AFI Fest 2009
Online this week (and on newsstands next week) is the new Fall issue of Filmmaker. Lee Daniels, director of the Sundance Grand Prize-winning Precious is on the cover, and inside he's interviewed by Jason Guerrasio, who discovers how the director rebounded from his poorly received earlier film, Shadowboxer, and brought a tough-to-film adaptation of Sapphire's acclaimed novel Push to the screen. Inside I've got interviews with Antichrist's Lars von Trier and Up in the Air's Jason Reitman, we've got director Ira Sachs talking with his friend Oren Moverman, writer-director of The Messenger. Lauren Wissot visits with Larry Fessenden, the horror mogul behind Glass Eye Pix, the production company behind Ti West's excellent new The House of the Devil. Anthony Kaufman looks at why VOD may turn out to be a significant revenue source for indies (read it and then check out director Zak Forsman's reply on the Filmmaker forums). And, in addition to some sage advice on post-production, there are two must-clip-and-file articles in our Line Items section. In "Better Living Through Filmmaking," Esther B. Robinson gives filmmakers ten tips on surviving the recession with their creativity intact. And, Matthew Savare, Michael Hansen and Mark Flippen tell producers all they need to know about converting all those state tax credits out there into production dollars (find links to some of these stories and more from the Fall issue below).

If you aren't a subscriber, you can pick up the magazine at your local bookstore or newsstand, or you can subscribe digitally and receive it instantly. Either way, we hope you check it out.

See you next week.


Scott Macaulay

A sort of sequel to Peter Greenaway's narrative film Nightwatching, Rembrandt's J'accuse is a documentary in which the British director examines Rembrandt's painting Nightwatch and suggests that the artist may have "immortalized" several conspiracy theories related to the Dutch civilian militiamen depicted in the painting. It's a different and intriguing exploration from the director who has always taken an unconventional approach to filmmaking. Greenaway is interviewed by Nick Dawson for this week's Director Interviews. Dawson writes of the film, "Greenaway's lively documentary literally puts the picture together piece by piece, allowing even today's "visually illiterate" audiences (as he provocatively calls them) to ultimately see what he sees." Read our interview with Greenaway below.

Director Lars von Trier (Breaking the Waves, Dogville) is art film's most accomplished cinematic showmen, whipping up a pre-release frenzy among journalists (and moralists) while ultimately always delivering the goods when it comes to provocative drama and bold cinema. His latest, Antichrist, concerns a grieving mother and her therapist husband, who suggests she conquer crippling anxiety attachs by journeying to a mountain cabin where, we learn, she previously began to lose her mind. Interviewing Von Trier for the Fall issue, Scott Macaulay writes, "Willem Dafoe plays the husband, and his smothering rationalism and belief in talk therapy is both highly icky and instantly dread-producing. Charlotte Gainsbourg, in a performance that won her Best Actress at Cannes, is absolutely fearless as the wife. And Oscar-winning cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, working in a precisely defined palette of blues, grays and greens, has brought an astonishing, dream-like beauty to a film that is itself about what may not be able to be contained by language and discourse."

Much like the recent documentary Food, Inc., the French documentary Food Beware focuses on farming methods in France that use 140 million pesticides a year, and how the practice affects everyday people, causing everything from increased chances of cancer or diabetes to potentially harming young children. Activists for organic farming range from scientists, concerned townspeople, and political leaders as they congregate in a small French town in the center of agriculture country to discuss ethical ways of farming (such as the difference between organic soil and chemically processed soil). The director, Jean-Paul Jaud presents an emotionally-charged film that hopes to shine a light on the dangers of environmental toxins in France's food, and possibly in one's own country.


Now on our Website, check out select stories from the Fall issue.

There's interviews with Lars von Trier on his latest film, Antichrist (which opens this weekend), Oren Moverman talks about his much anticipated directorial debut, The Messenger and we profile Larry Fessenden's Glass Eye Pix company.

Also, Esther B. Robinson tells us how filmmakers can be successful during a recession, Anthony Kaufman learns how filmmakers are turning a profit with VOD and Jason Guerrasio looks at the mammoth book about the greatest movie never made: Stanley Kubrick's film on Napoleon.

And remember, you can always buy the latest issue digitally (click here, it's only $9). You also get our archives up to 2005 for free.


This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay highlights the new Canon 1D Mark IV (pictured left), learns how you can make your films last and director Zak Forsman reports from the FIND Filmmaker Forum.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.

Twenty-three films were announced on Monday as the nominees in the six competitive categories for IFP's 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards™, the first major honors of the film awards season. Cited for Best Feature were Cherien Dabis's FIPRESCI award-winning (Cannes 2009) debut feature Amreeka, Robert Siegel's debut feature Big Fan which premiered at Sundance 2009, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, Sebastian Silva's Sundance prize-winner The Maid, and Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man. The nominations were announced to a global audience on UStream TV by A.O. Scott, film critic for The New York Times and co-host of At the Movies. The Gotham Independent Film Awards™ will be held December 2 at Cipriani Wall Street. For a complete list and more on the nominees and awards click here.

By Nick Dawson

Rembrandt's J'accuse is the outlet for Peter Greenway's exhaustive research into and close examination of Rembrandt's iconic 1642 portrait of a group of militia soldiers, The Night Watch, information which Greenaway weaves together into a vigorous and playful cinematic essay. The central thrust of Rembrandt's J'accuse is that the visual deconstruction of The Night Watch can unlock a murder mystery, with Greenaway contending that Rembrandt employed iconographic elements of the picture to incriminate two of the soldiers in the portrait in the death of one of their own. read more


Florida Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Oct. 23. (early), Nov 20 (final)
Festival Dates: March 27 - April 5

Brooklyn International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Oct. 30 (early), March 17 (final)
Festival Dates: June 4-13

Cleveland International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Oct. 31 (early), Nov. 30 (final)
Festival Dates: March 18-28


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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