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11 items from 2017

‘Chuck Hank and the San Diego Twins’ Trailer: The ‘Bellflower’ Team Returns with a Video Game–Inspired Fable

1 February 2017 9:57 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Six years after making their mark at Sundance with “Bellflower,” the Coatwolf Productions team is back with the video game–inspired “Chuck Hank and the San Diego Twins.” Written/directed by Jonathan Keevil and starring Evan Glodell (who wrote, directed and starred in “Bellflower”), the film looks even more manic than its predecessor. Watch the film’s first trailer below.

Read More: Different Roads Out of Sundance: ‘Bellflower’ Team, Brit Marling and Benh Zeitlin

Should you have trouble discerning the plot, here’s the synopsis: “The Syndicate, an evil gang bent on world domination, summons a secret weapon from the heavens and breaks the long-standing truce with the San Diego family by kidnapping their sister and cutting off the town’s supply of Tatsui Power-Up Drinks. Now Chuck Hank and the San Diego Twins must decide whether to fight — risking their lives, family and the future of Flat Earth — or »

- Michael Nordine

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From Kevin Costner to ‘Kubo,’ Left-Field Oscar Nominations That Could Happen

23 January 2017 1:32 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Oscar nominations are about 16 hours away. We’ve already declared final predictions in all 24 categories, but while we bide our time, here are a few thoughts on some unexpected nominations that could be in the cards. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Kevin Costner or Taraji P. Henson for “Hidden Figures

Octavia Spencer has been the default honoree from the “Hidden Figures” cast so far this season, netting Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations. But the film came on very strong when ballots went out in the first week of the new year, turning into a big box office story and enjoying events hosted by the likes of George Lucas and Jeffrey Katzenberg. So don’t be surprised if the coattails extend a bit farther. I’m placing a bet on Kevin Costner in the supporting actor category, but Taraji P. Henson could surge in the »

- Kristopher Tapley

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How ‘Patti Cake$’ Director Geremy Jasper Went from Indie Rocker to Breakout Filmmaker — Sundance 2017

23 January 2017 1:20 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

“Patti Cake$” has lived up to the hype. After its Eccles Theater premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday afternoon, the film scored two huge standing ovations, and another for breakout star Danielle Macdonald.

Patti Cake$ just dropped a hip hop bombshell on the Eccles. This movie could be huge. #sundance

— erickohn (@erickohn) January 23, 2017

This moment was a long and winding journey for writer-director Geremy Jasper. To look at him, you would never guess his alter ego would be Patricia Dombroski (aka Patti Cake$, aka Killer P, played by Macdonald), a 23-year-old, heavy-set Jersey girl with dreams of rap stardom. Jasper is tall, extremely easygoing, and has the style of a Williamsburg creative. In his 20s, he was the front man for a popular indie rock band, The Fever, and starred in Benh Zeitlin’s breakout short, “Glory at Sea.”

Read More: The 2017 IndieWire Sundance Bible: Every Review, »

- Chris O'Falt

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Slamdance Festival: Proud to Be Park City Disrupters

19 January 2017 2:00 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The 23rd annual Slamdance Film Festival kicks off Jan. 20 and runs through Jan. 26 in Park City, with a new crop of rising filmmakers ready to present fresh and energizing work. Created in 1995 by Dan Mirvish, Jon Fitzgerald, Shane Kuhn, and Peter Baxter, Slamdance continues to be a hotbed for new cinematic talent living on the edges of the independent and studio landscape.

“We love disruption of the creative variety,” Baxter says. “We don’t have one particular direction and there’s no hierarchy here. We’re looking for films that defy description, that showcase brave filmmaking, with artists looking ahead to new forms of media and art.”

Throughout the years the festival has grown considerably. There’s a screenplay competition, Slamdance Studios, and Slamdance on the Road, which acts as a mobile theatrical showcase for Slamdance titles. And to hear it from Baxter, it’s an evolutionary process of selecting exciting and challenging worldwide cinema. »

- Nick Clement

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Final Oscar Predictions: 5 Lingering Questions With Nominations on the Way

18 January 2017 5:15 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Ballots were due on Friday and the nail-biting will finally cease at 5am on Tuesday, Jan. 24. It’s been another jam-packed phase one for Oscar season, though one that didn’t have quite as many twists and turns as you’d expect. After all, a certain musical started the season as the presumed frontrunner, and it hasn’t budged since.

Of course, as soon as you think you’ve got it all figured out, the Academy keeps you on your toes. So how will the nominations for the 89th annual Oscars play out next week? There will be surprises, surely. There always are. Figuring out what they might be is the fun. Check out my final picks if you’re curious to know one guy’s opinion, but as we head into this final lap, a few lingering questions remain.

How many best picture nominees will there be?

In the »

- Kristopher Tapley

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‘Future ’38’ Exclusive Clip: A Man Time Travels From 1938 To 2018 to Save The World

17 January 2017 2:08 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The Slamdance Film Festival focuses on emerging filmmakers and low-budget independent films. Running parallel to Sundance in Park City, Utah, the festival has premiered films by directors like Christopher NolanMarc ForsterJared Hess, Oren PeliBenh Zeitlin, Seth GordonLynn Shelton and Lena Dunham. Now, the festival is soon upon us and will feature a variety of premieres, including the sci-fi comedy “Future ’38” about a time traveler who must save the world.

Read More: Slamdance 2017: 13 Must-See Films At This Year’s Festival

Filmed in early Technicolor, the film follows a man who time travels from 1938 to 2018 in order to save the world from evil forces. Written and directed by Jamie Greenberg (“Stags”), “Future ’38” celebrates and examines the past techniques of cinema. It stars Betty Gilpin (“Masters of Sex”), Robert John Burke (“Limitless”), Ethan Phillips (“Inside Llewyn Davis”), Sean Young (“Blade Runner”), Tom Riis Farrell (“Sleepless in Seattle”), Sophie von Haselberg »

- Vikram Murthi

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Kirsten Johnson, Robert Greene Receive Grants From Rooftop Films (Exclusive)

17 January 2017 9:07 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Kate Plays Christine” director Robert Greene and “Cameraperson” director Kirsten Johnson are among the filmmakers who will receive cash prizes from Rooftop Films. Greene will be awarded a monetary grant of $15,000 to help finish his new film, “Bisbee ‘17,” and Johnson will receive a $10,000 grant to support her upcoming film, “Deadpan.” Rooftop Films is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and showcasing the work of New York City filmmakers and musicians. As part of its mission, Rooftop provides grants to filmmakers, rents equipment at low-cost to artists and non-profits, and organizes film screenings.

“The Rooftop Filmmakers Fund grant committee was blown away by the quality of applicants this year, and the projects we selected feature powerful personal stories and bold political statements—often within the same film,” said Dan Nuxoll, Artistic Director of Rooftop Films. “In a year full of confusing twists and turns, we are excited to be supporting several »

- Brent Lang

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Slamdance 2017: 13 Must-See Films At This Year’s Festival

17 January 2017 9:00 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Now well into its second decade, the Slamdance Film Festival is gearing up for its 2017 edition. Mostly taking place at the Treasure Mountain Inn at top of Park City, Utah’s busting Main Street, Slamdance is dedicated to presenting a festival and a community designed “for filmmakers by filmmakers.”

In previous years, projects from directors like Christopher NolanMarc ForsterJared Hess, Oren PeliBenh Zeitlin, Seth GordonLynn Shelton and Lena Dunham have bowed at the festival, and it’s become a fertile — if offbeat — proving ground for fresh talents. This year looks to be yet another banner one for the fest, and as such, we’ve gone on a little trip through the Slamdance slate to dig up some prime possibilities for must-see films (shorts and features!).

Ahead, check out 13 titles we’re »

- Chris O'Falt, David Ehrlich, Graham Winfrey, Jude Dry, Kate Erbland and Steve Greene

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Sundance 2017: 13 Talents Poised to Break Out At This Year’s Festival

12 January 2017 9:00 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The Sundance Film Festival has long been a proving ground for brand new talents and stars-in-the-making looking to catapult their career into the big leagues, and this year’s edition of the lauded fest looks to be no different. From actors to filmmakers, we’ve targeted a batch of up-and-coming talents who are set to make it big at this year’s festival. There may be a familiar face or two among their ranks, but we’re betting that, post-Sundance, they’re going to be just about everywhere from now on.

Read More: Sundance 2017: Check Out the Full Lineup, Including Competition Titles, Premieres and Shorts

Ahead, check out 13 talents we’re excited to see break out at this year’s festival.

Margaret Qualley, actor, “Novitiate

Over the past few years, Margaret Qualley has amassed a notable screen career, between “The Leftovers” and last year’s hypnotic Spike Jonze-directed Kenzo short. »

- Chris O'Falt, Graham Winfrey, Jude Dry, Kate Erbland, Steve Greene and Zack Sharf

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Slamdance Exclusive: There’s Money In The Laundry In Clip From ‘Withdrawn’

11 January 2017 8:29 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

The Sundance Film Festival has all the A-list stars, genre hits, indie sensations, and potential Oscar breakouts, but it’s at the Slamdance Film Festival where some of the most exciting cinematic voices of the next generation first make their mark. Christopher Nolan, Marc Forster, Jared Hess, Benh Zeitlin, Lynn Shelton, and Lena Dunham all made early impressions at the fest, which brings us to Adrian Murray, who is hoping to join those prestigious alumni.

Continue reading Slamdance Exclusive: There’s Money In The Laundry In Clip From ‘Withdrawn’ at The Playlist. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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10 Directors to Watch: Geremy Jasper Finds Fresh Beat in Sundance-Bound ‘Patti Cake$’

3 January 2017 9:48 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Premiering in competition at Sundance, Jasper’s crowd-pleasing debut “Patti Cake$”follows a girl from New Jersey with big dreams of hip-hop stardom — a character close to the writer-director’s heart: “I was a chubby, blond Jersey kid writing raps and making an ass of myself at talent shows,” he says.

Coming from a feature-film rookie best-known for such music videos as Florence + the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over,” it’s an ambitiously eclectic story, for which he also wrote some 15 songs, from hip-hop to hair metal, as well as the score. Although he studied film history at Wesleyan (where he met Benh Zeitlin, who went on to direct “Beasts of the Southern Wild”), Jasper initially imagined himself as a musician. But stints in a series of bands, including New York City group the Fever, and a New Orleans gig working with the nonprofit arts collective Court 13 (collaborating on »

- Gordon Cox

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