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New York University Tisch Asia
Editor's Note

The IFP's annual Gotham Awards were handed out on Tuesday night in a ceremony held for the first time at Brooklyn's Steiner Studios. A complete list of the winners is linked below, but I want to salute two filmmakers who have special ties with the magazine. Craig Zobel, who was one of our 2007 "25 New Faces of Independent Film" won Breakthrough Director for his fantastic debut feature, Great World of Sound. And Ronald Bronstein's bracingly funny Frownland won the Filmmaker-sponsored "Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You" award. Both films were realized on tiny, non-industry budgets by filmmakers working with friends and colleagues, and both steer clear of the storytelling conventions of both mainstream moviemaking as well as most of what passes for independent film these days. Zobel's film should be on video soon and I know you will have more opportunities to see Bronstein's movie in the near future.

Best,

Scott Macaulay
Editor

 

THE SAVAGES
After a nine-year absence from making feature films, Tamara Jenkins returns with this beautiful look at a disconnected family forced to reunite after the father begins to suffer from dementia. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney play brother and sister and give performances that are certain to make them very busy come award season. Executive produced by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, the film has many similarities to the kind of dry, dark comedy that Payne and Taylor create. But also, the tenderness and perceptiveness with which Jenkins dramatizes issues surrounding parents, children and aging makes this a resonant and important work for contemporary baby bombers and their families.

 
 

THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
Filmmaker/painter Julian Schnabel's adaptation of Jean Dominique-Bauby's autobiography is a testament to finding solace amidst terrible adversity. Schnabel has stated he was drawn to the project as a means to deal with both his own feelings about death and the loss of his father several years earlier. The story is told completely from Bauby's point-of-view, alternating between what he sees with his one good eye to what he remembers of his past and drastically different life as the editor of a French fashion magazine. The film is gorgeously photographed by Spielberg regular Janusz Kaminski and actors Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Seigner turn in heartbreaking performances.

NEGATIVLAND: OUR FAVORITE THINGS
By Mike Plante

A compilation of videos/short films for the legendary "band" Negativland. One of a few pioneers of culture jamming - attacking the notions of copyright laws and media conglomerates - Negativland has made incredible new songs from existing songs and voice samples ranging from U2 and irate wanna-be lawyers to the unforgettable bootlegged tape of Casey Kasem freaking out off-air. read more

 
     

IN BETWEEN DAYS
By Jason Guerrasio

So Yong Kim's debut feature is a simple, intimate story about a young Korean immigrant who tries to not only cope with her new surroundings but her own teenage angst. Kim's hand-held style brings a look to the film that has a eavesdropping quality, which brings us closer to the characters and the issues they're going through. read more

To read more posts on our favorite upcoming DVDs, click here.

 


This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay passes along an e-mail from producer Ted Hope on the environmentally unsafe screener tactics of two major studios; Jason Guerrasio reports on the Sundance '08 competition slate, Gotham Awards winners (pictured left) and Spirit Award nominees.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.

 

GOTHAM AWARDS AIRS NEXT WEEK
You can see Ronald Bronstein pick up his award for "Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You" (pictured left with presenter Marisa Tomei) and the other winners at The Gotham Awards when it airs locally on NYC TV Dec. 4 at 9:00pm and nationally on The Documentary Channel Dec. 8 at 8:00pm EST.


 

GREEK TRAGEDY
By Damon Smith

As a filmmaker, Oscar winner Jessica Yu is smart, adventurous, and utterly fearless. You'd have to be to make a talking-head documentary inspired by the 5th century B.C. playwright Euripides (an idea proposed by the Carr Foundation) and then decide to outfit key scenes with wooden rod puppets speaking ancient Greek. But her new film, Protagonist, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and gets a theatrical release November 30 from IFC Films, is not high-concept marionette theater, it's a fascinating investigation of what drives passionate people to acts of radical self-negation—and of the dangerous certainty that fuels fanatical belief. read more

 
Festival Deadlines

DECEMBER
Ann Arbor Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Dec. 1
Festival Dates: March 25, 2008 - March 30

Aspan Shortsfest
Submission Deadline: Dec. 15
Festival Dates: April 2, 2008 - April 6

Atlanta Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Dec 14 (early), Jan. 11, 2008 (late)
Festival Dates: April 10, 2008 - April 19

Boston Underground Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Dec. 14
Festival Dates: March 27, 2008 - March 30

Rome FilmFest
Submission Deadline: Dec. 15
Festival Dates: April 4, 2008 - April 12

Wisconsin Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Dec. 31
Festival Dates: April 3, 2008 - April 6

To see more fest deadlines, click here.


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