Pic Fest goes alternative

Green Badge fetes newcomers

NEW YORK — Taking a cue from alternative fests such as Slamdance, four directors who met at last year’s Independent Feature Film Market are back at this year’s market promoting their own mini-festival.

Alexander Svezia, William Pennell, Michael Champlin and Chris Sorensen were at the IFFM Tuesday passing out flyers for the Green Badge Film Event, which will take place on Oct. 3 at New York University.

The festival’s name derives from the green badges traditionally worn by V.I.P. guests at the IFFM, which runs through Friday at the Angelika Film Center.

“This grassroots event returns independent film to its roots, namely to give small, high-quality, low-budget films and upcoming talent the exposure needed to find an audience,” reads the Green Badge mission statement. One of the founders adds privately, “What we’re really talking about here is self-distribution.”

The Green Badge Film Event will showcase Pennell’s “Goodbye Charlie” and Champlin’s “The Dance” as well as shorts and works in progress from other filmmakers. The directors are charging $20 a ticket for the event, which will be held at NYU’s Cantor Film Center. For more information, call (212) 501-4242.

Provocative pix

One of the more provocative projects at this year’s IFFM is “Love3,” Susan Kaplan’s documentary work-in-progress about a woman and two men who have spent more than a decade in a sexual and professional triangle. The doc follows members of the trio as they decide to have a baby.

Former “Law and Order” cast member Richard Brooks is at the market with “Johnny B. Good,” which he directed and produced from a script by Gwendolyn J. Lester. Pic, which stars Brooks, Tempest Bledsoe (“The Cosby Show”) and Vonetta McGee (“Repo Man”), is a romantic comedy about a small-time hustler’s attempts to expose local political corruption.

Buzz continued to build at the IFFM Tuesday for writer/director Paul Griffin’s “The LaMastas,” a romantic comedy about an unemployed loser who robs a bank with the help of his mentally challenged cousin.

Market auds have also welcomed Lisa Kotin and Johnny White’s “Temporary Girl,” a comedy about a perennial office temp who is determined to become a star, writer/director Tina Valinsky’s romantic comedy “Soft Toilet Seats” and “Inconceivable,” an infertility tale from the husband-and-wife team of director Bob Weis and writer Diane Fredel-Weis.

As Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa compete to set new homerun records, Aviva Kempner is putting the final touches on her documentary about America’s first Jewish baseball star.

Sked change

An editing room fire forced Kempner to cancel the IFFM screening of “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg,” about the man who challenged Babe Ruth’s homerun record while Hitler was invading Europe. However, the film will make its world premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival next month.

The Independent Film Channel used the IFFM to announce its plans to release “The Last Broadcast” nationally on Oct. 23 using digital satellite technology. The film’s theatrical run will kick off in Providence, Philadelphia, Orlando, Minneapolis and Portland.

Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler’s story about the search for the killer of three TV personalities will also be distributed on the IFC’s broadband site on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.

Hailed as the “first desktop feature film,” the pic was produced for under $1,000 using a digital camera and a PC-based non-linear editing package.

“‘The Last Broadcast’ is a breakthrough independent feature,” said Peter Broderick, president of IFC’s Next Wave Films. “Lance and Stefan are using the latest digital technologies to blaze new trails in production, distribution and exhibition.”

Director Tamara Pacanowski was a walking advertisement for her film “Hare Krishna” when she donned a sari and handed out incense sticks at the IFFM’s opening night party at Webster Hall. Pacanowski’s documentary follows first- and second-generation members of this religious sect living in Gotham.

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