Indie fest heads to 16 cities

NEW YORK — The Shooting Gallery has unveiled the selection of indie films to be spotlighted in its second biannual series with Loews Cineplex Entertainment.

In its debut run this spring, the traveling fest was the launching pad for this summer’s indie sleeper “The Croupier,” as well as “Judy Berlin” and four other pics. Each selection, which screened in 17 markets, proved successful enough to land engagements in other theaters after the initial two-week Loews booking.

The fall fest, which guarantees two weeks of a dedicated Loews screen for six films in 16 markets, opens Sept. 1 with “Titanic Town,” the story of a single mother in 1970s Northern Ireland, directed by Roger Michell (“Notting Hill”) and starring Julie Walters.

The other films are Laurent Cantnet’s “Human Resources,” about a Parisian business school student who returns home to work at his father’s factory; “Barenaked in America,” a rockumentary about the Canadian band the Barenaked Ladies, by Jason Priestley; “One,” Toni Barbieri’s debut about the falling out of two friends; “A Time for Drunken Horses,” Bahman Ghobadi’s account of an Iranian family smuggling goods to the Iraqi border; and “Non-Stop,” cult Japanese director Sabu’s comedy about three hapless men running from the Yakuza.

Other hallmarks of the fest are the Shooting Gallery Premiere Club, which allows members in select markets to see advance screenings and meet with talent and local film groups, and an extensive Web site.

Big-city sked

The fest, dreamed up by Shooting Gallery CEO Larry Meistrich and worldwide entertainment prexy Paul Speaker, will run simultaneously in such markets as Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Tuscon, Ariz.

“The current landscape for releasing complex, challenging films is an extremely tough one,” Shooting Gallery Films prexy Eamonn Bowles said. “With this groundbreaking program, we are able to take chances on brilliant films of substance that don’t fall into easily promotable genres.”

Loews exec veep Robert Lenihan called the series “an exciting addition to our film programming, providing many of our patrons with access to movies that they may have never been able to see on the bigscreen.”

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