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      EDITOR'S NOTE
If you are a regular reader of these newsletters, you know that often I use them to toss out ideas that I'm reflecting on and planning to turn into blog posts or articles. One idea that's percolating has to do with what seems to be an unconscious divide within the independent film community between those for whom DIY strategies are what is conversation-worthy in our world and those who discuss independent film as a sub-set of international specialty cinema. On Twitter following the announcement of this year's New York Film Festival selection, one member of the indie community slammed the line-up for not taking note of all the energies surrounding self-distribution. Another felt the line-up was too traditional while a third defended it, writing, "this is cinema." After reading all of this, thinking back on the Philadelphia DIY Days, and also trying to gather information about some of the DIY standard-bearers of the last year, I'm wondering how much DIY distribution should be the story when it comes to the promotion of independent films. Should it be of curatorial relevance? Do the collaborative ideals embodied by a film make it more meaningful for an audience? Or is all this just inside baseball? Vague ramblings here, but, as always, you can comment: editor.filmmakermagazine AT gmail.com.

See you next week.

Best,

Scott Macaulay
Editor
      NEW IN THEATERS
GRACE
From emerging director Paul Solet, Grace follows in the tradition of psychological horror films like Inside and Rosemary's Baby, subverting the the traditional cinematic representation of motherhood into something more threatening. Madeline (Jordan Ladd), a young woman who just lost her husband and unborn baby in a car accident, still wants to carry her dead fetus to term, the natural way. Miraculously, the baby returns to life, but instead of wanting to feed on milk it has an appetite for something more... human. Grace excels with a stunning lead performance by Ladd, an intelligent script by Solet, and a minimalist musical score that works hand in hand with the film, allowing the scenes to twist the audience's preconceived meanings of motherhood and giving birth.

IT MIGHT GET LOUD
The meeting of three guitar impresarios - Jimmy Page, Jack White, The Edge - makes for an intriguing documentary focusing on the power and spirit of the electric guitar. Directed by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth), the documentary spends time with these legendary musicians, allowing the audience to understand their roots, influences and where they came up with song ideas. They are also seen playing with each other and revisiting old passions, especially with Page and White's blues-based influences. A success at the Berlin, Sundance and Toronto film festivals, It Might Get Loud is a small gem exploring the threads of performance and songwriting.

      RECENT BLOGS

This week on the blog, Jason Guerrasio finds the fake trailer for the movie everyone (including Hitler) wants to see in Inglourious Basterds, Scott Macaulay announces the upcoming deadline for the Dubai Film Festival's CineMart-like financing market, Dubai Film Connection, and Guerrasio thinks back on his favorite moment from a John Hughes (pictured left) film.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.

      UPCOMING AT IFP
IFP PROJECT FORUM TITLES ANNOUNCED
Now in its 31st year, the invitation only Project Forum of IFP's Independent Film Week, taking place in New York City from From September 19 - 24, 2009, will present 116 projects this year. Projects will participate in one of three sections: Emerging Narrative (for first-time feature directors currently in post seeking representation, completion funding, and festival invitations), No Borders International Co-Production Market (for producers with partial financing seeking additional partners), and Spotlight on Documentaries (for filmmakers in production, post, or with a completed film seeking financing partners, broadcast/distribution, and festival invitations). Among the projects are: Earth Camp One, a documentary directed by Jennie Livingston (Paris Is Burning); Hungry In America, a documentary directed by Kristi Jacobson (Toots) and Lori Silverbush (On The Outs) and executive produced by Julie Goldman, Ryan Harrington, Tom Colicchio and Mario Batali; and Cockeyed, written by Ryan Knighton (adapted from his acclaimed memoir), directed by Academy Award® winning actress Jodie Foster (The Accused, The Silence of the Lambs), produced by Susan Cartsonis (Exec. Producer, No Reservations) and Jody Hotchkiss. In addition, this year, IFP announced three partnerships: expansion of its strategic relationship with the Sundance Institute; a new partnership with B-Side and The Good Pitch, a forum which brings together inspiring social-purpose film projects and a group of expert participants from charities, foundations, brands, government and media to form powerful alliances around groundbreaking films.

Click here to see the full list of projects.

      NEWEST WEB ARTICLE
ROBERT STONE, EARTH DAYS
By Nick Dawson

Movies about green issues are very much in vogue at the moment, but Robert Stone's latest film, Earth Days, is a distinctly different kind of environmental documentary. Instead of focusing on a particular aspect of the planet which is under threat, Earth Days takes a step back to examine the first wave of the environmental movement which, despite being somewhat forgotten now, enjoyed great popularity and achieved much in the late 60s and early 70s. Stone uses the principal figures who first championed green issues – such as politician Stewart Udall, Earth Day organizer Dennis Hayes and Whole Earth Catalog creator Stewart Brand – to focus the narrative. By providing this historical perspective, Earth Days puts the current environmental movement in context and in doing so strikes a cautious note of hope, with the on-camera subjects underlining the achievements of the past as well as the challenges of the future. read more

      FESTIVAL DEADLINES

AUGUST
Sundance Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Aug. 17 (early), Sept. 25 (final)
Festival Dates: Jan. 21-31

Slamdance Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Aug. 21 (early), Oct. 30 (final)
Festival Dates: Jan 21-28

Myrtle Beach International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Aug. 21 (early), Sept. 26 (final)
Festival Dates: Dec 1-5

      JOIN THE DISCUSSION

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