PIFVA Reader

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

“Welcome to a Live Read of the best Star Wars movie ever made!” So began last night’s Live Read of The Empire Strikes Back, introduced by Film Independent curator Elvis Mitchell to a wildly enthusiastic audience at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Mitchell explained that he and Reitman broke every rule they ever made for the Live Reads: not many characters, no shootouts, no robots… But The...
Film Independent 12/19/14
As Borscht 9 — Miami’s delirious cinematic fete comprising afternoons spent in the middle of the ocean, machete fencing and bike rides to the multiverse — hits its midpoint, Borscht Corporation releases to Filmmaker one of its recent short films, Sea Devil. Sea Devil, directed by by Dean C. Marcial and Brett Potter of Calavera Films, was screened in work-in-progress form at...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 12/19/14
Here’s the first trailer for the Zellner Brothers’ wonderfully idiosyncratic Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter. The one minute snippet goes a little out of its way to not reveal the narrative catalyst, conjuring a vague aura of suspense, though the film itself is far from your average adventure drama. Breaking your heart with a nearly silent performance, Rinko Kikuchi stars as the titular...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 12/19/14
Goodbye to All That‘s protagonist Otto Wall is a limited man — the type of man who just goes along with the flow, who doesn’t try to ruffle feathers. He’s not stupid, but neither is he gifted with remarkable intelligence. He has a good job, an attractive if possibly overbearing wife (Melanie Lynskey) and an adorable, auburn-haired daughter who is quickly turning into a North Carolina...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 12/19/14
“To try to write love is to confront the muck of language; that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little, excessive (by the limitless expansion of the ego, by emotive submersion) and impoverished (by the codes on which love diminishes and levels it).” Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse. The muck of romantic language — spoken, inscribed on the body and...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 12/19/14
In collaboration with Samurai: Japanese Armour from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection Presented in collaboration with Samurai: Japanese Armour from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 action-adventure epic’s sphere of influence is exhaustingly wide-ranging—its admirers go from George Lucas to Peter Jackson, from Neill Blomkamp to Takeshi “Beat”...
Film Independent 12/19/14
Live Read of Goodfellas with director Jason Reitman The January installment of director Jason Reitman’s much imitated—but never equaled—landmark program, in which he selects a classic film script and stages a reading before a live audience, is the Live Read production of director Martin Scorsese’s gangster chronicle Goodfellas. As per usual, Bing Theater Artist-in-Residence Reitman will announce...
Film Independent 12/19/14
Free Screening: Kroll Show Includes a conversation with actor John Mulaney, actor/writer Jon Daly, co-creator John Levenstein and actor/creator Nick Kroll Writer and performer Nick Kroll’s all-inclusive referendum on the narcissism of contemporary popular culture, the Comedy Central series Kroll Show begins its third season on that network. And he brings two episodes from the newest season of...
Film Independent 12/19/14
An Evening with Richard Linklater  |  Co-presented by the New York Times Film Club Includes an evening of clips and conversation with Richard Linklater about his lengthy career and groundbreaking film Boyhood Writer/director Richard Linklater has had one of the most unusual careers of any working filmmaker. We’ve seen his unforgettable characters in a body of work that ranges from big studio...
Film Independent 12/19/14
Celebrating the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards: Crazy Heart  |  Co-presented by the New York Times Film Club Includes a conversation with writer/director Scott Cooper In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Film Independent Spirit Awards, Film Independent at LACMA takes a look back at a past winning film that captures the essence of the awards. In 2009, actor-turned writer/director...
Film Independent 12/19/14
Free Members-Only Screening: Mommy Includes a conversation with writer/director Xavier Dolan The gifted and prolific young filmmaker Xavier Dolan has made as many films in the past five years as it seems many studio executives have seen. Since 2009, the twenty five year old actor-turned writer/director has created a new feature every year—and the movies are constructed around the confusions...
Film Independent 12/19/14
The Film Independent Directors Close-up offers filmmakers and film lovers a unique opportunity to hear directly from the best indie directors and their collaborators, as they explore specific aspects of their craft. Through five in-depth conversations, participants in the program get to ask questions and experience a rare insight into the creative process as we examine the work of the most...
Film Independent 12/19/14
In our excitement for the upcoming Film Independent Spirit Awards, we’ve reached out to all of the filmmakers nominated for Best First Feature and asked them all kinds of things about their experience as filmmakers and what it’s like to be up for the indie world’s greatest accolade. Here, writer-director Gillian Robespierre, whose sharp and witty romantic comedy Obvious Child...
Film Independent 12/18/14
Last year I skirted around the issue of a Top 10 list by highlighting my 10 favorite scenes of the year, my logic hovering somewhere above “What is an effective film, if not the sum of its parts?” This year, I’m not so sure that axiom stands. Whether or not you regard it as the masterpiece it may or may not be, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood has unimpeachably proved to be *...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 12/18/14
SHORT TERM 12 is an award-winning drama about a young woman who works as a supervisor at a teen group home and struggles to care for her teenage patients while desperately avoiding the residue of her own dark past. Based on his short film of the same title, the film is written and directed by filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton. SHORT TERM 12 won both the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature...
Film Independent 12/17/14
Over the course of his seven feature films – the last five of which have won prizes at Cannes – the Turkish filmmaker and photographer Nuri Bilge Ceylan has moved from a dramaturgy primarily based in photography (in films such as 2002’s Distant) to one based firmly in screenwriting, as in the elegant structure and dialogues of 2011’s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. This...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 12/17/14
One of my would-be favorites of 2014 — it comes out next month — finally has a trailer. The Duke of Burgundy, Peter Strickland’s follow-up to the giallo homage Berberian Sound Studio, displays some of the best uses of repetition since Jacques Rivette. What begins as a fetishistic case of master and servant becomes increasingly murky as roles and hierarchy are blurred, then...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 12/17/14
Before their careers took off, some of our favorite indie actors starred in Spirit Award-winning films that won them their own trophy and propelled their careers to new heights. (Spirit Awards trivia: In 1995, the Best Debut Performance category was introduced to celebrate an actor’s breakout role, but was discontinued in 2005.) Here are six exceptional talents who grabbed the world’s...
Film Independent 12/17/14
The 27th annual International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) is one of the largest and most prestigious documentary film festivals in the world. Beyond being just a festival, though, for the past 22 years IDFA has hosted a networking and business-oriented pitch session, the IDFA Forum, where selected documentary filmmakers have an opportunity to meet with an array of commissioning...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 12/17/14
CPH:DOX, which wrapped its 2015 edition last month, is like a strange dream. That dream where you wake up and everyone understands that artistically motivated documentaries (frankly, the weirder the better) have a place, have meaning and are celebrated. The festival’s pitch forum, CPH:FORUM, is no exception. Coming up on its fourth year, it is the home of the eccentric doc sibling. The one...
Filmmaker Magazine, editor Scott MacCaulay 12/17/14