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May 14, 2000|KATHLEEN CRAUGHWELL

Lights, Camera, Stat

Two actresses from the NBC show "ER" are branching out into the world of film--as directors. Lily Mariye, who plays nurse Lily Jarvik, has written and directed a short film called "The Shangri-la Cafe," which will screen Friday at the Directors Guild of America Theater as part of the Visual Communications Asian Pacific Film and Video Festival. Mariye's colleague Yvette Freeman, who plays nurse Haleh Adams, has also made a short film, "The Blessing Way." Both women made their films as part of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women.

Writing Manual

Screenwriter Howie Meibach, who three years ago started publishing the "Spec Screenplay Sales Directory," has gone online. Meibach, along with partners Black & Blu Entertainment and the Steve Tisch Co., has launched http://www.hollywoodlitsales.com, a comprehensive Web site for aspiring screenwriters or anyone interested in the machinations of how scripts are optioned, bought and sometimes even produced. Most interesting is the daily diary posted by Chrissy Blumenthal, vice president of production for Black & Blu, which gives the nonplayer a rare look into the life of a film executive.

I (Heart) LA?

"It's not true that I have an aversion to Los Angeles. It's never been true. . . . I wouldn't like to live here because I like a city; I like the nervous tension of New York; I like a gray, enclosed, concrete city. I like a mutable change of weather. Los Angeles to me is very spread out and very, very sunny, and that's also not good for me because it's carcinogenic. But I really don't have an aversion to L.A. It's just not a place that I could live in. So is that clear?"

*

--Woody Allen, to a group of UCLA film students at the Wadsworth Theatre on Monday after a screening of his latest comedy, "Small Time Crooks."

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