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Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Jessica Wolfson — “Hot Grease”

Hot Grease

Jessica Wolfson has created award-winning media content for Espn 9 for IX, MTV, Conde Nast, Nyu, Canon, and many nonprofit organizations. At IFCtv Original Programming, she developed and produced documentaries including “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” by Kirby Dick and “Wanderlust” by Bob Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman. Wolfson directed and produced the award winning “Radio Unnameable,” named “Top 10 Films of 2012” by the New York Daily News.

Hot Grease” will premiere at the 2017 Doc NYC film festival on November 12. The film is co-directed by Paul Lovelace and Sam Wainwright Douglas.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Jw: Set in Houston, Texas in the shadow of the nation’s oil industry, “Hot Grease” tells the surprising story of how the bio-diesel industry is turning an ostensibly worthless raw material — spent kitchen grease — into a green energy source capable of fueling all of the trains, ships, and trucks throughout the country — if it can overcome the powerful forces working against it.

Featuring innovators, entrepreneurs, grease collectors, and supporters like Senator Al Franken, “Hot Grease” follows the battle for bio-diesel's future and it’s very survival.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Jw: The film was inspired by a 2015 New Yorker magazine article by John Colapinto also called “Hot Grease” about the underground world of used cooking oil and the theft that has become an increasing problem since the rise of biodiesel.

Prior to that bio-diesel was not on my radar. I was familiar with it like many people were — hippies filling their old Mercedes with french fry oil, and Willie Nelson and Neil Young running their tour buses on it. It sounded like a great idea but not something I realized could make a significant impact on our fuel stream and to helping control climate change.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Jw: We hope “Hot Grease” is able to educate and perhaps inspire those, who like us, had heard of biodiesel but didn’t know what it was or how much good it can do. Also it’s important to understand that the only way to diversify our nation’s fuel supply with renewable and alternative fuels is to have increased governmental support.

There is so much potential and opportunity for all forms of renewable energy to be incorporated into our fuel and energy sectors to help reduce carbon emissions and control the increasingly adverse effects of climate change. We are at a pivotal moment in history to take those steps to become innovators, change-makers, and to make this a priority for our industries and lawmakers.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Jw: The biggest challenge in making “Hot Grease” was to try to explain the Renewable Fuel Standard (Rfs) in a concise and interesting way. The Rfs mandates the amount of bio-diesel that needs to be blended into our diesel fuel supply. It is a complicated law and boiling it down simply was a challenge.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Jw: “Hot Grease” was funded by Discovery Channel for their Impact Discovery strand and will air November 16 on the network.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Doc NYC?

Jw: Doc NYC is a great festival. I have produced several films that have played here over the years. As a New Yorker it is an honor and thrill to be able to premiere my work in my hometown and to share it with my friends and family.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Jw: The best advice I got was when I was just starting out in my career. It was to reach out to filmmakers whose work you admire and talk to them about their process. That seems like an intimidating prospect but what you’ll find is that people love to talk about themselves and when you are interested in them, they often will open up, and be very generous with their time.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Jw: My advice for female directors is to surround yourself with a strong support team and to find collaborators that you trust and are inspired by. I have had the great fortune to work with an amazing team on this project including my co-directors Paul Lovelace and Sam Wainwright Douglas, who happen to be my husband and one of my oldest friends.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Jw: I don’t have one particular film that is my favorite but I’m a big fan of the work of Claire Denis, Sofia Coppola, and Agnès Varda. They each have clear voices and cinematic visions that I respect and admire.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Jw: I very much hope that the culture of the film industry will change and there will be more opportunities for women, not just as directors but as producers, cinematographers, editors, and in crew positions. But the only way this will happen is for people to make a conscious effort to hire these talented women in these positions and for younger women to be encouraged to pursue these careers.

We can’t wait around for policies to change — we have to change them ourselves from inside the industry.

https://medium.com/media/5acade13c1f0701d6776c3b635091107/href

Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Jessica Wolfson — “Hot Grease” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Scarlett Johansson’s Best Comedic Performances: 5 Moments That Put Her ‘Rough Night’ Role In Context

  • Indiewire
Scarlett Johansson’s Best Comedic Performances: 5 Moments That Put Her ‘Rough Night’ Role In Context
Scarlett Johansson is no stranger to the world of comedy — she is a member of the so-called Five-Timers Club, an enviable group of stars who have hosted “Saturday Night Live” at least five times — and she’s managed to emerge as an unexpected comedic Mvp without ever toplining an outright comedy. Some 20 years into her career, Johansson has yet to star in a raunchy knee-slapper that takes full advantages of her more light-leaning chops…until now. This week, that changes with the release of “Rough Night.”

An unabashedly female-centric comedy in the vein of “Bridesmaids” and “Bachelorette,” the new film from “Broad City” regulars Lucia Aniello (who makes her feature directorial debut with the film) and Paul W. Downs (who wrote it alongside Aniello and also co-stars) casts Johansson in a lead role alongside a strong ensemble of other (also very funny) women, including Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer,
See full article at Indiewire »

Chloe Grace Moretz, Josh Gad and Jack O’Connell sign up for Truman Capote film Party of the Century

  • HeyUGuys
Author: Zehra Phelan

Chloe Grace Moretz, Josh Gad, and Britain’s own Jack O’Connell have all signed on the dotted line to star in Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman’s romantic story Party of the Century which is focused on Truman Capote’s infamous Black and White Ball.

Party of the Century is an unexpected love story between O’Connell’s working-class elevator operator and Moretz’s Hollywood ingénue, both of whom score coveted invites to Capote’s (who will be played by Gad) soiree.

Truman Capote was not only known for his literary brilliance, the man also held the most lavish of social affairs in his heyday, this one story of his turbulent life was initially revealed via Deborah Davis’s book Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote in which the synopsis read;

In 1966, everyone who was anyone wanted an invitation to Truman Capote
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Newswire: Josh Gad and Chloë Grace Moretz will hit up the Party Of The Century

  • The AV Club
Taking a break from playing Disney sidekicks, Josh Gad will add his interpretation of Truman Capote to the cinematic canon in the upcoming film Party Of The Century, about the author’s famous Black And White Ball. According to a release, the story is not entirely centered on Capote—instead, it focuses on the romance between a fictional starlet played by Chloë Grace Moretz and Jack O’Connell’s elevator operator. So it’s more in the vein of a Me And Orson Welles or My Week With Marilyn-type project about people who have brushes with legends.

The movie comes from Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman, who wrote and directed The Nanny Diaries. One presumes they are now tasked with finding celebs to cameo as the other famous faces at the event. Who’s going to play Warhol this time?
See full article at The AV Club »

Josh Gad, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jack O’Connell set for Party of the Century

Josh Gad, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jack O’Connell set for Party of the Century
Get ready for the Party of the Century. Josh Gad, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jack O’Connell will be starring in the film that is set to be directed by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman. The directing pair also wrote the script and will shoot this fall in New York City.

Party of the Century is said to be a romance that revolves around Truman Capote’s famed Black and White Ball in New York. Gad will portray Capote while Moretz and O’Connell’s roles are currently unknown. The film will be produced by Bankside Films and Process Media.

Pulcini and Berman made a statement regarding the announcement of the project, stating that: “Our film is a delicate balance of worlds converging at a pivotal moment in time. Jack, Chloe and Josh are brilliant performers who can embody these worlds while bringing the electricity and pathos required to make the story fly.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Jack O’Connell, Chloe Moretz, Josh Gad to Star in ‘Party of the Century’

Jack O’Connell, Chloe Moretz, Josh Gad to Star in ‘Party of the Century’
Jack O'Connell, Chloe Moretz, and Josh Gad are starring in “Party of the Century,” centered on Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball with shooting starting later this year in New York City.

Gad will portray Capote. Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman are directing and Tim Perell will produce the film through his shingle Process Media.

Bankside Films will exclusively handle foreign sales at the Cannes Film Festival, with CAA and Bankside Films co-representing North American rights.

Hilary Davis, Stephen Kelliher, and Patrick Howson will executive produce for Bankside Films. Head Gear Films will provide production financing with Phil Hunt and Compton Ross acting as executive producers.

Capote held the ball in 1966 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City to honor Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham.

Pulcini and Springer Berman said, “Our film is a delicate balance of worlds converging at a pivotal moment in time. Jack,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Josh Gad To Play Truman Capote In Party Of The Century

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Bankside Films announced today Jack O’Connell, Chloe Grace Moretz and Josh Gad will star in Academy Award nominated writer /directors Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman’s Party of the Century, a New York romance based around Truman Capote’s infamous Black and White Ball.

Gad will portray Capote.

Tim Perell will produce the film through his shingle Process Media. Bankside Films will exclusively handle foreign sales, with CAA and Bankside Films co-representing North American rights. Hilary Davis, Stephen Kelliher and Patrick Howson will executive produce for Bankside Films. Head Gear Films will provide production financing with Phil Hunt and Compton Ross acting as executive producers. Party of the Century will shoot later this year in New York City.

Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman commented, “Our film is a delicate balance of worlds converging at a pivotal moment in time. Jack,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Jack O’Connell, Chloe Grace Moretz, Josh Gad Set For Cannes Title ‘Party Of The Century’

Jack O’Connell, Chloe Grace Moretz, Josh Gad Set For Cannes Title ‘Party Of The Century’
Bankside Films set Jack O'Connell, Chloe Grace Moretz and Josh Gad will star in Academy Award nominated writer /directors Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman's Party of the Century, a New York romance based around Truman Capote's infamous Black and White Ball. Gad will portray Capote. Tim Perell will produce the film through his shingle Process Media. Bankside Films will exclusively handle foreign sales, with CAA and Bankside Films co-representing North American…
See full article at Deadline »

Jack O’Connell, Chloe Grace Moretz, Josh Gad head to Truman Capote's Black and White Ball

  • ScreenDaily
Jack O’Connell, Chloe Grace Moretz, Josh Gad head to Truman Capote's Black and White Ball
Exclusive: Bankside to handle sales on love story Party Of The Century.

Jack O’Connell, Chloe Grace Moretz and Josh Gad are to star in Us romance Party Of The Century, based on Truman Capote’s infamous Black and White Ball.

American Splendor writer-director team Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman are behind the New York-set movie, which is due to shoot later this year.

Bankside will launch the project to buyers in Cannes.

Inspired by an apocryphal tale, Party of the Century is described as an unexpected love story between Pete (O’Connell), a working-class elevator operator, and Fawn (Moretz), a beautiful Hollywood ingénue, both of whom score coveted invites to Capote’s iconic masquerade ball held on November 28, 1966 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Beauty And The Beast star Gad will portray Breakfast at Tiffany writer Capote.

Tim Perell will produce the film through his shingle Process Media. Bankside Films will handle
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘L.A. Times’ Filmmaker and Star Michelle Morgan Finds Her Own Voice in Directorial Debut — Sundance Springboard

  • Indiewire
‘L.A. Times’ Filmmaker and Star Michelle Morgan Finds Her Own Voice in Directorial Debut — Sundance Springboard
IndieWire’s Springboard column profiles up-and-comers in the film industry worthy of your attention.

Don’t let newly minted multi-hyphenate Michelle Morgan’s resume fool you — she always wanted to be a writer. Although Morgan’s first official forays into the industry included small parts on shows like “CSI: Miami” and, yes, even “Saved By the Bell: The New Class” and an arc on “American Dreams,” she originally went to school for screenwriting and simply fell into acting.

And it wasn’t necessarily something that fueled her creatively, which is why Morgan eventually returned to writing, penning the scripts for John Stockwell’s “Middle of Nowhere” and Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s “Girl Most Likely.” In 2013, she turned to directing, with her amusing short “K.I.T,” which screened at Sundance. This time around at the festival, Morgan has combined all of her skills, and she not only
See full article at Indiewire »

Emile Hirsch Opens Up: How the ‘Autopsy of Jane Doe’ Star Survived His Darkest Moment

  • Indiewire
Emile Hirsch Opens Up: How the ‘Autopsy of Jane Doe’ Star Survived His Darkest Moment
Emile Hirsch keeps himself busy these days, but he’s not always making movies. The 31-year-old actor recently finished the first draft of a novel, completed a screenplay, and spends a lot of time painting still lifes in his backyard.

Meanwhile, he’s acting in a wider range of projects than ever before. A versatile performer known for immersing himself in his roles, he currently stars opposite Brian Cox in the minimalist horror-drama “The Autopsy of Jane Doe,” opening December 21, and has a range of projects — from a buddy comedy with Jk Simmons to a sweeping China-set period drama with an otherwise Asian cast—scheduled for 2017.

“The work itself is the goal,” he said, settling into Brooklyn eatery Sisters after a long day promoting “Jane Doe” in Manhattan. He was in the midst of a monthlong break from the novel, following the advice of Stephen King’s “On Writing,” his favorite guidebook.
See full article at Indiewire »

Flatlands: FX Developing PTA Kingpin Drama Series

  • TVSeriesFinale
Never underestimate PTA moms. Deadline reports FX is developing a new TV series called Flatlands.From Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, the drama "is set in a multi-ethnic, old-school corner of Brooklyn where a bored PTA mom reinvents herself as a local political kingpin who will do anything — including dismantling her family — to attain power." Previously, the pair wrote the Oscar-nominated film American Splendor.Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

FX Buys Political Serio-Comedy ‘Flatlands’ From ‘American Splendor’ Duo

FX has put in development Flatlands, an hourlong serio-comedy from Oscar- and Emmy- nominated filmmakers Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor, HBO’s Cinema Verite) and Likely Story. Co-written and to be directed by Berman and Pulcini, Flatlands is set in a multi-ethnic, old-school corner of Brooklyn where a bored PTA mom reinvents herself as a local political kingpin who will do anything — including dismantling her family — to attain power. Berman…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Prominent Female Filmmakers Line Up for Tribeca’s ‘Through Her Lens’ Program

Prominent Female Filmmakers Line Up for Tribeca’s ‘Through Her Lens’ Program
Tribeca Enterprises and fashion house Chanel have reteamed for the second annual “Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program,” featuring a leadership committee that includes Shari Springer Berman, Dakota Fanning, Rashida Jones, Jenni Konner, and Catherine Hardwicke, among others.

The program, in collaboration with Pulse Films and facilitated by Tribeca Film Institute, balances industry support and artistic development in order to provide funding for five new and emerging U.S.-based female writers and directors of short-form narrative films. Each participant will take part in master classes, one-on-one mentorship and peer-to-peer sessions. Additionally, each filmmaker will pitch their project to a jury of industry experts at the conclusion of the program.

Participants will also engage in script-to-screen development, story structure, casting, finding collaborators, and will work with music composers, costume designers, and editors, as well as festival strategy and distribution. Other leadership committee members of this year
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Through Her Lens’ 2016: Tribeca and Chanel Announce Participants in Second Annual Women’s Filmmaker Program

  • Indiewire
Tribeca Enterprises and Chanel have announced today the second annual Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program, which brings together industry support, artistic development and funding to assist and help new and emerging U.S.-based female writers and directors of short-form narrative films.

The program has selected five emerging female filmmakers to receive project support, and take part in master classes, one-on-one mentorship and peer-to-peer sessions during a three-day session at the end of this month. At the end of the program, each of the filmmakers will pitch her project to a jury of industry experts, and one filmmaker will be awarded full financing to produce her short film. The four other projects will each be awarded grant funds to continue the development of their films.

Read More: Filmmaker Anna Martemucci Wins First-Ever Female-Focused ‘Through Her Lens’ Grant

“We share with Chanel the goal to bring
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The New Yorker Presents’: How Alex Gibney and Kahane Cooperman Curated the Amazon Series

  • Indiewire
‘The New Yorker Presents’: How Alex Gibney and Kahane Cooperman Curated the Amazon Series
Produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and Jigsaw Productions, “The New Yorker Presents,” which Amazon revealed in weekly installments starting in February, is unlike anything else. Each of the 10 half-hour episodes is a uniquely curated set of documentary and fiction shorts, comedy, poetry, animation, and cartoons drawn from the rich content of The New Yorker. Both unexpected and hugely entertaining, the series is up for Emmy consideration in the informational program category.

Look at the range of the first two shows. They include Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) on bull riding, Edwidge Danticat on the connection between Jacob Lawrence’s “Migration Series” and outbreaks of racist violence in America, Nick Paumgarten on closing the $2.4 billion Revel casino, cartoons by Roz Chast, Benjamin Schwartz, and Liana Finck, a look at The New Yorker’s archive library and fact-checking department, a beekeeper and a man who raises pigeons who work atop tall buildings, and
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The New Yorker Presents’: How Alex Gibney and Kahane Cooperman Curated the Amazon Series

‘The New Yorker Presents’: How Alex Gibney and Kahane Cooperman Curated the Amazon Series
Produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and Jigsaw Productions, “The New Yorker Presents,” which Amazon revealed in weekly installments starting in February, is unlike anything else. Each of the 10 half-hour episodes is a uniquely curated set of documentary and fiction shorts, comedy, poetry, animation, and cartoons drawn from the rich content of The New Yorker. Both unexpected and hugely entertaining, the series is up for Emmy consideration in the informational program category.

Look at the range of the first two shows. They include Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) on bull riding, Edwidge Danticat on the connection between Jacob Lawrence’s “Migration Series” and outbreaks of racist violence in America, Nick Paumgarten on closing the $2.4 billion Revel casino, cartoons by Roz Chast, Benjamin Schwartz, and Liana Finck, a look at The New Yorker’s archive library and fact-checking department, a beekeeper and a man who raises pigeons who work atop tall buildings, and
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Writers Guild Pushes for Diversity Tax Credit in New York

Writers Guild Pushes for Diversity Tax Credit in New York
The Writers Guild of America East has asked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to support providing diversity production credits for TV shows.

The legislation would expand the state’s incentive program to include credits for shows that include writers and directors who are women or people of color.

The WGA East delivered nearly 500 letters to the governor Monday — with high profile signers such as Tina Fey and “Spotlight” writer-director Tom McCarthy — in support of proposed legislation that would designate $5 million of the $420 million Empire State Film Production Tax Credit for productions that hire female or minority writers or directors. It would be the first time a film state tax credit has included a diversity clause.

Signers included “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” scribe Michael Arndt; David Simon (“The Wire”); Robert Carlock (“The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”); “Goodfellas” author-screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi; Sarah Treem (“The Affair”), Michael H. Weber (“The Fault in Our Stars
See full article at Variety - TV News »

How 'The New Yorker Presents' Got Made for Amazon Streaming

How 'The New Yorker Presents' Got Made for Amazon Streaming
Watch this on The Scene. "The New Yorker Presents" debuted its first two shows at Sundance, where I sat down with series showrunner Kahane Cooperman (winner of 11 Emmys and 2 Peabodys as executive producer of Jon Stewart's “The Daily Show”) and Jigsaw Productions' Stacey Offman. The series debuts February 16th on Amazon. Watch a segment from the series, in which director Alex Gibney and New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright discuss what the CIA knew about the 9/11 hijackers before 9/11, in the clip above. The series brings together a range of filmmakers for a fascinating mix of shorts and doc features based on content from The New Yorker: Steve James, Robert Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman, Lucy Walker, Dawn Porter and Roger Ross Williams among them. Produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and Jigsaw Productions, "The New Yorker Presents" is unlike anything you've ever seen before, both unexpected and hugely entertaining, combining documentaries,
See full article at Indiewire Television »
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