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Adrienne Shelly’s Waitress, brings us Keri Russell as a small-town waitress, who upon learning she is pregnant realizes she wants to leave her jealous husband (Jeremey Sisto). Russell gives the best performance of her career, a strong calling-card for future feature film work. Director Shelly appears as one of Russell’s eccentric co-workers, a luminous performance that sadly would be her last . Quirky and touching in nature, Waitress could very well be the next Little Miss Sunshine, that little indie film that could.

Away from Her is Canadian actress Sarah Polley’s debut as writer/director, the story of a man forced to institutionalize his wife due to Alzheimer’s disease, and then loses her again to a love affair with a fellow patient. Veteran Julie Christie - whose touching lead performance has been receiving Oscar buzz – is joined by Olympia Dukakis and Michael Murphy, rounding out a stellar cast. Polley, perhaps best known for her work in Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter, and Zack Snyder’s hip remake of the horror classic Dawn of the Dead, makes the move to directing with her usual poise.

Read more about both these films in the Spring 07 edition of Filmmaker, out now!

If you've picked up our Spring issue you may have read the sidebar in our “Option Overload” Line Item ("Cell Capture") where Dutch filmmaker Cyrus Frisch describes how he made his latest film Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me It Would Become This Bad In Afghanistan with a cell phone. Which as far as we know is a first. It goes without saying that this is a shooting format that’s probably a decade before its time (at the least), but after seeing the film at the Tribeca Film Festival (it made its World Premiere at Rotterdam) the other day, this extremely experimental film running 70 minutes long with almost no dialogue is one of the most creative things I’ve seen done with cinema in quite some time...


The IFP Market is a national program connecting projects with financiers, producers & programmers before they’re completed & on the festival circuit. More than 1,000 industry professionals attend the IFP Market for pitch meetings, speed dating meetings, screenings, and social events. Each year approximately 200 projects are invited to participate (50% docs; 50% narrative screenplays) and take one-on-one meetings with potential financing partners or co-producers. In 2006, more than 1,800 pitch meetings were arranged with buyers on behalf of filmmakers. Deadlines begining May 4. Click here for more information


A number of things that have dominated the news recently - most notably the tragic events at Virginia Tech and the death yesterday of former MPAA honcho Jack Valenti - got me thinking about censorship and the perceived effect of films on viewers. If we are to believe the news media, Park Chan-wook's Oldboy is (at least partly) to blame for the VT killings, a claim that not only reeks of sensationalism but, as Dave Kehr said, is "faintly racist." Sky News has said that Cho Seung-Hui "repeatedly watched [Oldboy] in the days leading up to the massacre", something which in turn reminded me of an incident in my native Scotland back in 2002...

Read the complete stories at Filmmakermagazine's Blog...


Ray Lawrence pulled one of world cinema’s most surprising disappearing acts. His debut film, Bliss (1985), an adaptation of Peter Carey’s novel co-written by Lawrence and Carey himself, played in competition at Cannes, garnered rave reviews and dominated the Australian film awards. Lawrence joined Peter Weir, Fred Schepisi and Bruce Beresford as an Australian director worthy of global attention - but then did not make another film for 16 years. However, when his sophomore effort, Lantana, finally came out in 2001, it cemented Lawrence as one of the most important and distinctive voices in contemporary cinema. The movie featured superb performances from Geoffrey Rush, Anthony LaPaglia and Barbara Hershey, and utilized the format of a slow-burning murder mystery to examine the emotionally dysfunctional lives of a group of people connected to the homicide...

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