PIFVA Reader

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

Take a look at Andrew Disney’s website — with his commercials, music video work et al. neatly assembled in their own sections — and you’ll see a very well-organized director adept at representing himself. An NYU alum, Disney (yes, he’s related, though not closely) made his feature debut with 2011’s Searching for Sonny, shot in his hometown of Fort Worth. Now an Austin resident, Disney returns...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/17/14
I was a big fan of David Michôd’s familial crime drama Animal Kingdom, and not just because I saw it on an airplane. If his follow-up The Rover looks to try on a rather generic premise — a hero on the hunt for what’s rightfully his — that’s hopefully not much cause for concern: Animal Kingdom found its strength not in plot, but in its characterization and pacing....
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/17/14
A generational meditation on masculinity, Keith Miller’s sophomore film Five Star explores the relationship between Primo — a Blood since puberty — and his would-be protégé, John. Set against sun-scorched Brooklyn projects, the film folds a casual shooting style into heavier thematic territory. Maintaining an alternately protective and imposing arm, Primo struggles to reconcile...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/17/14
When filmmakers dream, we dream big. And why not? Shoot for the stars, and hell, you might just get one to act in your next movie. While not every filmmaker has designs for commercial success, one would be hard-pressed to find one that would shun recognition and the opportunity to create more films and get paid to do so. Every young filmmaker would love his or her first film to win Sundance so...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/17/14
There were few surprises to be had at this morning’s announcement of the Competition, Un Certain Regard and Special Screenings sections for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival — perhaps barring Fremaux’s proud, misleading assurance that a whopping 15 female directors were included in the lineup, which is evidently French for eight. Familiar faces returning to the Croisette include...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/17/14
Recent Grand Jury Prize recipient at the Sarasota Film Festival and a FIPRESCI winner in Toronto, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida tells the story of a would-be nun who haphazardly uncovers her Jewish background. Set in 1960s Poland, the discovery leads the eponymous Ida through a tear in her family’s history, stretching as far back as the Nazi occupation. Music Box Films releases the formally...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/16/14
The fight between the great director Mark Rappaport (Local Color, From The Journals Of Jean Seberg) and Boston University film scholar/Cassavetes specialist Ray Carney has its origins in 2005, when the filmmaker entrusted copies of his movies to the professor. In 2012, Rappaport went public with the troubling contention that Carney refused to return his work, effectively making it impossible for...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/16/14
The Tribeca Film Festival opens today, and, as usual, it’s a multi-headed hydra with splashy events, panels, talks but also, of course, films by new and emerging filmmakers. And while Tribeca has garnered a reputation in recent years as a solid platform for international directors with either world or U.S. premieres, this year the American independent section seems particularly strong....
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/16/14
In the Philippines, Holy Week (the period between the last day of Lent and Easter Sunday) is a big deal, as you’d expect from the third largest Catholic country in the world. Part of Holy Week involves a mass exodus from capital Manila to smaller villages as residents go to be with their families, creating major logistical headaches on the traffic front. As part of gearing-up efforts, inspections...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/15/14
Ahead of its June 6 release, A24 has released the trailer to yet another potential hitmaker in their arsenal: Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child. I interviewed Robespierre about the film for our upcoming Spring issue, which upends the traditional romantic comedy route of boy meets girl by wedging an abortion into the mix. Jenny Slate stars as Donna Stern, a comedian whose pathological on-...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/15/14
Throughout season one of The Newsroom, viewers could play an idle game before each episode: which recent news item would be put through the Aaron Sorkin wringer, morphing from painful recent incident to an amusing babble of rapid-fire speech set in comfortably familiar rhythms? Sorkin’s been around so long his trademark back-and-forth/walk-and-talk exchanges smack of self-parody even when well-...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/14/14
I’d like to welcome to our Filmmaker staff our new Managing Editor, Vadim Rizov. After an exhaustive job search — thanks to the over 200 of you who applied — we hired Vadim, who previously covered the True/False Film Festival for us. Many of you know Vadim’s bylines from Sight and Sound, Little White Lies and Indiewire, not to mention his posts last year at The Dissolve. Vadim also posts...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/14/14
A producer friend of mine recently opined that if your film does not get into Sundance, it’s a financial failure. That’s a hard and fast rule that doesn’t necessarily hold, beyond the frightening fact that nowadays, only one in five Sundance films receives theatrical distribution. Independent films still ink deals out of SXSW, Tribeca and the margins of Toronto, but what of the...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/14/14
Last week was the Upper East Side, now I’ll cover the best of what I’ve seen in Chelsea and the Lower East Side, again in order of what I liked the most. There are a bunch of new shows, and I haven’t made it to all of them, but here’s the ones I’ve liked thus far. Vik Muniz: Album at Sikkema Jenkins through May 10 Vik Muniz, New Car, Album Vik Muniz is one of the...
Sub-Genre Media: blog by Brian Newman 04/13/14
I made the un-journalistic decision to forgo last night’s closing awards ceremony at the Sarasota Film Festival for a screening, but judging by the recipients alone, the event was a successful one. Sarasota’s programming, while eclectic and strong, can prove an interesting match for its respective audience. I witnessed about 10 walkouts during the astonishing Stray Dogs, and when the...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/13/14
At McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, writer Kendra Eash published a poem, “This is a Generic Brand Video,” satirizing (or maybe just noticing?) the pleasant, fuzzy, vaguely neoliberal language of brand videos. Language like this: In today’s high speed environment, Stop motion footage of a city at night With cars turning quickly Makes you think about doing things efficiently And...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/12/14
In my “How to Find a Producer” article in our Fall, 2013 edition, I interviewed New Orleans filmmaker Randy Mack about his efforts to develop local producers, a challenge that arose when he embarked on his third feature, Laundry Day. More recently, Mack speculated here on the perfect independent film discovery app. Now there’s a trailer for Laundry Day, posted above. From the...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/12/14
A few weeks back, we ran a trailer for The Drop, James Gandolfini’s final film. Philip Seymour Hoffman had a handful projects in the can at the time of his passing in early February, two of which premiered barely a week before at Sundance. There’s John Slattery’s directorial debut, God’s Pocket, and Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man, the latter of which released its...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/11/14
A bit player since 1993, Cliff Dorfman was instantly drawn to the movie business. “I started out scamming my way into whatever premieres were happening in NYC however I could,” he said. “I just wanted to be around it and absorb it. That attitude blossomed into connections that valued my work, which ultimately led to Entourage.” As we sat down for coffee, Cliff talked candidly about...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/11/14
Tenba showed off the Shootout 14L Action Pack – a bag specifically built to carry all your GoPros and rigs to remote locations. It’s a small backpack that opens up to a series of small cases to organize all your gear (a bunch of labels are included so you can organize it however you like). The bag is built to hold 4 GoPro bodies with accessories, but you can obviously configure it...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 04/11/14