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Sundance Film Festival 2017 Announces Short Film Lineup

Fish Story Fish Story

Following the announcement of its competition, NEXT, New Frontier, premieres, midnight, kids, spotlight and special events slates, Sundance rounds out its slate with a list of the shorts to be shown during the festival. Some quick highlights: Come Swim, Kristen Stewart’s first narrative short; Fish Story, the new short by documentary filmmaker Charlie Lyne (Beyond Clueless), who’s also been a contributor to Filmmaker; and a new film from Jim Cummings, winner of last year’s Short Film Grand Jury Prize for Thunder Road. He returns with The Robbery, whose one-line synopsis is unimprovable: “Crystal robs a liquor store—it goes pretty OK.” U.S. NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS American Paradise / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Joe Talbot) — A desperate man in Trump’s America tries to shift his luck with the…  Read more

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“There’s No Such Thing as a Post-Racial America”: Sam Pollard on Two Trains Runnin’

Two Trains Runnin' Two Trains Runnin'

In the summer of ’64, after President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act which enabled African-Americans to vote for their government, many young men and women (primarily white) took to Mississippi to join the Mississippi Summer Project, a season long initiative that would register African-Americans to vote in an increasingly dangerous, highly segregated and hate-filled state. At the same time — and as politically removed from the tense, racist climate as could be — two groups of white, male country blues fans (unbeknownst to each other) from the “big cities”also headed to Mississippi to search for the whereabouts of two long-forgotten blues singers, Skip James and Son House. How these men’s obsession with tracking down their idols intersected with the…  Read more

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Watch: “The 25 Best Films of 2016: A Video Countdown”

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David Ehrlich’s justly popular annual supercut of his personal choices for the 25 best films of the year is here. From Weiner at #25 to Moonlight at #1, it’s a solid list, but the meat, as always, is in the editing, which finds many points of association between these disparate films.

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“Made in NY Fellowships” Recipients Announced by Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment in Partnership with IFP

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In partnership with IFP, Filmmaker‘s parent organization, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has announced this year’s ten projects to be chosen for Made in NY Fellowships. The projects, which span documentary and narrative filmmaking as well as gaming, post-production, animation, VR and media/technology platforms, will receive yearlong incubator positions at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP. Read the full press release below. NEW YORK, NY – Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) Commissioner Julie Menin and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP today announced the recipients of the second year of Made in NY Fellowships, a year-long program to provide expanded resources and opportunities for New Yorkers to bring their media projects to the next…  Read more

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Sundance Announces 2017 Premieres, Midnight, Kids, Spotlight and Special Events Slates

My Life as a Zucchini My Life as a Zucchini

Last week Sundance released its competition, NEXT and New Frontier slates; today, we have the premieres, midnight, kids, spotlight and special events slates. Highlights of what’s below include new films from Miguel Arteta, Andrew Dosunmu, Ry Russo-Young, Luca Guadagnino, Michael Almereyda and Dee Rees, as well the directorial debut of Sicario/Hell or High Water screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. PREMIERES Beatriz at Dinner / U.S.A. (Director: Miguel Arteta, Screenwriter: Mike White) — Beatriz, an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a health practitioner. Doug Strutt is a cutthroat, self-satisfied billionaire. When these two opposites meet at a dinner party, their worlds collide and neither will ever be the same. Cast: Salma Hayek,…  Read more

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Entertaining Violence (Or, The Walking Dead and the Future of America)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Walking Dead Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Walking Dead

Warning: This post contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead and the future of America In case you’re behind on your DVR, allow me to catch you up on the much-talked about cliffhanger ending from last season’s Walking Dead finale. After a ton of build-up, the show finally introduced Negan, a well-known villain from the comic source material infamous for bludgeoning his victims to death with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. His weapon of choice. In the final moments of the finale, Negan overpowered the show’s main characters, lined them up in a circle, and wielded his iconic bat above them all, preparing to claim his first victim. Then… the show’s camera switched from its regular omniscient perspective…  Read more

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How Do You Market a Madman? On the Trailers of Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog in Into the Inferno Werner Herzog in Into the Inferno

“The sun dimmeth, the land sinketh, gusheth forth steam and gutting fire,” rasps Werner Herzog ominously, quoting Norse poetry from the Poetic Edda as bursts of lava erupt onto the screen in the trailer for his latest release, Into the Volcano (Netflix). The message is clear: the Underworld awaits. And your Teutonic guide is a veritable Stygian ferryman. So how do you market a madman? Or — more accurately — when? Herzog, the acclaimed septuagenarian director, first rose to prominence as part of the New German Cinema movement in the 1970s and quickly staked his claim in film’s firmament with uncompromising portraits of headstrong characters in hypnotic classics such as Aguirre, the Wrath of God; Woyzeck; Fitzcarraldo; and his remake…  Read more

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Podcast: Alix Lambert Interviews Westworld Stunt Coordinator Mike Watson

Mike Watson photographed by Alix Lambert Mike Watson photographed by Alix Lambert

In one of our occasional Filmmaker podcasts, director, artist and writer Alix Lambert interviews here stunt coordinator Mike Watson, whose work can be seen on HBO’s Westworld, which has its season finale tomorrow night. In addition to Westworld, Watson’s over 70 credits include films like Django Unchained, Hail Caesar!, Lost Highway, Rambo 3 and Silverardo. He was also the stunt coordinator for HBO’s Deadworld, which Lambert wrote for, and for the network’s subsequent David Milch series, John from Cincinnati, on which Lambert was an associate producer. In this wide-ranging conversation, the two discuss Watson’s background, what makes a good fight scene, and much more. Here’s Lambert’s introduction to their conversation: Mike Watson has choreographed some of the most compelling on-screen…  Read more

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Filmmaking

Jean-Luc Godard's Vivre sa Vie Jean-Luc Godard's Vivre sa Vie

“Suddenly the World’s Wider, More Exciting, More Engaging”: Criterion’s Peter Becker on the New FilmStruck and Criterion Channel Streaming Service

For film lovers of all stripes, the launch this month of FilmStruck, a new streaming service partnership between Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Channel, is nothing short of a major event. As Netflix tilts more and more towards television and original programming, and actual…  Read more

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Nov 15, 2016

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