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Shorts NonStop
We sent the new issue of Filmmaker to the printer on Monday, so that means subscribers will be seeing it in their mailbox and the rest of you will be seeing it on your newsstands the week after next. The Spring issue is usually a little bit of a slow one for us — Sundance is over, and the Summer and Fall are heavier on new releases. Not this time, however. There are a lot of great movies discussed in our new issue. We've got features on Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Steven Soderbergh and Sasha Grey (The Girlfriend Experience), Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours), Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree), Robert Keener (Food, Inc.), and So Yong Kim, who is interviewed by Kelly Reichardt. We also have interviews with the makers of two great new documentaries — Alexander Olch (The Windmill Movie) and Darius Marder (Loot) — that really tug at the forms of non-fiction filmmaking. In addition, our Line Items section has a roundup of the new digital cameras on the market, a fascinating piece on filmmakers shooting features on the new Nikon D90 and Canon 5D still cameras, and look at how filmmakers can navigate their own personal credit crises. Finally, we have part three of Jon Reiss's DIY releasing series, with this issue telling you how to promote your own DVD sales on the Web. When we read his piece in the office, we collectively had a little bit of an "oh, yeah..." moment as we realized that many of Reiss's simple suggestions are things that we should be doing ourselves at! In other words, we learned from what he wrote and you should too.

In Reiss's article he mentions that he'll be writing a book that should be released this Summer that compiles all of his accumulated knowledge on DIY, a chunk of which has appeared in the last few issues of Filmmaker. There's a great moment that occurs near the beginning of his new piece in which he candidly admits that he wished he knew everything he is telling you before, and not after, he released his own film, Bomb It. Accordingly, if there is one thing that we rigorously oversee at Filmmaker then that is the authenticity of our sources. When we give you "how-to" advice, you can be sure it is coming from people who have been through the trenches themselves and that their knowledge is hard-won. So when you read this kind of advice, whether its in Filmmaker or elsewhere, I would just urge you to make sure that advice is road-tested. There are a lot of people out there now telling you how to distribute your movie (and often for a lot more than our $5.95 cover price), and before you accept their counsel, make sure they've made all the beginner's mistakes so you don't have to.

And, oh yeah, you can follow us on Twitter here.

See you next week.


Scott Macaulay
This fascinating portrait of Philadelphia artist Isaiah Zagar highlights his lifelong artmaking practice around South Philly, which involves covering 50,000 square feet of concrete with tile and mirror mosaics. Directed by Zagar's son, Jeremiah, the doc also explores his father's mental illness and how it has affected their family. Interviewed by Lauren Wissot in our Winter 2009 issue, Zagar talked about families and how filmmakers need to build a structure around them to enable the making of their work. "It's not enough to believe in yourself," he says. "You have to have others around who support you, who believe in our dream as well." To read this interview get a digital issue subscription where you'll not only get the most current issue, but free access to our archives up until 2005.

After popping on the radar of the comedy elite in Hollywood with his instant cult classic debut film, The Foot Fist Way, Jody Hill is now following that with the studio film, Observe and Report, starring Seth Rogen as a demented mall security guard in search of a flasher who's been tormenting the mall patrons. Though marketed as Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the comparisons by those who have seen it are closer to the dark comedies of the '70s, with many similarities to the work of early Scorsese. And as Hill tells Nick Dawson in this week's Director Interview, there's a reason for those comparisons. "Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy are the films that I was watching most when I was making the film," Hill says. "Scorsese has a huge influence on the style and a lot of the tone but I think a lot of the films from Peckinpah [were an influence] as well in terms of thematics. I think it has something to do with the post-war climate of the 70s where you were dealing with a lot of these characters who were trying to make their way in the world and coming up with a code on the screen." Read our interview with Hill below.


This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay finds this Twitter spoof making the rounds on the Web, posts the latest dispatch from Gayle Ferraro at the Skoll World Forum and Social Entrepreneurship and remembers Wouter Barendrecht. (pictured left)

To read more posts from our blog, click here.
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. The Labs challenge filmmakers to realize the full potential of their footage and stories prior to industry exposure by providing mentorship and professional guidance in areas such as: editing, music selection and scoring, festival and press strategy, as well as sales, marketing and distribution options. Led by Scott Macaulay (producer & Editor-in-Chief, Filmmaker Magazine) and Gretchen McGowan (producer, The Limits of Control, Coffee & Cigarettes) the five-day Lab supports low-budget, independently produced films by first-time feature directors. Recent Narrative Lab project alumni have included Tom Quinn's Slamdance 2008 Grand Prize winner The New Year Parade and Tariq Tapa's 2008 Venice Film Festival debut, Zero Bridge. As a commitment to diversity, IFP also seeks to ensure that at least 50% of participating projects have an inclusive range of races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities and physical abilities in key creative positions. Criteria and application information on the Lab available here.

By Nick Dawson

While Jody Hill's big screen debut (The Foot Fist Way) was a zero-budget indie, his sophomore feature, Observe and Report is a big studio movie. Its plot centers on mall security chief Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen), the self-important, socially maladjusted hero of the piece, who sees an opportunity to make a name for himself – and win the affections of mall bimbo Brandy (Anna Faris) – when a flasher starts exposing himself on Ronnie's turf. Though he commands a group of adoring underlings, Ronnie's quest to catch the pervert is complicated when his jurisdiction is infringed upon by an actual policeman, Detective Harrison (a self-parodying Ray Liotta). Despite being promoted as a goofy, gross-out comedy, Observe and Report is, in fact, a significantly darker and more interesting film in which Hill offsets more traditional comic elements with an unflinching portrait of his severely damaged protagonist. read more


The Mississauga Independent Film Festival
Submission Deadline: April 15
Festival Dates: July 8-12

Hamptons International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: April 17 (Early), June 16 (Final)
Festival Dates: Oct. 8-12

Submission Deadline: April 30 (Final)
Festival Dates: Sept. - May

Women in Film Foundation's Finishing Fund
Submission Deadline: April 24

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



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