October 1, 1996

Short Takes, October 1996


In August, IDA and Turner Original Productions co-hosted a screening of Biker Women, a new documentary about four women and their 1,500 mile road trip from South Dakota to Los Angeles. The biker women inquest on-sans leather and chains-attended the screening and reception, held at the Petersen Automotive Museum.... Mixmaster Steve Roche held court at the ID A Member Mix at Callendar's in L.A., presiding over a veritable flurry of business card swaps, logrolls, backs laps, trysts in the making and heaps of good, nonfiction fun!... The fall season kicked off when IDA's indefatigable I'm presario, Betsy Mclane, announced the 1996 Preservation and Scholarship Award at the Toronto Film Festival over Labor Day weekend, jetted back to Los Angeles to check on her staff, feed the dogs and do the laundry, then flew to New York for the Independent Feature Film Market and the ABC News Videosource open house tour for IDA members. Then there's the Vancouver festival, and Hot Springs, and....

Rogers Industry Centre Debuts at Toronto International Film Festival

The Rogers Industry Centre premiered at the 1996 Toronto International Film Festival in September. Sponsored by Rogers Communications, the Centre served as the umbrella operation for all industry initia­tives during the festival. "The festivals recognized for its promotion of young and emerging Canadian and international filmmakers through its programming," explained Suzanne Weiss, Festival Managing Director. "The Rogers Industry Centre gives these up and-coming directors and producers... the oppor­tunity to develop an invaluable network of contacts... "

National Geographic Television Plans International Expansion

National Geographic Television has hired Sandy McGovern, former senior vice president for international business development at Discovery Communications, to help NGT develop its own cable and satellite channels. Ms. McGovern will be seeking partners in Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Europe and Asia. "NGT is taking a pro-active stance as we move into the cable and satellite business," said NGT president Tim Kelly. "With Sandy at the helm, we will move from the planning stages to fully realize this new growth area." NGT programming is currently available in approximately 90 terri­tories around the world. Domestically, NGT produces such programs as National Geographic Special for NBC, Explorer for TBS, and National Geographic on PBS for PBS.

New York Film Video Council Celebrates 50 Years of Service to New York's Media Community

The New York Film/Video Council, the oldest non-profit organization serving the non-theatrical film and video community in New York City, marked its 50th anniversary with a gala program at the Museum of Modern Art on June 20th. One of the few surviving councils in the United States, the New York Film/Video Council has provided a forum for the New York media community to share resources, information and opinions and a common belief in the value of independent media. The council was one of hundreds of community-level organizations that formed across the country in the wake of World War II, when film was embraced as a means to address the opportunities and problems facing America in the post-war years. The New York Council has since evolved with the evolu­tion of the field, joining advocacy efforts on behalf of independent media and continuing to redefine itself in service to New York's media community.

Motion Picture Academy's Annual Index of 1995 Films Now Available

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 1995 A nn u al Index to Motion Picture Credits, which lists credits for 367 films released last year, is now available. The book has been published for each of the last twenty years using source information and data obtained directly from film producers and distributors. The Index also contains technical and post-production credits not usually found in other reference books, and a separate section provides an ongoing cumulative list of titles and release dates for all films indexed in the publication since its beginning in 1976. The 20th edition of the Academy's Annual Index to Motion Picture Credits can be ordered from bookstores or purchased directly from the Academy by calling 310-247-3000, ext. 113. The hardbound book is priced at $64.

TBS Captures Three Emmys

Turner Broadcasting System added three Emmys to the Governor's Award that it received in August for The Native Americans: Behind the Legends, Beyond the Myths. Survivors of the Holocaust (Pat Mitchell, executive producer; Vivian Schiller, senior producer; June Beallor and James Moll, producers; Allan Holzman, director and editor) earned awards for Informational Special and Editing-Infor­mation Programming. Cameramen Tim Shepherd, Richard Kirby, Richard Ganniclifft, Neil Bromhall, Gavin Thurston and Michael Pitts all earned Emmys for Cinematography-Informational Programming for The Secret Life of Plants. Other Emmy winners in the Informational categories included NBC's Time Life's Lost Civilization (Informational Series), American Movie Classics' Blacklist: Hollywood on Trial (President's Award) and USA's Erase the Hate (Governor's Award).

Barbara Trent Tours Italy with Oscar® Winning Panama Deception

The North Carolina-based Empowerment Project, whose film The Panama Deception earned an Academy Award in 1993, is offering the documentary to PBS stations for broadcast at no charge. Filmmakers Barbara Trent and David Kasper, co­-founders of the Empowerment Project, will allow local affiliates three airings up to November 30th. "It's ironic that The Panama Deception has been broadcast around the world, yet it has still received limited television exposure within the United States," Kasper observed. Ms. Trent recently toured the work-which reveals the true repercussions of the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama-around Italy; screenings in Naples, Romeo, Milan, Florence and Bologna were sold out well in advance.