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Each week in this newsletter I try to riff on a different piece of film news or an interesting media development, but this week I decided to beg your forgiveness and instead be straightforwardly promotional. But then I took a look at the headlines of the last few days involving magazines and the publishing industry and I realized that what I was going to write about is tied up with all of this.

Specifically, this is the time of year in which Filmmaker offers a special holiday deal to new subscribers, and this year we’re doing it again. From now until December 26, subscriptions to Filmmaker are 50% off – a year of the print magazine will cost you only $9 – and we’ll even throw in the great DVD of John Sayles talking about making your first feature shot at last year’s Independent Filmmaker Conference. And for those of you living overseas or who want a more 21st century way of receiving the magazine, you can subscribe to our digital edition. That’s also $9 for a year, the four digital issues plus all digital back issues through 2005. To subscribe, click here and use this subscription code: FMWIN08.

Why the sales pitch? Well, as I say in the first paragraph, amidst these difficult economic times, the publishing sector is especially hard hit. Virtually every magazine is trying to successfully navigate the transition from a print to a digital world, struggling to deal with rising printing and postage costs while also satisfying a readership for whom a print magazine is only one of many possible ways to read about their favorite topics.

Fortunately for us, Filmmaker has been thinking about and making this transition for years. has tons of original content – the Web originals, Nick Dawson’s Director Interviews, the blog – that doesn’t appear in the print magazine, and we’re aware that a lot of you read the majority of what you read from Filmmaker online. That’s great, of course, and we thank you for spending time on the site. But there’s a lot of material in the magazine that we don’t put online, and that’s not to be stingy but simply because we still believe in the value of sitting down and reading long articles while not being distracted by all the other stuff on your desktop. The nicest compliment someone paid me about the magazine recently was when he said that rather than throw his archive of Filmmaker away, he paid to move the boxes cross country. He said they represented for him a history of the American independent film movement he didn’t want to let go of. So, maintaining a great print edition is very much part of Filmmaker’s mission, and we hope that you’ll support that mission by taking advantage of this offer and subscribing to the magazine yourself or giving a subscription as a gift.

Of course, Filmmaker isn’t just about what we put in the magazine. It’s about a community of readers. We already hear from you in emails and on the comments section of the blog, and in the next couple of months you’ll also see a new, more actively moderated forum where real conversations between you and our editors, writers and guest directors will occur. We’ll also have more video on the site – original material as well as scenes and trailers from films that we cover. So, as we continue to try and make Filmmaker the best that it can be, I hope that if you are not a subscriber already, you’ll consider supporting us by becoming one now. And, in return, we’ll remain committed to helping you figure out in as practical terms possible the artistic, financing, and distribution energies that are reshaping our field as we speak. Thanks for your readership and support, and next week I’ll be back with some thoughts on the past year in independent film.

See you next week.


Scott Macaulay
Steven Soderbergh’s epic, biopic of Ernesto Guevara entitled Che will screen for one week in its four-hour entirety and then be re-released January 9th in two parts: The Argentine and the Guerilla. The first half follows the revolution from its inception in Mexico where Che joins Castro’s 26th of July Movement and ends with the taking of Santa Clara, while the second half focuses on the less successful revolution in Bolivia. The first half of the film can also be differentiated from the second half by its utilization of more wide shots interspersed with Che’s visits to the U.N. in New York, which contrast to the hand-held camerawork and more intimate tone of the second half. Benicio del Toro’s performance as Che in this Spanish-language film earned him a Best Actor Award in Cannes. In our fall issue, Jason Guerrasio sat down with Soderbergh to discuss the long journey of bringing this project to life.

Trailblazing out of the Venice Film Festival with the Golden Lion award and rave reviews from the Toronto and New York Film Festivals, Darren Aronofsky’s gritty film The Wrestler opens in theaters this weekend. Mickey Rourke delivers a vulnerable and raw portrayal of Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a former star wrestler who performed in the Garden during the 80’s, but is now working tank towns for pennies. As he looks to find a way back into the spotlight of the ring, despite his doctor’s orders that one more fight could mean a life-threatening heart attack, this battered warrior tries to make peace with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and find love with a stripper (Marisa Tomei). This pared-down, bare bones depiction of a has-been on the down-and-out trying to reclaim his glory one last time in the ring strikes the underdog chord hard. Check out Mickey Rourke in our Fall edition of Filmmaker Magazine’s Parting Shot.


This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay looks at the Daily Routines website (left), compares online video service quality and looks at Google's settlement with writers in the now infamous lawsuit.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.
Beyond the glamour and glitter and the afterglow of the Gotham Independent Film Awards, it should be remembered that the proceeds from this event make possible non-profit IFP’s mentorship programs and low-to-no-cost services to filmmakers throughout the year, so support of this year’s event by attendees and sponsors is valued and appreciated. This year’s winners continue to be in the news as they pick up additional honors. Among them, Gotham Tribute honoree Penélope Cruz has extended her awards streak deeper into the season by picking up Best Supporting Actress honors from three major critics groups in the past week. To experience a bit of her Gotham Award Tribute click here.

Nacho Vigalondo is part of an exciting new generation of Spanish filmmakers who are reinvigorating genre filmmaking with their creativity and invention. As well as writing and directing shorts, the always active Vigalondo has also acted in a lot of his and other people's work and written for TV shows (including the Spanish Big Brother); he's also in the “electro-gothic” band Tentirujo. While his shorts are predominantly fun, lighthearted affairs (sometimes with a dark twist), Vigalondo's debut feature Timecrimes shows just how mature and sophisticated he can be. read more


Los Angeles Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Dec. 5 (Early), Jan. 16 (Final)
Festival Dates: June 18-28

Atlanta Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Dec. 5 (Final)
Festival Dates: April 16-25

Palm Beach International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Dec. 15 (Final)
Festival Dates: April 23-30

Find more festival deadlines, click here. And get the latest news and notes on the fest circuit at Festival Ambassador.

FALL 2008


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