"B-Side Entertainment, the Austin-based tech and distribution company that provides website services to film festivals, is closing." Filmmaker's Scott Macaulay posted the full story this morning and the shock waves are still reverberating across Twitter and Facebook. B-Side CEO and founder Chris Hyams on his own blog: "The timing is especially disappointing, as the past year has been our best ever. In 2009, we opened our New York office and launched a new distribution business, successfully releasing 8 films. We grew to 220 film festival partners worldwide and started off 2010 with our widely praised Sundance collaboration. Unfortunately, in the face of the lingering economic crisis and ongoing upheaval in the film business, our investors decided to stop funding the company. Under extreme time pressure, we were unable to secure alternate financing, and are left with no choice other than to shut down."
The doors close on March 1 and hardly anyone in the independent film and festival communities won't feel the loss. That includes festival attendees who've used B-Side's technology to put together individual schedules and buy tickets. Just last May in Cannes, The Auteurs entered into an alliance with B-Side, Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation and Criterion to make the films the WCF is rescuing from obscurity, deterioration or both available to audiences via as wide a variety of viewing experiences as possible. You can be sure we'll be following developments and passing along news as it happens. For now, Chris Hyams tells Scott Macaulay: "Lots of times when companies go out of business, the films go into limbo, and it's important to us that that not happen. We are also looking to find a home for the festival technology we have been building for five years. Lots of people have been interested — there's been a tremendous outpouring. This festival technology will be back."
"San Francisco experimental filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky will screen four of his films, including two world premieres that mark a significant shift in his career," notes Mike Everleth. "Dorsky will be in attendance at the screening to discuss the films and the change he's been forced to make." That's tomorrow evening at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley.
Mike also has the teaser for the Boston Underground Film Festival, running March 25 through April 1.
"What with three festivals currently unspooling here in Portland, you'd think the Beaver State's appetite for offbeat and challenging cinema would be satisfied. Well, you would be wrong." The Oregonian's Shawn Levy has links, locales and dates.
A Kenneth Anger exhibition is on view at Sprüth Magers in London through March 17.
The UK's Paradjanov Festival been mentioned before, but Ajay Hothi's piece for APEngine is a fine elaboration: Sergei Paradjanov's "Soviet Union is an exclamated sense of place. A sense of place that between February and May 2010 will be hosted by the National Theatre, Arnolfini, Pushkin House and the Armenian Institute, where exhibitions, events and symposia will be held to honour the twentieth anniversary of his death by lung cancer. Particularly notable are the public events at BFI Southbank, where a retrospective film season will showcase his features and the gallery will show a newly commissioned work by Mat Collishaw, made in response to the great man."
Jan Stuart is previewing Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, which runs at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York from March 11 through 21.
Die neue deutsche Welle und das Kino runs at the Zeughaus Kino in Berlin from tomorrow through March 19.