance Report - United Artists Gets 'Pieces of April'; Also, War Protest, No Dance & Slamdunk Winners
by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks
United Artists has closed a deal for worldwide rights to "Pieces of April," one of the hottest titles on the market at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. UA President Bingham Ray announced the deal late Thursday here in Park City.
The competition film, which stars Katie Holmes, Patricia Clarkson, Oliver Platt, Derek Luke, and Sean Hayes, is an InDigEnt film screening in competition at Sundance. It is the directorial debut of writer Peter Hedges ("What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "About a Boy"). InDigEnt made news at last year's Sundance with its award wins and sales of "Personal Velocity" to UA and "Tadpole" to Miramax.
"Pieces of April," which was sold by Cinetic, was produced John Lyons, Alexis Alexanian and Gary Winick. It was executive produced by Jonathan Sehring, Caroline Kaplan, and John Sloss. It was shot by Tami Reiker ("High Art") and features music by Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields fame.
DEMONSTRATION SOBERS MAIN STREET
Between screenings, parties, crowds, the beautiful people, and hangovers it's easy to become sucked into a film festival bubble. Well, the world outside continues along with daily movement towards a war in the Middle East ... enter Lost Film Festival head Scott Beibin. He and his politically aware friends watched coverage of anti-war protests around the country over the weekend and decided to bring awareness to Park City with a demonstration of their own.
Thursday afternoon, the group, under the banner of "War for S.U.V.'s," organized a gathering of about 60 people on the corner of Main and Heber to express their stance against the potential war in Iraq. Several participants vented their anger at Bush himself.
"Is he really that popular?" asked Jonathan Shoemaker, one of many holding placards in the street, which was cordoned off by police, "None of my friends like him." Beiben went one step further, stating, "He's not even the President. We used to elect presidents...We don't usually replace governments in the U.S. by a coup," (in reference to the 2000 ballot debacle in Florida and Bush's loss of the popular vote during the election).
One notable passerby on Main Street, Sundance Film Festival director Geoff Gilmore, gave his moral support. "I really like Scott Beiben and I agree," the Festival chief told indieWIRE, endorsing the protestors views as he stood on the sidewalk chatting with demonstrators and the press. "Sundance should be a place where self-expression is on the screen and on the street."
"OUR HOUSE" AND "OUTPATIENT" WIN NO DANCE
Celebrating alternative digital film, in what organizers claim is the first DVD-projected film festival, the sixth-annual No Dance Festival has announced the winners of this year's event. Alec Carlin's "Outpatient" won the grand jury award for best feature, while Sevan Matossian's "Our House" won the grand jury award for best documentary. Bob Cesca's "The War Effort" won the audience prize for favorite feature. Prizes were presented by festival director James Boyd and Forest Whitaker.
Salma Hayek, at Sundance with her directorial debut "The Maldonado Miracle," presented No Dance Free Spirit Award to filmmaker Mike Figgis at the awards ceremony. Hayek worked with the filmmaker on both "Hotel" and "Time Code." For more information, visit www.nodance.com .
"ZERO DAY" WINS TWO SLAMDUNK AWARDS
Over at Slamdunk, Ben Coccio's "Zero Day" won the best feature and best actor (Andre Keuck & Al Gabriel) awards, while Pauly Shore's "You'll Never Wiez in this Town Again" won the best feature audience award. The award for best director went to Noah Stern's "7 Songs." The event, held this year at Harry O's, closed with an encore screening of Pauly Shore's "Wiez".
EDITORS NAME TOP PICKS FOR 2002
The American Cinema Editors (ACE) unveiled their nominees yesterday for the 2003 ACE Eddie Awards for Best Editing. In the documentary category, Sundance 2002 film "The Kid Stays in the Picture" was showcased. Editor Jun Diaz was nominated in the best edited documentary category along with Kurt Engfehr for "Bowling for Columbine" and Allan Holzman for "Sounds of Memphis."
Nominated in the dramatic feature film category are Kevin Tent for "About Schmidt," Thelma Schoonmaker for "Gangs of New York," Peter Boyle for "The Hours," Michael Horton for "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," and Michael Kahn for "Minority Report." In the best edited feature film comedy or musical category are Nick Moore for "About a Boy," Eric Zumbrunnen for "Adaptation," Martin Walsh for "Chicago," Mia Goldman for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," and Leslie Jones for "Punch-Drunk Love."