NEW YORK — Despite the terrorist attacks that wreaked havoc on lower Manhattan less than three weeks ago, the Gotham film industry’s fall event season gets under way this weekend as planned and on schedule.
The 39th New York Film Festival kicks off tonight with the U.S. preem of Jacques Rivette’s “Va Savoir” (Who Knows?), followed by the traditional opening-night gala at Central Park’s Tavern on the Green. While there were initial concerns that prints might be delayed or unavailable for the fest in the days following the tragedy, no scheduling changes have occurred. And even though only four helmers who have feature-length pics in the program hail from the U.S., all filmmakers initially slated to appear at the event will be making the trip to New York.
Fest wraps Oct. 14 with Jean-Luc Godard’s “In Praise of Love.” U.S. selections include the world preem of Wes Anderson’s “The Royal Tenenbaums,” Richard Linklater’s “Waking Life,” Todd Solondz’s “Storytelling” and David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive,” which has been selected as this year’s festival centerpiece.
Sunday, the Independent Feature Project will begin screening pics for its 23rd annual weeklong film market at Angelika Film Center and surrounding locations. Only two weeks ago, the indie multiplex was in the middle of an area sealed off to all nonresidents or vehicles not directly involved in the rescue efforts. More than 300 features, shorts, works-in-progress and scripts will be showcased at the market, which has become famous in recent years for its discoveries as well as the inventive publicity stunts undertaken by filmmakers.
The market also will present a number of seminars and prizes, including the Gordon Parks Awards for emerging black writers and directors and the Pipedream Award for best screenplay. Opening night will feature a screening of Todd Fields’ Sundance award-winner “In the Bedroom,” followed by a party at the Flatiron district’s Metronome. The market runs through Oct. 5.
De Niro feted
On Monday, local luminaries will make their way to Chelsea’s Pier 60 for the Gotham Awards, where Robert De Niro is skedded to receive this year’s Bravo lifetime achievement award. Andy Dick will host the IFP fundraiser.
Six prizes will be handed out, including the Open Palm for first-time feature filmmakers, the only award not announced in advance. Jane Rosenthal, who recently teamed with Tribeca Films partner De Niro and a host of high-profile Gotham chefs to feed World Trade Center rescue workers on two rented cruise ships, will chair the event.
“We followed the advice of our political leaders and decided that the best way to start the healing is to get on with our lives,” said IFP exec director Michelle Byrd. “Our two events have the ability to unify members of a community who don’t often reach out to one another.
“Many people who will be at the market and the Gothams had the attacks happen in their back yards. It’s important for us to feel like we will all play a part in rebuilding the local film industry. We want these events to be a source of inspiration for everyone.”