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DAILY NEWS: Sundance Creates Online Fest; MediaTrip and Grammer

DAILY NEWS: Sundance Creates Online Fest; MediaTrip and Grammer

DAILY NEWS: Sundance Creates Online Fest; MediaTrip and Grammer

by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE

>> Sundance Creating Film Festival Online; Site to Debut in Conjunction with January Event

(indieWIRE/ 8.24.00) — No need to battle the crowds and the snow
to participate in the annual Sundance Film Festival madness, the
country’s leading film festival for new American independent films has
announced a major move towards embracing work made directly for the
Internet. The Sundance Institute announced yesterday the creation of the
Sundance Online Film Festival, set to coincide with the 2001 Sundance Film
Festival in Utah (January 18th through the 28th, 2001). The site will be
produced by and will launch on the Insitute’s site, The Institute intends to showcase, according to
an announcement, “both a selection of new work developed specifically
for the web and a retrospective of past web highlights.”

While the dotcoms were a major part of the Park City experience
at Sundance 2000, this is the first time that Sundance will create
a space for Internet-based work. The event has long served as a place
where filmmakers could glimpse the future in panel discussions and new
media showcases, but a move by such an important film Institution will
certainly elevate the awareness for “net cinema.”

Sundance Film Festival Co-Director Geoff Gilmore was not available for
comment yesterday due to travel in Montreal, however in a conversation with indieWIRE for our series of “Decade” interviews, he discussed the need for Sundance to explore online opportunities. “One of the things that we also have to reconceive is, for instance: How Sundance as a festival, as an institution, deals with the ‘Net. What kind of work we do. How this work is accessible to people.” Gilmore continued, “I very much feel that what we do need…is the opportunities for new creative voices to emerge, and that’s what we’re all concerned about.”

The Sundance Online Film Festival is now seeking submissions for its inaugural installment, looking for “mixed media pieces” made expressly for the web — animation, live-action, documentary, interactive or experimental. The submission deadline is
September 29, 2000. [Eugene Hernandez]

[For more information, visit, email or call 310/360-1981.]

>> BRIEFLY: Grammer Makes a Deal with MediaTrip

(indieWIRE/ 8.24.00) — Kelsey Grammer‘s Paramount Studios-based production company, Grammnet and online entertainment company this week announced a partnership to create animated content beginning with their debut, “Gary the Rat” to launch this Autumn. Gary, a high-powered Manhattan attorney (played by Grammer) surprisingly wakes up one day to find he has turned himself into a six-foot rat. Ironically (or not) his transformation makes him more appealing to his clients.

Under the agreement, the three-time Emmy award winner’s production company will executive produce along with “Gary” creators Mark Cullen (“Hitz“writer/producer) and Rob Cullen while will produce. The deal includes first-look rights for future Grammnet projects. Said Kelsey Grammer in a prepared statement, “I’m very excited about ‘The Rat.’ It’s one of the best characters I’ve come across in years and I think he has a very fruitful future. I’m also thrilled to be working with such a great team of creative minds.” CEO Austin Harrison commented, “We are honored to work with Kelsey as a content development partner and look forward to creating compelling comedy content on the Internet,” also in a prepared statement. [Brian Brooks]

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