‘Theatrical Launch,” Paul Devlin’s account of self-distributing his documentary Blast!, ends with his post-mortem on that release, a self-examination that takes into account not only box office but the press and further bookings the film received. I asked Devlin if he could update us on what’s happened since the article, specifically how he approached the educational market. (He had received offers from non-theatrical distributors.) Here is his response. And, if you haven’t read the article, you can pick it up on the stands or receive it immediately as a PDF when you subscribe to Filmmaker. We turned down the distribution […]
Independent documentary filmmaker Lee Storey has won her long battle with the Internal Revenue Service over deductions related to her film, Smile ’til it Hurts: The Up with People Story. The IRS’s case against Storey panicked the documentary community as it was poised to declare documentary filmmaking itself “a hobby” and not a professional, profit-seeking endeavor eligible for tax deductions. However, the same judge, Tax Court Judge Diane L. Kroupa, who said during a hearing, “By its very nature, a documentary to me means that it’s not for profit. You’re doing it to educate. You’re doing it to expose,” has […]
Select stories from our Summer issue are now available, including this year’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. You can also read online our interviews with Steve James on his new film The Interrupters, Evan Glodell talks about Bellflower and doc filmmaker Paul Devlin looks at the battle between documentary filmmakers and the IRS. Plus, columns Culture Hacker, Industry Beat and more. The issue hits stands next week, but you can read it now on your desktop by subscribing to our digital issue. Learn more here. Enjoy.
As Paul Devlin’s article on his film BLAST! in the current issue of Filmmaker notes, films that touch on issues of faith and religion can be tricky sells in the independent film world — even as filmmakers like the Kendrick Brothers work outside of the independent community and find success with their explicitly faith-based films. Here’s a feature narrative on Kickstarter that caught my eye that explores issues of belief and non-belief. From the page on Faith, by Eli Daughdrill: The film is a personal, independent narrative that takes a sensitive but critical look at at religion in America. FAITH […]
An apology for this brief plug, but now that Sundance is over I wanted to write this short blog post on the difference between Filmmaker in print and Filmmaker online. As most of you know from reading this site, we make about 50% of each issue available online. (We also put up a lot of stuff — this blog, the Director Interviews, our Videos, our Web Exclusives — which is not in the magazine.) Here’s a breakdown of articles in the current issue that aren’t available online: 1. The longest article we’ve ever published — almost 10,000 words — is […]
After I produced my first feature (Tom Noonan’s What Happened Was…), I imagined what my next year would be like. I’d be flying all over the world going to countless festivals with the film. But I quickly realized two things. One, festivals don’t care much about hosting producers, and, two, I wasn’t flush enough to float myself on a year of globetrotting and had to get back to work. In today’s diminished conventional distribution environment, film festivals are increasingly seen by first-time filmmakers not as tony travel spots but rather as cogs in a new machine that might connect them […]
I supposed I should take note of the whole JT Leroy thing. I’m referring, of course, to the recent piece by Warren St. John in the New York Times revealing that the shy, diminuitive figure with a floppy hat, black sunglasses, and a smear of red lipstick appearing in public as author JT Petty is actually a woman named Savannah Knoop, the half sister of Geoffrey Knoop, husband of Laura Albert. Albert is the 40-year-old Brooklyn woman who, in a New York magazine piece a few months ago, Steven Beachy asserted was the person behind JT Leroy’s fiction and rapidly […]