DE NIRO FESTIVAL TO HELP NEW YORK RECOVER
Two-time Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro and his movie production company partners have announced plans for a new film festival in the trendy Tribeca section of Lower Manhattan, to help the region recover from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The festival will be open to the public, showcasing around three dozen feature films and 20 short subjects from May 1-5, 2002. Plans call for the pictures to be screened at locations chosen for their ability to promote foot traffic in the area and provide a boost to small businesses that have been hurting economically since the attacks.
De Niro's relationship with Tribeca goes back close to 20 years. He even named his film company after it -- Tribeca Productions.
"There are businesses down here that need help, small businesses, everything," said the 58-year-old star of "Meet the Parents," "Raging Bull" and "GoodFellas."
(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)
'HELPING HANDS II: HANDMADE IN AMERICA'
Pop singer Jewel will help AOL Time Warner launch the online charity auction "Helping Hands II: Handmade in America" with a performance Wednesday evening at the American Folk Art Museum's new building in New York.
The event will include the unveiling of the various patriotic handicrafts donated by various celebrities for the auction, which will benefit nine organizations on the front lines of relief efforts: the American Red Cross, the WTC School Relief Fund, the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund, the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund, the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund, the September 11th Fund, the Survivors' Fund of the National Capital Region, the Twin Towers Fund and the WTC Police Disaster Relief Fund.
Kristin Davis, Michael Douglas, Mark Wahlberg, James Gandolfini, Halle Berry, Edie Falco, Marcia Gay Harden and David Boreanaz are among the stars who have created and donated handmade crafts and objects reflecting their interpretation of the American spirit. These include: a pair of hand-painted glass holiday ornaments from TV talk show host Rosie O'Donnell, a hand-knit red, white and blue baby cap from talk show host Ricki Lake, a hand-painted look at the Big Apple from "The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini, a message of peace and love from Halle Berry, a sterling silver bracelet with a New York charm by Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden, and a hand-painted face of a woman from Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette.
The items will be featured in a special holiday catalog on Shop@AOL and through eBay.
Oscar-nominated actress Cate Blanchett and her husband, filmmaker Andrew Upton, are the proud parents of a baby boy, Dashiell John, born last week in London.
A publicist for Blanchett did not release any other information about the new arrival.
Blanchett was nominated for a best actress Oscar for "Elizabeth" (1998). She's starring in "Charlotte Gray," as a Scottish woman who joins the French Resistance to rescue her Royal Air Force boyfriend who is lost in France during World War II. She also stars as Galadriel the Elf Queen in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," which opens Dec. 19.
(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)
Amanda Peet of the WB show "Jack & Jill" stars in "Date Squad," an original online Internet film which takes a humorous look at the precarious and unpredictable world of dating. The film can be viewed now on Warner Bros. Online's Web site (at warnerbros.com).
"Date Squad" joins an eclectic line-up of original shorts available at warnerbros.com, which also includes "Angel in a Red Dress," written and directed by Zalman King; "Exterminator," starring Gary Busey and Theresa Russell; "Drum Solo," starring Kevin Connolly, Simon Rex and Ron Lester; and "Britney 2032," directed by Marc Sedaka, son of pop musician Neil Sedaka.
"Ocean's Eleven" -- the star-packed remake of the 1960 casino caper -- hit the jackpot at the nation's box office with an estimated $39.4 million at 3,075 theaters during the Friday-Sunday period.
Studio sources said Warner Bros.' opening of "Eleven" performed in line with expectations following a massive marketing campaign that took full advantage of the drawing power of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. The stars took lower-than-usual salaries in order to work with director Stephen Soderbergh, who oversaw a pair of critically acclaimed hits last year with "Erin Brockovich" and "Traffic" last year.
Finishing a distant but respectable second was the fourth weekend of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" with $14.8 million at 3,675 theaters. The mega-hit has now grossed $239.7 million in 24 days, making it the 21st highest domestic performer of all time ahead of "Ghostbusters."
20th Century Fox's second weekend of "Behind Enemy Lines" finished third, followed by Disney's sixth weekend of "Monsters Inc." and Universal's third weekend of "Spy Game."
Rounding out the top 10 were "Black Knight," "Shallow Hal," "Out Cold," "Amelie," and "Domestic Disturbance."