DAILY NEWS: Avignon in NYC; SF Gay Fest Highlights
with articles by Brian Brooks and Wendy Mitchell/indieWIRE
>> Avignon Comes to New York During April Festival
(indieWIRE/03.15.02) — The U.S. premiere of Rupert Julien‘s “Phantom of
the Opera” is slated to open the 8th Avignon/New York Film Festival on
April 15th with a new classical accompaniment to be performed live by
Jean-Francois (piano) and Thierry Escaich (organ). Avignon brings the
Gallic festival, which takes place in the French city of the same name in
late June, to America with highlights of the event along with premieres of
French and European work and American features, retrospectives and panels.
U.S. premieres for next month’s fest include “Dummy” by Greg Pritikin
described by organizers as “a charming tale from the same dysfunctional
suburbia where ‘The Royal Tenenbaums‘ reside.” European work includes
Jean-Pierre Ameris‘ “C’est La Vie” about a bitter isolated man coming to
terms with his life in a clinic.
In the “Re-Discovery Films” lineup, Henri Diamant-Berger‘s 1921 feature,
“Les Trois Mousquetaires” (The Three Musketeers) will screen and Roundtable
Panels covering topics ranging from “Co-Producing Indie Films
Internationally” and “The Distribution Dilemma” are scheduled. Audience
members vote for favorite feature and short film prizes totalling $60,000;
the Kodak “Vision” Award will be given to the top cinematographer. The
closing night film on April 21 is Ralph Ziman‘s “The Zookeeper” about a
woman who cares for animals in a Balkan zoo beseiged by war. [Brian Brooks]
[For more information, visit the Avignon website].
>> San Francisco Gay Film Fest Adds Days, Larger Venues For June Event; Event Highlights Unveiled
(indieWIRE/03.15.02) — Filmlovers can leave their hearts in San Francisco
for a few more days this year — the 26th San Francisco International Lesbian
& Gay Film Festival has added a week to its schedule, for a total of 18 days.
This year’s fest, running June 13-30, will include larger screening venues,
including the Castro Theatre, the Herbst Theatre in the War Memorial
Performing Arts Center, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theatre.
Highlights of the lineup include Lauren Himmel‘s first feature, “Treading
Water,” Everett Lewis‘s L.A.-set comedy “Luster,” Ileana Pietrobruno‘s drag king pirate adventure “Girl King,” “F*@k The Disabled,” featuring disabled comic Greg Walloch, and Milford Thomas‘ “Claire,” shot using antique cameras.
Screenings from abroad will include British TV show “Bob & Rose,” from the
creator of the U.K. version of the series “Queer As Folk,” as well as U.K.
features “The Lawless Heart” and “A.K.A.” Asian films include Stanley Kwan‘s “Lan Yu,” about the relationship between a businessman and a young student during the year of the massacre in Tiananmen Square; Li Yu‘s “Fish and
Elephant,” the first lesbian film made in China; and Ryosuke Hashiguchi‘s
“Hush!,” which features a score by Bobby McFerrin.
The documentary slate features “Radical Harmonies: The Story of Women’s
Music,” by Dee Mosbacher, Boden Sandstrom and Margie Adam; Macky Alston‘s “Questioning Faith,” about religion in the new millennium; and Johnny Symon‘s “Daddy and Papa,” about issues facing gay families.
Frameline, the non-profit group behind the fest, will present its 2002
Frameline Award to Isaac Julien on May 4, and a Julien retrospective
(“Looking For Langston,” “Young Soul Rebels“) will run during the festival.
[For more information, visit Frameline].