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“Can You Shoot Action?” Director Gina Prince-Bythewood and Editor Terilyn A. Shropshire on The Old Guard and Love & Basketball’s 20th Anniversary

Charlize Theron on the set of The Old Guard (Photo by Amy Spinks/Netflix)

A summer action movie (based on a pre-existing comic book) starring Charlize Theron may feel like a familiar recipe for a blockbuster hit. But as envisioned by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Old Guard is less cookie-cutter, multiplex fodder than a humanist portrait of independent contractors who just happen to be immortal beings keeping the peace.  From the Crusades through the Civil War and, as the film opens, America’s current War on Terror, the old guard consists of its leader, Andy (Theron) and three men (Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari and Luca Marinelli) who have fought in every war the world has ever offered. Though not always successful, immorality has kept these societal outcasts active fighting the good fight and using their regenerative health…  Read more

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Spring 2020 SFFILM Rainin Grant Winners Announced

SFFILM announced today the seven narrative feature films that will receive a total of $195,000 in funding in the Spring, 2020 round of its SFFILM Rainin grants. Awarded twice annually, the funds support films in the "next stage of their creative process," which can range from screenwriting to post-production, and which "will have significant economic or professional impact on the Bay Area filmmaking community and/or meaningfully explore pressing social issues." The panelists who reviewed the finalists’ submissions are Sofia Alicastro, SFFILM Artist Development Manager: Filmmaker Programs; Sophie Gunther, SFFILM Artist Development Manager: Film Funds; Anne Lai, SFFILM Executive Director; Angela Lee, Associate Director, Artist Development, Film Independent; Shelley Trott, Director, Arts Strategy & Ventures, Kenneth Rainin Foundation. “We were struck by this…  Read more

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Back to One, Episode 117: Cristin Milioti

She claims she doesn’t know how to talk about her process, but on this episode, Cristin Milioti eloquently lifts the hood and let’s us peek in on the engine fueling her incredibly varied work, across all genres on the stage and screen, like the Broadway musical Once, How I Met Your Mother, The Wolf of Wall Street, the USS Callister episode of Black Mirror, this year’s Modern Love and the huge Sundance hit Palm Springs, which just dropped on Hulu and in drive-ins across the nation. She talks about feeling protective of her characters, why it’s necessary to let go of the “death grip,” and the importance of trust, which leads to a powerful testimony for the appreciation of Elizabeth…  Read more

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“A Sequel to a Film That Doesn’t Exist”: Max Barbakow on Palm Springs

Cristin Milioti and Andy Samberg in Palm Springs

Setting a record for most expensive acquisition in Sundance history, Max Barbakow’s debut feature, Palm Springs, sold jointly to Neon (theatrical) and Hulu (streaming) for a reported $17.5 mil and 69 cents (it broke the previous record by 69 cents). Early press described the film as a sci-fi twist on the 1993 comedy, Groundhog Day; trading in SNL's Bill Murray for another alum, Andy Samberg, Barbakow welcomes the comparison.  With the marketable hook firmly established (Harold Ramis meets Shane Carruth!), Palm Springs ultimately becomes a film about two strangers brought together by an agonizing event: a cringeworthy wedding in Palm Springs. The bride’s sister is Sarah (Cristin Milioti), a thirtysomething who would love to be anywhere other than stuck at this family…  Read more

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Filmmaker’s Summer 2020 Issue is Online and Available for Purchase

Fox and Rob Rich in Time (Courtesy of Sundance Institute)

As previously announced, Filmmaker's Summer 2020 issue is being published as a PDF, and it's now online and available for single-issue purchase. It's our largest page-count ever (244 pages!), and our designers, Caspar Newbolt and Charlotte Gosch, tweaked the whole design to make it a beautiful and comfortable experience on both a tablet and a laptop in either portrait or landscape view. For the first time, we've also enabled the issue to be purchased individually as a PDF for $5.95, and you can do that by clicking here or on the button below using PayPal or your credit card. On our cover is Garrett Bradley's masterful documentary Time, forthcoming from Amazon Studios. As I wrote in my Sundance preview, it’s a…  Read more

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Can You Finance an Independent Film During a Pandemic?

Eric Andre and Lil Rel Howery in Bad Trip (courtesy of Netflix)

In the middle of the global pandemic and one of the worst economic downturns in a century, Maven Pictures’ Celine Rattray, a producer of Driveways, The Kindergarten Teacher and American Honey, had several projects interrupted. But in early April, a timely new project—in which the crew and cast could work remotely from their own homes—was suddenly greenlit. She spoke to a private equity investor who she believed would be a good fit for the film, budgeted at six figures, and the financier agreed to fully fund it during their phone call. “The deal closed in a couple days,” says Rattray. ※We’re editing as we go, and we hope to be done in the summer.”  Rattray’s situation is, of course, unique. Aside…  Read more

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