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Editor's Note
A short newsletter this week as I'm writing this from my hotel room in Amsterdam just before leaving for the airport. I came here for two days for a Rotterdam Cinemart board meeting -- a day-long event discussing the International Film Festival Rotterdam's annual co-production market. Aside from the Rotterdam business, the meetings are always a nice way of catching up with the board's other producers, sales agents and business people outside of the busy festival context, and they invariably produce ideas I try to mine for future issues of the magazine. Here's one: I got into a conversation with another producer about the importance of mood reels when pitching projects. These are something that I know are increasingly valuable in L.A. when pitching movies or TV. (Alicia Van Couvering references them in her article on independent film writers and producers making it in television in our next issue.) If you don't know what these are, consider them the digital video equivalent of the old director's look book -- a reel of images, most often from other films, edited, scored and possibly overlaid with narration, that demonstrates the tone of a proposed film. As an independent producer I often encounter filmmakers who have shot one scene of their movie, but from our discussion, these reels -- which demonstrate a filmmaker's ability to synthesize his pitch and convey it emotionally, through images -- are often preferred now. There are even European funders who are giving money to filmmakers to make them before coming in, and their increased use means that some filmmakers are creating mood reels that are compelling works of art on their own. I'm trying to track down the best of these so I can write more for the magazine or blog.

We also shipped the Spring issue of Filmmaker this week to our printer. Wes Anderson is on the cover for his wonderful new Moonrise Kingdom, and we have a number of articles dealing with, as I mentioned, filmmakers working in television. Of course, we discuss Lena Dunham's Girls, which deserves all the plaudits it's getting in the mainstream press. Lena, one of our 25 New Faces, has only deepened her voice with this new show -- her take on 20-something women entering the New York workforce and social scene is wickedly satirical, emotional, and honest, all at the same time. In the issue, in addition to Alicia's piece, is one by Anthony Kaufman, who tells you what you need to prepare for if you want to direct television.

Finally, I'd like to formally note the departure of our long-time Managing Editor, Jason Guerrasio, who has become the new web editor at the Tribeca Film Institute. I want to thank Jason for his five years of great work here at Filmmaker and also welcome our new Managing Editor, Nick Dawson. Many of you will know Nick's byline. A frequent contributor, he also created our weekly "Director Interviews" column and wrote the biography of Hal Ashby, Being Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel. I'm happy to have Nick, with his wit and deep knowledge of the independent scene, at the magazine.

See you next week.

Scott Macaulay

Upcoming At IFP
FINAL CALL FOR IFP's INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER LAB In 2008 Terence Nance submitted his first feature, then titled How Would You Feel? vol. 1-7, to the Documentary strand of the IFP Independent Filmmaker Labs. This story of a young man and woman whose relationship is perpetually teetering at the edge of the platonic and romantic was in the shape of a narrative trip into the experiences of Nance himself, retelling the events of a few months in his life as he attempts to rationalize his momentary feeling. IFP programmers saw it more comfortably fitting in the Narrative Lab, and it was there that he continued to work toward re-configuring what the film would become. At the time he wrote "My goal in post is to first not allow the original idea to hinder the possible evolution of the film." Over time this evolution became An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, premiering in the New Frontier section of Sundance 2012, and since screening at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, New Directors/New Films, and the upcoming Sundance London Film and Music Festival. Nance says "The Labs were the start of a long Journey that is taking me places I dreamed about." Narrative filmmakers currently at the fine tuning stage of their own rough cuts should note that the final deadline for applying to IFP's Narrative strand of the 2012 Labs is this Friday, April 6th. Additional detailed information about the labs and how to apply are available here. Additional detailed information about the labs and how to apply is available here.
In This Newsletter
Editor's Note
Hammer to Nail Review
Damsels in Distress
We Have a Pope
Nanni Moretti, "We Have a Pope"
Final Call for IFP's Independent Filmmaker Lab
Fest Deadlines
Hammer To Nail

For those of us who, as adults, continue to take the preposterous cliff-jump that is making movies with nary a paycheck in sight, there are almost certainly VHS/Hi-8/mini-DV tapes hidden somewhere that contain our earliest "work." Most of this "work" can be categorized as such: backyard/basement/garage variations on--or outright recreations of--whatever big-budget spectacles we had most recently encountered. As a combination performance artist/filmmaker in his mid-30s with just two features under his belt--Flooding With Love For The Kid and now Your Brother. Remember?--Zachary Oberzan has done the unthinkable. Rather than exploiting these past transgressions for comedic purposes, he has embraced them to the point where they define his peculiar artistic vision. Though his work is extremely personal, Oberzan's films also ask genuinely deep questions about inspiration, execution, and purpose when it comes to gathering up the reckless courage to make a movie, whether it's with a 35mm camera on a sound stage in Hollywood or on a crappy camcorder in the woods out back. read more
New In Theaters
DAMSELS IN DISTRESS 14 years after Last Days of Disco, Whit Stillman returns with Damsels in Distress, a musical comedy about three young women trying to make a difference at their college campus. Led by the strong and determined Violet (Greta Gerwig), the girls open a suicide prevention center where healing is taught through, among other things, tap dancing. Don't let the song and dance fool you, though. This won't be High School Musical V: The College Years. Judging from the film's trailer, Stillman's intelligent humor and sophisticated dialogue seems to be as sharp as ever.
KEYHOLE In Guy Maddin's Keyhole, a 1930's gangster named Ulysses Pick (Jason Patric) returns home after a shootout between his gang and the cops. He searches his mansion for his wife Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini) only to find himself lost in a maze of haunted memories and supernatural occurrences. With Maddin's singular directorial style, Keyhole is sure to be a bizarre, otherworldly experience. The film also stars Udo Kier and Kevin McDonald.
WE HAVE A POPE Nanni Moretti's We Have a Pope centers on Melville (Michel Piccoli), a cardinal who is overcome with panic when he learns that he has been chosen as the successor to the late Pope. After refusing to appear before the people of Rome, a media frenzy erupts and a psychiatrist is appointed to reason with him. Moretti's comedy-drama received some harsh criticism from members of the Catholic community - a Vatican correspondent attempted to boycott the film. However, the film garnered positive reviews after premiering at last year's Cannes Film Festival.
Recent Blogs
This week on the blog, Nick Dawson shares David Lynch's Crazy Clown Time Video, and BAM CinemaFest's Initial Slate (pictured left), and Scott Macaulay discusses Ghosthunting at Sundance.

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

Deeply shrouded in mystery, the election of the Pope is a strange amalgam of modern democracy and ancient ritual. It is also a circumstance that seems ripe for farce. At least Nanni Moretti, perhaps Italy's most revered contemporary filmmaker, seems to think so. His newest film, We Have a Pope, which premiered last year in Cannes as Habemus Papam, is an often funny, sneakily moving investigation of the Vatican's less-than-infallible process of choosing the divine, and one man's rejection of his supposedly divine calling. Starring Michel Piccoli as a would-be Pope who disappears after his election and Moretti himself as the psychoanalyst charged with helping the new Pope through his post-election panic, We Have a Pope finds the director, as he did in 2006's veiled Berlusconi biopic Il Caimano, pondering the inner life of one of Italy's most powerful, iconic men. read more

Festival Deadlines
Hamptons International Film Festival
Regular Deadline: April 6
Late Deadline: June 8
WAB Deadline: June 25
Festival Dates: October 4 - 8

Film Series at Cine Gear Expo
Late Deadline: April 5
WAB Deadline: April 16
Festival Dates: May 31 - June 3

Citizen Jane Film Festival
Regular Deadline: April 6
Late Deadline: April 27
WAB Deadline: May 18
Festival Dates: October 19 - October 21

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