November 1, 1998

Short Takes, November 1998

NOVA Celebrates Silver Anniversary on PBS

NOVA, PBS's award-winning science documentary program, celebrated 25 years of quality science programming with a gala event in September, at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington , D.C. On hand for the occasion were Vice President Al Gore, who praised NOVA as his favorite television program; Apollo astronaut Charles Conrad; and PBS Executive Vice President Kathy Quattrone, White House Science and Technology Advisor Dr. Neal Lane, and NOVA Executive Producer Paula Apsell. Distributed in more than 100 countries, NOVA is the most watched science program in the world. The series kicked off its 25th anniversary season last month with Lost at Sea: The Search for Longitude. On reaching the milestone, Paula Apsell said: "For 25 years, NOVA has brought the excitement of science the process of discovery—to millions of Americans every week. Our aim is to leave viewers with more questions than answers. And an appreciation for the wonder of living in a world that is constantly being recast and redefined by new scientific in sights."

Egyptian Theatre to Re-Open as Home of American Cinematheque

American Cinematheque, the venerable media arts organization that has presented unique year-round film programs to Los Angeles audiences for the past ten years, will finally have a home of its own. The historic Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, one of Hollywood's first movie theaters, will re-open on December 4, 1998, following an extensive renovation through the efforts of the Cinematheque and its executive director Barbara Smith.

Exactly 75 years after the world premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's original version of The Ten Commandments, American Cinematheque will re-create that evening, presenting the film with live orchestral accompaniment, followed by a vintage fashion show, a 1920s dance exhibition and period musical entertainment. Following the opening, the Egyptian will be the permanent center for the Cinematheque's programming, including nightly film screen­ings ranging from Hollywood classics to new films from all over the world. The facility will house a 650-seat auditorium, a 75-seat screening room, a restaurant and a book shop. During the day, an hour-long documentary about the history of Hollywood will screen several times daily in various languages. The film was directed by Variety film critic Todd McCarthy.

Newly Launched Dover Films, Inc. to Specialize in Large Format Films

Peter Henton, former Vice President of Production for Showscan Entertainment, has formed his own company, Dover Films, Inc. The company will specialize in creating large format films, primarily for location-based entertainment sites. Henton will make both simulation and long form non-simulation products in all of the larger formats, particularly 5/70, 8/70 and 15/70.

Dover's first project is an eight-minute 70 mm custom simulation film currently in production for the International Centre for Life, a family entertainment site that will open in Newcastle-Upon-Tyre, England. The film­ Life is a Roller Coaster—will play at a new Showscan theater located at the Centre. Life is a Roller Coaster, shot from a first person point of view, lets the audience "participate" in some of life's more thrilling moments, such as surfing, roller-blading, playing soccer and bungee-jumping.

"More and more location-based entertainment sites are being introduced around the world," said Henton in announcing the launch of Dover Films, "and as this market expands, so does the market for the large-format films in which Dover Films specializes. This type of motion picture product brings an entirely new and thrilling dimension to the entertainment concept."


Here are some of the many winners from the annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards, held in September. For those keeping score, CBS, NBC and PBS took home ten Emmys each, while Discovery Channel won five; ABC, four; and Cinemax and MSNBC, three each. And here they are: General Coverage of a Single Breaking News Story (Program): Diana, Princess of Wales: The Final Farewell, NBC-Katherine O'Hearn, Executive Producer; Gerry Holmes and Jon Meyersohn, Senior Producers. General Coverage of a Single Breaking News Story (Segment within a Program): Dateline NBC: L.A. Heat: Minute by Minute—Neal Shapiro, Executive Producer, and John Reiss, Senior Producer; and Dateline NBC: A Few Bad Men, NBC—Neal Shapiro, Executive Producer, and Mark Rosenwasser, Senior Producer. Background/Analysis of a Single Current Story (Program): 48 Hours: Perfect Match, CBS—Susan Zirinsky, Executive producer, and Rand Morrison, Senior Broadcast Producer. Background/Analysis of a Single Current Story (Segment): 20/20: Stephani's Triumph, ABC—Victor Neufeld, Executive Producer, and David Tabacoff and Meredith White, Senior Producers. Investigative Journalism (Program): Dateline NBC: Probable Cause, NBC—Neal Shapiro, Executive Producer, and Susan Farkas and Allan Maraynes, Senior Producers; and Calling the Ghosts, Cinemax—Sheila Nevins, Julia Ormond, Maury Solomon, Anita Saewitz, Executive Producers. Investigative Journalism (Segment): PrimeTime Live: Blood Money, ABCPhyllis McGrady, Executive Producer; David Rummel, Senior Investigative Producer; and Impact: Arkan: Wanted & the Hitman, CNN—Pamela Hill, Executive Producer; John Lane, Managing Editor. Interview (Program): P.O.V./American Documentary/Independent Television Service: Nobody's Business, PBS—Lisa Heller, Executive Producer; Alan Berliner, Producer/Director. Coverage of a Continuing News Story (Program): Frontline/Center for Investigative Reporting: Hot Guns, PBS—Dan Noyes, Executive Producer; Doug Hamilton, Producer. Coverage of a Continuing News Story (Segment): CBS News Sunday Morning: Freedom of the Press, CBS—Missie Rennie, Executive Producer; James Houtrides, Producer; and Dateline NBC: The Price is Wrong, NBC—Neal Shapiro, Executive Producer; Allan Maraynes, Senior Producer. Coverage of a Continuing News Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast (Segment): Discovery News: Trouble in the Oceans, Discovery Channel—Carol Williams and Bob Reid, Executive Producers; Jon Schriber, Senior Producer. Informational or Cultural Programming (Program): P.O.V./American Documentary/Independent Television Service: Girls Like Us, PBS—Lisa Heller, Executive Producer; Jane C. Wagner and Tina DiFeliciantonio, Producers/Directors; and The Search for Mother Russia's Children, Cinemax—Sheila Nevins, Executive Producer; Tom Roberts and Nancy Abraham, Producers. Informational or Cultural Programming (Segment): PrimeTime Live: Ndoki Rain Forest, ABC—Phyll is McGrady, Executive Producer; Terry Wrong, Producer. Historical Programming (Program): Divided Highways: The Interstates and the Transformation of American Life, PBS—Lawrence Hott and Tom Lewis, Producers. Historical Programming (Segment): 60 Minutes: The Search, CBS­ Don Hewitt, Executive Producer; Philip Scheffler, Executive Editor. Special Classification for Outstanding News and Documentary Program Achievement (Program): A Kill for a Kill, HBO—Sheila Nevins, Executive Producer; Rod Williams, Producers; and Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O 'Brien, HBO—Sheila Nevins, Executive Producer; Jessica Yu, Producer/Director. Special Classification for Outstanding News and Documentary Program Achievement (Segment): National Geographic EXPLORER: King Cobra, TBS­ Richard Matthews and Romulus Whitaker, Producers. Individual Achievement in a Craft, Writers: Martyn Ives, David Levy, David Taylor and Benjamin Wooley: 3 Minutes to Impact, Discovery Channel; Anthony Geffen , Cassian Harrison and Nancy LeBrun: Jerusalem, City of Heaven, Discovery Channel; and Gail Willumsen: Volcano!, NBC. Individual Achievement in a Craft, Directors: Mandy Jacobsen and Karmen Jelinicic: Calling the Ghosts, Cinemax. Individual Achievement in a Craft, Researchers: Valerie Combard: Investigative Reports: Blood Money: Switzerland's Nazi Gold, A&E. Individual Achievement in a Craft, Cinematographers: Keith Brust and Sean Morris: National Geographic Special: The Sonran Desert: A Violent Eden, NBC; Rod Clarke, Kevin Flay and Richard Matthews: The Living Edens: Namib: Africa's Burning Shore, PBS; Steve Downer, David Fortney, Robert Fulton, Bob Landis, Bruce Reitherman and Neil Rettig: The Living Edens: Denali: Alaska's Great Wilderness, PBS. Individual Achievement in a Craft, Electronic Camerapersons: Alan Deutsch, Bill Gentile and Susan Meiselas: Trauma: Life in the ER­ Loss of Innocence, TLC; and Mike Shugie, Paul Thiriot and Craig White: Today: Los Arrow Spire, NBC. Individual Achievement in a Craft, Sound/Audio: David Baldwin, Alan Decker, Mark Korba, Mark Linden, Emmanuel Mairesse and Glen Marullo: National Geographic Special: Asteroids: Deadly Impact, NBC; and Jeanne Rawlings Livingston: The Italians, Discovery Channel. Individual Achievement in a Craft, Editors: Matt Danowski: 60 Minutes: Strive: Part One of Two, CBS. Individual Achievement in a Craft, Title Sequences: Jeff Doud, Dave Falcone, Roger Marmet, Che Martin, Chris Wells and Nat Zimmerman: Superstructures of the World, TLC; and Ron Pearl and E. Dawn Samuel: Slave Ship, Discovery Channel; and David Chomowicz, Mara Posner and Jody Sheff: Innovation Series Title Sequence/Open, PBS. Individual Achievement in a Craft, Art Directors/Scenic Designers: James Fenhagen, Thomas Herron, Chandra Moeller, Guy Pepper and Erik Ulfers: MSNBC; and Yeorgos Lampathakis: National Geographic Special: Asteroids: Deadly Impact, NBC. Individual Achievement in a Craft, Music: Laura Karpman: The Living Edens: Manu: Peru's Hidden Rainforest; The Living Edens: Patagonia: Life at the End of the Earth and The Living Edens: Denali: Alaska's Great Wilderness, PBS.

The 1998 SHINE (Sexual Health in Entertainment) Awards Finalists in the Information/Documentary Category include Paul Monette: At the Brink of Summer's End, Lesli Klainberg and Monte Bramer, producers, Cinemax; Dateline NBC: Dangerous Liaisons, NBC; Girls Like Us, Jane C. Wagner and Tina Di Feliciantonio, directors, PBS; and Positive Voices, PBS. The SHINE Awards dinner takes place this month... Creative Entertainment Group received the Electronic Retailing Association Award for Best Corporate Infomercial for its piece on the Kodak Digital Camera 210... At the Independent Feature Film Market, Kodak presented two cash prizes for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary to Kristy Guevra-Flanagan of San Francisco State University for her film El Corrido de Cecilia Rios, and Randolph Benson of North Carolina School of the Arts, for Man & Dog. These honors are part of the newly launched IFC 2000 Competition, which was created by the Independent Film Channel to provide a platform for emerging student filmmakers to gain exposure for their work. The competition is administered by the Independent Feature Project and is open to students enrolled in a degree program in an accredited undergraduate or graduate American film school.


The Heartland Film Festival, based in Indiana and held last month, presented its Crystal Heart Awards to the following docu­mentaries: City at Peace—Christopher Koch, producer; Susan Koch, director. The Kindness of Strangers—IDA member Maro Chermayeff, Christine Le Goff and James Redford, producers; Maro Chennayeff, director. Pola's March— Cairns, Jonathan Gruber and Christopher Harrison, producers; Jonathan Gruber, director... NextFrame: the Touring Festival of International Student Film & Video, kicked off its tour last month in Philadelphia. Congratulations to the following prize winners in the Documentary category: First Prize—Still Revolutionaries, produced and directed by Sierra McLean, Stanford University; Second Prize—For Beijing with Love and Squalor, produced and directed by Irene Lustztog, Harvard University; Third Prize—American Cowboy, produced and directed by IDA member Kyle Henry, University of Texas-Austin; Director's Choice Award—Quien es el Ultimo/Who's Last in Line, produced and directed by Ulrich Gaulke, HFF—Konrad Wolf and Escuala Internacional de Cine y television.