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.
While the New York Film Festival is still going strong in the Big Apple, another stellar film festival is happening outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, offering a screening platform just as powerful as NYFF to other under the radar industry heavy hitters and smaller, up-and-coming indie films. Indiewire is calling the Hamptons International Film Festival, now celebrating its 25th year, the Oscar Season's secret weapon and we can't agree more. Learn more about Indiewire's breakdown of the value of this amazing festival here, and if you are lucky enough to find yourself in the Hamptons over the weekend, check out the festival's full program, which kicked off this week!
One of New York's biggest film festivals officially kicked off this week, and with it has come a plethora of new films and retrospectives to look forward to! Enough to fulfill any film lover's appetite....x100! If you haven't already given the full schedule and program a gander, what are you waiting for you?! Start grabbing tickets while they're still available! In the meantime, check out Indiewire's discussion on the exact value that New York Film Festival offers the film world: "There’s something there for everybody, and everyone is coming together in the same place to experience a festival of their own. That’s the New York way."
As the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, considered one of the biggest festivals of the Fall season, wraps up this weekend, Indiewire reflects on the filmic winners and losers of the past week and a half. From glowing Oscar contenders to searing disappointments, check out highlights from another stellar year at TIFF!
Hard to believe 2017 is flying by as quickly as it is! As the summer months wane and the cooler months start creeping in, a new festival season is upon us! Toronto International Film Festival is chock full of amazing, insanely anticipated films and we are loving the press and reviews that have been coming in. Check out Filmmaker Magazine's top 25 films to look forward to at this year's TIFF! Another fun fact: Filmmaker Magazine is celebrating their 25th Anniversary this month as well!
The past week was a whirlwind of creative energy, community-boosting moments, innovative films and overall, a seriously cool culmination of indie spirit in Red Bank, NJ at the second annual Indie Street Film Festival! It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone! And after an inspiring 5 days, the team behind Indie Street Film Festival was beyond honored to announce this year's award winners! "Like Me", directed by Robert Mockler, was named the best narrative feature and "Unrest", directed by Jennifer Brea, took the top prize for best documentary feature as we concluded five days of film screenings plus a wide array of special events and entertainment in Red Bank, New Jersey. Short film winners included Best Narrative Short – "Hold On", directed by Christine Turner and Best Documentary Short – "Little Potato", directed by Wes Hurley and Nathan M. Miller. Best Animation Film was awarded to "Pussy", directed by Renata Gasiorowski. The jury, including noted film critics, producers and filmmakers Alison Willmore (Buzzfeed), Dominic Davis (Rooftop Films), Heidi Reinberg (Producer), Leah Sapin (Human Rights Watch), Meredith Alloway (Writer), William Cusick (Filmmaker/Programmer), James Belfer (CEO, Cartuna), James Siewert (Award-Winning Director/Animator) and Ben Wiessner (Producer, Ornana Films), also presented Special Jury Awards for Best Editing to "Fish Story", directed by Charlie Lyne and Best Comedic Vision to "Business", directed by Kati Skelton. Red Bank artist and resident Gerda Liebmann earned an Audience Choice award for Best New Jersey Film for her first documentary, "You will be Persecuted". Audience Favorites included Best Narrative Short – "Resolutions", directed by Tamara Fisch and Best Narrative Feature – "Life Hack", directed by Sloan Copeland. Among the many discussions presented, notable panels included Adaptation, which included festival Advisory Board Member and noted Actor/Producer Arian Moayed (Rock the Kasbah) and Oscar-winner Mara Kassin, and Meet the Programmers, featuring Larisa Apan (Hamptons Film Festival) and Opal Hope Bennett (Nantucket Film Festival, Doc NYC). A community mural project at Kitch Organic, an appearance by special surprise guest Actor Amir Arison (The Blacklist), a community barbecue, provided by JBJ Soul Kitchen following the screening of "Barbecue", a documentary directed by Matthew Salleh, and the world premiere of "Brothers", the latest work from New Jersey filmmaker Jack Ballo, about two brothers who lived off the grid for four years in the woods of Sayreville, NJ filmed using only the camera in Ballo’s iPhone, were also festival highlights. “The films we’ve shared made us laugh, cry and hungry,” noted Jim Scavone, Executive Director of Red Bank RiverCenter, and the festival’s Managing Director. The films were screened and the special events held at multiple theatrical venues in Red Bank, including the historic Count Basie Theatre, the Two River Theater, Bow Tie Cinema and Red Bank Middle School. Winners from each feature film category will enjoy a shared 1-week theatrical release in NYC. At the awards presentation, Indie Street Film Festival’s Artistic Director Jay Webb confirmed the event would return to Red Bank in 2018 and planned a long-term commitment and partnership with sponsors and the local arts and business communities. Webb also posed a rhetorical question, asking attendees why support for independent artists and filmmakers was important. "In a world of digital content overload that demands more curation and leaves us less physically connected, gathering people in the community around film screenings and the arts is something our whole team believes is of critical importance,” Webb concluded. “Audiences in a theater or at a live art event in the presence of the creators will feel the shared emotional vibrations of the exhibition and truly become a part of the story. Offering locals, especially young people, these types of shared creative experiences can help them learn to accept human differences and not be afraid of them.” For more information about the screening of films from the festival, or how to connect with Indie Street Film Festival organizers, artists and filmmakers, visit www.indiestreetfilmfestival.org or follow us on social media!
Oh man! We're less than 2 weeks out from the second annual Indie Street Film Festival! What could be more exciting?! We know: more killer indie news surrounding the fest! ISFF has just announced their special screening slate for this year and if you're an indie film lover, dance enthusiast, or just a Michael Caine fan, you're gonna love this pretty sweet lineup. The New Jersey premiere of the 2017 Slamdance fav "Dave Made a Maze", a breakout film directed by artist/writer Bill Watterson, will open the 2nd Annual Indie Street Film Festival on Wednesday, July 26. Valérie Müller and Angelin Preljocaj’s "Polina", featuring Academy Award-winner Juliette Binoche will be the closing film on Sunday, July 30. The NY/NJ premiere of "Coup D’Etat", directed by Lisa Addario/Joe Syracuse and starring Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-winner Michael Caine and Katie Holmes, and "Person to Person", written and directed by Dustin Guy Defa and starring Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson and Philip Baker Hall, will also screen at the fest set for July 26th through the 30th in Red Bank, NJ. “From a live art performance by local artist Ronnie Jackson, who carves New Jersey landscapes and scenes into surfboards, a cookout after the screening of the documentary Barbecue with local sponsors, to a Liquid Lights creative workshop, we know festival attendees will enjoy what ISFF brings to the community,” noted ISFF artistic director Jay Webb. “What sets this festival apart from other film events is the integration and cooperation of Red Bank’s venues, restaurants and bars, retail shops and the local arts community which all gel to make the ideal atmosphere to celebrate the creativity of independent filmmakers.” "Dave Made a Maze", featuring Nick Thune as Dave and Meera Rohit Kumbhani as his girlfriend, Annie, is the story of an underachieving artist who builds a fort in his living room only to wind up trapped by fantastical pitfalls, booby traps and critters of his own creation. Ignoring his warnings, Annie leads a band of oddball explorers on a rescue mission. Once inside, they find themselves trapped in an ever-changing supernatural world, threatened by booby traps and pursued by a bloodthirsty Minotaur. In "Polina", a promising classical ballet dancer about to join the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet discovers contemporary dance, a revelation that throws everything into question on a profound level. "Coup D’Etat" is the story of a sixteen-year-old American girl who develops a pen pal relationship with Anton Vincent (Michael Caine), an island nation dictator, who unexpectedly seeks refuge in her suburban garage when he is deposed by his own people. "Person to Person" follows a variety of New York characters as they navigate personal relationships and unexpected problems over the course of one day.The festival will present more than 60 independently produced narrative, documentary and animated films, panel discussions, Q&A’s with filmmakers, live art, an interactive community mural project, a community cookout, and both live and DJ music performances. For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets/passes, please visit www.indiestreetfilmfestival.org!
What a time to be alive if you’re a film lover! This year has seen a wave of innovative new works hitting the screens of festivals around the globe…and New Jersey's own Red Bank better get ready because it’s that time of the year again - their time to cinematically SHINE! The 2nd annual Indie Street Film Festival line-up has JUST BEEN ANNOUNCED and it features some of the best of the best in indie cinema from around the world. The Indie Street Film Festival will return to Red Bank from July 26th through the 30th featuring more than 60 independently produced narrative, documentary and animated films, panel discussions, Q&A’s with filmmakers, live art, an interactive community mural project, a community cookout, and both live and DJ music performances. Two sets of “Jersey Shorts” showcasing the work of local filmmakers and New Jersey locations and subjects will also be featured. Narrative feature films in competition include: The Ring Thing, directed by William Sullivan (Provincetown Film Festival) Like Me, directed by Robert Mockler (SXSW) Beat Beat Heart, directed by Luise Brinkmann (Slam Dance, Filmfest Munich 2016) Life Hack, directed by Sloan Copeland (Brooklyn Film Fest, SoHo Int. Film Fest) Documentary feature films in competition include: Barbecue, directed by Matthew Salleh (SXSW) Hotel Coolgardie, directed by Pete Gleeson (Slamdance, Hot Docs) Olancho, directed by Ted Griswold and Chris Valdes (Brooklyn Film Fest) Unrest, directed by Jennifer Brea (SXSW, Hot Docs, Sundance Special Jury Award) The winning films will be selected by a jury consisting of noted film critics, producers and filmmakers. Industry experts including Aaron Hillis (Indiegogo), Alison Willmore (Buzzfeed), Dominic Davis (Rooftop Films), Heidi Reinberg (Producer) and Leah Sapin (Human Rights Watch) will join others in awarding the winning feature films with the prize of a 1 week theatrical screening in New York City and optional online distribution through Indie Street Media. Jury awards and audience awards will be announced at a live ceremony on the evening of Sunday, July 30th. Highlights include the NJ premiere of Unrest, an eye-opening documentary shot and directed by Jennifer Brea, as she tackles the very personal subject of chronic fatigue syndrome. Life Hack, featuring Sean Kleier (Odd Mom Out) and Devin Ratray (Nebraska, Blue Ruin), is an incredibly relevant comedic cautionary tale about our digital privacy or complete lack thereof. New Jersey talent will of course be showcased, including the world premiere of Brothers, the latest work from Jack Ballo, who directed the critically acclaimed 2016 documentary Destiny’s Bridge, about the plight of a homeless community living off-the-grid in the woods of Lakewood, New Jersey, and Pasquale’s Magic Veal, a dark comedy featuring Vincent Pastore, who played “Big Pussy” in The Sopranos. Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and Adam Long (Happy Valley), star in The Knackerman, a narrative short funded by Creative England and the BFI Network. In Cul-De-Sac, from the team behind the Academy Award-winning short Curfew, a married couple's bubble of suburban normality is punctured when they find a surprise inside their toddler's teddy bear. Cop Dog, the sixth animated film in Bill Plympton's Oscar-nominated Guard Dog series, finds its plucky dog-hero with a new occupation: patrolling our airports sniffing for illegal drugs. Several other shorts will make their NJ premiere, including films written by screenwriters for NBC's THIS IS US and SYFY's CHANNEL ZERO, as well as performances from actors such as Jimmie JJ Jeter (Hamilton) and Chris Carfizzi (Showtime's Billions). Indie Street Film Festival Artistic Director/President of Indie Street, Jay Webb, noted that in addition to the incredibly diverse films from around the world that will be screened and discussed, this year’s schedule includes events linked to films showcased in the festival as well as New Jersey themes. “From a live art performance by local artist Ronnie Jackson, who carves New Jersey landscapes and scenes into surfboards, a cookout after the screening of the documentary Barbecue with local sponsors, to a Liquid Lights creative workshop, we know festival attendees will enjoy what ISFF brings to the community,” Webb added. “What sets this festival apart from other film events is the integration and cooperation of Red Bank’s venues, restaurants and bars, retail shops and the local arts community which all gel to make the ideal atmosphere to celebrate the creativity of independent filmmakers.” ISFF is more geared toward cooperation than competition, so all feature films accepted into the festival are awarded the opportunity to join Indie Street as a partner filmmaker and be promoted through its VOD platform. Winners from each feature film category will enjoy a shared 1 week theatrical release in NYC. Films and events will be held at multiple theatrical venues in Red Bank, including the historic Count Basie Theatre, the Two River Theater, Bow Tie Cinema and Red Bank Middle School. For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, please visit www.indiestreetfilmfestival.org. 5 day Passes are available for films only (Film Buff Pass for $99) or for all films and parties (All-access Pass for $169) and can be purchased by visiting the festival website. All-access passes are also on sale now that include entry to all festival events, open bar at nightly parties brought to you by sponsors Flying Fish Brewery and Prairie Vodka, as well as discounts at local businesses. Single event tickets will be available soon. Keep up with breaking news on social media: facebook.com/IndieStreetFilmFestival · twitter: @IndieStFilmFest · Instagram @IndieStFilmFestFor more information on the Indie Street Film Festival or to learn how you can help out, contact email@example.com or head to indiestreetfilmfestival.org to check out THE STELLAR FULL LINEUP!! Be sure to check out highlights from last year’s successful inaugural year:
BAMcinématek's 9th annual BAMcinemaFest, a showcase of some of the best in American independent cinema, kicked off into high gear last week and continues strong through 6/25! With still a full solid 6 days of amazing indie film left to feast upon, it’s not too late to catch some of the best of the fest! Check out Filmmaker Magazine’s Scott Macaulay and Vadim Rizov’s top 11 picks playing at the 2017 BAMCinemafest! From two Michael Almereyda offerings to MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND, the Narrative Grand Jury Prize winner at this year’s SXSW, there’s pretty much something for all film lovers to...well...love!
For over a decade now, film as a physical medium has been heralded as dead. Done. Kaput. But if the lineup at this year's Cannes Film Festival proves anything different, it just goes to show that film is here to stay. Call the analog medium a zombie or ghost or superhero or even a freak of nature. The industry is seeing a resurgence of projects shot on film and we are totally loving it! To show just how integral and important shooting on film is, Kodak released the list of 15 films playing at this year’s Cannes Film Festival that were shot on their stock. From “The Beguiled” to “Wonderstruck”, these films are also some of the most highly anticipated of the entire festival. Check out the full list via Indiewire and if you wanna know more about the making of some of Cannes’ top films, head here to get the lowdown on cameras used during production!
Man oh man, how the months have flown by! It’s finally that day again - the final submissions deadline for the 2017 Indie Street Film Festival! Hundreds of film have been submitted - short, long, funny, sad, weird, honest, raw and everything indie-tween (see what we did there?)! If you’ve got a film, we want to see it! But act fast - you’ve only got a few hours left to be guaranteed those filmic darlings of yours will be considered! So, what are we looking for? Everything! Our goal is simply to program the very best films we can find. Remember: diversity is important as well as good storytelling. We are giving special consideration to New Jersey Filmmakers as we will have a special side-bar for Jersey films, too. We are also specifically looking for films that do the most with smaller budgets and are innovative either visually, conceptually or in their storytelling. Fit the bill? You can submit via Withoutabox and FilmFreeway NOW! For more information on the Indie Street Film Festival, head to our website or check out our recap video showcasing highlights from last year’s insanely successful fest!