You are receiving this email from Filmmaker Magazine because you signed up, purchased a product/service or subscribed to the magazine. To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, please add to your address book today. If you haven't done so already, click to confirm your interest in receiving email campaigns from us.

You may unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive our emails.

I’m on my way to Sundance, but before I go I wanted to make sure to let you know about our Sundance microsite, please head over there, bookmark it, and visit it regularly throughout the fest. Currently up are a number of pieces, including Alicia Van Couvering’s Sundance survival tips and her article assessing the incoming mood of the fest; my piece on the Sundance Archive Program; and several of our first-person pieces from Sundance directors who, this year, discuss how the stories of their films were shaped by the political, economic and technological forces challenging cinema today.

Throughout the fest I’ll be blogging along with Alicia, James Ponsoldt and Justin Lowe, and midway through we’ll begin posting video interviews from our friends at Filmcatcher. We’ll be trying to discuss not only some of the films but also some of the business trends that emerge and are discussed at Sundance this year, including the aftermath of the Sundance Arthouse Convergence conference, for which we are co-hosting a small mixer on Friday night. (And if you’re attending the fest and see a film you are passionate about in some way, please shoot me an email with your comments at editor AT I hope to build a few posts out of reader comments.)

I’ll resist at the moment the urge to predict much more than I already have on the blog about the festival. Obviously, the economic downturn is on everyone’s mind, and I’m sure Sundance will be scrutinized as a bellwether for the health of the business. And while I do think it will be a subdued year, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a rash of sales that will be seen as a surprising statement of the vitality of the business. The fact is, most Sundance films get bought for less than those specialty divisions would pay to make the films themselves. Production has been down in the last year, companies need films to release, so if there’s anything at the fest that these divisions deem marketable, I’m sure the economy won’t be holding them back.

Of course, what is usually most important coming out of Sundance are not the films that make headlines for their sale numbers but rather the respected, lower-key films that emerge slowly but land on the “10 Best” lists at the end of the year. There wasn’t huge buzz at the festival about films like Old Joy, Police Beat, and Momma’s Man, to name a few. Nor was Grand Prize Winning Frozen River a hot topic of discussion among the film business reporters. I’ve already got my eye on a few films that might take the place of these in this year’s festival, and you’ll probably read more about them on the Filmmaker blog page than you will about the Jim Carrey comedy. (Although we’ll try to cover that too.)

Ultimately, Sundance functions as a great megaphone, and I’m sure it will accomplish that function this year as well. A small film is a bigger small film that will get invited to more small festivals by virtue of being at Sundance. If it is a financially depressed year, the news of that depression will be louder. And if there are one or two films that represent true creative breakthroughs, there will be enough people there to argue their worth against those who would dismiss them. I’m hoping to find a few films to champion in the next week, so please check back and see how I’m doing.

See you next week.


Scott Macaulay
In a 25 year career filled with a mixture of documentaries, fiction films, TV and a director of operas, Doris Dörrie has established herself as one of the most prolific figures in German arts. In her latest film to hit the States, Cherry Blossoms, which is partly inspired by Yasujiro Ozu's seminal film Tokyo Story, Dörrie tells a poignant tale of loss and grief in which she admits was drawn on her own experiences of bereavement. The plot centers on a retired German couple, Trudi (Hannelore Elsner) and Rudi (Elmar Wepper), whose ungrateful children have become tired of them in their old age, but when Trudi suddenly dies, a shocked Rudi decides to fulfill his late wife's dream to go to Japan. In Tokyo, he meets a young Butoh dancer, Yu (Aya Irizuki), who helps him come to terms with the loss of his wife. In describing the film for his latest Director Interviews, Nick Dawson calls it: "a strangely compelling film that engages the viewer both emotionally with its intimate feel and moving narrative, and aesthetically as a visually striking and sometimes almost experimental viewing experience."


This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay posts a comprehensive list of the shorts playing at Sundance (pictured left), finds from FilmInFocus what filmmakers' New Year's resolutions are and comments on the Kevin Lee/YouTube situation.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.
Given the pivotal role that festivals play in launching emerging filmmakers, IFP designed its Independent Filmmaker Labs to assist filmmakers in tackling the creative and technical challenges of completing their projects before they are submitted to festivals. Specifically, the five-day Lab programs support low-budget, independently produced films by first-time feature directors in the rough assembly stage that can benefit from the mentorship of experienced film professionals. Recent Lab projects have included Tom Quinn's Slamdance 2008 Grand Prize winner The New Year Parade, Matt Wolf's Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell, released through Plexifilm, and two 2009 Park City debuts - Ngawang Choephel's Tibet in Song at Sundance, and Lee Storey's Smile Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story at Slamdance. Deadlines, criteria and additional information on both the Narrative and Documentary Labs available here.
This year we've dedicated a section of the site to our tireless coverage of the Sundance Film Festival. Check in throughout the festival for daily coverage, as well as pieces on some of the movies screening this year and filmmaker responses to our yearly question, which this year is centered on the fest's 25th Anniversary theme, "story." see here


Submission Deadline: Jan. 15, March 1 (Final)
Festival Dates: June 11-20

Rhode Island International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Jan. 15, June 1 (Final)
Festival Dates: August 4-9

Media The Matters Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Jan. 16 (Final)
Festival Dates: June 3-5

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

FALL 2008


Forward email

Safe Unsubscribe
This email was sent to by

Filmmaker Magazine | 104 West 29th Street | New York | NY | 10001