August 12, 1999
CONTACT: Jennifer Peterson

IFC's 5th Birthday Weekend
Kicks Off On
Friday September 3 at 8:00PM/ET
With the Premiere of
The Best Of Split Screen

Indie Expert John Pierson Hosts an Hour-long Restrospective of the Series He Created Exclusively for IFC

Special ENCORE PRESENTATION to Air on Bravo, The Film and Arts Network

He's discovered Spike Lee, Kevin Smith and The Blair Witch Project... and only The Independent Film Channel (IFC) has him! While IFC gears up for the hottest, hippest 5th Birthday Celebration of the millenium, be sure to join indie guru John Pierson on Friday, September 3 at 8:00PM/ET as he takes a look back at The Best of Split Screen - an hour-long presentation of the original signature series that helped put IFC on the map. Always up for a party, IFC's sister network, Bravo joins in on the fun with an exclusive encore presentation of The Best of Split Screen at 10:30PM/ET that night.

Since it first premiered in 1997, Split Screen has been the place for indie's elite and offbeat to show off their wares. Under the keen eye of creator/host John Pierson, Split Screen has traveled from coast to coast and back again, showcasing the works of dozens of regional indie flmmakers along the way.

The Best of Split Screen chronicles the show's irreverent past just days before John and his merry band of filmmakers get the ball rolling on the new fall season. Split Screen filmmakers Doug Stone, P.H. O'Brien, Amy Elliott, and Lizzie Donius join John to reflect on their favorite contributons to thu series, and Season One favorite Bob the Mailman stops by to tell the story of his very first Split Screen delivery. The Best of Split Screen includes a look back from days gone by:

  • "Big Miss Moviola" - (Premiered April 19, 1999) - Ever think the world of film is just a little too dominated by action-packed male filmmakers spinning the same old testosterone-packed stories? Well, Split Screen's Janet Pierson travels to Portland, Oregon, to interview a young woman who's trying to do something about it. Meet Miranda July, entertainer, actress, and moving force behind "Big Miss Moviola," a grass roots organization distributing "lady-made movies."

  • "Hang Your Dog in the Wind" - (Premiered March 8, 1997) - What retrospective would be complete without a look back to the very, very beginning? This segment from the very first episode of Split Screen has since been dubbed the "Movies About Making Movies Monologue." "Hang Your Dog in the Wind" was the first Split Screen segment from filmmakers Brian Flemming and Keythe Farley, who have since become regular contributors to the show.

  • "Godzilla" - (Premiered May 17, 1999) - No one in the Split Screen family has made more contributions to the series than the filmmaking duo of Doug Stone and P.H. O'Brien, With over 20 segments under their collective belts, these two men have brought new meaning to the phrase "seek and ye shall find." Since 1997, Doug and P.H. have ventured far, wide, and even into their own backyards in search of new material. In this Spring '99 segment, the two traveled all the way to Tokyo to profile the men who donned the original rubber Godzilla suits back in the 50's and 60's.

  • "American Breakdown" - (Premiered October 26, 1998) - For the first time in the show's history, Split Screen Episode #30 devoted the entire half-hour to a single subject - regional filmmaker par excellence, Jacob Young. The Best of Split Screen checks back in with Young for an exclusive look at his latest project, "American Breakdown," a newly developed series that documents the real-life trials and tribulations of breaking down on the side of the road.

  • "Please Kill Mr. Kinski" - (Premiered April 19,1999) - Legendary German actor Klaus Kinski pushed the art of acting to the nether regions of the film world and beyond, but his notoriety came from driving many directors off their own sets in the process. Split Screen talked to one of these directors, David Schmoeller, about his dreaded experience working with Kinski in 1985. The result was "Please Kill Mr. Kinski," a hilarious and poignant accont of collaborating with a great artist who was almost impossible to work with.

  • "Sweet Sunshine" - (Premiered September 8, 1998) - Ever wonder where casting directors find such thespeians as Babe, Air Bud, and Free Willy? Well wonder no more! Splir Screen Episode #23 took viewers behind the scenes at an actual talent agency where all the clients are animals (and we don't mean the Mickey Rourke kind...). "Sweet Sunshine" directors Amy Elliott and Lizzy Donius have proven to be two of the most adventurous members of the Split Screen family. Since 1997, they have found themselves running in the New York City Marathon, filmming from the trenches during a Civil War reenactment and standing on the edge of an active volcano.

John Pierson is the man Entertainment Weekly calls "one of the movers and shakers of the independent film world." Rolling Stone called Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes, his book based on a decade of experience in the independent film business, "the most contentiously witty and revealing view of off-Hollywood around." Pierson helped jump-start the careers of filmmakers Spike Lee, Michael Moore (Roger & Me, The Big One), and Richard Linklater (Slacker, The Newton Boys). He recently served as Executive Producer for Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy, one of the most successful independent films in recent history.

The Independent Film Channel celebrates it's 5th Birthday in September in true IFC style. Everyone who's anyone in the indie film community will be on hand for the network's four-day on-air bash. Celebs making an appearance throughout the weekend include Spike Lee, Ally Sheedy, Michael Rappaport, Rosanna Arquette, Robin Tunney, Todd Haynes, and Adrien Brody. IFC's 5th Birthday Celebration kicks off on Friday, September 3 and continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 6, serving up a smorgasbord of faves from the IFC Library, including Trainspotting, Living in Oblivion, My Own Private Idaho, Night on Earth, Husbands and Wives, Go Fish and Denise Calls Up.

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 23 million homes on a full-time basis, is the most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film on television.

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