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Final Draft
      EDITOR'S NOTE

When it comes to deciding what to write in this week’s editor’s note, my mind is like the Dow – swinging back and forth. There is no shortage of topics to discuss – the mini-majors’ fall slates, recent high-profile executive shuffles, and the success of the various filmmaker/DIY distributors who are self-propelling their films into theaters. But hovering over all of these are thoughts about the general economy. A recession (how deep and how long?) is certain. The credit crunch means that start-up money will be harder to come by, impacting the ability of new companies to capitalize on all these “new models” out there. The decreased “wealth effect” resulting from investors’ plummeting portfolios will surely affect decisions whether or not to invest in an independent film. Some of the state film incentives arrive in the form of tax credits which require producers to find buyers who need to offset their income – a trickier task in a down market. And then there are those who say that in tough times everybody needs entertainment and that movies are cheapest form of entertainment out there.

In the last week I’ve heard all these arguments. A couple of managers have called me asking if I think there is still a functioning independent film business while others have forwarded a cheery trade article arguing that tough times are boom times for filmmakers. What do you think? How is the economy affecting your own film production or film consumption practices? I’m making a few calls and trying to compile enough feedback for a blog post, so if you have thoughts, you can email them, as always to editor.filmmakermagazine AT gmail.com.

See you next week.

Best,

Scott Macaulay
Editor
      NEW IN THEATERS
FRONTRUNNERS
With politics on everyone's mind, filmmaker Caroline Suh highlights our future leaders in her lighthearted doc about the lead up to the student council presidency at the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in New York. As cutthroat as the adults are, Suh shows there's a little more class among competitors at this level. Candidates include the popular cheerleader, the political junkie and the dark horse who is running just for kicks. Capturing some precious moments on the campaign trail including choosing running mates and a televised debate, what Suh hones in on well is the student body's indifference to what's going on, leading to a conclusion that's more about popularity than the issues.

MARY
Three years after its premiere at Venice, Abel Ferrara's multi-layered look at religion and its place in the arts and modern society is finally being released. Following a film about Jesus through the perspective of its director (Matthew Modine), actress (Juliette Binoche), a TV host (Forest Whitaker) and his mistress (Heather Graham), Ferrara, who has always examined religion in his films, tells Nick Dawson in this week's Director Interviews that his interest in telling this story wasn't so much the issue of faith but the process of an actor. "I was wondering, especially working with Keitel, 'How do these guys go from one movie to another like that when they're deep into the role?' It's about the effect of the film on the actor. I'm playing Abel all the time – the director – I don't have to play someone else, but with a lot of these guys [it's very different]."

      RECENT BLOGS

This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay learns about Sasha Grey's turn to the mainstream in Steven Soderbergh's new movie (pictured left), the shuttering of NYC's Kim's Video and Lance Hammer reports from the self-distrib frontlines.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.
      UPCOMING AT IFP
GOTHAM AWARD SEASON HEATS UP
The Gothams, the first honors of the film awards season, honor the filmmaking community, expand the audience for independent films, and support the work that IFP does behind the scenes throughout the year to bring such films to fruition. Nominations will be announced October 20, and this year’s already announced featured tributes will recognize the tremendous contributions of Penélope Cruz, Sheila Nevins, Gus Van Sant and Melvin Van Peebles. Collectively, they embody the immense diversity of independent filmmaking – from the increasingly international influence of independent cinema to the importance of non-fiction storytelling to the trailblazing independents that came of age in the late ‘80s and finally to those who came before “independent” had even entered our common vernacular. The Gotham Awards will be held December 2 at Cipriani Wall St.

To learn more click here.
      NEWEST WEB ARTICLE
NYFF 46 PART 4
In Jamie Stuart's final episode from his New York Film Festival series, Mickey Rourke reflects on the bad time in his career while Jamie learns the present is the best place to be. see short
      FESTIVAL DEADLINES

OCTOBER
San Francisco Independent Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Oct. 20
Festival Dates: Oct. 17-Nov. 6

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Oct. 20
Festival Dates: Feb. 13-22

Newport Beach Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Oct. 24 (Early), Jan. 30 (Final)
Festival Dates: April 30-May 7

Cinequest Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Oct. 31, Nov. 9 (Final)
Festival Dates: Feb. 25-March 8

NOVEMBER
Aspen Shortsfest
Submission Deadline: Nov. 1 (Early), Dec. 15 (Final)
Festival Dates: April 1-5

Find more festival deadlines, click here.

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