Film Festival Blogs
Steven Abrams catches up with four filmmakers who premiered their films at South by Southwest (SXSW) this year.March 17th, 2009 | Steven Abrams
Independent blogger Steven Abrams talks to four filmmakers who made their theatrical debuts at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2009: Andrew T. Betzer, director of John Wayne Hated Horses; David Gargani, director of Monsters From the Id (view the trailer here); husband-and-wife team, Wyatt McDill and Megan Huber, who directed Four Boxes (view the trailer here); and Dia Sokol, director of Sorry, Thanks (view the trailer here). The filmmakers discuss their SXSW premiere, how they prepared for the festival and what sets SXSW apart.
A brief look at four directors whose films have made their premiere at the 2009 SXSW film festival, running from March 13-22.
John Wayne Hated Horses
Director: Andrew T. Betzer
Premier date: March 14
Running time: 10 minutes
Category: Narrative short
A look at a new kind of festival planned by SXSW and IFC, as well as the Cinema Eye nominees.January 28th, 2009 | Adam Roffman
Independent blogger, Adam Roffman, attends a press conference where SXSW and IFC announce plans for a first-ever nationwide "On Demand" film festival where three titles will simultaneously premier at both SXSW and on the IFC Festival Direct On Demand channel--hear the reactions of both festival directors and filmmakers as they learn about this new kind of festival. Also, check out the complete list of this year's Cinema Eye nominees including, Man on Wire (view the trailer here), Waltz With Bashir (view the trailer here), and My Winnipeg (view the trailer here), which had the most nominations.
Most people who haven’t attended Sundance and even many who have think that the festival is all film screenings and parties. While there is plenty of that to go around, there are also always some major announcements that take place in Park City that have some impact on the film community at large.
The drama, the films and the buzz from the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.January 27th, 2009 | Adam Roffman
Independent blogger Adam Roffman brings back the details on the festival to watch, with a look at the films that are worth keeping an eye out for and the films that didn't quite live up to their buzz. Roffman gives a peek at the audience reaction to films like Tommy Wirkola’s Dead Snow (view the trailer here) and the festival darling Humpday, directed by Lynn Shelton.
It's the biggest shopping day (or week) of the year--at least for the film industry. Distributors are everywhere you look and all the top film festival programmers in the U.S. are at Sundance scouring the lineup for films to bring to their festivals including SXSW, Sarasota, Denver, Cleveland, Philly and IFFBoston (where I'm program director).
Experienced filmmakers share advice about distribution at IDFA's Docs for Sale.December 15th, 2008 | Randi Cecchine
The Independent's blogger and filmmaker Randi Cecchine, director of The Missile Dick Chicks Take on America (see the trailer) shares her notes from the Independent Documentary Festival Amsterdam's Docs for Sale series with advice from Deborah Zimmerman of Women Make Movies, Diane Wireman of Participant Media (the organization behind An Inconvenient Truth) and filmmaker Franny Armstrong, whose most recent film, Billy the Kid, screened at IDFA. Speakers address how the market for documentaries is shifting and give advice on how to find a place for your documentary in a constantly morphing media.
In the true spirit of blogging, below are some notes I took during a presentation that was part of IDFAcademy and open to filmmakers whose work was presented in Docs for Sale. I hope this information is helpful to other filmmakers.
An inside look at the inspiration for the film Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action, which screened at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.December 7th, 2008 | Randi Cecchine
The Independent's blogger and filmmaker Randi Cecchine, director of The Missile Dick Chicks Take on America (see the trailer), sits down for a dinner table discussion with Fierce Light director, Velcrow Ripper and his business partner and producer, Cher Hawrysh, who reveal what inspired them to make a movie about change, and how filmmakers play an integral role in being a catalyst for that change.
I was delighted to discover an inspiring new film at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) called Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action by filmmaker Velcrow Ripper and producer Cher Hawrysh.
Blogger Randi Cecchine gives us the inside scoop on the Docs For Sale series at IDFA.November 24th, 2008 | Randi Cecchine
Independent blogger and filmmaker Randi Cecchine, director of The Missile Dick Chicks Take on America (see the trailer), takes on the International Documentary Film Festival and Amsterdam's Docs For Sale informational sessions and boils down the best advice for the distribution and representation of independent films.
At the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA), my documentary Trail of Feathers: The Missile Dick Chicks Take on America is playing on little cubicles at Docs for Sale where distributors, sales agents, festivals and broadcasters come to find new films.
A report from opening night and a preview of what's to come.November 8th, 2008 | Derek Leverette
Derek Leverette blogs from the Dallas Video Festival with a report from the opening night films and a preview of the second-night lineup including feature A President to Remember: In the Company of John F. Kennedy, and The Wrecking Crew (see trailer, a documentary about backup musicians of the 60s, and festival-favorite The Pleasure of Being Robbed (see trailer).
The first night of the 21st Annual Dallas Video Festival was a great success! We're so excited to be in our third decade of programming innovative, though-provoking video art in north Texas.
The 21st Annual Dallas Video Festival opens with a screening of a painstakingly and unauthorized remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation.November 6th, 2008 | Derek Leverette
The 21st Annual Dallas Video Festival opens with a screening of a painstakingly and unauthorized remake Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (see trailer) at the Angelika Film Center Dallas at 7 PM. The festival runs from Thursday, November 6 through Sunday, November 9.
Have you ever loved a movie so much that you wanted to live it? This is just what Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb did when they were only 12 years old. Over the next seven summers, they painstakingly remade Raiders of the Lost Ark, shot for shot. The film opens this year's 21st Annual Dallas Video Festival .
A round-up of the stand-out films at the Woodstock Film Festival.October 9th, 2008 | Sarah Coleman
Sarah Coleman sums up the highlights of the Woodstock Film Festival closing ceremonies with crude quips from this year's Maverick filmmaker, Kevin Smith (see the trailer for his latest film, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which closed the festival), and wide-eyed acceptances from upcoming filmmakers such as Jeremiah Zagar (see the trailer for In a Dream), Sean Baker (see the trailer for Prince of Broadway), and Tom Quinn, among others.
Want to inject a bit of spark and a lot of profanity into your film festival award ceremony?
Blogger Sarah Coleman boils down the panel discussions at the Woodstock Film Festival.October 7th, 2008 | Sarah Coleman
Sure, panel discussions are useful, but the information-gleaned-to-time-spent ratio doesn't always work out in your favor so we had blogger Sarah Coleman get the inside scoop from critics, actors, producers and filmmakers, like Jay Duplass (see the trailer for Baghead here), who were willing to share their filmmaking experiences, from post-production to distribution.
Saturday at the Woodstock Film Festival is a day filled with panel discussions. At best, panels can wonderfully stimulating, filled with useful information delivered by vibrant, inspiring people. At worst, they can be mind-numbingly dull.
Blogger Sarah Coleman takes a look at the themes of activism and genre bending at the Woodstock Film Festival.October 6th, 2008 | Sarah Coleman
Not-your-everyday animation finds a home with the audience at Woodstock with Bill Plympton's Idiots and Angels (view trailer here) along with a passionate forum for environmental concerns following a screening of Dan Stone's documentary At the Edge of the World.
Nikki Goldbeck, the deputy director of the Woodstock Film Festival, is the point person for organizing filmmakers’ visits to the festival. This year, some 80 filmmakers are coming to discuss their movies, the highest number ever, which Goldbeck sees as a testament to the festival’s growing success. “It really makes a difference,” she says.
With the 2008 presidential election quickly approaching, the 9th Annual Woodstock Film Festival brings political and social issues to the forefront.October 4th, 2008 | Sarah Coleman
Independent blogger Sarah Coleman gives readers a peek into the politically-charged first day at the Woodstock Film Festival where films addressed issues such as the environment, broken families (see the trailer for "The New Year Parade"), world culture (see the trailer for "Throw Down Your Heart"), and religion (see "Religulous" trailer).
On the day before this year’s Woodstock Film Festival screenings are due to begin, festival director Meira Blaustein sits in her office, enjoying a moment of calm before the storm. As it’s grown in stature and reputation, this “fiercely independent” festival in the well-known Catskills town has been finding itself increasingly spoiled for choice.
A review of "Pontypool", one of TIFF's "groundbreaking films", which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this month.September 30th, 2008 | Gillian Moody
Blogger Gillian Moody takes a look at the zombie-esque "Pontypool", a part of Toronto International Film Festival's Vanguard series, which imagines a world where a virus is spread through the English-language.
On Tuesday, Septemer 9, Canadian-made film Pontypool, a movie by director Bruce McDonald of The Tracey Fragments, (starring 2007 Oscar nominee Ellen Page from the movie Juno) screened at TIFF’s Vanguard, a program dedicated to groundbreaking films.
A review of "Slumdog Millionaire", a film by acclaimed director Danny Boyle of "Trainspotting" fame, that screened at Toronto International Film Festival this month.September 29th, 2008 | Gillian Moody
Blogger Gillian Moody views "Slumdog Millionaire" (see trailer), a film that flirted with the idea of a straight-to-DVD release, becomes a popular favorite at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and is picked up by Fox Searchlight for a happy ending to a long journey that parallels the film itself.
On Sunday, September 7, English-made film Slumdog Millionaire made its debut at TIFF, where it handily won the Cadillac People’s Choice Award. All of this considering that Slumdog Millionaire nearly went straight to DVD after Warners’ Independent Pictures closed its doors earlier this year.
As the Indepdendent Film Week winds down, festival-goers are eager to discuss filmmaking techniques at the conferences.September 18th, 2008 | Kayla Soyer-Stein
Documentary filmmakers discuss the relationship with their subjects during one of the festival's most popular segments: the Independent Filmmaker Conference. SILVERDOCS director of programming, Sky Sitney, and other panelists try to define the ethical role of documentarians.
A crowd of filmmakers and other members of the film industry gathered outside the Haft Auditorium at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) at various times today, as they did every day this week, waiting to get into the Independent Filmmaker Conferences, in which filmmakers, producers, distributors, agents, and buyers discussed a variety of issues pertaining to independent filmmaking.