Making Films

Inspired by Personal History, Hong Khaou Releases “Lilting” to US Audiences

Director Hong Khaou shares the personal and professional journey behind his Sundance award-winning feature debut, available on DVD and VOD on September 29, 2014.


Pei-pei Cheng (L) and Ben Whishaw (R) star in Hong Khaou's "Lilting." Photo courtesy Strand Releasing.

In Hong Khaou's Lilting, available on DVD and VOD September 29th, a mother grieves for her son by getting to know her son's partner. Khaou told The Independent his debut feature came, "from a place that’s deeply personal, especially that of grief. I lost my dad when I was 12 and the character in the film loses her son. So I had to expose myself in a certain way writing this."

In 2011, Hong Khaou maxed out his credit cards to fund his attendance at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

TIFF 2014: Safdie Bros Borrow From Life on NY Streets in "Heaven Knows What"

Josh and Benny Safdie, and actor Arielle Holmes, talk the morning after "Heaven Knows What" premieres at TIFF.


"Heaven Knows What" is based on Arielle Holmes' life while addicted to heroin.

Heroin addiction and life on the New York streets take center stage in Josh and Benny Safdie's latest, Heaven Knows What. The morning after their North American premiere at TIFF, they riff on the why and what of it all with the film's star and inspirational scribe, Arielle Holmes.

In the Q&A after the North American premiere of Josh and Benny Safdie’s Heaven Knows What at the Toronto International Film Festival, star Arielle Holmes remarked on the surreal nature of her first film experience.

Michael Apted Talks "Bending the Light" and the Move from Film to Digital

Staff writer Rebecca Reynolds gets a video interview with the famed documentary director at the 10th Traverse City Film Festival.


Michael Apted's "Bending the Light" visits Canon's lens artisans in Japan.

Michael Apted talked with Canon's factory workers and artisans in Japan, as well as the filmmakers who have used those lenses, in his latest documentary, Bending the Light. Rebecca Reynolds caught up with him (on camera!) at the Traverse City Film Festival.

At this year’s Traverse City Film Festival, Independent staff writer Rebecca Reynolds sat down with award-winning director/producer Michael Apted (The Up Series, Masters of Sex, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Nell).

CIFF's Points North Adds a Fellowship for Docmakers

Maddy Kadish talks with CIFF's Points North director Sean Flynn about a new opportunity for 2014.


Sean Flynn hosts a past Points North Forum at CIFF.

This year, Camden International Film Festival's annual Points North Documentary Film Forum adds a new documentary fellowship opportunity. Five full-package fellowships will be announced in early September.

Now entering their 10th year—and with a lot to show for that decade—the growing Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) launches the Points North Fellowship.

Linklater's 12+ Year Gamble on "Boyhood" Pays Off

Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw weighs in on the unalloyed wonders (and one stubborn fault) of "Boyhood."


Linklater's "Boyhood" captures Mason ages 6-18.

With Boyhood, "Richard Linklater, already one of America’s most persistently inventive independent filmmakers, has made movie history with the longest real-time dramatic memoir," writes senior critic Kurt Brokaw. Read his mostly admiring review here.

Boyhood. Richard Linklater. 2014. USA. 164 min.

Editor’s Note: This review contains plot and character details.

10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014: Miho Yamamoto

Miho Yamamoto is on our 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014 for producing the documentary "The Exhibition."


Miho Yamamoto accepting the FRONTLINE Award for Journalism in a Documentary Film at the Salem Film Fest for "The Exhibition."

From making news to making indie films, Miho Yamamoto is on our 10 to Watch list for her work on the powerful documentary about one of Canada's most horrific crimes, The Exhibition.

In the mid-2000s Miho Yamamoto was called to the station in the middle of the night to cover breaking news in her home country of Japan. She bristled at the restrictions of corporate media yet again (“you can’t release this and you can’t talk about this,” she says) because it left the wrong impression with listeners. “I felt my hands were bound.

10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014: Marie-Emmanuelle Hartness

Marie-Emmanuelle Hartness makes our 10 to Watch list in 2014 with her short film “After Ella."


"After Ella" star, Maria Rondeau.

With her short film After Ella, Marie-Emmanuelle Hartness turned the heads of Cannes' programming committee. In fact, she's at the notable fest this minute! Her expertise ranges from acting to directing to producing to writing and her film achievements span fact and fiction. Learn more about why she's a spectacular choice for 10 to Watch in 2014.

Marie-Emmanuelle Hartness is a renaissance woman: A writer, director, and producer, she also has acted in films—and even shot them.

10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014: Effie T. Brown

Producer Effie T. Brown is one of our 10 to Watch for "Dear White People" which premiered at Sundance Film Festival.


Producer Effie T. Brown.

Producer Effie T. Brown has high hopes for the satire she produced, Dear White People, as it makes the rounds on the festival circuit and preps for an October theatrical release. Check out why she's on our 10 to Watch list this year.

With 17 movies under her belt, Los Angeles-based producer Effie T.

10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014: Robert Greene

Robert Greene is on our 10 Filmmakers to Watch list for his work on "Actress" and "Approaching the Elephant."


Filmmaker Robert Greene.

Robert Greene's unique vision and practice for documentary caught our attention. Check out his plethora of work in 2014, including Actress and Approaching the Elephant, on 10 to Watch.

Robert Greene is on a mission. He wants to change the way you understand, see, and talk about documentaries. If he has to be a director, editor, producer, critic, and programmer in order to do it, so be it.

Jumpstart Your Creativity with a Short Film Challenge

Get your film made in a weekend by taking part in one of these short film competitions or challenges.


Fun from one of the most well-known film challenges, the 48 Hour Film Project.

Tired of all of the talk about making a movie? Take action today by signing up for one of more than a dozen short film challenges where you write, shoot, edit, and screen your film sometimes in 48 hours or less.

Whether you are new to filmmaking or have been at it for a while, making the commitment to produce a film can be a challenging undertaking. Coming up with an idea, writing a script, finding your subjects, coming up with the finances, and finding a good crew are just a few factors that can get in the way.

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