The Slamdance Film Festival announced their Narrative and Documentary Feature Film Competition Lineup this week and looks like the festival will continue to be a haven of up-and-coming indie film charm! With 11 Narratives Features, 8 Documentary Features and 8 directorial debuts from female filmmakers, this is the start of a program you’re not going to want to miss! Check out the full lineup below and while you’re at it you can head over to Slamdance’s site for more info and to purchase festival passes. The 2017 Slamdance Film Festival takes place in Park City, Utah from January 20 - 26. Stay tuned for more program announcements as they are released! Narrative Features: Aerotropolis, Taiwan Director & Screenwriter: Jheng-Neng LI Allen invested everything into a beautiful home to flip for profit only to have it languish on the market, turning his daily life into a haze of financial pressures and an erosion of reality. Beat Beat Heart, Germany Director & Screenwriter: Luise Brinkmann Daydreaming her way out of a broken heart, Kerstin’s denial as well as her days are shaken up with the arrival of her mother, dealing with her own relationship’s demise. Cortez, USA Director: Cheryl Nichols; Screenwriter(s): Arron Shiver, Cheryl Nichols Struggling musician Jesse tracks down his ex Anne in a small town in New Mexico, and is forced to face the decisions of his past as present day consequences set in. Dave Made a Maze, USA Director: Bill Watterson; Screenwriter(s): Steven Sears, Bill Watterson Dave builds a fort in his living room and ends up trapped inside by fantastical pitfalls, booby traps and creatures, leaving his girlfriend Annie to head up the eccentric rescue team to go in after him. Dim the Fluorescents, Canada Director: Daniel Warth; Screenwriter(s): Miles Barstead, Daniel Warth A struggling actress and an aspiring playwright funnel their uninhibited passion into the only paying work they can find: role-playing demonstrations for corporate seminars. The Family, China/Australia Director & Screenwriter: Shumin Liu Liu and Deng are a couple in their 70s who set off to visit their adult children in three faraway cities, in an immersive exploration of family dynamics and daily life. Kate Can’t Swim, USA Director: Josh Helman; Screenwriter(s): Jennifer Allcott, Josh Helman When Kate’s best friend Em returns from abroad with a surprising new lover, they embark on a reunion vacation with their partners, but the peaceful getaway quickly becomes emotionally complicated. Kuro, France/UK/Germany/LuxembourgDirector(s) & Screenwriter(s): Joji Koyama, Tujiko Noriko A Japanese woman living in Paris tends to her paraplegic lover, passing time by recounting a story about the time they once spent together in Japan, rich with anecdotes, myths and an unexpected dark turn. Weather House, Germany Director(s): Frauke Havemann; Co-Director: Eric Schefter; Screenwriter: Mark Johnson Set in an unspecific time of extreme climate change, an isolated group of disoriented characters develop their own strange belief systems and engage in absurd activities to process their dilemma. Wexford Plaza, Canada Director & Screenwriter: Joyce Wong Betty is a lonely strip mall security guard, and an unexpected moment with charming deadbeat Danny ends up setting off the unraveling of both their lives. Withdrawn, Canada Director: Adrian Murray; Screenwriter(s): Adrian Murray, Marcus Sullivan, Dean Tardioli Living in a basement he can’t afford, Aaron spends his days doing drum solos and talking his way out of paying for utilities, until he finds a lost credit card and devises a plan to defraud its owner. Documentary Features: Bogalusa Charm, USA Director: Stephen Richardson; Screenwriter: Jennifer Harrington Through the lens of an anachronistic charm school that has existed for almost three decades in rural Louisiana, we explore a town confronted with contemporary issues of class and race. The Children Send Their Regards, Austria Director: Patricia Josefine Marchart; Screenwriter(s): Jakob Purkarthofer, Sepp Rothwangl, Patricia Josefine Marchart Adult victims of physical abuse by clergy members in Austria revisit the sites of their childhood trauma and make public their stories to shed light into one of the greatest crimes of the post-war period. Hotel Coolgardie, Australia Director: Pete Gleeson Somewhere between Australia’s most isolated city and it's largest gold pit lies Coolgardie, where the arrival every three months of a new pair of foreign female backpackers to work the only bar in town is keenly anticipated by the town’s hot-blooded males. The Modern Jungle, Mexico/USA Director(s) & Screenwriter(s): Charles Fairbanks, Saul Kak A story of globalization filtered through the fever dream of a Mexican shaman, this is an intimate portrait of Zoque culture, commodity fetish, and the predicament of documentary cinema. On The Sly: In Search of the Family Stone, USA Director & Screenwriter: Michael Rubenstone Director and super-fan Michael Rubenstone sets out in search of long-time reclusive funk legend, Sly Stone. Along the way, he meets with some success, but finds countless more failures in trying to capture a man who refuses to be contained. Strad Style, USA Director: Stefan Avalos A rural Ohio eccentric with an obsession for 'Stradivari' convinces a famous European concert violinist that he can make a copy of one of the most famous and valuable violins in the world. Fighting time, poverty, and most of all - himself - Danny Houck puts everything on the line for one shot at glory. Supergirl, USA Director: Jessie Auritt Naomi seems like a typical 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl; watching her compete to lift almost three times her bodyweight tells a different story. Who is Arthur Chu?, USA Director(s) & Screenwriter(s): Scott Drucker, Yu Gu Arthur Chu, eleven time Jeopardy! winner turned internet iconoclast, battles dark forces as a blogger and cultural pundit ultimately realizing that to create positive change in the world he must first heal his own wounds.
Imagine: the perfect moment. Right there in front of you. To capture on film and present to the world… but there’s a catch. Embracing this moment, while worthy of recording and preserving in some capacity, is 100% unethical, pretty much illegal, immorally compromising and just downright wrong. And yet, it’s beautiful, raw in its vulnerability and it’s right there. You’ve got the camera. What do you do? Chance the filmic high or put that visual story-lust aside and possibly save a life? This is the crux of Ed Christmas’ debut feature “The Man with Four Legs”. A genre-twisting experiment in drama, comedy and documentary, this British indie is 100% fictional but just as much believable in its portrayal of human flaws. Imperfections can be ugly but they can also be magnetic. In “The Man with Four Legs” we are faced with two very different types of flawed yet impressive people. Christmas introduces us to this semi-exaggerated reality through the lens of a group of young, irrational filmmakers hell-bent on documenting an out-of-this-world subject that fell into their laps. What's that? Oh, just the mysterious James Davis (played by prism of an actor, Simon Dobson), a fanatic fantasist and amnesiac that believes his past was totally different from what it actually was. Or was it? The more he pieces together bits of his memories, the eager doc team, led by ruthless, keen-eye’d Angus (Richard Southgate) (with Tom [Daniel Ormorod] and Ethan [Terry Sweeney] somewhat hesitantly by his side), starts to discover this is one very real film project full of twists and turns they never expected it to make. Angus’ perfect moment, the total breakdown and disillusionment of a mind, is handed to him on a shaky silver platter. So, what’s an aspiring filmmaker to do? You’ll just have to enter into this uncomfortable world of missing morals and memories to find out. Trust us, the twist at the end will leave you reeling. There’s truly something about the dark, twisted beauty of “The Man with Four Legs” that makes this film a real treat for indie film lovers looking for a story totally different and out of left field. The multi-layered bits of faux-documentary, drama, and dark comedy make you question everything, just like the characters in the film. The mirror effect is unnerving, but isn’t that the magic of a good film? You can catch the bloody brilliant British indie gem now across several VOD platforms, including within Indie Street’s own library! Be warned: this a surreal tale that attempts to explore that fine line between reality and fantasy in the most surprising, disturbing of ways. Make it through, you’ll be awarded with a mind-blowing indie experience.
Ready to give it a go, then? Watch "The Man With Four Legs" now on Indie Street!
If you can’t make it to SXSW 2017, what better way to numb away the sadness and pain by spending a few hours this week checking out Vimeo’s Streaming SXSW Channel? Watch films and music videos as if you were right there in Austin with all the other cool cats. And all from the comfort of your own home! Though the majority of selections available on the channel are narrative shorts and music videos, there are also feature length options to check out. Itching for some SXSW in your life? Head on over to Streaming @ SXSW 2017 and get watching NOW!
A few days ago, the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival announced their exciting competiton feature film line up, which you can learn more about here. And now, finally, we have been gifted with an incredible full slate of short films to look forward to next month! 57 films. 10 sections. 1 out of this world festival experience. You can check out the full list of shorts over on Variety! And don't forget: the 16th edition of the film festival runs April 19-30.
The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival line up announcements are starting to roll in and we are already super psyched for what's on the table so far! The US Narrative, Documentary, and International Narrative competition categories have been announced, as well as Spotlight, Viewpoints, and the popular Midnight section. The 16th annual Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 19th - 30th. You can check out the latest revealed chunk of their program here - and make sure to stay tuned for more!
A scorching sun. A Western route. A man in a car, destination unknown. A woman, seemingly aimless, offering purpose and direction and yet nothing at all. She is our modern day Madonna - and I don’t mean the musician. I’m speaking biblically. Celia Rowlson-Hall’s debut feature “MA” is a dreamlike journey, probably unlike anything else offered on film in recent years. Be warned, though watching is a challenge, patience will reward you with imagery, dancing, and genius that are far from the expected. With “MA”, you’ll find just what you need below the surreal simmering surface of creation. Rowlson-Hall’s unconventional offering attempts to follow the story of a modern day Virgin Mary, making her pilgrimage across the Western landscape - the desert. End goal? Both Las Vegas and birth. The Creation of our Christ Figure. Sound strange? Well, only silent choreography and movement lead the journey. Looking for words? Literally, try the Bible. But if you’re looking for something different, almost transcendental, that doesn’t utilize the moving image medium the way we’ve all narratively become accustomed to, then “MA” might be right up your alley. Our “Mary”, donning an XL T-shirt and cowboy boots, traverses across the baron land, the heat almost permeating off the screen. She encounters a troupe of bizarre characters along the way - some oppressive, some impressive. Her companion for much of the journey is Daniel, your gentle, average man (played by Andrew Pastides) - a sort of “Joseph” if you will. After the two are separated later in the film, she becomes both characters, masculine, preserving the tendency of this film to steer a bit off course from how we usually perceive Mary’s story. Every movement, costume, setting, and character becomes important to note, jumbled up and left to beautifully come together in one of the most bizarre cinematic puzzles I’ve ever witnessed. Celia Rowlson-Hall created a dance-based ode to spiritual concepts that translates if you know how to tune to this very particular frequency of storytelling. Try to join Rowlson-Hall’s pilgrimage blindly and silently - let feeling guide your way and emotion help you through this film. Give into the surreal nature with an active mind and patient eyes. Trust us, it’s not an easy thing to digest. But if you’re looking for a festival fare challenge, beautifully shot and uniquely staged, get acquainted with “MA”, well, ASAP! A true visionary work of art and inspiring voice, further cementing Celia Rowlson-Hall on our one-to-watch list.
To celebrate one of our favorite shorts of the last year getting STAFF PICKED on Vimeo, enjoy this reposting of our review of "The Past Inside the Present"! ------------------------------- Ever feel like everyday is the same? We all sit down, plug in and press play. Phones, computers, TVs, tablets. You name it, someone's connected to one. It's a routine we've come to adapt our lives to - day in and day out. A picture here...a video there...a FB post here...a tweet about something inane there. We've become a society so obsessed with documenting our lives within past and present moments that it actually makes the future seem like some intangible concept that never comes into fruition. Every second lived becomes the past at some point. We want to share and we want to document so we can go back and relive. Memories are best preserved and accessed in a physical or digital form, no? Well, what would happen if we totally escaped from the consequences of both our current and future obligations by having the ability to literally crawl back into the best instances of our memories? All of those moments we documented, in a cache or library of some kind, literally available and at the ready to welcome us back with open arms? Filmmaker James Siewert's animated short "The Past Inside the Present" brings us into an existence where all of this (and more!) is possible. His painstakingly handcrafted world shows us what could come from constantly being plugged in, portraying the soulless black and white by-product of shunning the idea of free, undocumented living. This insanely animated, slightly cyberpunk wonder is what Siewert calls an allegorical tale, displaying the actions of a couple trying to save their dying relationship by renewing it. And how so? By literally connecting themselves into a recorded moment from their time together. Yes, in this world, analog media literally works as a trippy, fucked up time traveling device. Like robots, they wire themselves in and for just a little while, disappear into the abyss. True renewal. While the act of unfulfilled but comfortably repetitive living seems like it would be a safe zone, that feeling is tangled here in an intricate jumble of insanity, madness and eventual emptiness. Past meets present meets future in one overlapping instance that seems to explode into infinity until it's all over and numb reality sets back in. It's dark, it's twisted and it's all very fascinating to disappear into for the 13-min journey. Ask yourself, is this the future world we really want to live in? In order to answer that, experiencing this film and its underlying lesson is a must. In the end, maybe...just maybe...we might realize we don't want this life outside of the confines of the film. The irony? We have to plug-in to watch and learn this fact. That's life in all its past, present and future glory. But oh, what a beautifully hand drawn payoff! Siewert must be one of the most diligent and innovative up-and-coming animator/directors out there and is definitely one to watch out for in the near future. From animations to music videos, he's got his talented rotoscoping, cinematic hands in a little bit of everything - a true connoisseur of independent creation. "The Past Inside the Present" was a project years in the making, meticulously filmed and drawn frame by frame by a small group. Each individual drawing combines with the others in order to create a dark treat that you should definitely feast your eyes upon and consume. The great news is that Indie Street gets to help release this must-see, mind-blowing film out into the wild, where it belongs, to claim its plugged-in victims. Watching this short and taking in its extras all feels like an adventure - one into the mind of a talented filmmaker that truly seems to understand the way humans are connecting and disconnecting with each other as well as where we came from and where we are now. Truly a case of the past inside the present. Check out the trailer below and then head on over to BitTorrent Now to download and watch the full film! While you're there, check out Indie Street's exclusive behind the scenes bundle, including the trailer, a 70 page handcrafted book chronicling the film's conception and production, animated GIFs and stills from the film, 2 time-lapse progress videos and finally, an epic music video honoring the completion of the film (as creative as the final product itself). All it takes is an email to get the full "The Past Inside the Present" experience! Don't miss out on this beautifully dark and prophetic opportunity. Just remember to disconnect, go out and live your life afterwards! WATCH THE FULL FILM FOR FREE NOW ON VIMEO!!!
Red hearts. Pink hearts. Roses. Chocolate. Kisses galore. The symbols and stereotypes of love we’ve come to expect. And what happens when they all culminate into one single day? Valentine’s Day, that’s what. A “holiday” of sorts that seems to always pop up unexpectedly, reminding us of our present lovers OR of our overwhelming solitude. Though the 2017 edition of this annoyingly omnipresent day is fast approaching, we’re up for a little diversion. So calls for another installment of our monthly discovery into the best in VOD and craft beer on the scene. Jayme G., Warehouse Supervisor at Advintage, is bringing us something a little less lovey dovey and a little more, well, psychotic this February. So, make plans to stay in on the 14th. Grab a heart shaped box full of chocolates (all for yourself) and slip into something sexy (or maybe just warm and comfortable), and get ready to get a little crazy! FILM: The Alchemist Cookbook"The Alchemist Cookbook" follows the bizarre story of Sean, an outcast that isolates himself - along with his cat - in the middle of nowhere in order to carry out some rather...unusual...experiments. Though seemingly “scientific” in nature, things begin to get far more sinister as Sean's alchemist trials and tribulations veer more towards some type of black voodoo magic than a high school chemistry experiment. Enticed? You should be. "The Alchemist Cookbook" is almost, just almost unlike anything I've ever seen before. A film more fitting to Halloween, we think this VOD indie is actually perfect for all you anti-Valentine’s Day loners. We’ll refrain from telling you too much about the film and tell ya to just check out the trailer below! If it’s your cup of tea (or beer!), well then we’ve brewed up the perfect crazy pairing to go with this one-of-a-kind story!
BEER: Straight To Ale's Unobtanium Jayme shares with us one of his favorite concoctions, suiting to this satantic, tooth-pulling tale: “With a heady film like “The Alchemist Cookbook”, my mind immediately jumps to high ABV and barrel-aged beers and Straight To Ale's Unobtanium seems an eerily perfect match - right down to the can design. The 12oz can literally features the devil in a lab coat! Unobtanium, an old "scientific" term for a material that perfectly fits the needs of a project but doesn't actually exist, is surprisingly approachable given its style. I guess you could say the same thing about black magic too, in that the first taste is so welcoming that it's easy to get carried away, and at 11% ABV, getting carried away can get you in trouble fast! Don't let black magic be the unobtanium in your life, try a nice beer instead! With a toffee aroma, a bit of dark fruit and vanilla flavor, a small bite of oak and alcohol, pretty soon you'll realize you have everything you need right there. Shoutout to Wayerbacher Brewing's Insanity, too, another barrel-aged beer, because... well, you get it.” There you go: the perfect pair for this season of love! Maybe even soul mates! And no Tinder, online dating or matchmaking required! Become a third wheel this Valentine’s Day with beer and VOD lovers that will make all your long term dating, boring friends jealous!
Last week, SXSW announced the bulk of their 2017 line-up, including all 100+ feature screenings. This week, the short films and midnighters were finally unveiled, along with SXSW’s new, inaugural virtual reality section. If you’re looking to satisfy all of your weird, sick, twisted, bizarre, innovative, eclectic, controversial tastes and get acquainted with some of the best in well-crafted storytelling that 2017 has to offer, you don’t want to miss out on this line-up! Head over to SXSW’s website to get the full program rundown.
Happy February! While you're bundling up and trying to stay WARM, it's looking like the full lineup for SXSW 2017 is shaping up to be very, very COOL. This year, the festival will screen 125 feature films, including 85 World Premieres and 51 films from first-time directors. Films, technology, panels, special events, music and more - what else could you want?! Austin is definitely the place to be this March if you're a lover of all things innovative and new. Terrence Malick's highly anticipated "Song to Song" is set to open the festival. Check out the full schedule here and start planning!
With another Slamdance Film Festival over and done with, a whole slew of oddball, outlier and unique indie films and stories are set to be unleashed out into the world and around the festival circuit. The 23rd annual festival saw a program of promising, emerging talent that will be on our radar for years to come. Check out the full list of winners below! Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize: Dim the Fluorescents (Canada, Director: Daniel Warth) Narrative Features Honorable Mention: Kate Can’t Swim (USA, Director: Josh Helman) Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize: Strad Style (USA, Director: Stefan Avalos) Documentary Feature Honorable Mention: The Modern Jungle (USA/Mexico, Directors: Charles Fairbanks, Saul Kak) Documentary Short Grand Jury Prize: Moriom (Switzerland, Directors: Francesca Scalisi, Mark Olexa) Documentary Short Honorable Mention: Irregulars (Italy, Director: Fabio Palmieri) Narrative Shorts Grand Jury Prize: No Other Way To Say It (USA, Director: Tim Mason) Narrative Shorts Honorable Mention: Oh What a Wonderful Feeling (Canada, Director: François Jaros) Animated Shorts Grand Jury Prize: Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw) (USA, Director: Renee Zhan) Animated Shorts Honorable Mention: My Father’s Room (South Korea, Director: Nari Jang) Experimental Shorts Grand Jury Prize: UpCycles (USA, Director: Ariana Gerstein) Experimental Shorts Honorable Mention: Blua (Colombia, Director: Carolina Charry Quintero) Anarchy Shorts Grand Jury Prize: Ape Sodom (Canada, Director: Maxwell McCabe-Lokos) Anarchy Shorts Honorable Mention: Horseshoe Theory (USA, Director: Jonathan Daniel Brown) Spirit of Slamdance Award Winner: Neighborhood Food Drive (USA, Director: Jerzy Rose) Audience Award for Narrative Feature: Dave Made a Maze (USA, Director: Bill Watterson) Audience Award for Documentary Feature: Strad Style (USA, Director: Stefan Avalos) Audience Award for Beyond Feature: Future ‘38 (USA, Director: Jamie Greenberg)