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I've been writing for Filmmaker for the past five years, and during that whole time the magazine's "25 New Faces" list has been an extremely significant and important part of what we do. So it surprised me to learn from Scott, when we were discussing the history of the list, that it had ever been anything other than it is now.
As Scott related it to me, back in 1998, when the list first appeared, its presence in the magazine was driven by necessity: during the summer there were less indie films released, but still the same number of pages in the magazine. In need of a new feature, the idea of "25 New Faces" emerged.
After a certain time, though, the strength and relevance of the list became impossible to ignore, as steadily the number of talented and successful figures within indie film who had appeared on the list - often years before they had made their mark - just grew and grew.
I first contributed to the list in 2007, and "25 New Faces" has always been something that I've been incredibly passionate about. In my mind, it's a little different from other lists, in that what we're doing is not acknowledging talent that has broken through so much as trying to highlight filmmakers who are yet to break. In short, it's a "discovery" list. I recently had dinner with one of our writers, and we discussed this year's list. "I feel so old," he told me. "I didn't know a single person on there!" My response? "That's exactly what we were aiming for!"
This year's list, of course, was released three weeks ago, but the reason I'm writing about it now is that it's still a big part of my consciousness as Filmmaker's Managing Editor. At the moment, there's a "real world" project I'm working on that is directly related to the list, plus I just wrote a blog post about the subject (who today won an Olympic gold medal!) of the feature debut doc by 2012 alums Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari, and another post on a short film made by Lena Dunham, one of 2009's "New Faces."
Today I also had coffee with Hannah Fidell, another 2012 alum, who's off soon to Tacoma, Washington, for the awesome screening series at The Grand Cinema, which takes place August 17 to 23 and will be attended by a huge number of this year's alums. Oh, and I'm wearing a T-shirt promoting The Slope given to me by the web series' creators, Desiree Akhavan and Ingrid Jungermann, who are also on our 2012 list and will themselves be making the trek to Tacoma.
What all this underlines is that all it does not stop after the Filmmaker Summer issue hits newsstands. When Scott and I spend nights and weekends watching screeners and reading scripts through all of April, May and June, we're looking for exciting creative voices that we think are the future of independent film. Once the list is done, that excitement has not dissipated; it prevails. As do many of the friendships with filmmakers we establish along the way.
As for that project I referred to, there will be some exciting news on that very soon, so keep a look out for that.
See you next week.
22ND ANNUAL GOTHAM INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS SET FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26 - SUBMISSIONS NOW OPEN Signaling the official kick-off for the film awards season, 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 26th at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. There will be seven competitive awards in 2012 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 14, 2012. Awards to the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You(r) for undistributed films and the Gotham Audience Award winner will also be presented. Nominees in all categories will be announced on October 18h. Applications, along with full criteria for all awards, are available here.
Hammer to Nail Review
2 Days in New York
Red Hook Summer
Meet the Fokkens
Richard Trank, It Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl
22nd Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards Set for Monday, November 26 - Submissions Now Open
2 DAYS IN NEW YORK By Susanna Locascio
I've been known to knock the French, toodling around on bicycles with their phallic baguettes, vin rouge, and perennial boredom with all things Americain. But is there any way to withstand the Julie Delpy charm offensive? She had me at bonjour in this witty comedy, a sequel to her earlier film 2 Days in Paris. Delpy (who wrote and directed the film) reprises her role as Marion, now living with her boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock, nicely subdued, and funnier for it). On the eve of a big gallery opening of her photography, Marion's very French father and sister come to visit, and hilarity ensues. The film is silly, and light on its feet, but I know this sort of influx of European family members very well, and Delpy gets it right. If you surrender to the madcap humor, 2 Days in New York can be a very good time.
Read more 2 Days in New York In Julie Delpy's 2 Days in New York, Marion (Delpy), a French photographer and her boyfriend Mingus (Chris Rock), a talk-radio host, live happily together with their two children from past relationships. Their world turns upside down, however, when Marion's eccentric family decides to pay a visit, thus putting an undue strain on their relationship. A sequel to 2 Days in Paris, Delpy writes, directs and reprises her role from the 2007 culture-clash comedy. Red Hook Summer Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer follows Flik Royale (Jules Brown), a young boy from Atlanta who is sent to spend the summer in Brooklyn with his religious grandfather Bishop Enoch Rouse (Clarke Peters). Flik's summer quickly turns tough as he struggles to adapt to Brooklyn life and his grandfather makes several attempts at converting him to a believer. Things start to look up, though, when he meets Chazz Morningstar (Tony Lysaith), who shows him the beauty of her neighborhood. Lee's latest is his sixth film from his "Chronicles of Brooklyn" series, which includes Do the Right Thing, Crooklyn and She's Gotta Have It. MEET THE FOKKENS Gabrielle Provaas and Rob Schroder's Meet the Fokkens focuses on Louise and Martine Fokkens, 69-year-old twin sisters and revolutionary prostitutes. During their more than 40 years working in the red light district of Amsterdam, the two women disbanded from their pimps and opened their own brothel and prostitute union. The film chronicles their incredible journey and ultimate farewell to the profession. This week on the blog, Nick Dawson announces Oscilloscope's acquisition of Only the Young (pictured left), shares the trailer for Quentin Dupieux's Wrong, and Adam Cook reports from Locarno Film Festival.
To read more posts from our blog, click here.
RICHARD TRANK, "IT IS NO DREAM: THE LIFE OF THEODOR HERZL"
Studiously researched, It Is No Dream: The Life of Theodore Herzl reveals the life that informed Austro-Hungarian journalist-playwright Theodor Herzl's creation of the Zionist Movement, which ultimately led to the founding of the state of Israel. Directed by Richard Trank, the film uses Herzl's diaries and photographs, correspondence and drama, as well as a limited but effective pool of other historical artifacts to recreate the dynamic world of central European Jewry that Herzl sprang from, while explaining the rapid development of his politic cause in a way that will resonate with both laymen and history buffs alike. Narrated by Ben Kingsley, it features some dexterous voice work by Christoph Waltz, who inhabits the voice of Herzl's writings. A documentarian veteran, Trank is the longtime principal writer/producer/director at Moriah Films, which is the documentary production wing of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Perhaps best known for producing the Academy Award-winning The Long Road (1997) under the Moriah Films banner, Trank has directed eight features, most recently Against the Tide (2009) and Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny (2010). It Is No Dream: The Life of Theodore Herzl opens in Manhattan and Los Angeles tomorrow.
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
Earlybird Deadline: August 10
Regular Deadline: September 21
Late Deadline: November 2
Drop Deadline: December 7
Festival Dates: January 24 - February 3
RiverRun International Film Festival
Earlybird Deadline: August 15
Regular Deadline: October 1
Late Deadline: November 1
WAB Deadline: December 15
Festival Dates: April 12 - 21
Gotham Screen Film Festival and Screenplay Competition
Late Deadline: August 15
WAB Deadline: September 3
Festival Dates: October 4 - 14