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14 articles


Personal Doesn’t Mean Small: Ifp Week Filmmakers On Tackling Big Issues With Intimate Stories

6 hours ago

“I think we have this profound misrepresentation around personal films being small,” said Cecilia Aldarondo, one of three filmmakers of personal docs who spoke at Ifp Week 2017. The panel was called “When the Personal Gets Political and the Political Gets Personal.” In the case of all three filmmakers’ films, they’re both. “I’ve gotten so many responses from potential funders of people who think that way. They hear ‘personal’ and they hear ‘small.’ They think it won’t have an audience. With these projects, I think we’ve demonstrated that’s not the case. If we’re dealing with questions of social change and […] »

- Matt Prigge

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Five Questions for Stronger Director David Gordon Green

9 hours ago

David Gordon Green finds it difficult to focus on one type of project at any given time, and as a result, frustrates his agents in working out how to market him. But the Arkansas-born, South Carolina-based writer/ director, whose diverse filmography includes early aughts independent standouts like All The Real Girls and George Washington as well as mainstream hits like Pineapple Express, is okay with that — so long as he is aggressively working on projects that he is both passionate about and that challenge him. Opening today in theaters is his modestly-budgeted drama Stronger, which depicts the true story […] »

- Tiffany Pritchard

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“Women Don’t Always Get to Play the Funny Parts”: Julie Klausner Talks Making Difficult People Herself at Ifp Week

23 hours ago

If there’s a common thread that runs through any truly original work, it’s this: The creators saw something that wasn’t in the world, so they created it themselves. You hear that a lot in independent films. You also hear it, increasingly, in TV now too. The lines separating cinema and television are getting blurrier. For further proof, witness Julie Klausner’s appearance at Ifp Week 2017. Klausner is the creator of Difficult People, which is not a movie but a hit TV show on Hulu. But the way she approached her TV show sounds a lot the way indie filmmakers talk […] »

- Matt Prigge

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Finding Communion at the 2017 Camden International Film Festival

21 September 2017 7:36 AM, PDT

When I arrived at Ciff in 2012, I was attending the Points North Forum Pitch, which runs concurrently with the festival and is the centerpiece of a weekend of panels and discussions. I came to Maine from Los Angeles, a first-time director who somehow couldn’t get the last four union days to join Local 728 and thus decided that shooting my own film would be a perfect antidote to hearing my buddies brag about the shows they worked on, shows that, finally, their friends had heard of. I perfectly remember the anxiety I felt when I arrived. Everyone knew each other, nobody stood alone […] »

- Martin DiCicco

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“Find a Small, Possibly Unsexy Job You Can Do Well”: At Ifp Week, Directors and Producers on Getting Started in Indie Film

21 September 2017 7:00 AM, PDT

So you’ve made a film. Congrats. But you’re not out of the woodwork yet. You may never be. The four filmmakers and one producer who appeared on the Ifp Week panel called “On Working (and Staying) in Indie Film Today” had vastly different stories to tell about how they turned movie-making into an actual job. The biggest name on the panel was Gillian Robespierre. Having directed and co-written the indie hits Obvious Child and this summer’s Landline, she has more stability than most in her field, having parlayed those successes into TV work on top of a future making her […] »

- Matt Prigge

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“Gain the Trust of the Audience”: Cenk Uygur Talks Trump, News and the Internet at Ifp Week

21 September 2017 5:00 AM, PDT

Cenk Uygur isn’t happy Trump got elected, but he is fine with stealing parts of his playbook. Not the bad moves — just the ones that are, arguably, good. As the main host and co-creator of The Young Turks, a progressive show which began on Sirirus and now lives online, Uygur is after the same slice of the populist pie as the president he so despises. Cenk Uygur isn’t a household name, but perhaps he should be. He is, literally, internet-famous. The Young Turks gets 200 million views a month, meaning he has more fans that a Wolf Blitzer or a Joe Scarborough. […] »

- Matt Prigge

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Who Gets to Tell Whose Story?: Ifp Week Filmmakers and Funders Talk the Politics of Representation in 2017

20 September 2017 3:02 PM, PDT

When Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit came out this summer, some charged that it shouldn’t have been made by Kathryn Bigelow. Critics, including rogerebert.com’s Angelica Jade Bastien, felt that the story — about ten Black civilians (and two Caucasians) tortured and, in some cases, killed by racist white cops during the 1967 Detroit riots — should have been told by Black filmmakers. These commentators argued that Bigelow and her screenwriter Mark Boal, both white, not only lacked the perspective to get the events right; they also ran the risk of aestheticizing suffering and the destruction of Black bodies. This is not a new […] »

- Matt Prigge

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Ifp Week: Sean Baker and the Safdie Brothers on How To Film Inside Working Businesses

20 September 2017 12:00 PM, PDT

If you’re a filmmaker, it may seem like the city is your playground. It’s not. Everything costs money. Every public space you want to shoot in requires permits and insurance. It all requires planning, hard work, negotiations, or simply lots of pleading. One issue that’s cropped up in multiple talks during Ifp Week has been this: What do you do when you want to shoot in a place of business? How do you get a bodega owner or a restauranteur or the owners of a giant mall in Flushing to let you run around with cast and crew, even though […] »

- Matt Prigge

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Directors Josh and Benny Safdie and Cinematographer Sean Price Williams Talk Shooting Good Time in NYC on 35mm at Ifp Week

20 September 2017 9:29 AM, PDT

Directors Josh and Benny Safdie and cinematographer Sean Price Williams go way back. Their latest collaboration, the crime thriller Good Time, is the trio’s fourth joint effort. They’re not only used to each other; they’ve also been through some real shit. The Safdies love to work rough and tumble, filming most of their movies — including Daddy Longlegs and Heaven Knows What, both shot by Williams – on the streets and apartments of New York, feeding off and bottling up the city’s uniquely chaotic energy. For Good Time, they even dragged a big name, Robert Pattinson, along for the ride. To get […] »

- Matt Prigge

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“I Don’t Want To Kill a Medium”: Director Sean Baker Talks The Florida Project and iPhones at Ifp Week

19 September 2017 11:00 AM, PDT

Sean Baker is amazed some people still think he’s a new filmmaker. That implies that he’s young. On the contrary. “I’m old,” Baker remarked during his talk at Ifp Week 2017. (Or at least he’s 46.) Back in 2015, Tangerine put him on the map. And it was shot on an iPhone 5S, which made him seem like some millennial who’d never even heard of a Bolex. As it happens, Tangerine was his fifth film. The others weren’t obscure; Four Letter Words, Take Out, Prince of Broadway and Starlet were all acclaimed. (He also spent years as the co-creator of […] »

- Matt Prigge

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“Create Something That Is Undeniable”: Director Dee Rees Talks Mudbound And Life After Pariah at Ifp Week

19 September 2017 9:51 AM, PDT

The highpoint of Dee Rees’ Ifp Week appearance was a complete surprise. There to discuss her latest feature, the Sundance fave Mudbound (hitting theaters and Netflix on Nov. 17) with Buzzfeed film critic Alison Willmore, the Pariah filmmaker waxed nostalgic over one of the films that most inspired her to take up the craft: Sugar Cane Alley, Euzhan Palcy’s 1983 César-winner about life in a small village in Martinique during the 1930s. Rees’ mother had it on VHS when she was a kid, and she would watch it over and over again. “That was before I understood what a director did,” […] »

- Matt Prigge

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Panelists at Tiff Talk Distribution, Data Analytics, Documentary and New Audience-First Marketing

18 September 2017 12:00 PM, PDT

Diversity was a hotly debated topic within the “Dialogues: At the Table” panel. Gil Robertson, CEO of the African American Critics Association, probed the panelists to explain why people of diverse backgrounds are still struggling to get their films made. The outspoken, decisive Franklin Leonard, who runs online network The Black List that connects writers and their scripts with agents, producers and financiers, shrugged his shoulders: “The numbers don’t lie. Look at the success of films such as Titanic and Avatar. [They] made it clear many years ago that women could sell films. And this year we have the success […] »

- Tiffany Pritchard

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Angelina Jolie, Aaron Sorkin, Gael Garcia Bernal and Mary Harron Talk at Tiff

18 September 2017 9:45 AM, PDT

The Toronto Film Festival closed out its 42nd year with another impressive round of masterclasses and “Tiff talks.” On the industry side, while not as heavily programmed as other festivals, there was an engaging round of panels that tackled on-topic discussions such as diversity and alternative distribution. Typical to other years, a robust line-up of filmmakers and writers made up the festival’s one-to-one talks, their “In Conversation With…” series. Aaron Sorkin’s candid conversation was one of my highlights. He openly discussed his ten year-dependence on drugs, of which Carrie Fisher sent him a letter assuring him he could write even […] »

- Tiffany Pritchard

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“Find Your Tribe”: Moonlight Director Barry Jenkins and Producer Adele Romanski Give Advice at Ifp Week

18 September 2017 9:17 AM, PDT

Barry Jenkins and Adele Romanski know what Ifp Week is like. They know what it’s like to pitch a passion project. They even know what it’s like when time — in Jenkin’s case, several years — elapses between features. When the writer/director and producer, respectively, of Moonlight swung by this year’s Filmmaker Talks day at Ifp Week, it was a kind of victory lap. After all, their last film together took home three Oscars, including Best Picture, on top of a towering pile of other accolades. But they used their talk with moderator Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker‘s Editor-in-Chief, to remember when life was […] »

- Matt Prigge

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14 articles



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