In this week's edition of Indie Roundup, we begin by noting the sad and untimely passing of one of the great champions of independent film, Wouter Barendrecht. The founder of Fortissimo Films, an international sales and production company, Barendrecht died unexpectedly last weekend from heart failure while in Thailand.
Eugene Hernandez at indieWIRE writes: "Perhaps his greatest professional achievement is the invaluable role he played as a tireless champion of Asian cinema and as a stalwart supporter of independent, queer and international film. On a personal note, his friendships with so many members of the worldwide film community are also hard to overlook." He was just 43.
Deals. Overture Films has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Nicholas Jasenovec's Paper Heart, which debuted at Sundance. In his review, Eric D. Snider said the film, which stars and was co-written by Charlyne Yi, "combines elements of reality and fiction in an amusing, meta-referential way, though one's enjoyment of it may ultimately come down to one's enjoyment of Yi as a performer." Yi's real-life boyfriend, Michael Cera, is featured. Overture plans to release Paper Heart in New York and Los Angeles on August 7 and expand it a week later, according to indieWIRE.
Box Office. Kate Churchill's documentary Enlighten Up!, advertised as "a skeptic's journey into the world of yoga," exercised its right to be the highest per-screen earner among indies, grossing $16,161 at the one theater where it played, per Box Office Mojo. (Check out the trailer, embedded below.) Fashion doc Valentino: The Last Emperor continued to draw good crowds, earning $14,196 per screen at four locations, while Paul Dano and Zooey Deschanel helped Matt Aselton's Gigantic become the top performer among new releases, reaping $10,294 for a film that's received mixed reviews.
After the jump: Film festivals around the country.
Festivals. Spring brings more film festivals than blooming flowers, it seems. The Gen Art Film Festival came to a close in New York City last night with Julie Davis' Finding Bliss; Sunday saw the local premiere of Gregori Viens' Punching the Clown, which Erik Davis called "a low-budgeted ball of squishy hilarity that's easily digestible and destined to become an audience favorite."
As long as I'm pointing to fest articles on Cinematical, I might as well acknowledge my own wrap report on AFI Dallas. Meanwhile, Karina Longworth of Spout.com traveled to Florida for the Sarasota Film Festival and posted her notes on six films in the documentary competition. In North Carolina, the Full Frame Film Festival took place over the weekend, and local publication IndyWeek.com has an entire section devoted to coverage of the fest, which showcased more than 60 documentaries.
The inaugural Environmental Film Festival at Yale will be held next week from April 16-19, and will "showcase cutting-edge documentaries and short films to raise awareness of current environmental issues." All screenings are free and open to the public.
The San Francisco International Film Festival announced its lineup last week, and Jeffrey M. Anderson picked out a few highlights. The fest runs from April 23 to May 7. That's roughly the same time frame as the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 22 to May 3.
Also announcing their lineups recently: the second edition of the Japan Film Festival Los Angeles (April 10-19), the seventh edition of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (April 21-26), and the 25th anniversary edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (April 30-May 7). Finally, the New York Asian Film Festival announced the first 19 titles in their lineup (June 19-July 5).