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“We’re Definitely Not ‘Social Distancing’ Distance”: Zia Anger on Performing My First Film Online

My First Film

After nearly two years of performing My First Film live in theaters, Zia Anger has reconfigured her piece for livestreaming. Currently being streamed to small groups in preview mode, each performance is announced on Anger's Twitter the morning of; capacity is small and quickly filled on a first come, first served email RSVP basis. The middle core of the show—Anger's story about her never-premiered first feature, told via a mix of video footage and select online browsing, narrated via TextEdit narration typed out in real time—has remained essentially the same. The beginning and ending have been necessarily rethought: where a key part of the live presentation was allowing audiences to mingle, settle in their seats and begin exchanging Anger's old Instagram…  Read more

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Watch: Agnès Varda’s Rare 2008 Los Angeles Short The Little Story of Gwen from French Brittany

The American Cinematheque has shared a rare 2008 Agnès Varda. A brisk five minutes with lots of nice Los Angeles footage, The Little Story of Gwen from French Brittany gives a biographical sketch of Gwen Deglise, now the American Cinematheque's head programer. Varda tells her story, with stops along the way to remember Jacques Demy, Chris Marker and Patricia Mazuy's early LA days.

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Field of Vision and Topic Announce COVID-19 Relief Fund for Documentary Freelancers

Field of Vision and Topic Studios announced today a relief fund for documentary freelancers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and corresponding economic shutdown. The $250,000 fund is financed from the two organizations's current operating budgets, and the funds, intended to alleviate economic hardship due to loss of income or opportunity, will be dispensed in two tranches and in amounts up to $2,000 per freelancer. Rent, healthcare, utilities, groceries and other life expenses can be covered by the funds. In a press release, co-founder and executive producer of Field of Vision, Charlotte Cook, said, "This is an incredibly hard time for the documentary field and we're hoping the fund is able to offer some relief. We started with our virtual mentorship and…  Read more

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The Future of Film is Female Launches Streaming Channel

How Does It Start by Amber Sealey

Nonprofit organization The Future of Film is Female has launched a streaming channel that will screen short and feature films by its members for free from now until April 14. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the site will release a new short film; on select Fridays, the site will stream a feature-length title. Their first week of films are (online) premieres of films by Laci Dent and Eleanor Wilson as well as what's termed a limited run of Veronica Kedar’s Family. Included in the upcoming The Future of Film is Female calendar are films from past “25 New Faces of Independent Film” such as Hannah Peterson’s East of River, Crystal Kayiza’s Edgecombe, and Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan’s Pahokee. Click here to see…  Read more

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When the Streaming’s Over: The Fight to Save Vulcan Video

Vulcan Video

“A producer buddy once said to me, ’You go to New York and Los Angeles to make movies, but you go to Austin to actually watch movies.’ That’s always rung true to me.” So avers Jacob Knight, general manager of Vulcan Video in Austin, a brick-and-mortar video rental shop that’s helped fuel cinephilia in Texas’s capital for more than 30 years. With an estimated 83,000 titles on DVD and Blu-ray and an additional 7,000 on VHS, Vulcan would’ve ranked as a world-class video store in any city during any era. But as streaming services continue to proliferate and rental shops dwindle, Austin’s ability to sustain not just one but two great video shops (Vulcan and I Luv Video, the latter similarly…  Read more

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Quarantine Reading: W. K.-L. Dickson’s The Biograph in Battle

As a publication about film, we find ourselves in the peculiar position of publishing during a moment when theatrical access to movies, and their ongoing future, is as much in question as everything else. During this suspension of normal filmwatching habits, we've reached out to contributors, filmmakers and friends, inviting them to find an alternate path to the movies by participating in a writing exercise engaging with any book about or lightly intersecting with film, in whatever way makes sense to them. Today: hello, it's me. — Vadim Rizov Last January, I went to MoMA to see British silent film scholar Bryony Dixon present a program of newly restored 68mm shorts from the late Victorian era. These astonishingly detailed actualities included…  Read more

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Going Virtual in the Pandemic Age: CPH:DOX 2020, The Digital Edition

Mon Amour

Hard to believe just a few weeks back I was eagerly preparing for my annual pilgrimage to Copenhagen to begin the spring doc fest season. Well, we all know how that turned out. Or not. As a deadly virus forced festivals the world over to cancel, CPH:DOX, long a champion of outside-the-box filmmaking, counterintuitively decided the show must go on. Rather than cut losses and hunker down in social isolation, festival director Tine Fischer and her scrappy team did the exact opposite, reaching out online to actually expand the CPH:DOX audience on a global scale. Picking up and relocating to the virtual realm, they live streamed (as well as uploaded to YouTube) free daily talks, debates, and even the five-day…  Read more

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“It Had to Show How We Rip Each Other Apart”: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia on His Vertical Class-Warfare Netflix Dystopia The Platform

The Platform

Access to food serves as the most basic representation of wealth in Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia's The Platform, a dystopian allegory for economic inequality in which a vertical prison pushes people to the edge of their humanity. Inside the Vertical Self-Management Center (Centro Vertical de Autogestión)—as the facility is formally known in the fiction—two individuals are housed per level, and each is allowed to bring one personal item with them. They receive sustenance once a day on a floating platform. Those on the higher floors fill their bellies with disregard for the unfortunate ones below. But once a month each pair wakes up on a different level, a twist that evidences how quickly the oppressed become victimizers.  As explained to Goreng (Ivan Massagué), the protagonist of…  Read more

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