Short Takes, March 1997
David Haugland Elected IDA President; New Members Take their Seats on 1997 Board; Etc.
He began 1996 as a new Board member, but by year's end, he was at the top of the heap. David Haugland is IDA's new president, and he brings to the position a wealth of experience as a filmmaker and as an advocate for documentarians. Among his credits include the Academy Award ®-nominated Changing Our Minds: The Story of Evelyn Hooker; Oscar®-winning From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China; and National Geographic EXPLORER. His films have received exhibition throughout the United States in film festivals and theatrical release, in addition to television broadcast. Internationally, his films have been screened on every continent, including Africa and South America, and have received prizes at various festivals and competitions.
Rounding out the slate of Board Officers are: Lisa Leeman, First Vice President; Stephen Roche, Second Vice President and Secretary ; Richard Samuels, Second Vice President and Secretary; and Mitchell Block, Treasurer. The new Board members include Marina Goldovskaya, Richard Propper, Joan Sekler and Michael Tobias.
IDA kicked off the new year with attendance at IFFCON'97 and Sundance. President Haugland was one of 60 producers selected among a vast pool of filmmakers to fly up to San Francisco and peddle wares to distributors and markets from around the world. Executive Director Betsy McLane and Special Projects Coordinator Grace Ouchida tested their mettle among the glittery horde in Park City, Utah, to take in the latest slate of documentaries at Sundance. February saw IDA 's first seminar of the year, as former Pres Mel Stuart helmed a seminar on budgeting. And Steve Roche was back on party circuit weeks later for bi monthly mixer, this time at Callender's.
Aschman Heads Kodak Professional Motion Imaging
Richard P. Aschman has been appointed president of the Professional Motion [imaging business unit of Kodak. He succeeds Joerg D. Agin, president of Kodak's Entertainment Imaging business group. In November, Aschman was named Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. Aschman reports to Again.
"Dick Asch man is forward-thinking," says Agin. "He understands the convergence of film, digital and hybrid imaging technologies and how they affect the dynamics of the marketplace. Dick is committed to our plans for aggressive growth in Entertainment Imaging and he's looking forward to expanding our participation with new types of products and services. He also has a global view and the international experience to back it up. Dick has all of the right attributes for this job."
Agin says that he will continue to work closely with Aschman on the development of strategies and key relationships in the entertainment industry. He notes that Professional Motion Imaging is the core business of the newly formed Entertainment Imaging division. The new division is responsible for identifying and commercializing new business opportunities for Kodak in the entertainment arena.
"With Dick assuming operational management of Professional Motion Imaging, I'll have the freedom to concentrate on realizing our ambitious growth goals for Entertainment Imaging. We see it as a market without boundaries, where we can discover new ways for people to be entertained, educated, and informed with images and imaging." Aschman joined Professional Motion Imaging as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President last April. Prior to that, he served as Vice President and Regional Business General Manager in the Asia Pacific Region for the Kodak Digital ai1d Applied Imaging, Office Imaging and Business Imaging business units. He directed their operations in Japan, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and other countries in Southeast Asia, in addition to implementing successful joint ventures in China and Australia. Aschman is a native of Columbus, Ohio, and a graduate of Ohio State University, where he earned a B.S. degree in marketing. He joined Kodak in 1972.
Film Critics Weigh in with End of Year Awards
The major societies of film critics honored the best features and documentaries of the year in December and Leon Gast's When We Were Kings, which chronicled the 1974 Muhammad Ali-George Foreman "Rumble in the Jungle" in Zaire, took top honors for best documentary from both the Los Angeles Film Critics and the New York Film Critics. IDA Award winner Anne Frank Remembered earned the National Board of Review Award, and Microcosmos was the choice of the Texas Society of Film Critics.
International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA) Proposes Co-Production Network; First Meeting Scheduled for Hot Docs! in Toronto
An international steering committee of producers, programmers and managers, meeting at the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam last December, laid the foundation for an English Language Co-Production Network. Intended to encourage the development of the documentary industry working in the English language, the Network plans to have its first official meeting at Hot Docs! in Toronto, Canada, this month (March 18-23) to cement some of the ideas formulated at IDFA. Among the plans in the works are a rotating pitch form, at which pre-selected projects would be pitched to a round table of commissioning editors; an international registry of buyers, commissioning editors and sales agents; and a co-production registry that would list, on an international basis, projects looking for partners.
The Network's steering committee is comprised of Geoff Barnes, Commissioning Editor, ABC (Australia); Barbara Marriott Commissioning Editor, SBS (Australia); Debbie Nightingale, Executive Director, Hot Docs! (Canada); David Liu, Executive in Charge of Programming and Development, ITVS (US); Joy Perets, consultant, ITVS; Indra De Lanerolle, Xenos Pictures (South Africa) ; Betsy McLane, Executive Director, IDA ; John Marshall, John Marshall Associates (UK); and Kathy Loizou, Executive Director, Sheffield Documentary Festival (UK).
Roizman Named ASC President
Owen Roizman, ASC, has been elected president of the American Society of Cinematographers; he succeeds Victor Kemper, ASC. Roizman is also the 1997 ASC Lifetime Achievement Award winner and a five-time Academy Award ® nominee for The French Connection, Tootsie, The Exorcist, Network and Wyatt Earp. ''I'm honored that my colleagues have asked me to assume this responsibility," says Roizman. "The members of the ASC are determined to foster a broader appreciation and understanding of the role that cinematographers play in the collaborative art of narrative filmmaking. We are also committed to encouraging talented young filmmakers to pursue careers in cinematography by helping to assure they get the respect and artistic freedom they need to realize their creative potential."
The James D. Phelan 1996 Video Art Award Winners
The Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) announced the recipients of the James D. Phelan 1996 Art Awards in Video: Leslie Asako Gladsjo, Spenser Nakasano and Suzie Silver. Gladsjo is a documentary videomaker whose works have been screened and broadcast internationally; Nakasako recent work, a.k.a. Don Bonus, was broadcast recently on the PBS series P.O.V.; and Suzie Silver's hybrid of video and performance art has taken her to festivals, museums, galleries and media art centers around the world. The Phelan Award honors California-born artists whose body of work merits recognition for its creativity, innovation and contribution to the language of video. The winners were honored in February at BAVC's new Multimedia Exhibition Space.
IFP Selects Films for Berlin Film Festival/European Market Sidebar
The Independent Feature Project screened ten films for the American Independents at the Berlin Market in February. The documentaries that lFP selected include Macky Alston's Family Name, an exploration of his family's slave-owning roots; and John O'Hagan's Wonderland, about the development of suburbia in Levittown, NY.
British Film Institute to Build IMAX Theater
With the help of a £15 million award from the National Lottery, the British Film Institute will build a 500 seat IMAX theater near the Waterloo station in London. Scheduled to open in 1998, the BFI IMAX will be part of the Museum of the Moving Image complex and will be the largest IMAX in the UK. BFI also plans to screen 35mm and 70mm films at the new facility, and the Museum of the Moving Image will curate exhibitions on the history of cinema and the work of the BFI.
A&E and Discovery Channel Take Top Honors at New York Festivals 39th Annual TV Awards
A&E and Discovery Channel earned five Gold World Medals each at the New York Festivals 1996 International Television Programming & Promotion Competition at the NATPE convention in January. HBO captured four Golds, followed by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, ESPN and The Learning Channel with three each.
Discovery Channel earned one Gold for Best Documentary: Human Relations for Vietnam: The Camera at War; its other Golds were awarded for promotional spots and its Pride and Prejudice miniseries. The Discovery Channel collected Golds for Eyes in the Sky (Best Documentary: Environment & Ecology); Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation (International Affairs); Crocodile Territory (Nature & Wildlife); On Jupiter (Science & Technology); and Galapagos: Beyond Darwin (Best Camerawork).
HBO-Los Angeles won a Gold for The Dying Rooms; the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was honored for Best News Documentary for Your Vote '96; and The Learning Channel took the top award for Best Coverage of an Ongoing Story for The OJ. Simpson Trial: Beyond Black and White and for two documentary is, Understanding Television (Educational/Instructional TV) and Trauma: Life and Death in the ER (Health/Medical Information). Finally, KOMO-TV won top local honors in documentaries for War on Children (National/International Affairs) and When Mommy Gets Hurt (Social Issues/Current Events).
Sundance Festival Closes with Prizes
Documentaries were well represented and well-rewarded as the prestigious Sundance Film Festival closed with its awards ceremony. The Grand Jury Prize went to Girls Like Us, by Jane Wagner and IDA member Tina Di Feliciantonio. Monte Bramer picked up the Audience Award for his Paul Monette: The Brink of Summer's End, and IDA member Arthur Dong won the Directing Award and the Filmmaker's Trophy for his latest film Licensed to Kill. Kirby Dick won the Special Jury Prize for his much-discussed Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist, and the Cinematography Award went to IDA member Renee Tajima-Pena for My America...or, Honk if You Love Buddha. Two films shared the Freedom of Expression Award: Family Name by Macky Alston, and Fear and Learning at Hoover Elementary by Laura Angelica Simon.
In its short life, the Internet, along with its various servers and searchers, has made a tremendous impact as a communications medium and an informational resource. As the Internet offers new and innovative opportunities every day for documentarians, ID will monitor some of these developments and share them in Cyber Takes. If readers hear of new Web sites, chat rooms, or online services before we do, please let us know.
Microsoft Network and Castle Rock Entertainment Bring Civil Rights Education to Students
Castle Rock Entertainment's recent film Ghosts of Mississippi will be the touchstone for CIVIL RIGHTS—then+now, an eight week CD-ROM-based program developed by The Microsoft Network and Castle Rock. The program was distributed in January to 35,000 junior and senior high schools nationwide. CIVIL RIGHTS—then+now is designed to initiate discussion among educators and their students about the evolution of the civil rights movement. Each week, students will learn about a variety of social and political civil rights topics through three components: "The Book," which includes an eight-week lesson plan with Study Guide, Internet Research guide and classroom activities; "Voices," which features interviews with minority celebrities about their experiences with racial injustice; and "Memorial Wall," which provides a historical timeline of African American history and the civil rights movement. Students and teachers can access the Ghosts of Mississippi Web site at http://ghosts.msn.com/ to download the lesson plan and online research guide and to access additional information.
Video on Demand Featured on FDA's Internet Website
The International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA) distributed highlights from twenty films from the festival on its website. The excerpts from the film's, three minutes each, could be viewed with uninterrupted synchronous sound, and the website was available to visitors with at least a 28.8k modem. These excerpts were linked to a catalogue that described the content of the films. The IDFA website was developed by Damocles, a producer of documentaries, information films and websites for the Internet. Damocles can be reached at http://www.dds.nl/~damocles/.