request - Filmmaker Magazine
Compiled and edited by FILMMAKER Contributing Editor, Mary Glucksman.

Rivette-regular Nathalie Richard, introduced to a wider U.S. audience last year as the impish costume designer in Irma Vep, assays her first English-language performance as the star of David Barker's Afraid of Everything. An intense psychological drama, Barker's first feature depicts the repressed desires and unspoken anguish that threaten to drive one New York couple over the edge.

Richard plays Anne, an actress who hasn't left her loft since losing a leg in an accident a year back. Anne's architect husband Donnie, won't confront her about her problems and upset the fragile balance that maintains their relationship. Enter Iris, Anne's 18-year-old Israeli half-sister, a free spirit who is particularly curious about how the accident has affected Donnie sexually.

"The social and sexual foundations of this marriage have broken down and the household is in crisis," says Barker. "Iris exposes the twisted logic Anne and Donnie are hiding behind and flushes them into the open."

Barker spent the first part of the '90s working with early Godard collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin (Tout Va Bien) on a critical volume and unrealized film and then assisted experimental filmmaker Leslie Thornton on her feature, The Great Invisible. In 1994 he co-founded Drift Releasing (which later changed its name to Noon Pictures) with Chris Hoover and distributed Godard's Germany Year 90 Nine Zero. Barker left Noon last year and wrote Afraid with Richard in mind. Hoover, who's worked on such films as Swoon and Postcards from America, produced with private equity investment.

Influenced by the films of D.P. John Alton, Barker says Alton's theories of dramatic shot construction are played out in his film's visual structure. "The [35mm] black-and-white shot structures we designed control the eye and direct its focus from light to dark -- something you can't do as effectively with color," says Barker. Cameras rolled December 1 for a two-week shoot; all rights are available.

Cast: Nathalie Richard, Daniel Aukin, Sarah Adler. Crew: Producer, Chris Hoover; Screenwriter/ Director, David Barker; Cinematographer, Deborah Lewis; Production Designer, Bernhard Blythe; Prosthetics, Janet Biggs, Marita Dorsch. Contact: Chris Hoover, Noon Pictures, 611 Broadway, Suite 742, NY, NY 10012. Tel: (212) 254-4118, Fax: (212) 254-3154.

back to top

Nisha Ganatra's bold first feature mixes comedy and spice -- hence its title, Chutney Popcorn -- as it takes on the clash of values between a traditional Indian mother and her daughter, a New York-bred, Honda-riding lesbian.

Ganatra herself plays Reena, a struggling photographer whose mom is still trying to fix her up with a nice Indian boy. Tired of her role as family black sheep, Reena offers to carry a child for her infertile sister Sarita through artificial insemination. Sarita then has second thoughts, but Reena's already pregnant and decides to raise the baby herself.

Real-life mother and daughter Madhur and Sakina Jaffrey play Reena's mom and sister and Nick Chinlund (A Brother's Kiss, Con Air) plays Sarita's husband. "I saw a close friend's marriage fail to survive the inability to produce a child," says Ganatra, "but the movie's real starting point was an image I had of a girl missing her sister's wedding and running down the street after her."

Born in Vancouver but raised mostly in California, the 27-year-old Ganatra has a Communications Studies degree from UCLA and recently completed her coursework at NYU's grad film program. "I started out as an actress but got really frustrated by the lack of opportunities for women of color," she says. "I also saw creative people getting screwed left and right, so I decided I should learn the business first." Before heading to NYU Ganatra spent time in the assistants' pool at CAA. She met Chutney producers Sarah Vogel and Kelley Forsyth when her 11-minute short Junky Punky Girlz premiered at the first N.Y. Women's Film Festival this past June and won the Max Factor-sponsored Filmmaker Award. Vogel and Forsyth are partnered in production company Seneca Falls (Trees Lounge, Girls Town, Alchemy).

The 35mm Chutney shot 30 days between September 24 and October 24 in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and the Upper West Side. Chutney's soundtrack will blend punk rock and independent tracks with bhangra, a kind of Punjab/hip-hop fusion currently popular in Britain. At press time Ganatra was editing on the AVID for a February delivery; all rights remained available.

Cast: Madhur Jaffrey, Nisha Ganatra, Sakina Jaffrey, Nick Chinlund, Jill Hennessey, Cara Buono, Ajay Naido. Crew: Producers, Sarah Vogel, Kelley Forsyth; Screenwriters, Nisha Ganatra, Sue Carnival; Director, Ganatra; Director of Photography, Erin King; Production Designer, Jody Kipper; Casting, Judy Henderson; Editor, Jane Abramowitz. Contact: Sarah Vogel, Seneca Falls, 27 West 24th St., Room 303, New York, NY 10010. Tel: (212) 777-2107, Fax: (212) 292-1508.

back to top

Alan Rickman stars in Dark Harbor, a stormy romantic thriller from Adam Coleman Howard. The enigmatic David (Rickman) and his moody heiress wife Alexis (Polly Walker) are speeding through torrential rains to make the last ferry to their private island home off the Maine coast when they stop to help a mysterious young man. Enter Norman Reedus -- the Prada poster boy you probably noticed first in Mimic -- who quickly coopts the unhappy couple and travels with them to the island.

"It's a classic love triangle about a couple whose marriage is infiltrated by a young stranger, but we planted a virus in it so it grows differently than one would expect," says Coleman Howard. "The trajectory of the story appears to follow a classic path, but it is not in fact what it seems."

Coleman Howard was originally an actor (Slaves of New York) before turning director with Dead Girl several years ago. (Look for that feature's delayed release through Live in March.) He wrote Harbor with actor pal Justin Lazard ("Central Park West") and says Rickman was his top choice to play David. He also got the cinematographer he wanted -- Robert Altman regular Walt Lloyd -- after ignoring his agent's protests that Lloyd was inaccessible and sending the script directly to his home with a "heartfelt" two-page letter. Producing are Hart Sharp Entertainment's John Hart and Jeff Sharp in association with Killer Films' Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler. Hart and Vachon have teamed up before with other partners on films like Safe and Office Killer.

Dark Harbor shot for 27 days this fall in the tiny coastal town of Camden, Maine. At press time Coleman Howard was editing at Hart Sharp/Killer Films' New York facility. Dark Harbor should be finished in late January and all rights are available.

Cast: Alan Rickman, Polly Walker, Norman Reedus. Crew: Producers, John Hart & Jeff Sharp for Hart Sharp Entertainment; Line Producer, Katie Roumel; Screenwriters, Adam Coleman Howard and Justin Lazard; Director, Coleman Howard; Director of Photography, Walter Lloyd; Production Designer, Marcus Cantor; Editor, Annette Davey; Music, Tracy McKnight. Contact: John Hart, Hart Sharp Entertainment, Inc., 380 Lafayette Street, Suite 304, New York, NY 10003. Tel: (212) 475- 7555, Fax: (212) 475-1717.

back to top

Wild Style-director Charlie Ahearn racks up a quixotic take on supernatural phenomena, garage bands and pot-smoking Christian youth in his tale of lost twins, Fear of Fiction.

Melissa Leo stars as Sigrid Anderssen, a hot New York novelist so stumped trying to write her new book she impulsively takes a ride with 21-year-old Red Hopkins (Childhood's End's Sam Trammell) across Canada to her family's abandoned lakeside cottage. The erotic tension and coincidences start mounting early on in a series of startling encounters involving twins and lost children. "The film's about the dead twin we all have and my personal reality of twinning as the natural state," says Ahearn, who happens to be an identical twin. "We live in a society where individuality is paramount. Twinning threatens that directly because twins' ego boundaries are so amorphous."

Ahearn rocked the world with 1982's Wild Style, the original hip hop movie. He has since written numerous scripts and made ten videos exploring the working process of artists like Kiki Smith, Jane Dickson, Simon Verity and sculptor John Ahearn, his own twin. He and fellow producer Gerry Kagan raised Fiction's $400,000 shooting budget privately and signed cinematographer John Foster (Sunday) to shoot in 35mm and unit manager Jake Myers (Cop Land) to line produce.

Fiction shot 25 days in bucolic Binghamton, N.Y., Ahearn's home town, following a nine-day shoot across Canada. Ahearn recreated East Village night spot Fez in Binghamton for an opening scene in which Sigrid gives a reading from the new book she can't finish and got Reno to play the event's M.C. Also featured is Penn Jillette as an obsessive garage rock maniac Tom gets a ride from hell with. Lounge Lizard Evan Lurie and Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo are composing music as the film's fictional garage band, the Fabulous Failures. All rights are available.

Cast: Melissa Leo, Sam Trammell, Penn Jillette, Reno, Irma St. Paule, David Wheir, Linda Larkin. Crew: Producers, Charlie Ahearn, Gerry Kagan; Line Producer, Jake Meyers; Screenwriter/Director, Ahearn; Cinematographer, John Foster; Editor, Kristina Boden; Music, Evan Lurie, Lee Ranaldo; Casting, Judy Hendersen, Robyn Knoll. Contact: Charlie Ahearn, Fear of Fiction, 17 Hubert Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: (212) 219-9756, Fax: (212) 226-4875.

back to top

Bette Gordon directs the screen version of Scott Bradfield's poetic genre-bending 1989 novel, "The History of Luminous Motion", in a production as dreamlike as its title.

Deborah Unger in Bette Gordon's The History of Luminous Motion Photo: Nan Goldin
Luminous Motion's an Oedipal fantasia about Phillip, a ten-year-old accustomed to an itinerant life on the road with his adored Mom. But when Mom opts for stability, settling down with a new boyfriend, Pedro, Phillip cracks. He does what he has to to dispose of Mom's new lover, but Mom's next move brings Dad back onto the scene. Phillip responds by looting houses with his punk friend Rodney to provide Mom with a wealth of gifts rivaling what Dad's credit card can buy.

"Phillip's a kid stuck in a critical moment of development, and we see the world as he does, distorted by his need to hold on," says Gordon. "We added elements that respect the soul of the novel but make it more visual." At times, maps, planets and hubcaps spin across the screen.

Eric Lloyd (Woody Allen's son in Deconstructing Harry) plays Phillip, Debra Kara Unger (Crash) is Mom, Terry Kinney (The Firm) plays Pedro and Jamey Sheridan (The Ice Storm) plays Dad.

A directing professor at Columbia University's graduate film program, Gordon's best known for her first feature, Variety, a 1984 selection for the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes. She raised the cash to option Motion on her own in '93 and then got Good Machine's Anthony Bregman and Ted Hope involved while working with them on an unrealized cable project. Screenwriter Robert Roth, then interning at Good Machine, took it on himself to write a spec draft while Hope and Gordon were considering possible writers; they ended up hiring him retroactively. Financing to the tune of seven figures ultimately came from private equity investors, says Bregman.

Luminous shot on Staten Island and in Jersey City between September 15 and October 24; the book's suburban California setting was transposed to its New York equivalent. International territories are being handled by Good Machine International; domestic rights are available.

Cast: Deborah Kara Unger, Eric Lloyd, Jamey Sheridan, Terry Kinney, James Berland, Paz de la Huerte. Crew: Producers, Anthony Bregman, Ted Hope; Co-Producer, Elyse Goldberg; Executive Producer, Eric Rudin; Screenwriter, Robert Roth; Director, Bette Gordon; Director of Photography, Teodoro Maniaci; Production Designer, Lisa Albin; Casting Director, Ellen Parks; Editor, Keiko Deguchi. Contact: David Linde, Good Machine International, 417 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: (212) 343-9230, Fax: (212) 343-9645.

back to top

Eric Mendelsohn's Judy Berlin is a contemporary indie film variation on "Our Town" with all the offhand pathos of Thornton Wilder's theatrical standard. Mendelsohn's film, however, unfolds in Babylon, Long Island over a 24-hour period during which a solar eclipse inspires some very strange behavior.

Judy Berlin (Edie Falco) is a blithe, would-be starlet making final farewells to friends before leaving for L.A. to be discovered. For the desperate David Gold, a failed director who has returned to Babylon from his own charge on Hollywood, a chance encounter with the charismatic Judy quickly becomes a romantic connection.

Mendelsohn graduated from SUNY Purchase in '86 with a Fine Arts degree and soon after signed on for the first of a half-dozen gigs working in Woody Allen's costume department. He also made three shorts with Purchase '87 film grad Rocco Caruso as producer before a fourth collaboration, the Sundance and Cannes-selection Through An Open Window, put both partners on the map.

"Delia", Mendelsohn's first feature script, was workshopped at the '94 Sundance Screen-writers' Lab while Caruso spent five years racking up producing credits on the staff of Warner Brothers' New York cable network arm. When the multi-million-dollar financing they needed for Delia proved impossible to raise, Caruso personally put up the cash necessary to get Judy in the can on 35mm. Mendelsohn got venerable stage actress Barbara Barrie to play one of the leads and cast her real-life son Aaron Harnick as David.

Judy began shooting October 27 in Old Bethpage, Long Island, where Mendelsohn grew up. The film begins at dawn and Mendelsohn used graded filters to effect the otherworldly look he wanted Babylon to have as the eclipse approaches. All rights are available.

Cast: Madeline Kahn, Bob Dishy, Barbara Barrie, Edie Falco, Aaron Harnick, Anne Meara, Julie Kavner. Crew: Producer, Rocco Caruso; Associate Producer, Wendy Jo Cohen; Screenwriter/Director, Eric Mendelsohn; Director of Photography, Jeffrey Seckendorf; Production Designer, Charlie Kulsziski; Line Producer, Lisa Kolasa; Costume Designer, Sue Gandy; Casting, Laura Rosenthal. Contact: Rocco Caruso, Caruso-Mendelsohn Productions, 375 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: (212) 941-4036, Fax: (212) 941-3997.

back to top

T. Hopwood DePree's Last Big Attraction exposes the scandal (or at least the shenanigans) behind the tranquil facade of Michigan-tourist-stop Windmill Island, where clog carvers and traditional dancers recreate 17th-century Dutch farm life in a setting unchanged since the '50s.

The film's a romantic comedy focusing on 25-year-old Leed VanderWal (DePree), who's worked the Island since high school and is itching to get out when his dream girl shows up on a visit to her wealthy parents' nearby summer home. Leed's so busy impressing the urbane Chrissy (Harper Tracy from "E.R.") he nearly misses Winnie -- the new girl in the cheesebarn.

"A lot of it's based on my experience growing up in a small town wanting to get out to a place I considered worldly when in fact I was learning more about the world from the tourists than I ever knew," says DePree.

DePree, 27, graduated from USC's School of Theater in 1992. His first feature, Rhinoskin, followed his year-long quest to land a line of dialogue on a network sitcom; the film ended with DePree's immortal "Thank you" on an episode of "Doogie Howser, M.D." Rhinoskin hit the festival circuit -- making 17 stops in '94 beginning with a Palm Springs premiere -- and DePree turned to stand-up at L.A. clubs like The Comedy Store and Improv. He had optioned a feature screenplay ("Two Minutes") to Sony and was taping an HBO sitcom pilot when he decided it was time to make a second feature.

Big Attraction shot a tight 18 days beginning October 6 on 16mm color. DePree put the film's financing together by incorporating a company in Michigan and selling stock blocks at $100 a share, many to Rhinoskin investors who'd seen their stake in that project returned. In-kind donations included a motor home, cast housing, all costumes and locations and enough groceries to feed the production for its duration. DePree says the real star of the film is Windmill Island and its gaudy collection of authentic Dutch buildings, canals and tulip fields, and working 280-foot windmill. "It's a juxtaposition of authentic buildings and cheesy mannequins," he says.

At press time DePree was back in L.A. deep in post and expected to have a finished film in April. All Big Attraction rights are up for grabs and Rhinoskin's out on tape from Videoactive, a rising indie specialist label DePree recommends that's already placed the film in 500 stores.

Cast: T. Hopwood DePree, Christine Elise, Victoria Haas, Richard Speight, Jr., Michael Hagerty, Brenda Ballard, O.B. Babbs, Shana Stern. Crew: Producers, Michael Hagerty, T. Hopwood DePree; Co-Producer, Rob Dorfmann; Screenwriter/ Director, T. Hopwood DePree; Cinematographers, Spike and Kim Simms; Production Design, Tammy Kerr; Casting, Nancy Rainford; Editor, Robert Hoffman. Contact: T. Hopwood DePree, Hopwood Productions, Inc., 6922 Camrose Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068. Tel: (310) 285-8331, Fax: (213) 851-3980.

back to top

Directors Sherrie Rose and Melissa Behr also star in their tough-love first feature about two L.A. women who break out of rehab and head cross country in search of the legendary chopper Peter Fonda rode in Easy Rider.

Definitely not for the squeamish, Me and Will begins with an unsanitized slice of the Hollywood party scene, opening at the infamous Viper Room with Keanu Reeve's band Dogstar on stage. Jane (Rose) and Will (Behr) fuel their days with drugs, booze and strung-out boyfriends (Patrick Dempsey and Billy Worth) until one's overdose and the other's DWI wipeout makes rehab their new reality. Recognizing kindred spirits, Jane and Will rebel against the platitudes of 12-step gospel and decide a road trip is the trick to get through getting clean.

"Your secrets can kill you," says Rose, "particularly when they're the result of childhood abuse, overt or covert. Melissa's character finds the strength to stand up to her demons and mine doesn't, so [the film's] also a meditation on what chance has to do with triumph of the spirit."

Now in their early thirties, both Rose and Behr can claim ten years in Hollywood with steady gigs as actresses. Behr, a former model, is also a professional photographer and has directed music videos; Rose has sold several scripts and produced features like The Shot (IFFM '94) and Prey of Innocence.

Me and Will is a collaboration the filmmakers say adheres closely to their own experience; they first teamed up as fellow bike enthusiasts on the Hollywood party scene in 1989. They started formulating Me and Will then but say a mutual decision to make rehab a priority in real life put the film on hold for three years. The project reignited when a newly sober Rose bought a Winnebago and took off on a cross-country jaunt with pal Jane Hamsher -- the Natural Born Killers producer who recently described the travails of getting that film made in "Killer Instinct" -- and came back with her friend signed on as executive producer.

Me and Will was shot over 26 days last summer. Rose, Behr and a few friends bankrolled the tightly-budgeted production phase and used a rough cut to attract six-figure completion funds from a silent investor. Sex Pistol Steve Jones is composing Me and Will's score, and Rose plans a soundtrack mixing '70s classics with recent punk songs by bands like Dogstar and Space Age Playboys. All rights are available and William Morris mogul Cassian Elwes will rep the film, scheduled for initial screenings in late January.

Cast: Sherrie Rose, Melissa Behr, Patrick Dempsey, Seymour Cassel, Grace Zabriskie, Steve Railsback, M. Emmet Walsh, Traci Lords. Crew: Producers/Screenwriters/Directors, Melissa Behr and Sherrie Rose; Director of Photography, Joey Forsyte; Editor, Ross Guidici; Composer, Steve Jones. Contact: Sherrie Rose, S&M Productions, 5042 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 312, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Tel/Fax: (213) 938-7676.

back to top

Patrice Mallard's Mute Love takes elements of Daughters of the Dust -- including actress Barbara O -- and infuses them into an absolutely contemporary story about three generations of African-American women negotiating broken bonds and old wounds.

Six-year-old Lisa, the wise child narrating this story, is meeting Sweet Mama, her stern southern grandmother, for the first time in the wake of her young mother's HIV diagnosis. Nicole Parker (Boogie Nights, Spark) plays the 23-year-old Mavis, who Sweet Mama (O) threw out at 17 in a desperate effort to shock her into flying straight. Like Sweet Mama before her, Mavis has raised Lisa without benefit of a father but is now returning home to find a place for her daughter.

"Mothers and daughters share the most intimate of relationships without necessarily knowing a thing about each other," says Mallard. "Lisa's the strongest of these three and the only one to question that."

While Mavis' dreams provide a mystical element to the film, Mallard found a real angel in Girls Town director Jim McKay, who rescued the cash-strapped film from the lab last year after seeing a trailer; he recently committed to securing finishing funds in an executive producer role.

Mallard, now 32, credits African-American documentarian Austin Allen with mentoring her initial forays into film as a returning student in a self-designed program at Cleveland State. She went on to make two shorts, Mother Tongue and The Violinist, in '94 as part of a year-long production workshop at Third World Newsreel. Since then, she's worked as programming manager for Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), overseeing production and scheduling for the borough's four cable access stations. That job allowed her to bankroll the initial cash outlay for Love's six-figure cost with credit cards.

Principal photography on the 16mm Love took the filmmakers from Brooklyn to rural Callicoon, a New York hamlet on the Delaware River. McKay also rescued the filmmakers from an attempt to cut Love by themselves on MNN's three-quarter-inch system and since April they've been working on the AVID with editor Rodney Evans, whose credits as an assistant include Gummo, I Like It Like That, and First Love, Last Rites. Mallard hopes to get California-based African-American folk musician Ben Harper to provide music and says Love should be done around the New Year; all rights are available.

Cast: Teja Frank, Barbara O, Nicole Parker, Joy Beth Nadella, Otto Sanchez, Sonya Rodriguez, Rebecca Williams. Crew: Producers, Patrice Mallard, Dorothy Thigpen, Jim McKay; Associate Producer, Latrice Dixon; Screenwriter/Director, Mallard; Cinematographer, Thigpen; Sound, Rebecca Williams; Editor, Rodney Evans. Contact: Patrice Mallard, She Said Filmworks, 493 Park Place, #1R, Brooklyn, NY 11238. Tel: (718) 398-8338, Fax: (212) 757-1603.

back to top

More a Big Chill for the '90s than a contemporary Secaucus Seven, Andres Heinz' Origin of the Species strands six old friends in a rambling upstate New York country house for a ritual July reunion. Though it's the ninth year this group of college pals has gathered, this summer finds them battling painful transitions and pushing thirty.

Paul, their host and erstwhile leader, has mapped out a list of discussion topics reflecting his recent study of evolution -- hence the title -- but sexual selection turns out to be a more subjective quandary for several members of the group. Julia, Paul's wife, is already pregnant with their first child when the weekend starts, but her decade-old flirtation with playboy Fisher is still heading for a point of no return. Stan's recently survived a cancer episode that makes sex questionable and has scared off girlfriend Kate, but a sudden blossoming of his friendship with the unassuming Laura makes Kate reconsider.

Screenwriter Robert Weston Ackerman, 38, adapted Origin from his play of the same name. He says Origin's take on protracted adolescence was inspired by a nagging sense of not getting on with his own life after a close friend's early death.

Heinz, 26, is a 1995 grad of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where his thesis film, Ground Level B, earned top honors. He and Ackerman both met Origin producer David Nickoll working for the film unit at "Saturday Night Live," where Nickoll's been a production manager for the past three seasons. Last winter Nickoll was back at SNL after a stint on Boogie Nights as assistant to producer John Lyons, a gig he got as the hands-on phase of the Sundance Institute's Mark Silverman Fellowship, an annual award that recognizes a promising new producer. He'd seen Origin on stage in December '96 and optioned it in March, giving Ackerman just three months to complete the screenplay for a July shoot and tapping Heinz to direct after he weighed in with first-draft notes.

Origin shot 20 days between July 20 and August 13 in Armonk, New York at Ackerman's mother-in-law's house -- the space he wrote the play about -- and a nearby private lake. At press time the filmmakers were racing towards a January delivery and all rights were available.

Cast: Elon Gold, Jean Louisa Kelly, Michael Kelly, Jonathan LaPaglia, Amanda Peet, Sybil Temchen. Crew: Producer, David Nickoll; Executive Producer, D.J. Paul; Associate Producers, Joan and Richard Firestone; Screenwriter, Robert Weston Ackerman; Director, Andr�s Heinz; Cinematograph-er, Stephen Kazmierski; Production Design, Dean Taucher; Production Managers, Amanda Back, Jamie May; Casting, Beth Melsky; Editor, Adam Lichtenstein. Contact: David Nickoll, Nickoll Arcade Films, 322 West 57th Street, #27G, New York, NY 10019. Tel: (212) 459-9349, Fax: 246-8121.

back to top

Neil Turitz makes his directing debut with The Two Ninas, a romantic comedy about a hapless, young New York writer whose total lack of luck in love changes when two women fall for him at the same time.

Marty (Swingers' Ron Livingston) takes a fall for snooty Nina Harris (Amanda Peat) by rollerblading straight into the cab door she's just opened; he later begins a romance with Nina Cohen (Cara Buono) by growling at her at a party. Soon Marty's deep into it with both Ninas to the confoundment of his best friend Dave, a womanizer who's so used to being called heartless he can't quite fathom his own sudden interest in Carrie, Nina Cohen's best friend.

Turitz, 27, adapted The Two Ninas from a novel he wrote two years ago. A staff writer for Us magazine and film critic for CNN's "Saturday Morning," Turitz had Buono, a friend, and Peet attached but was otherwise operating on his own last spring. He turned down an offer on an option to produce the film at the $2-million level contingent on a director with a reel; Turitz had none. Three days later, he met 25-year-old Denise Doyle, an assistant at Miramax. Doyle introduced Turitz to Greg Scheinman, 24, who had also cut his teeth at Miramax and left to become FEDS' assistant location manager in '95 and later a commercial producer with Bob Giraldi's company.

Turitz quit Us to rewrite while Doyle and Scheinman started raising money for a 16mm shoot. Cameras rolled in October with Joaquin Baca-Asay, who shot Buono's short Baggage, as cinematographer. Doyle's close friend, Puddle Cruiser director Jay Chandrasekhar, who was waiting for a green light on his next film, agreed to edit The Two Ninas in the meantime. All rights are available.

Cast: Ron Livingston, Bray Poor, Cara Buono, Amanda Peet, Linda Larkin, Jill Hennessy, Fred Norris, John Rothman. Crew: Producers, Denise Doyle, Greg Scheinman; Screenwriter/Director, Neil Turitz; Cinematographer, Joaquin Baca-Asay; Production Designer, Tony Gasparro; Editor, Jay Chandrasekhar; Associate Producer, Dave McGuire, Doug Turner. Contact: Denise Doyle, The Nina Project, 6 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011. Tel/Fax: (212) 352-0230.


Filmmaker's curated calendar of the latest video on demand titles.
Free Men Sensation Restless City
See the VOD Calendar →
© 2024 Filmmaker Magazine. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of The Gotham