AFI Fest 2009
      EDITOR'S NOTE
Jetlagged from my return from the first Doha Tribeca Film Festival, I'll keep this newsletter brief. (Check out my coverage of the festival in the Winter issue of Filmmaker.) But, I would like to draw your attention to three upcoming events. First, Filmmaker is sponsoring a talk by director Jason Reitman at the Apple Store in Soho this Friday, November 6, at 7:00. Admission is free, and Reitman, whose Up in the Air is one of the year's best films, is an articulate and compelling speaker, so please come and check him out. Second, Filmmaker is sponsoring a three-part series at the IFC Center entitled "The New World: A User's Guide for Filmmakers and Audiences." In this special series, experts on the new, digital-era ways of financing, distributing, marketing and building an audience for independent film will relay their hard-earned practical advice and strategies. Learn how the industry is changing and how you can embrace the new and find both viewers and revenue for your movies. Significantly, I'd like to point out, this series will not consist of panels but rather focused presentations by experts. First up will be "Think Outside the Box Office: An Evening with Jon Reiss." Readers will know Jon from his articles in the magazine as well as his feature films, which include Bomb It. Jon is one of the smartest people out there when it comes to rethinking theatrical distribution and developing DIY strategies. Simply, if you are thinking about new ways to distribute your film, you need to hear what Jon has to say. Jon's presentation will take place at the IFC Center in New York on Tuesday, November 17, and Jon will also be selling his new book at a signing after the event.

Finally, November is the time for our annual collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art and the IFP's Gotham Independent Film Awards. Later this month check out the five nominees for our "Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You" Award: October Country, You Wont Miss Me, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, Zero Bridge, and Everything Strange and New in their screenings at the museum. Learn more about the screening series below.

See you next week.

Best,

Scott Macaulay
Editor

      NEW IN THEATERS
PRECIOUS
After receiving the worst reviews of his career for his directorial debut, Shadowboxer, manager-turned-producer-turned-director Lee Daniels has found redemption with his Sundance and Toronto winner Precious. Based on the gritty novel, Push, by poet/author Sapphire, the film follows illiterate teen Clarice "Precious" Jones (newcomer Gabourey Sidibe) as she tries to survive life in impoverished 1980s Harlem and the abuses of her homelife. With the support of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry and the Oscar buzz for MoNique, playing Precious's monstrous mother, Precious is both an awards powerhouse as well as tough drama that speaks to an audience not customarily served by the specialty market. Get a digital issue subscription to read our interview with Daniels in the Fall issue as well as access to our back issues up until 2005.

COLLAPSE
Directed by Chris Smith (American Movie, The Yes Men), Collapse plays upon current apocalyptic fears by featuring former LAPD officer turned independent reporter Michael Ruppert, a man who predicted the economic downfall and now preaches the mantra of "peak oil" and societal self-destruction. Largely comprised of a single interview with Ruppert and archival footage, Collapse urges the audience to not place all of their faith in the government, and take action to conserve natural resources and their finances, especially if the worst does happen. Interviewed for this week's Director Interviews, Smith says the original idea wasn't as ambitous as how it turned out. "We were planning on it being a very short, interim project, where we would film for a couple days and cut something together quick, then maybe throw up what we'd done on YouTube or just give it to him," says Smith. "We didn't really plan to make it the next film we were working on. It's just one of those things were once we started filming, it just sort of evolved into what it is now." Read out interview with Smith below.

THAT EVENING SUN
A searing drama, That Evening Sun, directed by Scott Teems, focuses on Abner Meecham (Hal Holbrook), an 80-year old farmer who escapes his nursing home to return back to his farm, only to find out it was sold to a poor young guy Lonzo Choat (Ray McKinnon) trying to raise his family. It's a tug of war between two men of different generations, a man's sense of self tied to one's own property, having a piece of something to call their own in their mixed-up lives.

      RECENT BLOGS

This week on the blog, Jason Guerrasio highlights a documentary on the late John Hughes, Jamie Stuart shows how he created the visual effects in his short on the cheap and Guerrasio can't get enough of the score from Black Dynamite (pictured left).

To read more posts from our blog, click here.

      UPCOMING AT IFP
BEST FILM NOT PLAYING AT A THEATER NEAR YOU™ SERIES ON THE HORIZON
The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You™ Screening Series, presented in partnership with The Museum of Modern Art, kicks off November 19th at MoMA. The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You™ award, sponsored by Stella Artois, is given annually as part of the Gotham Independent Film Awards™ to the most outstanding independent film of the year without theatrical distribution in place. The five nominated films - all critically acclaimed from the 2009 festival circuit - will screen at MoMA from November 19 – 22. Most screenings will be followed by a Q & A with the filmmakers: Frazer Bradshaw (Everything Strange and New), Damien Chazelle (Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench), Michael Palmieri & Donal Mosher (October Country), Ry Russo-Young (You Wont Miss Me) and Tariq Tapa (Zero Bridge). Nominees for the award were selected by the editorial staff of Filmmaker, and Josh Siegel, Associate Curator, MoMA Department of Film from recommendations by critics, festival programmers and curators. See MoMA screening schedule.

      NEWEST WEB ARTICLE
CHRIS SMITH, COLLAPSE
By Brandon Harris

Ex-LAPD Detective, investigative journalist, 9/11 truther, foreteller of the coming apocalypse --- these are just some of the roles Michael C. Ruppert has inhabited in his fascinating life, one that versatile filmmaker Chris Smith (American Movie, The Yes Men) has chosen to examine in his newest film Collapse. It is a return to documentary films for Smith, who has oscillated between disparate narrative and documentary work with a rare deftness. read more

      FESTIVAL DEADLINES

NOVEMBER
Nashville Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Nov. 15
Festival Dates: April 15-22

Alaska International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Nov. 15, May 15 (final)
Festival Dates: July 15-16

      JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Our Forums page is new and improved! Check out the new categories: how to make films, discuss the current trends in the business, job opportunities and look out for guest filmmaker moderators. Click here to get started.

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