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blog post listing Christine Vachon and James Schamus's tips for filmmakers at IFP Film Week. Perhaps my favorite was #9, "Develop your Peers." Here's what I wrote:Last week in this newsletter I linked to my
Christine said that at events like Independent Film Week, so many filmmakers strive to get their scripts in the hands of the most powerful people in the room. But when you're starting out, it's not really about that. "Find your talented, trustworthy and ambitious peers," said James. "They're the ones who will raise you up." I can't emphasize how important this advice is. I watched James do this at the start of his career (and was the beneficiary of it too). When James started out as a producer, he built a network of fellow producers, lawyers, sales agents as well as writers and directors. This approach is not something to give up as you get more established either. Christine said that for her these days, when discovering and considering material, "it's about listening to your staff, your interns and building consensus among your peers."
It's cool to have written that and then see the various Independent Film Week filmmakers demonstrate just such practice in their guest blog posts for us. So many of them this year quickly realized that the best way to make a mark is not to promote themselves so much as promote their peers. Desiree Akhavan gave a shout-out to a Film Week project, Brooklyn Flee, that she's "silently competitive with for no other reason than it's gay." And Penny Lane wrote not one but three posts on other Independent Film Week films she "can't stop thinking about." Check out all three great posts. (I really love Desiree's recognition of her own, 3:00PM "cranky baby period." Fortunately for her, it doesn't seem to be much more than a brief afternoon sulk. I once worked with a director whose own cranky period manifested itself in every-third-day angry meltdowns. Once the pattern became quite predictable, the production office calendar was subtly marked so people knew what days to brace themselves for.)
Last week, I excused myself for building this letter out of links because we're hard at work on the Fall issue and our website relaunch... and seven days later, both of those are still true. I was going to riff on Roberto Bolano this note since I'm half way through 2666 and I'm thinking about what it does that contemporary cinema does not... but I'll leave that for another day.
See you next week.
IFP LAUNCHES NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL At the 34th annual Independent Film Week, IFP launched its new YouTube channel - IFP Digital. IFP Digital is a new channel dedicated to providing information, interviews, videos and resources to emerging filmmakers. We will release videos every Tuesday and Thursday with key highlights from our events, exclusive interviews and documentary segments about the nuts and bolts of filmmaking and understanding the independent film industry. Available now on the channel are full-length panels from the 2012 Independent Film Week, including keynote addresses from James Schamus, Christine Vachon, Orlando Bagwell, Michel Reilhac, and J.C. Chandor. Go here to subscribe and watch these videos, as well as many more.
The Waiting Room
The Other Dream Team
Peter Nicks, The Waiting Room
IFP Launches New YouTube Channel
LOOPER Rian Johnson's sci-fi thriller Looper focuses on Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a high-paid assassin who is hired by the mob to kill people sent back from the future. Raking in cash, Joe starts having the time of his life until he is sent his next target: himself (Bruce Willis). With his previous films Brick and The Brothers Bloom, writer/director Johnson proved to be a notable emerging voice in U.S. indie cinema. Looper has been described as a more assured continuation of that trend and one of the most impressive sci-fi films in years. Read James Ponsoldt's interview with Johnson from our Summer issue here. THE WAITING ROOM Peter Nicks' The Waiting Room sheds a light on the inner workings of a public hospital in Oakland, California. Featuring behind-the-scenes footage as well as patient testimonies, the film is an informative look at how the current health-care system is affecting people's lives in America. An award-winning documentary, The Waiting Room has been praised as an moving, insightful and balanced film. You can read Damon Smith's interview with Nicks here . THE OTHER DREAM TEAM Marius A. Markevicius' The Other Dream Team tells the story of the 1992 Lithuanian national basketball team. After previously having been forced to compete as part of the Soviet team, the players aimed to represent their country for the first time in the Barcelona Olympics. With the assistance of The Grateful Dead, who decided to sponsor them, the Lithuanian team went on to win Olympic bronze, beating Russia for the medal. The Other Dream Team premiered earlier this year at Sundance to rave reviews claiming it to be a moving documentary for more than just sports fans. This week on the blog, Nick Dawson shares Terence Nance's new short film, Penny Lane discusses Independent Film Week entry Lucky (pictured left), and Randy Astle interviews Eduardo Lopez and Wendy Thompson-Marquez about Harvest of Empire.
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PETER NICKS, THE WAITING ROOM By Damon Smith
If you've ever endured an hours-long wait at the emergency room of a city hospital-- sick, injured, frustrated -- or accompanied someone on an infuriating quest to find urgent medical help, then you've probably wondered aloud, why is it taking so long? In his enthralling new documentary The Waiting Room, winner of the Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award at the 2012 Full Frame Film Festival, Bay Area filmmaker Peter Nicks wheels us into the chaotic emergency room of a teeming public hospital in Oakland, CA, serving a mostly uninsured patient population. Adopting an immersive, all-in approach that owes a strong debt to the institutional studies of Frederick Wiseman, one of Nicks's acknowledged influences, the film introduces us to a clutch of everyday people--a father with a distressingly ill daughter, a college-aged guy with testicular cancer who's been booted out of a Kaiser facility--on their journey through a system under chronic strain. Inside, a continually embattled unit of ER clinicians deals with everything from gunshot victims and drug overdoses to fragile emotions and shredded nerves, all while striving to find beds and space for the throng of desperate, anxious people waiting to be treated in the lobby.
Byron Bay International Film Festival
Regular Deadline: September 27
Late Deadline: November 1
WAB Deadline: November 15
Festival Dates: March 1 - 10
Cleveland International Film Festival
Regular Deadline: September 30
Late Deadline: October 31
Extended Deadline: November 30
WAB Deadline: December 7
Festival Dates: April 3 - 14
Crossroads Film Festival
Earlybird Deadline: September 30
Regular Deadline: October 31
Late Deadline: November 15
WAB Deadline: November 30
Festival Dates: April 12 - 14