New York Film Fest: Topper’s First Slate Full Of Surprises

Now, with the full 2013 lineup ready to launch Sept. 27, observers can start to tease out the differences between the new and the old. SEE MORE: From the September 24, 2013 issue of Variety Just dont ask Jones what they are. Richard and I are different people with different temperaments, but thats something I have to let other people describe, he says. Besides, going into something with a preconceived idea of how you would overhaul it doesnt strike me as a good idea. Get Weekly Online News and alerts free to your inbox Still, take a look at Jones main slate and sidebar programming for the 51st annual NYFF, running through Oct. 13, and certain elements stand out. The main slate follows the trend of the past few years, stretching from prestige studio fare (Paul Greengrass opener Captain Phillips, the Coen brothers Inside Llewyn Davis, Spike Jonzes closer Her) to international titles both buzzy (Abdellatif Kechiches Blue Is the Warmest Color, Hayao Miyazakis The Wind Rises) and challenging (Tsai Ming-liangs Stray Dogs, Corneliu Porumboius When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism). But whereas in the past the fests main slate often comprised between 27 and 30 pics the 2012 roster came in at 32 this years weighs in at 36. Comedies also make up a large chunk of the 2013 edition, from Ben Stillers centerpiece fi lm The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to Declan Lowneys Alan Partridge to Richard Curtis ultra-accessible romantic comedy About Time a light-hearted surprise in a fest known for serious-minded selections. A sizable contingent of pics hail from the U.K., including Partridge, About Time and Ralph Fiennes sophomore helming effort The Invisible Woman. Festival organizers may demur at enumerating the differences between Jones and Pena, but when Jones acknowledges, We run discussions differently, I suppose, his laid-back vibe suggests a notable change from Penas intensity. And when talking about the main slates inclusion of About Time, Jones owns up to an abiding love for an earlier Curtis crowdpleaser: I am an unapologetic fan of Love Actually, he says. Its not something you can imagine coming out of Penas mouth. As Jones characterizes his first NYFF lineup, the recurring theme is surprise all the pics on the main slate astonished him in some way, from the resonance of Agnieszka Hollands four-hour miniseries Burning Bush to the thematic complexity of The Wind Rises. He espouses the span of the 2013 festival, from the artsy to the accessible, as a snapshot of film not as an industry but as an art. There is such a thing as cinema that stands apart from commercial forces and can be looked at seriously and critically, separate from the marketplace, he argues.

New York Rangers sign Derek Stepan to two-year contract

Scott Lev/NHLI via Getty Images NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Stepan is back in the fold with the New York Rangers, agreeing to a two-year contract that should have him back on the ice in time for the season opener. Negotiations had been tense in recent days as the sides worked on a deal to get the restricted free-agent forward signed and into training camp. A contract was finally worked out Thursday, one week before the Rangers start the regular season at Phoenix. The 23-year-old Stepan, expected to be the Rangers’ No. 1 center, led the team with 44 points last season and was second to Rick Nash with 18 goals while playing all 48 games of the lockout-shortened campaign. He had been seeking $3.5 million per season, while the Rangers were offering around $3 million. The new deal is for a total of $6.15 million – $2.3 million this season and $3.85 million in 2014-15. Signing Stepan was a critical move for the Rangers, who are starting the season under new coach Alain Vigneault without captain Ryan Callahan and speedy winger Carl Hagelin – both recovering from shoulder operations. Stepan set career highs last season with a plus-25 rating and six game-winning goals. He tied his high with four power-play goals. Stepan went over the 40-point mark for the third straight season, tying for the NHL lead with four short-handed points.

New York seeks delay of costly FERC power capacity zone decision

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) and the state-owned New York Power Authority (NYPA) said in a press release on Wednesday that the proposed new capacity zone in the Lower Hudson Valley could result in the construction of unnecessary new power projects. The PSC, NYPA and other New York utilities asked the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reconsider its August decision allowing the state’s power grid operator, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), to create a new capacity zone in the Lower Hudson Valley that includes New York City. The NYISO has said it designed the new capacity zone to maintain system reliability and attract investments in new and existing generation and demand response resources. In basic terms, capacity markets pay generators to help keep existing power plants in service and build new units in order to maintain system reliability. Demand response providers who agree to reduce power usage when needed can also participate in capacity markets. The new zone will include the current NYISO zones G, H and I in the Lower Hudson Valley and zone J in New York City. The PSC and NYPA said the state is already working on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s so-called Energy Highway initiative to expand the state’s transmission resources to bring more power from upstate New York to the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City area. The PSC and NYPA said the Energy Highway could negate the need for FERC to offer financial incentives to build more power plants downstate. “We strongly urged FERC to reconsider its decision to create a new capacity zone in New York, which it says is needed to build more power plants downstate to alleviate demand for electricity,” PSC Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman said in the release. “We are well aware of the downstate demand for electricity…However, in its decision, FERC did not take into consideration the ongoing initiatives included in the Governor’s Energy Highway,” Zibelman said. The biggest power companies in New York include units of Consolidated Edison Inc, National Grid Plc, Iberdrola SA, Entergy Corp, TransCanada Corp and NRG Energy Inc. COSTS TO RISE The PSC said if FERC’s plan goes into effect, typical residential customers in the Lower Hudson Valley could see monthly bill increases ranging from 5 percent to almost 10 percent, depending on the utility. The increases for industrial and commercial customers could be even higher, the PSC said.

New York Fed Completes Test of Fixed-Rate Reverse Repo Facility

The Fed allotted $9.4 billion in overnight reverse repos through the facility at a fixed-rate of 0.01 percent. The operation was open to the Feds 139 tri-party reverse repo counterparties, which includes 94 money market mutual funds, six government-sponsored entities, 18 banks and the Feds 21 primary dealers. Each eligible counterparty was limited to a maximum bid amount of $500 million. The collateral for the transactions was limited to Treasury debt. This exercise is not intended to materially affect the current level of short-term interest rates , the New York Fed said in a statement on Sept. 20. This work is a matter of prudent advance planning and do not represent a change in the stance of monetary policy, the statement said. The New York Fed said in a separate statement today that it plans to increase the maximum bid amount to $1 billion from $500 million, beginning with tomorrows operation. Fed policy makers, while still buying bonds to support the economy, have also been developing methods to eventually help withdraw record monetary accommodation. Along with raising the overnight bank lending rate, Fed officials have said they may use tools including reverse repos to withdraw or neutralize cash in the banking system. In a reverse repo, the Fed lends securities for a set period, temporarily draining cash from the banking system. At maturity, the securities are returned to the Fed, and the cash to its counterparties. To contact the reporters; on this story: Liz Capo McCormick in New York at emccormick7@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at dliedtka@bloomberg.net More News: