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DAILY NEWS: Online Film Festival; Kerrigan’s Miramax Deal

DAILY NEWS: Online Film Festival; Kerrigan's Miramax Deal

DAILY NEWS: Online Film Festival; Kerrigan's Miramax Deal

by Eugene Hernandez and Maya Churi

>> Yahoo Internet Life Launching Online Film Festival

For much of 1999 an array of websites emerged dedicated to showcasing
entertainment content online — iFilm, AtomFilms, Always Independent Films,
Media Trip, etc. While in the past month, with the announcement of POP.com
and the debut of Warner Bros.’ new Entertaindom site this week, some bigger
players are getting in on the action. It was only a matter of time before a
new crop of big name festivals emerged to showcase the increasing amount of

Next spring, a few days before the Academy Awards, Yahoo! Internet Life
magazine will present the first “Online Film Festival,” a new high-profile
event for emerging media entertainment. Building on the success of live
events presented by RESFEST and D-FILM or even Always Independent Films’
recent Internet-based fest, the Yahoo! Internet Life festival clearly marks a
major step forward, given its backing by Ziff-Davis and the consumer popularity
of its magazine.

Set for March 22 – 23 in Los Angeles, the festival will present six movies
in each of a variety of categories — features, documentaries, short films and
animated works — during screenings at the Director’s Guild of America Theater
on Sunset Boulevard. Short form work will also be streamed online — site
visitors will be able to pick a winning film from among 12 finalists. Meanwhile,
at the nearby Chateau Marmont and Standard hotels, the Festival will include
exhibition space for online film companies such as AtomFilms, iFilm, CinemaNow,
BeachBlanket.com, BroadcastDVD, Load Media and others. Roger Ebert will
participate in the event’s conference, which will include keynote speeches
and seminars.

“This festival will elevate the online film space,” festival executive
producer and Yahoo! Internet Life publisher Paul Turcotte explained in a
prepared statement, “(It) will explore the various ways that content
providers are using the Internet to exhibit compelling entertainment, and,
most importantly, will provide a viable outlet for independent, shorts, and
animation filmmakers.”

In a conversation with indieWIRE, Turcotte expressed his publication’s
commitment to carving out a showcase event for online movies, much in the
way that the Magazine’s Online Music Awards have singled out online music
for the past two years.

“We are distribution agnostic,” indicated Turcotte, “I don’t really care or
have a bent on where the work comes from, if its interesting work that’s
coming from an independent filmmaker or interesting work that is coming from
a studio, we don’t care one way or another.” To execute the event, Turcotte
has tapped Jesse Jacobs (who worked on the Music Awards) to serve as
Festival Director and Heather Kellogg has been named the Festival

“Indie filmmakers are going to use the Internet to express themselves in
different ways,” Turcotte explained, “We hope that this becomes the premiere
source of acknowledgment that people in this space shoot for.”

[For submission information, please contact Heather Kellogg at
yilsubmitfilms@aol.com, for exhibition/sponsorship information, contact
Jesse Jacobs at 212.503.4708 or jesse_jacobs@zd.com.]

>> Justin Kerrigan Signs First-Look Deal with Miramax

Miramax announced today that they have signed a first-look deal with
Justin Kerrigan, the writer and director of “Human Traffic.” Under the
multi-year agreement Kerrigan will write and/or direct for Miramax
(which acquired “Human Traffic” at this year’s Toronto Film Festival).
“Human Traffic,” which has already been released in the UK, follows the
lives of five friends as they gather for a weekend of pubs, clubs and
parties. Kerrigan, who is a graduate of the University of Wales, said
of the deal “It’s mind-blowing….It feels like I’m in a film.”

Kerrigan won the Golden Hitchcock Award at the 1999 Dinard British Film
and the D.M. Davies Award at the Welsh International Film
(the largest prize in Europe for a short film.)
[Maya Churi]

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