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1998 Sundance Film Festival Buzz
The Latest from Park City (January 24)

by Richard Schwartz

PARK CITY, Jan. 24 - What's making news around the streets of Park City, Utah:

The 1998 Sundance Film Festival awards will be handed out Saturday night at a Park City Racquet Club ceremony hosted by actress Christine Lahti - that is, if she ever emerges from the restroom. Speculation has "Pi" and "Slam" as frontrunners in the Dramatic Competition category. For the audience award, an alteration this year will allow eligibility for American Spectrum entries as well. That opens the door for such favorites as "Gods and Monsters" and "One"...

Meanwhile, the rogue Slamdance Film Fesival handed out its honors - The Sparkies - Thursday night at the Treasure Mountain Inn. "Surrender Dorothy," Kevin Di Novis' drama about a celibate hermit who strives to turn a drug dealer into his ideal woman, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature. The Audience Award was given to comedian Myles Berkowitz, whose "20 Dates" details the L.A. dating scene...

Producers of the critically acclaimed "Slam" inked a pact with Trimark Entertainment for North American distribution rights. In other distribution news, Fox Lorber signed deals for "Conceiving Ada" and "Melvin Van Peebles' Classified X" while Live Entertainment got their cut of "Pi" for about $1 million...

Vincenzo Natali, director of the midnight thriller "Cube," was stifled in his attempts to emulate Jean-Luc Goddard's famous outdoor showing on the streets of Park City. Recalling the attention generated by the French director during a sidewalk screening years ago at Cannes, Natali attempted to stage a rather spontaneous screening of the "Cube" trailer on a large sheet just outside the Egyptian Theater on Main Street. However, local police quickly broke up the proceedings but not before creating some valuable publicity for Natali's film.

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