4 items from 2007
- After a brief pause with his autobiographical coming-of-age tale in Rocket Science (read our interview with him), Jeffrey Blitz has gone back to his first love: documentary filmmaking. He has been working on the project for the better part of the year and The Hollywood Reporter reports that the producer of Little Miss Sunshine, Sherrybaby and the upcoming Sundance selection Sunshine Cleaning will be boarding this project which should be ready for release sometime this year. Big Beach Films will position the doc at an upcoming festival or find an indie distributor to buy the film rights. To get an idea of Blitz's style, look no further than his crazy 6-million dollar hit Spellbound - a doc on the little people that make up the national spelling bee. His current piece of Americana pie (currently in production) tells the stories of lottery winners and the phenomenon of the lottery. »
Blitz, who burst onto the scene in 2003 with the Spelling Bee documentary Spelbound, is in production on the film, which tours the country telling the stories of lottery winners and the phenomenon of the lottery.
Longtime Blitz producer Sean Welch also will produce the pic together with Big Beach.
The still-untitled movie is described as focusing on characters who are "heavily invested, emotionally and financially, in the lottery," examining how it has or hasn't changed winners' lives. It also tells the story of obsessive players who haven't won.
While the movie will sometimes take a skeptical view of the lottery, it will concentrate on the stories and on the people, executives said.
"Jeff is a filmmaker who's more about people than institutions," Big Beach principal Peter Saraf said. "He's getting at the bigger ideas through the people. It's not the 'Fahrenheit 9/11' of lotteries."
Big Beach expects the film to be completed and released in 2008; it has yet to decide whether to debut it at a festival or sell it to a distributor outside a fest. »
- Rocket Science takes teenage angst to new heights. It explores the pubescent hell of Hal Hefner, a skinny teen who decides the best way to overcome his sizable stutter is by joining the high school debate team. The film’s writer and director, Jeffrey Blitz, grew up a stutterer, a condition that created an obsession with language and storytelling. Like Hal, Jeffery joined the debate team, a courageous, if embarrassing method for overcoming his speech disorder. The film is ripe with hilarious, yet painful moments. Like Jeffery’s previous film, the documentary Spellbound, the film focuses on the quirky details of ambitious kids. Competition becomes a magnifying glass on their strengths, flaws and blind spots. Tongue-tied at the worst possible moments, Hal oscillates between soldiering through with awkward charm and retreating to the janitor’s closet.While Jeffery did not stammer and start during our interview, he had some »
- Quick Links Complete Film Listing: Premiere's section lineup: Dramatic Competition: Documentary Competition: World Dramatic Competition: World Documentary Competition: Spectrum: Park City at Midnight: Frontier (New Directions in Filmmaking): Short Film Programs January 18 to 28, 2007 Counting Down: updateCountdownClock('January 18, 2007'); At least a good half of the films represented in the U.S Dramatic comp this year are by first time filmmakers. Headed by veteran filmmaker (and yet relatively new) David Gordon Green and his Stewart O'Nan novel adaptation of Snow Angels but perhaps the most loudest (in term of controversy and spotlight shall go to) the rough Deborah Kampmeier portrait Hounddog - starring a Dakota Fanning in what shall become a transition role for her from Hollywood to Indie, but from child actor to adult-material. And an indie festival wouldnâ.t be a festival without the presence of the Posey name. Zoe Cassavetes will introduce our friend Parker in »
4 items from 2007
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