DAILY NEWS: Cleveland Fest's 25th; Leo Award Winners
by Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> The Cleveland International Film Festival “Dishes” its 25th
(indieWIRE/ 03.08.01) — The Silver edition of the Cleveland International
Film Festival will take-off with Rob Sitch‘s “The Dish” on Thursday, March 15th. Starring Sam Neill (“The Piano“) the film is a comedy based on the true story set in small town, Parkes, Australia. A team of mellow
astrotechnicians have the daunting job of preparing the Southern
Hemisphere’s largest satellite to receive the transmissions of Apollo XI to
see man take his first steps on the moon. As people tune their televisions
from around the world, comical dramas threaten to disrupt the broadcast.
The Cleveland International Film Festival has evolved since its founding in
1977, into one of the premier film events in the region showcasing
contemporary world cinema. This year, 80 feature films from 35 countries
will screen along with over 100 shorts. The Festival is presented by the
Cleveland Film Society, a non-profit organization promoting the film arts in
Panel discussions and the Midwest Independent Filmmakers Conference, held
during the Festival’s final weekend are other highlights of the event.
Other programs include a diversity learning event through film called
“Cultural Journeys,” and “Film Slam,” a high school student film festival.
Closing the Festival Sunday, March 25th is Merchant-Ivory‘s “The Golden
Bowl.” Including a star cast such as Uma Thurman, Jeremy Northam, Kate Bekinsale, Nick Nolte, and Anjelica Huston, the film is set amongst intrigue in author Henry James‘ Victorian-era examination of status, wealth and love. [Brian Brooks]
>> Wiseman and Cooper Take 2001 Leos
(indieWIRE/ 03.08.01) — Documentarian Frederick Wiseman and Programmer
Karen Cooper are to receive the 2001 Leo Awards it was announced yesterday in New York. Established in 1988 by the Leo Dratfield Endowment at
International Film Seminars, the Leo Awards are given in two categories,
“Film and Video Librarian and/or Programmer” as well as “Filmmaker or
Producer.” The organization is well known as the organizer of the annual
Robert Flaherty Film Seminar. The recipients are two people or organizations
who “most exemplify the commitment and spirit of Leo Dratfield and show a
sustained ability to introduce innovative and unorthodox approaches into
their areas of specialization.”
A former president of the New York Film/Video Council, Leo Dratfield was
considered a pioneer of non-theatrical film and was a distributor and
benefactor of a number of cultural groups as well as indie filmmakers.
Friends established the endowment in his memory to promote awareness in
independent and non-theatrical film and video.
Frederick Wiseman has made over 30 films and is considered a leader in
documentary filmmaking. He uses everyday institutions in making non-
fiction feature films, the first person to do so. “Titicut Follies“
(1967) is recognized as a pivotal work exposing the grim conditions at
the State Prison for the Criminally Insane at Bridgewater, MA.
Karen Cooper serves as president of Film Forum, a leader in art house
independent film in America. She has served on the boards of many
organizations, notably, the American Film Institute and has participated
on the juries of major film festivals in the U.S. and abroad. Additionally,
she has received numerous awards including the Special Award for Programming
Excellence by the New York Film Critics Circle.
Past Leo winners include filmmakers Albert and David Maysles, Les Blank and Jonas Mekas in addition to presenters Edith Kramer, Daniel Talbot and Amos Vogel. The awards this year well be presented March 20th during the Ninth Annual Film Preservation Honors Dinner at New York’s Anthology Film Archive. [Brian Brooks]