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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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AFM day 6-7 interviews

AFM Day 6-7: DEPARTED's Producer, TROMA Drama, "Chick Flicks Grow Up" & LITTLE OBAMA Sits Out


First a quick snapshot into the doing at the American Film Market on Day 6 -7. On deck today is DREAMAGO "Speed Dating" Pitch Session with 25 industry heavies, from J Todd Harris ofBranded Pictures Entertainment (The Kids are Alright, Bottle Shock); Stephen Nemeth-Rhino Films (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Dogtown and Z Boys); Gerd Koelchin (Black Dahlia, The Matador), Jeremy Wall (The Objective, Reservations), Michael Mosco-Equinoxe Films (Winnie), Corina Danckwerts-Capture Films (The Objective, Dark Streets); Maja Zimmerman-Motivo Films (Porfirio, Promised Land), Frances Lausell-Isla Films (America, Lie); Frederico Duran-Rhayuela Films (Garcia, El Paramo); Brian Udovich (South of Heaven, A Necessary Death) and Swiss producer Marc Schmidheiny.


This follows Monday's "So They've Optioned Your Script, They've Decided to Make Your Movie... Now What?" with distributor Mark Damon; casting director Ronnie Yeskel (Pulp Fiction, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Atlas Shrugged); publicist Erik Bright (Little Miss Sunshine, Sideways, Crash) and entertainment lawyer Todd Stern (WWBCGE).


Both of these events are the money shots for filmmakers/writers, meanwhile, more established creatives are visible too. For example Graham King.


What brought this Oscar-winning producer to Santa Monica, the site of his new offices, has nothing to do with proximity to this year's American Film Market, but King's new company GK Films has been very vocal about their projects at the 31st AFM.


King is working on a Freddy Mercury (the lead singer of QUEEN) biopic and more. At AFM, he just picked up a Carey Mulligan/Ryan Gosling starrer. Will it be another Oscar-burner like 07's THE DEPARTED? Chances are high GK Films will come up with a winner sometime soon since CEO King is still in cahoots with Marty Scorsese.


Speaking of newsmakers, TROMA Entertainment Inc. holds the record with at least 13 press announcements this year. TROMA Ent. CEO Lloyd Kaufman is also Chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, which hosts AFM.


TROMA/AFM's Honcho Lloyd Kaufman: TROMA CEO Kaufman Has a Sense of Humor


Kaufman's AFM high point was lining up HISTORY OF VIOLENCE scribe Josh Olson, Jamie King (SIN CITY), SAW II writer/director Darren Lynn Bousman, DETROIT ROCK CITY's producer Adam Rifkin, Steven Paul (GHOST RIDER), "FilmThreat" helmer Chris Gore, and, inexplicably, Count Smokula of the titular "Count Smokula Show" for a press TROMADANCE conference.


Among TROMA's offerings are interesting pictures starring odd combos like Ed Asner, David Faustino, and Joe Estevez. It helps to remember that TROMA/Kaufman is comically associated with a TOXIC AVENGER remake fracas, from the 1983 Mitch Cohen classic.


A Yale graduate, Kaufman even had to defend himself from TOXIC remake haters. He did so with an apologia entitled "Am I a Visionary Shit Disturber? Or a Hypocritical Sell Out?" You'd think he would have given himself a third option on that headline, but clearly TROMA's CEO does not shy away from controversy.


Yesterday, SAGIndie and Writers Guild of America, West (WGAw) started the morning with a conference optimistically dubbed "Resources for Independent Filmmakers." ScreenPlayLab hosted the chaser, "Studio Finance and Distribution."

Today, the Women in Film International Committee offers "The 'Chick Flick' Grows Up," predicted to be heavily attended. Maybe we can all stop reflexively calling them "chick" flicks once they grow up? Nah.


The Producer Guild of America (PGA) offers the jewel in the crown after that, "New Strategies on How to Package and Finance Your Independent Project Overseas." Apparently it is a foregone conclusion that looking for money in the US is exhausting at this juncture in the economy.


With Hurricane Kitrina a fading memory, Biz TV Network held an AFM press conference for DAM999, a 100-year-old dam-related film that underscores the corruption and political machinations involved with public works projects. Bad things happen to good dams, or think the state-sanctioned flooding that is the plot-starter for DELIVERANCE. Will this picture sell? Jury is out... for a while, ps.

But, on the bright side, former TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE star Ernie Reyes, Jr. just announced his collaboration with Birch Tree Entertainment's Art Birzneck. They plan to producer tween and young adult pictures, such as their first co-prod KARTATE COPS to shoot in April 2011 at locations in San Francisco. Reyes co-wrote this script with newcomer Cody Yarbrough.

And even Mad Crapper Films managed to sell something. ONE BY ONE: DEATH'S DOOR sold to American World Pictures. Tony Todd of FINAL DESTINATION and CANDYMAN stars with Douglas Tait (FREDDY VS JASON, STAR TREK), and Sally Kirkland (JFK).


Sally Kirkland will be honored a day after AFM closes, on Nov. 11, by the New York International Film Festival, which "returns" to LA this year. NYIFF opens with a "film market and networking party at the stylish Aqua Lounge located at 424 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210 on Thursday, November 11 from 7pm-midnight;" Nick Mancuso will also be tapped for an award.

As the 31st film market winds down, LITTLE OBAMA remains unsold. LITTLE OBAMA is that movie based on a novel -- emphasis on the word novel, this is a drama, not a documentary -- written by Damien Demantra.


LITTLE OBAMA poster: Made by friends or foes of US President Obama?

Starring Hasan Faruq Ail and Cara Lachelle, the film is also directed by Demantra with John De Rantau. Demantra tapped a dubious group of "misfits and street kids" allegedly befriended by US President Barack Obama's during his boyhood stint in the Menteng area, located in Central Jakarta, Indonesia.



With LITTLE OBAMA friends like these, Big Obama doesn't need just his political enemies to muddy the waters about his citizenship.


NEWSFLASH: President Obama is American through and through, he chews gum and, apart from the fact that he still smokes cigarettes and likes foreign films, he's looking more and more like a Reagan Democrat, which makes him Hollywood by DNA. Selamat Pergi, or "Get Lost" as they say in Bahasa Indonesian to this film's conceit.


Stay tuned for a wrap of the 31st American Film Market from Santa Monica, Calif.

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

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