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

Filmmakers David France, Cecilia Aldaronod and Yance Ford talk about their films at IFP Week 2017.

“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 justice, we also have to be thinking about the intimate.” Aldarondo was present at the talk, moderated by Sundance Institute…  Read more

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Five Questions for Stronger Director David Gordon Green

Jake Gyllenhaal and David Gordon Green on the set of Stronger. Photo: Scott Garfield (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions)

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 of Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman who is forced to rebuild his life after losing both his legs. The…  Read more

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

Julie Klausner stops by IFP Week 2017 to talk about her show Difficult People

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 about their passion projects. For starters, the thing Klausner wasn’t seeing in the world was not just bigger roles for…  Read more

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

Political commentator Cenk Uygur, of The Young Turks, talks at IFP Week 2017.

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. In other words, Uygur is using both new media and the populist revolution unleashed by the Orange Menace to hoover…  Read more

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Finding Communion at the 2017 Camden International Film Festival

All That Passes By Through a Window That Doesn't Open

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 at the receptions, and people looked like they cringed when I told them the name of my film, then known…  Read more

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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

Left to right, Ingrid Jungermann, Chanelle Aponte Pearson, Kishori Rajan, Gillian Robespierre and Joshua Z. Weinstein talk about how to make independent filmmaking a career at IFP Week 2017.

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 own movies. But it was hard getting there. Once out of film school, Robespierre initially took the work-on-sets route. She…  Read more

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

David France, director of The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, talks at IFP Week 2017.

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 concern; in the early 1990s, Spike Lee was able to wrestle Malcolm X away from its original director, Norman Jewison.…  Read more

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Columns

Sony’s Two New Cameras: VENICE and RX0

Sony has announced two new cameras that will be of interest to filmmakers, though because they are so different it’s entirely possible that you might have heard of one and not the other. Sony VENICE At the high-end, Sony has announced its new flagship camera,…  Read more

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on Sep 11, 2017

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