September 1, 1998

Short Takes, September 1998


Just as surely as the waning days of summer summon up a frisson of rue and regret, so too do the early days of autumn trigger a strange air of re-awakening and re-emergence. The IDA staff continues to expand like an accordion in anticipation of the headlong days ahead, with DOCtober'", the feverishly awaited IDC3, and the annual IDA Awards Gala and DocuFest'", all converging on the month of October at breakneck speed. So here are the new recruits: Traci Brown, IDA's de facto number cruncher, moves to Awards Gala Coordinator, and Josh Travierso just came on board to take over the numbers. But looking back on the summer of '98, as I bang out this column smack dab in the middle of midsummer, one major highlight, which will be reported on in later issues of ID, was the culminating event of the outreach workshops that took place this past spring. IDA collaborated with The HeArt Project—a non­ profit organization that brings a program of arts workshops to Los Angeles-based high school students—and Cal State—Los Angeles to work with underserved, high school-aged youth and teach them the basics of documentary film­ making so that they could tell their own stories. The resulting works were screened at Cal State before an appreciative audience of students, IDA members and other assorted guests. Kudos to IDA Board member Thelma Vickroy for helping to spearhead this valuable project, and many thanks to Langley Productions for helping to make it possible.

Dibie Elected National President of Camera Guild

George S. Dibie, ASC, was elected national president of the International Photographers Guild, Local 600. A six-time Emmy® winner; Dibie was elected to a three-year term. He says that the Guild's top priorities will include ensuring fair wages and benefits consistent with the contributions made by its members, safety and dignity in the workplace, aggressive organization of films that fall within its juris­diction, cooperation with other guilds, forceful recognition of members' grievances and artistic recognition for cinematographers.

L. Sumi Roy Appointed Executive Director of International Film Seminars

International Film Seminars, presenters of the annual Robert Flaherty Film Seminars, recently appointed L. Sumi Roy as Executive Director. Roy has served on the Board of Trustees of IFS since 1995. He programmed the 1994 Flaherty Seminar together with Erik Barnouw and Patricia Zimmerman. He has organized more than 60 film exhibitions and series, specializing in Asian and Asian American film and video.

MacArthur Foundation Names Program Officer for Media

Alyce Myatt, a former consultant with such organizations as Black side, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, ITVS, WGBH and WNET, was recently appointed program officer for media in the foundation's General Program. Myatt oversees the grant program for media production and distribution and other projects designed to help ensure cultural diversity in the media.

Paganelli Estate Donates $100,000 to American Archives of the Factual Film

Elvira Manna, sister of the late animator and industrial and educational film producer Albert Paganelli, donated $ 100,000 to the American Archives of the Factual Film (AAFF), which is based at Iowa State University Library, where the Paganelli Papers and Films are held. The AAFF has more than 25,000 corporate, industrial, government and educational films. Paganelli not only made his mark in this genre, but he was also a film photographer and an inventor, having patented a film-splicing apparatus in 1925.

IDA Member Signed on for SAG Doc

IDA member Lawrence Hott and his producing partner Diane Garey will begin pre­-production work on a documentary about the history of the Screen Actors Guild, the guild announced in June. In a prepared statement released by SAG, Hott and Garey said. "The Screen Actors Guild history has all the elements you need to make a great documen­tary. It has a history that encompasses the labor movement, the development of screen craft, the blacklist era and the rise and fall of the great Hollywood studios."

New X-Ray Scanners at Airports Could Damage Unprocessed Film, Kodak Advises

Kodak is advising motion picture producers and laboratories that a new type of high­ intensity X-ray scanner now used to inspect checked luggage at more than 50 international airports will damage unprocessed film. Kodak scientists warn that unprocessed negative and print film will be damaged by fog caused from exposure to the new CTX-5000 X-ray scanners. X-rays have no effect on processed film. For information, visit the Kodak website at, or call 1-800-621-3456.


Sandi Sissel, ASC, received the Kodak Vision Award for cinematography at the Women in Film Crystal Awards luncheon in June. The award is given annually to a female cinematographer with exceptional achieve­ments in the art of feature and/or documentary filmmaking... The Short List, the San Diego-based showcase for international short films, received a Southwestern Emmy® Award last June for outstanding achievement in the Visual Arts category... The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced Emmy Award nominations in July; here are the nominees in the nonfiction categories: Programs—Nonfiction Series: The American Experience, IDA Trustee PBS; Biography, IDA Trustee A&E; Desmond Morris' The Human Sexes, The Learning Channel; Discover Magazine, IDA Trustee Discovery Channel; Inside the Actors Studio, Bravo. Programs­—Nonfiction Special: American Masters: Don Hewitt—90 Minutes on 60 Minutes, PBS; Dead Blue: Surviving Depression, IDA Trustee HBO; Vietnam POWs—Stories of Survival, Discovery Channel; 4 Little Girls, HBO. Achievement in Nonfiction—Programming­ Cinematography: Ellen Kuras, 4 Little Girls, HBO; Richard Chisolm, Paul Goldsmith, IDA members Buddy Squires and Jon Else, Jerry Cons and Nick Caloyianis, National Geographic Special: America's Endangered Species­—Don't Say Goodbye, NBC; Jim Dutcher, Wolves at Our Door, Discovery Channel. Achievement in Nonfiction—Programming­ Picture Editing: Michael Bloecher, William Haugse, Assassinated: The Last Days of Kennedy & King, TBS; Sam Pollard, 4 Little Girls, HBO; Arnold Glassman, Frank Capra's American Dream, AMC; IDA member Lenny Weinstein, National Geographic Special: America's Endangered Species—Don't Say Goodbye, NBC; Amanda Zinoman, Trauma: Life in the ER, The Learning Channel; Mike Harvey, Graham Knight, Vietnam POWs: Stories of Survival, Discovery Channel. Achievement in Nonfiction Programming­—Sound Editing: Glenfield Payne, Eugene Geatty, Maisie Weissman, 4 Little Girls, HBO; Patrick M. Griffith, Lisa Hannan, National Geographic Explorer, TBS. Achievement in Nonfiction Programming—Sound Mixing: J.T. Takagi, Rolf Pardula, Skip Lievsay, 4 Little Girls, HBO; Jamie Dutcher, Wolves at Our Door, Discovery Channel. The Academy also announced that National Geographic Television and The Learning Channel will receive 1998 Governors Awards, which honor individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to primetime television... The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced the winners of the 25th Anniversary Student Academy Awards com­petition. In the Documentary Category, honors went to Greg Pak of New York University, for Fighting Grandpa; Yuriko Garno Romer of Stanford University, for Occidental Encounters; and IDA member Aaron Lubarsky of Stanford University, for Wayne Freedman's Notebook... Across the pond, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) honored the best in television. In the Factual Series category, the BAFTA TV award went to The Nazis—A Warning from History, Lawrence Rees, producer (BBC); and the Documentary award went to The Grave, Belinda Giles, producer (BBC)... Last May, the National Educational Media Network announced and screened the 1998 Apple Award winning films, which honor outstanding achievement in educational media. The awards were as follows: Gold Apple—American Discovery: Being an Explorer, Stephen Mantell, producer/director; Hot Air Balloon, Julian Mobbs, producer/director; Magnificent Fish: Forgollen Fish, New England Aquarium: producer; Approach of Dawn, Gayla Jamison, producer/director; Colors Straight Up, IDA member Michele Ohayon, producer/director; Just for the Ride, IDA member Amanda Micheli, producer/director. Silver Apple­ Popular Mechanics for Kids, Jonathan Finkelstein, producer; Landowska, Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, Diane Pontius, producers/ directors; The Spitball Story, Jean Bach, producer/director; Those Who Believe, Ethan Martin, Derek Mullins, Leslie Shockey, Appalachian Media Institute, producers. Bronze AppleRaymonds Portrait, Donald Young, producer/director; This is Our Story, This is Our Song, Will is "Skip" Brown, pro­ducer/director; Carved from the Heart, Ellen Frankenstein and Louise Brady, producers/directors; Fender Philosophers, IDA member Lisa Leeman, producer/director... The Banff Television Festival culminated last June with the Banff Rockie Awards. HBO was honored for Best Sports Program for Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?; Frontline won a Special Jury Award for Innocence Lost­ The Plea, WGBH and Ofra Bike! Productions, producers; BBC and The History Channel shared the History and Biography Award for The NazisA Warning From History; the Best Social and Political Documentary Award went to True Stories: The Grave, produced by Soul Purpose for Channel Four; and the Best Arts Documentary Award went to Richter; l'Insoumis, which was co-produced by companies from France, Britain and Germany.

...The 1998 Red Earth American Indian Film & Video Competition winners include the following in the documentary categories: Documentary Art/Artist Profile, Indian Produced: Allan Houser, produced by Phillip Haozous, Allan Houser, Inc. Documentary Art/Artist Profile, Non-Indian Produced: George Morrison Reflections, produced by Lorraine Norrgard. Documentary Long, Indian Produced: A Traditional Kind of Woman: Too Much Not 'Nuff, produced by Lance Richmond, American Indian Community House. Documentary Long, Non-Indian Produced: Your Humble Servent: The Wisdom of Reuben Snake, produced by Gary Rhine, Kifaru Productions. Documentary Short, Indian Produced: Carved from the Heart, produced by Ellen Frankenstein and Louise Brady. Documentary Short, Non­ Indian Produced: Navajo Code Talkers, produced by Tom McCarthy.


Woubi Darling, directed by Laurent Bocuhut, won the Best Documentary Award at the New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in June, and Special Mentions went to Treyf, by Alisa Lebow & Cynthia Madansky, and Spicy Movie, by Alfred Ryf Triangeli... The Brandon Teena Story, produced and directed by Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir, won the Independent Film Channel Independent Vision Award at the First Annual New York International Documentary Festival last May... The 20th edition of the Independent Feature Film Market opens September 18, and the following documentaries will be screened: The Accident, by Joseph Lovette; All Power to the People, by former IDA Board member Lee Lew-Lee; American Chain Gang, by Xackery Irving; The Band, by IDA member David Zeiger; The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, by Stanley Nelson; Blind Light, by Pola Rapaport; Circus Redickuless, by IDA member Phillip Glau; Dancemaker, by Matthew Diamond; The Gee Whiz Kid, by Janice Durand; Gutter Punks, by Brent Sims; Home Page, by Doug Block; Its All Good, David Hoffman; The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, by Aviva Kempner; The McCourts of New York, by Conor McCourt; Nothing but the Truth, by IDA member Mark Steven Sheperd; Radioman (Not a Music Video), by PiPo Maypo; Secret People, by John Anderson; and Wallowirch & Ross: This Moment, by Richard Morris... Among the IDA members whose works will be represented at the 1998 IFFM No Borders Co-Production Market are Alice Elliott, who is co-producing Cynthia Wade's Grist for the Mill, a portrait of Wade's sometimes quirky family; Barbara Leibovitz, who is producing Sandy Guthrie's Labor of Love, which profiles a bisexual man preparing for the birth of his first child; Susan Kaplan, whose film Love is about a self-styled "trinogomous trio" who decide to have a child; Roger Weisberg, who is producing Josh Aronson's Sound and Fury, which documents the battle within the hearing impaired commu­nity between those who communicate through lip reading and those who use sign language; Deborah Shaffer, who executive produced Suzanne Wasserman's Thunder in Guyana: The Life of Janet Jagan, which profiles a Chicago native who was elected president of Guyana last year; and Marina Zenovich, who directed Who is Bernard Tapie?, a portrait of a French politician and celebrity who turns to film acting and somehow ends up in jail...

The Cruise, Bennett Miller's acclaimed doc about a philosopher/poet who toils by day as a cruise director on a New York City bus, won two prizes at the Newport Film Festival—the Documentary Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize. Niek Koppen's The Hunt took the Jury Prize for Best Documentary, and Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasens, by Bob Pulcini and Shari Berman, won a Special Jury Prize. Cuba J 5, by Elizabeth Schub, won a Jury Prize in the Documentary Short-Subject category

... Party Monster, directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, took the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature at Outfest '98, while Out of the Past, directed by Jeff Dupre, won Honorable Mention honors... At the Florida Film Festival, Bobby Houston 's The Human Race won two prizes—the Documentary Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize for Compassion and Vision. The Farm, IDA mem­ber Jonathan Stack and Liz Garbus's much­ lauded film about a maximum security prison in Louisiana, took the Grand Jury Prize. Jay Rosenblatt's Human Remains won the Jury Prize for Best Short Film... Finally, the Athens (OH) International Film and Video Festival announced its award-winners. Best Overall Documentary: My America... Or Honk If You Love Buddha, by IDA member Renee Tajima-Pena; Best Experimental Documentary: What Farocki Taught, by Jill Godmilow; Best Documentary in the Humanist Tradition: Pop, by Joel Meyerowitz; Juror's Special Citation in Documentary: What's Up, by Julie Goldman; and Outstanding Use of Archival Footage: Riding the Rails, by IDA members Michael Uys and Lexi Lovell.


Noel Archambault, cinematographer and stereographer, was killed in a plane crash over the Galapagos Islands in June while filming Galapagos: The Enchanted Voyage, an IMAX 3-D film, produced by Mandalay Media Alts for the Smithsonian Institute. Archambault was considered a pioneer in the large-format 3-D process, and worked on every IMAX 3-D film made to date, including the recently released Mark Twain's America and the upcoming T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous.

Joshua Hanig, internationally-known documentary filmmaker and IDA member, died on June in Los Angeles of pancreatic cancer. He was 46. Born in Austin, Texas and raised in Indiana, Hanig graduated from Antioch College in Ohio, where he made his first film, Men's Lives, which won a Student Academy Award® and several international film festival prizes. His second film, Song of the Canary, won prizes at the Chicago, Mannheim and Athens film festivals and was nominated for a national Emmy® Award. His next film, Coming of Age, about inner-city youth in Los Angeles, won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival. Among the specials he produced and directed for PBS were Generation at Risk, a look at innovative solutions to the problems of teenagers in America, and Storytellers, a celebration of American literature with Kurt Vonnegut, Alice Walker, Woody Allen, Althur Miller, William Styron, Tom Wolfe, among others. He also co­-directed the 40th anniversary television special Return to Iwo Jima. In recent years, Hanig wrote, produced and directed a wide range of projects, including music videos, political campaign spots and PSAs. He also wrote and produced documentaries for A&E's Ancient Mysteries, Discovery Channel's National Treasures, and The History Channel's Television. Hanig was a founding board member of the Independent Feature Project and co-owner of New Day Films, a distribution company. He also taught film production at the USC School of Cinema-Television. He is survived by his wife, Leslie Leitner; a son, Marshall ; sisters Esther and Rose; and parents Ruth and David.