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Sundance Announces Award Semi-Finalists; Trimark Picks Up Auster’s “Lulu”; AMPAS Opens NYC Office, A

Sundance Announces Award Semi-Finalists; Trimark Picks Up Auster's "Lulu"; AMPAS Opens NYC Office, A

Auster’s “Lulu”; AMPAS Opens NYC Office, Announces Nicholl Finalists,
Names Photo Archive For Roddy McDowall

Compiled by Mark Rabinowitz

>>Sundance And NHK Announces Semi-Finalists

The Sundance Institute and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have
announced two groups of semi-finalists for the 1999 Sundance/NHK
Filmmakers Award, five projects from Europe, and six from Latin America.
Created in 1996, the Award is designed to “honor and support emerging
filmmakers.” Four finalists are chosen, one each from the U.S., Europe,
Latin America and Japan, and each filmmaker will receive $10,000 in
cash, and upon completion of their films will receive a $125,000
licensing fee from NHK for Japanese broadcast rights. Semi-finalists are
chosen both on the strength of their scripts and on their past work,
including features, shorts, music videos, commercials, etc.). Past
winners have included Chris Eyre’s “Smoke Signals” and Walter Salles’
Central Station.” “Signals” was released this year in the U.S. by
Miramax, and “Station” will soon be released by Sony Pictures Classics.

Tania Diez (Scotland/England) leads off the list of European
semi-finalists. She was a 1995 Student Oscar winner for “Scarborough
“, and was chosen for her script “Full of Beans.” Tom Hunter and
Neil Hunsinger (England), whose feature film “Boyfriends” won Best Film
at the Turin Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, were chosen for “The Lawless
,” and “Parallel Worlds” is a script from the third semi-finalist,
Petr Vaclav (Czech Republic), whose debut feature, “Marian,” was awarded
the Silver Leopard and FIPRESCI award at the Locarno Film Festival. The
remaining two semi-finalists from Europe are Sara Sugarman
(Wales/Scotland), who was chosen for “Pavarotti in Dad’s Room,” and
Bakhtiyar Khudojnazarov (Tadjikistan/Germany), whose debut feature,
Bratan,” won awards in the Manneheim, Nanates, Fribourg, Berlin,
Belfort and Turin film festivals and second film, “Kosh Ba Kosh,” won
the Silver Lion at the Venice film festival, who was chosen for “Waiting
For the Sea

The Latin-American semi-finalists include Lucrecia Martel (Argentina),
whose short film “Rey Muerto” picked up the first prize at the 1995
Havana film festival, and was chosen for “La Cienaga,” Ariel Rotter
(Argentina), who was chosen for “Sorry, Man…I’m Mediocre,” which was
co-written with Lautaro Nunez de Arco and Toni Venturi (Brazil) for
Latitude 9,” co-written with Di Moretti. Andres Wood (Chile), whose
1997 film “Football Stories” received a Special Jury Mention at San
Sebastian, was chosen for “El Fiebre Del Loco,” co-written with Rene
Arcos; Carlos Cuaron (Mexico), who attended the Sundance Screenwriter’s
Lab in Mexico in 1993 and 1998, and was chosen for “Ordenes Superiores”
and Francisco Athie (Mexico), whose debut feature “Lolo” was chosen to
screen in the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors Fortnight and was chosen
by Sundance for “Vera,” are the final three Latin-American

>>Trimark Nabs Auster’s “Lulu”

Novelist Paul Auster’s feature directorial debut, “Lulu on the Bridge,”
has been picked up for U.S. distribution by Trimark Films, according to
Daily Variety. The film stars Harvey Keitel, Mira Sorvino, Mandy
Patinkin, Willem Dafoe, Gina Gershon and Vanessa Redgrave. “Lulu”
received a poor reception at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which may
explain the delay in acquisition of such a high profile film. The film
was financed by London-based Capitol Films, with additional financing
from French distrib Pyramide, which picked up French distribution
rights. “Lulu” was produced by New York production company, Redeemable
Features, whose partners are Ira Deutchman, Peter Newman and Greg
Johnson. According to Variety, Auster is a literary giant in France,
where in 1992, he received the French Chevalier de l’Ordre les Arts et
des Lettres, and his 1993 novel, “Leviathan,” was awarded the Prix
Medici Etranger for the best foreign novel.

>>Academy Opens New York Office

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has opened a New
York City Office on 6th Avenue at 44th street in Manhattan, establishing
an administrative presence in an area with over 600 Academy members. The
office is to be staffed by Richard Wilson, who was an administrator in
AMPAS’ executive director’s Beverly Hills office for the past seven
years. Prior to the opening of the New York office, AMPAS activities in
the area had been coordinated by Arthur Manson, a member of the
Academy’s Public Relations branch, and chair of AMPAS’ New York Events
Committee. New York activities include regularly scheduled Thursday and
Sunday night screenings at the Museum of Modern Art, voting screenings
of each year’s Short Film, Foreign Language and Documentary nominees and
the annual New York Oscar Night party. East Coast programming by AMPAS
has grown over recent years, including events honoring Esther Williams,
Rick Baker and Richard Widmark in 1997, and an upcoming salute to Karl

>>AMPAS Names Nicholl Finalists

In other AMPAS news, the eleven finalists for the 1998 Don and Gee
Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship have been selected, with as many as
five of them poised to win the $25,000 fellowship award, to be announced
late this month. The eleven were chosen from a record 4,446 entries from
all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 21 countries. The finalists
are: Jacob A. Estes, for “Mean Creek“; George H. Finch, for “The Living
and the Dead
“; David F. Goldsmith, for “Going For the Gold“; Robert H.
Gyde, for “Jelly-Babies“; Todd Ludy, for “Resurrection“; Donna McNeely,
for “Julia’s Child“; Karen M. Moncrieff, for “Blue Car“; Annmarie E.
Morais, for “Bleeding“; Michael A. Rich, for “Finding Forrester“;
Miranda Seymour, for “The Little Prince,” and Thomas P. Tytar, for
Garden Green.” Fellowships are awarded with the understanding that each
recipient will complete a feature-length screenplay during their
fellowship year.

The scripts are now sent on to final judging by the Nicholl Committee,
chaired by producer Gale Anne Hurd, and composed of writers Frank
Pierson, Dan Petrie Jr., John Gay, Hal Kanter, Tom Rickan and Daniel
Taradash, cinematographer John Baily, editor Mia Goldman, actor Eva
Marie Saint, director Robert E. Wise, producer Peter Samuelson and agent
Michael Zimring.


(May 27, 1998) Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship Program Receives a
4,440Entries; Coordinator Beal Discusses ’98 Competition

(Oct 22, 1997) AMPAS Names Nicholl Fellowship Honorees
News brief covering the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
(AMPAS) recipients of this year’s Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in

>> AMPAS Governors Honor Roddy McDowall

Academy President Robert Rehme recently announced that the collection of
still photos maintained by the AMPAS Margaret Herrick Library is to be
named in honor of actor Roddy McDowall, who passed away on October 3rd
from cancer. The announcement regarding the naming of the archive was
made on October 1st. McDowall was an accomplished photographer, having
published five volumes of a coffee table book entitled, “Double
Exposure.” Proceeds from the book benefit the Motion Picture and
Television Fund. In addition, his photos have published in several other
books, over 20 magazines including Vogue and Architectural Digest,
posters, record albums and book jackets. He even served as unit
photographer on the HBO production of “To Catch a Thief,” in 1983. While
the library’s Core Collection Files house a huge collection of photos,
there are also several special collections maintained by the library,
including archival holdings from M-G-M (1924-72), Paramount (1914-1970),
Universal (1946-56) and United Artists (1950-80), among others.

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