The Independent Film Channel (IFC) Pumps Up Its Upcoming Original Programming Slate

2001/2002 Season To Include Work By Acclaimed Filmmakers
Albert Maysles, Dario Argento, Steven Cantor, Lisa Ades & Lesli Klainberg,
Isaac Julien, Steven Chin And Mike Hodges

Serial killers. Rock stars. Sex machines. That’s what The Independent Film Channel (IFC) has in store for its upcoming line-up of original programming, which breaks new ground by exploring the ways in which independent cinema portrays these themes on the big screen. In keeping with the network brand, the slate showcases and celebrates entire film genres as well as the cinematic visionaries who have made an indelible mark. And like the industry itself, IFC isn’t afraid to push the envelope – examining some of the most influential, controversial and highest grossing independent films in history.

“Our original programming gives audiences access to the filmmakers and the filmmaking process and enhances the network’s extensive film library, on-air festivals and live event coverage, says Ed Carroll, Executive Vice President/General Manager, IFC/Bravo Networks. “IFC has experienced a steady growth in original programming since its launch in 1994. We plan on building on the successes of IFC Originals The American Nightmare and the award-winning The Typewriter, The Rifle And The Movie Camera, delivering 4-6 productions per year, up from 1-2 shows a year.”

The growth of IFC Originals mirrors the overall expansion of the company and the
IFC Entertainment division, which includes IFC Productions, the network’s theatrical production arm, responsible for the Oscar award-winning Boys Don’t Cry and the critically acclaimed Girlfight and Spring Forward; and IFC Films, a theatrical distribution company that has acquired four films since its recent launch. IFC Entertainment also has six features in this year’s Sundance Film Festival. “IFC Originals focuses on the filmmaker’s vision, nurtures and provides a forum for both emerging and established talent,” adds Jonathan Sehring, President IFC Entertainment. “IFC Entertainment’s ties to and relationships within the film community enable us to attract a high level of talent to create programs for television.”

Currently in production for network premieres in 2001 are a four-part series directed by Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter) and two documentaries, the first from director/producer team Lisa Ades (Emmy-nominated series NEW YORK) and Lesli Klainberg (documentary series In The 20th Century) and the second from Oscar award-nominated and Emmy award-winning director Steven Cantor (Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann). The company’s mission is to engage and entertain as well as inform, giving viewers history, background and context as well as delivering the kind of unique programming audiences can’t see anywhere else.

Shooting in the Direct Cinema style he pioneered with his brother, the Maysles project (tentatively scheduled for fourth quarter 2001) is a series of experiential portraits of filmmakers that capture the distinguishing characteristics and impact of each artist. Maysles spends time with filmmakers such as Martin Scorcese and Wes Anderson recording different aspects of the process from inspiration to development, writing, financing, casting, shooting, editing, selling and everything in between. The Ades/Klainberg film, to debut in summer 2001, is a treatment of taboo sexual subjects, examining the breadth, candor and thrill of cinema on the edge. The Cantor documentary, to air in the third quarter 2001, is a celebration of the strong bonds, inescapable parallels and dynamic synergies between music, musicians and their affect on films. The doc follows several rock stars as they plunge into an acting career, exploring the attraction to the big screen and differences between the two crafts, from approaches and techniques to the advantages and drawbacks.

Premiering Friday, April 20 at 10:00PM/ET on IFC is the original co-production
DARIO ARGENTO: AN EYE FOR HORROR, chronicling the career of the revered Italian director behind some of the most unsettling films ever made. Argento’s work has been described as the most baroque, most stylish, most dreamlike and the most nightmarish in Italian cinema history.

IFC Originals also has several projects in development, including an analysis of blaxploitation – a definition and its repercussions – to be directed by Isaac Julien (Cannes 1991 Critics’ prize winning feature Young Soul Rebels); from veteran film producer Steven Chin (Another Day in Paradise), a kick-ass study of Hong Kong action films, the impact Kung Fu movies had on American popular culture and Hollywood’s reluctance to make Asian actors leading men; and an in-depth look at celluloid serial killers – the western outlaw as the mythical bad guy – from acclaimed director Mike Hodges (Croupier).

Past IFC Originals features include A Brief History of Errol Morris, Donald Cammell: The Ultimate Performance, In Bad Taste: The John Waters Story, Delroy Lindo on Spike Lee, Kurosawa: The Last Emperor, The Name of This Film is Dogme95, and My Best Fiend. IFC Originals also produces Independent Focus, a series of one-on-one interviews with industry’s biggest and brightest for an in-depth look at the art of filmmaking and a discussion about their latest and greatest works. Recent Independent Focus guests have included Oliver Stone and the Coen Brothers.

The Independent Film Channel (IFC), managed and operated by Bravo Networks, is the first and most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film presented 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free. IFC Entertainment, a division of IFC, consists of IFC Productions, a feature film production company; IFC Films, a theatrical film distribution company; Next Wave Films, established to provide finishing funds and other vital support to emerging filmmakers; and IFC Originals, which produces cutting-edge original programming for the network. In addition, IFC Productions recently launched InDigEnt, an initiative that helps established filmmakers shoot productions on digital video for the big screen.

Elektra Gray