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DAILY NEWS: Another Artist Denied U.S. Visa, the Savannah Festival Line Up and Grand Marnier Fellow

DAILY NEWS: Another Artist Denied U.S. Visa, the Savannah Festival Line Up and Grand Marnier Fellow

DAILY NEWS: Another Artist Denied U.S. Visa, the Savannah Festival Line Up and Grand Marnier Fellowship Winners

by Eugene Hernandez, Brian Brooks and Wendy Mitchell/indieWIRE

>> Visa Denials for NYC Cultural Events Continue with Cuban Artist Unable to Attend Film Premiere

(indieWIRE: 10.10.02) — In a continued rash of recent visa denials
involving cultural exchange personalities hoping to attend New York City
events, Cuban artist Salvador Gonzalez, subject of the new documentary by
Bette Wanderman, has been denied an entry visa into the U.S. for the October
11 premiere of the film about his life. The State Department, under the
recently enacted Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act, requires
applicants from seven countries, including Cuba, to undergo extra background
checks because they’re named as “state sponsors of terrorism.” Recently,
Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami was denied a visa to attend the screening
of his film “Ten” at the 40th New York Film Festival under the same Act.
International reaction was swift to the Kiarostami incident, including a
boycott by Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki who was scheduled to attend NYFF
in support of his film, “The Man Without a Past.”

Gonzalez is renowned for using African-derived imagery in public spaces in
Cuba in addition to murals he has created in this country in both
Philadelphia and New York’s Harlem. “This was suppose to be Salvador’s big
moment,” said Wanderman in a prepared statement. “But keeping him out isn’t
fighting terrorism. All it’s doing is impeding international cultural and
intellectual exchange, the very thing the world needs more of not less.” In
an unrelated incident involving Cuban artists, 22 musicians were recently
denied visas in order to attend the Latin Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

Wanderman’s film, “A Cuban Legend: The Story of Salvador Gonzalez,” took
more than two years to make, and was scheduled to culminate in Gonzalez’s
arrival in New York for a week of events ending with an October 11 party.
The faces and bodies of dancers and guests were to be painted by Gonzalez
who were to then parade through the streets of Manhattan to the Cinema
for the film’s opening. Although the artist will not be able to
attend, Wanderman has sent Gonzalez 200 masks that he will hand paint in
time for the New York premiere. [Brian Brooks]

>> Savannah Fest Will Welcome Sydney Pollack, John Waters

(indieWIRE: 10.10.02) — Georgia’s Savannah College of Art and Design is
gearing up for the fifth-annual Savannah Film and Video Festival, to be held
October 26-November 2. Director/actor/producer Sydney Pollack is expected to
attend the festival, which will honor him with a film retrospective and a
closing night tribute. Pollack will also teach a master class for college
students. In another tribute, the festival will honor Charlie Chaplin and
present some of his newly restored films. AMC will premiere its documentary
The Dictator and the Tramp” about the making of Chaplin‘s “The Great
.” His daughters Geraldine and Annie will be attending the entire

Other attendees will include John Waters, who will conduct a master class.
Debbie Reynolds will receive the lifetime achievement in film award on
October 28. Other screenings during the festival will include “Morvern
,” “The Emperor’s Club,” “Love Liza,” “The Weight of Water,” “Spellbound,” and “Real Women Have Curves.” For more information, visit [Wendy Mitchell]

>> Three Honored with Grand Marnier Fellowships

(indieWIRE: 10.10.02) — Three student filmmakers have been selected to
receive $5,000 Grand Marnier Film Fellowship awards at the 2002 New York
Film Festival
. The prizes will be presented this Sunday, the closing night
of the event, by actress Parker Posey.

The fellowships are awarded to graduate film students who “demonstrate
excellence and originality in the fields of filmmaking, film criticism, and
video.” They will recognize the work of Columbia University‘s Patrick Downs (for the short film “Broken“), Holen Kahn from the Art Institute of Chicago (for the video “Diplomatic Immunity“), and Yale University‘s Olga Solovieva (for her criticial writing, “Dressing and the Undressed” in R.W. Fassbinder‘s ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant‘”). [Eugene Hernandez]

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