WISCONSINREPORT.COM (02/05/08) - The New York City independent film community will once again be a thriving community. Some of the city's leading independent film companies reached interim agreements with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW), enabling them to resume business immediately. Agreements have been signed with GreeneStreet Films, Killer Films, Open City Films, and This Is That Corporation. Meanwhile, as of this date, talks are still ongoing between the Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
“The independent film community in New York helped revitalize the motion picture industry with its boisterous originality, drive and resourcefulness. The interim agreements these companies have signed with the Writers Guilds are a reaffirmation of their dedication to great writing, bold innovation and good old fashioned, New York City street smarts," said Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East.
“The unity between writers on both coasts has been steadfast, and these agreements are a tribute to that enduring solidarity," emphasized Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West.
“We are thrilled that the WGA was immediately open to negotiating an interim agreement with our four East Coast independent production companies,” said Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente of Open City Films, also representing GreeneStreet Films and Killer Films. “We would like to thank the Guild for their thoughtfulness during the discussions. The companies, known for their support of groundbreaking independent films, were glad to show their support for the WGA during this difficult time.”
“Twelve long weeks ago, when AMPTP failed to come to terms with the WGA, the media kept reporting that the writers were striking the 'producers'. Here in the New York Indie film community, we felt the writers' contract requests were more than reasonable. To come to the WGA, not just as individual companies, but as a united producer group, clarifies our support for and our solidarity with the WGA's position,” said Ted Hope and Anne Carey, co-founders of This is that corporation.
GreeneStreet Films is an independent film financing and production company founded in 1998. Its upcoming releases include Tenderness (Lionsgate) and Bill (First Look). Recent releases include Awake (The Weinstein Company), Slow Burn (Lionsgate), Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion (Picturehouse), and the 2006 WGA-nominated Best Documentary Once In A Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story Of The New York Cosmos (Miramax). The company is also responsible for In The Bedroom, Swimfan and Uptown Girls, among others.
Open City Films has produced over thirty films by acclaimed directors including Jim Jarmusch, Miguel Arteta, Brian De Palma, Hal Hartley, Steven Soderbergh, Nicole Holofcener and Todd Solondz. It was co-founded twelve years ago by Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente, who also co-founded HDNet Films, Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner's high-definition production studio.
Kliot and Vicente's films have garnered numerous awards, including an Oscar nomination for Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room, and been selected for the Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, Venice, and Toronto film festivals. In 2007, Mayor Michael Bloomberg honored Kliot with the Made in NY award for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the city's entertainment industry. The company's films in development include: Infinite Jest, Me, Too and Probate.
Over the past 13 years, Killer Films has established itself at the forefront of American independent cinema. Led by Christine Vachon and accompanied by a unique partnership with John Wells Productions, Killer Films has produced over 30 films for directors including Todd Haynes, Kimberly Peirce, Mary Harron, Todd Solondz, Robert Altman and John Waters.
Killer movies have been nominated for 8 Academy Awards and 11 Emmys, and won the Oscar for Boys Don't Cry. Its recent release I'm Not There was nominated for 4 Independent Spirit Awards and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. 2008 releases include Savage Grace, Then She Found Me, and An American Crime, which will be broadcasted by Showtime in 2008.
This Is That Corporation is an independent film production company founded in 2002 by former Good Machine co-founder and co-president Ted Hope, producer Anne Carey and vp of business affairs Diana Victor. This Is That's The Savages was released in 2007 by Fox Searchlight and is the company's fourth film to be nominated for a Best Screenplay Oscar, and This Is That's principals' 14th Academy Award nomination overall.
Upcoming This is that releases include: Adventureland (Miramax/SKE), w/SKE), written and directed by Greg Mottola, Towelhead (Warner Indie) written and directed by Alan Ball, and Trainwreck: My Life As An Idiot, written and directed by Tod Harrison Williams
The interim agreements signed with these New York City independent film companies are similar to agreements the WGA recently reached with Lionsgate, RKO Productions, Marvel Studios, The Weinstein Company, United Artists, Film Department, Intermedia, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Spyglass Entertainment, MRC, Jackson Bites, Mandate Films, and Worldwide Pants.
The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) represent writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news.