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IFP Gotham Awards Announces Posthumous Chadwick Boseman Actor Tribute and Viola Davis Actress Tribute

Viola Davis, director George C. Wolfe and Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Photo: David Lee / Netflix)

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP, and Filmmaker's publisher) announced today that Chadwick Boseman will receive a posthumous Actor Tribute and Viola Davis an Actress Tribute at the upcoming 30th Anniversary Edition of the Gotham Awards. “Chadwick Boseman was an incredibly talented actor whose significance and impact onscreen and kindness offscreen will never be forgotten. We at IFP are forever indebted to him for all of his contributions to our organization, his legacy in providing mentorship and we are proud to honor him and all of his historical and groundbreaking contributions with this tribute,” said Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of IFP in a press release. “Viola Davis is a force within the industry, acting in some of the most culturally impactful and…  Read more

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“Palestine May Be the Last Bastion of American Ignorance”: David Osit on Mayor

Musa Hadid in Mayor

Conflicts keep Mayor Musa Hadid, mayor of the Palestinian city of Ramallah since 2012, on the move. A modest man who delights in meeting his fellow citizens and problem-solving ways to make their daily existence easier, he's a walking, talking human “customer service department.” Hadid is less the head of municipality than a crisis manager, listening patiently to every complaint and request that comes his way.  Consistently reminded that his power is limited by the unwanted presence of Israeli military and government interference, Hadid’s running of a city in occupation is often frustratingly restricted. In director David Osit’s new documentary, Mayor, we follow Ramallah’s head as he attends countless monotonous meetings related to “city branding” and tacky holiday events that will…  Read more

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Sundance Announces Live and Online Presentation Details of Its 2021 Festival

Photo: Kelsey Doyle

The Sundance Institute announced details of its 2021 edition -- plans that will see Sundance offer titles to home audiences via a custom-designed online platform while socially-distanced live events (continent upon local health and safety guidelines at the time of the screenings) will occur in Park City, Utah as well as at a number of "satellite screens" across the country. Running January 28 - February 3, 2021, the Sundance Film Festival will stream its more than 70 features in three-hour blocks throughout the day, with films beginning simultaneously "to preserve the energy of a Festival," according to the press release. Films will be accompanied by live Q&As and then will return to the platform two days later for a 24-hour on-demand…  Read more

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Slamdance Announces 132 Features, Shorts and Episodics; Fest Passes Free Until December 31

No Trace

The Slamdance Film Festival announced today the 132 features, shorts and episodic programs that will comprise its hybrid 2021 edition. Running February 12-25, the festival is billing the program "its most accessible festival ever," and with good reason. All films, Q&A’s and panels will be available on Slamdance.com, AppleTV, Roku, Firestick and YouTube; "early adopter" passes will be free until December 31; and regular passes are only $10. Additionally, there's a new section, Unstoppable, showcasing creators with disabilities. The festival's live component will consist of a two-night drive-in presentation in Joshua Tree open to the public on February 13th and 14th as well as the closing night screening at a Los Angeles drive-in on February 25. Significantly, the COVID-19 pandemic…  Read more

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“It is Being Told Now—Because It is Supposed to Be Told Now”: Christopher Kahunahana on Waikiki and Native Hawaiian Storytelling

Waikiki

A film with "a seventeen-day shoot and two+ years of post-production," Christopher Kahunahana's long-awaited feature debut Waikiki marks a coming of age for the emerging Hawaiian filmmaking scene. The first completed narrative feature film by a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) filmmaker, Waikiki follows a young indigenous woman, Kea (a mesmerizing Danielle Zalopany), working multiple jobs—hula dancer for tourists, karaoke hostess for drunks, Hawaiian-language schoolteacher for kids—just in order to hold on, but slowly starting to slip into darkness. Nightmares of an earlier childhood trauma merge with her journey through Honolulu's shadow realms, her only solace the memories of her kupuna (elders), and the visions of a natural world that is part of her and her heritage—so close, yet so far…  Read more

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Fall 2020 Winners Announced for the Final Edition of the SFFILM Westridge Grants

SFFILM, in partnership with the Westridge Foundation, announced today the six films that will receive a total of $100,000 in funding as part of the SFFILM Westridge granting program. One of the few grants available to narrative filmmakers in the development phase, a SFILM Westridge grant helps "protect filmmakers’ creative processes, and allows them the time and space to concentrate properly on crafting their story, structure, characters, and themes, and refining their projects before diving into financing, production, and beyond." SFFILM and the Westridge Foundation also announce that this sixth edition will the last for this grant, which was initiated in 2017. "We are deeply proud of this three-year partnership with the Westridge Foundation, and its innovative approach to direct support…  Read more

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“It Came Out of Feeling Like I Didn’t Actually See Myself in the Movies…”: Claudia Weill on Girlfriends

Melanie Mayron in Girlfriends

Claudia Weill is a director whose work meant so much to me at such a formative age that I was almost hesitant to interview her; the two features she directed, Girlfriends (1978) and It’s My Turn (1980) spoke to me on such a profoundly personal level that I feared speaking with her could only be a disappointing experience—either because she wouldn’t live up to my image of her or because I would be so intimidated that I’d turn into a blabbering idiot. One of Weill’s many talents is to create work so intimate and precise that it always feels like there’s a direct emotional link between the director and the individual viewer; a former documentarian, Weill has an astonishing ability…  Read more

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