PIFVA Reader

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

Last weekend, Film Independent hosted the Sloan Film Summit, a triennial conference for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s film program, which has partnered with Film Independent, among other artist development organizations and film schools, to support films exploring science and technology that are as accurate as they are entertaining. The entire weekend was a celebration of science and the art...
Film Independent 11/24/14
Ted Hope — producer, Good Machine co-founder, and now CEO of Fandor — is no tongue-tied wallflower in the independent film community. Indeed, his passionate commentary, counsel and editorializing on topics ranging from net neutrality to making better films to a “systems reboot” of the independent film economy seem to be everywhere these days. But while his website, Twitter...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/24/14
Kirby Ferguson’s four-part web series, Everything is a Remix, was a brilliant blend of form, content and delivery system. A discussion of not just the legal issues surrounding fair use and appropriated content but also the nature of creativity itself, Ferguson’s work scored hundreds of thousands of views, launched a TED talk and established this savvy director at the forefront of the...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/24/14
After 25 years, the wait is over for Twin Peaks fans. David Lynch and Mark Frost have announced a return to the mythical town coming in 2016 to Showtime. The show is often credited for having paved the way for the golden age of television today, when many TV programs rival cinema for compelling stories. Through the episodic medium of television, Lynch was able to create a multi-layered world full...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/24/14
Over the years Sundance has steadily increased its support for young independent film producers, with the more recently created Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship as loved by producers as the Screenwriting and Directing Labs are loved by writers and directors. (Don’t believe me? Well, here’s producer Gabrielle Nadiq on the program in 2013: “The Sundance Creative Producing...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/21/14
David Lynch can be a tough interview — check out my attempt back in 2001. Patti Smith does a bit better in this joint interview on the BBC2 Newnight’s Encounters series. They both discuss their memories first hearing the song “Blue Velvet,” and Smith’s reflexive lyricism brings out something allied in Lynch. Check it out.
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/21/14
“Last night, we lost one of the greatest directors who ever lived,” Jason Reitman said yesterday to a full house at LACMA’s Bing Theater. “Tonight is for Mike Nichols.” With that dedication, he kicked off this month’s installment of Live Read, part of the Film Independent at LACMA series, with Diner, Barry Levinson’s 1982 debut. As always, the reading was directed by Reitman and the event hosted...
Film Independent 11/21/14
The oft-heard label “Iranian vampire western,” which highlights the pop, postmodern, and cross-generic character of Ana Lily Amirpour’s fresh and potent A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, inflates its self-proclaimed hype and to-date majority critical evaluation. By these measures, its salient quality is hipness. A minority of writers have taken a more sociological tack. From a PC...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/21/14
It’s that time of year again! Before we enter the glamour and prestige of awards season, let’s see if Hollywood made the grade this fall with its representations of women in film. Please note that Hollywood is on academic probation for failing to improve on one of its grades from our summer report card, in which it received an F for having zero female-directed films among the 25 highest-grossing...
Film Independent 11/20/14
The sad news of Mike Nichols’ death at age 83 had me searching for something beyond the usual The Graduate highlight reel that would illustrate what seems to me like his greatest directorial virtue: the ability to keep a tonal straight face when confronted with material whose comic or dramatic potential could quickly push matters way over the top. This Catch-22 clip serves the purpose: the...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/20/14
A considerable crowd of critical praise has coalesced around the work of Josephine Decker, most notably this “A Star is Born” piece from her longtime champion Richard Brody. Kevin B. Lee at Fandor put forth a more tempered assessment of Butter on the Latch and Thou Wast Mild and Lovely (ending their week run at the IFP Media Center today), but he also compiled this beautiful,...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/20/14
The biggest, the smallest, the most, the more-times-than-anyone-else — filmmaker Sam Green has revisited a common childhood fascination, The Guiness Book of World Records, for his latest “live documentary,” The Measure of All Things, receiving its New York premiere at The Kitchen this week. It’s Green’s third work combining film, music and his own on-stage narration...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/20/14
In this Q&A from a recent Toronto screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey, stars Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood are in fine form as they take to the stage to discuss why all the actors in the film were Canadian (Canadian actors didn’t need visas to live in the UK at the time), trade interpretations of what that ending means, and share a plethora of production anecdotes. Other highlights...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/20/14
Currently raising funds on Indiegogo is an ambitious animated feature by filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming, Window Horses. With a lead character voiced by Sandra Oh, the film uses the medium of poetry to explore ideas of cross cultural exchange. From their Indiegogo page: In this coming-of-age story, Rosie Ming, a young Canadian poet, is invited to perform at a Poetry Festival in Shiraz, Iran, but she’...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/20/14
Blood can’t be any other color, but there are plenty of things — like spacesuits and bathroom walls — that can. In this punchy, to-the-point supercut, Rishi Kaneria draws from 2001, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, Barry Lyndon and other Kubrick films to make a case for the director’s love of the crimson.
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/19/14
If you’re one of the lucky filmmakers with a film at the Sundance or Slamdance Film Festivals, you may still be wondering how best to make the most of your time in Park City. Film Independent is here to help, with its annual Sundance/Slamdance orientation. In an informative session, panelists will address issues such as the option of using a publicist and producer’s rep; marketing and self-...
Film Independent 11/19/14
15 years after his death at the age of 70, director Stanley Kubrick remains more than ever a figure of admiration, fascination, and curiosity – and the pleasure his work provides seems, at this point, to be as infinite as the universe depicted in the final act of his 1968 masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. A secretive and private director during his lifetime (though nowhere near the recluse he...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/19/14
One of the best things about being invited into the Film Independent family through our artist development programs is having the chance to learn from the cream of the crop. Some of the most successful directors, producers and screenwriters in the business come into our offices to talk with the Fellows in our Labs about what it’s really like out there. They share the stories of their own...
Film Independent 11/19/14
Some Kickstarter campaigns sell themselves. collective:unconscious had me at, “Five of NYC’s most adventurous filmmakers are working together to adapt each other’s dreams.” The five filmmakers in question are Frances Bodomo, Lauren Wolkstein, Josephine Decker, Daniel Carbone and Lily Baldwin, and the project’s curator cum ringleader is Dan Schoenbrun, Film...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/19/14
In Interstellar‘s future, a life-ending new Dust Bowl requires astronaut Matthew McConaughey to go into space, shoot through a wormhole, scope out three planets for habitation and make it back home to assure his daughter he loves her. The film is bookended and periodically interrupted by real Dust Bowl veterans’ talking heads, their hard times testimonies taken from a Ken Burns doc on...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 11/19/14