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Editor's Note

Biz bad... movies so-so, Che splits crix... raining... Okay, I guess the new trend of twittering film news and critics’ thoughts is not my style. I thought I’d give it a go after Eric Kohn’s much talked about text-review at Stream of the new Indiana Jones flick, tapped out in real time as it unspooled at Cannes. And it’s not just upstart web journalists who are getting into the quick response act. As I type this I’ve just received Todd McCarthy’s Variety review of Che as a “breaking news” item rushed to my email box. It’s only two paragraphs long, following the example the same trade paper set a few days earlier with their quick take on the Spielberg film. So, since everything now in the journalism space is about being short, I’ll cut this Editor’s Note to the quick and promise to finish the “Five Contrarian Questions about the Independent Film Business” I’ve been working on for next week’s newsletter instead. And, if you’re not in Cannes, check out here in the States some of the great foreign films now playing, including Fatih Akin’s film, noted below, and the sublime Reprise.


Scott Macaulay

After gaining international acclaim for his 2004 film Head-On, acclaimed Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin uses his fifth feature to tell the story of six people across Bremen and Istanbul who are all coping with death. Winning Best Screenwriting when it premiered at Cannes last year and recently sweeping the major awards at the German Film Awards, with this film Akin has increased his profile on the international stage as one of the most talented directors working today.


This personal documentary by director Parvez Sharma examines two issues close to his heart: being Muslim and gay. Spotlighting Islamic homosexuals throughout the world, Sharma spent five-and-a-half years and traveled to 12 countries to make a film that unveils the challenges gay and lesbian Muslims go through to keep their sexual preference secret to a culture that vehemently forbids it. In an interview with Filmmaker's Nick Dawson, Sharma says in gaining his subjects’ trust he became a comforting presence for them. "Many times, I had to forget my personal agenda to make the film and spend a lot of time over months and years just holding people and being there for them."


This week on the blog, Erica Abeel gives her take on the 61st Cannes Film Festival (posts 1, 2, 3 & 4) (pictured left), while Scott Macaulay finds Christine Vachon and John Sloss talking business on The Business and links to clips of one of the hottest tickets at Cannes (no, not Indiana Jones), Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.


The curtain is about to fall on submission season for the Project Forum of the 2008 Independent Film Week (formerly IFP Market). Friday, 5/23, is the final submission deadline for the No Borders International Co-production Market (for projects from experienced producers with partial financing in place seeking additional partners) and Spotlight on Documentaries (for filmmakers in production or post-production seeking financing partners, and broadcast/distribution/festival interest.). Selected projects will be invited for a productive week (September 14-19) of networking and pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with potential financing partners during the 30th anniversary of this key event on the independent film calendar. Don’t miss your chance to be considered for a complimentary spot in this year’s Forum. For submission info for these sections click here.



From the Spring issue, Filmmaker talks with Miguel Arteta, Peter Sollett, Miranda July, Aaron Katz, Kelly Reichardt and Ronald Bronstein about the relationship between lighting and their creative process.

Miguel Arteta
director, The Good Girl

I think lighting is intuitive. It is one of the key tools with which you can communicate with the audience. But it‘s always the balance of all the tools available to you that you have to consider. read more

Festival Deadlines

Plam Springs International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: May 23 (Final)
Festival Dates: Aug 21-27

Urbanworld Film Festival
Submission Deadline: May 31
Festival Dates: Sept. 10-14

San Diego Film Festival
Submission Deadline: June 2
Festival Dates: Sept. 25-28

Woodstock Film Festival
Submission Deadline: June 2 (Early)
Festival Dates: Oct. 1-5

Raindance Film Festival
Submission Deadline: June 6
Festival Dates: Oct. 1-12

AFI Fest
Submission Deadline: June 13, July 21 (Final)
Festival Dates: Oct. 30-Nov. 9

Mill Valley Film Festival
Submission Deadline: June 16
Festival Dates: Oct. 2-12

Find more festival deadlines


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