EDITOR'S NOTE
Kicking up a lot of discussion on the blog and in the Twittersphere this week is producer Mike S. Ryan's "Straight Talk," an article from our new Spring issue that can also be found online. Ryan's first sentence: "Call me crazy, but I don't think distribution is the greatest problem facing independent cinema right now." He goes on to decry what he sees as the independent community's overemphasis on new, mostly online forms of distribution and marketing, arguing that we are losing track of our mission to develop promising new filmmaking talent and make great movies. Please check it out and let us know what you think by posting to this thread on the blog.

Filmmaker went to press at the end of March, and after we did so two other pieces went online at other sites that struck similar chords. Indeed, although the pieces weren't coordinated, their concurrent publication seems to represent a pent-up demand that we not forget to talk about the art of independent film as we also discuss its evolving business practices. There was Vadim Rizov's pan of independent film conference's penchant for panels, and then Michael Tully's revolutionary-themed "Take-Back Manifesto." (One of Tully's commandments: "All of this talking about 'finances' and 'connecting' and 'publicity' is the insidious language of a corporate, numbers-before-content mindset. Truly personal, independent cinema has never been preoccupied with these details, and making us feel guilty for not caring about them is not the answer. You're only driving the most talented souls away.") I can't subscribe to all of Tully's rules -- a couple of them would make it very difficult to put out this magazine! -- and, despite Rizov's well-written broadside, I will probably continue to sit on panels. That said, I love the conversation. Filmmaker has written about new, web-based forms of distribution and marketing more than any other magazine, but Ryan and Tully's worry that this dialogue is making what should be an empowering movement seem like the province of only those who have degrees in web 2.0 marketing struck a chord. We'll continue to cover these new worlds, but I will also make sure that we never forget the message of the last paragraph of Ryan's piece, which if you haven't read yet I suggest you click to now.

Another one of our writers will be picking up this discussion from another point of view, so check back on the site next Thursday. And look for our new Spring issue on newsstands.

See you next week.

Best,

Scott Macaulay
Editor

      NEW IN THEATERS
PAPER MAN
A directorial debut from husband/wife team Kieran and Michele Mulroney, Paper Man turns a story of friendship across a generational divide into an appealing comedy-drama. Set in Long Island, Richard Dunn (Jeff Daniels) is an unsuccessful writer who lives a meandering, boring life. He enters into a platonic relationship with a precocious teenage girl (Emma Stone) that opens his eyes to new possibilities. Oh yeah -- he also has an imaginary friend, a superhero named Captain Excellent (Ryan Reynolds). Interviewed for this week's Director Interviews, Kieran and Michele, who are also a screenwriting duo, talk about why they felt they had to direct this one. "We wrote Paper Man when we were going through a sort of writing crisis of our own," Michele recalls. "I wouldn't say writer's block per say, but nobody wanted to read what we were writing [laughs], we were at a sort of stalled out point in our own careers. We really related to this idea of, well if you're writing and no ones reading, no ones making your film, is there any point in going on?" Read our interview with the directors below.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD
Inspired by Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, three Korean outlaws are on the run in 1930s Manchuria, fighting off the Japanese army and Chinese bandits in order to possess a treasure map. It's a suitably wild and crazy adventure packed with the most popular Korean talent of the last decade. Directed by Kim Ji-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters), the outlaws are at first against each other, trying to claim the treasure map while defending themselves from enemies. Full of glorious action sequences, chase scenes, a Mexican standoff, and stunning panoramic shots of Manchuria, the film is an insanely good action film that never quits. It stars Song Kang-ho (Thirst), Lee Byung-hun (A Bittersweet Life), and Jung Woo-sung (Beat).

      SPRING ISSUE ONLINE

Now online check out select stories from our Spring issue, which will hit stands next week.

Alex Gibney talks about this latest doc, Casino Jack and the United States of Money; Laura Poitras follows up her Oscar nominated My Country, My Country with the powerful The Oath; and Bahman Ghobadi explains the challenges behind making No One Knows About Persian Cats.

Plus, YouTube's Sara Pollack discusses the site's distribution model, production designer Jack Fisk recounts his 30-plus year career, Anthony Kaufman wonders where's the under-30 indie film audience in Industry Beat, and in two passionate pieces that highlight opposite ends of the indie spectrum, Lance Weiler describes the importance of building an audience through making apps in this issue's Culture Hacker while producer Mike S. Ryan writes why filmmakers need to think less about target audiences and concentrate on making great films.

      RECENT BLOGS

This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay highlights two conflicting thoughts (including one by producer Mike S. Ryan, pictured left) on indie film's marketing-obsession; views the WinScape, which gives people the chance to choose their own "outside" view; and visits a brainstorming session that gathered industry leaders to provide feedback to start-up documentary film festival DOC NYC.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.

      UPCOMING AT IFP
INDEPENDENT FILM WEEK - EMERGING NARRATIVE DEADLINE FRIDAY APRIL 23RD
This Friday marks the deadline for the Emerging Narrative section of the Project Forum of Independent Film Week 2010. The Emerging Narrative section is a talent pool which identifies up-and-coming U.S. writers and writer/directors seeking producers and agents to develop, produce, represent and finance their scripts. It is the section which focuses on the discovery of new projects in development and new voices on the independent scene. The program accepts 25 projects, including the 10 alumni of IFP’s Narrative Independent Filmmaker Labs. Recent project from Emerging Narrative include: Paola Mendoza's Entre Nos, Zeina Durra's The Imperialists Are Still Alive!, Matt Porterfield's Putty Hill, Scott Teems' That Evening Sun, Emily Abt's Toe to Toe, Courtney Hunt's Frozen River, and Rodney Evans' Brother to Brother. For criteria and online application, click here.

      NEWEST WEB ARTICLE
MICHELE & KIERAN MULRONEY, PAPER MAN
By Brandon Harris

In Michele and Kieran Mulroney's debut feature Paper Man, Richard (Jeff Daniels) is a sweet natured, struggling author whose unlikely friendship with an alienated teenager named Abby (Emma Stone) grows increasingly tender and strange during an extended stay in Sag Harbor to work on his latest book. Although his marriage to Claire (Lisa Kundrow) is fading, his imaginary interlocutor, a caped superhero named Captain Excellent (Ryan Reynolds) keeps him plenty busy when he's not trying to avoid working on his book or inventing new ways to keep Abby dropping by. read more

      FESTIVAL DEADLINES

APRIL
Santa Monica International Film Festival
Next Deadline: April 25. Late Deadline: May 31
Festival Dates: Aug 3-5

Kansas International Film Festival
Late Deadline: April 27. Final Deadline: May 27
Festival Dates: Oct 1-7

Colorado Film Festival
Late Deadline: April 30. Final Deadline: June 30
Festival Dates: Aug 31

      JOIN THE DISCUSSION

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