NYU Tisch School Of The Arts Asia
Aside from pointing you towards good new releases, highlighting blog posts, listing festival deadlines and linking to our weekly director interviews, I usually pen in this newsletter a short note riffing about something in the independent film or broader media world that has inspired thought. And throughout the year I keep PBS-style pledge-drives to an absolute minimum, but since we have just launched our annual Filmmaker Magazine promotion, I'm going to take a paragraph to tell you about it in the hopes that, if you are not currently a subscriber, you'll consider becoming one.

With all the talk about the government stimulus plan, the recessionary economy, and green shoots, we at Filmmaker decided to create our own kind of stimulus plan, one that's not about the macro economy (although film is an economic engine) but rather your own creativity and artistic livelihood. In each issue of Filmmaker we strive to bring you practical information on how to make movies, how to think creatively about the movies you want to make, and how to survive as an artist while doing so. In recent issues we've had a continuing series of articles by documentary filmmaker Esther B. Robinson on filmmaking, personal finance, and the recession, and we've had Lance Weiler's column, Culture Hacker, in which he charts the technological, business and creative innovations that are reshaping moviemaking as we know it. We've had Quentin Tarantino on sustaining a long career and our pick of 25 New Faces of filmmakers who are just beginning theirs. And we've had a lot on DIY distribution, a topic we'll continue to focus on intently, striving to bring you not only inspirational tales of filmmakers doing it on their own but also the practical details on the results of their efforts.

From now until September 24, we're offering a great deal for Filmmaker Magazine that will enable you to take all this information and stimulate our own creativity. We're discounting the price of a one-year magazine subscription from $18 to $10. Two years goes from $30 to $18. And, as a very, very special bonus, all subscriptions received during this period will be bundled with the Filmmaker digital edition at no additional charge. In addition to the print magazine you'll get a digital version of each issue — and, access to all back issues through 2005. That's over 20 issues of Filmmaker for only $10.

As you all know, this is a challenging time for magazines as well as independent film. The recession has hit hard, and business models are changing. With Filmmakermagazine.com, our digital edition, our revamped message boards, and more new things coming soon, we are trying to not only change with the times but also keep pace with what I believe is a real renaissance in the American independent film movement. So, whether you read Filmmaker in print or online, supporting us by subscribing assists us in covering more films, filmmakers, and issues relevant to the film community. If you are not a subscriber I hope you'll check out the Filmmaker Stimulus Plan and become one.

Speaking of additional online content, visit us next week for coverage of the Toronto Film Festival, which we'll feature on one our standalone festival micro-sites.

Thanks, as always, for your readership and see you next week.

See you next week.


Scott Macaulay
Receiving a U.S. Green card in the mail through a lottery is a godsend for Muna Farah (Nisreen Faour) in Cherien Dabis's affecting Amreeka. Her card gives her the chance to not only leave Palestine with her teenage son but to shed her mundane life and the pain of her ex-husband's infidelities. But the timing of her exodus is unfortunate, as it is 2003 and the U.S. has just begun the first Gulf War, making Muna and her son easy targets for anti-Muslim prejudices. Amreeka follows Muna's journey through accepting a job below her skill level, supporting her son, and developing a life outside of her past back home. Interviewed in the Summer issue, Dabis recalls her own childhood in an Ohio town where her family were the only Arabs. "During the 1991 Gulf War my father went from being the local town hero doctor to the enemy overnight," she recalls. "It was a political awakening for me, and I became very aware of the media. We were so misrepresented that it became my quest to change what was put out there." Subscribe to our digital issue to read this interview as well as access to our back issues up until 2005.

It all started with a blog, No Impact Man, started by writer Colin Beavan in 2006, in which Beavan vowed to decrease his carbon footprint and live modestly. No electricity (except for his laptop), no elevators, no motorized transportation, no prepackaged items, and only homegrown foods. In No Impact Man directors Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein filmed a year in Beavan's life when he and his reluctant wife Michelle abandon their glamorous Fifth Avenue lifestyle to wage their environmental experiment. It proves to be frustratingly hard, and the couple's experience provides a provocative lesson about not only environmental issues but also the role consumerism plays in our modern life.

The feature directorial debut from actor Jeremy Davidson, Tickling Leo is a deeply intimate film that crackles with dramatic tension. Issac Pickler (Daniel Sauli) and his girlfriend Delphina (Annie Parisse) visit his father Warren (Lawrence Pressman), suffering from dementia, in his Catskills home for Yom Kippur. Over the weekend, a dark WWII secret involving Issac's grandfather Emil (Eli Wallach) is uncovered, a secret that exposes long-seething resentment by Warren towards Emil, remorse, and Issac's own denial of his family's story. Co-produced by Mary Stuart Masterson with lovely cinematography by Peter Masterson, Tickling Leo asks the audience to examine whether if it's best to be open about untold family stories, or whether some secrets should just remain hidden.


This week on the blog, Jason Sanders gives tribute to film critics Alexis Tioseco and Nika Bohinc, Jason Guerrasio reveals his wish list of IFC titles that should get the Criterion treatment and highlights the posters of Steven Soderbergh films (including his latest, The Informant!, pictured left).

To read more posts from our blog, click here.

IFP's five-day Independent Filmmaker Conference is the must-attend event for film and media professionals to learn how today's creative choices and business decisions are impacting tomorrow's artists, industry and audiences - and shaping the future of independent film and media-making.

UPDATES! Attending filmmakers and industry leaders include Ted Hope (This is that), Yance Ford (POV), Lynne Kirby (Sundance Channel), Peter Kujawski (Focus Features), Tom Quinn (Magnolia Pictures), and Christine Vachon (Killer Films), plus representatives from BMI, Cinetic Media, HBO, Hot Docs, IFC, Kodak, SAGIndie, Sony Pictures Classics, SnagFilms, Strand Releasing, Sundance, SXSW, Toronto Film Festival, and many more! With Keynotes from: Filmmaker Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Amelia) and Big Beach Films' Peter Saraf (Little Miss Sunshine). Panelists will offer key advice on: Making Your First Feature, Building an Audience for Your Film, New Digital & Financial Models, Positioning Your Film for Festivals & Buyers, Strategizing Your Next Career Move. EARLY BIRD PASSES ON SALE NOW! Get more info, and purchase passes at filmmakerconference.com

By Nick Dawson

Alexis Dos Santos's latest film, Unmade Beds is his second feature, though it is a project he has been developing since 2001, when he was still at film school. Set in London, the movie presents a double narrative as it follows two attractive foreigners, messy-haired Spaniard Axl (Fernando Tielve) and pretty but delicate Belgian Vera (Déborah François). They are two lost souls looking for answers: Axl has come to London to track down the father who abandoned him as an infant, while Vera is recovering from a painful break-up. read more


Miami International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Sept. 13 (early), Oct. 18 (final)
Festival Dates: March 5-14

Sacramento Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Sept. 15
Festival Dates: March 28 - April 5

Independent Film Festival of Boston
Submission Deadline: Sept. 30 (early), Dec. 31 (final)
Festival Dates: April 21-28


Our Forums page is new and improved! Check out the new categories: how to make films, discuss the current trends in the business, job opportunities and look out for guest filmmaker moderators. Click here to get started.



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