DAILY NEWS: Artisan Exec Going DotCom; Thessaloniki USA Fest; Oscar Speeches

DAILY NEWS: Artisan Exec Going DotCom; Thessaloniki USA Fest; Oscar Speeches

By Eugene Hernandez & Maya Churi/indieWIRE

>> Artisan Exec Leaving for DotCom Job

(indieWIRE/3.30.00) — Artisan‘s marketing topper John Hegeman is leaving
the company to join former Disney chief Joe Roth at a new website, Variety
reported yesterday. The site was described as a horror, sci-fi and fantasy
site dubbed “Distant Corners,” according to the Hollywood trade publication.

Variety indicated that Hegeman will join the start-up on Monday. The site
is being funded, in-part, by an investment from Artisan Entertainment.

[Eugene Hernandez]

>> Thessaloniki USA Film Festival to exhibit films from Greece and the Balkans

(indieWIRE/3.30.00) — The 4th annual Thessaloniki USA Film Festival has
announced the largest and most diverse line-up of films from Greece and
the Balkans to participate in this years festival. The panorama of
films to be included feature 30 films that are often overlooked by other
areas of the world. The festival, which takes place at The Anthology Film
in New York City in mid-April will mark the US premiere of 10
films from 9 different countries. Some of the festival highlights
include the Festival Centerpiece: “The Robbery” directed by Alexis
, and the Windows on the Balkans presentation: “The Road of
Fraternity and Unity
” from Slovenia and “Diamonds in the Dark” (Romania).
The fest will also feature a retrospective of the great Greek auteur
Nikos Nikolaidis. [Maya Churi]

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>> Almodovar at the Oscars — What was he saying?

(indieWIRE/3.30.00) — Among the most exciting indie wins at this week’s
Academy Awards was the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film awarded to
Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar. It was only the third Oscar ever
presented to a Spanish film.

Like many viewers, we were a little confused by Almodovar’s broken
English acceptance speech. At Sunday night’s post-Oscar party, indieWIRE
congratulated the filmmaker and requested a copy of his acceptance speech.
He sent it to us via his publicist. It reads:

“At this moment it is 6am in Spain, in Europe. I want to dedicate this
Oscar to all the Spaniards who have sacrificed their Monday to see us.
This statuette belongs to you, Spain!

I also want to thank my sisters Maria Jesus and Antonia for the amount
of candles they have lit to their favorite saints during the last months.
Thanks to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Virgin of La Cabeza,
La Milagrosa, the Sacred Heart of Mary, San Judas Tadeo and
Jesus of Medinacelli.

So you can get an idea, my sisters’ Oscar campaign consisted of
lighting candles to their saints, presided by a photograph of my
mother, Penelope and me, next to a twig of a laurel, which brings
good luck.

Thanks to Sony Classics for their unlimited faith in the film.
Thanks to Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom. Also thanks
to Melody Korenbrot.

I must share this award with all those who were by my side, the
actresses Cecilia, Marisa, Candela, Penelope, Antonia, Yael, the
actors Eloy and Carlos and the rest of the cast. My production team
Esther, Michel, Lola, Paz, and everyone who’s helped me during my life.
Also, to my village, Calzada de Calatrava, and all of Spain.

All About My Mother‘ is a film spoken in Spanish, a language of which
I feel very proud and which, unless you start having more babies, is
going to end up invading this country. And instead of saying goodbye,
thank you, I’m moved, you will end up saying Adios, muchos gracias
a todas, estoy muy emocionado.”

During the live on-air delivery, Almodovar also attempted an off-the-cuff
joke which we have since clarified. Referencing his sisters’ Oscar
campaign of prayer, Almodovar quipped, “Harvey Weinstein should take a
lesson from my sisters and save himself a lot of money.”
[Eugene Hernandez]

>>Swank’s Speech Angers Teena’s Mom

(indieWIRE/3.30.00) — Another Oscar speech of note was Best Actress
winner Hilary Swank‘s acceptance. On stage, Swank stated, “I want to thank
Brandon Teena for being such an inspiration to us all. His legacy lives
on through our movie to remind us to always be ourselves, to follow our
hearts, to not conform. I pray for the day when we not only accept our
differences, but we actually celebrate our diversity.”

The comments irked the mother of “Boys Don’t Cry” subject, Brandon
Teena. The Associated Press reported that JoAnn Brandon is upset that
Swank referred to Teena as a male and called him by his chosen name
rather than his given name, Teena Brandon.

As depicted in the movie, Teena lived as a man and dated a woman,
ultimately resulting in his being killed by two men once the secret
was discovered.

Brandon told the AP that the makers of the movie failed to reveal that
Teena was sexually abused as a child. “She pretended she was a man so
no other man could touch her,” Brandon told the AP.
[Eugene Hernandez]