For Immediate Release, Please
Contact: Shannon Treusch (212) 445-7100


SANTA MONICA, CA -- April 4, 2000 - The Independent Film Channel's Next Wave Films is providing production financing to MANIC, president Peter Broderick announced today. To be directed by Jordan Melamed, MANIC is the first digital feature to receive production financing through Next Wave Film's new digital production arm Agenda 2000. Next Wave Films, which provides finishing funds and serves as a producer's rep for independent features, has expanded its focus to include initial financing of movies made digitally.

Agenda 2000 will regularly finance and produce digital features for wide release. According to Broderick, " Next Wave Film's digital production division was established to enable filmmakers to make daring features less expensively and with greater creative control. MANIC is the perfect movie to launch Agenda 2000 - it is a provocative project that can only be fully realized with the creative freedom and visceral impact that digital video can provide."

MANIC is the story of a group of troubled teens forced to face their demons in a juvenile mental institution. Having endangered themselves and others, they have been committed against their will. Now they must navigate a series of highly charged encounters as they struggle for control and freedom.

MANIC's director, Jordan Melamed, is an AFI graduate. His thesis film, A CORNER IN GOLD, set in the ruthless Chicago trading pits, played festivals worldwide (including the Emerging Filmmakers Showcase at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival) and won a student Emmy for best drama. Melamed has chosen to make MANIC digitally to achieve a special realism. He explained that "DV is the right format to capture the immediacy and claustrophobia of life on the ward as well as the emotional desperation and explosiveness of the characters. The audience will feel at the center of the action, not at a safe distance."

MANIC is being produced by Kirk Hassig and Trudi Callon, who are also producing the feature film DIRT which recently completed principle photography. It was written by actors Michael Bacall and Blayne Weaver. Bacall, who will also co-star in MANIC, will soon be seen in URBAN LEGEND 2, and has recently set up his second screenplay at Intermedia Films. Bacall and Jordan Melamed are both managed by Paul Greenstone of International Arts Entertainment. The film is being cast by veteran casting director Mali Finn, and will begin shooting in May.

Agenda 2000 is utilizing digital technologies to expand opportunities for established as well as emerging independent filmmakers. Next Wave Films has been at the forefront of the Digital Revolution. Broderick and his colleagues Mark Stolaroff and Tara Veneruso have been giving presentations about the benefits of DV production at festivals worldwide, including Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, and Rotter dam. Broderick notes that "Next Wave Films is uniquely positioned to finance DV features, given our allies, resources, and digital expertise. Agenda 2000 will empower intrepid digital pioneers to blaze trails that many independent filmmakers will follow."

Next Wave Films was created by the Independent Film Channel to help launch the careers of exceptionally talented new filmmakers. In addition to furnishing finishing funds to outstanding, low-budget, English language features, Next Wave Films also provides assistance during post-production, helps filmmakers implement film festival and press strategies, and assists them in finding distribution by serving as a producer's rep. Its films include: Joe Carnahan's BLOOD GUTS BULLETS AND OCTANE, Christopher Nolan's FOLLOWING, Ron Judkin's THE HI-LINE, Julie Money's ENVY, and Josh Aronson's SOUND AND FURY.

The Independent Film Channel (IFC), managed and operated by Bravo Networks, is the first channel dedicated to independent film presented 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free. The Independent Film Channel, reaching more than 30 million homes on a full-time basis, is the most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film on television.

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