Indie Roundup

In this week's edition of Indie Roundup, we look back on a busy week for acquisitions, upcoming film awards, and two fests.

Deals. The Garden, nominated this year for an Academy Award for Best Documentary, was picked up by Oscilloscope and will be released to theaters in the spring and on DVD this summer, according to indieWIRE. Directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy, the film follows a long court battle to save the South Central Farm, a community produce garden that sprang up in the wake of the 1992 riots in Los Angeles.

With the unfortunate demise of New Yorker Films, Nuri Bilge Ceylan's critically-acclaimed Three Monkeys will now be distributed by Zeitgeist Films. The theatrical release planned for this month will be delayed to April.

Other films receiving deals, per indieWIRE, with distributor and release dates noted: Roger Spottiswoode's Shake Hands with the Devil (Regent Releasing, Summer 2009); Lee Isaac Chung's Munyurangabo (Film Movement, late May 2009); and John Walter's Theater of War (Alive Mind, April 2009)

Awards. What, you thought the Academy Awards had the final word? Still to come are the Cinema Eye Honors on Sunday, March 29. Given in celebration of nonfiction films and filmmakers, the nominees include cinematographers, editors, composers, and graphic designers.

Box Office. In its second week of release at a single theater in New York, Andrzej Wajda's historical drama Katyn increased its take, earning $14,206. That indicates strong word of mouth. "Katyn is the name of the forest where the Soviets secretly murdered 15,000 Polish officers, intellectuals and professionals over a 3-day period in 1940 (Wajda's father among them)," according to publicity materials for the film. Distributor Koch-Lorber Films has more information. The dramatic trailer is embedded below.

After the jump: A tale of two festivals: Tribeca and True/False.



Tribeca Shakeup Continues. Two weeks ago we noted the arrival of longtime Sundance honcho Geoffrey Gilmore as the newly-installed Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises, which oversees the Tribeca Film Festival, among other things. I asked: "Will Gilmore change the programing course set by Peter Scarlet since the former head of the San Francisco Film Festival came on board in 2002? (He's been Artistic Director since 2007.)"

Of course, I wasn't the first or the only one to wonder. We all received an answer, though, when Scarlet announced his resignation from the festival last Friday. "As my 7th Tribeca Film Festival loomed," Scarlet said in a statement, "I realized simply that it's time for me to seek new challenges." Lou Lumenick of the New York Post asked: "Was Scarlet pushed or did he jump? Whaddya think? I have no idea, but would anybody be surprised if Tribeca's executive director Nancy Schafer and lead programmers David Kwok and Genna Terranova have their resumes out?"

As Erik Davis reported on Monday, Woody Allen's Whatever Works will open this year's festival, which will be held from April 22 to May 3. Cinematical will provide extensive coverage of the festival.

True/False Docs Rule Small Town: The True/False Film Festival took place last weekend in Columbia, Missouri "arguably Missouri's hippest city," says Robert Davis of Paste Magazine. The filmmakers are here and seem eager to answer questions about their work or chat informally after screenings ....You can carry your glass of wine into the movie if you want, and there you'll be greeted not by mindless muzak or advertising but by live music from local musicians who play before every show."

The Associated Press described it as "a place where nearly 15,000 movie-mad folks will cram into sold-out theaters, rock clubs and college lecture halls for a weekend of exclusively documentary films, not high-budget Hollywood blockbusters." Brian Brooks of indieWIRE noted: "Having a good time is also a fundamental element to True/False. Matt Dentler posted brief impressions and a bunch of photos. At Spout, Karina Longworth commented on A.J. Schnack's work-in-progress Convention and Justin Donais' glastonburykids.