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Editor's Note
A short note -- I just finished watching the last of our 22 finalists for the Filmmaker-sponsored "Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You" Gotham Award and am about to head uptown to meet with the rest of the jury (my fellow editors at Filmmaker plus MoMA's Joshua Siegel). For this award, we survey festival directors from all over the country and compile a long list of their recommendations of the best films that screened at their festivals that didn't receive theatrical distribution. This year we worked off a long list of about 80 films, got it down to 22, and when the Gotham nominees are announced you'll see our final list of five. Past winners have included Frownland, Sita Sings the Blues, You Wont Miss Me, and I Am a Sex Addict -- all films that went on to some form of theatrical play after the award. One thing we noticed this year: many more filmmakers decided not to wait for theatrical deals after their festival premieres. Many films we might have considered in an earlier year did their own small-scale releases and went right on to DVD or some form of digital distribution. After the award I'll have some more thoughts on the films, what they say about the industry, and the award's future.

A couple of things to point you to: if you haven't checked out Nick Rombes's "Into the Splice" column, please do. Every two weeks he buys a ticket, goes to the movies, and writes about not just the film but the experience of seeing it in a theater. (No screeners of press screenings for this guy.) This week he went to Let Me In, thought about the original (Let the Right One In) and the anxiety of its influence on the sequel, and let the lonely, slightly depressing scene of a rundown, nearly empty suburban multiplex infect the movie. The other link is to Jamie Stuart's NYFF 48, his annual take on the New York Film Festival. This is Jamie's most out-there piece yet, a kind of Kubrick/Bruce Connor-inspired dystopian riff on the concept of progress, whether it's evolutionary, industrial or cinematic. It's 13-minutes long, so bookmark it and, when you have a moment, turn off the lights, crank the speakers and watch.

See you next week.

Scott Macaulay
Upcoming At IFP
GOTHAM AWARDS NOMINEES TO BE ANNOUNCED MONDAY OCTOBER 18TH The Gotham Independent Film Awards™, selected by distinguished juries and presented in New York City are the first honors of the film awards season. This public showcase honors the filmmaking community, expands the audience for independent films, and supports the work that IFP does behind the scenes throughout the year to bring such films to fruition. Watch for the announcement on Monday, October 18th of the nominees for this year's awards. Already announced: anchoring the evening's seven competitive awards for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance, Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You, and the Festival Genius Audience Award are four Tributes to film community icons. This year's Tribute selection represents a range of individuals - all veterans well-versed in the journey between lower-budget independent films and large-scale studio releases. Actors Robert Duvall and Hilary Swank, director Darren Aronofsky and Focus Features CEO James Schamus will each be presented with a career Tribute at the 20th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on November 29th. Nominees for the competitive will be announced on October 19th. For tickets, ticket packages, and table sales go here.
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In This Newsletter
Editor's Note
Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen
Margarethe von Trotta, Vision
Gotham Noms Revealed Oct. 18
Fest Deadlines
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New In Theaters
GERRYMANDERING Gerrymandering is a political term that means dividing geographic areas into voting districts that favor one party over another. Filmmaker Jeff Reichert exposes this twisting of democracy that many politicians use to win elections in his documentary Gerrymandering. Taking a bipartisan point-of-view, the film speaks to the country's increasing political divisions, showing how demographics can prevent compromise. CARLOS Wrote Brandon Harris in the forthcoming issue of Filmmaker about Olivier Assayas' film about Illych Ramirez Sanchez (aka, "Carlos the Jackal"), "One of the wonderful things about Olivier Assayas' sprawling new French television miniseries Carlos, a picture which demands to be seen in cinemas and in its entirety, is that it observes a man who could easily be both vilified and mythologized but refuses to do either. (Carlos is most fully realized in a three film, five-and-a-half hour format, shown in marathon Cannes and New York Festival Screenings; IFC will open it this fall in both full and truncated versions, and it will also play on the Sundance Channel.) Villainy and mythology are the stock and trade of contemporary politic discourse, perhaps dangerously so. To watch a mind as sharp as Assayas' honestly navigate the thorny legacy of 1970s leftist terrorism is an exhilarating experience. Carlos, in its intellectual freedom and engagement, is as potent and riveting as anything of its kind." Read our interview with Assayas in the upcoming Fall issue of Filmmaker later this month. VISION: FROM THE LIFE OF HILDEGARD VON BINGEN A stunning biopic on the prolific German Benedictine nun of the twelfth century, Hildegard von Bingen, who was not only an exceptional abbess, but expanded her talents to composing music, poetry, channeling spirits, healing the sick, and concocting herbal remedies. Barbara Sukowa shines with a stoic presence in portraying this remarkable figure who went up against the patriarchy of both the religious world and secular worlds. "I am always attracted by a woman who has to fight for her own life and her own reality, who has to get out of a certain situation of imprisonment, to free [herself]," says writer-director Margarethe von Trotta (Marianne and Juliane, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum) in this week's Director Interviews. "That is perhaps the main theme in all my films." Read our interview with Von Trotta below.
Recent Blogs
This week on the blog, Jamie Stuart gives his account of this year's New York Film Festival; Aaron Sorkin addresses accusations of sexism in The Social Network; filmmaker Sam Green discusses his "live documentary" Utopia in Four Movements; the winners of the Vimeo Festival + Awards are announced; and Oscar hopeful Blue Valentine (pictured left) is slapped with an NC-17 rating.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.
Newest Web Article

One of Europe's preeminent film directors for more than three decades, Margarethe von Trotta (Rosa Luxemburg, The Promise) was born in Berlin in 1942 and relocated to Dusseldorf with her mother after the war. In Paris, where she moved after high school, Von Trotta immersed herself in film culture and became a major fixture of the New German Cinema, acting in early films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Gods of the Plague, Beware of a Holy Whore) and collaborating closely with her ex-husband Volker Schlondorff, with whom she co-directed the 1975 political drama The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, before helming her first feature three years later. read more

Festival Deadlines
Florida Film Festival
Early Deadline: Oct. 22
Late Deadline: Nov. 19
Festival Dates: April 9-18

San Francisco Independent Film Festival
Final Deadline: Oct. 23
Festival Dates: Feb. 3-17

Miami International Film Festival
Late Deadline: Oct. 25
Festival Dates: March 4-13

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