June 2010

Exhibitor and Distributor FAQ: Seattle's Northwest Film Forum

Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum exhibits films, funds production, helps with distribution, and offers education and equipment to the independent community in the Pacific Northwest.


"The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle," produced with NWFF's Start-to-Finish Program.

Located in Seattle, the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) is an invaluable resource for independent filmmakers in the Pacific Northwest, providing production grants and access to equipment and post-production facilities. The Independent spoke with film programmer Adam Sekuler to get the scoop on how NWFF puts together its exhibition calendar and their support programs for regional filmmakers, as well as some thoughts on the future of independent film distribution.

Located in Seattle, the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) is an invaluable resource for independent filmmakers in the Pacific Northwest, providing production grants and access to equipment and post-production facilities. The Film Forum also boasts a 364-day exhibition calendar of independent films, many of which are hard to come by at other theaters in the region.

Funder FAQ: Playboy's Surprising Mission

Playboy is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, but we're guessing not many people know that the Playboy Foundation funds social change documentaries.


Bunny drawing by Ben Brophy.

You'll likely be surprised when you find out exactly what types of films the Playboy Foundation is passionate about making. A hint? Nudity is not a requirement.

Damned in the U.S.A. (1991)
Heart of the Matter (1994)
In the Family (2008)
The Most Dangerous Man in America (2010)
The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
When Billy Broke His Head…. And Other Tales of Wonder (1999)

What do all these films have in common?

No Thanks, Take-Back Manifesto

The Independent’s Courtney Sheehan isn’t signing The Take-Back Manifesto, which, among other dictates, wants to return film to its pure, panel discussion-less state.


Does "The Take-Back Manifesto" put a gag order on indie filmmakers? Photo by Mrs Raggle.

Grumpy about raising money to make your films? Michael Tully, Vadim Rizov, and others who signed The Take-Back Manifesto earlier this spring don't want to hear it. Enter The Independent's Courtney Sheehan. She explains why she's declining to sign and what she'll be researching on behalf of The Independent's readership this summer.

“Can we get back to talking about movies, please?”

On the Fast Track of Derby History

Roller derby expert Steven LaFond (aka “Pelvis Costello”) recommends five documentaries that chart the rise of the modern roller derby revival.


From "Blood on the Flat Track," (photo by Michael Coyote).

According to Steven LaFond, err...Pelvis Costello, roller derby is back. With a vengeance. Get to know the real story behind its reemergence with five must-see documentaries, from the classic Blood on the Flat Track to the most recent Hugs and Bruises.

Late last year, Drew Barrymore’s Whip It was released in theaters, giving the mainstream a fictional take on the world of modern roller derby. The story, adapted from the novel Derby Girl by Shauna Cross, focuses on an outcast teen who finds confidence and her inner power by joining the banked track league of Austin, Texas.

From Documentary to Fictional Filmmaker: How to Make the Transition

With her recent narrative feature, "Toe to Toe," Emily Abt learned how to move from documentary to fiction filmmaking.


Filmmaker Emily Abt, on-set.
The Independent's Angela Wu gleans five tips from professor and award-winning filmmaker Emily Abt (All of Us, Toe to Toe) on how to make the not-always-easy transition from documentarian to narrative filmmaker.
Award-winning filmmaker Emily Abt started her career as a documentarian. Her first film, Take It From Me, focused on welfare reform and aired on the PBS documentary series POV in 2001.

Tribeca 2010 Critic's Choice: "Cairo Time"

Kurt Brokaw hand selects and reviews films from Tribeca 2010.


Patricia Clarkson as Juliette and Alexander Siddig as Tareq in "Cairo Time."

Cairo Time

(Ruba Nadda. 2009. Canada/Ireland/Egypt. 89 min.)

Doc Doctor's Story Strategies: Don't Worry, We'll Fix it in Post

In her 6th installment of "Story Strategies: Debunking the Myths of Storytelling," Doc Doctor Fernanda Rossi asks: What's smarter, edit in post or plan ahead?


Doc Doctor suggests balancing techno-perfection with believing in the magic of post. (Photo by angusf.)

In her 6th installment of "Story Strategies: Debunking the Myths of Storytelling," Doc Doctor Fernanda Rossi examines production priorities. Should storytelling trump technical perfection? What do you think?

Myth #6

"All technical glitches, or disasters, can be avoided with preparation."

Wait, what about those who say:

"Obsessing over technology is a waste of time I could devote to the story."

The myth in all its glory

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