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Instead, I'm just going to wish you a happy New Year, which is what I really wanted to do from the start. And thank everyone who took part in our very successful holiday subscription drive. The new magazine hits the stands in about two or three weeks, so watch for it, and while you do check out the website. There's a lot of new stuff up this week, including Gregory Bayne's accounting of a year spent self-distributing his film. Someone wrote that they thought his post was depressing, but I don't. It's honest and full of conviction, and that's never sad. And then there's my "New Year's Resolutions for Filmmakers" post, which I got a lot of nice feedback on. There should be least one resolution for you on the list.
See you next week.
P.S. If you haven't seen "Idiot with a Tripod," Jamie Stuart's viral blizzard video, check it out. Roger Ebert called it Oscar-worthy and it's up to almost a million views.
P.P.S. Did you know we are sponsoring a new award at Cinema Eye? It's called the Heterodox Award (kudos to A.J. Schnack for the cool name), and it honors "a narrative film that imaginatively incorporates nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production." Click on the links to see the nominees.
IFP/ROTTERDAM LAB FELLOWS SELECTED FOR 2011 Through its long-standing partnership with CineMart, IFP annually selects two producers to participate in the Rotterdam Lab, a four-day training workshop for producers designed to build up their international network and experience. The Lab runs concurrently with the CineMart Co-production Market (1/30-2/2/11), held during the Rotterdam International Film Festival.
This year New York-based Billy Mulligan and Alicia Van Couvering were chosen from an incredibly strong pool of applicants. Billy Mulligan is the producer of numerous independent films, including the upcoming feature film Yelling to the Sky. The film marks the debut of writer/director Victoria Mahoney and stars Zoe Kravitz and Gabourey Sidibe, and it will premiere in competition at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival. Mulligan brought the project through the IFP's 2010 Independent Filmmaker Labs. Alicia Van Couvering's first feature as a producer, Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture, received multiple Gotham Award and Independent Spirit Award nominations, won the Jury Prize at SXSW 2010 and was released by IFC Films. She is currently in production on Bryan Wizemann's An Entire Body, Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress, and a new film by Ronald Bronstein (Frownland). Van Couvering is a contributing editor to Filmmaker Magazine and a 2010 Sundance Institute Producing Fellow.
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The Time That Remains
No One Killed Jessica
Elia Suleiman, The Time That Remains
IFP/Rotterdam Lab Fellows Selected for 2011
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THE TIME THAT REMAINS The Time That Remains is a black comedy based on the diaries and letters of Palestinian director Elia Suleiman's parents when he was a resistance fighter in 1948 Israel. Explains Damon Smith in this week's Director Interviews, "Suleiman focuses on a series of small, obliquely linked episodes over several decades, first involving his father Fuad (Saleh Bakri), a resistance fighter who (as in real life) is nearly beaten to death by Israeli soldiers after the 1948 surrender of Nazareth in the Arab-Israeli war, and then his on-screen counterpart, Elia, who we see grow from childhood (where he's scolded in school for tarnishing the U.S. as 'imperialist') to adolescence and finally middle age, when he returns from abroad to care for his frail mother (Samar Qudha Tanus)." Says Suleiman, "The Time That Remains is also a family portrait, and a social portrait. I am there but sometimes in a larger tableaux. I'm not always frontal, just appearing in a sketch, but still it's a self-portrait." Read our interview with Suleiman below. NO ONE KILLED JESSICA Based on the 1999 murder of Indian model/bartender Jessica Lall, No One Killed Jessica is a dark political thriller directed by Raj Kumar Gupta (Aamir). The film stars Rani Mukherjee as Meera, a reporter covering the trial, and Vidya Balan as Jessica's older sister Sabrina, out for justice. The murder was a controversial story that gripped national headlines in India in the past decade, and the film promises to be a compelling dramatization. This week on the blog, filmmaker John Yost discusses the micro-budget filmmaking scene; designer David Carson debuts a new art magazine called Carson; director Zachary Oberzan returns to his film/theater hybrid style with Your brother. Remember? (pictured left); Vimeo launches Vimeo Film School; news from the Dubai International Film Festival; and Steven Soderbergh's possible retirement.
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ELIA SULEIMAN, THE TIME THAT REMAINS By Damon Smith
Award-winning Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman (Divine Intervention) makes idiosyncratic films about the endless conflict between Arabs and Israelis, stitching together wryly humorous tableaux that speak to the absurdity of life under occupation. Suleiman himself is often a character in these tragicomic dramas, a mute witness quietly observing the agitations of the Middle East at ground level, with lidded eyes and a mournful face that commentators have repeatedly likened to Buster Keaton's. read more
Chicago International Music and Movies Festival
Without a Box Extended Deadline: Jan. 10
Festival Dates: April 14-17
Tribeca Film Festival
Late Deadline: Jan. 10
Festival Dates: April 20-May 1
Atlanta Film Festival
Without a Box Extended Deadline: Jan. 14
Festival Dates: April 28-May 7