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Editor's Note
I had coffee the other day with a producer who had just returned from a festival where she premiered a six-minute film -- a test, actually, for a larger feature. The response was huge; 1,200 people stood up and cheered. She said the director felt a little embarrassed because it was, after all, only six minutes. Then we talked about how we both would be perfectly happy to go to a theater, buy a ticket, see something amazingly great that happened to be just six minutes, and then go out to dinner and talk about it. Why should the equation of value in cinema be tied to duration?

A couple of days later I talked to an artist who said he wanted to make a film that was shown in theaters but didn't want to be forced to make it 90 minutes. It might only be 20, or 40, or 60. I said he should make the exhibition part of the piece. Budget renting out the Ziegfeld for a weekend of screenings and make the experience of showing it there part of the work's meaning.

Today Ray Pride at Movie City News linked to a piece by Jane Hu at The Awl: "Is the Trailer for The Shining the Actual Film?" Usually trailers are the afterthought, composed of carefully chosen shards of a completed or soon-to-be-completed film. But what if, she asks, if the feature is simply the stitched together footage produced solely to justify the original work, the trailer?

Works of varying length are subjects of an event we are excited and honored by: The Grand Cinema in Tacoma, Washington's series devoted entirely to our "25 New Faces" list. I'm in Europe at the moment and am really sad I won't be able to be there. But 12 of the 25 filmmakers will, and if you live within driving distance I hope you will be too. I asked the Grand's Philip Cowan if he could discuss his reasons for curating this program, and here's what he wrote back:

"Two years ago I was looking at the cover of the magazine with that year's '25' and I thought it would be great to see all these films, but they seemed somewhat inaccessible, at least as a complete unit. I thought it would be a great idea to play them all together but I didn’t think that much about it after that. Then when last year's issue came out, I started thinking about it again, but this time with the idea of doing it for our theater. I was fairly surprised that it hadn't been done before because it seemed like such an obvious idea to me.

"I have a couple of objectives. First, I want to foster the film community, both here in Tacoma and throughout the country. I love the idea of many of these '25' having the chance to get together, especially so soon after being named. I want them to meet each other and have the chance to talk about film. Second, I also want the very young Tacoma filmmaking community to see these films, meet the filmmakers, and have an added level to strive for in their own work. They likely won't get a chance to see many of them any other way. (We had already worked to bring in Sara Colangelo's latest short to the Tacoma Film Festival in October so she'll be here twice. Also, Cold Weather will be the Opening Night film for that festival so perhaps we can get Trieste Kelly Dunn back for that.) And, I would also say that yes, we hope to make this an annual event here in Tacoma."

Thanks, Philip, for initiating what we also hope will be an annual tradition.

See you next week.

Scott Macaulay
Upcoming At IFP
FILMMAKER CONFERENCE ADDS KEYNOTES Taking place during the 32nd annual Independent Film Week, September 19-23, the Independent Filmmaker Conference is the event for film and media professionals to learn how today's creative choices and business decisions are impacting tomorrow's artists, industry and audiences. Kicking off each day at the Filmmaker Conference, a "Conversations With..." series will feature one-on-one, in-depth discussions with luminary writers, directors, execs and new-media experts about their experiences in the industry and where filmmaking is heading next. Liz Rosenthal, founder of UK based transmedia pioneer Power to the Pixel, launches Monday the 20th's Marketing and Distribution day, discussing the expansion of film narratives into other media in a cross-media approach to marketing. Sheila Nevins, storied President of HBO Documentary Films, will open documentary programming on Tuesday, delving into her remarkable Emmy and Peabody-winning career, shepherding the best of non-fiction into the marketplace. On Wednesday, join top sales agent John Sloss, fresh off the 2010 hits The Kids Are All Right and Exit through the Gift Shop, as he examines the process of selling and distributing films that break the mold. For the latest Conference updates, schedule, and to purchase passes, click here.
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In This Newsletter
Editor's Note
The Tillman Story
Soul Kitchen
A Film Unfinished
"25 New Faces" Featured at the Grand Cinema in Tacoma, WA
IFP: Filmmaker Conference Adds Keynotes
Fest Deadlines
Join our Forums
New In Theaters
THE TILLMAN STORY The story of Pat Tillman grabbed the nation: a professional football player gives up his career to fight the war in Iraq, is hailed as a hero after he's slain in combat, and is then revealed to have been killed by friendly fire. Now documentary filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev (My Kid Could Paint That) goes deeper into his tale in the riveting film, The Tillman Story. He examines the effects Tillman's death had on his family and friends, the questions about how Tillman was killed and the heroic myths being built up around him. In an interview with Bar-Lev in the Summer issue, the director talks about how in making the film he learned Tillman was a different person than who the public has made him out to be. "We took his actual qualities and replaced them with the opposite," he says, "this square-jawed paragon of moral servitude who had an idea and stuck to it no matter what. This sort of Bush-era fantasy, but in fact he was the opposite." SOUL KITCHEN A breezy restaurant comedy, Soul Kitchen, directed by Fatih Akin (The Edge of Heaven), centers on Zinos (Adam Bousdoukos), a Greek-German man who runs a restaurant called Soul Kitchen. His life is full of unfortunate mishaps: he has a slipped disc and no medical insurance, his restaurant is in danger of being bought out and his brother is incarcerated. But hiring a potentially dangerous chef brings new life to the Soul Kitchen, and the business booms. A winner of a special jury prize at the Venice Film Festival last year, this is a change for Akin from his darker previous film, The Edge of Heaven. A FILM UNFINISHED Directed by Yael Hersonski, A Film Unfinished is a somber documentary about the making of a Nazi propaganda film of the Warsaw Ghetto. Nazis would position selected Jews to show the "good life" of being in the ghetto, making them attend elegant scripted events. These Jews were forced to feign enthusiasm and smiles for the cameras while their own executions loomed. These staged "everyday" scenes are chilling to watch, especially when one realizes that audiences walked away believing the Jews really didn't have it so bad and that the Nazis were more benevolent guards than prison wardens and executioners.
Recent Blogs
This week on the blog, Filmmaker continues to celebrate its 18th birthday with more flashbacks of its early issues; Scott Macaulay posts a fascinating 2007 Vanity Fair profile on Hollywood heavy and current right-wing sensation Pat Dollard (pictured left); and 150 new films are slated for IFP's Project Forum.

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

Attention film lovers in or around Tacoma, Washington: Beginning this Friday, The Grand Cinema will be presenting projects from this year's "25 New Faces of Independent Film." read more

Festival Deadlines
Cleveland International Film Festival
Early Deadline: Aug. 31
Final Deadline: Nov. 30
Festival Dates: March 24 - April 3

Canada International Film Festival
Regular Deadline: Aug. 31
Final Deadline: Dec. 31
Festival Dates: March 18 - 20

Dubai International Film Festival
Final Deadline: Aug. 31
Festival Dates: Dec. 12-19

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