Cinetex’ Comedy Festival May Survive

The demise of the 3-year-old Cinetex in the wake of the decision to stage a second American Film Market in Los Angeles in October does not necessarily mean the death of one of Cinetex’ main attractions – the Intl. Comedy Festival.

The American Film Institute, which staged the comedy fest two years running at Cinetex’ Las Vegas venue, is considering continuing it under its own sponsorship.

An option being weighed is folding the comedy fest into the AFI’s Los Angeles Intl. Film Festival. The next AFI foreign film fest will be in April. The fate of the comedy film festival will be determined well in advance of that date.

Meanwhile, an announcement is due on immediate plans for the next L.A. Intl. Film Festival. AFI’s L.A. fest is the flagship showcase of AFI foreign film minifests, at which the same films are shown, roadshow-style, in such other cities as Washington, D.C., Chicago and Minneapolis.

Jason Chudnofsky, president of Boston-based Interface, which poured a reported $7 million into Cinetex, said Cinetex has been terminated permanently.

He has ruled out any revival under that name, although he indicated that Interface is likely to sponsor a more modest Las Vegas film, video and tv show that would be headquartered at the newly completed convention and expo center added to the Sands Hotel since its acquisition by a group of Interface executives headed by Interface chairman Sheldon Adelson.

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