Carson Goes Indie; Honigmann at MoMA; Deals For “Book of Danny,” “Face,” “Just An American Boy”; & More
by Wendy Mitchell
INDUSTRY MOVES: FilmMates, an L.A.-based film completion, finance and distribution company, has promoted J.A. Malla Maldonado, formerly the director of development, to senior advisor/VP of development and minority partner with the firm. Malla joined FilmMates a year ago after running his own production and management company, Lightforce Films.
PARTY PROPS: BUZZ is still on cloud nine from the post-Gothams soiree on Monday at The Screening Room sponsored by indieWIRE, Kodak, and the N.Y. State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture & Television Development. Suffice to say it was a great time, Everyone was there (looking even spiffier than usual), and we’d be silly to start singling out names ’cause there were way too many A-listers there! (For a glimpse of just a few folks who made it to the party, see yesterday’s iPOP coverage.) Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated with us. And we’d like to send a special shout-out to the diehards who made it to the after-after-party at Nancy Whiskey Pub.
QUEER EYE ON THE ISLAND: Down at the IFP Market this week, we were pleasantly surprised to happen upon a short works-in-progress screening of Crayton Robey’s “When Ocean Meets Sky,” a look at the 50-year-history of Fire Island Pines. The film looks at the community’s founding, its ups and downs (’70s hedonism to the AIDS era). Offering a glimpse into the area’s current state of affairs is gay it boy Carson Kressley from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Kressley is just as animated as he is on his hit show, talking about the wonders of cooking ones own meals at a beachhouse, and speaking of homosexuals as “a festive people.” For more on the flick, visit http://www.craytonrobeyproductions.com.
BOOKED: Seventh Art releasing picked up “Book of Danny,” which played this weekend at the Woodstock Film Festival. Adam Yaffe’s debut film is described as a “comic and often poignant story of a teen stoner (Danny Dubnow).” The film follows Danny as he tries to establish a relationship with his deadbeat dad, and Washington, D.C., entrepreneur. The New York-based Yaffe, who directed the award-winning shorts “Lester Shot from the Cannon” and “Every Good Boy,” is already at work on two more screenplays.
HONIGMANN AT MOMA: The Museum of Modern Art last night kicked off its retrospective of the works of Dutch filmmaker Heddy Honigmann. Tonight, the director and producer Pieter van Huystee will be on hand to offer the world premiere of her lastest film, “Dame la mano” (Give Me Your Hand). The documentary is about the Cuban exiles in New York and New Jersey who gather at a dance club each Sunday night to rumba their troubles away. Other films showing at MoMA today thorugh October 6 are “O Amor Natural,” “Four Times My Heart,” “Tot Ziens,” “Prive,” “Good Husband, Dear Son,” “Metal y melancolia,” “Crazy,” and “Het Ondergrondse orkest.” In October and November, the retrospective will tour to San Francisco, Toronto, and Chicago.
“FACE” DEAL: Indican Pictures has struck a deal for Beech Hill Films’ “Face,” the feature film debut from director Bertha Bay-Sa Pan. The film, a hit on the festival circuit that premiered at Sundance 2002, chronicles the lives and loves of several generations of Chinese-American women. The film stars Bai Ling, Will Yun Lee, Kristy Wu, and Treach from Naughty By Nature. Indican plans a theatrical release in 2004.
PALM PICS FOR SUNDANCE: The Sundance Channel announced that it has acquired U.S. television rights to a package of 13 films from independent distributor Palm Pictures. The deal covers Palm’s entire 2003 slate as well as several titles that will be released in 2004. The films include “The Flower of Evil” by Claude Chabrol, Olivier Assayas’ “demonlover,” “Nói Albinói” by Dagur Karí, Helen Stickler’s “Stoked,” and “Tom Dowd & The Language of Music” by Mark Moorman. The deal was negotiated by Larry Greenberg, director of acquisitions for Showtime Networks/Sundance Channel; David Koh, head of acquisitions and production for Palm Pictures; and Rand Stoll, senior VP of Domestic Sales for Lions Gate Entertainment.
VIRGIN REBIRTH: Fans swooning over Sofia Coppola’s “Lost In Translation” can now revisit her debut film, “The Virgin Suicides,” as it makes a return appearance to the big screen at New York’s Pioneer Theater today through Thursday. The 1999 film, which stars Kirsten Dunst, Kathleen Turner, and Josh Hartnett, will screen every day at 10 p.m.
EARLE DOC: Cowboy Pictures has set a New York release date of November 7 for its recently acquired doc “Just an American Boy,” which chronicles singer/songwriter Steve Earle’s life on the road. Amos Poe (“The Blank Generation”) directs the 95-minute doc. After the film hits New York’s Cinema Village in early November, it will roll out to major U.S. cities.
SAINT ELSEWHERE: Alliance Atlantis Entertainment Group and Amaze Film & TV have started principal photography on “Saint Ralph,” which will star Campbell Scott, Jennifer Tilly, Adam Butcher, and Gordon Pinsent. The film, written and directed by Michael McGowan, is about a teenager in the 1950s who thinks he’s destined to win the Boston Marathon. The flick is shooting in Toronto, Cambridge, Mass., and Hamilton, Mass. “Saint Ralph” is produced by Alliance Atlantis’ Seaton McLean and Andrea Mann, and Amaze’s Mike Souther and Teza Lawrence. Alliance Atlantis’ Peter Sussman and Odeon Films’ Marguerite Pigott are Executive Producers. Alliance Atlantis will handle worldwide distribution.
SEVILLE DEALS: Montreal-based Seville Pictures has announced deals with Sony Pictures Classics for the French Canadian rights to Pedro Almodovar’s “Bad Education,” as well as the Canadian rights to Wolfgang Becker’s German comedy “Good Bye, Lenin!” Almodovar’s forthcoming film, set for release in late 2004, stars Gael Garcia Bernal. Seville also worked on last year’s “Talk to Her.”
CUARON NABS EMMY: “Y Tu Mama Tambien” director Alfonso Cuaron was among the Emmy winners Sunday night. He won the commercial prize for his PBS promo, “Be More Empowered (FISH).” PBS has recruited two other directors, Fran