Amnesty Intl. is supporting the development of Gary Small, Carole King, Gregory Simmons, Dan Conroy and Kevin Colby’s feature film “The Cellar,” to be adapted from Colby’s one-act play. Amnesty’s Joshua Rubenstein will host a reception Feb. 26 at Columbia U. honoring the project; Brian Edgar’s short film “Indian Camp” will be shown.

The 10th annual Black Maria Film & Video festival tours America in the spring, with bookings through May 9 in Hartford, Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago and Baltimore, among other cities. Manhattan dates include March 22 at Millennium Film Workshop and April 25 and 27 at Donnell Library.

Film Forum 2’s salute to animated Japanese fantasy films runs March 15 to April 4 with two local preems: “Robot Carnival,” produced by Katsuhiro Otomo; and Hiroaki Yoshida’s “Twilight Of The Cockroaches,” both distributed by Streamline Pictures.

Another new studio facility is planned for Manhattan, Planet Hollywood, to be located on 57th Street. Backed by, among others, the Rank Organisation, Bruce Willis, Keith Barish and Hard Rock Cafe’s Robert Earl, the complex is set for completion this summer. It will boast a restaurant designed by Anton Furst, a screening room with adjoining party facilities and a production complex.

Director Ruy Guerra’s 1988 feature, “Fable Of The Beautiful Pigeon Fancier,” will be shown starting March 1 at Public Theater. It’s distributed by Original Cinema and Fox Lorber.


Tim Burton will develop and direct Carolco Pictures’ “Mai, The Psychic Girl,” based on the Japanese comic book series. The project marks Burton’s first effort for Carolco, which purchased the rights to the series before approaching the director to develop the material. Hired to write the screenplay are Larry Wilson and Caroline Thompson, who scripted Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands” and co-wrote the currently lensing feature “The Addams Family” and a film for Michael Jackson at Columbia. Burton and his producing partner, Denise Di Novi, plus Walter Hill and Wilson, will serve in various producing capacities on “Mai,” which centers on a girl with psychic powers. Burton’s next directorial assignment, however, is “Batman 2” for Warner Bros., targeted to start next summer or fall.

Ernest Dickerson, cinematographer of such films as Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” “Mo’ Better Blues” and the upcoming “Jungle Fever,” will make his feature directorial debut on Island World Prods.’ maiden production, “Juice,” a coming-of-age story set to roll March 13. Dickerson co-scripted “Juice” with Gerard Brown. Neal Moritz, who is producing along with David Heyman, said negotiations are underway with a rap producer to provide a soundtrack album. Moritz said a distribution deal has not yet been signed. “Juice” marks the first film under the recently formed partnership between Moritz and Heyman.

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