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Film Festivals | Filmmaking | Reports

Industry News

1 Jan , 2001  

Written by Allison Twomey | Posted by:

A report of news & events in the local industry for January 2001.

Film Festivals

The Human Rights Watch International Film Festival will run January 11-14, 2001 at the Coolidge Corner Theater. This is the premiere of the festival in Boston, a multi-venue weekend celebration of important films, with many of the filmmakers and local human rights organizations on hand to discuss the festivals many topics. The Coolidge is offering six documentaries based on human rights that explore the recent protests in Seattle; modern life on an American-Indian reservation; fighting against the oppressors in Nazi Germany; the state of cinema in Chad; and much more. The festival concludes with a special sneak preview of "The Circle," Jafar Panahi’s acclaimed new narrative film that explores the everyday oppression still facing the women of Iran. For a full schedule and program descriptions visit their web site at


The Director’s Cut presents "Humorous Hometown Documentaries," on Wednesday, January 17, at the Coolidge Corner Theater. Gerald Peary, film critic for the Boston Phoenix and curator of the series, will introduce the film and lead the Q&A. Featuring, "Hairdo" (directed by John Capron, Jonathan Sahula, Caroline Toth), a funny, affectionate road movie in which female students at a multi-cultural Medford beauty school take an exciting bus ride to New York City to compete in a hair-styling contest. Showing alongside it will be "It’s Only a Tattoo"(directed Randy Bell), co-director of "Look Back, Don’t Look Back." The filmmaker contemplates getting a tattoo but is warned off by his annoyed father and by those who have them and now want them off. For more information call 617-734-2500 or visit

On Thursday, January 25, "Henry Hill" (1999, 85 min.) will be shown at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. In this charismatic romantic drama, the title character (played by Jamie Harrold) is a virtuoso violin player with a terrible case of stage fright. Henry’s afflictions drive him homewards from New York City to the small Maine town where he grew up, and where the ghosts of his past exert their own considerable influences. Only when a beautiful and dangerous stranger (Moira Kelly) appears on the scene does Henry’s life take on a decisive direction. For more information visit or call 617-369-3770.

"Beyond Killing Us Softly: The Strength to Resist" (2000, 33 min.) by Margaret Lazarus and Renner Wunderlich is also playing at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston on January 28. Britney Spears turns in her first role as an anti-icon in this powerful documentary about the toxic and degrading messages to women and girls that dominate the media. Leading authorities in the fields of psychology of women and girls, eating disorders, gender studies, violence against women, and media literacy present their practical solutions and the best tactics for reclaiming our culture. Please visit or call 617-369-3770 for details.

In the News

Ellie Lee’s "Dog Days" was named Best Boston Fiction Film of 2000 by Gerald Peary, Film Culture column in "The Boston Phoenix".   "Dog Days" is one of only 5 films from the USA invited to the world’s most prestigious festival of short films, the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, France. From 1800 submissions, Clermont-Ferrand will screen a total of 75 films. Coincidentally, of the 5 films from the US, 2 ("Dog Days", "Chaperone") are adaptations of short stories by novelist Judy Budnitz.  Currently, Ellie Lee and novelist Judy Budnitz are busy collaborating on a feature screenplay.

Sound designer Jay Rose has moved his "Digital Playroom" to a new facility in Brookline, MA. The acoustics and equipment are designed for fast editing of audio for video and custom effects creation. Rose, a Clio and Emmy winner, owned a successful advertising sound studio in Boston and was Creative Director at Century III Audio. The new studio suite includes a large control room designed for surround, a spacious announce booth, and separate machine room with a "Drive-Up Window" for easy media loading. The Digital Playroom can be reached at 617-277-0041 or at

CrewStar, a crew resourcing company, announced the addition of an industry payroll administrator to its full-time staff at company headquarters. Sheri Sabbag, who had spent 12 years as a Payroll Timekeeper at Warner Brothers Pictures in CA, joined the CrewStar team in early November and will anchor payroll account services. CrewStar is a crew and talent payroll and search services firm. Since 1994, it has been serving corporate media facilities, media production companies, and events companies across the US. For more information, visit CrewStar at