DAILY NEWS: Deutchman Heads to Studionext; FilmFour in LA with Yeldham; Wong Kar-wai in NYC and Eveo Wants an Oscar
by Eugene Hernandez and Jeffrey M. Barker/indieWIRE
>> Fine Line Founder, Deutchman, Joins Studionext As CEO
(indieWIRE/ 10.3.00) — After his first day of work, Ira Deutchman is
already one of the most significant people working with online film. Founder of Fine Line Features and Redeemable Features, Deutchman has become, over the past
decade, one of the more powerful names in independent film. Yesterday, he
joined Studionext as its CEO.
“I’ve always been fascinated with this [online] world,” Deutchman said, in a
conversation with indieWIRE yesterday. He talks of digital film as if it is a
godsend. Studionext will be for Deutchman a bridge between the offline and online worlds.
But he is no stranger to the online film world. Fine Line was one of the
first traditional film companies to establish a presence online, and one of Deutchman’s current projects is a digital movie, “Center of the World.”
And over the past few years, he has been courted by a handful of online
companies looking to hire him onto their teams. Too many online film-oriented companies are looking to be simply destination sites, he said. When approached by Studionext, he researched the company and liked what he found.
Studionext is more what he calls “a think tank for development.” A digital
media solutions provider offering help with distribution, production,
technology, and financing, Studionext is looking to do just about everything
including and in-between online and film. Except, they won’t be a destination site.
The company has already formed a reputation for being a filmmaker’s gateway to
the online realm. It arms producers and directors with cost-effective ways to crossover into the digital medium. Studionext aims to open traditional filmmakers eyes to the possibilities and opportunities of online distribution.
Deutchman offered that Studionext excels at offering new forms of expression for
people “who aren’t satisfied with the current version of independent film.”
The new CEO talks of “the offline world” as if it’s a dark place where
disease and violence have gotten out of hand. It is apparent that he can name a few things that are wrong with traditional film. When he discusses the digital, online world, he talks with energy and light and creativity.
Deutchman talks of possibilities and of building bridges between the two worlds. He said with Studionext he aims to reinvigorate the offline film world, shedding on it some light with ideas borrowed from the digital realm. Another of his goals is to scrutinize the dollars of the business at every level — from development to distribution — in an attempt to make digital filmmaking even more accessible.
And Deutchman plans to put that cost-effective mindset to work for Studionext.
“We’re not going to be writing checks right and left — we’re going to bring
in sponsors for just about everything we do,” he said. “In a way, it’s the classic independent film model.”
Contrary to Deutchman’s idea-studded words, he said there would be no
radical changes at Studionext due to his arrival. The site, which relaunched in June with a new look and a slate of 20 new programs, will continue along the same path its been traveling. Except, of course, it will have at its helm one of the most connected and pioneering producers in the entertainment industry rolodex.
At its relaunch, the site showcased episodics like “DJ Booth,” about the
disco/dance world and “USA Skate,” a show about skateboard culture. Also at that time, executives there likened Studionext to the Fox Network when it first launched; both companies produce alternative content but attempt to compete in the mainstream. The site will continue its mission to bridge off-and online worlds, exposing traditional filmmakers to digital film and attempting to raise online film to mainstream status.
The company through which he pursues his own filmmaking endeavors,
Redeemable Features, will continue as it always has, Deutchman
said. Studionext, however, will be his primary focus. [Jeffrey M. Barker]
>> FilmFour Opening LA Office with Yeldham at the Helm
(indieWIRE/ 10.3.00) — FilmFour, Channel 4‘s wholly owned film production, sales and distribution company, has announced that it will open an office in
Los Angeles next month with Sundance senior film programmer Rebecca Yeldham leading the outfit — she is joining the company as the Senior VP of
Production. According to yesterday’s announcement, Yeldham will explore
relationships with emerging talent and work with Warner Bros., the studio
with which FilmFour recently announced a major co-production deal.
“We are so proud to be working with Rebecca”, commented FilmFour Chief
Executive Paul Webster in a prepared statement. “I have long admired her
work as a key member of the Sundance team, she has unparalleled contacts
with filmmakers, she’s smart, savvy and a great laugh. With Rebecca running
our Los Angeles division, FilmFour will be open for business with Hollywood
24 hours a day!”
Yeldham spent four years as a programmer at Sundance, also serving recently
as the Associate Director of International Programs. She recently took a
leave from the festival to work with producer Arthur Cohn (“Central
Station,” “One Day in September“).
>> Wong Kar-wai and Stars Celebrate in New York
(indieWIRE/10.03.00) — Sunday it was time for acclaimed Hong Kong director
Wong Kar-wai to step into the spotlight at the New York Film Festival.
While Wong and his “In the Mood for Love” stars made the press rounds during
the day, Sunday night they celebrated in Manhattan before their first Festival screening at Lincoln Center.
Watch for USA Films, who picked up the film in Cannes, to push for a foreign
language Academy Award, and other winter awards, this year — the director
and stars will be in LA for a round of receptions and press aimed at
introducing the movie to voters and the media.
Sunday, after a few interviews and photo shoots (including some time spent
with indieWIRE), actors Tony Leung (“Happy Together,” “Chungking Express“) and Maggie Cheung (“Chinese Box,” “Irma Vep“) joined Wong Kar-wai at a special reception in their honor at the Midtown restaurant, Thalia, on Eighth Avenue. USA Films chief Scott Greenstein and Senior VP of
Acquisitions and Co-Production Stephen Raphael were among the USA executives
in attendance, along with the company’s PR team including Adrienne Bowles,
Donna Dickman, Amy Clark and Kristen Foster. After cocktails and a buffet dinner, USA Networks Chairman and CEO Barry Diller dropped in with clothing designer Diane von Furstenberg and most guests headed uptown for the
screening after 9 p.m.
Many of the remaining guests then made their way up to O’Neals on 64th St.
for the Film Society of Lincoln Center‘s annual tribute to the Festival
directors. The event was crowded with filmmakers, press and some
industry-types who settled in for cocktails and breakfast (bacon and eggs),
along with the promised desserts.
Days after “George Washington” had its first screening, attendees were still
buzzing about the movie and its rave New York Times review. Director David
Gordon Green and cast returned to O’Neals for the Sunday night bash,
celebrating their second screening earlier in the day. As the evening wore
on, guests from the “In the Mood for Love” screening made the scene, buzzing
about the beauty of Wong Kar-wai’s latest.
In an indieWIRE review, published today, critic Patrick McGavin writes,
“(‘In the Mood for Love’) is a work of enormous cumulative power, in what it
refuses to state explicitly but illustrate through its beautiful imagery and
the expressive, almost painstaking attention to the actions, inflections and
movements of the two protagonists. [Eugene Hernandez]
RELATED ARTICLE @ indieWIRE.com:
+ NYFF 2000 REVIEW: Wong Kar-wai’s Beautiful, Sad Lament for Love Denied in
>> Eveo Hoping to Send User-Generated Shorts to the Academy Awards
(indieWIRE/10.3.00) — Eveo.com, the site where everyone and anyone’s a
director, believes it has a few shorts worthy of an Academy Award
nomination. Only a month after the largest user-generated short film site on
the web announced the formation of its Next Gen Talent Incubation and
Management Program, three shorts are benefiting from the incubator. Gabriela
Marti‘s “Fin,” Scott Kravitz‘ “Magic Trick,” and Corey Rosen‘s “Keep Clear” are being premiered at Pasadena’s Playhouse 7 theatre.
Eveo teamed with Los Angeles-based Laemmle Theatres to show the films so
that they may be submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences for consideration for the 73rd Annual Academy Awards.
The Incubation and Management Program aims to help wanna-be filmmakers who
Eveo believes have the ability to become real-life filmmakers. The program
represents directors, helps them to secure an agent, and gets their work
seen by studio and network executives.
“Fin” and “Keep Clear” have already screened, while the animated
Magic Trick” can be seen at the Pasadena Playhouse 7 October 3 – 5 at 11:15
a.m. and 12:15 p.m. [Jeffrey M. Barker]