Producer sold on `Strange Love' script

Deal: Two Baltimore screenwriters, Chris Beutler and Jeff Howard, earn six figures by selling their first screenplay -- a comedy about love and sex changes.

August 06, 1999|By Ann Hornaday | Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC

Baltimore-based screenwriters Chris Beutler, 31, and Jeff Howard, 29, sold their script "Strange Love" to producer Neal Mortiz at Original Film ("Cruel Intentions," "Volcano," "I Know What You Did Last Summer") July 23 for a sum in the mid-six figures, the writers said this week.

Howard described the film, their first screenplay to be sold, as "a comedy about a guy who falls in love with the perfect girl, and then his buddies convince him that she used to be a man.

"So he spends the whole rest of the movie trying to figure out if she's had a sex change." Howard said he and Beutler will start re-writes in September and predicts the project will begin filming within the year. Howard and Beutler's next project is "Dickie Rank's Dying Wish" with producer Gale Ann Hurd.

Money source for artists

Creative Capital, a new nonprofit designed to fill the gap left when the National Endowment for the Arts stopped giving grants to individual artists, will disburse about 50 awards of $15,000 to $20,000 this year to film and media artists, as well as artists working in the performing and visual arts.

Applicants must have a minimum of five years' professional experience and must demonstrate an ability to complete their project on schedule and within its budget.

The deadline for applying is Aug. 16 at 5 p.m.

For more information about Creative Capital and how to apply for grants, visit their Web site at or contact the Creative Capital Foundation at 65 Bleecker St., New York, N.Y. 10012.

Queer film fest is back

Baltimore's Queer Film & Video Festival has announced the schedule for this year's program, which will take place at the Charles Theater and the Theater Project Sept. 9-11.

The festival will open Sept. 9 with a special screening of John Waters' "Polyester" in Odorama -- the first screening of the 1981 film in Odorama in Baltimore in over 20 years.

A cocktail party will commence the evening at Club Charles across the street.

The festival will run through the following Sunday with screenings of "Not Love, Just Frenzy," "The Commercial Closet," "We're Funny That Way," "Amnesia" and a shorts program called "Shoulda Coulda Woulda."

The festival will also feature two Baltimore-produced films, "Kalin's Prayer" and a parody of public access television by David Drake.

The program will close Sunday evening with a screening of Waters' "Hairspray."

For more information, call 410-433-1395 or e-mail the festival at

Screenings around town

The wildly popular Open-Air Italian Film Festival continues this evening with a screening of "The Name of the Rose" (1986), in which Sean Connery stars in an adaptation of Umberto Eco's acclaimed novel about a mysterious abbey in 13th-century Italy. The film will begin at 9 p.m. and, as was proven at last week's screening of "Moonstruck," the show will go on, rain or shine. The festival, which is sponsored by the Senator Theatre, the Little Italy Restaurant Association and the community of Little Italy, takes place at the corner of High and Stiles streets. Bring a lawn chair for maximum comfort, and mangia beforehand!

The annual Columbia Lakefront Summer Festival continues its outdoor family film festival tonight with a screening of the Oscar-winning World War II drama "Life Is Beautiful" (PG-13). On Monday, "Matilda" (PG) will be shown. The movies begin promptly at dusk on the lawn at the Columbia Town Center Lakefront (Lake Kittamaqundi), off Little Patuxent Parkway. Admission is free.

The department of modern languages and linguistics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, continues its West European Cinema series Monday with a screening of "The Marriage of Maria Braun," Rainer Werner Fassbinder's classic 1978 film starring Hanna Schygulla. All screenings are free and open to the public. They begin at 6: 30 p.m. in Lecture Hall IV on the UMBC campus.

"When Cultures Collide," the summer film series sponsored by the office of cultural affairs of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, concludes Wednesday with a screening of "Night On Earth" (1991), Jim Jarmusch's film following five stories that take place in five different cities. Series coordinator Gabriel Wardell will be the featured speaker.

The film will begin at 7 p.m. in the Mountcastle Auditorium of the Preclinical Teaching Building, 725 N. Wolfe St. Admission is free.

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