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By Film Threat Staff | August 15, 2001

The Independent Feature Project (IFP) announced the lineup of projects which will make up this year’s NO BORDERS Co-Production Market. NO BORDERS was created in 1995 as a professional meeting ground for established independent producers from the US and abroad to present new projects to leading domestic and international buyers, investors, and agents. Taking place at New York’s Tribeca Grand Hotel September 30 – October 4, NO BORDERS occurs during the annual IFP Market but has its own independent selection process.
Of the 35 total accepted projects for the 7th edition of the program, there are 12 documentary works-in-progress, 10 U.S. scripts, and 13 International scripts, 12 of which are English language.
NO BORDERS producers are well known on the international festival circuit. Many of their previous projects have premiered at prestigious festivals such as Berlin, Cannes, Rotterdam, Sundance, and Toronto prior to their worldwide releases. Included among the producers with new projects are: Diana Elbaum (Thomas in Love, Lumumba), Chris Curling and Phil Robertson (Esther Kahn, My Son the Fanatic), Paul Mezey (Our Song, La Ciudad, Spring Forward), Richard Johns (Shadow of a Vampire, Downtime), Andrea Sperling (But I’m A Cheerleader, The Doom Generation), Tim Perell (Jump Tomorrow, and the upcoming Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup starrer World Traveler), and Reinhard Brundig, CEO of Pandora Film (Fast Food Fast Women, Pola X, Ghost Dog). On the documentary front, included are veterans Peter Friedman (Death by Design, Silverlake Life: The View From Here) and Academy Award winner Jessica Yu (Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien).
Unlike other markets, NO BORDERS is by design a collaborative venture bringing together producers affiliated with established funding bodies such as the U.K. based Film Council, Cologne-based Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany’s largest film fund) and Telefilm Canada, in partnership with filmmaker support organizations such as Ateliers du Cinéma Européen/ACE (the Paris-based training institute for European film producers), CineMart (Rotterdam Film Festival’s Co-Production Market), the Sundance Institute, and Wallonie Bruxelles Images (the institution responsible for promoting French-speaking Belgian filmmakers).
“Through our solid relationship with our partners on the program, and through our own solicitation process, NO BORDERS aspires to bring together a slate of projects each year which the IFP believes stand a fighting chance in the international arena,” says IFP Executive Director Michelle Byrd.
One of the newest partners collaborating on NO BORDERS is The Film Council; UK’s newly formed funding body that recently announced its first slate of projects for development finance. Says Film Council Senior Executive Himesh Kar, “The New Cinema Fund encourages unique ideas, innovative approaches and new voices and we see the IFP’s No Borders event as an ideal way of helping us do that, which is why we have joined them as a presenting partner. We see our involvement in No Borders as a vital first step in our strategy to help British talent form productive relationships with the independent film community in and beyond New York.”
Previous NO BORDERS projects that have gone on to further success include Jeremy Podeswa’s The Five Senses, Nanette Burstein’s and Brett Morgen’s On the Ropes, Ed Radtke’s The Dream Catcher, and Josh Aronson’s Sound and Fury.
IFP is a New York-based not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to supporting American independent film.
NO BORDERS is co-sponsored by Eastman Kodak, HBO Films-Independent Productions, and the Tribeca Grand Hotel. Additional sponsors include the DGA, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen, and Telefilm Canada. The program is also supported, in part, by a grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Participation in NO BORDERS is by invitation only for producers and buyers.
2001 NO BORDERS ACCEPTED PROJECTS ^ U.S. Scripts ^ One of the two projects in No Borders produced by Tim Perell (Jump Tomorrow, The Opportunist) is $9.99, a stop motion animation project, which weaves together six stories to examine the post-modern meaning of heaven and hell on earth from award-winning director Tatia Rosenthal (Crazy Glue).
Producer Nadia Leonelli’s Manifesto Films (Perfume) presents the script for BLACK BUTTERFLIES, a story that explores the controversy that surrounds medical discoveries, ethics, the desire to control the uncontrollable, and the freedom of the human mind.
But I’m a Cheerleader director Jamie Babbit is set to direct THE GIGGLE FACTOR, a new script by Amy Tebo, and produced by Andrea Sperling (But I’m A Cheerleader, The Doom Generation) and Jasmine Kosovic (The Adventures of Sebastian Cole). The film tells the story of when a poor, eleven-year old girl who accuses a wealthy celebrity of child molestation, and money ends up triumphing over justice.
Producer Tim Perell (Jump Tomorrow, The Opportunist) presents THE GRASS IS GREENER, a story where a reclusive former B-movie actress puts a spell on her three daughters forcing them to live mandatory double-lives, until a mystery unfolds that breaks the spell and sends the sisters into full fledged identity crises.
Writer/director Jim Frohna’s script set in an odd Wisconsin town where deer hunting is bigger than Christmas, HUNTING SEASON is a comic drama about a man’s search for happiness and a mythical eighteen-point buck, to be produced Sukee Chew (My First Mister).
The Luzhin Defense producer Philippe Guez presents MY LIFE AS A WHALE, the story of a balding, thirty something literary agent and accomplished chef, Michael Householder believes he is amongst the last of a vanishing breed- one of the few remaining heterosexual single men in the city of New York.
Our Song producer Paul Mezey comes to the market with MARIA FULL OF GRACE, a character driven story of a defiant 17-year-old Columbian girl who undergoes a harrowing coming-of-age when she quits work at a flower plantation and naively agrees to swallow a half-kilo of heroin and transport it to the United States.
THE MOSTLY UNFAVORABLE SOCIAL LIFE OF ETHAN GREEN is the story of Ethan Green’s search for Mr. Right, only to find the man he gave up is the man he can’t live without. David Rubin (Happy Campers, I am Sam) will produce.
In OCEANSIDE, award-winning writer/director P. David Ebersole (Death in Venice, CA) tells the story of two men that confess to the same murder when a middle-aged lawyer gets shot on the beach.
Straight from the Sundance Screenwriting and Directors Labs, Jono Oliver presents THE OTHER ONES, the story of a working-class man who is injured in a highly publicized shooting.
Tasca Shadix’s (The Book of Stars) THE PREACHER’S DAUGHTER is a coming of age story about a sheltered college student who travels from Boston to her cousin’s blue-collar Houston bar after her father’s death. There, amid the country music and urban cowboys, she begins to heal, discovering secrets about her family’s past in the process.
International Scripts ^ Producer Joost De Vries (Total Loss) returns to No Borders with EL ANDARIN, where award-winning director Fernando Perez (Life is to Whistle) tells the true story of a Cuban mailman who sets out to run the Olympic marathon in St. Louis in 1904. After losing all his money in New Orleans, he ran the remaining 600 miles to fulfill his dream.
Shani Grewal’s (Guru in 7) new film follows five friends through six turbulent months of humor, tragedy, good times and bad, from the Southall Riots to Led Zeppelin’s end of an era concert at Knebwourth, culminating in one of the friend’s wedding and THE CRIME OF A CENTURY.
GIRL TALK is the story of a gang of teenage girl drug couriers: the ‘Laydekillaz’. Based on various true stories and writer Karen Hope’s own experiences as a teenager living on an East End ‘sink’ estate.
Producer Richard Johns (Shadow of a Vampire, Downtime) re-teams with director Bharat Nalluri (The Crow- Salvation, Downtime) with HEADLONG, a thrilling cat-and-mouse tale of what happens when an ambitious young bank robber meets a stunning con artist, and makes the mistake of falling in love.
THE LIMIT is the story of when a British lawyer is asked to defend a Balkan war crimes suspect. She finds herself trapped in a web of deceit, lies and espionage- with no easy way out. To be produced by Amanda Lloyd (Dad Savage).
Producers Sytze Van Der Laan (My Friend Joe) and Stuart Pollok (One of the Hollywood Ten) present THE MARRIAGE TORTURE TEST, an outrageous romantic comedy in the vein of Meet the Parents, except this time it’s meet the granny.
Aida Innocente (Amy, The Big Steal) is set to produce MOONDOG, a psychosexual drama about a young boy and his brother’s mistress, when grief brings them together and then suspicion tears them apart.
CEO of Pandora Films Reinhard Brundig (Fast Food Fast Women, Pola X) brings to the market MOONROSE, a magical story about one family’s journey seen through the eyes of a girl.
Funded by FilmFour, the Alison Murray penned MOUTH TO MOUTH is a European road movie in which a misfit girl searches for a place to belong.
Produced by Zephyr Films’ Chris Curling and Phil Robertson (Esther Kahn, My Son the Fanatic), PANIC BEACH is the story of how Marlene’s journey of burgeoning independence is halted when her new friend India goes missing. PANIC BEACH asks the question if Marlene can face the real reason India has run away to France?
Producer Diana Elbaum (Thomas in Love, Lumumba) returns to No Borders with THE RASHEVSKI TANGO, a collection of stories about a liberal Jewish family the concerns love, friendship, brotherhood and couples, which functions as a puzzle where each part is also a painting in itself.
After being acquitted for a gruesome murder, Sean Veil, has committed to video taping his entire 24-7 life so he has an alibi for every possible unsolved murder case for the past ten years. Now the 10th anniversary of his alleged crime is upon him and he will either finally be exonerated, or captured once and for all, in John Simpson’s first feature STRAIGHT TO VIDEO.
Documentary Works-In-Progress ^ By juxtaposing all sorts of precious objects, Peter Friedman (Silverlake Life, The Life and Times of Life and Times) and Roger Manley’s BEYOND BELIEF: THE MEANING AND POWER OF THINGS is a feature essay which reveals belief as the fundamental building block of the mind.
Jennifer Craig Stanley, producer of Jonathan Glazier’s short film Prix Fixe, brings to the market THE BIG SMOKE, the first feature-length documentary to unlock the secret world surrounding the art, craft and tradition of opium.
BROTHER OUTSIDER: THE LIFE OF BAYARD RUSTIN chronicles the life of the key political activist who is best known for organizing the 1963 March on Washington, only to be silenced, imprisoned and fired for daring to live as an openly gay man. Produced and directed by award-winning documentarian Nancy Kates.
BURMA, THE UNENDING STRUGGLE, produced and directed by the award-winning Simone Di Bagno, traces the story of the struggle for democracy in Burma, as seen through the eyes of a young woman.
Director Jocelyn Glazer’s FLUTE IN THE STORM tells the story of personal recovery and cultural survival in the aftermath of war through the eyes of Cambodian-American musician Arn Chorn Pond, produced by Christine Courtney (Home Page).
Academy Award Nominee Roko Belic (Genghis Blues) and brother Adrian’s inspiring FREEDOM WRITERS, tells the story of a young female teacher who makes a difference in the lives of problem students by teaching them Holocaust history, leading to the opportunity to travel the world and having a volume of their journals published.
Academy Award-Winning director Jessica Yu’s (Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien) feature-length documentary IN THE REALMS OF THE UNREAL explores the fantastic visions and enigmatic life of the mysterious artist Henry Darger.
LONG GONE is a feature-length documentary, which chronicles the intertwining lives of six contemporary rail riding hobos over a period of five years. A soundtrack composed by the Grammy Award-Winning Tom Waits accompanies the film.
LA LUPE, directed by Ela Troyano (Latin Boys Go to Hell), documents the life of the legendary black Cuban-born pop singer, from childhood poverty to scandalous overnight success in the glamorous Havana of the 1950’s, and her emergence as The Queen of Latin Soul Music in New York in the 1960’s. Though she died in 1992 virtually unknown, she was a precursor to the current Latin music scene.
Executive produced by Jonathan Stack (The Farm: Life Inside Anogla), NO ESCAPE: PRISON RAPE IN AMERICA is a documentary short about sexual assault within the prison system that introduces the audience to the devastating faces and stories of prison rape in America.
Filmmaker Mark Moskowitz reads a long-forgotten novel he bought back in 1972. The end of the book is where the story begins. In STONE READER, Moskowitz impulsively sets out to find the writer and learn why the book disappeared. As he searches for clues, the film reveals the singular relationship between readers and writers and explores the enduring bond literature creates among people.
Producer Jude Ray (Calling The Ghost: War Crimes Against Women) presents this groundbreaking feature documentary TRACES OF THE TRADE that tells the story of director Katrina Browne’s wealthy New England ancestors, the largest slave-trading family in early America. Cameras follow as Browne and fellow descendants undertake a journey of discovery: to Rhode Island, Ghana, and Cuba. Retracing the steps of the Triangle Trade we uncover a family’s and a nation’s hidden past and grapple with slavery’s contemporary legacy.
For more info, visit the official site for the Independent Feature Project.

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