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DAILY NEWS: International Pix Tops in Seattle, “Raw” Deal Sours, and Goldwyn Gets “Castle”

DAILY NEWS: International Pix Tops in Seattle, "Raw" Deal Sours, and Goldwyn Gets "Castle"

DAILY NEWS: International Pix Tops in Seattle, "Raw" Deal Sours, and Goldwyn Gets "Castle"

by Eugene Hernandez and Matthew Ross/indieWIRE

>> “Elling” Wins Top Award in Seattle, Medem Awarded Best Director Prize

(indieWIRE: 06.17.02) — The 28th Seattle International Film Festival
concluded its 25-day run over the weekend with the world premiere of Dan
‘s “Passionada” and a gala closing night awards ceremony. The
Festival’s top award, The Golden Space Needle (selected by audience vote),
was presented to Peter Naess‘ “Elling” from Norway, while director Julio Medem from Spain won the best director award. Other international honorees
included Moritz Bleibtreu of Germany, winner of the best actor prize for
Das Experiment” and Isabelle Huppert from France, winner of the best
actress award for “The Piano Teacher.”

The Golden Space Needle for best documentary went to Deborah Dickson for
Ruthie & Connie: Every Room in the House,” while the best short film award
went to Nicolas Tomnay for “The Host.”

Among the winners of juried prizes were John Feldman‘s “Who the Hell is
Bobby Roos
” (New American Cinema Award), Raja Amari‘s “Satin Rouge” (New Director’s Showcase Award), and Nan Triveni Achnas‘ “Mon-rak Transistor” (Asian Tradewinds Award). [Eugene Hernandez]

>> “Raw” Deal Goes Sour, Controversial Doc Remains Orphaned

(indieWIRE: 06.17.02) — One of the most controversial stories of the 2001
Sundance Film Festival was “Raw Deal,” director Billy Corben‘s documentary about an alleged rape at a University of Florida fraternity party in 1999. Before Sundance had ended, Artisan Entertainment had stepped in and acquired North American rights to the film, which includes graphic footage of the
incident shot by members of the fraternity.

The film, which screened last week at the Florida Film Festival, was
recently dropped by Artisan. Citing more than 20 incidents of unlicensed
music cues which Artisan claims the filmmakers were unable to secure rights
to, Artisan has transferred its stake in the film to Miami Film Enterprises,
Inc., which is run by Gerald Houlihan, one of the film’s initial investors.
Miami Film Enterprises as well as Houlihan’s group of individual investors
— both represented by Houlihan’s law firm — are involved in separate legal
disputes against Corben and “Raw Deal” producer Alfred Spellman‘s West
Avenue Films

Houlihan said that Miami Film Enterprises intends to pursue another
distributor once the music rights situation is resolved. “I think this is a
fabulous and compelling film and I feel it needs to be shown in as many
theaters as possible,” said Houlihan in a conversation with indieWIRE. “We
want to pursue distribution, but first we need to clear the outstanding
issues with the music.”

Meanwhile, producer Spellman claims that Miami Film Enterprises has no legal
stake in the film. [Matthew Ross]

[Maud Kersnowski interviewed “Raw Deal” subject Lisa Gier King for indieWIRE
at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. Read the complete article at:]

>> Goldwyn Gets Fywell’s “Castle”

(indieWIRE: 06.17.02) — Out of screenings at this year’s Cannes Film
, Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired Tim Fywell‘s “I Capture the Castle.” The company made the deal with Distant Horizon.

The picture, which stars Romola Garai, Bill Nighy, Rose Byrne, Tara Fitzgerald, and Henry Thomas, was executive produced by Anant Singh of Distant Horizon and David M. Thompson of BBC Films and produced by David Parfitt (“Shakespeare in Love“).

The film, set in an English castle in the 1930s, was described in a
prepared statement as “a beautifully realized romantic tale (that) follows
17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain (played by Romola Garai) and the fortunes of her eccentric family.”

Other recent acquisitions for the company include “Long Way Home” (along
with Fireworks Pictures) and “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not.” [Eugene

>> FRIDAY IN indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: DAILY NEWS: Artisan Gets “Amandla,”

(indieWIRE: 06.14.02) — Artisan Pictures has acquired North American
distribution rights to “Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony,” which
examines the role of music in stamping out apartheid in South Africa.”

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