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New York University Tisch Asia
Editor's Note

Happy '08!

Over at Filmmaker we ended '07 the way we usually end a year -- by putting the Winter issue (aka Sundance issue) of the magazine to bed. There's a lot in the issue I think you'll like, including an interview of Michel Gondry by author Jonathan Safran Foer; James Ponsoldt's 5,000 word interview with Paul Thomas Anderson; my talk with Gus Van Sant about his Paranoid Park, which I loved; a piece by Michael Goldman discussing how the transition to digital cinema is affecting indie exhibitors; David Martinez on shooting in Darfur; and a must-read-and-file piece by Lance Weiler in which he discusses how independent filmmakers are selling their work online. It's complete with a list of resources and contacts so you can join the digital download revolution.

Speaking of Paul Thomas Anderson, I just saw the Village Voice/L.A. Weekly poll and they've chosen Anderson's There Will Be Blood as the best film of the year. It's my pick too, and I'm happy for once to be with the critical majority. I've seen it twice now and it's even stronger -- clearer and more deliberate in its intentions -- on second viewing. If you haven't seen it yet it's truly something special and I urge you to check it out.

We also have in the new issue our annual Sundance preview in which we ask all the feature directors to answer one simple question... which I'll leave until later to reveal. We'll be posting all of the responses we received on the website starting January 14..


Scott Macaulay


Four years in the making, Brit filmmaker Andrew Piddington examines the life of Mark David Chapman, particularly the year leading up to and immediately after he shot and killed John Lennon. In a gripping performance by newcomer Jonas Ball as Chapman, he possesses the deranged, Catcher In The Rye-obsessed traits of Chapman with a chilling authenticity. And as the film uses court transcripts and interviews to help narrate the film, it's scary that a disturbed individual like this was actually walking the streets at one time, and understandable that it took Piddington four years to get financing behind it.

Read Nick Dawson's interview with Piddington here.


By Mike Plante

Based mostly on the true story of super-con-man William Douglas Street Jr, writer-director Wendell B. Harris Jr's Chameleon Street follows the enigmatic Doug Street as he goes through a series of cons, sometimes to make money, sometimes to prove he can do more than what the world expects of him. In short time he goes from a simple extortion plot to complex impersonations, including as a reporter for Time, a Yale student, a lawyer and even a surgeon. Yes, a surgeon Ė who performed 36 successful hysterectomies. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1990. But that didnít lead to distribution. Rather, the prize led to many meetings in Hollywood and the insult of a possible remake rather than a distribution deal. Only now does the film finally get a DVD release. read more

To read more posts on our favorite upcoming DVDs, click here.


This week on the blog, Nick Dawson recaps the 2007 year with a rundown of his favorite quotes from the interviews he did in his Director Interviews section (pictured left). Scott Macaulay invites you to become a fan of Filmmaker on Facebook and brings our attention to Emerging Picture's response to New York Times' critic Stephen Holden's review of John Sayles's latest film, Honeydripper.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.


Produced by IFP, the Gotham Awards help to kick-off the film awards season by celebrating the year's best independent films. Zoom In is a one-hour documentary featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the Gothams and the stories behind the films and individuals celebrated at the event. Directed by Mario Diaz and produced by IFP, Zoom In features exclusive interviews with Great World of Sound's Kene Holliday and Craig Zobel; I'm Not There's Todd Haynes and Christine Vachon; Into the Wild's Emile Hirsch; Juno's Ellen Page and Jason Reitman; The Namesake's Mira Nair and Lydia Dean Pilcher; No Country For Old Men's Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin; The Savages' Tamara Jenkins and Laura Linney; Talk to Me's Kasi Lemmons; Waitress' Keri Russell, and more. Zoom in is currently available on Netflix's Instant Viewing platform.


By Jason Guerrasio

In Denzel Washingtonís second directing effort, the Oprah Winfrey produced The Great Debaters, he takes what he learned from his debut, Antwone Fisher, and uses it to make the inspirational true story of one small all-black schoolís rise to the top of the college debating ranks in the Jim Crow South. read more

Festival Deadlines

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles
Submission Deadline: Jan. 7
Festival Dates: April 22 - 27

Atlanta Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Jan. 11
Festival Dates: April 10 - 19

Palm Beach International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Jan. 21
Festival Dates: April 10-17

Independent Film Festival of Boston
Submission Deadline: Jan. 31
Festival Dates: April 23 - 29

To see more fest deadlines, click here.


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