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When filmmaker Jim Cummings created his latest film "Thunder Road",  he didn't imagine it would ever get into Sundance, let alone win a top prize. And now, not only has his widely successful and lovably hilarious short film gone on to gain him exposure and amazing opportunities, he can also claim it has gained him a favor from "The Boss" himself. Cummings recently wrote an open letter to Bruce Springsteen regarding the cost of rights to his song "Thunder Road" - a song that makes up the very fabric of his film. Without the song, there's essentially no film. But with a 50K price tag on the rights to the song, it was looking likely the film would never make it online at Vimeo for free, as was Cummings' intentions. However, thanks to hard work and a touch of sheer luck, Sony has granted him digital rights to the classic Springstreen track. Festival wins, notoriety, an awesome film and now a favor from a musical legend. Not bad. Read here for more info on the one shot short that could! And be on the lookout for "Thunder Road" when it hits the Indie Street Film Festival in Red Bank this July! 

Over at Indie Street, Costa Rica may be a beloved, favorite locale, but its film industry doesn’t necessarily come to mind when we think about why we love the country. However, with the development of a film commission and a growing international film festival on the rise, everything we know about Costa Rica’s film community is about to change! Indiewire got to know 4 of the promising up-and-coming filmmakers associated with this beautiful, tropical region. Their work will be featured in the 2017 Costa Rica International Film Festival over the next week. Head over to Indiewire to get acquainted with the talents and insights of Roya Eshragi, Nathalie Alvarez Mesen, Sofia Quiros and Cristobal Serra Jorquera! Interested in learning more about Costa Rica and film? Read about how Costa Rica plans to build a new film industry.

As the oft-complicated and questionable year of 2016 starts to wrap itself up, we begin to reflect back on some of the highs and lows of what the past 12 months had to offer. Though this year offered quite its fair share of lows, its independent film offerings were truly some wonders to behold. And it’s not just about the narratives on-screen, the acting or everything production-wise in between. This year, indies were also celebrated because of their marketing prowess and movie posters. From recent gem “Moonlight” to 1960s throwback sexploitation film “The Love Witch”, check out IndieWire’s gallery of their top 10 favorite indie film posters of the year!

If you didn’t get the chance to catch “The Love Witch”, director Anna Biller’s saturated, Technicolor love letter and homage to the 1960s, around the festival circuit this year, do yourself a favor and get to one of its screenings in LA and NYC - ASAP. An over-the-top drama about a modern day witch that uses magic to get her way with men, it's both ridiculous and necessary in today’s film industry. Director Anna Biller shines with talent in many departments, creating a throwback film that comes off as something unique, insane and refreshingly new. Indiewire sat down with Biller to get her take on how to create a feminist film in an industry that may not value…well, your values. It's insightful and badass advice. From getting angry to killing your darlings, check out the full list of recommendations over on Indiewire and then watch the trailer for the must-see film below!  

We all know that making films is an ongoing learning cycle that truly never ends. You are constantly learning from your own mistakes, taking advice from the ones that came before you, and seeing a shift in tastes/technologies within the industry. Though it’s an exciting time to be a filmmaker, trying to stay on top of things while also creating a breakout film on the festival circuit can be a daunting, overwhelming task. Indiewire recently caught up with a few up-and-coming indie filmmakers with works showing in the “New Auteurs” and “American Independent” categories at the 2016 AFI Fest. They talked about all they learned while creating their breakout festival films. Check out some of the invaluable advice they impart to other up-and-comers over on Indiewire.

Based in Texas, Alamo Drafthouse has become a well known theater chain by moviegoers in only specific locations across the country. Known for serving food and alcohol (with a no phone policy) and incorporating interactive events, looks like New Yorkers are finally getting their chance to join in on the fun. Though a Yonkers location already exists, the opening of a Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Brooklyn has been a long awaited moment. And it looks like there is finally a date set, you patient New York film lovers! The downtown Brooklyn location is officially set to open next week, on October 28th! The theater’s first series will be appropriately called “New in Town”. Mark your calendars and read more on the opening!

Watch an Exclusive Clip of THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK

Pay what you want. Are there any sweeter words for constant consumers of media? The pricing strategy has had its ups and downs in the music industry for years but now filmmakers are starting to experiment with the controversial pricing method, too. Indie filmmaker Joel Potrykus and his insane new release "The Alchemist Cookbook" is one such example. When asked why he made the decision to release the film through this distribution model, Potrykus told Indiewire that he wanted to give “the middle finger to the big guys in the industry. . .There needs to be a shift, starting now." We whole heartedly agree, Joel, we whole heartedly agree. "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 strange experiments. Though “scientific” in nature, things start to get far more sinister as Sean's alchemist trials and tribulations veer more towards some type of voodoo black magic. Enticed? You should be. "The Alchemist Cookbook" is almost, just almost unlike anything I've ever seen before. And perfect for the upcoming Halloween season! Maybe Potrykus' "experimental" release strategy mirrors the off-the-wall plot of his film. He tells Indiewire: “This experiment may fail. Maybe only ten people will download it, and only two of them pay. But I figure if I’m taking creative risks in my storytelling and actively trying to challenge the audience, I may as well take some risks and challenge the traditions in distribution. It’s 2016, after all. Time to get futuristic for once.” You can check out an exclusive clip of "The Alchemist Cookbook" via Indiewire and decide for yourself: what are you willing to pay to watch? As much as Sean was willing to pay to experiment with the world around him?!

Yesterday, Vimeo launched its new Staff Pick Premieres with Danny Devito’s raved about short film “Curmudgeons” (shout out to Indie Street Film Festival where it won the NJ Short Audience Award). With Staff Picks the driving force behind Vimeo’s platform and the laurels being a trusted promise of value and high-quality films, this is an exciting, natural next move for the company. On top of the new Premieres, curators will also be featuring Best of the Week, Best of the Month, and Best of the Year sections. Vimeo General Manager Peter Gerard said that this new curation system would be part of an ongoing project to change the way viewers consume videos on the platform. For more info on the new curatorial initiatives over at Vimeo, head over to IndieWire! And make sure to check out Devito’s must-see short!

The 73rd annual Venice International Film Festival came to a close last night, wrapping up almost two weeks worth of days packed with exciting film premieres and events. Interested in learning which films took home the coveted prizes? Indiewire has a full breakdown of all the award winners, from the Gold Lion to the Silver Lion and everything in between. Check out the list here!

Over the past couple of decades, Kevin Smith has worked hard to become a powerful indie film legend in his own right. But what if you could harness that power and use it to help self-distribute lower budget films from some of the best up-and-comers you’ve never heard of? Well, this is what Smith is trying to do - find new ways of financing, self-promoting, touring and distributing his own films as well as the films of others. He spoke with Indiewire this week to talk about the state of the film industry, how his relationship with the business has changed, and how he hopes to move beyond just creating his own films in the future in order to help champion the voice’s of others and bring their films to the masses. Read the full interview here.

Award-winning filmmaker Damien Chazelle’s upcoming musical fantasy “La La Land” is already being met with critical praise - even before its official premiere tonight at the 2016 Venice Film Festival! The film follows the story of an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) and a jazz musician (Ryan Gosling) as they navigate L.A., a city that is well known for crushing dreams. The highly anticipated film, due to be released later this year, is already raking in some much deserved acclaim. While we can hardly wait to see the film, we are content to bide our time by catching up on all of the positive reviews popping up online as we speak. You can check out film critic Eric Kohn’s review of the film here, via Indiewire.