NCRC Call For Entries
      EDITOR'S NOTE
We just put the new issue of Filmmaker to bed last night, our annual "25 New Faces" issue, and you should be seeing it on newsstands in about three weeks. It was a funny close because the IFP's office, where the magazine is housed, was being used for a film shoot last night — Joe Maggio's new feature, which is being shot on the Canon 5D Mark 2 DSLR, a camera we wrote about in our previous issue. This issue Roberto Quezada-Dardon is with us again, writing about the different accessories that are now being made available for filmmakers shooting with the new digital still cameras, so while we proofed this article we could look across the room and see Maggio's crew construct a little steadicam-type unit to glide the camera across the space.

I wanted to write a kind of optimistic "yeah, future!" piece this issue, but we finished the magazine too late last night and I've read too many gloomy trade articles this morning. First there's news of the official closing of Paramount Vantage and Paramount's New York lit office. Of course, Vantage had its mission changed months ago, but the announcement of the total elimination of the division that produced There Will be Blood and distributed An Inconvenient Truth is still a noteworthy event for independents. Even Variety picked up on the situation for indies in an article entitled "Studios Ignore Niche Pics" by Sharon Swart. The article notes that the current lack of capitalized specialty distributors has gone beyond the point of being a sign of a shifting business environment; it's simply bizarre. "It's hard to explain the lack of specialized distributors in the market," John Sloss is quoted as saying. And the piece ends: "But as many films remain unsold, producers will have to look to other options. And these days that means short or no theatrical windows and VOD plays through smaller distribs such as IFC, Magnolia and Oscilloscope."

There's news from the indispensable David Hudson that his site, The Daily, was in fact dispensable for IFC. He says he'll be rolling out in a new format with a new entity, and I hope that's soon.

And then there's the beginning of a noteworthy conversation at indieWire, which is introducing a column called "Cinema Daily" to help fill the void left by Hudson. indieWire's Eugene Hernandez starts with a relevant question that we've been talking about at Filmmaker a bunch too: "Are we fighting to preserve a business or an art form?"

Just random thoughts from the day after closing an issue... More next week, and mid-July look for the launch of our new message boards.

See you next week.

Best,

Scott Macaulay
Editor
      NEW IN THEATERS
THE BEACHES OF AGNES
After 55 years of filmmaking, French director Agnès Varda (Cleo from 5 to 7, Vagabond) directs herself in a living memoir, The Beaches of Agnes. Varda does not go on a self-indulgent ego trip, but rather celebrates her life amongst her many friends, films, travels, and art. She doesn't dictate her life story, preferring her friends to share their memories instead, paying as much attention and respect to her colleagues (and late husband, director Jacques Demy) as to herself. For anybody who is unfamiliar with the French New Wave scene of the late 50's/early 60's, The Beaches of Agnes is not a history lesson, but a presentation of a charming and fascinating woman who has lived many lives, as in a scene where she presents to two elderly fisherman a film she had shot of them a half-century earlier in their youth. "My aim is to make a real film which has a shape, which has a style, which has what I call cinécriture," says Varda in this week's Director Interviews. "[I] always choose the cinematic set-up to tell something, not just to tell." Read our interview with Varda below.

      RECENT BLOGS

This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay posts the trailer to Soderbergh's The Informant, Jason Sanders recaps the Los Angeles Film Festival (pictured left, one of the winners, Wah Do Dem (What They Do)), and director Keith Gordon blogs from the Sundance Directors' Lab (parts 1, 2, 3, 4).

To read more posts from our blog, click here.

      UPCOMING AT IFP
INDUSTRY ACCREDITATION OPEN FOR INDEPENDENT FILM WEEK
It's not too early to register for the 31st Independent Film Week (September 19-24) – in fact there are advantages. Strategically positioned between the Toronto and New York Film Festivals, Independent Film Week (formerly IFP Market) is the nation's oldest and largest forum for the discovery of new film projects in development and new voices on the independent film scene. This year we look forward to introducing over 100+ new feature narrative and documentary works-in-progress - which have little to no previous industry exposure – through the Project Forum, special "Sneak Preview" screenings of IFP Independent Filmmaker Lab projects, and showcases of new films from the UK Film Council and Telefilm Canada. NEW THIS YEAR: Early Industry registrants can gain access to Project Forum titles through our secure, online Independent Film Week channel as early as July 31. Discover key information about participating projects, access video clips and trailers, and other valuable tracking information to best inform your project meeting selection (limited to Project Forum buyers only). And via online Conference, screening & event scheduling you can download your activities and screenings straight to your PDA device or calendar. The earlier you register – the earlier the access. Full details in the downloadable Industry Brochure.

      NEWEST WEB ARTICLE
AGNÈS VARDA, THE BEACHES OF AGNES
By Nick Dawson

Agnès Varda's latest film sees the veteran writer-director marking her 80th birthday by looking back over her long and eventful life. The Beaches of Agnes is so titled because beaches have a special emotional resonance for Varda, and here she takes an unconventional and decidedly non-linear approach to revisiting – both literally and figuratively – places in her past. This subjective, contemplative film uses Varda's patented cinécriture technique as she examines her life principally through her relationships with friends, family and creative contemporaries, while bringing her body of work into focus at the same time. read more

      FESTIVAL DEADLINES

JULY
Montana CINE International
Submission Deadline: July 1
Festival Dates: Oct. 22-24

Austin Film Festival
Submission Deadline: July 15
Festival Dates: Oct. 22-29

Downtown Film Festival - Los Angeles
Submission Deadline: July 15
Festival Dates: Aug. 12-22

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

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