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Tuscon Film Office
Editor's Note

The SXSW Film Festival wrapped up this week and the top prizes went to Jake Mahaffyís narrative feature Wellness and Daniel Jungeís doc They Killed Sister Dorothy. I didnít catch Jungeís feature, but I did see Wellness, and Iím thrilled that Mahaffy won the award. I first wrote about Mahaffy back in 2005 when we selected him as one of our ď25 New Faces." I had seen his debut feature War in Rotterdam, and was struck by its dystopic black-and-white fusion of Andrei Tarkovsky and Walker Evans. At the time, I thought Mahaffy was a singular talent whose films sat just over the divide between independent features and experimental film. With Wellness, however, Mahaffy has given us a film thatís quite different in style from War Ė itís talky, character-based, and is shot with with a hand-held video camera as opposed to a locked-off hand-cranked film camera Ė while burrowing into the same concerns. Again, Mahaffy explores the spiritual desolation of our ravaged economic landscape, but this time it is through the eyes of a traveling salesman trying to coax working-class folks into investing in a disreputable vitamin supplement start-up. Mahaffy made the film by allowing his actors to improvise based on a detailed scene outline, and the whole project arose from the downtime that resulted from his decision to radically revamp his larger-budget script, Free in Deed, which he developed at the Sundance Labs. Wellness is a small, simple film told with piercing honesty through a camera-eye precisely attuned to the psychic undercurrents of our contemporary America. Watch for it.


Scott Macaulay


With an all-star cast that includes Charlize Theron (who also produced), Dennis Hopper, Nick Stahl and Woody Harrelson, William Maher's directorial debut follows the hard-knock life of Tara (AnnaSophia Robb), an 11-year-old who is abandoned by her mother (Theron) and left in the incapable hands of her brother James (Stahl). As the film journeys from North Carolina to Utah, the two get themselves in and out of trouble and finally land at James's father's (Hopper) farm where James realizes he must change his "sleepwalking" ways. With an f/x background, Maher brings a few imaginative elements to a bleak story filled with abandonment, abuse and murder.


By Rupert Chiarella

Few films have had an effect of making people think differently about the world, or at least confirming their worst instincts about it. No Country For Old Men is one of those films. Set against the arid backdrop and sparsely populated tableau of West Texas, Joel and Ethan Coen paint a bleak depiction of human nature in which there is no country for good men, who are helpless to stop the evil men, who relentlessly follow the stupid men who tangle with them. read more

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


This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay and Durier Ryan report from SXSW; Alicia Van Couvering highlights the BAMcinematek tribute to Village Voice critic J. Hoberman (pictured left); and Jason Guerrasio learns of B-Side's new venture.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.


Eleven IFP-supported films screened at this year's SXSW Film Festival, including six films from IFP's Independent Film Labs. Projects invited to screen at SXSW include: Caroline Suh and Erika Frankel's FrontRunners (IFP Market - Spotlight on Documentaries 2007); Jennifer Phang's Half-Life (IFP Narrative Rough Cut Lab 2005); Marco Ricci and Michael Canzoniero's The Marconi Bros. (IFP Narrative Rough Cut Lab 2007); Tom Quinn's The New Year Parade (IFP Narrative Rough Cut Lab 2007); Georgina Lighting's Older Than America (IFP Narrative Rough Cut Lab 2007); Kevin Ely and Beau Leland's Rainbow Around The Sun (IFP Narrative Rough Cut Lab 2007); John Magary's The Second Line (An IFP Fiscally Sponsored Project); Peter Galison and Robb Moss's Secrecy (IFP Market - Spotlight on Documentaries 2006); Dori Berinstein's Some Assembly Required (An IFP Fiscally Sponsored Project); Emily Hubley's The Toe Tactic (IFP Market - No Borders 2003); and Alex Karpovsky's Woodpecker (IFP Narrative Rough Cut Lab 2007). Congrats to all.


By Nick Dawson

Michael Haneke is a director who makes films strictly on his terms, and ó as his new movie demonstrates ó writes his own rules if he doesnít like the existing ones. Haneke claims he had always wanted Funny Games to be seen widely by a U.S. audience as the film was commenting predominantly on violence in American cinema. So when he was offered the chance to direct an English language remake, he gladly accepted ó on the condition that Naomi Watts played the lead. The resulting film, Funny Games U.S,, is a shot-for-shot remake of his 1997 success, and replicates the Austrian original's close scrutiny of viewers' complicity in the filmís more

Festival Deadlines

New York International Latino Film Festival
Submission Deadline: March 14
Festival Dates July TBA

Fulmarxx Shorts Fest
Submission Deadline: March 25
Festival Dates: April 26-27

Submission Deadline: March 31
Festival Dates: October TBA

Hollywood Film Festival
Submission Deadline: March 31
Festival Dates: Oct. 22-27

Hawaii International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: March 31 (early)
Festival Dates: Oct. 23-Nov. 1

To see more fest deadlines, click here.

Narrative Rough Cut Lab
June 11 - 14, 2008
Submission deadline: April 11

For submissions criteria or to apply, log onto


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