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Final Draft

One of independent filmís biggest recent rolls of dice, Charlie Kaufmanís Synecdoche, New York, opens this weekend, and to preview it youíll find a special, newsletter-only link blow to James Ponsoldtís interview with Kaufman that appears in our Fall issue. As one reviewer commented, Synecdoche, New York is the kind of film that many filmmakers would struggle to make at the end of their careers. For Kaufman, itís his debut, and itís filmmaking that both swings for the fences as well as burrows deep inside its makerís psyche.

The rest of Filmmakerís Fall issue online content will be up by early next week, and along with it will be a new way of getting the magazine. With this issue we are launching a digital subscription that will bring subscribers each quarter a copy of the magazine that duplicates the print edition exactly but which is searchable, has hyperlinks, and, obviously, is less impactful on the environment. The e-edition is both readable online as well as available in downloadable PDF and printer-friendly versions. To top it all off, subscriptions enable you to read back issues as well, and so far every issue after 2005 is online. Please visit the site next week to read selected content from the Fall issue as well as to check out our new digital subscription offers.

I hope everyone is well during these tough economic times and, for those of you submitting to Sundance, that your DVDs are nicely burned and labeled and in the mail.

See you next week.


Scott Macaulay
One of todayís best known screenwriters, celebrated for penning unconventional stories that delve into our inner psyche (Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind just to name a few), Charlie Kaufman now directs his first feature film with the same deep thinking that only its author can fully decipher. In the film, Kaufman studies the life of a struggling playwright from his crumbling marriage to his creation of an unfinished work that fills a stage the size of Manhattan. In our upcoming Fall issue, James Ponsoldt sat down with Kaufman to discuss the film. And though we aren't able to nail down what exactly the film is about, Kaufman reveals what he hopes audiences will take from it. "I like to leave things open for interpretation because it allows people to have their own experience," he says. "Really, concrete meaning is dishonest: the world isnĎt a story, the world is interpreted by us, and if you put things [in a movie] that have an emotion, they resonate and people can experience them."

Tomas Alfredsonís strange little horror import from Sweeden manages to mine the last bit of gold from the "vampire as a metaphor for teen angst" thing ó just when you thought that carcass had been well laid to rest. Based on John Ajvide Lindqvistís own award-winning novel (he also wrote the filmís screenplay), this surprisingly touching story of an androgynous teenager and his pretty vampire neighbor is both horror movie and love story, and never caters to the obvious. Leads KŚre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson turn in strong performances in a solid, unsettling and ultimately rewarding film experience. And yes, an American remake is in the works.


This week on the blog, more on Synecdoche, New York (pictured left) from Scott Macaulay, Ballast announces more screening dates across the country and Graham Flashner reports from the Austin Film Festival (parts 1 & 2).

To read more posts from our blog, click here.
Twenty-two films were announced on Monday as the nominees in the six competitive categories for IFPís 18th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, the first major honors of the film awards season. Cited for Best Feature were Lance Hammerís self-distributed Ballast, Courtney Huntís Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Frozen River; Charlie Kaufmanís directorial debut from Cannes Synecdoche, New York; Tom McCarthyís second feature The Visitor, and Darren Aronofskyís Venice Golden Lion winner, The Wrestler. New this year, the recipient of the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You will receive a cash award of $15,000 provided by Artists Public Domain, the non-profit dedicated to supporting the artistic vision of filmmakers working outside of the commercial mainstream, and D.R. Reiff & Associates Inc., a full service brokerage firm specializing in Arts & Entertainment Insurance.

The Gotham Independent Film Awards will be held December 2 at Cipriani Wall Street. For more on the nominees click here.

As a director who values realistic characters and emotionally resonant stories above all else, Gavin O'Connor is a young filmmaker who is keeping the values of a bygone Hollywood alive. The son of a cop, O'Connor grew up in New York on a diet of classic studio movies from the 30s and 40s then immersed himself in the great films produced by the New Hollywood auteurs of the 1970s.

Pride and Glory, O'Connor's latest film, conceived with his twin brother Greg and written in tandem with fellow writer-director Joe Carnahan, has been in gestation for almost a decade. A richly textured and highly involving picture, it centers on the Tierneys, a family of New York cops made up of patriarch Francis Sr. (Jon Voight), senior detective Francis Jr. (Noah Emmerich), withdrawn missing persons detective Ray (Edward Norton) and his high-flying brother-in-law Jimmy Egan (Colin Farrell). Following the brutal slaying of four cops who worked under Jimmy and Francis Jr.'s command, Ray is asked to head up an investigation into their deaths and starts to uncover awkward truths that test his allegiance to both the police force and his own family. read more


Newport Beach Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Oct. 24 (Early), Jan. 30 (Final)
Festival Dates: April 30-May 7

Cinequest Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Oct. 31, Nov. 9 (Final)
Festival Dates: Feb. 25-March 8

Aspen Shortsfest
Submission Deadline: Nov. 1 (Early), Dec. 15 (Final)
Festival Dates: April 1-5

San Louis Obispo International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Nov. 1 (Early), Dec. 15 (Final)
Festival Dates: March 6-15

Find more festival deadlines, click here.



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