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DAILY NEWS UPDATE: SXSW Winners; The LAFF Lineup; “Fighter” Acquired; “Journey” Deal; and a New Fes

DAILY NEWS UPDATE: SXSW Winners; The LAFF Lineup; "Fighter" Acquired; "Journey" Deal; and a New Fes

DAILY NEWS UPDATE: SXSW Winners; The LAFF Lineup; "Fighter" Acquired; "Journey" Deal; and a New Festival Award

by Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE

>> Award Winners Announced at 2001 SXSW

(indieWIRE/03.14.01) — The South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference
and Festival
announced its winners last night at the Paramount Theater
in Austin, TX. The top narrative prize went to Blaine Thurier‘s
Low Self Esteem Girl,” while the top documentary feature award was
presented to Monteith McCollum‘s “Hybrid.”

In the audience categories, John Ryman won the top narrative award for
The Zeros” and James Crowley won the prize for narrative first film.
While in the documentary section, Bradley Beesley‘s “Okie Noodling” won
the documentary prize and Heather Courtney‘s “Los Trabajadores” (The
Workers) won the documentary first film prize. The audience award for
international film went to Lukas Moodyson‘s “Tillsammans” (Together).

In the shorts categories, Ari Gold‘s “Helicopter” won the narrative
short award, Ellen Spiro‘s “Atomic Ed and The Black Hole” won the
documentary short prize, Julian Dahl‘s “Insect” tool the experimental
short award, Jesse Schmal‘s “Sub!” won the animated short prize and
Mikey Tomkins won in the music video category for St. Etienne’s
How We Used to Live.”

In the midnight film category, there was a three-way tie. The winners
were Jay Chandrasekhar‘s “Super Troopers,” Syd Haron and Erin Henry‘s “Wave Twister” and Maggie Carey and Elena Carr‘s “Ladyporn.” [Eugene Hernandez]

>> 2001 LAFF To Close with Anders “Sun”; Full Lineup Set

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following story has been corrected since the publication of the indieWIRE Daily email. The opening night film has not yet been announced.]

(indieWIRE/03.14.01) — The 2001 IFP/West Los Angeles Film Festival will close with Allison Anders‘ latest film, “Things Behind the Sun” and offer a total of 21 world premieres during its nine-day run on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, April 20 – 28, 2001. The complete lineup is available now at

The festival, which underwent a bit of a facelift over the last year, is now a project of the IFP/West and its name was slightly altered to reflect the shift.

Commenting on the program in a prepared statement yesterday, Programming Director Thomas Ethan Harris said, “The strength of this year’s program is reflective of the amazing level of talent utilizing digital filmmaking techniques. This exciting, new technology provides greater access to innovative artists truly working outside the system.”

Anders “Sun” is one such effort. The film debuted at Sundance and stars Kim Dickens, Gabrielle Mann, Don Cheadle, Eric Stoltz, Elizabeth Peña, and Rosanna Arquette. Another noteworthy digital entry is Jesse Peretz latest film, “The Chateau.” The film was a hit during screenings in Berlin last month and is an anticipated narrative feature. Other narrative features from notable directors include Michael Radford’s “Dancing at the Blue Iguana,” John Greyson’s “The Law of Enclosures,” Denis Villenueve’s “Maelström,” Ilya Chaiken’s “Margarita Happy Hour,” Todd Verow’s “Once and Future Queen,” and Christopher Munch’s “The Sleepy Time Gal.”

Docs from familiar figures include Caveh Zahedi’s “In the Bathtub of the World,” Doug Pray’s “Scratch,” Marina Zenovich’s “Who is Bernard Tapie?,” and Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini’s “The Young and the Dead.”

The festival will run at the DGA, Harmony Gold, Laemmle Sunset 5 and the Los Angeles Film School. It will also include high school shorts, music videos, digital filmmaking seminars and a craft series. [Eugene Hernandez]


>> First Run Nabs “Fighter”

(indieWIRE/03.14.01) — First Run Features has announced the acquisition of Amir Bar-Lev‘s documentary, “Fighter.” The movie, Bar-Lev’s feature-length filmmaking debut, is the latest Next Wave Films documentary to find a theatrical home, following “Sound and Fury,” “Southern Comfort” and the upcoming, “Keep the River on Your Right.”

The movie, which was an award winner at numerous film festivals (Hamptons, Karlovy Vary, Galway and Newport, Rhode Island), documents the lives of two Holocaust survivors who are haunted by their past. The company plans to release the movie later this year.

“I was moved by the warmth, humor and support of two old friends, and the limits of that friendship as laid bare by the different ways each tried to deal with his memories of the holocaust,” commented First Run president Seymour Wishman, in a prepared statement. [Eugene Hernandez]

>> Seventh Art Acquires “The Journey” at SXSW

(indieWIRE/03.14.01) — Eric Saperston‘s “The Journey” has been acquired by Seventh Art Releasing, the company confirmed yesterday.

The documentary is fresh from premiere screenings at SXSW in Austin where former Governor Ann Richards, one of the many notable figures interviewed for the project, was among those in attendance. The movie includes Saperston’s chats with Jimmy Carter, Jerry Garcia, Billy Crystal, Arlo Guthrie, Alan Keyes, Carl Lewis, Henry Winkler and others. [Eugene Hernandez]

>> Five Film Fests to Identify Finalists for the “Bubbling Under Award”

(indieWIRE/03.14.01) — The recently completed 16th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the Taos Talking Picture Festival
(April 5-8) along with three as yet to be identified film fests will participate in the newly created Perrier Bubbling Under Award for First-Time Filmmakers. Each of the five festivals will identify one finalist that will compete at the end of the year for a grant of $50,000 to be used for the filmmaker’s next production. The sparkling water maker will make the selection of the final three festivals later this year.

In Santa Barbara, the festival, which ended Sunday, picked Rosemary Rodriguez‘s debut, “Acts of Worship,” as the first of the five nominees. The film, which stars Ana Reeder and Michael Hyatt and screened at Sundance earlier this year, is a look at one woman’s spiral into drug addiction.

Additionally, Perrier has teamed with Nibblebox to host a competition on college campuses and online to find a “best idea for a Perrier-themed film trailer” to represent the company in film festivals nationwide. In addition to the Bubbling Under Award, the beverage maker supports awards at other festivals such as the New York/Avignon Film Festival and the Newport Film Festival. [Brian Brooks]

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