Activism

Cinematic Lessons From a Cold War Era

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw revisits the reissued 1995 doc, "Red Hollywood."


One of a million stills in "Red Hollywood" a documentary of the too-little seen films that fell sway to the Red Scare.

Kurt Brokaw matches Thom Andersen and Noël Burch’s tour de force of clips in their 1995 documentary Red Hollywood with a likewise ambitious recap of those clips. Film students take note, thanks to McCarthy, you haven't seen everything yet, but this doc will help you get there. Screening at Film Society of Lincoln Center August 15-21, 2014.

Red Hollywood
(Thom Andersen, Noël Burch. 1995. USA. 119 min.)

Do You Know Where Your Film and Video Masters Are?

Sandra Schulberg and Richard Pena are organizing the first IndieCollect meeting in NYC on December 9, 2013.


Preserving indie film is no small matter. Photo by DRsKulturarvsprojekt.

IFP founder Sandra Schulberg and former New York Film Festival director Richard Pena are spearheading a national initiative called indieCollect to save American independent films from extinction. The first meeting will be held on December 9th at 6 pm. Click here to learn about the meeting and about the effort, which is not limited to New York City.

Editor's Note: We are posting this email message from Sandra Schulberg at her request as a courtesy to our readers who share concerns over preserving and archiving independent films. We plan to follow this project and report more formally about its status in the future.

Begin message:

Julia Bacha on the Art of Non-Violent Filmmaking

After "Budrus," Bacha documents a coming-of-age story set in East Jerusalem.


Sara Benninga, an Israeli activist who appears in "My Neighborhood."

Julia Bacha's follow up to Budrus is My Neighborhood, which follows a young boy who comes of age in East Jerusalem through eviction, protests, and unexpected allegiances. She told The Independent that "the story of My Neighborhood isn’t over. We wanted to get the film out as soon as possible, because we didn’t want the window to close while there was still time to try and stop the settlements there."

In a conversation via Skype over the summer, acclaimed writer/director Julia Bacha talked with The Independent’s Rebecca Reynolds about Bacha’s work at Just Vision, a nonprofit organization dedicated to documenting the lives of Palestinian and Israeli civilians who are working to promote peace and fre

IDFA 2011 - In Touch with the "Planet of Snail"

Randi Cecchine speaks with director Seung-Jun Yi about "Planet of Snail," which won best feature-length documentary at IDFA.


Here's how you learn finger-braille through the Planet of Snail app.

"I think every doc director is an activist, their army is visual images," says director Seung-Jun Yi. His film, Planet of Snail, about the blind and deaf poet Young-Chan, just won the best feature-length documentary award at IDFA. Seung-Jun Yi has made documentaries for Korean television and is among a growing movement of filmmakers to break out and expand the form.

For two years South Korean director Seung-Jun Yi and his assistant director took a two-hour subway ride to the home of the deaf and blind poet Young-Chan and his wife Soon-Ho. The couple communicates through a technique of gentle finger tapping called finger-braille, developed by the Japanese deaf and blind professor Satoshi Fukushima.

Afghan Life According to Afghan Filmmakers

With limited access to stories from the Afghan point of view, filmmaker Michael Sheridan set up a workshop to give Afghan people the tools to make their own documentaries.


The struggle to grow grapes in "Water Ways," (photo by Community Supported Film).

From the long walk between work and home to squeezing water from the desert dust, The Fruit of Our Labor depicts daily life in post-9/11 Afghanistan, as told by 10 Afghan filmmakers trained by Community Supported Film.

In the days approaching the 10th anniversary of September 11th, whose stories have you heard? Have they represented the full spectrum of experiences on that date and what has unfolded since? What was the language of their telling?

It's Alive!

Doc filmmaker Chris Paine assures viewers and environmentalists--the electric car was just taking a very long nap.


The Chevy Volt makes an appearance in "Revenge," as do vehicles converted by motivated car owners.

If you thought the electric car died a slow, tragic death, you're right. And if you're like filmmaker Chris Paine, who helped document its demise in Who Killed the Electric Car? or the inventors and advocates in his new film, Revenge of the Electric Car then you believe, beyond a shadow of the doubt, electric can and will power vehicles of the future. Read what Paine told the The Independent's Katherine Brodsky after his film premiered.

Director Chris Paine is back with a follow-up to his highly touted documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car?, which celebrated the birth and mourned the death of the electric car. With help from a cast of unwavering advocates, Paine resurrects the vehicle in Revenge of the Electric Car.

Facebook Exclusive Content for 10 to Watch

Via Facebook, The Independent announces our 10 to Watch in 2011 with one filmmaker (and one piece of exclusive content) per day, from May 6th through the 15th.

A still from <i>Short Term 12</i>, a film by Destin Daniel Cretton, one of The Independent's 10 filmmakers to Watch.

We'll be announcing our annual list of 10 of the most talented filmmakers we think you should keep your eye on by posting exclusive content daily on our Facebook page.

Editor's Note: This collaborative reporting effort was led by Nikki Chase, Maddy Kadish and Beth Brosnan.

All Signs Point North

The Sixth Camden International Film Festival focuses on filmmakers’ growth as it grows in leaps and bounds itself.


"The Eventful Life of Al Hawkes" is a doc about how country music came to Maine.

For six years now Ben Fowlie has been luring the documentary world north to the Camden International Film Festival. They come for pitch opportunities, a seminar for film professionals, a semester-long partnership with the University Maine, and for docs that embrace an activist edge.

The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) is a documentary-exclusive festival that takes place September 29th through October 3rd in a picturesque Maine coastal town. It’s a small, but growing festival founded six years ago by Ben Fowlie, who also programs and coordinates the event.

The Desperation of Independence

David Pierotti loves PBS but asks: What would it take for PBS to keep its fiction productions on this side of the pond?


Brilliant and British: Helen Mirren and Liza Sadovy in "Prime Suspect."

"You could argue that there's plenty of fiction on PBS. Strictly speaking, that’s true. My complaint is that it all comes with an accent," writes David Pierotti. Why can't his most beloved source of TV programming, PBS, bring the same charisma to its American-made fiction as it does its nonfiction?

As we enter another fall broadcast season and the networks prepare to launch new fare like Mike & Molly or hype established shows such as House and Modern Family, television viewers do not lack choices. Granted, most will be awful, but not awful enough to drive more viewers to my favorite programs over at PBS.

The Show Must Go Green

"Going green" might be en vogue—and environmentally responsible, of course—but what does sustainable filmmaking really entail?


Miranda Bailey, director of the eco-documentary, <i>Greenlit</i>.

Prompted by Miranda Bailey's recent documentary, Greenlit, The Independent's Steven Abrams asks two eco-experts for tips on simple, environmentally conscious filmmaking methods.

Miranda Bailey's recent film-within-a-film documentary, Greenlit, portrays the hopes and eventual challenges of making the production of The River Why "green." There's an initial hope that making the Why production eco-friendly is doable, and even money-saving.

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