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      EDITOR'S NOTE
Happy New Year!

Yeah, I know, everyone is in a state of panic about the economy – both the film one and the general one – but I’m choosing to emphasize the positive. I just came back from Creative Capital’s launch party for its new round of grantees and in her remarks the organization’s executive director, Ruby Lerner, said, “Now is the time we have to be more ambitious and more audacious,” and she’s right. And yesterday I talked to a journalist colleague who said that in the Sundance coverage for his site he was planning to do “more with less” – a mantra I’ve heard several times in the last few weeks.

This letter is short because I’m busy looking at screeners and writing pieces for the Filmmaker Sundance micro-site, which will launch next Tuesday or Wednesday. On the site you’ll find the blog, which will shift largely over to Sundance content once the fest starts, as well as preview articles, interviews, longer features, and video pieces from the folks at Filmcatcher. Sundance is always seen as a bit of a barometer for the state of the independent industry, and I think this year people will be staring at it even more intensely for clues about the health of our business. We’ll be tracking all of this live with a lot more coverage of the fest as it unfolds this year, so please check in with us next week. And if you’re at the fest and you come across something newsworthy or just want to register your comments about something great you’ve seen, you can always e-mail me at editor.filmmakermagazine AT gmail.com.

See you next week.

Best,

Scott Macaulay
Editor
      NEW IN THEATERS
SILENT LIGHT
In Mexican helmer Carlos Reygadas's third feature, the wide skies and opened fields of a Mennonite community in Northern Mexico frame a Dreyer-inspired story of religion and love that has both a transcendent beauty as well as a documentary realism. In a land where people live in an earlier, simpler era, Johan (Cornelio Wall) is in the midst of an affair that will test his faith as well as his family when he realizes the fling is turning into love. Unlike Reygadas's previous film, the gritty Battle in Heaven, here the director turns to a more poetic style that recalls not only Ordet but also the films of Terrence Malick. Heralded in the Cannes and Toronto fests, Silent Light is a contemporary masterpiece that must be seen by any self-respecting film lover.

      RECENT BLOGS

This week on the blog, Lance Weiler spotlights the new filmmaker friendly blog, New Breed, Scott Macaulay learns one film genre that's recession proof: porn, and gives kudos to Ray Pride's photo diary of this year's Thessaloniki Film Festival, including Emir Kusturica leading his No Smoking band (pictured left).

To read more posts from our blog, click here.
      UPCOMING AT IFP
IFP'S 2009 INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER LABS OPEN FOR SUBMISSION
Given the pivotal role that festivals play in launching emerging filmmakers, IFP designed its Independent Filmmaker Labs to assist filmmakers in tackling the creative and technical challenges of completing their projects before they are submitted to festivals. Specifically, the five-day Lab programs support low-budget, independently produced films by first-time feature directors in the rough assembly stage that can benefit from the mentorship of experienced film professionals. Recent Lab projects have included Tom Quinn's Slamdance 2008 Grand Prize winner The New Year Parade, Matt Wolf's Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell, released through Plexifilm, and two 2009 Park City debuts - Ngawang Choephel's Tibet in Song at Sundance, and Lee Storey's Smile Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story at Slamdance. Deadlines, criteria and additional information on both the Narrative and Documentary Labs available here.
      NEWEST WEB ARTICLE
OLE BORNEDAL, JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY
Just Another Love Story, Ole Bornedal's latest movie, finds him in a darkly playful mood: Jonas (Anders W. Bertelsen) is a middle-aged crime scene photographer who is restless in his role as a dutiful husband and father. However, he is offered a chance to escape his familiar existence when he is mistaken for the boyfriend of Julia (Rebecka Hemse), a beautiful, young woman who ends up comatose after a car crash Jonas inadvertently caused. In Just Another Love Story, Bornedal riffs on film noir tropes – the femme fatale figure is pure and innocent, while the antihero is the willing architect of his own downfall – and seems to be enjoying himself greatly as he creates a tantalizing web of deceit and then allows it to slowly and messily unravel. read more

      FESTIVAL DEADLINES

JANUARY
Silverdocs
Submission Deadline: Jan. 9, March 6 (Final)
Festival Dates: June 15-22

Hamptons International Film Festival Screenwriters' Lab
Submission Deadline: Jan. 9
Lab Dates: April 3-5

CineVegas
Submission Deadline: Jan. 15, March 1 (Final)
Festival Dates: June 11-20

Find more festival deadlines, click here. And get the latest news and notes on the fest circuit at Festival Ambassador.

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