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This first feature film by ambitious screenwriter John August (Go, Big Fish, Corpse Bride) proves a rare experience. The story is broken into three parts with Ryan Reynolds (Smokin’ Aces) playing different versions of the same character. In the first part, Reynolds plays a crack-addicted TV star who is forced to live under house-arrest with his publicist (Melissa McCarthy) after he burns his own house down. In the second, he is a TV star on the verge of super-stardom who begins to distort reality. In the third, Reynolds’ car breaks down and he is met by a beguiling woman (of course, Hope Davis). When the film showed at Sundance, critics raved over Ryan Reynolds break-through performance and heralded the challenging premise which echoes the work of Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman. For a film with such highly metaphysical themes, it will be interesting to see what August takes on next.

In 1968, nine men competed in a race to be the first person to sail around the world. Not all of them made it alive. Deep Water, directed by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell, follows their struggle as they struggled against nature, the inevitability of time and the psychological pressure of crossing vast oceans all alone. This in an age well before technological comforts like cell phones and satellite positioning. Actress Tilda Swinton does a compelling job narrating, providing insight into what these men did what they did and the motivating factors that kept them going. After experiencing their arduous adventure, you may never look at sailing the same way again.

Things are coming to a close here at the Edinburgh International Film Festival: the press screenings have ended, the festival videotheque is increasingly empty, and thoughts are turning to everyone's journey home. There is a less frantic schedule in these latter stages, so yesterday I was able to accept an invitation from the EIFF's new artistic director, Hannah McGill to participate in Make Sure They're Dead, a panel discussion about film biography. (I was asked because I am currently finishing a biography of Hal Ashby.) Alongside me on the panel were the esteemed chronicler of classic Hollywood, Cari Beauchamp, Diana Dors' biographer, Damon Wise, and moderator Andy Dougan, himself an active film biographer. Though the event took place at noon on a Friday, there was a surprisingly good turn-out and a lot of audience participation in our lively discussion.


Here's a cool idea, a film festival that never ends. The shortnonstop festival is gearing up to be something pretty interesting and I would encourage any one with a good short to think about submitting. The first film to win the grand prize of $1000 is the 3D animated THE RED KITE. (check this out it's good) Six times a year ten finalists will be selected for the grand prize, so shoot lots becasue the next deadline is October 5th. No specifics on what type of film you have to shoot, it can be a doc, sci-fi, reality-based...anything.


As Filmmaker correspondent Nick Dawson braves the harsh Scottish terrain to bring us up-to-date coverage of the Edinburgh film festival one considers with so many festivals to choose from, how should a novice develop a cogent strategy for the festival circuit? Last night I was able to attend a festival strategy conference in New York produced by the IFP as part of its "Industry Connect" series and sponsored by Warner Independent. Mary Jane Skalski (producer, The Station Agent, Mysterious Skin), Steven Rapheal (sales agent, Pan's Labyrinth, La Vie en Rose), Kerry Weldon (executive director, New Fest) and moderated by David Nugent (festival programmer, Newport, Hamptons) sat down at the SoHo house for a sobering panel on navigating the festival shark pit...

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


Produced by IFP, the Conference will take place in NYC September 16 - 21.

This long-running national program connecting independent projects with financiers, producers, broadcasters, distributors, and programmers before they’re completed also serves as the unofficial start of the Fall festival /market/networking circuit in the US. Following on the heels of the Toronto International Film Festival, buyers will converge in NYC three weeks from now to screen and discuss potential involvement with the creative teams of new narrative and documentary projects. The industry is still registering, but filmmakers have known since mid-July of their selection and are planning their game plans. Although navigating the IFP Market has specific demands, how filmmakers promote and talk about their projects and “work” the event utilizes skills that can be deployed by any filmmaker entering the “circuit.” This week Agnes Varnum from IndieWIRE talked to a number of documentary filmmakers who have made this journey. Click Here for More Information

Link to article on IndieWIRE


Whatever the merits or otherwise of the "mumblecore" tag, one positive thing it has certainly done is help bring deserved attention to filmmakers like Joe Swanberg. The precocious 25-year-old was born in Detroit, but moved around as a kid before attending Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where he studied film. After graduation, he used money he had made from web design work to fund his first feature, Kissing on the Mouth (2005), which played at the SXSW Film Festival at the time the concept of "mumblecore" was born. His sophomore effort, LOL — which features "noisehead" contributions from many fellow mumblecorers — followed the year after, and premieres on DVD August 28 through Benten Films...

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