August 2008

Quest for Truth

An interview with director and producer Rory Kennedy about her latest film "Thank You Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House"


Helen Thomas with filmmaker Rory Kennedy.

Filmmaker and political activist Rory Kennedy talks with The Independent about her latest documentary Thank You Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House about influential political journalist Helen Thomas. The film premieres on HBO on August 18th with additional airings throughout the month.

Rory Kennedy didn’t always know she wanted to be a filmmaker, but she did see herself as a political activist. As the daughter of former U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, politics run strong in her blood. In wanting to make an impact on people’s lives, she gravitated towards film as a means of educating herself and others about political and social issues.

Rider Strong Moves On

Rider Strong talks about his new short, Irish Twins, and "coming down with" hope for Obama


Rider Strong's ad "It Could Happen To You" won funniest ad in the Obama in 30 Seconds contest.

Once a child actor, Rider Strong charts a new course for his career by writing and directing (with brother Shiloh) the short film Irish Twins currently on the festival circuit (see the trailer), not to mention earning the “funniest ad” award for MoveOn.org’s recent Obama in 30 Seconds contest (watch it). Strong talks with Erin Trahan about his first short, his future political career, and why he's a lot more like Arnold Schwanzenegger than one might think.

Rider Strong grew up on television. Not like most of us, consuming it after school with a Hi-C juice box and a Swiss Cake roll, but as Shawn Hunter, the beloved boy next door on Boy Meets World. Considering the fate of other child actors, spending ages 13 to 20 under the hot lights of American television could have been his one-way ticket to rehab.

Letter from Buenos Aires: Subsidies Create More Films, But Not an Eager Audience

A look at the independent film community in Argentina in 2008


The Official Story: Argentina's film community is struggling to find an audience.

Tourists flock in hoards to experience the literature, theatre, tango, and art of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Film can now be added to the list. Yet even with increased financial support from the Argentine government, Argentine-made films, particularly the indies, are struggling to find an audience big enough to sustain the industry. Kim Winternheimer reports on the latest developments for Argentine films both home and abroad.

It’s not surprising that a country known for its artistic and cultural liveliness is garnering critical acclaim and attention for its films.

Filmmaker's Journal: Far East

Filmmaker Jason Rosette checks in from Thailand where he tries to generate interest in his upcoming film "Freedom Deal.


An image from Cambofest.

Filmmaker Jason Rosette checks in from Thailand on the status of his film Freedom Deal in the second part of this filmmaker journal. His first entry Filimmaker's Journal: So Much for Taking a Break chronicles how he went from a stopover in Cambodia to organizing a local film festival and a production company.

Jason Rosette made two films in the U.S.—Bookwars and Susan Hero—before moving to Southeast Asia. His original plan was to travel a bit and learn how to teach English as a second language. But on a stopover in Cambodia, Rosette found himself infatuated with the country and its people. And since the once-troubled nation lost a generation of artists and journalists, he also saw an opportunity and even a responsibility to put his media-making skills to good use. So he organized a film festival and started a production company that works for a number of NGOs. He is now at work on his latest film Freedom Deal. He chronicles his work in this filmmaker journal series for The Independent.

Werner Herzog Made Me Do It

An interview with filmmaker Lee Kazimir about his film "More Shoes"


Lee Kazimir on his walk across Europe in "More Shoes."

Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog once said in an interview that he believed the best way to become a filmmaker would be to go on a long walk -- say, from Madrid to Kiev. So Lee Kazimir took his advice literally. His journey resulted in his first feature documentary, More Shoes (see the trailer). As the film makes its way through the festival circuit, Lee stop to talk with The Independent about the film and the people he met along his journey.

Stuck in a dead-end job and worried he'd never make it as a filmmaker, Lee Kazimir decided to take Werner Herzog's advice. Legendary filmmaker Herzog had once said in an interview that he believed the best way to become a filmmaker would be not to practice filmmaking but to walk -- say, from Madrid to Kiev.

Party Like a Doc Star

Tips on coordinating a successful fundraising party


L.A. garment worker Lupe addresses the crowd at a rally in "Made in L.A."  Photo credit by Joann Lo.

Founder of Docs in Progress, Erica Ginsberg, talks with successful documentary filmmakers Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar (Made in L.A.), and Christopher Wong (Whatever it Takes), and film financing expert Morrie Warshawski about the ins and outs of hosting fundraising parties to finance a film.

Filmmakers increasingly need to seek funds from as many sources as possible. A fundraising party may seem like a fun way to raise much-needed dough, but they are a lot of work.  Still, securing the right host, making a personal connection to the guests, and laying the groundwork for future "asks" can have

Trailer for "Romans 12:20"

Award-winning film from the Rhode Island International Film Festival 2008

Subtitle:

Award-winning film from the Rhode Island International Film Festival 2008

Trailer for "Gone Fishing"

Award-winning film from the Rhode Island International Film Festival 2008

Subtitle:

Award-winning film from the Rhode Island International Film Festival 2008

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