PIFVA Reader

Feeds from Independent Filmmaker blogs with  current issues, topics and information affecting our independent filmmaking world.

A shy, sheltered, OCD-afflicted only child, Baltimore native Matthew VanDyke was not the likeliest member of the 2011 Libyan rebel militia, but Point and Shoot, the new documentary from Academy Award-nominee Marshall Curry, chalks VanDyke’s trajectory up to sheer sense of adventure. Determined to give himself “a crash course in manhood,” VanDyke leaves Baltimore behind with a...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/23/14
Hot Docs, the largest documentary festival in North America, opens Thursday night in Toronto, and a number of films caught my eye: Return to Homs is a grim diary of the Syrian civil war filmed from the inside — a dystopic landscape of bombed-out buildings, dead children, and snipers pockmarking empty streets as civilians run like frightened rats. The winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the World...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/23/14
CALL FOR PAPERS“Film Festival Cartographies” Symposium20-21 November 2014University of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModena, ItalyThe organisers invite prospective participants to submit abstracts for paper presentations at “Film Festival Cartographies”, a two-day symposium hosted by the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Studies, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and promoted by the Film...
Category D 04/23/14
At the end of 2012, Matt Syzmanowski penned a guest post for us on the development of his feature, The Purple Onion. Now, as he’s finishing the final cut of the film, he sends us this follow-up detailing one unusual step along the way: screening the film to a large audience at Cinequest as a work-in-progress. Below are his five pieces of advice for any filmmaker on improving a cut using...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/23/14
CALL FOR PAPERSThe Colour Fantastic: Chromatic Worlds of Silent Cinema29 to 31 March, 2015EYE Filmmuseum, AmsterdamTwenty years on from the groundbreaking Amsterdam workshop ‘Disorderly Order’: Colours in Silent Film, the conference will celebrate this milestone anniversary by providing a new forum to explore contemporary archival and academic debates around colour in the silent era. The...
Category D 04/23/14
Senior film critic Kurt Brokaw digs into critic’s choices on 89 features and 60 shorts at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs from April 16-, 2014. Chef (Jon Favreau. 2014. USA. 115 min.) read more
The Independent 04/22/14
An admission of infidelity — hers — sends a pair of twentysomething New Yorkers into separate rabbit holes of desire, regret and personal discovery in Ryan Piers Williams second feature, X/Y. The film is something of a family affair, as Williams and his wife, America Ferrera, star as the couple, with each supported on their La Ronde-ish journeys by a charismatic cast of supporting...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/22/14
Rooftop Films, New York’s pre-eminent outdoor Summer showcase, announced their lineup this afternoon, with a good dose of circuit selections and niche titles. Following a venue shuffle, Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child will kick things off on May 17 at Sunset Park’s Industry City, ahead of the film’s June 6 release. In my interview with Robespierre for the Spring issue...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/22/14
Making his name with Afterschool and Tiny Furniture, Jody Lee Lipes has quickly solidified his standing as one of the most impressive American cinematographers currently working. Alongside a diverse slate of DP work (he both shot and directed episodes of Girls and is currently working on Judd Apatow’s next feature Trainwreck), Lipes has also been establishing himself as a documentarian....
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/22/14
Perhaps it’s just a coincidence (don’t strain yourself trying to find out) that the same year the Tribeca Film Festival was partially acquired by Knicks owner James Dolan’s Madison Square Garden Company, the ESPN-sponsored sports film sidebar — a reliable showcase of “30 For 30″-esque jock docs destined for the network — kicked off with a gala screening of actor...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/22/14
New Orleans-based multi-media artist Garrett Bradley makes her feature debut at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival with Below Dreams, a tough-minded portrait of three economically-challenged twentysomethings trying to settle a life for themselves in a city that’s seen its own share of recent adversity. Honest and sensitive, the film is informed by Bradley’s own experience living in New...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/22/14
At NAB Red Giant announced a wide array of updates and new effects across their various programs. A lot of the changes revolve around Supernova, an original framework they developed that enables them to rapidly create new effects that run quicker than before. This is the backbone of their new Universe plug-in suite, a collection of 50 effects, everything from lens flares to retro film looks....
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/22/14
Last year the Tribeca Film Festival opened with Mistaken For Strangers, a sideways documentary view of The National followed by a performance from the band. Attendees moved from screening venue to a separate show space, but this year both opening night parts were combined at Madison Square Garden’s Beacon Theater. First came One9′s Time Is Illmatic, a history of Nas’ seminal...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/21/14
Earlier this month, we ran an interview with Monica Peña, a first time filmmaker who capitalized on the festival premiere of Ectotherms by immediately selling the film on her website. Such a concept is spreading beyond no-budget land and into the distribution strategy of alterna-mogul Joss Whedon. Following last night’s world premiere of In Your Eyes at the Tribeca Film Festival, Whedon...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/21/14
No one gets confused anymore that going to the Tribeca Film Festival can mean being on the Upper West Side to watch a rapper perform. What’s to be confused about? The festival outgrew Tribeca. In the “Tribeca” of the mind — at least for those living outside New York — the Triangle Beneath Canal is synonymous with the festival started by Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal in the...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/21/14
I have been a big fan of Panasonic’s GH line since the GH2. When the GH3 was announced I was first in the cyber line for pre-orders and same deal when the GH4 went up. This time I opted to get the YAGH Interface Unit package. My thought process was I’d have a “real camera” setup that can handle XLR audio (I hate dealing with a second recorder and syncing audio), I could jam-sync the timecode on...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/21/14
From 2005 to 2010, Sean Gullette (still most commonly ID’d as the star of Pi) lived full-time in Tangier, Morocco. Expanding on a 30-minute short made in 2010, Gullette’s feature directorial debut Traitors tracks a Clash-esque femake punk rock band (their big chorus is “I’m so bored with Morocco”) stuck in Tangier. When frontwoman Malika (Chainmae Ben Acha) decides...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/20/14
Posted by Jerome Jarre is what he bills as Robert De Niro’s first six-second film. (On first view, it kind of falls into the “Hey, is this thing on?” category of unintentional art.) Hat tip: MUBI Notebook.
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/19/14
Screenings have just kicked off in Manhattan for the Tribeca Film Festival, but as always not all the films are showing in theaters–and there’s more available online this year than ever before. Here’s a quick guide to what you can see and how to see it. Streaming select titles: Four feature films and four shorts will be online after their initial theatrical screenings this week...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/19/14
“Boxing has always drawn dumb, confused macho guys like myself,” writes filmmaker Noah Buschel. “It’s cool, it’s tough, it’s naked, it’s true…. But the thing about boxing, as Norman Mailer pointed out, is that it’s just as sensitive as it is murderous. If you go to a boxing gym, and Floyd Mayweather’s not there, it is a remarkably quiet and tender place.” Buschel...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/19/14