IFC Sets Reality Show, Inks Miramax Deal


Independent Film Channel will delve into the reality genre in 2004 with a short series based on the lives of several graduate students in film, according to network officials.

The service will also gain exclusive access to a number of Miramax films as part of a multiyear deal announced last week by IFC parent Rainbow Media Holdings Inc. and the studio.

IFC will team with filmmaker Nanette Burstein (The Kid Stays in the Picture) to develop Film School, a 10-part series that will follow a talented group of students at New York University's graduate film program as they embark on their second year and begin their thesis films.

Film School
will join Dinner for Five
as the network's original-series projects to date. IFC executive vice president and general manager Ed Carroll said the series is ideal, due to its direct tie-in with independent filmmaking.

"Unlike the contrived situations that pass for 'reality programming' in many cases, Film School
is going to be a fascinating and ultimately very poignant story about people who are putting a lot on the line — emotionally and financially — in the very real pursuit of their dreams," he said.

On the film front, IFC, along with sister services AMC and WE: Women's Entertainment, will present more than 84 films over the next 10 years from Miramax, including such highly acclaimed and award-winning titles as Chocolat, Chicago, Gangs of New York, The English Patient, The Cider House Rules, Good Will Hunting
and Shakespeare in Love.

IFC will air 52 of the movies, including the basic-cable/broadcast window premiere of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, said IFC officials. Other movies premiering on WE and AMC include Frida, Halloween: Resurrection
and Mimic 2.

Financial details were not revealed for the Rainbow/Miramax deal, but sources place the deal at $40 million

Meanwhile, IFC film production arm IFC Films last week reached a distribution agreement with Starz Encore Group for exclusive first pay TV rights to seven original theatrical releases.

Included in the deal, terms of which were not disclosed, were such movies as The Business of Strangers, Big Bad Love, The King is Alive, Spring Forward, Our Song, The Chateau
and Jump Tomorrow, said IFC.