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Editor's Note
For a while I've wanted to start a sort of advice column at Filmmaker. Readers could write in with their questions about filmmaking and either I'd answer them or I'd farm them out to one of our specialist writers. Or, I'd simply do my own research and get questions to experts to answer. I've mentioned this a couple of times on the blog and in the newsletter but never got a lot of response, and I recently think I figured out why. It's that everything is Google-able. If you want to know what DSLR to buy, or where to find a good workshop on directing actors, or when the latest festival deadlines are, you can just search. So, when I got an email from a reader telling me his story (he's a DIY filmmaker, has made some shorts, and wrote a script that's larger than what he can make on his own) and ending with the question, "What do I do next?", I thought I should jumpstart that column. Because, I realized, this reader's question is not that Google-able. I shot him back an email and then riffed further on a blog post titled 15 Things To Do After You Finish Your Script.

The post is aimed at writer/directors who want to be proactive about their work -- to, in effect, function as producers until someone else steps into that role. No one should do all of these; some of these steps are the wrong ones for certain people. But the post should at least prompt some thought and self-examination, and the reader comments already have great additions or elaborations. Check them out. And if you have questions, email me at I'm trying to come up with other topics that Google won't be that helpful with. Like, how to build your own trustworthiness and long-term social capital in the film business. That might be the next one.

On another note, 2012 is Focus Features' 10th Anniversary, and in celebration MoMA is mounting a retro starting today of a selection of their releases. What a list! The Pianist, Milk, The Constant Gardener, Brokeback Mountain, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Eastern Promises, among others -- every single film screening is not just good but great. Congratulations to James Schamus, Andrew Karpen, and the whole team at the distributor for making the 10 years and having built such an amazing library of titles. And yes, they're all on DVD, but why not check out your favorite on the big screen. Those MoMA rooms are pretty great.

See you next week.

Scott Macaulay

Upcoming At IFP
INDEPENDENT FILM WEEK: DEADLINES THIS FRIDAY FOR SCREENPLAYS AND DOCUMENTARIES This Friday, May 4th, marks the first set of deadlines for the Project Forum at Independent Film Week (September 16-20, 2012), a forum which connects filmmakers with producers, funders, distributors, broadcasters, sales agents, festival programmers, and more. Friday is the final deadline for writers to apply to Emerging Narrative, a section for U.S. writers and writer/directors seeking producers and agents to develop, produce, represent and finance their scripts, as well as the deadline for U.S. producers to apply to the No Borders International Co-production Market, which is for U.S. and international producers with partial financing on new narrative projects seeking additional partners. Finally, Friday is also the early deadline for Spotlight on Documentaries, a section for U.S. filmmakers in production or post-production seeking financing partners, broadcast/distribution opportunities, and festival invitations. The final deadline for Spotlight on Documentaries is May 25th. For more info, and to apply, click here.
In This Newsletter
Editor's Note
Hammer to Nail Review
First Position
Last Call at the Oasis
The Perfect Family
Five Questions For Jessica Oreck About Her New Kickstarter Project
Independent Film Week: Deadlines This Friday for Screenplays and Documentaries
Fest Deadlines
Hammer To Nail

Usually when you watch a once-banned film decades after the fact, it leads to a deflated feeling that the film wasn't ban-worthy at all, that it wasn't ever close to being "dangerous." But when one of those films is also widely deemed a classic by trusted sources? Well, that just about guarantees it's going to land with a big, whopping letdown of a thud. So here comes a restoration of Shirley Clarke's 1962 feature, The Connection, a film that 1) was banned upon its initial release, and 2) is considered to be a landmark achievement in American independent cinema. With a double-expectation like that, there's no way it can deliver, right?
read more
New In Theaters
FIRST POSITION Bess Kargman's documentary First Position follows a group of ballet dancers (ages 9-19) on their journey toward the Youth American Grand Prix, one of the largest dance competitions in the world. With this documentary, Kargman embarked on making the kind of film that she always dreamed of seeing as a child dancer in Boston, Massachusetts. Fortunately for Kargman, she wasn't alone. First Position has won over festival audiences across the nation and collected many awards including the Jury Prize at the San Francisco Documentary Festival.
LAST CALL AT THE OASIS Last Call at the Oasis, the latest documentary from In the Realms of the Unreal director Jessica Yu, sheds light on the current global water crisis. The film explores the ways in which water plays an important role in society and the methods by which it is being negatively affected for present and future generations. Yu's doc features interviews with activists and experts in the field including Peter Gleick, Jay Famiglietti and Erin Brockovich, among others.
THE PERFECT FAMILY Director Anne Renton's The Perfect Family focuses on Eileen Cleary (Kathleen Turner), a devout Catholic housewife who receives a nomination for "Catholic Woman of the Year". Subsequently, Eileen discovers that her family is gradually falling apart. Fearing that this will jeopardize her chances of winning the prestigious award, Eileen goes to great lengths to maintain the appearance that she has the perfect family. The film also stars Emily Deschanel, Jason Ritter and Michael McGrady.
Recent Blogs
This week on the blog, Andrew Dosunmo discusses the beauty of Restless City (pictured left), Scott Macaulay announces the casting of Rooney Mara in David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints, and Nick Dawson shares the news of Tribeca award sweeper Una Noche.

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

With her debut documentary, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, Jessica Oreck reinvented the nature doc. Oreck, an entomologist who worked as a docent at the American Museum of Natural History, made a film about an insect that was as much about man's fascination with that creature as it was the creature itself. To top it off, she made her poetic and allusive picture in Japan, exploring the country's endemic beetle-mania through evocative cinematography and haunting voiceover. read more

Festival Deadlines
New Orleans Film Festival
Late Deadline: May 4
WAB Deadline: June 4
Festival Dates: October 12 - 18

Leeds International Film Festival
Earlybird Deadline: May 4
Regular Deadline: August 3
Late Deadline: August 24
Festival Dates: November 1 - 18

Fantastic Fest
Regular Deadline: May 9
Late Deadline: June 6
WAB Deadline: July 13
Festival Dates: September 20 - 27

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