September 1, 1997

Short Takes, September 1997


The IDA and the Academy of Televi­sion Arts & Sciences joined forces to pre­sent an afternoon-into-evening-long semi­nar in July entitled "Everything You've Always Wanted To Know About Public Television, But Not Known Whom To Ask." Whew! IDA Pres David Haugland and Board member and PBS promo man Lance Webster produced the event, and Haugland kicked it off by moderating a panel of funders from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS, and the Black, Asian, Native American and Latino Programming Consortia. Next, Donald Thorns, VP for Program Management for PBS, moderated "Take Me to Your Station," in which reps from PBS station across the country talked about how they worked with independent filmmakers. After a dinner break, Thorns returned to moderate a panel of his PBS colleagues who explained how PBS worked. ID Editor Lyons then took the stage to present questions about PBS's future to program services exec veep Kathy Quattrone. Thorns then returned to round out the evening with a panel of reps from P.O.V., The American Experience and other strands .... Back at the homefront, entries for the IDA Awards competitions contin­ued to stream in, and postcards went into the mail reminding members to mark October 31st as the date for the IDA Annual Awards Gala.

IDA Members Score in Primetime Emmy® Nominations

IDA Trustee Sheila Nevins took pride in the fact that HBO outpolled all other networks for a total of 90 nominations in this year's Primetime Emmy® competition; closest competitor NBC had one less, with Turner scoring nine and A&E six. The 49th Annual Primetime Emmy ® nomina­tions also included: for Informational Special, Mel Stuart's Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant Garde, produced for American Masters and aired on PBS; National Geographic Special: Tigers of the Snow, NBC; Bruce Sinofsky and Joe Berlinger's Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hill, a Hand to Mouth Production aired on HBO; other HBO documentaries nominated are Talked to Death, Taxicab Confessions III and Without Pity: A Film About Abilities. For Informational Series, the BBC-KCET co­ production of The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century was nominat­ed, with Blaine Baggett and many other IDA members involved with the produc­tion. A&E's Biography and Discovery's Discover Magazine were also nominated for Informational Series, along with Inside the Actors Studio, Bravo, and Siskel and Ebert, syndicated. Primetime Emmy® Awards will be presented in a gala broad­cast from the Pasadena Civic Center on September 14th.

IDA Expanded Outreach

IDA is developing an expanded community outreach program, building on the successes of the past several years. The program has included screenings and school visits, production workshops, and partnerships with other organizations in service to the community. For IDA to continue this effort, and to build upon it, a call is out for volunteers, particularly those of color; equipment donations; and the sup­port of the documentary business community to bring this program to even more undeserved youth and constituencies. If you're interested in learning more, please contact Grace Ouchida at the IDA office: 310-284-8422, ext. 5, as soon as possible. Please leave your name, phone number and address.

American Cinematographer Names New Publisher

Jim McCullaugh has been named publisher of American Cinematographer Magazine. In this newly created magazine, he will also supervise other publishing activities for the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), including books, manuals and the organization's new website.

Most recently, McCullaugh was the publisher/editor-in-chief of MultiMedia Merchandising, a trade magazine that covered the interactive software industry. Prior to that, he was home entertainment editor for Billboard Magazine, where he wrote about film, home video, music and high-tech topics.

Academy Provides Grant and Office to AMIA

The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) will move from its present location at the American Film In­stitute to the Wilshire Blvd. headquarters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Academy also provided a grant of $45,000 to the Association, which, since its founding in 1991, has grown to include 400 members from seventeen countries.

Independent Television Service Relocates to San Francisco Bay Area

Independent Television Service (ITVS), the nine-year old production and distribution service organization, moved its operations over the summer from its longtime home base in St. Paul, Minneso­ta, to San Francisco. "This is a strategic move to put ITVS in the center of a di­verse market that is supportive of media exploration," said Dee Davis, TTYS board president. The new address is: ITYS, 51 Federal St., Ste. 401 , San Francisco , CA 94107; phone: 415-356-8383; fax: 41 5- 356-8391.

Getty, Energy Merge Film Units

Getty Communications' Fabulous Footage has acquired the Energy Film Library, to produce a combined library of more than 5,000 hours of stock film and video footage, much of which has already been converted to digitized formats. In addition to its Fabulous activities, Getty also operates Tony Stone Images, one of the largest stock photo agencies in the U.S ., and Gamma Liaison, a leading North American press and features agency.

A Return to the 'Fifties? E.R. to Go Live

When E.R., television's top-rated program, returns for its fourth season on Thursday, September 25th, the show will be seen live in the eastern and central time zones and on tape in the mountain and western zones. In the premiere episode, the Chicago hospital will be under the scrutiny of a documentary film crew. The phrase "life imitating life" springs to mind.

CPB Program Fund Director Leaves for New Career

Don Marbury recently resigned from his post as director of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Television Program Fund to study for a career in the ministry. A longtime veteran of public television, Marbury began his career as a reporter at Pittsburgh's WQED. He later hosted the station's Black Horizons, and eventually rose to become executive producer of local programming. He joined CPB in 1980 as associate director for culture and children's programs. Over the years, he championed such programs as Wonder­works and Puzzle Place and helped fund the works of Ken Burns and Henry Hamp­ton. In 1995, he was promoted to vice president for programming and education.

Canadian Academy Appoints Buttignol as Chairman

Rudy Buttignol, creative head of documentaries, independent production and sciences at TV Ontario, has been named Chairman of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, replacing Ann Medina. A former producer, director and writer of documentaries for the National Film Board, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., PBS and A&E, among others, Buttignol joined TV Ontario in 1993.

CINE Names Robert Gardner as New President

Three-time national Emmy® winner and Oscar® nominee for his documentary work, Robert Gardner of Gardner Films has been named president of the Council on International Nontheatrical Events. For forty years, CINE has celebrated the excellence of American film and television production through its rigorous national peer jury system, serving as a gateway to inter­national festivals and recognition for CINE Golden Eagle winners.

ABC Exec Anthony Radziwill to HBO

A producer with ABCNews's Prime­Time Live since 1989, Anthony Radziwill has joined HBO as vice president for documentaries, working under IDA trustee Sheila Nevins, senior vice president for documentaries and family programming. Radziwill, winner of both an Emmy® and a George Polk Award, will be involved in the development and production of documentaries for both HBO and Cinemax ReelLife.

Former NEA Staffer O'Dougherty Joins Southampton College

Former director of film, radio & television programs for the National Endowment for the Arts (1977-96) Brian O'Dougherty has been named to the arts and media faculty of Long Island University as University Professor of Fine Arts and Media, to be based at Southampton College. O'Dougherty creates under the name of Patrick Ireland ("until such time," he has said, "as the British military presence is removed from Northern Ireland") and is a pioneer in the conceptual art movement. His documentary Hopper's Silence, about the artist Edward Hopper, premiered at the New York Film Festival and won the Grand Prix at the Montreal International Festival of Films on Art.

IDA Announces Henry Hampton for 1997 Career Achievement Award

Recipient of the 1997 IDA Career Achievement Award will be Henry Hampton, president and founder of Blackside, Inc. IDA President David Haugland and Executive Director Betsy A. McLane recently announced Hamp­ton's acceptance of this honor. Award ceremonies will be held on October 31st, at a gala featuring the Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards.

Known widely as the creator and executive producer of Eyes on the Prize, Hampton's credits also include The Great Depression (PBS, 1993), Malcolm X: Make It Plain (The American Experience, 1994), America's War on Poverty (1995) and the recent Breakthrough: The Chang­ing Face of Science in America (1996).

Hampton founded Blackside in 1968 and has served as its president, chiefly responsible for film and television concept development, marketing and corporate management. He has produced or been responsible for more than 60 major film and media projects, including several multiple film series for J. Walter Thomp­son, the National Institute for Mental Health and the U.S. Department of Com­merce. Hampton was overall project manager for The Black Chronicle, a Black side-developed educational product published in association with Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Earlier, he produced Take These Keys for the Harvard Business School, and served as project director and executive producer for the innovative Nighttrain series, a training television show aired over five Boston­ area commercial television stations. The Blackside production Code Blue was de­signed to recruit minority physicians and has remained in active distribution for 20 years.

Eyes on the Prize has received nu­merous awards since the initial broadcast in 1987. The 14-hour PBS film series on America's civil rights movement was broadcast nationally in prime time and reached more than 20 million viewers, becoming one of the most highly ac­claimed programs on television. The first six hours received the Gold Baton in the duPont-Columbia Awards; the second installment received the Silver Baton, Peabody Awards, Emmys@, an Academy Award® nomination and an IDA Award followed. Time magazine hailed the series as the "Best of the Decade."

From 1963 to 1968, Hampton was director of broadcasting and information for the Unitarian Universalist Associa­tion, the national religious organization based in Boston. His B .A. degree is in pre-med and English literature from Washington University of St. Louis. Among the many awards he has received are: the Loeb Fellowship, Harvard University; Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union's Roger Baldwin Award; and four­teen honorary college degrees. In 1990, Hampton was named by President Bush as one of five Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the humani­ties. His civic service has involved the Museum of Afro American History , the Boston Center for the Arts, the Revson Foundation and many others. He serves on the IDA Board of Directors and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The IDA Career Achievement Award recognizes individuals whose commit­ment and distinguished contributions to the documentary have advanced and en­riched the form . Previous award recipi­ents include Pare Lorentz, Fred Friendly, David L. Wolper, Jacques Cousteau, Frederick Wiseman, Bill Moyers, Walter Cronkite, Robert Drew, Al Maysles, Marcel Ophuls and Ted Turner.

Awards Roundup

HBO won two Humanitas Prizes this summer—one in the PBS/Cable Category for Miss Evers' Boys, Walter Bernstein, producer; and the other, in the Children’s Live Action Television Category, for Someone Had to Be Benny, Bruce Harmon, producer.

The International Teleproduction So­ciety (ITS) staged its annual International Monitor Awards last July in Beverly Hills. The awards honor outstanding achieve­ment in the craft areas of electronic pro­duction and post production. Honors in the Documentary category included: Color Correction to National Geographic Televi­sion, The Painted Dogs of the Okavango, Lauren Meschter, submitted by Henninger Capitol; Audio Post Production to African Garden of Eden, Jay Jennings, submitted by DC Post, and Battle of the Alamo, Skip SoRelle & Mark Holland, submitted by Aurora Productions, Inc.; Editing to 20th Century Fox: The First 50 Years, David Comtois, Craig Colton & Josh Kafka, sub­mitted by Beantown Productions; Direc­tion to The Selling of Innocents, William Cobban, submitted by Associated Produc­ers Inc.; Best Achievement: to The Selling of Innocents, Elliot Halpern, Simch Jacobovici & William Cobban, submitted by Associated Producers Inc.

Twenty-five Bay Area film and videomakers were awarded grants in June totaling $62,500 in the thirteenth year of the Film Arts Foundation Grants Program. The 25 were chosen from 217 proposals submitted by media artists residing in the ten Bay Area counties.

The Independent Feature Project (IFP) will honor Erroll Morris with its 1997 IFP Gotham Filmmaker Award for his latest film Fast, Cheap and Out of Control. The Open Palm Award, given to a New York-based first-time filmmaker, will go to Macky Alston for Family Name. The awards will be presented during the Independent Film Market this month.

Harry DeLigter, President of Lightworks Audio & Video, Inc., has been nominated for the United Nations Sasakawa Environment Prize as the pro­ducer of the documentary film Free Ener­gy: The Race to Zero Point, which exam­ines the efforts being made to find and develop new sources of energy.

Festival Round-Up

The Gate of Heavenly Peace, a 1996 IDA Award nominee, which explores the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square and the resulting violence in Beijing, won the first-ever International Critics Prize at the Banff Television Festival. The film, which was produced and directed by Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon for the Independent Television Service, was broadcast in June 1996 on the Frontline series. Banned in China, Heavenly Peace also played a minor role in the Hong Kong Handover in July, as hundreds of viewers attended screenings at the Hong Kong Arts Center, despite the strong possibility of interference from China.

The Athens (OH) International Film and Video Festival announced the winners of its annual competition for independent and outsider film/video artists this past May. Documentary works receiving awards were Miss India Georgia, by Daniel Friedman and Sharon Grimberg; Girls Like Us, by Jane C. Wagner and IDA member Tine DiFeliciantonio; Struggles in Steel, by Tony Buba and Ray Henderson; Watch Me Jumpstart, by Banks Traver; and The Disappearance of Tisoeur, by Harriet Hirshorn. Cited for Honorable Mention for documentary achievement were I am a Sorcerer, by Ron Stanford and Ivan Drufovka; and Breathing Lessons, by IDA member Jessica Yu.

At the 21st Annual Atlanta Film and Video Festival in June, John O'Hagan’s documentary Wonderland won the Grand Jury Award and the Best Documentary Film award. Judith Helfand‘s A Healthy Baby Girl took top honors in the Best Documentary Video category. Honorable mention went to the following documen­taries: All About Looking, by IDA member Nancy Dine; Church of Saint Coltrane, by IDA member Jeff Swimmer; Girls Like Us, by Jane C. Wagner and IDA member Tina DiFeliciantonio; and Packing Heat, by IDA member Wendy Rowland.

Alan Berliner took the Audience Prize at the Florida Film Festival in June for Nobody's Business. The Jury Prize for Feature-Length Documentary went to IDA member Kristen Schultz for Before I Sleep; the Short Documentary Prize went to Helen Stickler’s Andre the Giant Has a Posse; and Hands on a Hardbody, direct­ed by S.R. Bindler, won a Special Jury Prize for Editing.

Awards in July at the Great Plains Film Festival included the following doc­umentaries: IDA Award-winning Troublecome Creek: A Midwestern by Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan; Riding the Rails, by Michael Uys and Lexy Lovell; Surviving Friendly Fire, by IDA members Todd Nelson and Michael Hofacre; Chasing the Dream: A Bull Riding Documentary, by Harry Lynch and Jeff Fraley; After Sunset: The Life & Times of the Drive-In Theatre, by Jon Bokenkamp; and Votes for Women, by IDA member Martha Wheelock and Kay Weaver.

Among the documentaries to be fea­tured at the Independent Feature Film Market include Michel Negroponte's Un­derground Robot; Ross McElwee's Tobac­co Road; Richard Kaplan's Varian Fry: Authentic American; Peter Friedman’s The Life and Times of Life and Times; Michael Moore's The Big One; Donna Deitch’s Angel on My Shoulder; Euzhan Paley's Aime Cesaire, A Voice for History; Connie Stevens's A Healing—Vietnam 1995—Dedicated to the Women Who Served; and Conor McCourt's The McCourts of Limerick.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival, held last month, screened fifteen feature-length nonfiction film’s, including Spike Lee's Four Little Girls, Chris Mark­er's Level Five and Erroll Morris's Fast, Cheap and Out of Control.

The Venice Film Festival, wrapping this month, featured the following docu­mentaries: HHH : Portrait de Hou Hsiao Hsien, by Olivier Assayas; Bergman's Rost, by Gunnar Bergdahl; Das Jahr Nach Dayton, by Nikolaus Geyrhalter; Kippur, by Amos Gitai; Four Little Girls, by Spike Lee; Im Memorium lmre Gyongyossy, by Katalyn Peteny and Barana Kabay; Still Love You After All This, by Stanley Kwan; and As Time Goes By, by Ann Hui.


Jacques-Yves Cousteau, whose pioneering work in undersea exploration and oceanography informed his popular and critical acclaim as a documentarian, died in June at his home in Paris at age 87. His very first film, The Silent World, won an Academy Award ® for Best Documentary in 1957, as well as the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and he won another Oscar for his second film, World Without Sun. His television programs, which earned him eleven Emmys® and numerous other awards, were broadcast first on ABC, under the title The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. He later made documentaries for PBS and TBS. The IDA honored Mr. Cousteau with the Career Achievement Award in 1989. Besides his considerable accomplishments as a filmmaker, Cousteau made substantial contributions to the world of oceanography. He invented the aqualung, which allowed for freer and deeper undersea exploration; he developed an underwater camera that could withstand water pressure at greater depths; he built a diving saucer-a sort of mini-submarine-to allow for more protection while exploring, and a conshelf, an undersea laboratory on which researchers could live and work.