Filmmaker

Articles from Vol. 17, No. 2, Winter

Am I Blue?
Karina Longworth talks to Nina Paley about her film Sita Sings the Blues and how her struggle with music rights has hindered the film from playing for audiences outside of the festival circuit.if the mark of a true independent vision is the inability...
Cinema Vérité Iran International Documentary Film Festival
Just two years old, the Cinéma Vérité International Documentary Festival in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Oct. 15-19) is quickly securing its place in the non-fiction film world. And, this year, with close to 300 films in exhibition, about 80 films in...
Crash (or Requiem for a Dream)
Mary Glucksman's annual indie year-in-review and summary of Sundace '08.How do you reconcile the year the economy tanked with one in which a collective dream of a better government and a brighter tomorrow took root and flowered? By the fourth quarter...
Editor's Letter
Independent film has always moved in cycles. A rash of sincere heartland dramas will give way to a wave of ironic indie crime flicks. The budgets of our most distinguished films will go from "no" to mini-major level and back again. Digital cinematography...
Game Engine
Heather Chaplin learns how amateur game makers are finding their way into the mainstream.The financial world has gone to hell. Housing prices are crumbling and the credit crisis makes the word "crisis" sound like a euphemism. It's too bad you can't invest...
Industry Beat
In the wake of Prop 8, will a new Queer Cinema rise?"Gay Marriage Ban Inspires New Wave of Activists," declared a recent headline in The New York Times. If the passage of California's Proposition 8 initiative - which denied same-sex couples the previously...
In Focus
Five new films in postproduction. By Mary GlucksmanBrock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be The SameAfterschool cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes makes his feature directing debut with the artist doc Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be the Same. The...
In Search of Being Seen
Based on a cult 1960s novel by Yoram Kaniuk, Adam Resurrected was one of those projects that almost never happened. It wasn't simply the tone of the book, which invites comparisons to The Tin Drum and Slaughterhouse-Five, but also that it's about a Holocaust...
Life as a Canvas
Lauren Wissot explores the similarities between Jeremiah Zagar's In a Dream and Pamela Tanner Boll's Who Does She Think She Is?, two documentaries that highlight the challenges involved in creating art as well as the eternal plight of struggling artists.documentary...
Load & Play
Filmmaker's look at the season's DVD releases.Berlin The Weinstein Company, IN STORESFor four nights in December 2007, Lou Reed and Julian Schnabel mounted a staged concert version of Reed's song cycle maudit, Berlin. Released in 1973 and following his...
Memories of Underdevelopment
Eric Kohn speaks to director Alex Rivera and visual effects artist Mark Russell about how they brought to life their vision of a near-future filled with closed borders and technological barriers in Sleep Dealer.alex Rivera's Sleep Dealer visits the future...
Mind the Cobras
Turning up Coco Rosie loud enough to block out the mall din of Singapore, I walk up a thick jungle road suppressing the urge to swing from the giant vines. I am climbing the hill to teach my morning editing class at Tisch's new NYU Graduate Film School...
My Adventure in Home Video Part 2
Setting up DVD distribution: Yes, you can still make money doing this. By Jon ReissFollowing - or perhaps instead of - your independent film's theatrical release is its release on DVD. While sales of DVDs released by all content providers, studios included,...
Off the Ropes
Close friends for decades, James Toback and Mike Tyson are both the most improbable of pairings and the most likely. With Tyson, Toback drew on his own demons as well as his relationship with the boxer to create a gripping account of the rise and fall...
Passers-By
TALKING WITH WYATT CENAC AND TRACEY HEGGINSJason Guerrasio sat down with Wyatt Cenac and Tracy Heggins during this issue's cover shoot to talk about acting, Q&As in a post-Obama world, and black filmmakers in independent film.I read that you didn't...
Recording the Movement
With no political connections in Chicago, or anywhere for that matter, director Jenn Shaw reached out to the Barack Obama campaign in the hopes of documenting the Obama Organizing Fellows, a unique six-week training program that would "train a new generation...
Self Distribution Roundup
Alicia Van Couvering recaps a landmark year in DIY distribution.Whether the sky is falling or not, 2008 made one thing clear: The traditional distribution system isn't making independent filmmakers much money. That might be okay if it was enabling independent...
Some Kind of Love
After directing one of the biggest hits of 2007, the Judd Apatow-produced Superbad, Greg Mottola returns to his indie roots with a tender coming-of-age love story set in a 1980s amusement park in Pittsburgh, Adventureland.after the breakout success of...
Splash of Color
TALKING WITH D.P. JAMES LAXTON"Barry and I both have a way that we think about filmmaking," says Medicine for Melancholy d.p. James Laxton, "and it is not about a video-looking image. We learned on film - shooting [Medicine] on HD was just a result of...
Sweet Pitch
In Latin America young boys grow up with only one goal, to play Major League Baseball. But unlike most American boys, their hopes to make it are not just their own but their poverty stricken families as well. With an authentic touch rarely seen in sports...
The Odessa Connection
One way to overcome today's dismal theatrical distribution is to take your films, a projector and hit the road. Much like a garage band on tour, filmmakers are finding love from audiences directly in micro-cinemas, clubs, galleries, warehouses, and anywhere...
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Around the world, film festivals seem to arrive more often than buses in most cities. In the pursuit of fresh ways to make cinema something more than images and sound scaleable to any media format, some events have made film in their cities truly something...
The Super 8
Eight things that will keep you in the know.1 Paul Harris In the 1970s and '80s, Paul Harris revolutionized the world of close-up magic with a conversational style and "pieces of astonishment" that creatively explored the surreal possibilities of everyday...
The Taste of Others
Having already been praised at Cannes, Toronto and New York film festivals, Steve McQueen's Hunger is a visually stunning look at the final months of Irish Republican Bobby Sands's life, who lead a hunger strike in 1981 for the right to live free from...
The Urban Condition
In his debut feature, Medicine for Melancholy, writer-director Barry Jenkins tells a charming love story that at the same time examines San Francisco's gentrification and housing issues meshing for a beautiful thought-provoking film.Usually lacking the...
Today's Top Stories
On the Sundance Film Festival's 25th anniversary, "story" is the theme, so we decided to ask its incoming filmmakers how their films' specific stories were shaped by the social, technological and economic forces affecting cinema today.DIRT! THE MOVIE...
Virtual Discovery
Lance Weiler gives tips on how to build a collaborative film industry through the Web.The entertainment industry is experiencing an identity crisis, unsure of its future and reluctant to let go of its past. The traditional models of distribution are...