|Blog Web Exclusives Director Interviews Festival Coverage Our Videos Load & Play|
report from the Sundance ShortsLab -- detailed enough to make you feel you were there. Posted yesterday was the latest in the “Microbudget Conversation” series, “Script v. Story.” Filmmaker Nicole Elmer comes up with a very useful way to think about story development and microbudget production; I really like this piece. We’ve got the second installment of our “Foreign Correspondent” series -- reports from the indie scene internationally. (This is a rotating column, so if you have a view from abroad, let us know.) And, next week, the year-long “Blue Velvet Project” from Nick Rombes begins. Now it’s dark.A short newsletter this week. Our “25 New Faces” issue is on the stands and online, and I hope you settle down with the piece and check out the people we’ve profiled. There’s also a huge amount of new material online. It used to be that I’d put the magazine to bed and then check out of it for a few weeks, but the Internet has changed all that. For example, I just posted Marc Maurino’s epic (5,500 words!)
See you next week.
FOX FILMED ENTERTAINMENT'S TOM ROTHMAN TO RECEIVE INDUSTRY TRIBUTE AT 21ST ANNUAL GOTHAM INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS Signaling the official kick-off for the film awards season, the Gotham Independent Film Awards is one of the leading awards for independent film. IFP’s Gotham Independent Film Awards honor the filmmaking community, expand the audience for independent films, and support the work that IFP does behind the scenes throughout the year to bring such films to fruition. This year’s Gotham Awards will take place on Monday, November 28th at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.
The 2011 Industry Tribute, which each year honors a career veteran who has significantly influenced the motion picture business, will go to Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment. Mr. Rothman, in addition to overseeing some of the biggest blockbusters in motion picture history, has long been a steadfast supporter of independent cinema. In 1994, Rothman founded Fox Searchlight Pictures, which is one of the most successful producers and distributors of specialized fare in the industry. Additional tributes to a director, actor and an actress are still to be announced .More details on the Industry Tribute read here.
There will be seven competitive awards in 2011 and submissions are now being accepted in the five competitive categories that accept open submissions – Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, and Best Ensemble Performance. The deadline for these submissions is 5pm EST on September 16, 2011. Awards to the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You® for undistributed films and the Gotham Audience Award winner will also be presented. Nominees in all categories will be announced on October 20th. Applications, along with full criteria for all awards, 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
Hammer to Nail Review
Gun Hill Road
You Have No Business Being in This Business: On the Self Distribution Model of Kevin Smith
IFP: Fox Filmed Entertainment’s Tom Rothman to Receive Industry Tribute at 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards
Join our Forums
GUN HILL ROAD By Mike Ryan
A late work by the Cuban director Tomas Gutierrez Alea called Strawberry And Chocolate is one of the few films I’ve ever seen to confront the strange relationship of macho straight Latinos and openly gay Latino men. So I was very curious to see how it would be handled in this Sundance Lab debut feature by Rashaad Ernesto Green. Despite the predictable by-the-numbers plotting, Gun Hill Road ultimately is a real joy. read more BELLFLOWER This gun-powder fueled debut from Evan Glodell will play well to anyone who has ever daydreamed about living in the post-apocalyptic hell-scape of Mad Max, or who equates a break up with the end of the world. Bellflower is true low-budget DIY filmmaking -- Glodell even built the camera that he shot the film on. The plot centers around a pair of slackers who put their knowledge of post-apocalyptic weaponry to good use after one of them suffers a nasty breakup. Gleefully chaotic and truly unhinged, Bellflower is one of the most distinctive debuts in recent memory. Read our interview with Glodell. GUN HILL ROAD Rashaad Ernesto Green's feature debut, the stirring Bronx-based family drama, Gun Hill Road, follows a father (Esai Morales) recently paroled from prison, who struggles to reconnect with his trans-gender daughter (newcomer Harmony Santana). Green captures the culture, flare, and setbacks of the Latino community with a deft eye, but the real star here is Santana, who gives an emotionally nuanced and extremely sympathetic performance as a troubled youth struggling to discover herself. Read our interview with Green. MAGIC TRIP In 1964, Ken Kesey (acclaimed author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) filmed countless hours of footage during a drug-fueled road-trip as part of a documentary that he never completed. Now, after nearly half a century on the shelf, filmmakers Alex Gibney (Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Casino Jack and the United States of Money) and Alison Ellwood have finally assembled Kesey's footage into a coherent whole. Magic Trip is a moving time capsule of a long-gone era, a documentary that humanizes, celebrates, and restores a period in American history that even the people who lived it probably don't quite remember. THE WHISTLEBLOWER An unrelenting narrative with a message for complacent summer audiences, first-time director Larysa Kondracki's The Whistleblower tackles sex-trafficking head-on. In a magnetic performance that is building Oscar buzz, Rachel Weisz (The Fountain) plays cop-turned-Peacekeeper Kathryn Bolkovac who discovers things are not quite what they seem at her new UN job in post-war Bolivia. As Kathryn digs deeper into the involvement of her fellow internationals in the local sex trade, she finds her job -- and maybe even her safety -- suddenly at stake. Also starring David Straitharn and Vanessa Redgrave, The Whistleblower is a brutal thriller about one womanís demand for accountability in the face of mass corruption. This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay on the launch of No Budge Films - the new streaming site created by Holy Land filmmaker Kentucker Audley (pictured left), producer Melissa Lee files a report from the Sundance Creative Producing Labs, and Jason Guerrasio shares the August VOD Calendar.
To read more posts from our blog, click here.
YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING IN THIS BUSINESS: ON THE SELF-DISTRIBUTION MODEL OF KEVIN SMITH By Gregory Bayne
I have been thinking about Kevin Smith quite a bit lately. Beyond the obvious happenings with his film Red State and his decision to follow in my footsteps (wink) by embracing the Topspin platform to go about his business of building a media empire, I’ve been a bit in awe of how this guy from New Jersey, who began his journey with a $27,000 ’90s Sundance hit that many in the artistic film world passed off as garbage, has weathered many a storm, some arguably manufactured, to be quite possibly the last man standing and perhaps most forward thinking in an independent film industry that can’t seem to get fully back on track. read more AUGUST
Slamdance Film Festival
Early Deadline: August 5
Late Deadline: October 21
Festival Dates: January 20 - 26, 2012
New Hampshire Film Festival
Late Deadline: August 5
WAB Deadline: August 15
Festival Dates: October 13 - 16
Peace River Film Festival
Late Deadline: August 10
WAB Deadline: August 15
Festival Dates: September 9 - 11