November 1, 1999

Short Takes, November 1999


IFP Abroad: American Independents in Berlin

For the fourth year, the IFP will be presenting AIM: American Independents at the Market, a program of ten new American independent films at the European Film Market (Berlin Film Festival), February, 2000. The objective of the program is to ensure greater attention for American independents and to assist these filmmakers in securing distribution interest in Europe. Films chosen for the showcase will receive one free Market screening, complementary registration at the IFP booth, a $500 stipend toward travel costs, and promotion by the IFP in Market and Festival catalogues and in the IFP's advertising campaign for Berlin. Previous AIM selections include Genghis Blues, Drylongso, Home Page, The Delta and Six Ways to Sunday. The deadline for submission is November 27, 1999, and there is a non-refundable fee of $25. The IFP also provides support services and a home base for filmmakers and companies attending Berlin who register with our booth.

Applications for AIM and our booth services will be available after October 15.Please contact Colin Stanfield at 212.465.8200, extension 210, or at

FOCAL International, Ltd. Establishes US. Chapter

FOCAL International, Ltd., the London-based nonprofit professional trade association, recently opened an American office in New York City. FOCAL, the Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries, represents commercial film and audiovisual libraries, researchers, producers and others associated with the industry. The organization helps to promote the use of archival and stock footage and provides a free referral service for filmmakers looking into using stock and archival footage in their work.

Those interested in finding out more about FOCAL can contact its American office directors: Jessica Berman-Bogdan (tel: 201.384.7715; e-mail: or Cathy Carapella (tel: 914.395.1952; email:


Faust Steps Down As LA Indie Fest Chief

Some five years after launching the much admired Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, Robert Faust resigned as festival director to pursue opportunities in new media ventures. Film producer Richard Raddon was tapped to replace him. Raddon has produced such indie fare as A Slipping Down, And God Spoke and Shooting Lily. Elsewhere in the hierarchy, R.J. Millard, press officer at Sundance, joined LAIFF as its director of marketing and publicity. He will split his time between Los Angeles and Park City. LAIFF veterans Thomas Ethan Harris, programming director, and Linda Rattner, managing director, will continue in their respective capacities.


MTV will examine the practice of racial profiling among America's police forces in DWB: Driving While Black, which will premiere later in the fall. Seventh Art Releasing has picked up Burning Man: Where's the Fire?, Fernando Velasquez's documentary about the unique desert festival held each year in Nevada.. Veteran filmmaker St. Clair Bourne has completed principal photography on Dr. Ben, a feature-length documentary chronicling the life and teachings of Egyptologist Dr. Joseph ben-Jochannon. Dr. Ben is the second film in Bourne's African Scholars series, which documents the lives, thinking and controversies surrounding eminent African-American scholars primarily ignored by the mainstream media. The first film was the award-winning John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk.


Here's a list of the prime time Emmy winners in the Nonfiction Programming category: Special: Thug Life in D.C., HBO. Series: The American Experience, PBS; American Masters, PBS. Cinematography: Samuel Henriques and Bob Perrin, The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison, A&E. Picture Editing: Mary Manhardt and Mona David, The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison, A&E; IDA member Geof Bartz and Robert B. Weide, Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth, HBO. Sound Editing: Cory Taylor, National Geographic Special: Avalanche: The White Death, NBC; Derek Luff, George Leyva and Rick Norman, Why Dogs Smile and Chimpanzees Cry, Discovery Channel. Sound Mixing: Dennis Towns, Scot B. Charles, Mark Linden and Al Decker, National Geographic Special: Avalanche: The White Death, NBC; Chris Drozalowski, BIOGRAPHY: The Rat Pack, A&E. Governors Award: Fight for Your Rights: Take a Stand Against Violence, MTV; Save Our History, The History Channel.


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 Cybertakes. If the readers hear of new websites, chat rooms, or online services before we do, please let us know.

Music License Website

For music clearance questions check out The LicenseMusic site streamlines the whole process of obtaining production music, saving time, lots of money and putting the buyer completely in charge. Though anyone can log on and use it, it is designed for producers and creative decision makers in the film, TV, music, entertainment and multimedia industries who buy music for production purposes. Site Launched

The Redmond, Wash.-based announced the launch of its web site last summer. The site,, is designed for film industry professionals, offering access to industry news, insight and discussion of cultural, technological and financial issues. is currently developing additional resources, information databases and enhanced film industry services for future online release.