|Blog Web Exclusives Director Interviews Festival Coverage Our Videos Load & Play|
interview with Alicia Van Couvering in our just-launched SXSW section. She talks about the selection process for SXSW and how, in the end, "there are so many more good films than we can program, so at a certain point you start making choices based on what's 'more us.'" I totally understand what she means here. Every programmer, curator, magazine editor (or, some would prefer to say, gatekeeper) tries to build an identity for themselves, to make their disparate choices coalesce into some kind of coherent vision. It's probably the hardest thing for filmmakers to figure out - why their film might be a SXSW film and not a Cannes film, or a Sundance film but not a LAFF Film. There's more to be written about this too...I thought I'd write a long, essay-ish newsletter today because I haven't done one of those in a while. But the only way I can do one of those is to pick an idea and mull it over in my head during the week. Think about it when I'm walking around, on the subway, in lines. And try to take the headphones off while doing so. I thought I might riff on something Stephen Elliott wrote in one of his Rumpus newsletters, about the relationship of lying to the movie business. I have a great anecdote about the biggest liar I've ever met in the film business, so I started writing. But I only got half way through. Then I thought I'd write something shorter riffing on something Janet Pierson said in her
What's preventing me from finishing these thoughts? All the incoming messages and work piling up in my inbox. SXSW starts tomorrow, we're going, we just launched our festival section, and this year the publicists seem to have gone wild. Additionally, we picked this week to launch a ton of other new content on the site. Jason Guerrasio spearheaded our new VOD calendar, a curated guide to each month's recommended releases. We hope to grow this into a vital source for both filmmakers and viewers. We've begun a new partnership with the great film review website, Hammer to Nail. Each week they'll premiere at Filmmaker a review of an opening film; we launch with Mike Ryan reviewing Eric Mendelsohn's 3 Backyards. John Yost's column "The Micro-Budget Conversation" picks up with one of his best: Alexander Berberich's tale of becoming a micro-budget filmmaker of the world. There's great advice here, both about changing your life and finding a good international cell plan. And, finally, we've partnered with our friends at Slated to bring you the unofficial SXSW Film and Interactive Festival Genius Guide. I'll be using its iPhone/iPod Touch app to plan my film screenings and conference-attending, and you should check it out too.
After all of this, there wasn't much time to further develop those thoughts above. I'll think about them some more and maybe you will too. Meanwhile, say hello if you're at SXSW. I'll be blogging, posting more pieces to the site, and doing impromptu Flip video interviews and Sound Cloud audio interviews. See you in Austin.
TWO DEADLINES FOR DOCUMENTARIANS HIT THIS WEEK - MARCH 11! Documentary producers with projects in the works who plan on networking for partners and financing at the upcoming Hot Docs Forum and Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival should make note of the advantages of attending under the umbrella of the American Delegation. A significant accreditation discount is available by registering through this initiative, spearheaded by IFP and Shooting People, but the deadline for registering is Friday, March 11. Check out details here and contact Milton Tabbot (mtabbot AT ifp DOT org) immediately if interested.
Friday also marks the submission deadline for the documentary edition of IFP's 2011 Independent Filmmaker Labs. Open to all first time documentary directors with films in post-production, the Labs are a year-long fellowship supporting filmmakers through the completion, marketing, and distribution of their first features. The Labs provide community, mentorship, and film-specific strategies to help each filmmaker reach their artistic goals, support the film's launch, and maximize exposure in the global marketplace. Ten documentaries will be selected for three immersive week-long labs held over the course of the year. The Labs focus first on creative feedback and the finishing process, followed by audience engagement and marketing strategies, and ending with distribution plans and options just as projects finish and have begun festival submissions. Lab Project alumni from 2010 include Sara Terry's Fambul Tok, which world premieres next week at SXSW, and Our School, directed by Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coca-Cozma and Give Up Tomorrow, directed by Michael Collins and produced by Collins and Marty Syjuco, both of which will screen in competition at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival. Additional detailed information and online applications are available here.
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.
Film Calendar, DIY Distribution, Current Cinema
25 Films to Watch on Amazon Prime
IFP: Two Deadlines for Documentarians
Join our Forums
3 BACKYARDS Director Eric Mendelsohn returns with his first feature since 1999's Judy Berlin, re-teaming with Edie Falco and winning the Sundance Directing Award for 3 Backyards. The story tracks a day in the life of three Long Island suburbanites: Peggy (Falco), a painter and housewife; John (Elias Koteas), a businessman who is close to ending his marriage; and Christina (Rachel Resheff), an 8-yr old girl who while taking a shortcut to school makes a terrifying discovery. In this evocative feature, Mendelsohn captures an introspective vulnerability amidst strip malls and suburban uniformity. Read Hammer to Nail's review by Mike Ryan. CERTIFIED COPY Juliette Binoche won the Best Actress prize at Cannes last year for her role in this playful and provocative romantic drama set in Tuscany. The film marks legendary director Abbas Kiarostami's (The Wind Will Carry Us) first feature made outside of Iran, and continues his fascination with truth, fiction and roleplaying.
JANE EYRE Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) directs the latest screen adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, this time starring Mia Wasikowska (The Kids Are All Right) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds) in the iconic lead roles. "25 New Face" Fukunaga takes on this task with only one feature under his belt, but with his creative visual eye we are excited to see what he does with this legendary material (it's the 19th time the story has been adapted for the screen). MONOGAMY Marking the first narrative feature by Oscar-nominated documentary director Dana Adam Shapiro (Murderball), Monogamy follows a 30-something photographer (Chris Messina) who while bored with shooting weddings and feeling the pressure of preparing his own marriage develops an erotic obsession while working on a voyeuristic side project. The film was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. Read our interview between Exploding Girl d.p. Eric Lin and Monogamy d.p. Doug Emmett. REDLAND Directed by "25 New Face" Asiel Norton, Redland is a haunting, evocative piece of work that echoes Terrence Malick's vision of noir in the wilderness. Set in Depression-era California, the film tells the parallel stories of a struggling family living at a rural outpost. A young daughter goes to any measure to keep a secret, at the risk of her own life, while her father and lover hunt for food in the unforgiving wilderness. It is a stunning feature debut by Norton that shouldn't be missed. This week on the blog, Filmmaker's Video on Demand calendar is now online; Tribeca competition lineup is announced; a report on IFP's Script to Screen; announcement of more SXSW titles; and Scott Lindenbaum (pictured left) discusses his free social media platform Broadcastr.
To read more posts from our blog, click here.
25 RECOMMENDED INDEPENDENT FILMS TO WATCH ON AMAZON PRIME By Scott Macaulay
Amazon has dipped its toe into the subscription streaming-video business, competing with Netflix by turning its Amazon Prime free-shipping service into a source for not just holiday gifts, books and tax-free, two-day-shipped sundries but also movies. It's obviously a soft-launch for something bigger, and, for those who plunk down their $75 yearly fee for the shipping benefits, a really good deal. Here are 25 Filmmaker-approved movies Amazon Prime members can stream now. read more
Visionfest Screenwriting Competition
Late Deadline: March 20
New York International Latino Film Festival
WAB Deadline: March 25
Festival Dates: July 25-31
Indianapolis International Film Festival
WAB Deadline: March 31
Festival Dates: July 14-24