Filmmaker Louie Psihoyos and his team of activists and innovators that made The Cove are back with a new mission to save more endangered species. Where The Cove centered on the plight of dolphins, his latest film Racing Extinction, which premiered early this year in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, has a broader topic: mankind's role in the potential mass extinction of half of the world's species.A National Geographic photographer and environmental activist, Psihoyos’ new film arrives with incredible anticipation as a follow-up to The Cove, which besides becoming part of the national discourse, won the U.S. Audience Award at Sundance when it premiered in 2009 and later the Academy Award for best documentary. Racing Extinction unfolds like a blockbuster action epic and inhabits the same eco-thriller atmosphere of the director’s prior work. Viewers might feel they’ve wandered into a white-knuckle espionage flick as they witness Psihoyos and his team infiltrating notorious black markets in China using guerilla-style tactics and James Bond-friendly gadgets, or working with artists to create spellbindingly beautiful imagery with animal subjects (footage of endangered species were projected across the United Nations building). Read the interview with filmmaker
It’s safe to say that the future of truly independent film is still being written. Holiday film ‘Christmas, Again’ and its partnership with both Factory 25 & Fandor is a great example of a hopeful outlook. Matt Grady, founder of Factory 25, a successful independent distribution company, wrote an article over on Sundance’s Blog about how they were able to distribute, market and soon bring in a profit for the tiny yet buzz-worthy holiday festival favorite. Read more about the insightful process regarding the future of both small independent distribution companies and the films they bring to audiences here.
A pair of Sundance breakout films coming to theaters in October examine the disparate but mesmerizing charades carried out by their subjects. In the documentary (T)ERROR, cameras infiltrate a real life counterterrorism sting carried out by a veteran FBI informant, and in I Smile Back, Sarah Silverman secretly inhabits a world of compulsion and duplicity that belies her idyllic family life. Check out all that October had to offer here.
A Sundance pick, How To Change the World captures a tale of the ages. In 1971, a group of friends sail into a nuclear test zone, and their protest captures the world's imagination. Using never before seen archive that brings their extraordinary world to life, How To Change The World is the story of the pioneers who founded Greenpeace and defined the modern green movement. A must see!
There is truth in the conviction that “time heals all wounds.” But in New Orleans, exactly 10 years after one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history—and easily the costliest—the adage has met its match. In this week’s expansive and forthright New York Times story documenting the city’s recovery, the portrait of an embattled community comes into focus. Despite tremendous strides in a literal rebuild of New Orleans, the city’s longstanding economical and racial hardships remain. Read more
Sundance Institute and the Austin Film Society presented their second annual #ArtistServices workshop in Texas. Aimed at empowering creators navigating the changing business of distribution and marketing, the day-long event featured one session focused on the back-end management of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, and posed the question, "How do indie artists harness and navigate the shifting landscape while balancing their time and creative energy?" Here are a few of the takeaways to help- Read more
If you've been to the movies this summer, you've probably had a lot of fun watching dinosaurs behave badly, deadly robots travel through time or the earthquake-induced, computer-generated destruction of California. These films and other blockbusters have a place in our culture, but don't miss checking out what is in many ways a banner season for risk-taking and refreshing independent movies. To name just a few out now: Sundance Grand Jury Prize winners Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The Wolfpack; the super-fresh Dope; the wonderful documentaries What Happened, Miss Simone?, Amy, Cartel Land, The Look of Silence and, one of my favorites, the fascinating Best of Enemies; and on the narrative side, the adventurous and bold Tangerine, Lila & Eve, The Stanford Prison Experiment and The End of the Tour. In the weeks to come, look out for the white-knuckle Cop Car, the wise-beyond-its-years The Diary of a Teenage Girl, and Sundance Audience Award winner Meru.
Check out these trailers for these Sundance-supported films coming to theaters, DVD, and Blu-Ray this month, including this year's Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Rodney Ascher's jarring fright film The Nightmare, and a refreshing and decidedly westcoast update to coming-of-age films in Dope. See all the Trailers here.