Suicide bomb film wins at Woodstock
US actors Matt Dillon and Rosie Perez handed out awards at the Woodstock Film Festival Saturday night, with a story about a suicide bombing in the heart of Manhattan winning Best Feature Film. Julia Loktev's Day Night Day Night, the story of a 19-year-old girl and the three masked men who drop her off in Times Square with a bomb strapped to her back, took the festival's top prize, while Perez presented the Maverick Award to two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, whose documentary subjects have included Woody Allen and boxer Mike Tyson. Kopple's newest documentary, Shut up and Sing, is about the backlash against the Dixie Chicks after the country music group publicly criticized President Bush. - AP
Kidman visits Kosovo as UN official
Actress Nicole Kidman began a tour of Kosovo Saturday as a United Nations goodwill ambassador, pledging to provide a voice for the troubled province. Kidman arrived in Kosovo's capital after attending the premiere of her movie Fur at the inaugural Rome Film Festival. She was expected to spend two days in Kosovo.
"I'm here ... to learn so that I can help your country at this crucial, crucial time for the future," Kidman said. "To meet people, hear their stories and educate myself, and I suppose be a voice for you if you need it."
Kidman shook hands with Kosovo's top UN official, Joachim Ruecker, dozens of local leaders and diplomats attending a welcome reception. The actress was named goodwill ambassador of the UN Development Fund for Women, or UNIFEM, in January 2006, and the tour of Kosovo is her first visit in that role. Kidman visited the province at a sensitive time, with ethnic Albanians and Serbs negotiating the future status of Kosovo. Ethnic Albanians want full independence for the province of 2 million, while Serbia insists Kosovo should remain under its sovereignty. - AP
Israeli singer to open CMJ 2006
Israeli singer/songwriter Anat Damon has been invited to perform at the CMJ Marathon, New York City's premier music industry promotional event. Damon and her band, The Time Flies, will perform on the opening night of the event, which is set to kick off October 31 and run through November 4.
Over the past 25 years, the CMJ Music Marathon has helped introduce huge numbers of rising stars to music marketers and producers. Some of the bands to have appeared at CMJ include R.E.M, the Beastie Boys, the Black Eyed Peas and Eminem. Greats including Patti Smith, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and James Brown have also graced CMJ's stages.
More than 100,000 music industry professionals are expected to converge for this year's CMJ Music Marathon. In addition to Damon, performers are scheduled to include Ben Lee, Suzanne Vega and the Watson Twins.
Damon previously performed this year at the prestigious MIDEM World Music Market, a similar event in Cannes. - Viva Sarah Press
Madonna departs, adopted child stays
Madonna and her husband jetted out of Malawi early Friday after gaining preliminary custody of a one-year-old boy they want to adopt in an apparently streamlined procedure. In a statement later, Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg confirmed the adoption plans but said one-year-old David did not leave with Madonna and Guy Ritchie because final legal arrangements were still being made. Malawian officials also said the child's departure had been delayed for procedural reasons, and that he was being cared for in the meantime by members of Madonna's entourage who stayed behind. Malawian officials had indicated earlier that adoption regulations would be eased for Madonna and Ritchie, but refused to elaborate last week.
Madonna and Ritchie have a son, Rocco, 5, and the singer also has a daughter, Lourdes, 9. - AP