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DAILY NEWS: Toronto Sets Additional Pix, Urbanworld MECCA Awards and McKnight Fellowships

DAILY NEWS: Toronto Sets Additional Pix, Urbanworld MECCA Awards and McKnight Fellowships

DAILY NEWS: Toronto Sets Additional Pix, Urbanworld MECCA Awards and McKnight Fellowships

by Eugene Hernandez, Matthew Ross and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE

>> Toronto Fest Sets Special Presentations Lineup, with Ponti, Ozon, Cesar, Miyazaki and Suleiman; Leigh, Kiarostami and Loach Also Tapped for Event

(indieWIRE: 07.17.02) — A handful of premieres are set for the Toronto
International Film Festival
‘s “Special Presentation” section, the Festival
announced yesterday. Among the international entries on hand for the
upcoming event include Edoardo Ponti‘s “Between Strangers,” David Cesar‘s “Dirty Deeds,” Elia Suleiman‘s “Divine Intervention,” Hayao Miyazaki‘s “Spirited Away,” and Francois Ozon‘s “8 Femmes.”

Among other titles to be announced by organizers, according to a Variety
report, are Ken Loach‘s “Sweet Sixteen,” Mike Leigh‘s “All or Nothing” and Abbas Kiarostami‘s “Ten.” Other Fest films will be unveiled over the next few weeks, in advance of the complete lineup announcement next
month. The event runs September 5 to 14.

As reported in indieWIRE recently, the Festival will open with a screening
of Atom Egoyan‘s latest, “Ararat.” Other notable films set to screen include
David Cronenberg‘s “Spider,” Peter Kosminsky‘s “White Oleander,” Brad Silberling‘s “Moonlight Mile,” and Im Kwon Taek‘s “Chihwaseon.” [Eugene Hernandez]

[For more information, visit:]

>> Urbanworld Launches MECCA Awards

(indieWIRE: 07.17.02) — The Urbanworld Film Foundation has announced plans
to launch a new event honoring minority entertainers. The event, which will
be called the MECCA Movie Awards, will be held on August 10 at the
Director’s Guild of America New York location, prior to the closing night
screening of the sixth Urbanworld Film Festival.

“Now that the Urbanworld Film Festival has established itself as the largest
internationally competitive film festival of its kind, the MECCA Movie
Awards seems like a natural next step for us,” said festival executive
producer Joy Huang. “It is our hope that the MECCA Movie Awards will further
the promising future of minority filmmaking by raising funds to provide
scholarships, year-round screenings and networking programs.”

Inaugural recipients slated for this year’s prizes are Ice Cube (acting
award), Kerry Washington (future of film award), Lee Daniels (visionary
award) and the cast and creative team of “Topdog/Underdog” (theatrical
excellence award). Other selected films will be judged by a panel of
industry professionals and will compete for grand jury awards in the
categories of best feature, best short, best director, and best screenplay.
The Festival’s presenting sponsor, HBO, is host of the HBO Documentary
, with the winner of the best documentary feature receiving a
cash prize of $5000, and the winner of the documentary short receiving a
cash prize of $2500. Urbanworld Film Festival attendees will also vote for
their favorite film to determine the audience award winner. [Matthew Ross]

>> IFP Minneapolis/Saint Paul Announces McKnight Screenwriting Fellowship Recipients

(indieWIRE: 07.17.02) — IFP Minneapolis/Saint Paul announced that Steve
and Ron Stover are the recipients of the organization’s 2002 McKnight Screenwriting Fellowship awards, including a $25,000 prize presented by
writer-director John Sayles. The McKnight Screenwriting Fellowship
recognizes excellence and mastery in screenwriting based on a submitted
script, which is judged by luminaries from across the country. This year’s
judges included Samantha Deane, VP develoment and co-founder of Studio
, Shira Levin, former president of development at Scorcese’s production
unit, Cappa Productions, and Steven Rubenstein, senior VP of development at Mace Neufeld Productions.

The Fellowship has become one of the most prestigious screenwriting
competitions in the Upper Midwest, and the cash prize is one of the largest
for screenwriting in the country. In addition to the money, the program
provides mentorship from industry professionals in New York and Los Angeles.
Both Larson and Stover will travel to New York City to attend the IFP Market
in late September.

Larson’s “Beyond Duluth” is described by the organization as about a
self-absorbed teenage girl and a 40-year-old mute man “who drive
from St. Paul to Duluth so that Olivia can confront her boyfriend who is
dumping her.” Stover’s “Under a Kansas Sun” is about a man who finds himself
embroiled in a growing range war in the Colorado Territory two years
following the Civil War and asks a Lakota Sioux man to help him.

IFP Minneapolis/ St. Paul works to support and promote the work of
screenwriters, filmmakers, video makers and photographers in the Upper
Midewest. The McKnight Foundation supports mid-career artists in Minnesota
who have shown excellence in their artistic discipline. [Brian Brooks]

>> TUESDAY IN indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: DAILY NEWS: Avatar’s Robin Lim Dies; Box-Office Numbers; Karlovy Winners; and Wellspring’s “Carnage”

(indieWIRE: 07.16.02) — Robin Lim, the president and co-founder of Avatar
Films, passed away recently. He died unexpectedly in New York at the age of
33; By all accounts, DreamWorks’ successful release of Sam Mendes’ “Road to
Perdition” affected this weekend’s indie and specialty box-office. Attendance
was reportedly down at key venues. Czech director Peter Zelenka’s “Year of
the Devil” was awarded the Crystal Globe prize at the 37th Karlovy Film
Festival. And, Wellspring Media has acquired U.S. rights to Delphine Gleize’s
directorial debut “Carnage.”


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