Making Films

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...

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:

An Indie Film Odyssey: Making (and Screening) “Homer and Penelope”

Catherine Epstein tracks the ups and downs of Danny Powell's first feature film.


The making of "Homer and Penelope" was its own odyssey. Photo courtesy Cinema With Cinema.

Hang in there with Danny Powell, as his journey into making his first feature, Homer and Penelope (which streams free December 11-15), will ring true to anyone who has been crazy enough to try likewise. Notice that with Odysseus as a guide, one can find joy long after all that has been "wrought and endured."

Partway through Homer’s The Odyssey, the hero Odysseus is advised, in the midst of epic challenges, “Even his griefs are a joy long after to one that remembers all that he wrought and endured.” The line is grandiose and majestic, but it somehow feels relevant to young filmmaker Danny Powell, whose first feature, Homer and Penelope, endur

IDFA 2013: The Endless Frontier of Interactive Reality

Reporting from IDFA, LJ Kessels lifts the lid on the near infinite storytelling possibilities when makers go fully interactive.


In the future of storytelling, who is the cat and who is the mouse?

Though still indefinable, the world of interactive documentary is slowly being shaped into existence. LJ Kessels offers the latest according to leaders in the field at IDFA's Interactive Reality Conference.

The Interactive Reality Conference on November 24th was organized by IDFA Doclab’s Caspar Sonnen and Veerle Devreese of The Flemish Culture House (de Brakke Grond) and hosted by Ove Rishoj Jensen.

TIFF 2013: President of the Club of Romantics

At 65, Patrice Leconte makes his first English-language film, the quietly romantic "A Promise."


Director Patrice Leconte works with English actors for the first time in "A Promise."

Veteran French filmmaker Patrice Leconte makes his North American and English-language debut at TIFF 2013 with A Promise. He told The Independent, "I realize that my life, day after day, is totally turned to focus on movies and I'm not sure whether it's good or not that I let myself be invaded to that point." And yet, romance like what's in this film is what helps him feel most alive.

A Promise is a romantic drama filled with silent glances, small gestures, and hidden emotions. It is set in Germany, just before WWI, and revolves around a married woman (Rebecca Hall) who falls in love with her husband's (Alan Rickman) protégé (Richard Madden).

TIFF 2013: Report from the Second Annual Asian Film Summit

Katherine Brodsky distills the highlights from a conversation about China's burgeoning film market.


Keanu Reeves' directorial debut is a China-US co-production.

China-US co-production, Man of Tai Chi, was a case study, of sorts, at TIFF's second Asian Film Summit. Katherine Brodsky offers highlights of a discussion that addressed the growing Chinese film market.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) first presented the Asian Film Summit in 2012 and it was proclaimed a success.

TIFF 2013: When Movies Bring On- and Off-Screen Families Together

Katherine Brodsky crashes a reunion with "Cinemanovels'" key actors and writer/director Terry Miles.


"Cinemanovels" reunites writer/director Terry Miles with Lauren Lee Smith and Jennifer Beals.

Writer/director Terry Miles and actor Lauren Lee Smith pooled personal resources to make Cinemanovels. Partly that meant money. Mostly it meant something far more personal: trust. Jennifer Beals joined the duo in making this story about a woman who assembles a retrospective of her father's film work after his death.

This may well be a cautionary tale of having good email etiquette. After wrapping Terry Miles' A Night for Dying Tigers (2010) actress Lauren Lee Smith sent Miles a note thanking him for the experience and saying how great it would be to work together again some day.

TFI Transmedia Case Study: "Hollow"

Maddy Kadish takes a close look at the recently launched interactive doc, "Hollow."


From Elaine McMillion's tumblr, while making "Hollow."

As six newly funded TFI transmedia projects go under construction, Maddy Kadish looks at how 2012 grantee, Elaine McMillion, integrated community voice and storytelling in her just-launched interactive doc, Hollow.

The film industry, like the rest of the media world, is trending towards digital, mobile, and online. Change is coming in the form of interactive storytelling and transmedia and Tribeca Film Institute wants in.

An Affair of the Rock Doc

Two women filmmakers take on the rockumentary genre and unwavering Rick Springfield fans.


(L to R): Melanie Lentz-Janney, Rick Springfield, Sylvia Caminer. Photo courtesy Yellow Rick Road Productions.

Rick Springfield superfans Sylvia Caminer and Melanie Lentz-Janney teamed up to make a rock doc about the star and the audience that has never left his side. A thousand fans wanted to appear in An Affair of the Heart but only seven made the cut.

Directed and produced by filmmaker Sylvia Caminer, the rockumentary An Affair of the Heart revolves around Australian-born Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Rick Springfield and his devoted fans. Over the last year it appeared in theaters and at festivals such as IDFA, Sidewalk Film Festival, and HotDocs.

All Indie Family

Third generation Trosts, siblings Jason and Sarah, combine hyphens and skills for an indie trifecta.


On location in Thailand for #wetandreckless.

You can't dump siblings and they don't blow smoke up your $#@... Rebecca Reynolds talks to siblings Jason and Sarah Trost about their collaboration on three indie projects, The FP, All Superheroes Must Die, and Wet and Reckless.

In the land of Hollywood hyphens, the Trost family shares more than titles and a familiar last name. Together, they have enough skills to staff their own projects.

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