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16 articles

Volunteering, Donating And Voting Post-sandy

4 November 2012 1:37 PM, PST

I live in downtown Manhattan, so in the wake of Hurricane Sandy I was without power and, for the most part, cell service. Now that power is back, I’m more online, watching TV, and more realizing of the extensive damage caused by the hurricane and of all the people still needing power, shelter and the reconstruction of their neighborhoods. If you’re able to volunteer or donate, here are some links guiding you to people and organizations assisting in what is and will be a major effort.

At its NYC Service site, the City of New York has a comprehensive list of links, including how to volunteer to help specific neighborhoods like Red Hook and the Brooklyn Waterfront, how to volunteer to be a poll worker, and how to give blood.

CBS News New York has a list of organizations including local Red Cross chapters, Salvation Army Chapters, and, »

- Scott Macaulay

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“The Imposter,” “Searching For Sugar Man” Top Cinema Eye Honors Noms

2 November 2012 9:34 PM, PDT

At an event hosted by the AFI Film Festival today, Cinema Eye Honors announced its Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking. Bart Layton’s The Imposter (pictured) and Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man led the pack, with five nominations each. Both films were nominated the group’s Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking Award, joining fellow nominees Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s 5 Broken Cameras; Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Detropia; Matthew AkersMarina Abramovic The Artist is Present, and Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims’ Only the Young. Tippet and Mims, who Filmmaker selected for our 25 New Faces of 2012, had the most individual nominations, with four apiece.

Cinema Eye was founded in 2007 to honor achieve in non-fiction filmmaking. As the organization writes, “It was the first and remains the only international nonfiction award to recognize the whole creative team, presenting annual craft awards in directing, producing, cinematography, editing, composing and graphic design/animation. »

- Scott Macaulay

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“This Ain’T California”: This Ain’T A Doc?

2 November 2012 1:50 PM, PDT

The most gratifying aspect of curating a film fest is being able to bring an under-the-radar gem you feel passionate about to an audience that might never otherwise see it. And as the director of programming for this year’s Santa Fe Independent Film Festival I was asked several times to name my favorite selection (which, of course, is like being asked to choose between kids). Nevertheless, I’d be lying if I pretended one film didn’t immediately leap to mind, a flick I’d fallen head over heels in love with when I caught it over the summer, courtesy of Rooftop Films. As I wrote in my program notes:

“The talk of the 2012 Berlinale and a hit at this year’s Rooftop Films Series NYC, West German director Marten Persiel’s This Ain’t California thrills on so many levels it ultimately defies description, much like its stunning »

- Lauren Wissot

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Nara Garber & Betsy Nagler’S “Flat Daddy”

2 November 2012 1:16 PM, PDT

Nara Garber & Betsy Nagler’s Flat Daddy is released on VOD on November 6. The following was originally published on the eve of its Doc NYC premiere in 2011.

In the corpus of documentaries that have come out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’ve seen a gradual progression from the outward to the inward — immersive forays into the battlefield giving way to subtler studies of the wartime psyche. Yet the majority of them have focused on the soldier’s experience of war. Flat Daddy sets itself apart by focusing on the people who feel war perhaps the deepest: military families put on hold or torn apart by the absence of their loved ones serving abroad.

Directed by Nara Garber and Betsy Nagler, the film takes its name from the life-sized cardboard cutouts of servicemen and women (interchangeably called “Flat Daddies,” “Flat Mommies” or “Flat Soldiers”) designed to help families »

- Daniel James Scott

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Five Questions With “North Sea Texas” Director Bavo Defurne

2 November 2012 9:10 AM, PDT

The most striking thing about North Sea Texas is the handsome precision of its aesthetic, which, from the windswept beaches of its coastal setting to the ’70s duds that match home décor, comes close to endowing the film with a magical-realist vibe. A native Belgian and graduate of a Brussels art school, writer/director Bavo Defurne isn’t interested in being a fly on the wall. From a portfolio of ethereal photography to a handful of short films (including Campfire, which gobbled up praise as it cruised the international festival circuit), Defurne has an affinity not for the affected, but for the just north of actual, beautifying his subject matter without robbing it of its weight. In North Sea Texas, his feature debut, Defurne adapts a tale originally told by Flemish author André Sollie, about two boys, Pim (Jelle Florizoone) and Gino (Mathias Vergels), who share a closeted romance. A »

- R. Kurt Osenlund

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Shooting With John: Why 3D?

2 November 2012 8:29 AM, PDT

John has graciously given me a chance to tell people why I do 3D, why I Actually do 3D, to write something beyond the technical babble that typically highlights any in-depth discussion of 3D or the snark that informs any “3D, ugh” diatribe or the relative silence from my peers in the indie community. I’ll do my best to talk about 3D in a way that I haven’t heard often… less a technical piece (or 3D ugh-fest), more an honest ramble on independent artistic creation. An ode, if you will.

It’s a shame to start like this, but to get it out of the way — I’ve written a bit about 3D haters before, and I know you’re out there. And I agree with you, sometimes: a lot of 3D sucks and a lot of it is gimmicky. But this isn’t an article about that, »

- Zack Lieberman

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Checking Out Sony’S New Nex-EA50H At Abel Cine Tech: Ergonomics And Low Cost Too

1 November 2012 9:23 PM, PDT


October 30 has come and gone, and with it Sony’s splashy announcement of two 4K additions to their CineAlta “F” series of Super35 cameras — F3, F35, F65 — namely, the F5 and F55. At a moment when Sony’s FS700 uses a Super35 4K sensor to capture low-cost Avchd, it should have startled no one that Sony’s October surprise would be all about expanding their 4K line-up.

But lost in the social media buildup to the F5/F55 announcement has been the recent introduction of another large-sensor Sony HD camcorder, the Nex-EA50H, a design that tackles, at last, the issue of hand-held ergonomics critical to vérité-style documentary filmmaking. (Call me fogey, but I’m sticking to “filmmaking.”)

The inelegantly named EA50H (takes practice to remember…) is a mash-up of its Nxcam siblings, the FS100 and FS700. Like them, it features an interchangeable Sony e-Mount and records Avchd to Sd cards, »

- David Leitner

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“Game Changers” Part 1: Getting Started

1 November 2012 6:01 PM, PDT

Filmmakers Rob Imbs (director) and Benjamin Eckstein (cinematographer) are currently shooting a low-budget independent feature film, Game Changers, a drama/comedy about two video-gamers who are approaching their late twenties. With an initial target budget of $30,000, Game Changers might be better described as a shoestring budget feature, given that they began shooting with only half that amount raised. Though this is their first film together, Imbs has previously made a feature-length video, Eckstein has extensive shooting experience in corporate video and documentaries, and Imbs is an experienced editor who will be doing most of the editing.

Imbs, who is based in Buffalo NY, met Eckstein, who is based in Boston, via Twitter. Their first project together wasn’t a film, but a fund-raiser poker game called “All In Film” held at Nab in 2010.

Unlike many low-budget films which shoot on weekends and other off times, they intentionally decided to shoot »

- Michael Murie

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“Game Changers” Part 2: Funding And Casting

1 November 2012 2:21 PM, PDT

Game Changers is an indie film currently being shot in Buffalo, New York. In this second part of the interview with filmmakers Rob Imbs (director) and Benjamin Eckstein (cinematographer), they discuss funding a low-budget movie, how the budget effects the production, as well as casting and location scouting.

Filmmaker: So you had a script, but then you had to fund the movie. How did you go about doing that?

Imbs: Funding was always an Indiegogo thing. Just as I fell in love with Twitter, I also fell in love with the idea of Indiegogo. I really believe in supporting artists, I still buy CDs.

There’s a bunch of films on Kickstarter/Indiegogo that I think “This project is amazing, I want to give these people money.” So I would always do that, and I saw people who were very successful and I thought, “Wait a minute, I’ve made movies for $5,000. Heck, »

- Michael Murie

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Five Questions With “Girl Walk // All Day” Director Jacob Krupnick

1 November 2012 12:18 PM, PDT

Director and photographer Jacob Krupnick was waiting for a spark to ignite a major creative project, and it came when he was listening to All Day, the 2010 album by mashup maestro Girl Talk. Krupnick’s debut feature, Girl Walk // All Day brilliantly utilizes the entirety of the album, using it as both soundtrack and inspiration for an epic, feature-length music video, the story of a young dancer (Anne Marsen) who escapes for the day to New York City, turning the great metropolis into one big, ever-moving stage. Along the way, she regularly crosses paths with both The Creep (John Doyle), a weirdo in skeleton sweats, and his courteous counterpart, The Gentleman (Dai Omiya).

Since premiering in Brooklyn almost a year ago, Girl Walk //All Day has had screenings all over the country (as well as internationally) that have become legendary for becoming mass dance parties, as the entire audience gets »

- Nick Dawson

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Sony Announces F5, F55 And Other Toys

31 October 2012 8:35 AM, PDT

On October 30th, Sony announced two new cameras; the Pmw-F5 and Pmw-F55. Both cameras bring 4K capture, a common modular design and some new technologies to Sony’s CineAlta line of cameras. Unfortunately, what Sony didn’t release was pricing or sample video. The pricing may come in a couple of weeks, and video will reportedly be released sometime near the end of November. Actual cameras will ship in January 2013.

This leaves us to look at the pictures of the shiny new boxes and study the specs and go, “That looks nice,” or as Philip Bloom put it, “I want an F55. I want it now. Give it to me now, or I will scream and scream until I am sick!!!!” Clearly he wants the global shutter and 4K internal recording; two features that the F55 offers over the F5.

But seriously, if the F5 is around $15,000 then that will be very interesting. »

- Michael Murie

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Five Questions With “Jack & Diane” Director Bradley Rust Gray

30 October 2012 12:48 PM, PDT

On the surface, director Bradley Rust Gray’s Jack & Diane tells a typical tale of romance spawning from an immediate attraction. The kinetic chemistry between the title characters (played by Riley Keough and Juno Temple, respectively) is reminiscent of the unnerving beat of Gray’s previous directorial effort The Exploding Girl. However, one doesn’t have to look too deep to find the dichotomy between romance and horror that Gray brings to the screen with this experimental film.

It’s a pulsing story of two girls who are drawn to each other against an ambient soundtrack of modern beats and ’80s rock. Diane, a flighty wallflower, is vacationing in New York when she encounters the intense punk-loving skater girl Jack. Together they fumble hastily through the many firsts that come with the frenetic urgency of young love. But a sense of foreboding constantly overhands the all-consuming tryst as the audience »

- Niki Cruz

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Going 360 With Zombies On Hallowe’En

30 October 2012 9:24 AM, PDT

We file past a solemn priest down the stairs into the church basement. My friend and I excited.“There are the infected. There are the survivors. Then there is you.” That’s what the e-mail boasted when it arrived 30 hours earlier, promising a mix of live theatre and film called a 360 Screening. We were part of a sold-out audience of 200 that paid $60 apiece to see a film without knowing the title until the last minute.

This was the third 360 Screening in Toronto and its first Hallowe’en edition. Tonight it was taking place in the old Berkeley Church across from a public housing tenement and around the corner from skid row. How appropriate, I thought.

When we reach the bottom of the stairs, a delirious soldier with a bloodied nose and chin is on his knees. His hands are tied behind his back and chained to a wall. “They’re insane! »

- Allan Tong

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Five Questions With “F To 7th” Creator Ingrid Jungermann

29 October 2012 1:45 PM, PDT

Ingrid Jungermann was selected by Filmmaker as part of this year’s crop of ”25 New Faces of Independent Film” along with her comedic cohort from The Slope, Desiree Akhavan. After chronicling the relationship between two “superficial, homophobic lesbians” in The Slope, Jungermann is striking out on her own with a new web series, F to 7th — currently in the final stages of its fundraising campaign on Kickstarter — in which the same “Ingrid” character reappears, now looking for her place in the world. Filmmaker briefly chatted with Jungermann about her upcoming show, going solo and lessons learned from The Slope.

Filmmaker: Tell us about F to 7th. Is it basically a solo spinoff of The Slope? (Will you be playing the same Ingrid character?)

Jungermann: Yes, it’s a spin-off of The Slope. I will be playing the “Ingrid” character, but I’ve gained weight for the role this time to make it more realistic. »

- Nick Dawson

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The Week In Cameras: An October Surprise

29 October 2012 11:23 AM, PDT

This Tuesday we have the big announcement of “The New F” from Sony to look forward to. Will it be amazing? Sony is certainly talking it up, billing it as “The Future, Ahead of Schedule.”

Peter Crithary of Sony has tweeted:

Peter Crithary @CineAltaNews

Those few that have seen, and know the features, their reaction is #GameChanger

Of course, he’s from Sony, so he might be expected to say that. Filmmaker Sebastian Wiegärtner has said:

Sebastian Wiegärtner @wiegaertner

#TheNewF announcement will be very tough for some big players in the industry! I was so surprised yesterday!

And Andy Shipsides of AbelCine said:

Andy Shipsides @AndyShipsidesSpent

4 hours in a Sony meeting today. Holy Crap. Amazing.

It’s widely assumed that “The New F” will be a 4K model that replaces – or is a step up from – the existing Pmw-F3. Talk of other features include; high-frame rates and 50Mb/s 4:2:2 recording. »

- Michael Murie

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Five Questions With “Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters” Director Ben Shapiro

29 October 2012 9:35 AM, PDT

Ben Shapiro’s excellent Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, opens tomorrow at Film Forum through Zeitgeist Films. The following interview was originally published on the eve of its SXSW Film Festival premiere.

Photographer Gregory Crewdson is renowned for his elaborately-staged photographs, huge in scope, size, and ambition. So filmmaker Benjamin Shapiro had his work cut out for him when he set out nearly a decade ago to follow Crewdson and demystify the artist’s process. But the biggest surprise of Shapiro’s long-awaited film is just how open, eloquent, and down-to-earth Crewdson is when discussing his art. Crewdson allows the audience unrestricted access to his shoots (not to mention his personal life), even taking us along as he searches for locations, subjects, and inspiration. Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters is a refreshingly frank look at the artistic process, as comprehensive and lovingly realized as the work it pays tribute to.

Filmmaker: When »

- Dan Schoenbrun

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