C-U Biz-en-scène: 01.30.2012

C-U Biz-en-scène” appears every Sunday/Monday on C-U Blogfidential to give our readers a succinct snapshot of the cinema activity in and near Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA. Please support the artists and their work, attend screenings and events, and otherwise become active in our esoteric little world!


Spring into Action this Spring, Dearest Readers!

Due to a case of Humble Editor Overload (HEO) worsened by an upper respiratory virus infection (FUBAR), we’ll need to shorten up the Biz once more and save the next installment of our “Stayin’ Alive” scene survey for column number 80(!) later this week. Until then, we foreshadow the time is nigh for MICRO-FILM Country filmmakers – via the Call for Entries for the New Art Film Festival, coming next week – and our valiant advertisers – via the sexy sixth issue of C-U Confidential digest, the rates for which will also be revealed next week – to start pulling through with their annual share of heavy hitting. Mark those down and pass ‘em around, for we need your strength in numbers to help make our efforts a success! Just as well, gossip through your respective grapevines that the second Time Traveling Cinema, sponsored by us and The Psychic Joker, will go down Friday, February 24, starting at 10 p.m.; we’ll announce our next group of vintage flicks shortly! “Join” this Event on Facebook so you will be reminded when it’s show time and then read this Smile Politely article by Rachel Buller about the downtown Champaign sector that our host venue, SoDo Theatre, and other neighboring businesses are transforming into a pro-arts hub of activity. Go Go SoDo!


Keep an eye out this week for a brand-new “The Double Life of a Cinéaste” column by Tyler Tharpe on Tuesday or Wednesday, an “Images of the Week” on Friday featuring yet another cool Elsinore music video, and our exclusive events Calendar on Friday as well!


With nothing particularly timely on the local front to divulge, we concentrate this week on pointing you, erstwhile producer, towards potential resources for funding and screening your work. Our Chicago area friends should note that Chicago Filmmakers and the Chicago Instructional Technology Foundation will be awarding production grants up to $10,000 for five or more projects through the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund, accepting applications until Monday, March 19. Proposals can be for short or feature-length films addressing “progressive social change in some fashion” that will be completed by April 2013; read and download all the pertinent details from the CF Web site … Entries are being accepted through May 15 for the sixth annual Iowa Independent Film Festival which will take place July 13-15 in Clear Lake, IA. This indie fest is able to draw Hollywood professionals as guests and judges through the connections of IIFF co-founder Tanna Frederick, an actress and current muse of maverick director Henry Jaglom (IRENE IN TIME, QUEEN OF THE LOT) … The cleverly named 15 Minutes of Fame Film Festival is now looking for movies running 15 minutes or less for its fourth annual event on Saturday, May 19, in Palm Bay, FL. While the early-bird deadline for entry is this Tuesday, January 31, the latest submissions can be postmarked no later than Monday, April 23 … Elsewhere, IndieWIRE published a Sundance tie-in interview with Austin, TX, animator Don Hertzfeldt about his new short, IT’S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY. Attendees of the former C-U Freaky Film Festival will remember his early stick-figure efforts LILY AND JIM, BILLY’S BALLOON, and the immortal REJECTED … The acclaimed Japanese visual artist Eiko Ishioka, who won an Academy Award in 1993 for her costume designs in BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, passed away January 21 at age 73 according to the Associated Press. She attended Roger Ebert’s Film Festival in 2008 and spoke after screenings of MISHIMA and THE CELL, both featuring her work as did THE FALL which played “Ebertfest” the following year …


The flood of fun stuff to ferret through the Internet never ends! First, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 84th annual Academy Awards last Tuesday, January 24; THE ARTIST, THE DESCENDANTS, EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, THE HELP, HUGO, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, MONEYBALL, THE TREE OF LIFE, and WAR HORSE will vie for Best Picture honors. The Sundance Film Festival revealed their award winners earlier today, Sunday, January 29; top nods were bestowed upon BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic), THE HOUSE I LIVE IN (Grand Jury Prize, Documentary), VIOLETA WENT TO HEAVEN (World Cinema Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic), and THE LAW IN THESE PARTS (World Cinema Grand Jury Prize, Documentary). Attending the concurrent Arthouse Convergence in Park City was venerable film executive Bingham Ray, who suffered a pair of strokes and passed away January 23 at age 57 in a nearby Provo, UT, hospital; as executive director of the San Francisco Film Society, co-founder of classy Nineties distributor October Films, and marketer-come-champion of numerous indie watersheds including BREAKING THE WAVES, THE LAST SEDUCTION, SECRETS & LIES, and BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, he will be missed. Conversation also continues in the press regarding the purported death of the physical cinema; CUBlog columnist Tyler Tharpe submits this article by Creative COW Magazine’s Debra Kaufman about the across-the-board decline of film use in both production and distribution, while Todd Leopold writes for CNN about the powerful sense of nostalgia formerly wielded by the Kodak brand. Time can apparently heal wounds between real and reel life as evidenced by this Los Angeles Times story about Orson Welles’ CITIZEN KANE, screening March 9 at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival on the estate of the late William Randolph Hearst; seeing it as a thinly veiled attack on his character, the newspaper baron famously attempted to squelch KANE’s original release by RKO Radio Pictures in 1941. To close, we noticed via DVD Empire a new direct-to-video comedy called DIVISION III: FOOTBALL’S FINEST and starring oft-in-trouble comedian Andy Dick who, downstate legend tells us, left D-III Illinois Wesleyan University of Bloomington before the end of his freshman year and hightailed it to non-NCAA Columbia College of Chicago. We wonder how executive producer and co-writer Dick developed his role of football coach “Rick Vice” with co-writer and director Marshall Cook – who, to be fair, actually played D-III football at Occidental College in Los Angeles where he majored in filmmaking – unless one looks no further than this Santa Rosa (CA) Correspondent report which describes the Vice character as an “overly aggressive redneck racist.” When life plus reputation equals art, we suppose good things can come from it…


That’s it for the “business of our scene” this week!

If you have relevant news, opportunities, dates, or promotions that you would like included in CUBiz, please forward the who, what, where, when, and how much to cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com.

Compiled by Jason Pankoke


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“C-U Biz-en-scène” no.79 © 2012 Jason Pankoke/C-U Blogfidential.

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