FILM FESTIVALS

What a week!!! The first annual Indie Street Film Festival came to a close on Saturday July 9th after 4 days of screening 75 new independent films! And what an amazing experience the whole festival was, bringing together a community in the spirit of independent film and art!  Women Who Kill directed by Ingrid Jungermann won the award for Best Narrative Feature and Romeo Is Bleeding directed by Jason Zeldes took home the award for Best Documentary Feature.  The Jury also chose to honor the Ensemble Cast of Sam Kretchmar’s Keep In Touch with the Special Jury Award.  Short film winners were: BEST ANIMATED SHORT – The Past Inside the Present directed by James Siewert BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT – Love Wins directed by Robin Kampf BEST NARRATIVE SHORT – Thunder Road directed by Jim Cummings  The Awards ceremony took place on stage at the Count Basie Theatre prior to the closing night screening of Ira Sachs’ Little Men.  Encore screenings of the winning films took place at the Red Bank Middle School on Sunday, July 10.  The Jury for the Inaugural Indie Street Film Festival was comprised of New York Magazine chief film critic David Edelstein, Founder and Director Emeritus of the Black Maria Film Festival John Columbus, IHeartMedia co-host/News Director Shelli Sonstein, Emmy-winning film producer Sylvia Caminer (Chosen), Co-Founder and CEO of Cartuna James Belfer, and Indie Street partner filmmakers Alex Steyermark (The 78 Project Movie) and Benjamin Wiessner (Ornana Films).  ISFF Audiences had a chance to vote on their favorite films throughout the festival and the Audience Awards were handed out to: BEST SHORT: The House Is Innocent (Documentary) directed by Nicholas Coles BEST FEATURE: Auld Lang Syne (Narrative) directed by Johanna McKeon BEST NEW JERSEY FILM: After Sandy (Documentary) directed by Joe Minnella  ISFF Feature competition included the World Premiere of Johanna McKeon’s Auld Lang Syne and New Jersey premieres of James Morrison’s Diverge, Juan Pablo Arroyo Abraham’s Day Six, Sam Kretchmar’s Keep In Touch and Ingrid Jungermann’s Women Who Kill.  Documentaries included: Joe Minnella’s After Sandy, Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang’s Hotel Dallas, Beatrice Alda’s Legs: A Big Issue in a Small Town, Adam Irving’s Off the Rails and Jason Zeldes’ Romeo is Bleeding.  Indie Street Film Festival Director of Programming Bill Augustin said “I am extremely proud of the inaugural program of the Indie Street Film Festival.  It was a diverse and artistically rich mix of independent films that exemplified our motto of ‘Story over Budget’.  We received nearly 350 submissions from over 20 different countries and were excited to bring unique voices from around the world to Red Bank.”  Since ISFF is more geared toward cooperation than competition, all feature films accepted into the festival have been 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 minimum 1-week theatrical release in NYC. Short film winners from each category will be considered for coop inclusion and will be presented and promoted through the Indie Street platform.  It was an amazing week and we look forward to already planning for next year’s second annual Indie Street Film Festival!! Keep checking out indiestreetfilmfestival.org to keep up to date on winners and more!

Louie Psihoyos' follow-up to his academy award-winning documentary promises to 'change the way we understand issues of endangered species and mass extinction.' Premiering at this Years Tribeca Film Festival on April 25th, Psihoyos declares that "We’re going to give people happy tears and yet everyone will be on the edge of their seats. I still can’t believe we’re doing what we’re doing. The last four years we’ve been creating a film that I want people to throw down their hard earned money and feel it’s the best money that they ever spent." They were still shooting footage just a week ago, which is really the type of perfectionist passion and disregard for timelines that we should expect from a great documentarian.

Indiewire.com picks 10 Folks that made a major impression at this year's Berlin Film Festival. The Berlin International Film Festival came to a close this weekend, but there's many filmmakers and actors from the festival we'll likely be hearing about for some time. Over the course of the festival, there were numerous names few had heard of a few weeks ago that all of the sudden, were the subject of conversation thanks to their breakout work in the festival's program. Click here to read about the 10 filmmakers in particular on Indiewire.

Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival, wrapped its 21st edition over the weekend with record-breaking audience numbers reaching an estimated 192,000. "The Backward Class," directed by Madeleine Grant, was the winner of the Audience Award, which is tallied from audience votes throughout the festival. The crowd-pleasing "Meet the Patels" by Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel came in second, followed by Ryan White and Ben Cotner's "The Case Against 8."...read full article on IndieWire

Had a bit of trouble staying awake when reading the synopses for the "most anticipated" films of Tribeca this year. It seems like every narrative is a "gripping story about a group of friends that discover that life is hard." Maybe the world is running out of original stories to tell? IndieStreet's most anticipated on the Indiewire list is "Point and Shoot" from Director Marshall Curry ("If A Tree Falls"). We'd be very surprised if this doesn't take home the documentary award. To be honest the documentaries in general seem a bit more intriguing, which is the historical case for the Tribeca Festival. Indie Wire is always a great resource for Film Reviews and Festival buzz so we are sure that the majority of the films will be better than they read on paper, and there will be a few films that are surprisingly unique. While IndieStreet is currently brainstorming new strategies that will deviate from the old festival model, we still understand the current value and importance of festivals within Indie Film. View Indiewire's The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The Tribeca Film Festival 2014

The Sundance Film Festival returns once again to take over Park City, Utah until February 1st. Last year Sundance world premieres included Boyhood, Whiplash, and The Babadook, and this year looks just as promising. Noah Baumbach reunites with Greta Gerwig for Mistress America, Eli Roth and Keanu Reeves offer scares with Knock Knock, Jason Segel brings David Foster Wallace back to life in The End of the Tour, and Joe Swanberg leads an all-star cast on an adventure in Digging for Fire. See the top picks here

A STYLISTIC MASH-UP OF ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE, INTERVIEWS, AND ANIMATED SEQUENCES, the Kurt Cobain documentary, Montage of Heck, premiered at Sundance '15 to a stunned audience. Anyone could have crafted a documentary about a band. Director Brett Morgen's experimental, road-less-traveled approach does something that's much deeper: letting you feel as if you've pored through someone's scrapbook. You get the sense that Kurt would have liked this. As for his fans, be prepared to meet the man you admire, warts and all. Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/mo