Film Scouts Diaries

1997 Sundance Film Festival Diaries
Day Seven: Distribution Deals in the Works

by Liza Bear

PARK CITY, Utah - Wednesday, January 22.

At 9am, Tom Di Cillo and his wife Jane are at Claimjumper for the first of the day's interviews. My eye is drawn to a 2-column boxed headline on the front page of today's "Daily Variety", which I just picked up. It says, "Trimark catches 'Moonlight'".

I look at the two of them, standing by the window. Jane is smiling, Tom's features are composed. His eyes are the giveaway.

"Should I read it?"

"Go ahead," says Di Cillo, cool as blue ice.

"I don't see how any one could make a deal at the Grappa," I say, reading, "when the place was so packed you couldn't even move, let alone communicate."

The Grappa is an old-world country-style Italian restaurant where Lakehouse Entertainment hosted a hot party after the Egyptian Theatre screening.

"It happened in the lobby right after the screening," Di Cillo said. "Mind you, I've been working on it for a year."

The audience at Tuesday's screening of Di Cillo's "Box of Moonlight", (attended, according to one source, by 6 people from the New York Times,) was quick off the mark responding to every bit of the the film's humor. Laughter sends a loud and clear signal.

Di Cillo's story, set in rural Tennessee, is about Al Fountain (John Turturro), an electrical engineer away from home on a job who finds himself with some time on his hands. A fanatical clockwatcher - his wife jokes that she can set her watch by his calls - his obsessive work habits and mindset make him increasingly estranged from his family and his co-workers.

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