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in Filmmaking
on Dec 23, 2009

I am reprinting below a letter I received from Joana Vicente, Acting Director of the IFP, which publishes this magazine. Please consider joining the IFP and taking part in its activities over the coming year.

It has been a time of many changes in the independent film scene; both scary and exciting. Through it all, independent filmmakers of all stripes keep pushing forward, making great work that moves, inspires, and amuses countless people around the world.

It has been a year of changes at IFP as well. After 12 years at IFP’s helm, Executive Director, Michelle Byrd, stepped down to pursue other ventures, and I happily stepped in, after four and half years as a Board member, as the Interim Executive Director. As I reflect on this past year, I am delighted with the way that the IFP served our community. In 2009, the IFP produced the 31st annual Independent Film Week and 19th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, successful Script to Screen and Independent Filmmaker Conferences, and helped emerging and mid-career filmmakers through the Independent Filmmaker Labs, Fiscal Sponsorship, and Made in New York programs, among numerous others. Tom Quinn, director of The New Year Parade, writes that he “shuffled into the IFP Rough Cut Lab with a 40-minute cut and an overwhelming 180 hours of raw footage, totally green and lacking the confidence or know how to push the film forward. Throughout the Lab we were given so much amazing advice, and with it came the confidence to make the film we had set out to create. Since then the IFP staff, and everyone at Filmmaker have continued to be a tireless support system – a wind at our back and a map toward things ahead.” The New Year Parade went on to win the Slamdance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, receive uniformly stellar reviews, get a small theatrical and large DVD release, and now, is nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards “John Cassavetes Award” 2010.

On the nonfiction side of things, Independent Film Week’s Spotlight on Documentaries 2008 alumni The Way We Get By (directed by Aron Gaudet and produced by Gita Pullapilly) premiered at the SXSW ’09 Festival, where it took the Documentary Feature Honorable Mention. The film was selected as a special end of season presentation for PBS’ P.O.V., who the filmmakers had met with while at Film Week. Also at Film Week, they met with ITVS, which ultimately provided significant funding for the project. The film had a theatrical release at New York’s IFC Center and other cities via the International Film Circuit, and the DVD began self-release in November. It went on to win the IFP Fledgling Fund Grant for Documentary Outreach and has been nominated for a 2009 Cinema Eye Honors for Outstanding Achievements in Debut Feature.

IFP is the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit organization of independent filmmakers. Since its start, we have supported the production of 7,000 films and provided resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers’ voices that otherwise might not have been heard. IFP believes that independent films broaden the palette of cinema, seeding the global culture with new ideas, kindling awareness, and fostering activism. Through our 30-year history, we have helped projects ranging from Michael Moore’s Roger and Me to Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Half Nelson get off the ground.

In 2010, IFP will continue to support our thousands of members all over the world with year-round events, conferences, labs, networking opportunities, and resources. We couldn’t do any of this without the kind and generous contributions of supporters like you.

So, give the gift of support to independent filmmakers.


Or simply join IFP now – or sign up a friend – for a year of free screenings, networking events, vendor discounts, a subscription to Filmmaker Magazine, and much more.


Warm regards,

Joana Vicente

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