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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 »

Mindy Newell: Wilson Fisk and Hell’s Kitchen

  • Comicmix
“Today, the only reminder that this stretch of (Manhattan’s) SoHo was once a forest of filling stations known as Gasoline Alley is a coffee shop of the same name that sells single-origin coffee beans from Burundi.” • Sarah Maslin Nir, “With Gas Station’s Closing, A Fuel Desert Expands in Manhattan,” The New York Times, April 22, 2016

“On a block where a kebab could once be had at 2 a.m. from Bereket, the 24-hour Turkish restaurant that was forced to close in 2014, there will now be a 30,000-square-foot Equinox gym and spa with a lounge and juice bar; condo residents will be able to access the two-story gym through a private entrance. Gone too, are places like Ray’s Pizza and Empanada Mama. While such spots and the unmemorable single-story buildings that once housed them could not claim any historic significance, they were popular haunts that gave the area its character…
See full article at Comicmix »

‘Kiss the Ground’ Soil Documentary in the Works

Big Picture Ranch and Benenson Productions are teaming up on “Kiss the Ground” to chronicle the movement to bring back healthy soil, Variety has learned exclusively.

Big Picture Ranch has credits on “Fuel,” “The Big Fix” and “Pump” while Benenson produced “Dirt! The Movie” and “The Hadza: Last of the First.”

Kiss the Ground” will be produced by Josh Tickell, Rebecca Harrell Tickell and Bill Benenson, who was an early investor and an exec producer on Netflix’s “Beasts of No Nation.”

Josh and Rebecca Tickell are directing. Laurie Benenson, Anna Getty and Michelle Lerach exec produce.

The film is inspired by a collaboration with the California-based nonprofit organization Kiss the Ground, a champion for regenerative living and the restoration of soil worldwide. The documentary will look at how soil – and the microbial universe that it houses – is the foundation for all life above ground.

The film also looks at
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Pump documentary trailer explores the fuel crisis and its solutions

Pump documentary trailer explores the fuel crisis and its solutions
A trailer for Pump has been released.

The documentary explores the fuel crisis and the solutions offered by petrol alternatives.

Tesla Motor CEO Elon Musk features in the film, alongside Citizens for Affordable Energy CEO and founder John Hofmeister and former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

It was directed by Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell, whose previous projects include the Sundance award-winning 2008 film Fuel.

The film focuses on alternatives to fossil fuels and the ease in which we could switch to them.

A release date for Pump is yet to be confirmed.
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Pump Trailer and Poster Aim to Break Our Oil Addiction

Our dependence on oil is obviously a politically touchy subject (personally I like keeping the planet as clean as possible and my wallet full without depending on a non-renewable resource) but, as fans of both cinema and Tesla MotorsElon Musk, we have decided to share both the Pump trailer and poster with you. The documentary on alternative fuel and vehicles comes from directors Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell, who previously helmed the Sundance award-winning film Fuel. The film stars Musk along with John Hofmeister (Founder and CEO at Citizens for Affordable Energy) and Luiz Inácio da Silva (Brazil's president from 2003-2011). Hit the jump for the Pump trailer and poster. I like how the trailer is actually almost upbeat. I find myself falling into doom and gloom territory when considering the environment, but Pump has me feeling more optimistic. Which is worth a share alone. Trailer via YouTube.
See full article at Collider.com »

Indiewire @ Hulu Docs: Go On the Road With These 6 Great Road Trip Docs, Available to Stream For Free

  • Indiewire
Indiewire @ Hulu Docs: Go On the Road With These 6 Great Road Trip Docs, Available to Stream For Free
With summer halfway over, it's time to get away -- let these docs inspire you to take a virtual vacation on the road. The latest edition of Indiewire's curation of Hulu's Documentaries page spotlights films which take to the open road in their exploration of a wide range of topics.  Watch these docs now for free!In "Fuel," director Joshua Tickell, concerned about our overdependence on foreign oil, finds his own solution. Traveling across the Us in his biodiesel-fueled Veggie Van, he spreads the word about sustainable energy alternatives.Offering a unique perspective on modern America, Doug Pray's "Big Rig" rides along with long-haul truck drivers, crossing over forty state-lines to reveal the lives of these often overlooked men and women.Amanda and Rachel, a young lesbian couple, set out from their home in Philadelphia to Ames, Iowa to tie the knot in an over-the-top ceremony presided by a lady rapper.
See full article at Indiewire »

DVD Release: The Big Fix

  • Disc Dish
DVD Release Date: June 19, 2012

Price: DVD $ $24.95

Studio: Green Planet Productions

The 2011 documentary film The Big Fix recounts the events surrounding the 2010 sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico and paints a disturbing picture of the aftermath of the largest oil spill in America’s history.

Directed by the husband-and-wife filmmaking team Josh and Rebecca Harrell Tickell (Fuel), the film contains interviews with scientists, government officials, journalists, attorneys and Gulf States natives. It sets out to reveal the powerful political and corporate system that put profits over the health and long-term sustainability of people and the environment in the aftermath of the spill. The film posits that no matter what the petroleum and government officials say, the oil is still coming ashore, the seafood industry is wiped out, and many people of the locals are sick.

Most disturbingly, Rebecca Harrell Tickell became ill after being exposed
See full article at Disc Dish »

Documentary News: Dave Grohl to Direct Sound City; GoDigital to Release Oil Spill Doc The Big Fix June 19

  • Collider.com
News on a pair of interesting documentaries surfaced tonight: Dave Grohl will direct and produce Sound City, a feature-length documentary about the legendary recording studio in Van Nuys, California. GoDigital acquired The Big Fix, a documentary about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, for release on June 19. Hit the jump for more on both movies, including trailers. Grohl gushed to Variety: "Sound City is a film about America's greatest unsung recording studio. Deep in California's sun-burnt San Fernando Valley, it was the birthplace of legend. It was witness to history." Sound City has hosted Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Guns N' Roses, Fear, Rage Against the Machine, Slipknot, Nine Inch Nails, and Metallica over the years. Also, it's where Grohl laid down the drum tracks for Nirvana's Nevermind in 1991. Variety says Grohl will incorporate interviews with the artists and producers who have recorded at Sound City to "discuss
See full article at Collider.com »

Cannes 2011: ‘The Big Fix’ Puts the Bp Oil Spill In a Larger Context

Cannes 2011: ‘The Big Fix’ Puts the Bp Oil Spill In a Larger Context
Getty Josh Tickell

Environmental activist and documentary filmmaker Josh Tickell has become increasingly cynical in the last few years.

His 2008 feature debut “Fuel,” which played at Sundance that year, was “filled with the naivety and joy of green energy solutions,” he says. Now, his latest “The Big Fix”—which premieres today at the Cannes Film Festival—”strips away any shred of delusions, gets right to it and shows how the system runs.”

Produced, in part, by actor Peter Fonda, who also appears in the film,
See full article at Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal »

Deepwater Horizon Doc Directors Ready for Controversy at Cannes

Documentary directors Josh and Rebecca Tickell made plenty of news with their Sundance doc Fuel, about America’s dependency on foreign oil and the financial prospects of bio-diesel fuel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Josh and Rebecca Tickell haven’t experienced anything like the growing controversy over their new documentary The Big Fix, about the corruption surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its massive clean up. “We are taking on the oil companies, the U.S. government, the military and the banks,” Josh Tickell said at Cannes. “And we are exposing something that the U.S. media didn’t cover. So there is danger.”
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

Deepwater Horizon Doc Directors Ready for Controversy at Cannes

Documentary directors Josh and Rebecca Tickell made plenty of news with their Sundance doc Fuel, about America’s dependency on foreign oil and the financial prospects of bio-diesel fuel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Josh and Rebecca Tickell haven’t experienced anything like the growing controversy over their new documentary The Big Fix, about the corruption surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its massive clean up. “We are taking on the oil companies, the U.S. government, the military and the banks,” Josh Tickell said at Cannes. “And we are exposing something that the U.S. media didn’t cover. So there is danger.”
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

Deepwater Horizon Doc Directors Ready for Controversy at Cannes

Documentary directors Josh and Rebecca Tickell made plenty of news with their Sundance doc Fuel, about America’s dependency on foreign oil and the financial prospects of bio-diesel fuel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Josh and Rebecca Tickell haven’t experienced anything like the growing controversy over their new documentary The Big Fix, about the corruption surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its massive clean up. “We are taking on the oil companies, the U.S. government, the military and the banks,” Josh Tickell said at Cannes. “And we are exposing something that the U.S. media didn’t cover. So there is danger.”
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

Fuel - Movie Review

A good natured cheer-leading session for clean vehicles, .Fuel. is several measures short of the intensity it will take to put Hummers where they belong---in museums The latest addition to the plethora of environmental films is Josh Tickell.s flamboyant .Fuel.. The film launches a socio-political debate on the control and distribution of energy starting with the gas tank and going forward. This is a non-technical film written for complete accessibility by a large cross-section of the nation. Specifically it seems aimed at teens and liberal arts college students and centers much of its analysis of global change on America.s love affair with the automobile. New director Josh Tickell has a unique point of view from which to describe climate
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Josh Tickell named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador

Josh Tickell named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador
Josh Tickell, who directed the Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary "Fuel," has been named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and will accept an award on Thursday, June 11 at the second annual Ireo Renewable Energy Awards Gala, following the Ireo Renewable Energy Conference, at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

The Ireo (Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization) founded the annual event to honor those individuals and organizations who advance alternative energy solutions.

Ireo is a proponent of clean and efficient energy sources combined with sustainable development and social awareness.

In "Fuel," Tickell examines oil use in America. It begins its national theatrical rollout this September.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Allen Lands 19th Screenplay Nomination

  • WENN
Allen Lands 19th Screenplay Nomination
Woody Allen has claimed his 19th Writers Guild Awards nomination, while Coen Brothers Ethan and Joel and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button screenwriter Eric Roth have landed their fourth nod.

The Writers Guild of America Award nominations were announced on Wednesday.

Allen (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) will battle the Coens (Burn After Reading), Dustin Lance Black (Milk), Tom McCarthy (The Visitor) and Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) for the Best Original Screenplay honour.

Meanwhile, Roth is in competition with Jonathan and Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), John Patrick Shanley (Doubt), Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) for the Best Adapted Screenplay prize.

Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, Chicago 10, Fuel, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and Waltz With Bashir will compete for the Best Documentary Screenplay.

The awards will be presented on 7 February in both Los Angeles and New York.

The WGA West cancelled last year's black-tie ceremony due to the writers strike.

The Writers Guild Awards Nominations! "The Dark Knight" Among Nominees

"The Dark Knight," "Slumdog Millionaire," "Doubt," "Frost/Nixon," and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" are among the nominees in the Adapted Screenplay category for the WGA's (Writers Guild Awards) 61st Anniversary awards show.

Winners will be announced February 7th, and will be held simultaneously between two ceremonies -- West Coast at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, and the East Coast at the Hudson Theatre at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City.

What about "Milk" or "The Wrestler?" Click Read More to see full list of nominees!

Original Screenplay

Burn After Reading, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Focus Features

Milk, Written by Dustin Lance Black, Focus Features

Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Written by Woody Allen, The Weinstein Company

The Visitor, Written by Tom McCarthy, Overture Films

The Wrestler, Written by Robert Siegel, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Adapted Screenplay

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Screenplay
See full article at Manny the Movie Guy »

'Dark Knight' Gets a Screenplay Nod from WGA and Woody Gets His 19th

The Writers Guild of America, East (Wgae) and the Writers Guild of America, West (Wgaw) and have offered up The Dark Knight as a legitimate contender for Best Adapted Screenplay by making it one of their five nominees in the category. On top of that my favorite film of the year, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, saw Woody Allen's screenplay nominated for original screenplay along with a few you may not have expected. As Ryan Adams at AwardsDaily points out, this is Woody's 19th WGA nom and could potentially lead to his 15th Best Screenplay Oscar nomination on top of his two Oscar wins. The complete lists for Original, Adapted and Documentary Screenplay noms are below. Winners will be honored at the 2009 Writers Guild Awards held on Saturday, February 7, 2009, at simultaneous ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles. Original Screenplay Burn After Reading, Written by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Focus Features Milk,
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Writers Guild of America Nominations

  • AwardsDaily
Writers Guild of America Nominations
Original Screenplay

Burn After Reading, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Focus Features

Milk, Written by Dustin Lance Black, Focus Features

Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Written by Woody Allen, The Weinstein Company

The Visitor, Written by Tom McCarthy, Overture Films

The Wrestler, Written by Robert Siegel, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Adapted Screenplay

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Screenplay by Eric Roth; Screen Story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord; Based on the Short Story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures

The Dark Knight, Screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan; Story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer; Based on Characters Appearing in Comic Books Published by DC Comics; Batman Created by Bob Kane, Warner Bros. Pictures

Doubt, Screenplay by John Patrick Shanley, Based on his Stage Play, Miramax Films

Frost/Nixon, Screenplay by Peter Morgan, Based on his Stage Play, Universal Pictures

Slumdog Millionaire, Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, Based on the Novel Q and A by Vikas Swarup, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Documentary Screenplay

Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, Written by Stefan Forbes and Noland Walker, InterPositive Media

Chicago 10, Written by Brett Morgen, Roadside Attractions

Fuel, Written by Johnny O'Hara, Greenlight Theatrical / Intention Media

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Screenplay by Alex Gibney, From the Words of Hunter S. Thompson, Magnolia Pictures

Waltz with Bashir, Written by Ari Folman, Sony Pictures Classics
See full article at AwardsDaily »

WGA unveils screenplay noms

WGA unveils screenplay noms
Joel and Ethan Coen, who won the WGA Award for best adapted screenplay last year for "No Country for Old Men," were nominated in the original category for their CIA comedy "Burn After Reading" on Wednesday as the WGA announced its 2009 film nominees.

Their fellow nominees in the original category include Dustin Lance Black for "Milk," Woody Allen for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," Tom McCarthy for "The Visitor" and Robert Siegel for "The Wrestler."

In the adapted screenplay category, the nominees are "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," screenplay by Eric Roth, story by Roth and Robin Swicord, based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald; "The Dark Knight," screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer, based on characters, created by Bob Kane, appearing in the DC Comics comic books; "Doubt," screenplay by John Patrick Shanley based on his play; "Frost/Nixon," screenplay
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Oscar's feature doc list down to 15

Oscar's feature doc list down to 15
Errol Morris, on Oscar winner in 2004 for his documentary "The Fog of War," has made the cut that could lead to another Academy Award nomination for his latest film, "Standard Operating Procedure," a study of torture in Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

Morris' film, from Participant and Sony Pictures Classics, is one of 15 films that have made it through a preliminary round of voting by the Academy's documentary branch steering committee and are now eligible to compete for one of the five nominations in the feature documentary category.

Bill Maher's "Religulous," the top-grossing doc of the year with $12.6 million domestically, failed to make the list, though plenty of other hot-button topics were represented.

Joshua Tickell's "Fuel" looks at the energy crisis; Patrick Creadon's "I.O.U.S.A.," from Roadside Attractions, takes on the credit crunch; Peter Gilbert and Steve James' "At the Death House Door" examines a case of capital punishment
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »
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