Mass. exposed at Sundance

WITH A PARTY FRIDAY, the Massachusetts Film Office established its presence at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s the Film Office’s second year in a row. The party, held at the Kimball Arts Center, was ground zero for the state’s weeklong effort to lure young filmmakers at Sundance to the Bay state.

According to Film Office director Linda Peterson Warren, Sundance’s “potential for future business” is Massachusetts’ main reason for diving into the event. After all, the event is chock-full of fledgling producers and directors, who might consider production in Beantown, the Berkshire Hills or Worcester.

Warren will be at Sundance through Super Bowl Sunday, when Hollywood begins leave Utah. But back home in Massachusetts, things aren’t too shabby. Castle Rock’s tentatively titled Alec Baldwin/Nicole Kidman thriller “Bodily Harm” and Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” are set for shoots later in the year in Massachusetts.

FUELED BY EIGHT productions in the Las Vegas area, the state of Nevada’s Motion Picture Division said first-quarter revenue projections place the state as odds-on favorite to top or break last year’s record $ 77 million in production spending.

“Nevada’s potential for becoming a major motion picture production center is highly encouraging,” said Tim Carlson, Nevada’s executive director of the commission on economic development.

Among the movies currently filming in Southern Nevada are Touchstone’s “Stakeout II” and an untitled Patrick Swayze feature, while the Macaulay Culkin starrer “The Good Son” (Feb. 11-15) and Warner Bros. “Flying Bullets” (mid-February) have skedded later shoots.

On the television side, Nevada has bagged commitments for the ongoing ESPN sports gameshow “The Dream League,” a late February start of Warner Bros. TV’s “Cassidy Tree, Nevada,” the mid-March start of Silver Lion Prods.’ “Roadflower” and the summer production of Laurel-King Entertainment’s “The Stand.”

THE COMPETITION for teaching services in Hollywood just got a little stiffer. On Location Education has opened a West Coast office, and has inked a contract to tutor the 100-member children’s choir performing in the Feb. 25-April 4 Pantages Theatre production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

With offices also in New York and Orlando, Fla., OLE specializes in teaching performing and non-performing children. The company has such shows as “The Cosby Show” and “Kate & Allie” to its credit. OLE’s West Coast Operations director is Judy Altman. For more info, call (818) 549-9017.

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THE VIRGINIA DEPT. of Economic Development announced that four state screenwriters had been honored in regional and national competitions in January, including America’s Best Competition winners Rich Reichman and Wes Johnson for the “Coach” series teleplay “Stagecoach.”

Other winners are Edward R. Landa for the screenplay “Artists” and Helene G. Wagner for “The Princess,” which won in several categories of the IMAGE Film/Video Center competition.

Virginia secretary of economic development Cathleen A. Magennis said the honors “represent the continuing emergence of both Virginia and Virginians as leaders in the entertainment industry.” She said she hoped that productions based on each writers’ work would be made in the state.

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